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What The Fuck is Wrong With People

Balloon Juice - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 19:44

What The Fuck is Wrong With People

We’re gonna blast past 200k before we even get to Thanksgiving. If I were God emperor, I would lock everyone down, issue mask mandates, and mount speakers every 100 yards playing this nonstop until people didn’t want to leave the fucking house:

Meanwhile, from the no shit department:

US coronavirus cases will spike after Thanksgiving, further stressing health care systems and prompting new restrictions, an emergency physician said Saturday.

Meanwhile, states continue to report soaring numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and several governors have already announced measures to try to gain control before winter.

Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, told CNN’s Erica Hill he is “terrified” about what’s going to happen this holiday season.

“We’re going to see an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year, and if people don’t learn from Thanksgiving, we’re going to see it after Christmas as well,” Phillips said.

I laugh cried at the “if people don’t learn” part. The most American thing in the world is NEVER FUCKING LEARNING ANYTHING EVER.

The worst thing about this is that Trump’s followers are literally a cult. Anything he says or does they mindlessly repeat and replicate. If that motherfucker would just have asked his followers to wear a fucking mask we wouldn’t be in half the mess we are in right now.

The post What The Fuck is Wrong With People appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

EFF Launches New Podcast: How to Fix the Internet

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 19:34
"EFF is launching How to Fix the Internet, a new podcast mini-series to examine potential solutions to six ills facing the modern digital landscape," announces Over the course of 6 episodes, we'll consider how current tech policy isn't working well for users and invite experts to join us in imagining a better future... It's easy to see all the things wrong with the modern Internet, and how the reality of most peoples' experience online doesn't align with the dreams of its early creators. How did we go astray and what should we do now? And what would our world look like if we got it right...? In each episode, we are joined by a guest to examine how the current system is failing, consider different possibilities for solutions, and imagine a better future. After all, we can't build a better world unless we can imagine it. We are launching the podcast with two episodes: The Secret Court Approving Secret Surveillance, featuring the Cato Institute's specialist in surveillance legal policy Julian Sanchez; and Why Does My Internet Suck?, featuring Gigi Sohn, one of the nation's leading advocates for open, affordable, and democratic communications networks. Future episodes will be released on Tuesdays. Other topics to be covered by the podcast mini-series: The third-party doctrine [which asserts "no reasonable expectation of privacy"]Barriers to interoperable technologyLaw enforcement's use of face recognition technology Digital first sale and the resale of intellectual property

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Who will Biden choose as his labor secretary?

Daily Kos - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 18:55

Speculation is flying and some aspirants are campaigning hard for the position of labor secretary. Names being mentioned frequently include Boston Mayor Mary Walsh, Rep. Andy Levin, AFL-CIO economist Bill Spriggs, and Julie Su, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Levin, a former AFL-CIO staffer, has endorsements from the Communications Workers of America, the United Auto Workers, the Utility Workers Union of America, and National Nurses United. Walsh, a former head of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, has the support of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who is lobbying other labor leaders to back him. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten also praised Walsh.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is actively running for the role, but President-elect Biden is reportedly trying to avoid appointing senators.

Categories: Politics

Is There a Better Way to Create Secure Passwords?

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 18:34
"Forget all the rules about uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols; your password just needs to be at least 12 characters, and it needs to pass a real-time strength test" developed by the passwords research group in Carnegie Mellon's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute (according to the Lab's web site). CNET reports: After a user has created a password of at least 10 characters, the meter will start giving suggestions, such as breaking up common words with slashes or random letters, to make your password stronger... One of the problems with many passwords is that they tick all the security checks but are still easy to guess because most of us follow the same patterns, the lab found. Numbers? You'll likely add a "1" at the end. Capital letters? You'll probably make it the first one in the password. And special characters? Frequently exclamation marks... In an experiment, users created passwords on a system that simply required them to enter 10 characters. Then the system rated the passwords with the lab's password strength meter and gave tailored suggestions for stronger passwords. Test subjects were able to come up with secure passwords that they could recall up to five days later. It worked better than showing users preset lists of rules or simply banning known bad passwords (I'm looking at you "StarWars")... Lorrie Cranor, director of the CyLab Usable Security and Privacy Laboratory at CMU, says the best way to create and remember secure passwords is to use a password manager. Those aren't widely adopted, and they come with some trade-offs. Nonetheless, they allow you to create a random, unique password for each account, and they remember your passwords for you.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

