1061: Red Dot

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 54m
August 19th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Michael, Son of Sir Mark of the Mid-West

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Patrick

Cover Artist: Pownal Geek


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Any Collusion?
The press requesting jurors names is the threatening act stand alone
Draining The Swamp
John Brennan Security Clearance Revocation Raises Constitutional Concerns | National Review
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:49
Former CIA Director John Brennan participates in a session at the third annual Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C., September 8, 2016. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)
The president has great power, but it's not unlimited. L et's begin with two assertions that should, at least, be relatively uncontroversial. First, Article II of the United States Constitution grants the president broad authority to defend the nation as commander in chief of its armed forces. Second, that authority is not so broad as to always override individual constitutional rights whenever the president deems the two to be in conflict.
To take an extreme example, while the president clearly can exercise great control over the standards for entry into and promotion within the military, no one would credibly argue that he can ban recruits from the opposing party. While the president clearly can exercise great control over who receives a security clearance, he could not revoke clearances from all Democrats on the grounds that the #Resistance was too pervasive in the party's ranks.
In other words, in our constitutional system, even great power carries with it constitutional limits. Moreover, it is right and proper to weigh any given executive action against those limits.
And that brings me to Donald Trump's decision yesterday to revoke former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance. In the formal statement announcing the action, the White House articulated reasons for the termination that '-- on their face '-- raised no serious constitutional concerns. According to the administration, Brennan was ''erratic,'' had a history of behavior that ''calls into question his objectivity and credibility,'' and engaged in ''increasingly frenzied commentary.''
One claim in particular stands out as particularly damaging to Brennan:
In 2014 . . . he denied to Congress that CIA officials under his supervision had improperly accessed the computer files of congressional staffers. He told the Council of Foreign Relations that the CIA would never do such a thing. The CIA's Inspector General, however, contradicted Mr. Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed improperly accessed congressional staffers' files.
Only a blindly dedicated partisan would claim that lying to Congress doesn't raise concerns about an official's truthfulness and character. If that was the true reason for revoking Brennan's security clearance, then he should absorb the blow, move on, and consider himself fortunate. He's faced only minimal sanction for a serious offense.
But what if that's not the real reason he lost his clearance? What if the real reason is the one articulated by President Trump himself in an interview with the Wall Street Journal? There, Trump decried the ''rigged witch hunt,'' declared that ''these people led it,'' and added that ''it's something that had to be done.'' By ''these people'' he was apparently referring not just to Brennan but also to former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former FBI director James Comey, and former NSA chief Michael Hayden.
Quite a few Twitter conservatives have waved off the apparent political motivations for Trump's decision with a simplistic declaration that no one has a right to a security clearance. The more sophisticated Trump defenders point to Department of the Navy v. Egan, a SCOTUS decision that technically answered the ''narrow question'' of ''whether the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) has authority by statute to review the substance of an underlying decision to deny or revoke a security clearance in the course of reviewing an adverse action,'' but also contained much broader dicta (non-binding but persuasive discussions by the Court) reaffirming the Court's ''utmost deference'' to ''the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs'' and noting that courts are ''reluctant to intrude.''
''Reluctant,'' however, is a cautionary term. It is not prohibitionary. As D.C. Circuit Court judge Gregory Katsas wrote just last month, the question of ''whether a plaintiff can seek to undo the denial or revocation of a security clearance, based on non-frivolous constitutional challenges to investigatory or even adjudicatory processes'' is both ''weighty and difficult'' and undecided. Lest you wonder, Katsas happens to be a Trump appointee who made his bones as a clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.
Generations of precedent suggest that the president does not possess entirely unreviewable authority over the substance of security-clearance determinations. Though he does enjoy broad discretion, it's clearly bounded by limits, even if they haven't yet been fully defined by the courts.
If the Brennan decision winds up before the courts, it won't be enough for the Trump administration to simply cite Article II. It won't be enough for the Trump administration to merely note that ''no one has a right to security clearance.'' Administration lawyers will have to grapple with generations of case law not only holding that even members of the military possess First Amendment rights (though those rights are limited by the requirements of service) but also that '-- as a general rule '-- government employees and private citizens have a right to protection from government retaliation for the exercise of their First Amendment rights.
Generations of precedent suggest that the president does not possess entirely unreviewable authority over the substance of security-clearance determinations. Though he does enjoy broad discretion, it's clearly bounded by limits, even if they haven't yet been fully defined by the courts. One of those limits should be that presidents cannot dispense or revoke the security clearances of private citizens (such as contractors or former government employees) in retaliation for the exercise of constitutionally protected political expression, short of evidence of disloyalty to the United States, instability, or vulnerability to improper influence. A security clearance is not a reward for good political behavior, and treating it as such has negative consequences for American national security. Does anyone doubt that John Brennan would still have his security clearance if his Twitter comments were just as frothy and erratic, but were instead aimed at the so-called witch hunt rather than the Trump administration?
Administration critics should note well that Brennan in many ways presents a poor plaintiff for a monumentally important constitutional test case. As noted above, his false statements to Congress alone provide an entirely legitimate reason to terminate his security clearance. But Trump's statements indicating that the true motivation for the move was political, and his indications that he may target other former officials, are more than enough reason to be concerned that he views his authority over security clearances not as power held in trust to protect our nation's security but rather as a weapon to wield against political foes in violation of the very Constitution he's vowed to defend.
NOW WATCH: 'Trump Revokes Former CIA Director's Security Clearance'
The Purge
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Facebook's 'not our friend' apology ads vandalised in London - Business Insider
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:18
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Protestors are vandalising Facebook's ubiquitous apology adverts in London.Posters have been changed to imply that Facebook makes money from fake news and data misuse.The ads are part of a global promotional campaign aimed a distancing Facebook from a tsunami of scandals. LONDON '-- You've seen the ads everywhere. If they've not infiltrated your TV, they've shadowed your wait at a bus stop, punctuated the pages of your newspaper, or loomed over you from a billboard. Facebook is trying to tell you something.
The company is spending a fortune on the global promotional campaign, aimed squarely at distancing itself from a tsunami of scandals involving fake news, data breaches, and election meddling.
The TV apology ad was recently ridiculed by "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver, and now, Facebook's posters are being targeted by protestors in London, who are seeking to change the company's messaging.
Protest Pencil, an anonymous street artist, has been posting pictures of the altered posters on their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, generating interest in the British press.
On one bus stop post poster, the words "it's a great source of revenue" were added to Facebook's slogan: "Fake news is not our friend."
On another, "it's our business model" was added to the statement: "Data misuse is not our friend."
Business Insider has contacted Protest Pencil for comment. We have also asked Facebook if it would like to remark on the vandalised posters.
More: Facebook
Palo Alto Networks on censorship:
The first was on 1061 with regards to Palo Alto Networks
where I am an engineer trying to help companies stop all these breaches you
keep talking about. In the show you said that Alex Jones site was classified as
questionable and enhanced blocked. Our definition of questionable is as
We define the URL based on a variety of different signals.
First, we have tools that try and automatically define the category, next users
can submit for overrides to request changes to the categories which is what
looks like happened. Automated systems initially vet this then it is manually
inspected by humans. It looks like this site had been classified a news
recently until it was reported other things. It seems like the compromise
between the suggestions was to move it to questionable instead of say extremism
or hate speech. Customers can also request re-classification and provide
rational to argue why it should be different.
Next a customer defines what they want to action for each
category to be so something like questionable might be allowed depending on
corporate policy where something like extremism most people will block.
Meeting between Google execs and employees on company's China plans - Business Insider
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:20
In a meeting with employees on Thursday, Google's leadership addressed reports from early this month that the company was building a censored search engine that would allow it to resume operations in China, according to Twitter posts from multiple reporters.
Kate Conger, a New York Times reporter, posted to Twitter what she said were comments made during the meeting by Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Sergey Brin, one of the company's cofounders.
"If we were to do our mission well, we are to think seriously about how to do more in China," Pichai told employees, according to The Times. "That said, we are not close to launching a search product in China."
Brin reportedly denied having knowledge of the program until after news leaked and what Brin described as "this kerfuffle" erupted.
A Chinese flag in front of Google China's headquarters in Beijing in 2010. Reuters
A Google representative was not immediately available for comment.
Google pulled out of China in 2010 over objections to government demands that it filter out websites and information that China's leaders found objectionable.
Two sources who were privy to what occurred in Thursday's meeting told Business Insider that Pichai only briefly addressed '-- and not in any detailed way '-- the big question on the minds of many at the company: Why is Google considering a return to China? The CEO apparently described the moves being made by the company in that country as "exploratory."
When the news of a censored search engine was first made public, some Google employees were critical of their company. And earlier Thursday, a letter began circulating among staff members that called on the company's leaders to create an "ethics review structure" to ensure transparency on issues involving ethics.
Some of the tension that has lingered at the company '-- including an earlier controversy regarding Google's work with the military '-- resurfaced at Thursday's meeting.
The discussions became tense when Google's leaders discovered that someone attending the meeting or listening in remotely was supplying live information to Conger, the Times reporter. Brin said he would not continue discussing China because of the leaks, according to the sources who spoke with Business Insider.
It is unusual at Google for someone to live-tweet about all-hands meetings The sources said images of Conger's tweets were displayed on a large screen in the room with Pichai and Brin. One Google employee who had stood to ask a question suddenly addressed whoever was surreptitiously leaking information.
"F--- you," he said. He then demanded that the person leave.
The sources said the epithet received some applause.
Brin and Pichai stopped taking questions about China for a while but later took up the subject again after it was clear the leaks had stopped. Google management and employees have long shared ideas and information without it showing up in news publications, which makes the Thursday incident unusual.
The fact that someone within Google was sharing info in real time appeared to anger some workers, one source said.
But according to two sources, when the meeting finally ended, it didn't go unnoticed that many details regarding Google's plans for China were still unknown.
Julia Reda '' Out-of-control censorship machines removed my article warning of out-of-control censorship machines
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:58
A few days ago, about a dozen articles and campaign sites criticising EU plans for copyright censorship machines silently vanished from the world's most popular search engine. Proving their point in the most blatant possible way, the sites were removed by exactly what they were warning of: Copyright censorship machines.
Among the websites that were made impossible to find: A blog post of mine in which I inform Europeans about where their governments stand on online censorship in the name of copyright and a campaign site warning of copyright law that favors corporations over free speech.
Was this a brazen attack on open, democratic debate by someone in the media industry, abusing copyright enforcement tools in an attempt to silence those opposing their lobbying interests '' or was it an unbelievably coincidental technical mistake?
One thing's for certain: This incident gives us a chilling taste of what we're in for if the European Parliament passes the upload filter law currently under consideration. It's a call to arms to continue fighting against automated copyright filters. We know now better than ever: They invariably lead to censorship. Join the Europe-wide protests on August 26!
Today's ''copyright censorship light'' is bad enough Rogue copyright botIllustration credit: Topple Track + icon by Freepik from flaticon.comUnder current US law, Google allows a number of companies to directly and without oversight remove sites from its search index, based purely on the claim that copyrights are being infringed. In effect, a handful of media companies have control over what we can '' and can't '' find online.
One of them is Symphonic Distribution, who offer a service called ''Topple Track'' . This service sent a notice to Google on July 22 falsely claiming that my blog post and a number of other sites were somehow infringing on the copyright of an Australian TV starlet. Automated systems at Google honored the claim and delisted the pages, sight unseen.
If humans had been involved at any point in this process, the absurdity '' or maliciousness '' of this request would have immediately been spotted. But they weren't. There are no checks and balances in place. Copyright enforcement has been automated, and no system either at services like Topple Track or at platforms like Google is able to prevent even such blatant mistakes '' or such blatant abuse.
Topple Track boasts that they've removed over 7 million links from search engines for their music industry clients, and that 99% of their removal requests were honored. With their service now exposed to be so obviously dysfunctional, it's unknowable how many more of these takedowns were fraudulent, and how many more articles are wrongly ''shadowbanned'' from the internet without their authors even being aware.
After the EFF uncovered further fraudulent removals by Topple Track and TorrentFreak covered the story, Google reportedly terminated its trusted partnership with the company. But still, as of this writing, my blog post remains unlisted on Google Search. Incredibly, not even when a company is exposed for issuing abusive takedowns are the websites they've previously ordered removed reinstated. Each individual author must actively put up a fight to restore the findability of their free speech. (Update: The page seems to be back in the Google index now.)
EU plans would make this much worseOn September 12, the EU Parliament will vote (one more time) on whether to force internet platforms to install upload filters.
With upload filters, platforms won't even wait for complaints by media companies to remove your posts. Instead, your expression won't even go online in the first place unless it passes a check against databases submitted by media companies. And you can be sure that these databases will be just as filled with junk and fraud.
Upload filters would give media companies even more direct control over the internet. All of us who post and upload content will be considered guilty until proven innocent, while media companies will continue to face no consequences for abusing the system. There's no doubt what they would lead to: Even more censorship.
EU lawmakers must learn from this incident '' and from the countless other documented failures of automated filtering: Automated copyright enforcement doesn't work. Upload filters severely threaten our freedom of speech. They must be rejected.
You can help make that happen:
Please join the protests happening all across Europe on Sunday, August 26 to stop upload filters from becoming EU law. Check SaveYourInternet.today for information on an event near you!
To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.
My name is Julia, I'm the Pirate in the European Parliament. I'm fighting to
make copyright in the EU unified, progressive and fit for the future.
Will you join me? @Senficon JuliaRedaMEP
WordPress.com Boots Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory Sites, Bans Malicious Publication of Unauthorized Images of Minors '' WordPress Tavern
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:08
WordPress.com came under fire this week for hosting a site with conspiracy theories claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. The New York Times published an article titled ''This Company Keeps Lies About Sandy Hook on the Web,'' setting off a hailstorm of angry posts on social media that demanded Automattic take action.
''Posting conspiracy theories or untrue content is not banned from WordPress.com, and unfortunately this is one of those situations,'' Automattic told the New York Times in a statement. ''It is a truly awful situation, and we are sympathetic to the Pozner family.''
Leonard Pozner, father of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim Noah Pozner, claims that images of his son were being misused on a WordPress.com-hosted site where the author denied the tragedy and called his son a crisis actor. He filed copyright infringement claims on the images used on the conspiracy site in an attempt to get the content removed.
Automattic examined the images and determined that there was nothing illegal about their use on the site. The company sent Pozner a reply that said, ''because we believe this to be fair use of the material, we will not be removing it at this time.''
In the New York Times article, Automattic admits its insensitivity in handling the situation, apologizing to the family, but said the posts in question ''are not violating any current user guidelines, or copyright law.''
''The pain that the family has suffered is very real and if tied to the contents of sites we host, we want to have policies to address that,'' Automattic told the New York Times.
WordPress.com Updates it Privacy Policy, Banning Malicious Publication of Unauthorized, Identifying Images of MinorsAfter consulting with the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, it appears WordPress.com has quietly updated its privacy policy, which now includes unauthorized images of minors on the list of things the platform considers private information. The previous policy appears below:
The updated policy adds ''the malicious publication of unauthorized, identifying images of minors'' to that list.
Searching Twitter for discussion surrounding Sandy Hook conspiracy sites turns up a slew of tweets calling on people to boycott WordPress.com and other Automattic products. However, there are also responses on the other end of the spectrum, with Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist supporters retweeting a user who claims that WordPress.com has shut down his site.
Minutes ago this morning, I discovered that WordPress has unilaterally and without warning shut down Fellowship of the Minds for alleged violations of "Terms of Service". I will explore finding another server for FOTM. Please pray for America.
'-- Eowyn (@DrEowyn) August 14, 2018
WordPress just suspended my interim blog The Fundamental Option as well. That blog has been active for only the past 2 days, so what possible "terms of service" could have have violated? It's war, folks. America is entering into very dark days. Be prepared.
'-- Eowyn (@DrEowyn) August 15, 2018
The site in question (fellowshipofminds.com) appears to have been removed, along with an interim site the author created following the first suspension. A number of other related sites have also recently been removed. These events are outlined in a post on memoryholeblog.org, a site maintained by James F. Tracy, a former professor of journalism and media who became known for his research questioning the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and Boston Marathon bombing. Tracy's blog was also removed from WordPress.com in 2016 for violation of Automattic's Terms of Service.
Automattic did not detail specific infractions in either case of removal. It's not clear whether the site referenced in the New York Times article was removed for a new offense or a previous one. The removals seem to have coincided with WordPress.com's updated privacy policy, but Automattic's PR department has not responded to a request for comment on the matter.
''As with Automattic's treatment of MHB, FOTM's disappearance strongly suggests how WordPress.com's policies are being tailored to placate outside parties whose foremost interest is in stifling political speech on potential high crimes, and how in this instance such poorly-founded grounds for censorship have triumphed over free speech,'' Tracy said.
Historically, Automattic has been a stalwart defender of free speech on the web. It's outlined as part of the WordPress.com's User Guidelines:
WordPress.com strongly believes in freedom of speech. We have a vast audience spread across many cultures, countries and backgrounds with varying values and our service is designed to let users freely express any ideas and opinions without us censoring or endorsing them.
It's not clear whether Automattic changed its policy in response to this situation or whether this situation revealed holes in it that the company wanted to improve. In either case, the policy change seems to have enabled Automattic to do what outraged onlookers wanted them to do, except outside of the emotional mandate issued by the New York Times.
Without the new privacy policy in place, removal of a site based on offensive material constitutes censorship. Automattic had already determined that the post using the child's image, while distasteful and offensive, was fair use for the material. The image had likely already been used thousands of times by news organizations with a different narrative attached to it that is more in alignment with the majority's view of the tragedy.
As it is a private company, Automattic's terms of service do not have to reflect the full freedom of speech allowed by the law. However, the company has always upheld its reputation in the past as an uncompromising defender of its users when presented with requests for censorship.
In a recent post on Techdirt, Automattic general counsel Paul Sieminski and Holly Hogan detail how WordPress.com handles its role in managing intermediary liability when the company receives complaints regarding defamatory content:
Making online hosts and other intermediaries like WordPress.com liable for the allegedly defamatory content posted by users is often criticized for burdening hosts and stifling innovation. But intermediary liability isn't just bad for online hosts. It's also terrible for online speech. The looming possibility of writing a large check incentivizes hosts like Automattic to do one thing when we first receive a complaint about content: Remove it. That decision may legally protect the host, but it doesn't protect users or their online speech.
That article explains the level of nuance involved in handling complaints and the costs associated with protecting its users' freedom of speech. Automattic's counsel concludes with an observation that ''leaving such important decisions to the discretion of Internet hosts is misplaced and tilts the balance in favor of silencing often legitimate voices.''
WordPress.com is a Host for Websites, Not a Social Media SiloWordPress.com's platform is distinct from social networks in that it is not a social media silo. It acts more as a host and cannot have one-off shutdowns of sites anytime there is a public outcry.
''WordPress.com is much closer to being a common carrier than Facebook and other social media,'' Dan Kennedy, associate professor at Northeastern University's school of Journalism, said in response to the NYT article. ''That difference really doesn't get highlighted here.''
Self-hosted WordPress (.org) user and data journalist Matt Stiles also commented on the distinction, and followed up with me privately, identifying WordPress.com as ''a free-speech sidewalk for the Internet.''
''WordPress.com needs to make clear to the public that it's a host, not a place that controls '-- through algorithms or other curation, and revenue '-- content,'' Stiles said. ''I am NOT a supporter of sites like this. I just want WordPress to thrive as an open-source tool and as an important paid host for web sites. I'm also worried about WordPress.com having to make arbitrary decisions about content. It's tough to define hate speech. We know it when we see it, but I worry about censorship on private platforms.''
Dave Winer also commented that the article failed to capture the distinction of WordPress.com as a host for websites:
WordPress.com isn't like the others, it isn't a silo, so banning him from that service will not necessarily have any affect on the presence of his site. He will be able to export his site, set up his own server, point the DNS entry at that server, and proceed on the open web and it will appear to outside viewers as if nothing happened. This will be the end of the discussion, unless the anti-speech advocates try to exert pressure on the open web. There they will find there is no CEO, no corporate headquarters, no shareholders afraid of losing value, none of the usual pressure points.
This particular situation regarding the Sandy Hook conspiracy site seems to have hit a nerve due to the fact that there are children involved. Despite WordPress.com's quick privacy policy change in this instance, Automattic is still a rare outlier among publishing companies when it comes to support of free speech on the web. Media outlets and tech companies are increasingly clamoring for offensive content to be removed, instead of taking a principled stand against censorship.
Today more than 200 newspapers, including the New York Times, are coordinating to publish editorials calling out President Trump's characterization of the press as the ''enemy of the people.'' Corporate-owned news media is ready to decry attacks on free speech, but do they really believe in it when it counts? That freedom isn't predicated on whether the speech is true or unoffensive to readers.
Calling out a free speech platform like WordPress.com, without any distinction for its vital role in enabling journalists across the globe, is a coercive attempt to exact a desired result. What WordPress.com has done is groundbreaking in democratizing publishing and enabling bloggers to break news on their own sites.
The New York Times raking WordPress.com over the coals for its refusal to censor its users is an egregious double standard. A publication cannot call for free speech for itself while eating up the rights of everyone else they don't agree with. Principles aren't principles if they only serve you when they are convenient.
Forcing the censorship of offensive speech may feel like swift justice in the short term, but it weakens the fabric of a free society. Let discerning readers make up their own minds when they come across sites disseminating conspiracy theories. Although it may be an unpopular stance, the tragic nature of this particular offense cannot bypass the principles that underpin our basic freedoms.
Google insiders: meeting leaks backfired, gave execs moral high ground - Business Insider
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 04:35
Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google, which has come under fire from employees for reportedly considering launching a censored version of its search engine in China. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
"F--- you," said the male Google employee standing at the microphone during a pivotal moment at the company all-hands meeting on Thursday night.
According to three sources in attendance who spoke with Business Insider, the man was addressing whomever within Google was relaying in real time what was said at the gathering to a New York Times reporter. The reporter had posted statements to Twitter that had been made just minutes before by Google's cofounder Sergey Brin and its CEO, Sundar Pichai, and her tweets were displayed on a large screen before the gathering.
Sharing what is said during these discussions '-- known internally as TGIFs '-- between leaders and employees has long been considered a no-no at Google. Few companies have as much regular open and frank communication about sensitive subjects with their staff, and the general consensus at the company is that leaks would make them impossible.
And that is probably why many inside Google appeared sympathetic to the sentiment expressed by their colleague at the mic. After he said the profanity and exhorted the leaker to leave, some in the audience applauded, the sources said. The man also received praise on Google's internal communications systems.
The man at the mic spoke for many at Google For Googlers, their colleague's exhortation was an extraordinary event, and it came amid an exceptionally fractious period at the company.
Brin and Pichai were expected to discuss media reports from two weeks ago that Google planned to restart its operations in China, the sources said. In 2010, Google pulled out of that country rather than censor its search results to exclude information the Chinese government found objectionable. Many people inside and outside the company consider government censorship to be a human-rights violation.
A Google spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Tyler Breisacher quit his software-development job at Google in protest over the company's work building artificial-intelligence tools for the US military. Greg Sandoval/Business Insider According to an August 2 report in The Intercept, Google has experienced a change of heart about China and has built a search application that, if launched, would filter out websites and other data banned by the Chinese government. The news angered and saddened many Google employees, who thought Brin and other leaders had abandoned at least some of the company's stated ethical values.
Google has long been known as a hippie haven, a workplace whose leadership and employees largely possessed and encouraged left-leaning political views.
That reputation was shaken, however, when news leaked earlier this year that Google had agreed to allow the Pentagon to use its artificial intelligence technology to help analyze drone video footage. Some experts argued the technology could also improve the accuracy of drone missile strikes. Thousands of Google workers signed a petition demanding leaders put an end to the relationship and promise to never produce AI-enhanced weapons. At least a dozen people quit in protest.
The protesters appeared to triumph. Google's management released a set of governing principles for AI that included a promise never to build AI weapons and said the company would let its AI contract with the Pentagon expire.
The press leaks backfired this time The Googlers' success sparked similar protests by like-minded tech workers at Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce. It helped give many tech workers the feeling they have the power to influence the ways their companies approach ethical questions.
As they've pushed their companies on ethics, the workers have discoverd that press leaks can make for potent weapons. But at Google on Thursday, that weapon backfired, according to the sources.
The person or people who shared the information with The Times gave Pichai and Brin an excuse to stop discussing anything substantive about China at the meeting, said the sources, two of whom strongly oppose the building of a censored search engine by Google. What's more, the executives were made to look like victims of a breach of trust, the sources said.
All of the sources who talked to Business Insider agreed that the display of the reporters' tweets at the meeting stunned the audience and marked a turning point. All the momentum and sympathy swung in the direction of management. Some of the sources said they feared the leaks might have a chilling effect on the willingness of employees sympathetic to the protests to share information.
The leaker and The Times "overplayed their hand," one source said.
It was a "stupid mistake" to tweet during the meeting, another source said.
"It shocked Googlers, and it was so unnecessary," that person said. "Why didn't they just wait until after the meeting to publish a full story?"
Sun Tzu = OTG -> when the enemy is bigger than you, be invisible
The biggest lifeguard organization in the world, DLRG, warns that "a growing number of child drownings this summer are linked to their parents' obsession with mobile phones."Tells parents to put away their phones when their child is swimming.
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 20:21
The biggest lifeguard organization in the world, DLRG, warns that "a growing number of child drownings this summer are linked to their parents' obsession with mobile phones."Tells parents to put away their phones when their child is swimming.
