Say goodbye to enhanced data privacy, US web surfers 

We often worry about how online services like Facebook and their advertising partners track our every move, but let’s not forget the information that internet service providers collect.These organizations get to see what you access online, when you access it, where from, and what device you’re using, among many other things. It’s a treasure trove of user data. Last week, the US government stopped a ruling designed to give users control over it, the day before it came into force.US ISPs have historically been able to sell this sensitive information to online brokers interested in knowing more about their customers. Those brokers could in turn use it for advertising and targeted marketing. In October, the FCC moved to regulate that with a contentious privacy rule that introduced a privacy framework for ISPs.Under the rule, broadband providers couldn’t do anything with sensitive data unless the consumer gave them explicit permission first, by opting in. Sensitive data includes things like geographic location, app usage history and communications content (including, for example, your web browsing history).

Source: Say goodbye to enhanced data privacy, US web surfers – Naked Security

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Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF 

San Francisco – Increasingly frequent and invasive searches at the U.S. border have raised questions for those of us who want to protect the private data on our computers, phones, and other digital devices. A new guide released today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) gives travelers the facts they need in order to prepare for border crossings while protecting their digital information.“Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border” helps everyone do a risk assessment, evaluating personal factors like immigration status, travel history, and the sensitivity of the data you are carrying. Depending on which devices come with you on your trip, your gadgets can include information like your client files for work, your political leanings and those of your friends, and even your tax return. Assessing your risk factors helps you choose a path to proactively protect yourself, which might mean leaving some devices at home, moving some information off of your devices and into the cloud, and using encryption. EFF’s guide also explains why some protections, like fingerprint locking of a phone, are less secure than other methods.

Source: Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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How Sagging Your Pants Can Be a Revolutionary Action: Anonymizing Free “Criminals”

Have you ever heard the myth that the idea of sagging pants originated in prison, as an indication that someone was a punk?The main purpose of sagging is to stay strapped with a gun, to keep it concealed and to keep your hand on it to defend yourself (or aggress on someone) quickly. Of course it’s tied to criminal culture, but there’s a strategy in it that can be used for good. The inconvenience of sagging pants makes the strategy debatable in effectiveness, and people do it for other reasons, but there’s a core principle in the concept.Its purpose is to foster a culture where everyone is sagging, but not all of them are carrying guns, which makes it difficult to identify who is carrying.Sagging uses the strategy of anonymizing who is carrying a gun, because concealed carry is illegal in many US states (although other countries are much worse). In the US, and most countries on this Earth ruled by governments, self defense cases (that the police are aware of) become the jurisdiction of government to decide who is right or wrong in the altercation.The ability to decide a person’s fate when they enter an altercation cannot be granted to government without a terrible outcome.In some places in the US, if you look a certain way or have a certain skin color and shoot someone in self defense out of necessity you’re probably going to be charged with murder.

Source: How Sagging Your Pants Can Be a Revolutionary Action: Anonymizing Free “Criminals” – Era of Wisdom

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Wikileaks dump: The CIA appears to have copied instructions from Reddit on how to hack Windows

WikiLeaks released nearly 9,000 documents and files on Tuesday, allegedly from an internal CIA knowledge base, which describe tools that can be used to hack into myriad devices and applications. One of those documents is a blog post on how to hack user accounts on Windows.Users of the Reddit section called r/netsec, a subreddit about network security, quickly noticed that the blog post had been copied from a link that was posted to Reddit two years ago. The discovery came after a user searched for references to Reddit in the document dump, and posted a link to the WikiLeaks page in a comment on r/netsec, pointing out the connection.“It means that CIA security personnel also read this sub[reddit],” one user said. “It’s a great sub.” That user included a link to the Reddit post that linked to the original article. The document on WikiLeaks references both.

Source: Wikileaks dump: The CIA appears to have copied instructions from Reddit on how to hack Windows — Quartz

Securing machines from abuse and compromise in a corporate environment has always been an ongoing process. Providing admin rights to users has always been abused as users have ended up installing unapproved software, change configurations, etc. Not giving local admin rights and they claim they can’t do their work. If malware happens to compromise the machine with full admin rights then you are most likely looking at reimaging the machine.

