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WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555956966

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:35
Categories: Bio

Yes, Artificial Intelligence Could Threaten Democracy

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:31

(Above: An early deepfake video shows some of the dangers of advanced technology.)

Steven Feldstein, Boise State University

U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities. Two U.S. senators publicly condemned the partnership, but what the National Defense Technology University of China wants from Microsoft isn’t the only concern.

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Categories: Politics

Warren’s Plan for Student Debt

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:30

Not one to rest on her “impeach the mofo” laurels, Senator Warren adds another plank to the 2020 Democratic Party platform. Via TPM:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday unveiled a comprehensive plan to cancel student loan debt and provide free public college.

After making headlines by calling for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Warren laid out in a Medium post her plan to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for everyone who makes under $100,000 per year. Those making between $100,000 and $250,000 would see that $50,000 cancellation figure decrease by $1 for every $3 the person makes above $100,000…

The plan’s total estimated price tag is $1.25 trillion over ten years, which Warren says would be “more than covered” by her proposed Ultra-Millionaire Tax.

Where have I heard that “$1.25 trillion over 10 years” figure before? Oh yeah, that’s approximately what Trump’s deeply unpopular tax cut for fat cats cost the Treasury. Here’s a quote from Warren’s post at Medium:

We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system — free and accessible to all Americans — they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families. The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment.

That’s the truth. Reagan was president when I was in college, and back then, it was possible to work your way through school even if you didn’t have a scholarship. You could do it with minimal to no loans because tuition was fairly affordable, and programs like Pell grants would pick up some of the costs. It’s a completely different world for my kiddo and her peers, and it’s not because they’re wasting money on avocado toast and iPhones.

Anyhoo, Elizabeth Warren: come for the courage on impeachment, stay for the nonstop roll-out of policies to address what ails us. I don’t know if she’ll win the nomination. The conventional wisdom says she won’t for a million reasons, including that many of the folks who would benefit from this plan are still enthralled with Shouty McWaggyfinger. But Warren is building a party platform, plank by plank, and it’s impressive.

Categories: Politics

How to schedule emails in the Gmail app on iPhone and iPad

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:30

Schedule emails in Gmail app iPhone

Prepare your emails ahead of time and have them sent automatically. Here’s how to schedule emails in Gmail on iPhone and iPad.
Categories: Geek

Pelosi on impeachment: Republicans have 'unlimited appetite' for Trump's 'low standards'

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:28

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues Monday urging a pragmatic approach to impeachment, along with a blistering acknowledgment that Democrats are on their own in terms of holding Donald Trump to account for the conduct revealed in the redacted Russia report.

At a minimum, Trump had engaged in "highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior," Pelosi charged, adding that "Congressional Republicans have an unlimited appetite for such low standards." 

At the same time, Pelosi said Democrats "firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth." That endeavor could be accomplished, she noted, "outside of impeachment hearings." While Pelosi acknowledged a split in approaches among Democratic lawmakers between those who prefer to continue investigating Robert Mueller's findings and those who would move directly to impeachment proceedings, she remained focused on the public's perception of Democrats' actions in the days and weeks to come.

"As we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional needed reforms to protect our democracy, we must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on presentation of fact." Key to that approach is Democrats' ongoing effort to gain access to Mueller's full report, including a bicameral letter from Democratic leaders rejecting Attorney General William Barr's desire make more of the the report available to only a small number of lawmakers.

"We insist on the public's right to know," Pelosi wrote, "so that the American people can learn the truth and Congress can make our decision on how to proceed." 

Pelosi is clearly betting that a full public airing of Mueller’s report will bring most Americans closer to the view that Trump is not only dangerously unfit for office, but should be held accountable for his actions by someone. But as Democrats proceed, Pelosi will continue to remind the public that her caucus is duty-bound to act, precisely because Republicans don't have the moral fiber to do so.


Categories: Politics

Trump Sues To Hide His Financials? Good Luck With That

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:13

Donald Trump's lawyers filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop his accountants at Mazar from releasing his financial records to the House Oversight Committee:

Categories: Politics

Facial Recognition Creeps Up on a JetBlue Passenger

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:13
An anonymous reader shares a report: A boarding technology for travelers using JetBlue is causing controversy due to a social media thread on the airline's use of facial recognition. Last week, traveler MacKenzie Fegan described her experience with the biometric technology in a social media post that got the attention of JetBlue's official account. She began: "I just boarded an international @JetBlue flight. Instead of scanning my boarding pass or handing over my passport, I looked into a camera before being allowed down the jet bridge. Did facial recognition replace boarding passes, unbeknownst to me? Did I consent to this?" JetBlue was ready to offer Twitterized sympathy: "You're able to opt out of this procedure, MacKenzie. Sorry if this made you feel uncomfortable." But once you start thinking about these things, your thoughts become darker. Fegan wanted to know how JetBlue knew what she looked like. JetBlue explained: "The information is provided by the United States Department of Homeland Security from existing holdings." Fegan wondered by what right a private company suddenly had her bioemtric data. JetBlue insisted it doesn't have access to the data. It's "securely transmitted to the Customs and Border Protection database." Fegan wanted to know how this could have possibly happened so quickly. Could it be that in just a few seconds her biometric data was whipped "securely" around government departments so that she would be allowed on the plane? JetBlue referred her to an article on the subject, which was a touch on the happy-PR side. Fegan was moved, but not positively, by the phrase "there is no pre-registration required."

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Categories: Geek

'No women anything': Trump's Federal Reserve nominee really, really hates idea of women in sports

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:09

Stephen Moore, Donald Trump’s controversial Federal Reserve nominee, spent the early 2000s writing noxious sexist commentary that will only make him more controversial … and will probably thrill Donald Trump. Moore took shots at his own wife for voting Democratic, but his major issue was with women in—or anywhere near—sports.

Moore responded to the news of a woman refereeing an NCAA men’s game by writing that “The NCAA has been touting this as example of how progressive they are. I see it as an obscenity. Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women? What's next? Women invited to bachelor parties? Women in combat? (Oh yeah, they've done that already.) Why can't women ref the women's games and men the men's games. I can't wait to see the first lady ref have a run in with Bobby Knight.” 

Here’s some news for Moore: Any woman who makes it to be the first refereeing in a given level of men’s sports has already encountered plenty of bullies, and triumphed despite them.

Moore didn’t stop there, though. In the hectoring tones of the bully who thinks being a dickwagon shows how funny he is, he went on to write “Here's the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything.” Har har har. Oh, but there’s more. “There is, of course, an exception to this rule. Women are permitted to participate, if and only if, they look like Bonnie Bernstein. The fact that Bonnie knows nothing about basketball is entirely irrelevant.” Yes! He totally went to “women should be permitted in the boys club if and only if I personally want to objectify them” territory. He even took it a step further, calling for Bernstein to do her reporting while wearing a halter top.

This is a man who was trying waaaaay too hard, and what he was trying at was showing himself to be a sexist, bullying prick. In short, it was just the thing to really cement Trump’s view that this is someone who should have a major say in the U.S. economy.

Categories: Politics

ARKit to detect human poses, developers getting a visual creation app for AR at WWDC

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:08

WWDC 2019 should see Apple's new app for visual AR content creation while developers will be getting a dedicated Swift-only software framework for augmented reality.
Categories: Geek

Deportations of immigrants with no criminal record surge 226% in New York City

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:59

Under the Trump administration, the deportation of New York City area immigrants with no criminal record, including vulnerable asylum-seekers, have skyrocketed 226 percent, the New York Times reports. “That is the largest percentage increase of any Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in the country.”

In some cases, unshackled Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have targeted asylum-seekers who have lost their cases—the denial rate was nearly 62 percent in 2017, up from nearly 57 percent in 2016, according to the National Immigration Forum—but were then allowed to stay and work here so long as they continued checking in regularly with the agency.

One man who was targeted by ICE, Indra Sihotang, literally clung to a chair as officials tried to load him onto a flight back to Indonesia, where “the persecution of Christians like him” has “intensified,” the New York Times continued. Like a number of other immigrants, he was arrested during what he assumed was a routine ICE check-in. Immigrant rights advocates have dubbed these sort of arrests “silent raids.”

Following the scene at the airport, neither Sihotang nor ICE were allowed to board the commercial flight. ICE yet again attempted to deport him, and he was sitting in a van on the way to the airport when the agents got a call halting the removal. While Sihotang had lost his asylum case five years ago, “a judge had determined Mr. Sihotang faced credible fears of persecution in Indonesia and reopened his asylum case, which remains unresolved.”

Once again, ICE doesn’t have to carry out these sort of arrests. The Obama administration, for example, attempted to prioritize resources and target people who posed a danger to communities. But those priorities went out the window following Donald Trump’s inauguration. What could also explain the surge of deportations in New York City is that ICE has plainly stated it wants to target people in localities with pro-immigrant policies. The cruelty is the point.

Categories: Politics

Sileo beta preview updated to version 0.8b12 as CoolStar announces plans for Electra12

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:44

The Sileo Team updated the Sileo beta preview up to version 0.8b12 on Monday with more enhancements aimed at improving the user experience.
Categories: Geek

iOS 13, macOS 10.15 may support stereo AR headsets and controllers with touch pads

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:35

The next major updates to Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems are expected to bring developer support for stereo augmented reality (AR) headsets, as well as enhanced support for gaming controllers that feature touch pads (like Sony’s DualShock controller). “For...
Categories: Geek

Did Donald Trump Admit To Obstructing Justice? ‘Nobody Disobeys My Orders’

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:34

The Mueller report documented ten instances where Trump’s may have obstructed justice.

The report also indicates that Trump to obstruct the investigation "were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

On Monday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Donald Trump about his aides refusing his direct orders that Mueller cited.

Trump replied, “Nobody disobeys my orders.”

As he was walking away, she asked if he was worried about being impeached and he replied, "not even a little bit."

If Trump is telling the truth and everybody obeyed his orders than they did impede the investigations and obstructed justice.

Or as the British so descriptively call the same offense, Trump “perverted the course of justice.”

And that holds true whether he was successful or not.

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Categories: Politics

John Oliver Calls Out the Key Factors of the Mueller Report: Incompetence and Disobedience

Little Green Footballs - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:27

Following the release of the Mueller Report, John Oliver discusses what we’ve learned.

Categories: Politics

Luminary launching to take on Apple Podcasts, but major shows missing from the platform

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:25

A new paid podcast service called Luminary is set to launch tomorrow on iOS, Android, and the web (via The Verge). It got off to a rough start last month as it announced the service with a controversial ad stating “Podcasts don’t need ads,” and tomorrow the premium podcast service will launch without some of the most popular podcasts found on Apple’s platform. However, its CEO, Matt Sacks, thinks that “podcasting has way more than enough room to go around.”


The post Luminary launching to take on Apple Podcasts, but major shows missing from the platform appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Amazon is Now Making Its Delivery Drivers Take Selfies

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:25
Amazon is now making its delivery drivers take selfies, in a bid to reduce fraud. Using facial recognition, the company will verify drivers' identities to make sure they are who they say they are. From a report: The new requirements appeared on the Amazon Flex app to drivers, notifying them that they needed to take a selfie before continuing work. Of course, Amazon warns drivers to "not take a selfie while driving." By asking drivers to take selfies, Amazon could be preventing multiple people from sharing the same account. These efforts could screen out anyone who is technically unauthorized from delivering packages, such as criminals who are attempting to use Amazon Flex as an excuse to lurk in front of people's homes.

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Categories: Geek

Republican states react to 2018 Democratic wave in the usual way—by suppressing the vote

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:16

Republicans can only win by cheating, and they're barely even bothering to hide their intentions. Several Republican-led states are responding to big election losses to Democrats in 2018 not by evolving to answer the electorate's wishes, but by shrinking that electorate through voter suppression.

In Texas, they're looking at making a mistake on a voter registration form a felony, with criminal penalties including jail time for voter registration errors or for casting an ineligible ballot. Arizona is trying to make early voting more complicated; Tennessee lawmakers are considering discouraging voter registration groups by creating fines for submitting incomplete forms. These are all states that either saw substantial gains for Democrats in 2018, or have key races in 2020.  In Arizona, in particular, this is a direct result of big Democratic turnout in 2018, and the loss of four statewide seats, including the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kyrsten Sinema. In Texas, two U.S. House seats and 12 state legislative seats flipped. In 2018 in Tennessee, new Democratic registrations and votes surged in Memphis and Nashville.

The second Arizona seat, as well as Sen. John Cornyn's in Texas, are up in 2020. That and the potential—long shot thought it may be—for those states to flip in the presidential election are enough to have Republicans anxious to make sure as many Democrats and new voters as possible are cut out of the process.

In all of the states, lawmakers insist that they wouldn't be going after regular people making mistakes, but only "people who are intentionally cheating," as Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes in Texas says. "This is only going after folks that create chaos intentionally or knowingly," says Tennessee coordinator of elections Mark Goins. And we all know who that means: young people, people of color, the usual "cheating" suspects for Republicans.

The only way Republicans can win—even in states like Arizona and Texas—is not to let the majority of people vote.

Categories: Politics

Apple seeds third betas of iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3, watchOS 5.2.1 and macOS 10.14.5 to developers

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:08

Apple on Monday released the third betas of iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3, watchOS 5.2.1 and macOS 10.14.5 to developers. Registered developers can install the updates via each platform's respective OTA mechanisms, or through Apple's Dev Center.
Categories: Geek

Bob Woodward Skips Over The Collusion-Like Quacking In Mueller Report

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:05

Bob Woodward sounded more eager to show he’s a pal to Republicans than to the facts laid bare in the Mueller report that points very strongly to collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

During the FNS panel discussion, Fox News contributor Jason Riley announced the “good news for everyone” in the Mueller report, which he immediately weaponized against Democrats (transcript excerpts via Fox News):

RILEY: Well, I think this report ought to be good news for this country, good news for everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike. The Mueller report found that no one in the Trump campaign, from the president on down, conspired with a foreign entity to win the election despite the efforts of Russia to interfere. This ought to be good news for everyone. We ought to be celebrating this, yet we have some Democrats and some members of the media who are deeply disappointed in this outcome because they had pushed a certain narrative that turned out to be untrue.

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Categories: Politics

Florida Bunny (Open Thread)

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 12:53

So, here’s a super Florida thing that happened this weekend:

That bunny waded in swinging! The guy he was attacking was lucky not to have been kicked by the powerful back legs. Anyway, no one was seriously hurt, and no arrests were made. Kinda feel for the guy who got his ass kicked by the Easter bunny, though. He’ll never live that down, obviously.

Categories: Politics