8:40 AM - 16 Aug 2018
Haarlem Culinair introduceert rode stip voor mensen die niet op foto willen | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 12:19
"Vroeger kon je gewoon foto's publiceren", legt de organisator uit. "Maar nu ben je nog vijf weken bezig als je iedereen moet navragen of een foto of video op de website mag worden gezet."
Daarom is de rode stip ge¯ntroduceerd. Tijdens het vaste evenement van Haarlem Culinair, begin augustus, ging de regel voor het eerst in. "3 van de 70.000 bezoekers hebben er gebruik van gemaakt."
Zodra iemand met een rode stip op een foto of video staat, dan gebruikt de organisatie deze beelden niet. Ook kan iemand op een foto geblurd worden. Wie geen stip draagt, maar ontevreden is met een foto, kan altijd bellen. "Maar dan wordt het wel weer een moeilijk verhaal."
De rode stip geldt alleen voor foto's en video's die door de organisatie zelf worden gemaakt. Deze worden gebruikt op de website of de Facebook-pagina van Haarlem Culinair.
Volgende week staat de cateraar op Bubbles & Bites in Bloemendaal. Ook dan worden er rode stippen uitgedeeld.
Facebook flat-out 'lies' about how many people can see its ads '' lawsuit ' The Register
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 04:48
'Made-up PR numbers' used by social giant to exaggerate online advertising audience Facebook brags it has a massive real audience, estimated to be about 2.23bn monthly users and 1.47bn daily users after culling more than 1.27bn fake accounts.
However, the social networking giant's math is being challenged in a lawsuit that claims this reach is exaggerated, thereby defrauding advertisers. In other words, it is alleged not quite as many eyeballs are seeing Facebook's ads as its salespeople charge for.
In a complaint filed on Wednesday in a US district court in Oakland, California, plaintiffs Danielle Singer and her company Project Therapy, LLC claim the Potential Reach and Estimated Daily Reach figures that Facebook provides to advertisers are wildly inflated.
As an example, the complaint claims that Facebook's purported Potential Reach among 18-to-34-year-olds in each US state is greater the actual population of 18-to-34-year-olds in each of those states.
"Based on a combination of publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, among 18-34 years-olds in Chicago, for example, Facebook asserted its Potential Reach was approximately 4 times (400 per cent) higher than the number of real 18-34 year-olds with Facebook accounts in Chicago," the complaint states.
And in Kansas City, the complaint asserts, the number provided by Facebook was 200 per cent higher than the actual number of 18-to-54-year-olds with Facebook accounts in the area.
Inflated What's more, the court filing contends that former Facebook employees, described as confidential witnesses, have acknowledged that Facebook is fine with inflated numbers.
The complaint states, "a former Facebook employee who worked in the infrastructure/mapping team stated that those who were responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the Potential Reach at Facebook were indifferent to the actual numbers and in fact 'did not give a sh--.'"
Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist READ MORE This unidentified individual allegedly also said the "Potential Reach'' statistic is 'like a made-up PR number.'"
A second former Facebook employee is said to have observed that "Facebook does not care about the accuracy of information related to the number of users so long as advertising revenue is not negatively affected."
And a third is described as saying that Facebook isn't interested in keeping fake accounts out of its Potential Reach calculations.
The attorneys representing Singer and her biz, which supposedly spent over $14,000 on Facebook ads, are seeking class-action certification in order to represent other affected Facebook advertisers.
Facebook dismissed the allegations in an email to The Register. "This suit is without merit and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously," said Paul Grewal, VP and deputy general counsel at Facebook. ®
Exclusive: U.S. government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger - sources | Reuters
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 04:39
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc (FB.O ) to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect's voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance.
The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but the three people told Reuters that Facebook is contesting the U.S. Department of Justice's demand.
The judge in the Messenger case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Facebook and the Department of Justice declined to comment.
The Messenger issue arose in Fresno, California, as part of an investigation of the MS-13 gang, one of the people said.
U.S. President Donald Trump frequently uses the gang, which is active in the United States and Central America, as a symbol of lax U.S. immigration policy and a reason to attack so-called ''sanctuary'' laws preventing police from detaining people solely to enforce immigration law.
Trump called members of the gang ''animals'' this year when the Sheriff of Fresno County complained that California laws limited her co-operation with federal immigration enforcement targeting gang members.
The potential impact of the judge's coming ruling is unclear. If the government prevails in the Facebook Messenger case, it could make similar arguments to force companies to rewrite other popular encrypted services such as Signal and Facebook's billion-user WhatsApp, which include both voice and text functions, some legal experts said.
Law enforcement agencies forcing technology providers to rewrite software to capture and hand over data that is no longer encrypted would have major implications for the companies which see themselves as defenders of individual privacy while under pressure from police and lawmakers.
Similar issues came into play during a legal fight in 2016 between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple Inc (AAPL.O ) over access to an iPhone owned by a slain sympathizer of Islamic State in San Bernardino, California, who had murdered county employees.
Attendees walk past a Facebook Messenger logo during Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo WIRETAP OF VOICE CONVERSATIONS In the Apple case the company argued that the government could not compel it to create software to breach the phone without violating the company's First Amendment speech and expression rights. The government dropped the litigation after investigators got into the phone with a contractor's help.
Unlike the San Bernardino case, where the FBI wanted to crack one iPhone in its possession, prosecutors are seeking a wiretap of ongoing voice conversations by one person on Facebook Messenger.
Facebook is arguing in court that Messenger voice calls are encrypted end-to-end, meaning that only the two parties have access to the conversation, two of the people briefed on the case said.
Ordinary Facebook text messages, Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O ) Gmail, and other services are decrypted by the service providers during transit for targeted advertising or other reasons, making them available for court-ordered interception.
End-to-end encrypted communications, by contrast, go directly from one user to another user without revealing anything intelligible to providers.
Facebook says it can only comply with the government's request if it rewrites the code relied upon by all its users to remove encryption or else hacks the government's current target, according to the sources.
Legal experts differed about whether the government would likely be able to force Facebook to comply.
Stephen Larson, a former judge and federal prosecutor who represented San Bernardino victims, said the government must meet a high legal standard when seeking to obtain phone conversations, including showing there was no other way to obtain the evidence.
Still, the U.S. Constitution allows for reasonable searches, Larson said, and if those standards are met, then companies should not be able to stand in the way.
A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. ruled in 2006 that the law forcing telephone companies to enable police eavesdropping also applies to some large providers of Voice over Internet Protocol, including cable and other broadband carriers servicing homes. VoIP enables voice calls online rather than by traditional circuit transmission.
However, in cases of chat, gaming, or other internet services that are not tightly integrated with existing phone infrastructure, such as Google Hangouts, Signal and Facebook Messenger, federal regulators have not attempted to extend the eavesdropping law to cover them, said Al Gidari, a director of privacy at Stanford University Law School's Center for Internet and Society.
''A messaging platform is excluded,'' maintains Gidari, who is not involved in the Fresno case.
Reporting by Dan Levine and Joseph Menn in San Francisco; editing by Greg Mitchell and Grant McCool
Are you familiar with ASMR? My god Omarosa could have a career as
an ASMR video star. I'm wondering if anyone else listened to the clip on
Thursday's show and felt the same way.
Oh Elon!
Tesla whistleblower alleges 'narcotics trafficking' and 'unauthorized wiretapping' in SEC complaint
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 02:08
What in the fresh hell is going on at Tesla?
About 20 miles due west of Reno sits the monumental Tesla Gigafactory. Construction started on the now almost 5-million-square-foot building in 2014, with the goal of creating, on a massive scale, the batteries needed to power the company's electric cars. But if a newly released summary of a SEC complaint is to be believed, that's not all that's going on inside those walls.
SEE ALSO: Sure looks like the SEC is investigating Elon Musk's 'funding secured' tweet
The document, sent to Mashable by the law firm Meissner Associates, contains allegations made by a former Gigafactor employee that run the gauntlet from "unauthorized wiretapping and hacking," to possible "narcotics trafficking," with a little $37 million copper theft thrown in for good measure.
It's pretty wild.
The employee in question is Karl Hansen, whom Meissner Associates is representing and says used to work in Tesla's "internal security department and its investigations division." Hansen reportedly filed a complaint with the SEC about what he allegedly witnessed while working at Tesla, and his law firm was kind enough to sum it up for us.
Here are just a few of the doozies:
[Tesla] failed to disclose thefts of copper and other raw materials from Tesla's Gigafactory valued at over $37 million dollars which occurred between January and June 2018.[Tesla] failed to disclose Tesla's unauthorized wiretapping and hacking of Tesla employee cell phones and computers, including the hacking and wiretapping of its former employee Martin Tripp (also represented by Meissner Associates)[Tesla] Failed to disclose a recent internal investigation by Tesla into a May 24th 2018 written notification it received from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration/Storey County Sheriff's Office Task Force (''DEA'') alleging that a Tesla employee may be a participant in a narcotics trafficking ring involving the sale of significant quantities of cocaine and possibly crystal methamphetamine at the Gigafactory on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel from Sonora Mexico.We reached out to Tesla for comment about these, frankly, buck-wild claims, but received no response as of press time.
If there is any truth to them '-- something we do not know at this time '-- then Tesla CEO Elon Musk is going to have a lot more to worry about than just staying off Twitter.
UPDATE: Aug. 16, 2018, 4:31 p.m. PDT: A Tesla spokesperson provided Mashable with the following statement:
Mr. Hansen's allegations were taken very seriously when he brought them forward. Some of his claims are outright false. Others could not be corroborated, so we suggested additional investigative steps to try and validate the information he had received second-hand from a single anonymous source. Because we wanted to be sure we got this right, we made numerous attempts to engage further with Mr. Hansen to understand more about what he was claiming and the work that he did in reaching his conclusions. He rejected each of those attempts, and to date has refused to speak with the company further. It seems strange that Mr. Hansen would claim that he is concerned about something happening within the company, but then refuse to engage with the company to discuss the information that he believes he has.
Trump's Black Ex-Girlfriend Doesn't Think He's Racist | News One
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 15:25
Y es, President Donald Trump, who gave legitimacy to White supremacist groups, dated a Black woman.
Kara Young, who is biracial, was Trump's girlfriend for two years in the 90s. She's surprised that her ex-boyfriend is up to his neck in racial controversy. ''I never heard him say a disparaging comment towards any race of people,'' she told the New York Times.
Trump noticed Young, a model about 20 years younger than him, at a party in the Hamptons. He pursued her, and they began dating around 1997.
Young, who has a Black mother and a White father, told the newspaper that she never hid her race from him.
She's ''horrified'' by his comments on the violence in Charlottesville, in which Trump asserted a moral equivalence between White supremacists and anti-racism counterprotesters.
That's not the Donald Trump that Young knew. She emphasized, ''That was not my experience.''
While Trump didn't have close friendships with African Americans, Young said he courted Black celebrities, which to her indicates that he is open-minded.
''It's definitely easier to be with your own kind. It's easier for everybody, so if someone is super, super special and super, super interesting you can take them out,'' she told the newspaper. ''I think it was very interesting to him to meet and hang out with Russell Simmons and meet Sean Combs.''
At the same time, Young admitted that her ex-boyfriend knew little about other cultures and leaned toward stereotypes.
She recalled his surprise that Black people would flocked to the U.S. Open tennis tournament to watch the Williams sisters play. He had no clue that African Americans were interested in the sport.
SOURCE: New York Times
Trump Victory Sparks Anti-Racism Rally At US Embassy In London
Don King Drops N-Word At Trump Church Appearance, Riling Some Social Media Users
Yale and Brown students prefer finger-snapping over applause | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 15:21
A form of showing appreciation or approval that is generally reserved for poetry readings and jazz clubs may be coming to a college campus near you - if it's not there already.
As was evident in a video of Yale students confronting a university official about his stance on offensive Halloween costumes, some students would rather snap their fingers than clap their hands.
The practice of 'snapplause' - defined by Urban Dictionary as 'when an audience snaps rather than claps to applaud a performance or person' - is not new, but it might be becoming more prevalent.
Scroll down for video
As was seen in a video of Yale students confronting a university official (in blue) about his stance on offensive Halloween costumes, some students would rather snap their fingers (circled) than clap their hands
Snapping is preferred by some because regular clapping can be 'triggering', FOX News reported.
Amherst College Professor Ilan Stavans began studying the trend after he noticed groups of high-school and college students engaging in finger-snapping.
In a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, he wrote: 'I've made an effort to study the finger-snapping behavior, and I've reached an early conclusion:
'Finger-snapping is done delicately, respectfully, democratically, always in the middle of an event, whereas hand-clapping, which is by definition louder and more disruptive, is invariably reserved for the end.
Snapping could be coming to campus near you
'Also, finger-snapping, when done this way, always lasts, in totto, only a few seconds and is generally repeated three times in a row.'
Professor Stavans noted that similar forms of alternative communication were used by the Occupy Wall Street movement, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France and in Tahrir Square in Egypt.
In a 2013 piece called 'Snap out of it' that she wrote for the Brown Daily Herald, Brown student Cara Dorris described her feelings after hearing snapping in discussion-based classes at the university.
She wrote: 'It turns discussions into performances and discussants into competitors, with each person not trying to contribute to the conversation but trying to rouse the most snaps.
'Discussion then becomes not a dialogue that builds off itself but a series of monologues, each one trying to outshine the next.
'Snapping encourages us to say things that please others, not to say things that are innovative or unique, not to say things that push the boundaries or even make sense.'
The issue even had some Reddit users saying 'Oh snap' when the topic was brought up in a forum.
While it was first posed that the Yale students in the video were snapping because 'clapping is offensive to people with one hand', many respondents disagreed with that explanation.
One Reddit user wrote: 'A lot of times it's used to agree with a point or remark someone just said (or a line in a performance) without actually causing that person to stop and wait for the applause to be over.
'It's quieter. Some sororities and frats do it, too.'
Cardinal Burke: 'Very Grave Problem of Homosexual Culture in the Church'
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 16:31
Cardinal Raymond Burke has called for ''open recognition'' of the Catholic church's homosexual culture in light of recent revelations of sexual abuse.''I believe that there needs to be an open recognition that we have a very grave problem of a homosexual culture in the Church,'' Burke said in an interview Thursday, ''especially among the clergy and the hierarchy, that needs to be addressed honestly and efficaciously.''
The former head of the church's equivalent of the Supreme Court said it was already ''clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men.''
''There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this,'' he said, referring to the mainstream media cover-up of the homosexual nature of the abuse as well as such denial within the church itself.
''Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root,'' Burke said.
The cardinal's analysis of the situation coincides with another report, also released on Thursday, by the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue.
In his report, Mr. Donohue, who is a trained sociologist, decried the ongoing ''media cover-up of the role played by gay molesters'' in the church.
Referring to the 2004 John Jay study on the sexual abuse crisis in the United States, Donohue notes that ''81 percent of the victims were male, 78 percent of whom were postpubescent.'' Since all of the abusers were male and most of the victims were postpubescent males, ''that is a problem called homosexuality,'' Donohue stated.
Despite the media's insistence on referring to a pedophilia crisis, the report revealed that ''less than five percent'' of the cases involved pedophilia, Donohue said, and studies done in subsequent years report approximately the same ratio.
''It's been a homosexual scandal all along,'' he said.
''No amount of compassion for those who have been violated by priests should ever be done at the expense of telling the truth, no matter how unpopular it may sound. To do otherwise is cowardly, shameful, and unjust,'' he said.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome
ESPN Won't Show National Anthem Before Monday Night Football Games - The New York Times
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 11:01
ESPN will not show the national anthem before its ''Monday Night Football'' games this season. Credit Charles Krupa/Associated Press ESPN said on Friday that it would not show the national anthem before the ''Monday Night Football'' games it broadcasts this season, even as the debate over player protests continues.
Though the N.F.L. has been criticized by President Trump, sponsors and fans for not penalizing players who kneel during the anthem, Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN's president, told reporters the league did not pressure the network. Pitaro said the N.F.L. was informed of the decision as a courtesy.
This was consistent with how ESPN handled similar situations in prior years, he said.
The anthem has become a flashpoint in the two seasons since the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling to shine a light on police brutality and other forms of social injustice. The issue triggered a national debate, with some fans and the president accusing the players of being unpatriotic.
Stung by the criticism, the league in May changed its policy, making it mandatory for players to stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room, or face potential penalties from their teams. Previously, it was only suggested that players stand for the anthem.
The new policy triggered yet another backlash, with some players saying they would continue to protest, and some owners, most notably Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, saying their players had to stand. In the uproar, the N.F.L. decided to freeze its new policy and seek ways to modify it in negotiations with the N.F.L. Players Association, which had filed a grievance against the league for ''unilaterally changing its policy.''
In the past, most networks typically went to commercial while the anthem was being played. But in the past two seasons, they have at times showed the anthem because it was newsworthy.
CBS and NBC, which also broadcast N.F.L. games, have not responded to requests for comment.
Fox, which recently acquired the rights to show games on Thursday nights, as well as on Sundays, has shown the anthem before games in London and during the playoffs. At other games on Sundays, the anthem has not been shown live. Instead, the network has kept its cameras rolling so that if something notable occurred, it could be shown after the commercial break.
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Google brings native hearing aid support to Android
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 21:25
GE Hearing is the first manufacturer to use the Bluetooth low energy spec.
Accessibility is a critical consideration for manufacturers when they're building devices. Around 466 million people have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization, and that number is projected to grow to 900 million by 2050. Finding ways to help people who contend with hearing loss to get the most out of their devices is an important challenge for tech companies now and in the decades ahead.
With that in mind, Google has released an open specification to stream audio directly from Android phones to hearing aids. The company hopes to help manufacturers add native support for the phones using its Bluetooth low energy spec, which is called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (Asha).
Google worked with GN Hearing to develop Asha, which is said to offer low-latency, high-quality audio with minimal impact on battery life. GN is the first manufacturer to use the spec, and it will be available to users of the ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids following a future Android update. Users will be able to monitor their hearing aids using their phones, and call friends as well as listen to music or other audio.
Durwood Zaelke - IGSD
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:10
Durwood Zaelke is founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, DC and Geneva; Director of the Secretariat for the International Network for Environmental Compliance & Enforcement (INECE) in Washington, DC and Geneva; and the co-Director and co-founder (with Dr. Oran Young and Matthew Stilwell) of the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Previously, Mr. Zaelke was co-founder and President (1989-2003) of the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, DC and Geneva; co-founder and board member (1989-2004) of the Foundation for International Environmental Law & Development in London (formerly CIEL-UK); founder and director (1990-2004) of the International & Comparative Environmental Law Program at the American University law school; founder and director (1988-89) of the International Program at Earth Justice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund); director of the Alaska and DC office of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (1980-89); and co-founder of the Policy, Legislation & Special Litigation Section, and founder of the Energy Conservation Section (disbanded by a subsequent administration), both in the Environmental Division of the Justice Department (1978-80).
Mr. Zaelke currently teaches at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and American University law school. He also has taught at Yale Law School, Duke Law School's Brussels's program, and Johns Hopkins.
He is the author of the leading law school textbook on International Environmental Law & Policy (Foundation Press 4th ed. 2011) (with Hunter & Salzman), as well as a recent paper with Nobel Laureate, Dr. Mario Molina as part a Special Feature on climate tipping points, Molina, M., Zaelke, D., Sarma, K. M., Andersen, S. O., Ramanathan, V., and Kaniaru, D., Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US) (2009). In 2005 Mr. Zaelke edited Making Law Work: Environmental Compliance & Sustainable Development (Cameron May London 2005) (with Kaniaru & Kru­kov), a two-volume analysis of the best literature on compliance and enforcement. In 2003 he joined Dr. Steven O. Andersen to write Industry Genius: Inventions and People Protecting the Climate and Fragile Ozone Layer (Greenleaf UK, 2003). Other books include Van Dyke, Zaelke & Hewison, eds., Freedom for the Seas: A New Look at Ocean Governance (Island Press 1993), co-winner of the Smithsonian's 1994 Sprout Award for best book on international environmental affairs; and Zaelke, Housman & Orbach, eds., Trade and the Environment: Law, Economics, and Policy (Island Press 1995), winner of a special prize at the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
He is a graduate of Duke Law School (1972), where he was an Editor of the Duke Law Journal, and UCLA (1969), and a member of the bar in California, Washington, DC, and Alaska. Mr. Zaelke received both an Ozone Protection Award and a Climate Protection Award in 2008 for his contribution to the successful effort to maximize the climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol.
Mr. Zaelke currently directs IGSD's efforts on fast-action climate mitigation strategies including: reducing short-lived climate forcers (black carbon, ground-level ozone, and methane); expanding biosequestration through the use of biochar; increasing urban albedo; and further strengthening the Montreal Protocol to protect the climate by phasing out production and consumption of HFCs with high global warming potential.
Funding | EWG
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:07
Our work would not be possible without generous support from key friends and supporters. EWG receives financial and in-kind support from private foundations, individuals, online donors and socially responsible companies that offer a wide range of products and services, including organic food, personal care products and financial services. EWG is a proud affiliate partner of Amazon's charitable giving program. Foundations that support our work include the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Turner Foundation and others. Our corporate partners for general support and events include but are not limited to: Organic Valley, Stonyfield Farms, Earthbound Farms, Applegate, Klean Kanteen, Dr. Bronner Soaps, Beauty Counter, Juice Beauty and Brown Advisory.
Last year, EWG and Organic Voices Action Fund (OVAF) announced a collaboration to highlight the benefits of organic food and advance the fight for labeling food that contains genetically engineered ingredients. OVAF, a nonprofit (c)(4) organization, supports EWG through a shared services agreement. It is funded by more than 20 companies, including Stonyfield, Earthbound Farm, Organic Valley, Nature's Path and Annie's.
Click here for our annual reports.
About Our Foundation SupportersThe majority of EWG's funding comes from private charitable foundations, whose grants vary in size and are usually one- or two-year commitments. Here is a partial list of EWG funders:
11th Hour ProjectCivil Society InstituteJacob and Hilda Blaustein FundWilliam and Flora Hewlett FoundationThe McKnight FoundationPopplestone FoundationPark FoundationThe David and Lucile Packard FoundationBarbra Streisand FoundationTurner FoundationWallace Genetic FoundationThe Walton Family FoundationWinslow FoundationWhere Your Donations Go:
To learn about ways you can support EWG's work, click here.
Rather send a check? Make it payable to EWG and mail to: 1436 U Street NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20009-3987. These donations are tax deductible.Do you know about EWG's lobbying arm '' the EWG Action Fund?The EWG Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that relies on individuals, corporations and associations to fund our advocacy for policies that protect people from toxic chemicals and that shift government subsidies toward conservation. Please support the EWG Action Fund with a contribution that allows us to advocate on Capitol Hill.
Contribute to the EWG Action Fund
About Us | EWG
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:05
The Environmental Working Group's mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.
We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.
We work for you. Do you know what's in your tap water? What about your shampoo? What's lurking in the cleaners underneath your sink? What pesticides are on your food? How about the farms, fracking wells and factories in your local area? Do you know what safeguards they use to protect your water, soil, air and your kids? Which large agribusinesses get your tax dollars and why? What are GMOs? What do they do to our land and water?
More than two decades ago EWG set out to answer these questions, and more, and to empower you to get to know your environment and protect your health.
EWG's groundbreaking research has changed the debate over environmental health. From households to Capitol Hill, EWG's team of scientists, policy experts, lawyers, communication experts and programmers has worked tirelessly to make sure someone is standing up for public health when government and industry won't. Through our reports, online databases, mobile apps and communications campaigns, EWG is educating and empowering consumers to make safer and more informed decisions about the products they buy and the companies they support. In response to consumer pressure, companies are giving up potentially dangerous chemical ingredients in their products and improving their practices.
EWG's New LogoThe story of EWGJoin EWG
You Don't Need to Worry About Roundup in Your Breakfast Cereal
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:05
No one wants a breakfast that is contaminated with weed killer. And in particular, no one wants to give their children a breakfast that is contaminated with weed killer. That's why a new report suggesting that popular breakfast products like cereal, granola, and oatmeal contain ''unsafe'' amounts of ''the Roundup chemical'' (glyphosate) are garnering attention from both news outlets and worried parents alike. ''The Roundup Chemical Found Responsible for Cancer Might Also Be in Your Oatmeal,'' warns Mother Jones. ''Report: Oatmeal, Breakfast Foods Contain Unsafe Amounts of Weed Killer,'' worries the Detroit Free Press.
The stories all stem from the same report released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group, titled ''Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup?'' The report'--which was simply published to the internet, rather than in a scientific journal or after peer review'--makes some rather outlandish claims about toxicity, glyphosate, cancer, and breakfast. Read without context, it would understandably worry any human who likes carbs in the morning, but when you drill down into the evidence, there is really no reason for alarm.
The problem, as is always the case when considering toxicity, is dosage. Any substance's potential to cause harm is directly related to how much of said substance you consume; at a high enough dosage, anything can be harmful, and at a low enough dosage, even ''harmful'' things can be consumed without causing harm. This is why regulatory bodies assess the threshold at which potentially harmful chemicals actually become dangerous and then set regulations for those thresholds.
The Environmental Protection Agency has done this for glyphosate, the chemical in the Monsanto weed killer Roundup that is at the center of the Environmental Working Group's report. The EPA threshold, which was set in 1993 (so no Trumpian interference to worry about), is 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (140 milligrams per day for the average adult). That's the reference dose that's considered safe to consume daily throughout a lifetime. None of the foods tested by EWG passes that threshold'--they don't even come close.
EWG, on the other hand, argues that the acceptable threshold is actually 0.01 milligram per day, total. That's an extreme difference. So why did EWG lower the threshold so dramatically? The explanation is published, once again, on the EWG website. The organization arrived at its number by taking the state of California's recommendation for a glyphosate threshold, already less than one-hundredth of the EPA threshold, and dividing it by 100 again. EWG justifies this second cut by relying on the Food Quality Protection Act, which suggests that an additional tenfold margin should be applied to pesticides to account for the increased risk to children and infants. (The Food Quality Protection Act doesn't mention glyphosate once, and it's not clear its recommendation is meant to apply to the EPA standard for the chemical, which is set to factor in body weight.) Even if you apply that extra tenfold factor to the EPA threshold, all the foods tested would still be safe.
Basically, the EWG threshold has to be set at one ten-thousandth of what the EPA has deemed to be safe for the trace amounts of glyphosate to register. Your mileage may vary, but I trust the math of the government agency over the advocacy group that made these hilariously incorrect charts.
Let's talk about what that means in terms of how much cereal you actually eat. The EWG threshold of 0.01 milligram per day translates to a maximum of 160 parts per billion, given an assumed serving size of 60 grams, which is about 2 cups of cereal or ¾ cup of oatmeal. The parts per billion detected per food sample tested by EWG range from 10 to 1,300. So, yes, some of them cross the EWG threshold. None crosses California's threshold, and none crosses the EPA threshold. In order to cross California's very conservative threshold, you'd need to eat 7½ cups of the worst kind of oatmeal a day. In order to cross the EPA threshold, you'd need to eat 100 times that. You or your child would more likely get sick from simply eating hundreds of cups of cereal a day before you'd get sick from glyphosate.
Again, it's understandable that, at first blush, the EWG report sounds alarming. No one wants to inadvertently feed themselves or their kids something that might be harmful. But the organization's messaging feeds off chemophobia. An EWG press release on the matter includes the line, ''Simply stated, there is far too much glyphosate in their [General Mills' and Quaker's] products for parents to feel comfortable feeding them to their kids,'' which is frankly manipulative. It also contains the gem, ''Just because a pesticide level is legal in food doesn't mean that level is safe,'' without offering any real science suggesting that the levels offered by the EPA or California have been proven to be unsafe. (This isn't the first time EWG has made outlandish claims about food safety; its annual ''dirty dozen'' list of fruits and vegetables has also been subject to warranted scrutiny.)
That brings us to the final wrinkle in all of this, which is that years of research increasingly suggests that glyphosate may not pose the cancer risk to humans that we originally thought. Guy-Andr(C) Pelouze explored the evolving research and understanding of glyphosate's risk to humans in Slate in January. In addition to the EPA assessment that the chemical is ''probably not carcinogenic,'' he wrote:
Last year, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization presented a joint review report on pesticide residue in indirectly exposed persons, including farming and production workers' families, as well as consumers. The report did not find any evidence of increased risk of cancer from glyphosate exposure. Instead, after having examined the epidemiological evidence of occupational exposures, the report concluded, ''Glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans by food intake.''
The European Food Safety Administration also performed human-exposure studies as part of its assessment of glyphosate. Published in October 2015, their assessment found that the observed risk of cancer in humans induced by glyphosate was very low and the causal links virtually nonexistent.
Pelouze's story goes deep on the research and its history. He writes eloquently about how difficult it is for people to accept uncertainty when it comes to health, despite the fact that some level of uncertainty is part of any risk assessment. It's worth reading in full.
At any rate, the evolving science doesn't mean we should pour glyphosate on our pancakes. But it certainly suggests that the EPA level is a reasonable precautionary level to stick with. So as long as you're keeping your cereal intake below hundreds of cups per day, you're perfectly fine.
Bitcoin is Seeing More Transaction Volume Than Gold - Bitcoinist.com
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:24
Despite the sluggish price, the world's most popular cryptocurrency has been settling more transaction volume than gold since Q2 2017.
Bitcoin Showing More Utility Than GoldBitcoin 0 0 is on track to clear more transaction volume than the global gold markets.
Bitcoin has been clearing more tx volume than global gold markets since early 2017.
BTC: on pace to process $1.1 trillion in 2018 transactionsGold: on pace to process $0.4 trillion in 2018 transactions
Sources: https://t.co/eVqQiq56gv for BTChttps://t.co/zqh4eykqNb for Gold pic.twitter.com/oc5piRvrXE
'-- Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) August 15, 2018
Interestingly enough, though, this is not a one-off event '' it has been happening consistently since the second quarter of 2017 after the world's first cryptocurrency hit 'parity' with the price of an ounce of gold in spring of last year.
It's also worth noting that despite the serious hit Bitcoin took in 2018, it's still outperforming the precious metal by a factor of two.
In less than a decade, Bitcoin is already showing it has more utility in the digital age than the precious metal that has been the de facto store of value for thousands of years.
Commonly ComparedThis is far from being the first time when gold has been compared to the world's largest cryptocurrency. John Pfeffer, serial entrepreneur and partner at Pfeffer Capital, said earlier this year that Bitcoin is the first viable replacement for gold.
The famous Winklevoss twins also made a strong statement in late 2017, saying:
Taking bitcoin in isolation'... we believe bitcoin disrupts gold. We think it's a better gold, if you look at the properties of money. And what makes gold gold? Scarcity. Bitcoin is actually fixed in supply so it's better than scarce'... it's more portable, its fungible, it's more durable. It sort of equals a better gold across the board.
The director of VanEck/MVIS also spoke highly of the cryptocurrency compared to gold, noting that:
Gold today has around $7 trillion outstanding. If you take, say, 5 to 10 percent '-- I'll let everyone do the math '-- bitcoin has upside.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing this, all the top 20 cryptocurrencies but Ethereum Classic are trading in the green, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin (BTC) 0 0 is recovering slightly after plunging under $6,000 earlier in the week.
Is Bitcoin quickly supplanting the precious metal in the digital age? Share below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
Surprise Gift: Free Tuition for All N.Y.U. Medical Students - The New York Times
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:23
New York University's School of Medicine announced on Thursday that it would cover tuition for all its current and future students. ''This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians,'' the dean of the school said. Credit Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times The New York University School of Medicine announced on Thursday that it would cover the tuition of all its students, regardless of merit or need, citing concerns about the ''overwhelming financial debt'' facing graduates.
N.Y.U.'s initiative comes at a time when affordability has become an increasingly urgent issue in higher education, with some graduates struggling with thousands of dollars in debt.
To date, much of the effort has centered on helping undergraduates cover the balance of their tuition bills, including at community colleges in Tennessee, and two- and four-year schools in New York under the new Excelsior Scholarship.
In the field of medicine, schools have become worried that students saddled with steep debt are increasingly pursuing top-paying specialties rather than careers in family medicine, pediatrics and research. So it was big news in December when Columbia announced a $250 million gift from Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, an alumnus who is a former chairman of Merck & Co., and his wife, Diana, that would offer students with the greatest financial need full-tuition scholarships, and other students grants, rather than loans.
But N.Y.U.'s plan, which was announced Thursday morning in an unexpected ending to the annual ''White Coat Ceremony'' for new students and their families, goes beyond that, and may spur other top medical schools to follow suit. In a statement, N.Y.U. said that it would be the only top-ranked medical school in the nation to offer full-tuition scholarships to all students.
The plan, effective immediately, covers all current and future students. Annual tuition is roughly $55,000. There are 93 first-year students, and another 350 students who have up to three years left before obtaining their degrees. (A small group of new and current students who are enrolled in joint M.D./Ph.D. programs already have their tuitions paid for, thanks to the National Institutes of Health.)
The plan does not cover room and board or fees, which together are an additional $27,000, on average.
About 62 percent of N.Y.U.'s School of Medicine graduates leave with some debt; the average debt incurred by members of the class of 2017 was $184,000.
''This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians,'' said Robert I. Grossman, dean of the medical school and chief executive officer of N.Y.U. Langone Health.
N.Y.U. said that it had raised more than $450 million of the $600 million that it anticipates will be necessary to finance the tuition plan. About $100 million of that has been contributed by Kenneth G. Langone, the founder of Home Depot, and his wife, Elaine, for whom the medical school is named.
To date, only a handful of institutions have tried to make medical education tuition-free, according to Julie Fresne, senior director of student financial services of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a nonprofit organization that represents medical schools.
At UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, a $100 million fund announced several years ago pays for the entire cost of medical school for all four years, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for roughly 20 percent of its students. But that program is based on merit, not need.
Meanwhile, a small medical school affiliated with Case Western Reserve University at the Cleveland Clinic covers the tuition and fees for its five-year program focusing on research.
Most of the roughly 20,000 students per year enrolled in American medical schools take out sizable federal loans to support their studies. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2017, the median debt for graduating medical students was $192,000. The median cost of medical school attendance, including living expenses, was $60,945 a year for public medical school and $82,278 for private medical school.
Follow David W. Chen on Twitter: @davidwchen
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Nathan Rothschild | THE MARK THEORY
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 16:12
In the 18th century, although Marx's family changed their religion to Christianity, he still pushed his satanic ideals during his college years. In a poem entitled ''Pale Maiden'', he wrote that ''Thus heaven I've forfeited, I know it full well. My soul, once true to God, Is chosen for hell'' (Richard Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan, 1986, p. 27). As time went by, young Marx became a Mason.
Moreover, the German Philosopher Friedrich Engels, a member of the revolutionary group MAFIA became Karl Marx's mentor. In the year 1848, a draft made by Engels became a basis to Marx's published document, ''Communist Manifesto'' for the Communist League in London. Furthermore, the group's origins can be traced to the Jacobin Club and the Illuminati in this we can see that the ABCs of communism are similar to those of the latter.
Apparently, when Marx was seeking for financial support, Nathan Rothschild gave him thousands of pounds in order to take Socialism into action through the Hegelian Dialectic. With his rising monetary reserve, Marx wrote ''Das Kapital'' in 1867, which became the codex of the common laborers. In this his goal was to defeat the rise of the bourgeoisie, a class concerned only with property and their riches. On contrary, the author did not put into practice what he wrote; for in 1864 Marx announced in a private letter to his uncle that he was able to raise 400 pounds on the Stock Exchange.
On one hand, Nikolai Lenin (1870-1924) continued the works of Marx. Furthermore, he honored Mikhail Bakunin, who authored a book, which featured Satan, who renounced the authority of God and became an insurrectionary, agnostic and the ''deliverer of humanity''. Due to his profound interest, Lenin became a Mason during his college days.
World history revealed that Christopher Columbus discovered the United States. On contrary, the Vikings were able to set foot in Uncle Sam 500 years before Columbus' expedition. Apparently, while Columbus sailed to the west he was able to envision the New World Order, because his kindred and benefactors were well-connected with Rosicrucianism . This alliance was seen in the sails of his ships, where it was decorated with the logo of the Knights Templar. Moreover, in 1944 a freemasonic seasoned writer, Manly P. Hall, authored a book entitled, ''The Secret Destiny of America''. This revealed that early in history, people knew what will happen in our present world.
Interconnected events were unleashed, prior to Columbus' time until the present day, that America has always been a perfect country to harness the New World Order blue print. In 1785, the European Illuminati saw a positive result of the American Revolution and through it formed the Columbian Lodge of the Order of the Illuminati in New York City. This is where the assemblage made clandestine plans to make new scripts of armed conflict, resembling France.
Seemingly, numerous American founders believed that mental analysis and investigation of the world is adequate to decide God's existence. However, they
reject God as an authority figure and as a fundamental aspect of divine knowledge.
Furthermore, the Land of the Free's founders was involved in Gnosticism in mild to severe levels. First of which was George Washington, who laid out the street design of Washington D.C., patterned to the Masonic concept. Second, Thomas Jefferson, rejected the Holy Bible and wrote his own New Testament, wherein he edited and removed vital pages such as the book of Revelation. Third, Benjamin Franklin, rejected Traditional Christianity and was an affiliate of London's Hellfire Club.
In 1791, Alexander Hamilton, Chief of staff to Washington, deep-rooted the first-ever financial system in the United States with over $10 million dollars on a 20 year treaty, which is in contrast to America's constitution, wherein he was a major catalyst. Moreover, when the treaty expired, Nathan Rothschild was disclosed as the primary leader and announced that USA must apply for a renewal or else they will find themselves in a war. Additionally, Rothschild was able to gain his interests , because war broke out between the US and Britain , which led to the chartering of the mentioned private bank. It was a forced decision since Uncle Sam's debts totaled to $127 million dollars.
On one hand, Andrew Jackson postponed the bank's operations in 1832 and gave out $35 million dollars excess financial reserves.
The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 16:05
The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto 1848 by Karl Heinrich Marx How "Marxist" Has the United States Become?
Although Marx advocated the use of any means, especially includingviolent revolution, to bring about socialist dictatorship, he suggestedten political goals for developed countries such as the United States. How far has the United States -- traditionally the bastion of freedom,free markets, and private property -- gone down the Marxist road to fulfillthese socialist aims? You be the judge. The following are Marx'sten planks from his Communist Manifesto.1.Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of landto public purpose.
The courts haveinterpreted the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868) to givethe government far more "eminent domain" power than was originally intended,Under the rubric of "eminent domain" and various zoning regulations, landuse regulations by the Bureau of Land Managementproperty taxes, and "environmental"excuses, private property rights have become very diluted and private propertyin landis, vehicles, and other forms are seized almost every day in thiscountry under the "forfeiture" provisions of the RICO statutes and theso-called War on Drugs.. 2. A heavy progressiveor graduated income tax.
The 16th Amendmentof the U.S. Constitution, 1913 (which some scholars maintain was neverproperly ratified), and various State income taxes, established this majorMarxist coup in the United States many decades ago. These taxes continueto drain the lifeblood out of the American economy and greatly reduce theaccumulation of desperately needed capital for future growth, businessstarts, job creation, and salary increases. 3.Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Another Marxianattack on private property rights is in the form of Federal &State estate taxes and other inheritance taxes, which have abolished orat least greatly diluted the right of private property owners to determinethe disposition and distribution of their estates upon their death. Instead, government bureaucrats get their greedy hands involved . 4.Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
We call it governmentseizures, tax liens, "forfeiture" Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executiveorder 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Departmentof Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speakout or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or theIRS confiscation of property without due process. 5.Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a nationalbank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
The Federal Reserve System, createdby the Federal Reserve Act of Congress in 1913, is indeed such a "nationalbank" and it politically manipulates interest rates and holds a monopolyon legal counterfeiting in the United States. This is exactlywhat Marx had in mind and completely fulfills this plank, another majorsocialist objective. Yet, most Americans naively believe theU.S. of A. is far from a Marxist or socialist nation. 6.Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in thehands of the state.
In the U.S., communicationand transportation are controlled and regulated by the Federal CommunicationsCommission (FCC) established by the Communications Act of 1934 and theDepartment of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (establishedby Congress in 1887), and the Federal Aviation Administration as well asExecutive orders 11490, 10999 -- not to mention various state bureaucraciesand regulations. There is also the federal postal monopoly, AMTRAK andCONRAIL -- outright socialist (government-owned) enterprises. Instead of free-market private enteprrise in these important industries,these fields in America are semi-cartelized through the government's regulatory-industiralcomplex. 7.Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state;the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of thesoil generally in accordance with a common plan.
While the U.S.does not have vast "collective farms" (which failed so miserably in theSoviet Union), we nevertheless do have a significant degree of governmentinvolvement in agriculture in the form of price support subsidies and acreagealotments and land-use controls. The Desert Entry Act and TheDepartment of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor,Department of Interior, the Evironmental Protection Agency, Bureau of LandManagement, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service,and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations. 8.Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies,especially for agriculture.
We call it theSocial Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The Nationaldebt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need fora two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19thamendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assortedSocialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Programand of course Executive order 11000. And I almost forgot...The Equal RightsAmendment means that women should do all work that men do including themilitary and since passage it would make women subject to the draft. 9.Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolitionof the distinction between town and country by a more equable distributionof the population over the country.
We call it the Planning ReorganizationAct of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, aswell as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. 10.Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children'sfactory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrialproduction, etc. etc.
People are beingtaxed to support what we call 'public' schools, which train the young towork for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education,the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" . So, is the U.S. a "free country" today? Hardly! Not comparedto what it once was. Yet, very few Americans today challenge theseMarxist institutions, and there are virtually no politicians calling fortheir repeal or even gradual phase-out. While the UnitedStates of America may still have more freedoms than most other countries,we have nonetheless lost many crucial liberties and have accepted the majorsocialist attacks on freedom and private property as normal parts of ourway of life. The nation, whose founders included such individualistsas Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, John Adams and PatrickHenry, has gradually turned away from the principles of individual rights,limited constitutional government, private property, and free markets andinstead we increasingly have embraced the failed ideas and nostrums ofsocialism and fascism. We should hang our heads in shame for havingallowed this to happen.But, it is not too late to reverse these pernicious burdens and insteadenact pro-freedom reforms to put our nation back on track again. It canbe done.In some ways the Left has a head start over us on the pro-freedom Right. The enemies of American freedom do admittedly dominate the entertainmentindustry, television news media, and academia -- but we have the tremendousstrategic advantage that reality (including man's nature) is on our side;so, unlike the socialists and "liberals" (welfare-state fascists), we arenot in the position of having to advocate a system which constantly triesto "make water to go uphill" -- or force human beings into a rigid utopianstaitjacket based on the whims of some clique of central planning bureaucrats. We know that individual freedom for peaceful people within a constitutionalrepublic works in practice; our country's history demonstrates that. The piecemeal abandonment of those principles and institutions which oncemade America great has proved to be a a dead-end road to failure. That is why I tend to be a long-term optimist even though things oftenlook pretty glum in the meantime. Just as Prohibition was eventuallyrepealed, I feel encouraged that such key statist achievements as the incometax, government schools, fiat money/central banking (the Federal Reserve),"environmentalist" regulations, property forfeiture laws, and other Marxistplanks and leftist institutions can be rolled back and repealed altogether,although it may take several decades.Those who would carry forward the ideas and principles of self-ownership,private property, free markets, laissez faire, the rule of law, and constitutionalismwhich informed America's founders must become more active on the key ideologicalbattle fronts. We need more influence not just in politics, but inareas of entertainment, academia, journalism, think tanks, churches (weneed our own individualist Walter Rauschenbushes), literature, art, andother venues of expression and activism.Marxism and socialism have proved to be colossal failures all over theworld. As Frederic Bastiat wrote in his classic The Law just prior to his death, "let us now try liberty"!
Big Pharma
The top countries for antidepressant use - Business Insider
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:28
A few years ago, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looked at antidepressant use in 25 countries and found something startling.
In every single country the OECD looked at, antidepressant use was on the rise.
In Germany, antidepressant use had risen 46% in just four years. In Spain and Portugal, it rose about 20% during the same period. Iceland led the pack in overall use with about one in ten people taking a daily antidepressant '-- but that figure may underestimate the actual rate of use, since that calculation isn't restricted to just adults.
The United States was not included in the OECD analysis (we've added it to the chart below), but if it had been, it would knock Iceland out of the top spot: 11% of Americans over the age of 12 take an antidepressant.
Skye Gould / Tech Insider
It's difficult to say exactly what the data tell us.
Antidepressant use is not an accurate window into rates of depression. Instead, the popularity of antidepressants in a given country is the result of a complicated mix of depression rates, stigma, wealth, health coverage, and availability of treatment.
In the United States, for example, only about a third of people with severe depression take an antidepressant. In South Korea, where antidepressant use is the lowest among the countries analyzed, the suicide rate is the highest in the developed world. Koreans are much likelier than Americans to see mental illness as a personal weakness, research has shown, which means many never seek treatment.
According to a review of the research on depression in Nordic countries, Iceland's unusually high antidepressant use is "a result of their perceived effectiveness by users, but also an effect of limited access to alternative treatment like psychotherapy." The rising rate of antidepressant usage there, however, has not been tied to any decrease in suicide rate or disability due to depression.
In fact, the review notes, "the increase in antidepressants consumption has spurred an ongoing debate [about] whether antidepressants are overprescribed (medicalization) or underprescribed (poor access to treatment)."
Darren Staples / Reuters
The OECD suggests two possible reasons the rate of antidepressant consumption is on the rise in so many countries. The course of treatment lasts longer than it used to, and antidepressants are now prescribed not only for severe depression, but also for mild depression, anxiety, social phobia, and more.
Spending long periods of time on antidepressants actually aligns with international guidelines for treatment. The World Health Organization recommends that people continue taking antidepressants at least nine to 12 months after they've recovered. (It acknowledges, however, that the evidence supporting that recommendation is "moderate;" more research is needed.)
Among Americans, 60% of people taking antidepressants have been taking them for at least two years; 14% have taken them for 10 years or more. That seems to match the WHO's guidance, but it hides a larger, more difficult-to-solve problem.
Less than a third of Americans taking an antidepressant have actually had an appointment with a mental health professional within the past year, suggesting a critical weakness in a system where medication is widely available '-- often prescribed by primary care physicians'-- but holistic mental healthcare and frequent monitoring are not.
VIDEO - Trump's support among black community doubles since 2017 '' poll - YouTube
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:37
VIDEO - The Poop Police by madmonk13
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:29
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VIDEO - What China Thinks Of Trump - Tucker Carlson - YouTube
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:16
VIDEO - Obsolete '-- Full Documentary Official (2016) - YouTube
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VIDEO - Trump Supporters Walk into a Hostile Crowd of Antifa And BLM - YouTube
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 13:53
VIDEO - Brian Williams Investigates: Does Trump Hate Dogs? | MRCTV
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VIDEO - Sharpton: I'm Worried Brennan Revocation Is Move Towards 'An Almost Totalitarian Type of State' | Breitbart
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:12
On Saturday's broadcast of MSNBC's ''AM Joy,'' MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton stated that what frightens him about the removal of former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance is the creation of a precedent that people in intelligence can't speak their minds and this is ''where we're going toward an almost totalitarian type of state.''
Sharpton stated, ''[T]his is what makes it so scary to me. Because that effect of saying, I can't afford, if I'm in intelligence, if I want to do something later in my career, I can't afford to speak my mind, even in private, because I could have this against me, and that is where we're going toward an almost totalitarian type of state. Walking slowly there, but headed that way, when people are afraid, for political reasons, to exercise their freedom of speech now. That is the threat here to me.''
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
VIDEO - YouTube - Bill Maher 8/17/18 slams liberal opponents of free speech:'I don't like Alex Jones - gets to speak'
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:32
VIDEO - YouTube Russian collusion explained in 3 minutes
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:07
VIDEO - Anderson Cooper 360° on Twitter: ""Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with U.S. government. Are we clear?" Counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd takes exception to commentator Paris Dennard's suggestion that he benefits fin
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 13:41
Log in Sign up Anderson Cooper 360° @ AC360 "Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with U.S. government. Are we clear?" Counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd takes exception to commentator Paris Dennard's suggestion that he benefits financially from his security clearance
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VIDEO - Brennan: Russian intrusion did not end with Trump inauguration
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 05:11
Rachel Maddow Brennan: Russian intrusion did not end with Trump inauguration 05:10
Brennan: Trump drunk on power, abusing the powers of the office 08:47
Brennan: I gave Trump a year to live up to the office. He didn't. 24:26
Programming Note! John Brennan to be Maddow's guest Friday 8/17 02:02
Manafort jury's questions set court watchers guessing 04:59
Maddow: Trump isn't attacking critics, he's going after witnesses 21:18
Play AllBEST OF MSNBC Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Rachel Maddow Rachel Maddow
VIDEO - Brennan: Trump drunk on power, abusing the powers of the office
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 05:11
Rachel Maddow Brennan: Russian intrusion did not end with Trump inauguration 05:10
Brennan: Trump drunk on power, abusing the powers of the office 08:47
Brennan: I gave Trump a year to live up to the office. He didn't. 24:26
Programming Note! John Brennan to be Maddow's guest Friday 8/17 02:02
Manafort jury's questions set court watchers guessing 04:59
Maddow: Trump isn't attacking critics, he's going after witnesses 21:18
Play AllBEST OF MSNBC Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Rachel Maddow Rachel Maddow
VIDEO - Brennan: I gave Trump a year to live up to the office. He didn't.
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 04:53
Rachel Maddow Brennan: Russian intrusion did not end with Trump inauguration 05:10
Brennan: Trump drunk on power, abusing the powers of the office 08:47
Brennan: I gave Trump a year to live up to the office. He didn't. 24:26
Programming Note! John Brennan to be Maddow's guest Friday 8/17 02:02
Manafort jury's questions set court watchers guessing 04:59
Maddow: Trump isn't attacking critics, he's going after witnesses 21:18
Play AllBEST OF MSNBC Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Brian Williams Rachel Maddow Rachel Maddow
VIDEO - YouTube - How did Apollo deal with the Van Allen radiation belts ?
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 21:26
VIDEO - YouTube - Connecting the dots lecture
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VIDEO - Ellison Is Done: 911 Report Confirms Assault Details and We've Got the Report
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 20:04
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison isn't having the best week, but it's nothing compared to what women around him have been through.
The Minnesota lawmaker and Deputy Chair of the Democrat National Convention was accused by Karen Monahan of being physically abusive during their relationship. Karen's son, Austin Monahan, backs up her claim.
Now a second woman has courageously stepped forward, and she's got the 911 report that gives her horrifying story some serious weight. Laura Loomer published the official report to her website.
Amy Alexander called the police on Ellison after being assaulted during their 2005 relationship.
