This Map Will Show If Your Web Traffic Passes Through an NSA Listening Post

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motherboard.vice.com | Mar 28 @ 10:25

The NSA for example, is known to have installed listening posts in some of these buildings, and can listen in on the data that passes through. Internet data pinballs across national borders, and for Canadians this means potentially exposing it to eavesdropping by US-based corporations and the National Security Agency. The NSA can look at pretty much all American data, Clement said. Listening posts presumably don't discriminate based on nationality—whether you're Canadian or American, they're interested in data crossing in and out of the US. The point of IXmaps is to reveal how your data might pass through one of these listening posts, said the site's founder and University of Toronto professor Andrew Clement.

Kansas just took a big step toward Medicaid expansion

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 10:20

The Kansas House passed the Medicaid expansion bill in February. Both Democrats and moderate Republicans in Kansas have so far supported the Medicaid expansion effort. He has long opposed Medicaid expansion and is expected to veto the measure. Medicaid expansion would cover an estimated 150,000 low-income Kansas residents if passed. There are 19 states that do not participate in the Medicaid expansion, most led by Republican governors.

2 months in, and Trump’s Israel policy looks a lot like Obama’s

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 10:10

He publicly criticized Israeli settlement construction; in private, his administration is reportedly pressing Israel to put a freeze on some construction. “That’s the ultimate deal,” Trump said in a post-election interview with the Wall Street Journal. On the all-important issue of settlements, Trump has been similarly disappointing. “Trump turns out to look a lot more like every single president who has been in office since, really, President Reagan on the Israeli-Palestinian issue,” the Israel Policy Forum’s Koplow says. They’ve all opposed Israeli settlement construction, seeing it as a serious impediment to a two-state deal.

This Local Public Radio Story About Paul Manafort Has EVERYTHING

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theawl.com | Mar 28 @ 10:02

Manafort confirmed that “John Hannah” is a combination of Manafort’s and Davis’s respective middle names. This Local Public Radio Story About Paul Manafort Has EVERYTHING It’s like catnip for New YorkersPaul Manafort, Russia, Donald Trump, a mysterious Trump-supporting bank president who makes weird loans to Manafort, a $3 million Soho loft, a $7 million Carroll Gardens brownstone, and a poorly masked shell company:In 2006, Manafort and Davis signed a contract to work with Deripaska worth $10 million a year, The AP reported. Also that year, a shell company called “John Hannah LLC” purchased apartment 43-G in Trump Tower, about 20 stories down from Donald Trump’s own triplex penthouse. It’s the epitome of “follow the money.”Consider donating to WNYC if you don’t already :) This wonderful radio story that pulls together several threads of reporting into one perfect story that gives you the numbers in column A and column B to show how you could launder the cash, if you wanted to.

Crystal Castles, Young M.A, Mykki Blanco to Perform at M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival

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spin.com | Mar 28 @ 10:02

Mykki Blanco, Young M.A., Young Fathers, Crystal Castles, Tommy Genesis, JD Samson, Afrikan Boy, Young Lean, Dexta Dap, Mr Eazi, I Wayne, and M.I.A. announced the performers for this year’s Meltdown Festival in London, which the singer is curating. Unfortunately, it looks like M.I.A.’s plea for Radiohead to perform didn’t work out. will all play the concert series, which will take place at London’s Southbank Center June 9-18. This morning, M.I.A.

The US could learn a lot from London’s refusal to blame the Westminster attacks on immigrants

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 10:00

And the outpouring of support following the Westminster attack has only solidified these feelings of national unity. And then, Londoners continued to do what Londoners do: Just get on with each other, united in their humanity, their fear, and their outrage. London may have creaking infrastructure and rocketing housing prices (among many other challenges), but people love this city. You are British because of the way you live your life, not because of your heritage or family history. When we are asked to define British values, they often seem more like character traits: tolerance, humour, self-deprecation.

The AI revolution is coming, and Donald Trump isn't ready for it

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 10:00

Then on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was asked if he was worried about artificial intelligence taking American jobs. The Trump administration seems totally oblivious to these trends. So is retail: Amazon is working to create a brick-and-mortar convenience store where cameras and AI software track which items customers take off the shelves. Naming a Fed chief who is committed to maintaining full employment is a key way Trump can help American workers. Erecting higher trade barriers won’t do much good for American workers if technological progress, rather than trade with China or Mexico, is the primary factor destroying American jobs.

