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Charter Avoids Getting Kicked Out of New York, Agrees To New Merger Conditions

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 17:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Charter Communications won't be kicked out of New York after all. Nine months after a New York government agency ordered Charter to leave the state over its alleged failure to comply with merger conditions, state officials have announced a settlement that will let Charter stay in New York in exchange for further broadband expansions. The settlement will enforce a new version of the original merger conditions and require a $12 million payment, about half of which could help other ISPs deploy broadband. The State Public Service Commission (PSC) had voted in July 2018 to revoke its approval of Charter's 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable (TWC), saying Charter failed to meet interim deadlines for broadband-expansion requirements. The order, which came just a month after a $2 million fine, would have required Charter to sell the TWC system to another provider. But the PSC never enforced the merger revocation order as it repeatedly granted deadline extensions to Charter while the sides held settlement talks. The result is a proposed settlement between Charter and the state Department of Public Service (DPS) that was announced Friday. "Pursuant to the agreement, Charter would expand its network to provide high-speed broadband service to 145,000 residences and businesses entirely in Upstate New York; the network expansion would be completed by September 30, 2021 in accordance with a schedule providing frequent interim enforceable milestone requirements; and Charter will pay $12 million to expand broadband service to additional unserved and underserved premises," a DPS statement said. Half of the $12 million could go back to Charter but they'd "have to use it to deploy broadband to locations in addition to the 145,000 already required," the report notes. "The other $6 million would fund broadband deployment projects in a competitive bidding process, and it could thus end up going to Charter's competitors -- although Charter would be eligible to bid for the funding, too."

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Categories: Geek

Supreme Court to decide on Census citizenship question after lower court ruled Trump team lied

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:56

On Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case contesting the Trump administration's push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 national census. This is itself alarming: the constitutional intent of the census, the repeated dire warnings by career census staff, and the flagrant manner in which Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lied outright about his actions would seem to make the case clear-cut. The Supreme Court will essentially be deciding whether or not all of that evidence should be tossed in favor of the alternative Trump administration hypothesis: We can do what we want, so shut up.

The core of the argument centers around Team Trump's behavior in pushing for the new citizenship question. A lower court blasted Ross for purposefully lying when he claimed that the Justice Department requested that the question be added; it was actually Ross who went to the Justice Department fishing for a pretext to add it. And it matters because census experts are uniform in their warnings that including the question will suppress the response rates of minority, and especially Latino, census respondents. There is a perception that the responses to that question would be shared, despite current prohibitions against doing so, with law enforcement in an effort to target undocumented U.S. residents for deportation. That means counties with larger populations of undocumented residents could see their "official" census-set populations significantly undercounted; that, in turn, means reduced federal spending to those counties. The number of people actually living there doesn't change, but the funding—and even more critically, representation in the House of Representatives—does.

And that potential undercount, according to researchers, could be "huge."

Nationally, only 35 percent of immigrants and 31 percent of Latinos trusted the Trump administration to protect this information and not share it with other federal agencies — an issue that has already arisen in debates about the citizenship question. Trust in the Trump administration was even lower in California and San Jose.

It seems fairly clear from Ross’ misdirections that this selective—but potentially severe—undercounting was the whole point on the part of the virulently anti-immigrant administration.

Categories: Politics

Snapchat Lens visualizes effects of climate change on Earth Day

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:52

As companies everywhere celebrate Earth Day, Snapchat today has launched a new Snapchat Lens that shows the projected waterline in the year 2100. The goal of this feature is to show users what the world will look like if emissions continue without change.


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Categories: Geek

Celebrate Earth Day with the four best smart thermostats for any budget

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:38

If we’re being honest, we’d all likely agree that a large majority of the smart home gadgets that we add to our homes are there for sheer convenience. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but it’s certainly worth calling out that some solutions actually yield an overall savings when opting for a smart equivalent of an otherwise standard device.

