Daily Archives: January 15, 2017

Feral cats now cover 99.8% of Australia

Feral cats cover 99.8% of Australia at a density of one cat for every four square kilometres, according to new research.The research was published in the journal of Biological Conservation and brings together data from almost 100 surveys completed by 40 environmental scientists from different institutions.It found that the total number of feral cats was much lower than the 20 million previously estimated, fluctuating between 2.1 million and 6.3 million, but while that was a surprising finding, according to Dr Sarah Legge from the University of Queensland, it was not particularly reassuring.“It just underlines how potent cats are for Australian wildlife because it really doesn’t take many cats to have a significant negative effect,” Legge told Guardian Australia.

Source: Feral cats now cover 99.8% of Australia | Environment | The Guardian

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Black Lives Matter Activist Rewrites Bible To Shame Trump-Supporting Christians

A Black Lives Matter activist has rewritten the Bible by replacing Jesus with the words and actions of President-elect Donald Trump in order to shame Evangelical Christians who voted for him in the election.The satirical book “The Gospel: King Trump Version” written by former Presbyterian minister Jomo Johnson is a “literal indictment against the Evangelical Church”, according to a description on Amazon. “What this Gospel does is the same thing Christian Trump supporters did during the election: take Jesus out in order to put Trump in,” it added.Johnson admits that he wrote the book not for laughs, but rather to shame Christians. “The whole thought was to do it not as a comedy but to do it in such a way to where it serves as an indictment against the Church more so than Donald Trump,” he told the Christian Post.

Source: Black Lives Matter Activist Rewrites Bible To Shame Trump-Supporting Christians | Heat Street

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Florida woman, 70, arrested for prostitution in undercover sting

A senior citizen was arrested at a Florida massage parlor after an undercover sting, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a report. Sun Hee Gribat, 70, was arrested Tuesday at Jax Therapy after she offered a sex act after a massage, JSO said. >> Read more trending storiesThe hour-long massage cost $70, JSO said, and an additional service in the form of a sex act was offered for another $60, the police report said. Gribat, listed as a non-resident with a Missouri driver’s license, was charged with prostitution and practicing massage therapy without a license.

Source: Florida woman, 70, arrested for prostitution in undercover sting

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Bernie Madoff is cornering the prison market on Swiss Miss hot chocolate – MarketWatch

Bernie Madoff, who ran a nearly $65 billion Ponzi scheme, is one of the biggest thieves in history. But he was also the product of a financial system in which both clients and regulators looked the other way from cooked books to continue reaping the gains he steadily delivered.

That’s one of the sure-to-be-controversial conclusions of “Ponzi Supernova,” a new Audible audio series built around extensive interviews with the now-jailed Madoff and hours of previously unheard testimony where he discusses his crimes in his own words.

The first four episodes of the six-part series made its debut Thursday. The final two parts will be released in the coming weeks.

The host of the program is Steve Fishman, a journalist who has covered and conversed with Madoff for years. While the series covers the fraud in its entirety — from its origins to Madoff’s current life in jail, where he enjoys celebrity status, dispenses financial advice and runs a small business in the prison yard — a key focus is how Madoff was essentially enabled by the system.

“One of the most important things about this story is that it is a mistake to view him as an outlier,” Fishman told MarketWatch. “He profited from the way financial systems work, which is a point most people don’t really grasp. He wasn’t a freak. He was sustained by the system, embraced by it, because it profited from him.”

Source: Bernie Madoff is cornering the prison market on Swiss Miss hot chocolate – MarketWatch

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Cloudflare Finally Able To Reveal FBI Gag Order That Congress Told Cloudflare Couldn’t Possibly Exist

Another one of the FBI’s thousands of National Security Letters has been made public — along with its recipient. Cloudflare’s latest transparency report (its seventh to date) contains a bonus: a 2013 NSL [PDF] the FBI felt no longer needed to kept secret.

This NSL was received in 2013, and was challenged by Cloudflare and the EFF. It’s only now being made public, and that’s largely due to litigation and the USA Freedom Act’s changes to NSL review policies. Rather than review them every three years-to-never, the FBI must now review them more frequently. Better still, recipients are now allowed to challenge NSL gag orders within one year of receiving them. T

his places the burden back on the government to prove ongoing secrecy is needed.Shortly before the new year, Cloudflare received a letter from the FBI rescinding the NSL’s gag order.The letter withdrew the nondisclosure provisions (the “gag order”) contained in NSL-12-358696, which had constrained Cloudflare since the NSL was served in February 2013. At that time, Cloudflare objected to the NSL. The Electronic Frontier Foundation agreed to take our case, and with their assistance, we brought a lawsuit under seal to protect its customers’ rights.

