Daily Archives: January 18, 2017

Pot dispensaries hit by hack of sales system

ELAINE THOMPSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

MJ Freeway, a Denver company whose tracking software is used by hundreds of marijuana companies to comply with state regulations, said its main servers and backup system each went down Sunday morning and remained offline as of Monday afternoon.

By Dan Adams GLOBE STAFF  JANUARY 09, 2017

Marijuana shops across the country, including seven medical dispensaries in Massachusetts, are being affected by the apparent hack of a sales and inventory system widely used in the cannabis industry.Two medical marijuana dispensaries in the state suggested patients delay their appointments until the system was back up or a fix is in place.MJ Freeway, a Denver company whose “seed-to-sale” tracking software is used by hundreds of marijuana companies to comply with state regulations, said its main servers and backup system each went down Sunday morning and remained offline as of Monday afternoon.New England Treatment Access, a medical dispensary with locations in Brookline and Northampton, was among the shops affected by the hack. A message on its website said transactions would take longer than usual at both locations because staffers would need to “conduct certain sales functions manually.” It asked patients to delay their visits if possible.

Source: Pot dispensaries hit by hack of sales system – The Boston Globe

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Davos Elite Seeks Fixes to Defend the System From Populists 

The great and the good of Davos agree they have a problem with populism. Finding a solution is the hard part.On the second day of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss Alps, delegates disagreed on how best to address the upending of the western political order, a debate made doubly urgent by the string of elections in Europe this year where anti-establishment parties could gain more ground.While International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde urged a list of policies from programs to retrain workers to more social spending, others fretted that the turbulence is only starting.

Hedge Fund billionaire Ray Dalio warned on a panel chaired by Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua that “we may be at a point where globalization is ending, and provincialization and nationalization is taking hold.”That leaves technocrats trying to patch together potentially expensive remedies to make the current system of global trade, banking and business links that the Davos club represents acceptable to the public at a time when newcomers like U.S. president elect Donald Trump threaten to dismantle it by scrapping trade deals and introducing tariffs.

Source: Davos Elite Seeks Fixes to Defend the System From Populists – Bloomberg

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Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration — RT News

RT has been blocked from posting content to its Facebook page. The ban, according to the Facebook bot, will last until Saturday 10:25pm Moscow time (2:25pm EST) and will extend across US president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.A misplaced live-rights strike during RT’s broadcast of President Obama’s final press conference seems to have triggered the ban.RT’s Head of Social media, Ivor Crotty, said “the live-rights strike seems to be part of an algorithmic failure to acknowledge rights acquired by broadcasters, and we hope it will be resolved in the short term.”

Source: Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration — RT News

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Scientists Have Created Microdevices Small Enough To Be Inserted Into The Human Body

Engineers at Columbia University have successfully designed biocompatible microdevices that are small enough to be safely implanted into the human body.

Using biocompatible material known as hydrogels, which scientists have been studying for a long time, a team lead by biomedical engineering professor Sam Sia figured out a way to stack the soft material to give it three-dimensional moving parts. As a result, the microdevices (or microrobots, as science journalists are calling them) they create with the hydrogels can have “manifolds, valves, pumps, rotors and delivery of payloads.” The resulting research was published this month in the Science Robotics journal.

It’s a significant breakthrough that could revolutionize the way medical teams deliver drugs and treatment to the body. In fact, with the help of the microdevices’ payload delivery mechanism, the team treated osteosarcoma — a bone cancer — in mice using the drug doxorubicin. Over the span of 10 days, according to the study, the researchers triggered releases of the drug, which in turn “showed high treatment efficacy and low toxicity, at 1/10 of the standard systemic chemotherapy dose.” Talk about progress.

Source: Scientists Have Created Microdevices Small Enough To Be Inserted Into The Human Body

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Talk radio hosts and bloggers may be included in White House press briefings 

Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be invited to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing.Trump’s pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to “off the chart” interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.

A report published by Esquire magazine on Saturday indicated the venue could be inside the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House.“I know change is difficult sometimes,” Spicer told Fox News. “But sometimes change can actually be better.”Spicer argued the proposal would mean “you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility”. He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.

Source: Talk radio hosts and bloggers may be included in White House press briefings | US news | The Guardian

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Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

The computers that control self-driving cars are gaining valuable knowledge about the real world in some surprising ways—including browsing online maps and playing video games.Researchers at Princeton University recently developed a computer vision and mapping system that gathered useful information about the physical properties of roads by studying Google Street View and comparing the scenes to the information provided in open-source mapping data. This allowed it to, for example, learn where the edges of an intersection should be based on images captured by Google’s mapping cars.In separate work revealed Wednesday, researchers at OpenAI, a nonprofit focused on fundamental AI research, created a way to have software agents learn driving strategy by experimenting in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, through a platform known as Universe. Some video games are now so visually realistic that they can let a computer vision learn about the real world (see “Self-Driving Cars Can Learn a Lot by Playing Grand Theft Auto”).

