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Rep. Ayanna Pressley To Betsy DeVos: 'I Wouldn't Trust You To Care For A House Plant'

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 07:08

Via the Hill, Rep. Ayanna Presley spoke for many of us when she clapped back at the impenetrable word salad dished up by Betsy DeVos, the incompetent secretary of education, as she danced around questions about her department's plans to reopen schools:

(D-Mass.) swiped at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday after the Trump administration official doubled down on her push for students to return to school.

In a tweet knocking DeVos on Sunday afternoon, the first-term lawmaker directly called her out, writing, “@BetsyDeVosED you have no plan. Teachers, kids and parents are fearing for their lives.”

“You point to a private sector that has put profits over people and claimed the lives of thousands of essential workers. I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child,” she continued.

Categories: Politics

ImTrynaVibe keeps users from accidentally force-closing a Now Playing app

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 07:00

It's frustrating when you accidentally force-quit the Now Playing app from your App Switcher, and this tweak can help prevent you from doing that.
Categories: Geek

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 07:00
Listen to our archived episodes: RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube Support the show: Patreon|PayPal: 1x or monthly|Square Cash

Hey, welcome back! It’s Monday, and… well, whatever.

Roger Stone may or may not have had his sentence commuted by the guy he got sentenced to prison for lying for. But as always, nobody has seen the paperwork for it. So, you know, maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t. We’ll see!

Greg Dworkin is due to drop by for his Monday kick-off. He’s considerably more reliable than Trump, so that’ll probably happen. Good thing, too. Because the global pandemic is still a thing, and there are still some people who believe that sharing accurate information about it is a good idea.

I love it when we get all old timey!

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.

Categories: Politics

Monday Morning Open Thread: Choose Your Champion

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 06:29


The post Monday Morning Open Thread: Choose Your Champion appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Florida out of control as AZ and TX are not far behind

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 06:25


Florida shatters single-day infection record with 15,300 new cases

The staggering number was the result of both increased testing and widespread community transmission that has affected the state’s population centers as well as its rural areas. It shattered previous highs of 11,694 reported by California last week and 11,571 reported by New York on April 15.

“With Florida largely open for business, I don’t expect this surge to slow,” wrote Natalie E. Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

Managing a novel pandemic is hard.

You can be forgiven for making mistakes.

You won't be forgiven for not trying.

Categories: Politics

Rudy Giuliani And White House Try To Bully FDA Into Hydroxychloroquine Approval

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:38

Only in Trump's America would three unserious buffoons try and force the Federal Drug Administration to grant another emergency authorization for an unproven and debunked anti-malaria drug for the coronavirus and actually get presidential approval to do so.

Sycophantic Peter Navarro, who was chosen by Jared Kushner from one Amazon book to be a trade advisor to the White House attacked Dr. Fauci's expertise in virology by describing himself as a "Social Scientist" instead of an economist.

Kushner simply went on Amazon, where he was struck by the title of one book, Death by China, co-authored by Peter Navarro. He cold-called Navarro, a well-known trade-deficit hawk, who agreed to join the team as an economic adviser.

Once again, he's trying to pressure the agency that's suppose to protect the health and welfare of the country

read more

Categories: Politics

Trump Spokeswoman Blames Roger Stone's Commutation On COVID-19

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:38

Jenna Ellis, an attorney and spokesperson for Donald Trump, suggested that Roger Stone had received a "medical commutation" from the president because he was at risk for COVID-19.

While interviewing Ellis on Sunday, Fox News host Gillian Turner asked Ellis if Trump gave "serious thought" to his decision to commute Stone's sentence.

"Obviously, I'm not going to get into the internal deliberations," Ellis insisted. "But I think the timing does speak for itself, where this was just days before Roger Stone was supposed to report to federal prison."

"This was a political target that was designed to target President Trump's allies," she continued. "That was just absolutely absurd."

Ellis went on to argue, "The president is the last full guardian of genuine justice and Roger Stone absolutely deserved the justice."

Turner interrupted: "The question though was, was there an internal deliberation or was this a decision President Trump made on his own?"

Ellis refused to answer the question directly, citing attorney-client privilege. She then blasted former special counsel Robert Mueller as "irresponsible" for opposing the commutation.

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Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:37

The Selling Puerto Rico Edition

Schadenfreude: A smarty-pants from Sri Lanka notes that a U.S. passport is not much use anymore.

Strangely Blogged on the Stone commutation & the Trump admin.'s competence.

Schadenfreude II: Trump's political agony to worsen every day, figures Martin Longman. Good.

