Daily Archives: June 8, 2016

People are spending much less time on social media apps: Report

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Electric eels seen leaping out of water to attack land predators

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KickassTorrents Enters The Dark Web, Adds Official Tor Address

KickassTorrents has now added a dark web address to make it easier for users to bypass blockades installed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It has announced a new .onion domain through which KickassTorrents users can access their favourite sites on a Tor (The Onion Router) network. “Good news for those who have difficulties accessing KAT due to the site block in their country, now you can always access KAT via this address lsuzvpko6w6hzpnn.onion on a Tor network,” announced a member of the KickassTorrents team.

source https://yro.slashdot.org/story/16/06/08/151245/kickasstorrents-enters-the-dark-web-adds-official-tor-address

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BuzzFeed Nixes $1.3 Million Ad Deal with RNC, Citing Trump Campaign

Buzz Feed has nixed a $1.3 million advertising agreement with the
Republican National Committee. In an email to Buzz Feed staff, CEO Jonah
Peretti wrote: “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms
of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some
cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims,
would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.” Writing
about the announcement for The Guardian, Megan Carpentier notes the deal
would have been for native advertising, or sponsored content, often made
to look like journalistic posts or videos. She notes: “While media
companies accepting money from political campaigns (and organizations
such as Super Pacs and advocacy groups supporting candidates) is a
fairly standard practice, accepting money to run pieces of sponsored
content�that many readers will mistake for journalism�in support of
those candidacies is not-and that’s the deal that�Buzz Feed�nixed on
Monday.”

source gopher network www.democracynow.org

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Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Richards Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail in “Lynching” Case

 

In California, Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards has been
sentenced to 90 days in jail after she was convicted of an offense known
up until recently as “felony lynching.” Police accused her of trying to
de-arrest someone during a peace march in Pasadena last August. The
arrest and jailing of a young black woman activist on charges of felony
lynching sparked a firestorm of protest. Richards faced up to four years
in prison. She was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days, with 18 days served,
plus three years’ probation.
source gopher network http://www.democracynow.org/

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Your Fish Might Recognize You

(Newser) – Be careful who you call “fishbrain.” The insult might actually be a compliment, based on a new study in Scientific Reports. For the first time, scientists have discovered that a species of fish can distinguish between human faces—something once thought possible only among primates with large, complex brains. To see if simple brains without a neocortex were capable of the feat, researchers trained archerfish—tropical freshwater fish that spit water from their mouths—to spit water at a human face displayed on a computer monitor positioned near their tank. Researchers then flashed the face on the screen along with 44 others, reports Motherboard. In 81% of cases, the fish spit water at the face they’d previously been shown. When the faces were of a standard color or head shape, the rate improved to 86%, per CNN.
continue http://www.newser.com/story/226291/your-fish-might-recognize-you.html

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Microsoft sniffs for cancer clues in your search queries

Search engines today use extremely sophisticated algorithms to guess what you’ll be searching for next based on your previous queries. This optimization has paid off very well for companies like Google, for instance, which can use this information to serve you better, more relevant results to queries, but also sell better ads.

It’s thrilling to hear, though, that more or less the same technology is used to predict which people have cancer before they even visited a doctor — powerful tech that’s used to save lives, not just make a hefty profit.

Dr. Eric Horvitz is both a medical doctor and a computer scientist, a double background that serves him well as the head of Microsoft’s newly founded Health and Wellness division.

One day, Horvitz got a call from a friend who was feeling sick. After describing his symptoms, Horvitz advised him to seek medical help. Not long after, the man was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died only a few months later.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most unforgiving diseases out there, with only 3 percent of patients surviving five years after the diagnosis.

Today, Horvitz and colleagues at Microsoft published a paper in which they claim search queries can be used to predict if a person has pancreatic cancer with pretty good accuracy, considering they’re only working with anonymous queries.

continue http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/microsoft-sniffs-cancer-clues-search-queries/

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Wearable artificial kidney may change how we perform dialysis forever

Wearable artificial kidneys may soon replace traditional dialysis machines, the results of a new clinical study show. While there are still some teething issues to fix before wide scale use, patients praised the system’s portability and ease of use.

Dialysis is required by patients whose kidneys can no longer effectively clean waste products out of the bloodstream. Current treatments are done in three treatment sessions a week. These are performed in hospitals as the process involves big, stationary machines which filter the patient’s blood. As you can probably imagine this is quite a hassle and overall unpleasant experience for the patients, and having access to a wearable device that would allow treatment to be performed at home or while mobile would be a huge quality of life improvement for them.

The FDA authorized trials of a prototype device that does all this, dubbed the “Wearable Artificial Kidney”. The trials involved seven patients from the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle during late 2015. The experiments aimed to determine how efficient the new device is at the task, but also whether or not it could be safely used for prolonged periods of time.

