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08-21-2017 Science&Technology
Can’t Find The Right Video? Google Will Now Autoplay 6-Second Previews Via Mobile Search

If you're looking for a video using Google's mobile search app, thumbnails will most likely come up, but you can't be sure which among them is the correct one, so you either select them one by one until you get to the right one or choose a random video and hope you get lucky. Google has now changed that.

Google Rolls Out Video Previews For Android

Google has begun slowly rolling out a new mobile search feature called "video previews," which sounds self-explanatory. How does it work? Well, if you search for a video of a cat playing the piano, you'll get several hits. Now, those videos are going to play a preview — about six seconds — so you don't have to rely on the title and thumbnail alone.

The feature will first debut on Android, appearing on both Chrome and the Google app. It will support English at first, but Google has plans to roll it out worldwide and add more languages. The company also says it wants to expand video previews to other platforms, so it could perhaps come to iOS in the future.

Google says the feature is a way for users to get a better sense of what video they're searching for. Still, there's fair reason to think this could clutter up search results and irritate people who are normally annoyed by autoplaying videos. Google actually had tested a similar feature earlier the other week, but that has since ended. Perhaps Google thought of the feature as a better fit for mobile.

Works With YouTube And Other Video Platforms

Video previews will work readily with YouTube videos, obviously, though Google says it will also work with other providers. Search rank will not be affected by whether or not video platforms support the feature.

Additionally, the video preview will only be available on Wi-Fi, perhaps because it eats a lot of data, which isn't a good thing for someone who's connected to a mobile network. If you want the feature enabled when on data, you are free to do so. Finally, if you find it annoying, you can turn it off for good.

Video preview follows a previous feature which put video in "Snippets," a boxed-in summary of a search result.

"Video previews is the next step in helping you find information faster. More to come — but for now, Search on!" said Google. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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08-21-2017 General
Researchers find wreckage of famed Navy cruiser Indianapolis, sunk in 1945

A research team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has found the wreckage of the Indianapolis, a Navy cruiser that was torpedoed 72 years ago during the final days of World War II in one of the worst disasters in U.S. naval history.

The ship’s remains were found Saturday on the floor of the Pacific Ocean nearly 3.5 miles below the surface, the Navy said in a news release. The exact location of the discovery would remain confidential, the Navy said. The ship’s anchor and bell were clearly visible in photographs shared over Twitter.

Allen said in a statement that he hoped the find would bring closure to those connected to an important chapter in World War II history.

"To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role in ending World War II is truly humbling," he said.

The saga of the Indianapolis and the unfathomable suffering of the crew have been recounted in documentaries, movies — most famously in “Jaws” — and books. As Dan Kurzman wrote in the book “Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis,” the ship’s destruction represents two tragedies — the sinking and the later torment of its captain.

What happened to the Indianapolis?

In July 1945, the Indianapolis had just completed a secret mission to Tinian in the Mariana Islands, where it delivered materials for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The cruiser was traveling unescorted to Leyte, an island in the Philippines, when it was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine at 12:14 a.m. on July 30.

The ship sank in 12 minutes, its descent too rapid for a distress signal to be sent.

Of the nearly 1,200 crew members aboard, about 800 survived the sinking. But the survivors were stranded for five days in shark-infested waters. A rescue mission was set in motion when the bobbing survivors were spotted by a plane on a routine reconnaissance flight.

By the time they were rescued, only 316 remained. The rest were killed by exposure, dehydration, drowning and sharks.

In popular culture, the Indianapolis may be best known for the chilling scene in “Jaws” when Quint, the crusty sea captain played by Robert Shaw, describes the ordeal in an increasingly harrowing monologue:

“Sometimes that shark he looks right into you — right into your eyes,” Quint says. “You know a thing about a shark — he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at you, he doesn’t seem to be living, until he bites you.”

Read Original Article     ON:   Los Angeles Times

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08-21-2017 Cars
The Volkswagen bus is coming back, with modern twists

Volkswagen is officially bringing back the microbus, a hippie favorite first released in the 1950s.

