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I moved my kids out of America. It was the best parenting decision I’ve ever made.

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 19:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Some of our friends turned on us, calling us terrible parents, or saying we were unpatriotic. Why would we want to leave the land of the free and the home of the brave? And where was Ecuador, anyway? Somewhere near Mexico? Africa? We were taking our children to a country that most Americans can’t even point to on a map. What were we thinking?

Well, we were thinking a lot of things, and taking a number of factors into consideration. In America, it seemed every third child was taking pharmaceuticals to treat behavioral issues, anxiety, or depression. High school students were unloading automatic weapons into their classmates. Opioid use was reaching all new highs. Bank executives were defrauding their customers and Wall Street was walking an increasingly thin tight rope. It felt like The American Dream as we knew it was all but gone, having transformed into a shadowy unknown. We fretted about what the future would hold for our family. We thought maybe, just maybe, a simpler lifestyle somewhere else was the answer. And so, in 2011, our family walked up to the edge of the unknown, took a deep breath, and jumped.


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Comments:

  1. What’s his point? Everyone can’t move to a commune in South America. Why didn’t he just move to Europe or Canada, or do they have the same problems as the US.

Macron pledges pragmatism and cooperation with post-Brexit Britain

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 14:54 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Macron said the biggest challenge and the starting point for his foreign policy was tackling the “crisis that is hitting western democracies”.

He asked: “When you look at the planet today, what do you see? A rise in illiberal democracies, and extremes in Europe, a reappearance of authoritarian regimes that question the vitality of democracy, and the US in part withdrawing from the world. That context is worsened by a rise in uncertainty and troubles – crises are growing in the Middle East and the Gulf, inequalities are growing everywhere in the world.”

He said the crisis came “in part from the profound inequalities created by the world order, and from Islamist terrorism” but he said climate issues were also key. “Anyone who thinks the fight against climate change is mere whim by middle-class liberals is deeply wrong.”

Macron said Europe had no choice but to become the standard-bearer in the fight against illiberalism in the world. “Because democracy was born in Europe. The US likes freedom as much as we do, but it doesn’t have our love for justice. Europe is the only place in the world where individual freedoms, the spirit of democracy and social justice are so closely joined. So the question now is: will Europe succeed in defending the deep values it brought to the world for decades, or will it be wiped out by the rise in illiberal democracies and authoritarian regimes?”


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  1. When did democracy start in Europe? Is he referring to the Magna Carta?

Kafka – The Problem of Our Laws

Posted on June 21st, 2017 at 15:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote: (“The Problem of Our Laws”, published 1931)]

Our laws are not generally known; they are kept secret by the small group of nobles who rule us. We are convinced that these ancient laws are scrupulously administered; nevertheless, it is an extremely painful thing to be ruled by laws that one does not know. I am not thinking of possible discrepancies that may arise in the interpretation of the laws, or of the disadvantages involved when only a few and not the whole people are allowed to have a say in their interpretation. These disadvantages are perhaps of no great importance. For the laws are very ancient; their interpretation has been the work of centuries, and has itself doubtless acquired the status of law; and though there is still a possible freedom of interpretation left, it has now become very restricted. Moreover the nobles have obviously no cause to be influenced in their interpretation by personal interests inimical to us, for the laws were made to the advantage of the nobles from the very beginning, they themselves stand above the laws, and that seems to be why the laws were entrusted exclusively into their hands. Of course, there is wisdom in that–who doubts the wisdom of the anicent laws?–but also hardship for us; probably that is unavoidable.

The very existence of these laws, however, is at most a matter of presumption. There is a tradition that they exist and that they are a mystery confided to the nobility, but it is not and cannot be more than a mere tradition sanctioned by age, for the essence of a secret code is that it should remain a mystery. Some of us among the people have attentively scrutinized the doings of the nobility since the earliest times and possess records made by our forefathers–records which we have conscientiously continued–and claim to recognize amid the countless number of facts certain main tendencies which permit of this or that historical formulation; but when in accordance with these scrupulously tested and logically ordered conclusions we seek to orient ourselves somewhat towards the present or the future, everything becomes uncertain, and our work seems only an intellectual game, for perhaps these laws that we are trying to unravel do not exist at all. There is a small party who are actually of this opinion and who try to show us that, if any law exists, it can only be this: The Law is whatever the nobles do. This party see everywhere only the arbitrary acts of the nobility, and reject the popular tradition, which according to them possesses only certain trifling and incidental advantages that do not offset its heavy drawbacks, for it gives the people a false, deceptive and over-confident security in confronting coming events. This cannot be gainsaid, but the overwhelming majority of our people account for it by the fact that the tradition is far from complete and must be more fully enquired into, that the material available, prodigious as it looks, is still too meager, and that several centuries will have to pass before it becomes really adequate. This view, so comfortless as far as the present is converned, is lightened only by the belief that a time will eventually come when the tradition and our research into it will jointly reach their conclusion, and as it were gain a breathing space, when everything will have become clear, the law itself will belong to the people, and the nobility will vanish. This is not maintained in any spirit of hatred against the nobility; not at all, and by no one. We are more inclined to hate ourselves, because we have not yet shown ourselves worthy of being entrusted with the laws. And that is the real reason why the party which believes that there is no law has always remained so small–although its doctrine is in certain ways so attractive, for it unequivocally recognizes the nobility and its right to go on living.

Actually one can express the problem only in a sort of paradox: Any party which would repudiate, not only all belief in the laws, but in the nobility as well, would have the whole people behind it; yet no such party can come into existence, for nobody would dare to repudiate the nobility. We live on this razor edge. A writer once summed up the matter up in this way: The sole visible and indubiatable law that is imposed upon us is the nobility, and must we ourselves deprive ourselves of that one law?

[Quote:]

…in 2014, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) rejected a service provider’s request to obtain other FISC opinions that government attorneys had cited and relied on in court filings seeking to compel the provider’s cooperation.

[…]

The provider’s request came up amid legal briefing by both it and the DOJ concerning its challenge to a 702 order. After the DOJ cited two earlier FISC opinions that were not public at the time — one from 2014 and another from 2008­ — the provider asked the court for access to those rulings.

The provider argued that without being able to review the previous FISC rulings, it could not fully understand the court’s earlier decisions, much less effectively respond to DOJ’s argument. The provider also argued that because attorneys with Top Secret security clearances represented it, they could review the rulings without posing a risk to national security.

The court disagreed in several respects. It found that the court’s rules and Section 702 prohibited the documents release. It also rejected the provider’s claim that the Constitution’s Due Process Clause entitled it to the documents.


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Donald Trump boasts about construction of Panama Canal before being reminded it was built 100 years ago

Posted on June 20th, 2017 at 22:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Sat side by side while cameras flared, the mogul-turned-politico claimed he and Mr Varela had many important issues to discuss, but nevertheless found time to declare: “The Panama Canal is doing quite well. I think we did a good job building it, right – a very good job.”

Turning to Juan Carlos Varela, Mr Trump asked: “Right?”

The President of Panama made sure to interject with: “Yeah, about 100 years ago.”


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Comments:

  1. What, is the US supposed to stop being proud of the moon landing when it becomes 50 years ago?

    Worst gripe about Trump ever.

  2. I think the US is still proud of a certain tea party without any complaints. It’s not being or not being proud that’s the issue here.

  3. The tea party built the Panama Canal? I don’t doubt that Trump is ignorant, but he is a gazillionaire.

What if companies interviewed translators the way they interview coders?

Posted on June 20th, 2017 at 9:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Yes, let’s get started, here I have some introductory questions tailored for the position. Question number one: how did the Arabic invasion in the Iberian Peninsula between the years of 711 and 1492 affected the Spanish language?


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Comments:

  1. Perfect simile. 🙂

A surprising number of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows

Posted on June 18th, 2017 at 17:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Seven percent of all American adults – roughly 16.4 million people – do not know that chocolate milk is made of milk, cocoa, and sugar, according to a new nationally representative survey by the Innovation Center for US Dairy.

Instead, they reported it comes from brown cows.


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Comments:

  1. …and I’ll bet 100% of that 7% voted for the Chumpster in Chief.

  2. And what percentage believe that condensed milk comes from terribly squeezed cows?

  3. Were the 7% mostly children or Hillary voters? Seriously, the poll suggest the Dairy association is not too intelligent either.

  4. Most kids seem to not get any kind of milk now, but those wretched “juice boxes”. 10g sugar in 250ml.(Judging by what is available in NA supermarkets.)

Plastics, papers, compostables, lend me your lids!

Posted on June 18th, 2017 at 16:40 by John Sinteur in category: News


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The Balanced Ternary Machines of Soviet Russia

Posted on June 18th, 2017 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

It’s pretty common knowledge that computers store and operate on data using the binary number system. One of the main reasons for this can be found in the circuitry of modern computers, which are made up of billions of easily mass-producible transistors and capacitors that can together represent two states: high voltage (1) and low voltage (0).

Such a design is so ubiquitous nowadays that it’s hard to imagine that computers could operate in any other way. But, in Soviet Russia during the 1950s, they did. Enter Setun, a balanced ternary computer developed in 1958 by a small team led by Nikolay Brusentsov at the Moscow State University.


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Comments:

  1. Good like. So, in ternary logic, something can be, not be, or may be! 🙂

Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

Posted on June 17th, 2017 at 11:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will discuss next month plans to force tech companies to break encryption on their products.

The so-called Five Eyes nations have a long-standing agreement to gather and share intelligence from across the globe. They will meet in Canada with a focus on how to prevent “terrorists and organized criminals” from “operating with impunity ungoverned digital spaces online,” according to Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In the most forthright call yet from a national leader to break encryption, Turnbull told Parliament: “The privacy of a terrorist can never be more important than public safety – never.”

So we’re going to have two versions of most tech products? Those for use in Five Eyes, and those for use in Europe, where the exact opposite laws will be active:

[Quote:]

The Government has been dealt a blow in its bid to force WhatsApp and other tech companies to hand over terror suspects’ encrypted messages by EU proposals.

MEPs have tabled laws that would forbid countries in the EU from breaking the electronic protection that prevents security services from reading messages sent via WhatsApp. The plans would also impose obligations on tech companies that do not currently apply encryption to messages to do so.


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Comments:

  1. So we’ll have the right to read their emails too, or is that reserved for the Russians only?

They Finally Made a Handmaid’s Tale for Men

Posted on June 17th, 2017 at 10:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. You know, that lampshade is kinda sexy…

Happy Caturday

Posted on June 17th, 2017 at 10:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. Got milk?

New law in Japan lets police arrest and surveil those merely planning or discussing certain acts, like copyright violation

Posted on June 16th, 2017 at 9:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

BBC laid out some of the most ridiculous things that someone in Japan can now catch a potentially terrorism-related charge for even planning or discussing on social media the acts of:

  • Copying music
  • Conducting sit-ins to protest against the construction of apartment buildings
  • Using forged stamps
  • Competing in a motor boat race without a licence
  • Mushroom picking in conservation forests
  • Avoiding paying consumption tax

The stated rationale of the government is that these now-illegal acts, such as copying music to CDs or foraging for mushrooms in conservation forests, could be used to fund terrorist activities. Hence, planning or thinking about them is bad. If this sounds like the Thought Police, that’s because it is.


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Comments:

  1. Thought Police? Their police don’t actually have enough to do, so they take a particular interest in ladies’ lost underwear:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/06/crime-rates-sure-are-low-japan-you-know-what-else-low/

Trump property buyers make clear shift to secretive shell companies

Posted on June 16th, 2017 at 0:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities, a USA TODAY investigation has found.

Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies – corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before.

[..]

“If what’s going on is somebody is buying something from The Trump Organization to buy favor, there’s no way you’d ever figure out who that person is or what favor they’re trying to buy,” said Jack Blum, a Washington attorney specializing in offshore tax evasion and financial crime and former staff lawyer for two U.S. Senate committees.

The reason for the shift is unclear. The White House refers all questions about Trump’s businesses to The Trump Organization, which would not answer questions about the sales.

I would say the reason for the shift is very clear… but then again I’m a cynical old fart.


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Trump backers try out the incompetence defense against obstruction concerns

Posted on June 15th, 2017 at 23:51 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In response to allegations that President Donald Trump illegally attempted to stymie an investigation into his campaign, the GOP has come up with a novel excuse: Maybe, they say, the president is just too bad with words to avoid incriminating himself.

Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) offered the latest and clearest example of this rationale on NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday, as first highlighted by CNN’s KFile.

“I’m at the point where we also have to be real careful from the standpoint that we have a President that’s not from the political class,” Schweikert said. “The learning of the disciplined use of language and what certain words mean in our context — if you’re not from this world you may not have developed that discipline.”

[..]

And speaking on Face the Nation on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) offered a similar lamentation — expressing his frustration that the president couldn’t stop putting his foot in his mouth.

“But here’s what’s so frustrating for Republicans like me: You may be the first President in history to go down because you can’t stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you,” Graham said.

Okay… so what you’re saying is that he’s unfit to be President? Isn’t there an amendment you can follow to fix that?


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Donald Trump is really sad he’s not running against Hillary Clinton anymore – Vox

Posted on June 15th, 2017 at 23:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

[@realDonaldTrump:]

Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?

Well… what might help is to realize that she’s not the President, and you are? And that’s on top of the twenty-two investigations that were already done into her dealing that found nothing? And that she never fired anyone for investigating her? Nor did she ever tell anybody on national television that she fired the person investigating here? This isn’t rocket surgery, you know…


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Comments:

  1. But it might very well be brain science.

Nobody making federal minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment

Posted on June 15th, 2017 at 22:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The absolute least that an employer is legally allowed to pay an employee for an hour’s work varies across the country, but one fact remains constant: In no state does working 40 hours a week for minimum wage enable a person to rent a median two-bedroom apartment.

That’s according to new research by the National Low Income Housing Coalition covered by The Washington Post. Across the country, it reports, even full-time workers would have to make about or more than twice as much to afford a typical home.

In states such as Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and most of the Northeast, workers would have to make over $20 an hour. Workers in California, D.C. and Hawaii are the hardest hit by the price of housing: They need to earn a whopping $30, $33 or $35 an hour, respectively, to afford a two-bedroom.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25.


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Senator Paul Rand on Twitter

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 23:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. So, if ever some moron starts taking potshots at Rand Paul, his first thought will be, “Wow, I didn’t realise I’d become tyrannical!”?
    But, as is standard for American shootings (and in the developed world, only America has ‘standard’ regular shootings) let’s follow the Do’s and Don’ts.
    DO: Blame the Democrats, blame Bernie, blame Clinton (either one will do but bonus points if you can get some kind of link to Benghazi, Whitewater, Monica etc), rock music, rap, Marilyn Manson, video games and any kind of liberal thought.
    DON’T: Blame the ease of getting guns or the ability of convicted felons to keep old guns and buy new guns, blame the relative ease with which the mentally ill can get guns, point out that the U.S. has an alarmingly high gun-death-per-capita when compared to any other developed country.
    And let’s restart the clock for the next mass (more than three people together) shooting. Before mid-July, I’d say…

  2. Does anyone really feel safe in this society? The emphasis on accumulating wealth at any cost doesn’t seem to make sense anymore.

  3. @Will: I’d say you guys were measuring wealth all wrong…

  4. @Sue: Precisely. Trump and his enablers know the price of everything and the value of nothing. As the song Mr. Businessman said years ago – placing value on the worthless, disregarding priceless wealth. But not just disregarding it – destroying it. On purpose.

Trump Stews, Staff Steps In, and Mueller Is Safe for Now

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 20:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

But behind the scenes, the president soon began entertaining the idea of firing Mr. Mueller even as his staff tried to discourage him from something they believed would turn a bad situation into a catastrophe, according to several people with direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s interactions. A longtime friend, Christopher Ruddy, surfaced the president’s thinking in a television interview Monday night, setting off a frenzied day of speculation that he would go through with it.

[..]

The president was pleased by the ambiguity of his position on Mr. Mueller, and thinks the possibility of being fired will focus the veteran prosecutor on delivering what the president desires most: a blanket public exoneration.

[Quote:]

So…Trump thinks that Mueller is afraid of being fired?

Let’s think about this for a minute. Really think about it. Trump thinks he can scare Mueller into going easy by threatening to fire him. Let’s get the lay of the land for just a moment. Who is this Mueller guy?

Mueller has an AB from Princeton, a Masters from NYU.

Then he enlisted in the Marines in 1968 because his lacrosse teammate was killed in Vietnam. The guy with a masters in international relations from NYU enlisted in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

He led a rifle platoon of Marines in Vietnam. He was in the shit. Purple Heart. Bronze Star. Two Commendation Medals. Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

He got back from the war and went to UVA School of Law. Was on Law Review.

Went to work as a litigator at Pillsbury – one of the top firms in the world.

12 years in US Attorney offices, rising to chief of the criminal division, then as an AUSA investigating, among other things, public corruption cases and international money laundering.

Then he was a partner at Hill and Barlow in Boston. Then returned to public service as an Assistant Attorney General at DOJ. Then he became head of the DOJ criminal division, where he oversaw the Noriega prosecution and took down John Gotti.

Back to private practice specializing in white-collar crime work.

Back to public service in the homicide section of the DC US Attorney’s office, then became US Attorney for the Northern District of California.

And after all that became Director of the FBI, confirmed by a unanimous Senate and officially became Director on September 4, 2001.

In March 2004, Mueller and James Comey, then Deputy Attorney General, together threatened to resign if the Bush White House overruled a DOJ finding that domestic warrantless wiretapping was unconstitutional.

Then he extended his term for two extra years at Obama’s request and the Senate’s approval.

And Trump thinks that guy is afraid of being fired? He thinks that guy will be deterred from nailing every single villain he can find under every single rock that exists? Mueller was not only in the shit, he ran into the shit and has never stopped running into the shit his entire life. The shit is afraid of Mueller.


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Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 20:23 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

“Google is a digital truth serum,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies, told me in a recent interview. “People tell Google things that they don’t tell to possibly anybody else, things they might not tell to family members, friends, anonymous surveys, or doctors.”

Stephens-Davidowitz was working on a PhD in economics at Harvard when he became obsessed with Google Trends, a tool that tracks how frequently searches are made in a given area over a given time period.

He spent five years combing through this data. The idea was that you could get far better real-time information about what people are thinking by looking at Google Trends data than you could through polls or some other survey device.

It turns out he was right.

[..]

You can’t really predict using surveys who’s going to turn out in an election because everybody says they’re going to vote, nobody wants to admit that they have no intention of voting. But you can predict who’s going to vote based on their Google searches. People search how to vote, or where to vote, or polling places weeks before an election and that predicts that turnout will be high.

In this election, you saw very, very clearly in the data that there was a huge decrease in these searches in cities with enormous African-American populations, for example. It was very clear in the Google search data that black turnout was going to be way down in 2016, and that was one of the reasons Clinton did so much worse than the polls predicted.


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  1. Who would have thought people were so dishonest. The lying politicians deserve our support, and why didn’t the Trump supporters stay home? Were the gullible people the only ones voting?

And they laugh when I tell them I likely won’t be able to buy a new car…

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 1:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

 


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‘I love you more, Mr. President’: A Cabinet competition

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 0:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President Trump responded to the news that the Public Theater was putting on a defiant production of “Julius Caesar” by staging his own production of “King Lear” during a very strange Cabinet meeting on Monday

It went approximately as follows. 

Trump: All right. Which of you shall we say doth love us most, that we our largest bounty may extend where nature doth with merit challenge? Go around, name your position, talk about your work. Start with Mike.

Mike Pence: I love you more than words can wield the matter. Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty. Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare. No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor; as much as child e’er loved, or father found. A love that makes breath poor and speech unable. Beyond all manner of so much I love you. Serving you has been “the greatest privilege of my life,” Mr. Lear.

Jeff Sessions: Sir, I am made of that self mettle as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart, I find she names my very deed of love — Only she comes too short, that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys, Which the most precious square of sense possesses. And find I am alone felicitate in your dear highness’ love. “An honor to be here.”

Jim Mattis: I respect the troops a lot.

Trump: Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.


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Atlass

Posted on June 14th, 2017 at 0:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

The big question being, of course, is there a matching top?


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  1. Hauling ass?

Real Time With Bill Maher Dan Savage Best Gay Joke Ever

Posted on June 13th, 2017 at 23:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Congressman introduces ‘COVFEFE Act’ to make social media a presidential record

Posted on June 13th, 2017 at 13:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

While the political world and late-night comedians still debate what “covfefe” means, at least one member of Congress is aiming to establish what it stands for.

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois has introduced a bill, dubbed the “COVFEFE Act,” to require the preservation of a president’s social media records.

Quigley’s bill turns the buzz word into an acronym standing for the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act, which would broaden the scope of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 by including the term “social media” as documentary material.

On May 31, President Donald Trump declared at 12:06 a.m. on Twitter: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

The tweet remained published for several hours before being removed, allowing observers plenty of time to ponder the meaning of “covfefe.” But the deletion and others like it have raised questions about how presidents’ social media should be handled and preserved.

“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” Quigley, who co-founded the Congressional Transparency Caucus, said in a statement.


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UK Government to abandon all ideas of trying to ban strong encryption. Or so they claim

Posted on June 13th, 2017 at 11:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

In response to the ‘Government to abandon all ideas of trying to ban strong encryption’ petition of 2016., the government released this statement:

[Quote:]

This Government recognises the importance of encryption, which helps keep people’s personal data and intellectual property safe from theft by cyber means. It is fundamental to our everyday use of the internet. Without the development of strong encryption allowing the secure transfer of banking details there would be no online commerce. As Baroness Shields made clear in the House of Lords on 27 October 2015, the Government does not require the provision of a back-door key or support arbitrarily weakening the security of internet services.

Clearly as technology evolves at an ever increasing rate, it is only right that we make sure we keep up, to keep our citizens safe. There shouldn’t be a guaranteed safe space for terrorists, criminals and paedophiles to operate beyond the reach of law.

The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure that, with clear oversight and a robust legal framework, the police and intelligence agencies can, subject to a warrant which can only be issued using a strict authorisation process where it is necessary and proportionate, access the content of communications of terrorists and criminals in order to resolve police investigations and prevent criminal acts.

There are already requirements in law for Communication Service Providers in certain circumstances to remove encryption that they have themselves applied from intercepted communications. This is subject to authorisation by the Secretary of State who must consider the interception of communications to be necessary and proportionate. The Investigatory Powers Bill will not ban or further limit encryption.

They’re apparently hoping nobody notices that the third paragraph cannot possibly be achieved without utterly breaking the promise of the first paragraph. The key word there is probably “arbitrarily”. They are not in favor of “arbitrarily” weakening the security, meaning that they don’t favor weakening it for the sake of making it weak. They favor weakening it for the sake, they believe, of making the country safer, or for some other reason that they’re not being forthright about.


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Wiretap

Posted on June 13th, 2017 at 11:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


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a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel.

Posted on June 12th, 2017 at 23:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime

Posted on June 12th, 2017 at 19:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico. The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350km), and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state. Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalization of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organisations.

And the problem with that is lost money by Big Pharma, for-profit prisons.. So many companies and bureaucracies hugely profit from the ‘war on drugs’ that is perpetrated on people.


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  1. Reduction of cannabis, increase in opioids.

Okay, I hate marketing, but I must admit this is funny

Posted on June 11th, 2017 at 22:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. Funny, yes, but also a real warning to Trump. Once politicians become so risible that even usually-humourless types start mocking them, their support, even amongst their base, can drop sharply. Just ask former President ‘Potatoe’ Quayle. Oh, wait, you can’t…

TD VoicePrint

Posted on June 11th, 2017 at 13:24 by John Sinteur in category: News

TD Bank thinks it has something that’s convenient..

[Quote:]

TD VoicePrint is a voice recognition technology that allows us to use your voiceprint – as unique to you as your fingerprint – to validate your identify whenever you speak on the phone with one of our Live Customer Service representatives.

Simply put, the TD VoicePrint system takes a “print” of your voice in real time and transcribes it into mathematical data that cannot be replicated. Like the lines in your finger, your voiceprint is based on your unique voice. It’s composed of over a hundred different characteristics that uniquely represent your voice (e.g., the shape and size of your vocal tract). No one else has a voice just like you.

For you, this is a layer of additional security that will help you feel more secure and confident whenever you talk to our representatives on the phone. For us, voice recognition helps us to verify your identity. It also allows us to help you faster over the phone.

I wonder if they tested it against this:

A new Canadian startup called Lyrebird says it can copy anyone’s voice and make them say anything.

It’s a Canadian company that specializes in speech synthesis software. They’ve developed software they claim can copy anyone’s voice and make it say anything.

The founders tell me if they can get a high-quality recording of you speaking for just one minute, their software can replicate your voice with very high accuracy.

If they get a recording of you speaking for five minutes, they say it would be difficult to tell the difference between your voice and their computer-generated mimic. That’s where the name Lyrebird comes from: a lyrebird is an Australian bird that’s noted for its mimicry.


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