Daily Archives: November 19, 2016

UK privacy watchdog sends poison pen letter to Zuckerberg et al

The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has fired another warning shot at Facebook over its paused plans to share data with WhatsApp, writing a newspaper column in which she outlines her concerns.Denham repeatedly took on Zuck and pals while she was assistant information commissioner in her home country of Canada, and has continued to do so now she heads up the UK’s privacy body.In her article, published in The Guardian, Denham takes particular issue with the blunt “accept our new terms and conditions or else” approach used by companies when they decide to sell their users’ personal information to others.While she notes that Facebook has stalled its plan to grab information from the WhatsApp chat app that it bought, she makes it plain that she is keeping her eyes on the California giant. “My office has asked both companies to pause what they’re doing, which they have, and we’ve asked them to commit to doing things differently, which so far they have not,” she noted.

Source: UK privacy watchdog sends poison pen letter to Zuckerberg et al • The Register

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“Italy Is For Italians!” Angry Villagers Take To The Streets Against Invader Hordes

About 700 people, armed with banners and flags, marched in Soave, Italy, against the influx of foreigners into the area. More than 100 invaders are set to be housed in the town. Small towns like Soave have largely avoided the migrants so far but are now having foreigners from Africa & the Middle East shoved down their…

via Soave, Italy: “Italy Is For Italians!” Angry Villagers Take To The Streets Against Invader Hordes — The Grey Enigma

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It’s official: NASA’s peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published

After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA’s long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published. And it shows that the ‘impossible’ propulsion system really does appear to work. The NASA Eagleworks Laboratory team even put forward a hypothesis for how the EM Drive could produce thrust – something that seems impossible according to our current understanding of the laws of physics.In case you’ve missed the hype, the EM Drive, or Electromagnetic Drive, is a propulsion system first proposed by British inventor Roger Shawyer back in 1999.Instead of using heavy, inefficient rocket fuel, it bounces microwaves back and forth inside a cone-shaped metal cavity to generate thrust. According to Shawyer’s calculations, the EM Drive could be so efficient that it could power us to Mars in just 70 days.

Source: It’s official: NASA’s peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published – ScienceAlert

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Stop Hating White People and Maybe They’ll Vote for You

After a competitive race between the FBI and sexism, the left decided to blame “white people” for Hillary’s defeat.{snip}“Spare me the euphemisms. White people made Trump president,” a Washington Post headline blared. “White people did this. And maybe (hopefully) not my friends — but certainly their cousins, their uncles, and their friends,” a racist Vox writer shrieked.“White people elected Donald Trump,” Vice bleated. “White people put Trump in office,” Fusion whined.Majorities of white people did indeed vote for Donald Trump. Oddly enough the left’s culture war of hating white people has only made them more likely to vote for anyone other than the left.Funny how that works.Trump won by boosting margins and turnout among working class white voters. The same group that the left trashes in its tirades about “white people”. When Samantha Bee says that white people ruined America, she isn’t talking about herself or the white hipsters sharing her videos on social media. We all know it means the bad kind of white people who shop at Walmart instead of Whole Foods, who drink Pabst unironically, who don’t listen to TED talks or own their privilege, who didn’t graduate from Amherst or from any college, but who fly American flags, drive pickup trucks and serve in the military.

Source: Stop Hating White People and Maybe They’ll Vote for You | American Renaissance

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The US government is finally telling people that homeopathy is a sham

Homeopathy is one of the most enduring forms of snake oil available to consumers; it has been duping people since 1814. But the United States government only recently decided to clamp down on these bogus treatments, with a new policy from the Federal Trade Commission.The FTC’s policy statement explains that the agency will now ask that the makers of homeopathic drugs present reliable scientific evidence for their health claims if they want to sell them to consumers on the US market.Mustering that evidence is likely to be difficult given that homeopathy is a pseudoscience.The main idea behind homeopathy is that an animal or plant extract that causes symptoms similar to the ones a person is suffering from can cure the symptoms. An example: Because onions make eyes tear and noses run, diluted onion extract is thought to cure cold and hay fever. So homeopathic remedies on the market are just extremely diluted versions of plant or animal extracts believed to bring relief to symptoms.The trouble is that whenever researchers have looked at the homeopathic treatments, they find they do not actually contain traceable amounts of the original plant or animal material they were supposedly diluting.

