How algorithms (secretly) run the world

When you browse online for a new pair of shoes, pick a movie to stream on Netflix or apply for a car loan, an algorithm likely has its word to say on the outcome.The complex mathematical formulas are playing a growing role in all walks of life: from detecting skin cancers to suggesting new Facebook friends, deciding who gets a job, how police resources are deployed, who gets insurance at what cost, or who is on a “no fly” list.

Algorithms are being used—experimentally—to write news articles from raw data, while Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was helped by behavioral marketers who used an algorithm to locate the highest concentrations of “persuadable voters.”But while such automated tools can inject a measure of objectivity into erstwhile subjective decisions, fears are rising over the lack of transparency algorithms can entail, with pressure growing to apply standards of ethics or “accountability.”Data scientist Cathy O’Neil cautions about “blindly trusting” formulas to determine a fair outcome.

“Algorithms are not inherently fair, because the person who builds the model defines success,” she said.Amplifying disadvantagesO’Neil argues that while some algorithms may be helpful, others can be nefarious. In her 2016 book, “Weapons of Math Destruction,” she cites some troubling examples in the United States:- Public schools in Washington DC in 2010 fired more than 200 teachers—including several well-respected instructors—based on scores in an algorithmic formula which evaluated performance.-

A man diagnosed with bipolar disorder was rejected for employment at seven major retailers after a third-party “personality” test deemed him a high risk based on its algorithmic classification.- Many jurisdictions are using “predictive policing” to shift resources to likely “hot spots.” O’Neill says that depending on how data is fed into the system, this could lead to discovery of more minor crimes and a “feedback loop” which stigmatizes poor communities.- Some courts rely on computer-ranked formulas to determine jail sentences and parole, which may discriminate against minorities by taking into account “risk” factors such as their neighborhoods and friend or family links to crime.

Source: How algorithms (secretly) run the world

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Scientists Create Graphene From Soybeans

A breakthrough by CSIRO-led scientists has made the world’s strongest material more commercially viable, thanks to the humble soybean.Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick.Its thin composition and high conductivity means it is used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices.These properties also enable thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.Until now, the high cost of graphene production has been the major roadblock in its commercialisation.Previously, graphene was grown in a highly-controlled environment with explosive compressed gases, requiring long hours of operation at high temperatures and extensive vacuum processing.CSIRO scientists have developed a novel “GraphAir” technology which eliminates the need for such a highly-controlled environment.The technology grows graphene film in ambient air with a natural precursor, making its production faster and simpler.

Source: Scientists Create Graphene From Soybeans

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Biometric Checkpoints in Trump’s America

President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban called for, among other things, the speedy completion of a “biometric entry-exit tracking system” for all travelers to the United States.If this sounds familiar, it’s because the idea has been debated in Washington for more than a decade. The implementation of such a system was one of the recommendations from the sprawling document known as the 9/11 Report, published 13 years ago by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.In fact, members of Congress mandated the creation of an enhanced entry-exit database before the attacks of 2001, as part of immigration reform in 1996. After the September 11 attacks, Congress set a 2006 deadline for the implementation the system, and specified that agencies government-wide—not just “scattered units at Homeland Security and the State Department”— should be able to access it. When the federal government missed that deadline, Congress issued a new target for 2009.

Source: Biometric Checkpoints in Trump’s America – The Atlantic

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Tiny 3D-printed camera lens could give drones vision like ours 

3D printing will help create eagle-eyed dronesFreder/GettyBy Matt ReynoldsOne lens is good, four lenses are better. A tiny camera combines four 3D-printed lenses to mimic natural vision – with super-sharp focus in a central area and wider peripheral vision.The miniaturised camera could be used in insect-sized surveillance drones, to hone in on details without losing track of what’s happening elsewhere.A spot at the back of our eyes called the fovea is crammed with a higher concentration of light-sensitive cells than the surrounding regions, giving us sharp vision in the centre of our field of view while objects closer to the edges of our vision are less well-defined.Harald Giessen and his team at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, recreated this kind of vision by 3D printing four plastic lenses of different focal lengths onto a single image sensor.

