The Danger Is Real: We Need A New Declaration Of Independence For Modern Times

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”—Thomas Paine, December 1776

Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials.

Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all the time, and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull you over to search you on the off chance you’re doing something illegal.

Keep in mind that if you have a firearm of any kind while in this country, it may get you arrested and, in some circumstances, shot by police.

If you’re thinking this sounds like America today, you wouldn’t be far wrong.

However, the scenario described above took place more than 200 years ago, when American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters.

No document better states their grievances than the Declaration of Independence.

continue http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/revolution/danger-real-we-need-new-declaration-independence-modern-times/

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ND mother can’t remember where she left baby as search conti…

Stutsman County and other law enforcement agencies searched a large area here until dusk on Friday for a missing 4-month-old boy whose mother says she can’t remember the last four days or where she left him.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said they are searching sloughs and agricultural areas between Buchanan and Woodworth along 65th Avenue Southeast. The area is where a farmer reportedly found the baby’s mother, Justice Lange, age 25 or 26, who said this was the last area she remembered having the baby with her.

“We have a lot of terrain to get through,” Kaiser said.Agencies assisting in the search include the North Dakota Highway Patrol with its airplane, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Source: ND mother can’t remember where she left baby as search conti…

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Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition technology wrong in 98 per cent of cases

Facial recognition software used by the UK’s biggest police force has returned false positives in more than 98 per cent of alerts generated, The Independent can reveal, with the country’s biometrics regulator calling it “not yet fit for use”.

Facial recognition software used by the UK’s biggest police force has returned false positives in more than 98 per cent of alerts generated, The Independent can reveal, with the country’s biometrics regulator calling it “not yet fit for use”.

The Metropolitan Police’s system has produced 104 alerts of which only two were later confirmed to be positive matches, a freedom of information request showed. In its response the force said it did not consider the inaccurate matches “false positives” because alerts were checked a second time after they occurred.

Facial recognition technology scans people in a video feed and compares their images to pictures stored in a reference library or watch list. It has been used at large events like the Notting Hill Carnival and a Six Nations Rugby match.

The system used by another force, South Wales Police, has returned more than 2,400 false positives in 15 deployments since June 2017. The vast majority of those came during that month’s Uefa Champion’s League final in Cardiff, and overall only 234 alerts – fewer than 10 per cent – were correct matches.

Both forces are trialling the software.

Source: Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition technology wrong in 98 per cent of cases

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New insider attack steals passwords by reading thermal energy from keyboards

After entering a password, your regular computer keyboard might appear to look the same as always, but a new approach harvesting thermal energy can illuminate the recently pressed keys, revealing that keyboard-based password entry is even less secure than previously thought.

Thermanator

Thermal image of “passw0rd” 20 seconds after entry

Computer Science Ph.D. students Tyler Kaczmarek and Ercan Ozturk from UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), working with Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik, have exploited thermal residue from human fingertips to introduce a new insider attack — the Thermanator.

“It’s a new attack that allows someone with a mid-range thermal camera to capture keys pressed on a normal keyboard, up to one minute after the victim enters them,” describes Tsudik. “If you type your password and walk or step away, someone can learn a lot about it after-the-fact.”

Their paper, “Thermanator: Thermal Residue-Based Post Factum Attacks On Keyboard Password Entry,” outlines the rigorous two-stage user study they conducted, collecting thermal residues from 30 users entering 10 unique passwords (both weak and strong) on four popular commodity keyboards.

Source: New insider attack steals passwords by reading thermal energy from keyboards – Help Net Security

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Candidate AIDS vaccine passes key early test

The near 40-year quest for an AIDS vaccine received a hopeful boost Saturday when scientists announced that a trial drug triggered an immune response in humans and shielded monkeys from infection.

Shown to be safe in humans, the candidate vaccine has now advanced to the next phase of the pre-approval trial process, and will be tested in 2,600 women in southern Africa to see whether it prevents HIV infection.

While the results so far have been encouraging, the research team and outside experts warn there are no guarantees it will actually work in the next trial phase dubbed HVTN705 or “Imbokodo” — the isiZulu word for “rock”.

“Although these data are promising, we need to remain cautious,” study leader Dan Barouch, a Harvard Medical School professor, told AFP.

Just because it protected two-thirds of monkeys in a lab trial doesn’t mean the drug will protect humans, “and thus we need to await the results of the… study before we know whether or not this vaccine will protect humans against HIV infection,” he said.

Source: Candidate AIDS vaccine passes key early test

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Boffins want to stop Network Time Protocol’s time-travelling exploits

Among the many problems that exist in the venerable Network Time Protocol is its vulnerability to timing attacks: turning servers into time-travellers can play all kinds of havoc with important systems.

Complicating the problem is that timing attacks are enabled by the protocol itself, which makes it hard to change.

Now a group of researchers from Marvell Semiconductor and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have followed up on a February 2018 conference presentation with an Internet-Draft proposal they hope can block timing attacks.

Their argument, put in depth in this paper, (PDF) presented to the 2018 Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium, is that timing attacks can affect “TLS certificates, DNS and DNSSEC, RPKI, Kerberos, BitCoin, and beyond”. The authors also note that time-shifting attacks are possible “even if all NTP communications are encrypted and authenticated” – so a fix is well overdue.

