10973
New Discovery Around Juniper Backdoor Raises More Questions About the Company
WHEN TECH GIANT Juniper Networks made the startling announcement last month that it had uncovered two mysterious backdoors embedded in software running on some of its firewalls, certain people in the security community praised the company for being honest about its discovery. Rather than silently removing the backdoors in a routine software patch sent to customers, Juniper said it was distributing the patch to eliminate "unauthorized code" that someone had placed in the source code of its software. This malicious code was particularly concerning because one of the backdoors, which had gone undetected in the software since 2012, could be exploited for the purposes of decrypting protected data passing through the VPN, or virtual private network, in Juniper NetScreen firewalls.
security  crypto 
20 hours ago
Democrats should slow down with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - CNNPolitics
Since her massive upset victory over New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been touted as the fastest-rising star in the Democratic firmament. Potential 2020 presidential contenders seized on her victory as a sign that unapologetic liberalism is where the party is headed. Suddenly would-be national candidates were falling all over themselves to call to abolish ICE. Think pieces over What It All Means -- including in this space -- were launched.
usa  politics  people 
yesterday
The European Commission versus Android
To understand how Google ended up with a €4.3 billion fine and a 90-day deadline to change its business practices around Android, it is critical to keep one date in mind: July 2005. That was when Google acquired a still in-development mobile operating system called Android, and to put the acquisition in context, Steve Jobs was, at least publicly, “not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen”. He was, of course, referring to the iPod; Apple would go on to release an iPod with video playback a few months later, but the iPhone was still a year-and-a-half away from being revealed.
google  android  europe 
yesterday
CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing causes lots of mutations
A British study shows that gene editing does not work as well as previously assumed. Experiments with the cells of mice and humans resulted in numerous unwanted mutations.

The molecular biological gene editing CRISPR/Cas9 method regularly causes unwanted mutations. This also happens in areas of the genome far from the target areas that medical researchers and molecular biologists may seek to change using this promising innovative tool.
biology 
yesterday
Genetically modified babies given go ahead by UK ethics body | Science | The Guardian
The creation of babies whose DNA has been altered to give them what parents perceive to be the best chances in life has received a cautious green light in a landmark report from a leading UK ethics body.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said that changing the DNA of a human embryo could be “morally permissible” if it was in the future child’s interests and did not add to the kinds of inequalities that already divide society.
medicine  biology 
3 days ago
Brexit: Will the EU referendum be re-run after Vote Leave was referred to police for breaking electoral law?
The Electoral Commission has imposed a £61,000 fine on Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign group, and ruled that it broke spending limit rules during the Brexit referendum.

In addition, the watchdog body has referred David Halsall, the “responsible person” for Vote Leave, to the Metropolitan Police for making false declarations of campaign spending.
brexit 
3 days ago
Trump caved spectacularly to Putin. Here's what might happen next
For as long as history remembers Donald Trump, it will be a day that will live in infamy.

The President's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday is already one of the most notorious moments in the tortured relations between Washington and Moscow.
trump  russia  usa 
4 days ago
Sound waves reveal diamond cache deep in Earth’s interior | MIT News
There may be more than a quadrillion tons of diamond hidden in the Earth’s interior, according to a new study from MIT and other universities. But the new results are unlikely to set off a diamond rush. The scientists estimate the precious minerals are buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached.
physics  geography 
4 days ago
The XY Problem
The XY problem is asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem. This leads to enormous amounts of wasted time and energy, both on the part of people asking for help, and on the part of those providing help.
communication 
6 days ago
The hotel bathroom puzzle
Consider, for example, the hotel bathroom shown above. There are two doors, each opening into a separate room occupied by a guest who is presumably a stranger to the other. You need locks on both doors to ensure privacy for each occupant, which means that you’ll invariably wind up with situations in which one guest leaves and forgets to unlock the second door, leading to considerable inconvenience. What do you do? You could, of course, tear down and rebuild the entire hotel, at great expense, so that each room has its own bathroom—a solution that might sound ridiculous, but isn’t so far removed from how similar design problems are addressed every day. More plausibly, you could somehow label the doors. Petroski notes that this was the approach employed by a similar house in which he once stayed in St. Louis: “The measures taken to avoid this situation consisted of a nicely printed sign placed prominently on the dresser beside the bathroom door, reminding each guest to unlock the other guest’s door before leaving the bathroom. I am sure I was not the only guest who suffered from the inadequacy of that solution.”
usability 
6 days ago
FDA Approves First Drug Meant to Treat Smallpox | Time
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved the first drug specifically designed to treat smallpox — despite the fact that the disease was officially eradicated in 1980.

