Daily Archives: February 19, 2018

Accurate Navigation Without GPS – IEEE Spectrum

The global positioning system can locate you within 5 to 10 meters anywhere on Earth—as long as your receiver is in the line of sight of multiple satellites. Getting location information indoors is tricky. A team at the University of Utah has now put the solution underfoot: A suite of sensors and circuits mounted to a boot can determine position with an accuracy of about 5 meters, indoors or out, without GPS.The navigation system, installed in a very hefty prototype boot, could help rescue workers navigate inside buildings, and show firefighters where their team members are. It might also be integrated with virtual or augmented reality games. The Utah researchers presented their GPS-free navigation system on Tuesday at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

Source: Accurate Navigation Without GPS – IEEE Spectrum

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What Is Google Really Up To With Chrome Ad Blocking?

Google’s been busy this week. First came the new push to make email interactive. Then the flashy “Google Stories”—a Snapchat-esque package that can live in Google’s search results. Most importantly, we’re about to get Google’s newest version of Chrome, which will block “annoying” ads by default.At first glance these projects might not seem unrelated. If anything, they look like a public good. Google is flexing its muscle to make the core experiences of the open web—email, searching, and reading web pages—a cleaner, better, more user-friendly affair.That may be true, but make no mistake about the other side of this coin. These projects are different facets of a push that will tighten Google’s stranglehold on the web.

Google AMPs It Up

One of the keys to unlocking the underlying connection is the “Accelerated Mobile Pages Project,” or AMP. An open-source project led by Google and announced in late 2015, AMP is a combination of technology and standards ostensibly designed to make web pages load faster on mobile devices.By using some of AMP’s special code and adhering to its guidelines, websites like ours can make a version of a web page that loads lighting-fast—as much as three times faster—with no improvement in the user’s internet speed. On top of that, Google will rank such pages higher in mobile search results. People searching Google on their phones get faster web pages, and because quicker-loading sites get more eyeballs, publishers hustle to make their sites load quicker on mobile. Everybody wins!

Source: What Is Google Really Up To With Chrome Ad Blocking?

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‘Problem of Whiteness’ professor’s hip-hop and social justice class draws criticism

 

A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor known for his course on the “problem of whiteness” is also teaching a class this semester focused on the relationship between social justice and hip-hop.The course, “Global HipHop and Social Justice,” is taught by UW-Madison professor Damon Sajnani. The professor is best known for his controversial course “The Problem of Whiteness,” which he’s also teaching this semester.When Sajnani’s “problem of whiteness” course was initially announced in 2016, it drew the ire of two Wisconsin state lawmakers who denounced the class and questioned the wisdom of spending taxpayer dollars on it.Now, the hip-hop course has generated criticism too.In a report recently published by the MacIver Institute, a free market think tank in Wisconsin, a student enrolled in the course said it’s “an absolute joke,” while a parent of a student in the course criticized the class as unnecessary.In a statement to The College Fix, a UW-Madison spokeswoman defended the academic value of Sajnani’s hip-hop course, saying it keeps with the school’s tradition of “exploring the roots of musical movements around the world.”

Source: ‘Problem of Whiteness’ professor’s hip-hop and social justice class draws criticism – The College Fix

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Hegelian Dialectics: Don’t Mess with Hegel 

If there’s a one thing that can drive eponymously patient student of history of Philosophy nuts, it’s when, while inspecting the Internet sources or simply surfing the web, he stumbles upon the term Hegelian dialectics.It is even more irritating than reading Hegel himself and even more loathsome than listening to Richard Dawkins exalting the Acts of St. Bertrand Russell the Anti-nuclear protester. And to anyone in the know, the irritation which beats the pains induced by probably the worst stylist in the history of Philosophy – whose lectures, transcripts of which constitute the most of what we now call “Hegel’s works”, were marred by heavy stuttering – and religious exaltation of proverbial “smiling Saxon”, must appear to be quite a feat.Namely, for some reason, the dialectics is, among the adherents of so-called “truth movement”, slandered as an evil method by which the elites play the societal groups one against the other, accomplishing thereby the desired order out of chaos.However, while this more often than not really is at work, it is hardly what Hegel meant by dialectics.It could, arguably, be called ‘Hegelian’ in the sense that it resembles something of ‘Hegel’s’, but as far as I can deduce, the adherents of this expression apparently consider Hegel as some kind of mastermind, who invented the method for enslaving the mankind by artificially induced strife of the opposites. Well, before talking about masterminds, it is really profitable to master one’s own mind. And as postmodern is the age of deconstructing the mind, it’s something only few outsiders, clinging to what is long forfeit in the history of ideas, will do. The “truthers”, on the other hand, judging by their treatment of this subject, are a social group quite well adjusted to postmodern.Admittedly, the notion of weaponized ‘Hegelian dialectics’ in all probability comes from Anthony C. Sutton, and is to be found in his book on Skull and Bones Society, where he – rather offhandedly – traces the import of Prussian school methods into curricula of American schools. However, Sutton was no philosopher. With that in mind, let us proceed to what Hegel himself thought the dialectics is.Hegel defined dialectics as a “life of spirit”. In this sense, it is not merely a “natural illusion of pure mind” as Kant would have it, nor mere method of dispute, as some superficial interprets of Socrates surmised.Hegelian dialectics is the process of “mediating” (Vermittlung) between subject and object, that which is ‘for itself’ (für sich) and that which is ‘in itself’ (an sich).

