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No Longer a Dream: Silicon Valley Takes On the Flying Car

Slashdot - 6 hours 47 min ago
Last year, Bloomberg reported that Google co-founder Larry Page had put money in two "flying car" companies. One of those companies, Kitty Hawk, has published the first video of its prototype aircraft. From a report on The Verge: The company describes the Kitty Hawk Flyer as an "all-electric aircraft" that is designed to operate over water and doesn't require a pilot's license to fly. Kitty Hawk promises people will be able to learn to fly the Flyer "in minutes." A consumer version will be available by the end of this year, the company says. The video is part commercial and part test footage, starting with a lakeside conversation between friends about using the Flyer to meet up before switching to what The New York Times says are shots of an aerospace engineer operating the craft in Northern California.

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Categories: Misc

Matt Drudge Is In Hell Because Rachel Maddow Is #1

Crooks and Liars - 6 hours 51 min ago
Matt Drudge Is In Hell Because Rachel Maddow Is #1

Matt Drudge rarely tweets and when he does, he deletes them fairly quickly so I thought this was a good one to save.

Last week I posted his website's home page and tweet which signaled the end of Bill O'Reilly at Fox News.

He would not have highlighted Bill O's latest harassment case unless he knew Fox was finally kicking him off the airwaves.

For many of us, hell showed up the second Trump was elected, but for Drudge it's Macron winning the first round of the French election, flying cars and Rachel Maddow's great ratings.

And she's still killing it in the 25-54 demographic as of last week.

Categories: Politics

They don’t know us at all

Balloon Juice - 7 hours 22 min ago

Axios this morning:

David Anderson, the former health insurance official who writes a thoughtful health care blog called Balloon Juice, has a fascinating account of one reason the Iowa individual health insurance market is having problems. There’s one person with a severe genetic disorder whose medical care costs about $1 million a month — $12 million a year. Last year, this person alone was responsible for 10 percentage points of a massive rate hike by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is now pulling out of the Iowa marketplace for next year.

They think we’re both thoughtful and a healthcare blog.  Oops.

When  we get new comers today, let’s remember to wear pants as we mop or look for mustard.  Let’s not scare them too much.

Open thread

Categories: Politics

Billionaire Jack Ma Says CEOs Could Be Robots in 30 Years, Warns of Decades of 'Pain' From AI

Slashdot - 7 hours 27 min ago
Self-made billionaire, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma warned on Monday that society could see decades of pain thanks to disruption caused by the internet and new technologies to different areas of the economy. From a report: In a speech at a China Entrepreneur Club event, the billionaire urged governments to bring in education reform and outlined how humans need to work with machines. "In the coming 30 years, the world's pain will be much more than happiness, because there are many more problems that we have come across," Ma said in Chinese, speaking about potential job disruptions caused by technology. [...] Ma also spoke about the rise of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) and said that this technology will be needed to process the large amount of data being generated today, something that a human brain can't do. But machines shouldn't replace what humans can do, Ma said, but instead the technology community needs to look at making machines do what humans cannot. This would make the machine a "human partner" rather than an opponent.

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Categories: Misc

What if hundreds of thousands of people marched for scientific truth—and the media yawned?

Daily Kos - 7 hours 30 min ago

If you watched the round of Sunday talk shows, it was easy to miss the fact that hundreds of thousands marched across the country and around the world this weekend in defense of science, reason, logic, and the value of facts.

In hundreds of "March for Science" events from Boston to Sydney, Australia, engineers, researchers and teachers took a break from the lab to apply their ingenuity to colorful protest placards. …

While the events were non-partisan according to organizers, many marchers were in effect protesting Trump's proposal to sharply cut federal science and research budgets and his administration's skepticism about climate change and the need to slow global warming.

The marches were large, colorful, and important. They were also also both peaceful and accompanied by thoughtful speeches, both of which are things the media hates

Most of the Sunday news shows failed to cover the worldwide March for Science protests, an international demonstration partly meant to draw attention to President Donald Trump’s “disregard for evidence-based knowledge” and climate change denial.

“Failed to cover” doesn’t mean provided only a brief discussion, or didn’t give it the coverage it deserved. It means this.

ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press failed to mention the March for Science at all.

Face the Nation was busy talking with Marco Rubio. That’s important because … because. Anyway, Meet the Press talked with … Marco Rubio. So glad they did that instead of interviewing people about a unique and vital event that spanned the globe.