Allan Coberly thinks the future has been buried.

Cartoon Bonus: Testing, testing, from Brains and Eggs.

Aggregated by M. Bouffant, of Web of Evil (& Ennui). Suggestions, tips, &c. may be sent to

Categories: Politics

Keeda Haynes: 'It Is Time For Change And I Am That Change.'

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:36

Tennessee is spiking really badly right now. An anti-mask governor and legislature have given the state 59,546 COVID cases-- including 1,955 new cases on Friday, 1,460 new cases on Saturday-- and a rapidly rising 8,933 cases per million Tennesseans. The governor, Bill Lee is a clueless Trump fanatic, still refuses to mandate masks and the Tennessee General Assembly... well, the state Senate has 5 Democrats and 28 Republicans and the state House has 26 Dems and 73 Republicans-- obviously a full-fledged chapter of the Trump Death Cult.

They're not worried about the pandemic overwhelming Tennessee hospitals; they're worried about maintaining a memorial to savage mass murderer and KKK first Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state capitol where they can all admire it everyday and be infused with its Fort Pillow Massacre inspiration.

[embed eid="41266" /]

A friend of mine in the legislature tells me they're also plotting the next state gerrymander. With a very good chance that conservative Blue Dog (and proto-Republican) Jim Cooper is going to be defeated by Keeda Haynes, the Fort Pillow Massacre fans intend to eliminate TN-05 (basically the strongly blue city of Nashville and its suburbs) by dividing it up among several Republican districts, exactly what Tom DeLay did to Austin.

read more

Categories: Politics

A Volunteer Supercomputer Team is Hunting for Covid Clues

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 03:44
The world's fastest computer is now part of "a vast supercomputer-powered search for new findings pertaining to the novel coronavirus' spread" and "how to effectively treat and mitigate it," according to an emerging tech journalist at Nextgov. It's part of a consortium currently facilitating over 65 active research projects, for which "Dozens of national and international members are volunteering free compute time...providing at least 485 petaflops of capacity and steadily growing, to more rapidly generate new solutions against COVID-19." "What started as a simple concept has grown to span three continents with over 40 supercomputer providers," Dario Gil, director of IBM Research and consortium co-chair, told Nextgov last week. "In the face of a global pandemic like COVID-19, hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event, the speed at which researchers can drive discovery is a critical factor in the search for a cure and it is essential that we combine forces...." [I]ts resources have been used to sort through billions of molecules to identify promising compounds that can be manufactured quickly and tested for potency to target the novel coronavirus, produce large data sets to study variations in patient responses, perform airflow simulations on a new device that will allow doctors to use one ventilator to support multiple patients — and more. The complex systems are powering calculations, simulations and results in a matter of days that several scientists have noted would take a matter of months on traditional computers. The Undersecretary for Science at America's Energy Department said "What's really interesting about this from an organizational point of view is that it's basically a volunteer organization." The article identifies some of the notable participants: IBM was part of the joint launch with America's Office of Science and Technology Policy and its Energy Department.The chief of NASA's Advanced Supercomputing says they're "making the full reserve portion of NASA supercomputing resources available to researchers working on the COVID-19 response, along with providing our expertise and support to port and run their applications on NASA systems."Amazon Web Services "saw a clear opportunity to bring the benefits of cloud... to bear in the race for treatments and a vaccine," according to a company executive.Japan's Fugaku — "which surpassed leading U.S. machines on the Top 500 list of global supercomputers in late June" — also joined the consortium in June. Other consortium members: Google CloudMicrosoftMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteThe National Science FoundationArgonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia National laboratories.National Center for Atmospheric Research's Wyoming Supercomputing CenterAMDNVIDIADell Technologies. ("The company is now donating cycles from the Zenith supercomputer and other resources.")

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Can Tesla Build Cheaper Electric Cars With Advanced (and Cobalt-Free) Batteries?

