Boing Boing http://www.6727852.com Brain candy for Happy Mutants Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:06:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1 https://i0.wp.com/www.6727852.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/apple-touch-icon-1.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Boing Boing http://www.6727852.com 32 32 87954168 Defect in car security system aids carjackers, thieves http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/pandora-and-viper.html Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:06:58 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705152 Since 2016, there have been multiple instances of attacks on keyless entry car-locks, and there's a burgeoning industry of expensive ($5000) aftermarket alarm systems that are billed as protecting your car from these radio attacks on its security.

Pen-Test Partners evaluated several of these systems and found that the two leading models, Pandora and Viper (AKA "Clifford") were very defective, with a mix of vulnerabilities that allow attackers to track cars in realtime, extract the car and its owner's details, disable the alarm, remotely enable/disable the immobilizer, stop the car while it's in motion, eavesdrop on the in-car mic, and even steal the car.

Pen-Test Partners attacked the companies' APIs, which allow their apps to communicate with and configure the in-car systems; by modifying the parameters in API calls, they were able to hijack users' accounts, changing the associated email and password. Once that is done, "It’s possible to geo-locate and follow a specific vehicle, then cause it to stop and unlock the doors."

There's plenty of room for research on even more extravagant attacks: the alarm systems interface with cars internet networks over the CAN bus -- a common data infrastructure system that all the car's subsystems use to talk to each other.

Pen-Test Partners estimates that $150B worth of cars are exposed via these flaws -- about 3M high-end cars.

This is a superb example of how security systems can expose users to risk: once you design a system that treats the person using it as an adversary and a remote party as trusted, then, by design, a remote party who compromises the system can attack the person who's using it. Read the rest

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Since 2016, there have been multiple instances of attacks on keyless entry car-locks, and there's a burgeoning industry of expensive ($5000) aftermarket alarm systems that are billed as protecting your car from these radio attacks on its security.

Pen-Test Partners evaluated several of these systems and found that the two leading models, Pandora and Viper (AKA "Clifford") were very defective, with a mix of vulnerabilities that allow attackers to track cars in realtime, extract the car and its owner's details, disable the alarm, remotely enable/disable the immobilizer, stop the car while it's in motion, eavesdrop on the in-car mic, and even steal the car.

Pen-Test Partners attacked the companies' APIs, which allow their apps to communicate with and configure the in-car systems; by modifying the parameters in API calls, they were able to hijack users' accounts, changing the associated email and password. Once that is done, "It’s possible to geo-locate and follow a specific vehicle, then cause it to stop and unlock the doors."

There's plenty of room for research on even more extravagant attacks: the alarm systems interface with cars internet networks over the CAN bus -- a common data infrastructure system that all the car's subsystems use to talk to each other.

Pen-Test Partners estimates that $150B worth of cars are exposed via these flaws -- about 3M high-end cars.

This is a superb example of how security systems can expose users to risk: once you design a system that treats the person using it as an adversary and a remote party as trusted, then, by design, a remote party who compromises the system can attack the person who's using it. What's more, the entire system is designed to prevent the person in the car from overriding the remote party using the app, so once that initial line of defense is breached, it becomes very hard to protect yourself.

We contacted the vendors involved and gave them 7 days to take down or fix the vulnerable APIs. This is much less than the 90 days we would usually offer vendors. Why?

The vulnerabilities were easy to find, easy to fix and owners could operate the alarms without requiring the API. The supplied RF alarm key fob can be used in place of the mobile app. All the user would lose as a result of the API being taken down is the ability to remotely start the car and geo-locate it.

Others have been looking at smart car alarms, so there was a high chance that professional criminals already have this knowledge.

There is a route for vehicle owners with these alarms fitted to mitigate these attacks themselves, but it isn’t particularly satisfactory or advised: One could extract the SIM card from the alarm module in the car, though this may require some electronics skill and may affect warranties.

Pandora’s UK representative responded in about 48 hours and had their Moscow-based HQ take action quickly. The IDOR was fixed overnight and we confirmed that the following morning

Viper responded faster, but took a little longer to fix the vulnerability. That one is also confirmed as fixed.

Gone in six seconds? Exploiting car alarms [Ken Munro/Pen Test Partners]

(via Naked Capitalism) ]]> 705152 Captain Marvel storms to $455m opening weekend http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/captain-marvel-storms-to-455m.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/captain-marvel-storms-to-455m.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:18:08 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705144 Despite a conservative boycott and their relentless online whining about the woman-led blockbuster, Captain Marvel stormed to an epic box office over the weekend, earning $455m.

So, for reference, the online review-bombing from trolls, bots, so-called "toxic fans" and other disgruntled folks didn't mean a damn thing this weekend. Here's what else didn't matter: folks allegedly upset about Brie Larson's request for the press junket to be more diverse than normal, alleged controversies over Brie Larson's performance (judging entirely from the trailers) and whether she should be smiling more (spoiler: she smiles a bunch in the movie and is hopefully laughing this morning), attempts to use Alita: Battle Angel as a battering ram against the latest female-led action fantasy (#YouCanAndShouldSeeThemBoth) or concerns over the comparatively obtuse marketing campaign (okay, that's a mea culpa from me on that score).

Read the rest]]> Despite a conservative boycott and their relentless online whining about the woman-led blockbuster, Captain Marvel stormed to an epic box office over the weekend, earning $455m.

So, for reference, the online review-bombing from trolls, bots, so-called "toxic fans" and other disgruntled folks didn't mean a damn thing this weekend. Here's what else didn't matter: folks allegedly upset about Brie Larson's request for the press junket to be more diverse than normal, alleged controversies over Brie Larson's performance (judging entirely from the trailers) and whether she should be smiling more (spoiler: she smiles a bunch in the movie and is hopefully laughing this morning), attempts to use Alita: Battle Angel as a battering ram against the latest female-led action fantasy (#YouCanAndShouldSeeThemBoth) or concerns over the comparatively obtuse marketing campaign (okay, that's a mea culpa from me on that score).

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How to build a nice fireplace in Minecraft http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/how-to-build-a-nice-fireplace.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/how-to-build-a-nice-fireplace.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:09:27 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705141

It's been a while since I returned to the blocky, charming world of Minecraft, but this video from 2010 is going viral and satisfies the urge. The fireplace tutorial begins about a minute in. Read the rest

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It's been a while since I returned to the blocky, charming world of Minecraft, but this video from 2010 is going viral and satisfies the urge. The fireplace tutorial begins about a minute in.

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Man invents wasp vacuum and ends up with box of wasps http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/man-invents-wasp-vacuum-and-en.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/man-invents-wasp-vacuum-and-en.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:59:06 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705135

Today in "I don't know what I expected": former Blackberry engineer and YouTuber Matthais Wandel's ingenious but doom-laden wasp vacuum.

Tell you what, Happy Mutants, if you like this and fancy a light, uplifting read, be sure to grab Iain Banks' debut novel The Wasp Factory. Read the rest

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Today in "I don't know what I expected": former Blackberry engineer and YouTuber Matthais Wandel's ingenious but doom-laden wasp vacuum.

Tell you what, Happy Mutants, if you like this and fancy a light, uplifting read, be sure to grab Iain Banks' debut novel The Wasp Factory.

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Tucker Carlson concedes child rape is "unpopular" in passionate defense of child rape http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/tucker-carlson-concedes-child.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/tucker-carlson-concedes-child.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:07:17 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705125

In calls to a radio show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended a child rapist, justified child rape, and said that women were "extremely primitive."

Between 2006 and 2011, Tucker Carlson spent approximately an hour a week calling in to Bubba the Love Sponge, a popular shock jock radio program where he spoke with the hosts about a variety of cultural and political topics in sometimes-vulgar terms. During those conversations, Carlson diminished the actions of Warren Jeffs, then on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for his involvement in arranging illegal marriages between adults and underage girls, talked about sex and young girls, and defended statutory rape.

Carlson, who was hired by Fox News in 2009, also used sexist language to talk about women, including then-co-workers at NBC and public figures. He referred to Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis Stewart as “cunty,” called journalist Arianna Huffington a “pig,” and labeled Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America.” He also said that women enjoy being told to “be quiet and kind of do what you’re told” and that they are “extremely primitive.” ...

Carlson said underage marriage is not “the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child. ... The rapist in this case has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person so it is a little different.”

Excellent reporting from Madeline Peltz and Media Matters from America. Carlson is unrepentant; in a statement, he said his comments on child rape were "naughty" and said anyone who cares should watch his TV show. Read the rest

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In calls to a radio show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended a child rapist, justified child rape, and said that women were "extremely primitive."

Between 2006 and 2011, Tucker Carlson spent approximately an hour a week calling in to Bubba the Love Sponge, a popular shock jock radio program where he spoke with the hosts about a variety of cultural and political topics in sometimes-vulgar terms. During those conversations, Carlson diminished the actions of Warren Jeffs, then on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for his involvement in arranging illegal marriages between adults and underage girls, talked about sex and young girls, and defended statutory rape.

Carlson, who was hired by Fox News in 2009, also used sexist language to talk about women, including then-co-workers at NBC and public figures. He referred to Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis Stewart as “cunty,” called journalist Arianna Huffington a “pig,” and labeled Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America.” He also said that women enjoy being told to “be quiet and kind of do what you’re told” and that they are “extremely primitive.” ...

Carlson said underage marriage is not “the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child. ... The rapist in this case has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person so it is a little different.”

Excellent reporting from Madeline Peltz and Media Matters from America. Carlson is unrepentant; in a statement, he said his comments on child rape were "naughty" and said anyone who cares should watch his TV show.

He knows it won't matter. His right-wing audience is indifferent to child welfare in institutionalized settings (if not outright approving of pedophilia) and already drowning in contempt for women. If there's any fallout at all from this it'll be some temporary loss of ad revenue for Fox and a little more peeling away of the conservative morality mask for the last few suckers who can't see through it anyway.

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Earn certifications in machine learning and data science http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/11/earn-certifications-in-machine.html Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=700934 Big companies want automation on a big scale. Doing that means diving into the tricky world of machine learning and data science. And no matter what platform you'll be implementing it on, you can learn how with the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle.

In 48 hours and through eight courses, this bundle teaches the structure and specifics behind large-scale data manipulation. You'll get plenty of background on how to build data visualizations and analysis tools in Python, then use programs like Tensorflow and Keras to put them to work for deep learning. There are also courses dedicated to R and its?ability to wrangle data into neural networks through tools like h2o and MXNET. The bundle will get you up to speed on packages like Numpy, Pandas, and Madplotlib in no time, and by the end of the 48 hours of lectures and exercise, you'll be certified in a range of resume-building techniques.

Right now, you can pick up the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle for $35. Read the rest

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Big companies want automation on a big scale. Doing that means diving into the tricky world of machine learning and data science. And no matter what platform you'll be implementing it on, you can learn how with the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle.

In 48 hours and through eight courses, this bundle teaches the structure and specifics behind large-scale data manipulation. You'll get plenty of background on how to build data visualizations and analysis tools in Python, then use programs like Tensorflow and Keras to put them to work for deep learning. There are also courses dedicated to R and its?ability to wrangle data into neural networks through tools like h2o and MXNET. The bundle will get you up to speed on packages like Numpy, Pandas, and Madplotlib in no time, and by the end of the 48 hours of lectures and exercise, you'll be certified in a range of resume-building techniques.

Right now, you can pick up the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle for $35.

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AOC feints towards fully automated luxury communism http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/star-trek-democrats.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/star-trek-democrats.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2019 14:25:27 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705084 During a talk at SXSW yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got an audience question about automation and jobs and answered by saying, "We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work. We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem."

This is the underlying premise of what's semi-seriously called "fully automated luxury communism" -- the idea that automation could usher in an era of universal comfort and plenty, but only if its dividends are shared among workers and owners of capital. There's no justice or glory in the fact that all of us use toilets and only some of us have to clean them, after all -- but if we figured out how to automate toilet cleaning, there would be even less justice and glory in discarding the people who've been cleaning toilets all along.

“We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” she said. “Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says ‘we should be excited about automation’ [Adi Robertson/The Verge]

(Image: @AOC) Read the rest

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During a talk at SXSW yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got an audience question about automation and jobs and answered by saying, "We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work. We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem."

This is the underlying premise of what's semi-seriously called "fully automated luxury communism" -- the idea that automation could usher in an era of universal comfort and plenty, but only if its dividends are shared among workers and owners of capital. There's no justice or glory in the fact that all of us use toilets and only some of us have to clean them, after all -- but if we figured out how to automate toilet cleaning, there would be even less justice and glory in discarding the people who've been cleaning toilets all along.

“We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” she said. “Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says ‘we should be excited about automation’ [Adi Robertson/The Verge]

(Image: @AOC) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/star-trek-democrats.html/feed 165 705084 The eminently electable Bernie Sanders enjoys strong support from African-Americans and young people http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/overton-windows-r-us-2.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/overton-windows-r-us-2.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2019 14:15:23 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705079 When critics want to dismiss Bernie Sanders's bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, the say that he is too old and too white, and incapable of bringing young people and racialized people to the polls, the way that, say, Obama did in 2008 (after all, American politics is as much a contest of who votes and who doesn't as it about whom they vote for).

The same people who say this often have other iron laws of Democratic policy, like "Democrats can't support Medicare for All" and "Democrats can't support a Green New Deal" and "Democrats shouldn't try to tax the rich." When they say this, they really mean "Establishment Democrats' big-money millionaire/billionaire donors won't back Democrats who support these policies," and so, despite the enormous popularity of these policies, the Democrats shouldn't run on them.

Sanders favors all of these policies, and more, and so it's no surprise that his critics are grasping at (evidence-free) straws to neg him in the public sphere, but of course, reality has a well-known left-wing bias, so it's no surprise that they're (very, very) wrong.

For example, Sanders is beating Kamala Harris 2-to-1 in polls of African American voters (possibly because Harris supported the preservation of forced prison labor, joked about her actions to jail parents whose kids were truant, and let Steve Mnuchin walk away from grotesque financial crimes that victimized poor people and stole their homes).

And 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters are big on Sanders because his policies matter more to them than his age, especially his support for immediate, meaningful action on climate change -- even though Sanders will be dead before climate change makes most of the USA uninhabitable, these kids won't be, and they know it. Read the rest

]]> When critics want to dismiss Bernie Sanders's bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, the say that he is too old and too white, and incapable of bringing young people and racialized people to the polls, the way that, say, Obama did in 2008 (after all, American politics is as much a contest of who votes and who doesn't as it about whom they vote for).

The same people who say this often have other iron laws of Democratic policy, like "Democrats can't support Medicare for All" and "Democrats can't support a Green New Deal" and "Democrats shouldn't try to tax the rich." When they say this, they really mean "Establishment Democrats' big-money millionaire/billionaire donors won't back Democrats who support these policies," and so, despite the enormous popularity of these policies, the Democrats shouldn't run on them.

Sanders favors all of these policies, and more, and so it's no surprise that his critics are grasping at (evidence-free) straws to neg him in the public sphere, but of course, reality has a well-known left-wing bias, so it's no surprise that they're (very, very) wrong.

For example, Sanders is beating Kamala Harris 2-to-1 in polls of African American voters (possibly because Harris supported the preservation of forced prison labor, joked about her actions to jail parents whose kids were truant, and let Steve Mnuchin walk away from grotesque financial crimes that victimized poor people and stole their homes).

And 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters are big on Sanders because his policies matter more to them than his age, especially his support for immediate, meaningful action on climate change -- even though Sanders will be dead before climate change makes most of the USA uninhabitable, these kids won't be, and they know it.

Facts matter: Sanders's base is young and diverse, and the "Bernie Bro" is a myth. Sanders is more popular with racialized people than white people, as popular with women as he is with men, and is especially popular with young people.

Sanders's critics don't want to engage with the substance of his policies, which are, foundationally, anti-capitalist, seeing markets as a tool to be deployed to solve some problems, not as the natural order or the arbiter of moral worthiness. This is a challenge to post-Reagan, Ayn-Rand-derived orthodoxy and it definitely makes some people deeply uncomfortable -- but not black and brown people, and not young people.

I am a Sanders primary campaign donor, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and I donated to his 2016 campaign (I'm also a donor to Elizabeth Warren's primary campaign).

Meanwhile, Freya Buhr, 19, of Clermont, Iowa, is so dedicated to Sanders that she didn't let the fact Friday was her birthday deter her from attending the Vermont senator's rally in Iowa City.

"Bernie is great and he's always been on the right side of history," Buhr said when asked why she stands behind Sanders. She pointed to his work on civil rights as well as the senator's stance on LGBTQ rights and issues.

