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Florida GOP Rep. Stymied When Asked Why Porn Is More Dangerous Than Semi-Automatic Weapons

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:35

Yesterday's ridiculous vote in the Florida legislature to declare pornography a health risk while tabling any debate about an assault weapons ban has sparked outrage among the students who witnessed the craven bows of Florida Republicans to the will of the NRA.

But no worries, the Republicans have their talking points ready, and they all center on process. Watch this Florida Representative try and bury Brooke Baldwin in BS. She would have none of it.

"Representative Caldwell, why is pornography a bigger health risk than semiautomatic weapons in the hands of a deranged individual?," Baldwin asked.

To that, she received a bogus response about what will make a difference. So she repeated the question. Pointedly, demanding he answer that specific question.

"Listen, i believe -- and we shouldn't have weapons in the hands of deranged individuals," he finally responded.

Baldwin pounced. "Why is that worthy of a debate? Why is pornography worthy of a debate and not semiautomatic weapons? Just answer me that."

She was having none of it, interrupting him and ordering him, "Stop going back to the talking points, sir. Stop!"

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Categories: Politics

Matching DNA To a Diet Doesn't Work

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:20
DNA testing won't guide dieters to the weight-loss regimen most likely to work for them, scientists reported on Tuesday. From a report: Despite some earlier studies claiming that genetic variants predict whether someone has a better chance of shedding pounds on a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet, and despite a growing industry premised on that notion, the most rigorous study so far found no difference in weight loss between overweight people on diets that "matched" their genotype and those on diets that didn't. The findings make it less likely that genetics might explain why only some people manage to lose weight on a low-carb diet like Atkins and why others succeed with a low-fat one (even though the vast majority of dieters don't keep off whatever pounds they lose). Unlike cancer treatments, diets can't be matched to genotype, the new study shows. The results underline "how, for most people, knowing genetic risk information doesn't have a big impact," said Timothy Caulfield, of the University of Alberta, a critic of quackery.

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Categories: Misc

Well, I’m On My Way I Don’t Know Where I’m Going

Balloon Juice - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:00

Let me say up front that I like Junius Rodriguez. He is the only viable Democrat running against unrepentant ZEGS fellator Darin LaHood, our current rep. And Junius works hard. Since last summer, he’s been going to every rubber-chicken dinner that can draw five cranky county Democrats between here and the Mississippi. He just posted that he’ll be attending fifty events in the next thirty days. He’s run before, knows how to do it, and has a relationship with all the local Dems. Since he’s a history prof at Reagan’s alma mater, Eureka College, it would be sweet if he could oust our local political princeling. (Darin is the son of beloved bipartisanship bemoaner, former representative, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood).

But when I read stuff like this:

and this…

… my enthusiasm deflates.

IL-18 is very red. It is a weird-looking district that includes about half of my town and some, but not all, of Peoria and Springfield. Republican candidates carried the district by around fifty points in the last three elections. I’m no gerrymanderologist, but it’s always seemed to me that the district was designed to keep it Republican, in spite of the fact that Democrats drew it up in 2010.

I’m not saying that Junius should go all Dennis Kucinich. That would be absurd and, I’m pretty sure, not his style anyway. Still, I feel like he is trying to peel off a few Republican votes with the kind of posturing above. Rather than make Sensible Centrist his brand, I would prefer he run as an out-and-proud Democrat. Tell us why Democrats are great, Junius! Not how you can feel like a conservative, but not vote for the Republican. All that being said, I will give him as much money and time as my resources allow.

In the marketplace of elections, however, there are more inspiring candidates running for local and–should Daniel Biss beat billionaire chickenheart J.B. Pritzker in the upcoming gubernatorial primary–even statewide office. And I think it’s natural for people, even if they are pragmatically inclined, to give just a little bit more to campaigns that dare to articulate something more ambitious.

But hey! At least we’re fielding someone here. We need to field someone everywhere.  So let’s heap more onto the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

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Categories: Politics

Snakelike Skin Gives a Robot the Power to Crawl

Wired Science - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:00
Researchers report today that they’ve designed an inflatable robot with its own scales that automatically pop out to get a grip.
Categories: Bio

Right Wing Twitter Freaks Out as Twitter Cracks Down on Bots and They Lose Thousands of Fake Followers

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:58

Right wing Twitter is currently engaged in a hysterical freak-out, spewing conspiracy theories like crazy, because Twitter has apparently launched a crackdown on bot accounts -- and it's affecting a LOT of right wing Twitter users for some odd reason. [small]cough[/small]

Gizmodo reports:

Twitter suspended thousands of accounts overnight and conservatives on the platform aren’t happy about it. Twitter has yet to make a public statement about the issue, but right-wing users believe that they’re being targeted in a mass purge of suspected Russian bot accounts.

