Daily Archives: June 18, 2016

Gravity is the new light

Gravitational waves from two colliding black holes were first detected last September and announced in February. This week, the same science team announced a second wave detection of two smaller black holes in December.

If the first one confirmed the long-held predictions of general relativity, the new detections are a signal to get started on some all-new science.

A black hole’s gravity is so strong that even light can’t escape, so black holes are essentially impossible to see with telescopes. But they do give off gravitational waves.

source http://kottke.org/16/06/gravity-is-the-new-light

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Satanists Infiltrate a Ritual Abuse Conference in Oakland

In May, a group of Satanists infiltrated a conference for people who believe they’re the victims of a Satanic conspiracy.

RD contributor Joseph Laycock has answers to all of your burning questions.

Wait, enough people believe that they’re victims of a Satanic conspiracy to fill an entire conference?

Yes. In May, the Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2016 Conference was held in Oakland. The theme was overcoming mind control and subliminal programming.

Who goes to an event like this?

Some people believe they have suffered abuse they cannot remember, have alternate personalities of which they are unaware, or have even committed crimes they cannot recall, all because of sadistic rituals inflicted on them as a form of mind control. Who do they think is responsible for this psychological abuse? The usual suspects include unnamed “cults,” the CIA, and an alleged conspiracy of organized criminal Satanists.

These techniques of mind control are believed to be so insidious that conference attendees were apparently forbidden from touching their faces, for fear that any subtle hand gesture could be a cue that triggers a victim’s subliminal programming.

And then actual Satanists showed up?

They did. Amidst all this paranoia, Satanists actually had infiltrated the conference, and they recently went public with the reason why. In a twist worthy of a bad M. Night Shyamalan film, the Satanists claim that they are the ones exposing a dangerous cabal and that it is the conference organizers who are abusing their patients.

Who are these Satanists?

The Grey Faction of The Satanic Temple (TST). TST are atheists, and they do not believe in the supernatural. But they insist that they are an actual religion because they are a community with a shared body of symbols, rituals, and ethics. The group’s first tenet is to “act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.”

The Grey Faction is a division of TST that seeks to raise awareness about medical professionals who continue to promote conspiracy theories about Satanism. The Grey Faction protested a similar conference in April.

So they don’t draw pentagrams and slaughter chickens?

Like the French Situationists of the 1960s, TST believes that shock value can be a useful tool for reframing the political conversation. In April, for example, the Detroit chapter countered a Christian protest of an abortion clinic by dressing as sado-masochistic babies and accusing the protestors of “fetal idolatry.” While many find their antics offensive, their group has never performed sacrifices or physically harmed anyone.

Do Satanists really brainwash people?

No. Nobody brainwashes people, actually, because brainwashing isn’t real.

It’s not?

Psychological manipulation is real, and takes many forms, but “brainwashing” is a made up concept that originated in American propaganda during the Korean War. In 1950, Edward Hunter, a journalist with ties to the CIA, ran a story with the headline, “Brain-Washing Tactics Force Chinese into Ranks of Communist Party” in the Miami News. That article introduced “brainwashing” to the American vocabulary.

continue http://religiondispatches.org/satanist-infiltration-guide/

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Bill Gates tries to give away chickens; Bolivia says it already has a lot of chickens


Bill Gates has done a lot of good for the world since stepping down as CEO of Microsoft. The Gates Foundation, a charitable organization he founded with his wife Melinda, brings portions of their massive fortune to worthwhile causes, like fighting AIDS and malaria, and creating access to clean drinking water and financial services. But one recent initiative hasn’t gone down so well.

On June 7, Gates announced that he would donate 100,000 chickens to impoverished nations worldwide, a gesture that was quickly greeted with derision by at least one country. According to The Financial Times (paywall), the government of Bolivia is calling Gates’s donation “offensive”:

On June 15, César Cocarico, the country’s minister of land and rural development, told journalists:

[Gates] does not know Bolivia’s reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce. Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us.

continue http://qz.com/709506/bill-gates-tries-to-give-away-chickens-bolivia-says-it-already-has-a-lot-of-chickens/

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Ignoring People for Phones Is the New Normal

I think using your smartphone when you’re with other people is rude, but I still do it all the time. I try to apologize when I do—“Sorry, I just need to text this person/send this email/check this map real quick”—but lately I’ve felt even more rude asking someone else to stop using their phone. It seems needy and unkind to shame them for not giving me their full attention at every moment. When the whole gang is having an iPhone break, the path of least resistance is just to get my phone out, too, and thumb through Instagram.

Focusing on your phone in a social setting is known as “phubbing”—a portmanteau of “phone” and “snubbing.” (Hey, I didn’t make it up.) A new study published in Computers in Human Behavior looks at what motivates people to phub, and how it seems to have become just a normal part of life.