"He's a strong leader," Buhr added. "He's the kind of person we need with the current political discourse in America."

When asked if she agreed with critics who've suggested Sanders will struggle to win over women voters, Buhr referred to him as a "feminist" and said that "Bernie's platform has always been in support of women."

First-time voters for Bernie Sanders don't care about his age, say he speaks to what matters to them and would've voted for him in 2016 [ohn Haltiwanger/Business Insider]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Phil Roeder, CC-BY) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/overton-windows-r-us-2.html/feed 115 705079 Get certified in Cisco network security with this course http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/get-certified-in-cisco-network.html Sun, 10 Mar 2019 12:00:16 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=703397 Big systems need tight security - and the experts who can implement it. Cisco Networking Systems are the go-to providers for network infrastructure, but maintaining it takes a lot of up-to-date knowledge. If you want that knowledge right from the source, there's an online course that can get you certified painlessly: The Foundational Cisco CCNA Security Bundle.

In three comprehensive courses totaling 53 hours, you'll get the foundation that will not only allow you to install Cisco networking systems but maintain them in the face of today's cyber-threats. You'll learn the ins and outs of IPv4 and IPv6 networks, from the basics like LAN and router configuration to spanning tree and dynamic routing protocols. You'll then move on to the final lesson, which teaches how to deploy firewalls and other basic security measures - and how to route things in case of a breach. By the end, you'll be ready to ace the related exams and become a Cisco Certified Network Associate.

Lifetime access to the Foundational Cisco CCNA Security Bundle is now $29. Read the rest

]]> Big systems need tight security - and the experts who can implement it. Cisco Networking Systems are the go-to providers for network infrastructure, but maintaining it takes a lot of up-to-date knowledge. If you want that knowledge right from the source, there's an online course that can get you certified painlessly: The Foundational Cisco CCNA Security Bundle.

In three comprehensive courses totaling 53 hours, you'll get the foundation that will not only allow you to install Cisco networking systems but maintain them in the face of today's cyber-threats. You'll learn the ins and outs of IPv4 and IPv6 networks, from the basics like LAN and router configuration to spanning tree and dynamic routing protocols. You'll then move on to the final lesson, which teaches how to deploy firewalls and other basic security measures - and how to route things in case of a breach. By the end, you'll be ready to ace the related exams and become a Cisco Certified Network Associate.

Lifetime access to the Foundational Cisco CCNA Security Bundle is now $29.

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The strangest FOIA redactions (and FOIA releases) MuckRock has seen over the years http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/redacted.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/redacted.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2019 08:01:31 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704156 [Editor's note: We're happy to help our public record ninja friends at Muckrock celebrate Sunshine Week with this tribute to the censor's heavy hand -Cory]

After nine years and over 60,000 requests, MuckRock has been witness to some pretty impressive efforts to keep public information from the public. In the spirit of Sunshine Week, we’ve compiled some of the weirdest, wildest, and downright hilarious redactions we’ve received.

This looks like a job for ████████!

In a release of records related to Scientology, the FBI included a short, fictionalized dialogue between a former member of the Church and "the star reporter of The Daily Planet. Though the Bureau redacted the reporter’s name, citing their right to privacy, it’s not that hard to guess that our intrepid interviewer is Clark Kent - better known as the alter-ego of Superman.

The ever-vigilant FBI, keeping us safe from sunlight-seeking supervillains, yet again.

Office Politics

In response to a request for emails related to a now-infamous video showing FCC Chairman doing the Harlem Shake to downplay the importance Net Neutrality, the agency at first rejected the request in its entirety, saying that releasing that information would have a "chilling effect" on the FCC’s ability to perform its duties. After an appeal, the agency released redacted versions of the emails citing the same exemption. After that was appealed, the FCC, likely fearing a lawsuit, finally released unredacted copies revealing that it had spent the last year trying to prevent the release of an email that simply stated “Ok.”

Perhaps there were concerns that the period came off as passive-aggressive. Read the rest

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[Editor's note: We're happy to help our public record ninja friends at Muckrock celebrate Sunshine Week with this tribute to the censor's heavy hand -Cory]

After nine years and over 60,000 requests, MuckRock has been witness to some pretty impressive efforts to keep public information from the public. In the spirit of Sunshine Week, we’ve compiled some of the weirdest, wildest, and downright hilarious redactions we’ve received.

This looks like a job for ████████!

In a release of records related to Scientology, the FBI included a short, fictionalized dialogue between a former member of the Church and "the star reporter of The Daily Planet. Though the Bureau redacted the reporter’s name, citing their right to privacy, it’s not that hard to guess that our intrepid interviewer is Clark Kent - better known as the alter-ego of Superman.

null

The ever-vigilant FBI, keeping us safe from sunlight-seeking supervillains, yet again.

Office Politics

In response to a request for emails related to a now-infamous video showing FCC Chairman doing the Harlem Shake to downplay the importance Net Neutrality, the agency at first rejected the request in its entirety, saying that releasing that information would have a "chilling effect" on the FCC’s ability to perform its duties. After an appeal, the agency released redacted versions of the emails citing the same exemption. After that was appealed, the FCC, likely fearing a lawsuit, finally released unredacted copies revealing that it had spent the last year trying to prevent the release of an email that simply stated “Ok.”

null

Perhaps there were concerns that the period came off as passive-aggressive.

Why is it always the last place you look ...

After 17 months of exhaustive search, ICE closed out a FOIA request for memos related to President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, stating that no such records could be found.

null

While we can’t say for sure where ICE was looking during that year and a half, we do know where they didn’t check - their own website, where it turns out the documents had been posted in plain sight.

The Six Hundred Sixty Million FOIA Request

In response to a request for how many of a certain type of forensic device the Pentagon’s Office of the Secretary of Defense had in their possession, the Agency’s FOIA office responded that the only way to determine that would be to search every active contract. And since those contracts aren’t sufficiently configured for text search, and all contracts would have to be properly processed and redacted, that would take an estimated "15 million labor hours" and cost somewhere around $660 million.

null

While we unfortunately did not have the millions or millennium to spare, what we did have was a request for the same information sent to a different department in the Pentagon. That office sent an email to the actual person responsible for these devices, who physically checked and determined there were, in fact, three. The whole thing probably took about ten minutes. But hey, who among us hasn’t been off by a few centuries?

Lost and found and lost and found (but not anytime soon)

After activist Frank Wilkinson’s 132,000 page FBI file - released after a long and contentious lawsuit - went missing, a request was sent to the FBI for his records. After a puzzling initial response that they didn’t have anything, the FBI directed us to the National Archives - who in turn, told us to talk to the FBI. Finally, after months of back and forth, a NARA archivist was finally able to track down the material. But there was just one catch - if we wanted them released, we’d have to get bumped to the "second track" tier, which is capped out at 1000 pages a year. When asked to confirm is that meant re-releasing this previously released file would take over a century, the archived helpfully responded “quite about.”

null

Incidentally, there’s some fascinating caselaw around leaving FOIA requests to next of kin.

Of course, it’s not just the federal government that gets creative when it comes to the public records process. At the state and local level, we’ve seen ...


JPat Brown is the executive editor of MuckRock, a Massachusetts-based non-profit collaborative news site devoted to giving the public tools to keep our government transparent and accountable. ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/10/redacted.html/feed 10 704156 Living dinosaurs could be recreated within a decade, says paleontologist http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/living-dinosaurs-could-be-recr.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/living-dinosaurs-could-be-recr.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2019 02:06:55 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705072

Genetic research "could engineer dinosaurs back into existence" within a decade, according to the paleontologist who helped inspire Michael Chrichton's novel Jurassic Park.

Famed paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner, who’s been a consultant on all four films and is the real-life inspiration for Jurassic Park‘s dinosaur expert Dr. Alan Grant, believes we’re (optimistically) just five years away from genetically engineering a dinosaur.

When he first started advising Steven Spielbergthis link opens in a new tab, Horner and his colleagues believed the most viable way to bring a dino back to life was through tapping into ancient strands of genetic code. (The animated DNA cartoonthis link opens in a new tab from the first film does a good job of explaining where scientist’s heads were at 20 years ago.)

Read the rest]]>

Genetic research "could engineer dinosaurs back into existence" within a decade, according to the paleontologist who helped inspire Michael Chrichton's novel Jurassic Park.

Famed paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner, who’s been a consultant on all four films and is the real-life inspiration for Jurassic Park‘s dinosaur expert Dr. Alan Grant, believes we’re (optimistically) just five years away from genetically engineering a dinosaur.

When he first started advising Steven Spielbergthis link opens in a new tab, Horner and his colleagues believed the most viable way to bring a dino back to life was through tapping into ancient strands of genetic code. (The animated DNA cartoonthis link opens in a new tab from the first film does a good job of explaining where scientist’s heads were at 20 years ago.)

]]>
http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/living-dinosaurs-could-be-recr.html/feed 76 705072
Palmer Luckey wins secretive Pentagon contract to develop AI for drones http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/ibm-at-auschwitz-2.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/ibm-at-auschwitz-2.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:24:17 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705057 Palmer Luckey (previously) the alt-right financier who was made a billionaire by Mark Zuckerberg's decision to acquire his VR startup Oculus, is now running a Peter-Thiel-backed surveillance startup called Anduril Industries, which has won a contract to contribute to Project Maven, the Pentagon's controversial AI-for-drones system (Google's involvement in Project Maven sparked an employee uprising that ended with the relevant executives leaving the company and the contract being allowed to lapse).

Luckey's company won the contract after he made lavish contributions to the campaigns of Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans.

In an opinion column for the Washington Post, Luckey and Stephens sharply criticized Google for abandoning the U.S. government by rejecting Project Maven. “We understand that tech workers want to build things used to help, not harm,” the pair wrote. “We feel the same way. But ostracizing the U.S. military could have the opposite effect of what these protesters intend: If tech companies want to promote peace, they should stand with, not against, the United States’ defense community.”

What was left out of the column, however, was that, as the piece went to print, Anduril was beginning its own work on Project Maven.

In interviews and public appearances, Luckey slammed engineers for protesting government work, arguing that those claiming conscious opposition to military work are among a “vocal minority” that empowers American adversaries abroad. Moreover, he said that the Defense Department has failed to connect with top tech talent because many engineers are “stuck in Silicon Valley at companies that don’t want to work on national security.”

In Anduril, Luckey is presenting a company that is unapologetic about its work capturing immigrants or killing people on the battlefield.

Read the rest

]]>
Palmer Luckey (previously) the alt-right financier who was made a billionaire by Mark Zuckerberg's decision to acquire his VR startup Oculus, is now running a Peter-Thiel-backed surveillance startup called Anduril Industries, which has won a contract to contribute to Project Maven, the Pentagon's controversial AI-for-drones system (Google's involvement in Project Maven sparked an employee uprising that ended with the relevant executives leaving the company and the contract being allowed to lapse).

Luckey's company won the contract after he made lavish contributions to the campaigns of Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans.

In an opinion column for the Washington Post, Luckey and Stephens sharply criticized Google for abandoning the U.S. government by rejecting Project Maven. “We understand that tech workers want to build things used to help, not harm,” the pair wrote. “We feel the same way. But ostracizing the U.S. military could have the opposite effect of what these protesters intend: If tech companies want to promote peace, they should stand with, not against, the United States’ defense community.”

What was left out of the column, however, was that, as the piece went to print, Anduril was beginning its own work on Project Maven.

In interviews and public appearances, Luckey slammed engineers for protesting government work, arguing that those claiming conscious opposition to military work are among a “vocal minority” that empowers American adversaries abroad. Moreover, he said that the Defense Department has failed to connect with top tech talent because many engineers are “stuck in Silicon Valley at companies that don’t want to work on national security.”

In Anduril, Luckey is presenting a company that is unapologetic about its work capturing immigrants or killing people on the battlefield. The U.S., Luckey argued in a previous interviews, “has a really strong record of protecting human rights” and should be trusted to use AI without any ethical constraints.

“The biggest threats are not going to be Western democracies abusing these technologies,” he told the audience at the Web Summit in Lisbon. The real enemies are China and Russia, both of which have invested in AI military technology.

Defense Tech Startup Founded by Trump’s Most Prominent Silicon Valley Supporters Wins Secretive Military AI Contract [Lee Fang/The Intercept] ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/ibm-at-auschwitz-2.html/feed 27 705057 Pentagon reassures public that its autonomous robotic tank adheres to "legal and ethical standards" for AI-driven killbots http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/atlas-shot.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/atlas-shot.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:12:39 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705053 The Pentagon is seeking bids to improve its Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) so that it can "acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process."

When this public tender sparked concern that the Pentagon's autonomous tanks were gaining automated targeting and firing capabilities -- that is, that they would be autonomous killbots -- the Pentagon updated the tender to reassure critics that "development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms, remain subject to the guidelines in the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 3000.09" and that "All uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence in this program will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with DoD legal and ethical standards."

Why does any of this matter? The Department of Defense Directive 3000.09, requires that humans be able to “exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force,” meaning that the U.S. won’t toss a fully autonomous robot into a battlefield and allow it to decide independently whether to kill someone. This safeguard is sometimes called being “in the loop,” meaning that a human is making the final decision about whether to kill someone.

U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy [Matt Novak/Gizmodo]

(via JWZ) Read the rest

]]> The Pentagon is seeking bids to improve its Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) so that it can "acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process."

When this public tender sparked concern that the Pentagon's autonomous tanks were gaining automated targeting and firing capabilities -- that is, that they would be autonomous killbots -- the Pentagon updated the tender to reassure critics that "development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms, remain subject to the guidelines in the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 3000.09" and that "All uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence in this program will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with DoD legal and ethical standards."

Why does any of this matter? The Department of Defense Directive 3000.09, requires that humans be able to “exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force,” meaning that the U.S. won’t toss a fully autonomous robot into a battlefield and allow it to decide independently whether to kill someone. This safeguard is sometimes called being “in the loop,” meaning that a human is making the final decision about whether to kill someone.

U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy [Matt Novak/Gizmodo]

(via JWZ) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/atlas-shot.html/feed 66 705053 Creative Adversarial Networks: GANs that make art http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/novelty-discerner.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/novelty-discerner.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:06:45 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705050 Generative Adversarial Networks use a pair of machine-learning models to create things that seem very realistic: one of the models, the "generator," uses its training data to make new things; and the other, the "discerner," checks the generator's output to see if it conforms to the model.

Rutgers comp sci prof Ahmed Elgammal runs an Art and AI Lab where they use "Creative Adversarial Networks" to produce new artworks: CANs use a "discerner" that seeks out "novelty," not fidelity to the statistical predictions of the model. The underlying theory is that art evolves "through small alterations to a known style that produce a new one," which, as Ian Bogost (previously) points out, is "a convenient take, given that any machine-learning technique has to base its work on a specific training set."

Elgammal recent exhibited a show called Faceless Portraits Transcending Time at Chelsea's HG Contemporary gallery; and his choice of portraiture as a means of showcasing the capabilities of CANs has proven to be controversial: as art historian John Sharp says, "You can’t really pick a form of painting that’s more charged with cultural meaning than portraiture." Portraits use extensive, coded symbology to say something about their subjects, and CANs do not, by themselves, understand or correctly use these symbols in the works they create.

Despite the controversy, a large number of Elgammal's prints have sold (admittedly at rock-bottom-for-Chelsea prices of $6k-$18k).

“You can’t really pick a form of painting that’s more charged with cultural meaning than portraiture,” John Sharp, an art historian trained in 15th-century Italian painting and the director of the M.F.A.

Read the rest

]]> Generative Adversarial Networks use a pair of machine-learning models to create things that seem very realistic: one of the models, the "generator," uses its training data to make new things; and the other, the "discerner," checks the generator's output to see if it conforms to the model.

Rutgers comp sci prof Ahmed Elgammal runs an Art and AI Lab where they use "Creative Adversarial Networks" to produce new artworks: CANs use a "discerner" that seeks out "novelty," not fidelity to the statistical predictions of the model. The underlying theory is that art evolves "through small alterations to a known style that produce a new one," which, as Ian Bogost (previously) points out, is "a convenient take, given that any machine-learning technique has to base its work on a specific training set."

Elgammal recent exhibited a show called Faceless Portraits Transcending Time at Chelsea's HG Contemporary gallery; and his choice of portraiture as a means of showcasing the capabilities of CANs has proven to be controversial: as art historian John Sharp says, "You can’t really pick a form of painting that’s more charged with cultural meaning than portraiture." Portraits use extensive, coded symbology to say something about their subjects, and CANs do not, by themselves, understand or correctly use these symbols in the works they create.

Despite the controversy, a large number of Elgammal's prints have sold (admittedly at rock-bottom-for-Chelsea prices of $6k-$18k).

“You can’t really pick a form of painting that’s more charged with cultural meaning than portraiture,” John Sharp, an art historian trained in 15th-century Italian painting and the director of the M.F.A. program in design and technology at Parsons School of Design, told me. The portrait isn’t just a style, it’s also a host for symbolism. “For example, men might be shown with an open book to show how they are in dialogue with that material; or a writing implement, to suggest authority; or a weapon, to evince power.” Take Portrait of a Youth Holding an Arrow, an early-16th-century Boltraffio portrait that helped train the AICAN database for the show. The painting depicts a young man, believed to be the Bolognese poet Girolamo Casio, holding an arrow at an angle in his fingers and across his chest. It doubles as both weapon and quill, a potent symbol of poetry and aristocracy alike. Along with the arrow, the laurels in Casio’s hair are emblems of Apollo, the god of both poetry and archery.

A neural net couldn’t infer anything about the particular symbolic trappings of the Renaissance or antiquity—unless it was taught to, and that wouldn’t happen just by showing it lots of portraits. For Sharp and other critics of computer-generated art, the result betrays an unforgivable ignorance about the supposed influence of the source material.

The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here [Ian Bogost/The Atlantic]

(via Beyond the Beyond) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/novelty-discerner.html/feed 6 705050 Improve your PC's performance with this top-rated software http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/improve-your-pcs-performance.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/improve-your-pcs-performance.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:00:14 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=703401 Computer slowing down? There are a ton of reasons why that might be, especially if your unit has a few years on it. Junk files and programs can accumulate over time, some even left over from otherwise uninstalled software. This virtual debris can slow your PC down dramatically, but there's a surprisingly quick fix. Lauded by Softpedia and others, CleanMyPC is a complete systems tune-up and overhaul.

The older your computer is, in fact, the better it works. CleanMyPC combs every inch of your PC, looking for junk files, Windows Registry clutter and unnecessary auto-run programs that can slow down your startup. With a quick OK, it removes them all, along with your search history and cache - even old unwanted background files left behind by uninstalled software. All this results in a leaner, faster version of your PC. (And a safer one too, considering CleanMyPC disposes of these files completely, making them inaccessible to hackers.)

Right now, you can pick up CleanMyPC for $19.99, nearly half off the list price. Read the rest

]]> Computer slowing down? There are a ton of reasons why that might be, especially if your unit has a few years on it. Junk files and programs can accumulate over time, some even left over from otherwise uninstalled software. This virtual debris can slow your PC down dramatically, but there's a surprisingly quick fix. Lauded by Softpedia and others, CleanMyPC is a complete systems tune-up and overhaul.

The older your computer is, in fact, the better it works. CleanMyPC combs every inch of your PC, looking for junk files, Windows Registry clutter and unnecessary auto-run programs that can slow down your startup. With a quick OK, it removes them all, along with your search history and cache - even old unwanted background files left behind by uninstalled software. All this results in a leaner, faster version of your PC. (And a safer one too, considering CleanMyPC disposes of these files completely, making them inaccessible to hackers.)

Right now, you can pick up CleanMyPC for $19.99, nearly half off the list price.

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Elizabeth Warren reveals her plan to break up Big Tech http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/platform-utilities.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/platform-utilities.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 12:53:04 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705047 Would-be Democratic Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren (I've donated to her campaign, as well as Bernie Sanders') has published her latest policy prescription: a plan to break up Big Tech monopolists to protect the public's privacy and the interests of small-business competitors.

Under Warren's plan, large tech companies (with more than $25b in global revenues) would be designated "platform utilities" and would be required to give all commercial users "fair, reasonable and nondiscrimatory" access to their services, and the owners of these utilities would be prohibited from participating in their marketplaces -- that would mean, for example, that Amazon would have to accept all sellers on the same terms, and would not be allowed to sell its own products to compete with them.

Companies with annual global revenues of $99m-$25b would also be platform utilities, but would be permitted to sell on their own platforms.

Enforcement would come through a right for state Attorneys General and private parties to sue platforms for violating the deal, "to enjoin any conduct that violates these requirements, to disgorge any ill-gotten gains, and to be paid for losses and damages." Violators will face statutory damages of 5% of global revenues.

Next, Warren will force tech giants to divest themselves of former competitors that they acquired: Amazon would have to sell off Zappos and Whole Foods; Facebook would have to sell of Instagram and Whatsapp; and Google would have to sell off Waze, Doubleclick and Nest.

Then there's a bunch more squishy stuff, like "we must ensure that Russia?—?or any other foreign power?—?can’t use Facebook or any other form of social media to influence our elections" and "We must help America’s content creators?—?from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians?—?keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook" (this rhetoric is scarily similar to the notional basis for Europe's terrible Article 13 proposal, but there are some ways to imagine it going well, if we keep in mind that enriching media companies has little relationship to enriching creators). Read the rest

]]>
Would-be Democratic Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren (I've donated to her campaign, as well as Bernie Sanders') has published her latest policy prescription: a plan to break up Big Tech monopolists to protect the public's privacy and the interests of small-business competitors.

Under Warren's plan, large tech companies (with more than $25b in global revenues) would be designated "platform utilities" and would be required to give all commercial users "fair, reasonable and nondiscrimatory" access to their services, and the owners of these utilities would be prohibited from participating in their marketplaces -- that would mean, for example, that Amazon would have to accept all sellers on the same terms, and would not be allowed to sell its own products to compete with them.

Companies with annual global revenues of $99m-$25b would also be platform utilities, but would be permitted to sell on their own platforms.

Enforcement would come through a right for state Attorneys General and private parties to sue platforms for violating the deal, "to enjoin any conduct that violates these requirements, to disgorge any ill-gotten gains, and to be paid for losses and damages." Violators will face statutory damages of 5% of global revenues.

Next, Warren will force tech giants to divest themselves of former competitors that they acquired: Amazon would have to sell off Zappos and Whole Foods; Facebook would have to sell of Instagram and Whatsapp; and Google would have to sell off Waze, Doubleclick and Nest.

Then there's a bunch more squishy stuff, like "we must ensure that Russia?—?or any other foreign power?—?can’t use Facebook or any other form of social media to influence our elections" and "We must help America’s content creators?—?from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians?—?keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook" (this rhetoric is scarily similar to the notional basis for Europe's terrible Article 13 proposal, but there are some ways to imagine it going well, if we keep in mind that enriching media companies has little relationship to enriching creators).

This proposal sits pretty neatly alongside Warren's other recent policy prescriptions, like an annual tax on household wealth over $50m and empowering the US government to manufacture generic drugs.

So what would the Internet look like after all these reforms?

Here’s what won’t change: You’ll still be able to go on Google and search like you do today. You’ll still be able to go on Amazon and find 30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days. You’ll still be able to go on Facebook and see how your old friend from school is doing.

Here’s what will change: Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business. Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy. Tech entrepreneurs would have a fighting chance to compete against the tech giants.

Here’s how we can break up Big Tech [Elizabeth Warren/Medium]

(Image: Tim Pierce, CC-BY-SA) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/platform-utilities.html/feed 53 705047 The US requires visas for some EU citizens, so now all US citizens visiting the EU will be subjected to border formalities too http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/pwning-the-libs.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/pwning-the-libs.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 12:31:42 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705042 Many countries around the world have a policy of reciprocal border treatment -- I once traveled to Uganda and the visa payment demanded at the border varied on your citizenship, based on what your country charged Ugandans to travel there; likewise, after the US started fingerprinting visitors, Brazil starting fingerprinting Americans (and only Americans!) at the border.

The EU, though, is a slightly different matter. Its 28 member-states, with 500,000,000 residents, are bound together in a (sometimes frayed and imperfect) solidarity pact. The USA has decided that citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus -- some of the EU's poorest states (mostly ex-Eastern Bloc states) -- need visas, and as of 2021 all US visitors to the core group of 26 "Schengen" EU states will need to apply for a visa visa-like entry paperwork before they are allowed to enter.

To apply for the ETIAS, US citizens will need a valid passport, an email account and a credit or debit card, the EU said. Minors, the website said, will still only need their normal passports to travel after the visas go into effect.

The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen Area as many times as necessary. On the ETIAS website, the European Union said it "has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism."

United States citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021 [Lauren M. Read the rest

]]> Many countries around the world have a policy of reciprocal border treatment -- I once traveled to Uganda and the visa payment demanded at the border varied on your citizenship, based on what your country charged Ugandans to travel there; likewise, after the US started fingerprinting visitors, Brazil starting fingerprinting Americans (and only Americans!) at the border.

The EU, though, is a slightly different matter. Its 28 member-states, with 500,000,000 residents, are bound together in a (sometimes frayed and imperfect) solidarity pact. The USA has decided that citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus -- some of the EU's poorest states (mostly ex-Eastern Bloc states) -- need visas, and as of 2021 all US visitors to the core group of 26 "Schengen" EU states will need to apply for a visa visa-like entry paperwork before they are allowed to enter.

To apply for the ETIAS, US citizens will need a valid passport, an email account and a credit or debit card, the EU said. Minors, the website said, will still only need their normal passports to travel after the visas go into effect.

The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen Area as many times as necessary. On the ETIAS website, the European Union said it "has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism."

United States citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021 [Lauren M. Johnson and Madeline Holcombe/CNN]

(Image: Frogsprog, CC-BY-SA)

(Thanks, Kathy Padilla!)]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/09/pwning-the-libs.html/feed 62 705042 I'm streaming a couple hours of 'Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic' http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/im-streaming-a-couple-hours.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/im-streaming-a-couple-hours.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 03:57:10 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705028

Watch me fail as a Jedi.

Considered one of the greatest videogames of all-time, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic won game of the year in 2003.

Are you bored too? Spark a J, grab a drink, and join me in Twitch Chat. We can pick a super silly Star Wars name, pop off in every conversation, and fall to the dark side!

Seriously, KOTOR has some great Star Wars storytelling. There is an awful lot in this video game that turned up in later Star Wars media. Darth Revan is probably the most awesome Sith.

Xbox has "enhanced" versions of a number of classic games, and I'm going to be playing through a few of them over the next few weeks. Testing has shown that KOTOR looks pretty great via Twitch. Halo CE Anniversary Enhanced is a must play.

Jason's Twitch channel will be active from 8pm til who knows when.

Update: Signed off at 11:56pm. Got as far as needing to rescue the Wookie. I will absolutely pick this up again. The game is still wonderful. It hurts to sit in a chair for that long. Read the rest

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Watch me fail as a Jedi.

Considered one of the greatest videogames of all-time, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic won game of the year in 2003.


Are you bored too? Spark a J, grab a drink, and join me in Twitch Chat. We can pick a super silly Star Wars name, pop off in every conversation, and fall to the dark side!

Seriously, KOTOR has some great Star Wars storytelling. There is an awful lot in this video game that turned up in later Star Wars media. Darth Revan is probably the most awesome Sith.

Xbox has "enhanced" versions of a number of classic games, and I'm going to be playing through a few of them over the next few weeks. Testing has shown that KOTOR looks pretty great via Twitch. Halo CE Anniversary Enhanced is a must play.

Jason's Twitch channel will be active from 8pm til who knows when.


Update: Signed off at 11:56pm. Got as far as needing to rescue the Wookie. I will absolutely pick this up again. The game is still wonderful. It hurts to sit in a chair for that long.

]]>
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Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts for faking his assault http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/jussie-smollett-indicted-on-16.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/jussie-smollett-indicted-on-16.html#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 02:28:42 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=705018 A grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting that he was assaulted by two men who, he claimed, targeted the Empire actor because he is black and gay. The two men later told police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack as a publicity stunt that Smollett hoped would land him a raise. Smollett will be arraigned on Tuesday. From the Chicago Sun Times:

The indictment, which was made public on Friday, cites Smollett with disorderly conduct for each crime he said he had suffered, with separate counts related to statements he made the night of Jan. 29 to a police officer, and then for repeating the same account to a detective the same night. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under Illinois law...

In a statement, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos said while the indictment is “not unexpected…What is unexpected however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts.”

“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”

Read the rest

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A grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting that he was assaulted by two men who, he claimed, targeted the Empire actor because he is black and gay. The two men later told police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack as a publicity stunt that Smollett hoped would land him a raise. Smollett will be arraigned on Tuesday. From the Chicago Sun Times:

The indictment, which was made public on Friday, cites Smollett with disorderly conduct for each crime he said he had suffered, with separate counts related to statements he made the night of Jan. 29 to a police officer, and then for repeating the same account to a detective the same night. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under Illinois law...

In a statement, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos said while the indictment is “not unexpected…What is unexpected however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts.”

“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”

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These prism binoculars are supercheap with promo code http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/these-prism-binoculars-are-sup.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/these-prism-binoculars-are-sup.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 21:09:39 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704999 Carla and I are going to see the Rolling Stones in concert and I wanted to get a pair of binoculars. I found these highly rated ones on Amazon and I used a promo code and the price was ridiculously cheap. I tried to get two, but the promo code only works once. Here it is: 59R9OFAO Read the rest

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Carla and I are going to see the Rolling Stones in concert and I wanted to get a pair of binoculars. I found these highly rated ones on Amazon and I used a promo code and the price was ridiculously cheap. I tried to get two, but the promo code only works once. Here it is: 59R9OFAO

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When you are ready to go home http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/when-you-are-ready-to-get-out.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/when-you-are-ready-to-get-out.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:49:27 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704993 Let's get this done and get home. No time for lollygagging.

This “Pup knows what he's about.”

Pup knows what he's about.

Read the rest

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Let's get this done and get home. No time for lollygagging.

This “Pup knows what he's about.”

Pup knows what he's about.

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Texas judge told a jury that God personally told him that a sex trafficking defendant should be acquitted http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/texas-judge-told-a-jury-that-g.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/texas-judge-told-a-jury-that-g.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:39:09 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704984 Texas district judge Jack Robison told a jury that his god told him to tell a jury to acquit a sex trafficking defendant. The jury was not persuaded and found Gloria Romero Perez guilty. The Texas Judicial Commission issued a warning to Judge Robinson but took no further action against him.

From CNN:

Robison testified before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct last month, and the commission released its warning on February 20.

The court documents show that Robison furnished letters from medical professionals to the judicial conduct panel, which concluded that Robison was not currently suffering from a mental illness.

The doctors determined Robison's actions were driven by delirium, a "temporary, episodic medical condition," according to the court papers. The doctors argued Robison's "fitness for duty" was not impaired.

Image: CNN Read the rest

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Texas district judge Jack Robison told a jury that his god told him to tell a jury to acquit a sex trafficking defendant. The jury was not persuaded and found Gloria Romero Perez guilty. The Texas Judicial Commission issued a warning to Judge Robinson but took no further action against him.

From CNN:

Robison testified before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct last month, and the commission released its warning on February 20.

The court documents show that Robison furnished letters from medical professionals to the judicial conduct panel, which concluded that Robison was not currently suffering from a mental illness.

The doctors determined Robison's actions were driven by delirium, a "temporary, episodic medical condition," according to the court papers. The doctors argued Robison's "fitness for duty" was not impaired.

Image: CNN

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ICE is detaining 50,000 people under Trump, an all-time high http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/ice-is-detaining-50000-people.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/ice-is-detaining-50000-people.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:32:23 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704977 For the first time in our nation's history, the United States government is detaining over 50,000 people it claims to be undocumented immigrants in jails, prisons, and makeshift detention camps across America.

From reporting by Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast:

According to a figure provided to Capitol Hill and made available to The Daily Beast, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has set a new all-time record – the latest in its string of broken records of immigrants detained – is 50,049 people as of Wednesday, Mar. 6. The figure includes both single adults and whole families behind bars.

It’s an increase of approximately 2,000 people in the month-plus since Jan. 30, when ICE, it previously told The Daily Beast, was detaining 48,088 people. And it’s just another 2,000 people shy of the 52,000-person daily detentions ICE is asking Congress to fund in its next budget.

Asked what accounts for the increase, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said in a statement: “ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates. Ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE’s overall mission.”

It isn’t clear where ICE would have found the money for the increase.

Read the rest]]>
For the first time in our nation's history, the United States government is detaining over 50,000 people it claims to be undocumented immigrants in jails, prisons, and makeshift detention camps across America.

From reporting by Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast:

According to a figure provided to Capitol Hill and made available to The Daily Beast, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has set a new all-time record – the latest in its string of broken records of immigrants detained – is 50,049 people as of Wednesday, Mar. 6. The figure includes both single adults and whole families behind bars.

It’s an increase of approximately 2,000 people in the month-plus since Jan. 30, when ICE, it previously told The Daily Beast, was detaining 48,088 people. And it’s just another 2,000 people shy of the 52,000-person daily detentions ICE is asking Congress to fund in its next budget.

Asked what accounts for the increase, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said in a statement: “ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates. Ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE’s overall mission.”

It isn’t clear where ICE would have found the money for the increase. A year ago, when passing ICE’s most recent budget, legislators explicitly instructed the interior-immigration agency to cap detentions at 40,520. Instead, by the summer ICE had surpassed that total, leading its Department of Homeland Security parent to raid its other accounts, including FEMA, to float ICE. A Senate appropriator – the last sort of person an executive agency wishes to anger come budget season – called ICE out for continuing a policy of “maximum cruelty.”

Read the rest here: ICE Is Detaining 50,000 People, a New All-Time High [daily beast].

Related observations from Twitter, below.

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Bob Ross through Google's DeepDream http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/bob-ross-through-googles-dee.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/bob-ross-through-googles-dee.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:24:58 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704930

DeepDream is AI software developed by Google to identify things it finds in images. Most people know it for the way it turns photos and videos into hallucinatory kaleidoscopic nightmares, in which faces of creatures inexplicably appear in clothing, rocks, clouds, or anything with a pattern or texture.

Alexander Reben made good use of DeepDream in an episode of Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting. My favorite part is where Bob is petting some little animal in his hand. It changes into a different kind of monstrosity with every frame.

Images: YouTube Read the rest

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DeepDream is AI software developed by Google to identify things it finds in images. Most people know it for the way it turns photos and videos into hallucinatory kaleidoscopic nightmares, in which faces of creatures inexplicably appear in clothing, rocks, clouds, or anything with a pattern or texture.

Alexander Reben made good use of DeepDream in an episode of Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting. My favorite part is where Bob is petting some little animal in his hand. It changes into a different kind of monstrosity with every frame.

Images: YouTube

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Star Wars Clone Wars to return in 2019 http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/star-wars-clone-wars-to-return.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/star-wars-clone-wars-to-return.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:23:05 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704974

This trailer for 12 soon-to-be-released new episodes of Star Wars long-canceled Clone Wars punched me in the gut and then gave me hope. I can not wait to see these missing chapters. Read the rest

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This trailer for 12 soon-to-be-released new episodes of Star Wars long-canceled Clone Wars punched me in the gut and then gave me hope. I can not wait to see these missing chapters.

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Groggy cats recovering from anesthesia are pretty funny http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/groggy-cats-recovering-from-an.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/groggy-cats-recovering-from-an.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:22:04 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704971 These kitties are coming off of anesthesia, and their tongues are hanging out kind of adorably.

“Quick pet their soft bellies while they can’t defend themselves.”

Cats recovering from anesthesia

Read the rest

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These kitties are coming off of anesthesia, and their tongues are hanging out kind of adorably.

“Quick pet their soft bellies while they can’t defend themselves.”

Cats recovering from anesthesia

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Alleged human sex trafficker gave thousands to Trump campaign and hung out with Don Jr. at Mar-a-Lago http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/accused-human-sex-trafficker-g.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/accused-human-sex-trafficker-g.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 19:59:41 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704948 ?? Li Yang, aka Cindy Yang, 45, with Donald Trump at the Super Bowl, rooting for the Patriots. Just 2 weeks later, authorities charged team owner Robert Kraft with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter, Florida that was founded by Yang.

The Miami Herald headline reads, “Trump cheered Patriots to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where Kraft was busted,” but the alterate headline suggested by @joshrogin gets straight to the point: “Alleged human trafficker gave thousands to Trump campaign and hung out with Don Jr. at Mar-a-Lago.”

The famed strip mall massage spa founded by Li Yang, also known as Cindy Yang, was located only about half an hour away from Mar-a-Lago.

Does Trump know her? Or is that just his taking-photos-with-fans face? Who knows.

From the report by Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, and Caitlin Ostroff, which is absolutely bonkers:

Seated at a round table littered with party favors and the paper-cutout footballs that have become tradition at his annual Super Bowl Watch Party, President Donald Trump cheered the New England Patriots and his longtime friend, team owner Robert Kraft, to victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3.

Sometime during the party at Trump’s West Palm Beach country club, the president turned in his chair to look over his right shoulder, smiling for a photo with two women at a table behind him.

The woman who snapped the blurry Super Bowl selfie with the president was Li Yang, 45, a self-made entrepreneur from China who started a chain of Asian day spas in South Florida.

Read the rest]]>
?? Li Yang, aka Cindy Yang, 45, with Donald Trump at the Super Bowl, rooting for the Patriots. Just 2 weeks later, authorities charged team owner Robert Kraft with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter, Florida that was founded by Yang.

The Miami Herald headline reads, “Trump cheered Patriots to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where Kraft was busted,” but the alterate headline suggested by @joshrogin gets straight to the point: “Alleged human trafficker gave thousands to Trump campaign and hung out with Don Jr. at Mar-a-Lago.”

The famed strip mall massage spa founded by Li Yang, also known as Cindy Yang, was located only about half an hour away from Mar-a-Lago.

Does Trump know her? Or is that just his taking-photos-with-fans face? Who knows.

MIAMI HERALD: 'Cindy Yang poses with President Donald Trump at a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on March 2, 2018. She received a signed photograph. A flyer for the event advertised a “reception, photo and two seats for a dinner with President Trump” for a donation of $50,000.'

From the report by Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, and Caitlin Ostroff, which is absolutely bonkers:

Seated at a round table littered with party favors and the paper-cutout footballs that have become tradition at his annual Super Bowl Watch Party, President Donald Trump cheered the New England Patriots and his longtime friend, team owner Robert Kraft, to victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3.

Sometime during the party at Trump’s West Palm Beach country club, the president turned in his chair to look over his right shoulder, smiling for a photo with two women at a table behind him.

The woman who snapped the blurry Super Bowl selfie with the president was Li Yang, 45, a self-made entrepreneur from China who started a chain of Asian day spas in South Florida. Over the years, these establishments — many of which operate under the name Tokyo Day Spas — have gained a reputation for offering sexual services.

Nineteen days after Trump and Yang posed together while rooting for the Patriots, authorities would charge Kraft with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter that Yang had founded more than a decade earlier.

The reporting goes on to document Yang's “considerable political largesse,” revealing that since 2017, she and family members contributed more than $42,000 to Trump Victory, a political action committee, and more than $16,000 to the president’s campaign.

In February 2018, Yang was invited by the White House to participate in an event hosted by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative, an advisory commission Trump established by executive order the year before. Later in the year, she attended at least two more AAPI events in Washington D.C., according to her Facebook page.

The White House, the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.

Read the rest of the article.

Here she is below, with Sarah Palin, Matt Gaetz, and in another shot on social media with future Florida GOP governor Ron De Santis.

MIAMI HERALD: 'Future Florida governor Ron DeSantis (center) attended a pro-Israel gala at Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 25, 2018. The event was also attended by Cindy Yang (far left). Tickets cost $1,000 per person, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.'

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A machine-learning system that guesses whether text was produced by machine-learning systems http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/gpt-2-vs-gpt-2.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/gpt-2-vs-gpt-2.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 19:50:19 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704956 Gltr is an MIT-IBM Watson Lab/Harvard NLP joint project that analyzes texts and predicts whether that text was generated by a machine-learning model.

Automatically produced texts use language models derived from statistical analysis of vast corpuses of human-generated text to produce machine-generated texts that can be very hard for a human to distinguish from text produced by another human. These models could help malicious actors in many ways, including generating convincing spam, reviews, and comments -- so it's really important to develop tools that can help us distinguish between human-generated and machine-generated texts.

Gltr uses Open AI's GPT-2 117M language model, which is also widely used by text-generating models. Gltr looks for texts that fit the GPT-2 model too well, on the basis that texts produced by humans nearly always have "surprising" word combinations that are considered highly unlikely by GPT-2's lights. In other words, if a text seems too human, it's probably machine generated.

It's not hard to think of ways to defeat this tactic: GPT-2 could be modified to inject some random word-choices that roughed up the otherwise overly smooth statistical model; but Gltr relies on human beings to review the scores it gives to text, producing confidence scores that pop up when you hover your mouse over a word in a candidate text. This makes it harder to trick Gltr with random words, but it also means that Gltr is hard to scale up to analyzing large volumes of information, like all the tweets under a popular hashtag. Read the rest

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Gltr is an MIT-IBM Watson Lab/Harvard NLP joint project that analyzes texts and predicts whether that text was generated by a machine-learning model.

Automatically produced texts use language models derived from statistical analysis of vast corpuses of human-generated text to produce machine-generated texts that can be very hard for a human to distinguish from text produced by another human. These models could help malicious actors in many ways, including generating convincing spam, reviews, and comments -- so it's really important to develop tools that can help us distinguish between human-generated and machine-generated texts.

Gltr uses Open AI's GPT-2 117M language model, which is also widely used by text-generating models. Gltr looks for texts that fit the GPT-2 model too well, on the basis that texts produced by humans nearly always have "surprising" word combinations that are considered highly unlikely by GPT-2's lights. In other words, if a text seems too human, it's probably machine generated.

It's not hard to think of ways to defeat this tactic: GPT-2 could be modified to inject some random word-choices that roughed up the otherwise overly smooth statistical model; but Gltr relies on human beings to review the scores it gives to text, producing confidence scores that pop up when you hover your mouse over a word in a candidate text. This makes it harder to trick Gltr with random words, but it also means that Gltr is hard to scale up to analyzing large volumes of information, like all the tweets under a popular hashtag.

Even without the benefit of scale, there are some intriguing possibilities for integrating Gltr with a browser: you could toggle it on when you encountered a text that you were suspicious of and use its analysis to help you make up your own mind.

While it is possible to paste any text into the tool, we provided some examples of fake and real texts. Notice that the fraction of red and purple words, i.e. unlikely predictions, increases when you move to the real texts. Moreover, we found that the informative snippets within a text almost always appear in red or purple since these "surprising" terms carry the message of the text.

By hovering over a word in the display, a small box presents the top 5 predicted words, their associated probabilities, as well as the position of the following word. It is a fun exercise to look into what a model would have predicted.

Finally, the tool shows three different histograms that aggregate the information over the whole text. The first one demonstrates how many words of each category appear in the text. The second one illustrates the ratio between the probabilities of the top predicted word and the following word. The last histogram shows the distribution over the entropies of the predictions. A low uncertainty implies that the model was very confident of each prediction, whereas a high uncertainty implies uncertainty. You can observe that for the academic text input, the uncertainty is generally higher than the samples from the model.

Catching a Unicorn with GLTR: A tool to detect automatically generated text [GLTR.IO]

(via Four Short Links) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/gpt-2-vs-gpt-2.html/feed 7 704956 Facebook won't accept ads for Hump, Dan Savage's delightful homebrew porno film-festival http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/fuck-facebook.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/fuck-facebook.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 19:47:44 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704952 Hump is a festival showcasing homemade pornographic shorts (5 minutes or less), created by beloved sex- and relationship-advice columnist Dan Savage (the guy who made Rick Santorum's name synonymous with the residue of lube, semen and fecal matter produced by anal sex; and who created the "It Gets Better and Impeach the Motherfucker Already campaigns).

Hump is in its 14th year, and has only gone from strength to strength, celebrating sex-positivity for all bodies, gender expressions and identities. I saw it last week in Los Angeles and it was fantastic, and as Savage points out, the best part was the audience reactions, which are warm and appreciative and enthusiastic.

However, Hump is largely dependent on targeted Facebook ads for ticket sales, and thanks to Facebook's overreaction to the admittedly terrible SESTA/FOSTA law passed by the US Congress in 2018, it will not accept ads for the festival any longer, despite the fact that the ads themselves are G-rated and are only targeted at adults.

Facebook is terrible, SESTA/FOSTA is terrible, but Hump is literally amazeballs (and amaze-everything-else). It might be coming to your town! You should go see it! Tell your friends!

The HUMP! Film Festival has been bringing audiences a new kind of porn since 2005. The festival features short dirty movies—each less than five minutes—all created by people who aren’t porn stars but want to be one for a weekend. The filmmakers and stars show us what they think is hot and sexy, creative and kinky, their ultimate turn-ons and their craziest fantasies.

Read the rest

]]> Hump is a festival showcasing homemade pornographic shorts (5 minutes or less), created by beloved sex- and relationship-advice columnist Dan Savage (the guy who made Rick Santorum's name synonymous with the residue of lube, semen and fecal matter produced by anal sex; and who created the "It Gets Better and Impeach the Motherfucker Already campaigns).

Hump is in its 14th year, and has only gone from strength to strength, celebrating sex-positivity for all bodies, gender expressions and identities. I saw it last week in Los Angeles and it was fantastic, and as Savage points out, the best part was the audience reactions, which are warm and appreciative and enthusiastic.

However, Hump is largely dependent on targeted Facebook ads for ticket sales, and thanks to Facebook's overreaction to the admittedly terrible SESTA/FOSTA law passed by the US Congress in 2018, it will not accept ads for the festival any longer, despite the fact that the ads themselves are G-rated and are only targeted at adults.

Facebook is terrible, SESTA/FOSTA is terrible, but Hump is literally amazeballs (and amaze-everything-else). It might be coming to your town! You should go see it! Tell your friends!

The HUMP! Film Festival has been bringing audiences a new kind of porn since 2005. The festival features short dirty movies—each less than five minutes—all created by people who aren’t porn stars but want to be one for a weekend. The filmmakers and stars show us what they think is hot and sexy, creative and kinky, their ultimate turn-ons and their craziest fantasies. Our carefully curated program is a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. HUMP! is a celebration of creative sexual expression. You will see films at HUMP! that shock you. You will see films at HUMP! that make you laugh. And you will see films at HUMP! that turn you on. You will also be touched by the sincerity and vulnerability with which these films are lovingly made. HUMP!’s main mission is to change the way America sees—and makes and shares—porn.

Hump Film Festival ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/fuck-facebook.html/feed 9 704952 Millions of Americans have left Facebook, led by young people aged 12-34 http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/strong-with-over-55s.html http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/strong-with-over-55s.html#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2019 19:43:08 +0000 http://www.6727852.com/?p=704949 A new report from Edison Research finds Facebook's American user-base contracted for the second consecutive year in 2018, shrinking by 15,000,000, and that the biggest declines have come from the coveted 12-34 year old group.

However -- cue sad trombone -- is that large numbers of these people have shifted to using Instagram, which Facebook owns. Facebook recently announced that it would be merging the back-ends of Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, facilitating unified tracking and targeting across all three services.

Facebook did grow among adults over 55.

Facebook has consistently touted growth, despite these figures; Edison Research president Larry Rosin speculates that Facebook is using some combination of measuring global users (rather than US users) and a very loose definition of "active user" to artificially inflate its figures.

Adams: But if we look at Facebook's earnings report, they are still reporting an increasing number of active users. What's behind the difference between what the company is saying and what your survey found?

Rosin: When they're producing those numbers, they're typically talking about their global platform. This is a survey just of the USA. Furthermore, we're asking about usage. We're saying, "Do you currently use Facebook?" Facebook is probably measuring it on, “Do you ever open the app, or do you ever use it on any level?”

U.S. users are leaving Facebook by the millions, Edison Research says [Kimberly Adams/Marketplace]

(via /.) Read the rest

]]> A new report from Edison Research finds Facebook's American user-base contracted for the second consecutive year in 2018, shrinking by 15,000,000, and that the biggest declines have come from the coveted 12-34 year old group.

However -- cue sad trombone -- is that large numbers of these people have shifted to using Instagram, which Facebook owns. Facebook recently announced that it would be merging the back-ends of Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, facilitating unified tracking and targeting across all three services.

Facebook did grow among adults over 55.

Facebook has consistently touted growth, despite these figures; Edison Research president Larry Rosin speculates that Facebook is using some combination of measuring global users (rather than US users) and a very loose definition of "active user" to artificially inflate its figures.

Adams: But if we look at Facebook's earnings report, they are still reporting an increasing number of active users. What's behind the difference between what the company is saying and what your survey found?

Rosin: When they're producing those numbers, they're typically talking about their global platform. This is a survey just of the USA. Furthermore, we're asking about usage. We're saying, "Do you currently use Facebook?" Facebook is probably measuring it on, “Do you ever open the app, or do you ever use it on any level?”

U.S. users are leaving Facebook by the millions, Edison Research says [Kimberly Adams/Marketplace]

(via /.) ]]> http://www.6727852.com/2019/03/08/strong-with-over-55s.html/feed 22 704949 双色球2016028