Conservative Twitter has even started a hashtag called #TwitterLockOut to talk about the purge, with some claiming that real people (as opposed to bots) were locked out of their accounts. Gizmodo has so far been unable to confirm that any real people have had their accounts mistakenly suspended.

Donald Trump reportedly lost approximately a million followers overnight, and some of the other worst people on Twitter have lost thousands of followers as a result of this action, including neo-Nazi Richard Spencer (who would lose his account entirely if it were up to me):

Categories: Politics

Gun stances of Ohio governor candidates run the gamut

Medina Gazette - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:55

COLUMBUS — Want a governor who’s all-in on gun rights? How about one who’s fighting for a complete statewide ban on assault-type weapons?

Categories: Misc

Gun stances of Ohio governor candidates run the gamut

Medina Gazette - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:55

COLUMBUS — Want a governor who’s all-in on gun rights? How about one who’s fighting for a complete statewide ban on assault-type weapons?

Categories: Misc

Things 3.4 brings URL linking scheme, powerful automation & handover from other apps

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:54

German developer Cultured Code today released Things 3 .4 for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, bringing several new productivity features to the popular to-do app, including an expansive new URL scheme for linking, powerful automation and handover from other apps.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Third betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 now available to public testers

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:48

Apple has made the third betas of upcoming iOS 11.3 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 updates available to public testers. Those in the Beta Software Program can download the updates from Apple’s website, or via their respective over-the-air update mechanisms.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Sean Hannity And Laura Ingraham Spread Disinformation From A Russian Troll Farm During 2016 Campaign

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:43

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi drew a straight line from anti-Clinton disinformation from a Russian troll farm into a Sean Hannity tweet. Hannity appears to have gotten at least part of his information from Lifezette, then run by colleague Laura Ingraham.

Raw Story explains:NBC News discovered how the Russians were able take advantage of America’s existing right-wing echo chamber to smear Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton with charges of satanism in the home stretch of the campaign. The reporting was based on 202,000 tweets [which] were recovered from 2,752 Twitter accounts the House Intelligence Committee confirmed as Russian trolls.

In addition to #Pizzagate, NBC News noted, “the trolls stirred up rumors that Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta attended a satanic ritual, a story that the fact-checking site Snopes has labeled "false."

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Categories: Politics

Intel Has a New Spectre and Meltdown Firmware Patch For You To Try Out

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:40
Mark Wilson writes: The Spectre/Meltdown debacle continues to rumble on, and now the chip manufacturer has announced the availability of a new 'microcode solution' to the vulnerability. The updated firmware applies to 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core devices, and the release sees the company crossing its fingers and hoping that everything works out this time. This is Intel's second attempt at patching the vulnerability, and this time around both the company and its customers will be praying that the fix for Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake chips actually does the job.

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Categories: Misc

Be My Eyes for iOS adding Microsoft tech support for blind or impaired customers

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:39

The iOS app Be My Eyes announced that it will be offering support for blind or impaired customers through Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk in the latest release of the app.


Categories: Misc

AGR Manet is DOWN, 1519237386

AGR Manet - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:33
Categories: Misc

Sorry, But Here’s Yet Another Nutball Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory

Kevin Drum - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:32

Just in case you don’t know, the latest right-wing nutball conspiracy theory is that David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is not what he seems:

In certain right-wing corners of the web — and, increasingly, from more mainstream voices like Rush Limbaugh and a commentator on CNN — the students are being portrayed not as grief-ridden survivors but as pawns and conspiracists intent on exploiting a tragedy to undermine the nation’s laws. In these baseless accounts, which by Tuesday had spread rapidly on social media, the students are described as “crisis actors,” who travel to the sites of shootings to instigate fury against guns. Or they are called F.B.I. plants, defending the bureau for its failure to catch the shooter. They have been portrayed as puppets being coached and manipulated by the Democratic Party, gun control activists, the so-called antifa movement and the left-wing billionaire George Soros.

The theories are far-fetched.

Indeed they are, but let’s be honest: not as far-fetched as the idea that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor.

