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WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1537676167

WormBase Manet - 49 min 2 sec ago
Categories: Bio

Saturday Late Night Open Thread

Balloon Juice - 1 hour 24 min ago

You wish you were this cool:


Categories: Politics

Slashdot Asks: Anyone Considering an Apple Watch 4?

Slashdot - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:44
Long-time Slashdot reader kwelch007 writes: I finally gave in, after years of Android loyalty, because the iPhone and Apple Watch just worked, so I was told (and it is true). I changed from my Motorola Maxx for an iPhone 7, because I wanted the Apple Watch. Shortly after, I purchased a second-hand Apple Watch Series 1. I have never looked back...and I'm happy with it. Last week, I was able to buy an Apple Watch Series 4 with the exact specs I wanted... Wow! The screen is a ton bigger than my Series 1. I noticed right away when it asked me to set my passcode...the buttons were WAY bigger! It truly has the "side-to-side" screen...it's noticable... "Walkie Talkie" is super convenient (used with my associate who told me that it was in stock at Best Buy...) Cool: 1) It's big, but not much bigger on your wrist than the 42mm versions previous...rather, the screen is bigger, brighter, and more usable. 2) The speakers and mics are far and away better than previous versions of the Apple Watch. But they don't yet have access to "the highly-touted 'ECG' capability". (Fortune reports it was only approved by America's FDA the day before the launch event -- and isn't yet available for "international" customers.) And the software also isn't ready yet for "Fall Protection," a feature which calls emergency responders if it detects that you've fallen to the ground and you don't respond to prompts for the next 60 seconds. ("The feature is automatic with Watch owners who identify themselves as 65 and up," USA Today reported last week.) "I spoke to several people in their 40s or 50s who said the same thing: they were already considering buying Series 4 watches for their parents for this feature alone," reported Daring Fireball, and both sites concluded that excitement was actually higher for Apple's new watches than it was for their new iPhones. ("We're talking about a device used by over a billion people -- the iPhone," writes USA Today, "compared with an accessory that analysts say have sold about 15 million units.") Daring Fireball acknowledges that the Apple Watch isn't the "nicest" watch in the world, but it's definitely the nicest if you compare it only to other smart watches and fitness trackers. (Though "that's like saying you're the richest person in the poorhouse.") But what do Slashdot readers think? Is anyone considering an Apple Watch 4?

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Categories: Geek

Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:00

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Dr Liz Theoharis at The Guardian write—The war on poverty begins at the ballot box:

[...] The weight of poverty lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who lack the will and political courage to truly eradicate poverty despite abundant resources to do so.

If we are to truly wage a war on poverty, we must start by mobilizing and registering poor and disenfranchised voters who have been left out of the process for far too long.

Earlier this year, the Poor People’s Campaign waged the most expansive wave of non-violent civil disobedience in history, calling attention to the systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation plaguing the nation. We marched on state houses and Capitol Hill, risking arrest to lift up the voices of people directly affected by these issues.

Now, with the midterms in sight, we’re deepening our organizing efforts with an eye toward registering and mobilizing poor voters and building moral knowledge and political power in our communities from the bottom up. We plan on executing massive voter registration efforts in addition to a series of town halls aimed at highlighting the true face of poverty in the US. We believe by empowering often forgotten communities and driving those voters to the polls, the poor and disenfranchised can be a game changer in this election and the years to come.

The Poor People’s Campaign has built organizing committees in 40 states, including in every state of the former Confederacy, which will form the backbone of this next phase of our campaign. Those committees are composed of poor people, clergy and advocates who will recruit new leaders in each state to engage tens of thousands of poor and low-income people around the issues that affect their lives.[...]





On this date at Daily Kos in 2002Difficulties of urban warfare:

Military planners continue to shudder at the thought of a street-to-street battle in Baghdad.

The US is working on new small-unit tactics to counter the urban defender's natural advantages, but those new tactics are still not ready for primetime:

The Marines put some of their ideas to the test in a recent exercise on a shuttered Air Force base in southern California. In it, a battalion of 1,100 troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, tried to capture base housing from a simulated enemy force, played by 200 eager reservists. A hundred "extras" were hired from a temp agency to play civilian refugees. In taking the city, about 100 of the attackers were killed — about 10 percent losses, a huge number compared with recent American military deaths in single battles. Several helicopters also went down before the Marines captured the town, and more were killed as the defending forces began using truck bombs and other guerrilla activities, Sullivan said.

And remember that in an urban center, US air power means little. It is difficult to call in air strikes on roving bands of urban defenders. Helicopter gunships are vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades. And as Grozny taught us, defenders can just as easily fire from behind rubble as from standing buildings.

