Daily Archives: February 14, 2017

Millimeter-Scale Computers: Now With Deep Learning Neural Networks on Board 

Computer scientist David Blaauw pulls a small plastic box from his bag. He carefully uses his fingernail to pick up the tiny black speck inside and place it on the hotel café table. At one cubic millimeter, this is one of a line of the world’s smallest computers. I had to be careful not to cough or sneeze lest it blow away and be swept into the trash.Blaauw and his colleague Dennis Sylvester, both IEEE Fellows and computer scientists at the University of Michigan, were in San Francisco this week to present ten papers related to these “micro mote” computers at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). They’ve been presenting different variations on the tiny devices for a few years.Their broader goal is to make smarter, smaller sensors for medical devices and the internet of things—sensors that can do more with less energy. Many of the microphones, cameras, and other sensors that make up eyes and ears of smart devices are always on alert, and frequently beam personal data into the cloud because they can’t analyze it themselves. Some have predicted that by 2035, there will be 1 trillion such devices. “If you’ve got a trillion devices producing readings constantly, we’re going to drown in data,” says Blaauw. By developing tiny, energy efficient computing sensors that can do analysis on board, Blaauw and Sylvester hope to make these devices more secure, while also saving energy.

Source: Millimeter-Scale Computers: Now With Deep Learning Neural Networks on Board – IEEE Spectrum

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Confirmed: TSA’s Behavioral Detection Program Is Useless, Biased, And Based On Junk Science 

Thanks to FOIA requests (and lawsuits), the ACLU has gathered enough documents to provide a comprehensive report [PDF] on the worthlessness of the TSA’s “Behavioral Detection” program. Meant to give the agency a better way of proactively thwarting acts of terrorism, the program instead opts for lazy profiling, dubious readings of behavioral cues, and junk science.The documents show the evolution of the behavior detection program and make clear the extent to which it is a program of surveillance of unsuspecting travelers based on unreliable indicators. “Behavior detection officers,” some of them dressed in plain clothes, scrutinize travelers at airports for over 90 behaviors that the TSA associates with stress, fear, or deception, looking for what the TSA calls signs of “mal-intent.” The reliability of these so-called indicators is not supported by the scientific studies in the TSA files. The behavior detection officers may then engage travelers in “casual conversation” that is actually an effort to probe the basis for any purported signs of deception. When the officers think they perceive those behaviors, they follow the travelers, subject them to additional screening, and at times bring in law enforcement officers who can investigate them further.

Source: Confirmed: TSA’s Behavioral Detection Program Is Useless, Biased, And Based On Junk Science | Techdirt

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New York Toymaker to Sell 1st Transgender Doll Based on Transgender Teen

A New York toy maker is set to debut what it says is the first transgender doll available on the market.Tonner Doll Company says it will debut a doll based on 16-year-old transgender teen Jazz Jennings from the TLC reality series I Am Jazz at the New York Toy Fair, CBS Los Angeles reported.The company has made dolls based on a variety of characters from books and television shows, including Spiderman, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Wonder Woman.The toy will have a genderless plastic mold typical of most dolls, is being tested for children eight years and older, and is expected to sell for $89.99, ABC News reported.“Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view – she’s incredibly brave, intelligent, warm-hearted and creative,” said company founder Robert Tonner, who called the doll “groundbreaking.”

Source: New York Toymaker to Sell 1st Transgender Doll Based on Transgender Teen – Breitbart

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Old, generic drug for rare disease gets new price tag: $89,000 per year 

Remember when that pharmaceutical trade group launched a flashy ad campaign to convince consumers that it was different from the price-gouging Shkrelis of the industry? Well, one of its members just took an old, cheap drug and priced a year’s worth of it at $89,000.

The steroid drug, deflazacort, which treats Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has been approved overseas for years and is sold as a generic. Families here have been importing a year’s worth for around $1,200.

But Marathon Pharmaceuticals (a member of the PhRMA trade group) finally got it FDA-approved Thursday under an “orphan drug” status, which covers drugs that treat rare diseases. (Duchenne affects about 15,000 people in the US.) Under that status, Marathon has exclusive rights to sell deflazacort in the US for seven years.