Source: The US government is finally telling people that homeopathy is a sham – Vox

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Teenage cancer victim wins the right to be cryogenically preserved

Freezing your body in the hopes of eventually coming back to life might sound ridiculous. But if you knew you were going to die, you might go for it — no matter how slim the odds of success. For a 14-year-old cancer patient in the United Kingdom, it seemed like the best option. And despite the expense and controversy of this unproven life extension technique, a U.K. judge just gave permission for the young girl, who died in October, to be cryogenically frozen.The ruling is being heralded as ‘historic’ and could set the stage for future cryo-preservation regulations, but the case wasn’t actually about cryonics. It was about who decides what happens to a child’s body after they die.Children in the U.K. (as well as in the U.S. and most of Europe) aren’t allowed to make legal wills until they’re 18. Until then, their parents have to decide what to do with their remains in the event of an untimely death. That’s usually fairly simple — your main options are burial or cremation, and it isn’t often that a minor holds strong views on these options that oppose those held by their parents.

Source: Teenage cancer victim wins the right to be cryogenically preserved | Popular Science

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Daming 60 Minutes George Soros Interview

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Spies Use Tinder, and It’s as Creepy as You’d Think

On September 4, a group of young activists planned to attend a demonstration against Interim President Michel Temer in the city center of São Paulo. They never made it. Their group had been infiltrated by an Army Captain Willian Pina Botelho—via Tinder.Surveillance and infiltration are not new tactics, but the ACLU revelation last month that Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook had been sharing data with surveillance service Geofeedia reminds us that the internet is bringing it to whole new levels. The story of the “Tinder infiltrator” serves as a reminder for a generation of young activists who are organizing online: don’t stop organizing, but be vigilant.


In 2013, thousands of Brazilians took their myriad frustrations with the government to the streets. The police and military met these demonstrations with severe violence. Political repression in Brazil has only gotten worse since then.Botelho was a part of the Brazilian Army’s intelligence service during these demonstrations. In December 2014, he created a Facebook profile using the name Baltazar Nunes. He also created Instagram and Tinder profiles, adorned with features such as fake Karl Marx quotes and images of him playing guitar—“o típico perfil de um esquerdo macho”: a typical profile of a macho leftist.“Balta” wasn’t just a lurker. He chatted up activists, many of whom were doing a significant portion of their organizing online. On Tinder he told women that he was looking for “leftists” who he could relate to. In fact, it was a woman he had been flirting with who led him to the group of activists arrested on the 4th. The group planned to meet in person before heading to the demonstration together.

Source: Spies Use Tinder, and It’s as Creepy as You’d Think | Motherboard

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Beaver PD: Woman solicits undercover officer for cash and nachos

A man and suspected prostitute were arrested near Los Gallos on Market Street during a sting involving an undercover officer.Beaver Police said the officer texted a woman, 36-year-old Crystal Hotlosz, who had an advertisement for sex services on Youngstown’s Backpage website. Police said Hotlosz agreed to meet the officer at Los Gallos for a sex act at a price of $50 and some nachos.Hotlosz then called the officer and said the price would be $60, and he would have to provide the vehicle since she was having “her ride” bring her to the location, according to a police report.

Source: Beaver PD: Woman solicits undercover officer for cash and nachos | WKBN.com

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Donald Trump Is the White Kanye

Kanye West said some inflammatory things at a concert in San Jose, CA last night about President-elect Donald Trump that has sent the internet into a tizzy, but in true Yeezy fashion it’s not whom you would expect that’s contemplating burning their Yeezy Boost’s.

West, who previously made headlines by saying he might make a run at the White House in 2020, took multiple breaks in Thursday night’s performance of his Life of Pablo tour to speak up about the recent presidential election.

“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But if I would’ve voted I would’ve voted for Trump,” West told Bay Area concert-goers. “I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius. Because it f*cking worked!”