Set to hit America in 2022, the I.D. Buzz will be electric and could have self-driving elements, according to USA Today.

The car will have 369 horsepower, compared to the 25 of the original microbus, according to CNET’s Tim Stevens, who test drove a concept vehicle. Stevens wrote that the car can go 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

Volkswagen announced the news at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Forbes reported.

“The microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle,” CEO Herbert Diess said, according to Forbes.

The automaker decided to produce the car after displaying prototypes at shows and receiving positive feedback, Diess said.

Read Original Article     ON:   Sacbee

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08-21-2017 Science&Technology
How to buy the right Amazon Echo

Alexa seems to be everywhere. Since Amazon’s voice assistant was introduced three years ago, it’s grown and grown in size and scope. Alexa is now on dozens of devices, has over 15,000 “skills,” and is quite possibly the name you think of when a digital assistant comes to mind — which is some really bad news for Siri.

If you haven’t tried Alexa yet, all this attention may have you interested in picking up one Amazon’s many Echo devices. But at this point, there are a whole lot of options that all do slightly different things and give Alexa slightly different abilities. Here are the differences between them and why you might want to pick one over the other.


If the main thing you want out of an Alexa device is a loud, clear speaker for playing music and podcasts, the original Amazon Echo is still the way to go. The Echo is built around being a smart speaker, and before Alexa became well-versed at doing all kinds of other things, being a solid speaker was what the Echo excelled at.

Now, the Echo is not the absolute best speaker you can buy for $180. At that price, you can do a lot better if pure sound quality is all you’re looking for. But no speaker can match the level of convenience that comes with the Echo: to listen to music, all you have to do is ask it to start playing something. And it’s loud enough to fill a room, even if you have it placed in some out-of-the-way corner.

This version of the Echo is always listening for commands and questions and can take advantage of nearly every Alexa skill out there, so you can have it read the weather or news or have it hail you a cab. It can also use Alexa’s calling and messaging system, which lets you send voice messages to some of the other Echo devices.


Sometimes, you actually want to read the news. Or watch a video. Or view the ingredients in a recipe. That’s what the Echo Show is for.

The Echo Show takes the regular Echo’s voice-first approach to Alexa and tries to give everything a simple interface, so you can look at the information it’s presenting, too. This is really great in instances where there’s a lot to look at, like your calendar, detailed weather information, or instructions.

And there are new things the screen can be used for, too. It’s able to play YouTube and Amazon Prime videos. And if you know someone else with an Echo Show, you can video chat with them. Like the traditional Echo, Alexa is always listening for commands here, too.

There are some downsides, though. It’s more expensive than every other Echo, at $229. And it’s still a pretty new product, so developers haven’t really taken advantage of the Show’s screen yet. That means in a lot of cases, you’re going to be using it pretty much the same way you’d use a regular Echo — with just your voice. So unless some of the built-in functions are really appealing to you, it may be worth waiting for Alexa skills to catch up. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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08-21-2017 Science&Technology
Report: Xiaomi Working on Android One Device, Based on the Mi 5X

It appears that Xiaomi may be working with Google on a brand new Android One smartphone, at least according to a leaked picture describing the device – which is said to be named the Xiaomi A1 internally right now. It notes that this device is an Android One device and the software is designed by Google. It does also tout that it has dual-cameras as well as unlimited storage on Google Photos and it also has a 5.5-inch full HD display. Which is a bit of an interesting spec for an Android One smartphone, as these are usually dirt cheap, and full HD doesn’t fit that mold yet.

Xiaomi has worked with Google before on other projects, most notably the Mi Box Android TV set-top box that is sold in the US. This Android One smartphone could make its way to the US, but will likely be sold in emerging markets – like India, a place where Xiaomi already has a fairly large foothold. This smartphone likely won’t be launching in China though, which would be a bit of an interesting thing for Xiaomi since almost everything it announces is available in its homeland of China. But since Google’s services are blocked in China, it makes little sense to sell an Android One device over there.

