Daily Archives: January 5, 2017

FBI Never Even Examined the DNC Servers Over Allegations of Russian Hacking

According to a report, the FBI has never examined the servers of the Democratic National Committee — not even for the six months during which the bureau claimed to be investigating allegations of Russians compromising cyber networks.

In fact, according to unnamed officials who spoke to Buzzfeed News

“the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system.”

While it would seem intuitive for the U.S. Intelligence Community to perform a detailed and methodical analysis of its own, Eric Walker, deputy communications director for the DNC, told Buzzfeed,

“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers.”

Source: FBI Never Even Examined the DNC Servers Over Allegations of Russian Hacking

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How to Make Bismuth Crystals


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Google Helping Mobile Publishing? Some Publishers Are Not So Sure

SAN FRANCISCO — Last month, Federico Viticci, who runs MacStories, a news site devoted to Apple and its products, made a change in how the site publishes articles for mobile gadgets. MacStories, he declared, would no longer support a Google-backed method for faster loading of mobile web pages, called AMP.

Mr. Viticci said MacStories’s pages already loaded quickly without Google’s help. He also didn’t like the idea of Google’s obscuring his site’s links — with AMP, they read google.com instead of macstories.net — in the interest of expediency.

“Feels good” to no longer use the Google standard, Mr. Viticci wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Viticci’s experience underscores the ambivalent relationship that some web publishers have developed with what was supposed to be Google’s great boon for mobile publishing. When Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, in October 2015, it said the new format would help publishers with one of their biggest headaches on smartphones: Browsing mobile websites was so frustratingly slow that many smartphone users abandoned pages before they opened.

continue http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/01/technology/google-amp-mobile-publishing.html

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Mary Toft: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Bunnies

What if dreaming of something could make you give birth to that thing?In my case, I’d be popping out a lot of donuts. In the case of Mary Toft, in 1726, she convinced much of Britain that she was giving birth to rabbits. Here’s how it happened:Mary Toft was a poor, uneducated 25-year-old woman living in Surrey. In August, she reportedly had a miscarriage, but still appeared to be pregnant. And in September, she is said to have given birth to something that looked like a “liverless cat.”John Howard, an obstetrician, was called to investigate and, on his arrival, Toft seemed to produce more animal parts from her womb.After he had delivered a rabbit head, cat legs, and nine dead baby rabbits, Howard decided to seek the medical opinions of some of the country’s most prominent doctors. He wrote letters to many experts and word eventually reached the king.

Source: Mary Toft: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Bunnies

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Ban ‘vegetarian’ sausages because they are confusing consumers, says German government minister 

Vegetarian sausages should be called something else because the term is misleading as they do not contain meat, Germany’s agriculture minister has said.Christian Schmidt called for a ban on names such as “vegetarian schnitzel”, “vegetarian sausage” and “vegetarian meatballs”, which contain meat-substitute products, because they are confusing for customers. He told German newspaper Bild: “These terms are completely misleading and unsettle consumers.READ MORE’Democracy sausage’ named Australia’s official word of 2016″I favour them being banned in the interest of clear consumer labelling.

Source: Ban ‘vegetarian’ sausages because they are confusing consumers, says German government minister | The Independent

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“Clear Linux” By Intel — The Next Great Linux Distro For Gaming?

A couple of years ago, whenever someone talked about gaming on PC, I imagined a Windows-based system with tons of RAM and high-end graphics. If you’re an open source and Linux enthusiasts, I don’t think I need to give any explanation.But, today, the overall picture is changing. Due to the combined efforts of hardware makers, Linux kernel devs, and gaming studios, more and more games are being released on Linux. In 2016 alone, 1,000+ games were released on Steam with Linux support.For past couple of years, Intel’s Open Source Technology Center has been working on its Clear Linux distro to bring the best Linux support for Intel hardware in cloud-based deployments. While Clear Linux is mostly focused on workstation/server performance, its developers are working to bring the support for Steam.

Source: “Clear Linux” By Intel — The Next Great Linux Distro For Gaming?