Categories: Politics

A Conservative Muses About the Past

Kevin Drum - 7 hours 32 min ago

Conservative writer Jay Nordlinger engages in some nostalgia today:

Remember when we knocked President Obama for spending so much time on the golf course? Not all of us did, but many of us did. Donald Trump, for example, was unrelenting in his criticism.

You don’t hear that anymore. Conservatives don’t knock the president for spending so much time on the golf course.

....Remember how we counted up the times Obama said “I” and “me” in a speech? That was fun. It was kind of a conservative pastime. We don’t do that anymore.

....I was looking at Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and Kid Rock in the White House. What a trio! Striking poses in front of Hillary’s portrait and so on. I flashed back to the Clinton ’90s.

Two showbiz women, Markie Post and Linda Thomason, were jumping on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom. A photo circulated. Man, did we hate it. You have no idea what a big deal this was (to us)!

Good times.

Categories: Politics

iPhone 8 dummy indicates Touch ID embedded in OLED display

iDownloadBlog - 7 hours 34 min ago

Aside from publishing a purported drawing of iPhone 8’s logic board this morning that’s “only 70 percent accurate,” Benjamin Gasket this past week shared photos of a dummy CNC iPhone model obtained from a Foxconn source. Of note, it features a single cutout for a vertically aligned dual-camera system with no other cutouts on the backside.

This might indicate that Touch ID could be embedded into iPhone 8’s OLED display, as previously suggested. As others have underscored, Benjamin Gasket’s Twitter account may not be the most reliable source of Apple leaks so take this report with a big pinch of salt.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

White House Press Briefing - April 24, 2017

Crooks and Liars - 7 hours 35 min ago
White House Press Briefing - April 24, 2017

Sean Spicer has a lot on his plate today. From questions about Trump's mental acuity after that disaster of an AP interview to the question of whether the government will shut down, it should be an interesting morning.

Let us know what you see in the comments.

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Categories: Politics

Worried Republicans pour money into Montana House special election following near-loss in Georgia

Daily Kos - 7 hours 46 min ago

​After their close call with a first-round knockout in last Tuesday’s Georgia 6th District special election, national Republicans are sounding the alarms ahead of Montana’s own May 25 special election for its lone House seat.

Goal Thermometer

The NRCC has added $1.2 million in TV ad reservations, while the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC is airing a new ad that attacks Democrat Rob Quist as part of an $800,000 buy. CLF tries to tie Quist to Nancy Pelosi, skewering him for wanting government-funded health care and supposedly supporting cuts to the defense budget, while they also hit him for his past debt troubles.

Meanwhile, Republican Greg Gianforte released an ad that warns Quist wants a national gun registry “in a big government computer,” which Gianforte claims could lead to “federal bureaucrats [grabbing] your guns.” Gianforte then fires a shotgun at a computer monitor flashing the word “confiscate” and destroys it, promising he’ll stand up for the 2nd Amendment. Gianforte’s spot is hammering Quist over an earlier interview where Quist suggested registering assault weapons like one registers a car, a common-sense gun safety proposal that sends the NRA into a frenzy.

Can you give $3 to help Rob Quist to shock Republicans and turn Montana blue?

Categories: Politics

Senior Officials Say Trump Ready To Shut Down Government If He Doesn't Get Border Wall Funds

Crooks and Liars - 7 hours 47 min ago
Senior Officials Say Trump Ready To Shut Down Government If He Doesn't Get Border Wall Funds

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly suggested on Sunday that President Donald Trump would force his own government to shut down if Congress refuses to give him the funds needed to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

During an interview on CNN, host Dana Bash noted that the government would begin shutting down on Friday if a stop-gap spending measure was not passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.

"Will the president go to the mat and insist on funding his border wall as part of the stop-gap funding measure?" Bash wondered.

"The president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall," Kelly replied. "He'll do the right thing for sure but I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding."

As the Independent pointed out on Sunday, Kelly was not the only Trump administration official who hinted that the president was ready to allow the government to run out of money.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC News that the wall would be paid for "one way or another.”

Categories: Politics

Donald's kids have a plan to profit from the White House: Take the Trump brand downmarket

Daily Kos - 7 hours 48 min ago

The Trump offspring are hard at work trying to figure out how to turn their father’s base of political support into family profit, and they think they’ve found the answer: putting hotels in states Donald Trump won, even if it means developing hotels that are not Donald Trump’s idea of the pinnacle of elegant luxury or luxurious elegance, or however he’d describe his decidedly inelegant aesthetic. In a word, the Trumps are ready to go downmarket.

