Daily Archives: April 26, 2017

Once celebrated, special driver’s licenses stir anxiety among immigrants in California

Leticia Aceves remembers the fear of her first drive alone.She was pregnant and in the country illegally with no driver’s license, and little grasp of English or California’s traffic laws. She had a doctor’s appointment, so she drove on side streets and avoided Highway 49 — the town’s main road — hoping to lessen her chance of being pulled over by police.”I was shaking all the way from my house to the doctor’s appointment,” Aceves said.Two years ago, driving got less stressful for Aceves and 850,000 other Californians who received driver’s licenses under a state law meant to help immigrants living in the country illegally become more integrated into society.Over the past decade, California has taken several steps to bring immigrants without legal status into the mainstream, including health care for the young and financial aid for college students.But none of the other measures changed lives so profoundly and quickly as the driver’s licenses. Being able to drive without fear of arrest has given immigrants access to more jobs and made them more confident drivers, they say.Aceves now drives as many as 50 miles a day for her house-cleaning business.But President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration has made those license holders anxious. Many of them worry that the cards will be used to identify them as being here illegally and lead to deportation. That has prompted some to avoid getting the licenses, despite assurances from the Department of Motor Vehicles that it will not share information with immigration officials.

Source: Once celebrated, special driver’s licenses stir anxiety among immigrants in California | OregonLive.com

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There’s a Hot Pockets sleeping bag and I don’t know why 

This is one of those things that exists in the world and I simply do not know why and cannot imagine who would want such an item. (And no, “irony” doesn’t cut it as an excuse because there is none.) Here it is: A Hot Pockets® sleeping bag. According to the description, its “Custom MicroWaav™ insulation system ensures your extremities stay toasty.”During your next camping trip or marathon gaming session, this Hot Pocket Sleeping Bag will keep you warm and cozy. After the initial 2 minute period to reach maximum internal temperature, the integrated crisping sleeve allows for maximum warmth retention. Our custom MicroWaav™ insulation system ensures your extremities are always toasty while your core stays nice and cool. It’s perfect for backpacking, camping, or couchsurfing.

Source: There’s a Hot Pockets sleeping bag and I don’t know why | Dangerous Minds

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Umbilical cord blood from babies could help bring back memory for dementia patients 

Dementia patients have been offered hope that their memory could be repaired after scientists showed that injecting blood from the umbilical cords of human babies restores brain function.Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in the US discovered that cord blood contains an important protein which vanishes as humans get older.  It is believed the protein encourages neuroplasticity in the brain, allowing neurons to adapt and communicate more effectively.When human cord blood was injected into elderly mice they performed far better in learning and memory tests and even started nesting again, gathering up cotton wads to make beds, an instinctive behaviour that is largely forgotten in old age.Alzheimer’s Society head of research Dr James Pickett said: “Everyone experiences some decline in memory as they get older. The possibility that this process can be reversed by an infusion of young blood sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but this is what the study is beginning to show.”

Source: Umbilical cord blood from babies could help bring back memory for dementia patients 

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Pirate Bay Founder Launches Anonymous Domain Registration Service

Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde has a new privacy-oriented startup. Today he launches the domain registration service Njalla, which offers site owners full anonymity, shielding them from the prying eyes of outsiders. “Think of us as your friendly drunk (but responsibly so) straw person that takes the blame for your expressions.”In recent years, copyright holders have taken aim at the domain name industry, calling on players to take a more active approach against piracy.One of the often heard complaints is that website owners use Whois masking services to ensure their privacy.There are several companies dedicated to offering privacy to domain registrants and today, rightsholders will see a well-known adversary entering the market.

Source: Pirate Bay Founder Launches Anonymous Domain Registration Service – TorrentFreak

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With Secret Airship, Sergey Brin Also Wants to Fly

Larry Page has his flying cars. Sergey Brin shall have an airship.Brin, the Google co-founder, has secretly been building a massive airship inside of Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center, according to four people with knowledge of the project. It’s unclear whether the craft, which looks like a zeppelin, is a hobby or something Brin hopes to turn into a business. “Sorry, I don’t have anything to say about this topic right now,” Brin wrote in an email.The people familiar with the project said Brin has long been fascinated by airships. His interest in the crafts started when Brin would visit Ames, which is located next to Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. In the 1930s, Ames was home to the USS Macon, a huge airship built by the U.S. Navy. About three years ago, Brin decided to build one of his own after ogling old photos of the Macon.

Source: With Secret Airship, Sergey Brin Also Wants to Fly – Bloomberg

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New computers could delete thoughts without your knowledge, experts warn

“Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind,” wrote the playwright John Milton in 1634.But, nearly 400 years later, technological advances in machines that can read our thoughts mean the privacy of our brain is under threat.Now two biomedical ethicists are calling for the creation of new human rights laws to ensure people are protected, including “the right to cognitive liberty” and “the right to mental integrity”.

Scientists have already developed devices capable of telling whether people are politically right-wing or left-wing. In one experiment, researchers were able to read people’s minds to tell with 70 per cent accuracy whether they planned to add or subtract two numbers.

Facebook also recently revealed it had been secretly working on technology to read people’s minds so they could type by just thinking.

Source: New computers could delete thoughts without your knowledge, experts warn | The Independent

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Bill Gates: Terrorists could wipe out 30 million people by weaponising a disease such as smallpox

A bioterrorist attack which could wipe out 30 million people is becoming increasingly likely because it is easier than ever to create and spread deadly pathogens, Bill Gates has warned.The Microsoft founder, who was speaking before a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London (RUSI), warned that an outbreak of a lethal respiratory virus such as smallpox would be more dangerous than even a nuclear attack.Mr Gates, whose charitable foundation funds research into quickly spotting outbreaks, said it was more important than ever to help foreign countries monitor diseases to prevent a global tragedy.“Bioterrorism is a much larger risk than a pandemic,” he said.“All these advances in biology have made it far easier for a terrorist to recreate smallpox, which is a highly fatal pathogen, where there is essentially no immunity remaining at this point.

Source: Bill Gates: Terrorists could wipe out 30 million people by weaponising a disease such as smallpox

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Flying taxis will be cheaper than driving a car, says Uber

Uber has claimed that ordering a flying taxi will one day be cheaper than taking a journey in a car as it laid out an ambitious vision for tests of aerial vehicles.The ride-hailing company said it is planning to start trials of its “UberAIR” service in 2020 in Dubai and Dallas. It plans to let passengers order trips in flying cars in the same way that they can order rides from the four wheeled land-based versions today.”Urban aviation is a natural next step for Uber in this pursuit, which is why we are working to make ‘push a button, get a flight’ a reality,”  Uber’s chief product officer Jeff Holden said. He suggested that flying cars would be quicker, more environmentally-friendly and above all cheaper than ordering or driving a car in the future.

Source: Flying taxis will be cheaper than driving a car, says Uber

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Saturated fat: Doctors claim warnings it clogs arteries are false 

They said scare stories that diary products like butter and full-fat milk pose health risks were misleading as was an obsession with counting cholesterol.Instead, the best way to protect against stress and stave off killer coronary heart disease was simply to eat “real food” and take a brisk daily walk.Respected cardiologists Dr Aseem Malhotra, Professor Rita Redberg, of UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco and Pascal Meier of University Hospital Geneva and University College, London, said evidence suggests no association between saturated fat and heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or death.

They also claimed clinical trials showed inserting a stent to widen narrowed arteries had failed to reduce the risk of heart attack or death.

Their controversial views have sparked a huge row and put them on a collision course with the British Heart Foundation.

In an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine they claimed: “Decades of emphasis on the primacy of lowering cholesterol, as if this was an end in itself and driving a market of ‘proven to lower cholesterol’ and ‘low fat’ foods and medications, has been misguided.”

Source: Saturated fat: Doctors claim warnings it clogs arteries are false | Health | Life & Style | Express.co.uk

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Drugged driving eclipses drunken driving in tests of motorists killed in crashes 

For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk.Forty-three percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, eclipsing the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol, according to a report released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.Of the drivers who tested positive for drugs, more than a third had used marijuana and more than 9 percent had taken amphetamines.“As drunken driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically, and many of today’s impaired drivers are combining two or more substances,” said Ralph S. Blackman, president of the foundation, a nonprofit founded and funded by a group of distillers.

Source: Drugged driving eclipses drunken driving in tests of motorists killed in crashes – The Washington Post

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NSA Blimp Spied in the United States

TO RESIDENTS OF MARYLAND, catching an occasional glimpse of a huge white blimp floating in the sky is not unusual. For more than a decade, the military has used the state as a proving ground for new airships destined for Afghanistan or Iraq. But less known is that the test flights have sometimes served a more secretive purpose involving National Security Agency surveillance.Back in 2004, a division of the NSA called the National Tactical Integration Office fitted a 62-foot diameter airship called the Hover Hammer with an eavesdropping device, according to a classified document published Monday by The Intercept. The agency launched the three-engine airship at an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland. And from there, the blimp was able to vacuum up “international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York area,” the document says. The spy equipment on the airship was called Digital Receiver Technology — a proprietary system manufactured by a Maryland-based company of the same name — which can intercept wireless communications, including cellphone calls.With the exception of a few military websites that refer to the Hover Hammer as an “antenna mounting platform,” there is little information in the public domain about it. The classified NSA document describes the airship as a “helium-filled sphere inside another sphere, constructed of Spectra, the same material used to make bullet-proof vests. … It ‘hovers’ above small arms fire, has a negligible [infrared] signature, and radar can’t detect it.”

Source: NSA Blimp Spied in the United States

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Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules 

Fansubbing—the unofficial creation of fan-made subtitles for TV shows and movies—is illegal, a Dutch court ruled this week.The Free Subtitles Foundation, after coming under fire from the Netherlands’ anti-piracy association BREIN, decided to raise some money and take BREIN to court. The Foundation’s lawyer told TorrentFreak that the lawsuit sought to clarify whether the creators of a TV show or movie can reserve the right to create and distribute subtitles.

Source: Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules | Ars Technica

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Bernie Sanders Defends Ann Coulter, Slams ‘Intellectually Weak’ Student Activists

In a surprising turn of events, every millennial’s favorite old man, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has come out in defense of Ann Coulter, denouncing threats that forced the University of California, Berkeley, to try to postpone her appearance at the college.“I don’t like this. I don’t like it,” Sanders told The Huffington Post in response to the security threats that forced the university to put off the conservative firebrand’s event.“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous―to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation,” he added.The senator from Vermont also slammed protesters who said Coulter shouldn’t be given a platform to speak at the university, calling them “a sign of intellectual weakness.”

Source: Bernie Sanders Defends Ann Coulter, Slams ‘Intellectually Weak’ Student Activists | Heat Street

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Penguins fan stabbed in head refuses treatment until end of game 

A Pittsburgh man stabbed in the head with a screwdriver during the Penguins’ playoff opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night refused medical attention until the game was over, police said.The Stanley Cup contenders, ranked: red-hot Capitals can go all the way Read moreOfficers were dispatched to the City of Steel Auto Detail shop in Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood at 9.12pm local time on Wednesday, where they found the 43-year-old victim bleeding from the scalp, a Pittsburgh police spokesperson told the Guardian.

Source: Pittsburgh Penguins fan stabbed in head refuses treatment until end of game | Sport | The Guardian

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Teens charged after allegedly trying to break into car with police officer inside 

A wild night for a group of teens last week ended with them all facing a slew of criminal charges including grand larceny, assaulting a police officer, and firearms violations.According to the Chesterfield Police Department, at around 1 a.m. Friday an officer was sitting in an unmarked vehicle in the 5600 block of Burnage Court when he noticed another car pull up behind him.Police say a group of people got out of the vehicle and approached the officer’s car. Then one person tried to break in while the police officer was sitting inside.”Crazy. Kind of stupid on their part,” said Torie Shirley.Shirley and her family have lived on Harold Green Road for three years. She said the neighborhood is very family friendly, and she’s never felt uneasy about letting her kids walk around alone, until now.”So many police officers live in this neighborhood, so you feel really safe,” she said. “To hear that, (it) was shocking and surprising.”

Source: Teens charged after allegedly trying to break into car with poli – NBC12 – WWBT – Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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