Thermostats easily fall into this category since they empower us to use geolocation and many other data points to help reduce energy usage. With it being Earth Day, we though now is probably one of the best times to dive into what’s out there and help you find the best smart thermostat for your home. more…

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Categories: Geek

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555964167

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:35
Categories: Bio

And some actual good news

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:31

Great Britain went almost four days without having to draw power from a domestic coal power plant. That is good news. It is not great news, as half of the power generated and consumed still produced carbon dioxide but it is good news.

As countries continue to deploy more solar and storage prices come down, more and more days will be coal free. The next challenge over the next decade is to eat into cheap natural gas. And even there, there is hope as the combined levelized cost of power for brand new renewable generation is below that of fossil fuels. There is a huge bolus of natural gas capacity that has a significant natural lifespan in front of it, but the repair or replace calculation looks like it will be leaning towards replace with renewables and storage for most cases.


Categories: Politics

Ahead of a modular Mac Pro, Apple said to ready a dedicated API for writing device drivers

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:28

The company appears to be on the verge of addressing the GPU situation on the Mac by permitting the likes of Nvidia to write their own GPU drivers for macOS using official APIs.
Categories: Geek

Tesla's Full Self-Driving Computer is Now in All New Cars and a Next-Gen Chip is Already 'Halfway Done'

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 16:24
The Tesla computer, a new custom chip designed to enable full self-driving capabilities, is now in all new Model 3, X and S vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said during the company's Autonomy Day. From a report: Tesla switched over from Nvidia's Drive platform to its own custom chip for the Model S and X about a month ago and for the Model 3 about 10 days ago, Musk said. "All cars being produced all have the hardware necessary -- computer and otherwise -- for full self-driving," Musk said. "All you need to do is improve the software." Work is also already underway on a next-generation chip, Musk added. The design of this current chip was completed "maybe one and half, two years ago." Tesla is now about halfway through the design of the next-generation chip. Musk wanted to focus the talk on the current chip, but he later added that the next-generation one would be "three times better" than the current system and was about two years away.

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Categories: Geek

High school journalists pen viral editorial after being turned away from Betsy DeVos event

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:54

If you’ve ever worried about the youth of this country not being engaged in politics enough, this story will offer some relief. High school students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, tried to attend a discussion between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Republican governor Matt Bevin, with the goal of covering it for their school paper. This should be a wonderful opportunity for the students, right?

Wrong. The students weren’t allowed in. As they report in their editorial, a man told them they weren’t allowed inside because they didn’t RSVP. Not to be deterred, they wrote an editorial called “No Seat at the Roundtable” instead. Surprising no one, it (rightfully) slams DeVos. 

Notably, the event was a roundtable discussion held at a local community college. It was described as an open press event, but as reported by the Washington Post, the students were turned away because they hadn’t received an invitation, and hadn’t RSVPed. Mind you, they’re students who are trying to be politically engaged, so perhaps the typical “rules” of a press event shouldn’t apply to them. Because, again, they’re teenagers.

In their editorial, the students don’t shy away from calling out how ridiculous the situation was. "We expected the event to be intense," they wrote."We expected there to be a lot of information to cover. But not being able to exercise our rights under the First Amendment was something we never thought would happen. We weren't prepared for that. … How odd is it that even though future generations of students' experiences could be based on what was discussed, that we, actual students, were turned away?"

They also called out the eye-rolling-inducing rules about the RSVP. “Not that we’re happy about it,” they wrote, “but we understand why a student news organization wouldn’t have been considered important enough to receive a copy of the media press release. Why, after our explanation that we were not given the press release asking for an RSVP, weren’t we allowed to enter as students and stakeholders?" 

