Author Archives: binghamboatwright

About binghamboatwright

newshound, tech adventurist, with an interest in anything electricity goes into and out of.

Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide

If you’ve played even just a few minutes of Minecraft, you know what a creeper is. For those not familiar with the wildly popular sandbox game, a creeper is a monster that creeps along silently until it’s close to a player, whereupon it self-destructs by exploding. Sometimes it kills the player outright, and other times the explosion blows them into lava or off a cliff, or off a cliff and then into lava. Creepers have no friends.But now there’s a way to avoid creeper attacks, or at least get a little heads up that these green nasties are lurking about. With [John Allwine]’s creeper detector, Minecraft players can get a real-world indicator of the current in-game creeper threat. The hardware end is simple enough — it’s just a SparkFun RedBoard and a small strip of Neopixels in a laser-cut plywood case. The LEDs lie behind a piece of etched acrylic to diffuse their glow — extra points for the creeper pattern in the lens. The detector talks over USB to a Minecraft mod that [John] wrote to interface the game with the real world. The closer a creeper gets to the player, the brighter the light. — and when it flashes, watch out. See it in action in the video below, if you can stomach watching someone dig straight down. Never dig straight down.

Source: Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide | Hackaday

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain  13 Hours Ago | 01:17Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just revealed video of a massive 10,000-year clock that’s being built inside a West Texas mountain.The clock is 500 feet tall and powered by the Earth’s thermal cycles, Bezos said in a tweet Tuesday.”It’s a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking,” a blog post signed by Bezos says.The clock has been in the works for nearly three decades, according to the post, and is designed to tick once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium.

Source: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain

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Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners

Newsweek published a story about the company’s financial ties to a mysterious church, but editors said the company attempted to thwart their reporting efforts.MAXWELL TANI02.20.18 10:17 PM ETSeveral Newsweek staffers threatened to resign earlier this week, accusing the company of attempting to muzzle the publishing of a story further detailing internal turmoil at the magazine and ties to a controversial Christian college.On Tuesday evening, Newsweek published a story about previously unreported ties between Newsweek Media Group (which also owns International Business Times) and Olivet University’s efforts to develop a campus in upstate New York. Olivet, which is affiliated with a mysterious religious sect called “The Community,” has numerous connections to former leaders of NMG.But not before several reporters and editors made it clear to management that they would quit if Newsweek did not publish the story.The team of journalists including Newsweek deputy editor Ross Schneiderman, news director Cristina Silva, politics editor Michael J. Mishak, and IBT reporters Josh Keefe and Josh Saul mulled resigning in protest on Tuesday if the article was not published.

Source: Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners

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Student 3D Prints Eyes

[Ondřej Vocílka] is a student at the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic.  In addition, the 23-year-old lost his vision in his left eye. While attending a lecture on 3D printing, he…

Source: Student 3D Prints Eyes | Hackaday

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Google-Nest merger reawakens privacy worries

Four years ago, Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest, a fancy smart-home thermostat and smoke alarm maker.Privacy advocates found this a daunting marriage, but Google wound up running the business at arm’s length, over in its Alphabet division.Nest co-founder and former CEO Tony Fadell told the BBC at the time of the acquisition that consumers could relax. Nest data wouldn’t be mixed with all the other information Google gathers:When you work with Nest and use Nest products, that data does not go into the greater Google or any of [its] other business units. We have a certain set of terms and policies and things that are governed. So, just when you say we may be owned by Google, it doesn’t mean that the data is open to everyone inside the company or even any other business group – and vice versa. We have to be very clear on that.Whew! What a relief, eh?

Source: Google-Nest merger reawakens privacy worries – Naked Security

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Online Speech Is a ‘Public Menace’ that Must Be Regulated

The current moment in world history is a painful one. Open societies are in crisis, and forms of dictatorships and mafia states, exemplified by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, are on the rise. In the United States, President Donald Trump would like to establish his own mafia-style state but cannot, because the constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.

Not only is the survival of open society in question; the survival of our entire civilisation is at stake. The rise of leaders such as Kim Jong-un in North Korea and Trump in the US have much to do with this. Both seem willing to risk a nuclear war in order to keep themselves in power. But the root cause goes even deeper. Mankind’s ability to harness the forces of nature, both for constructive and destructive purposes, continues to grow, while our ability to govern ourselves properly fluctuates, and is now at a low ebb.