The lenses with longer focal lengths capture high detail over a narrow field of view, while the lenses with short focal lengths capture low detail over a wider field of view.By using software to stitch together the images captured by each lens, Giessen created a circular photo that was highly detailed in the centre of the image, but got less detailed towards its edges. The entire system measures less than 300 micrometres square – about as wide as three human hairs lined up side by side. Without 3D printing, Giessen says, it would have been impossible to create such a small camera.

Source: Tiny 3D-printed camera lens could give drones vision like ours | New Scientist

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Scientists discover massive reservoir of greenhouse gases | Daily Mail Online

A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released has been found under the US.Scientists using the world’s largest array of seismic sensors have mapped a deep-Earth area, covering 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km).This is around the size of Mexico, and researchers say it has the potential to cause untold environmental damage.The discovery could change our understanding of how much carbon the Earth contains, suggesting it is much more than we previously believed.

It would be impossible to drill far enough down to physically ‘see’ the Earth’s mantle, so a team of researchers used a massive group of sensors to paint a picture of it, using mathematical equations to interpret their results.

The study, conducted by geologists at Royal Holloway University in London, used a huge network of 583 seismic sensors that measure the Earth’s vibrations, to create a picture of the area’s deep sub surface.

Source: Scientists discover massive reservoir of greenhouse gases | Daily Mail Online

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Breakthrough chemistry can make tires from renewable sources like corn or trees

Long range electric vehicles hold the key to ridding the transport sector of petroleum liquid fuels, as long as the energy stored in the batteries comes from renewable energy sources. But even a Tesla charged from solar panels isn’t completely free of fossil fuels. Even ignoring the fossil fuel-derived energy that went in the manufacturing process, there are still plastic finishings inside the car that likely come petroleum. And even if you’d be extremely careful not to include anything fossil fuel related, you’d still hit a brick wall — the car’s tires.

Wheels of progress Car tires are some of the most environmentally unfriendly parts in any car. These are made from natural rubber, which literally grows on trees,  but also isoprene — a key molecule in any tire which is derived from petroleum through a chemical process called ‘cracking’. Developing tires from renewable materials has always been a lofty goal for scientists but despite their best efforts, this has proven extremely challenging until recently. Now, a team from the University of Minnesota claims it has perfected a three-step chemical process that can produce isoprene from renewable biomass such as trees or grasses.

Source: Breakthrough chemistry can make tires from renewable sources like corn or trees

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Schools Cut Meat/Cheese From Lunch To Fight Global Warming

California Schools Cut Meat, Cheese From Lunches To Fight Global Warming Oakland schools partnered with the environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) to fight global warming by making student lunches climate-friendly.

FOE gave kids a lunch menu designed to eliminate foods it says are “unsustainable for our planet.” The new menu features far less meat and more plant-based food. Any meat or cheese the school did use came from “pastured, organic dairy cows.” The student’s lunch menu went from beef hot dogs and pepperoni pizza to vegan stir fry tofu and vegan tostadas.

The new FOE-approved menu served meat and cheese-less frequently and reduced the portion sizes.“This is a landmark moment for school food,” Jennifer LeBarre, head of nutrition services for Oakland Unified School District, said in a FOE press statement. “We were so excited to see how the data showed that we could reduce our carbon and water footprint by serving healthy, delicious food –– like the vegetarian tostadas with fresh made in-house salsa, that kids absolutely love –– all while saving money.”

Source: Schools Cut Meat/Cheese From Lunch To Fight Global Warming | The Daily Caller

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FBI Arresting More Americans For Targeting Muslims, Than Muslims For Targeting Americans

We’ve been pretty damn clear that we think the Trump administration’s targeting of people from a few countries by banning them from entering the US is both inhumane and misguided. We were proud to sign on to an amicus brief opposing it and happy that the 9th Circuit agreed — though the case is far from over. As I’ve noted repeatedly, to me it’s an issue of basic humanity and decency, but some have insisted on making arguments about how certain people are somehow out to get us and we need to protect ourselves from them. I know that, these days, it’s considered silly to rely on things like facts for an argument, but it seemed worthwhile to actually explore some facts on this particular topic.