Last fall, the company announced the creation of a four-star hotel chain called Scion, which is meant to offer upscale service in U.S. cities that could not support a full-fledged Trump luxury property. More than two dozen letters of intent have been signed, though no ground has been broken yet.

Among the possible locations being considered: Texas, parts of the South, and perhaps the nation’s capital, where the hotel would exist with the Trump luxury property in the former home of the Old Post Office not far from the White House. The company is also in the very early stages of considering a three-star hotel chain. [...]

Similarly, daughter Ivanka Trump has made a pitch for Trump’s blue-collar supporters by replacing her high-end jewelry line with a mass-market brand.

Are there ethics concerns? Naaaah. They’re just independently using the publicity to benefit the family business and expanding in the way that makes the most sense from a profit standpoint. It’s not a conflict of interest, it’s just plain old capitalism!

As for those conflicts of interest, Uday and Qusay insist they’re not talking to their father about the business they now “run” while he still owns it—and can take profits at will.

Categories: Politics

Despite legal opposition, Missouri Republicans determined to limit women's access to abortions

Daily Kos - 7 hours 48 min ago

Missouri lawmakers are hellbent on making sure that women in the state are unable to obtain abortions and it seems that nothing will stop them. With GOP leaders emboldened by the new Trump era of politics (which means even more open misogyny than ever), state legislators have already filed a number of anti-abortion proposals (including 14 prior to the start of the legislative session alone) in what is a clear violation of women’s access to reproductive justice. As it stands, one Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis remains the sole licensed abortion provider in the state.

"People are driving hours to St. Louis, or they’re crossing over the state line into Kansas or other states in order to access services," says Laura McQuade, the President and CEO of Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, one of the Planned Parenthood affiliates that filed a lawsuit last year challenging the Missouri restrictions.

As a leader in restricting abortion access, Missouri passed laws more than a decade ago that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and abortion clinics to meet the same structural requirements as ambulatory surgical centers. 

Last week, US District Court Judge Howard Sachs agreed with Planned Parenthood that these restrictions had a negative impact on the women of Missouri and that they failed to comply with an earlier Supreme Court ruling that these kinds of laws violate the Constitution. 

"The abortion rights of Missouri women, guaranteed by constitutional rulings, are being denied on a daily basis, in irreparable fashion," he said. "The public interest clearly favors prompt relief." The restrictions will be halted while the effort to permanently strike down the laws moves through the courts.

Categories: Politics

Winning video shown; students honored for drug-free living

Medina Gazette - 7 hours 54 min ago
Guy Bechter used his movie-making skills to try to help
Categories: Misc

Winning video shown; students honored for drug-free living

Medina Gazette - 7 hours 54 min ago
Guy Bechter used his movie-making skills to try to help
Categories: Misc

Amazon Launches Marketplace For Digital Subscriptions

Slashdot - 8 hours 7 min ago
Amazon said on Monday it is launching a platform for companies with subscription services -- from newspapers, magazines to TV streaming. The "Subscribe with Amazon" marketplace allows consumers to buy subscriptions to products like SlingTV streaming, Headspace meditation, Dropbox Plus, as well as workout videos, online classes, meal plans and even matchmakers. The marketplace also features more traditional subscriptions, similar to those that have become popular on Amazon's Kindle tablets, including the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and New Yorker.

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Categories: Misc

Medina grad Skirpstas picks up second pro golf win

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 11 min ago
This time, Pete Skirpstas made sure he took an easier route.
Categories: Misc

Medina grad Skirpstas picks up second pro golf win

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 11 min ago
Rick Noland
Categories: Misc

Babbling Idiot Babbles Unintelligibly

Balloon Juice - 8 hours 23 min ago

Velveeta Voldemort’s AP interview from last Friday is getting a lot of social media attention. (Transcript here via TPM.) I’m not sure why people find it noteworthy.

It’s a random, incoherent stew of hyper-aggressive posturing, bald-faced lies, butthurt braggadocio and demented ravings. In other words, it’s a typical Trump interview.

Folks have seized on the numerous passages marked “unintelligible,” and indeed it is strange that a grown-ass man who successfully masqueraded as an executive for several decades and managed to accrue tens of millions of votes is so profoundly inarticulate. But while remarkable in a historical sense, that’s hardly news now.