User Account Control (UAC) gives us the ability to run in standard user rights instead of full administrator rights. So even if your standard user account is in the local admin group damage is limited, i.e. installing services, drivers, writing to secure locations, etc. are denied. To carry out these actions users would need to interact with the desktop such us right click and run as administrator or accept the UAC elevation prompt. UAC was introduced from Windows Vista onwards and contains a number of technologies that include file system and registry virtualization, the Protected Administrator (PA) account, UAC elevation prompts and Windows Integrity levels.

UAC works by adjusting the permission level of our user account, so programs actions are carried out as a standard user even if we have local admin rights on the computer. When changes are going to be made that require administrator-level permission UAC notifies us. If we have local admin rights then we can click yes to continue otherwise we would be prompted to enter an administrator password. These would however depend on what policies have been defined in your environment.

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Blind man tasered after his walking stick was mistaken for a gun by armed police officers

Police tasered a blind man at a train station on Thursday evening after mistaking his walking stick for a gun.Officers from Greater Manchester Police were called to a platform at Levenshulme Station after receiving a call that a middle-aged man had been seen holding a firearm.Arriving at the scene, officers tasered the man with a 50,000 volt stun gun, after he failed to respond to police calls to drop what they believed to be a weapon.In fact, the 43-year-old was blind and had been holding his cane, folded up, as he waited on the platform for a train home.The man is believed to have collapsed before then being detained by officers.

Source: Blind man tasered after his walking stick was mistaken for a gun by armed police officers

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Controlling pigeon population in Barcelona: Barcelona to feed pigeons contraceptives in bid to slash numbers

At first glance, they look like smart new garbage bins, but the 40 black metal cylinders that have appeared in parks throughout central Barcelona contain bird seed spiked with contraceptives. The local council is hoping that the measure will help to reduce the pigeon population in the Catalan capital.The new dispensers in Barcelona.

Until now, Barcelona City Hall has applied periodic culls, capturing and then killing the birds, but it has decided to take a more humane and practical approach, which it hopes will cut numbers from around 85,000.On Tuesday, the council, which describes itself as “animal friendly,” unveiled its plan, calling it “a clear and decisive bid for ethical control of pigeon populations,” taking its lead from the Italian city of Genoa.

Source: Controlling pigeon population in Barcelona: Barcelona to feed pigeons contraceptives in bid to slash numbers | In English | EL PAÍS

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Police say they were ‘authorized by McDonald’s’ to arrest protesters, suit claims 

Police claimed they had “authorization from the president of McDonald’s” to arrest protesting fast food workers, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed on Wednesday against the city of Memphis, Tennessee.The suit alleges that local police engaged in a “widespread and illegal campaign of surveillance and intimidation” against a local chapter of the Fight for $15 fast-food worker organization as it campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage and union rights for fast food workers.Officers followed organizers home after meetings, ordered workers not to sign petitions and blacklisted organizers from city hall, according to the suit. They claimed to have been authorized by McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food chain, and in one incident a McDonald’s franchisee joined police in tailing protesters.

Source: Police say they were ‘authorized by McDonald’s’ to arrest protesters, suit claims | Business | The Guardian

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Dental plaque shows what Neanderthals took as drugs

Ancient DNA found in dental plaque gives us an interesting glimpse into how Neanderthals self-medicated and interacted with humans.

Dental plaque is a biofilm, a mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth. It’s commonly formed on and around the teeth. While in the modern world we have ways to deal with plaque, that wasn’t an option for the Neanderthals.

“Dental plaque traps microorganisms that lived in the mouth and pathogens found in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, as well as bits of food stuck in the teeth — preserving the DNA for thousands of years,” says lead author Dr Laura Weyrich, ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow with ACAD.