Source: Cloudflare Finally Able To Reveal FBI Gag Order That Congress Told Cloudflare Couldn’t Possibly Exist | Techdirt

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Teachers in Philadelphia Plan a Black Lives Matter Week – ABC News

A teachers’ organization in Philadelphia is encouraging teachers to wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts and buttons and provide lessons on the movement every day for one week.The Caucus of Working Educators, a faction of the teachers union, is developing lessons plans and curriculum ideas for teachers of grades from kindergarten through high school for the week of Jan. 23. The plans, distilled from the movement’s 13 guiding principles, such as embracing diversity and globalism, will be available online , organizers said Friday.

“The vast majority of students that we serve are black, and it’s important to affirm the lives of our students,” said co-organizer Charlie McGeehan, who is white and teaches high school humanities at The U School, where students work on solving real-world problems.The organizers said more and more educators are signing on every day, but they don’t have an exact number of participating teachers.”We had 500 buttons and shirts and distributed those and ordered more,” McGeehan said.

Source: Teachers in Philadelphia Plan a Black Lives Matter Week – ABC News

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3D Printing Could Transform Future Membrane Technology

Researchers at the University of Bath suggest developments in 3D printing techniques could open the door to the advancement of membrane capabilities.This work is part of the University’s Centre for Advanced Separations Engineering (CASE) and is the first time the properties of different 3D printing techniques available to membrane fabrication have been assessed.Membranes are a semi-permeable selective barrier that separate the molecules in a mixture within a gas or liquid into two streams, a key example of this being the separation of salt from water for desalination using reverse osmosis membranes.3D printing, otherwise known as Additive Manufacturing, has the ability to create almost any geometrically complex shape or feature in a range of materials across different scales. It has applications in various areas including medicine, art, manufacturing and engineering. However, its use in separation membrane engineering is relatively new.Membranes are currently restricted mainly to tubular/hollow fibre and flat surface configurations due to the limitations of current manufacturing processes. As a result, the precision of present membranes are limited in successfully separating certain properties.

Source: 3D Printing Could Transform Future Membrane Technology

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U2 Cancels New Album Because Trump Won Election


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Teeny Radar Antenna Tracks the Flight of the Bumblebee

For the first time, scientists have tracked the flight paths of bumblebees over the span of their entire lives. Not only do the results help biologists better understand bee behavior, but because the insects play a critical role in pollinating crops, understanding their movements could improve how farmers manage agriculture.Joseph Woodgate of Queen Mary University of London and his colleagues used radar to monitor the daily flight patterns of four different bees, from the time they first left their nests to the time they ceased to return.

Source: Teeny Radar Antenna Tracks the Flight of the Bumblebee

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EFF to Court: Don’t Let California Gag IMDb

California is trying to gag websites from sharing true, publicly available information about actors in the name of age discrimination. But one online service, IMDb, is fighting back. EFF and four other public interest organizations have filed in a friend of the court brief in the case, urging the court not to allow celebrities to wipe truthful information about them from the Internet.IMDb.com v. Harris challenges the constitutionality of California Civil Code section 1798.83.5, which took effect January 1, 2017. That law requires “commercial online entertainment employment service providers” to remove an actor’s date of birth or age information from their websites upon request. The purported purpose of the law is to prevent age discrimination by the entertainment industry. The “providers” covered are those which “owns, licenses, or otherwise possesses computerized information, including, but not limited to, age and date of birth information, about individuals employed in the entertainment industry, including television, films, and video games, and that makes the information available to the public or potential employers.” Under the law, IMDB.com, which meets this definition because of its IMDB Pro service, would be required to delete age information from all of its websites, not just its subscription service.

Source: EFF to Court: Don’t Let California Gag IMDb | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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What Is Hardware Acceleration and Why Does It Matter 

Chances are you’ve seen a “hardware acceleration” option when using various applications and devices. You may have even needed to enable or disable it to boost performance/prevent bugs in one of your favorite applications, but you may not have known why.

In this article we’ll explain everything you need to know about hardware acceleration and whether or not your apps might benefit from using it.Defining Hardware Acceleration Hardware acceleration is a term used to describe tasks being offloaded to devices and hardware which specialize in it.

By default in most computers and applications the CPU is taxed, first and foremost, before other pieces of hardware are. While this is fine in most general usage cases, especially if someone has a strong CPU, there are others where it might be smart for your computer to utilize the other components in your system.

This is where hardware acceleration comes into play, and we’ll give a few popular usage cases:Sound cards can be utilized by hardware acceleration to allow higher-quality playback and recording of sound.Graphics cards can be utilized by hardware acceleration to allow quicker, higher-quality playback of movies, videos and games. They are also better at physics and fast mathematical calculations than a CPU.

