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wepon ([personal profile] wepon) wrote2017-04-07 12:31 am
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Link Roundup March 2017

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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