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A Tweet to Kurt Eichenwald, a Strobe and a Seizure. Now, an Arrest.
Lawsuits involving stalking and bullying on the internet have focused on how online content, such as disparaging and abusive messages and pictures, can harm victims emotionally and even increase the risk of suicide. But with this case, Mr. Rivello is said to have designed the attack specifically around the victim’s medical condition.


What Do Prisoners Make for Victoria’s Secret?
Federal Prison Industries, a.k.a. Unicor, says that in addition to soldiers’ uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets, and flak vests, inmates have “produced missile cables (including those used on the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War)” and “wiring harnesses for jets and tanks.” In 1997, according to Prison Legal News, Boeing subcontractor MicroJet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside.


Accused of underpaying women, Google says it's too expensive to get wage data
The current court battle stems from the DoL’s lawsuit filed against Google in January, accusing the company of violating federal laws by refusing to provide salary history and contact information of employees as part of a government audit. As a federal contractor, Google is required to comply with equal opportunity laws and allow investigators to review records.


Three Trillion and Counting
Together, Stiglitz and Bilmes lay out a simple and straightforward agenda: to establish an accurate price tag for the American war on Iraq. Of course, the incalculable costs are easily tallied. In five years of fighting, the United States has lost over 4,000 young men and women of its armed services. Violence in Iraq has sent another 60,000 American troops home maimed and injured. The ghastly conditions there have left over 100,000 vets with serious mental disorders and rendered hundreds of thousands more in need of psychological counseling. And these figures do not begin to account for the untold numbers of Iraqis killed, injured, and displaced by half a decade of brutal chaos. But following the money, as the authors make clear, is far more difficult.


11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida
In New Hampshire, a girl scout named Cassandra Levesque learned that girls in her state could marry at 13. So she set out to change the law. A legislator sponsored Cassandra’s bill to raise the age to 18, and researchers found that two 15-year-olds had recently married in New Hampshire, along with one 13-year-old. But politicians resisted the initiative. “We’re asking the Legislature to repeal a law that’s been on the books for over a century, that’s been working without difficulty, on the basis of a request from a minor doing a Girl Scout project,” scoffed one state representative, David Bates. In March the Republican-led House voted to kill the bill, leaving the minimum age at 13. (Legislators seem willing to marry off girls like Cassandra, but not to listen to them!)


Forget zombies: In young-adult games, the hot new villain is the world itself
The institutions that supported their parents and grandparents are obviously dying, but kids are still being expected to participate in them.


Election 2017: Trans people 'being blocked from registering to vote'
According to the Electoral Commission, local authorities are issued with “comprehensive guidance” on the processes to follow for protected voters. Voters without a national insurance number are also able to register and can send proof of identification by email for processing. However, one man told Pink News his local authority did not know how to handle the situation. “They just didn’t know what to do. I can’t register because I can’t ‘prove my identity’, even though I have documents. Because I don’t have a Gender Recognition Certificate it’s not enough,” he said.


Robot priest unveiled in Germany to mark 500 years since Reformation
A robot priest that delivers blessings in five languages and beams light from its hands has been unveiled as part of an exhibition to mark the anniversary of the start of the Reformation, a Europe-wide religious, political and cultural upheaval sparked when Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door in the town.


Reporter Covering Inauguration Protests Now Faces 75 Years in Prison
In the first hours of Donald Trump’s presidency, Washington, D.C., police booked John Boswell and Aaron Cantú into jail. Boswell was a millionaire Trump supporter arrested after he sexually assaulted a maid in the hotel room he’d booked for the inauguration. Cantú was a journalist arrested while covering protesters outside the inaugural ceremonies. Boswell will serve no prison time for the sexual abuse, to which he pleaded guilty. Cantú faces up to 75 years in prison.


Hiding in plain sight: how the 'alt-right' is weaponizing irony to spread fascism
“Fascism is more or less a social taboo. It’s unacceptable in modern society,” Ross says. “Humour or irony is one of the ways that they can put forward their affective positions without having to fall back on any affirmative ideological positions.” He adds: “They’re putting forward the anger, the sense of betrayal, the need for revenge, the resentment, the violence. They’re putting forward the male fantasies, the desire for a national community and a sense of unity and a rejection of Muslims. They’re doing all of that, but they’re not stating it.”


Octopuses Do Something Really Strange to Their Genes
Back in 2015, Rosenthal and Eisenberg discovered that RNA editing has gone wild in the longfin inshore squid—a foot-long animal that’s commonly used in neuroscience research. While a typical mammal edits its RNA at just a few hundred sites, the squid was making some 57,000 such edits. These changes weren’t happening in discarded sections of RNA, but in the ones that actually go towards building proteins—the so-called coding regions. They were ten times more common in the squid’s neurons than in its other tissues, and they disproportionately affected proteins involved in its nervous system.


Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter
On 28 April, Jacobs reported on Gianforte’s financial ties to Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US. Gianforte’s wealth is estimated at between $65m and $315m.


America's obsession with rooting out communism is making a comeback
Travis Allen, a Republican from southern California, took to the floor of the state assembly on 8 May to denounce communism. “To allow subversives and avowed communists to now work for the state of California,” he railed, “is a direct insult to the people of California who pay for that government.” Allen was speaking out against a move to remove language from the California code that that bars members of the Communist party from holding government jobs in the state.


Election 2017: UK Results
No party wins a majority in parliament as Theresa May's Conservatives lose seats in England and Wales to Labour and the Liberal Democrats, despite seeing their vote share rise.


What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914?
High Command was angry – they feared that men would now question the war, and even mutiny, as a result of fraternising with the enemy that they were meant to defeat. Stricter orders were issued to end such activity – with harsh punishment for any man caught refusing to fight.


THIS ANTI-AGING START-UP IS CHARGING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR TEEN BLOOD
His start-up, Ambrosia, is charging about $8,000 a pop for blood transfusions from people under 25, Karmazin said at Code Conference on Wednesday. Ambrosia, which buys its blood from blood banks, now has about 100 paying customers. Some are Silicon Valley technologists, like Thiel, though Karmazin stressed that tech types aren’t Ambrosia’s only clients, and that anyone over 35 is eligible for its transfusions.


May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation
Theresa May has declared she is prepared to rip up human rights laws to impose new restrictions on terror suspects, as she sought to gain control over the security agenda just 36 hours before the polls open.


The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak
This reporter was able, after determining his RNC ID, to view his modeled policy preferences and political actions as calculated by TargetPoint. It is a testament both to their talents, and to the real danger of this exposure, that the results were astoundingly accurate.


Officials Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter For Flint Water Crisis
The defendants, all high-ranking members of the city and state government, are Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former Flint water manager Howard Croft, and Liane Shekter-Smith and Stephen Busch of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Additionally, Dr. Eden Wells, the state’s chief medical officer, has been charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.


TWITTER’S NAZI PROBLEM IS STILL OUT OF CONTROL
n September 2016, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University (GWU) published a study describing the use of Twitter by white nationalists compared to ISIS supporters and reported that “[m]ajor American white nationalist movements on Twitter added about 22,000 followers since 2012, an increase of about 600%” and that “Nazis had a median follower count almost eight times greater than ISIS supporters, and a mean count more than 22 times greater.” The researchers also reported that “white nationalist accounts suffered relatively little suspension pressure.“ During their study period, the team found that only three white nationalist accounts and four Nazi accounts were suspended, “and a handful of additional accounts were seen to be suspended in the days that followed.“ By comparison, 1,100 ISIS accounts were suspended during the same period.


An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language
In the report, researchers at the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab describe using machine learning to train their “dialog agents” to negotiate. (And it turns out bots are actually quite good at dealmaking.)


Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives
There are three significant provisions in the AncestryDNA Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to consider on behalf of yourself and your genetic relatives: (1) the perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide license to use your DNA; (2) the warning that DNA information may be used against “you or a genetic relative”; (3) your waiver of legal rights.


A Sergeant Who Learned He’s Part Black Says He Faced Racist Taunts at Work
Later, the lawsuit charges, some members of the department “started whispering ‘Black Lives Matter’ while pumping their fists as they walked” past Sergeant Brown. Even the mayor at the time, Frank Campbell, got in on the racist teasing, Sergeant Brown said, by telling him a joke in which he used the word “Negroid” at least twice.


Why Are Bird Eggs Egg-Shaped? An Eggsplainer
“We mapped egg shapes like astronomers map stars,” Stoddard says. “And our concept of an egg is on the periphery of egg shapes.”


