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Support C&L -- Before It's Too Late

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 20:31

I've been writing for years how social media companies kowtow to the conservative fire-breathing a**holes who complain they're being persecuted.

So how did they respond? Tucker Carlson's outlet, The Daily Caller, gets hired as---you guessed it! A fact checker for Facebook.

These moves have hurt Crooks and Liars and many other progressive news and blogger sites tremendously.

Traitor Trump profited more from Facebook and Twitter than any other politician before him because, as the numbers confirm, conspiracy theories are far more popular than actual news. And Trump was the king of conspiracies, the court jester of grievances, and the king of the birthers.

If you go back 10 years, there were an abundant number of great progressive writers all over the Internet. Now, without a level playing field from corporate media, the numbers are dwindling as we speak. Don't let us be one of them.

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Categories: Politics

Foreign Affairs Open Thread: Has It Really / Only Been Five Years of Brexit?

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 20:31

If I’d had more warning, I’d have asked Tony Jay to write an explainer for us. On the other hand, I don’t want to be responsible for the poor fella stroking out…

The post Foreign Affairs Open Thread: Has It Really / Only Been Five Years of Brexit? appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Peloton Treadmill Safety Update Requires $40 a Month Subscription

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 20:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Peloton's Treadmills cost between $2,500 and $4,000. They've also injured 70 people and killed one child. Peloton issued a recall on the treadmills after an investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those who kept the Tread+ got a nasty shock in their inbox recently: After the treadmill downloaded an update Peloton said was designed to make the device safer, users reported they could no longer run on it without paying Peloton a $39.99 per month subscription fee. "We care deeply about the safety and well being of our Members and we created Tread Lock to secure your Tread+ against unauthorized access," Peloton said in an email it sent to customers. "Unfortunately at this time 'Just Runn' is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership." It offered to waive the subscription fee for the first three months and apologized for the inconvenience. Peloton's subscription ecosystem provides users with live classes, crafted playlists, and customized tracks. For people who just want to run or bike, they can select the "Just Bike" or "Just Run" feature and use their devices like normal exercise equipment. Unless, of course, the user has updated the Tread+ to get the safety update. [...] The new Tread Lock update adds another layer of safety to the Tread+. "Tread Lock is a safety feature that automatically locks the Peloton Tread+ after you put your Tread+ to sleep or after 45 seconds of inactivity outside of a class," Peloton said on its website. For now, the cost of using that new feature is, apparently, about $40 a month, though Peloton claimed it would not always be so. "Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership," Peloton told Motherboard in an email. "We understand that this is an inconvenience for some and are working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

AI Helps Restore Rembrandt's Night Watch Masterpiece

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 19:30
For the first time in more than 300 years, Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch can again be seen in its entirety in the Netherlands. The BBC reports: Created in 1642 by the Dutch master, the huge picture was trimmed on all four sides in 1715 to fit between two doors in Amsterdam town hall. The city's Rijksmuseum has now added the missing scenes from a small, early copy of the original. It used artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic Rembrandt's style. The Night Watch is considered Rembrandt's most ambitious work. It was commissioned by the mayor and leader of the civic guard of Amsterdam, Frans Banninck Cocq, who wanted a group portrait of his militia company. Prior to the restoration the painting was nearly 4m tall and 4.5m wide (12.5 x 15 ft) and weighed 337kg (743lb). As well as being famous for its size, the piece is acclaimed for its use of dramatic lighting and movement. In 1975, a man armed with a bread knife fought off a museum guard and slashed the painting, telling bystanders that he "did it for the Lord." The piece was also attacked with a knife in 1911 and sprayed with a chemical in 1990, but only minor damage occurred on both occasions that was relatively easy to repair.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Supreme Court Sides With High School Cheerleader Who Cursed Online

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 18:50
schwit1 shares a report from CNN: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school cheerleader who argued that she could not be punished by her public school for posting a profanity-laced caption on Snapchat when she was off school grounds. The case involving a Pennsylvania teenager was closely watched to see how the court would handle the free speech rights of some 50 million public school children and the concerns of schools over off-campus and online speech that could amount to a disruption of the school's mission or rise to the level of bullying or threats. The 8-1 majority opinion was penned by Justice Stephen Breyer. "It might be tempting to dismiss (the student's) words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary," Breyer wrote. Breyer said that the court has made clear that students "do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression even 'at the school house gate.'" "But," he said, "we have also made clear that courts must apply the First Amendment in light of the special characteristics of the school environment." "The school itself has an interest in protecting a student's unpopular expression, especially when the expression takes place off campus. America's public schools are the nurseries of democracy," the opinion read. Breyer disagreed with the reasoning of a lower court opinion that held that a school could never regulate speech that takes place off campus, but at the same time he declined to set forth what he called "a broad, highly general First Amendment rules stating just what counts as 'off-campus speech." Instead, he allowed that while the cheerleader's post were "crude" they "did not amount to fighting words." He said that while she used "vulgarity" her speech was not "obscene." In addition, her post appeared "outside of school hours from a location outside of school" and they did not target any member of the school community with "abusive" language. He added that she used her own personal cellphone and her audience consisted of a private circle of Snapchat friends. Breyer said "these features of her speech" diminish the school's interest in punishing her. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented. He wrote that students like the former cheerleader "who are active in extracurricular programs have a greater potential, by virtue of their participation, to harm those programs." He added: "For example, a profanity-laced screed delivered on social media or at the mall has a much different effect on a football program when done by a regular student than when done by the captain of the football team. So, too, here."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Lego Island Rebuilder

Hacker News - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 18:36
Categories: Geek

This is How You Talk To Assholes

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 18:35

Here’s that General Milley CRT*-in-the-military response everyone’s been talking about.

