Daily Archives: June 6, 2017

Canadian musician builds stand-up bass shaped like the Stanley Cup

Walking down the streets of Nashville, Shane Chisholm carries the subject of many a hockey player’s dream — the Stanley Cup.Though it’s not the real thing — it’s actually an upright bass — now that Nashville Predators hockey team is facing off against the Pittburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, the cup has become a topic of conversation in the city known for its music.”I just kind of smile as I walk by them,” Chisholm, a Canadian country and Americana musician, tells Day 6’s Brent Bambury. “Everyone is pointing and asking. It’s pretty fun. I enjoy that.”

Source: Canadian musician builds stand-up bass shaped like the Stanley Cup – Home | Day 6 | CBC Radio

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Does changing style of hair or dress help black people avoid stigma?

On the eve of the NBA Finals, superstar LeBron James found the “N-word” spray painted on his home. Not even James, with all his wealth, fame and success, is exempt from being attacked with classic racist slurs.In the United States, blackness is stamped with centuries-old images and ideas that assign it to perpetual “last place.”One way blacks have historically responded to stigma – a discredited or disgraced identity – is by displaying what they understand as mainstream values associated with white elites. This strategy, often referred to as “respectability,” is intended to put on display black people’s fitness for full cultural and social citizenship, thereby protecting them from stigma or lowering their exposure to it.We know from prior research that consumption has been an important part of this strategy since a full-fledged mass market emerged in the U.S. in the late 1800s.

Source: Does changing style of hair or dress help black people avoid stigma?

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Hack Your Pancreas and 3D-Print Your Smile – Foundation for Economic Education 

The more government involves itself in health care, the harder it becomes to find quality services at affordable prices. As the state has inserted itself more heavily into the health sector over the last several years, many Americans are left searching for alternatives to traditional services.

Luckily, as technology continues to advance far beyond anything our grandparents thought possible, health care itself is becoming more decentralized as individuals are now able to take personal control over their medical decisions.

While older generations may be content to wait on others to improve existing services, millennials are too impatient to let others change the world without taking an active role.As America’s favorite scapegoat, the country’s youth is constantly being accosted for not caring enough about our futures and specifically, for lack of desire when it comes to buying health insurance. Proponents of nationalized health care will say just about anything to convince young Americans to buy insurance policies we have no interest in purchasing. But while we may not be purchasing health care premiums, millennials are doing something no other generation has done before: open-sourcing health care.

Source: Hack Your Pancreas and 3D-Print Your Smile – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

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Wrexham car boot Nazi flag man ‘unaware Swastika not still used by German military’ 

A car boot seller who sparked outrage by displaying a Nazi-era German flag has said he didn’t know the Swastika on it wasn’t still being used by the German armed forces.Anthony Williams was spoken to by police after the large red flag, which displays the Nazi symbol, was put up on his stall at the Bryn y Gog car boot in Wrexham on Sunday.But today Mr Williams, 56, claimed he had not intended to offend anyone. He also denied he had told organisers who asked him to remove it that he had put it up ‘in support of Manchester’ after last week’s terrorist outrage which killed 22 people.He told the Daily Post the flag had been displayed alongside the American Southern states’ Confederate flag at around 6am when he and his friend first arrived.Mr Williams said he had owned the Confederate flag for more than 35 years and that he used it in American civil war enactments, but that the German flag had been brought by his friend.

Source: Wrexham car boot Nazi flag man ‘unaware Swastika not still used by German military’ – Daily Post

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Tots Trapped in Bounce House After Neighbor Unplugs It 

A Florida family was left with quite the deflated feeling after a neighbor was caught on video pulling the plug on a bounce house at a birthday party for a young child. Police released footage from outside a Port St. Lucie home on Sunday showing a man walk into the backyard, unplugging the attraction then walking back across the street.Nearly a dozen kids between the ages of 2 and 3 were inside as the house started to fall on them. All were rescued by parents and adults.”Chaos. Absolute chaos,” the birthday girl’s godfather, Glenn Hunt, told NBC’s “Today” show. “Some of the kids were crying. One of them actually was kind of traumatized by the incident. Another one when he was being removed, his leg got a little injured.

Source: Tots Trapped in Bounce House After Neighbor Unplugs It | NBC 10 Philadelphia

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​Pornhub Says ​People Are Now Into Fidget Spinner Porn

To each their own, but fidget spinner porn? C’mon, people. Alas, news broke on Monday that Pornhub is reporting a rise in searches for fidget spinner-related erotica on its website, perhaps bringing mankind to a new level of insanity. (Here are some more crazy sex kinks you can read about.)”In just over 10 days, there were 2.5 million Fidget Spinner searches on Pornhub,” the porn site said, “making it the top trending term and 5th most popular search in May!”

Source: ​Pornhub Says ​People Are Now Into Fidget Spinner Porn | Men’s Health

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4 Ways to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home from Vacation

A little legwork before you lounge on the bed can keep your family safe.

When you finally take a well-deserved trip, the last thing you want to concern yourself is bed bugs. But even the finest hotels can have them. The hitchhiking pests travel to new places by way of both humans and their belongings. When they find a new home, they look for places to hide, such as mattresses, headboards, couches and chairs, where they’ll have access to a blood meal undisturbed. While bed bugs can be found in other public places such as libraries, public transportation, movie theaters, retail stores, professional office and schools, they are most notoriously encountered at hotels, and taken home with you after your stay. What can you do?

1. Put your luggage in a smart spot. When you arrive at your hotel, place your luggage on non-upholstered furniture away from the bed, such as on a desk. If you use a luggage rack, inspect it for bed bugs before plopping your suitcase down. Adult bed bugs are visible to the human eye and approximately 1/4-inch-long by 1/8-inch-wide and are typically brown or reddish-brown in color. Imagine them to be about the size of an apple seed. However, bed bug eggs are very challenging to spot with the naked eye as they can be as tiny as 1/32-inch.

2. Do a thorough inspection. After your belongings are settled, pull back the corners of the bedding and check the mattress and box spring for bed bugs or signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs will molt and shed their skin before each new life stage. Often you can find these pieces of shed skin, apple-seed size or smaller, tan to off-white in color and resembling the insects, but hollow, lying around areas of infestation such as in creases in the mattress. Bed bugs also leave fecal deposits after they consume their blood meal. You can spot these small dots that appear like black marker touching fabric, such as a mattress cover. Make sure to pay special attention to seams, where bed bugs like to hide.

  • Bring along these portable playthings to keep your little ones entertained during your next car or plane ride. Fun for the kids, a better vacay for all.

3. Check your skin each morning during your vacation. Be mindful of any unexplained bites or welts that seem to appear overnight. Even with a watchful eye, bed bugs can be sneaky.

4. When you return home, treat your suitcase as if you already have bed bugs. Due to the high number of potential hiding places for bed bugs on a suitcase, take precautions as if bed bugs have hitched a ride home with you. Don’t put your suitcase on your bed, couch or other furniture to unpack. If you can swing it, remove the contents from the suitcase in an area such as your laundry room, kitchen, garage or foyer. Once unpacked, store your suitcase in a non-living space, if possible, such as an attic, basement or garage. If the suitcase must be stored under a bed or in a bedroom closet, then place it in a large trash bag first and tie the bag shut. When you pack for your next family vacation, bring the items you need to pack to the suitcase, rather than bringing the suitcase into the bedroom or on top of your bed. An easy way to do this is to put your clothes, toiletries, and other items into a laundry basket and carry them to your suitcase. Remember that bed bugs can live for several months or even up to a year without feeding, so keep the suitcase stored in the garbage bag if you use it once a year or more often than that.

Safe travels!

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DOJ charges govt contractor with leaking top secret material to The Intercept

A federal contractor for a US intelligence agency has allegedly admitted to copying classified materials and sending it to a news source. The charges reportedly stem from the publishing of top secret NSA documents by The Intercept.The FBI arrested Reality Leigh Winner, 25, at her Georgia home on Saturday, according to a Monday news release from the US Department of Justice. Winner has been charged with “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.”

Source: DOJ charges govt contractor with leaking top secret material to The Intercept — RT America

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Church of England Considers ‘Trans-Baptisms’ for Those Who Change Sex

The Church of England is in line to offer ‘trans-baptisms’ to those of its followers who change sex.The idea will be discussed at the church’s General Synod next month after a motion was tabled by the Reverend Chris Newlands, vicar of Lancaster Priory in northern England.He told the BBC of a case two years ago where a female parishioner who had chosen to become male “didn’t think that God would know who he was and his new name having been baptized as a girl…”Having created a special service to help this particular parishioner by adapting an official initiation booklet from the Church of England, the priest now wants a formal liturgy to be introduced.But the different interpretations of gender reassignment – whether someone adopts the appearance of the opposite sex or actually has a full sex change – has caused some unease within the church’s ranks about the idea.

Source: Church of England Considers ‘Trans-Baptisms’ for Those Who Change Sex | Heat Street

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Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon 

Hundreds of AI researchers have taken a glimpse into their crystal balls to try to determine when machines will finally exceed human capabilities.A survey run by the Future of Humanity Institute, a research center that studies existential risks at the University of Oxford in the UK and Yale University in the US, asked 352 machine learning researchers to predict how AI will progress.“Researchers believe there is a 50 per cent chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks in 45 years and of automating all human jobs in 120 years,” according to the results published on arXiv.It’s a tricky question and opinions vary wildly. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have been vocal about humanity’s doom at AI takeover, whereas researchers like Andrew Ng, former chief scientist at Baidu, and Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, have a more conservative attitude.

Source: Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon • The Register

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Police in Italy Hunt Thief Who Stole Saint’s Brain from Church 

A thief in Italy posed as a pilgrim and stole part of the brain of St John Bosco, one of the country’s most popular saints.The crime has caused a storm in the Catholic country, with police setting up roadblocks over the weekend as they stepped up their attempt to apprehend the criminal.He walked into a church at Castelnuovo, near Turin, which honors the 19th-century saint, and left with a glass case containing the relic. Devotees often visit the church to pray to it.John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco, was a priest who dedicated his life to helping deprived children. He founded the Salesian religious order and died in 1888. He was canonised in 1934.

Source: Police in Italy Hunt Thief Who Stole Saint’s Brain from Church | Heat Street

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Man aims to mow grass in all 50 states for those in need

A man on a mission plans to mow grass in all 50 states stopped in Kansas City on Monday.  Rodney Smith Jr., started an organization that mows lawns for single mothers, veterans, and older Americans. He’s based out of Huntsville, Alabama and says he got the idea a couple of years ago when he saw an older man struggling to cut his grass.He says his mission is rewarding. He loves how he can help people who are not able because it means a lot, especially for a lot of elderly people who can’t afford to get their grass cut because they’re on fixed incomes. It makes their day when he comes and cuts their grass for free. While in Kansas City, he mowed the yard of a Northland widow whose husband served in the Korean War. His organization encourages young men to mow 50 yards where they live.share

Source: Man aims to mow grass in all 50 states for those in need – SquashJack

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EFF Sues Justice Department to Shed Light On FBI’s Use of Best Buy Informants

Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department to obtain records about the FBI’s training and use of Best Buy Geek Squad employees to conduct warrantless searches of customers’ computers.The records request aims to shed light on how the FBI co-opts Best Buy repair technicians in criminal investigations, and whether the computer searches they conducted were in effect government searches. The U.S. Constitution generally requires federal agents, or those acting on their behalf, to first obtain a warrant before searching someone’s computer. If the Best Buy informants were acting as government agents, the warrantless computer searches they conducted would be illegal.Court records in a child pornography case against a California man who sent his computer to Best Buy for repair showed a long, close relationship between company technicians and the FBI, according to media reports. Informants at Best Buy’s “Geek Squad City” repair facility in Kentucky received $500 and $1,000 payments from the FBI, and agency documents said the Best Buy informants were “under the control and direction of the FBI,” media stories revealed. FBI agents were seeking training of the Geek Squad technicians to help them identify what type of files and images should be reported to the FBI.

Source: EFF Sues Justice Department to Shed Light On FBI’s Use of Best Buy Informants | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Licensing Body Agrees To Temporarily Allow Man To Criticize The Government Without A License 

A couple of months ago, the Oregon state government finally decided it was tired of listening to a civilian poke holes in its yellow light timing theories. So, it did what any reasonable government would do: used licensing laws to shut him up.Mats Jarlstrom, a resident who had performed a great deal of research into traffic light timing, was informed by the state’s engineering licensing board that he could no longer perform engineering without a state-ordained license. Not that Jarlstrom was actually performing any engineering. (Although he could! He has a BS in electrical engineering.) He just wanted to discuss his research with the state’s engineering body. He also discussed his findings in more informal contexts, which was a necessity because the state wasn’t interested in listening to him.In essence, Jarlstrom was told to stop criticizing the government without permission. He was fined $500 and told to shut up if he didn’t want to be fined in the future. Jarlstrom sued the state for violating his Constitutional rights. And he’s already achieved a small victory, as the Institute for Justice reports:

Source: Licensing Body Agrees To Temporarily Allow Man To Criticize The Government Without A License | Techdirt

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Texas approves feral hog hunting by hot air balloon

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers have approved the hunting of feral hogs and coyotes from hot air balloons.

Texas’ growing hog population causes millions of dollars’ worth of damage to crops every year. Texas has an estimated two million feral hogs. Their high breeding rate and lack of natural predators has seen their population explode

The state already allows the shooting of feral hogs from helicopters, but that is expensive and has not been very unsuccessful because the aircraft often scare the animals away. Hot air balloons are quieter and offer a more stable shooting platform.

The bill requires the state to license hot air balloon hunting.

The bill requires the state to license hot air balloon hunting.

Source: Texas approves feral hog hunting by hot air balloon | KXAN.com

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EFF Sues FBI For Refusing To Turn Over Documents About Its Geek Squad Informants

A child porn indictment in California has led to a full-fledged examination of the FBI’s use of “private searches.” Private searches, performed by citizens, can be used to instigate investigations and obtain warrants. In this case, the private searches were performed by Best Buy Geek Squad members, who came across alleged child porn images while fixing the defendant’s computer.

Private searches during computer repairs are normal. But they’re not roughly analogous to searches performed with a warrant. Companies that repair electronic devices are legally required to report discovered child porn to law enforcement. What they’re not supposed to do, however, is dig through devices they’re repairing in hopes of finding something illegal.

Most techs don’t go looking for child porn. But the FBI’s close relationship with Best Buy turned private searches into searches performed by paid informants. Once government money is introduced into the equation, the search can no longer be considered “private.” The introduction of cash rewards also skews the incentives, possibly encouraging Geek Squad members to spend more time looking for illicit images than focusing on the repair job at hand.

Documents uncovered in this case strongly suggest the FBI has been using Best Buy repair center techs as confidential informants, paying them for their discoveries while claiming these warrantless, secondhand searches are nothing more than completely legal “private searches.”

Source: EFF Sues FBI For Refusing To Turn Over Documents About Its Geek Squad Informants | Techdirt

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Hackers Hide Cyberattacks in Social Media Posts

SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn’t come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.A link, attached to a Twitter post put out by a robot account, promised a family-friendly vacation package for the summer. It was the kind of thing anyone might click on, according to the official hit by the attack, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.That is exactly the problem, Pentagon officials and cybersecurity experts said. While corporations and government agencies around the world are training their staff to think twice before opening anything sent by email, hackers have already moved on to a new kind of attack, targeting social media accounts, where people are more likely to be trusting.

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/28/technology/hackers-hide-cyberattacks-in-social-media-posts.html

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North Korea Proves You Barely Need Computers to Win a Cyberwar 

Evidence is mounting that the perpetrator of last month’s WannaCry cyberattack that paralyzed 300,000 computers in 150 countries was North Korea’s hacker army, a highly sophisticated network of hackers trained to compromise foreign militaries, corrupt network systems, and conduct cyberheists of financial institutions. It may seem strange that a country as underdeveloped as North Korea has decided to invest its meager resources in such high-tech capabilities. It shouldn’t. Cyberspace has long been North Korea’s preferred battlefield precisely because of its own developmental weaknesses.

For decades, North Korea’s overarching military strategy has focused on asymmetric attacks and limited provocations. Cyberwarfare is only the newest frontier for this doctrine. North Korea first began developing its cybercapabilities as early as 1986, when it hired 25 Russian instructors to train students at the Mirim Command Automation College. It then opened a research facility in 1990 called the Korea Computer Center, using a recruitment process borrowed from China called the “thousand grains of sand” technique. Under this system, promising students are identified as early as elementary school and then trained through university in coding and hacking. As a result of continued investment and focus from the regime, experts believe that the size of the country’s hacking units has ballooned, with a 2014 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimating them to be about 5,900 strong. North Korean hacking units are spread across a number of agencies such as Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) and the Korean People’s Army (KPA).

North Korean strategists came to realize that cyberwarfare was especially favorable terrain for military and criminal activity

Source: North Korea Proves You Barely Need Computers to Win a Cyberwar | Foreign Policy

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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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DEA Deploying Powerful Spyware Without Required Privacy Impact Assessments 

It’s not just the FBI that can’t seem to turn in its privacy-related paperwork on time. The FBI has pushed forward with its biometric database rollout — despite the database being inaccurate, heavily-populated with non-criminals, and without the statutorily-required Privacy Impact Assessment that’s supposed to accompany it. As of 2014, it hadn’t produced this PIA, one it had promised in 2012. And one that applied to a system that had been in the works since 2008.

Unsurprisingly, another federal law enforcement agency hasn’t felt too compelled to produce PIAs for privacy-impacting programs. As Joseph Cox reports for Motherboard, the DEA’s privacy paperwork is lagging far behind its intrusive efforts.

[T]he Drug Enforcement Administration did not carry out a Privacy Impact Assessment—a process which is typically designed to understand and minimize the privacy risks with a particular system or technology—when it bought and ultimately used malware from Italian surveillance company Hacking Team.

Hacking Team sells powerful malware and exploits, which very definitely screw with people’s privacy expectations — both the privacy they correctly (or incorrectly) believe they’re entitled to as well as their expectations of the government, which is supposed to keep citizens’ privacy expectations at the front of its mind. At least, everyone would like to believe the government is equally concerned about citizens’ privacy. That’s what these assessments are supposed to show: that the government has done what it can to minimize unwarranted intrusions.

Source: DEA Deploying Powerful Spyware Without Required Privacy Impact Assessments | Techdirt

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