Categories: Politics

Google Walkout Organizers Say They're Facing Retaliation

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:44
Two employee activists at Google say they have been retaliated against for helping to organize a walkout among thousands of Google employees in November, and are planning a "town hall" meeting on Friday for others to discuss alleged instances of retaliation. Wired: In a message posted to many internal Google mailing lists Monday, Meredith Whittaker, who leads Google's Open Research, said that after Google disbanded its external AI ethics council on April 4, she was told that her role would be "changed dramatically." Whittaker said she was told that, in order to stay at the company, she would have to "abandon" her work on AI ethics and her role at AI Now Institute, a research center she cofounded at New York University. Claire Stapleton, another walkout organizer and a 12-year veteran of the company, said in the email that two months after the protest she was told she would be demoted from her role as marketing manager at YouTube and lose half her reports. After escalating the issue to human resources, she said she faced further retaliation. "My manager started ignoring me, my work was given to other people, and I was told to go on medical leave, even though I'm not sick," Stapleton wrote. After she hired a lawyer; the company conducted an investigation and seemed to reverse her demotion. "While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day," she wrote.

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Categories: Geek

McConnell declares himself the 'Grim Reaper' standing between us and any hope of progress

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:39

The 2020 campaign is going to be all fear, all the time if Mitch McConnell has anything to say about it. And since he's Senate majority leader and the second most powerful Republican in the country, he will.

All the positive stuff Democrats are running on? Forget it, he says. It's all socialism, "pervasive" in the entire Democratic field. "I don't want you to think this is a couple of nutcases running around the fringe." What's more, if he's re-elected majority leader, "Think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that is going to pass."

No where is that more true than with any kind of improvement to the Affordable Care Act or, heaven forfend, Medicare for all. If he had his way, he'd be getting rid of all of it. Grim reaper, indeed. The death of all of us, the poor ones and the sick ones and the old ones and pretty much anyone without a trust fund or rich parents, anyway. The Green New Deal? He'll kill it and the planet along with it. Because no one trying to help the country and the world make it to the 22nd century is going to be contributing to McConnell's coffers.

This, by the way, is why Democrats have to be ready to get rid of the filibuster when they retake the majority, unless by some miracle either McConnell loses or Democrats gain 20 seats in 2020. McConnell and team will tear the entire country down before allowing it to progress into this century.

Let's do our part to help by beefing up our nominee fund. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races!

Categories: Politics

Stephen Miller once interrupted some downtime in Paris to advocate for an immigrant's deportation

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:37

Stephen Miller’s obsession with immigrants is so deep-seated that during an official visit to France last year, the White House aide apparently interrupted some downtime along the Seine to take a phone call in which he “spent several minutes loudly pressing administration officials on the other end of the line to deport an individual who had been detained by immigration authorities,” Politico reports. 

That any 30-something White House aide is ordering around federal immigration officials or directing officials on how to decide individual immigration cases seems out of bounds, but this is the Trump administration we’re talking about, and, in particular, Stephen Miller, who has reportedly been a hateful asshole even as far back as his teen years, when he disowned a friend just for being Latino.

Now that this ghoul has the power to make the lives of many more brown people miserable, he’s been busy doing just that, reportedly calling “administration officials at all levels” to pressure them “about changes to immigration rules and regulations, and [demand] stepped-up enforcement.” In private meetings, unnamed officials say, Miller rants about “immigrant criminals” and other garbage, while effectively firing top administration officials he feels weren’t being shitty enough to immigrants. 

It’s disturbing that anyone would ever think that a government that has carried out state-sanctioned kidnapping at its southern border, for example, isn’t cruel enough, but that’s who and what he is. Once again, he’s obsessed. “It’s not an overstatement to say Stephen Miller wakes up every morning thinking about illegal immigration,” another unnamed source told Politico, “and goes to sleep thinking about it as well.”

What a comment, considering Miller appears to have no problem with his boss’ businesses abusing undocumented workers. Told about the Politico piece, one of these former workers, Sandra Diaz, said that “when Stephen Miller goes to sleep at Trump properties, like Bedminster, he is sleeping in a bed made by undocumented immigrants. When he wakes up, he is fed by them. The same is true for the Trump family. They rely on our labor even as they attack us and our communities. What a bunch of hypocrites. Cruel, demeaning hypocrites.”

Cruel, demeaning hypocrites that should be held accountable. Last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, invited Miller to testify in front of lawmakers. The chair acknowledged that getting White House advisers to testify before congressional committees isn’t all that common. But Miller’s acting like a department head, so he should be treated like one. Drag him in.

Categories: Politics

Lunchtime Photo

Kevin Drum - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:30

Hey look, I found one more picture from our trip to Ireland a couple of years ago. They don’t call it the Emerald Isle for nothing!

Oh wait. This isn’t Ireland. It’s just Irvine. This is what it looks like around here when we get plenty of rain, but before the mustard plants take over. It doesn’t look like this everywhere, but in places it’s really quite lovely.

March 24, 2019 — Irvine, California
Categories: Politics

9to5Mac Daily: April 22, 2019 — WWDC tidbits and Kuo on 5G iPhones

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:19

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.



The post 9to5Mac Daily: April 22, 2019 — WWDC tidbits and Kuo on 5G iPhones appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Elizabeth Warren Wants to Make College Free

Kevin Drum - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:17

Elizabeth Warren has announced a plan to forgive existing student debt and make public colleges free for future students. It’s an aggressive proposal because, as she says, “the time for half measures is over.” I continue to be ambivalent about this for several reasons:

  • College students are our highest earners. Is it fair to tax everyone to subsidize them?
  • Universities are mostly private or state-run. A federal plan to support state universities is just begging for states to invent ways to game the system.
  • It’s an expensive proposal. Even if it’s a good idea, is it the best use of a trillion dollars we can think of?

One of the arguments in favor of Warren’s plan is that the high cost of college deters a lot of students from even enrolling. But that doesn’t seem to be true:

Another argument is that college loans have massively indebted young people. But on average, that doesn’t seem especially true either:

Nor is this this decline in debt levels solely because young families are no longer buying houses. Among those under 35, the homeownership rate went up in the aughts and then went down during the Great Recession—just as it did for every age group. However, the homeownership rate today is practically identical to the rate a quarter century ago: about 36 percent, down only slightly from 37 percent in 1994.

Obviously college loans deter some high school grads from pursuing higher education, and just as obviously they’re a huge burden on some young families. They also prevent some young families from buying a house. But overall, is student debt a “crisis”? It’s a little hard to see it in the numbers.

This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to Warren’s plan. There are obvious benefits to society to motivate as many people as possible to get as much education as they can. I’m just not sure that free public college for everyone and debt cancellation for almost everyone¹ is the most sensible way of getting there.

My attitude is also partly driven by my twin obsessions with universal health care and climate change. If we’re going to spend large sums of money, I want to spend it there first. After we’ve done that it will be time to see how much appetite we collectively have for additional big-dollar programs.

¹Warren’s plan for debt cancellation is modestly means tested, so the affluent get only partial benefits. She says her plan will cancel all student debt for 75 percent of debtors and will cancel some debt for 95 percent of debtors.

Categories: Politics

We Shouldn’t Cure Cancer Because It Would be Unfair to Everyone Who Fought Cancer and Won

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:12

Adding to Betty’s post, if there is anything that more perfectly encapsulates the wingnut mindset of “I got mine, fuck you,” I don’t know what it is. As someone who JUST a few months ago paid off my student loans, which were much less than your average millennials because I had the GI Bill, several jobs, and was a GA during grad school, I can tell you that I don’t for one minute think it would be unfair to me if other people had this burden removed from them. As Warren notes, society inflicted these loans on these kids because the boomers* and others didn’t want to pay the taxes previous generations paid to educate them. I am all for student loan forgiveness- I can think of nothing better than to let these kids have the financial freedom to move to careers they want rather than taking multiple gig jobs they have to have to pay their student loans. And then they can do all sorts of other shit like buy houses and go to Applebee’s and all the other shit they haven’t been able to do and are accused of “killing.”

Fuck Phil Klein.

*- I am talking generationally not about you I am sure you are a very fine boomer with the noblest of intentions you whiny fuck.

Categories: Politics

Midday open thread: Recaps, Earth Day, and Herman Cain is out

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:10
Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow
  • What you missed on Sunday Kos …
  • Unqualified boob has announcement about another unqualified boob:

Ms. Doud-Martin works for U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where she recently led a successful effort to make the school’s Chou Hall the “greenest academic building in the country.”

This year it was certified as TRUE Platinum Zero Waste, meaning the building sends almost nothing to the landfill. Like, ever.

“We encourage a ‘pack in, pack out’ mentality, like going into a forest,” Ms. Doud-Martin told me.

Here And Now: These Maps Show How Climate Change Has Already Transformed The Earth

Our planet is in the grip of rapid climate change. Explore how your city has already changed.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Seth Moulton is running for president, everybody! Greg Dworkin joined in a full 2 hour show on that exciting news, with a brief 119 minute detour into consideration of the censure, impeachment, and/or defeat of the current president. x Embedded Content

RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Categories: Politics

Podcast Wars: $100 Million Startup Luminary To Launch Tomorrow Without Some Publicly Available Popular Podcasts

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:00
Luminary, a $100 million venture-backed podcasting company, will debut its service tomorrow. It offers two tiers to customers: subscription-based shows without ads or podcasts for free but deal with ads as a price. But it has already ruffled some feathers. From a report: When it rolls out to the public on iOS, Android, and the web, Luminary's podcast app will be missing some of the industry's biggest shows, including The New York Times's The Daily and Gimlet Media shows like Reply All and Homecoming. Shows by Anchor's network of smaller creators won't be on the app, nor will series from Parcast, both of which are owned by Spotify. By withholding their shows, the Times and Spotify are setting Luminary up to fail -- or at least struggle to get off on the right foot with users. It certainly seems like the first shot fired in the inevitable premium podcast war and could destabilize one of the first buzzy, well-funded entrants before it can make a dent in the industry. The decisions that happen now will reshape the way podcasts are distributed in the future.

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Categories: Geek

Republican big money proves it: It's the party of Trump

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:47

The fact that Donald Trump might very well be a Russian asset, and has definitely tried to obstruct justice (on top of every horrible other thing about him that he hasn't bothered trying to hide) isn't enough to keep big Republican donors away, not anymore. The millionaires and billionaires who bankrolled George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney (but spurned Trump in 2016) are going all-in for Trump 2020.

On May 7, elite big-moneyed Republicans will formally unveil their Trump project at "a closed-door event with Trump 2020 aides," which will undoubtedly be at the Trump D.C. hotel so he can make even more money off of it. Party officials explained to Politico that the plan will be that "high-performing bundlers who collect at least $25,000 for Trump Victory, a joint Trump 2020-Republican National Committee fundraising vehicle, will earn rewards like invitations to campaign-sponsored retreats, briefings and dinners." Probably at Trump properties, where he can make an additional buck off of them. Because Republicans love them some grift.

It gets grosser. "Party officials have been reaching out to top fundraisers in recent weeks and wooing them with the prospect of joining 'raiser clubs,' with names like 45 Club, Trump Train and Builders Club." Like this is all completely normal and Trump isn't burning the whole country down around our ears. Of course, they're still reaping the benefits of his big tax scam, and they're probably all old enough that they don't particularly give a shit that the republic is being destroyed. They're well-insulated from it, and figure their progeny will inherit so much from them, they'll be protected as well.

The Republican Party should just plaster a big gold TRUMP on party headquarters and call it good.

Categories: Politics

Siri to gain support for new actions at WWDC, like search, media playback & attachments

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:46

SiriKit in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 will be getting new intents that developers can adopt to support expanded Siri actions.
Categories: Geek