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Rick Wilson: 'Ann Coulter's Tears Taste Delicious'

Crooks and Liars - 4 hours 49 min ago

Elie Mystal, editor from AboveTheLaw.com and Rick Wilson had a truly amazing segment on AM Joy on Saturday. The topic, of course: THE WALL. Mystal came in hot with a perfect description of The Cult of Trump - they are zombies. He actually said:

"They're lost. They're zombies now. Every day we try to figure out what's the cure for zombies. There is no cure. They're gone. We have to stop them from infecting everybody else."

I do not know a better description of this group of folks and he is right. There is no cure. If you have ever tried to talk sense into a Trump supporter in your family, at work, social media, etc, you know. They have blinders and ear plugs on. Their eyes are just swirling circles and they are unable and unwilling to hear anything or listen to reason.

Rick Wilson dove in at the end to pile on with some good old fashioned mocking of Ann Coulter and her super sad online meltdown about Trump and his Wall. My favorite line was his opening: "Ann Coulter's tears taste delicious."

Here is the transcript:

REID: He's thinking he wants a fight and a lot of this for him is I want a fight and have this kind of finish the wall, the wall has to be the main thing in my campaign.

Above the law which brings me to Elie. The thing about it, too, Donald Trump has taken a fictional thing, a campaign slogan, his base is we want you to do it. You said it in your campaign and we want it to be real. And now he's about to go to court on it.

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Categories: Politics

Report That Tesla Autopilot Cuts Crashes By 40% Called 'Bogus'

Slashdot - 5 hours 15 sec ago
Remember when America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported Tesla's Autopilot reduced crashes by 40%? Two years later the small research and consulting firm Quality Control Systems (QCS) finally obtained the underlying data -- and found flaws in the methodology "serious enough to completely discredit the 40 percent figure," reports Ars Technica, "which Tesla has cited multiple times over the last two years." The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate. But when QCS focused on 5,714 vehicles whose data didn't suffer from these problems, it found that the activation of Autosteer actually increased crash rates by 59 percent... NHTSA undertook its study of Autopilot safety in the wake of the fatal crash of Tesla owner Josh Brown in 2016. Autopilot -- more specifically Tesla's lane-keeping function called Autosteer -- was active at the time of the crash, and Brown ignored multiple warnings to put his hands back on the wheel. Critics questioned whether Autopilot actually made Tesla owners less safe by encouraging them to pay less attention to the road. NHTSA's 2017 finding that Autosteer reduced crash rates by 40 percent seemed to put that concern to rest. When another Tesla customer, Walter Huang, died in an Autosteer-related crash last March, Tesla cited NHTSA's 40 percent figure in a blog post defending the technology. A few weeks later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk berated reporters for focusing on stories about crashes instead of touting the safety benefits of Autopilot.... [T]hese new findings are relevant to a larger debate about how the federal government oversees driver-assistance systems like Autopilot. By publishing that 40 percent figure, NHTSA conferred unwarranted legitimacy on Tesla's Autopilot technology. NHTSA then fought to prevent the public release of data that could help the public independently evaluate these findings, allowing Tesla to continue citing the figure for another year.... NHTSA fought QCS' FOIA request after Tesla indicated that the data was confidential and would cause Tesla competitive harm if it was released. Last May the NHTSA finally clarified that their study "did not assess the effectiveness of this technology." Ars Technica also points out that the data focused on version 1 of Autopilot, "which Tesla hasn't sold since 2016."

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Categories: Geek

How to hide the emojis you never use with Smojis

iDownloadBlog - 5 hours 8 min ago

Using Smojis on iPhone Keyboard

Are there categories or certain emojis that just get in the way because you never use them? Here’s how to easily hide emojis on iPhone.
Categories: Geek

Another week brings yet another gargantuan lie from Trump's den of liars

Daily Kos - 5 hours 39 min ago

Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump's campaign and now convicted felon, is poised to spend the rest of his life in jail, exactly as a federal judge originally predicted last year. Manafort, 69, had a shot at escaping that fate if he had remained faithful to his cooperating agreement with the special counsel's office conducting the Russia probe. But telling the truth was just a little too much to ask of, well, anyone with deep ties to Trump, which means Manafort's most realistic chance of not dying in jail rests in the hope of a presidential pardon.

