Daily Archives: May 19, 2017

Feminists Say They’re Being ‘Bullied and Blackmailed’ Over Opposition to Canada’s Transgender Rights Bill

Feminist activists in Canada say they’re being “bullied and blackmailed” by a powerful union group because they’ve raised concerns about how a proposed  transgender rights bill could destroy exclusively “female-born” women’s spaces like rape crisis centers.The transgender rights bill, titled C-16, would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the protections outlined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code. The House of Commons, which voted in favor of the bill, sent the proposed law changes to the Senate last November.Hilla KernerBut “there is no social consensus on what these terms mean,” said Hilla Kerner, a spokeswoman for the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter.She recently testified to the Red Chamber committee studying the bill, saying this change could interfere with women’s ability to organize, fight for women’s rights, and raise consciousness about issues affecting women. Women’s groups must have “the right to decide who they will serve and who their members are,” she told us.Kerner’s organization also told the committee that her organization blocked a post-operation transgender woman from volunteering as a rape counselor because, according to her, she didn’t have sufficient “life experience” to relate to women who are escaping abusive relationships.Earlier this year British Columbia Federation of Labour, an umbrella organization representing many union groups, unanimously passed a resolution calling on all their affiliates to avoid donating to “trans* exclusionary organizations,” specifically mentioning the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

Source: Feminists Say They’re Being ‘Bullied and Blackmailed’ Over Opposition to Canada’s Transgender Rights Bill

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Infamous law enforcement trainer Dave Grossman is bringing “Killology” to hospitals and high schools

Records from a “Bulletproof Mind” training in Salem, Illinois show Grossman’s interest in diversifying his audience with “Safe Schools and Healthy Students”Written by Curtis WaltmanEdited by JPat BrownOver the course of the last twenty years, retired Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman has risen to become the go-to expert for US law enforcement, traveling across the country giving seminars to police and sheriff’s deputies through his incredibly-named Killology Research Group (KRG).His presentations have been been met with a healthy amount of criticism – Grossman’s rhetoric includes ISIS attacking the country with a nuclear bomb via a secret crossing through the Mexican border, Black Lives Matter killing cops at rallies, and how video games are corrupting kids, leading the New Republic to dub him ‘Professor Carnage.’ Many of these lectures are booked in advance by specific agencies, and MuckRock has been filing with a number of them in the hopes of learning about this increasingly controversial figure.

Source: Infamous law enforcement trainer Dave Grossman is bringing “Killology” to hospitals and high schools

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‘Exercise-in-a-pill’ boosts athletic endurance by 70 percent 

Salk scientists move one step closer to developing ‘exercise-in-a-pill.’ Partial view of a mouse calf muscle stained for different types of muscle fibers: oxidative slow-twitch (blue), oxidative fast-twitch (green), glycolytic fast-twitch (red).Credit: Salk Institute/Waitt CenterEvery week, there seems to be another story about the health benefits of running. That’s great — but what if you can’t run? For the elderly, obese or otherwise mobility-limited, the rewards of aerobic exercise have long been out of reach.Salk Institute scientists, building on earlier work that identified a gene pathway triggered by running, have discovered how to fully activate that pathway in sedentary mice with a chemical compound, mimicking the beneficial effects of exercise, including increased fat burning and stamina.

The study, which appears in Cell Metabolism on May 2, 2017, not only deepens our understanding of aerobic endurance, but also offers people with heart conditions, pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes or other health limitations the hope of achieving those benefits pharmacologically.”It’s well known that people can improve their aerobic endurance through training,” says senior author Ronald Evans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holder of Salk’s March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology. “The question for us was: how does endurance work? And if we really understand the science, can we replace training with a drug?”

Source: ‘Exercise-in-a-pill’ boosts athletic endurance by 70 percent — ScienceDaily

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Danger Ahead: The Government’s Plan for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Threatens Privacy, Security, and Common Sense

Imagine if your car could send messages about its speed and movements to other cars on the road around it. That’s the dream of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which thinks of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technology as the leading solution for reducing accident rates in the United States. But there’s a huge problem: it’s extremely difficult to have cars “talk” to each other in a way that protects the privacy and security of the people inside them, and NHTSA’s proposal doesn’t come close to successfully addressing those issues. EFF filed public comments with both NHTSA and the FTC explaining why it needs to go back to the drawing board—and spend some serious time there—before moving forward with any V2V proposal.NHTSA’s PlanNHTSA’s V2V plan involves installing special devices in cars that will broadcast and receive Basic Safety Messages (BSMs) via short-range wireless communication channels. These messages will include information about a vehicle’s speed, brake status, etc. But one big problem is that by broadcasting unencrypted data about themselves at all times, cars with these devices will be incredibly easy to track. All you would need is a device that could intercept these messages. NHTSA is aware of this huge privacy problem and tried to develop a plan to make it harder to link V2V transmissions with particular vehicles, while still including enough information for the receiver to be able to trust a message’s content. But NHTSA’s plan—which involves giving each car 20 rotating cryptographic certificates per week to be distributed and managed by a complicated public key infrastructure (PKI)—didn’t achieve either objective.The ProblemsOne of the fundamental problems with NHTSA’s plan is that assigning each vehicle a mere 20 identities over the course of an entire week will do the opposite of protecting privacy; it will give anyone who wishes to track cars a straightforward way to do so. NHTSA proposes that a car’s certificate change every five minutes, rotating through the complete batch of 20 certificates once every 100 minutes. The car would get a new batch of 20 certificates the next week. As we explained in our comments, while a human being might find it confusing or burdensome to remember 20 different identities for the same vehicle, a computer could easily analyze data collected via a sensor network to identify a vehicle over the course of one day. It would then be able to identify and track the vehicle for the rest of the week via its known certificates. The sensor network would have to complete this same process every week, for every new batch of certificates, but given how simple the process would be, this wouldn’t present a true barrier to a person or organization seeking to track vehicles. And because human mobility patterns are “highly unique,” it would be easy—in the case of a vehicle used in its ordinary way—to recognize and track a vehicle from week to week, even as the vehicle’s list of 20 assigned certificates changed.

Source: Danger Ahead: The Government’s Plan for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Threatens Privacy, Security, and Common Sense | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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