Monthly Archives: May 2017

Chinese Boss Pays Employees $15 for Every Kilogram They Shed 

Wang Xuebao, the head of a investment consulting firm in Xian City, China, recently made international news headlines after he set up a cash reward system to motivate his employees to lose weight.The employees of Xian Jingtian Investment Consulting in Xian, China’s Shaanxi Province, have the opportunity to earn 100 yuan ($15) for every kilogram of body weight they lose, as part of a reward system implemented by their boss. Wang Xuebao came up with the idea after realizing that both he and his staff were spending most of their time behind a desk and weren’t moving around enough. That, coupled with an unhealthy diet had caused many of them to put on excess weight.Share PinPhoto: video screengrab“I was distressed because our company’s employees are often sitting in the office, and they don’t move around enough – myself included – so they are overweight,” Wang told CN West. “Through this weight-loss activity, we can form a culture and engage in healthy competition.”Launched in March, the monthly reward program has successfully motivated over half of Xian Jingtian employees to lose weight. They’ve started eating healthier and even going to the gym as often as they can, for the chance to collect their monthly cash bonuses.

Source: Chinese Boss Pays Employees $15 for Every Kilogram They Shed | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Court Ruling: The FAA Can’t Make You Register Your Drone

Since December of 2015, Americans have been required to register any drone that weighs more than two sticks of butter with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It’s a minor hassle and costs a little bit of money and seems like a reasonable idea considering how many people are flying sizeable drones nowadays. However, there was one particular group that really didn’t appreciate the new ruling: model aircraft enthusiasts. One of them sued the FAA in February of 2016, and a federal court in Washington, D.C. ruled in favor of hobbyists, meaning that the FAA can no longer require you (or anyone else) to register their personal drones.Here’s the important bit of the ruling (you can read the whole thing here):In

Source: Court Ruling: The FAA Can’t Make You Register Your Drone – IEEE Spectrum

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Google to Start Tracking What Consumers Buy Offline, Too

Google already tracks what you buy online; it’s about to start tracking what you buy offline, too, the AP reports. The tech giant announced Tuesday it will start tracking money spent at merchants’ brick-and-mortar stores by people who’ve clicked on those stores’ digital ads. Google has access to about 70% of credit and debit card sales in the US, it explains, via partnerships with other data tracking companies; its new tool will match up those sales with the ad clicks of users logged into Google. Google can then let merchants know how effective their digital ads are at leading not only to online sales, but also to in-person sales, thus possibly convincing companies to increase the money they spend on online ads. Google runs the world’s largest digital ad network.

The Consumerist explains that location services on your phone could also be helpful in tracking offline purchases, giving this example: “Why yes, John Smith did see four ads for your coffee drink online yesterday, before spending exactly what one of those drinks costs at a location of yours near his office.” And, as CNN reports, Google will also start making more of an effort to get people into physical stores by offering up local store information on YouTube ads. Google says its new tracking tool is not invasive and that the company won’t have access to the exact amount spent or the particular items purchased by a user, but one privacy expert says it’s possible for aggregated data to be used to identify individuals—and another marketing expert says this type of data could be tempting to hackers. “The privacy implications of this are pretty massive, so Google needs to tread very carefully,” he says.

Source: Google to Start Tracking What Consumers Buy Offline, Too

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Linux-based Tizen 4.0 Open Source Operating System Released

At the Tizen Developer Conference (TDC) 2017, Samsung Electronics unveiled Tizen 4.0 open source operating system. The Korean tech giant showed off the new version of the Linux-based operating system and said that Tizen 4.0 OS has a wider range of applications to devices.It should be noted that Tizen 1.0 was announced at TDC 2012; since then, it has touched almost all of Samsung’s products. After bringing Tizen to smartphones, televisions, etc., Samsung is now planning to integrate Tizen 4.0 OS into more household and IoT devices. This will be done with the help of Tizen Real Time (RT).

Source: Linux-based Tizen 4.0 Open Source Operating System Released

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Prisoner Acquitted Of Escape After Prosecutors Can’t Prove Location of Prison 

LOGAN — Based on an error that the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office was unable to correct in court, a convicted murderer who fled from Hocking Correctional Institution on March 27, 2016, has been acquitted of a felony escape charge.John Modie, 59, was indicted on April 26, 2016 after escaping from the Correctional Institution but during a jury trial Tuesday in Hocking County Common Pleas Court, defense attorney Dorian Baum requested the case be dismissed based on Rule 29, which is a motion for a judgment of acquittal and Judge John Wallace had no choice but to rule in favor of Modie.This motion came after Hocking County Assistant Prosecutor Jordan Meadows rested the state’s case following the testimony of four witnesses. Rule 29 states that the judge must enter a judgment of acquittal of any offense for which the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. In this case, Baum made the request based on the prosecutor’s office’s failure to establish that the crime occurred within the office’s jurisdiction in Hocking County.“He (Baum) asked for a motion to dismiss because we failed to prove that the (prison) facility was in Hocking County,” stated Hocking County Prosecutor Ben Fickel. “We tried to fix that error in the courtroom, unfortunately we were unable to do that.”

Source: Prisoner Acquitted Of Escape After Prosecutors Can’t Prove Location of Prison – WOUB Digital

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Republicans Push For ‘Ringless Voicemail’ Spam

The GOP’s leading campaign and fundraising arm, the Republican National Committee, is throwing its support behind a push that could let robocallers spam your voicemail inbox — without your phone ever ringing. As it stands, annoying consumers (you) with robocalls currently violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). More specifically, the law bans any non-emergency calls made with auto-dialers, computer-generated or prerecorded voices without the “prior express consent of the called party.”But a number of companies (including a marketing company named “All About the Message”) are petitioning the current FCC for an exemption that would allow them to bombard your voicemail inbox without technically causing your phone to ring.And the push this week got some major help by the Republican National Committee, who in filings with the FCC tries to argue that the marketing industry’s ability to annoy you is a First Amendment right.The FCC’s failure to allow an exemption for ringless voicemail “would not only restrict an important form of non-intrusive communication; it would have serious consequences for the First Amendment rights of those engaged in political communication via telephone,” claims the RNC.In other words, the RNC is claiming it’s the marketing industry’s First Amendment right to be able to send marketing missives directly to your voicemail inbox. Obviously lacking from the RNC letter is any real concern about the fact that consumers don’t want anything like this implemented.The US Chamber of Commerce and the American Financial Services Association have also thrown their weight behind the push for a ringless voicemail exemption. The Chamber of Commerce goes so far as to call anti-robocall and anti-spam protection provided under the TCPA as “archaic,” suggesting it prevents the marketing industry from developing new and amazing ways to annoy you.Raise your hand if you’d like your voicemail populated with marketing and political missives each morning?

Source: Republicans Push For ‘Ringless Voicemail’ Spam | DSLReports, ISP Information

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Don’t Call It Brexit Radio 

OXFORD, England — Union JACK Radio broadcasts out of a low-slung, graffiti-covered structure that its staff affectionately refers to on the air as “the dumpy little building.” On a nondescript Oxford street, the building is technically two stories but looks shorter; the ceilings are low, the carpeting worn. When I visited recently for a tour, one of the first things I learned was that there are bomb shelters underneath dating back to World War II — the days of Churchill, Spitfires, and Britain’s finest hour.Had it launched at any other time, Union JACK might not have attracted quite so much attention. The concept behind the station is straightforward. As the name implies, it plays only British music, by British artists. Its target audience is people 45 to 59 years old. This demographic is reflected both in the choice of the listener-selected playlist (you’re more likely to hear Pink Floyd than grime) and in the smattering of British-inflected dad jokes listeners are treated to between songs (the station eschews DJs in favor of pre-recorded promo material). On a recent morning, the playlist included music by New Order, Queen, Radiohead, some very good punk by a band called The Members, and recorded voiceovers making quips about some of the things typically viewed as essentials of Britishness: “popping out for a curry,” MINI Coopers, excessive politeness. According to its promotional materials, the station aims to celebrate “the quirky British way of life … from Mary Berry’s soggy bottom to a proper cup of tea.” (Sample catchline: “More British than Stephen Fry riding a swan.”)

Source: Don’t Call It Brexit Radio | Foreign Policy

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Magazine Shames People For Not Wanting to Have Sex With Transgender People, Says It’s Transphobic 

A liberal wonderland known as The Daily Beast (traffic down almost 40% in the last year) has complained about the latest totally-not-shocking survey showing most people wouldn’t want to date a transgender person, claiming it’s due to transphobia.Samantha Allen, a senior reporter for the site, who previously brought hits like the one decrying the LGBT community as racist for not wanting to have sex with people of color, has now deemed the people who don’t really want to date or have sex with a transgender person as “anti-transgender”.According to Allen, who cited a recent YouGov survey, less than 20% of Americans said they would “be open to dating a transgender person” – results which she termed “disappointing but unsurprising”.The data, apparently, shows “a sad truth about the transgender rights movement: Cultural acceptance has tended to lag behind formal recognition.”

Source: Magazine Shames People For Not Wanting to Have Sex With Transgender People, Says It’s Transphobic | Heat Street

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Biophilic urbanism: how rooftop gardening soothes souls

What do an engineer, a building surveyor and a mental health nurse have in common? The answer is a retrofitted rooftop garden. This was a project developed to evaluate the impact of horticultural therapy on the health and wellbeing of people recovering from mental illness.When engineer Rob Casilick contacted building surveyor and academic Sara Wilkinson with the news that he had funding to evaluate the GROW horticultural therapy program on the rooftop garden at St Canice’s, an inner-city church in Sydney’s Kings Cross, she knew this was a great opportunity. She also knew she couldn’t evaluate the health effects, so turned to UTS academic and mental health nurse Fiona Orr.They understood just how broad the potential benefits could be. Approximately one in every five Australians experiences a mental illness. Mental health may be affected by individual or societal factors, including economic disadvantage, poor housing, lack of social support and the level of access to, and use of, health services.

Source: Biophilic urbanism: how rooftop gardening soothes souls

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DEF CON: Human Hacking: You are the Weak Link

Social engineering is quickly becoming more prevalent in the InfoSec industry. Users are becoming more educated about social engineering attempts, but they still fall victim to attacks. Why? Well, like all in all industries, with great improvement to technology comes great improvement to exploitation, and maybe not so great improvement to security. This presentation explores the subtleties involved in wordcrafting, tone of voice, and adaptability during – shudder – human interaction. We’ll also discuss gender roles and stereotyping and the effect it has on the victim. This presentation stemmed from an academic paper and virtual presentation done during Cyni’s coursework for CyberSecurity.Cyni Winegard is currently an information security analyst with TraceSecurity. Starting her career as a systems administrator at a financial institution, she has moved into the information security industry and fallen in love with pen testing and social engineering. Cyni has a Bachelor of Science degree in history with a minor in anthropology from Florida A&M University and is currently working on a Masters in Cyber Security, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Source: DEF CON: Human Hacking: You are the Weak Link – DigitalMunition

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Murder Suspect Who Used Big-Penis Defense Gets Off

Get ready for dick jokes.Do you remember the Florida man who was on trial for murder and had his lawyers argue about the size of his wiener? It was a ballsy defense strategy that included defendant Richard Henry Patterson offering to show the jury his dick to prove the sheer size of the thing is what choked victim Francisca Marquinez while she performed oral sex.It turns out twelve men and women didn’t see his wang, but they did decide to let him go anyway.Murder Suspect Who Used Big-Penis Defense Gets OffIn determining the verdick verdict, the jury on Monday acquitted Patterson of second-degree murder in the killing of Marquinez. The trial lasted a week, while deliberations took only five hours. Here’s a little taste of the action:The defendant’s lawyers were all about the dick. They were compelled to flash Patterson’s junk to the jury, convinced that the 65-year-old man on trial was merely enjoying a blowjob when his girlfriend choked on his massive member. However, a medical expert testified and said that deathblows (see what I did there?) are highly unlikely. As a result, no sausage for the jury.“That’s not the way she died,” defense lawyer Ken Padowitz said. “But that’s the way Richard Patterson thought she died.”

Source: Murder Suspect Who Used Big-Penis Defense Gets Off

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Instagram is the Largest Anxiety Factory among all Social Media 

“Instagram makes girls and women think that their bodies are not good enough,” says a youngster who participated in the studio.

Source: Instagram is the Largest Anxiety Factory among all Social Media | The Real Agenda News

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Math Professor Who Wants White Men to Quit Jobs 

Piper Harron, a temporary assistant Math professor at the University of Hawaii, angered a bunch of people last week with her blog post “Get Out the Way,” calling on white men to quit their jobs and give it to trans and minority women. Dr. Piper Harron“Not to alarm you, but I probably want you to quit your job, or at least take a demotion,” she wrote in a blog post for the American Mathematics Association. “Statistically speaking, you are probably taking up room that should go to someone else. If you are a white man you almost certainly should resign from your position of power.”So before I take her advice, quit my job, give it to a trans PoC, and live out the rest of my days on the streets dutifully  reporting my non-income to narrow the gender pay gap, I decided to look into Harron’s illustrious career in mathematics.Harron has two CV’s of her work, her “professional” one (boring!) and her “liberated mathematician” one (hell yeah!).

Source: Math Professor Who Wants White Men to Quit Jobs Has a Bats**t Crazy Resume | Heat Street

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Black Man Who Underwent Penis Transplant Will Have it Tattooed Because Donor Was White

A black man who received the world’s third successful penis transplant has asked to go undergo extensive medical tattooing on his new phallus due to….a color mismatch.It took a team of South African surgeons nearly 10-hours to attach the penis to their 40-year-old patient. But the later had no idea that his donor was white.As Professor André van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch University’s urology department told the Daily Mail: “The patient is black, and the donor was white.”“We have very few donors for this transplant procedure. But that is the only issue left.The man had been in relationships before, but whenever the question of sex arose, he bailed out. That will no longer be a problem.”

Source: Black Man Who Underwent Penis Transplant Will Have it Tattooed Because Donor Was White | Heat Street

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A redefinition of mental illness as “law-integration disorder”, and the case for universal basic income

The inability for a brain to integrate with a legal system has falsely been defined as mental disorder, when the symptoms that are observed are in fact caused by an inability to integrate the executive (ego) function with a legal system that exerts a physical force onto the subject.What has been called mental disorder is then, in fact, “law-integration disorders”. The inability to integrate the default mode network with an external legal force, causes attenuation of the brain’s executive (ego) function, making it difficult for the individual to filter and integrate new information. The onset of “law-integration disorder” then acts as a pathological infection, decreasing the  brain’s ability to regulate inflow of memes, leading to secondary infections, made possible by the primary infection.Secondary infections that become infectious after the onset of “law-integration disorder” are memes that are devious, entering under false pretenses, planted through manipulation, memes that replicate virulently, often bypassing the executive function, memes that cause an indolent infection, to become virulent later.“Law-integration disorders” and the case for basic incomeIf “law-integration disorder” causes what we call mental disorder, then that creates an ethical paradox. Society, and the people who secure and give authority to the nation-state consensus, is directly responsible for the cause of primary infections and the onset of law-integration disorder. Similar to how HIV causes AIDS, the action of breaking another person’s executive system is the root cause of secondary memetic infections, and what is broadly called mental illness.

Source: A redefinition of mental illness as “law-integration disorder”, and the case for universal basic income

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With Confederate flags gone, Civil War museum will close

A Henry County commissioner requested a few months ago that a local Civil War museum remove its Confederate flags.But without that symbol, the Nash Farm Battlefield and Museum announced that it can’t conduct its mission properly and will close June 1.In a Facebook post, the museum’s directors cited the request by District 2 Commissioner Dee Clemmons that all Confederate flags be removed from the museum, in addition to the gift shop, “in an effort not to offend anyone.”“To exclude any Confederate flag would mean the historical value has been taken from our exhibits, and a fair interpretation could not be presented to each guest,” the post read. “Confederate flags were on this hallowed ground, as were the Union flags. To remove either of them would be a dishonor.”

Source: With Confederate flags gone, Civil War museum will close

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Hallmark Now Makes Cards for Sex Changes, ‘Our LGBTQIA Family’

Changing your gender is now a Hallmark moment.In 2015, the card company has quietly introduced an encouragement card under the category “transgender/transitioning.” But Hallmark’s transgender-focused cards finally penetrated the public psyche this week, after a Tweet about them by a teen services librarian went viral.One of the cards includes a green and yellow butterfly on the front, along with the words “You’re becoming who you’ve always been.” Inside, it reads, “How wonderful is that?”

Source: Hallmark Now Makes Cards for Sex Changes, ‘Our LGBTQIA Family’

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Private Eye Allegedly Used Leaky Goverment Tool in Bid to Find Tax Data on Trump 

In March 2017, KrebsOnSecurity warned that thieves who perpetrate tax refund fraud with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service were leveraging a widely-used online student loan tool to find critical data on consumers that allows them to claim huge refunds with the IRS in someone else’s name. This week, it emerged that a Louisiana-based private investigator is being charged with using the same online tool to glean tax data on then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.A story today at points to court filings in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, in which local private eye Jordan Hamlett is accused by federal prosecutors of abusing an automated tool at the U.S. Department of Education website that is designed to make it easier for families to complete the Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — a lengthy form that serves as the starting point for students seeking federal financial assistance to pay for college or career school.

Source: Private Eye Allegedly Used Leaky Goverment Tool in Bid to Find Tax Data on Trump — Krebs on Security

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Yet Another Bad Idea: Dropping Facial Recognition Software Into Police Body Cameras

The FBI (and other US government agencies) are already moving forward with facial recognition technology, which will allow law enforcement to scan people like license plates, if everything goes to plan. So far, consultation with the meddling public has been kept to a minimum, as have any government efforts to address civil liberties concerns.Just because the public’s been kept out of the loop (except for, you know, their faces and other personal information), doesn’t mean members of the public aren’t working hard to ensure police officers can start running faces like plates, even when there’s no legitimate law enforcement reason for doing so.Digital Barriers, a somewhat ironically-named tech company, is pushing its latest law enforcement offering — one that supposedly provides real-time face scanning.The software can pick out and identify hundreds of individual faces at a time, instantly checking them against registered databases or registering unique individuals in seconds.Demonstrating the software at the Forensics Europe Expo 2017, vice president of Digital Barriers Manuel Magalhaes said the company was introducing the technology to UK forces.

Source: Yet Another Bad Idea: Dropping Facial Recognition Software Into Police Body Cameras | Techdirt

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The GNU GPL Is An Enforceable Contract At Last 

It would be difficult to imagine the technological enhancements to the world we live in today without open-source software. You will find it somewhere in most of your consumer electronics, in the unseen data centres of the cloud, in machines, gadgets, and tools, in fact almost anywhere a microcomputer is used in a product. The willingness of software developers to share their work freely under licences that guarantee its continued free propagation has been as large a contributor to the success of our tech economy as any hardware innovation.Though open-source licences have been with us for decades now, there have been relatively few moments in which they have been truly tested in a court. There have been frequent licence violations in which closed-source products have been found to contain open-source software, but they have more often resulted in out-of-court settlement than lengthy public legal fights. Sometimes the open-source community has gained previously closed-source projects, as their licence violations have involved software whose licence terms included a requirement for a whole project in which it is included to have the same licence. These terms are sometimes referred to as viral clauses by open-source detractors, and the most famous such licence is the GNU GPL, or General Public Licence. If you have ever installed OpenWRT on a router you will have been a beneficiary of this: the project has its roots in the closed-source firmware for a Linksys router that was found to contain GPL code.

Source: The GNU GPL Is An Enforceable Contract At Last | Hackaday

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Researcher Open Sources WannaKey Tool That Cracks WannaCry Ransomware Encryption

It’s more than a week since WannaCry ransomware started causing panic among the internet community. However, as time passes, more and more security researchers across the world are coming up with fixes for the WannaCry ransomware.Earlier, it was a researcher who accidentally created a kill switch for the ransomware. Now, another researcher named Adrien Guinet has found a cure to fix a computer encrypted by the ransomware. He didn’t land up on the method accidentally and his fix only works for machines running Windows XP, still, it’s a relief.Also Read: Is Russia Really Fighting WannaCry Ransomware By Spraying Holy Water On Computers?Guinet was able to crack the encryption in his lab by finding the prime numbers that constitute the RSA private key used by WannaCry ransomware.

Source: Researcher Open Sources WannaKey Tool That Cracks WannaCry Ransomware Encryption

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Thai Dessert Shop Makes Realistic Puppy Puddings, Divides Internet

Coconut cream puddings are very popular in Thailand, but while they usually come in flower shapes, one dessert shop in Pathun Thani, north of Bangkok, decided to shake things up a bit by using puppy-shaped molds instead. Photos of the realistic-looking edible puppies made quite an impact online, sparking a heated debate.Within six hours of posting photos of their new treats on Facebook, Thai dessert shop Wilaiwan had already gotten over 10,000 shares and hundreds of comments. But that was only the beginning, as the photos soon started making the rounds on blogs and news sites, and even attracted the attention of international news networks. Some people loved them and said that they would love to eat a slimy puppy, while others said they looked too much like their pets, and couldn’t even think about sticking a spoon in one.

Source: Thai Dessert Shop Makes Realistic Puppy Puddings, Divides Internet | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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“World’s first operational Robocop” hits the streets as Dubai builds robot police force 

The “world’s first operational Robocop” has been unveiled in Dubai as part of the emirate’s planned robot police force.Robocop started work on Sunday and is already making a name for itself.At 5ft 5in tall and weighing 100kg, it can speak six languages and is designed to read facial expressions.It had an easy start to working life, being unveiled at the three-day long Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference.

Source: “World’s first operational Robocop” hits the streets as Dubai builds robot police force – Mirror Online

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Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

ON-CALL If it’s Friday, it must be time for On-Call, our weekly column that recounts readers experiences of being asked to dodgy jobs at dodgy times for dodgy reasons.Last week we featured the tale of a tech support chap who took a call from a tech support scammer and managed to keep him on the phone long enough to get him logged in to a Linux box. Many of you liked that story and the On-Call inbox is groaning with your own stories of handling similar scams. So we’re going to give a few of them a run.“Pete” told us that when he gets scam calls he suddenly becomes 94 years old, which gets 60 per cent to hang up. Pretending to be deaf does for another 15 per cent. “I’ll have to go I’ve just crapped myself, I’m 94!” sees another 15 per cent hang up. For the other ten per cent he says he’s “just my self, an obnoxious old git!”“Ben” told us that when scammers call he used to tell the callers he only had Macs, but that didn’t deter many. “Now I tell them we don’t have a computer or a telephone,” he told us. “Most give up, but one the other day tried to argue that I must have a phone.”

Source: Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers • The Register

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Speed bumps for pedestrians installed to slow down tourists at Chinese beauty spot

Chinese tourists are being forced to slow down when they walk past a historic site as authorities were concerned that it wasn’t being appreciated enough.Speed bumps for pedestrians have been installed along a road at Taierzhuang, an ancient town and heritage site on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.There are more than 50 bumps – in an eye-catching stripey yellow and black – which are officially described as calming devices but are also fast earning themselves the nickname “washboard road”. Tourists have to negotiate more than 50 bumps CREDIT: REX/SHUTTERSTOCKPictures of the humps were shared on social media by People’s Daily China and showed dozens of people concentrating on their feet and stepping carefully now that they are prevented from walking freely.

Source: Speed bumps for pedestrians installed to slow down tourists at Chinese beauty spot

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9 Drunk Vs Sober Illustrations That Show How The World Changes When You’re Drunk

These drunk vs sober illustrations below will perfectly show the differences between how you see things while you’re drunk, compared to how they really are for everyone else, or even you when you’re sober. Now please don’t confuse this gallery with how things change when you’re sober vs drunk, it’s two different things.This gallery shows the differences of how things look to someone who is currently drunk and how the same things actually look to a sober person. Honestly, i had way worse illusions after i drink a few shots of vodka on my birthday and the world quickly changed.

Source: 9 Drunk Vs Sober Illustrations That Show How The World Changes When You’re Drunk

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Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence

Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel the global debate about the role and ethics of the social media giant.The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts that give unprecedented insight into the blueprints Facebook has used to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm.

Source: Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence | News | The Guardian

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New EU Lawsuit Claims Google Failed To Forget ‘Sensitive’ Information, Such As Their ‘Political Affiliation’

For years, we’ve pointed out that the “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) in Europe is a dangerous tool that has been and will continue to be abused as a tool to censor freedom of expression, while hiding behind a claim that it is to protect “privacy.” While the concept has been around for a while, it really took off online with a EU Court of Justice (CJEU) ruling from three years ago, saying that Google’s search results index counted as a data repository on someone, and thus, an individual could force Google to “delink” certain results from searches on their names. But, the court left some leeway to Google to decide whether or not the requests were valid. Basically, if the information is no longer relevant for the public to know about the person, then Google should delink it. Now, obviously, that’s a horribly subjective standard, and Google has had to staff up on people to determine whether or not any requested delinking qualifies.Part of the problem with all of this is that it seems to produce tremendous liability. Fail to get a delinking request “right” and Google is right back in court, which is exactly where we are today. Google has rejected just under 60% of requests to delink info in Europe, and four individuals in France were so upset by this, that they complained that their rights were being violated. The French data protection regulator, CNIL, actually agreed with Google that the information shouldn’t be “forgotten.” However, the four have appealed their case, and it’s been kicked back to the European Court of Justice. The four individuals are claiming that the information is “sensitive data” and are suggesting that just being “sensitive data” alone is enough to require forgetting — no matter what the “public interest” may be in that info.

Source: New EU Lawsuit Claims Google Failed To Forget ‘Sensitive’ Information, Such As Their ‘Political Affiliation’ | Techdirt

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How Will the “Death of MP3” Affect You?

If you grew up in the 1990s or 2000s, you might have a special connection with the audio format known as MP3. MP3s were the audio format of choice for the ordinary person, audiophiles notwithstanding.Whether you were ripping a CD onto your computer, downloading an album from iTunes, pirating a song online, or simply copying your friend’s meticulously crafted song collection, you probably chose MP3. Which is why the recent “MP3 is dead” headlines might have unsettled you.

The good news is that, contrary to headlines, the humble MP3 isn’t actually dead. This isn’t the apocalypse, your locally stored songs will still play perfectly well, you’ll still be able to rip CDs, and distribute podcasts as MP3s to boot.

What’s the truth behind the headlines? Let us fill you in.

Source: How Will the “Death of MP3” Affect You?

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Gay Porn Featuring Sex Scene Attacked for Cultural Appropriation 

A gay porn clip showing two men having sex using a didgeridoo has been attacked for appropriating Australian culture.“Didgeridoo Me”, a scene by US publisher, features two actors effectively using the Aboriginal instrument as an enormous dildo.Critics online lashed out at the scene, saying it is disrespectful to the didgeridoo, which plays a part in aboriginal spiritual life.The scene features two white actors – named as Aspen and Jack.One wakes his partner up by loudly playing the wind instrument while his opposite number is sleeping.He then flies into a rage, snaps the instrument in two, and takes “revenge” by using it as a sex toy. It features the line “I’m gonna didgeridoo you in the ass”.

Source: Gay Porn Featuring Sex Scene Attacked for Cultural Appropriation | Heat Street

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Global Center for Combating Extremism in Riyadh adopts unprecedented techniques 

World leaders, including Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and US President Donald Trump, inaugurated the Global Center for Combating Extremism headquartered in Riyadh as the US-Islamic Summit came to a close on Sunday.Riyadh hosted on Saturday and Sunday three anticipated summits during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia with nearly 50 leaders, mainly from the Muslim world will be attending.“We want to convey a message to the West and the world that the Muslim world is not an enemy,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said.

Source: Global Center for Combating Extremism in Riyadh adopts unprecedented techniques – Al Arabiya English

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Barack Obama Speaks on Global Warming, Then Takes Private Flight and 13-Car Motorcade

Current President Donald Trump may be living it up in Saudi Arabia, but former President Barack Obama certainly isn’t slacking off on the sweet life.Obama and his wife Michelle are in Italy this week on vacation, after the former President spoke to the Institute for International Political Studies in Milan on the importance of addressing climate change, to preserve the world’s food supply and protect its underprivileged.Apparently, he’s decided to demonstrate humanity’s contribution to global warming by making his own carbon footprint as big as possible.On Friday, the Obama’s jetted into Tuscany on a private – not a commercial – plane, escorted into a small Florentine airport by six additional military jets, according to Italian state television. Footage of the landing has been broadcasting across Italy all weekend.

Source: Barack Obama Speaks on Global Warming, Then Takes Private Flight and 13-Car Motorcade

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Resistance to hydropower is evaporating as science takes centre stage

Big dams have a bad reputation. They’re often associated with social disruption and environmental damage. That perception is now shifting. The challenges of climate, urbanisation and economic growth in countries and communities already burdened by poverty and underdevelopment is leading to a radical change in attitudes. Dams and related water infrastructures are once again being recognised as key contributors to a prosperous and, as important, sustainable future.Developing countries need reliable water supplies for their predominantly poor populations. They also need to expand their energy production in ways that don’t aggravate climate change.This is why changes in the attitudes towards dams are most evident in the energy sector. Demands for energy to power cities are growing rapidly. So too are the energy needs in rural areas – to cultivate, process and transport crops as well as to drive the irrigation systems that underpin food security and light the lives of rural communities.

Source: Resistance to hydropower is evaporating as science takes centre stage

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Censorship and Gatekeepers: When “Left Progressives” Mingle with Neocons

The Left in the United States is fond of saying one thing in support of its programs, yet, generally does something entirely different. It also seems to have strange bedfellows. Here are a few examples:

The Left Forum brings together national and international politics, people, ideas, and activism for a just, equitable, free, sustainable world beyond capitalism. 

Originally founded in the 1960s, the Left Forum is holding its annual meeting June 2-4, 2017. Its situation is symptomatic of the American Left and its self-created problems. Embroiled this year in a vicious controversy over speakers and panels, the Forum is struggling with censorship, religion, and political correctness–but refuses to acknowledge its problems or explain its actions.

Image result for left forum

Given such statements and procedures, some people have questioned the Left’s attitude.

Gilad Atzmon, the Israeli Jew, musician, one-time soldier, and political writer, talks often about the Treacherous Left, the people more concerned with homosexual marriage than war, peace, or prosperity. In New York City’s East Village in early May 2017, Atzmon spoke on the

“tyranny of political correctness,” saying it was in fact “worse than tyranny, because it is self-censorship. It is you who silence yourself.”

Sarah Ferguson, author of an account in The Villager of his talk, asked

“What is the relationship between the Left and Free Speech? And is some speech so beyond the pale, that it’s wrong to even engage in debate?”

Given the hostility shown Atzmon at that event, this was not a rhetorical question. Too many set themselves up as arbiters of free speech. In the words of Swiss publicist, Frank A. Meyer, the media have become “moral executioners”. He noted that anyone making forbidden inquiries about government-promoted policies is punished. He said they are denounced as racist, right-wing populists, in extreme cases as fascists. (Meyer, Frank A. “Berlin-Anschlag Deutscher Winter 2016” (Berlin Attack German Winter 2016), Focus Online, December 25, 2016.)

And that is why the Left really is sinister, pun intended.

Look at the “progressives” who did not criticize Hillary Clinton‘s wild charges that Russian influence cost her the election. Look at the Leftists who refused to challenge Barack H. Obama‘s destruction of Libya and Syria. Where were the howls of rage? Where were the incandescent editorials in major newspapers? The journalist Bob Parry lost several jobs at mainstream publications because he would not color his reporting to fit management’s views (to protect their ties to government). No one from the Left protested. The “liberal” press, such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times savaged Gary Webb for publicizing CIA drug-dealing in support of Iran-Contra. Yet, no one from the sinister Gauche took to the streets, even after he “committed suicide” by shooting himself in the head–twice.

Image result for democracy nowAnd where is Democracy Now with its perceived credibility? A supposed “leftist”, the TV show’s host, Amy Goodman, is generously funded by globalist foundations. As a result, she is now a gatekeeper, promoting regime change in Syria. On May 3, 2017, Goodman interviewed Anand Gopal, former fellow at the New America Foundation. He claimed “Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad [is] the cause of all suffering in Syria.” (Haiphong, Danny. “‘Democracy Now’ Runs Interference for Imperialism in Syria”, Global Research, May, 15, 2017.) In yet another article, Democracy Now’s public face “is contributing to the very violence being committed by Western-backed mercenaries against the Syrian people.” (Tracy, James F.  “‘Progressive’ Journalism’s Legacy of Deceit”, Global Research, July 20, 2012.)

Mrs. Goodman will not touch a hot topic with a 10-foot pole or a 12-foot hungarian. This author sent her a copy of his book, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World, suggesting it  might be of interest to her program.  Dead silence. No one at Democracy Now responded to follow-up letters, emails, and telephone calls. (Copies of his upcoming publication, Goodbye, Europe? Hello Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb will go elsewhere.)

On December 18, 2016, the CBS “news” show 60 Minutes promoted the Syrian White Helmets (who work only in terrorist-controlled areas). According to the program, …

“[T]he trained force of 3,000 rescue workers offer Syrian civilians their only hope.”

Yet, “the Left” did not attack this fake news. (Cf. Global Research and 21st Century Wire for real news about the Helmets and their unsavory activities, connections, and background.)

The Left, as is clear from the foregoing, is controlled by gatekeepers. What are they? Who are they? What do they do? They control access.

Gatekeepers rarely challenge their own position as gatekeepers. They are simply right. They are more knowledgeable, more level-headed, more experienced, and more invested in the future of whatever movements they belong to. They know what is best and will enforce it for the greater good. They find themselves saying, “That is not appropriate,” or “That is counterproductive,” or “Why do you have to make this about you when it’s about us? (“Why It’s Important To Challenge The Power Of Gatekeepers”,, July 7, 2016.)

Like the Left Forum, 60 Minutes, and Amy Goodman, Medea (given name Susan) Benjamin is another gatekeeper. She is well-heeled and well-connected.

…during the 2004 Presidential campaign, Benjamin’s message and tone began to shift dramatically into what came to be known as the “ABB” movement—Anybody But Bush. She and eighty fellow prominent leaders who once formed the one hundred-thirteen member “Nader 2000 Citizens Committee” put forth a petition urging anti-war Nader not to run, and instead threw their support behind pro-war Democratic Party candidate John Kerry… Benjamin cajoled [the] Greens into neither nominating Nader nor giving him the official endorsement he and running mate Peter Camejo had publicly sought from the party. (Shaw, Charles.  “The Gatekeepers of the So-Called Left”, Conspiracy Archive, May 16, 2005.)

Leftist gatekeepers appear to have connections with the Central Intelligence Agency. The “liberal” magazine Nation has ties to the Agency and its former director William Casey, founder of the Manhattan Institute, an alleged free market think tank.

But who funds the Gatekeepers? One organization is the Ford Foundation, “with a raft  of joint  Foundation-CIA projects”.

Investigative journalist Bob Feldman identifies several alternative media outlets receiving Ford Foundation funding (based on their tax returns).

As Feldman points out, these outlets has systematically marginalized independent researchers who have systematically studied…the JFK and other political assassinations. (Bramhall, Dr. Stuart Jeanne. “Does the CIA Fund Both the Right and the Left ?”, March 17, 2015,

Why does this happen? How does this happen? Is it because too many people are pig-stupid and badly educated? Is it because they put their trust in the wrong places? Here’s an explanation from a reader of the German translation of Visas for Al Qaeda (Die CIA und de Terror, Kopp Verlag.):

People here have too much faith in America…I told my sister about your book. She is a medical doctor and not stupid, but as in many cases she does not have enough time to figure out on her own the political picture. She saw what I told her from your book as a “conspiracy theory.” Al-Assad is an inhuman dictator, the US helps democracy in the Near East, etc. It is almost hopeless.

In the end, it’s the influence of special interest groups. Their members worm their way into power in Leftist media, organizations, and factions. Working together for particular interests, they block alternative viewpoints, limiting the public’s ability to know, to learn, to compare disparate ideas and viewpoints.

As the Washington Post now claims on its masthead,

“Democracy Dies In Darkness”.

Source: Censorship and Gatekeepers: When “Left Progressives” Mingle with Neocons | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ Is 13-Years-Old And Still On The Charts

Everyone and their mom knows every word to The Killers “Mr. Brightside,” and how can you not? It’s a great freaking song, and is pretty easy to sing along to. But while the hit was on the band’s 2004 album “Hot Fuss,” it is still on the charts, even 13 years after it was released.When it was released, the song peaked at number ten on the Billboard’s Hot 100, which is good, but not great. So something tells us that the Vegas band wasn’t expecting to become the most played song of the 2000s, as it’s still on the freaking charts.Mark Savage, a BBC music reporter, shared the most played songs by decade, and of course, this tune was number one. Take a look at the tweet below.

Source: The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ Is 13-Years-Old And Still On The Charts

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‘Greatest Show on Earth’ Takes Its Final Bow

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that has wowed crowds for 146 years with its “Greatest Show on Earth” is taking its final bow on Sunday. The circus’ last show at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, is sold out, and former circus performers will be in the audience. Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced in January it would close the show, citing declining attendance and high operating costs. Animal rights activists had targeted the circus, saying that forcing animals to perform and transporting them around the country amounted to abuse. And in May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline, reports the AP.Once a mainstay of entertainment in small towns and big cities alike, Ringling had two touring circuses this season, one of which ended its run earlier this month in Providence, Rhode Island. That show was the more traditional, three-ring circus, while the one in Uniondale this weekend has a narrative storyline. Called “Out of This World,” it’s set in futuristic outer space, with Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson narrating in his signature baritone. There are mild explosions and flashing lights—a sensory overload, but one that captivates the little ones. In the end, though, Feld executives said they knew the circus couldn’t compete with iPhones, the internet, video games, and massively branded and carefully marketed characters. Their other productions—Frozen on Ice, Marvel Live, Monster Trucks, Disney on Ice—resonate better with younger generations.

Source: ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ Takes Its Final Bow

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America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room 

A shortage of homes for sale has bedeviled U.S. house hunters in recent years, so why don’t builders build more? One problem is that they’re running out of lots to build on—at least in the places that people want to live.Cities that were sprawling before the Great Recession have begun to sprawl again. Space-constrained cities, meanwhile, have run out of room to build. That reality has spurred developers to focus on center-city neighborhoods where high-density building is allowed—and new units command exceedingly high prices.   At some point, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, vacant lots in desirable urban neighborhoods will run out. “If you have three days of rations left, you’ll be fine on day one, two, three,” said Romem, author of new research demonstrating home construction patterns. “On day 4, you have a problem.”

Source: America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room – Bloomberg

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Data on transgender surgeries reveals surge in demand 

The first ever data on gender reassignment surgeries in the United States shows demand is skyrocketing.The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found a nearly 20 percent increase in vaginoplasties, phalloplasties, top surgery and contouring operations in just the first year of reporting.In 2016, more than 3,200 surgeries were performed to help transgender patients feel more like themselves.Surgeons in the field claim that figure is a conservative estimate – and would likely three times higher if all hospitals had a uniform way of documenting such surgeries.And they believe celebrity transitions have been a driving force in this shift.

Source: Data on transgender surgeries reveals surge in demand | Daily Mail Online

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Rocket Lab sets date for first Electron launch 

Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, plans to carry out its first flight in a window that opens May 21.The company announced May 14 that a 10-day window for the first Electron launch, which the company has dubbed “It’s a Test,” will open at 5 p.m. Eastern May 21 (9 a.m. local time May 22) from the company’s launch site at Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island.“We are all incredibly excited to get to this point,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a statement about the planned launch. “Our talented team has been preparing for years for this opportunity and we want to do our best to get it right.”The company is setting expectations for a test launch that may suffer delays and could end in failure. “During this first launch attempt it is possible we will scrub multiple attempts as we wait until we are ready and conditions are favorable,” Beck said in the statement.The launch, as the company’s name for it emphasizes, is a test flight, with no satellite payload on board. The launch is the first of three such test flights Rocket Lab plans before beginning commercial launches later this year.

Source: Rocket Lab sets date for first Electron launch –

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Comey Admitted That Obstruction To FBI Probe ‘Never Happened’ 

Do you remember the girl who cried “wolf”?You do? Okay, good. Now, imagine there are hundreds, thousands of those girls in Washington D.C… and around the country.These girls are constantly warning of danger that does not exist.You can often find these pigtails in the establishment media and Democratic politics (oh wait, I guess I’m being a bit redundant there. My apologies).Remember when so many were concerned with the “scandalous” firing of FBI Director James Comey?News reporters immediately screamed “scandal!” and told readers that Donald Trump fired Comey in an attempt “to squash an FBI probe into former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.”According to The Daily Wire:Trump held Comey by the ankles — upside down — out the window of the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom as he quoted lines from Scarface, reports said.No, that didn’t happen. Here’s what Trump is said to have said to Comey, according to a memo Comey did not provide to anyone: “I hope you can let this go.” Smoke alarm! Run away! We’re all going to die!……The New York Times published the memo story on Tuesday, citing “two people who read the memo.”Two people read the memo that Comey never gave them.And, for as credible as those random memos that surface from thin air are, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to go directly to the source and ask Comey if he’s ever “been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.”Was Comey ever pressured to close an investigation?According to Comey, no.“Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something like that — without an appropriate purpose.”“I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that ‘We don’t see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it.’ But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason.”“That would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience,” Comey told the senators.Yes, indeed. That would be a very big deal.And his testimony certainly suggests the bogus nature of the memo.

Source: Comey Admitted That Obstruction To FBI Probe ‘Never Happened’ | The Federalist Papers

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