The thing I found most interesting (as a real-time psychological decompensation artifact) was the way Trump ended the interview, by lying about a new trick he claims to have learned over the past year:

TRUMP: OK. The one thing I’ve learned to do that I never thought I had the ability to do. I don’t watch CNN anymore.

AP: You just said you did.

TRUMP: No. No, I, if I’m passing it, what did I just say (inaudible)?

AP: You just said —

TRUMP: Where? Where?

AP: Two minutes ago.

TRUMP: No, they treat me so badly. No, I just said that. No, I, what’d I say, I stopped watching them. But I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC. I don’t watch it. Now I heard yesterday that MSNBC, you know, they tell me what’s going on.

AP: Right.

TRUMP: In fact, they also did. I never thought I had the ability to not watch. Like, people think I watch (MSNBC’s) “Morning Joe.” I don’t watch “Morning Joe.” I never thought I had the ability to, and who used to treat me great by the way, when I played the game. I never thought I had the ability to not watch what is unpleasant, if it’s about me. Or pleasant. But when I see it’s such false reporting and such bad reporting and false reporting that I’ve developed an ability that I never thought I had. I don’t watch things that are unpleasant. I just don’t watch them.

AP: And do you feel like that’s, that’s because of the office that you now occupy —


AP: That you’ve made that change?

TRUMP: I don’t know why it is, but I’ve developed that ability, and it’s happened over the last, over the last year.

AP: That’s interesting.

TRUMP: And I don’t watch things that I know are going to be unpleasant. CNN has covered me unfairly and incorrectly and I don’t watch them anymore. A lot of people don’t watch them anymore, they’re now in third place. But I’ve created something where people are watching … but I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC anymore. I don’t watch things, and I never thought I had that ability. I always thought I’d watch.

AP: Sure.

TRUMP: I just don’t. And that’s taken place over the last year. And you know what that is, that’s a great, it’s a great thing because you leave, you leave for work in the morning you know, you’re, you don’t watch this total negativity. I never thought I’d be able to do that and for me, it’s so easy to do now. Just don’t watch.

AP: That’s interesting.

TRUMP: Maybe it’s because I’m here. I don’t know.

So that’s how the awesome responsibilities of the office have changed Trump, by his own reckoning: He has developed the ability to refrain from watching media coverage about himself.

We know he’s lying — the AP reporter busted him in real time, and Trump famously live-tweets the shows he claims he doesn’t watch. But I think it’s fascinating that Trump felt this was important enough to put on the record when asked about how his decisions are affected by the 24/7 news cycle. If you wave away the squid-cloud of butthurt and hack through the tangle of self-congratulations, the bottom line is he’s retreated fully into the Fox bubble.

Bear in mind that as a candidate, Trump said he gets his information from “the shows,” and that doesn’t seem to have changed much now that he has access to perhaps the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatuses in human history. Odd pronouncements that seem to be nods to Fox News hysteria-objects continue to appear in official policy documents emanating from the White House, such as the weird Trumpcare fixation on lottery winners on Medicaid.

“The shows” also seemed to have set off the accusations about President Obama “wiretapping” Trump Tower and the subsequent flurry of possibly illegal and certainly unethical actions on the part of Rep. Nunes and White House staff in an attempt to provide cover for Trump’s paranoid Twitter ravings.

So, the key takeaway from this interview (for me, at least) is that, yep, your Fox-addled grandpa is in charge of the nuclear codes. Terrifying? Yes. But there’s nothing new to see here, folks.

Categories: Politics

Ecobee4 HomeKit thermostat teased ahead of May 3 unveiling

9to5Mac - 8 hours 25 min ago

Ecobee appears to be planning to show off its new Ecobee4 smart thermostat next week. The company teased out the date today on a new sign-up page that says ‘something big is in the works’ under what is likely a preview of the new smart thermostat hardware.


Categories: Misc

iPhone 8 could boast L-shaped battery and True Tone display, retain Lightning connector

iDownloadBlog - 8 hours 27 min ago

Purported drawings of iPhone 8’s logic board showing internal component layout leaked on the web Monday. The images indicate that Apple’s upcoming flagship won’t adopt USB-C after because the good ol’ Lightning port can be seen at the bottom of the device. Other things we can infer from the images, allegedly obtained from a Foxconn source, include an L-shaped battery, a display with True Tone capability similar to that on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and more.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc