Monthly Archives: October 2016

Facebook Wants To Be Your Guide On Election Day

Now that the presidential debates are over, Facebook wants to help you prepare for the last political battleground: the voting booth.

The social-media company unveiled a feature this week designed to help users create a voting plan, showing not just presidential candidates but also information on statewide elections. Should you want to dive down to the local level, you can give Facebook your address and the company will tell you what’s on the ballot in your neck of the woods.

Facebook wants you to ditch pen and paper and instead use the social network's new feature to help map out how you'll vote.
Facebook wants you to ditch pen and paper and instead use the social network’s new feature to help map out how you’ll vote.


Facebook said data for the feature is being gathered by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life, and candidates for each race are being presented in random order in a horizontal scroll. From there, each candidate’s issue positions, endorsements, recent social-media posts and website can be quickly accessed for review.

After you develop a voting plan, Facebook will let you email a copy to yourself to take with you to the voting booth. (Note: You might need to print it out; many states don’t allow phone use while voting. Another note: In case you haven’t heard, the contents of your emails isn’t necessarily inaccessible to outsiders. Just sayin’.)


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“Human Rights Champion” Suu Kyi Jails Dissidents

 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Myanmar’s defacto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi of the  National League for Democracy (NDL) political party, has paved her time since coming to power earlier this year with both irony and hypocrisy. She has not only illegally declared herself “leader” of the Southeast Asian state in contravention of its constitution, she has also embarked on an iron-fisted purge of her political opponents identical to the one she fought against as she struggled to seize power to begin with.

During elections earlier this year, Myanmar’s constitution prevented Suu Kyi from holding the nation’s highest office due to her inordinate amount of time overseas, her status of having been married to a foreign, and her children’s dual citizenship. Instead of adhering to the law, her party once in power, simply contrived an entirely new post for her, State Counsellor of Myanmar, which makes her the “defacto leader” of Myanmar.

Canada’s The Globe and Mail in an article titled, “Stéphane Dion says Aung San Suu Kyi is the ‘de facto’ leader of Myanmar,” would note that Canada’s government recognized this legal side-stepping, stating:


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World’s First Albino Beauty Pageant in Kenya

Contestants pose on stage during a pageant hosted by the Albinism Society of Kenya in Nairobi on October 21, 2016. In many parts of Africa albinos are stigmatised or hunted for their body parts, but for one night in Kenya those with the condition took to the catwalk to show off their unique beauty. Billed by organisers as the first pageant of its kind, young albino men and women competed for the title of Miss and Mr Albinism Kenya. TONY KARUMBA / AFP – Getty Images

With its evening gowns, celebrity judges and tears of joy, the beaafp_he0fv_39df04a9515d951c2b56a93391563c42-nbcnews-ux-600-700uty pageant in Kenya’s capital was like others elsewhere, except for one thing – all 20 contestants who strutted, sashayed and swaggered down the catwalk had albinism.

In the world’s first contest of its kind, 10 men and 10 women competed in the Mr and Miss Albinism Kenya pageant this month in Nairobi. Its motto was “Beauty Beyond the Skin”.

The competition, which drew a crowd of about 1,000 including Deputy President William Ruto, was designed to celebrate people with albinism – who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes – and challenge stigma and persecution.

“Even when I was dating, it was difficult for girls to say I’m handsome,” said Isaac Mwaura, Kenya’s first parliamentarian with albinism and founder of the Albinism Society of Kenya, which organized the pageant.


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Hookworms May Provide A Treatment For Asthma



Hookworms often penetrate the skin through bare feet and eventually reach the small intestine, where they secrete proteins to help bolster the immune system while simultaneously sucking blood from the gut lining.

For centuries, doctors and scientists have thought of bloodsucking hookworms as parasites to be eliminated. After all, a hookworm infection can cause severe stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and more. But, recent research suggests that these parasites may in fact be beneficial in preventing autoimmune diseases. Scientists are now turning back to these detestable little worms in search of treatments for these conditions. This week, a group of scientists report that they have isolated a protein secreted by these worms that could be a key factor in their healing powers.

Several studies done over the last several years have found a connection between the rise of autoimmune diseases in developing countries and a decline in these parasitic infections as well as improvements in public sanitation—a phenomenon known as the “hygiene hypothesis.” So scientists have been studying whether re-infecting patients with certain hookworms could be a beneficial treatment for their autoimmune conditions. A few phase II and phase III clinical trials are already underway and showing success in celiac and inflammatory bowel diseases in participants who volunteer to have live hookworms placed in their guts. The results of the study this week show that if scientists can harness the particular protein in hookworms that yields the healing powers, then perhaps people won’t need to ingest the entire hookworm.


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New Albini-engineered experimental music piece uses ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ as inspiration

New Albini-engineered experimental music piece uses ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ as inspiration

America’s Funniest Home Videos (and its international offshoots) might represent the most lucrative user-generated content project in history—until the arrival of Facebook and YouTube, anyway. A genius by the name of Vin Di Bona realized that there were untold thousands of hours of hilarious content out there just waiting for a network TV outlet, and that the owners of that content would be only too happy to send a major media corporation their videotapes for a chance at widespread TV recognition (and cash too, let’s not forget the cash). So in 1989 ABC began broadcasting the show, which was originally hosted by Bob Saget and, thrillingly, featured the voiceover work of legendary announcer Ernie Anderson (also known as Ghoulardi). The volume of submissions was so thick that it’s said that the show singlehandedly caused the Hollywood post office to take on increased staff.

The show lasted until—Oh wait. The show, of course, is still on the air even now.