While the daily threat of smallpox, which is caused by the variola virus, is virtually non-existent, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the drug, called TPOXX, or tecovirimat, could be a safeguard against bioterrorism.
medicine 
6 days ago
Astronauts explain why humans haven't returned to the moon in decades - Business Insider
The last time a person visited the moon was in December 1972, during NASA's Apollo 17 mission.
Over the decades, NASA planned to send people back to the moon but has yet to succeed.
Astronauts often say the biggest reasons why humans haven't returned to the lunar surface are budgetary and political hurdles — not scientific or technical challenges.
Private companies like Blue Origin or SpaceX may be the first entities to return people to the moon.
universe  politics  transportation 
6 days ago
Why Sexism and Racism Never Diminish-Even When Everyone Becomes Less Sexist and Racist - Marginal REVOLUTION
The idea that concepts depend on their reference class isn’t new. A short basketball player is tall and a poor American is rich. One might have thought, however, that a blue dot is a blue dot. Blue can be defined by wavelength so unlike a relative concept like short or rich there is some objective reality behind blue even if the boundaries are vague. Nevertheless, in a thought-provoking new paper in Science the all-star team of Levari, Gilbert, Wilson, Sievers, Amodio and Wheatley show that what we identify as blue expands as the prevalence of blue decreases.
psychology  racism 
7 days ago
PsyArXiv Preprints | The Origins of WEIRD Psychology
Recent research not only confirms the existence of substantial psychological variation around the globe but also highlights the peculiarity of populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD). We propose that much of this variation arose as people psychologically adapted to differing kin-based institutions—the set of social norms governing descent, marriage, residence and related domains. We further propose that part of the variation in these institutions arose historically from the Catholic Church’s marriage and family policies, which contributed to the dissolution of Europe’s traditional kin-based institutions, leading eventually to the predominance of nuclear families and impersonal institutions. By combining data on 20 psychological outcomes with historical measures of both kinship and Church exposure, we find support for these ideas in a comprehensive array of analyses across countries, among European regions and between individuals with different cultural backgrounds.
psychology  history 
7 days ago
Trump Is Misjudging China’s Resolve on Trade - Bloomberg
Donald Trump’s strategy in his trade war with China boils down to inflicting sufficient economic pain to eventually force Beijing’s leaders to make the concessions the president wants — whatever those may be. That’s the obvious purpose of the tariffs he plans to impose on another $200 billion of Chinese-made goods.

Trump may find with China, though, that there’s an inverse relationship between pressure and cooperation. Rather than bringing China’s leadership to heel, the extra duties are likely to prompt a digging in of heels. That means a longer trade war, with greater damage to the U.S. economy.
china 
8 days ago
Year-old router bug exploited to steal sensitive DOD drone, tank documents | Ars Technica
In May, a hacker perusing vulnerable systems with the Shodan search engine found a Netgear router with a known vulnerability—and came away with the contents of a US Air Force captain's computer. The purloined files from the captain—the officer in charge (OIC) of the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's MQ-9 Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU)at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada—included export-controlled information regarding Reaper drone maintenance.
security  bug  military 
9 days ago
Australian experiment wipes out over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes
In an experiment with global implications, Australian scientists have successfully wiped out more than 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes in trial locations across north Queensland. The experiment, conducted by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and James Cook University (JCU), targeted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread deadly diseases such as dengue fever and Zika.
medicine  biology 
10 days ago
Will Trump get a third supreme court pick? | Law | The Guardian
With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for supreme court justice, Trump is set to cement his significant influence on the highest court in the land. Once Kavanaugh is confirmed, the probable outcome given the Republican controlled Senate, Trump will have made as many appointments in two years as Barack Obama did in two full terms.

The result of those nominations has left us with a supreme court that leans towards the right, with a majority of sitting justices nominated by Republican presidents. This wind of change brings a conservative sway for decades that will only get stronger if Trump, who is not even halfway into his first term, could secure a third pick.
usa  law  politics 
11 days ago
Could Trump’s tariff war lead to a ‘Reagan moment’ in global trade? - MarketWatch
The latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs by the United States and China has intensified the ongoing global debate about whether the world is facing a mere trade skirmish or heading rapidly toward a full-blown trade war.

But what is really at stake may be even more fundamental. Either accidentally or by design, President Donald Trump’s administration may have paved the way for a “Reagan moment” for the international trade regime.
usa  market 
11 days ago
Meaningful Exits for Founders (2016)
For an industry that doesn’t do it for the money, we sure talk about money an awful lot in the world of startups.

A few posts were written this past week diving deeper into the numbers that drive VC returns which, in turn, drive behavior in startups who’ve raised money from VCs.
startups 
11 days ago
The Federalist Papers: Author Identification Through K-Means Clustering
The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 articles and essays written in the latter half of 1780 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym “Publius” to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution. Hamilton chose “Publius” as the pseudonym under which the series would be written - the authorship at the time of publication was a closely guarded secret.

Following Hamilton’s death in 1804, a list he wrote became public, which attributed a majority of the papers to himself, including some that seemed more likely the work of Madison (No. 49–58 and 62–63). The truth of who wrote the papers is still a little murky - there is general consensus on who wrote each paper, but unfortunately the truth has been lost to the annals of time.