A group of 276 participants took several questionnaires that measured their experiences of phubbing and being phubbed, as well as scales for internet addiction, smartphone addiction, self-control, and fear of missing out. These all bore out in the expected ways; the people most likely to be glued to a screen while surrounded by friends were low in self-control, high in FOMO, and higher on the scales for internet and smartphone addiction. (It’s still questionable whether one can really be “addicted” to the internet, but these scales basically measure whether a person uses it compulsively, and whether it interferes with their life.)
continue http://tinyurl.com/z3txjbj

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Detecting Gravitational Waves From Space May Soon Become A Reality

Scientists are on the cusp of making a proposed space-based Gravitational Wave Observatory a reality, after a key technology necessary to build such a vehicle was successfully tested out by the European Space Administration (ESA) through its Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA Pathfinder) program on June 7. The details of the report can be viewed in the paper published at Physical Review Letters.

source http://nerdsmagazine.com/detecting-gravitational-waves-from-space-may-soon-become-a-reality/

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Red astroturf: Chinese government makes millions of fake social media posts

That groundswell of online support for Chinese Communist Party and government officials? Not so much actually grassroots.

Data scientists at Harvard University have found that the government of the People’s Republic of China generates an estimated 448 million fake social media posts per year. The posts are an effort to shape online conversations by citizens and to distract them from sensitive topics “and change the subject”—largely through “cheerleading” posts promoting the Chinese Communist Party and the government.

The research, conducted by Harvard professor Gary King and former Harvard graduate students Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts and supported by Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Science, made use of a goldmine of propaganda content. This included a leaked archive of e-mails sent to the Zhanggong District Internet Propaganda Office from 2013 to 2014 that showed government workers’ documentation of completion of fake post work, including screen shots. The research also analyzed social media posts on Chinese websites from 2010 to 2015.

Previously, posts like these were believed to be the work of what observers have called the “50-cent Party”—named for what some believed the posters are paid by the state for their propaganda work. As it turns out, the posts analyzed by King and his co-researchers were likely mostly written for free as an extra duty of government employees.

continue http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/red-astroturf-chinese-government-makes-millions-of-fake-social-media-posts/

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Self-Driving Cars Will Teach Themselves to Save Lives—But Also Take Them

selfdriving-car-gallery2-1024x768If you follow the ongoing creation of self-driving cars, then you probably know about the classic thought experiment called the Trolley Problem. A trolley is barreling toward five people tied to the tracks ahead. You can switch the trolly to another track—where only one person is tied down. What do you do? Or, more to the point, what does a self-driving car do?

Even the people building the cars aren’t sure. In fact, this conundrum is far more complex than even the pundits realize.

Now, more than ever, machines can learn on their own. They’ve learned to recognize faces in photos and the words people speak. They’ve learned to choose links for Google’s search engine. They’ve learned to play games that even artificial intelligence researchers thought they couldn’t crack. In some cases, as these machines learn, they’re exceeding the talents of humans. And now, they’re learning to drive.

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HOW TO: Remove yourself from background check websites.

HOW TO: Remove yourself from ALL background check websites. Thanks to LawyerCT. (self.technology)

submitted 4 years ago * by pibbman

Thanks to LawyerCT for bringing this topic up on /r/technology. She also provided a list of the top sites online that hold data on you.

I decided to go ahead and use this list to collect removal procedures from ALL of these websites and provide direct links or instructions to do so.

The following list was provided as being the “big boys”, so if you remove your name from these ones then all the smaller “sites” should fall afterwards.

  • Intelius.com
  • Acxiom.com
  • MyLife.com
  • ZabaSearch.com
  • Spoke.com
  • BeenVerified.com
  • PeekYou.com
  • USSearch.com
  • PeopleFinders.com
  • PeopleLookup.com
  • PeopleSmart.com
  • PrivateEye.com
  • WhitePages.com
  • USA-People-Search.com
  • Spokeo.com
  • PublicRecordsNow.com
  • DOBSearch.com
  • Radaris.com

How to remove yourself from each of these have been listed below. I would recommend that you scan some form of ID such as a state issued ID like a drivers license. Black out your picture and drivers number. Leaving your name, address and DOB visible. Any sites that requires such a thing will have an * after the address.

Intelius.com* – Opt-out


MyLife.com – To request that a Member Profile or Public Profile be deleted, please contact Customer Care at 1-888-704-1900 or contact us by email at privacy@mylife.com. Upon receipt of these requests, and confirmation that you are requesting that your own profile be removed, please allow MyLife 10 business days to complete this removal. It may be necessary to contact you to validate that you are the profile owner requesting the removal. This is to ensure the correct identity and profile ownership before completing these requests, and is for the protection of our users and their privacy.