TRENDING: Ellison Is Done: 911 Report Confirms Assault Details and We've Got the Report
All the data on the report matches up, including the names, dates, and ages of those involved.
After this report was taken, Alexander wrote an article titled ''Coming Out Of The Dark: Breaking The Silence About The Anointed Candidate'' detailing not only Ellison's anger problems, but his constant belittling and insults.
It all ended in violent fury. Alexander wrote that ''Keith wanted to try and quiet me so he came to my home uninvited. We had words. His anger kicked in. He berated me. He grabbed me and pushed me out of the way.''
Ellison allegedly began running a smear campaign against Alexander. She said ''I feared for my life and for the safety of my daughter. I heard through the grapevine that Ellison's people had preemptively distributed information to the press suggesting that I was insane.''
Keith Ellison's denial of the Monahans' claims is eerily similar to what Amy Alexander described.
''Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being. This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.''
With mounting evidence against him, it appears as though Ellison may have to change his tone.
In the past year, allegations like this have brought down fellow politicians and even Hollywood elite. Not all of the claims were supported with evidence.
RELATED: NBC Abandons Own Crew To Avoid Spoiling ''Peaceful Antifa Protest'' Narrative
Now that we have an official report documenting an act so abusive that police became involved, Ellison's chances in his current race to become the attorney general of Minnesota are slimming.
Not much time has passed since the first accusation, so it remains to be seen whether fellow Democrats will turn on Ellison, or give him the Bill Clinton treatment.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
'Worst Decision Ever': A New Fashion Trend Leaves Women Literally Breathless - WSJ
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:50
During a Harry Styles concert at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., last month, Shealee Governatori suddenly found herself short of breath. The culprit wasn't excitement. It was the tightfitting waist trainer she was wearing under her clothes.
After being squeezed into the corset-like contraption for ''like eight hours,'' the 20-year-old, who works in social media, tweeted: ''I'm breathing like it's 1600s England.'' She wasn't sure she'd ever put it on again. Yet she returned to wearing it for quick walks and workouts, vowing to never ''wear it so long on a normal day,'' she said.
Women lately are getting bent out of shape by a product designed to give them a new shape'--or a very old one. Waist trainers'--latex undergarments that wrap tightly around the belly and cinch in the waist for an hourglass figure'--came into vogue around 2015, when Kim Kardashian West and her sisters began praising them on Instagram.
The item, which mimics the look and shape of an old-time corset, is the latest front in the battle between comfort and fashion; women's reactions vary by generation, their feelings about beauty standards'--and whether they don't mind forgoing eating or breathing.
Unlike a girdle or a pair of Spanx, which are worn for temporary smoothness, these trainers are often touted as weight-loss aids that will trim and shape the waist if worn throughout the day or while exercising. Fitness experts have doubts about any lasting benefits, however, and some wearers are calling them torture.
''My insides felt crushed from the moment I put it on,'' said Kate Proud, a small-business owner in Ballarat, Australia, who wore one to a wedding earlier this year. She had enlisted her husband and a friend to help get her into the waist trainer, but once she got to the event she decided to take it off. After 20 minutes, it made her ''very hot'' and ''like my internal organs were being squashed together,'' she said.
Ms. Proud recently posted a picture of herself on Instagram struggling to fit into a waist trainer, alongside a picture of Ms. Kardashian West wearing one seemingly effortlessly. ''I decided to bring awareness to all women that being a real woman is OK,'' Ms. Proud said.
Ms. Kardashian West didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stephanie Rodriguez found wearing a waist trainer tough at first, with ''broken fingernails, grunting, laying on bed to put on,'' but now ''it's like a second skin.'' The 34-year-old administrative assistant in Chicago said she wears hers every day. After some doubts, she believes it is helping her reduce stomach fat, but she's realistic. ''Diet and exercise will help a lot, not just a waist trainer.''
Sari Alvarez of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., called her attempt to wear a waist trainer for a day last year the ''worst decision ever.''
''As soon as I took it off, my back was in such tremendous amounts of pain. I could not sleep properly for a few days,'' she said. The 28-year-old legal assistant tried using it just while exercising, but even that felt uncomfortable.
''I understand losing belly fat is the hardest part of working out, but I would not go through those lengths to achieve that goal,'' she said.
Fitness trainer Tracy Anderson warned against using them on her website. The post notes that women who wear them can find eating uncomfortable because their abdomens are so squeezed.
''I would argue these devices should be called waist de-trainers because that is what they are actually doing,'' said Steve Ball, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. If worn over long periods, the constant external support can lead the core ab muscles to become weak. ''In fitness, there is no quick fix,'' he says.
Waist trainer manufacturers such as Waist Gang Society, Waist Shaperz and Angel Curves have called those claims overblown and unproven. Some companies post disclaimers on their websites, saying results will vary from person to person or encouraging diet and exercise for the best results.
Ruben Soto, president of Hourglass Angel, a Riverside, Ill., company that has been making waist trainers since 2007, says the benefits of wearing one include ''a slimmer-looking waist, which can be a confidence booster,'' improved posture ''for a more confident look,'' and ''the added benefit of feeling fuller faster when eating given that the waist trainer is compressing the midsection.''
Some even say they have ''thermogenic action'' (or heat-producing) technology that makes the stomach core area sweat while worn. Trainers, which often cost from $70 to $150, are promoted on Instagram, where some brands have hundreds of thousands of followers.
The look, of course, predates social media. Corsets'--constricting upper-body undergarments with laces, hooks and eyes in the back'--were worn throughout the Western world starting in the 16th century.
Around the time of the French Revolution, corsets fell out of favor as aristocratic styles became frowned upon and ideas of liberation extended to women's clothing. But they sprang back into fashion by the 1810s. For the next century, ''boned corsets were an essential component of women's fashion,'' as Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, writes in her book ''The Corset, a Cultural History.''
Even then, the old-fashioned corset was perceived by some as an ''instrument of torture'' and a cause of ill health and even death. While tight corsets could be uncomfortable and in some cases cause fainting, there is no evidence that they split a wearer's ribs or caused tuberculosis, as some claimed, Ms. Steele said in an interview.
The image of Scarlett O'Hara gripping onto a bedpost as Mammy tightly laces her corset in ''Gone with the Wind'' endures as visual shorthand for the difficulties of wearing one.
The ''proper old-school corset'' made a comeback with Nathalia Urban, who bought one after liking the way her waist trainer made her look and feel. The 30-year-old translator, who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, said ''it was hard as hell to put on. I ended up tied to my room's doorknob,'' after watching one too many YouTube tutorials on how to lace herself up in one. She finally asked for her partner's help to squeeze into it.
''It's still uncomfortable, and I walk like a robot when I'm wearing it,'' she said. ''But I feel super sexy and powerful when I have my corset on.''
Write to Ray A. Smith at ray.smith@wsj.com
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro: No national anthem on 'MNF' telecast
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:25
Tony Dungy gives his advice on a better way for NFL players to protest and his thoughts on whether Colin Kaepernick will play in the NFL again. USA TODAY Sports
Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) and free safety Rodney McLeod stand in protest during the national anthem. (Photo: Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports)
New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro told reporters Friday that the network does not plan to televise the national anthem as part of its Monday Night Football broadcasts this season.
Pitaro, who was hired March 5 following the abrupt departure of John Skipper, told reporters at a media event on ESPN's campus in Bristol, Conn., that the network has not previously shown the national anthem during its Monday Night Football broadcasts and does not have plans to change '-- at least, not in the immediate future.
According to Axios, Pitaro also said that ESPN has informed the league of its plans "as (a) courtesy" given their partnership. Earlier, he had told reporters that he has spent much of his young tenure at ESPN working to strengthen the company's relationship with the NFL.
ESPN pays about $2 billion per year for the right to broadcast Monday Night Football , according to the Associated Press.
Demonstrations during the national anthem have become a hot-button issue for the NFL over the past two years, dating back to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to first take a knee during the anthem in 2016. Players have described the demonstrations as a means of protesting police brutality and racial inequality, but critics '-- including the president '-- have denounced them as disrespectful to the military and unpatriotic.
MORE: Patriots lose first-rounder Isaiah Wynn to torn Achilles, per reports
MORE: Teddy Bridgewater should be Jets' Week 1 quarterback instead of Sam Darnold
The league and the NFL Players' Association are currently working toward a mutually agreeable policy for conduct during the national anthem, and it is unclear whether a new policy will be unveiled prior to the beginning of the regular season Sept. 6.
Later in his Friday remarks, Pitaro bristled at the notion that ESPN is a political organization, but told reporters the network will continue to cover the intersections of sports and politics and sports and culture.
Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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Glyphosate from Monsanto's weed killer Roundup in breakfast cereal isn't something to worry about.
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 13:58
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If He Said It
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 13:45
For the past week, former Donald Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman has been promoting her new tell-all book with claims that she has heard tapes, recorded on the set of The Apprentice, in which Trump can be heard using the N-word. There is reason to consider Manigault Newman an unreliable narrator, but rumors regarding the existence of these tapes didn't start, and likely won't end, with her. Here's what might happen if such a recording came to light.
Day 1
The Washington Post publishes a video of Donald Trump having a conversation with a white producer of his show The Apprentice. The footage, which comes from 2007, doesn't show Trump on camera, but a voice that's unmistakably his can be heard saying the N-word in reference to a black camera operator.
Trump's communications team immediately releases a brief statement: ''The quality of this audio is not good, but President Trump was jokingly trying to use African-American vernacular. He regrets the attempt but meant no ill will.''
Maxine Waters compares Trump to David Duke and calls for the president's immediate impeachment. (Duke responds by tweeting a smiley-face emoji.) Dozens of Waters' Democratic colleagues immediately sign on to her impeachment plan, with Nancy Pelosi issuing a statement demanding Republicans call for Trump's immediate resignation.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan responds a few hours later: ''I am angered by the language I heard in the video today. African-Americans are to be treated with the same respect as anyone else, and insulting slurs are never appropriate.'' So does Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: ''This word is abhorrent, and I am devastated by the knowledge that President Trump has used it. As a friend and Senator to many African-Americans, I strongly believe that the President must apologize to African-Americans everywhere and take accountability for the obscenity and lack of respect his words showed in this tape.'' And Mitt Romney: ''Using a disgusting racial slur to describe a fellow American is inappropriate for anyone, much less the president of the United States. Our children are watching and learning from our actions. President Trump must atone for using this shameful language.'' None of them say anything about impeachment or resignation.
CBS, NBC, and ABC interrupt their regularly scheduled programming to offer wall-to-wall coverage of the tape's release. Omarosa Manigault Newman appears on all three networks, taking a kind of victory lap.
On CNN, Anderson Cooper moderates a roundtable featuring 16 different commentators from across the political spectrum. All of them condemn Trump unequivocally. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow monologues for 30 minutes on Trump's history of racist statements and actions, arguing that anyone who's surprised by anything they heard on the tape must not have been paying attention. On Fox News, Tucker Carlson says that the N-word is an awful and mean-spirited insult, and that both white and black Americans should refrain from saying it.
Just before midnight, Trump tweets a video statement. His comments, in full:
I've never pretended to be perfect. Everyone has their regrets. The words I said in the video released today, from more than a decade ago, are one of mine. Everyone who knows me knows the word in this video does not accurately represent my feelings toward my African-American friends. I did say that word, and it was wrong. I apologize.
As I've traveled this great nation as your president, I have met great African Americans, hardworking African Americans. I promise to be better tomorrow than I was yesterday.
But let's be honest. This video is part of the fake news media's plot to distract Americans from how MS-13 is ravaging small-town America and Muslim extremism is at an all-time high in our own schools and neighborhoods.
And there's a big difference between words and actions here. Not only did Bill and Hillary Clinton call African-American children superpredators, a terrible slur that's just as bad as the one I used in that video, but they passed a crime bill that wrecked African-American communities. And when he was governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton oversaw the execution of a severely mentally impaired black man. I used a mean word to describe an African American. Bill and Hillary killed one.
Day 2
Sen. Ben Sasse tweets a short rebuke of the president: ''Nothing matters more than values. Trump has lost the respect of the American people. He should do the right thing: Step down and let the Vice President lead.'' Vice President Mike Pence tweets his own statement: ''I was offended by the word President Trump used in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone the use of this word, even in jest. I am grateful that he has apologized, and I will continue to pray for his family.''
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel also stands by the president. ''As a mother and as a Republican,'' she says, ''I believe President Trump's comment about his African-American colleague was inexcusable and undeniably wrong. The president has now apologized for his use of this reprehensible word 11 years ago, but he should continue to do so to earn back the trust of the nation's African-American community.''
On Fox and Friends, the hosts nod somberly as they watch Trump's apology video and thank the president for doing the right thing.
Black Lives Matter activists organize mass protests, turning out demonstrators to block highways and the entrances to Trump-affiliated properties around the country. Rep. John Lewis helps lead the protest at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Day 3
Republican Jeff Flake delivers a rousing speech on the Senate floor about the scourge of racism and the promise of America. ''This is a land of opportunity, where all men and women are equal,'' he said. ''Racism has no place here, and when it comes from the mouth of a man who is president, it degrades America's position as a moral beacon of democracy. This is only the latest instance of Donald Trump defiling the office of the president, and Congress should not be afraid to act.''
Republican Sen. Tim Scott, the first black senator elected in a Southern state since Reconstruction, disavows Trump after months of saying the president's approach to issues of race gave him ''reasons to be hopeful.''
Sean Hannity dedicates his show to an investigation of the N-word in hip-hop music and historical texts. ''This word is Jay-Z's preferred method of describing himself and his friends,'' he says. ''And he's one of Hillary Clinton's bosom buddies! In fact, he was using this same word up and down her campaign trail, onstage, while she clapped! Did she ever tell him it was racist and disgraceful? No way!''
The Daily Stormer publishes an editorial celebrating the dawn of the Fourth Reich.
Day 4
Congress passes a nonbinding resolution condemning Trump's use of the N-word. At a joint press conference, Ryan and McConnell declare that the Trump video represents an opportunity for healing. ''We can't politicize this moment,'' Ryan says. ''We need to come together and get back to work for the American people.''
CNN airs a town hall, hosted by Van Jones, in which black Americans share stories of the racism they face every day in America. Fox News airs a town hall, hosted by Laura Ingraham, on who has the right to use the N-word.
The New York Times reports that White House sources say Ivanka Trump ran out of the room crying when she heard the Apprentice tape. Sources close to her and Jared Kushner say they have been ''incredibly distraught'' in the days since.
A Gallup poll shows Trump's approval rating has dropped just 1 point since the tape was released. More than 90 percent of voters polled in key swing states say their opinion of him hasn't changed.
Day 5
Trump gives a short press conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. ''This was country club talk, a private conversation from a long time ago that was taken out of context,'' he says. ''Ted Cruz has said far worse things to me at my steakhouse'--much worse. I apologize if anyone was offended.''
The hashtag #countryclubtalk immediately trends on Twitter, as users post Trump's new coinage alongside photos of ''whites only'' water fountains and racist quotes like George Wallace's ''segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.''
Sen. Chuck Schumer tries to make the hashtag #racistslursareanimpeachableoffense happen.
Fox News offers nonstop commentary on ''black-on-black'' uses of the N-word.
Day 7
Trump hosts a rally in Michigan. ''I'm sure you've all heard that old tape of me by now,'' he says. ''You know, it's a bad word, a very bad word. But is it really so bad? I mean, if it's so bad, why am I hearing it all over the rap music our friends on the left love so much?''
Trump adds, ''No one has been better for the blacks than me. I've created more jobs for African Americans than anyone'--more than Obama, many, many more. And the African-American community finally has a president who supports police officers, who are the only ones who can stop the vicious'--totally vicious'--murders of black people in America's inner cities.''
Asked if the president had ever used the N-word at other points in his life, Sarah Huckabee Sanders rolls her eyes. ''I'm not aware of every word he's ever said,'' she says. ''The mainstream media's fixation on this one word, while children are being murdered by MS-13, is frankly verging on criminal. You should be ashamed of yourselves.''
Day 10
The Women's March begins a multiday walk from Monticello, the Virginia plantation where Thomas Jefferson lived and enslaved black people, to the White House. Thousands join, chanting, ''No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!''
Day 13
In a one-on-one interview with Fox News' Maria Bartiromo, Trump says he understands saying the N-word isn't a great thing to do, but he was just quoting a song by his friend Kanye West. ''They edited it'--this fake news media wanted to make me look bad, so they took out the whole context,'' he says. ''It's an old tape, and they messed with it.'' Bartiromo offers a placated nod.
Twitter users begin slipping the N-word into random tweets to show their support for Trump and to make the point that words can mean whatever we want them to mean. Twitter decides that the use of the word alone doesn't constitute hate speech but that any offensive individual tweet should be flagged for abuse. The N-word briefly trends before Twitter removes it from the list of trending topics.
New poll: 10 percent of Republicans say the Apprentice video gave them a ''positive'' feeling.
John Lewis gets arrested after refusing to end his sit-in.
Day 14
Melania Trump visits a majority-black elementary school and reads the children a book about the difference between physical and verbal bullying. One line says, ''sticks and stones can break your bones, but words are just words, and they can never hurt you.''
Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec dox black journalists and comedians critical of the president who have tweeted the N-word or said it on tape. After an old routine is edited down to a few seconds and shared widely by alt-right agitators, DreamWorks fires Chris Rock from an upcoming Madagascar sequel, explaining that ''the offensive attitudes and statements discovered in his comedy specials are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.''
A hashtag that includes the full N-word trends on Twitter.
Day 17
A center-right New York Times columnist writes a piece scolding Women's March activists for equating Jefferson's enslavement and sexual exploitation of black people with Trump's use of the N-word.
Day 21
The Daily Beast reports, via an anonymous source, that Trump told a Republican senator it wasn't his voice on the Apprentice tape. Other sources say he's asked White House aides to launch an investigation into whose voice is on the tape and who leaked it.
Day 30
At a rally in Nevada, Trump publicly questions the tape's authenticity. ''That doesn't sound like me, right?'' he asks. ''This is a malicious attack, a witch hunt, and when you witch hunt me, you don't wanna witch hunt me.'' The crowd cheers. Trump asks, ''Who said it was me on this tape?'' The crowd chants, ''FAKE NEWS!''
David Brooks writes a column bemoaning Trump's role in destroying the bonds of integrity and trust that hold our society together.
Thanksgiving 2018
White people argue around their dinner tables about what constitutes ''country club talk'' and what constitutes actual racism.
October 2020
The Washington Post publishes another leaked Apprentice tape. In this one, Trump's face is visible, and he uses the N-word to refer to a group of black employees.
A CBS poll finds 83 percent of Republicans approve of Trump's record on ''racial issues.''
November 2020
Trump wins re-election with the support of 0 percent of black voters and 60 percent of the white electorate.
Musk Admits He Saw Azealia Banks, Unclear If He Was Tweeting On Acid | Zero Hedge
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 13:43
With Tesla stock crashing on Friday, suffering its worst weekly loss since 2016 as a result of the "tearful", hour-long phone interview Elon Musk gave to the New York Times, in which the full state of his mental and emotional instability were finally revealed, many Tesla investors were unaware of a bizarre subplot which played out on social media in the past week. It featured the rapper Azealia Banks and Elon Musk, who allegedly was tweeting while tripping on acid.
Several days after Musk shocked markets with his Aug. 7 tweet proposal to take Tesla into a private company "funding secured", Banks took to Instagram and her 600,000 to say that she had stayed at Musk's house, an experience she compared to "a real-life episode'' of the movie "Get Out." She then made an explosive allegation:
"I waited around all weekend while grimes coddled her boyfriend for being too stupid to know not to go on twitter while on acid," Banks wrote, referring to Mr. Musk's girlfriend, the musician known as Grimes a Canadian electronic-music singer and producer whose real name is Claire Boucher.
Musk initially said he had never met Banks after she said she saw him freaking out about his going private tweet; this prompted much confusion whether Banks had been in the house in the first place despite her perhaps overly detailed description.
"I saw him in the kitchen tucking his tail in between his legs scrounging for investors to cover his ass after that tweet," Banks told Business Insider of her meeting with Musk last weekend. "He was stressed and red in the face."
Banks also claimed that she could hear "that he was scrambling because he in fact - didn't have any funding secured."
Musk denied, and told Gizmodo that he "has never even met [Banks] or communicated with her in any way."
This denial echoed one made by his company Tesla earlier in the day when a spokesperson told Jalopnik that Banks' claim that he tweeted while on drugs was ''complete nonsense.''
But, on Friday, as part of his extensive interview with the NYT, Musk reversed his story and admitted that some of Banks' claims were true:
"I saw her on Friday morning, for two seconds at about a 30-foot distance as she was leaving the house," he said. "I'd just finished working out. She was not within hearing range. I didn't even realize who it was. That's literally the only time I've ever laid eyes on her."
She did, however, lay her eyes on him and her story added further fuel to the market's concerns about Musk's mental instability.
Banks had apparently been invited to stay at Musk's home by his girlfriend Grimes, who was planning to collaborate with Banks. The NYT reports that Banks had arrived in the predawn hours, invited to the house by Grimes. The two women had announced plans in June to collaborate on a project, and studio sessions were scheduled for that weekend.
But there was a miscommunication over the plans, Grimes's representatives said, because Grimes and Mr. Musk had instead made arrangements to go out of town, the NYT reported.
Banks was left alone in the house, hanging waiting for Grimes to return. She said she arrived at one of Musk's homes in Los Angeles early on Friday, August 10, but said she was left alone for days while Grimes comforted her boyfriend.
Banks finally left on Sunday night, at which point she lashed out at Musk and Grimes on her Instagram account.
"Staying in Elon musks house has been like a real like episode of 'Get Out', she wrote.
Azealia Banks exposing Elon Musk for tweeting while on Acid.. while she was waiting for Grimes at her home ... whewwww lord ðŸ" pic.twitter.com/i9BXWWrLAD
'-- sadhoeflo (@sadhoeflo) August 13, 2018She then slammed Musk and Grimes, saying "they're both two fucking crackheads. He's on tweeting on acid fucking up own stocks and whatnot. A real life dummy."
"They bring me out there on the premise that we would hang and make music," Banks said. "But his dumbass kept tweeting and tucked his dick in between his ass cheeks once shit hit the fan."
In subsequent posts, Banks even suggested that the couple may have invited her to their home for "some weird threesome sex shit to begin with." She also went on a vicious rant about Grimes, who she branded an 'idiot, Musk who she called a 'beta male' and branded them both 'crackhead' in a rambling attack.
Her posts quickly went viral and her account of a brief interlude at the intersection of celebrity and technology was covered everywhere from Vogue to CNBC.
In the NYT interview, Musk who "alternated between laughter and tears", denied he was "on weed" or "stoned" when he sent the tweet claiming to be taking Tesla private for a $420 share, although he acknowledged the value could be taken as a reference to marijuana. He said: "It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419. But I was not on weed, to be clear."
''But I was not on weed, to be clear. Weed is not helpful for productivity. There's a reason for the word 'stoned.' You just sit there like a stone on weed."
Musk did repeat he only used ambien: "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien," he told the newspaper. However, rather than put him to sleep, the drug has sometimes led Musk to spend his nights on Twitter, worrying some board members, the NYT said.
That said, the board would probably be far more concerned if Musk was tweeting while tripping on acid as Banks alleged, however the topic mercifully did not come up in the NYT interview.
Facebook Just Got a Brilliant Message That It Never Saw Coming | Inc.com
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:31
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Facebook has become hard to, well, like.
The more its numb-headed CEO Mark Zuckerberg sputters excuses for its deficiencies, the more the company seems like just another sleazy advertising concern.
You know, like Google.
It's become evident that Facebook is worried.
Why, a company that grew to fame and power without marketing itself at all is now furiously dropping ads as if they were fake news items direct from Moscow.
In the ads, Facebook makes so many promises.
In the real world, many people realize that Facebook is as vacuous and untrustworthy as, well, a politician.
So an artist known as Protest Stencil thought it wise to create some truthful Facebook ads.
Or, rather, truthful ads that seem to come from Facebook.
They're poignant in their bitter truth and they've been plastered into some London bus shelters.
Honesty in advertising doesn't often work.
Somehow, it just isn't exciting enough. People like to bathe in dreams and lies.
But here's a company that made money out of fake news and has shown the sort of sure-handedness with people's data that's normally seen in a concussed catcher behind the plate.
A little truth surely can't hurt. Or, perhaps, it should.
I can't help wondering just how long Facebook can claim to be a utility, but not want to be regulated like one.
I can't help wondering, too, how long people will allow their torpor to conquer their knowledge that Facebook just isn't a good idea anymore.
As Protest Stencil observes with apposite wryness: "Kids know when something's up."
Published on: Aug 18, 2018
This Company Keeps Lies About Sandy Hook on the Web - The New York Times
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:29
A memorial outside the funeral service for Noah Pozner, 6, who was killed in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times Leonard Pozner says he spends hours every day trying to erase online conspiracy theories that the death of his 6-year-old son Noah at the Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax.
He has taken Alex Jones of Infowars, by far the most visible Sandy Hook denier, to court. He has put pressure on major tech companies to take action against the conspiracy theorists who flourish on their platforms.
But the bulk of his work is more methodical. Sandy Hook conspiracies are strewn around the internet on various platforms, each with its own opaque rules and reporting mechanisms. So Mr. Pozner has studiously flagged countless videos and posts for a wide variety of offenses '-- invasions of privacy, threats and harassment, and copyright infringement '-- prompting Facebook, Amazon and Google to remove false material about his son.
Twitter has been less receptive to his claims and some smaller sites have simply not responded at all. But one company, Mr. Pozner says, has actively pushed back against his attempts.
WordPress.com, one the internet's biggest blogging platforms, is operated by a company called Automattic, which also runs a wide array of smaller sites and internet services. Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists have been able to remain on WordPress.com thanks, in part, to policies put in place to resist previous campaigns to get content removed from its service, particularly through the strategic use of copyright claims.
''Posting conspiracy theories or untrue content is not banned from WordPress.com, and unfortunately this is one of those situations,'' Automattic said in a statement. ''It is a truly awful situation, and we are sympathetic to the Pozner family.''
Last week, Apple, Facebook and Google's YouTube removed videos and podcasts from Mr. Jones and Infowars, the conspiracy site he created, from their platforms. Facebook, after fielding criticism about its decision, wrote a blog post about its commitment to free expression and the difficult questions it faces in allowing ''baseless conspiracy theories'' and other offensive material on its sites. Twitter, like WordPress.com, has allowed the content to remain.
Image A photo of Noah Pozner provided by his family. The 6-year-old was one of the victims in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting on Dec. 14, 2012. Credit Family photo, via Associated Press These debates have put tech companies into a sort of existential crisis. But for Mr. Pozner and others like him, the arguments have long been much more personal, as they struggle with images of family members being repurposed in horrifying new ways and experience harassment themselves because of misinformation online.
''The only items that concern me is when his image is being used in a negative, ugly way '-- denying the tragedy, calling him a crisis actor and everything else that the typical global village idiot on the net does,'' Mr. Pozner said.
In the absence of uniform online policies about hoaxes, Mr. Pozner's most effective tool has been filing copyright claims on images of Noah. He has filed such claims with Automattic about photos of Noah appearing on posts that labeled him a ''crisis actor'' who had been spotted in Pakistan after Sandy Hook and others that claimed he was a ''fiction'' and that photos of him were created using images of his older half brother.
Automattic has repeatedly responded to Mr. Pozner with form letters saying ''because we believe this to be fair use of the material, we will not be removing it at this time.'' The letters explain that fair use could include ''criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.'' They also warn that the company could collect damages from people who ''knowingly materially misrepresent'' copyrights.
''The responses from their support people are very automated, very generic, very cold and there's just no getting through to them,'' Mr. Pozner said.
''They have taken this incorrect interpretation of freedom of speech to an extreme,'' he added. ''The only thing WordPress has taken out '-- and where I've been successful '-- is if someone posts personal information like my driver's license or address.''
Automattic said that the responses Mr. Pozner received were ''a predefined statement'' that is used in copyright situations. ''We regret that it was used in this situation,'' the company said. ''We offer our apologies to the family for the response we gave to them.''
Image At the Travis County Courhouse in Austin, Tex., Leonard Pozner is among those suing Alex Jones of Infowars for defamation, for saying Sandy Hook was a hoax. Credit Eric Gay/Associated Press Mr. Pozner's complaints appear to have been thwarted in part by longtime policies at Automattic intended to prevent the use of copyright claims to censor criticism and journalism on its platform. The responses sent to Mr. Pozner included a link to a post from 2013 describing the company's efforts to deal with spurious but effective copyright claims. The post also highlighted that the company had filed suit against two particularly egregious offenders in an effort to ''fight back'' on behalf of people who were posting material on the platform.
Online platforms are not held liable for copyright infringement claims against people who use their platforms as long as they remove or block access to content in response to the claims. This is crucial to the function of any website where people can post content, and internet companies have traditionally tended to err on the side of removal, even when claims may be dubious. This has created opportunities for abuse, and Automattic has made fighting that a corporate cause.
The company created a ''Hall of Shame'' to call out businesses and people filing notices for frivolous reasons or to tamp down negative news coverage. (The New York Times Company is an investor in Automattic.)
For years, Automattic's strident response to copyright abuse earned praise from digital rights advocates. Now, this approach has effectively lumped in Mr. Pozner with the abusers. ''Strictly from a copyright perspective, WordPress.com's response is outside the norm,'' said Tom Rubin, a lecturer at Stanford Law School who oversaw Microsoft's copyright group and takedown process for 15 years.
''They avoid getting involved because fair-use determinations are notoriously complex and fact specific,'' Mr. Rubin said of online platforms. ''Platforms would rather eliminate their own potential liability by taking the content down and leaving it to the parties to battle amongst themselves in court.''
Matt Mullenweg, the chief executive of Automattic, suggested in a recent interview with Recode that the company was confronting misinformation. ''For things that we host and run and provide our kind of company backing to, implicitly through hosting it, we do avoid hate speech,'' he said. He added that ''egregiously fake or harmful things '-- we're pretty good at getting off the system.''
In the case of Mr. Pozner, however, Automattic suggested that its approach was imperfect. ''While our policies have many benefits to free expression for those who use our platform, our system like many others that operate at large scale, is not ideal for getting to the deeper context of a given request,'' the company said in a statement.
Image Matt Mullenweg, the chief executive of Automattic, said in a recent interview that ''egregiously fake or harmful things '-- we're pretty good at getting off the system.'' Credit Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Fortune Although the posts reported by Mr. Pozner ''are not violating any current user guidelines, or copyright law,'' the company said, ''the pain that the family has suffered is very real and if tied to the contents of sites we host, we want to have policies to address that.''
Mr. Pozner, who has created a nonprofit group called the Honr Network devoted to ''stopping the continual and intentional torment of victims'' of major tragedies like Sandy Hook, has become an expert on the many compliance procedures and content-governing bureaucracies that exist inside tech companies.
He has removed photos of Noah from Facebook by relying on policies that protect the privacy of children under 13, a process that has required him to send the company his driver's license and a copy of his son's birth certificate. Mr. Pozner has also successfully filed such reports with Google.
''You can't even measure the volume of content I've taken down at this point,'' Mr. Pozner said.
At times, he has been able to explain the abuse he and his family have received, some of it because of his efforts to purge Sandy Hook conspiracies from the internet, and seek removals based on a slowly evolving awareness in the tech community about the issue. (In June of last year, a 57-year-old woman in Florida was sentenced to five months in prison for making death threats against Mr. Pozner and his family.)
A report to Vimeo led to a response on Friday from a representative who said he would assign the case to a specialist, but first told Mr. Pozner that he was sorry to hear about his situation.
''Everyone has gotten better this year, especially with all the work that I've done to shame a lot of these platforms for continuing to abuse us and the memory of our children and just all of the ugliness that goes on,'' Mr. Pozner said. ''If you type in Noah Pozner now into an image search on Google, you'll see it's mostly normal results but it used to be 99 percent hateful angry memes, so the cleanup is huge.''
Mr. Pozner said he was tired of hearing technology companies say that they do not want to be ''arbiters of truth,'' an oft-repeated refrain, particularly as concerns around misinformation on social media grow.
''Technology platforms have had this misguided, futuristic vision of freedom of speech and everything was built around that, but it doesn't really fit into the day-to-day use of it,'' Mr. Pozner said. ''By not taking action, they have made a choice. They are the arbiters of truth by doing nothing.''
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Autonomous sensory meridian response - Wikipedia
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:16
An illustration of the route of ASMR's tingling sensation
[1]Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia.[2][3]
ASMR signifies the subjective experience of "low-grade euphoria" characterized by "a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin". It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.[4][5]
Name [ edit ] The term "autonomous sensory meridian response" was popularized by Jennifer Allen, a cybersecurity professional residing in New York[6] in the introduction to a Facebook group she founded in February 2010 called the ASMR Group.[7]
Prior to the subsequent social consensus that led to what is now the ubiquitous adoption of that term, other names were proposed and discussed at a number of locations including the Steady Health forum, the Society of Sensationalists Yahoo! group and the Unnamed Feeling Blog.
Proposed formal names included "auditory induced head orgasm", "attention induced euphoria" and "attention induced observant euphoria", while colloquial terms in usage included "brain massage", "head tingle", "brain tingle", "spine tingle" and "brain orgasm".[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
While many colloquial and formal terms used and proposed between 2007 and 2010 included reference to orgasm, there was during that time a significant majority objection to its use among those active in online discussions, many of whom have continued to persist in differentiating the euphoric and relaxing nature of ASMR from sexual arousal.[15] However, by 2015, a division had occurred within the ASMR community over the subject of sexual arousal, with some creating videos categorized as ASMRotica (ASMR erotica), which are deliberately designed to be sexually stimulating.[16][17]
The initial consensus among the ASMR community was that the name should not pose a high risk of the phenomenon being perceived as sexual. Given that consensus, Allen proposed "autonomous sensory meridian response". Allen chose the words intending or assuming them to have the following specific meanings:[18]
Autonomous '' spontaneous, self-governing, with or without controlSensory '' pertaining to the senses or sensationMeridian '' signifying a peak, climax, or point of highest developmentResponse '' referring to an experience triggered by something external or internalAllen verified in a 2016 interview that she purposely selected these terms because they were more objective, comfortable, and clinical than alternative terms for the sensation.[19] Allen explained she selected the word meridian to replace the word orgasm due to its meaning of point or period of greatest prosperity.[clarification needed ][citation needed ]
The term "autonomous sensory meridian response" and its acronym ASMR were adopted by both the community of contributors to online discussions and those reporting and commentating on the phenomenon.
Sensation and triggers [ edit ] Sensation [ edit ] The subjective experience, sensation, and perceptual phenomenon now widely identified by the term 'autonomous sensory meridian response' is described by some of those susceptible to it as 'akin to a mild electrical current'...or the carbonated bubbles in a glass of champagne'.[20]
Triggers [ edit ] ASMR is usually precipitated by stimuli referred to as 'triggers'.[20] ASMR triggers, which are most commonly auditory and visual, may be encountered through the interpersonal interactions of daily life. Additionally, ASMR is often triggered by exposure to specific audio and video. Such media may be specially made with the specific purpose of triggering ASMR or originally created for other purposes and later discovered to be effective as a trigger of the experience.[4]
Stimuli that can trigger ASMR, as reported by those who experience it, include the following:
Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice.Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning the pages of a book.Watching somebody attentively execute a mundane task such as preparing food.Loudly chewing, crunching, slurping or biting foods, drinks, or gum.Receiving altruistic tender personal attention.Initiating the stimulus through conscious manipulation without the need for external video or audio triggers.Listening to a person explain a concept, describe an object or system.Watching and listening to an audiovisual recording of a person performing or simulating the above actions and producing their consequent and accompanying sounds is sufficient to trigger ASMR for the majority of those who report susceptibility to the experience.[21][22][23][24]
Whispering triggers [ edit ] Psychologists Nick Davis and Emma Barratt discovered that whispering was an effective trigger for 75% of the 475 subjects who took part in an experiment to investigate the nature of ASMR,[4] and that statistic is reflected in the popularity of intentional ASMR videos that comprise someone speaking in a whispered voice.[25][26][27]
Auditory triggers [ edit ] Many of those who experience ASMR report that some specific non-vocal ambient noises are also effective triggers of ASMR, including those like the sound of rain, fingers scratching or tapping a surface, the crushing of eggshells, the crinkling and crumpling of a flexible material such as paper, or writing. Many YouTube videos that are intended to trigger ASMR responses capture a single person performing these actions and the sounds that result.[28][29]
Personal attention role play triggers [ edit ] In addition to the effectiveness of specific auditory stimuli, many subjects report that ASMR is triggered by the receipt of tender personal attention, often comprising combined physical touch and vocal expression, such as when having their hair cut, nails painted, ears cleaned, or back massaged, whilst the service provider speaks quietly to the recipient. Furthermore, many of those who have experienced ASMR during these and other comparable encounters with a service provider report that watching an "ASMRtist" simulate the provision of such personal attention, acting directly to the camera as if the viewer were the recipient of a simulated service, is sufficient to trigger it.[5][30][31]
Psychologists Nick Davis and Emma Barratt discovered that personal attention was an effective trigger for 69% of the 475 subjects who participated in a study conducted at Swansea University, second in popularity only to whispering.[4]
Some roleplays also incorporate fantasy or science fiction elements in a way that allows "escape" for the viewers. Some also incorporate legitimate stories into the roleplays in a way that could be considered entertainment in its own right, outside of the ASMR phenomenon.
Clinical role play triggers [ edit ] Among the category of intentional ASMR videos that simulate the provision of personal attention is a subcategory of those specifically depicting the "ASMRtist" providing clinical or medical services, including routine general medical examinations. The creators of these videos make no claims to the reality of what is depicted, and the viewer is intended to be aware that they are watching and listening to a simulation, performed by an actor. Nonetheless, many subjects attribute therapeutic outcomes to these and other categories of intentional ASMR videos, and there are voluminous anecdotal reports of their effectiveness in inducing sleep for those susceptible to insomnia, and assuaging a range of symptoms including those associated with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.[32][33][34]
In the first peer-reviewed article on ASMR, published in Perspectives in Biology in summer 2013, Nitin Ahuja, who was at the time of publication a medical student at the University of Virginia, invited conjecture on whether the receipt of simulated medical attention might have some tangible therapeutic value for the recipient, comparing the purported positive outcome of clinical role play ASMR videos with the themes of the novel Love in the Ruins by author and physician Walker Percy, published in 1971.[5]
The story follows Tom More, a psychiatrist living in a dystopian future who develops a device called the Ontological Lapsometer that, when traced across the scalp of a patient, detects the neurochemical correlation to a range of disturbances. In the course of the novel, More admits that the 'mere application of his device' to a patient's body 'results in the partial relief of his symptoms'.[35]
Ahuja alleges that through the character of Tom More, as depicted in Love in the Ruins, Percy 'displays an intuitive understanding of the diagnostic act as a form of therapy unto itself'. Ahuja asks whether similarly, the receipt of simulated personal clinical attention by an actor in an ASMR video might afford the listener and viewer some relief.[36]
Background and history [ edit ] Contemporary history [ edit ] The contemporary history of ASMR began on 19 October 2007 when a 21-year-old registered user of a discussion forum for health-related subjects at a website called 'Steady Health',[37] with the username 'okaywhatever', submitted a post in which they described having experienced a specific sensation since childhood, comparable to that stimulated by tracing fingers along the skin, yet often triggered by seemingly random and unrelated non-haptic events, such as 'watching a puppet show' or 'being read a story'.[38]
Replies to this post, which indicated that a significant number of others experienced the sensation to which 'okaywhatever' referred, also in response to witnessing mundane events, precipitated the formation of a number of web-based locations intended to facilitate further discussion and analysis of the phenomenon for which there was plentiful anecdotal accounts,[25][39][40] yet no consensus-agreed name nor any scientific data or explanation.[32]
These included a Yahoo! Group called 'The Society of Sensationalists', founded on 12 December 2008 by a user named 'Ryan, AKA M?stery';[41] a blog at Blogspot.com called 'The Unnamed Feeling', launched on 13 February 2010 by Andrew MacMuiris;[42] an ASMR Facebook Group founded on 25 February 2010 by Jennifer Allen;[7] a Subreddit forum created by an individual with the username ' MrStonedOne' on 28 February 2011;[43] and a number of other web locations that facilitate user interaction.[44][45][46][47]
Earlier history [ edit ] Virginia Woolf's novel
Mrs. Dalloway contains a passage describing something that may be comparable to ASMR.
Austrian writer Clemens J. Setz suggests that a passage from the novel Mrs. Dalloway authored by Virginia Woolf and published in 1925, describes something distinctly comparable.[48][49] In the passage from Mrs. Dalloway cited by Setz, a nursemaid speaks to the man who is her patient 'deeply, softly, like a mellow organ, but with a roughness in her voice like a grasshopper's, which rasped his spine deliciously and sent running up into his brain waves of sound'.[50]
According to Setz, this citation generally alludes to the effectiveness of the human voice and soft or whispered vocal sounds specifically as a trigger of ASMR for many of those who experience it, as demonstrated by the responsive comments posted to YouTube videos that depict someone speaking softly or whispering, typically directly to camera.[25][26][27]
Evolutionary history [ edit ] Animal grooming has often been interpreted as a form of bonding.
Nothing can currently be definitively known about any evolutionary origins for ASMR since the perceptual phenomenon itself has yet to be clearly identified as having biological correlations. Even so, a significant majority of descriptions of ASMR by those who experience it compare the sensation to that precipitated by receipt of tender physical touch, providing examples such as having their hair cut or combed. This has led to the conjecture that ASMR might be related to the act of grooming.[51][52][53]
For example, David Huron, Professor in the School of Music at Ohio State University, states:
"[The 'ASMR effect' is] clearly strongly related to the perception of non-threat and altruistic attention [and has a] strong similarity to physical grooming in primates [who] derive enormous pleasure (bordering on euphoria) when being groomed by a grooming partner...not to get clean, but rather to bond with each other."[28]
Categories [ edit ] While little scientific research has been conducted into potential neurobiological correlates to the perceptual phenomenon known as 'autonomous sensory meridian response' (ASMR), with a consequent dearth of data with which to either explain or refute its physical nature, there is voluminous anecdotal literature comprising personal commentary and intimate disclosure of subjective experiences distributed across forums, blogs, and YouTube comments by hundreds of thousands of people. Within this literature, in addition to the original consensus that ASMR is euphoric but non-sexual in nature, a further point of continued majority agreement within the community of those who experience it is that they fall into two broad categories of subjects.[38][41][43][54]
One category depends upon external triggers in order to experience the localized sensation and its associated feelings, which typically originates in the head, often reaching down the neck and sometimes the upper back. The other category can intentionally augment the sensation and feelings through attentional control, without dependence upon external stimuli, or 'triggers', in a manner compared by some subjects to their experience of meditation.[55]
Media [ edit ] Videos [ edit ] The most popular source of stimuli reported by subjects to be effective in triggering ASMR is video. Videos reported being effective in triggering ASMR fall into two categories, identified and named by the community as 'Intentional' and 'Unintentional'. Intentional media is created by those known within the community as 'ASMRtists' with the purpose of triggering ASMR in viewers and listeners. Unintentional media is that made for other purposes, often before attention was drawn to the phenomenon in 2007, but which some subjects discover to be effective in triggering ASMR.[43][56] One of the most popular examples of unintentional media several journalists have noted is of famed painter Bob Ross. In episodes of his popular television series The Joy of Painting both broadcast and on YouTube, his soft, gentle, altruistic speaking mannerisms and the sound of him painting and his tools trigger the effect on many of his viewers.[57][58] The work of stop-motion filmmaker PES is also often noted.[59]
Binaural recording [ edit ] A binaural roleplay ASMR video from YouTube
Some ASMR video creators use binaural recording techniques to simulate the acoustics of a three-dimensional environment, reported to elicit in viewers and listeners the experience of being in close proximity to actor and vocalist.[60]
Viewing and hearing such ASMR videos that comprise ambient sound captured through binaural recording has been compared to the reported effect of listening to binaural beats, which are also alleged to precipitate pleasurable sensations and the subjective experience of calm and equanimity.[61]
Binaural recordings are made specifically to be heard through headphones rather than loudspeakers. When listening to sound through loudspeakers, the left and right ear can both hear the sound coming from both speakers. By distinction, when listening to sound through headphones, the sound from the left earpiece is audible only to the left ear, and the sound from the right ear piece is audible only to the right ear. When producing binaural media, the sound source is recorded by two separate microphones, placed at a distance comparable to that between two ears, and they are not mixed, but remain separate on the final medium, whether video or audio.[62]
Listening to a binaural recording through headphones simulates the binaural hearing by which people listen to live sounds. For the listener, this experience is characterised by two perceptions. Firstly, the listener perceives being in close proximity to the performers and location of the sound source. Secondly, the listener perceives what is often reported as a three dimensional sound.[60]
Clinical implications [ edit ] There is no scientific data nor any clinical trials from which to deduce evidence that might support or refute any clinical benefits or dangers of ASMR, with claims to therapeutic efficacy remaining based on voluminous personal anecdotal accounts by those who attribute the positive effect on anxiety, depression, and insomnia to ASMR video media.[39][63][64]
Amer Khan, a physician who practises sleep medicine at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute, has advised that watching ASMR videos as a means to treat insomnia may not be the best method by which to induce high-quality sleep, as it could become a habit comparable to dependence on a white noise machine.[65]
This point of view is contradicted by Carl W. Bazil, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of its Sleep Disorders Center,[66] who suggests that ASMR videos may provide ways to "shut your brain down" that are a variation of other methods, including guided imagery, progressive relaxation, hypnosis and meditation, of potential particular benefit for those with insomnia, whom he describes as being in a "hyper state of arousal".[33]
[ edit ] Peer-reviewed articles [ edit ] Several peer-reviewed articles about ASMR have been published.
The first, by the medical student Nitin Ahuja, is titled "It Feels Good to Be Measured: clinical role-play, Walker Percy, and the tingles". It was published in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine during 2013 and focused on a conjectural cultural and literary analysis.[36]
Another article, published in the journal Television and New Media in November 2014, is by Joceline Andersen, a doctoral student in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University,[67] who suggested that ASMR videos comprising whispering 'create an intimate sonic space shared by the listener and the whisperer'. Andersen's article proposes that the pleasure jointly shared by both an ASMR video creator and its viewers might be perceived as a particular form of 'non-standard intimacy' by which consumers pursue a form of pleasure mediated by video media. Andersen suggests that such pursuit is private yet also public or publicized through the sharing of experiences via online communication with others within the 'whispering community'.[68]
Another article, "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state", by Nick Davis and Emma Barratt, lecturer and post-graduate researcher respectively in the Department of Psychology at Swansea University, was published in PeerJ. This article aimed to 'describe the sensations associated with ASMR, explore the ways in which it is typically induced in capable individuals '... to provide further thoughts on where this sensation may fit into current knowledge on atypical perceptual experiences '... and to explore the extent to which engagement with ASMR may ease symptoms of depression and chronic pain'[4] The paper was based on a study of 245 men, 222 women, and 8 individuals of non-binary gender, aged from 18 to 54 years, all of whom had experienced ASMR, and regularly consumed ASMR media, from which the authors concluded and suggested that 'given the reported benefits of ASMR in improving mood and pain symptoms'...ASMR warrants further investigation as a potential therapeutic measure similar to that of meditation and mindfulness.'
An article titled "An examination of the default mode network in individuals with autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)" by Stephen D. Smith, Beverley Katherine Fredborg, and Jennifer Kornelsen, looked at the default mode network (DMN) in individuals with ASMR. The study, which used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), concluded that there were significant differences in the DMN of individuals who have ASMR as compared to a control group without ASMR.
[ edit ] A number of scientists have published or made public their reaction to and opinions of ASMR.
On 12 March 2012, Steven Novella, Director of General Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine, published a post about ASMR on his blog Neurologica. Regarding the question of whether ASMR is a real phenomeonon, Novella says "in this case, I don't think there is a definitive answer, but I am inclined to believe that it is. There are a number of people who seem to have independently experienced and described" it with "fairly specific details. In this way it's similar to migraine headaches '' we know they exist as a syndrome primarily because many different people report the same constellation of symptoms and natural history." Novella tentatively posits the possibilities that ASMR might be either a type of pleasurable seizure, or another way to activate the "pleasure response". However, Novella draws attention to the lack of scientific investigation into ASMR, suggesting that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation technologies should be used to study the brains of people who experience ASMR in comparison to people who do not, as a way of beginning to seek scientific understanding and explanation of the phenomenon.[70][71]
Four months after Novella's blog post, Tom Stafford, a lecturer in psychology and cognitive sciences at the University of Sheffield, was reported to have said that ASMR "might well be a real thing, but it's inherently difficult to research...something like this that you can't see or feel" and "doesn't happen for everyone". Stafford compares the current status of ASMR with development of attitudes toward synesthesia, which he says "for years...was a myth, then in the 1990s people came up with a reliable way of measuring it".[72]
Comparisons and associations with other phenomena [ edit ] Comparison with synesthesia [ edit ] Integral to the subjective experience of ASMR is a localized tingling sensation that many describe as similar to being gently touched, but which is stimulated by watching and listening to video media in the absence of any physical contact with another person.
