Sunday, October 23, 2016

A.I. Law

Here comes the A.I.:
As early as the 1960s experts predicted that computers would one day be able to predict the outcomes of judicial decisions.

But the new method is the first to predict the outcomes of court cases by automatically analysing case text using a machine learning algorithm.

“We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes,” said Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.

“It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Order in the programming...

Quiet Time

Is this the age of silence?
Perhaps the most well-known silent social is the silent retreat. Recently featured in an episode of BBC comedy Fleabag, silent retreats vary in tone and purpose, and are more popular than you might imagine. The retreats often have a religious or spiritual element, with Buddhist, Christian and Catholic retreats making up the majority. They can last anywhere between a couple of days to a few weeks, set in locations that are usually fittingly pastoral, in old farm buildings or country piles.

Silent retreat regular Peter Cadney first discovered the power of silence on a 10-day vipassana silent meditation course, in 2013. The technique emphasises developing a connection with silence and accessing the “stillness” within yourself.

“There had been a number of events in my life that I hadn’t been able to deal with very well; things like relationship breakups and the death of a close friend. I’d spent years working at a computer and was feeling the effects of muscle tension, anxiety and stress. I felt drawn to finding somewhere quiet to sit in order to find peace within myself.”
In my day we called that a library or your room...

Granny Dangerous

Hillary is dangerous, says...the New York Times?
They’re the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They’re the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn’t recognize itself as either, because it’s convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.

Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly. The Iraq War, which liberals prefer to remember as a conflict conjured by a neoconservative cabal, was actually the work of a bipartisan interventionist consensus, pushed hard by George W. Bush but embraced as well by a large slice of center-left opinion that included Tony Blair and more than half of Senate Democrats.

Likewise the financial crisis: Whether you blame financial-services deregulation or happy-go-lucky housing policy (or both), the policies that helped inflate and pop the bubble were embraced by both wings of the political establishment. Likewise with the euro, the European common currency, a terrible idea that only cranks and Little Englanders dared oppose until the Great Recession exposed it as a potentially economy-sinking folly. Likewise with Angela Merkel’s grand and reckless open-borders gesture just last year: She was the heroine of a thousand profiles even as she delivered her continent to polarization and violence.

This record of elite folly — which doesn’t even include lesser case studies like our splendid little war in Libya — is a big part of why the United States has a “let’s try crazy” candidate in this election, and why there are so many Trumpian parties thriving on European soil.
The elite effect?

Prohibition, Iraqi Style

Prohibition comes to Iraq:
Proponents of the ban argue that it is justified by the constitution, which prohibits any law contradicting Islam.

But some opponents argue that it also violates the same constitution which guarantees the traditions of religious minorities.

According to an MP and a parliament official, the ban was a last-minute addition to a draft law on municipalities that caught the anti-ban camp flat-footed.

The law was also passed by MPs in Baghdad as all eyes were on the north of the country, where forces involved in Iraq's biggest military operation in years are battling the Islamic State group and moving to retake the city of Mosul.

"A law was passed today and article 14 of that law bans the import, production and sale of all kinds of alcohol," Yonadam Kanna, a veteran Christian MP, told AFP on Saturday.

"Every violation of this law incurs a fine of 10 million to 25 million dinars (roughly $8,000 to $20,000)," he said.
That's a lot of dinars for having a drink...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Red Money

They may still hate us, but now they can get our money:
The change is part of the new round of regulations announced last week by the Obama administration. Along with measures that attracted widespread attention — such as the removal of the restrictions on the purchase of rum and tobacco by American travelers — this more discreet provision debunks a long-standing policy of prohibiting U.S. transactions with most members of the Cuban government, its political organizations and defense system.

As the updated Cuban Assets Control Regulations now stand, the prohibitions remain only for the members of the Politburo of the PCC, members of the Council of Ministers and high-ranking officials in the Cuban armed forces (FAR).

The category of “prohibited members” of the Cuban government and the Communist Party previously included members of MININT; the PCC secretaries and members of its Central Committee; members of Parliament; the Supreme Court; state media editors; deputy ministers and mid-level officials within the ministries; directors of companies and other state institutions; secretaries of the Confederation of Cuban Workers; and local chiefs of the Defense Committees of the Revolution (CDR).
Welfare for Communists? What are we, socialists?

Blue Bucks

Who's voting for whom?
While polling data on the rich is imprecise given their small population, polls of the top-earning households favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump two to one. The July Affluent Barometer survey by Ipsos found that among voters earning more than $100,000 a year — roughly the top 25 percent of households — 45 percent said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, while 28 percent planned to vote for Mr. Trump. The rest were undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.

The spread was even wider among the highest earners. For those earning $250,000 or more — roughly the top 5 percent of households — 53 percent planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton while 25 percent favored Mr. Trump. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus four points.

It is unclear whether those patterns have changed since July. But if the numbers hold, historians and wealth experts say that next month’s elections may prove to be the largest vote by the wealthy for a Democratic candidate in recent history.

Continue reading the main story
“This would be a big deal, and fundamentally different from what we’ve seen before,” said Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University and co-author of the book “Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do.”
Blue bloods go blue? Fools and their money are soon parted...

Battle Of The Parodies

It's Weird Al's take on the election:

What Would Wonder Woman Do?

Superman was unavailable for comment:
U.N. staffer Cass DuRant, who held a sign saying "Real Women Deserve a Real Ambassador," said the protesters "don't think that a fictitious comic book characters wearing basically what looks like a Playboy-type bunny outfit is really the right message we need to send to girls or even boys for that matter."

The super heroine's image will be used by the U.N. on social media platforms to promote women's empowerment, including on gender-based violence and the fuller participation of women in public life (using the hashtag WithWonderWoman). The push, hoping to reach young people, is backed by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., which produce both comics and films featuring Wonder Woman.

But an online petition , started by U.N. staffers, asked the secretary-general to reconsider the appointment, saying, "The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing." As of Friday afternoon, it had more than 1,100 signatures.
At least she'd be able to use the lasso of truth there...

Russians Stay Home

No Russians allowed:
The Louisiana Secretary of State told Zakharov he was denying the request was because of the impact of massive floods in the region which affected over 60,000 homeowners.

“I have approximately one-third of my employees personally affected, we are short-staffed and working day and night to prepare for this election along with the changes of precinct locations and other related processes,” Schedler said to Kakharov. “Had this flood event not occurred, we certainly would have been open to such a visit, but I cannot meet such a request with the situation I have currently in front of me.”

Schedler said Zakharov could ask again in the 2020 Election, as Louisiana law permits foreign monitors at its voting sites.

Texas and Oklahoma also denied the request.
Nyet means nyet...

No Deal, Eh?

Canada rejects free trade:
Fighting back tears, Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said it had been impossible to overcome the differences with Wallonia, a French-speaking region of barely 3.5 million people.

Despite the stunning setback, European officials refused to accept that the pact, which had been agreed on provisionally two years ago, could not be saved. The impasse, however, raises troubling questions about the 28-nation EU’s ability to negotiate major international agreements.

“I think it’s impossible. We’ve decided to return home,” Freeland said after the talks with Walloon officials and EU representatives broke down. “I’m really, really sad. Truly.”

The pact known colloquially as CETA needs unanimous support within the EU, and Belgium in turn needs unanimity among its regions.

“It seems that for me, and for Canada, that the EU is not capable now to have an international deal, even with a nation with such European values like Canada,” Freeland said.
Or, maybe, not as European as they hoped...

No Skeptics Allowed

Censorship doesn't always win:
Nuttall tried to justly the UN media ban by noting that The Rebel TV host Ezra Levant has called UN promoted climate change fears a “crock.”
“What does [calling climate change a ‘crock’] add to the public’s understating?” Nuttall asked the CBC.
The UN’s Nuttall told the CBC “I don’t see what he is actually reporting, you know, as being particularly helpful.”
But much to the shock of the UN official, the warmist Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) Carol Off was having none of it. The CBC’s Off openly challenged the UN’s censorship of the media outlet.
“Do people have to prove that they’re helpful in order to be accredited journalists?” Off, who hosts the ‘As it Happens’ program on the CBC, asked the UN’s Nuttall.
A clearly flustered Nuttall responded, “Well, what do you think journalism is about?”
The CBC’s Carol Off tersely responded “reporting.”
Too bad so many journalists don't remember that...

Blogging In The Years: 2012

Obama mocks Romney for saying Russia might be a threat:

Hack Attack

Did anyone else feel that?
The company, Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic, said it began experiencing what security experts called a distributed denial-of-service attack just after 7 a.m. Reports that many sites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread westward in three waves as the day wore on and into the evening.

And in a troubling development, the attack appears to have relied on hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices like cameras, baby monitors and home routers that have been infected — without their owners’ knowledge — with software that allows hackers to command them to flood a target with overwhelming traffic.

A spokeswoman said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into the incident and all potential causes, including criminal activity and a nation-state attack.
Welcome to Cyber War One?

The Real Email Deal

No, they weren't faked:
Many email systems use a verification system called DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) that shows whether an email has been changed. It uses a key stored on the email server that sent the email, so it can’t be forged. uses Gmail to handle its mail and uses DKIM. Staffer Jennifer Palmieri, using her email, replied to a Brazile email warning that Brazile was “worried” about Clinton’s ability to answer a question about the death penalty, that she said would be asked at an upcoming debate. She copied Podesta — who also uses Gmail — presumably so that he could encourage Clinton to prepare for the question.

The emails were hacked from Podesta’s account by WikiLeaks, but Clinton’s campaign — and Brazile — have all but claimed their contents have been falsified.

But a check of the DKIM signature by the Daily Caller News Foundation against’s key shows that Palmieri did, in fact, send the exact email to Podesta that WikiLeaks says she did.
Now who's being a conspiracy theorist?

Women's Work

Women don't want equal pay, after all?
According to Perry’s research, American women received 57% of all bachelor degrees granted in 2014, which equated to nearly 200,000 more degrees granted to females than to males. Despite this disparity, the degrees granted to women came overwhelmingly in lower-paying majors, such as Nursing, Journalism, and English.

For example, in 8 out of the 10 highest-paying college majors — various Engineering fields, Computer Science and MIS — men represented more than 80% of the college graduates in those fields. The only college major of the top ten where women are over-represented is Nursing, a field where 84.4% of the bachelor’s degrees in 2014 were awarded to women.

For the top ten highest-paying college majors as a group, men earn an average of 72% of the bachelor’s degrees in those fields. For the top 20 college majors, men earn an average of nearly two-thirds of those degrees; for the top 30, the male average is 60.5% and for the top 50 (actually only 40 majors are considered), the average for men is 53.7% of degrees.

Perry concludes that the much-discussed pay gap is not a result of gender discrimination by employers, but rather the result of the choices of females entering the labor force.
Different jobs, different wages...

Not That Wiki


Friday, October 21, 2016

Ancient Metal

Who made the aluminium?
The discovery of the mysterious chunk of metal in communist Romania in 1973 was not made public at the time, according to CEN.

Testing has since revealed that the object is made of 12 metals and is 90 per cent aluminium with Romanian officials dating it as being 250,000 years old.

The initial results were later confirmed by a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, CEN reports.

Metallic aluminium was not really produced by mankind until around 200 years ago, so the discovery of the large chunk that it claimed to be up to 250,000 years old is being held up as a sensational find.
Aliens, always leaving their spare parts lying around...

Is This The Real Life

So are we or aren't we in the Matrix?
A who’s who of world-renown philosophers and physicists spent hours discussing the controversial concept known as the simulation hypothesis at an annual event at the American Museum of Natural History earlier this year.

The debate moderator, famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, said the likelihood that you, me and the universe we think we inhabit are not real “may be very high.” Cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT suggested that what we perceive to be the laws of this universe are simply the rules of the program our virtual characters exist in.

A few Silicon Valley elites are obsessed with the notion that our world is entirely written in software code, as Keanu Reeves’ character Neo discovered in the movie The Matrix. I don’t know which is stranger: that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pegs the chances that this is reality at “one in a billion,” or that I am not the least bit surprised.
The election alone could be proof enough that this isn't the real world...

Power Fraud

When in doubt, hide:
A source familiar with the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) information technology system has indicated the agency intends to withhold documents and data from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The agency asked me to withhold data,” the source told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They’re trying to withhold anything.”

House lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to WAPA President Mark Gabriel Tuesday asking for records related to “financial and facility management” at the agency. The lawmakers’ letter comes after reports that lax oversight at WAPA led to millions of dollars in potentially fraudulent spending and letting grid security slide.

“They’re going to claim attorney-client privilege on the documents,” the source said, adding there’s basically “no such thing” when it comes to the types of records being requested about budgets and grid security.
Well, they're not Hillary Clinton, after all...

All Bets Are On?

Let it ride?
In a statement sent to ESPN, Pallone said the Committee on Energy and Commerce would soon be looking at the laws to see how they can be updated to reflect today’s needs. “The laws need a wholesale review to see how they can actually work together and create a fairer playing field for all types of gambling, both online and offline, including sports betting and daily fantasy sports,” Pallone told the site. “At the same time, we must ensure the laws are actually creating an environment of integrity and accountability, and include strong consumer protections. I plan to continue discussions with the key stakeholders and then will introduce comprehensive legislation to finally update these outdated laws.”

As ESPN notes, “Three statutes — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) — are the core of a patchwork of federal laws touching on sports betting. The potential new legislation would attempt to harmonize these laws.”
Place your bets...

Halloween Trauma Drama

Don't be scared, they're only trigger warnings:
“If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes,” the school advises in a recent blog post from the public university’s administrators.

Several Twitter users lambasted the students at the University of Florida for their willingness to be coddled. One user criticized the decision to allocate public funds for the purpose of comforting students upset by Halloween costumes.

Students who are triggered by insensitive Halloween costumes are instructed to contact the university’s 24/7 counseling services center for support.
It's the great safe space, Charlie Brown...

Fat Man And Little Boy

Life with the Kims:
A connoisseur of good food, Kim enjoys consuming Emmental, a medium-hard Swiss cheese that he became familiar with during his boarding school days in Switzerland, according to KBS.

In 2014, Kim reportedly dispatched officials to learn the cheese-making techniques at a French culinary school, after becoming angry with North Korean chefs for their inability to reproduce the same flavors he had tasted in Switzerland.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service stated at a recent parliamentary briefing on Wednesday that Kim’s health has not improved since July, when the spy agency noted Kim weighed about 290 pounds, up from an estimated 200 pounds in 2012.

The NIS also said in a recent assessment that Kim’s older brother Kim Jong Chul engages in violent behavior when drunk.

Kim Jong Chul, who was seen at an Eric Clapton concert in 2015, destroyed bottles in his hotel room after excessive drinking, the spy agency said.
The Super Happy Fun dictator's family...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blogging In The Years: 2002

So who really won in 2000? Well, according to Hillary Clinton:

Image source: Newsweek microform

Inflatable Obamacare

Obama wants to save Obamacare by...making it bigger?
"The problem is not that government is too involved in the process," Obama said, speaking at Miami-Dade College in Florida. "The problem is we have not reached everybody and pulled them in."

In past speeches about his healthcare law, Obama has touted its consumer protections and financial assistance for low- and middle-income Americans. But faced with spiking premiums and insurer exits from the marketplaces, the president used his speech Thursday to downplay its influence on the public and list some fixes.

Most people don't get marketplace coverage — just 10 million or so Americans who were previously uninsured, the president noted. And insurance premiums had increased dramatically before the law was passed. But when consumers find their insurance rates are rising, they like to blame him unfairly, Obama said.

"People think 'my insurance rates are going up, it must be Obama's fault,'" Obama told the students.
Maybe because it is?

Paying Bill

Foundation work pays:
The surprise claim was made by Doug Band, Bill Clinton’s longtime aide and the co-founder of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), in a Nov. 17, 2011 email released by WikiLeaks on Thursday.

Band appeared frustrated that he was forced to sign a conflict of interest policy for his roles as a CGI board member and adviser to the Clinton Foundation while Clinton did not.

“I signed a conflict of interest policy as a board member of cgi,” he wrote in an email to John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman whose hacked emails were released by WikiLeaks.

“Oddly, wjc does not have to sign such a document even though he is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors, gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc,” added Band.
But hey, it's for a good cause...

Who's Rigging Whom?

It depends on what the meaning of rigged is:
What do they say? The Russians are trying to rig our elections. The Democrats are the ones caterwauling and whining and moaning about rigged elections every day. WikiLeaks, the Russians, Mrs. Clinton at the debate last night, “I have never seen anything like this in American politics, where a foreign government is attempting to sabotage our election,” dumping on the Russians for what? Trying to rig the election.

So Trump says, “No. I’m gonna keep my options open. I don’t know what’s gonna happen.” The only sensible answer there is to that question the Democrats, the whole debate, prior to the debate, whining and moaning about rigged elections ’cause the Russians are trying to screw ’em because the Russians are releasing emails that Podesta sent to everybody under the sun, so the Russians are what? Trying to cheat. Who is it that’s alleging rigged elections? Who is it that’s trying to defuse the truth coming out about them by blaming it on the Russians trying to rig elections? It’s our good buddies and good friends the Democrats and their fellows in journalism.
One man's rigged election is another's conspiracy theory...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wiki What?

Don't talk about Wikileaks:

What They Always Wanted

As expected:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest argues that a public option would help create more competition for private health insurance companies.

“Added competition in all 50 states would, we believe, have the effect of further challenging private health insurance companies to improve their offerings and reduce their prices,” Earnest said during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

Obama is planning to deliver a major speech about Obamacare in Miami, Florida on Thursday, where he is expected to address some of the growing problems with his signature legislative achievement.

But Earnest admitted that despite Obama’s proposed solutions, it would be up for the next president to offer a solution.
It was designed to fail-but what do they want to replace it with?

Planet Of The Tool Makers

Apes with hammers?
The flakes were thought to represent a turning point in human evolution because they demonstrated a level of planning, cognition and hand manipulation that could not be achieved by other animals.

But the new research suggests that flakes can be made without any such foresight. In fact they can simply be made by accident.

“The fact that we have discovered monkeys can produce the same result does throw a bit of a spanner in the works in our thinking on evolutionary behaviour and how we attribute such artefacts,” said Dr Michael Haslam, lead of the Primate Archaeology project at the University of Oxford.

“Our understanding of the new technologies adopted by our early ancestors helps shape our view of human evolution. The emergence of sharp-edged stone tools that were fashioned and hammered to create a cutting tool was a big part of that story.”
Take your stinking paws off our tools you filthy humans...

The Dark Side

The Force is not with them:
Lucasfilm filed a lawsuit last week against New York Jedi and Lightsaber Academy, which teach classes on how to engage in Jedi battles, alleging that the businesses’ use of the words “Jedi” and “lightsaber” along with a logo of the Jedi Order are in violation of intellectual property laws.

The lawsuit identifies Michael Brown, also known as Flynn Michael, as the man behind the businesses. It says that he had sought licensing permission from Lucasfilm and, having been denied it, continued to operate despite receiving multiple cease-and-desist letters.

Mr. Brown answered emails on Tuesday but said he was too busy and had poor cellular reception, so he could not answer questions about the lawsuit. He did not respond to an email message early Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Lucasfilm declined to comment on details of the lawsuit but said, “We protect our intellectual property rights vigorously and we take reports of suspected infringement seriously.”
I find their lack of fun disturbing...

Campus Color Lines

Who are the real racists?
Because it was geared “to create an open dialogue geared specifically to all people of color involved in the program,” a reporter from The Michigan Daily was asked to leave the forum for non-white students.

The reporter was permitted to attend the other event.

Senior Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator Logan Corey defended the racial separation, saying it was “to ensure that students and faculty of color felt safe raising concerns and sitting in solidarity with other people of color, given the current climate on campus.”

Director of Residential College Jonathan Wells added that the separate events were appropriate because it gave “people of color a space to talk without feeling ‘watched.’”
Oh, the horror. Not all snowflakes are white...

Bus Dump

Hillary Clinton literally dumps on America:
CBS46 viewer Mike Robins, manager of a nearby business, took several photos of the tour bus dumping waste into the storm drain. In the pictures, a liquid can be seen coming from the bottom of the bus.

According to Robins, a hazardous materials crew responded to the location and collected the waste to keep more of it from entering the storm drain.

"I don't care who you are. I don't care if you're Hillary Clinton. I don't care if you're Donald Trump. I don't care who you are, you don't throw human waste down a storm drain," said Robins. "Wastewater just dumping all out in the street, poured out in the storm drain, and at this time I've got my cell phone out and I'm taking pictures because I don't care who you are. That's just wrong."
Especially as she expects you to clean up after her mess...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

You're Fired

Call it O'Keefe's Revenge:
Scott Foval, the National Field Director of Americans United for Change--who can be seen in the video bragging about paying homeless and mentally ill individuals to cause disruptions at political events--has been fired from the organization.
"Americans United for Change has always operated according to the highest ethical standards," said Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United For Change. "Scott Foval is no longer associated with Americans United for Change."
You can't always get away with rigging the vote...