Recently, noted Australian composer Chris Cobilis has immersed himself in the decades-long output of America’s Funniest Home Videos and its Aussie counterpart Australia’s Funniest Home Videos as part of the process to create an experimental orchestral work inspired by the show. That work, created in collaboration with poet Kenneth Goldsmith and Spektral Quartet and engineered by none other than Steve Albini, is called This Is You and will be available for purchase on Bandcamp on October 28 (but you can pre-order it today).


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Cadillac House SoHo Exhibit Features New Robot Artist

In an increasingly automated world where employees are looking to add technology-related skills to their resumes or make mid-life career adjustments, it seems even the robots have to re-assess their job opportunities as well. Enter ADA0002, a former factory robot turned SoHo artist — because NYC is where folks look to reinvent themselves.

In the latest interactive art exhibit to be featured at Cadillac House, “AUTOPORTRAIT” is a partnership with automaker Cadillac and culture magazine Visionaire which allows visitors to have their portrait drawn by the robot artist, watching the entire sketch develop before their eyes. Although not as smooth in stroke or detailed in design as a human hand’s, its staccato mechanical gestures still creates rather impressive ink composition of robotic beauty.


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Walking In The Forest Is Better For You Than You Can Imagine

They say we ought to slow down from time to time to stop and smell the flowers. That sounds great in theory, especially for those of us moving at hyper speed, but the logistics of it are another matter.

One way to get a quick taste of this slowing down business is by doing what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” which entails basking in the forest’s atmosphere as you move slowly, calmly, and mindfully, soaking it in through all five senses while lingering for a few hours. A host of studies show that this can do wonders for your health.

This modern take on an ancient practice got its start in Japan in 1982, when the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries began promoting walks in the woods as a tonic for mind and body. About a decade ago, they also began funding research into the health effects of “forest therapy,” and the practice has been catching on all over Asia, as well as North America and Europe.

Yakushima, Japan. 

Yakushima, Japan.  iStock

Qing Li, an associate professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and president of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, writes in an email that Japan, with 70 percent of its land forested, is well-suited to this practice, and there are now 60 Forest Therapy Trails designated for shinrin-yoku, visited by millions every year. Dr. Li’s research shows that forest therapy can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones as well as increase energy and reduce anxiety, depression and anger.


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Turkey Shuts News Outlets, Tightens Anti-Terrorism Law

  • More than 10,000 additional civil servants fired in crackdown
  • Government acts under emergency powers assumed after coup bid

Turkey shut more than a dozen news outlets and tightened its anti-terrorism laws in an expansion of its crackdown following the botched July 15 coup.

The government also fired more than 10,000 additional people from jobs in the education, health and justice ministries as part of its effort to purge the civil service of employees with alleged links to the U.S.-based preacher it accuses of masterminding the takeover attempt.  A total of 10 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines were closed, most centered in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, according to a decree published Saturday in the Official Gazette. Turkish prosecutors will now be able to record conversations between people convicted of terrorism and their lawyers, seize the audio tapes and limit attorney-client communication in terrorism cases, according to a separate decree.


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Daily hot story Links

click on headline links to view stories

Catholic church could face multi-million pound payout as sex abuse case is heard

Creationism in Texas Could Go Extinct on Election Day

The secret life of a singing teacher: it’s like being a cheap therapist

What Mathematical Models of Herding Cows Can Teach Us About Markets

Troll Daddies Roger Stone and Chuck Johnson Fight Over Bill Clinton’s ‘Son’

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History of Vitamins: Why Mainstream Rails Against Them as “Quackery”

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US Supreme Court to decide ‘battle of the toilets’

A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina

View photos

A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina (AFP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

Washington (AFP) – The US Supreme Court said Friday that it will decide which bathrooms should be used by transgender people, a highly sensitive question with national political resonance.

The case involves 17-year-old Gavin Grimm, who was born a female but identifies as a male. Grimm filed suit to be allowed to use the boys’ bathroom at his high school in Gloucester County, Virginia.

Arguments in the politically charged question will be heard between now and late June, making it easily one of the highest-profile cases set for the court’s current term.

The Obama administration has said public schools should grant access to toilets and locker rooms based on the gender with which a student identifies, not the birth gender.

Federal authorities, seeking to fight discrimination, have threatened school systems with a loss of federal funds if they fail to comply.

But more than a dozen Republican-controlled states, bitterly opposed to that approach, are challenging the federal government in court.

Some conservatives see the directive from Washington as improper interference in local school affairs and an abuse of executive power.


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‘Going Places’ is Officially a ‘Big Lebowski’ Spinoff

It was reported by Coming Coon back in August that actor/director John Turturro was working on a remake of the 1974 Bertrand Blier film Going Places, a bitter French comedy about an apathetic crime spree, threesomes, and a good deal of well-intentioned ennui. The 1974 film was not well-received critically, but has gone on to be a cult hit in its own right. It was rumored at the time that the new Going Places remake – slated for release in 2017 – was also going to be a spinoff of the 1998 cult hit The Big Lebowski, and that Tuturro would be reprising his role of Jesus Quintana, the notably flamboyant pederast champion bowler from that film.

Check Out: 15 Things The Big Lebowski Teaches Us About Zen

Those rumors were confirmed today, as a recently-released publicity photo depicted Turturro dressed as Jesus on the set of Going Places. This new spinoff film has had no input from Joel and Ethan Coen, the creator of the character, but it’s assumed that Turturro has proceeded with their presumed blessing. Turturro has previously written and directed several features including Mac, Illuminata, Romance and Cigarettes, and Fading Gigolo.

This may be the closest fans may ever come to seeing a follow-up to The Big Lebowski, a film that has, since its 1998 release, amassed a sizeable cult, and which has become the subject of full-blown film conventions. Given the way Tuturrro makes films, Going Places promises to be calmer, more absurd, and more thoughtful than Lebowski. We’ll see for sure in 2017.