According to this report, this Android One smartphone is going to be based on the Mi 5X from Xiaomi, which was announced just last month. The Mi 5X has a 5.5-inch full HD display, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 3080mAh battery inside powering the device. It does also have dual 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the device, and it is made of metal with the front being made of glass. Compared to the specs that were named in this leaked photo – seen below – it’s very close to the Mi 5X, so it’s possible that Xiaomi could take the Mi 5X and slap stock Android on top of it to make it an Android One device. There’s no word yet on when Xiaomi or Google will debut this device, nor where it will actually be sold.

Read Original Article     ON:   Android Headlines

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08-21-2017 Games
BioWare is dropping support for Mass Effect: Andromeda's single-player

In a statement from the Mass Effect: Andromeda team, it's been confirmed that the single-player portion of the game will no longer receive ongoing support. The final update was 1.10, which included a small list of tweaks and bug fixes. Shortly after Andromeda's launch, BioWare released patch 1.06, known for fixing problems with the cinematics, squashing a host of bugs, and improving the less-than-perfect animations.

Here's the statement in full:

"With each patch, you let us know we were heading in the right direction, and we're grateful to everyone who joined us on this journey. We're proud of what we created, and we hope you enjoyed it as well.

Early in development, we decided to focus Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story on the Pathfinder, the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, and the conflict with the Archon. The game was designed to further expand on the Pathfinder’s journey through this new galaxy with story-based APEX multiplayer missions and we will continue to tell stories in the Andromeda Galaxy through our upcoming comics and novels, including the fate of the quarian ark.

Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content.

In the coming weeks, our multiplayer team will provide details of their ongoing support and upcoming content, including new multiplayer missions, character kits, and what’s in store for N7 Day.

We appreciate all the millions of people who came with us to the Andromeda galaxy. We hope to see you again in the Mass Effect universe.

The Mass Effect Andromeda Team"

If the story mode isn't your thing, Andromeda's multiplayer mode will still be updated with new multiplayer missions, character kits, and secret content for N7 Day—breathe easy.

It's no major surprise that BioWare wants to call it a day on Andromeda's single-player. Short of starting over, there's not much to be done for the inconsistent writing and repetitive, shallow quests. It's not our favorite Mass Effect, but even so, it's sad to see it come and go so abruptly. Here's to hoping Anthem can fill the void.

Read Original Article     ON:   PC Gamer

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08-21-2017 Health
Harvard study strengthens link between breast cancer risk and light exposure at night

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Richard G. “Bugs” Stevens, University of Connecticut

(THE CONVERSATION) A new study from Harvard has found greater risk of breast cancer in women who live in neighborhoods that have higher levels of outdoor light during the night.

The findings are based on the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), which has for decades been advancing our understanding of risks to women’s health.

For this study, epidemiologist Peter James and colleagues followed nurses in the NHS for breast cancer occurrence from 1989 to 2013. The home of each of 109,672 nurses was geocoded, and the average light level in the immediate neighborhood at night was estimated from satellite images taken by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. These estimates were updated over the 15-year follow-up period. By 2013, a total of 3,549 new cases of breast cancer had been diagnosed, about what’s expected among this number of women.

The study found a direct relationship between a woman’s neighborhood nighttime light level before diagnosis and her later risk of developing breast cancer: The higher the light level, the higher the risk. These findings held even when taking into account many other factors that may also affect risk such as age, number of children, weight, use of hormone medications and a long list of additional potential confounders.

Of importance if confirmed in more studies, the relationship was strongest in young women diagnosed before menopause.

The study is significant because it adds a strong piece of evidence to the growing body of studies supporting the idea that excessive electric light exposure at night increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

The idea that electric light at night (LAN) might explain a portion of the breast cancer pandemic dates back to 1987. It was pretty far-fetched at the time because light doesn’t seem toxic in any way that could cause cancer. It can’t break chemical bonds and damage DNA, and it’s not a hormone like estrogen, which, in excess, can cause changes in the breast that can lead to cancer. Light is, by definition, the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and so it does not include X-rays or even ultraviolet radiation, which can burn skin.