I know, I know: Just yesterday I announced a new right-wing nutball conspiracy theory, and today I have a brand new one. What can I say? Back in the good old days when Bill Clinton was accused of running drugs out of Mena airport and murdering Vince Foster, the conspiracy theories were weeks or even months apart. Today that seems quaint. Like any addict, modern right-wing nutballs demand higher highs and more frequent highs. Also like any other addict, they become ever more willing to sink to any depths to feed their habit. At least Bill Clinton was president of the United States, after all. Presidents are used to being attacked. Now they’re going after 17-year-olds who have just watched a gunman massacre their friends. I’m almost afraid to ask what’s next.

Categories: Politics

Aw, Nobody Wants To Be Seen With The NRA (This Week)

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:26

On last night's "Thing 1, Thing 2" segment, Chris Hayes noticed that while NRA Chairman Wayne LaPierre was speaking at the Conservative CPAC convention this week, his name was conveniently left off the program, so the convention could avoid protestors?

This in tandem with the news that Dallas Mayor Pro-Tem Dwaine Caraway, a gun owner, has asked the NRA to move their annual convention OUT of Dallas.

"It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming, but it is putting all citizens first and getting them to come to the table and elected officials to come to the table and to address this madness now," said Caraway.

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Categories: Politics

Ali Velshi Names And Shames Websites Pushing Conspiracies On Florida Shooting Survivors

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:15

Fake News!

That's what Ali Velshi calls, by name, those websites pushing conspiracy theories about survivors of the Florida School Shooting. (And of course Don Junior, who re-tweets that garbage on a regular basis.)


STEPHANIE RUHLE: Out of the tragedy in Parkland, we are now seeing a despicable and ugly part of tragedy. Conspiracy theories. Just like after Sandy Hook and even September 11th. "Truthers," pathetic, are crawling out of the holes with terms like "false flag:, referring to a staged event, and "crisis actors", a term for victims they believe are faking it. This typically is beneath us to even report.

ALI VELSHI. But it's important. It is important right now. Because it's happening in real time. You are seeing the spreading of fake news in real time around a tragedy that I was physically at. By the way, lots of people were at 9/11, but some people don't believe it happened. This is happening in real time.

RUHLE: This tweet calling outspoken student journalist David, a "crisis actor." You know who liked the tweet? The first son, Donald Trump Jr., the President of the United States's son, undermining the credibility and sincerity. A young man and his sister who, by the way, was also at the school, who witnessed what no one should.

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Categories: Politics

An Old Man Reflects on the Era of Fire Drills, Not Lockdown Drills

Kevin Drum - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:15

As an old man tottering into the sunset of his life, I would like to verify from my own experience that, yes, there was a time when kids went to high school without giving a moment’s thought to being gunned down by a mass murderer. Hard to believe, I know.

As we all know, kids today are better behaved, on average, than kids in the 70s and 80s. So that’s obviously not the reason. But what else could it be? It’s a mystery.

Categories: Politics

Apple seeds watchOS 4.3 beta 3 to developers

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:13

Apple on Wednesday seeded the second beta of watchOS 4.3 to developers. Registered developers with the proper configuration profile can install the update over-the-air by navigating to the Software Update tab in the Apple Watch iPhone app.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Apple releases third iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4 public betas

9to5Mac - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:05

Apple has released the third iOS 11.3 public beta loaded with new features for iPhone and iPad. The third macOS 10.13.4 public beta for Mac and tvOS 11.3 public betas are also available. Apple originally previewed several new features prior to the first developer beta:


Categories: Misc

uTorrent Client Affected by Some Pretty Severe Security Flaws

Slashdot - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:00
A Google security researcher has found multiple security flaws affecting the uTorrent web and desktop client that allow an attacker to infect a victim with malware or collect data on the users' past downloads, reports BleepingComputer. From the report: The vulnerabilities have been discovered by Google Project Zero security researcher Tavis Ormandy, and they impact uTorrent Web, a new web-based version of the uTorrent BitTorrent client, and uTorrent Classic, the old uTorrent client that most people know. Ormandy says that both uTorrent clients are exposing an RPC server -- on port 10000 (uTorrent Classic) and 19575 (uTorrent Web). The expert says that attackers can hide commands inside web pages that interact with this open RPC server. The attacker only needs to trick a user with a vulnerable uTorrent client to access a malicious web page. Furthermore, the uTorrent clients are also vulnerable to DNS rebinding -- a vulnerability that allows the attacker to legitimize his requests to the RPC server.

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Categories: Misc