At first glance this bro fest wouldn’t make sense coming from Mr. West, who famously proclaimed on live television that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” but it makes complete sense considering that both men are megalomaniacal, multi-millionaires whose best form of communication is Twitter.
continue http://www.craveonline.com/music/1167135-kanye-west-goes-donald-trump

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‘Extreme Surveillance’ Becomes UK Law with Barely a Whimper — The Grey Enigma

Originally posted on WebInvestigator.KK.org : Via: Guardian: A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12 months from inside parliament and barely any from outside. The Investigatory Powers Act,…

via ‘Extreme Surveillance’ Becomes UK Law with Barely a Whimper — The Grey Enigma

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Self-Driving Cars Could Benefit—or Hurt—the Environment,

Ask the automakers and tech companies trying to build cars that drive themselves to defend their work, and they turn to two key arguments: Autonomous cars will save lives, and, by eliminating the need for a human driver, they’ll open the car to new uses and users.Less frequently invoked, but equally integral to that vision of a safer, more comfortable world, is efficiency—which is to say, less environmental impact that your old, dumb, gasoline-powered ride. But a report the Center for American Progress released today undermines that assumption. “It could go either way,” says Myriam Alexander-Kearns, one of the authors.Alexander-Kearns and her co-authors say no one can know what robot cars’ environmental impact will be without first answering three questions: How will automation affect total vehicle miles traveled, how will it impact congestion, and how efficient will the vehicles be?

Source: Self-Driving Cars Could Benefit—or Hurt—the Environment, Report Says | WIRED

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It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news

Aurich / Thinkstock213In the wake of the US election, critics have blamed Facebook for bringing about—at least in part—Trump’s surprise win. A BuzzFeed report showed that Facebook users interacted far more with “fake news” stories about both candidates than they did with mainstream news outlets before the election. This wouldn’t seem like such a big deal if it weren’t for a Pew Research Center survey showing that 44% of Americans rely on Facebook to get all their news.But proving whether fake news influenced the election more than the usual political propaganda is impossible. What’s certain is that fake news on Facebook is a symptom of a larger problem: the company is trying to play contradictory roles as both trustworthy news publisher and fun social media platform for personal sharing. The problem is that it cannot be both—at least not without making some changes.Facebook shapes people’s perceptionsWhen you log into your Facebook account, your default page is dominated by a cascading “news feed,” automatically selected for your pleasure, which consists of whatever your friends have shared. The company uses a mix of secret-sauce algorithms to choose which pieces of news you see. Some items are displayed based on what you’ve responded to before. For example, if you always like or reply to news from Trevor but ignore news from Mike, you’re going to see more Trevor and less Mike.Other news that Facebook thinks you probably want to see is fed to you based on your profile. The Wall Street Journal has an incredible infographic on this, showing how Democrats on Facebook see liberal-leaning stories and Republicans see conservative-leaning ones.

Source: It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news | Ars Technica

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FBI lawyer: Requiring a warrant for digital tracking would be ‘crippling’

A top lawyer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that courts should continue to allow law enforcement to continue warrantless tracking of Americans using cell phone data.“I don’t know how we would handle that,” FBI general counsel James Baker told a gathering of lawyers at the American Bar Associations annual national security conference.According to Baker, a clear warrant requirement for digital location information would cause “a huge amount of uncertainty and confusion” for federal agents during investigations.Currently, law enforcement operates under what is known as the third party doctrine when it comes to digital location spying. That means that consumers use products offered by communications companies without any reasonable expectation of privacy for much of the information handed over to the companies. The doctrine is a holdover from a time when digitial communications devices contained far less personal information about users.