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Canadian police to text all phone numbers in vicinity of murder victim


On Wednesday, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) put out a news release about what they’re calling a “new investigative technique” to help find out the person(s) who recently murdered a hitchhiker.

Namely, they’ve used a court order to get their hands on the phone numbers of every person who was in the vicinity of where 65-year-old Frederick “John” Hatch was last seen alive, near the town of Erin, Ontario, on 17 December 2015.

The plan was to send two text messages to all those numbers on Thursday: one version in English, one in French.

The messages will request that recipients visit a website and voluntarily answer “a few simple questions” to hopefully help the OPP solve the murder.

OPP may call this technique “new,” but it’s old hat for many police departments.

The data demands are called “tower dumps.” It entails mass-slurping data by ordering phone companies to hand over personal information about thousands of mobile phone users.


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Script Kiddies Likely Behind Dyn DDoS Attacks

There are several theories and claims as to who might be behind the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks launched last week against DNS provider Dyn, but researchers believe the attacks were actually launched by script kiddies.

The DDoS attacks launched on Friday against Dyn’s managed DNS infrastructure caused disruptions for several major websites, including PayPal, Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, Amazon, Netflix and Spotify.

Experts have confirmed that the attack involved Mirai botnets, which have ensnared hundreds of thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices after the Mirai malware source code was leaked by its original author.

The hacker known as “The Jester,” who recently claimed to have defaced a website belonging to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Russian government was behind the attack on Dyn. WikiLeaks suggested that its supporters were responsible, and a group of hacktivists known as “New World Hackers” have also taken credit for the disruption.


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Picture of the Day: X-Ray of a Pregnant Dog

How many can you count?

Source: Picture of the Day: X-Ray of a Pregnant Dog «TwistedSifter

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iPhone hack that threatened emergency 911 system lands teen in jail

Authorities said they arrested an 18-year-old iPhone app developer on charges of felony computer tampering after he unleashed code that threatened to take down emergency 911 systems in a large swath of Arizona and possibly other states.

Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai stands accused of publishing Web links that caused iPhones to repeatedly dial 911, according to a release published Thursday by Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. On Tuesday night, officials alleged, the 911 system operated by the Surprise, Arizona, police department received more than 100 hang-up calls in a matter of minutes. The volume allegedly put authorities “in immediate danger of losing service to their switches.” The emergency systems for the nearby Peoria Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office also received a large number of repeated calls. Agencies in California and Texas were also affected, authorities said.

The release said the 911-dialing code was hosted on a site with the name “Meet Desai.” A link posted on the TheHackSpot YouTube channel and one or more Twitter accounts then encouraged people to click on the link. Authorities said they found evidence it had been clicked 1,849 times. In an e-mail, the operator of the YouTube channel said: “The link does not contain anything harmful, and I am not associated with any type of personal hacking. Just a fun prank that many other big YouTube channels covered as well.”

According to an image Desai posted Thursday to Twitter, various pages on the site—the address was unreachable on Friday, but a cached version of the site is temporarily available here—received more than 151,000 page views. It wasn’t entirely clear the links were the ones alleged to contain the attack code, and Desai didn’t respond to requests for an interview.

Still, if even a portion of those links caused phones to simultaneously dial 911, they had the potential to disrupt vital emergency systems. According to recently released research reported in The Washington Post by journalist Kim Zetter, a proof-of-concept attack devised by researchers in Israel required just 6,000 infected smartphones in a geographical area to tamper with the 911 system for the entire state of North Carolina. The researchers estimated 200,000 infected phones distributed across the US could significantly disrupt 911 services for the entire country.


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The Cramps Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

The Cramps Live at Napa State Mental Hospital….Nuff Said from Jim Napolitano on Vimeo.

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The Sanity of ‘Madness’

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Here’s How Hackers Stole 50,000 of John Podesta’s Emails

New evidence appears to detail how earlier this year, hackers stole more than 50,000 emails from Hilary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman, John Podesta.

Labeled by the Clinton campaign as an attack by Russians to disrupt the US election, it seems the hack was the result of a bogus password reset scheme.

NYPost reports:

The hackers sent John Podesta an official-looking email on Saturday, March 19, that appeared to come from Google. It warned that someone in Ukraine had obtained Podesta’s personal Gmail password and tried unsuccessfully to log in, and it directed him to a website where he should “change your password immediately.”

Podesta’s chief of staff, Sara Latham, forwarded the email to the operations help desk of Clinton’s campaign, where staffer Charles Delavan in Brooklyn, New York, wrote back 25 minutes later, “This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately.”


But that “legitimate” email, wasn’t so authentic.

They were later leaked to WikiLeaks, and are being put on public display one email dump at a time.


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Pussy Riot’s ‘Straight Outta Vagina’: Female sexuality is bigger than any populist megalomaniac

“Don’t play stupid, don’t play dumb, vagina’s where you’re really from.”

Russian feminist art pranksters (and political prisoners) Pussy Riot have released a new video for their catchy new Le Tigre-esque single “Straight Outta Vagina.” Shot at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles by director Phillip R Lopez, the project was inspired by a certain Putin-loving, pussy-grabbing billionaire vulgarian dick who happens to be the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States.

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova told the Guardian:

“This song could be considered an answer to Trump. But I believe the idea of powerful female sexuality is much bigger than any populist megalomaniac man. Vagina is bigger than Trump.”

Tolokonnikova has certainly noticed how Trump’s strongman act lines up with that of her own nemesis, Vladimir Putin:


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WiGig — Wi-Fi 802.11ad Has Finally Arrived With Insane 8Gbps Download Speeds

8gbps-download-speed-wigigShort Bytes: Wi-Fi Alliance has finally certified 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig. Operating at high-speed 60GHz standard, WiGig-enabled devices are expected to arrive next year. Along with the announcement, the first five WiGig products have also been revealed by Intel, Dell, and Qualcomm.