A significant amount of prior research has been done on the Federalist Papers, including The Disputed Federalist Papers: SVM Feature Selection via Concave Minimization, Case Study: The Federalist Papers, and the seminal Inference in an Authorship Problem by Frederick Mosteller and David L. Wallace. These papers do the topic much more justice to the subject than I can in a blog post.
usa  history  science  linguistics 
11 days ago
How scammers get away with fraud
Digital bank Monzo is one of the fastest-growing new banks in Britain, opening 750,000 accounts over the past two years. Now, in an extraordinarily candid move for a bank, it has thrown open its doors to Guardian Money to expose the scams and brazen criminality that threaten customers – and how it is fighting back. Some of the scams are shocking, others audacious – and one so simple we are banned from telling you about it.
security  money 
11 days ago
Keep on moving: the bizarre dance epidemic of summer 1518
Five centuries ago, the world’s longest rave took place in Strasbourg – a ‘plague’ of dancing that was fatal for some. What caused it? Art, poetry and music of the time can provide some clues.
history  medicine 
11 days ago
Illegal Production and Use of Banned CFC-11 in China's Foam Blowing Industry
Information obtained by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) demonstrates conclusively that the use of CFC-11 in China’s rigid polyurethane (PU) foam insulation sector, in particular in the building and construction subsector, is widespread and pervasive. CFC-11 is used as a foam blowing agent for the manufacture of molded foam panels and spray foam used for insulation purposes.
ecology  china 
12 days ago
U.S. Army Discharges Immigrant Soldiers Seeking Citizenship
Immigrants who joined the military in hopes for citizenship are being discharged instead. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Margaret Stock, who helped create the immigration recruitment program.
usa  military 
13 days ago
Google contradicts the reports of security breach at Google Docs following the Yandex controversy - Gizbot News
Google has recently released a statement in which it is denying the fact that the integrity of Google Docs was compromised in any way. This comes following the reports from Russian media that a number of files which were primarily meant for private use were being cataloged by the Russian leading search engine, Yandex.
google  security 
14 days ago
World's second largest coral reef no longer endangered - NZ Herald
The Belize Coral Reef, the second largest in the world and the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, has been removed from the Unesco endangered list.

The reef is no longer facing immediate danger from development, according to the New York Times.

"In the last two years, especially in the last year, the government of Belize really has made a transformational shift," Fanny Douvere, co-ordinator of the marine programme at Unesco's World Heritage Centre, said, quoted by the New York Times.
ecology 
14 days ago
Bananas Could Become Extinct Due To 'Devastating' Disease | Tech Times
Health experts caution that bananas may go extinct due to a deadly tropical disease that is sweeping across crops all around the world. The disease, known as the Panama disease, has already spread to Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central America.
ecology  biology 
14 days ago
Global warming could be far worse than predicted, new study suggests
Collapsing polar ice caps, a green Sahara Desert, a 20-foot sea-level rise.

That's the potential future of Earth, a new study suggests, noting that global warming could be twice as warm as current climate models predict.

The rate of warming is also remarkable: “The changes we see today are much faster than anything encountered in Earth’s history. In terms of rate of change, we are in uncharted waters,” said study co-author Katrin Meissner of the University of New South Wales in Australia.
ecology 
14 days ago
China Trade War Kickoff
For the launch of what China called the “largest trade war in economic history,” Friday felt a bit anticlimactic. U.S. stock markets rose moderately, presumably entranced by a favorable jobs report. Stores remained open. Factories kept humming. So what did it all really mean? Five questions and answers below.
usa  china 
14 days ago
Scott Pruitt earns a one-way ticket back to Oklahoma. He may want to travel coach.
Scott Pruitt is about to take the long flight home to Oklahoma, and it will probably be in coach class.

The embattled administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, known for his penchant for first-class travel, resigned on Thursday afternoon, after yet another day of unflattering headlines and revelations. The very latest, revealed shortly before his resignation was announced, had Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., wondering if Pruitt was using a so-called shell corporation to hide income earned by his wife, Marlyn.
trump 
15 days ago
Al Qaeda-affiliated terror group launches war on plastic bags | Fox News
When they're not trying to cause death and destruction, one terror group is setting out to save the environment.

An Al Qaeda-affiliated terror group has decided to follow in the footsteps of cities such as Seattle, San Francisco and Boston and countries like Australia and the United Kingdom in instituting a ban on plastic bags.
ecology 
15 days ago
He quit his high-paying job to build beds for kids who sleep on the floor
Mickelson set up a formal charity, complete with training courses, construction manuals and local chapters so communities from coast to coast could join the movement.
With the motto "No kid sleeps on the floor in our town," the nonprofit and its more than 65 chapters have built and delivered more than 1,500 free beds to children across America.
activism 
16 days ago
Opinion | The Cosmic Joke of Donald Trump’s Power - The New York Times
How much power will a president with such tenuous claim to it get to wield? How profound and durable an impact will such a shallow and fickle person make?

Donald Trump barely won the White House, under circumstances — a tainted opponent, three million fewer votes than she received, James Comey’s moral vanity and Russia’s amoral exertions — that raise serious questions about how many Americans yearned to see him there.
trump 
16 days ago
The Post-Kennedy Supreme Court Is Already Here  - The Atlantic
For those who can’t imagine the Supreme Court without Justice Anthony Kennedy, here’s some faintly good news: you don’t have to.

Though Kennedy’s resignation doesn’t take effect until July 31, the post-Kennedy court first convened on the first Monday in October 2017. The “Justice Kennedy” who sat at the right hand of the Chief Justice for the last nine months was not the Justice Kennedy who defined the court for the past 25 years.