Zabasearch.com* – Opt-out


BeenVerified.comLawyerCT’s guide


USSearch.com* – Opt-Out

PeopleFinders.comOpt-Out: Annoying form you have to mail in

PeopleLookup.com* – In order for PeopleLookup to suppress or opt out your personal information from appearing on our Website, we need to verify your identity. To do this, we require faxed proof of identity. Proof of identity can be a state issued ID card or driver’s license. If you are faxing a copy of your driver’s license, we require that you cross out the photo and the driver’s license number. We only need to see the name, address and date of birth. We will only use this information to process your opt out request. Please fax to 425-974-6194 and allow 4 to 6 weeks to process your request.




USA-People-Search.comOpt-Out: Yet another form to mail in

Spoke.comScroll Down to Access and Correction Section for more info

PublicRecordsNow.com – Still determining how to remove…

DOBSearch.com* – In order for us to “opt out” your public information from being viewable on the public DOBsearch People Finder search results, we need to verify your identity and require faxed proof of identity. Proof of identity can be a state issued ID card or driver’s license, or notarized letter. If you are faxing a copy of your driver’s license, you may cross out the photo and the driver’s license number. We only need to see the name, address and date of birth. Please fax to 516-717-3017 and allow 4 to 6 weeks to completely process your request. It is your responsibility to ensure legibility of your document

Radaris.comOpt-Out; Thanks to those who figured it out.

source  https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/j1mit/how_to_remove_yourself_from_all_background_check/

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If You See A House With A Red Porch Light On, THIS Is What It Means…


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Why woodpeckers don’t get headaches

Your typical woodpecker will bang its head against wood 20 times per second, accelerating 1,200 times more than gravity. In an average day, a woodpecker does this around 12,000 times. Despite the serious head banging, the woodpecker suffers no concussions or any kind of head injury. What’s this bird made of?


To get to the bottom of things, a team of researchers from Beijing and Hong Kong zoomed in on the woodpecker’s behaviour closer than anyone ever had. The birds were put inside a special chamber where  two synchronous high-speed cameras recorded their pecking, and a force sensor measured the peck force.

The birds’ heads were also scanned with x-rays and an electron microscope to image the bone structure. Preserved woodpecker skulls were also placed in a material testing machine and crushed for science. This data was then used to build a 3D model of the birds’ heads which they can then smash in simulations, without hurting any actual live woodpeckers.

This battery of tests revealed the woodpecker’s skull is unsurprisingly very sturdy, unlike most birds whose skulls are fragile. It’s made out of extremely strong, yet compressible sponge-like bone. The spongy bone is unevenly distributed around the skull, being most concentrated in the forehead and the back of the skull. Additionally, the beak and skull are connected by an elastic tissue which helps cushion the blow.

continue http://www.zmescience.com/science/woodpeckers-dont-get-headaches/

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How to Install VLC 3.0 Nightly On Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

vlc chromecast

A couple days ago we got a little giddy covering burgeoning support for Chromecast in VLC 3.0.

Many of you were equally as excited as us, even though a formal, stable release of VLC 3.0 is still many months away.

But, if you’re brave, you  can try the latest bleeding edge release of VLC on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Install VLC Nightly on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

This post makes a lot of assumptions; I’m going to assume that you are super sensible and fully aware of the usual caveats that accompany the use of pre-release software, i.e., bugs, bugs and, er, more bugs.

If you want a version of VLC that ‘just works’, doesn’t futz and can be relied on you should install the latest stable release from the Ubuntu archives.

But you want a version of VLC that is newer but potentially rough around the edges, read on…

continue http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/06/install-vlc-3-0-ubuntu

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How a GPS Glitch Can Change the Taste of Your Salad


nextgov-mediumSatellites can reveal themselves in unexpected, even astonishing ways, and not only by flaring in the sun of an evening horizon, like artificial stars. Their presence can also be inferred indirectly—by causing subtle, nearly undetectable problems elsewhere, such as a briefly wandering tractor.

In Pinpoint, his new book about GPS, the satellite-based Ground-Positioning System, author Greg Milner explores, among other things, the world of precision agriculture, where semi-automated field equipment is guided not by a farmer’s steady hand but by signals sent from machines in space.

GPS, of course, was not developed for farming but as a military tool, and a military tool it remains. It is controlled by the U.S. Air Force and still today has differential levels of precision: there is a signal open for use by citizens of any country, and then there is an encrypted signal used by U.S. military systems and guided weaponry. In other words, GPS enables not just your smartphone to find its way through Central Park, but a lights-out military helicopter to navigate the deserts of another nation at 1 a.m.

Several years ago, my wife, writer Nicola Twilley, and I had an unusual opportunity to visit the military facility in Colorado from which the GPS constellation is controlled. Located on a huge, windy plot of land just east of the Rocky Mountains, Schriever Air Force Base is a covert gateway to space: ground control for the constellation of satellites by which we—and our weapons—remain oriented. Indeed, Master of Space is how the 50th Space Wing, a group of soldiers stationed on the base, describes itself, and this is not just an expression of hubris.

continue http://www.nextgov.com/big-data/2016/06/how-gps-glitch-can-change-taste-your-salad/129138/

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