It looks like the future of Wi-Fi technology is here with the arrival of a newer WiFi certification. It’s a high-speed 60GHz connection known as 802.11ad. The 60GHz spectrum is less congested and complements the existing Wi-Fi that operates in 5GHz and 2.4GHz band.

Recommended: What is WiGig and Why You Need to Know About It?

This new technology is expected to become mainstream next year as the routers and devices will most likely add support for WiGig. This standard has been in works for many years and it’s expected to support 8Gbps, or 1GB/second downloading speeds.

Due to the use of wider channels in 60GHz, WiGig supports faster data transfer with low latency. Using beamforming to focus a directed signal, WiGig removes interference from the nearby devices.


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Conference Encouraging Human-Robot Sex, Held In The UK

Are you surprised to know what you are looking at are images of robots, not real women?

It is bizarre that robots are thought to be replacing humans as partners in the near future – as they already resemble them in every form.

And after much controversy, the conference on how to have sex with robots “Love and Sex with Robots” which raised eyebrows in our homeland when it was touted to be held in Johor in November last year – it is now back – in London.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar deemed the organisers “ridiculous” to hold such an event in Malaysia.

“I want to warn the organisers, don’t be mengarut (ridiculous). Don’t try to do something abnormal, we will take action.

“It’s already an offence in Malaysia to have anal sex, what more intercourse with robots,” he was reported saying last year.

After being banned as illegal in Malaysia, it seems like the controversial and sexually sickening event has managed to make its way to London’s Goldsmith University on December 19-20.

To discuss the future of sex with robots, Goldsmiths computing lecturer Dr Kate Devlin – who wrote a controversial essay ‘In Defence of Sex Robots’, will be hosting the event.

“I think robots could become our lovers in the future,” she was reported saying in The Sun.

“Our research aims to carve a new narrative, moving away from sex robots purely defined as machines used as sex objects, as substitutes for human partners, made by men, for men.

“A machine is a blank slate – it is what we make of it. Why should a sex robot be binary? What about the potential for therapy? It’s time for new approaches to artificial sexuality.

“Cutting edge research in technology and ethics is vital if we want to reframe ideas about the human-tech relationship,” said the expert who believes interest in the field of human-computer interaction is on the rise.

This is in line with the prediction of futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, who claims more people will spend on sexbots, whereby having sex with robots will be more common than sex with humans by 2050.

“Most people will obviously buy androids that they think are attractive and even sexy, and some will be bought specifically because of that.


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Debtors’ prison: Take a look at your state’s “pay-to-stay” policies

Inmates in Idaho currently owe over $10 million in restitution fees

Written by Beryl Lipton
Edited by JPat Brown


For decades, the task of recouping the costs of mass incarceration has been left to state and local governments. They’ve been able to do it with the help of “pay-to-stay” policies that make sure inmates are hit on their way out, too. MuckRock has been surveying the states for their procedures and numbers.

Of all states, six requests remain outstanding for fee-related issues. Michigan led the pack with a $2194.80 cost covering fee associated with the 42,000 under the supervision of the Department.

Four states have still failed to acknowledge the request at all. And, of course, Alabama has imposed a $25 fee before it will begin processing.

Though it seems that something in the automated message could at least indicate that I could begin to look here.


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Bye Bye, BlogNet

A hero walks off into the sunset

Maki Naro

Moving on to new adventures into parts unknown

Hello Boxplot readers, I’m afraid I have received some somber news: A couple weeks ago, Paul Adams informed me that Popular Science’s Editor-in-Chief has decided to wind down the Blog Network at the end of October.

I held off on posting anything earlier because A) I didn’t want to be the first person to break the news, and B) I still kinda think I’m being punked. But here we are. This closure marks an end to what has been three of the most sublime years of my life. It was an honor to work for such a prestigious institution as Popular Science, and I’m truly sorry to see it all go.

The Blog Network (or BlogNet for short) launched quietly on October 2nd, 2013 with six blogs ranging in topics such as bats, diseases, space exploration history, and feminism in science/tech media. Since then, that number has nearly doubled, and the topics covered have only grown more eclectic. It’s safe to say there really wasn’t anything else like it.


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Lung Cancer Vaccine Gets FDA Approval

Doctor Lab

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a clinical trial for a lung cancer vaccine, brought to the U.S. by an ostensibly unlikely source: Cuba.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the FDA authorized initial trials for the lung cancer drug CIMAvax at a press conference this past Wednesday. Roswell Park Cancer Institute will conduct the trials in partnership with CIMAvax’s namesake, Cuba’s Centro de Inmunologia Molecular (CIM), in Buffalo, New York.

If all goes well, U.S. patients will have access to this revolutionary drug, which holds promise for treating certain breast, head and neck, and colorectal cancers as well.

Most promising at the moment, however, is CIMAvax’s ability to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for roughly 80 to 85 percent of lung cancer diagnoses and is commonly found in non-smokers. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), or the other 10 to 15 percent, is a separate disease with different genetic markers, and is the lung cancer that is chiefly attributable to smoking.


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Netflix’s CEO says entertainment pills could be the next big thing

By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

Everyone is familiar with the saying ‘Netflix and Chill,’ but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has an even better idea, ‘Netflix and Chill Pill.’

That’s not the actual brand or product name, but more of a concept that Hastings introduced at a recent tech conference for the Wall Street Journal.

When speaking about the future of Netflix, Hastings said that, while movies and TV shows may be all the rage now, he anticipates they’ll eventually become obsolete and will be rivaled by pharmaceutical substitutes, “like a pill that entertains you.”