That Elvis left the building sometime last summer.
usa  politics  law 
20 days ago
Europe's GDPR Is Killing Email Marketing, to the Disappointment of No One
For the past month or so, inboxes the world over have been awash with emails about updated privacy policies and new permissions required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You probably haven’t been reading those emails, and that’s bad news for email marketers.

According to a CNBC report, people—Americans, especially—aren’t opening GDPR related emails. Digital marketing agency Huge told the publication that nearly two in five Americans have completely ignored the emails. Another firm, PostUp, said just 25 to 30 percent of people globally view the emails, including just 15 to 20 percent of people in the US.
marketing  email  privacy  europe 
22 days ago
PassMark Android Benchmark Charts
PassMark Software, the leader in PC benchmarks, now brings you benchmarks for Android devices. The results from users of PassMark's PerformanceTest Mobile app (currently available for Android devices) have been collected from various phones and posted to this web site. The generated chart is updated daily with new submissions.
android 
22 days ago
Immigration Hardliners Lose Today in an 8-1 Supreme Court Ruling - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of an undocumented immigrant seeking to qualify for discretionary relief from federal deportation proceedings. The ruling also raised serious questions about the future viability of a controversial legal doctrine known as "Chevron deference."

The ruling came in the case of Pereira v. Sessions. Wescley Fonseca Pereira is a Brazilian citizen who arrived in the United States in 2000 on a six-month non-immigrant visa and has been here ever since. He works as a handyman and has two daughters, both of whom are U.S. citizens. In 2013 he was arrested on a minor traffic infraction and the federal government took steps towards deporting him.
usa  law 
23 days ago
Revamped drug could save lives of many new mothers - WHO - BBC News
A revamped drug that can withstand extreme heat and stay effective for 1,000 days could "revolutionise the ability" to keep new mothers alive, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

The medicine - known as heat-stable carbetocin - helps prevent sometimes fatal bleeding after women give birth.

It could potentially be given to millions of mothers worldwide.

Existing drugs can help but hot, humid conditions in many countries may stop the lifesaving medicines working well.
medicine 
23 days ago
The Lifespan of a Lie – Trust Issues – Medium
This past April, a French academic and filmmaker named Thibault Le Texier published Histoire d’un Mensonge [History of a Lie], plumbing newly-released documents from Zimbardo’s archives at Stanford University to tell a dramatically different story of the experiment. After Zimbardo told me that Korpi and Yacco’s accusations were baseless, I read him a transcript unearthed by Le Texier of a taped conversation between Zimbardo and his staff on day three of the simulation: “An interesting thing was that the guys who came in yesterday, the two guys who came in and said they wanted to leave, and I said no,” Zimbardo told his staff. “There are only two conditions under which you can leave, medical help or psychiatric… I think they really believed they can’t get out.”
psychology  science 
24 days ago
Leanpub and Grandfathered Royalty Rates
As many of you know, we’ve been iterating on our business model lately. We changed the royalty rate to 80%, added a number of monthly pricing plans to complement the $99 flat fee option, and then streamlined the number of pricing plans and added a free plan to become Freemium.
business 
24 days ago
Quartz: We may have answered the Fermi Paradox: We are alone in the universe
Alien life should be everywhere. The sheer abundance of stars in the universe (the number far outstrips the total number of grains of sand on every beach on Earth) suggests that, somewhere, an intelligent lifeform should be warming itself on a distant planet. Even if life evolves rarely, ET should be phoning us.

Yet, by all appearances, humanity seems to be flying solo in our galaxy, and perhaps the universe. Many solutions have been proposed to solve this riddle, known as the Fermi Paradox. The aliens are hiding. They’ve entered suspended animation until more propitious conditions arise. A Great Filter makes the leap from “life “to “intelligent life” improbable, if not impossible. They’ve blown themselves up.
universe  biology 
25 days ago
The Hill: How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks' immunity deal | TheHill
One of the more devastating intelligence leaks in American history - the unmasking of the CIA's arsenal of cyber warfare weapons last year - has an untold prelude worthy of a spy novel.

Some of the characters are household names, thanks to the Russia scandal: James Comey, fired FBI director. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr. Julian Assange, grand master of WikiLeaks. And American attorney Adam Waldman, who has a Forrest Gump-like penchant for showing up in major cases of intrigue.

Each played a role in the early days of the Trump administration to try to get Assange to agree to "risk mitigation" - essentially, limiting some classified CIA information he might release in the future.
wikileaks  usa 
25 days ago
Inside Google, a Debate Rages: Should It Sell Artificial Intelligence to the Military? - Bloomberg
To win in the business of cloud computing, the company tiptoes into the business of war. Some staff fear it’s a first step toward autonomous killing machines.
google  military  ai 
26 days ago
Did Melania Trump Merit an ‘Einstein Visa’? Probably, Immigration Lawyers Say - The New York Times
It is known as the “Einstein visa.” Nuclear scientists, Nobel laureates and doctors get it. But so do acrobats, stunt men, event planners — and plenty of models.

Each year, thousands of foreigners try to persuade government officials that they are among the best in their field. The prize if they succeed: a green card, and with it, the right to live permanently in the United States.