Source: Boffins want to stop Network Time Protocol’s time-travelling exploits

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The Savaging of Laura Ingalls Wilder

In another example of political correctness gone awry, the American Library Association decided to drop Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from a prestigious children’s literature award. According to the statement, the author, as represented by her “Little House” series, “reflect dated cultural attitudes towards indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration and understanding of diverse communities.”

Oh, please. If we are to go by that criteria, we might as well toss out an entire canon of classics including Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn — though I notice no one is renaming “The Mark Twain Prize for Humor” given annually to celebrities and rarely to actual writers.

Laura Ingalls Wilder started publishing her series of Little House books in 1932. Her first, Little House in the Big Woods, was followed with six more into the 1940s. The series told the saga of the family struggles as they pioneered the woodlands and prairies of America during the 1870s and 1880s, from Wisconsin to Minnesota to South Dakota to Iowa. The narration is from the perspective of a child named Laura, from the time she is five to seventeen.

Imagine their journey, the infernal deprivation and hard work, crops ruined by storms and grasshoppers. Or the long winter, with temperatures below zero, twisting hay into kindling before sitting to a scanty meal of potatoes and bread. Not all settlers could take it. Nor, I venture, could you or I. Instead, Pa played the fiddle, singing “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way.”

Source: The Savaging of Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Chinese firm claims its laser rifle burns clothes and skin up to 800m away

A Chinese firm wants to arm the country’s police forces with a whole new kind of weapon for the battlefield: an assault rifle that fires lasers and can burn your clothes and skin from up to 800m away. Oh, and those lasers are silent, invisible, and can pass through glass windows too.

The rifle (not pictured above, that’s just a concept illustration) has been developed by ZKZM Laser, which is part of the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The idea is to support police in hostage situations, allowing them to take kidnappers down a notch. It could also find use in covert military operations, reports the South China Morning Post.

“The pain will be beyond endurance,” said a researcher who worked on the ZKZM-500 rifle. At the same time, the weapon is said to be “non-lethal,” likely because it doesn’t kill on impact.

At three kilos (6.6lb), it’s roughly the same weight as an AK-47; the rifle is said to use a lithium battery to fire more than 1,000 “shots” that last for two seconds each.

ZKZM is believed to be in search of a manufacturing partner, so it can begin producing these weapons for $15,000 apiece.

Source: Chinese firm claims its laser rifle burns clothes and skin up to 800m away

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

All it took was a three-fingered salute and some autoexec.bat action

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, The Register’s attempt to make Fridays tolerable by bringing you fellow readers’ tales of terrifying tech support jobs they somehow survived.

This week, meet “Guy”, who told On-Call he grew up in the golden age of the microcomputer, meaning that by the time he joined his local Army National Guard unit he was familiar with machines like the TRS-80, Ti-99/4A, C-64 and Apple II.

One day National Guard HQ delivered a new PC to Guy’s unit. His prior experience meant he was given the job of making it work.

His problems started immediately because Guy’s superior “explained that the guys from HQ had set everything up, but had forgotten to give them the password to get into the system.”

The PC in question was a Zenith Data Systems 286 that Guy powered up after “throwing the big toggle switch on the side, waiting a while for a lovely green screen with a menu would pop up.”

Source: Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

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How To Send SMS From Your PC Using Android Messages?

Google has tried to get into the social networking and instant messaging space many, many times. But the company hasn’t been able to do more than trending on the internet for a few days. Their last attempt, Allo, couldn’t make a dent in the success of Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger.

Still being optimistic, Google has updated the Android Messages app to give new life to our good-old SMS and also added support for RCS-based text messages. RCS stands for Rich Communication Services which facilitates multimedia content like images, videos, GIFs, etc.

Google recently rolled out a useful Android Messages feature that lets you send text messages from your PC through the web. In this article, we have detailed the method to use Android Messages web interface and use your computer to send SMS.

How to send SMS from your PC using Android Messages?

Android Messages Send text from Pc 1

Using Android Messages to send texts is quite simple. You need an Android smartphone and web browser running on a computer (Windows, MacOS, or Linux). Follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download and install the Android Messages app from Google Play.
    Usually, this is required for smartphones that don’t run stock Android. The default SMS app on such devices (like the ones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Sony, OnePlus) is often made by the manufacturer itself.
  2. On your PC, open any web browser and go to messages.android.com.
  3. Now, on your phone, open Android Messages.
  4. Tap the overflow menu button (three dots menu) and tap on Messages for web.
    Android Messages Send text from Pc 4
  5. On the Messages for web screen, tap on Scan QR Code button.
    Android Messages Send text from Pc 5
  6. Now, point your smartphone’s rear camera on the QR code displayed on the computer.

After this, wait for the code to be scanned and within a few moments, all of your messages will populate on the computer screen. The experience is quite similar to what we see in the case of WhatsApp Web and Messenger.com.

Source: How To Send SMS From Your PC Using Android Messages?

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Brick by Brick: How Lego Became the Largest Toy Company in a Digital Era

Behind every great idea is an even greater backstory. As an admirer of the craft of entrepreneurship, it has become a hobby of mine to learn as much as I can about the products and ideas that beat out the competition to secure their place in history. But it isn’t enough to simply learn the names and dates associated with these ideas; I want to know what it is that sets a select few companies apart from the rest.

