Daily Archives: November 30, 2016

Land Mines, Axes, and Other Ridiculous Things the TSA Has Confiscated

You would think that Americans would by now know that trying to carry a gun-shaped knife, a bullet-adorned gas mask, or an inert anti-tank mine onto an airliner is a very bad idea. But no. Apparently some people still haven’t received the memo.Hardly a day goes by when someone, somewhere doesn’t try boarding a flight carrying something stupid. Like, say, a loaded 9 mm handgun packed into a computer. Or a baggie of weed stashed in a fake Coke can. The TSA social media team chronicles it all in the amazing, and alarming, TSA Instagram feed. You can expect TSA agents to be busy this week as 49 million people take to the skies for Thanksgiving.Since launching the Instagram account three years ago, the TSA team has posted more than 1,000 photos and amassed 514,000 followers. Each image features a good-natured, nerdy caption. “Attention! This is not a drill… It’s just a really large wrench. Tools over 7″ must be packed in checked baggage” and “I have a pen. I have a knife. Uh! Knife Pen!”

Source: Land Mines, Axes, and Other Ridiculous Things the TSA Has Confiscated | WIRED

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No Credit History? No Problem. Lenders Are Looking at Your Phone Data

Financial institutions, overcoming some initial trepidation about privacy, are increasingly gauging consumers’ creditworthiness by using phone-company data on mobile calling patterns and locations.The practice is tantalizing for lenders because it could help them reach some of the 2 billion people who don’t have bank accounts. On the other hand, some of the phone data could open up the risk of being used to discriminate against potential borrowers.Phone carriers and banks have gained confidence in using mobile data for lending after seeing startups show preliminary success with the method in the past few years. Selling such data could become a more than $1 billion-a-year business for U.S. phone companies over the next decade, according to Crone Consulting LLC.Fair Isaac Corp., whose FICO scores are the world’s most-used credit ratings, partnered up last month with startups Lenddo and EFL Global Ltd. to use mobile-phone information to help facilitate loans for small businesses and individuals in India and Russia. Last week, startup Juvo announced it’s working with Liberty Global Plc’s Cable & Wireless Communications to help with credit scoring using cellphone data in 15 Caribbean markets.

Source: No Credit History? No Problem. Lenders Are Looking at Your Phone Data – Bloomberg

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Kissinger: Don’t Expect Trump to Keep Campaign Promises – ANOTHER DAY IN THE EMPIRE

Elder statesman, Rockefeller confidant, and master war criminal Henry Kissinger told the globalist Fareed Zakaria voters are not going to get what was advertised with Donald Trump.“One should not insist on nailing [Trump] into positions that he had taken in the campaign,” Kissinger told Zakaria.Keeping campaign promises made to voters is counterproductive, according to Kissinger. Kissinger argued that it is counterproductive to demand absolute consistency from presidential administrations, particularly in the face of fluid international situations. Commending Trump on the effectiveness of his campaign tactics, the former secretary of state added: “The art now would be to develop a strategy that is sustainable, that meets the concerns that have appeared during the campaign but that can be linked to some of the main themes of American foreign policy.”In other words, Kissinger and the elite expect Trump to carry the torch and continue the Bush-Obama agenda of never-ending war.Donald Trump appears eager to please. He is considering neocons for his cabinet and his national security adviser is an anti-Islam ideologue.

Source: Kissinger: Don’t Expect Trump to Keep Campaign Promises – ANOTHER DAY IN THE EMPIRE

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Stop blaming Facebook for Trump’s election win

Stop blaming Facebook for Trump’s election win© Getty ImagesFacebook didn’t decide the election. And Donald Trump is certainly not going to be the next president of the United States because of his ability to wage a successful Twitter war with celebrities and news outlets.Since the “surprise” results of the 2016 presidential election, we have been inundated by stories of how social media limits political discussion to likeminded others, is based on algorithms that limit exposure to diverse news, and is responsible for spreading fake news. Did these factors play a major role in Trump’s White House victory? We have been researching the social effects of Internet use since the late 1990s. The suggestion that social media are responsible for large-scale social change is great for our business! Nothing spurs communication research like an old fashioned media panic. But as experts in that business, we are all too familiar with exaggerated claims about technologies’ social implications. Just as the internet does not make us socially isolated or more stressed, Facebook and Twitter feeds did not decide the election.Despite media coverage that suggests otherwise, few social media are ubiquitous. While most Americans are on the Internet, and about 70 percent of online adults use Facebook, other social media sites, including Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, are used by less than a quarter of the adult online population. When people are asked if they “get their news” on Facebook or other social media, about half say “yes,” which is less than a third of all online adults.Yet this exaggerates the role of social media as a source of hard news on public affairs. Many Americans think the Kardashians and their local sports teams qualify as “news.” When asked to recall where they got their news concerning a specific hard news issue, TV and radio dominate as sources. The average Facebook user clicks on only 7 percent of the hard news content available on their feeds. Far more Americans get their news from television than from social media.

Source: Stop blaming Facebook for Trump’s election win | TheHill

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You Can Plant Millions of Trees for Free By Using This New Web Browser

If the prospects of a climate change denier taking office in the U.S. as of January 2017 frighten you, here is something you can do to help the planet without so much as lifting a finger. Just keep browsing the web as you do every day, but give Google a miss this time and opt instead for Ecosia, an eco-friendly search engine that works like any other, only it donates over 80 percent of its ad revenue to planting trees all over the world.Ecosia was launched in Berlin 2009 by German environmentalist and entrepreneur, Christian Kroll, whose travels across Asia and South America strengthened his already existing drive to set up a green business model and make corporate social responsibility a core part of it.

“Companies should take corporate responsibility out of their marketing department and bring it to CEO level,” Kroll told Underground Reporter.According to Ecosia’s blog, Kroll was particularly inspired by trees being “the superheroes of the planet,” given they are “the most efficient CO2 absorbers” and therefore “help mitigate climate change, restart water cycles, keep deserts from spreading and turn barren grounds back into fertile woods and farmland”.

Source: You Can Plant Millions of Trees for Free By Using This New Web Browser

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Using fake news against opposing views

The Agenda of the Mainstream Media Illustration by Greg Groesch

What worries me the most about fake news, isn’t that it’s fake, it’s that it’s being used by the left to try to silence opposing views.Take for example a story reported by the Los Angeles Times that included a professor who put together a Google document of “false, misleading, clickbait-y and satirical ‘news sources’” to help people “cleanse their newsfeeds of misinformation.”The only problem with the list, was it included real news sites of which the professor simply didn’t agree. Conservative blogs, including Red State and The Blaze, were on the list, as was more centrist, but GOP-leaning Independent Journal Review (IJR). None of those sites are fake — they often just peddle in the real news purposely not covered by the mainstream media.PHOTOS: Pack your bags: Stars who vowed to leave America if Trump won“Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, neither are all of them fake or false,” the professor, Melissa Zimdars, at Merrimack College in Massachusetts told the Times. ” … They should be considered in conjunction with other news/info sources due to their tendency to rely on clickbait headlines or Facebook descriptions, etc.”So, just like MSNBC, Huffington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, and ThinkProgress — all partisan left outlets, which often use exaggeration and hyperbole to emphasize their point — which weren’t included on her list.CNN’s media columnist Brian Stelter also has warned about “fake news,” but in his diatribe, he included right-leaning Fox News and alt-right website Breitbart in the mix.

Source: Using fake news against opposing views – Washington Times

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‘No can do’, Heinz beans advert banned over safety fears

A Heinz television advert showing people drumming a rhythm on its baked bean cans has been banned by British regulators on safety grounds.The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that Heinz’s “Can Song” advert should not be broadcast again in its current form after nine people complained that the ad encouraged unsafe practices or could be dangerous for children to copy. Over 1.6 million people viewed a version of the ad on YouTube.The ad showed families, workers and festival goers enjoying Heinz beans, a British mealtime staple, and using the tin cans to hammer out percussion sounds to accompany an original song.The ASA said there was a risk that viewers could cut themselves on used cans when trying to emulate the ad.

Source: ‘No can do’, Heinz beans advert banned over safety fears | Reuters

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Poison .JPG spreading ransomware through Facebook Messenger

Checkpoint has found an image obfuscation trick it thinks may be behind a recent massive phishing campaign on Facebook that’s distributing the dangerous Locky ransomware.The security firm has not released technical details as the flaw it relies on still impacts Facebook and LinkedIn, among other unnamed web properties.The flaw as described is, in this writer’s opinion, ultimately of little risk to El Reg’s tech savvy readers, but folks who can be conned into downloading and running unknown executables are at risk.The attack is also significant in that it breaks Facebook’s security controls.In a proof-of-concept video by Checkpoint researchers Roman Ziakin and Dikla Barda, an attacker is shown exploiting the flaw by sending an HTA HTML app through Facebook Messenger disguised as a .JPG. (JavaScript-loaded SVG images can also be used.) The victim must click on the attachment, an act that generates a Windows save file prompt asking the victim for the save directory to which the now .HTA file will be downloaded.

Source: Poison .JPG spreading ransomware through Facebook Messenger • The Register

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Cops Threaten Drunk Drivers With Nickelback

Cops in a small Prince Edward Island town have warned that drunk drivers will be punished with the music of some fellow Canadians: Nickelback. In a Facebook post, the Kensington force warns that they will be out this holiday season “looking for those dumb enough to feel they can drink and drive,” the Toronto Star reports. “When we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge, and a year’s driving suspension, we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the office’s copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail,” says the post, which has a photo of an unopened cassette copy of the Alberta band’s 2001 “Silver Side Up” album.

Source: Cops Threaten Drunk Drivers With Nickelback

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California considers ban on sex between lawyers and clients

SAN FRANCISCO

The nation’s largest state bar association is overhauling ethics rules for attorneys for the first time in 30 years, and some lawyers are unhappy about a proposal that would open them up to discipline for having sex with clients.California currently bars attorneys from coercing a client into sex or demanding sex in exchange for legal representation.

Supporters of an all-out ban say the relationship between a lawyer and client is inherently unequal, so any sexual relationship is potentially coercive. But some attorneys say it’s an unjustified invasion of privacy.The proposal is part of a long-awaited shake-up of the state bar association’s ethics rules for attorneys, which were last fully revised in 1987. Lawyers who violate the regulations are subject to discipline ranging from private censure to loss of their legal license.

Source: California considers ban on sex between lawyers and clients | The Sacramento Bee

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Escaped from Al Qaeda, Jailed in Turkey: My Personal Midnight Express

One evening in early October, I heard the hatch in my cell door clang open. “Snell!” a guard yelled, “Avukat!”

Avukat?” I asked, confused. It was after 6:00 p.m. They never let lawyers come to the prison this late. The guard sighed and motioned for me to come to the door. I shuffled down the hall in my prison slippers and spotted one of my lawyers sitting in a visitation room.

I sat down across from her. Beaming, she handed me a piece of paper. There was half a page written, but I couldn’t read past the first lines. “Greetings, Lindsey! You have been released!”

This was the latest twist in what had become an odyssey through war, terror, confusion and cynicism.

Months earlier, while working as a journalist in Syria, I’d been kidnapped by the local al-Qaeda affiliate. After escaping captivity and crossing the border to Turkey, I was arrested and accused of being a CIA agent by the Turkish government.

continue

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/25/escaped-from-al-qaeda-jailed-in-turkey-my-personal-midnight-express.html

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Man in the Netherlands euthanised due to his alcohol addiction

A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic.

Mark Langedijk chose the day of his death and was telling jokes, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches with his family hours before he passed away.

He was killed by lethal injection at his parents’ home on 14 July, according to an account of the ordeal written by his brother and published in the magazine Linda.

The Netherlands introduced a euthanasia law 16 years ago, which is available to people in “unbearable suffering” with no prospect of improvement.

Marcel Langedijk wrote his brother had a “happy childhood” and was loved by both his parents, and only found out he had an addiction eight years ago.

“I was particularly angry at Mark,” he said. “At first we did what most people do; help. My parents especially have done everything humanly possible to save Mark.”

His parents continued to believe in a “happy ending” despite eight years of help and 21 stints in rehab.

Eventually, Mr Langedijk told his family he wanted to die, but the family originally took the news with “a grain of salt”.

But his brother had no second thoughts. His application for euthanasia was approved by a doctor from the Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Source: Man in the Netherlands euthanised due to his alcohol addiction

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