Reports that the first lady, Melania Trump, received an immigrant visa reserved for “individuals with extraordinary ability” in 2001, when she was a model, have thrust the EB-1 visa program into the spotlight. The news, first reported by The Washington Post, raised questions about whether Mrs. Trump had truly qualified for the visa.
trump 
26 days ago
Wie das Bamf Kanzlerin Merkel den Wahlsieg sichern sollte - Politik - nordbayern.de
Das Bamf sollte dafür sorgen, dass die Flüchtlingskrise bei der Bundestagswahl 2017 für die Kanzlerin keine Gefahr mehr darstellt. Interne Schreiben zeigen, wie das Tempo immer weiter erhöht wurde – und sich das Chaos breitmachte.
politics  germany  mime:german 
26 days ago
Roland Koch: Ein Koch als König | FR.de
Hessischer Ministerpräsident ist Roland Koch (CDU) schon seit fast acht Jahren nicht mehr. Und seine anschließende Karriere als Vorstand und Konzernchef des Bau- und Dienstleistungskonzerns Bilfinger fand vor knapp vier Jahren ein jähes Ende. Nun aber wird Koch erneut von seiner Vergangenheit eingeholt: Ein Aufseher des US-Justizministeriums wirft Koch vor, während seiner Zeit an der Spitze von Bilfinger allzu arglos mit dem Thema Korruption umgegangen zu sein. Koch war von 2011 bis 2014 Vorstandsvorsitzender des Mannheimer Unternehmens.
people  business  mime:german 
26 days ago
Mount Everest, the high-altitude rubbish dump
Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.


Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement litter the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak.
ecology 
4 weeks ago
McDonald's Says It's Ditching Plastic Straws In U.K. And Ireland
McDonald's says it will start using paper straws instead of plastic at all its locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. And it plans to test sustainable alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe later this year.

"You asked, we listened," the chain announced on Facebook. The company says it will begin transitioning to paper straws at all of its locations in the U.K. and Ireland in September.
ecology 
5 weeks ago
Drug-sniffing K-9s are overdosing on opioids during routine searches: ‘This is a really big issue’ | Fox News
K-9s are an important tool in the fight against opioids – but as a result of their effort, they are dying.

Drug-sniffing dogs sent out to look for opioids are overdosing themselves, according to veterinarian and law enforcement officials who are trying to figure out ways to save them. While law enforcement officials are trained to help users who overdose, for a long time they didn’t know how to detect the symptoms in the dogs they use to locate the drugs.
biology  medicine 
5 weeks ago
Spiders Can Fly: This Is How And When They Take Off | Tech Times
Scientists figure out the step-by-step process involved when the spiders float in the wind in search for food or for a new home.

Many spiders, big or small, engaged in a behavior called "ballooning" where they tend to fly on the wind for hundreds of kilometers to search for a mate or find another place to colonize. While ballooning has been a subject of numerous scientific studies before, the current study dissected how exactly the spiders take off from their point of origin.
biology 
5 weeks ago
The court’s decision to let AT&T and Time Warner merge is ridiculously bad - The Verge
T and Time Warner won a historic court victory this week, convincing Judge Richard Leon in the US District Court for the District of Columbia that they should be able to merge over the antitrust objections of the Department of Justice. The deal, now finalized, combines one of the world’s largest telecom carriers with one of the world’s largest media organizations. The resulting company will have unparalleled market power over both content creation and distribution.

The decision surprised almost everyone — not necessarily that AT&T and Time Warner had won, but that Judge Leon allowed the merger to go through with no conditions or prohibitions on their behavior at all. In fact, Judge Leon’s opinion seems downright excited for the two companies, while systematically discounting the government’s case at every turn. Honestly, it’s a little strange.
business  networking  law  usa 
5 weeks ago
Without coral reefs, annual flood damages from storms could double globally
Coastal development and climate change are increasing the risk of flooding for communities across the globe. Coral reefs, which provide a first line of defense against coastal flooding in countries around the world, are being lost rapidly. A new study investigating how much people and property are protected by coral reefs, and what is at stake if our reefs are lost, shows that coral reefs cut the cost of all flood-related damages around the world in half.
ecology 
5 weeks ago
Macedonia reaches name change deal with Greece | CNN Travel
The Balkan nation will hold a popular vote in a referendum later this year to officially change its name to the Northern Republic of Macedonia. The move is part of a plan to resolve longstanding tensions between the country and its neighbor to the south, Greece.
geography  politics 
5 weeks ago
California Voters Will Decide Whether To Split The State In Three This November
If approved by voters and Congress, the state would be divided into three new states: Northern California, California, and Southern California.
usa  politics  law 
5 weeks ago
The Supreme Court Upholds Ohio's Voter-Purge Law - The Atlantic
A 5–4 decision gives the green light for states to use aggressive methods to remove voters from the rolls, a process that disproportionately affects minority communities.
usa  law 
5 weeks ago
Konstantin Kilimnik: Manafort Aide Is Mueller's 'Person A' - The Atlantic
n the early years of the century, as Paul Manafort made his way across Moscow and Kiev, he was followed by a diminutive man. With a generous slackening of the tape, the man measured just above 5 feet. This made for a striking contrast in physical frames, because Manafort and his expansive shoulders crowd a room. It also made the pair an almost slapstick spectacle. But over time, Manafort and the smaller man, his aide-de-camp, began to converge in appearance. The aide started to dress like his boss, buying expensive suits cut in a similar style. He would mimic his mentor’s habits, using the same car service to shuttle through the cobblestone streets of the Ukrainian capital in the same model BMW. He would come to earn the title “Manafort’s Manafort.”
uselection2016  people  russia  ukraine 
5 weeks ago
Obamacare mandate unconstitutional Trump administration declares
The Trump administration declared that it no longer will defend the Affordable Care Act from a challenge filed by 20 states because it agrees that the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional and that key parts of the act — including the provisions protecting those with pre-existing conditions — are invalid.
usa  health  law 
5 weeks ago
Engadget: Google Assistant fired a gun: We need to talk
A timely video raises urgent questions about setting boundaries for AI.

For better or worse, Google Assistant can do it all. From mundane tasks like turning on your lights and setting reminders to convincingly mimicking human speech patterns, the AI helper is so capable it's scary. Its latest (unofficial) ability, though, is a bit more sinister. Artist Alexander Reben recently taught Assistant to fire a gun. Fortunately, the victim was an apple, not a living being. The 30-second video, simply titled "Google Shoots," shows Reben saying "OK Google, activate gun." Barely a second later, a buzzer goes off, the gun fires, and Assistant responds "Sure, turning on the gun." On the surface, the footage is underwhelming -- nothing visually arresting is really happening. But peel back the layers even a little, and it's obvious this project is meant to provoke a conversation on the boundaries of what AI should be allowed to do.
ai  arts 
7 weeks ago
noyb.eu – My Privacy is none of your Business
Privacy à la “take it or leave it”? The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force today at midnight is supposed to give users a free choice, whether they agree to data usage or not. The opposite feeling spread on the screens of many users: Tons of “consent boxes” popped up online or in applications, often combined with a threat, that the service cannot longer be used if users do not consent. One the first day of GDPR noyb.eu has therefore filed four complaints against Google (Android), Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram over “forced consent”.
privacy  europe  law 
7 weeks ago
GDPR Hall of Shame
This project was a crazy idea by @ow after getting so many crappy GDPR emails and shutdown notices. I write a handy daily briefing to keep up with, and understand these kinds of things.
privacy  bug 
7 weeks ago
Meghan Markle Just Received a Coat of Arms | PEOPLE.com
Just days after Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding to Prince Harry, the newly minted Duchess of Sussex has received a very special gift: a coat of arms.
uk 
7 weeks ago
I study liars. I’ve never seen one like President Trump. - The Washington Post
I spent the first two decades of my career as a social scientist studying liars and their lies. I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came President Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people’s. 

In research beginning in the mid-1990s, when I was a professor at the University of Virginia, my colleagues and I asked 77 college students and 70 people from the nearby community to keep diaries of all the lies they told every day for a week. They handed them in to us with no names attached. We calculated participants’ rates of lying and categorized each lie as either self-serving (told to advantage the liar or protect the liar from embarrassment, blame or other undesired outcomes) or kind (told to advantage, flatter or protect someone else).

At The Washington Post, the Fact Checker feature has been tracking every false and misleading claim and flip-flop made by President Trump this year. The inclusion of misleading statements and flip-flops is consistent with the definition of lying my colleagues and I gave to our participants: “A lie occurs any time you intentionally try to mislead someone.” In the case of Trump’s claims, though, it is possible to ascertain only whether they were false or misleading, and not what the president’s intentions were. (And while the subjects of my research self-reported how often they lied, Trump’s falsehoods were tallied by The Post.)
trump  communication 
8 weeks ago
To save thousands on GDPR compliance, some companies are blocking all EU users - TechRepublic
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go into effect on May 25th, 2018, many organizations are scrambling to ensure their compliance with the law, while many are unlikely to have compliance sorted out in time.
europe  privacy 
8 weeks ago
Teens Cyberbully Themselves As A New Type Of Self-Harm : Shots - Health News : NPR
During the stressful teen years, most adolescents experience emotional highs and lows, but for more than 20 percent of teenagers, their worries and sad feelings turn into something more serious, like anxiety or depression. Studies show that 13 percent to 18 percent of distressed teens physically injure themselves via cutting, burning or other forms of self-harm as a way to cope with their pain.

Recent research and clinical psychologists now suggest that some adolescents are engaging in a newer form of self-aggression — digital self-harm. They're anonymously posting mean and derogatory comments about themselves on social media.
social 
8 weeks ago
Chances of China Trade Win Undercut by Trump Team Infighting - The New York Times
By the time American negotiators wrapped up high-level talks with a visiting Chinese delegation last week, President Trump’s ambitions for a multibillion-dollar trade agreement had, for the time being, shriveled into a blandly worded communiqué without any dollar figures. It was not clear that the talks set a path to success.

