Daily Archives: March 8, 2017

This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting

Two weeks ago, NRKbeta, the tech vertical of the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, published an explainer about a proposed new digital surveillance law in the country.Digital security is a controversial topic, and the conversation around security issues can become heated. But the conversation in the comments of the article was respectful and productive: Commenters shared links to books and other research, asked clarifying questions, and offered constructive feedback.The team at NRKbeta attributes the civil tenor of its comments to a feature it introduced last month. On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they’re allowed to post a comment. (For instance, in the digital surveillance story: “What does DGF stand for?”)

Source: This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting » Nieman Journalism Lab

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Struggling shopping malls let high schools, doctors move in where Penney’s used to be

Beneath some positive stats, shopping malls are facing serious problems that threaten their health, including a shift to non-retail tenants and forecasted rent declines, according to Wells Fargo analysts.Wells Fargo stresses a need to look deeper at high mall occupancy rates. Occupancy for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 93.6%, near the 93.3% for all of 2015, according to data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, cited by the International Council of Shopping Centers. However, the type of tenants many malls have is shifting to a lower-quality occupant for the overall health of the retail-focused mall, the analysts said.“[F]or example, there are far more ‘mom-and-pop’ stores, and some malls have repurposed space for non-retail uses such as doctors offices, town libraries and even a high school,” Wells Fargo said in the report published Sunday. “Mom-and-pop” retail in a mall setting may generally be seen as a more-vulnerable long-term tenant and less of a traffic pusher without big-name brand backing.The annual base rent for malls at the national level was $27.30 per square foot in 2016, up 1.4% from 2015, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. But that doesn’t take into account the impact of long-term leases.

Source: Struggling shopping malls let high schools, doctors move in where Penney’s used to be – MarketWatch

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Snowden’s Revealing Tweet Exposes Exactly What Your TV Is Doing To You

Four years ago, Edward Snowden accomplished one of the most significant intelligence leaks in U.S. history, confirming to the world that the government really does spy on you. Two years later, Samsung casually warned the public that their Smart TVs could record their living room banter.Now, even if you’re alone in a room, if that room contains a laptop, computer, or Smart TV, it’s possible that someone out there is listening to you, and even watching you. The worst part? You wouldn’t even know.A new technology called TVision Insights was recently launched, allowing companies to monitor TV watchers’ viewing habits. This means that they can literally watch you as you watch TV, and the technology even records data on where your eyes are looking, when you’re distracted, and what emotions you’re conveying.

Source: Snowden’s Revealing Tweet Exposes Exactly What Your TV Is Doing To You

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“Peeping Pigs” and Propaganda by Omission 

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. – George Orwell   Animal FarmWhile there is much talk these days about “fake news,” omitting important news is perhaps as widespread and egregiously harmful to an informed public.  The following report tries to remedy the way the mainstream media have for years ignored one of the oddest but more important news stories of the last sixty years.  Its implications are momentous, especially in the light of the exponential growth of spying and the loss of privacy. There are eyes everywhere these days. That we are being watched is beyond dispute; but by whom and why?  This is the real story that the mainstream media have failed to address.  Their failure to do so is truly laughable.Extensive scientific research over fifty years has concluded that pigs that stink and grow larger as they age have small eyes and tend to stare at people. I have previously reported on these startling studies, but they have been met with a blind eye. Researchers across the world continue to replicate and confirm the findings of the original research done in 1953 in Kansas by Dr. Wilfred Jeffred Eftie. Yet the mainstream media, as is their wont, keep failing to report these extraordinary studies or slight them as worse than fake news.  Averting one’s gaze from their import won’t make them disappear.  Surveilling pigs may not be obvious, but the fact that they’re not makes them triply dangerous.

Source: “Peeping Pigs” and Propaganda by Omission | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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This International Store Chain Only Sells Rubber Ducks 

From eBay to toy stores and gift shops, there are plenty of places to look for rubber ducks, but if you’re searching for a brick-and-mortar store that only caters to rubber duck enthusiasts, there’s only one place to go – The Duck Store.It all started a few years ago in Amsterdam, when the owner of a small toy store on Oude Leliestraat, noticed that visitors, most of which were tourists, were particularly interested in rubber ducks. The adorable bathtub toys seemed to always draw people’s attention and put a smile on their faces. Then, one day, the owner read the words of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – famous for his giant rubber duck art installations – and was inspired to get rid of the other toys and focus solely on rubber ducks. And that’s how the Amsterdam Duck Store was born.

Source: This International Store Chain Only Sells Rubber Ducks | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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When It Comes To Searching For Sex Positions Online, D.C. Blows Away The Rest Of The Country: DCist

People in D.C. search online for sex positions at about four times the national average, according to a new study that is confounding the researchers themselves.The AskMen study looked at state-level Google AdWords data and compared it to a “predetermined list of sex positions” to figure out which ones people searched for the most, and whether geography played a role. While it tracks the searches, it does not look into whether people clicked on links that provided information versus those that offered a more real-life application via video.Americans search for sex positions on Google at a rate of about 4.5 times per 1,000 residents, the study finds, but in D.C., the rate is 18.7 searches per 1,000 residents. Wyoming, in second place, has a rate of about 9 searches per 1,000 residents.(Here’s a boner-killing reminder that, while Wyoming has a smaller population than D.C., it has two senators and a voting member in the House, while the District does not.)AskMen’s Ian Lang guesses that locations with less population diversity search more frequently for sex positions online. But D.C., which blows away the other states in terms of sex position searches, doesn’t fit into this neat little theory.”I have no clue what’s going on in D.C. (which is obviously not a state but works as one for our purposes), by the way,” writes Lang. “Either it’s an aberration, or the jokes about crusty, conservative old people actually being freaks in the sheets holds water.”

Source: When It Comes To Searching For Sex Positions Online, D.C. Blows Away The Rest Of The Country: DCist

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Peeps Oreos Have Rather Unfortunate Side Effects

(NEWSER) – The latest cream flavor to come out of something called “the Oreo Wonder Vault” has consumers wondering why their poop suddenly looks like it could’ve come from a unicorn. Two weeks ago, Oreo released a limited edition of its cookie with a vanilla shell and a filling flavored like the love-it-or-hate-it marshmallow candy Peeps. One reviewer claims the filling is the same one used in the Marshmallow Crispy Oreos, but with one major difference: It’s bright pink and appears to turn your mouth—and even your dung—bright pink, too. “My spit looks like Pepto-Bismol” hours after eating the cookies, one Twitter user complains, per Delish. Adds another, “My roommate ate a whole pack of Oreo Peeps and left a pink stain in the toilet.”

Source: Peeps Oreos Have Rather Unfortunate Side Effects

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FBI prepares for new hunt for WikiLeaks’ source

The FBI has begun preparing for a major mole hunt to determine how anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks got an alleged arsenal of hacking tools the CIA has used to spy on espionage targets, according to people familiar with the matter.The leak rattled government and technology industry officials, who spent Tuesday scrambling to determine the accuracy and scope of the thousands of documents released by the group. They were also trying to assess the damage the revelations may cause, and what damage may come from future releases promised by WikiLeaks, these people said.It was all a familiar scenario for a government that has repeatedly seen sensitive information compromised in recent years.

Source: FBI prepares for new hunt for WikiLeaks’ source – The Washington Post

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Exclusive: Mexico cancels sugar export permits to U.S. in trade dispute

MEXICO CITY Australia’s ‘Angry Summer’ breaks 200+ records Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States in a dispute over the pace of shipments, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a flare-up industry sources said could temporarily disrupt supplies.The letter sent by Mexico’s sugar chamber to mills on Monday partly blamed the situation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it said has led to a “legalistic” interpretation of rules with no U.S. counterparts in place in Washington for Mexican officials to negotiate with.  The cancellations are the latest dispute of a years-long trade row between Mexico – the United States’ top foreign supplier of sugar – and its neighbor at a time when cane refiners are struggling with prices and tight supplies, U.S. industry sources said.

Source: Exclusive: Mexico cancels sugar export permits to U.S. in trade dispute | Reuters

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As North Korea missile threat grows, Japan lawmakers argue for first strike options

TOKYO (Reuters) – Rattled by North Korean military advances, influential Japanese lawmakers are pushing harder for Japan to develop the ability to strike preemptively at the missile facilities of its nuclear-armed neighbor.Japan has so far avoided taking the controversial and costly step of acquiring bombers or weapons such as cruise missiles with enough range to strike other countries, relying instead on its U.S. ally to take the fight to its enemies.But the growing threat posed by Pyongyang, including Monday’s simultaneous launch of four rockets, is adding weight to an argument that aiming for the archer rather than his arrows is a more effective defense.”If bombers attacked us or warships bombarded us, we would fire back. Striking a country lobbing missiles at us is no different,” said Itsunori Onodera, a former defense minister who heads a ruling Liberal Democratic Party committee looking at how Japan can defend against the North Korean missile threat. “Technology has advanced and the nature of conflict has changed.”

Source: As North Korea missile threat grows, Japan lawmakers argue for first strike options

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5-Year-Old Asks For Matching Haircut As His Friend So You ‘Wouldn’t Be Able To Tell Them Apart’

“If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is,” Rosebush continued. “The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.” Rosebush’s post has been shared over 82,000 times and amassed 92,000 likes in just one week. The comments are filled with positivity, with many people sharing that Jax’s story brought them joy and commending Rosebush on her parenting. “And that’s how it should be,” one commenter wrote ” … Children are the purest version of us that we should strive to be like.””It’s obvious that Jax has great parents who are teaching him what really matters in life. This post made my weekend,” another commenter wrote. Some people took to the comments section to share their own experience with racial prejudice.

Source: 5-Year-Old Asks For Matching Haircut As His Friend So You ‘Wouldn’t Be Able To Tell Them Apart’

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Husband’s Lucky Charms Poisoned By Woman To Avoid Sex

Lucky Charms with only marshmallows in the box is a dream. Lucky Charms with poison included? Not so much of a dream.So some people get quite peeved when they are denied sex. Need examples? Check out the Florida Man who shot his wife in the ass for turning him down. Or read up on the woman who stabbed her boyfriend after he refused to have sex with her. But now we have a woman that went the extra mile just to get out of sex with her husband.Andrea Heming admitted to police to poisoning her husband’s Lucky Charms cereal in order to not have to have sex with him. Heming pleaded guilty to contaminating her husband’s cereal with boric acid, which is use to kill cockroaches. Heming even admitted to throwing some energy drinks and whipped cream into his cereal for some reason. Heming sure was desperate.

Source: Husband’s Lucky Charms Poisoned By Woman To Avoid Sex

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Despite Efforts, Nature Still Bests Genetically-Modified Species

As scientists continue to genetically modify different species, they still cannot defeat nature.Researchers at the University of Kansas and Cornell University have showed the daunting challenges in changing the DNA of entire populations of species, as efforts to genetically alter natural populations to solve problems that plague human beings have failed.“A lot of times nature interferes with how humans would like the world to be,” Robert Unckless, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of molecular biosciences at Kansas, said in a statement. “Good examples of that are pests in crops and insect-vectored diseases, like the Zika virus or dengue or malaria.

”Discussions regarding modifying specific genes at the population level have been mostly theoretical because genetic edits pushed through a population also tended to have a “fitness cost,” which decrease the life span of altered individuals or render them sterile. Therefore, natural selection favors individuals lacking modified genes and purges a given genetic alteration within a population within a few generations. However, scientists gained a new edge with the creation of techniques using “selfish genes” that take advantage of natural elements to cheat genetic “Mendelian inheritance”—whereby offspring of modified and non-modified organisms are just as likely to inherit traits from either parent and overcome the fitness cost.

Source: Despite Efforts, Nature Still Bests Genetically-Modified Species

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