The wearable kidney was effective in clearing the patients’ blood of all waste — such as urea, creatine and phosphorus — and clearing excess amounts of water and salt. Even more, while the diets of dialysis patients are heavily restricted (because they need to keep their electrolyte and blood volumes in balance) there are no limitations for patients using the Wearable Artificial Kidney.

continue http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/artificial-kidney-56657/

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Ex-CIA officer loses extradition fight to Italy over kidnap operation

A former CIA officer says Portugal’s top court rejected her final appeal and she will be extradited to Italy to serve a prison sentence for her alleged role in the CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003 under a U.S. extraordinary renditions program.

Sabrina de Sousa told the Associated Press by email Wednesday that she was waiting to be told when she would be taken to Italy, where she was convicted in absentia in 2009 and faces a four-year sentence.

In a related move, the European Parliament on Wednesday expressed serious concerns for what it said was “apathy” shown by some member states and EU institutions over recognizing “the multiple fundamental rights violations and torture” that took place in CIA “rendition” operations on European soil between 2001 and 2006.

Under the U.S. rendition program, instituted after the 9/11 attacks, terror suspects were kidnapped and transferred to centers in various countries where they were interrogated and tortured. President Obama later ended the program, which also came under Congressional scrutiny.

At issue in the de Sousa case is the 2003 kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in a highly choreographed CIA operation.

continue http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/08/ex-cia-officer-italy-extradition/85590448/

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Major Christian Church Calls All Whites Racist, ‘No Matter What’

13335914_10153622579066787_8076604020493843092_nThe United Church of Christ (UCC), a major mainline Protestant denomination, published a Facebook post telling all whites that they are racist against non-whites, no matter what they do.

An infographic posted to the church’s Facebook page over the weekend gives white people a series of 10 tips on how to cope with their white privilege. Suggestions include “Listen when people call you on your microaggressions” and “Stop contributing to gentrification.”

But the tenth suggestion is the most notable one, telling white readers to “Recognize that you’re still racist. No matter what.”

The content of the infographic is taken from a June 1 blog post by Marchaé Grair, a social media associate for the UCC and an editor of the church’s New Sacred blog. In the blog post, Grair elaborates on the claim that whites are racist no matter what.

“White people always benefit from institutionalized racism, no matter how anti-racist your ideologies may be,” Grair says. “You can’t disconnect yourself completely from the racism from which you benefit, and recognizing that is a large step in rejecting white privilege.”

Grair’s post has provoked a wave of hostile comments on both Facebook and New Sacred, and she commented on Twitter that her job as social media associate is to aggressively delete many comments to protect UCC believers from being “triggered.”

While Grair is black, the vast majority of UCC members are white.

UCC, which has over 5,000 congregations and about a million adherents, and is a Congregationalist church, meaning that individual churches have substantial autonomy in matters of doctrine. The church is known for taking liberal views on issues like transgender rights and abortion, and in 2007 attracted scrutiny after allegations it violated its non-profit status by providing a campaigning platform to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The church’s website includes a page dedicated to “Racial Justice” which defines racism as “racial prejudice plus power.” This definition (which is not the one found in the dictionary) of racism is popular with some progressives, and is the justification for claims that only white people can be racist, and that other races can’t.

continue http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/07/united-church-of-christ-all-whites-are-racist-no-matter-what/#ixzz4AuqU3Gb3

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Verizon’s ‘can you hear me now’ guy joins Sprint

Those famous “Can you hear me now?” commercials are back. But this time, they’re pitches for Sprint, not Verizon.

Paul Marcarelli, the character known as “Test Man” in the Verizon commercials that ran between 2002 and 2011, has defected. In a new ad campaign beginning during Sunday night’s NBA Finals game, Marcarelli explained why he switched to Sprint.

“I used to ask if you ‘can hear me now’ with Verizon. Not anymore,” Marcarelli says in his first Sprint commercial. “I’m with Sprint now, because guess what? It’s 2016 and every network is great. In fact Sprint’s reliability is now within 1 percent of Verizon and Sprint saves you 50 percent over Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile’s rates.”

“Can you hear that?” Marcarelli adds.

The story is mostly true. Marcarelli really is a Sprint customer, though, as you might suspect, Sprint approached him first. Marcarelli’s contract was over with Verizon, and Sprint asked Marcarelli to try out its network, according to CEO Marcelo Claure.

“He liked it, so we decided to do a campaign,” Claure told CNNMoney. “We figured Paul would be the best person to tell everyone all networks are the same, but only Sprint can give you 50 percent off. He was pretty excited.”

Claure said Verizon Wireless has been the gold standard for network quality. And in surveys, people say the “can you hear me now” commercials were the most memorable.

continue http://www.ksat.com/tech/verizons-can-you-hear-me-now-guy-joins-sprint_

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NRA threatens Iran with video about men who wrestle alligators

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Sea lice found in Gulf waters


Sea lice are popping up all over Gulf Coast beaches. While many sightings are along the panhandle, biologists say they expect to start seeing more move south along the coastline.

Sea lice are microscopic and impossible to spot in the water. They aren’t the kind of lice you may be thinking of.

Sea lice are actually jellyfish larvae and while they are tiny, they still have the same stinging cells as a full grown jellyfish, and they’ll leave a mark.

The rash they cause is called sunbathers eruption. Often time the sea lice will get caught beneath a swimmer’s bathing suit. Because they sting like jellyfish, sunbathers eruption can be treated just like a jellyfish sting.