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Norway warned plan to switch off FM radio will ‘cut off millions’

Norway is to become the first country to shut down its FM radio network, despite concerns that millions are not ready for the switch to digital.Critics have warned it is both risky and unpopular, not least because an estimated two million cars on Norwegian roads are not equipped with DAB receivers.There are also fears that elderly and vulnerable people, often cut off by fjords and mountains, may be left unable to receive emergency warnings – traditionally broadcast on FM.A poll by a national newspaper in December found that 66% of Norwegians were opposed to the switchover, and only 17% were in favour.The change is being pushed through regardless, and the northern city of Bodoe will be first to go DAB-only on Wednesday.Critics are urging Norway’s government to change their tune as digital radio adapters are expensiveImage Caption: Critics want the government to change its tune as digital radio adapters are expensiveNorway’s parliament voted in favour of switching off FM radio after hearing it would lead to a greater choice of radio stations, as well as clearer sound.But Ib Thomsen, an MP from the Progress Party, said: “We are simply not ready for this yet.

Source: Norway warned plan to switch off FM radio will ‘cut off millions’

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Photographer Benjamin Von Wong, features a beached mermaid laying on top of 10,000 recycled plastic bottles.

This picture, taken by photographer Benjamin Von Wong, features a beached mermaid laying on top of 10,000 recycled plastic bottles.
Vonwong / Via blog.vonwong.com

“If the average American uses 167 plastic bottles a year, in 60 years they will have used 10,000 plastic bottles,” a statement on his website reads.

By using the recycled plastic bottles as a stand-in for the ocean, Von Wong hopes the images start a conversation on how plastic bottles are polluting our oceans.

In addition to having a camera crew help him, Von Wong brought in a team of volunteers, a professional makeup artist, and an airbrusher.

continue https://www.buzzfeed.com/clairedelouraille/mermaids-hate-plastic

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The Terrorism We Refuse to Fight

If you open the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or turn on your TV or Internet, you are guaranteed to see stories of terrorism in Germany and France and England, in North Africa, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Caucasus, the Philippines, all over the earth far away from here.And you’ll read stories about what the leading statesmen and politicians of the USA are doing and plan to do to keep terrorism from slamming our shores again: “extreme” vetting, water boarding, keeping out immigrants from turbulent Muslim regions.

These are all huge stories, and the subject of keeping terror far away from these United States is a vital subject.There is one giant problem though. Terrorism is already here. Right here. In America. Every day. Every night.There is terrorism by gun violence in the big cities and small cities throughout this nation. It’s not a threat for the future. It’s happening right now.In Chicago, the murder capital of the industrial world, there were over fifty — not fifteen, FIFTY — shootings just over the Christmas holiday.

Eleven of these resulted in deaths and more may be coming from the ICUs. The number of shootings and deaths in Chicago has risen by very roughly double just since last year. In dangerous neighborhoods, children hide in their rooms. People in cars ride by quickly with faces down, so as not to provoke anyone in the neighborhood by having the wrong look on their faces — which could easily get them killed.

Source: The Terrorism We Refuse to Fight | The American Spectator

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‘Mammoth’s penis’ found on north Norfolk coast – Home – Eastern Daily Press

An amateur metal detector got the internet talking with his unusual find. ShareThe phallus-shaped fossil was found on the same stretch of coastline where the skeleton of a mammoth was discovered 27 years ago. Picture: ROBERT MEE/NORFOLK FOSSIL FINDS/FACEBOOK

An amateur metal detector got the internet talking with an unusual find in north Norfolk.Robert Mee unearthed a phallus-shaped fossil on the same stretch of coastline where the skeleton of a mammoth was discovered 27 years ago – prompting claims it is a mammoth penis.He made the discovery following a visit to Hunstanton – just 30 miles from where the West Runton mammoth, which last walked on the Norfolk coast more than 700,000 years ago and is often referred to as an elephant, was found.Mr Mee shared a snap of his find on a social media page for fossil hunters in Norfolk and appealed for help to identify it.

