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Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 08:00

In case you missed it this week, we have an entry for our rare Score One For The Good Guys Chronicles.

Michael Fesser, a Black man in Portland, Oregon, father of 8, won his lawsuit against his former boss AND the West Linn Police Department for a total of $1.15 million. Fesser was the victim of racism and harassment at his job, and when he reported it to his boss, Eric Benson, Benson decided to call in his buddy — Chief of Police at the West Linn PD at the time — to try to build a false case against Fesser that he was stealing from the company. Police Chief Terry Timeus was totally down with that idea, and had no trouble finding help with his racist cop crew to fake up a case and even try to get Fesser arrested in Clackamas County, to "make sure he was with some real racist boys." That police chief retired in 2017 amid allegations of drunk driving.

Read all the details here, including the mayor's long apology. You can also see a video of Mr. Fesser discussing why he felt he needed to go through with this lawsuit, and how he had the strength after what he'd been through. It's quite a story.

Here are your Sunday morning talk show guests and panelists, via Politico:

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Categories: Politics

Signing Up With Amazon, Wal-Mart, Or Uber Forfeits Your Right To Sue Them

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:34
Long-time Slashdot reader DogDude shared this article from CNN: Tucked into the sign-up process for many popular e-commerce sites and apps are dense terms-of-service agreements that legal experts say are changing the nature of consumer transactions, creating a veil of secrecy around how these companies function. The small print in these documents requires all signatories to agree to binding arbitration and to clauses that ban class actions. Just by signing up for these services, consumers give up their rights to sue companies like Amazon, Uber and Walmart before a jury of their peers, agreeing instead to undertake a private process overseen by a paid arbitrator... The proliferation of apps and e-commerce means that such clauses now cover millions of everyday commercial transactions, from buying groceries to getting to the airport... Consumers are "losing access to the courthouse," said Imre Szalai, a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Give Control Center a rounder aesthetic with RoundedCC

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:30

RoundedCC transforms your jailbroken handset's Control Center interface by giving it a much rounder aesthetic.
Categories: Geek

Editor’s Desk: iOS 13.4 goodies, the next Apple TV, coronavirus and Apple product delays, more

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:12

Welcome to a new installment of our Editor's Desk weekly column in which we round up content that was published on the site from February 17 through February 23, 2020.
Categories: Geek

Runaway displays your current internet speed in the Status Bar

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:00

Runaway is a new jailbreak tweak that displays your current data bandwidth usage in the Status Bar, just beneath the time.
Categories: Geek

Will Low-Code and No-Code Platforms Revolutionize Programming?

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 03:34
In a new article in Forbes, a Business Technology professor at the Villanova School of Business argues that the way we build software applications is changing: If you're living in the 21st century you turn to your cloud provider for help where many of the most powerful technologies are now offered as-a-service. When your requirements cannot be completely fulfilled from cloud offerings, you build something. But what does "building" mean? What does "programming" mean...? You can program from scratch. You can go to Github (where you can find code of all flavors). Or you can — if you're a little lazier — turn to low-code or no-code programming platforms to develop your applications. All of this falls under the umbrella of what, the Gartner Group defines as the "democratization of expertise": "Democratization is focused on providing people with access to technical expertise (for example, ML, application development) or business domain expertise (for example, sales process, economic analysis) via a radically simplified experience and without requiring extensive and costly training...." [T]he new repositories, platforms and tools are enabling a whole new set of what we used to call "programming." As Satya Nadella said, "Every business will become a software business, build applications, use advanced analytics and provide SAAS services," and as Sajjad Daya says so well in Hackernoon, "Coding takes too long for it to be both profitable and competitively priced. That's not the case with no-code platforms, though. The platforms do the complicated programming automatically, slashing development time..." The technology democracy has forever changed corporate strategy. And what does this mean? It means that the technical team scales on cue. But "technical" means competencies around Github, low-code/no-code platforms and especially business domains... [A]ll of this levels the technology playing field among companies — so long as they understand the skills and competencies they need.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Chris Matthews Likens Sanders' Nevada Win To Nazi Germany

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 03:06

For the life of me, I don't understand the value Chris Matthews brings to MSNBC.

His "politics for the sake of politics" is not only dumb and shallow, but it's actively destructive to journalism and democracy. His lack of filter means he can't shut up and not interrupt guests. He's often sexist and misogynistic towards female politicians and panelists. On more than a few occasions, other MSNBC hosts have had to step up and save him from himself.

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Categories: Politics

Nonprofit Argues Germany Can't Ratify the 'Unitary Patent' Because of Brexit

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 00:34
Long-time Slashdot reader zoobab shares this update from the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a Munich-based non-profit opposing ratification of a "Unified Patent Court" by Germany. They argue such a court will "validate and expand software patents in Europe," and they've come up with a novel argument to stop it. "Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit..." The U.K. is now a "third state" within the meaning of AETR case-law, [which] makes clear that: "Each time the Community, with a view to implementing a common policy envisaged by the Treaty, adopts provisions laying down common rules, whatever form they may take, the Member States no longer have the right, acting individually or even collectively, to undertake obligations with third countries which affect those rules or alter their scope..." This practically means that the ratification procedure for the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court must now come to an end, as that Agreement no longer applies due to the current significant changes (i.e. Brexit) in the membership requirements of its own ratification rules. The nonprofit also argues that the Unitary Patent "is a highly controversial and extreme issue, as it allows new international patent courts to have the last word on the development and application of patent law and industrial property monopolies including, more seriously, the validation and expansion of software patents, that is the key sector on which whole industries and markets depend."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

The Daily Show Correspondents’ 92nd Street Y Panel

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 23:00

From February 16. Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Saturday night owls: Bernie's strength with Latino voters shouldn't have surprised anyone

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 22:24

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Harold Meyerson at The American Prospect writes—Bernie Blowout Highlights Latino LiberalismHis performance among Hispanics shouldn’t have been a surprise:

[...] The Sanders sweep was as qualitative as it was quantitative—that is, he did better in a range of constituencies where he hadn’t done that well before. Chief among those was Nevada’s Latino voters, who made up a fifth of caucus participants, and who according to the exit poll gave Sanders 53 percent of their votes.

As usual, some of my fellow pundits are expressing surprise at Sanders’s performance among Latinos. They shouldn’t be.

First, as in all communities throughout American history with a disproportionate share of immigrants, it’s the young—most born and schooled here, often more fluent in English than their elders—who not only are the most active politically but who also guide their elders through the labyrinth of American politics. As Bernie and Bernie’s policies speak more compellingly to the young than do any of his rivals and their policies, it’s no surprise that Latinos have tilted so sharply Berniewards in these caucuses.

Second, and even more fundamentally, the level of backing among Latinos for governmental support for economic equity and advancement has long exceeded that of any other demographic group in the electorate. One look at the exit polls on California ballot measures over the past quarter-century shows that, when voters have been asked to approve funds for schools or parks, and to decide on minimum-wage levels and the rights of unions, Latinos have been the most liberal voting bloc there is—more so, even, than African Americans. On one 1998 California ballot measure that would have greatly curtailed unions’ ability to involve themselves in elections (fortunately, it lost big), Latinos voted no at a higher rate than union members.

There’s an old conventional wisdom that says that because Latinos are supposedly more conservative on issues like choice or preserving the traditional family, they’re not all that liberal. It’s wrong. First, younger Latino voters aren’t conservative on those issues. Second, and more important, election after election has shown that when it comes to their choice of candidates, Latinos consider the candidate’s position on economic questions to be far more decisive than that on any cultural issue [...]



“No Statue of Liberty ever greeted our arrival in this country...we did not, in fact, come to the United States at all. The United States came to us.”
                 ~~Luis Valdez




At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Super PACs got 25% of their cash from just five donors:

In the immortal words of California's Jesse "Big Daddy" Unruh, "Money is the mother's milk of politics." This year, billionaire donors have turned it into cream. Just five of the ultra-wealthy have contributed a fourth of all the money received by Super PACs that are having a powerful impact on the elections.

Individuals are limited to $2500 direct contributions to a candidate's campaign. But there is no limit on contributions to Super PACS. These aren't supposed to coordinate with the campaigns, but that is a joke.

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

What Is There For Republicans to Dislike About Donald Trump?

Kevin Drum - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 22:09

Suppose you’re talking to someone who says, sure, they hate Trump personally (the tweets, the rallies, etc.) but they like his policies. So they’re going to vote for Trump unless someone can convince them that his policies are bad or that Democratic policies are better. Let’s think about this. What are Trump’s major policies?

  • Cutting taxes.
  • Installing conservative judges.
  • Getting rid of Obamacare and replacing it with something else.
  • A border wall and, more generally, tough restrictions on immigration.
  • Tariffs on countries that are taking advantage of us.
  • Cutting regulations in ways that are friendly to big business.
  • More money for the military.
  • Strong support for Israel.
  • Opposition to gun control, abortion, and restrictions on religious practice.

It’s worth noting that almost all of these are just bog standard Republican policies. The two exceptions are the border wall and the tariffs. However, the wall is popular among the Republican base and the tariffs, judging from how they’ve been received, were always opposed more in word than deed.

Bottom line: if you’ve already decided that (a) Trump’s bluster isn’t enough to turn you off and (b) his “corruption” is mostly just a bunch of bogus partisan hysterics from Democrats, what is there for an ordinary Republican voter to dislike?

Categories: Politics

Russian Trolls Now Just Push Divisive Content Created By Others

Slashdot - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 21:34
"Americans don't need Russia's polarizing influence operations. They are plenty good enough at dividing themselves," writes the Atlantic's national security reporter, arguing that "the new face of Russian propaganda" is just a carefully-curated selection of inflammatory content made by Americans themselves. Citing the Mueller investigation, the article notes the irony that America's two front-runners for the presidency are now "both candidates Russian trolls sought to promote in 2016," calling them "far apart ideologically but nearly equally suited to the Kremlin's interests, both in being divisive at home and in encouraging U.S. restraint abroad." In 2016, the Kremlin invested heavily in creating memes and Facebook ads designed to stoke Americans' distrust of the electoral system and one another... The Russian government is still interfering, but it doesn't need to do much creative work anymore... Americans are now the chief suppliers of the material that suspected Russia-linked accounts use to stoke anger ahead of U.S. elections, leaving Russia free to focus on pushing it as far as possible. Darren Linvill, a Clemson University professor who has studied Russian information operations, has seen Russian trolls shift tactics to become "curators more than creators," with the same goal of driving Americans apart. "The Russians love those videos," he said, "because they function to make us more disgusted with one another...." [The article cites actions by Russia's "Internet Research Agency" in America's 2018 elections.] The organization was still creating memes, and it got an even bigger budget, according to Graham Brookie, the director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council think tank. But it also began using more of what Americans themselves were putting on the internet, seizing on divisive debates about immigration, gun control, and police shootings of unarmed black men, using real news stories to highlight genuine anger and dysfunction in American politics... Russian trolls can largely just watch Americans fight among themselves, and use fictitious Twitter personas to offer vigorous encouragement... They will keep prodding the same bruises in American society, or encouraging cries of electoral fraud if there's a contested Democratic primary or a tight general election. Alina Polyakova, the president and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis, tells the Atlantic that "a U.S. that's mired in its own domestic problems and not engaged in the world benefits Moscow."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

No-Politics Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 21:18

I’ve been keeping a naturalist diary. I go out with the cats almost every day, and now I know their likely actions well enough that, along with the leashes attached to their harnesses, I can fairly easily catch them if they decide to do something foolish or get to somewhere I can’t.

My yard is not extraordinarily large, but it sits on top of a little hill and has at least three microclimate zones. I’ve got some flowerbeds, but a lot of native plants growing where they care to. I also distributed half a pound of wildflower seed and additional native grass seed last fall. The geology is interesting – Santa Fe formation is the composite of a changing lake that was here when the Jemez volcano stopped up the Rio Grande.

So there’s lots to see, and being out with the cats gives me time to look. I come in and sit down at my computer and write up what I’ve seen in the yard.

I knew that a bobcat has come to the yard – I saw it one delightful day – but I didn’t realize how frequently. The snow has been good for tracks, and today there were some in the soil. Keeping the diary helped me to realize how often it comes. I think it comes to the yard about twice or three times a week, mostly at night. Here are a couple of the better tracks. The one in the red soil is on a slope, and the soft soil gave way to the cat’s weight.

Cat footprint in brown soil with three toes and pad clearly visible, another indentation next to it that is probably another footprint, but not clear. Cat footprint in soft red soil. Two toes visible. Another probable footprint in back of the deeper one.

I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of hashing out the Nevada primary. Are you writing, painting, doing crafts, fixing up your house? No-politics open thread!

The post No-Politics Open Thread appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

High Energy Snarky Puppy: "What About Me?" [VIDEO]

Little Green Footballs - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 20:47

Snarky Puppy - What About Me
From the live DVD "We Like It Here"

Streaming: http://radi.al/SnarkyWLIHspotify
Digital/Physical: https://store.groundupmusic.net/collections/snarky-puppy

Recorded and filmed live (free of overdubs) from October 7-10 at Kytopia Studios in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for GroundUP Music. For more information and upcoming tour dates, please visit http://groundup.ropeadope.com or http://www.snarkypuppy.com.

Written, arranged, and produced by Michael League.

Michael League - bass
Shaun Martin - keyboards
Bill Laurance - Fender Rhodes
Cory Henry - keyboards
Justin Stanton - trumpet
Mark Lettieri - guitar
Bob Lanzetti - guitar (solo)
Chris McQueen - guitar
Nate Werth - percussion
Larnell Lewis - drums (solo)
Mike Maher - trumpet
Chris Bullock - sax
Bob Reynolds - sax
Jay Jennings - trumpet

Engineered by Eric Hartman, Roy Van Rosendaal, Mike Harrison, & Colin Benders.
Filmed by Andy LaViolette, Brad Holt, Emily Schwarting, Joseph Lafond, and Christi LaViolette.
Mixed by Eric Hartman in Dallas, Texas.
Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk New York, NY.

Categories: Politics

Bernie Wins Nevada in a Landslide

Kevin Drum - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 20:41

Only about 5 percent of the votes have been counted so far, but everyone has called the Nevada race for Bernie Sanders, who appears to have won nearly half the delegates.  Joe Biden came in a distant second with a little less than 20 percent and Pete Buttigieg came in third at around 15 percent.

This is obviously not good news for Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar, neither of whom did well. But Biden, at least, may have stanched his bleeding just in time for the South Carolina primary next weekend. Then it’s on to Super Tuesday, where Mike Bloomberg will finally enter the race. It’s gonna be exciting!

Categories: Politics

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 20:21

Bernie Sanders has been declared the winner of Nevada’s Democratic presidential caucus. 

While Sanders scored a strong victory, a cluster of candidates was fighting for a distant second place — and any momentum that may come with it heading into next-up South Carolina and then Super Tuesday on March 3. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren were trailing far behind Sanders.

While there are only 4% of the results in, Sanders victory is decisive, and he is expected to take a large number of the state’s 36 delegates. It’s not clear when complete results will be available. 

Categories: Politics

Live coverage #5: The 2020 Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 20:10

The battle lines of the 2020 Democratic primary shift today as voting moves to the first state that’s home to a diverse electorate, Nevada. As in Iowa, the state will report three sets of results. Doors opened at 10 AM local time (1 PM ET) and caucuses began at 12 PM (3 PM ET). While the returns come in, check out our guide to the caucuses.

Results: First alignment (by county) | Final alignment (by county) | County delegates (by county)

NBC and the Associated Press have both called Bernie Sanders the winner in the Nevada caucuses. But there are not enough results yet to declare 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. 

From his speech currently going on:


Categories: Politics

Report Shows How The Radical Right Gets Its Financing From Mainstream Sugar Daddies

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 20:00

People often wonder where the radical right—the neo-Nazis and white nationalists and alt-righters—get their funding, besides the occasional online fundraiser. The truth is somewhat bland but disturbing: Most of their money comes through discreet donations from relatively anonymous individuals with significant wealth accrued through nondescript means including finance, real estate, construction, and the like.

New York Magazine’s Sarah Jones performed a public service this week by diving into the tax records of one such financier, a “libertarian” donor named Robert P. Rotella. (Full disclosure: I am quoted in this article.) What she revealed was a portrait of a quiet support network: namely, a range of significant financial support for a broad menu of far-right organizations, mostly disguised by being intermingled with a larger number of mainstream conservative and libertarian groups.

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Categories: Politics

Spotlight on green news & views: $10 billion from Bezos for climate; survey—250,000 solar jobs

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 19:45

This is the 632nd edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the February 15 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


Qasim Rashid writes—Republican Member of Congress Who Is an Environmental Scientist OK-s Poisoning Our Water: “Go down to Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County and you will see streets lined with beach cottages and golf carts, local shops and hotels, and in the summer--people on the sandy shores of the Potomac River. This little town is a pristine getaway from day to day life. It’s economy and culture are centered around being on the Potomac River, which is being put in danger due to rollbacks on water protections. Trump’s budget will cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 26%. This is after Trump has already rolled back protections on our freshwater streams. His own handpicked scientists at the EPA warned him and his staff what the implications of such policy would do, but still the GOP has not fought against it. Moreover, Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01) is an environmental scientist by profession and openly advocates for taking care of our environment. Last week on Twitter, he announced his One Trillion Trees initiative and tweeted ‘Congress has the chance to work in a bipartisan manner to consider legislation that would reduce emissions, promote clean energy, and conserve our natural resources, and I will continue to advocate for our environment.’ But the truth is, he voted in favor of Trump’s cut to the EPA and has done nothing about stopping the chemicals from entering our waters.”

Categories: Politics