We’ll start with a post at Lawfare, by Nora Ellingsen. And we should start out by noting that Techdirt and Lawfare have a pretty long history of… well… not agreeing on much. The site is generally supportive of the intelligence community and supportive of actions taken to protect “national security.” We tend to be more skeptical. Ellingsen worked in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division for five years, specifically working on international terrorism investigations inside the US. Since leaving the FBI to go to law school, she’s been tracking counterterrorism cases in the US, using DOJ data. And she’s gone through that data to try to determine if there’s any truth to the idea that people from those countries represent a big ongoing threat. And the answer is that it’s just not true. In fact, the real “terrorism” threat in America appears to be… from Americans.:

Source: FBI Arresting More Americans For Targeting Muslims, Than Muslims For Targeting Americans | Techdirt

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Taxing junk food and subsidizing healthy items will make us live longer and save billions in the health system

Australia could save billions of dollars and increase the life expectancy of its inhabitants in one easy sweep — by employing a two-pronged approach and taxing junk food while subsidizing healthy options. This stick-and-carrot approach should yield better results than the sum of its parts alone, a new study concludes.We all share that special love-hate relationship with junk food — it’s probably the common denominator of the modern man. Nobody’s ever said “let’s have a healthy bag of bacon-wrapped bacon snacks with a side-dish of cheesy puffs to start our diet along”. But junk food is accessible, tasty, and cheap, so it often wiggles into our diet — pushing rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other health issues.In a bid to lower their popularity, many countries are considering adding a tax on such products. France, Mexico, and some US cities already tax sugary drinks. Hungary has a “chips tax” in place for packaged foods with a high sugar and salt content. Other countries such as India have gone the other way and toyed with making healthy options more accessible through government subsidy programs.

Source: Taxing junk food and subsidizing healthy items will make us live longer and save billions in the health system

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We’re One Step Closer to Test Predicting Baldness

(NEWSER) – Guys, if you’ve ever wished you could look into a crystal ball and see if hair plugs are in your future, scientists have good news. Using data from 53,000 men in the UK, they’ve come up with a DNA-based algorithm that could someday predict whether one is likely to go bald—one that’s more reliable than family history. More to the point for those worried about it is the second half of this sentence: “The results of this study might help identify those at greatest risk of hair loss, and also potential genetic targets for intervention,” says a study co-author, per NBC News. In the study, the largest such one of male-pattern baldness to date, University of Edinburgh researchers identified 287 genetic markers linked to hair loss, per a release. That’s quite a step up, given that only eight such markers had been previously identified, reports Live Science.

Source: We’re One Step Closer to Test Predicting Baldness

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Memo offers a look into the CIA’s private press pool

A version of this article appeared on Glomar DisclosureWhile most people with an interest in the history of CIA will have heard of “Operation Mockingbird,” which weaponized the press for propaganda purposes through the “Office of Policy Coordination,” there is another side to program that’s much less well-known. A declassified memo from 1965 reveals a network of journalists that regularly received intelligence from Ray S. Cline, one of CIA’s senior analysts and at that time the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence. Several of these journalists were former intelligence officers and were not only involved in information and propaganda dissemination, but other ongoing CIA operations.Joseph Alsop, for instance, agreed to report on the 1953 Philippine elections for the Agency as cover for gathering information for the Agency. According to Mr. Cline, he met with Alsop whenever the reporter requested it “to discuss international events of interest to him for the purpose of writing his columns, giving him guidance as to my thinking on these subjects whenever it was possible.” These meetings were also held at the request of the Director of Central Intelligence, who preferred for Alsop “to write reasonable columns [rather] than to have misinformation published.”

Source: Memo offers a look into the CIA’s private press pool

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Japanese Phone Booth Connects The Living And The Dead

In 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake tore through northeastern Japan and triggered a devastating tsunami. Together, the events destroyed the country, causing more than $300 billion in damages and resulting in the loss of more than 15,000 residents. Some survivors are still grieving over the loss of their loved ones, and one coastal town has come up with a unique way of coping.Positioned atop a grassy hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a phone booth in Otsuchi, Japan allows living people to call their dead relatives and loved ones. Called the “phone of the wind,” the disconnected rotary phone positioned inside a glass booth allows callers to send verbal messages to those they’ve lost, which the wind then carries away.