Source: ‘Mammoth’s penis’ found on north Norfolk coast – Home – Eastern Daily Press

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Docs Warn Against Herbal ‘Detox’ That Sent Woman to ER

After a woman wound up in the hospital in the UK last year after ingesting a medley of herbs for a New Year’s “detox,” doctors are issuing a warning: There is such a thing as too much water, and people need to be careful with supplements, even if they are all-natural herbs. In this case, the 47-year-old woman said that aside from mood issues she was healthy when she upped her fluids and use of herbal remedies, including milk thistle, molkosan, l-theanine, glutamine, vitamin B compound, vervain, sage tea, green tea, and valerian root. Doctors in September reported in the British Medical Journal Case Reports that she suffered from acute severe “hyponatremia,” which occurs when there is abnormally low sodium in one’s blood. She had gone to the ER after suffering a seizure.

Source: Docs Warn Against Herbal ‘Detox’ That Sent Woman to ER

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Amazon plans for giant airship warehouses revealed 

Amazon has filed a patent for flying warehouses that could use a fleet of drones to make deliveries to customers.A patent document filed in 2014 in the US describes giant airships as “airborne fulfilment centres” (AFCs) that could be stationed above metropolitan areas and used to store and quickly deliver items at times of high demand, using drones dispatched directly from the airship.The technology and e-commerce giant is already testing drone deliveries in the UK, and made its first commercial delivery under the trial in Cambridgeshire this month.The patent filing also suggests smaller aircraft and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could ferry workers to and from the ship as well as replenish stock.Are drone deliveries a realistic prospect? Read more“The AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (eg 45,000ft) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user-designated delivery locations,” the filing reads.

Source: Amazon plans for giant airship warehouses revealed | Technology | The Guardian

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4 in custody after mentally disabled man tied up, tortured on Facebook Live

FOX 32 NEWS – Chicago investigators are questioning four African-Americans after a Facebook Live video shows a group of people torturing a white mentally disabled man while someone yelled “F*** Trump!” and “F*** white people!”

Chicago police were made aware of the video Tuesday afternoon. A young African American woman streamed the video live on Facebook showing at least four people holding the young white man hostage.

“The video is reprehensible,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

“It’s sickening. You know it makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson added.

Throughout the video, the victim is repeatedly kicked and hit, his scalp is cut, all while he is tied up with his mouth taped shut.

Source: 4 in custody after mentally disabled man tied up, tortured on Facebook Live

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French workers win legal right to avoid checking work email out-of-hours


From Sunday, French companies will be required to guarantee their employees a “right to disconnect” from technology as the country seeks to tackle the modern-day scourge of compulsive out-of-hours email checking.

On 1 January, an employment law will enter into force that obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones.

Overuse of digital devices has been blamed for everything from burnout to sleeplessness as well as relationship problems, with many employees uncertain of when they can switch off.

The measure is intended to tackle the so-called “always-on” work culture that has led to a surge in usually unpaid overtime – while also giving employees flexibility to work outside the office.

“There’s a real expectation that companies will seize on the ‘right to disconnect’ as a protective measure,” said Xavier Zunigo, a French workplace expert, as a new survey on the subject was published in October.

continue https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/31/french-workers-win-legal-right-to-avoid-checking-work-email-out-of-hours

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After getting shot in head, Texas lawmaker planning “celebratory gunfire” bill

After being hit in the head with a bullet shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, state Rep. Armando Martinez plans to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings. BY ELEANOR DEARMAN JAN. 2, 2017 1:37 PM State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco. Campaign websiteAfter being hit in the head with a bullet shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, state Rep. Armando Martinez plans to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings.”If my legislation could help save a life, you know, then definitely that’s what we’re gonna be looking at doing,” the Weslaco Democrat said Monday in a phone interview from the Valley Baptist Medical Center shortly before he was released.

Source: After getting shot in head, Texas lawmaker planning “celebratory gunfire” bill | The Texas Tribune

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GOP launches long-promised repeal of Obamacare with no full plan to replace it 

Congressional Republicans on Wednesday launched their long-promised effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, even as they acknowledged that they may need several months to develop a replacement along conservative lines.Signifying how enormous a priority the issue is for the incoming administration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence met privately to discuss it with House and Senate Republicans. He offered no details afterward about what a new health-care law might look like but vowed to unwind the existing one through a mixture of executive actions and legislation.Meanwhile, President Obama made a rare Capitol Hill appearance, meeting behind closed doors with Democrats from both chambers. He urged members of his party not to help the GOP devise a new health-care law.The dueling high-level visits, on the same day that the Senate opened debate on a budget resolution that would begin rolling back the law, highlighted the sharp political fault lines that surround the future of the government’s health policies.