We Have A New President But The Nightmare Isn't Over

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 18:31

On Saturday, November 7, just before Noon, four days after Election Day, after Pennsylvania’s votes put him over the 270 mark, the election was finally called by both the AP and CNN : Former Vice President Joe Biden beat out the incumbent, Donald Trump, to become President-Elect Joe Biden.

I don’t have to tell you that I was ecstatic. It appeared all week that this would be the outcome but with every passing day the doubts grew. Not that the count would be wrong but that the Trump regime would figure out a way to delegitimize the people’s choice.

As Ari Berman wrote on Twitter:

They gutted the Voting Rights Act. They sabotaged the Postal Service. They closed polling places, purged voter rolls, attacked mail voting, tried to throw out ballots. And yet voters turned out in record numbers to overcome these barriers & make their voices heard.

So here we are, sure it has happened, but on tenterhooks because the Big Baby in the White House refuses to accept that his tantrums haven’t worked and he’s on a time-out with no end date.

read more

Categories: Politics

More Than 130 Secret Service Officers Are Out Of Action Thanks To Team Trump's Superspreading Habits

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 18:31

It seems like half of Team Trump has COVID-19 at any one time, but Donald Trump’s traveling superspreader bubble doesn’t just affect people who are choosing to participate in it. More than 130 Secret Service officers are reportedly quarantining either because they’ve already tested positive or because they have been exposed to the coronavirus. That’s about 10% of the security team at the Secret Service, The Washington Post reports, and it comes as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be getting added protection.

“Being down more than 100 officers is very problematic,” a “former senior Secret Service supervisor” told the Post. “That does not bode well for White House security.”

As of now, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie are infected, as are at least eight Republican National Committee staffers, including that organization’s chief of staff.

read more

Categories: Politics

Spotlight on Green News & Views: Criminalizing pipeline protests; David Koch seeks redemption

Daily Kos - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 18:00

This is the 656th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the Oct. 31st edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Criminalization of Pipeline Protests By Polluter-Paid Politicians Makes Dirty Infrastructure Easy: “A new report, Muzzling Dissent, by Gabrielle Colchete and Basav Sen from the Institute for Policy Studies, tracks how pipeline companies and ALEC have pushed the politicians to squash protests by designating pipelines as ‘Critical Infrastructure.’ The original concept of ‘Critical Infrastructure Protection’ was a response to the Oklahoma City bombing, and became much more of a priority after 9/11. But by 2003 lobbyists backed by BP and Dupont included fossil fuel infrastructure in a CIP guide meant for government officials. In doing so, corporate interests successfully turned a tool for protecting Americans from terrorist attacks into something to protect industry from American activists. ‘In these instances,’ Colchete and Sen write, ‘”Critical Infrastructure” is not only a euphemism for pipeline polluters that extract resources from surrounding communities for private interests, but it is also a dog-whistle that conflates local opposition with terrorism. In practice, these laws only serve to protect the corporate polluters’ interests and fossil fuel infrastructure, while threatening the constitutional rights of local opposition who ironically view them as unlawful threats to their communities’.”

Categories: Politics

Saturday Night Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 17:55

Looks like we need one.

Saturday Night Open Thread 1

I guess we need a pretty picture, at least.  These are the tulips I planted last week.

The post Saturday Night Open Thread appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

YouTube Criticized For Not Removing Post-Election Misinformation

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 17:44
"YouTube is facing growing criticism for allowing election misinformation after it decided not to remove or individually fact-check videos that spread unfounded conspiracy theories alleging voter fraud," reports NBC News: While all internet platforms are struggling to contain the volume of misinformation since voting ended last week — and all have been criticized to some degree by researchers for their handling of the situation — YouTube has staked out a position that is less aggressive than its social media competitors, most notably Facebook and Twitter. YouTube said before the election that it wouldn't allow videos that encourage "interference in the democratic process," but now, as state officials are working to certify vote tallies, the company said it wants to give users room for "discussion of election results," even when that discussion is based on debunked information. Somewhere in between those two policies it has decided to leave up videos challenging Joe Biden's election, and some have received millions of views. "Is YouTube unable to contend with this material, meaning they lack resources? Or is it a lack of will?" asked Sarah Roberts, co-director of UCLA's Center for Critical Internet Inquiry and an associate professor of information studies. "I think one of those is probably more damning than the other, but they both have the same outcome of allowing propaganda material masquerading as news being distributed on their platform at a critical juncture for the American political cycle," Roberts said... "There's a good chance YouTube's handling of this goes in the first sentence of every story about how social networks handled the 2020 election for the next several years," Casey Newton, a journalist who writes the technology newsletter Platformer, said in a tweet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

‘Million MAGA March’ draws thousands of extremists to D.C. claiming Trump won the election

Daily Kos - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 17:32

As promised, thousands of hardcore Donald Trump supporters flooded downtown Washington, D.C., Saturday, for a “Million MAGA March,” falsely claiming he and not Joe Biden had won the presidential vote and demanding election officials “Stop the Steal.” Also as promised, Trump himself swung by to acknowledge what organizers had billed as “the largest Trump rally in U.S. history”—albeit briefly, from inside a slow-moving limousine.

The turnout was far short of the million attendees suggested by the name organizers had given the rally. Neutral observers estimated the crowd to number in the low tens of thousands. And while it was generally portrayed in the media as a mainstream Republican event, the rally was dominated by the presence of the far-right extremists who had organized it, and the rhetoric of the speakers—which was not just violently hyperbolic but often insurrectionary—reflected that.

Categories: Politics

Hands-on with Survivor’s Endurance MagSafe-compatible cases for iPhone 12

9to5Mac - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 17:15

With availability for all of Apple’s new devices hitting yesterday, Survivor’s latest cases for iPhone 12 have your device covered. Readers can head below for a more detailed look at Survivor’s Endurance collection, and watch as we go hands-on with the new line from Survivor.


The post Hands-on with Survivor’s Endurance MagSafe-compatible cases for iPhone 12 appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek


Baker-Watts - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 17:06
Categories: Geek

Study Claims 18% of Covid Patients Later Diagnosed with Mental Illness

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 16:50
A new article summarizes research from the University of Oxford and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre. Slashdot reader AleRunner writes: Nearly one in five people who have had Covid-19 are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as anxiety, depression or insomnia within three months of testing positive for the virus," Natalie Grover writes. Although "people with a pre-existing mental health diagnosis" are 65% more likely to get COVID, so it may be that this is partly explained by doctors diagnosing illness that would otherwise be missed, the article suggests that the rate is double the rate for influenza and unexpectedly high so other explanations are needed. From the article: Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said more research was needed to establish whether a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder could be directly linked to getting coronavirus. General factors that influence physical health were not captured in the records analysed, such as socio-economic background, smoking, or use of drugs. There was also potential that the general stressful environment of the pandemic is playing a role, he noted. Research suggests that people from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to suffer mental ill-health. Poverty also increases exposure to coronavirus, owing to factors like crowded housing and unsafe working conditions. "Equally, it's not at all implausible that Covid-19 might have some direct effect on your brain and your mental health. But I think that, again, remains to be positively demonstrated," said Mr. Harrison... The calculations were made on the basis of roughly 70 million US health records, including more than 62,000 cases of Covid-19 that did not require a hospital stay or an emergency department visit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Twitter for Mac updated with macOS Big Sur optimizations, M1 chip support

9to5Mac - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 16:46

Twitter has released a notable update to its Mac app this week, bringing optimizations for macOS 11 Big Sur, in terms of both performance and design. The update also adds support for Apple Silicon-powered Macs.


The post Twitter for Mac updated with macOS Big Sur optimizations, M1 chip support appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Why is Apple paying me $4.99 in store credit for Apple TV+ this month?

9to5Mac - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 16:36

Apple TV+ is Apple’s streaming service and priced at $4.99 per month in the US, or $49.99 per year. A lot of current subscribers are on promotional free trials. However, if you are currently paying for TV+ on a monthly or yearly basis, you should have received an email that Apple is refunding that amount as store credit … here’s why.


The post Why is Apple paying me $4.99 in store credit for Apple TV+ this month? appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Cryptic leaker says Apple has a ‘Christmas surprise’ in store for this year, what could it be?

9to5Mac - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 16:11

The Twitter user L0vetodream has become one of the most reliable sources of Apple leaks over the last year, but their tweets are often cryptic and tricky to decipher. Today, L0vetodream is teasing that Apple will have a “Christmas surprise” to announce this year…


The post Cryptic leaker says Apple has a ‘Christmas surprise’ in store for this year, what could it be? appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Here’s the COVID-19 Bad News In Four Easy Charts

Kevin Drum - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 15:35

It is not even close to winter yet, but already there’s nothing but bad news on the COVID-19 horizon. First off, here’s a chart you’ve probably seen a bunch of times:

In the past three weeks, the number of new cases per day has increased by about 2.3x using smoothed 7-day averages. But maybe this is simply because we’re testing more? Nope:

The testing rate has been dead flat at about 1 million tests per day. So why is the case rate growing so fast? It’s simple: more people are getting infected:

Over the past three weeks, the test positivity rate has gone up about 2.2x. This accounts for the entire increase in the case rate. So what does this mean for the death rate?

Between October 1 and October 23, the case rate went up by about half. Add three weeks to that, and between October 23 and November 14 the death rate went up by . . . about half. So, since the case rate has risen about 2.3x in the past three weeks up through today, we can probably expect the death rate to increase about 2.3x between now and the end of November. That’s very close to 3,000 deaths per day.

It might be less than that, since the case fatality rate has been slowly declining. On the other hand, it might be more than that since the current unsmoothed case rate is about 180,000 per day. If that’s a more accurate measure, we could end up well over 3,000 deaths per day.

What’s more, this is hardly the worst it can get. At the moment, there’s no indication that the case rate is slowing down, which means the death rate won’t slow down either. It will slow down eventually, especially if more people get scared and start wearing masks and quarantining and just generally acting like this is a serious problem. Needless to say, this would be more likely if state governors helped things along by shutting down indoor dining at restaurants and Senate Republicans made this more palatable by agreeing to a bailout of restaurants and other highly affected businesses. That’s in addition to other assistance, mostly but not limited to aid to the unemployed.

Our first COVID-19 surge in April made me swear off crude projections, since they mostly turned out to be wrong. Partly this is because this isn’t just a pure mathematical exercise involving exponential growth. It also depends on how strongly the government puts in place countermeasures and how well the rest of us accept them, and that’s nearly impossible to predict. So don’t treat these numbers as gospel or anything close to it. They’re more like a warning: if we continue doing the minimum necessary to fight the coronavirus, we’ll almost certainly see a skyrocketing death rate. A lot of this is already baked into today’s numbers, but not all of it. We can still do better if we decide to put partisan idiocy behind us and simply agree to fight the pandemic with every tool at our disposal.

POSTSCRIPT: If you’d like to see this all in scary map form, just click here.

Categories: Politics

An Amazonian Tea May Stimulate the Formation of New Brain Cells

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 15:34
Popular Mechanics writes: In a new study, researchers found the traditional psychoactive drug ayahuasca stimulates the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampi of research mice. The hippocampus is responsible for many memory functions, and the mice dosed with ayahuasca also performed better in a battery of memory tests. While ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic and often purgative tea brewed from leaves of a shrub that grows in South America, contains the psychoactive compound N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), it also packs harmine and tetrahydoharmine, two compounds that form new neurons from stem cells in a petri dish, per IFL Science. "The study, published in Translational Psychiatry, a Nature Research journal, reports the results of four years of in vitro and in vivo experimentation on mice..." according to one medical news site. José Ángel Morales, a researcher in the UCM and CIBERNED Department of Cellular Biology, tells them "This capacity to modulate brain plasticity suggests that it has great therapeutic potential for a wide range of psychiatric and neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases." In neurodegenerative diseases, it is the death of certain types of neurons that causes the symptoms of pathologies such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Although humans have the capacity to generate new neuronal cells, this depends on several factors and is not always possible. "The challenge is to activate our dormant capacity to form neurons and thus replace the neurons that die as a result of the disease. This study shows that DMT is capable of activating neural stem cells and forming new neurons," concluded Morales.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

What Will Happen After Python Creator Guido Van Rossum Joins Microsoft?

Slashdot - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 14:34
Programming columnist Mike Melanson assesses the news that Guido Van Rossum, the creator of the Python programming language, has come out of retirement to join Microsoft's developer division: The news brought a flurry of congratulations and feature requests, though a few of the suggested features indeed, already exist. Others still were met with informative responses that make the resulting threads worth a perusal, especially if you're looking for a quick "who's who" on Twitter for the world of programming languages. Microsoft's Miguel de Icaza pointed out that this addition adds to the company's now growing list of language designers and contributors: "The developer division at Microsoft now employs the language designers and contributors to Python, Java, JavaScript, Typescript, F# C#, C++. We just need some PHP, Rust and Swift magic to complete the picture." [Microsoft senior software engineer Kat Marchán added "We actually have some early ex-moz Rust people too!"] So, what can we expect from all of this? Is it a corporate takeover of open source, as some further down in the long list of replies always seem to suggest? Or is Microsoft planning the Frankenstein of all languages, with a little bit of this, a little bit of that? In all likelihood, you Python developers using Microsoft products probably have some good features to look forward to in the near future, and that's that, but there's always lingering fears...especially when it comes to Microsoft. As van Rossum suggests, stay tuned. After Slashdot's earlier story, long-time reader alexgieg posted his own theory: "Several months ago the Excel folk within Microsoft asked users whether they'd like to have Python as an alternative scripting language in Office. Support for that was overwhelming, but nothing more was said on the matter since then. I guess this is Microsoft's answer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Saturday Snippets: Letters presidents wrote to successors; purging the disloyal is Trump aide's task

Daily Kos - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 14:06

Saturday Snippets is a regular weekend Daily Kos feature.

Check out these letters outgoing presidents wrote to their successors. Then imagine Trump’s letter to Joe Biden: The Atlantic has published letters that Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama wrote to the incoming president. Alex Kalman writes: “Each letter humanizes this small but monumental moment in the life of a democracy. Each note graciously acknowledges that one’s duty in office has come to an end, that it is now time to pass the immense power to someone else, and maybe even offer some advice or help while doing so.”

President Obama wrote to Trump in 2017: Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure. [...] Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions—like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties—that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

As Obama and the rest of us have learned since that letter was written, Donald Trump had zero intention of guarding democratic institutions. From him, expect no gracious letter to Biden, not even one penned with a Sharpie. But he probably won’t be able to keep himself from tweeting some nasty lie, the one thing besides relentless grifting at which he has proved competent.

Categories: Politics