While they can be found throughout the year, sea lice are most active from the months of April through August.
continue http://www.wtsp.com/mb/news/local/sea-lice-found-in-gulf-waters/230446262

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Gay For Pay: Inside Pro Wrestling’s Big Secret

Illustration: Jack Dylan

“So here’s my thing. Here’s my thing and this is why, like, it’s not a big deal to me,” professional wrestler Dolph Danner said over the phone, discussing the erotic gay wrestling matches he’s appeared in and how he deals with being viewed as a sex object. “It’s gonna happen either way as a professional wrestler. We’re good-looking guys who are in shape, who wear tiny little trunks and roll around with other good-looking guys who are in shape, covered in baby oil.

“So whether it’s for BG East or it’s for World Wrestling Entertainment, it’s going to happen.”

For the uninitiated, BG East Wrestling is an online marketplace for DVDs, streaming video-on-demand, and downloadable clips of wrestling matches that are intended to titillate and arouse the viewer. There’s a membership option available called The Arena, which grants discounts and otherwise unavailable access to “1000 Pay-per-view Video-on-Demand matches, including EXCLUSIVE match content and HOLDS clips, with 5 added each week.”

continue http://www.vocativ.com/325051/bg-east-gay-pro-wrestling/

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U.S. prison inmate can sue over removal of marbles from penis

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit in which a West Virginia inmate accused state prison officials of invading his privacy by surgically removing marbles he had implanted in his penis.

By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Adrian King could pursue claims that officials at Huttonsville Correctional Center illegally threatened him into consenting to the June 2013 surgery, or risk being segregated from other inmates and lose his eligibility for parole.

Circuit Judge Roger Gregory found “overwhelming evidence” that the intrusion was unreasonable, despite the asserted need by prison officials to police the security threat posed by inmates carrying contraband within their bodies.

“The interest in bodily integrity involves the most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy, and here, the nature of the surgery itself, surgery into King’s penis, counsels against reasonableness,” Gregory wrote for the Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court.

King had the marbles implanted in and tattoos drawn on his penis in late 2008, prior to his incarceration, during a “body modification” craze.

continue http://www.reuters.com/article/us-west-virginia-inmate-marbles-penis-idUSKCN0YT1US

 

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CERN Debunks Climate Change Models? The CLOUD Conundrum

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EFF Petitioned To Investigate Windows 10 Upgrades

Microsoft’s practices with their newest operating system, named Windows 10, has been ignorantly unethical at best and malicious at worst.

The problems begin with the upgrades. Reports everywhere state that people are being tricked or forced into upgrading to Windows 10 from their current, preferred version of Windows.

Incidents are increasing in their frequency. One such incident was a man who works fighting poachers in the African bush had the 6GB Windows 10 update forcibly downloaded to one of their computers. This is on a per MB metered connection. It could have happened during an operation, during which the lives of people in combat with militarized poachers could have been out of communication.

continue http://tinyurl.com/jfnfxxr

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Anti-Piracy Group Wants to Take Down ‘The Internet’

It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but one anti-piracy outfit is targeting everything that comes into its path. Over the past week Copyright UNIVERSAL has tried to censor legitimate content from Netflix, Amazon, Apple, various ISPs, movie theaters, news outlets and even sporting leagues.

bomb-explosion-atomicIn an effort to combat piracy, copyright holders report millions of infringing links to Google on a daily basis.

Due to the high number of often automated notices and the fact that copyright holders don’t always check the validity of all requests, mistakes are a common occurrence.

An occasional mishap is understandable, of course, but this week we stumbled upon one of the worst series of takedown notices we have ever seen.

continue https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-wants-to-take-down-the-internet-160604/

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If You Talk to Bots, You’re Talking to Their Bosses

Image credit: Phil Shirley // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

At a recent financial technology conference I was invited to meet Cleo, a friendly automated spirit living within the confines of an iPhone interface that offers financial advice to those who chose to activate her. Described as an “AI assistant for your money,” she playfully answered text message queries about bank balances, spending, and budgeting.

Hey, Cleo, what’s my balance?
Hey, Alex! MasterCard: -£760. Current account: £1048. Savings: £1700

Cool, how much have I spent at Pret this month?
You’ve spent £44 at Pret since you got paid on the 15th of December

Despite the futuristic jargon and growing wave of hype around such bots, automated assistants are not really that new. Our world is full of simple bots, like the automatic hand dryer in a public restroom that jets hot air if you trigger its sensor. By now many of us have experience with some that attempt to mimic basic personality, like the tinny voice of the supermarket self-service checkout machine as it coldly attempts to replicate one half of a stilted, human conversation.

There are two new trends emerging, though. First, the sophistication with which bots interact is increasing. They are able to respond to (or more accurately, be triggered by) a greater variety of situations. The iPhone’s Siri is programmed to respond to all manner of vocal instructions, from answering your queries about the time, to searching the internet for you.

continue https://howwegettonext.com/if-you-talk-to-bots-youre-talking-to-their-bosses-cd8e390c242f#.4g6u28pb1

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