Stop Saying White Mortality Is Rising

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slate.com | Mar 28 @ 10:00

Jim Bourg/ReutersOne major data point feeding into the narrative of the struggle is the purported increase in mortality rates among middle-aged white people in America. They conclude:Widely publicized estimates of worsening mortality rates among non-Hispanic whites with low socioeconomic position are highly sensitive to how educational attainment is classified. The patterns are even clearer here:Jonathan Auerbach and Andrew GelmanIn their two papers on mortality trends, Case and Deaton have added a lot to the conversation on these issues. AdvertisementAs we’ve explained before, this is not quite correct: What seems to be happening is that non-Hispanic white women, aged 45–54, are experiencing an increase in mortality, and everyone else seems to keep making gains. Our plots, showing trends by state, demonstrate in a very simple way that aggregate mortality trends are vague generalizations: There are many winners and losers over the last decade within white middle-aged Americans, or among any other particular group.

Researchers Are Building AI to Replace Video Game Testers

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motherboard.vice.com | Mar 28 @ 10:00

In his most recent paper on using algorithms for game-testing, the example that he used was a relatively simple arcade-style game. Teams of human testers have to go through a game multiple times and try absolutely everything. Now, it might be time to pray for the game testers, who could see their jobs automated too. Computers have been getting really good at playing and even building video games, from simple platformers to more complex titles like Mortal Kombat. Now, researchers are looking at how machines could take care of one of the most excruciating challenges in modern game development, for humans at least: bug testing.

Why the Face of Resistance to Texas's Bathroom Bill Is a Little Blond Girl and Her Mom 

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slate.com | Mar 28 @ 09:52

It’s easy to see why the Shappleys, profiled Monday by Fusion, are an appealing poster family for trans bathroom access. (More recently, the Trump administration has said it will reverse Obama’s policy on bathroom access, leaving states and school districts to sort out the issue. Texas’s bathroom bill would force these women into the men’s room—which sounds awkward at best and hazardous to them at worst—or simply force them to find accommodations elsewhere. Eight percent of transgender youth reported a bladder or kidney infection in the last year as a result of avoiding public restrooms. Kimberly ShappleyThe new faces of the transgender movement in Texas are a sunny five-year-old named Kai Shappley and her best advocate: her mom, Kimberly, a former evangelical, “ultraconservative” Tea Partier.

Sex helped build Snapchat, and then sullied its corporate image

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 09:40

The company doesn’t want to be associated with this sexual content, which is alluded to in its public filing in 2016. Snapchat has been trying to scrub its platform—and its reputation—clean of sexual content and association for a long time. Advertisers are having to get used to media that is no longer highly curated and controlled—or get off those platforms altogether. Anyone aged 13 or above can create an account, and users skew young, with the platform particularly popular among 18-25 year olds. But those advertisers are beginning to realize they run the risk of their carefully-created, million-dollar material being seen immediately before or followed up by pornography and risqué selfies.

Love of a Good Manhandler

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slate.com | Mar 28 @ 09:39

I know I would be miserable alone, but I don’t know how to maintain a happy marriage and get this out of my system. I haven’t been able to donate blood in over a decade because I regularly travel to places that disqualify me from doing so. We are nearing 30 and I don’t feel like there’s enough time to save up and travel abroad if we want to have kids before we’re 40. Your partner cannot possibly grant you greater freedom and independence if they don’t know that’s what you want. Re: Bloody scrooge: I didn’t know same-sex-partnered people could not donate blood, and I guess I’m not the only one.

Slowdive Announce First New Album in 22 Years, Release New Song “Sugar for the Pill”

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spin.com | Mar 28 @ 09:30

The reunited Slowdive have announced a self-titled album, their first new record since 1995’s Pygmalion. They’ve also released “Sugar for the Pill,” the second single from the record, which follows “Star Roving.” Listen to it below, and find the album’s tracklist and art. The performance will be streamed on Slowdive’s Facebook, beginning at 4:10 Eastern. Tomorrow, Slowdive will perform at London’s The Garage venue. It’s out May 5 via Dead Oceans.

Jared Kushner is now tasked with solving the opioid crisis as well as Middle East peace

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 09:30

(Kushner has also been tasked with achieving Middle East peace, despite his close ties to Israel and lack of any experience in foreign affairs. Jeff SteinSo Trump comes out and announces this big office for innovation and puts his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge. And then you have to assess task by task and find the correct expertise, and ideas, to look at it. The private sector does not fight wars. “We should have excellence in government,” Kushner told the Post in an interview in his West Wing office.

I asked legal experts how Trump could kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Here’s what they said.