Source: FBI lawyer: Requiring a warrant for digital tracking would be ‘crippling’ – Personal Liberty®

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P.E.I. farmer assists in near-eradication of methane from cow farts – Prince Edward Island

A P.E.I. farmer has helped lead to a researcher’s discovery of an unlikely weapon in the battle against global warming: a seaweed that nearly eliminates the destructive methane content of cow burps and farts.Joe Dorgan began feeding his cattle seaweed from nearby beaches more than a decade ago as a way to cut costs on his farm in Seacow Pond. He was so impressed with the improvements he saw in his herd, he decided to turn the seaweed into a product.”There’s a mixture of Irish moss, rockweed and kelp, and just going to waste,” he said. “And I knew it was good because years ago, our ancestors, that’s what they done their business with.”Then researcher Rob Kinley caught wind of it.LasersThese lasers are used to measure the amount of methane released in the field. (CSIRO Agriculture)The agricultural scientist, then at Dalhousie University, helped test Dorgan’s seaweed mix, and discovered it reduced the methane in the cows’ burps and farts by about 20 per cent.

Source: P.E.I. farmer assists in near-eradication of methane from cow farts – Prince Edward Island – CBC News

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User Accounts Might Become Obsolete in Video Conversation

When Skype was first released in 2003, it disrupted the video and VoIP communications market in such a way that it made the idea mainstream. Despite this traction, in 2016 it struggles to maintain market share as its competitors begin to offer more features and higher conference quality.Ads by GoogleBut if there’s one thing that served to threaten Skype’s dominance in the conferencing market, it was the fact that people had to register for accounts in order to participate in conversations. Alternatives began to appear around 2013 that began to chip away at its foundation, and we don’t see signs of this slowing down at any point in the future.I intend to answer the questions of why startups (and Skype) are shifting away from this model and how security can be guaranteed even without formal authentication.

Source: User Accounts Might Become Obsolete in Video Conversation – Make Tech Easier

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Budget cuts a possible factor for America’s rising STD rates

After hitting record lows around 2009, gonorrhea rates have been climbing steadily. Chlamydia and syphilis rates have also been increasing, hitting record national highs in 2016.A likely culprit? Lack of early screening.The 2008 recession led to severe budget cuts, which drastically affected state and local STD program budgets. In 2009, 34 states cut STD program funding. These cuts directly affected laboratory, clinical care and screening services, thus nearly removing affordable access for low-income individuals.

Source: Budget cuts a possible factor for America’s rising STD rates – AOL News

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FBI: Legit Hate Crimes More Prevalent in Blue States

African-Americans and whites continue to be the largest targets of hate crimes which are most common in traditional blue states..

The states with the most hate crime offenses in 2015 were California–with over 1,000 hate crimes–while New York, New Jersey, Washington State, and Massachusetts followed closely behind.

In 2015, there were 6,418 offenses reported nationwide, a relatively small number when compared to the country’s estimated population of 320 million, while millions of illegal immigrants continue to be imperfectly accounted for.

Blacks saw at total of 2,125 offenses against them which were racially, anti-black motivated. Whites fell victim in the second largest hate crime demographic slot, with a total of 734 offenses. Hispanics, however, suffered 379 offenses.

Americans of Middle-Eastern descent saw far fewer hate crimes in 2015 than other races/eternities with 47 offenses reported by law enforcement.

With respect to hate crimes that are motivated against a victim’s religious belief, Jewish Americans saw more than double the hate crimes against them than Muslim Americans. In 2015, Jews saw 695 total offenses, while Muslims experienced less than half that amount with 301 reported offenses.

Source: FBI: Legit Hate Crimes More Prevalent in Blue States

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Cell phone users can be tracked easily using just WiFi and here’s how

Next time you see an open WiFi hotspot, you’d best be carefulAnother danger of smartphone security is that your device can be traced and hijacked without your knowledge using a very sophisticated spying tool called IMSI catchers. IMSI catches has long been used by law enforcement personnel to track suspects and here is how it works. By mimicking a cellphone tower and tricking their devices to connect to them, it even intercepts calls and internet traffic, sends fake texts, and installs spyware on a victim’s phone, all the while the user being unaware of what is going on.Now it has been found out that WiFi is capable of doing the exact same thing, and you will be none the wiser in figuring out who and when they managed to hijack your smartphone. A WiFi network is easily able to capture IMSI numbers, but it can only do so from nearby smartphones. Devices that are not in the range of the network will remain safe, but for how long exactly.

Source: Cell phone users can be tracked easily using just WiFi and here’s how » TechWorm

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