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BRAIN MATTER (web series devoted culture of web an bizzarre)

(web series devoted culture of web an bizzarre)


A book to blow minds: ‘The Day-Glo Designers Guide’
Cleveland, Ohio’s Day-Glo Color Corp. is “the world’s largest manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments.” They’ve been making their trip-friendly colors since the 1930s. This was right around the time that LSD was first made by Albert Hofmann in Switzerland. Synchronicity is occasionally quite cosmic.

daygloIn 1969, the Day-Glo company published a book to illustrate how their paints and inks could be used in commercial concepts. The Day-Glo Designer’s Guide is full of vibrantly psychedelic artwork including some fluorescent takes on Bert Stern’s iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe, a Karlheinz Stockhausen album cover, a Peter Max portrait of Toulouse Lautrec, pop-up flower garden, The Grateful Dead at The Playboy Mansion, Sammy Davis Jr. book cover and a packet of loose Day-Glo overlays and charts for use in lithography printing. It’s amazing how many “straight” corporations jumped on a style of graphics that was so clearly associated with the drug culture of the time. Airlines, banks, the British Commonwealth, food products and department stores jumped into the lysergic pool and hoped that they’d seem a lot hipper than they really were. For most of us hippies it looked like exactly what it was: “the man” was copping our culture. But we were too stoned to care.



Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print 1976-80’: Essential collection of prime U.K. punk paraphernalia

The U.K. punk scene represented one of mankind’s greatest explosions of populist mass art, as represented not only in the songs and the album covers the scene generated but also a well-nigh endless variety of punk clothing, handbills, flyers, posters, badges, fanzines, and who knows what all. The DIY and countercultural ethic of that moment reverberates down the decades to us today—and will for some time. We’re not done hearing the echo of that moment.01_antinazi_rally_02938431_465_662_int

Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print, 1976-80, a new book from Phaidon Press, offers a detailed look at one of the world’s great agglomerations of U.K. punk ephemera, Toby Mott’s collection, which took decades to bring to its current state. This generous volume is bursting at the seams with punk energy, its whopping 500+ pages offering approximately that many riveting punk artifacts. The book is surprisingly affordable at $22.76.

Mott was in the thick of the action during the original U.K. punk era as one of the founders of the Anarchist Street Army, a late 1970s organization based in Pimlico that specialized in

street disturbances. Later he appeared in Derek Jarman’s 1985 movie The Angelic Conversation, and the art collective he co-founded, the Grey Organisation, was responsible for the iconic day-glo cover art for De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising.

The Mott Collection includes essential punk artifacts such as Jamie Reid’s “ransom note” designs for the Sex Pistols, Linder Sterling’s astonishing “Orgasm Addict” art for the Buzzcocks, Barney Bubbles’ memorable work for Ian Dury, as well as grassroots fanzines such as Mark Perry’s Sniffin’ Glue.

The book features an essay by Rick Poynor, who writes:




How To Download Packages Faster In Linux Using APT-FAST Command?

The apt-get command is associated with the Advanced Package Tool and it is used to install and remove application packages on Linux distros like Debian (and it’s derivatives), Slackware, and others. You can also use apt-get to update existing Linux packages.

One thing that degrades the apt-get experience is that the downloads are slow and time-consuming. Matt Pernell (ilikenw) has the answer to this problem. His new script known as apt-fast boosts the package download speeds. For this, apt-fast uses multiple connections to download the same package. It is similar to various download managers like Internet Download Manager.

The apt-fast utility is a shell script wrapper which uses the aria2c download manager to enable multiple connections during package download process. So, under the hood, it still uses the apt-get and aptitude tools.

How to install apt-fast on your Linux distribution:

The following commands allow installation of apt-fast 1.8 on Ubuntu 14.04 and later versions. It works on Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint which itself is Ubuntu-based.



Notorious runaway robot that has escaped research lab twice has been arrested by police at political rally

A notorious runaway robot – that has escaped from its lab twice – has been arrested by police at a political rally.

Promobot was supporting Russian Parliament candidate Valery Kalachev in Moscow when authorities attempted to handcuff it and take it away.

It is believed that the arrest occurred after a member of public called police as Promobots were recording the opinions of voters on a variety of topics “for further processing and analysis by the candidate’s team.”

A company spokesman told Inverse magazine: “Police asked to remove the robot away from the crowded area, and even tried to handcuff him.

“According to eyewitnesses, the robot did not put up any resistance.”



Butt shot shows promise as male birth control—but many side effects, too

Flu vaccination in Volgograd, Russia

Hormone injections lowered sperm counts, but also caused acne and mood swings.

Beth Mole

Routine hormone injections into the buttocks of 320 men dramatically shrunk their sperm counts and prevented pregnancies during a year-long, early-phase trial, researchers reported Thursday.

The findings suggest that a future hormonal male contraceptive may one day be possible. However, the data also revealed high rates of side effects, such as acne and mood swings, suggesting much more work is needed before such a birth control method is realized.

“A male hormonal contraceptive is possible,” lead author Mario Festin, a medical officer with the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization, told the Chicago Tribune. “We have to continue searching for or investigating the right drugs, and their combinations, with the highest efficacy and safety, and acceptability, with the least side effects.”

Earlier work showed that high doses of testosterone could rub out sperm counts in men, but they also raised concerning side effects. Cutting the dosage level with a steroid hormone known as progestogen, which activates the progesterone receptor, was a potential workaround.

In the new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. Festin and colleagues gave men, aged 18 to 45 injections into their bums once every eight weeks over the course of a 24 week “suppression” phase. The injections contained 200mg of progestogen and 1000mg of testosterone. By the end, nearly 96 percent of those remaining in the study (some dropped out) saw their sperm counts fall to less than 1 million per milliliter. (Normal levels can range from 15 to more than 200 million/mL.)


