Daily Archives: January 16, 2017

Black Teen Behind ‘KoolkidsKlanKkk’ Account Threatening Black Students…

The Anne Arundel County Police Department has charged a 14-year-old girl with a juvenile citation for sending a threatening tweet related to Arundel High School.

Police began their investigation after Arundel High School officials told them about a suspicious Twitter account.

The account, named @KoolkidsKlanKkk, reportedly sent out a tweet that read, “We’re planning to attack tomorrow”.

This account used similar language to a racial petition that had been passed around Anne Arundel High School by the “Kool Kids Klan”.

Police worked with Twitter, and were able to identify the person who created the account and sent out the threatening tweet.

That person has been identified as a 14-year-old African American female who attends Arundel High School.

Authorities interviewed the girl while she was with her parents, and police say she admitted to creating the Twitter account and sending the threatening tweet.

Source: Police Charge Student For Threat Made At Arundel High School « CBS Baltimore

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AS ROBOTS TAKE JOBS, EUROPEANS MULL FREE MONEY FOR ALL

The radical notion that governments should hand out free money to everyone – rich and poor, those who work and those who don’t – is slowly but surely gaining ground in Europe. Yes, you read that right: a guaranteed monthly living allowance, no strings attached.In France, two of the seven candidates vying to represent the ruling Socialist Party in this year’s presidential election are promising modest but regular stipends to all French adults. A limited test is already underway in Finland, with other experiments planned elsewhere, including in the United States.Called “universal income” by some, “universal basic income” or just “basic income” by others, the idea has been floated in various guises since at least the mid-19th century. After decades on the fringes of intellectual debate, it became more mainstream in 2016, with Switzerland holding a referendum – and overwhelmingly rejecting – a proposed basic income of around $2,500 per month.

Source: News from The Associated Press

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Central Michigan University Prof: Foodie Blogs Sexually Objectify Women

Many foodie Instagram accounts and blogs are actually just another way of sexually objectifying women, claims a Central Michigan University professor.Writing in Quartz, Tisha Dejmanee describes how modern women are often, at the same time, both feminist and feminine, both professional and domestic.

Many feminists would view this as a victory, a sign that women can have it all.Not Dejmanee, who notes, in a slightly condescending tone, that “most food bloggers are women, many of whom are entrepreneurs (or ‘mompreneurs’) trying to build a digital brand.”From that, Dejmanee conjectures: “Their chief value in society is to reproduce and feed their families while denying their own appetites.

These blogs reflect the digital identities of women who have been required to embody multiple contradictions—and look delectable while doing so.”That makes you, as a consumer, potentially problematic.

Source: Central Michigan University Prof: Foodie Blogs Sexually Objectify Women

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Hacker Conference Says ‘No’ to Political Correctness, Supports Diversity of Ideas 

Progressives have been pushing for tech conferences, gaming conventions and hacker meetups to adopt a “Code of Conduct” to curb harassment at events.While harassment does happen on occasion, these sweeping policies typically contain political bias banning speakers with right-leaning views from attending and presenting.LambdaConf, a tech conference dedicated to the promotion of functional programming, made its own Code of Conduct that is inclusive to a broad range of political opinions.It came under fire last year for refusing to ban Curtis Yarvin, a software developer, a proponent of “neoreactionary” political views. He was previously banned from a different programming conference, Strange Loop, after a backlash to his presence at the event.Regardless of his politics, Yarvin only presented his open source work at LambdaConf, focusing on vulnerabilities in Android software and data validation.

Source: Hacker Conference Says ‘No’ to Political Correctness, Supports Diversity of Ideas | Heat Street

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It’s not just your browser: Your machine can be fingerprinted easily

It just got a lot harder to evade browser fingerprinting: a bunch of boffins have worked out how to fingerprint the machine behind the browser, using only information provided by browser features.Like so many ideas, it’s obvious once someone’s thought of it: activities that aren’t processed in the browser are treated the same whether the page is rendered in (say) Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge.The group – Yinzhi Cao and Song Li of from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and Erik Wijmans from Washington University in St. Louis – have worked out how to access various operating system and hardware-level features that can fingerprint an individual machine, regardless of browser.These include screen resolution with zoom; CPU virtual cores; installed fonts and writing scripts; the AudioContext call; GPU features such as line and curve rendering, anti-aliasing, shading, and transparency; and more.The researchers reckon they can fingerprint a machine with 99.24 per cent accuracy (compared to under 91 per cent for browser fingerprinting).

Source: It’s not just your browser: Your machine can be fingerprinted easily • The Register

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Globalization can be remade to work for everyone

Business leaders gathering in Davos are uncomfortable:

The full force of 2016’s protest votes in the U.S. and U.K. is about to hit, and Donald Trump’s inauguration may signal an abrupt reversal to 30 years of globalization.These have been golden years for business. Liberalized competitive markets plus new technologies have made it possible for corporations to build profitable global operations.

It’s been an era of unprecedented development success too. Globalization has been instrumental in lifting millions out of poverty in emerging markets. It has shrunk income gaps between developed and developing economies, if not between the people living in them.If all this is now at risk, what should business do next? Populists promote a return to economic nationalism. But this will shrink the world economy. The losers — including those left behind by globalization today — may take their protest beyond the ballot box. This is not a sustainable alternative.

Source: Globalization can be remade to work for everyone – Jan. 16, 2017

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University Course Proposal: “Calling Bullshit”

Professors Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West from University of Washington have developed a new interdisciplinary course with the compelling title of Calling Bullshit.From publication bias to fake news, bullshit is everywhere. And it’s important to be able to navigate it, separate delusion from reality, and call out bullshit when we see it. In a post-truth world, we need evidence and facts more than ever, and Professors Bergstrom and West have decided to do something about it.

Prof. Jevin West As they write: “We’re sick of it. It’s time to do something, and as educators, one constructive thing we know how to do is to teach people. So, the aim of this course is to help students navigate the bullshit-rich modern environment by identifying bullshit, seeing through it, and combatting it with effective analysis and argument.”Naturally, if people learn how to detect subtle bullshit that might otherwise go under their radar, that also can make them better at producing bullshit.

Source: Improbable Research » Blog Archive

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The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer

Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

Source: The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer

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School under fire over trip for five-year-olds to see reindeer slaughter 

Associated Press in Oslo

Friday A school in arctic Norway is facing criticism for taking five-year-old children on an outing to view the slaughter and skinning of reindeer at a nearby farm.The criticism appeared on Facebook after the school posted photographs of eight children looking at reindeer, a culled animal hanging above a pool of blood, a child dragging bloodied pelts in the snow and children in their snowsuits tossing bits of animal carcasses into a container.

Dag Olav Stølan, head of the Granstubben Barnehage school, said the day trip on Tuesday was designed to teach the children about the indigenous Sami, who live in northern Norway and are often involved in reindeer herding.Hundreds of thousands of reindeer roam freely across the region and provide work for those in the country’s sparsely populated northern wilderness.

Source: School under fire over trip for five-year-olds to see reindeer slaughter | World news | The Guardian

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Alternative sex Americans now at 4.1%

The number of U.S. adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) increased over the past year to 10 million, or roughly 4.1 percent of the national adult population, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday evening. Since 2012, that number has increased nearly from 8.3 million American adults. Gallup tracked 1.6 million people in this year’s annual survey and found 49,000 people described themselves at LGBT. Among generational groups, those who were born between 1980 and 1988 – defined as millennials – were the only group that saw an uptick from 2015 to 2016. Millennials jumped from 6.7 percent to 7.2 percent this year – double that of any other generation. The number of those who identify as LGBT was significantly lower as the age of the respondent increased. Only 3.2 percent of Generation X, 2.4 percent of Baby Boomers and 1.4 percent of traditionalists identified as such in the survey.

Source: Poll: American LGBT population jumps to 10 million | Washington Examiner

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Ebony Editor Isn’t Sure Killing White People Should Be a ‘Hate Crime’

Ebony Editor Isn’t Sure Killing White People Should Be Considered a ‘Hate Crime’

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Data Privacy Day reminds digital citizens to better manage their privacy

Many consumers do not fully understand how their information is collected, used and stored by the devices, apps and websites they use every day.According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 91 percent of American adults “agree” or “strongly agree” that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies. Additionally, 50 percent are worried about the amount of personal information about them online, while 47 percent said they were not confident they understood what would be done with their data once it was collected.Against this backdrop of haze about collection and use of personal information are the emergence and rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) – with more than 30.7 billion devices expected to be connected to the internet by 2020. IoT devices that you use at home, at work and on the go are fueled by information about you. Your data – like behaviors and preferences – are a significant part of what makes IoT devices work.

Source: Data Privacy Day reminds digital citizens to better manage their privacy – Help Net Security

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Buffalo Woman Calls Police To ‘Stop The Wind From Blowing’

There is no doubt that the storm last night caused all sorts of power issues, ice problems, and generally was annoying. Across the state in Buffalo, one woman decided to complain to local police about the wind. According to Buffalo News, a police dispatcher notified officers on patrol someone was asking for their help. What they were seeking help with, the wind.“All cars be advised, someone called to see if the police could stop the wind from blowing so they could sleep,” the dispatcher told officers. “If any of you guys could do that, could you let me know?”Granted, don’t believe the text? Listen to the audio:

Source: Buffalo Woman Calls Police To ‘Stop The Wind From Blowing’

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Air Force Loosens Marijuana Restrictions 

At least one branch of the U.S. military is about to become a lot more cannabis-friendly.In a policy memo issued Monday, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James wrote that going forward, prior marijuana use is “not disqualifying” for new recruits.Previously, recruits entering the Air Force faced inconsistent questions and restrictions regarding prior marijuana consumption, depending on where they were enlisting.“We didn’t ask the same questions. Some recruiters used if you smoked marijuana less than five times, sometimes it was less than 15 times,”

Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, told Military.com. “What we decided to do is stop asking [about]prior marijuana use at the recruiter level, [because]first of all, who really counts how many times they’ve used marijuana? So that just comes off the table.”In a press release announcing the new policy, the Air Force said that its former approach to recruits’ marijuana use was “not reflective of the continuing legalization of marijuana in numerous states throughout the nation.”Under the new policy, “drug dependency” and prior “legal proceedings” associated with marijuana use will continue to be potentially disqualifying, as will any cannabis consumption following a recruit’s initial entrance interview.

Source: Air Force Loosens Marijuana Restrictions | Marijuana

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Does it fart? There’s now a database—and a hashtag—for that

There are loads of interesting things to ask about the vast array of species that share this planet with us. But, needless to say, the most pressing one is: can they fire stink torpedoes out of their bums???Finally, scientists on Twitter have heeded the call and are now compiling a database of the world’s gas-blasting species. They’ve catalogued the wind-breaking ways of more than 60 species and have the hashtag #DoesitFart to clear the air about additional critters.Rats, bats, zebras, bearded dragons, seals, pupfish, bobcats, gray foxes, orangutans, and millipedes are all among those that can crop dust a room. Birds, on the other hand, only tweet out the front. And salamanders and marine invertebrates, like oysters, are toot-less.According to the Washington Post, the inventory of the flatulent got started when Dani Rabaiotti of the Zoological Society of London was asked by her teenage brother if snakes can fart. Rabaiotti turned to Twitter to ask snake expert David Steen at Auburn University. The answer was essentially yes, they can unleash a stinky cloud of musk whilst pooping and making a fart noise.

Source: Does it fart? There’s now a database—and a hashtag—for that | Ars Technica

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Facebook took 2 weeks to remove livestream suicide video of 12-year-old

In a horribly tragic story, a little over two weeks ago 12-year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis broadcast her death on social media, using popular streaming service Live.Me.Though disturbing, police apparently had no authority to take down the the footage and the livestream quickly spread around the internet after people kept sharing the heartbreaking video on Facebook, as well as other websites like YouTube.

While YouTube promptly removed the unnerving clip and its different versions off its platform citing a violation against its “policy on violent or graphic content,” The Washington Post reports the footage continued to show up on various Facebook pages for nearly two weeks before the social media behemoth eventually began wiping out different instances of the video on its website.

Source: Facebook took 2 weeks to remove livestream suicide video of 12-year-old

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