Daily Archives: November 20, 2016

Your Milk May Soon Come From Cows That Can Text

12 comments CommentsIn this file photo, a line of Holstein dairy cows feed through a fence at a dairy farm outside Jerome, Idaho. (AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield, File)(Newser) – Cows across 350 farms in nearly two dozen countries around the world are now embedded with hot-dog-sized wireless sensors in their stomachs. It may sound a bit Orwellian to some, but the idea is to help larger farms better manage their herds—by catching major health changes early and then texting and emailing that info to farmers and their vets. Developed by Austrian startup SmaXtec, the sensor tracks various health metrics continuously, including stomach pH, movement, activity, and temperature, and can predict with 95% accuracy when a cow will give birth, reports Bloomberg. They can also detect when a cow is about to go into heat. “The crux of any dairy farm is fertility,” one farmer says. “We are trying to have a calf per cow every year. Everything we do on the farm comes back to that.”

Source: Your Milk May Soon Come From Cows That Can Text

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Fake Images Are Getting Harder and Harder to Detect – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus

Images and videos usually serve as the most concrete, the most unarguable, and the most honest evidence of experiences and events we cannot witness ourselves. This is often the case in court, in the news, in scientific research, and in our daily lives. We trust images much more deeply and instinctively than we do words. Words, we know, can lie. But that trust makes it all the more shocking—and serious—when images lie to us, too.Photoshop isn’t entirely to blame. Doctoring photographs long predates software—Mussolini famously had his horse handler removed from a photograph taken in 1942 so it would appear he was able to control the horse himself—but software certainly makes altering images easier, cheaper, faster, more convincing, and much more widespread than ever before. (Thankfully, most alterations are done out vanity—though even some of these can stir up considerable controversy. In 2014, for example, the website Jezebel offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who would provide it with unretouched photographs of Lena Dunham taken for Vogue.)

Source: Fake Images Are Getting Harder and Harder to Detect – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus

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Vietnam Scraps Plans for Its First Nuclear Power Plants

Vietnam’s government is scrapping plans to construct the country’s first two nuclear power plants, citing slowing demand for electricity and the declining price of other sources of energy, state media reported Thursday.The state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper said the lawmaking National Assembly will ratify the government decision later this month.In 2009, the assembly approved construction of two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts. A contract to build the first plant was awarded to companies from Russia and one for the second plant was given to companies from Japan.Construction was initially scheduled to start in 2014, but has been delayed several times. In early 2014, the government pushed back the plants’ construction to 2020.The newspaper quoted Duong Quang Thanh, head of the state-run Electricity of Vietnam Group, which was to pay for the plants, as saying they are not economically viable because of other cheaper sources of power.

Source: Vietnam Scraps Plans for Its First Nuclear Power Plants

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Growing Bricks From Bacteria

Source: Growing Bricks From Bacteria

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Watch Prince surprise the late Sharon Jones with a spontaneous guitar solo

Please see yourself out the door, 2016.

Source: Watch Prince surprise the late Sharon Jones with a spontaneous guitar solo

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Online Alarm Clock

Online Alarm Clock – Designed to wake you up. Simple and beautiful.

Source: Online Alarm Clock

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The Mainstream Media Has Only Itself to Blame for the ‘Fake News’ Epidemic

The mainstream media continues to freak out over the spread of “fake news” on Facebook and other social media platforms such as Twitter and reddit. Hillary Clinton’s late campaign thinks this is a problem.

The Democrat party seems to think people with Facebook accounts are to blame for Hillary’s decision to ignore crucial swing states in the final weeks of the campaign, that likely cost her the election.

But the media hasn’t bothered to ask why such sites gained traction. Our media has cultivated false news for years. Understandably, people stopped caring about the “journalistic ethics” the media claim to possess.

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The CBS morning show, hosted by Charlie Rose, recently ran a segment on the rise of fake news, based on a story posted on BuzzFeed. The website claimed that Facebook users shared more “fake” news stories than “real” news stories by the end of the election.

Was the story true? Timothy Carney from the Washington Examiner found holes in Buzzfeed’s model which thus complicated the narrative BuzzFeed was trying to present. On examination, Buzzfeed had ignored real statistics to present their own version of a narrative, not the facts.