Equal Opportunity Discrimination

What was that about equal pay?
“Essentially here are the key take aways: 3 out of the 11 highest paid employees of the Foundation are women,” Karuna Seshasai, a future Clinton campaign staffer, wrote in a Feb. 24, 2015 email released by Wikileaks on Tuesday.

Seshasai had been put to the task of analyzing Clinton Foundation pay after the publication of reports showing a gender pay gap at Clinton’s Senate office.

The former secretary of state has billed herself as a champion of equal pay. She adheres to the disproved claim that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men doing the same work.

Seshasai went on to lay out the massive gender pay gap at Clinton’s family charity.

“Avg salary of the highest paid men is $294,157.50, while the avg salary of the highest paid women is $181,576.66 ($112K difference),” she wrote.
They're with Her hypocrisy...

The Wrong Judge

The Smithsonian tries to explain: asked: “Many prominent African Americans are not included in the museum, most notably Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas … Can [the institute say] why Thomas and the others listed below are not a part of the museum exhibits?”

Linda St. Thomas, chief spokesperson for the Smithsonian, replied:

“There are many compelling personal stories about African Americans who have become successful in various fields, and, obviously, Associate Justice Thomas is one of them,” St. Thomas said in an email. “However, we cannot tell every story in our inaugural exhibitions.

“We will continue to collect and interpret the breadth of the African American experience,” St. Thomas said.
At least that which it deems worthy?

Control Your Emojis

Are your emojis offensive?
Stickers are incredibly popular in China and are shared more than 20 million times a day on messaging app Wechat, a company spokeswoman told Shanghai based news outlet Sixthtone.

But some stickers and emojis use slang terms which can confuse users, the People’s Daily article said, and experts called for tough measures against those with more extreme content.

“Some have pornographic, violent, negative and unhealthy content, (and) some even violate laws and should be firmly opposed," Tang Zhengda, deputy researcher in language research institute of Chinese academy of social sciences told the newspaper.
In China, emojis watch you...

The Robot Beat

Robo-reporters have arrived:
Non-human hacks will be rolled out to cover sports, football and elections for the Press Association in the next few months.

The cybernetic scribes will be "more accurate" than flesh and blood journos in some cases, according to PA's editor in chief Pete Clifton.

Addressing the Society of Editors conference in Carlisle this morning, Mr Clifton said: “This won’t be replacing any of our fantastic journalists, it will be more a case of offering an extra level when it comes to short market reports, election results and football reporting."
They probably will be more objective, at that...

Zombies For Hillary

How many dead voters do you really need?

Not Making The Care Cut

If you want your Obamacare, you can't qualify for it:
The Affordable Care Act has cut the uninsured rate in half, but 27 million people are still without coverage, said the report released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Of that total, 15.5 million don't qualify for help from the federal government in getting coverage, either through enrolling in the Medicaid program or getting subsidies to buy marketplace plans. That's because they earn too much to qualify, lack legal status, have coverage offered through their employer or fall into a "coverage gap" because they live in states that didn't expand Medicaid.

But 11.7 million uninsured Americans are eligible for financial assistance, Kaiser found. About 6 million could enroll in their state's Medicaid program and another 5 million could buy private marketplace plans with the help of federal subsidies.
When you're too poor to afford "free" care...

The Last Conspiracy

A victim of the men in black?
Max Spiers, a 39-year-old father of two, was found dead on a sofa in Poland, where he had gone to give a talk about conspiracy theories and UFOs.

He was ruled to have died from natural causes despite no post-mortem examination being carried out on his body.

But his dark investigations into UFOs and government coverups may have made him enemies who wanted him dead, says mother Vanessa Bates, 63.

In a chilling text message to his mom just days before his death, Spiers wrote: “Your boy’s in trouble. If anything hap
They won't let you survive...

Wahoo Yahoos

Some people literally have nothing better to do:
Mr. Cardinal insists that the team’s name and logo are demeaning and “offensive” to indigenous peoples and he is demanding an injunction barring their use in Canada.

The activist also demands that while in Canada the Indians should be referred to only as “the Cleveland team.”

The Cleveland Indians issued a short statement in response to the assault on their moniker and logo, saying only, “The Indians are focused on competing in the post season. We will not comment any further on matters that distract from our pursuit on the field.”
Maybe Americans should just refer to Canada as "The northern country" then...

No Actual Investigation Required

Welcome to the Clinton FBI:
“This is a textbook case where a grand jury should have been convened, but was not. That is appalling,” an FBI special agent who has worked public corruption and criminal cases said of the decision. “We talk about it in the office and don’t know how Comey can keep going.”

The agent was also surprised that the bureau did not bother to search Clinton’s house during the investigation.

“We didn’t search their house. We always search the house. The search should not just have been for private electronics, which contained classified material, but even for printouts of such material,” he said.

“There should have been a complete search of their residence,” the agent pointed out. “That the FBI did not seize devices is unbelievable. The FBI even seizes devices that have been set on fire.”
Some devices are more equal than others...

Monday, October 17, 2016

What Has She Done?

This seems to be a familiar pattern:

Robo Baby

The age of the robot baby is upon us:
The robot does not look like a baby, but instead models “vulnerable” baby-like behaviours including recognising and responding to people in a high-pitched tone and being unstable in its movements.

At the other end of the spectrum is Yotaro, a robotic baby simulator that uses projection technology for its face so it can simulate emotions and expressions. The simulator also models reaction to touching, mood and even illness through an in-built runny nose.
Diapers for the batteries are optional...

Back Scratchers

Integrity for sale:
Notes from an interview with an unnamed FBI official reveal the State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy tried to horse-trade with the FBI, offering additional slots for the bureau overseas if they would de-classify a particular email marked “SECRET.”

According to the documents, an unnamed individual said he was “pressured” to “change the classified email to unclassified.”

“[Redacted] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo,’” the 302 states. “[Redacted] advised that in exchange for marking the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.”
Who wants an assignment?

You Can't Do That

Don't tell Milo:
“By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man. Because he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.”

Referencing Thiel’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his support for conservative and libertarian principles, Downs claims, “In this way, Thiel reaffirmed his own sexual choices — while separating himself from gay identity. His notion that transgender people’s predicament is somehow a distraction effectively rejects the conception of LGBT as a cultural identity that requires political struggle to defend.”

“The gay liberation movement has left us a powerful legacy,” he concluded. “And protecting that legacy requires understanding the meaning of the term ‘gay’ and not using it simply as a synonym for same-sex desire and intimacy”.
Now everybody walk in lock-step...

The Democratic Attack Bird Dogs

Infiltrators, exposed:

The Man Who Isn't There

Where's Julian Assange?
Assange is currently residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England, where he has remained since seeking political asylum in June 2012. (RELATED: Leaked Emails Show Clinton Campaign Struggling Over Gay Marriage Position)

Kerry is currently in London as well for meetings with British, French and German foreign ministers regarding peace brokering attempts in Syria.

Earlier this month, Assange claimed he was going to make a major announcement regarding Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on the balcony of the embassy, but canceled due to “security concerns.”

Over the last week and a half, Wikileaks has steadily released thousands of emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s Gmail account.
Just because he's paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't tweeting him...

The Visible Woman

It's pretty clear what they decided:
The discussion between top aides revolved around how to respond to questions about when or if Clinton would announce she was running for the Democratic nomination. On March 14, Clinton was still about a month away from officially kicking off her campaign and was still in the so-called “exploratory” phase. Clinton’s staff appeared eager to cut off media speculation, with eventual campaign manager Robby Mook even opining, “Yes. We need to kill that baby in the cradle.”

Marc Elias, who would serve as general counsel for Clinton’s campaign, circulated a draft statement that could be used when reporters asked the question. The statement noted “she is currently engaged in what the FEC calls ‘testing the waters.’” It also added “any actual expenses incurred in this effort are being paid by her personally.” That line drew the attention of research director Tony Carrk.

“Any mention that she is using her personal money to pay for costs could lead some to use that as an opening to either a) dig deeper into the paid speeches; or b) demand her tax returns to know who is funding the campaign,” Carrk wrote. “I don’t know how likely that is but the press is on a transparency kick.”
None for them, please...

The Clinton Press

They know whose side they're on:

When Real Nazis Attack

Here come the local brownshirts:
The explosive device was thrown through the window of the office, and the words, “Nazi Republicans, leave town or else,” were painted on a nearby building. The news comes less than 25 days before Election Day, as dedicated NCGOP volunteers and activists are canvassing the state and spending long hours getting out the vote and exercising their rights in a free and open democratic society.

“Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy,” said Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party. “Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property, or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety. We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters.”
Thug tactics only work if you let them...

Wiki Locked

Really, CNN?