Source: GOP launches long-promised repeal of Obamacare with no full plan to replace it – The Washington Post

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DHS: No evidence hackers infected Vermont power grid

Federal authorities see no signs that hackers breached Vermont’s electric grid using suspected Russian malware that infected a power company’s laptop, the Department of Homeland Security said tonight.

“While our analysis continues, we currently have no information that indicates that the power grid was penetrated in this cyber incident,” J. Todd Breasseale, DHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs, told POLITICO in a statement.

The discovery of the malware, first reported Friday by The Washington Post, inspired immediate concern that suspected Russian cyber-assaults against the United States had spread to the electric power supply, one of the nation’s most sensitive potential targets. But the Burlington Electric Department, a city-owned utility, later clarified that the laptop had not been connected to the power system.

DHS confirmed this assessment in its statement today, although it offered no further details about where the malware might have originated or what the hackers who placed it may have been trying to do.

Source: DHS: No evidence hackers infected Vermont power grid

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Woodpeckers don’t get headaches. They give them.

“This Woodpecker Will Drill Into Your Skull And Eat Your Brains—If You’re a Baby Dove,” explains an article by Jason Bittel in Smithsonian magazine. It says:In 2015, Harold Greeney [pictured here, horizontal] trained his camera on a mourning dove nest stitched into the crook of a cactus. As an ornithologist, Greeney studies the love lives of birds…What happens next may upset you (and in fact, if you’re sensitive to bird-on-bird violence, you may want to stop reading here). Before the chicks even realize there’s an enemy at the gates, the woodpecker cocks its head back and starts to peck … their skulls. The Gila’s head moves like a pneumatic hammer, up and down, up and down, drilling into flesh and bone with the force of 1,000 G’s. Soon both chicks’ skulls have been opened up like coconuts. At this point, the woodpecker begins extracting brain and blood with its long, sticky tongue….Greeney has a possible explanation as to what’s happening—but it probably won’t make you feel any better. When Gila woodpeckers get thirsty, he speculates, they crack open a couple of nestling heads like you or I might open a six-pack. “My guess is that these woodpeckers, like most birds in the Sonoran Desert, are fluid or water stressed,” he says. “This woodpecker appears to me to be clearly targeting the heads of the nestlings, and thus purposefully opening them to drink fluid—and this may be something that happens more often than is documented….

Source: Improbable Research » Blog Archive

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Dan Rather teaching ‘Truth in the News’ course

Raising eyebrows among some critics, former CBS anchor Dan Rather is now teaching an online course focused on ethics in journalism.Called “Journalism & Finding the Truth in the News” and offered through Udemy, the class is aimed at both media career aspirants and the general public.“In this course, Dan teaches invaluable foundations on great writing, the essentials of telling a good story, and how to remain calm and captivating on camera — useful skills for anyone fascinated by the power of the news or anyone who wants to contribute to serious journalism,” reads the course description.“Dan’s rich history and extensive knowledge of journalism, paired with practical, hands-on exercises, creates a unique learning opportunity and rare insight from an American legend,” it continues.

Source: Dan Rather teaching ‘Truth in the News’ course | Move comes depite anchor’s own past ethics issues | Media Equalizer

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CBS Reporter Exposes Media Lies, Internet Shills & Astroturfing

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Kentucky High School Ditches Stallion Mascot After It’s Deemed Sexist

In Lexington, Kentucky, local school officials have caved to a massively underwhelming petition and ditched the mascot for a new school because some people decided it was “inappropriate and sexist.”The petition, which received only 214 out of the 500 signature goal, aimed to persuade the local school district to remove the name “stallions” from a new school being built.Frederick Douglass High School had planned on having the stallion mascot, but some students were too triggered by it. The folks behind the petition are mad because a stallion is another name for a male horse, and it is absolutely appalling to think that females should be associated with a school represented by a male figure (ignoring the fact that the school itself is named after a man).

Source: Kentucky High School Ditches Stallion Mascot After It’s Deemed Sexist |Heat Street

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