(OT, but I’d like to know what he found of military use in those Mouse books he mentioned, but that’s for another time.)

This isn’t quite as enamel-removing as that Austalian general’s blistering message on sexual abuse, but it’s exactly what is needed from our senior military leadership and elected officials.

The Republicans are weaponizing White nationalism–race based fascism–by dressing it up as “concern” for historical accuracy or American idealism or what have you. They are trying to regain power by denying the reality of our past and present, using very clever marketing to do so. You don’t win that fight by correcting them fact by fact. You win it by punching them (metapohorically) in the face.

General Milley does that within the bounds set by his uniform and his obligation to respond to civilian authority. Now we need our elected to go full bore as well, with the added freedom of expression they have compared to a serving member of the armed services.

Some are. More need to. And we need to work the media as hard as possible to shift the representation of this fight there. Twitter warriors, mount up!

Oh…and open thread.

*No, no, no…not those old-style TVs that some supply sergeant may still have to account for.

The post This is How You Talk To Assholes appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Amazon Wins Trial Over Technology To Order Groceries With Alexa

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 18:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Amazon won a Texas trial in which it was accused of incorporating an Israeli company's patented "smart kitchen" inventions for voice commands to shop for groceries online into the Alexa digital assistant. Amazon didn't infringe three patents owned by closely held Ikan Holdings LLC's Freshub unit, the federal jury in Waco, Texas, said Tuesday. Freshub said its inventions allow consumers to create shopping lists, establish a shopping cart and order from their local grocer by using voice commands or scanning bar codes of products with an internet-connected device. Amazon knew of Freshub and its patents when it incorporated the technology into its Alexa assistant and Echo smart speakers, and promoted it for use with its Whole Foods grocery chain, Freshub claimed. Amazon accused the company of manipulating patent applications to ensure they covered Alexa and Echo after the popular products had already entered the market. Amazon also warned jurors that a victory for Freshub would mean more lawsuits by the company against other tech firms like Apple and Google. Freshub argued consumers using the technology spent more money, so it was entitled to $3.50 per unit sold with the functionality, for a total of $246 million. Amazon argued that the patents were worth at most $1 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Headlines iOS app update brings smarter widgets, iPad UI improvements, more

9to5Mac - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:33

The simple and clean news reader Headlines for iPhone and iPad is out today with a nice update that makes its widgets more useful, brings iPad UI enhancements, offers smart group management, and more.


The post Headlines iOS app update brings smarter widgets, iPad UI improvements, more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Scholars on LinkedIn Are Being Blocked in China 'Without Telling Them Why'

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:30
Affected users say social-networking site owned by Microsoft is obstructing them over 'prohibited content' without further explanation. From a report: Eyck Freymann, an Oxford University doctoral student, was surprised to get a notice from LinkedIn this month telling him his account had been blocked in China. The "Experience" section of his profile, which detailed his career history, contained "prohibited" content, he was informed. The social-networking site owned by Microsoft didn't explain more, but Mr. Freymann said he thought it was because he had included the words "Tiananmen Square massacre" in the entry for his two-year stint as a research assistant for a book in 2015. "LinkedIn is pulling people's material off without telling them why," he said. "It was surprising because I am just a graduate student. I didn't think I would have mattered." The academic is one of a spate of LinkedIn users whose profiles have been blocked in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal identified at least 10 other individuals who had their profiles blocked or posts removed from the China version of LinkedIn since May, including researchers in Jerusalem and Tokyo, journalists, a U.S. congressional staffer and an editor based in Beijing who posted state media reports about elephants rampaging across China. A LinkedIn spokeswoman said in a statement that while the company supports freedom of expression, offering a localized version of LinkedIn in China means adherence to censorship requirements of the Chinese government on internet platforms. The company didn't comment on whether its actions were proactive or in response to requests from Chinese authorities. LinkedIn made a trade-off to accept Chinese censorship when it entered China in 2014 and has typically censored human-rights activists and deleted content focused on posts deemed sensitive to the Chinese government. The recent dragnet stands out for having caught several academics in its path, resulting in the deletion of entire profiles instead of individual posts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Something Good Open Thread: ‘Navajo Nation celebrates its first official Pride parade’

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:20

Cheering read from the Washington Post — “‘We’re here, we survived and we’re going to be okay’“:

Navajo Nation Pride began as a small event hosted outside the offices of a feminist collective in Window Rock’s Ch’ihootso Indian Market Place four years ago. Since then, the annual event has grown into the country’s largest Indigenous Pride — peaking at an estimated 7,000 attendees in 2019 — with year-long programs and scholarships dedicated to supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth and leaders.

This year, Pride came as the Navajo Nation, which suffered some of the worst effects of the pandemic, leads the country in vaccinations. Cars adorned with gay and trans pride flags, signs reading “Diyingo ‘Adaanitsíískéés” — Navajo for “We are sacred” — and rainbow streamers paraded from the Navajo Nation Museum through central Window Rock and to the Navajo Nation Council Chambers.

There, attendees settled in folding chairs spaced six feet apart to hear speakers address movements to reclaim Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ identity, the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis among American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and the work to pass inclusive legislation such as the Navajo Nation Equality Act. The theme of the year was “the sacred resilience of Indigenous womxn.”

“This year is our fourth year and in Diné culture we understand that the number four is a very sacred number,” invoking the four directions and the four sacred colors, said Navajo Nation Pride’s youth director Geronimo Louie (Navajo). “We are a matriarchal society at heart and through our teachings and understandings and our origin stories, women have always been leading and paving the way for all of us as Indigenous people.”…

The post Something Good Open Thread: ‘Navajo Nation celebrates its first official Pride parade’ appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case now available for 4th-gen iPad Air

9to5Mac - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:13

Logitech Combo Touch has been a great alternative for iPad Pro users who don’t want to spend more than $300 on Apple’s Magic Keyboard. Now, the company has announced a new version designed specifically for the 4th-generation iPad Air, which was introduced last year with a similar design to the 11-inch iPad Pro, but with a 10.9-inch display instead.


The post Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case now available for 4th-gen iPad Air appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Former NRA president tricked into giving graduation speech to 3,044 chairs representing dead teens

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:12

If the name David Keene rings a bell that’s because he’s the former president of the NRA. He’s one of those guys in the photos with suspected Russian NRA operative Maria Butina. He and his wife seemed to want to get into the Russian jet fuel business back in 2017. Seriously. Keene is no longer the president of the pro high school shooting gun club, but he remains a board member—even through all of the downs and downs and downs the NRA has suffered the last few years. Knowing where the bodies are buried probably helps. John Lott is also a name you might remember as the “academic” researcher who proved that more guns made society safer, but was humiliated when no one could replicate his findings and it was revealed that he was using anonymous accounts to write opinion pieces praising himself as an important scholar.

On June 4, both Keene and Lott gave speeches to the James Madison Academy 2021 graduating class in a Las Vegas stadium. The audience was made up of 3,044 empty folding chairs. According to BuzzFeedNews, Keene told the empty space to fight restrictive gun laws and to “follow your dream and make it a reality." Lott spoke about background checks. What Keene doesn’t seem to have realized is that the 3,044 empty chairs he was addressing represented an estimated 3,044 children that would not be graduating this year as a result of gun violence. James Madison Academy is not an actual school.

Categories: Politics

Matt Gaetz tries to showboat on 'critical race theory,' an angry Gen. Mark Milley isn't having it

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 17:04

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has been trying very hard to shore up Republican base support in anticipation of possibly being indicted on federal sex trafficking charges, and that means Gaetz jumped at a chance to say the words criticalracetheory at Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. (Yeah, an alleged sex trafficker who's been exposed as part of a sex crimes ring is on the House Armed Services Committee. Republicanism!)

Categories: Politics

Ubuntu-maker Canonical Will Support Open Source Blender on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Slashdot - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 16:50
An anonymous reader shares a report: Blender is one of the most important open source projects, as the 3D graphics application suite is used by countless people at home, for business, and in education. The software can be used on many platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and of course, Linux. Today, Ubuntu-maker Canonical announces it will offer paid enterprise support for Blender LTS. Surprisingly, this support will not only be for Ubuntu users. Heck, it isn't even limited to Linux installations. Actually, Canonical will offer this support to Blender LTS users on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Ohio Republican Who Forged His Father's Signature To Vote Twice Calls It 'An Honest Mistake'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 16:42

For his "honest mistake" the younger Mr Snodgrass who voted for his dead father got himself:

  • 3 days in jail
  • $500 fine
  • Assessed court costs

An elected official who commits voter fraud probably shouldn't be an elected official, right?

Source: The Hill

A Republican Ohio government official admitted to forging his deceased father's signature on an absentee ballot in the 2020 presidential election, calling his actions “an honest error."

Edward Snodgrass, a Porter Township trustee, told NBC News that he had been signing documents on his father's behalf for several years due his father breaking his arm.

“It was there with a pile of other paperwork,” Snodgrass said of the absentee ballot. “I was sleep-deprived and not thinking clearly. But I’m not going to run away from it.”

“I was simply trying to execute a dying man’s wishes,” he added, saying that it would be wrong to characterize what he did as “just Trump voter fraud."

read more

Categories: Politics

Dan Harmon and Nathan Pyle bringing ‘Strange Planet’ series to Apple TV+

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 16:41

Apple TV+ has given a straight-to-series order for the animated series "Strange Planet," based on the popular webcomic of the same name.
Categories: Geek