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 00:06
"One of the main reasons we're not all driving electric vehicles is the price," argues a transportation writer in Forbes — explaining how Tesla hopes to finally change that: The company is placing a huge bet on rechargeable battery technology that doesn't use cobalt. This is one of the main elements making lithium ion batteries so expensive. It's also fraught with political issues, since the mining can be in conflict areas like the Congo, and its production is considered quite polluting of the environment. But cobalt is used because it enables the energy density required in batteries intended to last for hundreds of miles per charge. A couple of months ago, it was revealed that Tesla was working with CATL on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, and these could be the real gamechanger. LFP batteries don't use cobalt and have a roadmap to push well past the magical $100 per kWh (wholesale) that is considered the threshold for EVs being cheaper than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles... Tesla has also recently patented technology for cathodes that significantly improves the number of charge cycles... The new Tesla technology, patented by the company's battery team led by Jeff Dahn, can increase charge cycles to nearly 4,000, which would be more like 75 years if charged once a week — hence the talk of million-mile batteries. More recently, the Tesla team headed by Jeff Dahn patented some new technology for lithium metal/anode free batteries, which could drastically improve energy density and thereby considerably reduce costs. These technologies, if they become commercially viable, could revolutionize battery durability and price, and there's another technology called all-polymer batteries on the horizon that is being developed by a former Nissan senior researcher, which he claims could cut 90% off the current price. But these are improvements for the future that may not happen, and cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate batteries are here now. Tesla will be using LFP for the batteries in its Chinese Model 3, after receiving government approval to do so. It is estimated that using LFP batteries will allow a 15-20% reduction in manufacturing cost. Taking calculations regarding how much of a car's cost is batteries into account, this could make EVs a mere 10% more expensive than ICE instead of 30%, which will be easy to regain in cheaper running costs over a year or two of ownership. It will also give EVs an even greater lead over fuel-cell technology, making it even less likely that hydrogen will be the future of electric cars. The time is fast approaching when EVs are not just more ecological and cheaper to run than ICE cars, but cheaper to buy too, and batteries free of cobalt are a key step in that direction. That's why Tesla's shift to LFP is so significant — it could be the final nail in the coffin for fossil fuel vehicles.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Award Winning Short Horror Film: "Miner's Mountain"

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 23:56

A sheriff comes under fire when two S.B.I. agents question his involvement in an unsolved murder case that shares distinct similarities with a recent homicide.

Best Short Film Beaufort International Film Festival 2020
Featured Weekly Pick Film Shortage
Official Selection Cucalorus Film Festival 2019



Want higher quality? Watch on Vimeo.

©Go DW Productions
In Association with Lighthouse Films

Written, Produced and Directed by: Bennett Pellington
Executive Producer: Bobby Siegworth
Director of Photography: Eli Wallace-Johansson
Production Designer: Tripp Allen
Edited by: Jesse Andrus and Bennett Pellington

Henry Bazemore, Jr. - SHERIFF JEFFERIES
Anthony Reynolds - AGENT WYTHE
Myke Holmes - AGENT HOLDEN
Fidias Reyes - VIVICA

Shot on the Alexa EV in 2014 and the Alexa Mini in 2017. Lensed with Arri Ultra Primes, Cooke S4 and Hollywood Black Magic filtration for the night exteriors.

#ShortFilm #Horror #Thriller #Drama

Categories: Politics

Oscar Hammerstein's 125th Birthday

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 23:00

Youtube: "In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, 300 people from 15 different countries came together to participate in a virtual rendition of the beautiful song "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel."

Lyrics by the late Oscar Hammerstein II; today is the 125th anniversary of his birth. (h/t Canterbury Cathedral)

Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Late Night Open Thread: Gotta Laugh to Keep from Crying

Balloon Juice - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 21:58

Not you, Boris — you’re just not welcome under any circumstances:

Everybody needs a haircut, right now…

Possum loves his box like Repubs love doing crimes!

The post Late Night Open Thread: Gotta Laugh to Keep from Crying appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Data Scientist Tries AI/Human Collaboration For Audio-Visual Art

Slashdot - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 21:34
"Swirls of color and images blend together as faces, scenery, objects, and architecture transform to music." That's how AI training company Lionbridge is describing Neural Synesthesia. Slashdot reader shirappu explains: Neural Synesthesia is an AI art project that creator Xander Steenbrugge calls a collaboration between man and machine. To create each piece, he feeds a generative network with curated image datasets and combines the ever-transforming results with music that is programmed to control the shifting visuals. Steenbrugge describes how the music controls the visuals in an interview with Lionbridge: I think coding for the first rendered video took over six months because I was doing it in my spare time. The biggest challenge was how to manipulate the generative adversarial network (GAN)'s latent input space using features extracted from the audio track. I wanted to create a satisfying match between visual and auditory perception for viewers. I apply a Fourier Transform to extract time varying frequency components from the audio. I also perform harmonic/percussive decomposition, which basically separates the melody from the rhythmic components of the track. These three signals (instantaneous frequency content, melodic energy, and beats) are then combined to manipulate the GANs latent space, resulting in visuals that are directly controlled by the audio... [Y]ou are not limited by your own imagination. There's an entirely alien system that is also influencing the same space of ideas, often in unexpected and interesting ways. This leads you as a creator into areas you never would have wandered by yourself.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Brian Stelter Says We're in a Truth Emergency and He Isn't Wrong

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 21:08

He backslides more than I like, but Brian Stelter does see that something bad is happening, even if he's still fighting against what it really means to acknowledge it.

Categories: Politics

Mueller's Retort: Roger Stone Remains A Convicted Felon Forever

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 20:29

Donald Trump rewards loyalty, sometimes, when he feels like it, and convicted felon Roger Stone is the most recent beneficiary of the Racist in Chief’s inconsistent and conditional generosity. Disgust at Trump’s commutation of Stone’s federal sentence (before the latter served a day of his 40 months) has been widespread since the move was announced late Friday, even if surprise is a bit harder to find. Trump, of course, can’t resist Twitter, finding time to ramp up his cries of witch hunts and hoaxes in between threatening schools and retweeting 2019 Misinformer of the Year John Solomon.

read more

Categories: Politics

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—meetings in the COVID-19 era

Daily Kos - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 19:40

It’s another Sunday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up any time: Just visit our group or follow the Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about. With the help of other campaign workers and notes, we address how to improve and build better campaigns, or explain issues that impact our party.

This year I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the impact of COVID-19 on campaign events and outreach. From fundraising to coordination, how do we make sure that our campaigns succeed and that volunteers and voters feel connected? By now you’ve either heard of or used a lot of the major products out there. Whether you have used ZoomMicrosoft Teams, a Facebook live event, or a Youtube stream, there are a lot of ways to connect you to those around you online. How can your campaign take these tools and make them effective?

Categories: Politics

Badlands, you got to live it every day

Balloon Juice - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 19:26

I plan to hit every Senate race with a Republican incumbent this fall.  I just got a special request to raise money for Dan Ahlers in South Dakota:

Can we get a shout out for a Democrat running for Senate in South Dakota? Mike Rounds is weak and Dan Ahlers has experience winning in a State Legislative district even redder than the state as a whole.

South Dakota is one of those states with a totally nuts governor who could kill half the population by election day (as mistermix has detailed), so this might be a longshot that’s worth taking a shot at:

Goal Thermometer

The post Badlands, you got to live it every day appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Cancer Patient Complains: My Facebook Feed Is Full of 'Alternative Care' Ads

Slashdot - Sun, 07/12/2020 - 18:44
The author of an opinion piece in the New York Times describes what happened after sharing their cancer diagnosis on Facebook: Since then, my Facebook feed has featured ads for "alternative cancer care." The ads, which were new to my timeline, promote everything from cumin seeds to colloidal silver as cancer treatments. Some ads promise luxury clinics — or even "nontoxic cancer therapies" on a beach in Mexico. There's a reason I'll never fall for these ads: I'm an advocate against pseudoscience. As a consultant for the watchdog group Bad Science Watch and the founder of the Campaign Against Phony Autism Cures, I've learned to recognize the hallmarks of pseudoscience marketing: unproven and sometimes dangerous treatments, promising simplistic solutions and support. Things like "bleach cures" that promise to treat everything from Covid-19 to autism. When I saw the ads, I knew that Facebook had probably tagged me to receive them. Interestingly, I haven't seen any legitimate cancer care ads in my newsfeed, just pseudoscience. This may be because pseudoscience companies rely on social media in a way that other forms of health care don't. Pseudoscience companies leverage Facebook's social and supportive environment to connect their products with identities and to build communities around their products. They use influencers and patient testimonials. Some companies also recruit members through Facebook "support groups" to sell their products in pyramid schemes... It was only last April that Facebook removed "pseudoscience" as a keyword from its categories for targeted advertising, and only after the tech publication The Markup reported that 78 million users were listed in Facebook's ad portal as having an "interest" in the category... Facebook pledged that it would add a warning label to Covid-19-related ads and would remove pseudoscience ads that were reported by its users. The problem, which even Facebook acknowledged, is that pseudoscience content can run for months before being flagged by readers. Facebook's main ad-screening system is automated. While we wait for its artificial intelligence system to catch up with the discernment abilities of human reviewers, a steady flow of pseudoscience advertising has already slipped through on a platform with billions of users. Could it be that Facebook has gotten too big to adequately regulate its content? The article also suggests one way that individuals can join a movement to pressure Facebook to change: "suspend, delete or even just spend less time on Facebook (and on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook)." "My retreat from Facebook may mean fewer online connections, perhaps at a time when I need them the most. But I'd rather leave than see what another friend with cancer calls the 'slap in the face' ads."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek