1,011 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have all struck lucrative arrangements—collectively worth billions of dollars—to provide automation, cloud, and AI services to some of the world’s biggest oil companies, and they are actively pursuing more.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/silicon-valley-courts-a-wary-oil-patch-1532424600

  2. Jan 2019
    1. The Chaos, Gerard Nolst Trenité (1922) - a poem that highlights about 800 irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation.

  3. Dec 2018
    1. Peter Jukes on problems with BBC news.

      The BBC has a duty to 'inform' but absolutely no obligation to reflect widespread but evidence-free opinions about  MMR vaccines, global warming, fake moon landings, 911 inside jobs, or Obama's birth certificate. The natural and logical corollary to this duty to inform is an obligation to fight misinformation. 

      And what bigger story could there be this year - where is the duty to inform is most pressing - than the subversion of democracy by overspending, illegal coordination and potential foreign funding of the most important constitutional vote in our lifetimes?

      . . .

      This constant political pressure makes the corporation risk-averse, and probably even more so with a subject like Brexit which begs big questions about the future of the country and its national security.  Because of its hierarchical structure and special funding, there is a constant danger that senior BBC execs see their political masters as their most important customers rather than the license-fee paying public. 

    1. A detailed report on Russia's disinformation campaign based on the data released by Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

  4. Nov 2018
    1. Cynicism is a bigger problem than gullibility. Too many people doubt everything in the news, regardless of the source.

    1. An online discussion about screen time and its connections with digital literacy and creativity. Hosted by Drs. W. Ian O'Byrne and Kristen Hawley Turner.

    1. Britain and America, Brexit and Trump, are inextricably entwined. By Nigel Farage. By Cambridge Analytica. By Steve Bannon. By the Russian ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko, who has been identified by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a conduit between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The same questions that dog the US election dog ours, too.

      There is one vital difference on this between the US and the UK. America has the Mueller investigation. And Britain does not.

  5. Oct 2018
    1. Shipping & Transit’s campaign continued for years against a variety of targets. In 2016, it was the top patent litigator in the entire country, mostly targeting small businesses. One judge described its tactics as “exploitative litigation.” The court explained:

      Plaintiff’s business model involves filing hundreds of patent infringement lawsuits, mostly against small companies, and leveraging the high cost of litigation to extract settlements for amounts less than $50,000.

      For many years, this strategy worked. Shipping & Transit/Arrivalstar is reported to have collected more than $15 million from defendants between 2009 and 2013.

    1. Evaluation, when it is not asked for, and when it has consequences as it does in school, is a threat. It narrows the mind... it inhibits new learning, new insights, and creative thought—the very processes that some people think school is supposed to promote. -- Peter Gray

      . . .

      Why is it clear to us that it's degrading and objectifying to measure and rank a girl’s physical body on a numeric scale, but we think it’s perfectly okay to measure and rank her mind that way?

      . . .

      what an oak tree actually needs is not your opinion but soil and water and light and air, and what a child needs is love and stories and tools and conversation and support and guidance and access to nature and culture and the world. If a kid asks for your feedback, by all means you can give it; it would be impolite not to. But what we should be measuring and comparing is not our children but the quality of the learning environments we provide for them.

    1. Why do people troll? Eight factors are given, which might boil down to:

      • Perceived lack of consequences.
      • Online mob mentality.
    1. As a recap, Chegg discovered on September 19th a data breach dating back to April that "an unauthorized party" accessed a data base with access to "a Chegg user’s name, email address, shipping address, Chegg username, and hashed Chegg password" but no financial information or social security numbers. The company has not disclosed, or is unsure of, how many of the 40 million users had their personal information stolen.

    1. Australia's Digital Transformation Agency has been researching potential government uses for blockchain.

      “Our position today, and this is an early write-up, is that blockchain is an interesting technology that would be well worth being observed, but without standardisation and a lot more work, for every use of blockchain that you would consider today there is a better technology,” Mr Alexander told the hearing.

      . . .

      “We’re not saying that blockchain doesn’t have potential but today, without standardisation, there is the challenge of blockchain becoming a little fragmented. When we get to the standardised blockchain then the opportunities for it will grow.”

    1. Federal prosecutors on Friday alleged that a Russian woman is the chief accountant of Project Lakhta, a sprawling Kremlin campaign to influence politics in the U.S. and European Union. It’s an operation that the FBI, in a criminal complaint, says is ongoing.

      The complaint accuses the woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, of keeping detailed records of payouts to a social-media campaign of which the St. Petersberg-based troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, is just one component. Its chief financing, the FBI complaint continues, comes from Concord Management and Consulting, run by the oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, sometimes called “Putin’s Chef.”

    1. When students are shown quick techniques for judging the veracity of a news source, they will use them. Regardless of their existing beliefs, they will distinguish good sources from bad sources.

      https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/

    1. Literary association PEN America has filed a lawsuit against Trump for using government power to harass the press.

    1. We must be careful to distinguish between blockchain ledgers and proof-of-work, because they are separate things that just happen to have been combined to make Bitcoin. There are energy-efficient ways of managing blockchain ledgers, such as proof-of-stake algorithms. Some of these algorithms are already being implemented by rival cryptocurrency schemes

      . . .

      PoW is obscenely wasteful, consuming more electricity than all of Ireland to generate an endless stream of mathematical garbage.

    1. The Online Disinhibition Effect (John Suler, 2004) - the lack of restraint shown by some people when communicating online rather than in person. (It can be good as well as bad. How can we reduce the bad behavior?)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

    1. The bureau agreed not to interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexually assaulting her, or to respond to many people stepping forward with new information. They agreed not to follow up on possible lies Kavanaugh is accused of telling in his Senate testimony. And they made other concessions unknown to the public or even Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      According to the New York Times’s reporting, White House lawyer Don McGahn made sure relevant questions went deliberately unexplored because, he believed, “a wide-ranging inquiry like some Democrats were demanding — and Mr. Trump was suggesting — would be potentially disastrous for Judge Kavanaugh’s chances of confirmation to the Supreme Court.”

  6. Sep 2018
    1. Apple says that they intend to move to all recycled materials. But they won't let recyclers repair their products for reuse.

    1. The basic assumption that underlies typical reading instruction in many schools is that learning to read is a natural process, much like learning to talk. But decades of scientific research has revealed that reading doesn't come naturally. The human brain isn't wired to read. Kids must be explicitly taught how to connect sounds with letters — phonics.

      . . .

      But this research hasn't made its way into many elementary school classrooms. The prevailing approaches to reading instruction in American schools are inconsistent with basic things scientists have discovered about how children learn to read. Many educators don't know the science, and in some cases actively resist it.

      https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/further-reading-hard-words

  7. Aug 2018
    1. A file containing personal information of 14.8 million Texas residents was discovered on an unsecured server. It is not clear who owns the server, but the data was likely compiled by Data Trust, a firm created by the GOP.

    1. Historian Richard Frankel:

      I do think there's certainly a very strong possibility that it's not going to end well -- and that's from the perspective of a German historian. And as a historian, my natural tendency is to always try to stop people from invoking Hitler. In most cases it was not appropriate to make such a comparison. But now, with Trump, my resistance and that of other historians to making that comparison is being overcome.

  8. Jul 2018
    1. Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July 16.

      ...

      Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world,” King said, referring to the URL at which the database is hosted, which the agency says receives about 200,000 visitors per month. “It is a singular resource,” King added.

      ...

      The vetting role played by the NGC is a critical one, says Roy Poses, with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

      “Many guidelines are actually written mainly for commercial purposes or public relations purposes,” said Poses, and can be subtly shaped to promote a given course of treatment.

    1. It is clear that the intelligence and law enforcement communities of the United States — adhering to the principles of patriotism enumerated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday — felt that a message needed to be sent to the Russians that we were on to them.

      Typically, the president would deliver such a message, but this president has proven to be the staunchest defender of Putin and the most active advocate of covering up or denying these attacks. He did it again this week even while aware of the indictments.

      ...

      Trump may deny collusion. But given that this the attack continues, denying it is collusion, distracting from it is collusion, obstructing the investigation of it is collusion — because all these things enable it to go on.

  9. Jun 2018
    1. Microsoft is doing some kind of work for ICE.

      Microsoft condemned family separation by ICE in a statement to Gizmodo but declined to specify if specific tools within Azure Government, like Face API—facial recognition software—were in use by the agency. The company also did not comment on whether it had assisted in building artificial intelligence tools for ICE, something the agency has been seeking (and courting Microsoft over) for some time.

    1. For most of last year, Ross served as secretary of commerce while maintaining stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a shipping firm tied to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, a Cypriot bank reportedly caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation and a huge player in an industry Ross is now investigating. It’s hard to imagine a more radioactive portfolio for a cabinet member.

      To this day, Ross’ family apparently continues to have an interest in these toxic holdings.

      ...

      Absurdly, maintaining all those conflicts of interest appears to be entirely legal—a reflection of ethics laws woefully unprepared for governing tycoons like Donald Trump and Wilbur Ross.

      Ross appears to have broken one law, however: submitting a sworn statement to federal officials in November saying he divested of everything he had promised he would—even though he still held more than $10 million worth of stock in financial firm Invesco, his former employer.

    1. So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you.

      ...

      So if you cross any other way besides the bridge, we’re prosecuting you. But . . . you can’t cross the bridge.

      ...

      The zero-tolerance policy really started with Jeff Sessions’s announcement in May.

      ...

      And so we saw about six hundred children who were taken away from October to May, then we saw an explosion of the numbers in May. It ramped up. The Office of Refugee Resettlement taking in all these kids says that they are our children, that they are unaccompanied. It’s a fabrication. They’re not unaccompanied children.

      ...

      the idea that these parents don’t have the ability to obtain very simple answers—what are my rights and when can I be reunited with my kid before I’m deported without them?—is horrible. And has to go far below anything we, as a civil society of law, should find acceptable.

    1. ...I remain convinced that if American civil society and the American press fail to come to grips with just how radically theocratic the Christian Right is, any kind of post-Trump soft landing scenario in which American democracy recovers a healthy degree of functionality is highly unlikely.

      ...

      readers of major news outlets are presented with an unrealistically benign picture of a darkly authoritarian, cult-like branch of Protestantism.

    1. Reporting, and therefore repeating, Trump’s tweets just gives him more power. There is an alternative. Report the true frames that he is trying to pre-empt. Report the truth that he is trying to divert attention from. Put the blame where it belongs. Bust the trial balloon. Report what the strategies are trying to hide.

  10. May 2018
    1. Access to books increases children’s future prospects and has a significant influence on the level of education they will attain, their productivity, their health, and their quality of life.

      If we want kids to read more, and be better readers and writers, we need to give them access to lots of books, starting with ones they are most interested in. (This short article is specific about ways to improve book access for all kids.)

    1. Old Navy / Gap is using stolen designs on clothing. Instead of settling with the artist, they are denying copyright infringement, and fighting the artist in court. Sleazy.

  11. Apr 2018
    1. What can we build that would allow people to 1.) annotate terms of service related to tools they adopt in a classroom? and 2.) see an aggregated list of all current annotations. Last, if we were to start critically analyzing EdTech Terms of Service, what questions should we even ask?

  12. Mar 2018
    1. Shaun King sees Marvel's Black Panther as a historically significant film.

      It’s going to make well over a billion dollars and may actually do so within a month. From a pure business standpoint, it is to film what Michael Jackson’s Thriller was to music.

      . . .

      There is a movement we call Afro-Futurism, where we imagine a Black way of life free of white supremacy and bigotry. Black Panther, I think, is the first blockbuster film centered in the ethos of Afro-Futurism, where the writers, and directors, and makeup and wardrobe team all imagined a beautiful, thriving Black Africa without colonialism.

      Wakanda showed us our families in one piece. No war on drugs. No mass incarceration. No KKK. No lynching. No racial profiling. No police brutality.

    1. Tim Berners-Lee offers some broad suggestions for improving the web.

      expand access to the world’s poorest through public access solutions, such as community networks and public WiFi initiatives.

      . . .

      A legal or regulatory framework that accounts for social objectives

      Because we can't count on Google, Facebook, etc. to act in the public interest on their own initiative.

      . . .

      Two myths currently limit our collective imagination: the myth that advertising is the only possible business model for online companies, and the myth that it’s too late to change the way platforms operate. On both points, we need to be a little more creative.

      . . .

      Let’s assemble the brightest minds from business, technology, government, civil society, the arts and academia to tackle the threats to the web’s future.

    1. Mark Galeotti says he regrets coining the term "Gerasimov Doctrine" for Russia's supposed strategy of hybrid warfare. Gerasimov's speech was actually about how the Kremlin perceives US actions in the Middle East and Europe.

      "There is no denying that the West is facing a multivectored, multi-agency campaign of subversion, division, and covert political 'active measures' by Russia"<br> ...<br> "there is no single Russian 'doctrine'<br> ...<br> "There is a broad political objective -- to distract, divide, and demoralize -- but otherwise it is largely opportunistic, fragmented, even sometimes contradictory. Some major operations are coordinated ... but most are not."<br> ...<br> "more emphasis ought to go on counterintelligence and media literacy, on fighting corruption ... and healing the social divisions the Russians gleefully exploit"

    1. Fact-checking at The New Yorker an excerpt from The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry

  13. Feb 2018
    1. Larry Berger, CEO of Amplify, explains why he no longer believes in the "engineering model" of personalized learning.

      Here's the problem: The map doesn't exist, the measurement is impossible, and we have, collectively, built only 5% of the library.

  14. Jan 2018
  15. Dec 2017
    1. A study from Finland's Leppeenranta University of Technology and Berlin-based Energy Watch Group claims that the entire world could transition to 100% renewable electric power by 2050.

    1. 21 Dec 2017: Six defendants who were arrested during protests at Trump's inauguration were found not guilty of all charges.

      Nevertheless, the Justice Department prosecutors still intend to take nearly 200 other defendants to trial.

    1. 14 Dec 2017. The FCC just voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality. Here, the ACLU explains what comes next. The Congressional Review Act could allow Congress to undo this action.

    1. Traffic sent to and from Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft was briefly routed through a previously unknown Russian Internet provider Wednesday under circumstances researchers said was suspicious and intentional.

    1. I was listening today to hearings on the FBI, where the fact that FBI agents gave to Democratic candidates was cited as prima facie evidence of corruption. We saw this in summer 2016 too, where fact that people in the DNC didn’t like Sanders was presented as a massive conspiracy.

      . . .

      There has been a massive conflation of opinion (personal belief), bias (personal action), and agenda (structurally embedded goals). These things often line up, but strong institutions and processes can help stop opinion from becoming bias and bias from becoming an unintentional agenda. And where institutions don’t mitigate these things in appropriate ways they should be reformed.

      But if we collapse this chain, if opinion = bias = agenda, well, then everything immediately becomes corrupt, because everyone has an opinion.

      In the case of Republican congressmen, this isn't a matter of perception. They're lying to protect Trump.

    1. There is virtually no competition in broadband Internet service in the US. 129 million people have only one option, and 146 million have only two options.

      At MuniNetworks.org, we provide resources for those joining the movement to build broadband networks that are directly accountable to the communities they serve. Case studies, fact sheets, and video are some of the media we offer to help leaders make decisions about community owned networks.

    1. EFF explains aspects of the Internet that Ajit Pai pretends not to understand.

      Ajit Pai pretends not to understand that the only job of an ISP is to provide a connection to the network and transmit packets. He also pretends DNS is an information service provided by ISPs.

      Ajit Pai is a liar.

    1. Most of the recent advances in AI depend on deep learning, which is the use of backpropagation to train neural nets with multiple layers ("deep" neural nets).

      Neural nets consist of layers of nodes, with edges from each node to the nodes in the next layer. The first and last layers are input and output. The output layer might only have two nodes, representing true or false. Each node holds a value representing how excited it is. Each edge has a value representing strength of connection, which determines how much of the excitement passes through.

      The edges in an untrained neural net start with random values. The training data consists of a series of samples that are already labeled. If the output is wrong, the edges are adjusted according to how much they contributed to the error. It's called backpropagation because it starts with the output nodes and works toward the input nodes.

      Deep neural nets can be effective, but only for single specific tasks. And they need huge sets of training data. They can also be tricked rather easily. Worse, someone who has access to the net can discover ways of adding noise to images that will make the net "see" things that obviously aren't there.

    1. A mental map (or cognitive map) is our mental representation of a place. It includes features we consider important, and is likely to exclude features we consider unimportant.

      (Urban planner Kevin Lynch, early 1960s)<br> Elements of mental maps

      • paths
      • edges - boundaries and endings
      • nodes - focal points like squares and junctions
      • districts
      • landmarks

      Modern maps could use augmented and virtual reality to help clarify those elements, making a place easier to navigate and use. But they can also add useless noise that makes the place seem more confusing than it actually is.

  16. Nov 2017
    1. Mike Hearn, formerly with Google, calls a recent report on Twitter bots promoting Brexit "deliberate lying, or if you like, fake news."

      Without having looked into it further than reading his response, I'm doubtful about his doubtfulness. I suspect the kind of bots he was trying to identify were a different variety. He says he never saw "cyborg" accounts. He doesn't mention that Russia is known to employ people for social media propaganda.

    1. New York is one of 29 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have legalized medical marijuana––a trend that 94 percent of Americans support, according to an August Quinnipiac poll. But on December 8, all of that could begin to change.

      Congress has until that day to decide whether to include the Rohrabacher-Farr Act (also known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer) in a bill that will fund the government through the next fiscal year. Right now, that law, made up of just 85 words, blocks the Department of Justice from using any money to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it's legal.

      . . .

      “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime," Sessions wrote in his letter.

    1. As Uri Treisman said, “The most common use of algebra in the adult world is helping their kids with algebra.”

      CUNY found that more students went on to graduate when they were allowed to take statistics instead of remedial algebra. And the results were the same regardless of race or ethnicity.

    1. We invite all scientists to endorse this global environmental article and engage with a new alliance concerned about global climate and environmental trends

    1. Jonathan Albright says that Instagram is another major channel of Russian propaganda.

      IRA (Internet Research Agency) - a Russian troll factory.

      David Karpf argues that actual user engagement among US citizens can be hard to estimate, since a lot of apparent activity comes from fake accounts.

    1. For the last few years, Intel CPUs have Intel Management Engine, which runs its own OS, the Unix-like MINIX. You have no access to it. But it has complete access to your computer.

    1. This (“[hearts] increased likes by a billion!”) is said by an actual employee of Twitter as if it means something, but it means nothing. Clicking on a heart is not some inherent good like increasing exercise, or upping the amount of fiber in your diet, or decreasing poverty. It’s a decision to provide Twitter with more data. That’s it.

      The truth is many people working these jobs are so far into the machine they don’t see the difference between platform engagement (clicking on hearts) and civic and personal engagement (enjoying life more fully, thinking about things more deeply, empathizing more broadly, imagining and building a better world). They upped the click rate on a heart which is good for marketing. They are food scientists trying to tweak a flavor profile to get people to consume thirteen more Doritos a day.

    1. EFF recommendations for Congress regarding data security and data breaches like the one at Equifax.

      https://www.ftc.gov/datasecurity<br> FTC guide to data security for businesses.

    1. Bitcoin mining uses a lot of electricity -- currently as much as Ecuador.

      The cryptocurrency network Ethereum recently announced that it will try "proof of stake" rather than "proof of work".

    1. Everyone has a right to free speech, but in practice many individuals have very little access to free speech. When we try to address this on platforms, by clamping down on things like harassment or bots, it’s portrayed as “curtailing” free speech, in the same way that making the rich pay more tax or follow regulations is seen by conservatives as “curtailing” economic opportunity.

    1. 2 Nov 2017

      A 58 percent majority say they approve of Mueller’s handling of the investigation while 28 percent say they disapprove, the Post-ABC poll finds. People’s views depend in large part on their political leanings, but overall, Americans are generally inclined to trust Mueller and the case he has made so far.

    1. Millions of Americans believe (or are willing to claim that they believe) insane bullshit. So what happens if Mueller finds evidence that Trump committed a crime, and the right-wing media says he didn't, or it doesn't matter?

    1. Robert Mercer's hedge fund owes the IRS $7 billion.

      Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.

    1. The US Justice Dept. "has identified more than six members of the Russian government" involved in hacking the DNC. Arrests and prosecutions are unlikely, but they have made a habit of filing charges as a way of discouraging foreign hackers.

    1. Kris Schaffer distinguishes bots, sockpuppets, and trolls, and talks about how to identify botnets. Twitter and other social media sites should be able to eliminate many of the bogus accounts. But they don't.

  17. Oct 2017
    1. While I've experimented with many alternatives to traditional assessment, I have primarily relied on self-assessment. I turn in final grades at the end of the term, but those grades usually match the grades students have given themselves. (I do tell students 'I reserve the right to change grades,' but this is rare and I mostly have to raise them, because students are often their own harshest critics.)

      Jesse Stommel

    1. Why is all the focus on teaching lay people how to code, and not teaching computer scientists and people who work in tech companies to center empathy and humanity in their work?

      . . .

      I think there should be an element of infusing discussions of ethics, humanity and social consequences into computer science curricula, and I believe that even human-centered design does not go far enough; I suggest that designers of tech consider more “empathetic and participatory design” where there is some degree of involving people who are not in the tech company as autonomous persons in product design decisions, and not just using them as research/testing subjects.

    1. 27 Oct 2017

      • A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.

      The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

    1. ... "Frontline" will give consumers not just a story via a two-part documentary on Vladimir Putin, "Putin's Revenge," which begins tonight and looks at the evolution of his thinking about, and animus toward, the United States.

      At 10 p.m., it will post online virtually every bit of all its interviews, or 70 hours of 56 interviews. They're with figures big and small, ranging from former big-time U.S. intelligence officials such as James Clapper and John Brennan to Putin confidantes, journalists, policy experts and others whom you don't know but have a lot to say on this important and ambiguous topic.

      Both the video and transcripts will be easily searchable and annotated right here.

      http://go.pardot.com/e/273262/frontline-film-putins-revenge-/23b4b/70048029

    1. In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, which targets Russian human-rights abusers: It freezes their assets and deprives them of visas.

      . . .

      The Magnitsky Act drives Putin nuts. It means that his men can’t act as they always have, i.e., with impunity. Now there are consequences, which is a problem for Putin. Four countries have Magnitsky acts: the U.S., Britain, Estonia, and now Canada. (They passed theirs last week.)

      Browder is a driver behind these Magnitsky acts, and Putin hates him for it, understandably. Twice in 2013, he tried to add Browder to Interpol’s wanted list, and twice he failed, because Interpol knew that Putin was politically motivated. Browder is not a criminal. He is an anti-criminal, which is why Putin targets him.

      . . .

      In the wake of Canada’s new Magnitsky act, Putin has tried again. Tried for a fifth time. Interpol has accepted his request. Worse, the U.S. government seems in partnership with the Kremlin: Our government has revoked Browder’s visa. (American-born, Browder is a British citizen.)

    1. Twitter took 11 months to close a Russian troll account that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party even after that state's real GOP notified the social media company that the account was a fake.

      The account, @TEN_GOP, was enormously popular, amassing at least 136,000 followers between its creation in November 2015 and when Twitter shut it down in August

    1. The Bystander Effect - Crowds sometimes fail to help someone in trouble: everyone assumes someone else will do it.

      Similarly, people in groups often fail to check facts as carefully as they would if they were alone. They assume someone else has already checked.

      Careless people, and bots, tend to share news quickly, without bothering to fact check. Once something has been shared thousands of times, even fairly careful people are likely to assume it must be true.

      Again, if social media was to think a bit bigger, there are ways to apply this insight to deprivilege the influence of the quickest, and privilege the influence of those making informed decisions.

    1. Mike Monteiro's short history of Twitter from the point of view of a long-time user. They went bad when they started tolerating racists for the sake of continued growth. And now Trump's tweets are a genuine threat to the entire world.

    1. The abuse is the free speech issue. Kicking Nazis off of Twitter reduces the platform of a small number of people who are using that platform to terrify and silence others. Leaving them on suppresses, in all meaningful terms, the voices of entire classes of female intellectuals, people of color, and any other subgroup the mob decides to turn it spotlight towards when that subgroup gets a little too uppity.

    1. You have probably heard about the hunt for dark matter, a mysterious substance thought to permeate the universe, the effects of which we can see through its gravitational pull. But our models of the universe also say there should be about twice as much ordinary matter out there, compared with what we have observed so far.

      Two separate teams found the missing matter – made of particles called baryons rather than dark matter – linking galaxies together through filaments of hot, diffuse gas.

    1. AT&T has a habit of pushing unlimited data plans for an extra $5 per month -- without telling you that the deal will remove your tethering ability, for which they now want an additional $30 per month.

    1. DEFCON, the world’s largest hacker conference, will release its findings on Tuesday, months after hosting a July demonstration in which hackers quickly broke into 25 different types of voting machines.

      ...

      Though the report offers no proof of an attack last year, experts involved with it say they’re sure it is possible—and probable—and that the chances of a bigger attack in the future are high.

      “From a technological point of view, this is something that is clearly doable,” said Sherri Ramsay, the former director of the federal Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, which handles cyber threats for the military and the National Security Agency. “For us to turn a blind eye to this, I think that would be very irresponsible on our part.”

  18. Aug 2017
    1. What it means to be poor, with many additions in the replies. It is a shame that people are made to feel shame for accepting help or asking for help. If your charity group is giving kids something for Christmas, that's great. But don't put them on the local news.

    1. According to this, Sweden has had great success reducing prostitution by:

      • criminalizing the buying of sex
      • decriminalizing prostitution
      • providing help for prostitutes who want to quit
    1. The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.)

      That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.

    1. 4,997 English words rated on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous) by 821 participants.

    1. Everywhere you look at the moment, you see people projecting their fantasies back into history, rather than allowing the past to be different from the present. This comes from people across the political spectrum, but what they all have in common is that they only really care about history as far as it serves modern political goals. They're only interested in the past to the extent that it supports their modern prejudices, whatever those happen to be

  19. Jul 2017
    1. MIT is running a master's program in data, economics, and development policy with unique admission requirements. Anyone can apply after completing five online courses through edX with in-person exams.

      https://micromasters.mit.edu/dedp/

    1. James Kirchick says Democrats need to acknowledge that the Obama administration was far too soft on Russia. As it is, their concern over Russian interference in the 2016 election looks partisan.

    1. Hunter S. Thompson saw the Hell's Angels of the 1960s as an example of a problem that was going to get much worse -- people left behind, who therefore have nothing to do but demonstrate their growing resentment for society.