Source: The Mainstream Media Has Only Itself to Blame for the ‘Fake News’ Epidemic

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The Exhausted Epithets of the Left

They didn’t work against Trump and won’t work against his aides.Barack Obama’s signature phrase, “the audacity of hope,” came from a black nationalist, Jeremiah Wright. Obama stocked his administration with black nationalists, delivered speeches to openly separatist black colleges and associations, rolled out the red carpet for Al Sharpton, encouraged the reverse racism of “Black Lives Matter,” and rationalized the behavior of athletes who protested the American flag. None of this qualified as “ethno-nationalism” in the eyes of the media. They reserve that smear for conservatives who oppose hyphenated Americanism. Those who talk about race the least get hit with the charge of racism the most.We’re told that Trump is surrounding himself with “bomb-throwers.” Like who? Bill Ayers? In Obama’s case, the charge was literal. He blurbed the book of a domestic terrorist and launched his political career in his living room. In Trump’s case, the charge is figurative, but the Left expects Americans to tremble even more.Wright, at the height of his black nationalism, baptized Obama and officiated at his wedding. Obama sat in his pews as he defamed America. Yet a media that managed to ignore all of this endeavored to make Trump look like a regular attendee at Klan meetings. One would have thought from the frenzied coverage that David Duke had officiated at Trump’s wedding. In fact, Trump had no association with racists and earned the exhausted epithets of the Left for nothing more than opposing its open-borders ideology.

Source: The Exhausted Epithets of the Left | The American Spectator

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Prosthetic elf-ears with built-in earbuds

If you’re heading into the Council of Elrond disguised as an elf, but you’re reliant on a kind of Elvish Cyrano to whisper advice in your (lily-white) ear so you don’t blow your cover, look no further than the Twisted Melon Spirit E666 Elvish Ear earbuds, which cost about $10. Now I know what to get the Beschizzas for Xmas! (via Red Ferret)

Source: Prosthetic elf-ears with built-in earbuds / Boing Boing

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Danes match 300-year-old poop with bishop who made it

You are what you eat. And three centuries ago, rich people ate much differently than the peasants. That fact has now helped a group of researchers in Denmark link a 300-year-old lump of poo with the bishop who likely made it.Jette Linaa is an archeologist at the Moesgaard Museum. She spoke to As It Happens guest host Helen Man from Aarhus, Denmark. Here is an edited version of their conversation.Helen Mann: At this point, is there any odour left?Jette Linaa: No, none at all.

During the investigation, you had to dissolve it in water again to get odour out of it because it is so dry. So it’s not gross at all.Danish researcherJette Linaa is an archeologist. (Moesgaard Museum)HM: Do you have to do that though, the dissolving, to do the sampling?JL: No, no. Our archeo-botonist, Peter, did that. It was his job. It was him that picked out the specific seeds and put them under the microscope.

“In the sample, we have a variety. We have berries. We have nuts. We have spices.” – Jette Linna, archeologistHM: Where did the sample itself come from?JL: The sample comes from a city called Aalborg . . . It was found there in 1937 during a very early excavation. It was the bishop’s palace that was demolished along with other buildings of the same age and there the latrine box, which was kind of a wooden box, was excavated.

Source: Danes match 300-year-old poop with bishop who made it – Home | As It Happens | CBC Radio

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Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’

The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories — including domains visited — for one year, in case of police investigations.

The new law, dubbed the “snoopers’ charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.

Four years and a general election later — May is now prime minister — the bill was finalized and passed on Wednesday by both parliamentary houses.

But civil liberties groups have long criticized the bill, with some arguing that the law will let the UK government “document everything we do online”.

It’s no wonder, because it basically does.

The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand — though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.

Source: Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’ | ZDNet

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Airsoft Gun-Wielding Robber Shot Dead By Armed Civilian

On Tuesday night, two masked and armed robbers attempted to rob a pizzeria in Bucks County, PA. A customer was there picking up a pizza, around 10pm, when one of the robbers began to pistol whip him. The attacker looked away for just a second but it was long enough for the victim to pull out his .45-caliber Glock and fire some shots. One of the masked robbers was fatally shot and the other was wounded.In addition to the customer who was assaulted, there were also two employees in the pizzeria at the time. Middletown Township Police Department Lt. Stephen Foreman said, “Two subjects enter the store in a rapid, aggressive, violent manner.” One of the gunmen began assaulting an employee and the other gunman targeted the customer.The 30 year old gunman was fatally wounded while his brother, a 22 year old male, was shot twice and collapsed inside of the restaurant. The younger brother was yielding a gun and threatening the pizzeria owner. He is reported to be in critical but stable condition.After the incident, police determined that the pair was using airsoft guns during the robbery. Airsoft guns are replica firearms that fire spherical projectiles of many different materials, including (but not limited to) plastic, and biodegradable material. However, the victims had no way of knowing this at the time. Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says the customer who fired the shots had a concealed weapons permit but it was expired. He will not be charged for that violation, “based on the totality of the circumstances.”

Source: Airsoft Gun-Wielding Robber Shot Dead By Armed Civilian – American Military News

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U. S. Electoral College, Official – What is the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators. Read more about the allocation of electoral votes.

Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated 3 electors and treated like a state for purposes of the Electoral College. For this reason, in the following discussion, the word “state” also refers to the District of Columbia.

Each candidate running for President in your state has his or her own group of electors. The electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party, but state laws vary on how the electors are selected and what their responsibilities are. Read more about the qualifications of the Electors and restrictions on who the Electors may vote for.

The presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. You help choose your state’s electors when you vote for President because when you vote for your candidate you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors.

Most states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all electors to the winning presidential candidate. However, Maine and Nebraska each have a variation of “proportional representation.” Read more about the allocation of Electors among the states and try to predict the outcome of the Electoral College vote.

After the presidential election, your governor prepares a “Certificate of Ascertainment” listing all of the candidates who ran for President in your state along with the names of their respective electors. The Certificate of Ascertainment also declares the winning presidential candidate in your state and shows which electors will represent your state at the meeting of the electors in December of the election year. Your stateÂ’s Certificates of Ascertainments are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officials, the Office of the Federal Register and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

The meeting of the electors takes place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after the presidential election. The electors meet in their respective states, where they cast their votes for President and Vice President on separate ballots. Your state’s electors’ votes are recorded on a “Certificate of Vote,” which is prepared at the meeting by the electors. Your state’s Certificates of Votes are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officials and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

Each state’s electoral votes are counted in a joint session of Congress on the 6th of January in the year following the meeting of the electors. Members of the House and Senate meet in the House chamber to conduct the official tally of electoral votes. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the role and responsibilities of Congress in the Electoral College process.

The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

The President-Elect takes the oath of office and is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th in the year following the Presidential election.

Learn about the Electors

Roles and Responsibilities in the Electoral College Process

The Office of the Federal Register coordinates the functions of the Electoral College on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, the States, the Congress, and the American People. The Office of the Federal Register operates as an intermediary between the governors and secretaries of state of the States and the Congress. It also acts as a trusted agent of the Congress in the sense that it is responsible for reviewing the legal sufficiency of the certificates before the House and Senate accept them as evidence of official State action.

See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officials, the Office of the Federal Register and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

Source: U. S. Electoral College, Official – What is the Electoral College?

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Joe Thomas Sr., 55, makes history as oldest player in Division I football

Joe Thomas Sr. made college football history by appearing as a running back for South Carolina State.Thomas at the age of 55 is believed to be the oldest player to participate in a Division I football game. The father of Green Bay Packers linebacker Joe Thomas Jr., practiced with the team with his son and then stayed on the past two seasons with the hope of find his way into a game.His dream was realized in the first quarter on senior day against Savannah State when he carried for three yards.

Source: Joe Thomas Sr., 55, makes history as oldest player in Division I football

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Nobody has real friends anymore

Imagine: You’re skimming your Twitter feed and notice a stream of sad tweets from a college friend. Without a moment’s thought, you send a funny GIF across the digital divide, content that you’ve cheered up your friend and made a positive mark on their day.But, wait: You can’t quite remember where they’re living these days, or what they do for work. Did you miss their birthday? Chances are, you pop over to Facebook and check, reassure yourself that you’re caught up on their milestones, then go about your day. Are you still friends, even though you haven’t seen each other in years, or spoken in a non-digital medium?Are all those tools for staying connected actually making you a worse friend?New Yorker Gary Johnson, 38, isn’t on Facebook and doesn’t get those daily nudges to “help [insert name here] celebrate.”“My friend told me that our other friend recently got engaged, and so I called him and he really appreciated it,” Johnson told The Post. For Johnson, joining countless others in boycotting social media brings peace of mind when it comes to keeping up with the lives of “friends.”

Source: Nobody has real friends anymore | New York Post

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