Ceaseless infighting and jockeying for influence on the White House’s trade team helped deprive Mr. Trump of a quick victory on his most cherished policy agenda, several people involved in the talks said. The deep internal divisions carried over into how officials characterized the agreement and muddied the outlook for the next phase of the negotiations between Washington and Beijing.
trump  china 
8 weeks ago
Does Donald Trump write his own tweets? Sometimes - The Boston Globe
The hallmark of President Trump’s Twitter feed is that it sounds like him — grammatical miscues and all.

But it’s not always Trump tapping out a Tweet, even when it sounds like his voice. West Wing employees who draft proposed tweets intentionally employ suspect grammar and staccato syntax in order to mimic the president’s style, according to two people familiar with the process.

They overuse the exclamation point! They Capitalize random words for emphasis. Fragments. Loosely connected ideas. All part of a process that is not as spontaneous as Trump’s Twitter feed often appears.

Presidential speechwriters have always sought to channel their bosses’ style and cadence, but Trump’s team is blazing new ground with its approach to his favorite means of instant communication. Some staff members even relish the scoldings Trump gets from elites shocked by the Trumpian language they strive to imitate, believing that debates over presidential typos fortify the belief within his base that he has the common touch.
trump  twitter  communication 
8 weeks ago
Revealed: rebranded D-Notice committee issued two notices over Skripal affair
Spinwatch can reveal that the Skripal affair has resulted in the issuing of not one but two 'D-Notices' to the British media, which are marked private and confidential. We can also disclose the contents of both notices, which have been obtained from a reliable source.

That two notices were issued has been confirmed by the ‘D-Notice' Committee. The Committee, which is jointly staffed by government officials and mainstream media representatives has recently changed its name to the ‘Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee’. The use of the word ‘advisory’ is no doubt a bid to discourage the public from thinking that this is a censorship committee.  However, the DSMA-Notices (as they are now officially called) are one of the miracles of British state censorship. They are a mechanism whereby the British state simply ‘advises’ the mainstream media what not to publish, in ‘notices’ with no legal force. The media then voluntarily comply. 
uk  journalism  politics 
8 weeks ago
Banning Abortion Doesn't Actually Reduce Abortion Rates at All - Broadly
Anti-abortion activists often claim that banning abortion will necessarily reduce the number of terminations, but the truth isn't that simple. In the Guardian, journalist George Monbiot argued this week that conservatives who seek to block access to abortion are simply shooting themselves in the foot. "There is no association between its legality and its incidence," he writes. "Banning abortion does not stop the practice; it merely makes it more dangerous."
medicine  psychology  politics 
8 weeks ago
Wie die Große Koalition Martin Sonneborn loswerden will - VICE
Für einen Satiriker hat Martin Sonneborn im Europäischen Parlament einiges erreicht. Er hat Martin Schulz überlebt, mit einer 90-sekündigen Generalabrechnung mit der EU-Politik einen YouTube-Hit gelandet und sich für besseren Datenschutz in Europa eingesetzt. Glaubt man allerdings seinen konservativen und sozialdemokratischen Kollegen in Brüssel, so ist der fraktionslose Abgeordnete so etwas wie ein Smartie in einer XXL-Packung Snickers – und soll deswegen bei der nächsten Wahl aussortiert werden.

"Ich weiß, dass die Große Koalition mich loswerden will", sagt Sonneborn als VICE ihn am vergangenen Freitag in seinem Brüsseler Büro erreicht. Einerseits habe er die deutsche Regierung immer wieder geärgert, andererseits gehe es "einfach um die sieben Plätze", die andere auch gerne hätten. Sonneborns Partei Die PARTEI war bei der Europawahl 2014 eine von sieben Parteien, die zwischen 0,6 und 1,5 Prozent der Stimmen holten. Die PARTEI, Freie Wähler, Piraten, Tierschutzpartei, Familienpartei, Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei und die NPD stellen seitdem je einen Abgeordneten im Parlament. Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hatte zuvor sowohl eine Fünf-Prozent- als auch eine Drei-Prozent-Hürde für die Wahl in Deutschland für unzulässig erklärt. Die Begründung: Die Sperrklausel widerspreche der vom Grundgesetz vorgeschriebenen Gleichheit der Wahl und Chancengleichheit der Parteien. Da das EU-Parlament – anders als der Bundestag oder Landtage – keine Regierung wählt, sei es auch nicht nötig, die Bildung einer stabilen Mehrheit über eine Wahlhürde abzusichern.
europe  politics  mime:german 
8 weeks ago
The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic
The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children.
usa 
8 weeks ago
Most common childhood cancer 'partly caused by lack of infection'
Clean modern homes, antiseptic wipes and the understandable desire to protect small babies against any infection are all part of the cause of the most common form of childhood cancer, a leading expert has concluded after more than 30 years of research.