Source: Dental plaque shows what Neanderthals took as drugs

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You Can Now Give Oral Sex Long-Distance By Licking Your Phone

Darren Press, the poor dude who has to be the O-Cast spokesperson, called it “iTunes for oral sex,” because O-Cast’s goal is to offer different tongue patterns for download at their website. Man, I wish I was a fly on the wall during their pitch meeting.So how in the hell does this work? Well, according to the Huffington Post, “one person will download a web app that records vibratory patterns made by licking the phone screen.” Genius, right?Got anything more to add, Press? “You can also use your finger, but telling people to lick the phone helps the click bait. If your phone screen is clean, you should be OK.” Or you can get sick and die. Who knows.All those vibratory patterns are then connected via bluetooth to the Lush, a remote control vibrator that sells for $100 each. Seems worth it, no? No? OK.

Source: You Can Now Give Oral Sex Long-Distance By Licking Your Phone

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Fructose is actually produced in the brain, new study finds

Fructose is a simple monosaccharide found in many fruits and vegetables, where it is often bonded to glucose. Pure, dry fructose is a very sweet, white, odorless, crystalline solid and is the most water-soluble of all the sugars. Because of its properties, it’s often added to processed and baked foods, to make them sweeter and tastier — but excess consumption contributes to high blood sugar and chronic diseases like obesity. A previous study had already shown that fructose and glucose have a significant effect on the brain, but it wasn’t clear if the fructose was produced in the brain or simply arrived there through the bloodstream.To answer this question, researchers gave eight healthy participants infusions of fructose and glucose, while measuring sugar concentrations in their brains and bodies using a non-invasive technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy. They found that when participants drank the glucose infusion, their fructose levels in the brain rose dramatically while levels in the brain remained relatively low.

Source: Fructose is actually produced in the brain, new study finds

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Dopamine in the brain could shape the decisions you make

Imagine approaching a food buffet, you have your eye on a pizza but at the last second you spot the steak and quickly shift one onto your plate.Your ability to make a split-second decision could be powered by dopamine, researchers have discovered.Scientists studying the behaviour of mice found that the brain chemical significantly affects your chances of making a snap movement or decision.

Their discovery could help people who have problems controlling their movements, including those suffering from Parkinson’s disease and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is known to play a role in how our brains derives pleasure from activities such as gambling and sex, as well as addiction.

Now researchers from Salk Institute of Biological Sciences in San Diego have found that the chemical could also shape our decisions.

Source: Dopamine in the brain could shape the decisions you make | Daily Mail Online

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State surveillance boom sparked by fear-mongering political populists, says UN 

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy has heavily criticised new surveillance laws in France, Germany, the UK and the USA, saying they are “predicated on the … disproportionate though understandable fear that electorates may have in the face of the threat of terrorism” but are informed by “little or no evidence” of their “efficacy or … proportionality”.Those words come from the Report to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (.docx), formally published this week after it was presented by Prof. Joseph Cannataci of Malta, the first-ever Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.Cannataci writes that “… the past eighteen months have seen politicians who wish to be seen to be doing something about security, legislating privacy-intrusive powers into being – or legalise existing practices – without in any way demonstrating that this is either a proportionate or indeed an effective way to tackle terrorism.” The resulting troves of data, he argues, represent a new security risk as they are a tasty target for criminals.He therefore calls for nations to “improve security through proportionate and effective measures not with unduly disproportionate privacy-intrusive laws.”

Source: State surveillance boom sparked by fear-mongering political populists, says UN • The Register

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NFL abuse of painkillers and other drugs described in court filings 

National Football League teams violated federal laws governing prescription drugs, disregarded guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration on how to store, track, transport and distribute controlled substances, and plied their players with powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories each season, according to sealed court documents contained in a federal lawsuit filed by former players.The sealed material, which was reviewed by The Washington Post, provides a rare look into the league’s relationship with drugs and how team doctors manage the pain inherent in a bruising sport to keep players on the field.Federal law lays out strict guidelines for how teams can handle and dispense prescription drugs. The sealed court filing, which includes testimony and documents by team and league medical personnel, describes multiple instances in which team and league officials were made aware of abuses, record-keeping problems and even violations of federal law and were either slow in responding or failed to comply.

Source: NFL abuse of painkillers and other drugs described in court filings – The Washington Post

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Starbucks CEO’s refugee comments sour customer views of chain 

Starbucks Corp’s vow to hire thousands of refugees after President Donald Trump’s first executive order that temporarily banned travel from seven mostly-Muslim nations appears to be hurting customer sentiment of the coffee chain.Trump supporters have used Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to call for a boycott since Jan. 29, when Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz vowed to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in the countries where it does business.Schultz in a letter to employees said the promise of the American Dream was “being called into question” and that “the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack.”YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks consumers’ sentiment toward companies and their willingness to purchase from those brands, noted that the data around this boycott is different because both measures are declining.

Source: Starbucks CEO’s refugee comments sour customer views of chain – survey

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Operative Framework: A Tool Use For Website Fingerprint And Information Gathering 

This is a framework based on fingerprint action, this tool is used for get information on a website or a enterprise target with multiple modules like Video search, Linkedin search, Reverse email whois, Reverse ip whois, SQL file forensics. The tool is created by French security researcher user graniet.This is a framework based on fingerprint action, this tool is used for get information on website or enterprise target.

Disclaimer: This tool is only for testing purposes and can only be used where strict consent has been given. Do not use this for illegal purposes, period.

Source: Operative Framework: A Tool Use For Website Fingerprint And Information Gathering – DigitalMunition

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Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’. “Telltale Signs Planted to Incriminate Moscow”

he gauzy allegations of Russia “hacking” the Democrats to elect Donald Trump just got hazier with WikiLeaks’ new revelations about CIA cyber-spying and the capability to pin the blame on others, reports Robert Parry.WikiLeaks’ disclosure of documents revealing CIA cyber-spying capabilities underscores why much more skepticism should have been applied to the U.S. intelligence community’s allegations about Russia “hacking” last year’s American presidential election. It turns out that the CIA maintains a library of foreign malware that could be used to pin the blame for a “hack” on another intelligence service.WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (

That revelation emerged from documents that WikiLeaks published on Tuesday from a CIA archive that WikiLeaks said had apparently been passed around within a community of former U.S. government hackers and contractors before one of them gave WikiLeaks some of the material.The documents revealed that the CIA can capture the content of encrypted Internet and cell-phone messages by grabbing the material in the fraction of a second before the words are put through encryption.Another program called “Weeping Angel” can hack Samsung “smart” TVs with built-in Internet connections, allowing the CIA and British intelligence to covertly use the TVs as listening devices even when they appear to be turned off.

Source: Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’. “Telltale Signs Planted to Incriminate Moscow” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Sources: Paramount’s Chinese Partners Haven’t Paid a Penny of Promised $1 Billion | Hollywood Reporter

Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media are said to have insisted on meeting with Viacom’s CEO amid questions over the studio’s direction.With China blocking money from leaving the country, Paramount Pictures has yet to receive the first payment it had expected from a billion-dollar financing deal with partners Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. And it appears that the Chinese government is not the only roadblock.The Viacom-owned studio’s partners have expressed concerns since Paramount currently has no chairman and has announced a new strategy that relies in part on mining intellectual property from its television network siblings, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. The Chinese partners are said to have told Viacom that no funds will be forthcoming until they meet with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and whomever is appointed to run the studio to get an explanation of the slate strategy going forward.Currently, Bakish is in talks to select a new leadership team, with former Fox film chief Jim Gianopulos and producer Michael De Luca currently favored.

