Daily Archives: March 7, 2017

Fury over ‘degrading’ Saint Laurent ad campaign 

A new publicity campaign featuring painfully thin models in “degrading” poses for the French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent sparked outrage today, with calls for it to be banned.The poster campaign across Paris of a reclining woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights opening her legs, and another of a model in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool, caused fury on social media.The French advertising authority said most of the complaints it received were from people who saw the images as an “incitement to rape”.Its director Stephane Martin told AFP the brand appeared to have “uncontestably breached” the rules.“I am not sure that (Saint Laurent’s) female clients would like to be associated with these images,” he said.“We had a similar type of porno chic (in fashion advertising) a decade ago, and here we have it coming back again which isn’t acceptable,” Martin added.He said they would decide on what action to take after meeting the label on Friday.The authority bars all “degrading and humiliating representations of people”, and can demand that advertisers withdraw or change their campaigns.

Source: Fury over ‘degrading’ Saint Laurent ad campaign | Life | Malay Mail Online

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Armed Men Dressed As Clowns Scare Children Playing In Wooded Area 

Extra police are patrolling West Mifflin tonight after two men with weapons, dressed as clowns, frightened a group of children.Police from West Mifflin and the City of Pittsburgh went searching for the men, as soon as the father of three of the children called 911. The search didn’t turn up any evidence.It was a typical Saturday afternoon for the kids on Lauder Street, playing hide and go seek in the woods, until around 4:15 p.m.That’s when the kids say two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons seemed to come out of nowhere.“They were chasing us,” said 8-year-old Dylan Milkowski, of West Mifflin.“My kid came running in the house screaming that there were two guys chasing him,” said Michael Milkowski, of West Mifflin.

Source: Armed Men Dressed As Clowns Scare Children Playing In Wooded Area « CBS Pittsburgh

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CloudPets connected toys can be turned into remote surveillance devices

The CloudPets data breach saga continues, as Spiral Toys finally reported the breach to the California Attorney General’s Office.As a reminder: Leaked data provided to security researcher Troy Hunt showed that MongoDB databases containing personal information, hashed passwords and voice recordings of messages by children and parents using CloudPets teddy toys were sitting unprotected on the Internet since December 2016.The databases were repeatedly accessed by unauthorized users, some of which apparently dumped the contents on their servers, deleted the databases, and asked for ransom to return the data.

Downplaying the seriousness of the data breachThe breach notice sent to the California Attorney General’s Office includes false claims that the company was told about a potential breach on February 22, when researchers and reporters repeatedly sent messages to as many company email addresses and social media accounts they could find, warning them of the breach.

Hunt has gone through the notice and pointed out (at the very end of the write-up) the many inaccuracies and misinformation included in it, so I won’t be repeating them here. Suffice to say that the company is still trying to make it look like they did everything they could to prevent a breach, and that the breach is not as extensive as it effectively, provenly is.

Source: CloudPets connected toys can be turned into remote surveillance devices – Help Net Security

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Scientists Confirm Worst Fears About Pee in Pools

(NEWSER) – About one in five Americans say they’ve peed in the pool. Even the world’s most famous pool-user, Michael Phelps, says “everybody” does it. Now scientists have finally figured out a way to quantify just how much urine is in our pools, and the results in Environmental Science & Technology Letters probably won’t please swimmers.

A research team testing 31 pools and hot tubs in Canada found evidence of urine in every single one of them, Gizmodo reports. On average, there were 8 gallons of urine in a 110,000-gallon pool and 18.5 gallons of urine in a 220,000-gallon pool. According to the Guardian, the results were even grosser for hot tubs. One hotel hot tub was found to have three times the urine level of the worst swimming pool.

Source: Scientists Confirm Worst Fears About Pee in Pools

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Massachusetts Bill Would Withdraw the State from Common Core

BOSTON, Mass. (Mar. 2, 2017) – A Massachusetts bill would withdraw the state from Common Core standards, an important step toward nullifying the program within the state.Sen. Jason Lewis (D- Winchester) introduced Senate Bill 283 (S.283) to void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them. It reads, in part:Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the vote taken by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education… to adopt the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts is hereby rescinded.

The curriculum frameworks in Mathematics and English Language Arts that were in effect prior to that date are hereby restored.In addition, S.283 contains language that would allow parents to see exactly what is in their students’ learning materials, which has not been readily available due to the Common Core standards. The bill reads, in part:In order to better inform the teachers and administrators about the diagnostic assessments, after the administration of the assessments but before the start of the new school year, the commissioner shall release all of the test items, including questions, constructed responses and essays, for each grade and every subject.Although measures to ban Common Core at the state level can be effective in stopping the federally-driven standards, other states have had similar reform efforts co-opted with Common Core simply rebranded after new standards were mandated legislatively.