Light is an exposure that challenges the conventional definition of a toxic substance. If a little asbestos is bad for you, more is certainly worse. The same holds for ionizing radiation (like X-rays), dioxin and lead.

Read Original Article     ON:   Wtop

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08-21-2017 Science&Technology
Solar eclipse 2017: Make your own solar eclipse viewer

Can't find solar eclipse glasses or don't want to risk staying outside on Aug. 21? Don't worry - there are several other safe alternatives that will allow you to enjoy the Great American Eclipse without risking damaging your vision and, best of all, all you will need are some common household items.

Cereal box viewer

Looking directly at the sun (during the eclipse or at any other time) can hurt your eyes so if you don't have solar eclipse glasses, you can make your own pinhole viewer out of a cereal box.

Fruity Pebbles has created a last-minute DIY so you can watch Monday's eclipse with a cereal box. The project is NASA-approved and requires only a few items.

Here's what you'll need:

Empty Pebbles box (or any other cereal box)

Sheet of white paper




Aluminum foil

Pin or thumbtack

You can see the complete directions here.

Pizza box projector

You can also make a pinhole projector out of a pizza box. Pizza Hut has made a video to show you just how to do it.

Why you need special equipment to see the solar eclipse

During normal daylight conditions, the eye's iris contracts so that only a small amount of light passes through the lens and reaches the retina. During an eclipse, people turn their eyes to the sun for a longer period of time and that can cause serious damage.

The sun's brightness is enough that staring at it for even a short period of time it can produce enough light to damage individual retinal cells.

If you are in the path of totality - the 14-state region spanning from Oregon to South Carolina - you can view the eclipse safely during the period where the moon completely blocks the sun. If you're outside that narrow 70-mile wide band, you will need solar glasses or other viewers the entire time.

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08-19-2017 Science&Technology
An iOS 11 feature could let you quickly disable TouchID and keep cops out

TouchID has always been a legal grey area when it came to cops and border patrol asking you to fork over your phone. But, with the new update in iOS 11, that no longer seems to be a problem.

The new feature is being referred to in some circles as a “cop button” because it allows the iPhone owner to set up a provision in the update allowing you to choose whether to keep TouchID on or not. This allows travelers and people who tend to get harassed by police more often — or just anyone concerned with privacy and security — to set their phone up using a long, complex password, thus locking out cops and anyone who doesn’t know the passphrase.

Currently, police can force you to use your fingerprint to unlock the phone, but they can’t force you to use your password — something that has been proven by law to be protected.

As Twitter user @alt_kia pointed out, to unlock the phone you press the power button rapidly five times and it will open a second screen, while also forcing anyone with the phone to use the longer passphrase to unlock it.

This process is especially useful in an emergency situation where you need to unlock the phone and call 911. As noted in Engadget, the option to call for help will pop up after you push the power button five times.

Of course, the process isn’t easy for those wishing to use it for privacy reasons, and you might get fatigued constantly unlocking it this way. However, it’s a good way to keep what’s on your phone to yourself.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Crunch

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08-19-2017 Terrorism
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain

(CNN)Spain saw one of its most violent days in recent memory as a spate of incidents throughout the country appeared to be connected to a terror attack Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Authorities said they are working under the assumption that two other deadly events, a terrorist incident in the seaside city of Cambrils and a house explosion farther down the coast in Alcanar, were linked to the van attack in Barcelona that had ISIS taking credit.

Also Thursday, two police officers in Barcelona were hurt when they were hit by a car, but police were unsure whether that was related to the other incidents.

The deadly events began in the early evening with a van plowing through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona. Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were seriously hurt.

As police searched for the van driver, Spain's Prime Minister called it an act of "jihadi terrorism."

Here are the latest developments in a tragic day:

• Two suspects -- one from Morocco, one from the Spanish enclave of Melilla -- were arrested in connection with the Barcelona attack, Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said.

• One suspect in the Barcelona attack is on the run. "The driver abandoned the van and escaped from the area," Trapero said.