Martin Shkreli Says He’ll Release Wu-Tang’s One-of-a-kind Album If Trump Wins the Election

This fucking guy… Pharmaceutical executive, internet clown and horrible human-being Martin Shkreli has announced he will share Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind album Once Upon a Time In Shaolin if Donald Trump wins the election and becomes president of the United States.

Speaking shcrellion Twitter, he also says he’ll share unheard music from Nirvana and The Beatles which he claims to own. If Hilary Clinton wins however, he suggests he’ll “break” the Wu-Tang album.

Almost a year ago, Shkreli was revealed as the buyer of Wu-Tang’s one-of-a-kind album, purchasing it for a reported $2 million. Since then, he has started a feud with Ghostface Killah, offered to buy Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo before it was released for $15 million, and auctioned off the chance for people to punch him in the face.
Take a look at the Tweets below. If Trump wins, my entire unreleased music collection, including unheard Nirvana, Beatles, and of course, Wu-Tang, comes out, for free.
Pepsi to Test New Flavors for Tuberculosis Drugs

One of the world’s largest food and beverage companies is launching a new initiative to help children all over the world. Pepsi is teaming up with the nonprofit TB alliance to engineer new flavors to counteract the bitter taste found in tuberculosis drugs.

The company will, “apply proprietary flavor and sensory expertise,” to help develop ddd1610_pepsistrategies that can hopefully solve the bitter taste issue. Pepsi won’t receive any financial payments for these efforts whereas the TB Alliance will have free access to the results of this program applying it to its drug development efforts, according to the announcement.
“At PepsiCo, we saw a unique opportunity to leverage our R&D talent and flavor expertise to help improve the palatability of certain TB medicines,” said Pepsi’s Dr. Mehmood Khan, the vice chairman and chief scientific officer of Global Research and Development.


Harvard Scientists Invent Cigarette-Smoking Robot For Better Lung Disease Research

By Eliza Strickland
For the good of humanity and medical research, Harvard scientists have invented a robot that smokes cigarettes.
Well, calling it a robot may be a bit of a stretch—it’s more of a lab instrument. But the device does puff on up to 10 cigarettes at a time, taking in the smoke and channeling it to a tiny chip lined with living cells from human lungs. This “lung-on-a-chip” can be used to study how lung cells react to smoke, in intimate detail and with a level of verisimilitude that animal studies can’t match.
The invention, announced yesterday by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, can be used for research on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the lung condition that includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD find it harder and harder to breathe because the tiny airways in their lungs are damaged, typically from years of cigarette smoking. There’s no known cure, and doctors can’t repair the damage. More than 11 million people in the United States. have been diagnosed with COPD, and the worldwide toll is reckoned at 65 million.


A Tribe Called Quest to Release New Album in Two Weeks

Legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest have announced they will release a new album in two weeks time. The album has been heavily rumoured in recent times and now Q-Tip has confirmed the release, sharing a handwritten note via Facebook.

The note details that the group started work on the record following their reunion on The Tonight Show last year. One of Tribe’s members Phife Dawg passed away before the album was complete, but Q-Tip stated that “he left us with the blue print of what we had to do.”

There’s no title for the record yet, but we do know it’ll feature Busta Rhymes and Consequence and will be released via Epic on 11 November.


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Michael Moore: “Trump’s election will be the biggest F*CK YOU in human history”

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STUNNING Acquittal Bundys Remain in Jail Because…


Despite being acquitted by a federal jury Tuesday, Bundy brothers Ammon and Randy still remain in jail.

The brothers, as well as a number of other co-defendants, were acquitted in the case involving the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The band of ranchers and farmers had commandeered the refuge at the start of the year to protest what they felt was the illegal seizure of land by the federal government.

After the standoff eventually ended in late January, federal prosecutors charged them with “conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs,” as reported by Fox News, but as Tuesday’s news demonstrates, the charges did not stick.

Sadly for the Bundy brothers, however, the story is far from over.



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5 Things you should (or shouldn’t) do if you have a crime scene on your property

5 Things you should (or shouldn’t) do if you have a crime scene on your property

If the unthinkable happens and now someone in your home, business or property gets injured, accidentally or not, you have a situation on hand. The police, EMT and coroner now show up, and will remove the person injured, perform the investigation, and leave. What’s left? In most cases, you’re left with blood, bodily fluids, sometimes even parts of the human body, depending on the situation. So what should you do with this mess left behind? Here are 5 things you should and should NOT do when a crime scene or traumatic incident occurs in your home, business or property.


1 – Do NOT touch, or have anyone else touch anything.

Fluids from humans, such as blood, urine, or other bodily fluids, can contain diseases and pathogens, especially blood. Bacteria and viruses such as Hepatitis, HIV and C-Diff thrive in blood, and if someone comes into contact with such pathogens, it can easily transfer and spread to others. Treat every drop of blood as IF it was contaminated, even if you think it’s clean. Last thing you need is yourself, or someone else to contract a disease from unwarranted contact with blood.


2 – Do NOT clean it yourself, or have a family member or employee clean up.

If you make an employee of yours clean up after an incident, and they contract a bloodborne pathogen, you and your business will be held liable. People who do not posses proper certifications and training could mishandle the cleanup, and as a result put themselves and your business into jeopardy. Separate liability from your company, by hiring an outside professional to handle the cleanup. By doing so, you put forth best foot forward in remediating the situation, and if anyone should become sick after the professional cleanup due to negligence, your company separates itself from the incident.


3 – Call a Crime Scene Cleanup Company, not a regular maid service/cleaning company.

When looking for a company to hire to clean up after an incident, look for companies that specialize in crime scene cleanup and trauma scene cleanup, like the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association. Crime Scene Cleanup Companies employee specialized, professional technicians with the proper equipment, chemicals, tools and protocol to safely remediate a home, business or property, thereby eliminating risk of people getting sick afterwards due to improper cleaning. Regular Maid services or cleaning companies will generally only have equipment and methods pertaining to generic cleaning, and when dealing with bloodborne pathogens or bodily fluids, the regular cleaning service will fall short, and could cause more damage to the property, furniture or items affected. Not to mention if blood is not properly sanitized and cleaned, family members or patrons could contract diseases, even if there is no visible remnants left on surfaces.


4 – Prepare what info the crime scene cleanup company would need to know, and have homeowners insurance information on hand.

Speed up the process in which the crime scene cleanup company can respond. Most companies can respond to an incident after the police, EMT and coroner leaves, within a few hours. During this time when you call to hire the remediation company, have some basic info ready, like where the incident took place, what happened, some rough measurements on the area affected, contents affected (hardwood, carpet, furniture, items, etc.), and if there is a homeowners insurance policy on the property, have that information ready as well. Usually during this time, the property owner or family member is too distraught from everything that is going on, and we will offer to contact and place a claim on behalf of the homeowner/business owner. All of these key points will help expedite the whole process and will enable out technicians to dispatch out faster, thereby enabling the situation to be remediated and cleaned much faster.


5 – If the incident is related to a crime, and you do not have homeowners insurance, call victim services.

If the incident was related to a crime, and you do not have homeowners insurance, or a claim was denied by the insurance company, fret not. In every state of the United States, there are Crime Victim Funds in place to help families who should be unfortunate enough to go through a traumatic incident. The fund, barring approval, will help pay and cover most, if not all, expenses needed in restoring a home after an incident occurs. For more information on your local state’s Crime victim fund, visit this page here. It has links to all 50 states Crime Victim Funds, along with contact information.


If anything should ever happen, know that companies like the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Helping people, families and communities is what we’re here for. Don’t put yourself, your family or your patrons at risk, call a professional company to help you restore you property back to what it was, so you can focus on more important issues at hand.


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Nuclear plants leak critical alerts in unencrypted pager messages

A surprisingly large number of critical infrastructure participants—including chemical manufacturers, nuclear and electric plants, defense contractors, building operators and chip makers—rely on unsecured wireless pagers to automate their industrial control systems. According to a new report, this practice opens them to malicious hacks and espionage.

Earlier this year, researchers from security firm Trend Micro collected more than 54 million pages over a four-month span using low-cost hardware. In some cases, the messages alerted recipients to unsafe conditions affecting mission-critical infrastructure as they were detected. A heating, venting, and air-conditioning system, for instance, used an e-mail-to-pager gateway to alert a hospital to a potentially dangerous level of sewage water. Meanwhile, a supervisory control and data acquisition system belonging to one of the world’s biggest chemical companies sent a page containing a complete “stack dump” of one of its devices.

Other unencrypted alerts sent by or to “several nuclear plants scattered among different states” included:

  • Reduced pumping flow rate
  • Water leak, steam leak, radiant coolant service leak, electrohydraulic control oil leak
  • Fire accidents in an unrestricted area and in an administration building
  • Loss of redundancy
  • People requiring off-site medical attention
  • A control rod losing its position indication due to a data fault
  • Nuclear contamination without personal damage

In their Tuesday report titled Leaking Beeps: Unencrypted Pager Messages in Industrial Environments, Trend Micro researchers wrote the following:


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Bid to speed transplants with hepatitis C-infected kidneys

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some patients facing a years-long wait for a kidney transplant are jumping ahead in line thanks to a startling experiment: They’re agreeing to an organ almost sure to infect them with hepatitis C.

Knowingly transmitting a dangerous virus may sound drastic but two leading transplant centers are betting the strategy will save lives — if new medications that promise to cure hepatitis C allow use of organs that today go to waste.

Pilot studies are under way at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University to test transplanting kidneys from deceased donors with hepatitis C into recipients who don’t already have that virus. If the research eventually pans out, hundreds more kidneys — and maybe some hearts and lungs, too — could be transplanted every year.

“We always dreaded hepatitis C,” said Dr. Peter Reese, a Penn kidney specialist who is helping lead the research. “But now hepatitis C is just a different disease,” enough to consider what he calls the tradeoff of getting a new kidney years faster but one that comes with a hopefully treatable infection.

It’s a tradeoff prompted by the nation’s organ shortage. More than 99,000 people are on the national kidney waiting list but only about 17,000 people a year get a transplant and 4 percent a year die waiting, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).


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LASER RAT FENCE wins €1.7m European Commission funds

Liverpool John Moores University thinks crop-munching pests deserve light relief, not poison. Or Brexit, presumably

European laser rat fence pilot

Agrilaser in action





The European Commission (EC) has found €1,777,985 for research on rat-repelling laser fences.

The thinking behind the “LIFE Laser Fence” is that birds and rodents chew on plenty of crops, which costs farmers money and reduce productivity. Plenty of farmers fight back using poisons which do the job, but can also prove fatal for other creatures and work their way into the wider food chain. Birds can also figure out traps, and avoid them.

The “LIFE Laser Fence” program aims to test a technology called “Agrilaser Autonomic” that sees an automated laser detect birds and other critters, then shine bright light in their direction. Birds apparently “perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger” and therefore go away instead of stopping to munch on crops.


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Sweden bans cameras on drones, deeming it illegal surveillance


Sweden last week banned the use of camera drones without a special permit, infuriating hobby flyers and an industry group but likely pleasing privacy campaigners.

Drone pilots will now have to show that there’s a legitimate benefit that outweighs the public’s right to privacy – and there are no exemptions for journalists, nor any guarantee that a license will be granted.

The cost of a license depends on variables such as the takeoff weight of the drone and whether it’s going to be flown further than the pilot can see, and none of the licenses are cheap. Costs range from an annual license fee of €1,200 right up to a maximum hourly fee of  €36,000.