The federal judge in the Manafort case found the special counsel's office had proven three of its five claims against the defendant and that, indeed, he had "intentionally" lied to federal prosecutors. The most intriguing of those lies were about Manafort's meetings both during and after the campaign with Russian-Ukrainian Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the special counsel has tied to Russian intelligence. 

All of this makes Manafort an extraordinarily gifted liar. After being convicted of both bank and tax fraud, and pleading guilty to money laundering and attempted witnesses tampering, Manafort just went right ahead and lied to federal prosecutors about his contacts with a Russian spy. Impressive! No wonder special counsel Robert Mueller deemed a prison sentence of some 20-plus years appropriate. 

But once again, we are left to wonder, why? What exactly was so important about his contacts with Kilimnik—indeed, so damning—that Manafort concluded it was better to lie to agents of the U.S. government and risk taking his last breath from the confines of a jail cell than to tell the truth. 

It's a conundrum reminiscent of the head-scratching lies Michael Flynn told FBI agents all the way back in early 2017 when he was still Trump's national security adviser. Why—when Flynn was well aware the FBI likely knew about his phone calls with Russian Ambassador Surgey Kislyak—did he proceed to lie to them anyway? What exactly was the calculation that went through his head when the FBI officials interviewing him were telegraphing that they totally knew about his Kislyak calls?

Categories: Politics

Apple Pay rumored to launch in Saudi Arabia on February 19

9to5Mac - 5 hours 50 min ago

A report earlier this week suggested that Apple Pay will launch in the Czech Republic next week. It now looks like Apple Pay might also come to Saudi Arabia on the same day.


The post Apple Pay rumored to launch in Saudi Arabia on February 19 appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Intel Starts Publishing Open-Source Linux Driver Code For Discrete GPUs

Slashdot - 6 hours 5 min ago
fstack writes: Intel is still a year out from releasing their first discrete graphics processors, but the company has begun publishing their open-source Linux GPU driver code. This week they began by publishing patches on top of their existing Intel Linux driver for supporting device local memory for dedicated video memory as part of their restructuring effort to support discrete graphics cards. Intel later confirmed this is the start of their open-source driver support for discrete graphics solutions. They have also begun working on Linux driver support for Adaptive-Sync and better reset recovery.

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Categories: Geek

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1550340966

WormBase Manet - 6 hours 8 min ago
Categories: Bio

Appeals Court Rules Key Anti-Age Discrimination Protections Don’t Apply To Job Seekers, Only Employees

Crooks and Liars - 6 hours 11 min ago

In a decision last month, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has sharply limited a federal law that protects workers who are 40 and older from age bias by ruling that key provisions only apply to those who already have jobs, not those seeking them.

The 8-4 decision, written by Circuit Judge Michael Scudder, a Trump administration appointee, said the “plain language” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act shows that in enacting the measure, Congress aimed its sweeping prohibition against discrimination at employees but “did not extend that same protection to outside job applicants.”

The ruling prompted a fierce dissent from Circuit Judge David Hamilton, an Obama administration appointee, who accused the majority of taking a “deliberately naïve approach” to the law and “closing its eyes to fifty years of history, context and application.”

The ADEA’s anti-discrimination language originally matched that of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which covers race, gender, religion and other categories.

And for much of the last half-century, federal courts have treated provisions of the two laws as largely interchangeable.

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Categories: Politics

Hoaxer Behind 2,400 Fake Bomb Threats Caught After Gaming Site Breach

Slashdot - 7 hours 5 min ago
20-year-old Timothy Dalton Vaughn from Winston-Salem, N.C now faces 80 years in federal prison, reports KrebsOnSecurity.com: Federal authorities this week arrested a North Carolina man who allegedly ran with a group of online hooligans that attacked Web sites (including this one), took requests on Twitter to call in bomb threats to thousands of schools, and tried to frame various online gaming sites as the culprits. In an ironic twist, the accused -- who had fairly well separated his real life identity from his online personas -- appears to have been caught after a gaming Web site he frequented got hacked... [T]he real-life identity of HDGZero remained a mystery...as there was little publicly available information at the time connecting that moniker to anyone. That is, until early January 2019, when news broke that hackers had broken into the servers of computer game maker BlankMediaGames and made off with account details of some 7.6 million people who had signed up to play "Town of Salem," the company's browser-based role playing game. That stolen information has since been posted and resold in underground forums. A review of the leaked BlankMediaGames user database shows that in late 2018, someone who selected the username "hdgzero" signed up to play Town of Salem... The data also shows this person registered at the site using a Sprint mobile device with an Internet address that traced back to the Carolinas. This week America's Justice Department released an indictment of Vaughn and co-conspirator George Duke-Cohan for spoofed bomb threat emails to more than 2,400 schools, according to Krebs, adding that the government also alleges the two reported a fake hijacking of an airline bound for the United States. "That flight, which had almost 300 passengers on board, was later quarantined for four hours in San Francisco pending a full security check." The two now face charges of conspiracy and eight additional felony offenses, "including making threats to injure in interstate commerce and making interstate threats involving explosives."

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Categories: Geek

Gallery: Natick Mall Apple Store reopens with updated design

9to5Mac - 7 hours 12 min ago

Apple’s first retail expansion of 2019 is complete. Customers and team members in Natick, Massachusetts celebrated the grand reopening of Natick Mall’s Apple Store today after just under nine months of renovation work. The redesigned store offers more than twice the space of the previous storefront. 9to5Mac reader Dakota Allen visited the new space and shared photos of the redesign.


The post Gallery: Natick Mall Apple Store reopens with updated design appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Science Round-up: The real black panther returns, replicating results, scaly mammals

Daily Kos - 7 hours 50 min ago

I’d like to propose a project. It involves sending something into space, but it’s simple enough. It doesn’t need any high power instruments, or any real support infrastructure on Earth. 

The goal of this project would be to land on the Moon a bit of text, carved into some material that would survive the next billion years of so of cosmic rays and micrometeorite buffeting. A single page with a simple message:

On the adjoining world, life appeared more than four billion years before this plaque was created. And for many millions of years, it thrived in astounding diversity.

At the end of that time, a species appeared which was intelligent enough to manipulate its environment. It replaced forests with fields to grow the foods that it liked best. It removed animals from its surroundings and replaced them those it could easily kill and eat. It built its homes everywhere and spread in incredible numbers, until that species and the ones that it maintained for food made up all but a tiny fraction of complex life on the planet.

Eventually, that species made such an impact that it altered the very chemistry of the air and water around it. The atmosphere became warmer. The seas more acid. Caught between the surging billions and the drastic changes to the environment, other life on the planet began to die away by first dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, and finally millions of species. Even the smallest things, tiny creatures that had once swarmed everywhere, faded away.

The time from when it first began to seriously manipulate its environment, to when this species brought its world to the brink was amazingly short—only a few hundred turnings of the planet around its star. There was no way for any other species to survive this sudden, unprecedented onslaught. No other species in life’s long history had such capacity to cause rapid change.

And then ...

And that’s how the plaque should end. And then. But not just those words; there should also be room for a few paragraphs more. Room for someone to stand there in decades or centuries yet to come and write the happy outcome. Room to record how humankind pulled back from the brink. How it recognized the real crisis at last. How it rebuilt, restored, renewed. How it saved its one precious home and became a worthy citizen of that world, and of others.

Room for that … or silence.

Categories: Politics

Amazon HQ2: Texas Experience Shows Why New Yorkers Were Right To Be Skeptical

Crooks and Liars - 7 hours 52 min ago
File 20190206 174867 14fc9ox.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Amazon’s plan to build a new headquarters in Long Island City faced significant resistance. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Nathan Jensen, University of Texas at Austin and Calvin Thrall, University of Texas at Austin

New York offered Amazon close to US$3 billion to build a “second” headquarters in Long Island City on the promise of 25,000 jobs.

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Categories: Politics

Free Software Foundation: Dating Is a Free Software Issue

Slashdot - 8 hours 5 min ago
"I've been making the argument that everything is a free software issue for a few months now," writes the campaigns manager for the Free Software Foundation, in a new essay sharing thoughts on "the issues proprietary technology poses in dating and maintaining romantic relationships": Many dating Web sites run proprietary JavaScript... Proprietary JavaScript is a trap that impacts your ability to run a free system, and not only does it sneak proprietary software onto your machine, but it also poses a security risk. Any piece of software can be malicious, but proprietary JavaScript goes the extra mile. Much of the JavaScript you encounter runs automatically when you load a Web site, which enables it to attack you without you even noticing. Proprietary JavaScript doesn't have to be the only way to use Web sites. LibreJS is an initiative which blocks "nonfree nontrivial" JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is either free or trivial. Many dating apps are also proprietary, available only at the Apple App and Google Play stores, both of which currently require the use of proprietary software. The essay also warns about the proprietry software used for restaurant reservations, ride-sharing apps, and chat applications. (Not to mention the non-free software behind gift shopping on Amazon.) And even if you decide on a romantic evening at home, "you might find yourself tempted by freedom-disrespecting, DRM-supporting streaming services like Hulu and Netflix...." "These are all proprietary tools, and the act of using them restricts our freedoms. When the ways we connect with one another are proprietary, we're trusting our secrets, intimacies, and relationships to technology we cannot trust."

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Categories: Geek

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1550333767

WormBase Manet - 8 hours 8 min ago
Categories: Bio

Ocasio-Cortez on lobbyists paying for seats in committee hearings: 'Shock doesn't begin to cover it'

Daily Kos - 8 hours 38 min ago

Political newcomers arriving in Washington only to be shocked by the extent to which lobbyists have inserted themselves in every crevice of the woodwork seems to be a semi-regular story. It repeats itself with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's first encounter with the lines of semi-professional line standers paid to wait outside hearing rooms so that high-paid lobbyists can secure premium spots in the audience without having to themselves wait up to 24 hours in the outside hallway. From her tweet:

Today I left a hearing on homelessness & saw tons of people camped outside committee. I turned to my staff and asked if it was a demonstration. “No,” they said. “Lobbyists pay the homeless + others to hold their place so they can get in 1st.”

Ocasio-Cortez's staff is a bit inaccurate in suggesting line-standers are mostly homeless. Some are and some aren't, but it's become a more orchestrated, managed affair than it was when individual lobbyists would scrounge someone up to hold their spot so that they could continue to work congressional offices instead of being hallway-bound for hours at a time. The Washington Post has a rundown of the history of line-standers, noting that the current rate is about $48 per hour—but no word of how much of that goes to the human placeholders, and how much goes to the, sigh, dispatching company.

As for the larger question of why such a weird thing is done: Again, it is all about access and influence. Audience members in a congressional hearing have no role in committee process, and (short of outbursts) no influence on the proceedings. Lobbyists whose careers are dedicated to being as influential with lawmakers as possible want to be seen, by those they are lobbying, in the audience. They find it important to remind lawmakers that they are there, during deliberations. That they are listening.

Which is not at all creepy or dystopian, of course. Not a bit.

Categories: Politics

Hundreds Still Live In The 'Exclusion Zone' Around Chernobyl

Slashdot - 9 hours 5 min ago
This weekend the BBC reports on the site of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion -- where "robotic cranes are dismantling 33-year-old, radioactive wreckage" -- investigating an area of more than 4,000 square kilometres [2,485 square miles] that's been abandoned since 1986. "That could be about to change..." An anonymous reader summarizes their report: "Every community within a 30km radius [18.9 miles] of the plant was evacuated and abandoned; no one was allowed to return here to live." Yet the BBC visits a tiny community of 15 who reclaimed their homes in 1986 -- part of a population of 200 "self-settlers" deep in the exclusion zone, "an ageing population cut off from the rest of the country.... Almost every family forced to leave here was given an apartment in a nearby town or city. For Maria and her [88-year-old] mother, though, this cottage, with the garden wrapped around it, was home. They refused to abandon it. 'We weren't allowed to come back, but I followed my mum.'" Parts of the exclusion zone in Ukraine and Belarus have become "a post-human nature reserve", home to prowling wolves and dozens of wild horses. Yet Professor Jim Smith from the UK's University of Portsmouth explains that "Most of the area of the exclusion zone gives rise to lower radiation dose rates than many areas of natural radioactivity worldwide." In fact, the abandoned nuclear-worker city of Pripyat was recently deemed safe to visit for short periods, "and has now become one of Ukraine's most talked about tourist attractions. An estimated 60,000 people visited the exclusion zone last year, keen to witness the dramatic decay." And beyond the 18.9-mile line is Narodichi, a town of more than 2,500 people, where people "were quietly allowed to return home a few months after the disaster." Still considered an officially contaminated district -- and still in the "exclusion zone" -- it's a semi-abandoned area where all agriculture is banned, and the land can't be developed. 130 children attend Narodichi's kindergarten, but the kindergarten manager says half their parents are unemployed, "because there is nowhere to work." One of the least-contaminated areas in the exclusion zone, "Three decades of research have concluded that much of it is safe - for food to be grown and for the land to be developed." The BBC argues that "Fear of radiation could actually be hurting the people...far more than the radiation itself. "

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Categories: Geek

Pwn20wnd gets jailbreak tweaks working under Cydia Substrate on iOS 12

iDownloadBlog - 9 hours 23 min ago

Pwn20wnd has successfully managed to get jailbreak tweaks running on iOS 12 under Cydia Substrate. Could we see a full-fledged iOS 12 jailbreak sooner rather than later?
Categories: Geek

This week’s top stories: AirPods 2 in black, March Apple event rumors, WWDC dates, and more

9to5Mac - 9 hours 29 min ago

In this week’s top stories: AirPods 2 with grip coating and black color option, 2019 iPhone rumors, 10 iPhone tips everyone should know, and more. Read on for all of this week’s biggest Apple stories.


The post This week’s top stories: AirPods 2 in black, March Apple event rumors, WWDC dates, and more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Sileo beta updated to version 0.7b4 as Sileo Team teases push notification support

iDownloadBlog - 9 hours 38 min ago

The Sileo Team has announced a new beta version of the Sileo package manager, along with Tweeting a screenshot of what appears to be push notification support.
Categories: Geek

Trump 'can be influenced in real time' by a handful of television programs. That should be alarming

Daily Kos - 9 hours 38 min ago

Over at Media Matters, senior fellow Matt Gertz has become one of the nation's best decipherers of Donald J. Trump's Twitter feed. Specifically, Gertz has been tracking Trump's seemingly obsessive habit of tweeting out things that he has just seen on Fox News, often odd non sequiturs that bear no clear relationship to policy debates or the news cycle but that pair up precisely to a specific segment on Hannity or Fox & Friends.

It's not a minor enterprise. Trump is an obsessive television watcher, reportedly spending over half his day in "executive time" sessions that seem to consist largely of sitting himself down in front of the idiot box and phoning up friends to praise or complain about the coverage he's receiving. In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review's Anna Altman, Gertz makes some important points about the implications of having a president whose policies and core talking points can be reliably influenced, if not dominated, by a bare handful of television programs. “I think what we’re seeing is how the president can be influenced in real time—and the consequences that can have,” Gertz said.

It's important to understand that this is not speculation. Fox hosts themselves know that they have Donald Trump's ear, and programming is targeted at influencing his beliefs and suspicions directly. Fox programs contain constant, lavish praise of Trump, securing his attention in a media landscape in which every other news program is painting him in a less flattering light; this is interspersed with, in the cases of hosts like Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, direct messages to Trump about what he ought to be doing next and how grandly it will work out for him.

The sitting president is a child, and one who can be and is torn away from the recommendations of his own advisers, the intelligence community, government experts, and fellow Republican officials with little more than a single misleading chart or quotable phrase. The ease with which government policy can be manipulated by the orchestrations of a single television studio is the stuff of dystopian fiction; it ought to be considered, by itself, a crisis.

Categories: Politics