LOL KLANS
Fortunately, there are some encouraging lessons from the 19th century. Though the federal government betrayed Reconstruction, the Klan's reign was short-lived. "I don't want to sound like I'm suggesting anything," Parsons says, "but speaking as a historian, violent resistance was very effective. We've told ourselves a story about the Klan facing cowering victims, but people organized, fought, and defeated the Klan constantly." Black Americans in the Reconstruction South were often armed, not just as individuals but as communities, for collective self-defense. "There were places the Klan couldn't go," Parsons says, "people who, according to their code, they should have attacked, who they didn't."


Toward the Next Jewish Rebellion: Facing Anti-Semitism and Assimilation in the Movement
Until we do this work, we will continue fighting in a way that strengthens our enemies. Until we face anti-Semitism, Jews will always be at risk of being targeted by the ruling class when it becomes politically useful. Until we face anti-Semitism, the fascist Right will continue to use it as a recruitment strategy, and Jews will continue to cling to a militarized Israel for protection. Until we face anti-Semitism, many Jews will continue to play the middleman role prescribed to us by the system, causing harm to other oppressed communities. Until we face anti-Semitism, the Jews in the movement will never address our trauma, never be able to bring our most powerful selves to the many struggles in which we are disproportionately active. And as I’ve written about before, becoming our powerful selves is not only a pre-requisite for winning the world we deserve, but a pre-requisite for survival.
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The Deadliest Jobs in America
Garbage collectors: These workers die on the job about four times more often than firefighters and security guards. Transportation incidents are the biggest cause, accounting for 69% of fatalities.


Some Flint Residents Could Face Foreclosure Over Unpaid Water Bills
And the fiscal pressures that pushed Flint to look for a cheaper water source in 2014, which led to the contamination, haven’t gone away. The city is desperate for revenue, and the tax lien warnings come after the city started sending water cutoff notices in March.


Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable
Removes the subsidies that the ACA provided to help middle-income people afford health insurance, replacing them with far more meager tax credits pegged not to people’s income but to their age. Poorer people would get less than they do now, while richer people would get more; even Bill Gates would get a tax credit.


This Is How the Free Press Dies
When both sides of the aisle agree that press freedom is not a guaranteed right, journalists and the public they inform will suffer. The broad subpoena powers given to the federal government in cases involving national security means that governments are rarely punished for testing the limits of their power. Barack Obama's administration charged more whistleblowers with violating the Espionage Act than any other administration in history. Meanwhile, Obama's Department of Justice secretly spied on Associated Press reporters while simultaneously whining about encryption and internet privacy as major barriers to national security.


Family by Family, How School Segregation Still Happens
P.S. 145, the Bloomingdale School, is on West 105th Street, four blocks south of P.S. 165. A quarter of its students live in temporary housing. Last year, just 15 percent of third- through fifth-grade students passed the state reading tests, and only 7 percent passed the math tests. In recent years, less than half of the kindergartners living in P.S. 145’s zone who attended public school enrolled there. Some go to P.S. 75, others to the Manhattan School for Children or to charter schools.


Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals’
Under the Moscow-backed local leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya has been rebuilt after two brutal separatist conflicts in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kadyrov pledges allegiance to Vladimir Putin and a love for Russia, and in return the Kremlin turns a blind eye to human rights abuses. Critics say Kadyrov’s notorious battalions have long operated outside the law.


Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign
Most don't see elections as organic movements within populations of millions, but as dueling contests of "whip-smart" organizers who know how to get the cattle to vote the right way. If someone wins an election, the inevitable Beltway conclusion is that the winner had better puppeteers.


In Sheriff David Clarke’s jail, water was kept from mentally ill inmate for 7 days before he died of dehydration
The cause of death was ultimately ruled “profound dehydration” and the medical examiner classified it a homicide — meaning death at the hands of others — an announcement that drew a torrent of rage from Sheriff David Clarke, a tough-talking and loyal President Trump surrogate.


Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?
More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry, which President Trump championed during the campaign as a prime example of the workers who have been left behind in the economic recovery. The job losses in retail could have unexpected social and political consequences, as huge numbers of low-wage retail employees become economically unhinged, just as manufacturing workers did in recent decades. About one out of every 10 Americans works in retail.


Japan becomes first country in the world to elect a transgender man to a public office
Mr Hosoda is the second transgender politician elected in Japan after Kamikawa Aya, a transgender woman who was elected as a Tokyo municipal official in 2003.


America has become so anti-innovation – it's economic suicide
VCs didn’t create the internet, of course – and they haven’t funded much innovation with the additional wealth they acquired from pretending they did. In fact, VCs are anti-innovation by design. They want a big payday for their partners on a short timetable, typically looking for start-ups headed for an exit – an IPO or an acquisition by a bigger company – within three to five years. This isn’t a recipe for nurturing actual breakthroughs, which require more patient financing over a longer timeframe. But it’s a good formula for producing nonsense like the Juicero, or overvalued companies that serve as lucrative vehicles for financial speculation.


Resistbot Turns Your Texts Into Faxes to Elected Officials
Resistbot is a new service that turns your text messages into faxes, and sends them to your elected officials for you, Recode reports. Want to urge your House representative to oppose the Affordable Care Act replacement, or ask your senators to demand an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election, or block the implementation of the revised Muslim ban? Just text “resist” to 50409.


Minnesota Sees Largest Outbreak of Measles in Almost 30 Years
Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, said anti-vaccine activists had met one-on-one with families and had been more aggressive than public health educators in getting their message out.


Second Chance for ‘Obamacare’ Repeal. And for Reince Priebus.
Mr. Priebus, who has said he has self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, tried at first to restrict these interactions, often by keeping the president busy with ceremonial events like executive order signings and meetings with business leaders. Over time, Mr. Trump bridled and demanded the unstructured time he had so valued as an executive at Trump Tower. Mr. Priebus, who initially outsourced the details of Oval Office scheduling and paper flow to a deputy, has now taken over those tasks himself. He has reduced the pace of public events and, like a Montessori teacher, modulates structured work time with the slack periods Mr. Trump craves.


U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count
A former Capitol Hill staffer who is knowledgeable about the census said Congress’s mandate for the 2020 Census to cost no more than the 2010 one was unrealistic. “They’re not accounting for inflation; they’re not accounting for the 30 million more Americans, for the fact that people don’t have hard [telephone] lines anymore. And you’re going to do the census for the same amount of money? That’s not possible.”


What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, if it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don't even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That's insane.


USAID effort to undermine Cuban government with fake ‘Twitter’ another anti-Castro failure
On Thursday, the U.S. Agency for International Development confirmed the broad outlines of an Associated Press report exposing the clandestine creation of a phony “Cuban Twitter” network that was meant to undermine the government now headed by Fidel’s brother Raul. The audacious program, set in motion through shell companies around the world, lured 40,000 unsuspecting Cuban subscribers with seemingly innocuous text messages about sports and popular music, the report said. Its creators called the network “Zunzuneo,” Cuban slang for the sound a hummingbird makes.


How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
If we reverse engineered Yellin's system, it was Yellin himself who imagined a much more ambitious reverse-engineering process. Using large teams of people specially trained to watch movies, Netflix deconstructed Hollywood. They paid people to watch films and tag them with all kinds of metadata. This process is so sophisticated and precise that taggers receive a 36-page training document that teaches them how to rate movies on their sexually suggestive content, goriness, romance levels, and even narrative elements like plot conclusiveness.
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Repeal of Affordable Care Act Is Back on Agenda, Republicans Say
Mr. Ryan declined to say what might be in the next version of the Republicans’ repeal bill, nor would he sketch any schedule for action. But he said Congress needed to act because insurers were developing premiums and benefit packages for health plans to offer in 2018, with review by federal and state officials beginning soon.


Chicago mayor’s plan: No high school diploma without official post-graduation plan. Really.
The controversial Chicago mayor has advanced a new proposal requiring all high school seniors who want to get a diploma to show that they have post-graduation plans by providing written proof that they have been accepted — not merely applied to — by a college, a gap-year program or the military. Proof of a job works too.


The government is demanding to know who this Trump critic is. Twitter is suing to keep it a secret.
But the Homeland Security case struck free speech advocates as more remarkable because the information request was about the identity of a government critic, rather than public safety.