Source: Japanese Phone Booth Connects The Living And The Dead

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Vaping Goes Mainstream: Implementing Regulatory Testing in a Burgeoning Industry

Manufacturers in the relatively new and, up until now, unregulated electronic cigarette industry have had little need for analytical testing until recently. As vaping has become mainstream, the market for e-cigarettes has come under increased scrutiny. In May 2016, the EU implemented the updated Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which governs the manufacturing and selling of tobacco products, to include e-cigarettes and e-liquids. In 2016 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also updated the Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) to include vaping products. These updated directives and regulations require manufacturers to register and rigorously test their products if they want to continue to market them. As regulations continue to evolve, the industry is looking to advanced instrumentation and analytical testing to comply with new quality standards.

Source: Vaping Goes Mainstream: Implementing Regulatory Testing in a Burgeoning Industry

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Hunting for evidence, Secret Service unlocks phone data with force or finesse 

On July 20, 2014, a missing Conway, N.H., teenager walked back into her home, ending a heinous nine-month-long kidnapping ordeal.About a week later, police arrested Nathaniel Kibby at his home and charged him with the abduction. During a warranted search, investigators confiscated several mobile devices that may have contained valuable information in the case.But there was one smartphone they couldn’t crack, a password-protected ZTE. That’s when New Hampshire State Police turned to the Secret Service, which has become a go-to federal agency to help police departments with warrants to extract data from password-protected smartphones and other devices for criminal investigations.The information on the ZTE contained “a huge piece of evidence,” says Sgt. Michael Cote, a New Hampshire State Police detective. In May, Mr. Kibby pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape, among other charges. A judge sentenced him to consecutive prison terms totaling 45 to 90 years.

Source: Hunting for evidence, Secret Service unlocks phone data with force or finesse – CSMonitor.com

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New Silk Road: ‘Most Important Economic Project of First Half of 21st Century

Russia (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the Silk Road summit in Beijing, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told journalists at a press conference on February 9. The forum will be held on May 14-15. Earlier, the Chinese foreign ministry said that leaders from over 20 countries have confirmed their participation in the summit.The prime ministers of the UK, Sri Lanka and the president of the Philippines are scheduled to take part in the summit as well.According to the Russian ambassador to China, Vladimir Putin accepted the invitation from President Xi Jinping and plans to combine participation in the discussions on the Silk Route together with a bilateral official visit and talks with the Chinese leader.The diplomat also said that the position of the two countries regarding issues of world politics is quite similar and often identical. This is due to the fact that there are similar interests between Russia and China in terms of international politics.The forum on International Cooperation in the framework of the Chinese strategy of the Silk Road was announced by the Chinese president during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Source: New Silk Road: ‘Most Important Economic Project of First Half of 21st Century – The Fifth Column

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The Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane may—or may not—be about to land

We don’t know much about the US Air Force’s X-37B uncrewed space plane. Although it resembles the space shuttle, it’s much smaller (at about 30 feet in length), and it has a cargo bay that could hold something about the size of a standard refrigerator. It seems to fly in a relatively low orbit below the International Space Station. Oh—and it can fly in space for a long, long time before it needs to return to Earth.Since 2010, two identical space planes have completed three missions of increasing lengths: 224 days, 468 days, and 674 days. One of the planes most recently launched on May 20, 2015, and there are signs that this space plane might finally be coming home soon, perhaps even on Tuesday. According to NASASpaceFlight.com, the X-37B may land in Florida on Tuesday after 636 days in space. Notably, it would land at Kennedy Space Center’s historic Shuttle Landing Facility for the first time.