Source: Sources: Paramount’s Chinese Partners Haven’t Paid a Penny of Promised $1 Billion | Hollywood Reporter

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Visa overstays outnumber illegal U.S. border entries 

Among an increasing number of immigration cases in Miami federal court, the ones that stand out are foreign travelers accused of making false statements in their visa applications in an effort to hide previous visits when they overstayed their visas.At least five new cases of visa overstays appeared in court dockets in the last few weeks, coinciding with the publication of a new report that says foreign nationals who remain longer than their visas authorize now outnumber undocumented immigrants who cross the border illegally.The report from the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) in New York says that since 2007 a majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States are the result of visa overstays, not illegal border crossers.“The paper finds that two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 were admitted (after screening) to the United States on non-immigrant (temporary) visas, and then overstayed their period of admission or otherwise violated the terms of their visas — a trend likely to continue,” according to a CMS statement.

Source: Visa overstays outnumber illegal U.S. border entries | Miami Herald

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Yes, having sex makes you better at your job

Newsflash: engaging in an activity like sex that feeds the pleasure and reward centers of your brain helps you feel happier and more motivated the next day.This might shock you, but research shows that having sex generally improves your mood through the next day. And when you feel happier, you tend to be more productive at work and thus more successful. Now there’s even more evidence that funny business can be good for business: Researchers asked 159 married people to take twice-daily surveys about their moods for two weeks and published their findings in the Journal of Management. They found that the positive boost from sexy times lasted about 24 hours, and resulted in employees reporting more satisfaction and engagement at work. The effect even lasted after controlling for overall marital satisfaction, so it wasn’t just that happy married couples were likely to have more sex and, being blissfully wed and all, just happened to also do better at work. And men and women saw the same effect.

Source: Yes, having sex makes you better at your job | Popular Science

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Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work

A burger-flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at a restaurant in California, replacing humans at the grill.Flippy has mastered the art of cooking the perfect burger and has just started work at CaliBurger, a fast-food chain.

The robotic kitchen assistant, which its makers say can be installed in just five minutes, is the brainchild of Miso Robotics.

“Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” said David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.

Source: Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work

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Marines Keep Sharing Women’s Nude Photos in Secret Groups After Getting Busted

New Facebook pages have sprung up to keep spreading photos of naked women, a sign that the scandal engulfing the Corps isn’t going away.

 

The Facebook group at the heart of a U.S. Marine Corps nude-photo sharing scandal has been busted, but at least two new private groups have sprung up and are defiantly sharing the same.A private Facebook group called Marines United—with more than 30,000 current and former male Marines, U.S. Navy Corpsman, and British Royal Marines—was caught sharing thousands of nude photos of women without their consent. Hundreds or thousands joined chat rooms with links to Dropbox and Google drives filled with videos and images of female Marines, both nude and clothed, as well as Marine wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, and ex-girlfriends. In some cases, dozens of the women were identified by their full names, ranks, and location of duty station.After journalist and former Marine infantryman Thomas Brennan broke the story on March 4, thousands of members exited the group and moderators and admins tightened any restrictions they could find. Almost immediately, posting and sharing of the videos and photos shifted to other groups or sites and resumed, and in some cases even accelerated.

Source: Marines Keep Sharing Women’s Nude Photos in Secret Groups After Getting Busted – The Daily Beast

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Inside the Ring: Drones threatened nuclear facilities

Drone aircraft recently carried out unauthorized intrusions over Air Force and Navy nuclear facilities, and the incidents pose a growing threat, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command disclosed to Congress Wednesday.Gen. John E. Hyten revealed the drone threats in written testimony before the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on nuclear deterrence.“Of recent concern have been the unauthorized flights of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) over Navy and Air Force installations,” Gen. Hyten said. “These intrusions represent a growing threat to the safety and security of nuclear weapons and personnel.”Currently, the Navy and Air Force are planning to deploy counter-unmanned aerial system defenses that Gen. Hyten said will “effectively detect, track and, if necessary, engage small UAS vehicles.”The commander said protecting U.S. nuclear forces and facilities is a top priority.“We are continually assessing threats to ensure our security apparatus is capable of denying unauthorized access or use of nuclear weapons,” he said.

Source: Inside the Ring: Drones threatened nuclear facilities – Washington Times

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Facebook is teaching artificially intelligent computers to predict the future

MARK Zuckerberg’s top artificial intelligence expert has admitted he’s trying to teach computers to predict the future.Yann LeCun,  leader of Facebook’s AI research division, said this terrifying-sounding capability is “a big part of our effort in making progress” in the development of super-smart computers.