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 09:23

Even if the Clean Power Plan dies, state policies and simple economics will still propel clean electricity forward. So Pruitt could try to replace Obama’s Clean Power Plan with a more modest version that stays within the fenceline. The Obama administration originally proposed its Clean Power Plan in June 2014 and received more than 4 million comments, many of them quite critical. In that case, how much will scaling back the Clean Power Plan actually matter for climate change? On the other hand, there’s a good case that the death of the Clean Power Plan would very much matter at the margins.

Yougrent, “The Hole In The King’s Sock”

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theawl.com | Mar 28 @ 09:23

Yougrent, “The Hole In The King’s Sock” Will we ever see the sun again? Warm, gentle, just what you need to distract you from your nightmare of a life this morning. I hope it brings you a brief bit of succor before it’s back to the agony. Unless you’ve already gotten to the point where your expectations are so low that a little sun is all you need to meet them, in which case your best bet for this week looks like Thursday. The one thing they can’t do (right now) is keep the sun from shining, but they can fuck up everything else so badly that it doesn’t make a difference how bright and shiny it is outside.

Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained

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vox.com | Mar 28 @ 09:18

And it’s not clear they’ll always prevail: Some of President Obama’s climate policies may prove harder to uproot than thought. Trump is chipping away at Obama’s climate policies — but it’s hard to repeal everythingThis executive order is part of a much broader assault on Obama-era climate policies. In addition to regulating existing power plants, Obama’s EPA also set CO2 standards for anyone who wants to build a new power plant. The key components of Trump’s new climate and energy orderThere’s a lot in Trump’s order, so let’s break down its key features. In his executive order, Trump will tell the Interior Department to lift the moratorium, a fairly straightforward step that can be done with the stroke of a pen.

The intense research that makes the 1980s style of “The Americans” look just right

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 09:18

A post shared by The Americans (@theamericansfx) on Jan 5, 2014 at 7:26pm PSTKeeping track of all your disguises can be exhausting, right Philip? “They’re Russian at the core,” Irish explains, “and they don’t want anything that is overtly capitalist.” You won’t see much logo branding on their clothes. The show will not soon start to look like a spy remake of 1980s soap opera Dynasty, in all its shoulder-padded glory. “I look through everything from magazines like Vogue, Cosmo, or GQ, Better Homes and Gardens sometimes,” Irish says. There are high-waisted mom jeans, loads of turtlenecks, tan suits, Flashdance-style gym wear, and wigs of countless frosted varieties.

Why Female-Led Projects Like Feud and Jackie Are Unfairly Labeled Camp

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slate.com | Mar 28 @ 09:03

Films like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jackie, and the many others that have been wrongly branded as camp deserve to be reassessed. On Feud, Baby Jane is stilted, over-the-top, laughable, and does not capture the meta-textual qualities, horror, or genuine emotions that make the film so riveting. Baby Jane essentially ratchets up the ugly reality of Hollywood’s treatment of women with more venom than Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard. Nothing captures this trend better than two recent projects: Pablo Larraín’s Jackie and Murphy’s Feud. In a great piece for Uproxx, critic Steven Hyden astutely observes, “Murphy is interested in Baby Jane only as a trashy signifier of how far these once-gilded leading ladies have fallen.” Yet in many ways, Baby Jane excels at what Feud falters at: exploring Hollywood’s sexism with nuance and humanity.

Fooling Image Classification Networks Is Really Easy

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motherboard.vice.com | Mar 28 @ 09:00

"This is what the perturbations look like on their own, with each one corresponding to a different image classification network. Image classification is a central problem in state-of-the-art machine learning. Suitable image perturbations are easy to reproduce and are, moreover, universal. The similarity here between the different perturbations means that the same basic idea generalizes well across the various classification networks. Eventually, we wind up with great big machine learning models that can be used to classify new, unlabeled images.

China is desperately trying to save a dairy company that, turns out, is too big to fail

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:28

Shares of China Huishan Dairy Holdings plunged 85% in an hour on March 24, wiping more than $4 billion from its market value. A company statement (pdf) filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange today (March 28) unearthed at least part of the mystery. The Liaoning government will pay over 90 million yuan ($13 million) for land owned by Huishan to inject cash into the company. It also caused collateral damage to firms linked to the Liaoning-based company, which has more than 11,600 employees and operates the largest number of dairy farms in China. If Huishan does go bust, the fallout could also be disastrous for some Chinese banks.

An Airbnb host was fined $1,000 for renting out an apartment in Trump Tower

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:06

Lena Yelagina, who garnered local acclaim for her 30th-floor apartment rental in Trump Tower, has been fined $1,000 by the city. For Airbnb hosts in New York City, fame is not a good thing. They then tried to find Ms. Yelagina at a flower shop that public records indicate she owns nearby, but were unable to find her. Yelagina’s listing is no longer available on Airbnb, and the company told the Times that there are no more bookings in Trump Tower. Finally, the inspector served the summons by leaving it with a doorman at Trump Tower and by mailing it to Ms. Yelagina’s apartment.