Source: Tenth Amendment Center Blog | Massachusetts Bill Would Withdraw the State from Common Core

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FBI probes involve 300 people admitted to U.S. as refugees -…

The FBI is investigating 300 people who were admitted into the United States as refugees as part of 1,000 counterterrorism investigations involving Islamic State or individuals inspired by the militant group, congressional sources told Reuters on Monday, citing senior administration officials.

Department of Homeland Security officials did not provide details of the investigations or the current immigration status of those 300 individuals during a briefing with congressional staffers, according to the sources, who requested anonymity. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: FBI probes involve 300 people admitted to U.S. as refugees -…

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Dalai Lama says Chinese hardliners have parts of brain missing

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Chinese hardliners have parts of their brains missing, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said in an interview aired this week, comments likely to infuriate Beijing, which views the Nobel Peace laureate as a dangerous separatist.The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.The animosity between the two sides, and their rivalry for control over Tibetan Buddhism, is at the heart of the debate about reincarnation.Speaking to U.S. comedian John Oliver in India’s northern town of Dharamsala, where the exiled Tibetan government is based, he also said he might be the last Dalai Lama.”Very possible,” he said. “If I become the last Dalai Lama, I feel very happy.”Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.

Source: Dalai Lama says Chinese hardliners have parts of brain missing

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Black Student Group Offers CPR Training ‘To Black Students Only’ | MRCTV

York University’s black student group is offering CPR and first aid training exclusively to black students, defending their discrimination by saying it is part of their “DUTY” to the black community.

An image obtained by MRCTV shows the York United Black Students’ Alliance is offering the CPR and first aid training “catering to black students only”:

 

A photo on the group’s Twitter page confirms the event is only for black students.

In a statement issued on their Facebook page, York United Black Students’ Alliance blamed “anti-black racism” for the outrage over their program. The group explained that while learning CPR is something “anyone should be able to access,” their services are strictly for the black community and that is not, in fact, racist:

University’s black student group is offering CPR and first aid training exclusively to black students.

Source: Black Student Group Offers CPR Training ‘To Black Students Only’ | MRCTV

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Google’s artificial intelligence can diagnose cancer faster than human doctors 

Making the decision on whether or not a patient has cancer usually involves trained professionals meticulously scanning tissue samples over weeks and months.But an artificial intelligence (AI) program owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, may be able to do it much, much faster.DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company also owned by Alphabet is working to tell the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue as well as discover if metastasis has occured.”Metastasis detection is currently performed by pathologists reviewing large expanses of biological tissues. This process is labour intensive and error-prone,” explained DeepMind in a white paper outlining the study.

Source: Google’s artificial intelligence can diagnose cancer faster than human doctors – Mirror Online

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UTA Professor Invents Breath Monitor To Detect Flu 

It’s a revolutionary device that makes it possible to diagnose flu cases at home.University of Texas Arlington Professor, Dr. Perena Gouma, invented a flu breathalyzer.“I think it’s going to save a lot of people a lot of trouble, and a lot of money,” says Dr. Gouma. “Now, someone has to go to the doctor’s office, and the virus can infect other people. It might be an unnecessary visit if they don’t have the flu.”Methodist Mansfield Medical Center ER Physician Ashkan Bidgoli says the method to diagnose the flu virus takes around half an hour.“Right now basically we’re using a nasal swab to detect the flu in all ages,” says Dr. Bidgoli. “It can be uncomfortable and cumbersome, especially for younger kids.”

Source: UTA Professor Invents Breath Monitor To Detect Flu « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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US psychologists claim social media ‘increases loneliness’ 

A report suggests that more than two hours of social media use a day doubled the chances of a person experiencing social isolation.It claims exposure to idealised representations of other people’s lives may cause feelings of envy.The study also looked at those using Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.It’s important to remember what you see on social isn’t necessarily the reason for you feeling bad – but it might be a factor.Put simply, it might just heighten the emotions you’re already feeling.Read: Here’s how to keep social media in perspective.”We do not yet know which came first – the social media use or the perceived social isolation,” co-author Elizabeth Miller, professor of paediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, said.”It’s possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world.”

Source: US psychologists claim social media ‘increases loneliness’ – BBC Newsbeat

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