He previously worked on the development of technology which could be useful to anyone developing surveillance systems.

LeCun contributed to academic papers exploring the creation of software which would serve as a “key component” in an automated surveillance network.

“We are very interested in the idea that a learning system should be able to predict the future,” he told MIT Technology Review.

“You show it a few frames of video and it tries to predict what’s going to happen next.

“If we can train a system to do this we think we’ll have developed techniques at the root of an unsupervised learning system. That is where, in my opinion, a lot of interesting things are likely to happen.”

Source: Facebook is teaching artificially intelligent computers to predict the future

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New Liberal Kids Coloring Book is Most Insane Thing We’ve Ever Seen

The latest insane offering from the regressive left is a coloring book about menstruation that claims that men get periods too.Newsbusters reported:DC-based artist Cass Clemmer wants to destigmatize periods. But, in the process, she wants to “de-gender” them as well.Growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Clemmer hit puberty in a society that kept mum about menstruation and the biology behind it. Because of her personal experience, she sought to stop that silence, while also shining a light on the “men” who get periods too.To achieve that goal, she created the character “Toni” — a literal tampon with googly eyes — and started posting photos of it to her Instagram account. The project soon developed into a coloring book. Called The Adventures of Toni the Tampon, the book has a full range of feminine product characters, including Marina the Menstrual Cup, Patrice the Pad and Sebastian the Sponge.Apparently, acknowledging the biological reality that only women get periods amounts to excluding those who have mental issues about their gender and have decided to call themselves men despite being biological females.Mashable’s Katie Dupere wrote, “Sebastian the Sponge is a man. And yes, men do get periods.”No, they do not. Biological females get periods — just because a woman pretends to be a man and even gets hormones pumped into her body doesn’t change the basic, scientific fact that she has two X chromosomes and is, in fact, a woman.Leftists claim to love science so much and claim that anyone that doesn’t buy into their ideology regarding, oh say, climate change is somehow a “science denier.” Yet in terms of both climate change and gender, the science doesn’t work in their favor.According to Newsbusters, Clemmer chose a non-gender-specific name for the book’s main character so as to “affirm all menstruators.”“I’d rather help just one genderqueer or trans menstruator feel like they were seen, than sell a thousand copies only to reinforce the boundaries society draws by gendering periods in the first place,” Clemmer told Dupere.

Source: New Liberal Kids Coloring Book is Most Insane Thing We’ve Ever Seen | The Federalist Papers

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You Won’t Believe What Virginia May Allow Hunters to Wear

Virginia is set to join four other states that allow hunters to don blaze pink in addition to the traditional fluorescent orange when they go out hunting.A bill passed the General Assembly in Virginia that will allow hunters to wear the bright pink color if Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs it.When the legislation was introduced in the upper chamber, Senator Richard Stuart said, “This just authorizes some alternative fashions for deer hunters. They’re required to wear blaze orange now. But those that prefer could wear blaze pink.”The Washington Post reported:Four states — Colorado, Louisiana, New York and Wisconsin — now allow hunters to wear fluorescent pink in addition to the traditional orange, said Jennifer Schultz, senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in Montana and Minnesota, though it failed in the latter state just last year. It also was rejected in Illinois and Maine in recent years. Michigan is studying whether “hunter pink” or any other colors would be effective and safe.“I have a 13-year-old daughter who absolutely loves [hunting], probably as much as I do,” said Del. James E. Edmunds II (R-Halifax), who proposed the Virginia bill after hearing of similar legislation in other states. “I think my daughter was intrigued by the thought of blaze pink. It may help the hunting industry. Maybe the attention it’s drawing will, perhaps, recruit more females to the sport.”

Source: You Won’t Believe What Virginia May Allow Hunters to Wear | The Federalist Papers

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The CIA’s guide to the greatest female spies in American history

Back when it was still just Women’s History Week, the CIA decided to commemorate the occasion with a day-long symposium on “the role of women in intelligence,” including a brief history lesson on pivotal female spies.