Source: What Is Hardware Acceleration and Why Does It Matter – Make Tech Easier

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The Asparamancer – Woman Claims to Predict the Future Using Asparagus 

Jemima Packington, from Bath, UK, claims to be the world’s only ‘asparamancer’, a term coined by one of her friends to reflect her unique talent of telling the future using asparagus.The asparamancer says she started practicing asparagus fortunetelling when she was just eight years old, after seeing her grandmother practice with tea leaves. She tried using other plants, including broccoli, but none worked as well as asparagus, which she describes as the most accurate. Jemima is aware that most people see her fortunetelling technique as silly, or plain stupid, but she claims that her rate of success has been quite impressive over the years.“I was the first person to predict that Gordon Brown – former British Prime Minister – would leave high level politics some twelve months before anyone else!,” 61-year-old told The Telegraph last year. “Last year my predictions were 99 per cent accurate, with four coming true within the first week of the New Year.” That does sound impressive, but as some people have already pointed out, her predictions are generally, well, very general.

Source: The Asparamancer – Woman Claims to Predict the Future Using Asparagus | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Journalist Attacked By Seizure-Inducing GIF Identifies Culprit

Prolific tweeter and journalist Kurt Eichenwald has identified the person who he claims tweeted a GIF at him that caused him to have a seizure.Last December, Eichenwald, whose epilepsy is widely known, was sent a GIF of flashing lights with the words “you deserve a seizure” from an account called “@jew_goldstein.” Eichenwald’s account responded to the tweet with a message from someone claiming to be Eichenwald’s wife explaining that the GIF had, indeed, caused Eichenwald to have a seizure.Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek and contributing editor for Vanity Fair, then tweeted for his 240,000 Twitter followers to see that he intends to make good on a promise that there would be severe consequences for the tweeter, as well as the other trolls who continued to send him seizure GIFs. He pressed charges against @jew_goldstein and appeared to be in the beginning stages of filing a civil suit against him, which started with asking a judge to compel Twitter to release any identifying information about the anonymous troll (“Jew Goldstein,” it seems, is not his real name).

Source: Journalist Attacked By Seizure-Inducing GIF Identifies Culprit – Vocativ

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Co-owner of Charleston’s only cat cafe discovers she’s allergic to cats

Ashley Brooks always knew she would have to face the truth one day. A cat lover since childhood, she says she grew up living with three or four cats at a time and has suffered from congestion for as long as she can remember.  As a young child she didn’t really attribute her symptoms to anything, but in high school she started to catch on.”I realized if I touched my eyes they would get itchy,” she admitted. “So I thought, ‘okay I just won’t touch my face.'”Brooks put the idea out of her head and continued to live a life filled with feline friends. She was in the planning stages of opening Pounce Cat Cafe last summer when a skin irritation developed that she couldn’t get rid of.Less than a month after Pounce’s opening, Brooks decided it was time to confront her symptoms.

Source: Co-owner of Charleston’s only cat cafe discovers she’s allergic to cats | News | postandcourier.com

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Smoldering pile of horse manure becoming nuisance for community | WHAM

 There is a stinky situation happening in St. Albans.Drivers traveling along Twilight Lane, next to the railroad tracks, can see smoke billowing up from the hillside.The source of the smoke: a pile of horse manure. And the smell is making some neighbors upset.Craig Southern, who has lived in St. Albans for 18 years, said the smell has been present for about six months.”When the wind is blowing in the right direction, I can lay in bed at night and smell the smell of burning horse manure,” Southern said.

Source: Smoldering pile of horse manure becoming nuisance for community | WHAM

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Ugandan man buried with $55,000 to appease God on Judgment Day 

A Ugandan civil servant instructed his wife to bury him with a cash amount of 200 million Ugandan shillings (equivalent to $55,000). The money was meant to appease God for the deceased’s earthly sins.52-year-old Charles Obong until his death was a senior personnel officer at the Ministry of Public Service for a decade (2006 – 2016). His son-in-law confirmed that his will stated that his wife should deposit a huge amount of money in his coffin.The money was to be given to God on the Day of Judgment as an offertory so that his sins could be forgiven. Even though the exact sin was not stated, he asked his brother and sister to ensure that his wife does as he instructed.Uganda’s Daily Monitor news portal reports that he died on December 17, 2016 after a protracted illness and was buried in his ancestral home in the northern Lira district of the country. The portal adds that the metallic coffin he was buried in cost 20 million shillings ($5500).

Source: Ugandan man buried with $55,000 to appease God on Judgment Day | Africanews

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