Source: Old, generic drug for rare disease gets new price tag: $89,000 per year | Ars Technica

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Cops: Jerry Sandusky’s Son Sexually Assaulted a Child

NEWSER) – The adopted son of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky has been arrested and accused of the same crime as his father: sexually assaulting a child, reports WTAJ. Jeffrey Sandusky, 41, was arraigned Monday and also faces charges of child pornography and the corruption of minors, reports TMZ. Police say they began investigating after a child told his father that he had gotten texts from Jeffrey Sandusky that included a request for naked photos. Sandusky was dating the boy’s mother at the time, say police. The criminal complaint alleges that a second child was abused, going back to 2013.

Source: Cops: Jerry Sandusky’s Son Sexually Assaulted a Child

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How To Find The Message ID For A Gmail Email [Chrome]

Gmail has quite a few management features for keeping track of important conversations. You can use labels, folders, and the star feature to make sure you don’t lose an email. Gmail’s robust search is another way to quickly find and retrieve a message. Every message you send or receive in Gmail has a unique ID. It’s what Gmail uses to differentiate messages. On the surface you see the sender, subject, and contents of a message. At the back end, this unique ID is what keeps track of everything and you can use it to keep track of emails outside of Gmail. Gmail message ID finder is Chrome extension that helps you find the message ID for a Gmail email.Install Gmail message ID finder and open Gmail. Find the message you want to bookmark outside of Gmail. Open the drop-down button next to the ‘Reply’ arrow. At the bottom of the drop-down menu is a new option added by the extension, ‘Copy message ID’. Click it.

Source: How To Find The Message ID For A Gmail Email [Chrome]

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Snowden: ‘Finally: Irrefutable Evidence That I Never Cooperated with Russian Intel’ | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

“I think Snowden is a terrible threat, I think he’s a terrible traitor and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country, you know what we used to do to traitors right?” Trump has said.

Edward Snowden has spoken on a report suggesting Vladimir Putin is considering sending him back to the US as a “gift” to President Donald Trump, claiming the story proves he is not a spy.”Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” Snowden said. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”

Source: Snowden: ‘Finally: Irrefutable Evidence That I Never Cooperated with Russian Intel’ | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

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What I Learned From The Declassified CIA Archive (video from James Corbett) 

Over 900,000 documents begrudgingly made public by the world’s greatest terrorist organization, the Capitalism’s Invisible Army (CIA).

Source: What I Learned From The Declassified CIA Archive (video from James Corbett) | American Everyman

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Teachers caught playing ‘f***, marry, kill game’ about students — RT America

A group of teachers and school officials from Bangor, Michigan were secretly filmed making off-color comments about students. One educator has already resigned after an emergency meeting with school officials.Seven staffers at Bangor Public School were caught making inflammatory comments about students in a 6-minute video posted on YouTube Tuesday. The video will not be included because it mentions the names of students.The secretary to the superintendent resigned Tuesday night while two teachers have been suspended and the other four received verbal reprimands, according to WZZM.

Many parents at the district are furious over the topics the teachers were loudly discussing at the Bangor Tavern and Grill. The comments ranged from calling one student “beautiful” to another claiming that teachers were having inappropriate relations with students, which also included an allegedly special needs child.

Upset parents believe the statements made on the video warrant harsher disciplinary action.

Source: Teachers caught playing ‘f***, marry, kill game’ about students — RT America

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Mysterious case of the missing drone: Army aircraft disappears from Arizona, found in Colorado

A short-range Army drone vanished during a training flight in southern Arizona, only to reappear nine days ‒ and 600 miles (965 km) ‒ later in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. The $1.5 million military equipment was stuck in a tree.The 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington was participating in a training mission at Fort Huachuca in Arizona when the Shadow RQ-7Bv2 unmanned aircraft “lost connectivity” with the ground station at on January 31.The Army post is about an hour and 15 minutes southeast of Tucson, and equally far northeast of the US-Mexico border crossing in Nogales.

Source: Mysterious case of the missing drone: Army aircraft disappears from Arizona, found in Colorado — RT America

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HBO Announces New Andre the Giant Documentary

For decades, the world of professional wrestling has been built on the backs of larger than life characters. And few have ever been larger than Andre the Giant, one of the most icon wrestlers to ever step into the ring for the WWF. And while Andre has been gone for over two decades, HBO and WWE are teaming up to give the giant his due.HBO and WWE have jointly announced that they are collaborating on an Andre the Giant feature length documentary, with Jason Hehir attached to direct and produce it.