Among the famous figures featured by the agency are …

Patience Wright, who went by the sweet nickname “The Promethean Modeler” …

Lydia Darragh, who didn’t give a dang …

Source: The CIA’s guide to the greatest female spies in American history

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What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts media, document and other files on the target PC and access to those files is only granted once the attacker’s ransom demands are met.Christoph Scholz | FlickrCurrently, there are two types of ransomware — one which locks certain files on a computer and other which locks the entire system. The latter is mostly found on smartphones.Ransomware has been around for more than a decade now. The first instances of such an attack were found in Russia in 2005 with Trojan GPcoder.Early History: The Russian ConnectThe first known ransomware virus to create trouble on a large scale were developed by Russian organised criminals and came to the fore in 2005 and 2006.

These malware infected PCs in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. One of the strains of malware was called Archievus and another called Troj_Cryzip.A.While the former encrypted the ‘My Documents’ folder, the latter identified and moved certain file types in a PC to a password protected Zip folder, which would only be unlocked when the victim transferred a few hundred dollars to the attacker via E-Gold — electronic currency before Bitcoin.

Source: What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

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Banana Phone Blocks Robocalls 

Despite the implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry in the US (and similar programs in other countries), many robocallers still manage to get around the system. Whether they’re operating outside the law somehow (or they simply don’t care about it) there are some ways you can take action to keep these annoying calls from coming through. [Alex] is among those to take matters into his own hands and built a specialty robocall-blocking device.Based on a Raspberry Pi, the “Banana Phone” is able to intercept incoming calls on standard land lines or VoIP phones. After playing a short message, the caller is asked to input a four-digit code. Once the code is correctly entered, the caller is presumed to be human, added to a whitelist, and then the Pi passes them on to the recipient. There are, however, some legitimate robocallers such as emergency services regarding natural disasters or utility companies regarding outages. For these there is a global whitelist that the Pi checks against and forwards these robocalls on to the recipient automatically.

Source: Banana Phone Blocks Robocalls | Hackaday

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The Promised Land of Pigs – A Retirement Home for Pigs Saved from Slaughterhouses 

For the last 22 years, the Promised Land of Pigs, a unique farm in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, has been a haven for hundreds of pigs that would have otherwise been slaughtered and sold piece by piece at a supermarket. Here, they enjoy a peaceful, comfortable existence complete with hugs and weekly massages until the end of their natural lives.The Promised Land of Pigs (Beloofde Varkensland) is a non-profit organization founded by Dafne Westerhof, an activist militating for the humane treatment of farm animals. For over two decades she has saved hundreds of pigs, either by buying them straight from slaughterhouses, or taking them in from breeders who no longer had use for them or had become too attached to them to have them butchered. Whatever the reason, she’s always been more than happy to accept new pigs into her “Lucky Family” (Familie Bofkont) and give them the life she thinks they deserve.

Source: The Promised Land of Pigs – A Retirement Home for Pigs Saved from Slaughterhouses | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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We knew it! Coffee and cocoa cocktail boosts your attention and mood

OIt always seemed like a match made in heaven, but now we have the science to back it up: a mixture of brewed coffee and chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa, can boost both your productivity and your mood.Together, hot chocolate and coffee make you feel better and perform better. Image via Wiki CommonsClarkson University researcher Ali Boolani recently completed a year-long study in which he analyzed the effects of two of the world’s favorite delights. He devised a double-blind study in which some participants got brewed cocoa, others got cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, or a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa (double blind means neither the subjects nor the researchers knew what they got until after the experiment was over). Before the drinks, they were asked to complete some simple tasks such as watching groups of letters float on a screen and noting when an “X” appeared after an “A.” They also did some pretty simple math. After the drink, they were asked to complete tests to evaluate their cognitive skills and mood.

Source: We knew it! Coffee and cocoa cocktail boosts your attention and mood

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