Once again, given the weakness of Bush's case against Hussein, are we really willing to risk hundreds, if not thousands, of US casualties?

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”


Categories: Politics

C&L's Sat Nite Chiller Theater: D.O.A. (1949)

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:00
  D.O.A.  (1949)

[embed eid="31455" /]

"I want to report a murder."
"Who was murdered?"
"I was."

This is how D.O.A. opens, so it spoils nothing to tell you that this is the story of a CPA named Frank Bigelow (played by Edmond O'Brien) who is poisoned.

If, like me, you happened to see the 1988 remake of D.O.A., starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan) this one is...

How shall I put this charitably?



(This YouTube lists the movie as 1950; its release was actually 1949.)

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Categories: Politics

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1537668966

WormBase Manet - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 22:36
Categories: Bio

Huge Trove of Employee Records Discovered At Abandoned Toys 'R' Us

Slashdot - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 21:34
An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday recently engaged in a bit of urban exploration, taking a look inside of a recently purchased Toys "R" Us location that has been boarded up since the once giant toy store chain folded in June. Inside they found plenty of hardware left behind, from point-of-sale systems to the Cisco networking gear in the server room. But the most interesting find was on paper. In a back office, they found "several boxes" of personal information about the store's employees, from their medical records to photocopies of their driver's licenses and Social Security cards [and also tax forms]. A video included with the article gives the viewer an impression of just how large a collection of files were left behind. The author wonders if the situation in this particular store was a fluke, or if the other [800] Toys "R" Us locations were left in a similar state. The article calls it "a very surprising look at what get's left behind when the money runs out and the employees simply give up...." "We saw the great lengths the company went to protect customer information, so to see how little regard they had for their own people was honestly infuriating."

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Categories: Geek

Passage Of Time Doesn't Erase Youthful Mistakes In The Criminal Justice System, Especially For People Of Color

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 21:30
Passage Of Time Doesn't Erase Youthful Mistakes In The Criminal Justice System, Especially For People Of Color

File 20180919 158222 ddfi12.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Eileen M. Ahlin, Pennsylvania State University

The accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, made by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, has been met with a variety of responses.

Among those responses has been the idea that what happens when someone is young should not be held against them, especially if they’ve led a commendable life ever since.

read more

Categories: Politics

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—avoid these mistakes

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 21:15

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

When this series first began, I ran a companion series “AARGH” about campaign mistakes. While we haven’t done an AARGH piece in a while, some of the advice within those diaries—about campaign mistakes—remains important and this week, we’re going to cover a few of the things that your small campaign needs to avoid in order to be successful.

Mistakes during a campaign will happen, but keeping them small or minimizing the damage they can do is important. No campaign is flawless—we are all humans. But making sure minor problems don’t become big ones? That is one of the big keys that make a good campaign different than a bad campaign.

Categories: Politics

A Great New Track by John Hiatt Refutes Its Own Title: "Over the Hill"

Little Green Footballs - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:51

From the new album 'The Eclipse Sessions,' available October 12: http://geni.us/jhtes?track=yt

Directed by Michael Kessler

Categories: Politics

Senate panel & lawyers for Dr. Ford tentatively agree she'll testify about Kavanaugh Thursday

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:41

The New York Times reports that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will, tentatively, testify Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape her when they were teenagers:

The Senate Judiciary Committee and lawyers for the woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers reached a tentative agreement on Saturday for her to publicly testify on Thursday, an apparent breakthrough in halting negotiations.

After a brief call late on Saturday, the lawyers and aides to Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, planned to talk again Sunday morning to continue negotiations over the conditions of the testimony, according to three people familiar with the call. Aides to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, were also involved.

You can bet that the 12 white male senators that make up the entire Republican cohort on the Judiciary Committee have already planned how to undermine Dr. Ford with attacks on her character.

It is, as feminists have said for decades, a standard approach. 

In the wake of Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when she worked for him, Judith Lewis Herman wrote the book “Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror.” There she lays out what that standard approach is:

“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”             

Categories: Politics

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1537661766

WormBase Manet - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:36
Categories: Bio

PSA: Debunking Social Media Rumors About Christine Blasey Ford – Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:19

I just now had to debunk some garbage on Facebook and found this, which is very helpful. The New York Times gets it right sometimes. It debunks five rumors circulating on the right about Blasey Ford. There will be more, I suppose.

Claim: Dr. Blasey’s students left negative reviews on her RateMyProfessors.com profile, calling her “unprofessional” and citing her “dark” personality.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Judge Kavanaugh’s mother once ruled against Dr. Blasey’s parents in a foreclosure case.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Dr. Blasey made similar sexual assault accusations against Justice Neil Gorsuch during his nomination process.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Dr. Blasey is a major Democratic donor with a long history of left-wing activism.
Verdict: Mostly false.

Claim: Dr. Blasey’s brother worked at a law firm with ties to the Russia investigation.
Verdict: Misleading.

Also, from former Republican Bruce Bartlett:

And, since you’ve made it this far, Ric and Zooey helping me with the laundry this morning.

Categories: Politics

This week in science

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:00

In this post truth, alternate fact, quasi-reality America, ignorance and self-hyping nonsense has a real chance of paying off. Just check out this one example of an anti-science entrepreneur extraordinaire:

This is an echo chamber because, in due time, you only hear your beliefs repeated back at you and stop seeing what’s happening on the other side. Echo chambers for the pseudoscience crowd exist as well, though Mike Adams’ online bubble is so vast and self-sufficient, it warrants the term “ecosystem”.

Mike Adams, also known as The Health Ranger, is a fierce advocate of alternative medicine. He is anti-vaccination, anti-GMO, anti-medicine.

There is even an alternative search engine, harnessed not to the web as a whole using keywords, but to providing alternative articles when prompted by searches for legit news and science orgs. It’s an elaborate, impressive feat of webware engineering all designed to separate you from sound medical advice and your healthcare dollars. 

Focusing the conversation on the ethics of disseminating speech rather than the actual content of that speech is hugely useful for the far right for three reasons. Firstly, it allows them to paint themselves as the wronged party — the martyrs and victims. Secondly, it stops ...

  • PZ started with dissecting a mysterious egg sac a few days ago, and it has since turned into a sort of arachnid reality TV show: The Real Spiders of Minnesota. Spoiler alert: baby spiders are insatiable, murderous little cannibals.
  • Here’s yet another unexpected perk of climate change in the Arctic:

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost — permanently frozen ground — is defrosting at an alarming rate. But the permafrost isn't the only thing in the Arctic that's melting.

Exposed rock that was once covered in ice is dissolving, eaten away by acid. And the effects of this acid bath could have far-reaching impacts on global climate, according to a new study.

Categories: Politics

Grandpa Grassley Tweets Nonsense About Kavanaugh Accuser

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:00
Grandpa Grassley Tweets Nonsense About Kavanaugh Accuser

On one hand, I commend Chuck Grassley for clearly writing his own tweets and expressing his views without the use of an aide or a "tweet writer". It is refreshing to know that he is the one actually pecking out his tweets on a phone or laptop. That being said, sometimes I think he would benefit from a quick tutorial by an aide who can explain to him appropriate shorthand, what a DM is and how to actually write an effective tweet.

For example, here are his latest tweets about the hearing for Dr. Ford:

Is this meant to be a message TO Dr. Ford?

Was this supposed to be a DM (direct message) or a text message to Kavanaugh?

Categories: Politics

MIT's Elegant Schoolbus Algorithm Was No Match For Angry Parents

Slashdot - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 19:34
"Computers can solve your problem. You may not like the answer," writes the Boston Globe. Slashdot reader sandbagger explains: "Boston Public Schools asked MIT graduate students Sebastien Martin and Arthur Delarue to build an algorithm that could do the enormously complicated work of changing start times at dozens of schools -- and re-routing the hundreds of buses that serve them. In theory this would also help with student alertness...." MIT also reported that "Approximately 50 superfluous routes could be eliminated using the new method, saving the school district between $3 million and $5 million annually." The Globe reports: They took to the new project with gusto, working 14- and 15-hour days to meet a tight deadline -- and occasionally waking up in the middle of the night to feed new information to a sprawling MIT data center. The machine they constructed was a marvel. Sorting through 1 novemtrigintillion options -- that's 1 followed by 120 zeroes -- the algorithm landed on a plan that would trim the district's $100 million-plus transportation budget while shifting the overwhelming majority of high school students into later start times.... But no one anticipated the crush of opposition that followed. Angry parents signed an online petition and filled the school committee chamber, turning the plan into one of the biggest crises of Mayor Marty Walsh's tenure. The city summarily dropped it. The failure would eventually play a role in the superintendent's resignation... Big districts stagger their start times so a single fleet of buses can serve every school: dropping off high school students early in the morning, then circling back to get the elementary and middle school kids. If you're going to push high school start times back, then you've probably got to move a lot of elementary and middle schools into earlier time slots. The district knew that going in, and officials dutifully quizzed thousands of parents and teachers at every grade level about their preferred start times. But they never directly confronted constituents with the sort of dramatic change the algorithm would eventually propose -- shifting school start times at some elementary schools by as much as two hours. Even more... Hundreds of families were facing a 9:30 to 7:15 a.m. shift. And for many, that was intolerable. They'd have to make major changes to work schedules or even quit their jobs... Nearly 85% of the district had ended up with a new start time, and "In the end, the school start time quandary was more political than technical... This was a fundamentally human conflict, and all the computing power in the world couldn't solve it." But will the whole drama play out again? "Last year, even after everything went sideways in Boston, some 80 school districts from around the country reached out to the whiz kids from MIT, eager for the algorithm to solve their problems."

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Categories: Geek

This week in the war on workers: Nope, the Republican tax scam isn't helping workers

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:55

Not that we needed much more evidence to show what a scam the Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was, but the evidence doesn’t care—it just keeps coming.

The $0.03 per hour (inflation-adjusted) bump in bonuses between the fourth quarter of 2018 [sic] and the second quarter of 2018 is very small and not necessarily attributable to the tax cuts rather than employer efforts to recruit workers in a continued low unemployment environment. [...]

The $0.03 increase in inflation-adjusted bonuses per hour over the last two quarters came as W-2 wages (defined as direct wages plus wages for paid leave and supplementary pay) actually fell $0.25 and overall compensation rose just $0.07. Looking over the last year we see a rise in bonuses of $0.09 per hour accounting for nearly all of the very small increase in W-2 wages of $0.12 while overall compensation did not grow at all.

So Republicans are looking for a do-over. But of course, they don’t want to do it over to make changes that benefit working people, they want to do it over to double down.

Categories: Politics

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1537654566

WormBase Manet - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:36
Categories: Bio

Comcast Outbids Fox With $40 Billion Offer For Sky In Auction

Slashdot - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:34
Comcast outbid Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox after offering $40 billion in an auction on Saturday. According to Yahoo Finance, "The U.S. cable giant bid $22.59 a share for control of London-listed Sky, bettering a $20.49 dollars-a-share offer by Fox, Britain's Takeover Panel said." From the report: Buying Sky will make Philadelphia-based Comcast, which owns the NBC network and Universal Pictures, the world's largest pay-TV operator with around 52 million customers. Chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts has had his eye on Sky as a way to help counter declines in subscribers for traditional cable TV in its core U.S. market as viewers switch to video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon. Comcast's knock-out offer thwarted Murdoch's long-held ambition to win control of Sky, and is also a setback for U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney which would have likely been its ultimate owner. Disney agreed a separate $71 billion deal to buy most of Fox's film and TV assets, including its existing 39 percent stake in Sky, in June and would have taken full ownership after a successful Fox takeover.

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Categories: Geek

Spotlight on green news & views: Will Exxon ever be brought to justice? FL's 'Red Tide Rick'

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:00

This is the 573rd edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the September 8 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


grasshopper Now you see it.

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket - now you see it … “Saw this grasshopper yesterday late afternoon. I’ve seen others like it at this site, a dirt road by a field. They’ve either been parked on the ground or darting around looking like a butterfly — all colorful and flitty. This time it flitted its wings as if it was flying, but didn’t lift off. Not sure what that was about. But it gave me an opportunity to look at it more closely, and even identify it. It’s a Carolina grasshopper or locust, Dissosteira carolina. In spite of the name, this species is native to the whole US. These grasshoppers are quite large.

grasshopper Now you don’t.

They eat grasses mostly, and are not considered bad crop pests. Typical habitat is weedy disturbed sites. While resting on the ground with wings folded the grasshopper is nearly invisible, exactly the color of the ground, a mix of dirt and dried grass. Wings open, it exposes not just its dark brown hind wings margined yellow with a pretty pattern in the corners, but brilliant metallic blue highlights on its thorax and abdomen. Completely obscured by the forewings at rest.”

Desert Scientist writes—The Destruction of La Frontera: “I grew up along the border, La Frontera, and I spent over 50 years of my life there, living first in Arizona and then New Mexico, with occasional visits to southern Texas and California, as well as a number of forays into Mexico itself from the Mexican border states of Baja California Norte to Tamaulipas and further south. In some ways, although I was not born there, it is more my home than any place I have lived. Unfortunately it is being threatened by political maneuvering and drug wars and may never be the same. It was always a bit dangerous, but not as much so for many years as it has been in recent times. You have to go back to the days of Pancho Villa to get the same level of danger, at least from my impression. However I still love the area and its people and am very saddened by how immigrants, both legal and illegal, and the environment are now being treated.”

Categories: Politics