• About 115 kilometers to the southwest, there was a second attack early Friday.

• Catalan police tweeted that five suspected terrorists were killed in Cambrils. Emergency officials said six civilians and a police officer were injured.

• One person was killed in an explosion at a house in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.

• Catalan police said early Friday they are "working under the hypothesis that the terrorists taken down in Cambrils were related to the events that took place in Barcelona and Alcanar."

• A driver ran over two police officers at a security checkpoint in Barcelona, police said, and the driver was found near the city. The two officers suffered minor injuries and did not need hospital treatment, police said. It was unclear whether that incident was related to the terror attack.

• ISIS' media wing, Amaq, said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were "soldiers of the Islamic State." However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.

The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   CNN

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08-19-2017 General
Why The Sensitive Intersection of Race, Hate Speech And Algorithms Is Heating Up

In an era increasingly heated about race and society, the delicate intersection of this cultural phenomenon with that of the tech arena is one that is not only deepening but also causing rising distress and concern. In fact a recent story in The Washington Post. reported that “minority” groups feel unfairly censored by social media behemoth Facebook, for example, when using the platform for discussions about racial bias. At the same time, groups and individuals on the other end of the race spectrum are quickly being banned and ousted in a flash from various social media networks. Most all of such activity begins with an algorithm, a set of computer code that, for all intents and purposes for this piece, is created to raise a red flag when certain speech is used on a site. But from engineer mindset to tech limitation, just how much faith should we be placing in algorithms when it comes to the very sensitive area of digital speech and race, and what does the future hold?

To answer this question, it's helpful to first go back a bit to that Post article. Among many other incidences, it is revealed that a Boston mother, Francie Latour, was shocked and hurt when Facebook deleted her post that recounted the racial slurs of which her sons had been recent targets. As a result of such action by the social network, Latour felt that she had received a double-dose of insult – that of the physical world and then afterward from within the digital world. The post was later restored once good old-fashioned things known as humans at the social media giant reviewed what an algorithm determined was a violation of the company's policy.

Indeed, while Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg reportedly eyes political ambitions within an increasingly brown America in which his own company consistently has issues creating racial balance, there are questions around policy and development of such algorithms. In fact, Malkia Cyril executive director for the Center for Media Justice told the Post that she believes that Facebook has a double standard when it comes to deleting posts. And she has been part of an assemby that has met with the company about the issue.

"Our group of Black Lives Matter activists actually met with Facebook representatives in February 2016, not 2014 as it says in The Washington Post article, to discuss the appalling levels of resentment, racist insults and violent threats we were receiving from strangers on the Facebook platform while other racial epithets were allowed to stand," Cyril explains. "The meeting was a good first step, but very little was done in the direct aftermath. Even then, Facebook executives, largely white, spent a lot of time explaining why they could not do more instead of working with us to improve the user experience for everyone.” ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Forbes

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08-19-2017 Entertainment
'Star Wars': What to Expect From an Obi-Wan Kenobi Movie

Books and comics have already explored this territory.

If there's one thing that experience can demonstrate, it's that there's a high probability that the stand-alone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie currently in development will feature the Jedi Knight taking on Tusken Raiders.

While it's currently unclear just when the Kenobi movie will be set, there are only three options that make a lot of narrative sense: the period before Kenobi's first (chronological) onscreen appearance in 1999's Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace; the Clone Wars era; and the roughly two decades of time between events in Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars movie.

Of those, the middle option is potentially problematic, given how much of that time period has already been covered in the animated series of the same name, and the first option perhaps packs little promise given that it is, technically, a time of relative calm before things started going awry for the Jedi Order. (Plus, the original Star Wars and prequel trilogies have already covered the "origin of a Jedi" arc such a movie would presumably be covering.)

Therefore, it's highly probable that any Kenobi movie would take place in the period where the character is in hiding on Tatooine, while the Empire rises throughout the galaxy around him. But of course it is — this isn't just the lengthiest gap in Kenobi's onscreen life, it's also the most rich territory to explore and, tellingly, the same time period as the other Star Wars Story stand-alone features known to the world, with Rogue One ending just prior to the opening of 1977's Star Wars and the untitled Han Solo movie happening just a handful of years earlier, based upon the characters' ages. This 30-year gap of Star Wars history between the first two movie trilogies is, apparently, preferred real estate for Lucasfilm to build on.

On the face of it, this time period would present some problems for filmmakers. After all, according to earlier movies, Kenobi's disappearance during this time is so total that the name "Obi-Wan Kenobi" becomes a myth, with his disguise of "Old Ben Kenobi" transforming him into a recluse that's seen as, if not helpless, then certainly not as powerful as he actually is. How do you build a story around that? Thankfully, it's already been done — in prose and comic book form, at least. (Not to mention, fan trailer.)

A recurring feature of Marvel's current Star Wars comic book is "The Journals of Old Ben Kenobi," a framing sequence in which Kenobi writes of his adventures during his self-imposed exile. These stories are intentionally smaller in scope than those traditionally shared in Star Wars, and see him working mostly undercover to deal with more local threats to local communities, whether they're bounty

Read Original Article     ON:   Hollywood Reporter

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08-17-2017 Science&Technology
The Galaxy Note 8 has an exclusive new color Galaxy S8 buyers can’t get

It wasn’t too long ago that we learned Samsung has been working on a brand new color option for the Galaxy Note 8, and now we have a leak that shows us said color.

After showing the Galaxy Note 8 in more traditional Galaxy colors, including black and gold, Evan Blass is back with a new press render of the phone, and the official name for this new color option. Meet Deep Blue Sea:

Sure, you can barely see this new blue option in this image, as it’s only visible at the top and bottom, where the frame meets the glass. But the Galaxy Note 8’s stylus will have the same color as the phone. So it’s the new S Pen that you have to check out in the image above.

Samsung just launched a blue Galaxy S8 in the US in partnership with Best Buy, but that’s Coral Blue. Blass’ new leak indicates that Deep Blue Sea will be one of the Note 8 colors available at launch.

Here’s a previous Blass leak that shows the Galaxy Note 8 in black and gold, complete with matching S Pens:

We have exactly one week to go until Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 8 in New York, at which point the South Korean giant will probably confirm all the Galaxy Note 8 rumors that we covered over the summer. At this point, not even color options will surprise us anymore, and, aside from whatever new S Pen features Samsung may have conceived, we probably know everything there is to know about the handset.

Expect the Galaxy Note 8 to go on sale as soon as next week, at least in certain markets, for around $1,000.

Read Original Article     ON:   BGR

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08-16-2017 Politics
The Daily 202: Trump acts like the president of the Red States of America

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump often behaves, first and foremost, as if he is the president of the states and people who voted for him.

That’s at odds with the American tradition, and it’s problematic as a governing philosophy — especially in a moment of crisis. Trump’s initially tone-deaf response to Charlottesville underscores why.

Animated by grievance and congenitally disinclined to extend olive branches, Trump lashes out at his “enemies” — his 2020 reelection campaign even used that word in a commercial released on Sunday — while remaining reticent to explicitly call out his fans — no matter how odious, extreme or violent.

Channeling his inner-Richard Nixon, who kept an enemies list of his own, candidate Trump often claimed to speak for “a silent majority.” After failing to win the popular vote, President Trump has instead governed on behalf of an increasingly vocal but diminishing minority.

The president has held campaign-style rallies in places like West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Indeed, almost all his political travel has been to places he carried last November. He keeps stacks of 2016 electoral maps to hand out to people visiting the Oval Office so he can point out the sea of red. He speaks often about his “base,” preferring to preach to the choir rather than evangelize for his policies. “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before,” Trump wrote on Twitter last week.

-- Apparently the president sees “the Trump base” as distinct from the GOP base: “Trump's job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking is at 34% for the three-day period from Friday through Sunday — by one point the lowest of his administration so far,” Frank Newport wrote yesterday. “Republicans' latest weekly approval rating of 79% was the lowest from his own partisans so far, dropping from the previous week's 82%. Democrats gave Trump a 7% job approval rating last week, while the reading for independents was at 29%. This is the first time independents' weekly approval rating for Trump has dropped below 30%.” In the latest Gallup polling, 46 percent of whites approve of Trump’s job performance. That’s the same share Barack Obama had at this point in 2009. But while only 15 percent of nonwhites support Trump, 73 percent backed Obama. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Washington Post

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08-16-2017 General
Undeterred, U.S. cities ramp up removal of Confederate statues

- Undeterred by the violence over the planned removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, municipal leaders in cities across the United States said they would step up efforts to pull such monuments from public spaces.

The mayors of Baltimore and Lexington, Kentucky, said they would push ahead with plans to remove statues caught up in a renewed national debate over whether monuments to the U.S. Civil War's pro-slavery Confederacy are symbols of heritage or hate.

Officials in Memphis, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida, announced new initiatives on Monday aimed at taking down Confederate monuments. And Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, urged lawmakers to rid the state's Capitol of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and early member of the Ku Klux Klan. ...

"This is a time to stand up and speak out," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said in an interview on Monday. He had moved up the announcement of his city's efforts after the Charlottesville violence.

The clashes between white supremacists and counter protesters that left three dead in Charlottesville on Saturday, including two police officers whose helicopter crashed, appeared to have accelerated the push to remove memorials, flags and other reminders of the Confederate cause.

Some opponents appeared to take matters into their own hands. A crowd of demonstrators stormed the site of a Confederate monument outside a courthouse in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday and toppled the bronze statue from its base.

Local television news footage showed numerous protesters taking turns stomping and kicking the fallen statue as dozens of others stood cheering and yelling.

In Baltimore, a Confederate monument of a dying Confederate soldier embraced by a winged angel-like figure was found defaced by red paint, apparently an act of vandalism carried out over the weekend, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The drive by civil rights groups and others to do away with Confederate monuments gained momentum after an avowed white supremacist murdered nine African-Americans at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015. The deadly shooting rampage ultimately led to the removal of a Confederate flag from the statehouse in Columbia.

In all, as of April, at least 60 symbols of the Confederacy had been removed or renamed across the United States since 2015, according to the latest tally by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But such efforts also have made Confederate flags and memorials a rallying point for white supremacists and other groups of the extreme right, according to Ryan Lenz, a spokesman for the law center, which tracks hate groups. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   NY Daily News

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08-14-2017 Science&Technology
Facebook has been secretly testing an app in China called Colorful Balloons

In May, Facebook quietly launched a photo-sharing app called Colorful Balloons in China, where the social networking site is banned, according to a report in The New York Times.

Colorful Balloons appears to mimic the look and feel of Facebook’s Moments app, which allows users to share photos with friends and family members. Rather than interfacing with Facebook, the app works with the country’s biggest social network, WeChat. Facebook released the app through a local company called Youge Internet Technology, without any hint of branding from the social media giant, and appears to have taken efforts to ensure that it doesn’t spread widely.

China banned Facebook in July 2009, and partially blocked WhatsApp in July. Since then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been working to find a way to get the social network reintroduced into the country, meeting with governmental officials and reportedly working on software for the country that helps suppress posts from appearing in a specific geographic area. The Times describes this quiet rollout as “unprecedented,” and that it demonstrates the effort that tech companies will undertake to try and gain a foothold into China and its population of 700 million internet users. It’s not clear if the Chinese government is aware of Facebook’s efforts: the Cyberspace Administration of China didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Times.