Sweden’s move is in marked contrast to many other parts of the world. In the US, for example, police are considering rigging drones with stun guns to taser crime suspects, while elsewhere in the US, there has been concern about drones equipped with a home-made flamethrower or a handgun. And of course, there’s always the threat of having drones spy on you.


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The Dyn DNS DDoS That Killed Half The Internet

Last week the Dyn DNS DDoS took out most of the East coast US websites including monsters like Spotify, Twitter, Netflix, Github, Heroku and many more.

A denial of service attack against managed DNS provider Dyn restricted access to many US-based websites on Friday.

The ongoing attack is affecting Dyn’s managed DNS customers on the US East Coast, according to the provider, which adds on its status page that its “engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue”.

Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time.

The strength of the attack, as well as its source, remains unclear. Sites experiencing issues as a result of the attack include Github, Airbnb, Reddit, Freshbooks, Heroku and Vox Media properties. SoundCloud, Spotify and Shopify have also been affected. The sites themselves are fine but DNS lookups may be slow, leading to problems.


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Global Warming Could Be The Best Way To Terraform Mars



An artist’s conception of what Mars looks like today, juxtaposed with what Mars may have looked like earlier in its history, when the planet had a thicker atmosphere.

We’ve been looking for life on Mars for centuries. Humans have parsed every geological feature that we can find for traces of living neighbors, or at the very least, evidence that some type of creature lived on the red planet in the past. So far, no luck.

In the absence of evidence of life, a not-so-new idea is gaining ground: If we can’t find life on Mars, maybe we could bring life to Mars. Not only that, but we might be able to change the nature of the red planet itself, and turn a dry and lifeless world into a mirror of our own blue and green marble.

It sounds like science fiction, but researchers in the public and private sector are already looking at how current technology can terraform Mars, in part because it would make permanent human settlements much more plausible.

Ancient Mars

Ancient Mars

An artist’s impression of what Mars might have looked like long ago when it had liquid water and a thick atmosphere. Could we make it look like this again?

Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible—but it probably won’t be a dramatic solution like Elon Musk’s plan to repeatedly detonate nuclear weapons in the now-thin Martian atmosphere.

“It’s a mistake to think that there is a lot of energy in nuclear weapons,” says Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA. “If you take all all the nuclear weapons on Earth, all the countries summed together, that adds up to about half an hour of Mars sunlight. You don’t change a planet by detonating nuclear weapons, you change a planet by harnessing sunlight.”


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Hacker’s Icarus machine steals drones midflight

Image composite Maria Dryfhout

PacSec Security researcher Jonathan Andersson has developed a tidy hardware module capable of fully hijacking a variety of popular drones and remote control gear running over the most popular protocol.

Trend Micro’s advanced security group manager told The Register he developed the Icarus box, and it only needs to be within range of a drone to hijack it with injected commands.

Any radio controlled device using the popular DSMx radio platform are affected.

These include drones manufactured by Walkera, AirTronics, and NineEagles, among many others.

Andersson demonstrated the hijack at the PacSec hacking conference in Japan yesterday.

“It’s not a jamming system so i am not competing for control via RF power,” Andersson told Vulture South.


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The Big League Prospect Who Became a Mob Hit Man Maurice Lerner

hitman-3-master1050The Buick sedan crawled the Providence streets. The April sky was baby blue, the air pleasant and cool. Perfect baseball weather. The man hunched in the back seat once lived for days like this.

When the maroon car stopped outside Pannone’s Market on Pocasset Avenue, its back-seat passenger leapt out with uncommon grace, a mask over his handsome face, a shotgun in his large hands. An armed and disguised accomplice followed close behind.

The mom-and-pop employees ducked as the nimble gunman found his target, a bookmaker who had defied Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the coal-eyed head of New England organized crime. The wayward bookie caught it from three feet away, his unused gun clattering to rest a few inches from his outstretched hand. His sidekick was dropped near a shelf of canned tomatoes, his face rearranged by buckshot.

Neighborhood children were soon pressing their noses against the storefront window, as investigators examined the two bodies splayed on the blood-slick floor. The Buick was already a memory.


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Merkel says Facebook, Google ‘distort perception,’ demands they ‘reveal algorithms’

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel © Francois Lenoir
German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched a broadside at internet media giants, accusing them of “narrowing perspective,” and demanding they disclose their privately-developed algorithms. Merkel previously blamed social media for anti-immigrant sentiment and the rise of the far right.

“The algorithms must be made public, so that one can inform oneself as an interested citizen on questions like: what influences my behavior on the internet and that of others?” said Merkel during a media conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

“These algorithms, when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they narrow our breadth of information.”

Google uses an algorithm to decide which search results are first shown to a user, while Facebook arranges the order of the news feed, and decides to include certain posts from a user’s liked pages and friends, at the expense of others. Both sites also promote links to news articles, often based on a user’s own media interests.


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Mice Born From Artificial Eggs a ‘Stunning Achievement’

Last month, a team of British scientists successfully made healthy, fertile mice from pseudo-egg cells that resembled fertilized embryos. The story made waves: compared to normal egg cells, the pseudo-eggs were more similar to non-sex cells such as skin cells. The implications were tantalizing: one day, in the far future, we may be able to make “motherless” babies without the need for eggs.

Welcome to the future.

This week, a team from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan successfully used skin cells to make fully functional mouse egg cells completely in a dish. When artificially inseminated and brought to term in surrogate mothers, the artificial eggs developed into healthy baby mice that lived normal lives, eventually giving birth to pups of their own. The study was published in the prestigious academic journal Nature.

“This is a very exciting study, to be able to make robust and functional mouse oocytes (egg cells) over and over again entirely in a dish,” wrote Dr. Jacob Hanna, a reproductive scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Revohot, Israel, who was not involved in the study, in an email to Singularity Hub.


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