Whether I am digging into the histories of companies like Halo Top Creamery or Airbnb, I have observed that each successful idea has three common elements woven throughout its story: specialization, innovation, and an emphasis on storytelling. It came as no surprise to me, then, that the Lego Group is no exception to this rule.

The fact that a product as simple as the Lego Brick has managed to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world is truly spectacular. But this success did not come without its fair share of struggles. In fact, at several points over the last two decades, Lego has found itself facing financial ruin. But in spite of its struggles, the Lego Group has managed to become the largest toy company in the entire world.

Source: Brick by Brick: How Lego Became the Largest Toy Company in a Digital Era

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Pride Of Lions Eats Group Of Poachers Alive In South African Game Reserve

Staff at the South African reserve found the bloodied head and limbs of poachers who broke in to hunt rhinos.

Lion In Sibuya Reserve Africa

Sibuya Game ReserveThe lions are the watchers and guardians of the Sibuya Game Reserve.

Over the last few years, the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa has faced several intrusion by poachers attracted to the reserve’s vast diversity of animals.

Now, in what some are calling an act of nature’s karma, a group of poachers who broke into the reserve to hunt rhinos has been devoured by a pack of hungry lions.

The park’s owner, Nick Fox, believes that the groups of poachers were eaten alive by the pride of lions sometime between the evening of July 1 and the early morning of July 2.

And so little of their remains were left, investigators weren’t even sure how many people were killed.

“The only body part we found was one skull and one bit of pelvis, everything else was completely gone,” said Fox.

However, they suspect that it was three men because they found three sets of shoes and gloves. Additionally, typical rhino poaching groups are usually made up of three people.

Source: Pride Of Lions Eats Group Of Poachers Alive In South African Game Reserve

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Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read

A federal judge has concluded that the Constitution doesn’t require schools to promote students’ literacy.

What to do when a school is infested with vermin, when textbooks are outdated, when students can’t even read? Perhaps the answer is sue the government.

That’s what seven students in Detroit have done. Their class-action suit filed against the state of Michigan asserts that education is a basic right, and that they have been denied it.

Usually, such education-equity cases wend their way through state courts, as all 50 state constitutions mandate public-education systems, while the country’s guiding document doesn’t even include the word education. But this case, Gary B. v. Snyder, was filed in federal court, and thus seeks to invoke the Constitution. And as of this week, it’s headed to the federal appeals court in Cincinnati.

The lawyers filing the suit—from the pro bono Los Angeles firm Public Counsel—contend that the students (who attend five of Detroit’s lowest-performing schools) are receiving an education so inferior and underfunded that it’s as if they’re not attending school at all. The 100-page-plus complaint alleges that the state of Michigan (which has overseen Detroit’s public schools for nearly two decades) is depriving these children—97 percent of whom are students of color—of their constitutional rights to liberty and nondiscrimination by denying them access to basic literacy. Almost all the students at these schools perform well below grade level in reading and writing, and, the suit argues, those skills are necessary to function properly in society. It’s the first case to argue that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to become literate (and thus to be educated) because other rights in the Constitution necessarily require the ability to read.

Source: Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read

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Deaf Miami Costco Employee Wins $775,000 After Being Fired Because She Was “Too Loud”

When Christine D’Onofrio was fired in 2013, she had been working for Costco for 24 years, first at the Davie location, then in Pompano Beach. D’Onofrio, who is deaf, says she spent the previous year begging the company to better accommodate her disability.

Instead, she claims she repeatedly got in trouble for being “loud and aggressive” when managers tried to communicate with her. Finally, on October 23, 2013, she was told she was being fired from her job as a stocker. That time, Costco brought in an interpreter to let her know she was out of a job.

Last month, a jury found the company had failed to reasonably accommodate the 48-year-old woman. She was awarded $775,000 in damages, though her attorney says she was mostly relieved that Costco was found to have broken the law.

“She was fired and lost literally her entire purpose,” says D’Onofrio’s attorney, Chad Levy. “No spouse or kids. Costco was her life and how she would communicate with the outside world. This is not like a regular person losing a job and moving on. She had nowhere else to go.”

During the three-year battle in the Fort Lauderdale federal courthouse, Costco claimed D’Onofrio was fired because she couldn’t control her temper. The company said it had accommodated her by installing two video phones and insisted D’Onofrio had simply refused to use them. Costco also argued that sensitivity training conducted in 2012 proved it had taken D’Onofrio’s complaints seriously.

Source: Deaf Miami Costco Employee Wins $775,000 After Being Fired Because She Was “Too Loud”

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Kayaker spotted in flooded Iowa cornfields

Central Iowa gets 5-10 inches of rain in 3 hours

Paula Tabor grew up in “small town Iowa” where this type of thing does not tend to happen.

Parts of central Iowa received 5-10 inches of rain in only about three hours over the weekend – enough for a man to paddle his kayak around cornfields.

Tabor snapped a remarkable photo of the spectacle Sunday afternoon just outside the city limits of Alleman.

“Where I live currently, with no body of water close by, I was caught by surprise,” Tabor told KWQC.

“I don’t know who the person is, just a random guy in a kayak.”

Source: Kayaker spotted in flooded Iowa cornfields

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Facebook Flags Declaration of Independence As Hate Speech

To celebrate this week’s holiday, The Vindicator, a small newspaper in Texas, posted sections of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” Yadda, yadda. You get the idea. But a section of the text containing the phrase “Indian Savages” set off Facebook’s hate-speech flags. The post was then temporarily taken down by Facebook, Business Insider reports.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

After The Vindicator ran a story on the censorship, Facebook corrected the mistake. “The post was removed by mistake and restored as soon as we looked into it. We process millions of reports each week, and sometimes we get things wrong,” a Facebook spokesperson said. And honestly, as far as Facebook getting things wrong, this is an ideal “mistake.” I’d far prefer a world where some racist on Facebook isn’t able to post slurs. Even if that means the Declaration of Independence gets caught in the crosshairs. (It was written by a bunch of old white dudes, after all.)

Source: Facebook Flags Declaration of Independence As Hate Speech

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Bananas: Yellow fruit faces EXTINCTION if more not done

bananas-714514Experts say a special breed found in Madagascar could hold the key to keeping them alive.

But there are only five known trees in existence.

Scientists are racing to develop new banana varieties strong enough to survive Panama disease, which is a major threat to banana crops around the world.

Because bananas are clones, the disease is able to spread very quickly from one to another.

GETTY
RISKY: The disease is able to spread very quickly from one to another
It is currently wreaking havoc with crops in Asia – but could wipe out the world’s supply if it spreads to America.

Richard Allen, senior conservation assessor at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told the BBC: “It doesn’t have Panama disease in it, so perhaps it has genetic traits against the disease.

“We don’t know until we actually do research on the banana itself, but we can’t do the research until it’s saved.”

via Bananas: Yellow fruit faces EXTINCTION if more not done | Daily Star

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Man takes a naked stroll through the city

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A man has decided to take a stroll in the buff through a Vermont downtown on a simmering day.

The Burlington Free Press reports the man wearing nothing but a hat, sneakers and a lime green tote bag walked around Burlington on Thursday afternoon.

When asked why he decided to go outdoors underdressed, the man said, “It’s very hot.” He declined to identify himself.

Vermont was under a heat advisory that day, with the National Weather Service predicting a heat index of 102 degrees.

The man says he’s doing nothing but enjoying himself.

Source: Man takes a naked stroll through the city

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Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar

One of Japan’s most prominent bloggers has been stabbed to death minutes after giving a seminar on how to resolve personal disputes on the internet.

Media reports said Kenichiro Okamoto, better known by his blogger name Hagex, died on Sunday evening after reportedly being attacked by a man he had argued with online.

The suspect, Hidemitsu Matsumoto, allegedly followed Okamoto into the toilets after he had ended his talk at a venue in the south-western city of Fukuoka.

Okamoto was stabbed several times before staggering out of the toilets after his assailant, who fled on a bicycle, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

via Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar | World news | The Guardian

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Creepy Patents Show Facebook’s Relentless Drive to Track Every Detail of Users’ Lives

One of the best ways to gather intelligence on what a company is up to is to look at the patents they’ve applied for and have received. While some companies apply for patents for ideas they never use, or to block a competitor from using the idea, the patents provide a good indication of what’s important to a company, because patents can cost many tens of thousands of dollars apiece for worldwide coverage.

Sahil Chinoy of the New York Times looked at some of the patents Facebook has applied for and the results he discovered are very creepy.

One of the patents describes the use of the forward-facing camera in your cell phone to figure out how you feel from your expressions while you’re reading your Facebook feed. Apparently, clicking a “like” or “dislike” button is not good enough for them.

Another patent proposes listening to you and your surroundings using the microphone in your phone. The patent describes using the mic to listen to the TV show you’re watching in the background, listen to what you’re talking about, and track your sleeping patterns.

Source: Creepy Patents Show Facebook’s Relentless Drive to Track Every Detail of Users’ Lives

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A record number of folks age 85 and older are working.

Seventy may be the new sixty, eighty may be the new seventy, but 85 is still pretty old to work in America. Yet, in some ways, it is the era of the very-old-worker in America.

Overall, 255,000 Americans, 85-years-old and over, were working over the past 12 months. That’s 4.4 percent of Americans that age, up from 2.6 percent in 2006, before the recession. It’s the highest number on record.

They’re doing all sorts of jobs – crossing guards, farmers and ranchers, even truckers, as my colleague Heather Long revealed in a front-page story last week. Indeed, there are between 1,000 and 3,000 U.S. truckers age 85 or older, based on 2016 Census Bureau figures. Their ranks have roughly doubled since the Great Recession.

America’s aging workforce has defined the post-Great Recession labor market. Baby boomers and their parents are working longer as life expectancies grow, retirement plans shrink, education levels rise and work becomes less physically demanding. Labor Department figures show that at every year of age above 55, U.S. residents are working or looking for work at the highest rates on record.

At the lower end of the age curve, the opposite holds true. Workers age 30 and younger are staying on the sidelines at rates not seen since the 1960s and ’70s, when women weren’t yet entering the workforce at the level they are today.

via A record number of folks age 85 and older are working. Here’s what they’re doing. – Laredo Morning Times

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Nuts may boost male fertility: study

 Eating nuts “significantly” boosted the number and health of sperm in young men in a scientific trial, researchers said Wednesday.

The findings “support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality,” they said, but stressed the study participants were all healthy, apparently fertile men.