Which Authors Are the Best at Developing Characters?

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slate.com | Mar 28 @ 08:04

They consistently turn out an army of well-crafted and fascinating characters you’ve met before—because they’re so damn real. Answer by Cristina Hartmann, writer:AdvertisementWell-written characters are part and parcel of great literature, but a few authors stand out from the crowd. Over hundreds upon hundreds of pages, he delves into the complexities of Anna’s adulterous affairs, Kitty’s lost love, Levin’s shyness, and Karenin’s coldness. Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, War and Peace): Long-winded he may be, but Tolstoy is a virtuoso of character. Here are a few:Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Emma): You might think of her romances as fluffy and frothy nothings, but she’s a deft hand with characters.

Remote work doesn’t isolate people—it actually drives deeper human connection

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:00

This week, IBM joins them by banning remote work for their US marketing department, with plans to expand the policy in the future. With more and more employees working remote each year, it’s critical that we use technology to facilitate meaningful conversations instead of relying on it as a single solution to remote communication. IBM believes that having their entire workforce in a single office can allow for easier supervision, stronger culture, deeper work relationships, and more creative thinking. The ability to work remote became viable with the emergence of collaborative technology tools that allow for seamless communication through video conferencing, document sharing, and instant messaging. Our research also found that 70% of employees polled feel telecommuting gives them more control over their work life balance and 38% are able to care for their children.

Silicon Valley’s quest for self-improvement exposes everything that’s wrong with late-capitalist society

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:00

The book uses Prometheus as a metaphor: Much like the titan of old, Kotler and Wheal are here to bring mankind secret knowledge. Stealing Fire, for its part, opens with a breathless account of the ecstasis attained by Navy SEALs on anti-terrorist raids. “Insights pile up.” Spiritual transcendence will be delivered to you in the blandly crass language of mediocre marketing copy. Grit, flow, tipping point: These all serve to suggest that human achievement is an algorithm that anyone can solve. Self-tech is self-help for the transhumans who already walk the earth, or for those who would like to imagine that they are those transhumans.

The US is facing a choice between the International Space Station and a new deep space rocket

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:00

A choice must be made and made soon between [low-Earth orbit] and exploration.”The decision won’t be made this year. “Fifty-fifty would be a great starting off point.”That model may provide an opportunity for a third way between choosing deep space or low-Earth orbit. “The other half of the budget is for human exploration which includes [the Space Launch System rocket] and Orion [spacecraft]. The companies who operate more independently from government space programs, particularly SpaceX, have gained political clout in recent years with strategic investments, but still face a deficit of influence. A $4.5 billion annual budget is clearly inadequate for a credible human exploration program.

One start-up totally upended the tech landscape on this 1983 map of Silicon Valley

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:00

A 1983 picture map of Silicon Valley may be a goofy throwback, but it reveals how much the US tech landscape was once changed—to everybody’s surprise—by an outsider called Microsoft. (Computer History Museum/Maryanne Regal Hoburg)AppleOn the 1983 map, Apple is marked with its old color-striped logo, right on top of the “Cupertino” label. But in 2001, perhaps in a nod to all the companies it buried, it opened a relatively small Silicon Valley location near Google. Then a Silicon Valley outsider appeared. (Computer History Museum/Maryanne Regal Hoburg)FacebookFacebook, too, is missing from the map.

Before you make an emotional decision, ask yourself these four questions

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 08:00

The trick to making better decisions, then, is to figure out how to manage your internal resources and acknowledge your limits. Decision fatigue, halted. As the day wore on, judges got decision fatigue and needed a break to refuel. That’s because decision fatigue essentially switches off our ability to self-monitor. As a human behavior expert and executive coach who is constantly engaged in cognitively demanding deep work, I’ve found that one of the most powerful tools for dealing with decision fatigue is a simple self-care practice called HALT.

Reeling from an internet shutdown, startups in Cameroon have created an “internet refugee camp”

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qz.com | Mar 28 @ 07:32

Ayuk Etta is the CEO of Skylabase, a startup that develops computer software and which is currently using the Bonako space. A dozen members from the six startups currently operating there each brought their own modem portable internet for use. In January, Nji Collins Gbah from the Northwest region became the first African to win a spot in the Google Code-in competition. The startups rented the one room in the village, brought chairs and tables, and connected electricity through a generator. It’s been 70 days now since Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions have had any access to the internet.


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