Source: Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

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Speaking Piano 

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Parents Building a Neighborhood Just for Autistic Adults

(NEWSER) – For years, the parents of a boy on the high-needs end of the autism spectrum have been brainstorming what to do when he enters adulthood. When he was a pre-teen, they hit on the idea of a housing complex designed specifically for adults with autism, and now that he’s 19, they are about to break ground on their dream. Debra Caudy, a retired medical oncologist, and her husband Clay Heighten, a retired emergency doctor and founder of a real estate management company, invested $745,000 in 2015 to purchase 29 acres of rolling meadows and woods in Cross Roads, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, and have created the nonprofit 29 Acres as they seek to reach their fundraising goal of $12 million, reports WFAA.

Source: Parents Building a Neighborhood Just for Autistic Adults

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The Internet: To be or Not to be (Connected): The Right to be Disconnected

From the proclaimed right to be connected to the evolving right to be disconnected, only few years have passed. However in internet sphere, prompted by the fast developing world of technologies, law has to catch up as well.As from 1 January 2017, France has made effective the law which provides that companies with more then 50 employees should establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails.

The law comes as a response to increasingly present praxis that workers, after leaving their place of work, actually stay at work, but this time, through their various electronic devices, being obliged to check on their mail, respond and eventually work from home, during the time that should be their private time dedicated to their private life and family. Health and psychology experts were very much concerned about the consequences such connectivity may have on health and personality of workers, who were thus not able to close the door of their office completely at the end of their working day.

So what happened between the right to be connected and the right to be disconnected?Back in 2010, it was a great breakthrough into the freedom of expression in ‘online’ context when Finland, being a pioneer, provided its citizens with the legal right to access a 1 Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection. It led to broadband access being included in basic communications servers, like telephone and postal services, and making Finland first country to provide for such a right.

Source: The Internet: To be or Not to be (Connected): The Right to be Disconnected | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Merkel Coalition Seeks to Punish Social Media for Hate Speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to fine social media networks such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. if they fail to combat hate speech, as German officials accuse media companies of being too slow to take action.Volker Kauder, chairman of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union parliamentary caucus, said on Saturday that he reached a preliminary agreement with Social Democratic Justice Minister Heiko Maas that would require companies to respond to speech complaints within 24 hours. Otherwise they’ll have to pay.

“The fines have to hurt, otherwise it won’t work,” Kauder told reporters Saturday at a meeting of the CDU’s leadership in the western region of Saarland.Merkel has backed regulating social-media content including hate speech to help counter populist movements that are gaining support in Germany and across Europe, particularly in response to the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Kauder, echoing frustrations within the coalition, said that social network operators had “played dead” when confronted with the issue.

Source: Merkel Coalition Seeks to Punish Social Media for Hate Speech – Bloomberg

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BioEdge: Ohio makes assisted suicide a felony

While several states in the US have passed legislation allowing assisted suicide, Ohio ended 2016 by passing an act making it a felony. Until now, courts could only issue injunctions against people who assisted others in killing themselves. The bill passed unanimously in both chambers of the State Legislature.Helping someone die is now a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The measure passed along with a raft of other amendments to the criminal code, including making cockfighting a felony, reducing abortion limits from 24 weeks to 20 weeks, and permitting employees to keep guns in their cars while parked on company property.

Source: BioEdge: Ohio makes assisted suicide a felony

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TIME TO STOP! When JESUS Comes With A Trigger Warning 

Just how coddled are our youth?With “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” everywhere, it seems anyone under 30 is instantly shell-shocked at the very sight, mention or thought of anything mildly distressing.Well, it’s much worse than you thought.Here is the reality:Veterinary students are warned they will be working with dead mice.Forensic science students are told they will be studying blood.Archaeology students are told they might see a skeleton or two.And most amazing: Theology students are given a “trigger warning” that they might be studying the crucifixion of Jesus.

Source: TIME TO STOP! When JESUS Comes With A Trigger Warning | The Federalist Papers

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Bahrain Executes 3 Young Activists amid Massive Public Protests 

Bahrain (Tasnim) – Bahrain on Sunday executed three anti-regime activists over their alleged role in a 2014 bomb attack, amid widespread public anger against the death verdicts.The regime in Manama carried out the death verdicts on Sunday in defiance of ongoing protest rallies across the kingdom.The rallies began on Saturday and lasted into Sunday, when the outraged public marched across the capital Manama and the northeastern villages of Nuwaidrat and al-Dair after the morning prayers, Press TV reported.On January 9, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the death penalties given to Sami Mushaima, Abbas Jamil Tahir al-Sami’ and Ali Abdulshahid al-Singace over allegations of killing a member of Emirati forces who had been assisting Manama in its suppression of Bahraini protesters in the northern village of al-Daih back in March 2014. Seven other convicts have also been sentenced to life in prison in the case.The defendants had denied the charges.The latest wave of anti-regime protests came after Bahraini religious scholars called on the nation to take to the streets “in a bid to save the lives of the three innocent activists.”

Source: Bahrain Executes 3 Young Activists amid Massive Public Protests – The Fifth Column

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8 MEN AS RICH AS HALF THE WORLD

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday.Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It’s urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem.If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year’s election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Source: News from The Associated Press

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