The potential benefits of nuts for men struggling with fertility have yet to be probed.

For the study, researchers recruited 119 men aged 18-35, who they divided into two groups.

One group ate 60 grammes of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts daily on top of their usual “western-style” diet, while the second group got no nuts.

After 14 weeks, the nut group “had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility (movement) and morphology (shape)” — all associated with male fertility, said a statement.

Source: Nuts may boost male fertility: study

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“Girl From The Bronx” Ocasio-Cortez Called Out In Fact Check; Actually Grew Up In Wealthy Enclave

The Democratic Party’s rising socialist icon – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been on an intense media junket since her upset primary victory over establishment Democrat Joe Crowley this week – doing her darnedest to project her “girl from the Bronx” working-class image.

“Well, you know, the president is from Queens, and with all due respect — half of my district is from Queens — I don’t think he knows how to deal with a girl from the Bronx,” Ocasio-Cortez told Stephen Colbert during an appearance on The Late Show.

The socialist phenom also told the Washington Post “I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family — mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the South Bronx. I was born in a place where your Zip code determines your destiny.”

Except Ocasio-Cortez isn’t quite the blue-collar champion she’s branding herself as. Breitbart‘s Josh Caplan is out with a “fact check” on the Democratic Socialist’s background – only to find she grew up in one of the richest counties in the United States.

Around the age of five, Alexandria’s architect father Sergio Ocasio moved the family from the “planned community” of Parkchester in the Bronx to a home in Yorktown Heights, a wealthy suburb in Westchester County. The New York Times describes her childhood home as “a modest two-bedroom house on a quiet street.” In a 1999 profile of the area, when Ocasio-Cortez would have been ten years old, the Times lauded Yorktown Heights’ “diversity of housing in a scenic setting” – complete with two golf courses.

The paper quoted Linda Cooper, the town supervisor, describing Yorktown as ”a folksy area where people can come, kick off their shoes, wander around, sit in a cafe, listen to a concert in the park, or go to the theater.

Westchester County – which the Washington Post, in a glowing profile on Ocasio-Cortez, describes as only “middle class” – ranks #8 in the nation for the counties with the “highest average incomes among the wealthiest one percent of residents.” According to the Economic Policy Institute, the county’s average annual income of the top one percent is a staggering $4,326,049.

Yorktown Heights, specifically, offers a sharp contrast from Bronx living. According to USA.com, the town’s population is 81 percent white, and median household income is $96,413 – nearly double the average for both New York state and the nation, according to data from 2010-2014.

Not exactly Jenny from the block

We wonder how long it will take Ocasio-Cortez to ride the “Democratic Socialist” wave until she’s firing off tweets from her third home and making $1 million, two years in a row, like Bernie Sanders.

Source: “Girl From The Bronx” Ocasio-Cortez Called Out In Fact Check; Actually Grew Up In Wealthy Enclave

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Director Diego Kaplan Defends Netflix Film ‘Desire’ From Accusations of Child Pornography

Director Diego Kaplan has released a statement defending his erotic thriller film “Desire” after a conservative commentator and others online accused it of containing child pornography.

The scene in question involves a young girl unknowingly masturbating for the first time and experiencing an orgasm after watching a John Ford cowboy film with a friend and imitating the horse riding using a pillow.

Kaplan disputed the child pornography categorization and told Indiewire that the filming of the scenes was done “under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers” and neither of the girls were aware of what they were depicting.

Conservative commentator Megan Fox had written a blog post on PJ Media saying she had reported Netflix to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “Netflix is in violation of distributing child pornography because the child in question is very clearly engaging in the sexual act of masturbation,” she wrote, “and this exceeds the minimum requirement of merely being suggestive.”

Read Kaplan’s statement in full below.

“Despair” is a film. When we see a shark eating a woman on film, no one thinks the woman really died or that the shark was real. We work in a world of fiction; and, for me, before being a director comes being a father.

Of course this scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford. The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen. No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers. Because I knew this scene might cause some controversy at some point, there is “Making Of” footage of the filming of the entire scene.

Everything works inside the spectators’ heads, and how you think this scene was filmed will depend on your level of depravity.

“Desire” was released last year in Argentina under its original title, “Desearas: Al Hombre De Tu Hermana.” Netflix began distributing the film in December 2017.

Source: Director Diego Kaplan Defends Netflix Film ‘Desire’ From Accusations of Child Pornography

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Netflix Under Under Fire for Suspected Child Pornography Scenes

An Argentinian movie that Netflix offers called Desire is upsetting subscribers because of what looks like illegal content. Viewers on Facebook have shared a clip of the movie and are calling it outright child porn. In the opening scene, two little girls who look to be about seven and nine are playing “horse” on pillows. The older girl begins to obviously masturbate as the younger child watches. The camera even takes this scene into a closeup of the child’s face in slow motion, moving up and down and panting like a porn star. The scene is graphic and includes an orgasm. The film is directed by Diego Kaplan.

I reported it to the FBI and the Department of Justice, who advised me to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. NCMEC told me they have launched an investigation into the movie.

Source: Netflix Under Under Fire for Suspected Child Pornography Scenes

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Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they’re an excuse for straight kids to party

SAN FRANCISCO – Paul Ellis has seen a lot of Gay Pride parades. He marched in Pittsburgh’s first one in 1973 with just 40 other people, flanked by angry residents holding glass bottles and rocks with only two unhappy police officers for protection.

Ellis, manager at Cliff’s Variety Store in the historic Castro district, is part of the generation of LGBTQ activists who fought for basic rights, to get jobs and to avoid arrest. When he most recently attended the San Francisco Pride Parade with his partner, he was shocked by what he saw.

“I stopped and said (to my partner), ‘Do you see any gay people around us?’ And it was like, ‘Oh my God, no,’ ” he said.

They had run into a cultural shift breathtaking in its speed and still something of a disconnect to many in the gay community. In many large cities, Gay Pride marches have become the new St. Patrick’s Day, only with rainbow tutus instead of shamrocks.

The parades in honor of Ireland’s patron saint began as religious celebrations and in the USA date back to the 1700s. They morphed into statements of Irish pride and solidarity, then became an excuse for many to wear green and drink Guinness stout.

When it comes to LGBTQ Pride marches, that same shift has happened in less than 50 years. The streets along parade routes are thronged with groups of people in their teens and 20s, dancing and partying while sporting rainbow-colored wigs, sunglasses and feather boas, along with the ever-present tutus.

Source: Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they’re an excuse for straight kids to party

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Out of control iguanas infesting South Florida

South Florida’s not quite Jurassic Park, but it’s getting close.

Packs of green iguanas are swarming seawalls, roaming yards and parks, and leaving a path of destruction and filth in their wake. Like a shot of espresso, the hot summer sun has stoked activity in the cold-blooded creatures, which experts say may be at record numbers.

“This year is the most iguanas I’ve seen and I’ve been in business for nine years,” says Thomas Portuallo, owner of Fort Lauderdale-based Iguana Control. He says the invasive lizards are out of control with “many hundreds of thousands” creeping around Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

The prehistoric populations are multiplying like rabbits, and causing internet, phone and power outages (barbecued lizard, anyone?), damaging landscapes, levees, seawalls, roofs and patios, and contaminating pools with poop.

“There’s no real way to come up with a valid estimate of the number of green iguanas in Florida. But the number would be gigantic,” says Richard Engeman, a biologist for the National Wildlife Research Center. “You could put any number of zeros behind a number, and I would believe it.”

Source: Out of control iguanas infesting South Florida

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Court Calls Out Cops For Altering Interrogation Transcript To Hide Suspect’s Request For A Lawyer

The opening of this recent decision [PDF] by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals is eye catching. It quotes Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul. More specifically, it quotes Jimmy McGill, who gradually morphs into the more-huckster-than-lawyer Saul Goodman over the course of the series. The case has to do with a murder suspect’s request for a lawyer, one that was ignored by law enforcement. The quote sets the stage, letting readers know anyone accused of anything by law enforcement is better off exercising their right to be represented. (h/t Keith Lee)

Craig Kettleman: I just think I’d look guilty if I hired a lawyer.

James McGill: No, actually it’s getting arrested that makes people look guilty, even the innocent ones, and innocent people get arrested everyday. And they find themselves in a little room with a detective who acts like he’s their best friend. “Talk to me,” he says, “Help me clear this thing up. You don’t need a lawyer, only guilty people need lawyers” and BOOM! Hey, that’s when it all goes south. That’s when you want someone in your corner. Someone who will fight tooth and nail.

Source: Court Calls Out Cops For Altering Interrogation Transcript To Hide Suspect’s Request For A Lawyer

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Cortana Hack Lets You Change Passwords on Locked PCs

Cortana

Microsoft has patched a vulnerability in the Cortana smart assistant that could have allowed an attacker with access to a locked computer to use the smart assistant and access data on the device, execute malicious code, or even change the PC’s password to access the device in its entirety.

The issue was discovered by Cedric Cochin, Cyber Security Architect and Senior Principle Engineer at McAfee. Cochin privately reported the problems he discovered to Microsoft in April.

The vulnerability is CVE-2018-8140, which Microsoft classified as an elevation of privilege, and patched yesterday during the company’s monthly Patch Tuesday security updates.

Cochin says the issue was present because of different quirks in how Cortana allows users to interact with the underlying Windows 10 OS, while in a locked state.

The researchers discovered several features that could be combined into one larger attack:

≗  Users can start typing after they say “Hey Cortana” and issue a voice command. This brings up a special search popup with various features and capabilities.

≗  Users can type text in this popup, which searches the laptop’s application index and its filesystem. By typing certain words, like “pas” (as in password), this search can bring up files containing this string in their file paths or inside the file itself. Hovering the mouse over one of these search results can reveal the file’s location on disk, or the content of the file itself (big issue if the disclosed detail is a password).

Source: Cortana Hack Lets You Change Passwords on Locked PCs

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Scorpions Outdo Spiders as Scary Creatures

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — “I hate spiders.”

“How do you work with them?”

“I’d rather scoop maggots off a corpse than deal with a spider.”

Those are some of the typical responses Rick Vetter hears when he tells people about his work as an arachnologist at the University of California, Riverside.

“It doesn’t matter if I say they’re beneficial, many people just want them dead,” said Vetter, a retired research associate who spent 32 years in UCR’s entomology department. “Even some of the entomologists I’ve worked with are incredibly afraid of spiders.”

Spiders and snakes reign supreme in the world of animal phobias, but the evolutionary reason for spider fear isn’t well understood. Some psychologists believe it has an innate foundation, since humans may be genetically programmed to fear animals that can cause them harm.

But such visceral reactions to spiders have always intrigued Vetter, who said most of the long-legged arthropods are “easily squishable” and few are harmful to humans. Even those that bite often leave nothing more than a pinprick at first, with more severe symptoms developing hours or days later.

The danger of spiders pales in comparison to another member of the arachnid family: scorpions, whose venomous stings cause immediate searing pain, severe reactions, and sometimes death.

“In terms of innate fear, scorpions would be a much better candidate for aversive reaction than spiders. But as an arachnologist, I rarely hear about peoples’ fear of scorpions,” Vetter said. “Nor do scorpions enjoy the same monster-like status in popular culture.”

Source: Scorpions Outdo Spiders as Scary Creatures

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US court confirms danger posed by ‘sound cannons’

A New York appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that two police officers’ use of a “sound cannon” was an unconstitutional abuse of force.

The New York  used a sound cannon, officially known as a Long Range Acoustic Devise (LRAD), in December 2014 to disperse people protesting the decision not to indict a policeman over the death of a  during an attempted arrest.

Six protesters filed a complaint, saying they suffered from migraines, vertigo, sinus pain and  as a result of the incident.

“The problem posed by protesters in the street did not justify the use of force, much less force capable of causing serious injury, such as hearing loss,” the court said in its ruling.

It upheld a lower court’s ruling that the devices were likely to be a source of  violence if they were misused.

Developed in the 2000s primarily for military needs, the LRAD emits a high-pitched sound in a specific direction that is unpleasant enough to cause crowds to disperse.

The devices can also serve as powerful megaphones to instruct a crowd.

“The NYPD should overhaul its policies and practices regarding LRAD uses to reflect the reality that LRADs are potentially deadly tools, requiring meaningful training and supervision to use safely,” Gideon Oliver, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

According to its manufacturer’s website, the LRAD is in use in more than 250 cities, counties and US states, and “is not a weapon.”

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-court-danger-posed-cannons.html#jCp

 

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Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar

One of Japan’s most prominent bloggers has been stabbed to death minutes after giving a seminar on how to resolve personal disputes on the internet.

Media reports said Kenichiro Okamoto, better known by his blogger name Hagex, died on Sunday evening after reportedly being attacked by a man he had argued with online.

The suspect, Hidemitsu Matsumoto, allegedly followed Okamoto into the toilets after he had ended his talk at a venue in the south-western city of Fukuoka.

Okamoto was stabbed several times before staggering out of the toilets after his assailant, who fled on a bicycle, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

via Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar | World news | The Guardian

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Dog performs CPR on ‘collapsed’ officer

this-police-dog-can-perform-cpr-yes-reallyPolice have released an adorable video of a dog performing CPR on an officer who pretended to collapse on the ground.

The footage even shows the pooch giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the acting cop.

Madrid Municipal Police shared the video on social media and so far it has been viewed almost two million times.

In the clip, Poncho is called to attend to a police officer who has “fainted” in front of an audience.

Poncho rushes to the rescue and straight away starts pouncing on the officer’s chest.

The adorable clip shows Poncho bouncing on his handler’s chest (Image: @policiademadrid)
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The police dog continues to jump on him before checking his pulse.

At one point the commentator says: “Here we have our dog doing the resuscitation manoeuvre. And the mouth-to-mouth!”

The audience is heard chuckling and applauding the CPR canine.

Poncho then returns to the chest compressions, springing up and down on the man’s torso.

The commentator encourages the cute pooch: “That is it, resuscitate him again.”

via Dog performs CPR on ‘collapsed’ officer in adorable video shared by police in Madrid – Mirror Online

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California Considers Creating A Fake News Advisory Group

California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

ALSO: Measure To Repeal New California Gas Tax Qualifies For November Ballot

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

ALSO: Harley Davidson Moving Some Production Overseas Amid Tariff Fight

The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argues the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also points out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements of “admittedly false.”

via California Considers Creating A Fake News Advisory Group « CBS Sacramento

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Study: Dog parks are manifestations of rape culture and oppression 

If you’re a dog owner, maybe, just maybe, a couple of things that come to mind when you take ‘ol Spot to the dog park are rape culture and non-heterosexual “performativity.”

What’s that? You don’t consider such things when you’re walking the pup? No worries, then. The Portland Ungendering Research Initiative’s Helen Wilson is here to clue you in.

Her paper, “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon,” discusses the “emerging themes in human and canine interactive behavioral patterns in urban dog parks” in order to gain a better understanding about people’s decisions and “emergent assumptions around gender, race, and sexuality.”

Source: Study: Dog parks are manifestations of rape culture and oppression – The College Fix

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Mechanical ‘Hand’ Helps Soldiers Handle Heavy Weapons

Engineers are working diligently to reduce the weight Marines and soldiers carry in action, but engineers at the U.S. Army Research lab took a different approach – adding limbs to improve soldier lethality. Called the ‘Third Arm’, the device helps to reduce the weapon’s weight off of the Soldiers’ arms and better distribute it through…

Source: Mechanical ‘Hand’ Helps Soldiers Handle Heavy Weapons

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How Tequila Soda Became the Drink of Choice for Finance Bros

Drinking among a finance crowd is about showing status. It’s about confidently ordering a drink every time you’re at the bar, if only to show that you know what you like and don’t hesitate when you order. It’s about being fully aware that the fifth drink could put you over the edge, but the fourth might land you a deal, and that the only thing that’ll take your mind off of a 60-plus-hour work week is a drink. Over the past year or so, that drink of choice for younger finance workers has been a Tequila Soda.

In the past, if you were a money mover in the world—whether that meant you worked in finance, stocks or just business in general—then you drank scotch. Sometimes it was a Scotch and Soda, sometimes neat, depending on the occasion. There were also, of course, the big, high-priced wines at dinner. But now when a bunch of suits hit a happy hour there’s likely going to be an agave spirit in their glasses.

“Last year it was coming more and more,” says Genese Perez, the creative director at Monarch Rooftop and Addison Hospitality Group in New York City. Perez notes the bar is a common spot for corporate happy hours and meetings, and she’s seen the trend evolve. “Now it’s come full swing and those high end (tequilas) are really taking over, and it’s all Tequila Sodas.”

Source: How Tequila Soda Became the Drink of Choice for Finance Bros

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Police Dogs Trained to Find Hidden Electronic Storage Devices

Harley darts into a decrepit room in Connecticut. She’s searching for evidence.

There are plenty of potential distractions in the room: Wires hang from the ceiling. Warped wood paneling buckles away from the walls. Faded yellow cabinets look like someone kicked a hole in them.

“Are you ready to go to work?” Brett Hochron, a detective with the Westchester County Police, in New York, asks his partner.

Harley immediately spots a lighter on a table and grabs it. She starts drooling. It’s a cold February afternoon, but Harley is focused. The basket of tennis balls next to the table doesn’t even get a glance.

That’s because Harley is a very good dog.

She’s also a graduate of an elite K-9 search class that trains dogs to sniff out electronics, including phones, hard drives and microSD cards smaller than your thumb.

31-k9-esd-mag-alfred-copy
Harley hunts for the impossibly faint smell given off by thumb drives and other storage devices.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Only one out of every 50 dogs tested qualifies to become an electronic storagedetection, or ESD, dog, says Kerry Halligan, a K-9 instructor with the Connecticut State Police. That’s because it’s a lot harder to detect the telltale chemical in electronics than it is to sniff out narcotics, bombs, fire accelerants or people, she says.

But Labrador retrievers like Harley, with their long snouts and big muzzles, can pick up even the faintest olfactory clues. These tech-seeking dogs are helping law enforcement find child pornography stashed in hidden hard drives, uncover concealed phones, nab white-collar evidence kept on hard drives and track calls stored on SIM cards.

Source: Move over McGruff. It’s the digital age.

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Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

moondust

The contested vial of Moon dust

A woman has sued NASA, claiming to be the rightful owner of a small vial of moon dust supposedly given to her by Neil Armstrong.

The lawsuit was filed under the US District Court of Kansas last week by Laura Murray Cicco. She claims that when she was ten, her mother handed her a glass vial with a rubber stopper containing light grey dust along with one of her father’s business cards.

On the back of the card, there is a message that reads: “To Laura Ann Murray – Best of Luck – Neil Armstrong Apollo 11.” Cicco said her mother assured her that the vial was a sample taken from Armstrong – who was the first person to set foot on the Moon – when he ventured onto the satellite during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. An expert has, apparently, scrutinized the note and believes Armstrong’s signature is real.

Source: Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

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Danish Anti-Piracy Lawyers Jailed For Real, Actual Stealing From Copyright Holders

There’s an old saying: once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a trend. It seems now we are officially in the coincidence part of that mantra. You will recall that we recently discussed famed author Chuck Palahniuk’s apology for blaming piracy for his stagnant finances when the real story was that a business partner at his literary agency was simply stealing money from him. We noted at the time that this business partner was the one feeding Palahniuk the false story that piracy was responsible for his dwindling money and that such a story was made believable in part because of the efforts of the copyright industry and its lawyers demonizing the internet and copyright infringement at every turn.

Well, recent news reports detail the sentencing of three Danish lawyers to years in prison for defrauding their copyright holder clients, while supposedly working for them on anti-piracy efforts. The organization now known as Rights Alliance, previously Antipiratgruppen, had hired lawyers from the Johan Schluter law firm for representation in piracy cases. The firm worked on these efforts for Rights Alliance for years before an audit showed just how shady these beacons of justice for rightsholders actually were.

Following an investigation into the company’s accounts by auditing company Deloitte, financial irregularities amounting to millions of dollars were reported in the media during 2015. The Johan Schlüter law firm should have been distributing huge sums to movie and TV industry associations and their underlying rightsholders but its three partners – Johan Schlüter himself, Lars Halgreen and Susanne Fryland – had been lining their own pockets instead. Massive sums were siphoned away from their clients.

Yesterday, after more than 20 hearings during which the defendants maintained their innocence (with Schlüter and Halgreen painting themselves as victims of Fryland’s actions), all three were found guilty of fraud and false accounting to the tune of 100 million Danish kroner (US$15.83m).

Source: Danish Anti-Piracy Lawyers Jailed For Real, Actual Stealing From Copyright Holders

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