Bannon wants a war on Washington. Now he’s part of one inside the White House.
Cohn has met with Democrats on several occasions and appears much more comfortable offering lawmakers olive branches than does Bannon, who during the health-care fight argued in favor of forcing a vote on the doomed bill to establish a public list of Republican traitors.


The U.S. Strikes in Syria
Early Friday morning local time, the U.S. launched more than 50 tomahawk missiles into Syria, targeting the al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs, Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said. The airfield was the facility from which Syria launched this week chemical-weapons attack, Trump told reporters Thursday night in Mar-a-Lago, his resort in Florida.
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Fact-checking President Trump’s address to Congress
Trump did sign an order that he said would result in a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying for foreign governments. But his five-year ban on lobbying is less than advertised. Trump originally promised to extend the ban to congressional officials, but he did not. Moreover, the five-year ban applies only to lobbying one’s former agency — not becoming a lobbyist. Trump actually weakened some of the language from similar bans under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and reduced the level of transparency.


South Korea president Park Geun-hye ousted by court
Judges unanimously upheld parliament's decision to impeach Ms Park over her role in a corruption scandal involving her close friend, Choi Soon-sil. She now loses her presidential immunity and could face criminal charges.


Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware
The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it.


Paul Ryan: I’ve Been Dreaming About Kicking Poors Off Medicaid Since I Was a Drunk Frat Boy
Ryan’s AHCA gradually ends funding for the Medicaid expansion and allocates Medicaid funding to states based on the number of Medicaid beneficiaries rather than the actual cost of covering them as is currently the case.


LGBT community anger over YouTube restrictions which make their videos invisible
Rowan Ellis, a British YouTuber with a “feminist and queer perspective” and nearly 22,500 subscribers, drew attention to YouTube’s apparent “anti-LGBT” bias in a video posted on Thursday.


Ethics can’t be a side hustle
You can’t help Uber build Greyball during the day, or help Palantir design databases to round up immigrants as your main gig, and then buy ethics offsets by doing a non-profit side hustle. We need you to work ethically during that day job much more than we need you working with that non-profit.


The Great Green Wall of America
One Miami architecture firm, DOMO Design Studio, is proposing a softer, gentler version of Trump’s famous wall: a sustainable structure built out of recycled shipping containers that mimics natural boundaries with divisions created by waterways, sloping terrain and, in urban areas, shopping, public art spaces and even housing units. The drawings look like they could be for a cutting-edge park or an innovative redevelopment project—it just so happens that they’re for a barrier meant to keep out “criminals” and “rapists,” as Trump put it so memorably in his campaign kickoff speech in 2015.


How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide
Once the Greyball tool was put in place and tested, Uber engineers created a playbook with a list of tactics and distributed it to general managers in more than a dozen countries on five continents.


Platform Companies Are Becoming More Powerful — but What Exactly Do They Want?
Uber, like so many other successful tech companies in 2017, is a “platform business,” one built around matchmaking between vendors and customers. If successful, a platform creates its own marketplace; if extremely successful, it ends up controlling something closer to an entire economy.


Meet Julia, a Muppet with autism — and the newest character on ‘Sesame Street’
In “Meet Julia,” the episode that airs April 10, the adult character of Alan is careful to frame his responses to questions about Julia’s autism as what that means “for Julia.”


The women scientists who took India into space
Although women scientists were part of the mission right from the time of conception, Ms Karidhal says its success was due to the team effort. "We used to sit with the engineers, everyone would brainstorm, irrespective of the time, we often worked the weekends.


Pakistani Researchers Develop a Calligraphy-Based Urdu Font for the Internet
His son, Zeeshan Mehr, had joined the family trade and after business slowed down, he taught himself computer programming so he could come up with a more refined Urdu font for the internet. This work took the father-son duo 10 years to complete. However, they lacked the visibility and credibility to bring their Urdu font to the mainstream. They didn’t know how to carry out the scientific rigor of evaluation of their font, and their lack of finances and resources was proving to be a big hurdle in their path.


One is the loneliest number for mine-dwelling bacterium
The rod-shaped bacterium, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, lives independently of any other organism in a part of the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa, some 2.8 kilometres beneath Earth's surface.
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Trump’s Immigration Ban Is Already Harming American Science
International travel is a major and inescapable part of modern science. Many scientists have foreign collaborators, which “substantially increases the pace of discovery and ideas,” says Plotkin. Researchers are expected to attend conferences abroad to share their work. Some have no choice but to fly to visit remote field sites, or unique paleontological digs, or sites of disease outbreaks, or one-of-a-kind facilities like telescopes and observatories.


The Demon Voice That Can Control Your Smartphone
(Earlier this month, a local news report about a young child who ordered a dollhouse through Amazon’s voice assistant triggered Amazon Echo devices sitting near viewers’ TVs to place the same order during the segment.)


In corruption-riddled Romania, officials now allow some room for abuse
The country's governing Social Democratic Party shocked domestic and international observers Tuesday when it adopted an emergency measure to decriminalize official misconduct causing damage worth less than about $48,000. Thousands of Romanians protested the decision, calling it a blow to recent progress in fighting chronic corruption in a European Union nation where accusations of bribe-taking, favor-trading and bureaucratic abuses are part of everyday life. The directive will stop ongoing investigations and prevent new ones from being launched. Another decree might end up freeing convicted officials from prison.


Hostage standoff in Delaware prison ends with one corrections officer dead
Hostage-takers had apparently delivered a message to a local newspaper saying that their rebellion was a response to President Trump’s policies and concerns about what his administration would mean for the future of the prison. “Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now,” they said during the second of two manifesto-like phone calls to the News Journal newspaper in Wilmington. “We know that the institution is going to change for the worse.”


USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website
Seven states currently require pet stores to source puppies from breeders with clean USDA inspection reports, according to the Humane Society of the United States — a requirement that could now be impossible to meet.


Syria's Secret Mass Executions
Saydnaya prison is notorious for being a closely held secret, and until recently little was known about how it operates. Earlier this summer, Amnesty released a separate report on the prison that detailed its living conditions. But these new interviews outline a structured means to kill those opposed to Assad—everyone from factory owners to students and professors. The report shows how Assad’s regime has executed these men in ways deliberate, and highly conscious of how, if exposed, the global community would denounce such acts. Amnesty investigators interviewed 84 people, including former prisoners, guards, judges, and the doctors who signed off on the death certificates of those killed at Saydnaya. These interviews show a human rights crisis that the Syrian government has sanctioned since at least 2011, and which could pose a problem for the new Trump administration.


Republicans vote to rebuke Elizabeth Warren, saying she impugned Sessions’s character
The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines, to uphold the ruling that Warren violated Rule 19 of the Senate that says senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Pursuant to that rule, Warren was ordered to sit down and forbidden from speaking during the remainder of the debate on the nomination of Sessions.


Can You Turn A Terrorist Back Into A Citizen?
Lowry is also troubled by the fact that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has yet to indicate whether it will arrange for the new Minnesota program to work with inmates; Lowry fears that extremists who receive no treatment while incarcerated will be impossible to deradicalize once they’re released.


A Jewish Reporter Got to Ask Trump a Question. It Didn’t Go Well.
Mrs. Frankfurter, the magazine’s senior editor, said it was clear that Mr. Trump was not an anti-Semite and that Mr. Trump “must have misheard the question” from the magazine’s reporter. “The president is very sensitive to such an accusation, and we find the fact that he’s sensitive to it reassuring,” she said, because it means he understands how awful it is to be thought of as an anti-Semite.


How a $47 Shrimp Treadmill Became a $3-Million Political Plaything
It is disingenuous for the Republican-controlled House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to promote the idea that scientists are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to run shrimp on treadmills based on a 30-second video clip.


At Jewish Cemetery, Seeking Answers Amid Heartbreak
Since the start of the year, at least 53 Jewish community centers around the country have received bomb threats, according to the J.C.C. Association of North America. More than a dozen of the facilities, including centers in Albuquerque; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Milwaukee; and Wilmington, Del., have reported repeated threats. In addition, jarring graffiti of swastikas have been reported on some college campuses as well as the New York City subway.


Ethicists advise caution in applying CRISPR gene editing to humans
The report did not recommend an absolute prohibition of gene editing on the human “germline” if such interventions can be proved safe. This would involve genetic changes to eggs, sperm or embryos that would persist in an adult and could be inherited by future generations.


Scientists discover 7 ‘Earthlike’ planets orbiting a nearby star
“Before this, if you wanted to study terrestrial planets, we had only four of them and they were all in our solar system,” said lead author Michaël Gillon, an exoplanet researcher at the University of Liege in Belgium. “Now we have seven Earth-sized planets to expand our understanding. Yes, we have the possibility to find water and life. But even if we don't, whatever we find will be super-interesting.”


Who is Nils Bildt? Swedish ‘national security advisor’ interviewed by Fox News is a mystery to Swedes
The surname Bildt is well-known in Swedish political circles due to Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister and Swedish foreign minister. Nils Bildt said that he was related to Carl Bildt, who he described as a "most decent and good man." However, when contacted by WorldViews, Carl Bildt noted that his brother, a successful Swedish entrepreneur who is also called Nils, was "highly irritated" when he heard Nils Tolling had began using the surname Bildt. Carl Bildt suggested that the former Nils Tolling had been "trying to use the name to gain favors."
wepon: the back of tohru adachi's head (adachi)
I don't clearly remember the dreams I had last night, but one moment stuck with me. I and someone else were watching two children (siblings) explore a haunted house. The sister was pulled into another dimension by a mobile door, and the brother was being menaced by both the door and a ghost. Then the sister slammed the door open and forcibly pulled herself out of the dimension, with great effort and obviously struggling, to reach her brother.

I couldn't look away. My companion noticed my rapt attention. Their voice was warm as they said, "Somebody once struggled to be there for you, didn't they?"

"No," I said, "not exactly."

So that's where my head is at today.
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Dos and don'ts on designing for accessibility
The dos and don’ts of designing for accessibility are general guidelines, best design practices for making services accessible in government. Currently, there are six different posters in the series that cater to users from these areas: low vision, D/deaf and hard of hearing, dyslexia, motor disabilities, users on the autistic spectrum and users of screen readers.


Trump Says U.S. Would ‘Outmatch’ Rivals in a New Nuclear Arms Race
Sweeping aside efforts by his aides to temper his comments, or to suggest that he was merely talking about curbing the spread of nuclear technology, especially to terrorists, Mr. Trump told a talk-show host, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”


What Gamergate should have taught us about the 'alt-right'
The stark parallels between Gamergate and the political atmosphere of 2016 may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t: both saw their impact and reach amplified by self-interested parties who underplayed the obvious nastiness they were also promoting. With 2014’s Gamergate, Breitbart seized the opportunity to harness the pre-existing ignorance and anger among disaffected young white dudes. With Trump’s movement in 2016, the outlet was effectively running his campaign: Steve Bannon took leave of his role at the company in August 2016 when he was hired as chief executive of Trump’s presidential campaign. Despite Bannon’s distance from Breitbart in an official capacity, the outlet’s ideology and relentless support of Trump remained unchanged – with editor-in-chief Joel Pollak notably sending an internal memo to staff that ordered them not to support Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields after allegations she was attacked by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.


Here’s How Managers Can Be Replaced by Software
For one task, we programmed iCEO to oversee the preparation of a 124-page research report for a prestigious client (a Fortune 50 company). We spent a few hours plugging in the parameters of the project, i.e. structuring the flow of tasks, then hit play. For instance, to create an in-depth assessment of how graphene is produced, iCEO asked workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to curate a list of articles on the topic. After duplicates were removed, the list of articles was passed on to a pool of technical analysts from oDesk, who extracted and arranged the articles’ key insights. A cohort of Elance writers then turned these into coherent text, which went to another pool of subject matter experts for review, passing them on to a sequence of oDesk editors, proofreaders, and fact checkers. iCEO routed tasks across 23 people from around the world, including the creation of 60 images and graphs, followed by formatting and preparation. We stood back and watched iCEO execute this project. We rarely needed to intervene, even to check the quality of individual components of the report as they were submitted to iCEO, or spend time hiring staff, because QA and HR were also automated by iCEO. (The hiring of oDesk contractors for this project, for example, was itself an oDesk assignment.)


Obamacare Is First Item On Congress' Chopping Block
Democrats rammed the Affordable Care Act through Congress in 2010 with no Republican support. It was a huge, complicated law and, like most legislation, it was flawed. Over the subsequent six years, Republicans, who were angry at the way the Affordable Care Act was passed, refused to cooperate in any actions that would be seen as helping it succeed. Instead, they promised in speeches and television interviews to repeal it entirely. In fact, the House has voted more than 60 times over the years to do just that.


Claiming mandate, GOP Congress lays plans to propel sweeping conservative agenda
GOP leaders have cited the 21-year old Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to cast simple majority votes of disapproval for regulations, as a way to block anything the administration has ordered since June 2016. Since its passage, the CRA has been used only once. But in December, the conservative House Freedom Caucus began compiling a list of more than 200 regulations it views as vulnerable to a disapproval vote. They include “burdensome” school lunch standards, tobacco regulations, laws that set higher wages for contractors and elements of the Paris climate-change agreement.


The new fetal burial rules in Texas are temporarily blocked in court
The regulations applied to hospitals, abortion clinics, and other health care facilities, but not individual women. That wasn’t the case for a similar law in Indiana signed by Vice President-elect Mike Pence earlier this year. That law, which was later blocked by a judge, was so poorly written that it could have technically required women to cremate or bury their menstrual blood.


Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself
“Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much,” says the famed venture capitalist, contrarian and member of the Trump transition team. “Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the much more plausible risk to me.”


Ben Carson Knows Nothing
If there was anything like a contentious exchange, it was between Carson and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who pressed the HUD nominee to promise that the agency’s budget not would financially benefit Trump or his businesses. Carson promised to “not play favorites,” but wouldn’t rule it out. “I will manage things that benefit the American people,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t object to funds going to the Trump Organization if it happened in the context of a move to help low-income Americans.


KING: Arizona lawmaker proposes new bill banning classes or events discussing social justice on college campuses
A conservative Arizona lawmaker, Rep. Bob Thorpe, is proposing a far-reaching law in Arizona, House Bill 2120, banning virtually every college event, activity or course which discusses social justice, skin privilege, or racial equality. Violating the law would allow the state of Arizona to levy multimillion-dollar fines and penalties against universities — removing at least 10% of their state aid. This is no joke. Arizona already passed a law targeting ethnic studies in the state. They are fully willing and able to pass this bill as well.


Thousands Could Lose Food Stamps as States Restore Pre-Recession Requirements
About 45 million people receive benefits in the food stamp program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning research and advocacy group, estimates that 500,000 to a million people will lose benefits this year.


N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications
The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.


Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence
Under the terms of Mr. Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Ms. Manning is set to be freed on May 17 of this year rather than in 2045.


A Long List of What We Know Thanks to Private Manning
Too often (that is, most of the time), the value and import of the Manning/WikiLeaks disclosures are ignored or dismissed, just as Snowden’s NSA scoops are often derided as “nothing new.”


How the town of Whitefish defeated its neo-Nazi trolls — and became a national model of resistance
“What this has shown me is that if we want to make a change as a community, our best way to do that is at the grassroots, local level,” Randall told me. “That’s where can confront these issues of racism and anti-Semitism and bigotry first. It’s not just someone on social media making a comment — thumbs up, thumbs down. It’s neighbors meeting face-to-face and coordinating plans to put their values out there. It’s pretty powerful stuff. Here in Montana, we might not have much say nationally. But we can make Whitefish a better town. And if we do that all around the country, I think the national narrative can change.”


Interior Department reactivates Twitter accounts after shutdown following inauguration
“All bureaus and the department have been directed by incoming administration to shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice,” said an email circulated to thousands of Interior employees. The email, obtained by The Washington Post, described the stand-down as an “urgent directive” and said social media managers must shut down the accounts “until further directed.”


Anonymous Bomb Threats Rattle Jewish Centers Across Eastern U.S.
“We’ve seen this at Jewish community centers over the last year,” Mr. Silverman said. “We’ve seen it at Jewish day schools. We’ve seen it at synagogues.” “It’s all about training and preparedness,” he added.


Trump’s inaugural cake was commissioned to look exactly like Obama’s, baker says
On Saturday morning, Tiffany MacIsaac, owner of Washington’s Buttercream Bakeshop, stepped forward to say she had been the one to create the much-talked-about cake. She said that the order came in while she was out of town and that the client had brought in a photo of the cake from Obama’s inauguration, asking her to re-create it. “They came to us a couple of weeks ago, which is pretty last minute, and said ‘We have a photo that we would like to replicate,’ ” MacIsaac told The Washington Post by phone.


Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself
And the company took even more radical measures: starting in July 2016, a new app was prepared for Trump campaign canvassers with which they could find out the political orientation and personality profile of a particular house’s residents in advance. If the Trump people ring a doorbell, it’s only the doorbell of someone the app has identified as receptive to his messages, and the canvassers can base their line of attack on personality-specific conversation guides also provided by the app. Then they enter a subject’s reactions to certain messaging back into the app, from where this new data flows back to the control rooms of Cambridge Analytica.


House GOP quietly closes investigation into Flint water crisis
While the Republican chairman signaled the apparent conclusion of the inquiry — Congress ended its session last week for a three-week holiday break — the panel’s senior Democrat insisted the investigation continues and accused Michigan’s Republican governor of stonewalling the committee over documents related to the Flint water crisis.


Without evidence, Trump tells lawmakers 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote
Two people familiar with the meeting said Trump spent about 10 minutes at the start of the bipartisan gathering rehashing the campaign. He also told them that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote.


Donald Trump just named a net neutrality foe to head the FCC
The president can appoint an existing FCC member chair without Senate approval, according to Ryan Radia, a legal expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. So Pai won’t have to go through the confirmation process in order to assume his new role. Republicans will have a majority on the FCC and in Congress, so there’s likely nothing Democrats or liberal groups can do to stop Republicans from rolling back network neutrality rules. But it’s going to be a long, ugly fight that could tie up the FCC in the courts for years to come.


Data Streams
KATE CRAWFORD. What’s interesting to me when I think about the Chinese citizen credit score is that here, in the West, it gets vilified as a sort of extremist position, like, “Who would possibly create something so clearly prone to error? And so clearly fascist in its construction?” Yet, having said that, only last week we saw that an insurance company in the UK, the Admiral Group, was trying to market an app that would offer people either a discount on their car insurance or an increase in their premium based on the type of things they write on Facebook. Fortunately, that was blocked, but similar approaches are already being deployed. The correlations Admiral was using were things like if you use exclamation marks or if you use words like “always” and “never,” it indicates that you have a rash personality and that you will be a bad driver. So if you happen to be someone who uses emojis and exclamation marks, you will be paying more to insure your car. This seems very similar to a type of citizen scoring that I think has permeated at the molecular level in so many parts of life throughout the US. It’s too easy for Americans to point to China and go, “Oh, it would never happen here.” But in a much more dispersed, much harder to detect manner, these things are already starting to become a part of how lives are being predicted, insured, and rated. In many ways, I see it as very banal; the Chinese credit score has already happened. It’s already here, regardless of where we are citizens.


Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts
“New EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately,” read the email, which was shared with The Washington Post. “Until we receive further clarification, which we hope to have soon, please construe this to include task orders and work assignments.”


Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd
In a Saturday phone call, Trump personally ordered Reynolds to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the Mall, according to three individuals who have knowledge of the conversation. The president believed that the photos might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average. Trump also expressed anger over a retweet sent from the agency’s account, in which side-by-side photographs showed far fewer people at his swearing-in than had shown up to see Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.


Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest
None of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong.
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Russian Cyberforgers Steal Millions a Day With Fake Sites
“As a buyer, how do you check that those other companies are authorized sellers of the ad inventory?” said Neal Richter, who until recently was the chief technology officer for Rubicon Project, a major exchange for automated ad sales.


‘Let’s party like it’s 1933’: Inside the alt-right world of Richard Spencer
How, he was asked, in a nation with more than 100 million blacks, Asians and Latinos, could a whites-only territory be created without overwhelming violence? Over chocolate croissants and an Americano coffee at a Corner Bakery Cafe, he avoided the question, discussing Nietzsche, communism’s origins, history’s unpredictability. Then, at last, he offered an answer. “Look, maybe it will be horribly bloody and terrible,” he said. “That’s a possibility with everything.”


Army Corps Denies Easement For Dakota Access Pipeline
In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said the tribe welcomed the decision, but he also sounded a note of caution saying he hoped the incoming Donald Trump administration would "respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point."


We Built a Bot That Trolls Twitter’s Worst Anti-Semitic Trolls
But there is one particular type of anti-Semitic troll that I find particularly pernicious: the racists who use their accounts to impersonate Jews and defame them. The con goes like this: The troll finds a picture of a very Jewish-looking person online—typically a Hasidic Jew in full regalia—and makes it his avatar. He puts a bunch of very Jewish descriptors in his bio (“Orthodox,” “Zionist,” “enemy of the alt-right”). He then proceeds to insert himself into conversations with prominent Twitter users—conversations that will often be read by tens of thousands of followers—and say horrifically racist things. Thus, it appears to unsuspecting readers that Jews are outlandishly bigoted. The same has been done with other minorities, from Latinos to African-Americans to Muslims.


OCCUPATIONS, CONTRASTING RESPONSES, AND CAPITALISM
As the Standing Rock protests progressed and strengthened, the police repression intensified, and over the past several weeks there has been a series of brutalities and arrests. This repression built up to a law enforcement offensive on October 27th, where police used tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets in order to clear protesters from a specific area, arresting 141 people in the process. On that same day, October 27th, the Malheur occupiers were found “not guilty” by a jury of their peers, cleared of all federal charges against them.


Behind Donald Trump’s calls for his supporters to monitor the polls in November
The other alternative would be an organized campaign effort that pulls from a grab bag of dirty tricks so frequently used by the Republican Party or its agents that the party is subject to an existing 1981 court order prohibiting this sort of thing until at least 2017.


The Scapegoating Machine
The role Thiel sees for scapegoating in the contemporary world order is apparent in his infamous vendetta against Gawker, which seems to have become his own rival and obstacle for a time. This enmity should not blind us to a certain similarity, since above all else, Gawker styled itself as an organ of scapegoating. Indeed, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, journalist Hamilton Nolan semi-ironically declared: “Nobody wants to hear about intricate economic factors that combined in unforeseen ways to predicate an economic collapse. We want scapegoats!” (He went on to list ten of them.) Gawker’s willingness to single out individuals as targets of public ire, and to galvanize online mobs against them, was a source of its appeal and at the same time what made it so embattled.


Reddit and the God Emperor of the Internet
Recent posts on The_Donald have promoted a letter-writing campaign for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. There’s support for protesters countering the anti-Trump legions in Midtown Manhattan. There’s a proposed boycott of Harry Potter books and movies, with a reminder that J. K. Rowling tweeted that Voldemort was “nowhere near as bad” as Mr. Trump, and a proposal to defund NPR.


The surveillance economy has 67 days to disarm before Trump is sworn in
Companies like Google and Facebook have 67 days to minimize their data collection and retention before Trump is sworn in. That's 67 days during which they can take a hard, close look at how much of their data they actually need to do their jobs, and how much they're storing because hard drives are cheap and someone might have a cool idea down the line somewhere.


Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns
Who's doing all the shooting and where are they getting all those guns and how many do they have and can't we get control over this clusterfuck? Wouldn't a national gun registry give us a tool to stop some of the killing? No, says the gun lobby. It would give the government a tool to confiscate our guns. The idea of a gun registry is the great fever dream that lies at the heart of gun-control conspiracy theories: Government evildoers are going to attack us any day now. We have to be ready. (And you don't give the enemy an inventory of all your weapons!)


The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat 'score'
But perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. However, the program flags issues and provides a report to the user.


#Election2016: Propaganda-lytics & Weaponized Shadow Tracking
The data I’ve collected in this post suggests that it’s not as much about the fake news, viral hoaxes, and strategic misinformation the micro-propaganda machine creates and distributes around election times: This material helps, of course, but any group of actors will generate this type of content for you if you know how make them 😡angry enough. My exploration of the shadow network of trackers and behavioral data collection infrastructure behind the propaganda network provides evidence that it has more to do with the behavioral data the content the propaganda machine generates.


My President Was Black
Obama’s formula for closing this chasm between black and white America, like that of many progressive politicians today, proceeded from policy designed for all of America. Blacks disproportionately benefit from this effort, since they are disproportionately in need. The Affordable Care Act, which cut the uninsured rate in the black community by at least a third, was Obama’s most prominent example. Its full benefit has yet to be felt by African Americans, because several states in the South have declined to expand Medicaid.


The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.
They were not the only ones on whom the Russians used the steal-and-leak strategy. The Open Society Foundation, run by George Soros, was a major target, and when its documents were released, some turned out to have been altered to make it appear as if the foundation was financing Russian opposition members.


So. Algorithms Are Designing Chairs Now
In the case of the Elbo, Harsuvanakit and Presten collaborated with Dreamcatcher, Autodesk’s generative design CAD system. They fed the software a digital, 3-D model of a chair inspired by Hans Wegner’s iconic Round Chair and the Lambda Chair, from the design studio Berkeley Mills. Then, they stipulated how much weight the chair must support and insisted that the arms clear a human body. With that, Dreamcatcher started iterating.


An Alt-Right Makeover Shrouds the Swastikas
So in November, as the country’s divisive presidential campaign became ever more jagged, the National Socialist Movement, a leading neo-Nazi group, did away with its swastika. In its stead, the group chose a symbol from a pre-Roman alphabet that was also adopted by the Nazis.


Alt-Right Gathering Exults in Trump Election With Nazi-Era Salute
In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment. But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”


Trump on the future of proposed Muslim ban, registry: ‘You know my plans’
Muslim leaders said they felt that a registry would take America backward and the FBI seemed to agree. “They didn’t foresee us going back to the past. They were reassuring. This is the way they see it,” Fletcher said. It was good to hear, but area Muslims are still concerned, he said. “Obviously the community feels there are orders and commands from higher up and if those are sent down to a local level, will they act? And how much of what they think now could change in the future?”
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I once knew this guy, Jesse. He was the friend of my s.o. at the time. Since that relationship lasted a few years Jesse and I got to know each other decently. He was a genuinely friendly person! Something of a goofball, chill and good-natured. The best person in that group to be honest. He made an effort to stay in contact with me after the breakup.

There wasn't that much effort from my side due to two reasons:

1.) We had completely opposite tastes in everything. I'd like what he'd hate and I'd hate what he'd like, guaranteed. Blah, blah, echo chamber, but how can somebody be friends with a person who doesn't like anything they like?

2.) More importantly, he hated cats with a murderous passion. Loathed them. Enjoyed it when they experienced misfortune or suffering. It was weird as fuck. When I asked him why he said that he was allergic and had to deal with cat dandruff at the house of a friend during grade school. That's not a good explanation!

The funny thing is that Jesse seemed like a blossoming furry. Or scalie, I guess. He just fucking loved playing reptilian characters in rpgs. The other people in that group sometimes hassled him over it. In his LARP he made a character that was a catboy. I once commented that I was surprised he didn't make a reptile guy (which I think was a canon race). His response was that he was worried about the group hassling him even more if he did. Urgh...that was unsettling to hear. What pointless cruelty.
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Donald Trump’s long history of clashes with Native Americans
Trump’s harsh rhetoric on Native Americans was part of his aggressive war on the expanding Native American casino industry during the 1990s, which posed a threat to his gambling empire. The racially tinged remarks and broad-brush characterizations that Trump employed against Indian tribes for over a decade provided an early glimpse of the kind of incendiary language that he would use about racial and ethnic groups in the 2016 presidential campaign.


Election 2016: Exit Polls
Updated as results become available.


The FCC just passed sweeping new rules to protect your online privacy
The new rules, which could face a legal challenge from affected companies, require Internet providers to obtain their customers’ explicit consent before using or sharing sensitive data with third parties, such as marketing firms. That could mean dialogue boxes, new websites with updated privacy policies or other means of interaction with companies, which may offer discounts or other incentives to customers who voluntarily consent to online tracking. The FCC vote also restricts trading in health data, financial information, Social Security numbers and the content of emails and other digital messages. The rules force service providers to tell consumers what data they collect and why, as well as to take steps to notify customers of data breaches.


If Diamonds Are Forever, Your Data Could Be, Too
It starts with a tiny, atomic-sized imperfection known as a nitrogen vacancy center in your otherwise perfect diamond. These flaws occur when a stray nitrogen atom — or a few of them — sneak in among its carbon structure. Deleting a carbon atom near the nitrogen leaves an empty space perfect for stashing data.


Despite Laws And Lawsuits, Quota-Based Policing Lingers
"Next week, it could be 25 and one. It could be 35 and one," says a man Polanco identifies as a sergeant. The man heard in the recording is pushing his officers to get their numbers up. If they don't, he threatens, it could get even worse: The quota could be 25 tickets a month, or 35.


Why are Skype accounts getting hacked so easily?
Microsoft offers the ability to link a Skype and Microsoft Account together to make sign-in and security easier. If you already enabled this months ago, it turns out that Microsoft has kept your original Skype account password separate so that it can still be used to access the service with a Skype username. If that password isn't secure or you used it elsewhere then hackers can use it to gain access to Skype, bypassing any two-factor authentication provided by Microsoft.


U.S. Military's Suicide Rate Surpassed Combat Deaths In 2012
Kim Ruocco, who directs a suicide prevention program for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, tells the AP that when they leave war zones, troops enter "the danger zone, when they're transitioning back to their families, back to their communities and really finding a sense of purpose for themselves."


A South Korean Man Adopted by Americans Prepares for Deportation
Mr. Crapser had been living legally in the United States under IR-4 documents given to adopted children, Ms. Walls said. In 2001, the Child Citizenship Act automatically made IR-4 holders citizens, but the law was not retroactive — it did not benefit adoptees who were already legal adults. “Adam was over 18 and so missed the cutoff date,” Ms. Walls said.


Ivanka Trump at Japanese Prime Minister Meeting Was 'Out of a Tin Pot Oligarchy'
Members of the press were also barred from the meeting, adding to building criticism that a President Trump will not honor White House traditions of transparency. Ivanka Trump’s presence apparently only became public because the Japanese government released photos; it is not clear whether she was present for the entire meeting.


Donald Trump Agrees to Pay $25 Million in Trump University Settlement
It was a remarkable concession from a real estate mogul who derides legal settlements and has mocked fellow businessmen who agree to them. But the allegations in the case were highly unpleasant for Mr. Trump: Students paid up to $35,000 in tuition for a programs that, according to the testimony of former Trump University employees, used high-pressure sales tactics and employed unqualified instructors.


For foreign diplomats, Trump hotel is place to be
Back when many expected Trump to lose the election, speculation was rife that business would suffer at the hotels, condos and golf courses that bear his name. Now, those venues offer the prospect of something else: a chance to curry favor or access with the next president. Perhaps nowhere is that possibility more obvious than Trump’s newly renovated hotel a few blocks from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Rooms sold out quickly for the inauguration, many for five-night minimums priced at five times the normal rate, according to the hotel’s manager.


Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education
Among whites, Trump won an overwhelming share of those without a college degree; and among white college graduates – a group that many identified as key for a potential Clinton victory – Trump outperformed Clinton by a narrow 4-point margin.


Steve Bannon, the Trump adviser who spent years mainstreaming white nationalism, explained
Bannon was a key figure in the Trump campaign — and it seems like the lesson Trump took from this is that his ties to hate group are outweighed by his personal loyalty to the president-elect and clear skill at helping Trump articulate a message that successfully energized large numbers of white voters.


Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, believes fake news and partisan conspiracy theories
According to the New York Times’s Matthew Rosenberg and Maggie Haberman, he said so many questionable or false things during his time at the agency that his staff coined a term for them: “Flynn facts.” Remember, now, that analyzing information is the national security adviser’s main job. Flynn’s principal task is going to be taking the information he gets from the military and intelligence agencies and sorting it in a fashion that helps President Trump get a sense of what’s going on in the world and how he should respond to it.


Michael Flynn ran company that lobbied for foreign clients while he received intel briefings
"Security adjudicators would have concerns that someone with Flynn's level of experience wouldn't think twice about sitting in on a classified briefing while working for foreign clients," Moss said. "The moment he sat in on classified briefings, his association with his own company had to be severed." "By not doing that he exposed himself unnecessarily to foreign influence and raised questions about his good judgment," Moss added.
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Life happens.

Poor Cancer Care For Native Americans Might Be A Treaty Violation
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer among Native Americans, behind lung cancer, and it afflicts this population in an outsized way: Northern Plains Native Americans, for example, face an incidence of the illness 53 percent higher than non-Hispanic whites, and among Alaska Natives the incidence is 115 percent higher. Some of these risks are the result of genetics and lifestyle (obesity, alcohol and tobacco use), but poor care and lack of screening are also to blame. And much of that is due to appallingly meager funding for tribal health systems.


The white flight of Derek Black
Former Ku Klux Klan leader and current U.S. Senate candidate David Duke campaigns in Louisiana. Duke acted as a godfather and a mentor to Derek Black during his rise in white nationalism.


When Your Existence Is Up For Debate
Remarkably, Shulevitz ignores completely ADF’s longstanding mission to attack advances for LGBT individuals and the organization’s current and systematic attack on the rights of transgender individuals across the country. Instead, she describes ADF as a “Christian legal advocacy organization with mostly evangelical clients” and quotes their counsel in support of the view that protecting transgender individuals will violate girls’ “sincere religious or moral beliefs that they must practice modesty.” Also absent from her piece despite her insistence that ADF’s orchestrated lawsuits not be cast as “intolerance” are the arguments that ADF has advanced in court in support of it’s position.


A camp tries to reinvent the Hebrew language, so transgender kids can fit in
“They’re talking about it. But no one’s coming up with a solution yet,” Zebovitz said. “We can’t wait around.”


On Hebrew and Living in Gendered Language
Jane Harris, who was kind enough to engage in this discussion with me, said this: “It’s funny how Hebrew is so empowering to genderqueers and other trans* people who are Out, and allows them to use their own grammatic gender, but so unconvinient to Closeted folks, who get a reminder every time [they] refer to themselves.”


The language the government tried to suppress
One of Singapore’s most popular TV sitcoms of the 1990s and 2000s was popular in large part because its main character, Phua Chu Kang, was a Singaporean everyman who spoke in Singlish.


A Presidential Friendship Has Many South Koreans Crying Foul
Mr. Choi was the founder of an obscure sect called the Church of Eternal Life. He befriended Ms. Park, 40 years his junior, soon after her mother was assassinated in 1974. According to a report by the Korean intelligence agency from the 1970s that was published by a South Korean newsmagazine in 2007, Mr. Choi initially approached Ms. Park by telling her that her mother had appeared in his dreams, asking him to help her.
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THE L.E.D. QUANDARY: WHY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “BUILT TO LAST”
The thousand-hour life span of the modern incandescent dates to 1924, when representatives from the world’s largest lighting companies—including such familiar names as Philips, Osram, and General Electric (which took over Shelby Electric circa 1912)—met in Switzerland to form Phoebus, arguably the first cartel with global reach. The bulbs’ life spans had by then increased to the point that they were causing what one senior member of the group described as a “mire” in sales turnover. And so, one of its priorities was to depress lamp life, to a thousand-hour standard. The effort is today considered one of the earliest examples of planned obsolescence at an industrial scale.


For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that's coming to LED bulbs.
JB MacKinnon's excellent New Yorker piece tells the story of planned obsolescence and home lighting, but only skims the surface of the Internet of Things future of "smart" bulbs. It's been less than a year since Philips pushed out a firmware update that gave its light fixtures the ability to detect and reject non-Philips lightbulbs -- and thanks to laws like the DMCA, which have metastasized in the IoT era, it's a potential felony to alter your light fixture to override this behavior and force it to work with non-Philips bulbs. The IoT's twin dark patterns are control (forcing you to use original consumables, only get service from the manufacturer, and limiting features to those that benefit the manufacturer, at the owner's expense) and surveillance -- and that's the other side of this.


How Women Are Harassed Out of Science
A 2015 report that one of us co-authored found that one in three women science professors surveyed reported sexual harassment. There’s been a lot of talk about how to keep women in the STEM pipeline, but it fails to make a crucial connection: One reason the pipeline leaks is that women are harassed out of science. And sexual harassment is just the beginning.


“I Want to Know What Code Is Running Inside My Body”
She found the technical manual for her pacemaker online, and learned that her device had remote monitoring capabilities that worried her. To a computer security professional, wireless communication was just one more way that the device was vulnerable to malicious tinkering. Then she bought a pacemaker programmer online, and she and other hackers figured out that it could be used to update the code on her implant. She didn’t hack her own device, though — she was mainly alarmed that she’d entrusted her heartbeat to a stranger’s code, which might get updated without her knowledge.


The Story is a Spell. The Story is a Curse.
Who get to tell the story? Whose stories are celebrated? Whose are the most true?


Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons
According to the inspector general’s report, private prisons housed roughly 22,660 federal inmates as of December 2015, though Bureau of Prisons website indicates the total is now closer to 22,100. That represents about 12 percent of the Bureau of Prisons total inmate population, according to the report.


Q&A with Kitten’s Got Claws Artist Kanesha Bryant, Part 1
Even though I supported others, asking for support or understanding felt so dangerous. A lot of people turn weirdly hostile or dismissive when someone they see as strong shows weakness. In that moment you become very aware that you aren’t an equal to them. You are, emotions wise, “the help.” You’re there to provide a service for them and they’re frankly a little put off that their feelings garbage can is talking back.


Why Letting Women Take Tea Breaks Was Once Considered Dangerous
But in some ways, O'Connell says, "contemporary culture has all of these ideas about food which might appear ludicrous in time to come."


The Online Abuse Playbook
The tactic here is for the community to use any publicly-accessible information about the person as ammunition for attacking them, and to delegate the worst attacks to the most anonymous members of the community.


Hackers Trick Facial-Recognition Logins With Photos From Facebook (What Else?)
Biometric authenticators have the potential to be extremely powerful security mechanisms, but they’re threatened when would-be attackers gain easy access to personal data. In the Office of Personnel Management breach last year, for instance, hackers stole data for 5.6 million people’s fingerprints. Those markers will be in the wild for the rest of the victims’ lives.


One of the biggest crime waves in America isn't what you think it is
Catherine Rampell pointed out that some of the Senate cafeteria workers were so poorly paid that they were homeless or on public assistance. The Americans who get hit hardest by wage theft tend to be the most vulnerable workers with the least power: low-paid, often in service work, often racial minorities or part of marginalized social groups.


What Is Public?
Clearly, one reason law has stayed out of date in regard to what’s public is because two of our biggest industries profit from that anachronism. But another key reason is because a creeping expansion of what’s considered public enables one of the most effective tools for expanding the power of the state: surveillance.


Farm to Fable
What makes buying food different from other forms of commerce is this: It’s a trust-based system. How do you know the Dover sole on your plate is Dover sole? Only that the restaurateur said so.

A bad poem

Aug. 30th, 2016 11:47 pm
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
after the storm the ship
lies shattered and spilled on the shore
but at least the storm is over.
the tide rinses between the planks
the sea is as still as the cloudless sky
wepon: a robot owl stares past the camera (blade runner owl)
I will be independent. I will support myself. I will have a job that pays well, that I like. I will live near my siblings. I will own a car that is functional and safe. I will pay for my own cellphone. I will live by myself. My doors will have locks. I will be able to afford my own things, include fun things. I will have time to myself. I will talk to people I wish to talk to, and not talk to those I don't. I will take care of my responsibilities. I will be able to finish things. I will be healthy. I will be confidant. I will be okay. I will be okay.
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Jenna Moran's blog posts on learning Chinese are excellent, and who knows how long the Eos-sama website will be up after all the shenanigans. So, here's an archive.
wepon: journeyer lying on face with an ouchie star (journey faceplant)
This story gets in on a technicality.

At some point in the middle of high school I managed to strike up a friendship with a geek boy. It was a pretty good time! We got along well. Then on Valentine's Day he asked if we could take a different route between classes and asked me out.

I didn't have any particularly romantic feelings for him. But he was my friend, and he was cute, and I'd never been in a relationship before so was curious about the whole experience. So I said yes. (Not great!)

We might not have gone on any actual dates. We definitely never kissed. I think the most we did was watch movies at each other's houses? Mostly his house, to be honest. And over the summer we never talked because apparently we were each waiting for the other to call us first, so by the time school started again the relationship attempt had disintegrated.

It was incredibly silly and I'm embarrassed by the whole thing.
wepon: journeyer lying on face with an ouchie star (journey faceplant)
One of the reasons it took so long for me to get around to this one is because I wanted to look my whole chart, not just the basic sun sign. If I’m going to do astrology might as well go the whole hog. I learned that there’s an incredible amount of complex bullshit in a full start chart. Probably enough to justify any sort of personality trait one wants. Who even understands these? Really.
But the big three are Gemini rising, Gemini sun and Capricorn moon.
Rising signs are the first impression you give, sun signs are your “essence” and your moon sign is your emotional/unconscious side. I guess. It’s odd to split a person up like that. (Particularly so here, because Capricorn and Gemini are oppositional. Together, they form a list of traits ripe for cherry-picking.)

So my persona is supposed to reflect my core nature, which is a witty and manipulative socialite, and my emotional nature is aggressive emotional suppression with self-criticism.

So? How does it measure up?

I have never in my life made a good Gemini. I’m decent at intellectualism and have trouble sticking to tasks, sure. But the whole life of the party thing? The witty charmer? I wish I had those people skills, my life would have been a lot easier. The most I can manage is goofy playfulness. As for the persona vs essence thing, it’s not like I put up a false front. It’s more of an…emphasis of acceptable traits, and hiding of vulnerable spots. Attempting to present my best self. Not sure where that falls on the scale. As for manipulation, I’m sometimes aware of what to say or how to act to channel attention or give off a certain image. Again, presenting my best self. But I have very little ability to be an active manipulator. My attention span IS terrible, though.

The Capricorn moon fits a bit better. I’ve always had a lawful bent. I’m risk-adverse, prefer clear boundaries, and have a need for security, which is all on a list I found for Capricorn moon. (That might be arguable whether that’s an inherent trait of mine or due to environmental conditions.) As for my emotions, I’ve generally had a good internal sense of them but I dislike expressing them to others. Emotional vulnerability is a big hang-up. I don’t like feeling weak and exposed. I’d rather deal with them on my own (no matter how poorly). I’ve got the self-critical element down, which has been a problem throughout my life. I’m a worrier – which has grown into anxiety lately. Sadly, it feels like the good aspects of Capricorn moon (patient, efficient, well-organized, dutiful) have passed me by. Instead of controlled I probably come off as full of emotions. I just try to hide the ones that feel dangerous to expose. Probably not that well!

So, interesting that Capricorn moon fit better than Gemini ascending/sun, but meh. (I used to relate more to Cancer than anything, to be honest.)
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Arlington National Cemetery debated allowing QR codes on tombstones. Does technology belong in cemeteries?
When dealing with death, etiquette is paramount and new technology isn’t always welcome. But with a proper touch, technology — in the form of QR codes — has found a small foothold on some tombstones. The benefit is allowing cemetery visitors to scan a QR code on their smartphone, and have instant access to an online obituary, photos of the deceased and more information.


Are Face Recognition Systems Accurate? Depends on Your Race.
Law enforcement agencies haven’t provided many details on how they use facial recognition systems, but in June the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying that the FBI has not properly tested the accuracy of its face matching system, nor that of the massive network of state-level face matching databases it can access.


Why Knowing Your Genetic Data Can Be a Tricky Proposition
The rapidly dropping cost of sequencing in the past five years now makes it possible to execute large-scale PPGS projects to examine the benefits and harms, according to the authors, and there is evidence that patients may use risk predictions to make positive behavioral and lifestyle changes. But there is also the danger that the results could be distressing without any benefit, and false positives or uncertain results could prompt unnecessary and expensive follow-up care.


Living Food
With this project I proposed a future where food shifts towards being a channel of aesthetic experiences: What if food were consumed alive, as a fictional character? What if food was able to play with our cutlery and create hyper-sensations in our mouth?


Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a 'Personalized Propaganda Engine'
Since the interview, the full scope of Sidewalk Labs' ambitions has become clearer. The company has offered to build Columbus, Ohio, a computerized traffic management system that experts fear might gut public bussing and drive the city into a state of dependence on Google technologies. Even more ambitious are Sidewalk Labs' plans for the creation of a "digital district," perhaps built on land owned by Google or some other company or ceded to the purpose by an existing government.


Who Are Police Killing?
The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.


What Is Whiteness?
Our search for understanding in matters of race automatically inclines us toward blackness, although that is not where these answers lie. It has become a common observation that blackness, and race more generally, is a social construct. But examining whiteness as a social construct offers more answers. The essential problem is the inadequacy of white identity.


26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets
This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation. For a range of reasons, there are and always have been folks who cannot attend rallies and pro-tests but who continue to contribute to ending police and state violence against black people.


Too Traumatized to Science
The alarming deaths of these people who were minding their business. These tragedies hurt. They hurt in a way that is very real and personal and unhealing. And when I interact with other scientists, namely Black and Indigenous Scientists, the deep pain is shared...and the silence of our colleagues and institutions is deafening.


FIGHTING POLICE ABUSE: A COMMUNITY ACTION MANUAL
You've got to address specific problems. The first step, then, is to identify exactly what the police problems are in your city. What's wrong with your police department is not necessarily the same as what's wrong in that of another city. Police departments differ in size, quality of management, local traditions and the severity of their problems. Some departments are gravely corrupt; others are relatively "clean" but have poor relations with community residents. Also, a city's political environment, which affects both how the police operate and the possibilites for achieving reform, is different in every city. For example, it is often easier to reform police procedures in cities that have a tradition of "good government," or in cities where racial minorities are well organized politically.


My Summer at an Indian Call Center
Every month, thousands of Indians leave their Himalayan tribes and coastal fishing towns to seek work in business process outsourcing, which includes customer service, sales, and anything else foreign corporations hire Indians to do. The competition is fierce. No one keeps a reliable count, but each year there are possibly millions of applicants vying for BPO positions. A good many of them are bright recent college grads, but their knowledge of econometrics and Soviet history won't help them in interviews. Instead, they pore over flashcards and accent tapes, intoning the shibboleths of English pronunciation—"wherever" and "pleasure" and "socialization"—that recruiters use to distinguish the employable candidates from those still suffering from MTI, or "mother tongue influence."


Pokémon Go and the politics of digital gaming in public
Pokémon Go is a perfect storm of nostalgia, branding, design concepts, pre-existing data, and established technologies.


Miraculous Microbes: They Make Holy Statues "Bleed"--and Can Be Deadly, Too
In the early 1950s the U.S. government decided it would be a good idea to use S. marcescens in a bioweapon dispersal experiment dubbed Operation Sea-Spray. They burst balloons filled with Serratia over San Francisco Bay. Chosen because the red pigment makes it easily traceable, the supposedly innocuous bacterium so generously sprinkled over the bay was subsequently linked to several respiratory infections and at least one death. Since then the bacterium has been widely found to be an opportunistic human pathogen, capitalizing on its prowess in forming tight-knit surface communities called biofilms wherever it can.


The ASA's Statement on p-Values: Context, Process, and Purpose
Cherry-picking promising findings, also known by such terms as data dredging, significance chasing, significance questing, selective inference, and “p-hacking,” leads to a spurious excess of statistically significant results in the published literature and should be vigorously avoided.


Using Effect Size—or Why the P Value Is Not Enough
The effect size is the main finding of a quantitative study. While a P value can inform the reader whether an effect exists, the P value will not reveal the size of the effect. In reporting and interpreting studies, both the substantive significance (effect size) and statistical significance (P value) are essential results to be reported.


The Motherhood in Pokémon
The key point of analysis of these three mothers is that, unlike what happened with Johanna, their backstory didn’t result in any character development of evolution, and this even seems to be the reason why this never happens. They aren’t a receptionist, trainer, or racer, they were. What they are doing at the moment of the game doesn’t really matter, and once again their role shrinks.


Everyone's A Furry 2K16
Nobody has a job to worry about being dignified or losing anymore, so we're all posting our fursonas to our main.


Police asked this 3D printing lab to recreate a dead man’s fingers to unlock his phone
Jain and his PhD student Sunpreet Arora couldn’t share details of the case with me, since it’s an ongoing investigation, but the gist is this: a man was murdered, and the police think there might be clues to who murdered him stored in his phone. But they can’t get access to the phone without his fingerprint or passcode. So instead of asking the company that made the phone to grant them access, they’re going another route: having the Jain lab create a 3D printed replica of the victim’s fingers. With them, they hope to unlock the phone.


Google Has a Secret Interview Process… And It Landed Me a Job
Google’s recruiting process is well documented online, and from this point my experience was pretty typical. The only difference is that I didn’t need to go through a technical phone screen since I had already demonstrated some proficiency with coding through the foo.bar exercises.


My four months as a private prison guard.
"Does anybody know why we don't want them to individualize their uniform?" Parker asks us. "We want them institutionalized. You guys ever heard that term? We want them institutionalized, not individualized. Is that sort of a mind game? Yup. But you know what? It's worked over the couple hundred years that we've had prisons in this country. So that's why we do it. We do not want them to feel as though they are individuals. We want them, for lack of a better term, to feel like a herd of cattle. We're just moving 'em from point A to point B, letting them graze in the dining hall and then go back to the barn. Okay?"