Source: Hegelian Dialectics: Don’t Mess with Hegel – 21st Century Wire

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MK Ultra – What They Didn’t Tell You About The Mind-Control Program That’s Probably Still Operational

Over the past week, I’ve been watching the History Channel’s America’s War on Drugs mini docu-series. To my surprise, the History Channel was shockingly honest about the CIA’s involvement in the war on drugs and the massive political propaganda campaigns that went along with it. The series criminalized the CIA and the government, and rightly so, discussing their involvement in drug trafficking, production, and testing — on both volunteers and unwilling patients — and even murder.Part of the first episode honed in on the CIA’s top-secret program that is now declassified, MK-Ultra, which involved sexual and physical abuse, drug testing, hypnosis, mind control, and other types of torture. However, the only aspect that the History Channel discussed in their MK Ultra overview was the role that LSD played.The CIA designed LSD with a Swiss manufacturer as part of the MK Ultra program in hopes that they could force people to take it and convince them to do unspeakable acts, all of which they’d forget the following morning, once the drugs wore off. Testing started with unwilling participants being lured into a hotel room by prostitutes, who would then slip the drugs into their drinks. A CIA agent would then watch the test subjects as they tripped out behind a wall of the hotel room.

Source: MK Ultra – What They Didn’t Tell You About The Mind-Control Program That’s Probably Still Operational

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Ohio is NOT Executing Prisoners With a Head Ripping Off Machine 

Back in 2014, respected satirical website The Onion published a story claiming that the American state of Ohio was replacing lethal injections for death row prisoners with a more humane “head ripping off machine”.  The report noted:Seeking a more humane method of carrying out capital punishment, Ohio’s new machine yanks inmates heads from their bodies using painless, powerful robotic claws.The report featured a slick,  but, of course totally fake, TV news clip extolling the virtues of the new machine. In its original context on The Onion website, the report was an amusing and rather biting commentary on the ethics of capital punishment.Most people who watched the entire video would quickly realise that the claims were not real news and were never intended to be taken seriously.  If the outlandish descriptions of the killing machines were not enough to identify the clip as satire, then the blood spatted officials would surely do the job.

Source: Ohio is NOT Executing Prisoners With a Head Ripping Off Machine – Hoax-Slayer

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Duke students rebuke prof for saying libertarians are autistic

Students are asking Duke University to condemn a professor’s remarks suggesting that conservatives and libertarians are autistic.

Duke University students are circulating a petition condemning a professor who labeled conservatives and libertarians autistic, but the administration remains silent.

When Hunter Michielson, president of the school’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter, awoke to the news that a professor at his university had publicly speculated that libertarians and conservatives are autistic, he was angry.

“My initial response was that I wanted her to be punished,” he told Campus Reform.

After conversations with others on campus and seriously contemplating the matter, however, Michielson decided that calling for institutional intervention to silence the professor’s free speech would be hypocritical for him as a libertarian, so he elected to instead create a petition to demonstrate that the Duke community does not condone such remarks.

Source: Duke students rebuke prof for saying libertarians are autistic

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Pope Meets Sex Abuse Victims Every Friday

Pope Francis says “regularly” meets with a group of  sexual abuse survivors on Fridays, the Catholic news website CruxNow.com reports.The pontiff adds it is important for him to hear their stories because “what they have been through is so hard, they are destroyed.”Francis also calls clerical sex abuse “the greatest desolation that the Church is undergoing,” one that reveals both the Church’s fragility as well as its “hypocrisy.”Greg Burke, director of the Vatican Press Office, Greg Burke, said Francis “listens to the victims and seeks to help them to heal the grave wounds caused by the abuse they’ve suffered.”The meetings take place with the greatest discretion out of respect for the victims and their suffering.”

Source: Pope Meets Sex Abuse Victims Every Friday | Newsmax.com

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Scholars denounce ‘victim-centered’ approach to sexual assault

More than 130 professors and legal experts are calling on university administrators to end the use of “victim-centered” investigative practices.

The scholars voiced their concerns in a seven-page “Open Letter” last week, blasting the common reliance on “guilt-presuming methods” such as “‘victim-centered’ investigations, ‘trauma-informed’ theories, and the admonition to always ‘believe the victim.’”

“On college campuses, ‘believe the victim’ ideology is evidenced by the widespread use of ‘victim-centered’ investigations,” the letter states. “According to a Human Rights Watch report, a ‘victim-centered’ approach means the investigator assumes ‘all sexual assault cases are valid unless established otherwise by investigative findings.’”

Source: Scholars denounce ‘victim-centered’ approach to sexual assault

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What Is A Rube Goldberg Machine And Who Was The Man Behind Them?

Before being known for crazy contraptions, Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and film writer. The illustrator said his cartoons of the Rube Goldberg Machine were a “symbol of man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to accomplish minimal results.”

Source: What Is A Rube Goldberg Machine And Who Was The Man Behind Them?

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Youtube Pulled My Video for Asking Questions

I showed a video you can watch on CNN all day long. Only I asked some questions about it so Youtube hit me with an age restriction saying I was being “sensational” or “disrespectf…

Source: Youtube Pulled My Video for Asking Questions | American Everyman

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‘Black Panther’ Criticized for Lack of LGBT Representation

Marvel Studios’ upcoming blockbuster Black Panther has been criticized for its lack of LGBT representation, and the particular exclusion of a lesbian scene featured in the comic book on which the superhero film is based.According to Pink News, “When the film was announced, fans were excited by the prospect of Okoye and Ayo, two of the title character’s bodyguards, getting together as Ayo and fellow female warrior Aneka do in the comics. And these hopes were encouraged by reports that an early screening of the film featured Walking Dead star Danai Gurira’s Okoye staring at Ayo flirtatiously as the two danced.”However, when fans of the comics watched Black Panther during early screenings, they noticed an absence of lesbian romance, and immediately started a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend, using terms such as “lesbian erasure.”

Source: ‘Black Panther’ Criticized for Lack of LGBT Representation

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When Your Doctor Asks: Have a Gun at Home? Here’s What To Say…

Don’t tell them you do have a gun, because that instantly becomes part of your medical record.Don’t waffle, or tell the doctor you’re “uncomfortable” answering the question, because they very well may notate that too.Lie.

Right through your teeth. “Why no, doc, I don’t have any guns in the home at all!”

Source: When Your Doctor Asks: Have a Gun at Home? Here’s What To Say…

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Kidney Stones Are Getting Diagnosed More, but We’re Not Entirely Sure Why

Passing on a kidney stone is one of the most physically painful things a person can go through this side of childbirth. And a new study published this week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that they’re seemingly becoming more common. But by how much, and why, we’re still not really sure.Mayo Clinic doctors examined the meticulously kept and anonymous medical records of patients in Olmsted County, Minnesota over the span of three decades. From 1984 to 2012, there were slightly over 10,000 people who had been diagnosed with either a kidney or bladder stone (the difference being where the stone first formed). The researchers then randomly selected and reviewed the charts of over 7,000 cases, finding an unmistakable increase in kidney stone cases diagnosed annually. But there were changes over time in how frequent they became among different groups, as well the type of diagnoses given.“[T]he incidence of kidney stones increased dramatically in both adult men and women from 1984 to 2012, with the largest absolute increase occurring in younger women,” the authors wrote. Confirmed diagnoses among women (per every 100,000 person years) quadrupled between 1984 to 2012, while they doubled for men. Men overall were still a bit more likely to have confirmed, painful kidney stones. The incidence of bladder stones, meanwhile, remained low and relatively unchanged.

Source: Kidney Stones Are Getting Diagnosed More, but We’re Not Entirely Sure Why

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Sweden pushes feminist foreign policy in wake of #MeToo

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström vowed to press ahead with gender equality and feminism in the annual foreign policy statement on Wednesday.She said that autumn had been summed up by “a remarkable movement that could be summed up by two words: Me too”.”Women across the world are being overlooked when it comes to resources, representation, and rights,” she said.”And this is the simple reason we are pursuing a feminist foreign policy with full force across the world.”Sweden launched its feminist foreign policy when Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s centre-left government came to power in 2014. Wallström pointed out that Sweden was working with educating women in Saudi Arabia and Iran, creating social debates in Rwanda, Colombia, and Afghanistan. “Sweden is one of the largest donors when it comes to reproductive health, through contraception, maternity care, and safe abortion,” she added.”These are some examples of our feminist foreign policy, and we will be watching to see how the world follows.”She also pointed out that there were four times more pages on Wikipedia about men than women, something that around the Swedish embassies around the world will be working to rectify for International Women’s Day.

Source: Sweden pushes feminist foreign policy in wake of #MeToo – The Local

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