The rise and monopolistic behaviour of the giant American internet platform companies is contributing mightily to the US government’s impotence. These companies have often played an innovative and liberating role. But as Facebookand Google have grown ever more powerful, they have become obstacles to innovation, and have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware.

Source: Only the EU can break Facebook and Google’s dominance | George Soros | Business | The Guardian

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Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments 

In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders:Shortly after news broke earlier this month of the agreement between the Israeli government and Facebook, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Tel Aviv had submitted 158 requests to the social media giant over the previous four months asking it to remove content it deemed “incitement.” She said Facebook had granted 95 percent of the requests.She’s right. The submission to Israeli dictates is hard to overstate: As the New York Times put it in December of last year,

Source: Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Facebook Ad Executive Rob Goldman Apologizes for having “Uncleared Thoughts”

After President Trump re-tweeted a discussion thread from Facebook VP of Ads Rob Goldman, which cited analysis done last year of Russian ad purchases/engagement, the liberal hive instantly attacked the executive.According to Wired.Com Rob Goldman quickly began apologizing for expressing “uncleared thoughts”, where those thoughts are actually based on facts – but run counter to the necessary liberal narrative – so they must be repelled at all costs.This you have to read:(Via Wired) On Friday morning, just before 10am on the West Coast, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller published his indictment of 13 Russian operatives for interfering in the US election. The document was 37 pages, and it mentioned Facebook 35 times. It detailed how Russian operatives used the platform to push memes, plan rallies, create fake accounts, suppress the vote, foment racism, and more.[…] But then, roughly eight hours after the indictment appeared online, Rob Goldman, a VP for ads for Facebook, decided he had a few points to add to the debate. He was just freelancing, and had not cleared his thoughts with either Facebook’s communications team or its senior management.

Source: Facebook Ad Executive Rob Goldman Apologizes for having “Uncleared Thoughts”… | The Last Refuge

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Colorado wants to issue their own green cards, except they’re purple

Apparently having grown tired of waiting for the federal government to “do something” about immigration reform, some Colorado lawmakers have come up with an alternate solution. Some Democrats in the state legislature have a plan which would allow the state to issue their own “purple cards” (a state-level version of a green card), offering legal status to well-behaved illegal aliens. Right up front, I’ll just say that I hope they pass this law because watching the legal challenges and fallout should be either informative or hilarious.

Source: Colorado wants to issue their own green cards, except they’re purple

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Rare Copy of Declaration of Independence Hidden Behind Wallpaper During Civil War

A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence made for James Madison that survived the Civil War hidden behind wallpaper in Virginia was purchased last month by billionaire philanthropist David M. Rubenstein for “seven figures.”

The copy, made in the 1820s for Madison, fourth president of the United States, is one of 51 copies known to be in existence by scholars, The Washington Post reported.

“This is the closest … to the original Declaration, the way it looked when it was signed in August of 1776,” Seth Kaller, a New York rare-document appraiser who assisted in the sale, told the Post. “Without these … copies you wouldn’t even know what the original looked liked.”

Copies of the Declaration of Independence have been found in other unusual places.

Source: Rare Copy of Declaration of Independence Hidden Behind Wallpaper During Civil War |

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Drones count wildlife more accurately than people on the ground, new study shows

Drones aren’t just for recreational use—they are becoming increasingly used for monitoring wildlife. However, researchers didn’t know just how accurate they are compared to traditional counting. Cue a few thousand rubber ducks and the birth of the #EpicDuckChallenge. The outcome showed that using drones is more accurate than counting from the ground.“For a few years now, drones have been used to monitor different animals that can be seen from above, including elephants, seals and nesting birds. But, until now, the accuracy of using drones to count wildlife was unclear,” says the study’s lead author, Jarrod Hodgson from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and School of Biological Sciences.The lead researcher surrounded by the rubber ducks used in the study. Image credits: University of Adelaide.The researchers wanted to compare how accurate drones are compared with counting.“We needed to test the technology where we knew the correct answer. We couldn’t use wild animals because we could never be sure of the real number of individuals present,” said Hodgson.