The documentary will include interviews with many classic wrestlers and figures from the WWF era and the modern WWE, in addition to rarely seen footage of Andre himself. According to HBO, it will be “a comprehensive and intimate portrait of one of WWE’s most beloved, yet largely unknown figures.”Andre the Giant’s real name was André René Roussimoff, and he was born in France in 1946. Andre was also afflicted with gigantism and acromegaly, which led to his abnormal size and growth. Andre became a wrestler at only 17 years old and toured around the world before joining the WWWF in 1973.

Source: HBO Announces New Andre the Giant Documentary

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Chemicals Hitch a Ride Onto New Protein for Better Compounds

Chemists have developed a powerful new method of selectively linking chemicals to proteins, a major advance in the manipulation of biomolecules that could transform the way drugs are developed, proteins are probed, and molecules are tracked and imaged.The new technique, called redox activated chemical tagging (ReACT), is described in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Science. Developed at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), it could fundamentally change the process of bioconjugation, the process by which chemicals and tags are attached to biomolecules, particularly proteins.“We’ve essentially invented a new type of chemical Swiss army knife for proteins, the first that can be used for the essential and naturally occurring amino acid methionine,” said study principal investigator Christopher Chang. “This ReACT method can be incorporated into a variety of different tools depending on what you need it to do. You can mix-and-match different reagents for a variety of applications.”Chang and fellow Berkeley Lab faculty scientist F. Dean Toste led this work as part of the Catalysis Program at Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division. Chang is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Source: Chemicals Hitch a Ride Onto New Protein for Better Compounds

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They Even Hate Love | The American Spectator

Valentine’s Day, we are told by a feminist blogger, is “a consumerist holiday, personified by patriarchal and heteronormative traditions which reinforces sexist stereotypes.” The anonymous 25-year-old assures her readers that she is “a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man.” This is fortunate because, apparently, no man needs her. She is alone and unloved, eating chocolate and watching Netflix while scrolling through profiles on the Tinder dating app — and this is what feminist “success” looks like.An entire vocabulary of jargon phrases has been created by feminists to express their contempt for all things male and/or heterosexual. It is “sexist” to believe that women enjoy romance — cards and gifts, flowers and candy, etc. — and it is “heteronormative” to think that any woman might actually desire male companionship. Because the feminist is a “strong, independent woman,” she must regard males as utterly useless, insofar as she does not actively hate males as evil oppressors. “We identify the agents of our oppression as men,” Shulamith Firestone and her comrades in the feminist Redstockings collective declared in 1969: “All men receive economic, sexual, and psychological benefits from male supremacy. All men have oppressed women.”

Source: They Even Hate Love | The American Spectator

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Lindsay Lohan Wants Meeting with Trump to Discuss Syrian Refugees

Actress Lindsay Lohan has invited President Donald Trump for a tour of the refugee camps in Turkey in which she has worked in recent months, saying in an interview that the experience would help him better understand the plight of Syrian refugees.In an interview with the Daily Mail on Friday, the 30-year-old Mean Girls star called on Americans to unite behind Trump but said it would be a good thing for the country to show more “care and support” to displaced refugees.“I want to try to get the word out to Donald Trump to bring him over there, have him see all the positive things they are doing over there and all America can do to help as well,” Lohan told the outlet.

Source: Lindsay Lohan Wants Meeting with Trump to Discuss Syrian Refugees

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Canadian Black Lives Matter Leader Says White People Have ‘Recessive Genetic Defects’ 

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, Yusra Khogali, says that white people suffer from “recessive genetic defects,” according to a report from the Toronto Sun.In a private Facebook post from 2015 obtained by the Toronto Sun, Khogali said that “white ppl are recessive genetic defects. this is factual.”“White ppl need white supremacy as a mechanism to protect their survival as a people because all they can do is produce themselves. black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to,” she continued.Khogali bases her theory on the idea that “white people have a higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors that suppress melanin production.”She argues that melanin is linked to high levels of fertility, strong bones, and the strength of the nervous system, making black people the “first and strongest of all humans,” whose “genetics are the foundation of all humanity.”

Source: Canadian Black Lives Matter Leader Says White People Have ‘Recessive Genetic Defects’ – Breitbart

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