Source: The Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane may—or may not—be about to land | Ars Technica

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NASA picks three Martian wet patches for 2020 splashdown 

NASA has decided its Mars 2020 mission will land a rover in one of three places, all of which are thought to have once seen liquid water flowing.While the rest of us spent last week tut-tutting about IBM’s teleworking turnaround, NASA boffins gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Monrovia, CA, where they conducted a workshop to consider the scientific merits of eight previously-shortlisted landing sites.Those deliberations tried to answer eight questions about candidate landing sites:Can the Mars 2020 rover achieve all of the mission’s scientific objectives – number one being to examine the likelihood that Mars hosted life – at this site?Does the area show signs in the rock record that it once had the right environmental conditions to support past microbial life?Does the area have a variety of rocks and soils (regolith), including those from an ancient time when Mars could have supported life?Did different geologic and environmental processes, including interactions with water, alter these rocks through time?

Source: NASA picks three Martian wet patches for 2020 splashdown • The Register

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Can drones replace bumblebees and stave off a food crisis?

To combat an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen, people have been trying to find pollinating replacement techniques for humans. Some solutions include manually pollinating flowers with a brush or using spray machines. None has proven effective until now but a solution proposed by a team from Japan looks mighty promising. They propose retrofitting tiny drones to turn them into pollinating robot insects.90% of flowering plants and one-third of food crops depend on pollinators for reproductionBee colonies all over the world are threatened by a disease that might wipe them out. If bees go, the world’s food supply will seriously become jeopardized.

One out of every three mouthfuls of food in the American diet is, in some way, a product of honeybee pollination—from fruit to nuts to coffee beans. In 2015 alone, 42 percent of bee colonies collapsed in the United States at the hand of a plight that’s due to a combination of factors like pesticides, climate change, loss of habitat, and pathogens carried by mites. And things aren’t getting better. Just last month, scientists proposed listing the rusty-patched bumblebee as endangered, the first wild bee in the United States to be classed as such.

Source: Can drones replace bumblebees and stave off a food crisis?

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Battle of the female sideshow freaks: ‘Spidora’ vs the ‘Headless Girl’

Circus banners for ‘Spidora’ and ‘Olga the Headless Girl.’  Originally conceived in the late 1800s by London-based vaudeville illusionist Henry Roltair and hugely popular at Coney Island in the late 1930s, “Spidora” was a disturbing illusion featuring the head of an actual woman with the body of a giant spider. When it comes to the equally disturbing “Headless Girl” sideshow attraction, we have a man from Hamburg, Germany purporting to be a physician called “Doctor Heineman” (aka Egon Heineman) to thank for “Olga the Headless Girl” which he debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 to a crowd of stunned onlookers. But which macabre human/animal hybrid was the bigger faux freak? Before I let you the reader decide, let’s dive into a little history lesson on both bizarro illusions before we slug this one out.According to details in Joe Nickell’s 2005 book, Secrets of the Sideshow, he saw an early iteration of Spidora at Coney Island when he was a kid. The Spidora illusion was wickedly popular and Nickell recalls the words of the carnival barker prepping the crowd for what they were about to see:

Source: Battle of the female sideshow freaks: ‘Spidora’ vs the ‘Headless Girl’ | Dangerous Minds

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Judge Forcing Town to Return $3 Million to Residents Fined by Traffic Cameras

(ANTIMEDIA) New Miami, OH — A Butler County judge has ordered the village of New Miami to refund $3 million in fines to motorists ticketed for speeding by traffic light cameras. The ruling was issued Wednesday by Butler County Judge Michael Oster, who said the money amounted to unjust enrichment of the village.The cameras were ruled unconstitutional in 2014 by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Sage, who approved class action status. That ruling allowed the drivers to seek refunds. Nearly 45,000 citations were issued in just 15 months, and though motorists were permitted to challenge the tickets, the judge saw the administrative system as unfairly favoring the village and police.

Source: Judge Forcing Town to Return $3 Million to Residents Fined by Traffic Cameras

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German woman ‘decapitated lover with circular saw in bizarre sex game’

A woman has gone on trial in Munich on charges of murdering her lover with an electric circular saw.The 32-year-old woman, named only as Gabrielle P under German privacy laws, is accused of killing her boyfriend while he was tied to the bed and blindfolded during a sex game.After the killing, prosecutors allege she used the saw to cut off the head of her 28-year-old victim, who has been variously named as Alex H and Sebastian H in the German press.Gabrielle P admits the killing but her defence lawyers plan to argue it was an unpremeditated act of desperation.

Source: German woman ‘decapitated lover with circular saw in bizarre sex game’

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Burger King Offers ‘Adult Toys’ With Adults-Only Meal

“Kids have got their ‘Kid’s Meal.’ But what about grownups? Adults? Shouldn’t they have their own meal too?” Burger King asks.   (Burger King Israel)(NEWSER) – If you think Burger King isn’t a romantic enough destination for a Valentine’s Day date, they’re willing to sweeten the deal with a couple of beers and a sex toy. In a deal being offered only in Israel, and only after 6pm Tuesday, the chain is selling an “Adults Meal” that comes with two Whoppers and two packs of fries as well as the beers and the “Adult Toy,” AdWeek reports. Burger King Israel hasn’t specified the toys on offer, though an ad posted on Facebook shows a satin mask, a scalp massager, and a feather duster, the San Francisco Chronicle notes. (This country has banned Valentine’s Day this year.)

Source: Burger King Offers ‘Adult Toys’ With Adults-Only Meal

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Merkel Will Pay Migrants Millions To Leave Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel is setting aside €90m (£76m) in taxpayers’ money to create a fund which will pay migrants to withdraw their asylum applications and leave Germany voluntarily.The handouts will form part of a 16-point plan to speed up the removal of rejected asylum seekers, after Tunisian migrant Anis Amri murdered a Polish lorry driver, hijacked his vehicle and drove it into a Christmas market in Berlin while awaiting deportation.U.S. president Donald Trump told The Times that Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” when she opened the doors to an unlimited number of migrants in 2015.

Her vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, later admitted that his superior had underestimated how difficult it would be to integrate migrants on such a grand scale, and that Germany had been plunged into a kulturkampf, or “cultural war”, as a result.Germany rejected 170,000 asylum claims in 2016 but, according to the Mail, just 26,000 were repatriated. 55,000 more decided to leave voluntarily – apparently leaving 81,000 bogus applicants unaccounted for.

Source: Merkel Will Pay Migrants Millions To Leave Germany

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Students wear white pins to remind them of white privilege – The College Fix

221Students at Elizabethtown College this month are wearing white pins in the shape of puzzle pieces to remind them of their white privilege.The campaign was launched over the weekend by the Elizabethtown College Democrats, who say it aims to make students at the small and private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania more introspective about issues of race, especially in their predominantly white region of Lancaster County.“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats, told The College Fix via email.Ida said white people are continually allowing for a societal system of oppression to occur unless they work against it. The white puzzle piece pin represents racial struggles of all sorts

Source: Students wear white pins to remind them of white privilege – The College Fix

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Playboy is Bringing Nudity Back Following Failed No-Nude Experiment | Heat Street

Playboy is known for two things: its articles and its nude women—and it turns out nobody really cares about the former unless it’s written by Hunter S. Thompson.Evidently, the management at Playboy took the joke about “reading Playboy for the articles” too seriously and did away with all the magazine’s nude content in October 2015 in an effort to rebrand the magazine as something less objectifying to women and more social justice-friendly. Last year, the magazine even featured a fully-clothed model in a hijab for the first time in its 50-year history.When it decided to “dress up”, Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders said that the political and sexual climate of 1953, when Hugh Hefner first founded the magazine, bore little resemblance to today. The magazine had lost much of its audience  — who typically bought it for the porn— to free and far more explicit porn on the Internet. It was, as Fortune noted, “buried by the very culture it created.”

Source: Playboy is Bringing Nudity Back Following Failed No-Nude Experiment | Heat Street

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Nokia Reportedly Set to Relaunch the 3310

Nokia really struggled to continue its mobile phone dominance of the early ‘00s after the emergence of smart phone giants like Apple and Samsung. But now the company is reportedly set to go back to what it knows best by relaunching the classic Nokia 3310 – the always reliable and seemingly indestructible phone originally released in 2000.

Evan Blass broke the news for VenutreBeat, reporting that Nokia will introduce a “modern version” of the 3310 at the Mobile World Congress on 26 February. It will likely be pitched as a second phone to people who want a no nonsense backup to their smart phone and will be sold for around £50 (59 euros).

Hopefully we’ll have more news on this bold move by Nokia following the MWC later this month.

Source: Nokia Reportedly Set to Relaunch the 3310

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US Special Forces Deployed To 70% Of The World In 2016

(ZHE) U.S. Special Operations Command launched a raid in Yemen’s Baida Province on Jan 29, targeting Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The first high-profile special forces operation of Trump’s presidency, the raid resulted in the deaths of at least 14 Al Qaeda fighters, 20 civilians and Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. Three other Americans were reportedly wounded and an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was destroyed by U.S. forces after it was heavily damaged in a forced landing. Over the past few days, it has emerged that al-Rimi survived the raid and he has subsequently released an audio message taunting President Trump.

As The Burning Platform’s Jim Quinn notes, special forces operations like the one in Yemen are nothing new. America’s elite troops have found themselves on the frontlines constantly since 9/11, conducting operations everywhere from the dusty back alleys of North Africa to the snow-capped mountains of Afghanistan. Even though they have made headlines for high-profile operations like the prison break near Hawija in Iraq or the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in Afghanistan, the vast majority of special forces missions across the world involve training friendly soldiers to fight, mainly so Americans don’t have to.

Source: US Special Forces Deployed To 70% Of The World In 2016

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Open source projects and tools for your pet 

Learn about some of the open source projects and tools out there that help us keep, love, and improve the lives of animals.

Source: Open source projects and tools for your pet | Opensource.com

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Is Anyone Looking At Your Files? A Canary Will Tell You. | Gizmo’s Freeware

Has anyone been looking at the files on your computer? Or on your cloud drive? Has anyone been browsing parts of your web site that they’re not supposed to, and which you thought you’d secured? Has anyone managed to find your contacts database online?Your answer to all of these questions is probably “I would hope not”. But you can’t be sure, of course. And that’s where the idea of a canary token comes in.If you’re not familiar with the idea of a canary as an early warning system, its origins lie in coal mining. Miners would carry a small bird (typically a canary) in a cage. If the mine filled with dangerous gases, and an explosion or suffocation was imminent, the canary would die quickly. This gave the miners time to get out of the area to safety.Nowadays, of course, electronic detectors are used in place of caged birds, but the name still sticks.A canary token is a web URL, email address, document file and so on which will trigger an action if it’s ever accessed. In the case of a web URL, the canary token is the address of a unique yet non-existent page on the web site of the company that issued the token. If someone were to ever attempt to access that page, the web server would notice (because it would attempt to serve that non-existent page to whoever requested it). The server will then notify the owner of the canary token that someone tried to access it.Canary tokens don’t have to be web URLs. They could be an email address, a Word document, a PDF file, and so on.

Source: Is Anyone Looking At Your Files? A Canary Will Tell You. | Gizmo’s Freeware

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The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent Links To Be Blocked By Google, Yahoo And Other Search Engines 

It will be harder to search for torrents of The Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, KickassTorrents etc. from 1st June as Google, Bing, and Yahoo agree on blocking them in searchIt seems that the cyber world is regressively moving towards a unitarian censorship. When the Internet was first talked about, it was a medium without bounds, censorship or limits. But slowly and steadily we are walking towards a closeted Internet. One such censorship is to be heralded on 1st June 2017 when Google, Bing, and Yahoo will block The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, ExtraTorrents, KickassTorrents and similar links from their search pages. According to an agreement. links to pirated content, like TV and films, will be banned, as Google, as well as a number of search engine companies, are working alongside entertainment industry to crack down on piracy.According to TorrentFreak, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office led discussions between the search engine companies and entertainment firms, but the companies are trying to reach a voluntary agreement.

Source: The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent Links To Be Blocked By Google, Yahoo And Other Search Engines » TechWorm

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