Childhood acute leukaemia, says the highly respected Prof Mel Greaves, is nothing to do with power lines or nuclear fuel reprocessing stations. Nor is it to do with hot dogs and hamburgers or the Vatican radio mast, as have also been suggested. After the best part of a century of speculation, some of it with little basis in science, Greaves – who recently won the Royal Society’s prestigious Royal Medal – says the cancer is caused by a combination of genetic mutations and a lack of childhood infection.
medicine 
8 weeks ago
A Major Medical Crisis: Doctor Burnout - The Atlantic
Doctors become doctors because they want to take care of patients. Their decade-long training focuses almost entirely on the substance of medicine—on diagnosing and treating illness. In practice, though, many of their challenges relate to the operations of medicine—managing a growing number of patients, coordinating care across multiple providers, documenting it all. Regulations governing the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), first introduced in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, have gotten more and more demanding, while expanded insurance coverage from the Affordable Care Act may have contributed to an uptrend in patient volume at many health centers. These changes are taking a toll on physicians: There’s some evidence that the administrative burden of medicine—and with it, the proportion of burned-out doctors—is on the rise. A study published last year in Health Affairs reported that from 2011 to 2014, physicians spent progressively more time on “desktop medicine” and less on face-to-face patient care. Another study found that the percentage of physicians reporting burnout increased over the same period; by 2014, more than half said they were affected.
medicine 
8 weeks ago
A controversial scientific study suggests octopuses came from outer space — Quartz
Octopuses are strange, smart creatures that certainly seem alien—what with the tentacles, camouflage, and shape-shifting skills. Still, the idea that they actually came from outer space would seem to fall strictly into the realm of sci-fi; an update of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, say.

But in these interesting times, real life reads like fiction. Recently, a group of 33 scientists worldwide—including molecular immunologist Edward Steele and astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe—published a paper suggesting, in all seriousness, that octopuses may indeed be aliens.

The paper, published in the March issue of the the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, is controversial, obviously, and the vast majority of scientists would disagree. But the paper is still worthy of discussion—for one, as a thought exercise, because outlandish ideas are often initially rejected. And in provoking us with seemingly bizarre theories, it forces us to acknowledge that there are aspects of life on Earth for which classic evolutionary theory as yet has no explanation.
biology  universe 
8 weeks ago
Trump is actually following through on his campaign promises
Trump often doesn’t mean what he says, but when he says what he means — watch out. The combined forces of international pressure, polite opinion, outraged New York Times editorials, resistant advisers and sheer inertia aren’t an obstacle.

Many of Trump’s loose promises in the campaign weren’t remotely deliverable (he was never going to drop Bowe Bergdahl out of an airplane over Afghanistan with no parachute).

But on his signature pledges, he’s been committed, usually more than anyone around him. He’s been particularly stalwart on those promises that require blasting through entrenched conventional wisdom and elite resistance.
trump  politics 
9 weeks ago
Patagonia v. Trump - The New York Times
The outdoor retailer has supported grass-roots environmental activists for decades. Now it is suing the president in a bid to protect Bears Ears National Monument.
activism  ecology  business 
9 weeks ago
‘Parents should ask before changing baby’s nappy’: ABC commentator | Starts at 60
Appearing in a recent segment on the national broadcaster, Author and educator Deanne Carson went viral for all the wrong reasons when she said parents should ask newborn babies for consent before changing their dirty nappies. Carson, who regularly works with families and children, appeared on the show to offer her expertise on families exisiting in a culture of consent.

She explained she works with newborns to help them feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies. Apparently, this includes checking with a baby before you change smelly nappies
education  crime 
10 weeks ago
Man Allegedly Used Change Of Address Form To Move UPS Headquarters To His Apartment : The Two-Way : NPR
As federal crimes go, this one seems to have been ridiculously easy to pull off.

Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a U.S. Postal Service change of address form on Oct. 26, 2017, according to court documents. He requested changing a corporation's mailing address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago's North Side.
crime 
10 weeks ago
Yes, NASA Is Actually Sending a Helicopter to Mars with 2020 Rover
NASA will include a small, autonomous helicopter in the agency's upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission, officials announced today (May 11).

The craft will undergo a 30-day test campaign once it reaches the Red Planet to demonstrate the viability of travel above the Martian surface with a heavier-than-air craft.
mars  transportation 
10 weeks ago
Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata • The Register
The company formerly known as Cambridge Analytica shocked the media today when it announced an immediate shutdown and liquidation of its business.

That "shutdown," however, may be short-lived as official documents indicate those behind the controversial analytics company will be launching as a new firm with a less-toxic brand.

The surprise announcement came on Wednesday evening, when the UK-based Cambridge Anal., and its parent organization SCL Elections, stated it would enter insolvency proceedings and disband immediately.
camanalytica  business 
10 weeks ago
Zwanzigeins – Startseite
Der Verein will die unverdrehte, d.h. die stellenwertgerechte Zahlensprechweise im Deutschen populär und gesellschaftsfähig machen. Wir wollen erreichen, dass sie als richtige Sprechweise allgemein anerkannt wird. Insbesondere wird damit auch bewirkt, dass das Erlernen des Deutschen durch Ausländer in vielen Fällen erleichtert wird.

Wir vertreten die Auffassung, dass es im Schulunterricht kein Tabu sein darf, über die Eigenart der deutschen Zahlnamen zu sprechen. Die stellenwertgerechte Zahlensprechweise der Ziffern von links nach rechts sollte auch gelehrt werden. Wir unterstützen Lehrpersonen, die diese Inhalte in ihrem Unterricht in eigener pädagogischer Verantwortung aufnehmen.
germany  mime:german  linguistics 
10 weeks ago
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