The rollout doesn’t appear to be an effort to launch a social network under the radar. The Times describes the initiative as a way for Facebook to “see how Chinese users digitally share information with their friends or interact with their favorite social media platforms.” In a statement provided to The Verge, Facebook said that it is “spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 China Daily / China
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The Telegraph / United Kingdom 7 The Wall Street Journal / United States 8 USA Today / United States
9 The Times of India / India 10 The Independent / United Kingdom 11 Los Angeles Times / United States 12 El País / Spain
13 Financial Times / United Kingdom 14 The People's Daily / China 15 United Daily News / China 16 The Economic Daily / China
17 Le Monde / France 18 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 19 El Mundo / Spain 20 Daily News / United States
21 La Repubblica / Italy 22 Bild / Germany 23 Le Figaro / France 24 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia
25 Houston Chronicle / United States 26 Hürriyet / Turkey 27 Chicago Tribune / United States 28 The Examiner / United States
29 New York Post / United States 30 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 31 Corriere della Sera / Italy 32 The Economic Times / India
33 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 34 Marca / Spain 35 Liberty Times / Taiwan 36 Die Welt / Germany
37 The Globe and Mail / Canada 38 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 39 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 40 Sabah / Turkey
41 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 42 Daily Express / United Kingdom 43 Kompas / Indonesia 44 The Indian Express / India
45 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 46 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 47 The Hindu / India 48 The Toronto Star / Canada
49 The Sun / United Kingdom 50 The Age / Australia 51 The Boston Globe / United States 52 Philippine Daily Inquirer / Philippines
53 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 54 The Washington Times / United States 55 Clarín / Argentina 56 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
57 Die Zeit / Germany 58 The Onion / United States 59 Metro / United Kingdom 60 ABC / Spain
61 The Seattle Times / United States 62 The Times / United Kingdom 63 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 64 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany
65 The Hill / United States 66 Dainik Bhaskar / India 67 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 68 The Oregonian / United States
69 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea 70 La Nación / Argentina 71 The Hindustan Times / India 72 San Jose Mercury News / United States
73 The Dallas Morning News / United States 74 AS / Spain 75 The Australian / Australia 76 Star Tribune / United States
77 Qingdao News / China 78 The Jerusalem Post / Israel 79 The Plain Dealer / United States 80 L'Equipe / France
81 Komsomolskaya Pravda / Russia 82 The Denver Post / United States 83 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 84 Libération / France
85 O Globo / Brazil 86 Aftonbladet / Sweden 87 The Japan Times / Japan 88 Business Standard / India
89 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 90 Kommersant / Russia 91 Le Parisien / France 92 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand
93 Detroit Free Press / United States 94 Newsday / United States 95 The Baltimore Sun / United States 96 National Post / Canada
97 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 98 The Miami Herald / United States 99 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 100 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States
101 The Irish Independent / Ireland 102 South China Morning Post / Hong Kong SAR 103 The Irish Times / Ireland 104 The Star Online / Malaysia
105 De Telegraaf / Netherlands 106 Dawn / Pakistan 107 Der Standaard / Austria 108 The Sacramento Bee / United States
109 20 Minutos / Spain 110 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan 111 Rossiyskaya Gazeta / Russia 112 Apple Daily / Taiwan
113 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India 114 La Stampa / Italy 115 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / United States 116 20 Minutes / France
117 La Vanguardia / Spain 118 Evening Standard / United Kingdom 119 China Times / Taiwan 120 The Straits Times / Singapore
121 Orlando Sentinel / United States 122 Der Tagesspiegel / Germany 123 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 124 Verdens Gang / Norway
125 Argumenti i Fakti / Russia 126 Boston Herald / United States 127 Infobae / Argentina 128 Dagbladet / Norway
129 Independent Online / South Africa 130 The New York Observer / United States 131 Yeni Safak / Turkey 132 Seattle Post-Intelligencer / United States
133 The Kansas City Star / United States 134 Al-Ahram / Egypt 135 The Scotsman / United Kingdom 136 Nikkan Sports / Japan
137 Deseret News / United States 138 Herald Sun / Australia 139 The Vancouver Sun / Canada 140 Yang Cheng Wan Bao / China
141 Les Échos / France 142 Gulf News / United Arab Emirates 143 Yedioth Aharonot / Israel 144 Sports Nippon / Japan
145 The Orange County Register / United States 146 Expressen / Sweden 147 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 148 / Russia
149 Handelsblatt / Germany 150 The Daily Telegraph / Australia

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