Source: Drones count wildlife more accurately than people on the ground, new study shows

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This Edible Chocolate Knife Is Sharp Enough To Cut Vegetables

Technically it’s made out of a combination of 100%-cacao dark chocolate and hard candy. But dang, this thing can really slice.

Source: This Edible Chocolate Knife Is Sharp Enough To Cut Vegetables – Digg

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“Venezuelan edition”? Hasbro waves white flag of moral surrender with new Monopoly game 

The Monopoly board game was once a celebration of capitalism but this fall, Hasbro will be releasing a new version called the Cheater’s Edition.The new rules and features seem to embrace Marxism and wealth redistribution, so perhaps Hasbro should have called it the “Venezuelan Edition.”But where’s the satisfaction in winning any game by cheating? Doesn’t any such achievement become a hollow victory?An iconic mass-produced, mass-marketed board game that celebrates cheating as opposed to condemning it moves that proverbial moral compass ever so slightly.This edition of Monopoly sends the wrong message, especially to those in society who already feel entitled so I hope it’s dead on arrival.As for the genius who came up with the Cheater’s Edition of Monopoly, please go directly to jail; do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Source: “Venezuelan edition”? Hasbro waves white flag of moral surrender with new Monopoly game – The Rebel

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EU: Hungarian town can’t be European Capital of Culture because there are “too many happy white people”

The EU jury of the European Capital of Culture contest (EKF 2023), said that one of the participating towns is “too white and there are not enough migrants”, Hungarian news website “” reports.With only seven semi-finalists left, the Hungarian town of Székesfehérvár made a promotional film for the jury. The film shows the town’s most beautiful places, a happy couple and some kids playing.But the EU’s jury rejected the submission of Székesfehérvár’s debut film: “There are too many happy white people and crosses, and not enough migrants,” the jury said.The film of the town also featured on YouTube and attracted over 3,000 views. One of the European Union’s experts replied with: “This is the propaganda film for white Christian Europe; everyone is white, happy and dancing in the streets.”

Source: EU: Hungarian town can’t be European Capital of Culture because there are “too many happy white people”

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Google Autocomplete Suggestions Are Still Racist, Sexist, and Science-Denying 

IN DECEMBER OF 2016, Google announced it had fixed a troubling quirk of its autocomplete feature: When users typed in the phrase, “are jews,” Google automatically suggested the question, “are jews evil?”When asked about the issue during a hearing in Washington on Thursday, Google’s vice president of news, Richard Gingras, told members of the British Parliament, “As much as I would like to believe our algorithms will be perfect, I don’t believe they ever will be.”Indeed, almost a year after removing the “are jews evil?” prompt, Google search still drags up a range of awful autocomplete suggestions for queries related to gender, race, religion, and Adolf Hitler. Google appears still unable to effectively police results that are offensive, and potentially dangerous—especially on a platform that two billion people rely on for information.

Source: Google Autocomplete Suggestions Are Still Racist, Sexist, and Science-Denying | WIRED

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Jill Messick’s Death Is Why Due Process Needs To Come Back

Until her suicide last week, most people had never heard of Jill Messick, which by all accounts, was how she wanted things. She wasn’t a star, but she babysat for them, as all film producers must, and she knew first-hand how ugly fame can be.Messick was Rose McGowan’s manager at the time of her now-infamous 1997 meeting with Harvey Weinstein, which ended in a hot tub. Although at the time of the incident, McGowan seems to have felt comforted by Messick’s response (“She held me,” McGowan told The New York Times. “She put her arms around me,”), over time, McGowan came to see Messick as complicit.In her new book, Brave, and on Twitter, where McGowan has raised an “army” of nearly one-million followers, she has lashed out at Messick for arranging the meeting with Weinstein, for failing to support her, and for pressuring her to settle with him. For taking a job ten months after the incident at Weinstein’s company, as Messick did. For being part of the problem.Messick had her own version of events, but she kept those to herself.

According to a statement from her family, Messick believed in the #MeToo movement and supported its goals, and she hadn’t wanted to undermine it by contradicting her former client. She was also battling depression and bipolar disorder.On January 31, Weinstein’s defense attorney, Ben Brafman, released an email from Messick solicited by Weinstein before The New York Times broke the scandal.

In the email, Messick said that in 1997, McGowan had admitted to her that “getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that it hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done.” But McGowan had never called the incident “rape.” Ben Affleck, with whom McGowan also discussed the encounter soon after it occurred, confirmed the same.“Fuck you you fucking douche bag loser from hell,” roared McGowan on Twitter at Weinstein, in response to the release of these emails. Under an avatar image of herself with a raised fist, McGowan regularly whips her “#RoseArmy” into a frenzy.

Source: Jill Messick’s Death Is Why Due Process Needs To Come Back

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Facebook Turned Its Two-Factor Security ‘Feature’ Into the Worst Kind of Spam

Facebook is bleeding users, with external researchers estimating that the social network lost 2.8 million US users under 25 last year. Those losses have prompted Facebook to get more aggressive in its efforts to win users back—and the company has started using security prompts to encourage users to log into their accounts.Sometimes, Facebook will send emails to users warning them that they’re having problems logging into their accounts, Bloomberg reported last month. “Just click the button below and we’ll log you in. If you weren’t trying to log in, let us know,” the emails reportedly read. Other times, Facebook will ask for a user’s phone number to set up two-factor authentication—then spam the number with notification texts.

Source: Facebook Turned Its Two-Factor Security ‘Feature’ Into the Worst Kind of Spam

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Earprints as criminal evidence

“An earprint is an impression of the external ear. House breakers may leave their earprints inadvertently when they listen at doors and windows to check if there is anyone inside before breaking and entering a premises. Owing to uniqueness and individualistic characteristics of the human ear, earprints can be used as evidence to link a criminal with the crime. In the recent past, many suspected thieves have been convicted and several burglaries linked due to the presence of similar earprints.”

Source: Improbable Research » Blog Archive

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Hungary’s PM: Islam is advancing and Christianity is Europe’s last hope

In his state of the nation speech Sunday, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that “Christianity is Europe’s last hope”.Orban said he will continue to oppose the EU and the UN’s worldwide migration plans as “Islam will soon knock on the doors of Central Europe”.“According to estimates, the proportion of immigrants will grow at an accelerated pace in the European countries west of us,” Orban said.“I won’t even say anything about France and Holland, but even the born Germans are being forced back from most large German cities as migrants always occupy big cities first”, he added.In the same speech, Orban accused politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris of contributing to the “decline of Christian culture and the advancement of Islam.

Source: Hungary’s PM: Islam is advancing and Christianity is Europe’s last hope

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‘Whites Not Wanted’ Is What Dalhousie Evidently Considers ‘Progressive’ 

Dalhousie University is looking for a new dean of students but says it is interested only in someone who is “racially visible.” {snip}But I’m guessing that’s not what they mean by “racially visible.” What they surely mean is “non-white.” Or maybe “non-white” and also “non-Asian,” since there’s now anxiety in some circles that people of Asian ancestry are over-represented in parts of society, especially the parts that pay well for lots of brain power.There is the same lack of clarity with “visible minority,” the logical opposite of which is “invisible minority.” There are such things as invisible minorities — chess players, vegans, gays — though increasingly many now choose to make themselves visible by their dress, behaviour or lapel pins. But again, the real, intended meaning of “visible minority” is “non-white.”{snip}It’s a strange thing about identity progressivism: If the cause is so just, the need so compelling and the case for it so clear, why is the language so mealy-mouthed? If you don’t want a white person for your dean of students, and you think that’s a perfectly reasonable position to take, indeed the only reasonable position to take, why not just say “This job is only open to people who are not white”? Why hide behind an indirect, euphemistic, invented categorization?

Source: ‘Whites Not Wanted’ Is What Dalhousie Evidently Considers ‘Progressive’ – American Renaissance

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17-Year-Old Girl Taken From Christian Parents Because They Won’t Let Her Take Transgender Hormones

Welcome to the rave new LGBT world.

Source: 17-Year-Old Girl Taken From Christian Parents Because They Won’t Let Her Take Transgender Hormones

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How to Inoculate the Public Against Fake News 

Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians on charges of attempting to defraud the public and influence the U.S. presidential election shows that that the United States remains vulnerable to what the indictment calls “information warfare” but what others call simply fake news. A new research paper released today from two Cambridge University researchers shows how to counteract it.Once a person accepts an untruth, dislodging it can be very difficult, especially if the person’s online social group is pushing that piece of fake news. Some research has suggested that this is because the emotional need for acceptance goes on to influence higher-order rational thinking.

A broad cross-section of research suggests that the best defense against misinformation is to inoculate people against it — that is, by exposing people to the precise fake news they are likely to be targeted with. This is why Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 French presidential campaign set up honeypot email accounts to attract the Russian hackers backing Putin ally Marine Le Pen (a fact Defense One broke in December, 2016). When Macron’s emails leaked and Russian-linked social media accounts began to spread news of the leaks—and disinformation about their contents—the Macron campaign was able to easily discredit the efforts. The operation backfired.

Source: How to Inoculate the Public Against Fake News – Defense One

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Face-recognition software is perfect – if you’re a white man

By Timothy Revell

Face-recognition software can guess your gender with amazing accuracy – if you are a white man.Joy Buolamwini at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tested three commercially available face-recognition systems, created by Microsoft, IBM and the Chinese company Megvii.The systems correctly identified the gender of white men 99 per cent of the time. But the error rate rose for people with darker skin, reaching nearly 35 per cent for women. The results will be presented at the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in New York later this monthFace-recognition software is already being used in many different situations, including by police to identify suspects in a crowd and to automatically tag photos.This means inaccuracies could have consequences, such as systematically ingraining biases in police stop and searches.Biases in artificial intelligence systems tend to come from biases in the data they are trained on. According to one study, a widely used data set is around 75 per cent male and more than 80 per cent white.Read more: Is tech racist? The fight back against digital discriminationThis article appeared in print under the headline “Face recognition’s biases on show”

Source: Face-recognition software is perfect – if you’re a white man | New Scientist

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Hackers Release Video Of Nintendo Switch Running A Linux Distro

The collective fail0verflow has released a minute long video showing off the capabilities of the Switch featuring a Linux distro, better call it ‘switchnix’. The video shows the device supporting touch controls and working web browser.


Source: Hackers Release Video Of Nintendo Switch Running A Linux Distro

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‘Anti-Clinton’ Wikileaks chat leaked 

Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing site founded by Julian Assange, wanted a Republican to become US president, according to a leaked conversation.Files obtained by The Intercept show the Wikileaks Twitter account revealing its preference to a group of supporters, via private chat.”We believe it would be much better for GOP [US Republican party] to win,” the transcript read.The account also described Hillary Clinton as a “sadistic sociopath”.It is thought that the Wikileaks Twitter account is controlled by Julian Assange, although it is not clear who wrote the comments in the leaked transcript.The BBC has contacted the Wikileaks account on Twitter – which has not tweeted since 13 February – but has not yet received a response.Transcripts from the chat with around ten supporters of Wikileaks also contain disparaging remarks about journalists, including the BBC’s Chris Cook, policy editor for Newsnight.

Source: ‘Anti-Clinton’ Wikileaks chat leaked – BBC News

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Korean Dog Trade Highlights How American Kennel Club Hurts Dogs, Too

The 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea have produced drama beyond the athletic exploits they intended to showcase. Many in the press proved to be suckers for North Korean propaganda, continuing a shameful tradition of U.S. media promoting brutal communist regimes. Shaun White won his third gold in the halfpipe, cementing his status as the greatest snowboarder ever, but still got blasted by online outrage mobs for letting an American flag drag on the snow.Also, the vicious practices of the Korean dog meat trade have provoked worldwide revulsion, despite attempts by Korean officials to cover them up during the Olympics. Athletes have also brought attention to the issue, with Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel making headlines not only for winning gold in the team event but also for having adopting a dog rescued from a puppy-meat farm.Concurrently, the Westminster Dog Show offered a spectacle at the other end of the canine spectrum, with a parade of pampered pooches of all shapes and sizes — many with hair more styled than an ’80s glam-metal band. None of these dogs will be tortured to death in a superstitious attempt to boost the revitalizing potency of a dog meat stew (oh, those quaint folkways and Eastern alternative medicines). The indignities of a show dog’s life are nothing compared to the suffering on a Korean dog-meat farm, which is itself dwarfed by the human anguish in gulags and torture chambers of North Korea.

Source: Korean Dog Trade Highlights How American Kennel Club Hurts Dogs, Too

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A potent botnet is exploiting a critical router bug that may never be fixed

A fast-moving botnet that turns routers, cameras, and other types of Internet-connected devices into potent tools for theft and destruction has resurfaced again, this time by exploiting a critical vulnerability that gives attackers control over as many as 40,000 routers. Despite the high stakes, there’s no indication that the bug will be fixed any time soon, if at all.Satori, as the botnet has been dubbed, quickly made a name for itself in December, when it infected more than 100,000 routers in just 12 hours by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in two models, one made by Huawei and the other by RealTek. Last month, Satori operators released a new version that infected devices used to mine digital coins, a feat that allowed the attackers to mine as much as $3,000 worth of Ethereum, based on prices the digital coin was commanding at the time.In recent days, Satori has started infecting routers manufactured by Dasan Networks of South Korea. The number of daily infected routers is about 13,700, with about 82 percent of them located in Vietnam, a researcher from China-based Netlab 360 told Ars. Queries on the Shodan search index of Internet-connected devices show there are a total of more than 40,000 routers made by Dasan. The company has yet to respond to an advisory published in December that documented the code-execution vulnerability Satori is exploiting, making it possible that most or all of the devices will eventually become part of the botnet.

Source: A potent botnet is exploiting a critical router bug that may never be fixed | Ars Technica

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More gender equal countries have fewer women in STEM, paradoxically

Puzzlingly, women in countries with greater gender equality are less likely to take degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). New research delves into this ‘gender equality paradox’.Image credits Eryk Salvaggio.You’d expect countries which make it harder for women to carve their own path in life to have fewer women involved in STEM fields — however, that is not the case. It’s actually quite the opposite: countries like Algeria or Albania enjoy a greater percentage of women (and of their total female population) amongst their STEM graduates than Finland, Norway, or Sweden.The STEM of the issueResearchers from the Leeds Beckett University in the UK and the University of Missouri in the USA wondered what’s up and set out to investigate. Their working hypothesis was that this divide stems from the poorer quality of life in countries with lower equality, which often have little welfare support, making STEM careers (which are generally better-paid jobs) more attractive to women who live there. The teams also looked at what factors motivate boys and girls to choose STEM subjects, including overall ability, whether or not science subjects were a personal academic strength, as well as personal interest or sheer enjoyment of the topic.

Source: More gender equal countries have fewer women in STEM, paradoxically

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California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia denies groping accusations

A California state lawmaker at the forefront of the #MeToo movement faces a growing number of sexual misconduct allegations herself. Four former employees filed a formal complaint against Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. Another says he was fired after protesting when she suggested playing “spin the bottle.”

Garcia has authored numerous bills about sexual assault and consent. She was even recently featured in Time magazine’s “Persons of the Year” issue recognizing the #MeToo movement’s “silence breakers.” But now she is on voluntary leave, as investigators look into claims she groped two men.

Daniel Fierro was working in the California State Capitol when he said Garcia cornered him at a staff softball game.

“I remember feeling a little confused about what happened,” Fierro said.

“She touched you sexually?” Villarreal asked.

“Yea, she — her hand dropped down. She touched – she grabbed my butt. And I spun to turn around … and as I turned, she tried to reach for my crotch and she did,” Fierro said.

When Villarreal asked Garcia whether Fierro’s claims happened, Garcia said, “No.”

“What do you remember happening that day?” Villarreal asked.

“I was at the game at the end of the game… And I left with some staff and with some members, and so I have faith that the investigation will make sure and have the facts around it and clear my name,” Garcia said.

Source: California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia denies groping accusations – CBS News

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Trump administration wants to turn the ISS into a commercially run venture, NASA document shows 

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry.The White House plans to stop funding the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post.“The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time — it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” the document states. “NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit.”

Source: The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a commercially run venture, NASA document shows – The Washington Post

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The US Now Admits There Is No Evidence Assad Used Sarin Gas in Syria

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis confirmed that the U.S. government has no evidence that the Syrian government used sarin gas on its people— a claim that was used by the White House as justification for an April 2017 launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Al Shayrat airfield in Syria.On Friday, Mattis said that reports of chemical weapon use by the Syrian government have come from aid groups and others, but that the U.S. doesn’t have any evidence to support these assertions.“We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. “We do not have evidence of it.”“We’re looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions,” Mattis continued. “We’re even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use.”Mattis explained that he was not refuting the third-party reports of chemical weapons used by the Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad. Assad has steadfastly denied that his government has used chemical weapons throughout the conflict.

Source: The US Now Admits There Is No Evidence Assad Used Sarin Gas in Syria

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Doctor Warns: Getting the Flu Is Safer Than Getting the Flu Shot –

Influenza season is upon us once again, and this year the mainstream media is going hog wild with reports about a deadly new strain of circulating “wild” flu that’s said to be exceptionally virulent. But before you rush out to get a flu shot as “protection,” you might want to take a closer look at what the science has to say about the safety and efficacy of these often-hyped jabs.During a recent interview with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, vaccine truth advocate Dr. Suzanne Humphries shared her expertise about flu shots, explaining how the adverse events she observed in conjunction with their use was what drove her to more deeply investigate the nature of vaccines at large. In the process, she discovered that flu shots really don’t work, and often cause more problems than they’re said to prevent.Her book Dissolving Illusions is filled with this information as well. She discusses concepts like antibody-dependent enhancement, a vaccine-induced phenomenon in which proteins that would otherwise prevent viruses from entering cells actually facilitate their invasion. She also discusses other concepts like original antigenic sin, also known as the Hoskins effect, which is basically vaccine-induced damage to the immune system that overrides its ability to naturally ward off disease.Dr. Humphries is well-versed in these and many other aspects of vaccination that most of her critics have likely never even heard of, let alone understand. And much of this translates to her understanding about the flu vaccine, which she says is completely useless in most cases, and stands to harm more than help. The media loves to spread the narrative that people are dying left and right because they aren’t getting their flu shots, but Dr. Humphries points to vaccines as the most likely culprit.“Some of the most pro-vaccine scientists have been writing about this for years,” says Dr. Humphries about the common occurrence of flu shots actually giving people the flu – or worse.

Source: Doctor Warns: Getting the Flu Is Safer Than Getting the Flu Shot –

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Student newspaper posts map of campus locations where students have had sex

A school newspaper at a prominent California university has begun a project documenting the various places students have had sex around the school’s campus.“For our special issue on sex, The Daily Californian is collecting stories to examine where sexual encounters on campus actually happen and what they actually look like,” student Ian MacGregor writes at the newspaper.

“If you feel comfortable, please share a time you had a sexual encounter on campus, where it happened and how it made you feel,” MacGregor urges students. “We want to provide a safe and anonymous space where you can feel comfortable sharing your own story, however intense, funny, casual, uncomfortable or haunting it may be.”The map thus far has at 40 different accounts of sexual encounters on UC Berkeley’s campus. One student recounts having told her boyfriend that she wanted to have sex by the campanile, a bell tower on Berkeley’s campus.

Source: Student newspaper posts map of campus locations where students have had sex – The College Fix

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She’s being sued for railroading students accused of rape. She’s running for state office.


‘A drink of alcohol’ means you can’t consent to kissingSusan Vaughn wants to represent the 51st District in the Ohio House to “bring us back to more values-based decision-making.”She thinks “ethics” is the “first and foremost” issue for her would-be constituents, in the wake of Republican resignations over “allegations of inappropriate conduct.” Coincidentally, she’s the director of the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution at the taxpayer-funded Miami University of Ohio.She’s running unopposed in the Democratic primary, while three Republicans compete for the party nomination.She may have to explain to voters why she’s been accused of running kangaroo courts against male students at the public university.Vaughn is named in two lawsuits against Miami University, alleging anti-male violations of Title IX and due process. She presided over disciplinary proceedings in both.

Source: She’s being sued for railroading students accused of rape. She’s running for state office. – The College Fix

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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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