These reports have precipitated comparison between ASMR and synesthesia '' a condition characterised by the excitation of one sensory modality by stimuli that normally exclusively stimulates another, as when the hearing of a specific sound induces the visualization of a distinct color, a type of synesthesia called chromesthesia. Thereby, people with other types of synesthesia report for example 'seeing sounds' in the case of auditory-visual synesthesia, or 'tasting words' in the case of lexical-gustatory synesthesia.[73][74][75][76][77]
In the case of ASMR, many report the perception of 'being touched' by the sights and sounds presented on a video recording, comparable to visual-tactile and auditory-tactile synesthesia.[78]
Comparison with misophonia [ edit ] Some commentators and members of the ASMR community have sought to relate ASMR to misophonia, which literally means the 'hatred of sound', but manifests typically as 'automatic negative emotional reactions to particular sounds '' the opposite of what can be observed in reactions to specific audio stimuli in ASMR'.[4]
For example, those who suffer from misophonia often report that specific human sounds, including those made by breathing or whispering with any loudness can precipitate feelings of anger and disgust, in the absence of any previously learned associations that might otherwise explain those reactions.[79][80]
There are plentiful anecdotal reports by those who claim to have both misophonia and ASMR at multiple web-based user-interaction and discussion locations. Common to these reports is the experience of ASMR to some sounds, and misophonia in response to others.[81][82][83] In one case, a subject reports that the sound of someone whispering can precipitate ASMR or misophonia depending on who is producing it.[84]
Comparison with frisson [ edit ] The tingling sensation that characterises ASMR has been compared and contrasted to 'frisson', which is a French word for 'shiver'.[85]
However, the English word 'shiver' signifies the rhythmic involuntary contraction of skeletal muscles which serves the function of generating heat in response to low temperatures, has variable duration, and is often reported subjectively as unpleasant. By distinction, the French word 'frisson', signifies a brief sensation usually reported as pleasurable and often expressed as an overwhelming emotional response to stimuli, such as a piece of music. Frisson often occurs simultaneously with piloerection, colloquially known as 'goosebumps', by which tiny muscles called arrector pili contract, causing body hair, particularly that on the limbs and back of the neck, to erect or 'stand on end'.[86][87][88][89]
Very few legitimate studies have been done on ASMR, and none have discussed the link between it and frisson specifically. At this time, much of the data on ASMR comes from primarily anecdotal sources.[citation needed ]
Association with sexuality [ edit ] There have been persistent efforts by many of those who form the 'ASMR community' to distinguish the euphoric sensation that characterizes ASMR from sexual arousal, and to differentiate video media created with intent to trigger it from pornography.[90][91]
Meanwhile, some journalists and commentators have drawn attention to the way in which many videos made as triggers are susceptible to being perceived as sexually provocative in a number of ways. Firstly, the use of objects as acoustic instruments and points of visual focus, accompanied by a softly spoken voice has been described as fetishistic. Secondly, ASMR's potential appeal is further allegedly sexualized by their use of a whispered vocal expression and gentleness of simulated touch purportedly associated exclusively with intimacy. There are both popular male and female 'ASMRtists'.[25][39][91][92][93][94][95][96]
In pop culture [ edit ] Contemporary art [ edit ] British artist Lucy Clout's single channel video 'Shrugging Offing', made for exhibition in March 2013, uses the model of online ASMR broadcasts as the basis for a work exploring the female body.[97][98]
Digital arts [ edit ] The first digital arts installation specifically inspired by ASMR was by the American artist Julie Weitz and called Touch Museum, which opened at the Young Projects Gallery on 13 February 2015, and comprised video screenings distributed throughout seven rooms.[99][100][101][102]
Music [ edit ] The music for Julie Weitz' Touch Museums digital arts installation was composed by Benjamin Wynn under his pseudonym 'Deru', and was the first musical composition specifically created for live ASMR arts event.[99]
Subsequently, artists Sophie Mallett and Marie Toseland created 'a live binaural sound work' composed of ASMR triggers, broadcast by Resonance FM, the listings for which advised the audience to 'listen with headphones for the full sensory effect'.[103][104]
On 18 May 2015, contemporary composer Holly Herndon released an album called Platform which included a collaboration with artist Claire Tolan named Lonely At The Top, intended to trigger ASMR.[105][106][107][108][109][110][111]
The track "Brush" from Holly Pester's 2016 album and poetry collection Common Rest featured artist Claire Tolan, exploring ASMR and its relation to lullaby.[112]
Film [ edit ] There have been three successfully crowdfunded projects, each based on proposals to make a film about ASMR: two documentaries and one fictional piece. None of these films are currently completed.[113]
Television [ edit ] On 31 July 2015, the BBC panel show Would I Lie To You? featured an ASMR content maker as a guest as part of the "This is my" round, which resulted in the reveal of the person connected to comedian Joe Lycett.[114]
Fictional and creative literature [ edit ] In March 2013, the American weekly hour-long radio program This American Life, produced by WBEZ and hosted by Ira Glass,[115] broadcast the first short story on the subject of ASMR, called A Tribe Called Rest, authored and read by American novelist and screenwriter Andrea Seigel.[116]
Non-fiction [ edit ] There is currently one non-fiction book on ASMR, part of the Idiot's Guide series.[53]
Statistics [ edit ] In addition to the information collected from the 475 subjects who participated in the scientific investigation conducted by Nick Davies and Emma Barratt,[4] there have been two attempts to collate statistical data pertaining to the demographics, personal history, clinical conditions, and subjective experience of those who report susceptibility to ASMR.
Firstly, in December 2012, Craig Richard '' a blogger on the subject of ASMR '' published the first results of a poll comprising 12 questions that had received 161 respondents, followed by second results in August 2015 by which time there were 477 responses.[117][118]
Lastly, in August 2014, Craig Richard, Jennifer Allen, and Karissa Burnett published a survey at SurveyMonkey that was reviewed by Shenandoah University Institutional Review Board, and the Fuller Theological Seminary School of Psychology Human Studies Review Committee. In September 2015, when the survey had received 13,000 responses, the publishers announced that they were analyzing the data with intent to publish the results. No such publication or report is yet available.[119][120]
See also [ edit ] FlowReferences [ edit ] ^ Barratt, Emma L.; Davis, Nick J. (2015). "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state". PeerJ. 3: e851. doi:10.7717/peerj.851. ISSN 2167-8359. PMC 4380153'¯ . PMID 25834771. ^ Simner, Julia; Mulvenna, Catherine; Sagiv, Noam; Tsakanikos, Elias; Witherby, Sarah A.; Fraser, Christine; Scott, Kirsten; Ward, Jamie (2006). "Synaesthesia: the prevalence of atypical cross-modal experiences". Perception. 35 (8): 1024''1033. doi:10.1068/p5469. PMID 17076063 . Retrieved 25 November 2016 . ^ Banissy, Michael J.; Jonas, Clare; Cohen Kadosh, Roi (15 December 2014). "Synesthesia: an introduction". Frontiers in Psychology. 5 (1414). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01414 . Retrieved 25 November 2016 . ^ a b c d e f g Barratt Emma, Davis Nick (2015). "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state". PeerJ. 3: e851. doi:10.7717/peerj.851. PMC 4380153'¯ . PMID 25834771. ^ a b c Ahuja Nitin (2013). "It feels good to be measured: clinical role-play, Walker Percy, and the tingles". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 56 (3): 442''451. doi:10.1353/pbm.2013.0022. PMID 24375123. ^ Allen, Jennifer (January 2015). Jennifer Allen Linked In Profile. LinkedIn. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Allen, Jennifer (25 February 2010). ASMR Facebook Group founded by Jennifer Allen. Facebook. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Simons, Hadlee (16 August 2012). 'An orgasm for your head?'. iAfrica. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Mitchell, Jennifer (2 September 2012). 'Latest social media craze: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response'. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Shropshall, Claire (6 September 2012). 'Braingasms and towel folding: the ASMR effect'. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Tufnell, Nicholas (27 February 2012). 'ASMR: orgasms for your brain'. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Lively, Daniel (19 April 2012). 'That tingling feeling: first international ASMR day'. The Corvallis Advocate. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ 'asmr0921' Podcast (21 September 2011). KCRadioGod.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Eustache, Louis (22 November 2016). "What Is ASMR And Can It Really Give You Brain Orgasms?". Konbini United States. ^ Overton, Emma (22 October 2012). 'That funny feeling'. The McGill Daily. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Lindsay, Kathryn (15 August 2015). 'Inside the Sensual World of ASMRotica'. Broadly (Vice). Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Bronte, Georgia (17 December 2015). 'How ASMR purists got into a turf war over porn'. Vice. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ MacMuiris, Andrew (15 March 2010). 'Taking names: what do we call these tingles, then?' The Unnamed Feeling. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Allen, Jennifer (17 May 2016). 'Interview with Jennifer Allen, the woman who coined the term, 'Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response' (ASMR)' ASMR University Website. Retrieved 19 December 2016. ^ a b Ahuja, Nitin (2013). " ' It Feels Good to Be Measured: clinical role-play, Walker Percy, and the tingles ' ". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 56 (3): 442''451. doi:10.1353/pbm.2013.0022. PMID 24375123. ^ Steady Health (19 October 2007). 'Weird Sensation Feels Good' Part 1. Forum Discussion at Steady Health. Steady Health. Retrieved 20 January 2016. The conversation entitled 'Weird Sensation Feels Good' began with its first post on 19 October 2007, which received 82 responses until the conversation moved to a fresh thread entitled 'Weird Sensation Feels Good Part 2'. ^ Steady Health (20 December 2010). ''Weird Sensation Feels Good' Part 2. Forum Discussion at Steady Health' Forum Discussion at Steady Health. LifeForm Inc.. Retrieved 20 January 2016. The conversation entitled 'Weird Sensation Feels Good Part 2' began with its first post on 20 December 2010, which has 200 responses up to May 2015. ^ Yahoo! Groups (12 December 2008). Society of Sensationalists Yahoo Group. Yahoo!. Retrieved 20 January 2016. The Society of Sensationalists Yahoo Group was active with its intended purpose from inception on 12 December 2008 until December 2014, accruing a total of 112 posts, after which it became inactive and a repository for spam posts. ^ Reddit (28 February 2011). Subreddit ASMR Forum. Reddit. Retrieved 20 January 2016. The ASMR Subreddit, which is a forum for user-generated content that includes sharing discovery of media related to ASMR, was formed on 28 February 2011, and by 31 December had over 100,000 registered users. ^ a b c d Manduley, Aida (February 2013). 'Intimate with strangers'. #24MAG, Issue 4, pp60''61. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b The Young Turks (17 February 2013). 'ASMR videos - soothing or creepy?'. YouTube; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Green-Oliver, Heather (9 April 2013). "I have ASMR, do you?". Northern Life . Retrieved 20 January 2016 . ^ a b Collins, Sean T. (2012-09-10). 'Why music gives you the chills'. BuzzFeed, 10 September 2012. Retrieved on 2016-01-20 from https://www.buzzfeed.com/theseantcollins/why-music-gives-you-the-chills-7ahd#.mb40QPd94. ^ ASMR Lab (April 2013). 'ASMR triggers - common ASMR triggers that cause tingles'. The ASMR Lab Website. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Cox, Carolyn (2 September 2014). 'Brain Orgasms, Spidey Sense, and Bob Ross: A Look Inside The World Of ASMR'. The Mary Sue. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ ASMR Lab (2013). 'ASMR Triggers '' Common ASMR triggers that cause tingles'. ^ a b Cheadle, Harry (31 July 2012). ASMR - the good feeling no one can explain. Vice. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Fairyington, Stephanie (28 July 2014). Rustle, Tingle, Relax: The Compelling World of ASMR. The New York Times Blog; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Manduley, Aida (February 2013). 'Intimate with strangers'. #24MAG, Issue 4, pp60''61.Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Percy, Walker (2011). 'Love in the ruins: The adventures of a bad Catholic at a time near the end of the world'. Open Road Media; ISBN 9781453216200. ^ a b Ahuja, Nitin (2013). " ' It feels good to be measured: clinical role-play, Walker Percy, and the tingles ' ". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 56 (3): 442''51. doi:10.1353/pbm.2013.0022. PMID 24375123. ^ LifeForm Inc. (4 June 2014). 'About' the Steady Health Website. LifeForm Inc. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Steady Health (19 October 2007). 'Weird Sensation Feels Good' Part 1. Forum Discussion at Steady Health. LifeForm Inc.. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b c Hudelson, Joshua (10 December 2012). 'Listening to whisperers: performance, ASMR community, and fetish on YouTube'. Sound Studies Blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ O'Connell, Mark (12 February 2013). The Soft Bulletins. 'Could a one-hour video of someone whispering and brushing her hair change your life?'. Slate. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Yahoo! Groups (12 December 2008). Society of Sensationalists Yahoo Group. Yahoo!. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ MacMuiris, Andrew (February 2010). The Unnamed Feeling Blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b c Reddit (28 February 2011). Subreddit ASMR Forum. Reddit; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Anonymous Poster to Is it Normal? (November 2009). 'Sensational feeling I get when talking to people'. Is it Normal?. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ pickledantique (7 October 2008). 'Tingly sensation on back of head when happy'. MedHelp Neurology Community; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ odonate (23 June 2009).'Strange sensation in head'. eHealth Neurological Disorders Forum. eHealth Forum. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ avatarasong641 (2010). 'Sound from ear causes back tickle'. WebMD Ear, Nose and Throat Community. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Setz, Clemens (6 April 2015). 'High durch sich r¤uspernde Menschen'. S¼ddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Maslen, Hannah and Roache, Rebecca (30 July 2015). 'ASMR and absurdity'. Practical Ethics. Oxford University Press. ^ Woolf, Virginia (2007) [1925]. "Mrs. Dalloway". The Selected Works; ISBN 978-1-84022-558-7. ^ Bordonaro, Roberto (16 June 2013). 'ASMR and social grooming'. The ASMR Experiment. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Kuriki, Masahiko (2007). 'ASMR and social grooming'. Tokyo Maths. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Young, Julie, and Blansert, Ilse (2015). Idiot's Guides: ASMR. Idiot's Guides: ASMR. Penguin. ISBN 978-1615648184. ^ Steady Health (20 December 2010). 'Weird Sensation Feels Good' Part 2. Forum Discussion at Steady Health Forum Discussion at Steady Health. LifeForm Inc.. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Westlund, Donna (5 May 2014). 'ASMR: the odd and pleasurable sensation felt only by some'. Liberty Voice; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ 'Unintentional ASMR videos '' random videos that give you the greatest tingles'. ^ "The Soothing Sounds of Bob Ross". Newsweek.com . Retrieved 21 April 2016 . ^ "Is There Any Money To Be Made In ASMR?". Forbes.com . Retrieved 24 March 2016 . ^ "5 Stop-Motion Meditations From PES's Reddit AMA". Creators. ^ a b Lalwani, Mona (12 February 2015). ' Surrounded by sound: how 3D audio hacks your brain. A century-old audio technology is making a comeback thanks to VR', theverge.com, 12 February 2015. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (28 November 2012).'This drug is legal. it's digital. and it's supposed to improve how you game. I put it to the test'. Kotaku Website; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Binaural.com (April 1998) 'Binaural for beginners'. Binaural.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. The Verge; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ O'Connell, Mark (12 February 2013). The Soft Bulletins. 'Could a one-hour video of someone whispering and brushing her hair change your life?' Slate. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Manduley, Aida (February 2013). 'Intimate with strangers', #24MAG, Issue 4, pp 60''61; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Mendonsa, Cristina (6 May 2013). 'ASMR: The sound that massages your brain', News10.Net; retrieved 19 April 2016. ^ Columbia University (2016). Professor Carl W. Bazil at Columbia University Medical Center. Columbia University Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Andersen, Joceline (1 December 2015). Joceline Andersen's Profile at McGill University. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Andersen, Joceline (2014). "Now You've Got the Shiveries". Television & New Media. 16: 683''700. doi:10.1177/1527476414556184. ^ Novella, Steven (12 March 2012). 'ASMR'. Neurologica Blog.New England Skeptical Society; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Novella, Steven (12 March 2012). 'ASMR'. Skeptic Blog; retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Marsden, Rhodri (21 July 2012). 'Maria spends 20 minutes folding towels: why millions are mesmerised by ASMR videos'. The Independent. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Cytowic, Richard E. (2002). Synesthesia: a union of the senses (2nd edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-03296-1. OCLC 49395033. ^ Cytowic, Richard E. (2003). The man who tasted shapes. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-53255-7. OCLC 53186027. ^ Cytowic, Richard E; Eagleman, David M (2009). Wednesday is indigo blue: discovering the brain of synesthesia. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-01279-0. ^ Harrison, John E.; Simon Baron-Cohen (1996). Synaesthesia: classic and contemporary readings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-19764-8 OCLC 59664610. ^ Naumer, MJ; van den Bosch, JJ (2009). "Touching sounds: thalamocortical plasticity and the neural basis of multi-sensory integration". Journal of Neurophysiology. 102 (1): 7''8. doi:10.1152/jn.00209.2009. PMID 19403745. ^ Naumer MJ, van den Bosch JJ (July 2009). "Touching sounds: thalamocortical plasticity and the neural basis of multisensory integration". J. Neurophysiol. 102 (1): 7''8. doi:10.1152/jn.00209.2009. PMID 19403745. ^ Schr¶der A, Vulink N, Denys D (2013). Fontenelle L, ed. "Misophonia: Diagnostic Criteria for a New Psychiatric Disorder". PLoS ONE. 8 (1): e54706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054706. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3553052'¯ . PMID 23372758. ^ Life with Misophonia (9 June 2014). 'ASMR: the opposite of misophonia?' Life with Misophonia Blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ reddit_badger (2015). [TRIGGER WARNING] Misophonia and ASMR?. Reddit. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Pennsylvania State University (2015). 'ASMR and Misophonia: Sounds-Crazy! Science in our world: certainty and controversy'. ^ Higa, Kerin (11 June 2015). 'Technicalities of the Tingles: The science of sounds that feel good. #ASMR'. Neuwrite. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ 4SSucks (2013). 'Misophonia and ASMR'. MD Junction. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Jones, Lucy (12 September 2012). 'Which moments in songs give you chills?' New Musical Express. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Define Frisson at Dictionary.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Huron, David Brian (2006). Sweet anticipation: music and the psychology of expectation. MIT Press. p.141. ISBN 978-0-262-08345-4. ^ Huron, David Brian (1999). Music cognition handbook: a glossary of concepts. Ohio State University. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Salimpoor, V. N.; Benovoy, M.; Larcher, K.; Dagher, A.; Zatorre, R. J. (2011). " ' Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music ' ". Nature Neuroscience. 14 (2): 257''262. doi:10.1038/nn.2726. PMID 21217764. ^ Mashable (26 January 2015) 'All the feels. How a bunch of YouTubers discovered a tingling sensation nobody knew existed'. Mashable. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ a b Etchells, Pete (8 January 2016). 'ASMR and 'head orgasms': what's the science behind it?' The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Madrigal, Alexis C. (28 March 2015). 'Finally, psychologists publish a paper about ASMR, that tingly whispering YouTube thing'. Fusion. ABC Yahoo News Network. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Plante, Chris (9 September 2015). 'Is ASMR a "sex thing" and answers to questions you're afraid to ask about'. The Verge. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Waldron, Emma Leigh (14 December 2015). 'Mediated sexuality in ASMR videos'. Sound Studies Blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Reid-Smith, Tris (28 August 2013). 'How do you defeat anti gay trolls?' Gay Star News. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Hockridge, Stephanie (16 May 2013). 'ASMR whisper therapy: does it work? relaxing, healing with sounds and a whisper'. ABC15.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ "Limoncellogallery.co.uk". ^ "Focus Interview: Lucy Clout". ^ a b Picon, Jose (2015). 'Cutting the web: an art show for the digital age' 'Touch Museum' Reviewed in LA Canvas. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Vankin, Deborah (3 January 2016). Artist Julie Weitz breaks down "Touch Museum" videos'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Webb, Nancy (January 2013) 'Sound into feeling, stone into flesh'. Julie Weitz. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Young Projects Gallery (November 2015). 'Touch Museum - Julie Weitz'. Young Projects Gallery. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Mallett, Sophie and Toseland, Marie (27 October 2015). Resonance FM Clear Spot Schedule. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Mallett, Sophie and Toseland, Marie (27 October 2015). Resonance FM Clear Spot Audio. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (26 April 2015). 'Holly Herndon: the queen of tech-topia'. The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Zevolli, Giuseppe (2015). 'Holly Herndon (Past : Forward)'. Four by Three Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Sherburne, Philip (31 March 2015). 'Holly Herndon's collective vision'. Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Jacoby, Sarah (21 May 2015). 'Does this song trigger your ASMR?' Refinery29. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Corcoran, Nina (22 May 2015). 'Holly Herndon goes off the grid'. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Kretowicz, Steph (13 May 2015). '10 people that inspired Holly Herndon's "Platform"'. Dummy. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Cliff, Aimee (13 May 2015). 'Holly Herndon's new horizons'. Dazed. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Sleevenotes to Common Rest. http://testcentre.org.uk/product/common-rest/. Test Centre. Retrieved 19 May 2017. ^ Ragone, Lindsay, (January 2013). 'Braingasm' film website. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ "Joe Lycett on Twitter". ^ Abel, Jessica and Glass, Ira (1999). Radio: an illustrated guide. WBEZ Alliance Inc. ISBN 0-9679671-0-4. ^ Seigel, Andrea (29 March 2013). 'A tribe called rest'. This American Life. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ Richard, Craig (11 December 2014). 'ASMR data from website polls'. 'ASMR University' blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ 'ASMR data from website polls (August 2015 update)'. 'ASMR University' blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. ^ "ASMR Surveys and Polls". ASMR Report. December 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2016 . 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Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It - The New York Times
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:00
Dr. Michael Holick's enthusiasm for vitamin D can be fairly described as extreme. The Boston University endocrinologist, who perhaps more than anyone else is responsible for creating a billion-dollar vitamin D sales and testing juggernaut, elevates his own levels of the stuff with supplements and fortified milk. When he bikes outdoors, he won't put sunscreen on his limbs. He has written book-length odes to vitamin D, and has warned in multiple scholarly articles about a ''vitamin D deficiency pandemic'' that explains disease and suboptimal health across the world.
His fixation is so intense that it extends to the dinosaurs. What if the real problem with that asteroid 65 million years ago wasn't a lack of food, but the weak bones that follow a lack of sunlight? ''I sometimes wonder,'' Dr. Holick has written, ''did the dinosaurs die of rickets and osteomalacia?''
Dr. Holick's role in drafting national vitamin D guidelines, and the embrace of his message by mainstream doctors and wellness gurus alike, have helped push supplement sales to $936 million in 2017. That's a ninefold increase over the previous decade. Lab tests for vitamin D deficiency have spiked, too: Doctors ordered more than 10 million for Medicare patients in 2016, up 547 percent since 2007, at a cost of $365 million.
But few of the Americans swept up in the vitamin D craze are likely aware that the industry has sent a lot of money Dr. Holick's way. A Kaiser Health News investigation for The New York Times found that he has used his prominent position in the medical community to promote practices that financially benefit corporations that have given him hundreds of thousands of dollars '-- including drug makers, the indoor tanning industry and one of the country's largest commercial labs.
In an interview, Dr. Holick acknowledged he has worked as a consultant to Quest Diagnostics, which performs vitamin D tests, since 1979. Dr. Holick, 72, said that industry funding ''doesn't influence me in terms of talking about the health benefits of vitamin D.''
There is no question that the hormone is important. Without enough of it, bones can become thin, brittle and misshapen, causing a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. The issue is how much vitamin D is healthy, and what level constitutes deficiency.
Dr. Holick's crucial role in shaping that debate occurred in 2011. Late the previous year, the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (then known as the Institute of Medicine), a group of independent scientific experts, issued a comprehensive, 1,132-page report on vitamin D deficiency. It concluded that the vast majority of Americans get plenty of the hormone naturally, and advised doctors to test only patients at high risk of certain disorders, such as osteoporosis.
Image The media personality Dr. Mehmet Oz has endorsed taking vitamin D, calling it ''the No. 1 thing you need more of.'' Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times A few months later, in June 2011, Dr. Holick oversaw the publication of a report that took a starkly different view. The paper, in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, was on behalf of the Endocrine Society, the field's foremost professional group, whose guidelines are widely used by hospitals, physicians and commercial labs nationwide, including Quest. The society adopted Dr. Holick's position that ''vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups'' and advocated a huge expansion of vitamin D testing, targeting more than half the United States population, including those who are black, Hispanic or obese '-- groups that tend to have lower vitamin D levels than others.
The recommendations were a financial windfall for the vitamin D industry. By advocating such widespread testing, the Endocrine Society directed more business to Quest and other commercial labs. Vitamin D tests are now the fifth-most-common lab test covered by Medicare.
The guidelines benefited the vitamin D industry in another important way. Unlike the National Academy, which concluded that patients have sufficient vitamin D when their blood levels are at or above 20 nanograms per milliliter, the Endocrine Society said vitamin D levels need to be much higher '-- at least 30 nanograms per milliliter. Many commercial labs, including Quest and LabCorp, adopted the higher standard.
Yet there's no evidence that people with the higher level are any healthier than those with the lower level, said Dr. Clifford Rosen, a senior scientist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and co-author of the National Academy report. Using the Endocrine Society's higher standard creates the appearance of an epidemic, he said, because it labels 80 percent of Americans as having inadequate vitamin D. ''We see people being tested all the time and being treated based on a lot of wishful thinking, that you can take a supplement to be healthier,'' Dr. Rosen said.
Patients with low vitamin D levels are often prescribed supplements and instructed to get checked again in a few months, said Dr. Alex Krist, a family physician and vice chairman of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an expert panel that issues health advice. Many physicians then repeat the test once a year. For labs, ''it's in their financial interest'' to label patients with low vitamin D levels, Dr. Krist said.
In a 2010 book, ''The Vitamin D Solution,'' Dr. Holick gave readers tips to encourage them to get their blood tested. For readers worried about potential out-of-pocket costs for vitamin D tests '-- they range from $40 to $225 '-- he listed the precise reimbursement codes that doctors should use when requesting insurance coverage. ''If they use the wrong coding when submitting the claim to the insurance company, they won't get reimbursed and you will wind up having to pay for the test,'' Dr. Holick wrote.
Dr. Holick acknowledged financial ties with Quest and other companies in the financial disclosure statement published with the Endocrine Society guidelines. In an interview, he said that working for Quest for four decades '-- he is currently paid $1,000 a month '-- hasn't affected his medical advice. ''I don't get any additional money if they sell one test or one billion,'' he said.
Image Shire is among the pharmaceutical companies that have paid Dr. Michael Holick for consulting and other services. Credit Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters A Quest spokeswoman, Wendy Bost, said the company seeks the advice of a number of expert consultants. ''We feel strongly that being able to work with the top experts in the field, whether it's vitamin D or another area, translates to better quality and better information, both for our patients and physicians,'' Ms. Bost said.
Since 2011, Dr. Holick's advocacy has been embraced by the wellness-industrial complex. Gwyneth Paltrow's website, Goop, cites his writing. Dr. Mehmet Oz has described vitamin D as ''the No. 1 thing you need more of,'' telling his audience that it can help them avoid heart disease, depression, weight gain, memory loss and cancer. And Oprah Winfrey's website tells readers that, ''knowing your vitamin D levels might save your life.'' Mainstream doctors have also urged Americans to get more of the hormone, including Dr. Walter Willett, a widely respected professor at Harvard Medical School.
Today, seven years after the dueling academic findings, the leaders of the National Academy report are struggling to be heard above the clamor for more sunshine pills. ''There isn't a 'pandemic,''' said A. Catharine Ross, a nutritional sciences professor at Penn State and chairwoman of the committee that wrote the report, in an interview. ''There isn't a widespread problem.''
Ties to Drugmakers and Tanning SalonsIn ''The Vitamin D Solution,'' Dr. Holick describes his promotion of vitamin D as a lonely crusade. ''Drug companies can sell fear,'' he writes, ''but they can't sell sunlight, so there's no promotion of the sun's health benefits.''
Yet Dr. Holick also has extensive financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. He received nearly $163,000 from 2013 to 2017 from pharmaceutical companies for consulting and other services, according to Medicare's Open Payments database, which tracks payments from drug and device manufacturers. The companies paying him included Sanofi-Aventis, which markets vitamin D supplements; Shire, which makes drugs for hormonal disorders that are given with vitamin D; Amgen, which makes an osteoporosis treatment; and Roche Diagnostics and Quidel Corporation, which both make vitamin D tests.
The database includes only payments made since 2013, but Dr. Holick's record of being compensated by drug companies started before that. In his 2010 book, he describes visiting South Africa to give ''talks for a pharmaceutical company,'' whose president and chief executive were in the audience.
Dr. Holick's ties to the tanning industry also have drawn scrutiny. Although Dr. Holick said he doesn't advocate tanning, he has described tanning beds as a ''recommended source'' of vitamin D ''when used in moderation.'' Dr. Holick has acknowledged accepting research money from the UV Foundation '-- a nonprofit arm of the now-defunct Indoor Tanning Association '-- which gave $150,000 to Boston University from 2004 to 2006, earmarked for Dr. Holick's research. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning beds as carcinogenic in 2009.
Image Dr. Holick in 2002. He has described tanning beds as a ''recommended source'' of vitamin D ''when used in moderation.'' The devices were classified as carcinogenic in 2009. Credit Rick Friedman/Corbis, via Getty Images In 2004, the tanning-industry associations led Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, who then was head of Boston University's dermatology division, to ask Dr. Holick to resign from the department. He did so, but remains a professor at the medical school's department of endocrinology, diabetes, nutrition and weight management. In ''The Vitamin D Solution,'' Dr. Holick wrote that he was ''forced'' to give up his position because of his ''stalwart support of sensible sun exposure.'' He added, ''Shame on me for challenging one of the dogmas of dermatology.'' Although Dr. Holick's website lists him as a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, an academy spokeswoman, Amanda Jacobs, said he was not a current member.
Dr. Christopher McCartney, chairman of the Endocrine Society's clinical guidelines subcommittee, said the society has put in place stricter policies on conflict of interest since its vitamin D guidelines were released. The society's current policies would not allow the chairman of the guideline writing committee to have financial conflicts.
A Miracle Pill Loses Its LusterEnthusiasm for vitamin D among medical experts has dimmed in recent years, as rigorous clinical trials have failed to confirm the benefits suggested by early, preliminary studies. A string of trials has found no evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease or falls in the elderly. And most scientists say there isn't enough evidence to know if vitamin D can prevent chronic diseases that aren't related to bones.
Although the amount of vitamin D in a typical daily supplement is generally considered safe, it is possible to take too much. In 2015, an article in the American Journal of Medicine linked blood levels as low as 50 nanograms per milliliter with an increased risk of death. That's within the level considered healthy by the Endocrine Society, which defined vitamin D ''sufficiency'' as between 30 and 100 nanograms, Rosen said.
Some researchers say vitamin D may never have been the miracle pill that it appeared to be. Sick people who stay indoors tend to have low vitamin D levels; their poor health is likely the cause of their low vitamin D levels, not the other way around, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Only really rigorous studies, which randomly assign some patients to take vitamin D and others to take placebos, can provide definitive answers about vitamin D and health. Dr. Manson is leading one such study, involving 26,000 adults, expected to be published in November.
A number of insurers and health experts have begun to view widespread vitamin D testing as unnecessary and expensive. In 2014, the United States Preventive Services Task Force said there wasn't enough evidence to recommend for or against routine vitamin D screening. In April, the task force explicitly recommended that older adults outside of nursing homes avoid taking vitamin D supplements to prevent falls.
In 2015, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Rochester, N.Y. published an analysis highlighting the overuse of vitamin D tests. In 2014, the insurer spent $33 million on 641,000 vitamin D tests. ''That's an astronomical amount of money,'' said Dr. Richard Lockwood, Excellus' vice president and chief medical officer for utilization management. More than 40 percent of Excellus patients tested had no medical reason to be screened.
In spite of Excellus' efforts to rein in the tests, vitamin D usage has remained high, Dr. Lockwood said. ''It's very hard to change habits,'' he said, adding, ''The medical community is not much different than the rest of the world, and we get into fads.''
Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Coles supermarkets open after early morning technical glitch kept stores shut across Australia - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:34
Coles supermarkets across the country were unable to open on time this morning due to a "network error".
Customers hoping to hit the shops as soon as doors opened on Sunday were told a nationwide error meant the supermarkets were unable to process sales.
One of the signs spotted outside a closed store read:
We apologise. Our store is currently closed due to circumstances beyond our control.
We are working to resolve the issue and will re-open as soon as possible.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Another said a "nationwide computer problem" was to blame.
Photo Customers at this Canberra store were only able to pay for groceries through one checkout. ABC News: Anna Henderson Just after 10am, a Coles spokeswoman said all its supermarkets were open and trading.
External Link Facebook: Coles explain why they couldn't open"Earlier this morning we had some minor IT problems in some of our supermarkets which were out of our team members' control," the spokeswoman said.
"We apologise for any inconvenience our customers experienced earlier this morning."
Earlier the spokeswoman said the issue may not be impacting all stores but was not able to give a figure of how many were hit.
At one supermarket in Canberra, customers were allowed to shop but could only be served at one register.
Back in April, Woolworths supermarkets were hit by a late afternoon technical glitch, forcing customers to abandon their shopping in the aisles.
External Link In the Cove on Twitter: Coles closed External Link Sohan on Twitter: Coles closed Photo The sign greeting customers Sunday morning outside a Coles supermarket in Melbourne's east. ABC News: Kathy Lord
'Dumb phone' sales on the rise as smartphone users hope to switch off
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:27
Walk down any high street and you'll most likely see people glued to their smartphones.
The devices have become so indispensable to users that recent research showed on average people check them every 12 minutes.
But now more old fashioned technology is making a comeback.
Sales of so-called dumb phones have seen an increase for the first time in years.
Phones that simply make and receive calls are known in the industry as feature phones and are being marketed as a means to switch off from the constant connectivity we've all grown used to.
While global sales of smartphones rose by just 2% last year feature phone sales went up by 5%.
Mary Erskine from Twickenham is among customers opting for a dumb phone to escape round the clock access to social media.
She said: "I just hated the fact that I was always on it.
"My friend said the other day 'you check it 150 times a day'.
Image: Research by Ofcom found 78% of Brits said they couldn't live without their smartphone"You're always on Facebook pages and Instagram and you're just on everything.
"'And the more you do it the more you feel like you need to do it.
"(Switching to a dumb phone) is not full cold turkey because - I do have my iPad but it's more about choice.
"If I want to go out with just the dumb phone then you can make a choice and have a day without all the noise of all the notifications and apps."
Dr Daria Kuss, a chartered psychologist who has studied compulsive use of smartphones, believes some smartphone users develop a genuine addiction to their phones.
"They may be aware that they're using it too much however they can't stop themselves," she said.
"They may be afraid to miss out on anything that may be happening on their social media channels being one of the reasons why they use it compulsively and this may lead to symptoms that have been association with addiction like withdrawal, preoccupation and loss of control."
Research by Ofcom found 78% of British people said they couldn't live without their smartphone while on average users spend 2 hours 28 minutes online on them a day, rising to 3 hours 14 minutes among 18 to 24-year-olds.
New tech surveillance laws more a 'side gate' than 'back door' into Australian phones - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:25
New laws will be unveiled today aimed at helping the nation's spy agencies and police monitor and prevent criminal activity through phones and the internet.
Key points:Legislation would allow law-enforcement agencies with valid search warrant access to some mobile phone dataGovernment says it doesn't want to make existing encryption weakerThree levels of requests, including compulsory request where company could be fined $10m for non-complianceThe Federal Government reckons the current legislation is seriously out of date '-- it was drafted for a time when Australians would call each other on their home or office phone, and email was just a pipe dream.
Of course mobile phones are now all but an extension of someone's person, and the use of messaging apps is growing exponentially.
Police and security agencies are worried criminals like terrorists are planning attacks, and paedophiles are grooming children, without having their communications monitored.
"In the last 12 months, 200 cases have arisen where our investigations for serious crimes have been impacted by our inability to access that data under the existing legislation," Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor says.
"So that means the risk here is that criminals, terrorists, paedophiles and drug smugglers are getting away with their crimes without us being able to hold them to account."
That's where these law changes come in. The Government says modernising the legislation will ensure criminals "have no place to hide".
So, is this a 'back door' for the cops to get into our phones?The Government says no. It insists companies will not be asked to break encryption systems where they don't hold the "golden key".
"We believe encryption is absolutely crucial to protecting Australians. So the legalisation explicitly excludes the potential for law enforcement to ask industry to create a weakness in their encryption systems."
There is a distinction between the encryption on messages people send to each other, and the encryption for shared services like cloud-based file sharing.
For example, Apple won't be forced to create a back door for iMessage, where the encryption key is different for every user.
Tell me a secret Curious about what's stopping your most intimate text messages from falling into the wrong hands? Find out how encryption actually works.But it does hold a single encryption key for its iCloud services '-- something the Government could request access to.
Think of it this way: if you use an app to send a message to your friend, it's encrypted as it travels between the two phones or devices.
When it arrives, it's decrypted for your friend to read.
Under the proposed changes, if law enforcement agencies have a valid search warrant to monitor your phone, they could read the decrypted message at the same time as your friend does.
And they could take copies of what they see, search the device for content and even delete items such as messages or photos if necessary.
Angus Taylor says this would only be possible under strict guidelines.
"Those crimes in the case of a computer access warrant must be serious. It's not any crime, it's got to be a serious crime. So it's three years' imprisonment or higher."
Maybe not a "back door", and more of a "side gate".
How does it work?Agencies like ASIO or the Australian Federal Police will have the ability to request telecommunication and tech companies help them with their investigations.
Such a request could range from something as basic as seeking information about how a messaging service or app works so agencies can tailor their approach to monitoring someone, to explicitly asking for access to an individual's online profile or message history.
Angus Taylor says tech and telecommunication companies could also be asked to help locate a suspected criminal.
"Where we need to track a suspected terrorist '... we want access to GPS data. We can't track potential terrorists without knowing where they are. So that is going to be crucial information in a serious case," he says.
There are three different levels of requests. The first stage is voluntary: a "give us a hand"-type appeal.
The second stage is a compulsory request, where a company has to help out or face a fine of up to $10 million. Individuals would face a $50,000 fine.
The third stage is not only compulsory for a company or individual to abide by, but also means they may have to work to build their own systems to help monitor activity. In other words, if they don't know how or can't comply with the request, they have to work hard to meet the request.
It could be tricky trying to pursue some app developers or companies based in distant countries if they don't comply, but the Federal Government believes its allies around the world will have a decent level of cooperation on such issues.
How often would the Government make such a request of a company?It's unclear whether, armed with these new powers, the Government and its law-enforcement agencies would begin flooding tech companies with requests for access to data.
Since 2013, the Australian Government has made 6,977 requests for data from Facebook, relating to 7,759 different users and accounts.
In response, Facebook provided some data to the authorities in about 67 per cent of those requests.
Report: Trump Considering Plan to Privatize Afghanistan War
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 10:56
U.S. Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Photo: Massoud Hossaini/AP/REX/Shutterstock
President Trump loves the military. He's made it more powerful, called its equipment ''beautiful,'' and tried to celebrate it with an absurdly expensive parade. But even he's growing frustrated with the military's strategy in Afghanistan, where a seemingly endless war approaches its 17th year.
And so, NBC News reports, Trump is considering a plan to privatize the whole damn thing. The move, pushed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, would replace soldiers with mercenaries working for a ''viceroy'' who reports directly to Trump.
''I know he's frustrated,'' Prince told NBC News on the one-year anniversary of Trump's reluctant approval of a troop increase in Afghanistan. ''He gave the Pentagon what they wanted '... And they haven't delivered.''
Prince said he's soon to embark on a public push to get Trump to embrace his plan, which he first pitched Trump last summer with a PowerPoint presentation. Now, some of Trump's ''advisers'' fear that his impatience with the lack of progress in Afghanistan ''will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's,'' NBC News reports.
Apparently, Trump's renewed interest of the privatization plan came after he saw a video of Prince, whose sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, arguing that his plan is more economical. It's not a new line for him. Last year, Prince said his plan would cost $10 billion, significantly less than the $40 billion the Pentagon budgeted for the war.
Even if that was true, and it probably isn't, there are plenty of other problems with fighting a war exclusively with private military contractors, as ex-mercenary Sean McFate wrote in The Atlantic last year:
However, as an ex-military contractor, I cannot think of a worse solution for Afghanistan. There are many concerns about the safety, accountability, and morality of going into business with these types of outfits. '... Mercenaries also breed war and suffering. For-profit warriors proliferate armed conflict '-- as long as there is someone to pay, there will always be a war to start, expand or prolong. History shows us that they often maraud between contracts, preying on the innocent.
Prince, no doubt, has left those things out of his PowerPoint.
Report: Trump Considering Plan to Privatize Afghanistan War
Activity Streams 2.0
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 15:28
Abstract This specification details a model for representing potential and completed activities using the JSON format. It is intended to be used with vocabularies that detail the structure of activities, and define specific types of activities.
Author's Note This section is non-normative.
This draft is heavily influenced by the JSON Activity Streams 1.0 specification originally co-authored by Martin Atkins, Will Norris, Chris Messina, Monica Wilkinson, Rob Dolin and James Snell. The author is very thankful for their significant contributions and gladly stands on their shoulders. Some portions of the original text of Activity Streams 1.0 are used in this document.
Status of This Document This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at https://www.w3.org/TR/.
This document was published by the Social Web Working Group as a Recommendation. Comments regarding this document are welcome. Please send them to public-socialweb@w3.org (subscribe, archives).
Please see the Working Group's implementation report.
This document has been reviewed by W3C Members, by software developers, and by other W3C groups and interested parties, and is endorsed by the Director as a W3C Recommendation. It is a stable document and may be used as reference material or cited from another document. W3C's role in making the Recommendation is to draw attention to the specification and to promote its widespread deployment. This enhances the functionality and interoperability of the Web.
This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.
This document is governed by the 1 March 2017 W3C Process Document.
Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 Relationship to Other Social Standards 1.2 Relationship to JSON Activity Streams 1.0 2. Serialization 2.1 JSON-LD 2.2 IRIs and URLs 2.3 Date and Times 3. Examples 3.1 Minimal Activity 3.2 Basic activity with some additional detail 3.3 An extended activity 4. Model 4.1 Object 4.2 Link 4.3 Actor 4.4 Activity 4.5 IntransitiveActivity 4.6 Collection 4.7 Natural Language Values 4.8 Marking up language 5. Extensibility 5.1 Support for Compact URIs 5.2 Re-serialization of Extensions 6. Privacy Considerations 7. Security Considerations 8. IANA Considerations 8.1 The application/activity+json Media Type 9. Conformance 9.1 Documents 9.2 Implementations A. Acknowledgements B. Deprecated Activity Streams 1.0 Syntax C. Example using Multiple Vocabularies D. Changelog E. Table of Figures F. References F.1 Normative references F.2 Informative references 1. Introduction In the most basic sense, an "Activity" is a semantic description of an action. It is the goal of this specification to provide a JSON-based syntax that is sufficient to express metadata about activities in a rich, human-friendly but machine-processable and extensible manner. This can include constructing natural-language descriptions or visual representations about the activity, associating actionable information with various types of objects, communicating or recording activity logs, or delegation of potential actions to other applications.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", " SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].
1.1 Relationship to Other Social Standards This section is non-normative.
Activity Streams 2.0 is suitable as a social data syntax. It forms part of the [SWP] suite of related standards.
1.2 Relationship to JSON Activity Streams 1.0 This section is non-normative.
The JSON Activity Streams 1.0 [AS1] specification was published in May of 2011 and provided a baseline extensible syntax for the expression of completed activities. This specification builds upon that initial foundation by incorporating lessons learned through extensive implementation, community feedback and related ongoing work from a variety of other communities.
Some of the issues that specifically motivated the evolution of Activity Streams 2.0 from Activity Streams 1.0 include:
Multi-lingual representation of activities Unification of "verb" and "objectType" to "type" Removal of activity types and object types that weren't core to social use cases Introduction of the Link type for richly-described links Incorporation of audience targeting into the core spec The generalized "Undo" activity type, so all activities can be undone Consistent collection and paging representation Formalizing the namespace of the base vocabulary of object types and activity types Extensibility framework for other types and properties Compatibility with JSON-LD The terms displayName, verb, title and objectType should be treated as reserved terms that SHOULD NOT be used within Activity Streams 2.0 documents. When encountered in an Activity Streams 2.0 document, they SHOULD be processed in accordance to the guidelines listed in B. Deprecated Activity Streams 1.0 Syntax
2. Serialization This specification describes a JSON-based [RFC7159] serialization syntax for the Activity Vocabulary that conforms to a subset of [JSON-LD] syntax constraints but does not require JSON-LD processing. While other serialization forms are possible, such alternatives are not discussed by this document.
When serialized, absent properties are represented by either (a) setting the property value to null, or (b) by omitting the property declaration altogether at the option of the publisher. These representations are semantically equivalent. If a property has an array value, the absence of any items in that array MUST be represented by omitting the property entirely or by setting the value to null. The appropriate interpretation of an omitted or explicitly null value is that no value has been assigned as opposed to the view that the given value is empty or nil.
An Activity Streams Document is a JSON document whose root value is an Activity Streams Object of any type, including a Collection, and whose MIME media type is " application/activity+json".
Activity Streams 2.0 documents MUST be serialized using the UTF-8 character encoding.
2.1 JSON-LD The serialized JSON form of an Activity Streams 2.0 document MUST be consistent with what would be produced by the standard JSON-LD 1.0 Processing Algorithms and API [JSON-LD-API] Compaction Algorithm using, at least, the normative JSON-LD @context definition provided here. Implementations MAY augment the provided @context with additional @context definitions but MUST NOT override or change the normative context. Implementations MAY also use additional properties and values not defined in the JSON-LD @context with the understanding that any such properties will likely be unsupported and ignored by consuming implementations that use the standard JSON-LD algorithms. See the Extensibility section for more information on handling extensions within Activity Streams 2.0 documents.
JSON-LD uses the special @context property to define the processing context. The value of the @context property is defined by the [JSON-LD] specification. Implementations producing Activity Streams 2.0 documents SHOULD include a @context property with a value that includes a reference to the normative Activity Streams 2.0 JSON-LD @context definition using the URL " https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams". Implementations MAY use the alternative URL " http://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" instead. This can be done using a string, object, or array.
2.1.1 Context with a string Figure 1 Document providing a context as a string. Example 1
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "A note" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "content" :  "My dog has fleas." } 2.1.2 Context with an object Figure 2 Document providing context as an object using the @vocab keyword and a prefix for extension terms. Example 2
{   "@context" : {      "@vocab" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,      "ext" :  "https://canine-extension.example/terms/" ,      "@language" :  "en"   },   "summary" :  "A note" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "content" :  "My dog has fleas." ,   "ext:nose" :  0 ,   "ext:smell" :  "terrible" } 2.1.3 Context with an array Figure 3 Document providing context as an array, and including an alias for an additional term. Example 3
{   "@context" : [      "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,     {       "css" :  "http://www.w3.org/ns/oa#styledBy"      }  ],   "summary" :  "A note" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "content" :  "My dog has fleas." ,   "css" :  "http://www.csszengarden.com/217/217.css?v=8may2013" } When a JSON-LD enabled Activity Streams 2.0 implementation encounters a JSON document identified using the " application/activity+json" MIME media type, and that document does not contain a @context property whose value includes a reference to the normative Activity Streams 2.0 JSON-LD @context definition, the implementation MUST assume that the normative @context definition still applies.
2.2 IRIs and URLs This specification uses IRIs [RFC3987]. Every URI [RFC3986] is also an IRI, so a URI may be used wherever an IRI is named. There are two special considerations: (1) when an IRI that is not also a URI is given for dereferencing, it MUST be mapped to a URI using the steps in Section 3.1 of [RFC3987] and (2) when an IRI is serving as an "id" value, it MUST NOT be so mapped.
Relative IRI (and URL) references SHOULD NOT be used within an Activity Streams 2.0 document due to the fact that many JSON parser implementations are not capable of reliably preserving the base context necessary to properly resolve relative references.
2.3 Date and Times All properties with date and time values MUST conform to the "date-time" production in [RFC3339] with the one exception that seconds MAY be omitted. An uppercase "T" character MUST be used to separate date and time, and an uppercase "Z" character MUST be used in the absence of a numeric time zone offset.
This is specified using the following [ABNF] syntax description. The "time-hour", "time-minute", "time-second", "time-secfrac", "time-offset" and "full-date" constructs are as defined in [ RFC3339].
as2-partial-time = time-hour  ":"  time-minute [ ":"  time-second]                   [time-secfrac]as2-full-time    = as2-partial-time time-offsetas2-date-time    = full-date  "T"  as2-full-time It is important to note that the `time-offset` component does not correlate to time-zones, and while times that include the `time-offset` component work well for timestamps, they cannot be reliably converted to and from local "wall times" without additional information and processing.
3. Examples This section is non-normative.
Following are three examples of activities with varying degrees of detail.
Each example is shown using the normative JSON serialization defined by this specification.
3.1 Minimal Activity Figure 4 Expresses the statement 'http://www.test.example/martin' created 'http://example.org/foo.jpg'. No additional detail is given. Example 4
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Martin created an image" ,   "type" :  "Create" ,   "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/martin" ,   "object" :  "http://example.org/foo.jpg" } 3.2 Basic activity with some additional detail Figure 5 Expresses the statement "Martin Smith added an article to the blog 'Martin's Blog' at 3:04 PM UTC on February 10, 2015." Some additional details about the article, actor and target blog are given using properties defined by the Activity Streams 2.0 Vocabulary. Example 5
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Martin added an article to his blog" ,   "type" :  "Add" ,   "published" :  "2015-02-10T15:04:55Z" ,   "actor" : {    "type" :  "Person" ,    "id" :  "http://www.test.example/martin" ,    "name" :  "Martin Smith" ,    "url" :  "http://example.org/martin" ,    "image" : {      "type" :  "Link" ,      "href" :  "http://example.org/martin/image.jpg" ,      "mediaType" :  "image/jpeg"    }  },   "object"  : {    "id" :  "http://www.test.example/blog/abc123/xyz" ,    "type" :  "Article" ,    "url" :  "http://example.org/blog/2011/02/entry" ,    "name" :  "Why I love Activity Streams"   },   "target"  : {    "id" :  "http://example.org/blog/" ,    "type" :  "OrderedCollection" ,    "name" :  "Martin's Blog"   }} 3.3 An extended activity Figure 6 A more extensive, single-entry "Activity Stream" follows. Example 6
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Martin's recent activities" ,   "type" :  "Collection" ,   "totalItems" :  1 ,   "items"  : [    {       "type" :  "Add" ,       "published" :  "2011-02-10T15:04:55Z" ,       "generator" :  "http://example.org/activities-app" ,       "nameMap" : {         "en" :  "Martin added a new image to his album." ,         "ga" :  "Martin phost le fisean nua a albam."       },       "actor" : {         "type" :  "Person" ,         "id" :  "http://www.test.example/martin" ,         "name" :  "Martin Smith" ,         "url" :  "http://example.org/martin" ,         "image" : {           "type" :  "Link" ,           "href" :  "http://example.org/martin/image" ,           "mediaType" :  "image/jpeg" ,           "width" :  250 ,           "height" :  250         }      },       "object"  : {         "name" :  "My fluffy cat" ,         "type" :  "Image" ,         "id" :  "http://example.org/album/mir(C)ad.jpg" ,         "preview" : {           "type" :  "Link" ,           "href" :  "http://example.org/album/mir(C)ad.jpg" ,           "mediaType" :  "image/jpeg"         },         "url" : [          {             "type" :  "Link" ,             "href" :  "http://example.org/album/mir(C)ad.jpg" ,             "mediaType" :  "image/jpeg"           },          {             "type" :  "Link" ,             "href" :  "http://example.org/album/mir(C)ad.png" ,             "mediaType" :  "image/png"           }        ]      },       "target" : {         "type" :  "Collection" ,         "id" :  "http://example.org/album/" ,         "nameMap" : {           "en" :  "Martin's Photo Album" ,           "ga" :  "Grianghraif Mairtin"         },         "image" : {           "type" :  "Link" ,           "href" :  "http://example.org/album/thumbnail.jpg" ,           "mediaType" :  "image/jpeg"         }      }    }  ]} 4. Model The Activity Vocabulary normatively defines the core object types and properties for Activity Streams 2.0.
The object types defined by the vocabulary are segmented into a set of eight core types and an extended set of Activity and Object types common to many social Web applications. The core types include:
Object, Link, Activity, IntransitiveActivity, Collection, OrderedCollection, CollectionPage, and OrderedCollectionPage. Every JSON object in an Activity Streams 2.0 document is either an Object or a Link. All other types defined in the Activity Vocabulary, as well as all extension types, are derived from these two base types.
A JSON object in the Activity Streams 2.0 document is a Link if either: (a) the object contains a type property whose value includes "Link" or (b) any of the types included in the value of the type property are defined as extensions of Link (see Mention for instance); otherwise the JSON object is considered an instance or extension of Object.
4.1 Object The Object is the primary base type for the Activity Streams vocabulary.
In addition to having a global identifier (expressed as an absolute IRI using the id property) and an "object type" (expressed using the type property), all instances of the Object type share a common set of properties normatively defined by the Activity Vocabulary. These include: attachment | attributedTo | audience | content | context | contentMap | name | nameMap | endTime | generator | icon | image | inReplyTo | location | preview | published | replies | startTime | summary | summaryMap | tag | updated | url | to | bto | cc | bcc | mediaType | duration
All properties are optional (including the id and type).
Figure 7 Following is an example Object that uses the id and type properties to express the global identifier and object type: Example 7
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/foo" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "name" :  "My favourite stew recipe" ,   "attributedTo" : {     "id" :  "http://joe.website.example/" ,     "type" :  "Person" ,     "name" :  "Joe Smith"   },   "published" :  "2014-08-21T12:34:56Z" } The Activity Vocabulary defines a range of Object types that are common to many social Web applications. This specification stops short of defining semantically specific properties for most of these objects. External vocabularies can be used to express additional detail not covered by the Activity Vocabulary.
Furthermore, while implementations are free to introduce new types of Objects beyond those defined by the Activity Vocabulary, interoperability issues can arise when applications rely too much on extension types that are not recognized by other implementations. Care should be taken to not unduly overlap with or duplicate the existing Object types.
When an implementation uses an extension type that overlaps with a core vocabulary type, the implementation MUST also specify the core vocabulary type. For instance, some vocabularies (e.g. The Good Relations Vocabulary) define their own types for describing locations. An implementation that wishes, for example, to use a http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1#Location as an object type MUST also identify the object as being a Place as illustrated in the following:
Figure 8 An Object that is both a Place and a gr:Location: Example 8
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    {       "gr" :  "http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1#"     }  ],   "type" : [ "Place" ,  "gr:Location" ],   "name" :  "Sally's Restaurant" ,   "longitude" :  12.34 ,   "latitude" :  56.78 ,   "gr:category" :  "restaurants/french_restaurants" } Certain properties defined by some External Vocabularies can overlap or duplicate those defined by the Activity Vocabulary. Where such overlap exists, for the sake of consistent interoperability, implementations MUST favor the use of properties defined by the Activity Vocabulary.
4.1.1 Text representations of Object types Activity Streams consumers often need a text representation of an Activity Streams object, e.g. for display in a Web browser or console interface.
The name property SHOULD be derived from input by the creator or another user.
The summary property SHOULD be used as a fallback text representation, possibly automatically generated by the publisher. If there is no name property, the summary property SHOULD NOT include markup, and SHOULD be short enough to be used as a reasonable text representation of the object.
Figure 9 A note with a name defined by the author Example 9
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/note/123" ,   "name" :  "Our Weather Is Fine" ,   "content" :  "I feel that the weather is appropriate to our season and location." } Figure 10 A note with an automatically-generated summary Example 10
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/note/124" ,   "summary" :  "A note by Sally" ,   "content" :  "Everything is OK here." } The name and summary MAY be absent, MAY lack explicit values in the end user's current language, and MAY be longer than appropriate for use as a text representation of the Object in the current language context. Consumer implementations SHOULD have fallback strategies for text representation of Objects in these cases.
4.2 Link A Link describes a qualified, indirect reference to another resource that is closely related to the conceptual model of Links as established in [RFC5988]. The properties of the Link object are not the properties of the referenced resource, but are provided as hints for rendering agents to understand how to make use of the resource. For example, height and width might represent the desired rendered size of a referenced image, rather than the actual pixel dimensions of the referenced image.
The target URI of the Link is expressed using the required href property. In addition, all Link instances share the following common set of optional properties as normatively defined by the Activity Vocabulary: id | name | hreflang | mediaType | rel | height | width
For example, all Objects can contain an image property whose value describes a graphical representation of the containing object. This property will typically be used to provide the URL to an image (e.g. JPEG, GIF or PNG) resource that can be displayed to the user. Any given object might have multiple such visual representations -- multiple screenshots, for instance, or the same image at different resolutions. In Activity Streams 2.0, there are essentially three ways of describing such references.
Figure 11 To reference a single image without any additional metadata, a direct association can be expressed as a JSON string containing an absolute IRI. Example 11
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Application" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/application/123" ,   "name" :  "Exampletron 3000" ,   "image" :  "http://example.org/application/123.png" } Figure 12 Alternatively, if additional metadata is required (such as the MIME content type of the referenced resource) a Link can be used: Example 12
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Application" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/application/123" ,   "name" :  "Exampletron 3000" ,   "image" : {     "type" :  "Link" ,     "href" :  "http://example.org/application/123.png" ,     "mediaType" :  "image/png"   }} Formally, the former example establishes an unqualified direct relationship with the image resource while the latter creates a qualified, indirect relationship that allows additional properties about the relationship to be specified.
Figure 13 If more than one value is to be expressed, A JSON Array with a mix of strings and Links can be used: Example 13
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Application" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/application/123" ,   "name" :  "Exampletron 3000" ,   "image" : [     "http://example.org/application/abc.gif" ,    {       "type" :  "Link" ,       "href" :  "http://example.org/application/123.png" ,       "mediaType" :  "image/png"     }  ]} Individual items contained in such an array are independent of one another and no significance is given to the ordering.
RFC 5988 defines that all Links have a "link relation" that describes the contextual purpose of the link. Within a Link, the rel property provides the link relation value. If no rel property is specified, the link relation is considered to be unspecified. Any given Link can have multiple link relation values. In the JSON serialization, a single link relation is expressed as a single JSON string. Multiple link relations are expressed as an array of JSON strings.
The scope of the link relation is the object in which the Link is an immediate child.
In the following example, two separate references are provided. The link relation of the first is unspecified, while the link relation of the second is "thumbnail".
Figure 14 Example 14
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Application" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/application/123" ,   "name" :  "Exampletron 3000" ,   "image" : [     "http://example.org/application/abc.gif" ,    {       "type" :  "Link" ,       "href" :  "http://example.org/application/123.png" ,       "mediaType" :  "image/png" ,       "rel" :  "thumbnail"     }  ]} It ought to be noted that the [HTML5] specification provides its own alternative definition of a "link relation" that differs slightly from the [RFC5988] definition. In the HTML5 definition, any string that does not contain the "space" U+0020, "tab" (U+0009), "LF" (U+000A), "FF" (U+000C), "CR" (U+000D) or "," (U+002C) characters can be used as a valid link relation. To promote interoperability, Activity Streams 2.0 implementations MUST only use link relations that are syntactically valid in terms of both the [RFC5988] and [HTML5] definitions. Implementations MAY use link relation values that are not registered.
Note that the Link and Object types are disjoint from one another. That is, any given Object cannot also be a Link.
4.3 Actor Actor objects are specializations of the base Object type that represent entities capable of carrying out an Activity. The Activity Vocabulary provides the normative definition of five specific types of Actors: Application | Group | Organization | Person | Service.
This specification intentionally defines Actors in only the most generalized way, stopping short of defining semantically specific properties for each. All Actor objects are specializations of Object and inherit all of the core properties common to all Objects. External vocabularies can be used to express additional detail not covered by the Activity Vocabulary. VCard [ vcard-rdf] SHOULD be used to provide additional metadata for Person, Group, and Organization instances.
Figure 15 An Activity with a Person actor extended with VCard properties: Example 15
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    { "vcard" :  "http://www.w3.org/2006/vcard/ns#" }  ],   "summary" :  "Sally created a note" ,   "type" :  "Create" ,   "actor" : {     "type" : [ "Person" ,  "vcard:Individual" ],     "id" :  "http://sally.example.org" ,     "name" :  "Sally Smith" ,     "vcard:given-name" :  "Sally" ,     "vcard:family-name" :  "Smith"   },   "object" : {     "type" :  "Note" ,     "content" :  "This is a simple note"   }} While implementations are free to introduce new types of Actors beyond those defined by the Activity Vocabulary, interoperability issues can arise when applications rely too much on extension types that are not recognized by other implementations. Care should be taken to not unduly overlap with or duplicate the existing Actor types.
When an implementation uses an extension type that overlaps with a core vocabulary type, the implementation MUST also specify the core vocabulary type. For instance, some vocabularies (e.g. VCard) define their own types for describing people. An implementation that wishes, for example, to use a vcard:Individual as an Actor MUST also identify that Actor as a Person as illustrated in the previous example.
4.4 Activity Activity objects are specializations of the base Object type that provide information about actions that have either already occurred, are in the process of occurring, or may occur in the future.
In addition to common properties supported by all Object instances, Activity objects support the following additional properties defined by the Vocabulary: actor | object | target | origin | result | instrument
The type property is used to identify the type of action the Activity Statement represents.
Figure 16 The following example illustrates a simple Activity: Example 16
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Joe liked a note" ,   "type" :  "Like" ,   "id" :  "http://www.test.example/activity/1" ,   "actor" :  "http://example.org/profiles/joe" ,   "object" :  "http://example.com/notes/1" ,   "published" :  "2014-09-30T12:34:56Z" } The Activity Vocabulary defines a small number of Activity types that are common to many social Web applications. This specification stops short of defining semantically specific properties for most of these activities. External vocabularies can be used to express additional detail not covered by the Activity Vocabulary.
While implementations are free to introduce new types of Activites beyond those defined by the Activity Vocabulary, interoperability issues can arise when applications rely too much on extension types that are not recognized by other implementations. Care should be taken to not unduly overlap with or duplicate the existing Activity types.
When an implementation uses an extension type that overlaps with a core vocabulary type, the implementation MUST also specify the core vocabulary type. For instance, some vocabularies (e.g. Schema.org) define their own types for describing actions. An implementation that wishes, for example, to use http://schema.org/LikeAction as an Activity MUST also identify that Object as being a Like as illustrated in the following:
Figure 17 An Activity that is both a Like and a http://schema.org/LikeAction: Example 17
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Joe liked a note" ,   "type" : [ "Like" ,  "http://schema.org/LikeAction" ],   "id" :  "http://www.test.example/activity/1" ,   "actor" :  "http://example.org/profiles/joe" ,   "object" :  "http://example.com/notes/1" ,   "published" :  "2014-09-30T12:34:56Z" } Implementations are free to use Activity objects in both passive and imperative operations. In the passive sense, the Activity is used to record that an activity has or is occurring. In the imperative sense, the Activity can be used as a form of command, instructing an application to modify state in some manner consistent with the action being described. However, because this specification does not define a normative processing model that constrains how applications make use of the format, the distinction about whether an Activity statement is to be interpreted as a passive notification or as an imperative command can vary across implementations.
4.5 IntransitiveActivity IntransitiveActivity objects are specializations of the Activity type that represent intransitive actions. IntransitiveActivity objects do not have an object property.
4.6 Collection Collection objects are a specialization of the base Object that serve as a container for other Objects or Links.
In addition to the base properties inherited by all Objects, all Collection types contain the additional properties: items | totalItems | first | last | current
The items within a Collection can be ordered or unordered. The OrderedCollection type MAY be used to identify a Collection whose items are always ordered. In the JSON serialization, the unordered items of a Collection are represented using the items property while ordered items are represented using the orderedItems property.
Figure 18 The following is a simple unordered collection: Example 18
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Object history" ,   "type" :  "Collection" ,   "totalItems" :  2 ,   "items" : [    {       "type" :  "Create" ,       "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/sally" ,       "object" :  "http://example.org/foo"     },    {       "type" :  "Like" ,       "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/joe" ,       "object" :  "http://example.org/foo"     }  ]} Figure 19 The following is a simple ordered collection: Example 19
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Object history" ,   "type" :  "OrderedCollection" ,   "totalItems" :  2 ,   "orderedItems" : [    {       "type" :  "Create" ,       "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/sally" ,       "object" :  "http://example.org/foo"     },    {       "type" :  "Like" ,       "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/joe" ,       "object" :  "http://example.org/foo"     }  ]} 4.6.1 Collection Paging A Collection can contain a large number of items. Often, it becomes impractical for an implementation to serialize every item contained by a Collection using the items (or orderedItems) property alone. In such cases, the items within a Collection can be divided into distinct subsets or "pages". A page is identified using the CollectionPage type.
The CollectionPage type extends from the base Collection type and inherits all of it's properties. The following additional properties can also be specified: partOf | next | prev |
The partOf property identifies the Collection to which the items contained by the CollectionPage belong.
The first, next, prev, last, and current properties are used to reference other CollectionPage instances that contain additional subsets of items from the parent collection.
As with Collection objects, the items within a CollectionPage might be ordered or unordered. The OrderedCollectionPage type MAY be used to identify a page whose items are strictly ordered.
The OrderedCollectionPage type extends from both CollectionPage and OrderedCollection . In addition to the properties inherited from each of those, the OrderedCollectionPage may contain an additional startIndex property whose value indicates the relative index position of the first item contained by the page within the OrderedCollection to which the page belongs.
Figure 20 An illustration of the relationship between Collection, OrderedCollection, CollectionPage, and OrderedCollectionPage: Whether ordered or not, the pages of a Collection are typically arranged in a sequence (either a singly or doubly-linked list). The first property is used to identify the first page in this sequence, while the last property is used to identify the final page in the sequence. The prev and next properties identify the pages immediately before and immediately following, respectively.
Figure 21 A visualization of the Collection paging model: The current property identifies a page containing the subset of items in the Collection that have been created or updated most recently.
The values for the first, last, next, prev, and current properties can be either a single CollectionPage or a Link referencing a separate resource containing a CollectionPage .
Figure 22 The following is a simple unordered collection with paging: Example 20
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "summary" :  "Sally's recent activities" ,   "type" :  "Collection" ,   "id" :  "http://example.org/foo" ,   "totalItems" :  10 ,   "first" : {     "type" :  "CollectionPage" ,     "id" :  "http://example.org/foo?page=1" ,     "partOf" :  "http://example.org/foo" ,     "next" :  "http://example.org/foo?page=2" ,     "items" : [      {         "type" :  "Create" ,         "actor" :  "http://www.test.example/sally" ,         "object" :  "http://example.org/foo"       }    ]  }} Using paging with an OrderedCollection can be tricky because there are no guarantees that implementations will process the sequence of pages in any predictable order. Implementations that wish to reconstruct the appropriate complete ordering of member items in the logical collection should navigate to the first (or last) page in the sequence then recursively follow the next (or prev) link until all pages have been processed. The pages of an OrderedCollection SHOULD be instances of OrderedCollectionPage. If the pages of an OrderedCollection are not instances of OrderedCollectionPage, a consumer will have no reliable means of reconstructing the appropriate ordering of items.
4.7 Natural Language Values Several properties defined by the Vocabulary are defined as having natural language values. These are human-readable strings using one or more languages. Within the JSON serialization, they are expressed as either (1) a single JSON string or (2) a JSON object mapping well-formed [BCP47] Language-Tags to localized, equivalent translations of the same string value. In the serialized JSON, these two forms are differentiated using a simple property naming convention, for instance: "name" identifies the JSON string form for the name property while "nameMap" represents the object form.
Figure 23 A single name String value without language information: Example 21
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Object" ,   "name" :  "This is the title" } Figure 24 Multiple, language-specific values: Example 22
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Object" ,   "nameMap" : {     "en" :  "This is the title" ,     "fr" :  "C'est le titre" ,     "es" :  "Este es el t­tulo"   }} Every key in the object form MUST be a well-formed [BCP47] Language-Tag. The associated values MUST be strings.
The Activity Vocabulary defines three properties that use natural language values: name, summary, and content. Accordingly, in the JSON serialization, the terms " name", "summary", and "content" represent the JSON string forms; and the terms " nameMap", "summaryMap", and " contentMap" for represent the object forms.
The special language tag "und" can be used within the object form to explicitly identify a value whose language is unknown or undetermined.
Figure 25 Using the "und" language tag: Example 23
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Object" ,   "nameMap" : {     "und" :  "This is the title"   }} 4.7.1 Default Language Context When using [JSON-LD] mechanisms to produce or consume Activity Streams 2.0 documents, the @language property MAY be used within a @context to identify the default language. This mechanism may not be understood by implementations that do not choose to process Activity Streams 2.0 documents using JSON-LD.
Figure 26 Specifying the default "@language" within the JSON-LD @context: Example 24
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    {       "@language" :  "en"     }],   "type" :  "Object" ,   "name" :  "This is the title" } 4.7.2 Bidirectional Text Natural language values within an Activity Streams 2.0 document MAY contain bidirectional text. The default base direction of an Activity Streams 2.0 document is Left-to-Right. The base direction of individual natural language values MAY be modified as described below.
When specifying bidirectional text for a natural language value, and the base direction of the text cannot be correctly identified by the first strong directional character of that text, publishers SHOULD explicitly identify the default direction either by prefixing the value with an appropriate Unicode bidirectional control character, or by using HTML directional markup where permitted.
Consumers of Activity Streams 2.0 documents that contain bidirectional text SHOULD identify the base direction of any given natural language value by either scanning the text for the first strong directional character not contained within a markup tag; or by utilizing directional markup where provided. Once the base direction has been identified, consumers MUST determine the appropriate rendering and display of natural language values, according to the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm [BIDI]. This may necessitate wrapping additional control characters or markup around the string prior to display, in order to apply the base direction.
Property Value Direction Method name "פ×××'ות ×--ב×× ××•×', W3C" Right-to-Left First strong directional character name "The document was titled, '\u2067פ×××'ות ×--ב×× ××•×', W3C\u2069'" Left-to-Right First strong directional character name "\u200FHTML ×--×א ×(C)פת ××מון" Right-to-Left Bidi Control Character name "\u200E'Ø"Ùام' is hello in Persian." Left-to-Right Bidi Control Character summary <p dir=\"rtl\">HTML ×--×א ×(C)פת ××מון>/p> Right-to-Left HTML Markup summary <p>פ×××'ות ×--ב×× ××•×', W3C</p> Right-to-Left First strong directional character (ignoring markup) summary <p title="Ø"Ùام">Hello</p> Left-to-Right First strong directional character (ignoring markup) 4.8 Marking up language Activity Streams 2.0 publishers SHOULD explicitly mark the language of natural language properties if they are known, using either map properties or a default language tag.
Note : Examples
Not all examples in this specification explicitly mark the language of natural language properties. This is intentional. The authors and the working group wished to avoid having implementers cut-and-paste examples from the document with explicit language markup as a template for new documents, which would consequently have inaccurate language markup.
5. Extensibility In Activity Streams 2.0, an "extension" is any property, activity, actor or object type not defined by the Activity Vocabulary. Consuming implementations that encounter unfamiliar extensions MUST NOT stop processing or signal an error and MUST continue processing the items as if those properties were not present. Note that support for extensions can vary across implementations and no normative processing model for extensions is defined. Accordingly, implementations that rely too heavily on the use of extensions may experience reduced interoperability with other implementations.
For extensions, [JSON-LD] is used as the primary mechanism for defining and disambiguating extensions. Implementations that wish to fully support extensions SHOULD use [JSON-LD] mechanisms.
Some popular extensions are included in the Activity Streams 2.0 namespace document, and can be reviewed at https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams#extensions. The Social Web Incubator Community Group maintains a wiki page on Activity Streams extensions.
It is important to note that the JSON-LD Processing Algorithms [ JSON-LD-API], as currently defined, will silently ignore any property not defined in a JSON-LD @context. Implementations that publish Activity Streams 2.0 documents containing extension properties SHOULD provide a @context definition for all extensions.
It is also important to note that there are valid JSON constructs which cannot be used within a JSON-LD document. For instance, JSON-LD forbids "arrays of arrays" as used, for example, by the popular GeoJSON specification. While implementations are free to use such constructs as extensions within an Activity Streams 2.0 document, consumers that use the standard JSON-LD Processing Algorithms will be required to either ignore such extensions or map those to alternative compatible constructs prior to applying the JSON-LD algorithms. Simple GeoJSON Points, for instance, can be mapped to Place objects, while more complex geometries can be converted to GeoSparql "Well-Known Text" representations as illustrated in the non-normative examples below:
Figure 27 GeoJSON Point Coordinates: Example 25
{   "type" :  "Point" ,   "coordinates" : [ 36.74 ,  -119.77 ]} Figure 28 The Equivalent Place alternative: Example 26
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "name" :  "Fresno, California" ,   "type" :  "Place" ,   "latitude" :  36.74 ,   "longitude" :  -119.77 } Figure 29 GeoJSON Polygon Coordinates: Example 27
{   "type" :  "Polygon" ,   "coordinates" : [    [      [ 100.0 ,  0.0 ],      [ 101.0 ,  0.0 ],      [ 101.0 ,  1.0 ],      [ 100.0 ,  1.0 ],      [ 100.0 ,  0.0 ]    ]  ]} Figure 30 The Equivalent GeoSparql Well-Known-Text alternative: Example 28
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    { "gsp" :  "http://www.opengis.net/ont/geosparql" }  ],   "summary" :  "A polygon" ,   "type" :  "gsp:Geometry" ,   "gsp:asWKT" :  "Polygon((100.0, 0.0, 101.0, 0.0, 101.0, 1.0, 100.0, 1.0, 100.0, 0.0))" } 5.1 Support for Compact URIs The JSON-LD syntax supports the use of "Compact URIs". A "Compact URI" is an alternative encoding of a URI that uses a defined prefix to simplify serialization. For instance, the URI http://example.org/term can be represented as ex:term by assigning the ex: prefix the value of http://example.org/
Within JSON-LD, Compact URI prefixes are defined within the JSON-LD @context definition. For example:
Figure 31 A JSON-LD Compact URI definition Example 29
{ "@context" : { "ex" :  "http://example.org/" , "term" : {   "@type" :  "id" ,   "@id" :  "ex:term" }}, "term" :  "ex:Foo" } In this example, both the property name term and the value ex:Foo are Compact URIs. The property name term expands to http://example.org/term and the value ex:Foo expands to http://example.org/Foo
In JSON-LD, Compact URI expansion of values applies to properties explicitly defined as "type": "id" in the @context definition. Specifically, Compact URIs can be used anywhere an IRI (or URI) value is expected.
Activity Streams 2.0 implementations that wish to fully support extensions MUST support Compact URI expansion as defined by the JSON-LD specification. Such expansion applies to all property names as well as all property values explicitly defined as type @id in the JSON-LD @context.
Over reliance on the Compact URI form can lead to ambiguity and interoperability issues between implementations. Therefore, Compact URI use SHOULD be avoided in all cases other than property names and the value(s) of the type property.
5.2 Re-serialization of Extensions Implementations that use JSON-LD mechanisms to parse and then reserialize Activity Streams 2.0 documents that contain extension properties SHOULD take sufficient care to ensure that extension properties used within the original document are preserved and serialized appropriately.
For instance, consider the following simple Activity Stream object containing hypothetical foo and bar extension properties. The foo extension is defined within the JSON-LD @context while the bar extension property is not.
Figure 32 A simple extended Object Example 30
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    { "foo" :  "http://example.org/foo" }  ],   "type" :  "Note" ,   "content" :  "This is a simple note" ,   "foo" :  123 ,   "bar" :  321 } An implementation that receives this Note object can choose to parse the object as an ordinary JSON object or it can use the standard JSON-LD Expansion algorithm.
If the implementation chooses to parse the object as ordinary JSON and then reserializes the object (e.g. for storage or redistribution), then it would simply preserve the values of the @context, foo and bar properties as they are and include those in the reserialized output.
However, if the implementation chooses to use the JSON-LD expansion algorithm, the @context will be removed from the expanded result and the bar property will be mapped to the "blank node" _:bar. If this document is then reserialized using the normative Activity Streams 2.0 context, the JSON-LD compacted form would be:
Figure 33 The reserialized compacted form: Example 31
{   "@context" :  "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,   "type" :  "Note" ,   "content" :  "This is a simple note" ,   "http://example.org/foo" :  123 ,   "bar" :  321 } While this is close to the original, the use of fully expanded URI label for the foo property is not ideal. To ensure that the reserialized object is serialized correctly, implementations that perform JSON-LD expansion of received documents SHOULD preserve the original @context used when performing the JSON-LD expansion, then reuse that when reserializing the object into the JSON-LD compacted form.
6. Privacy Considerations Activity Streams 2.0 documents can (and likely will) contain potentially sensitive personal information such as identity, contact information, physical location, physical characteristics, and so forth. Furthermore, Activity data, in general, can be analyzed to generate profiles of the behavior of individual or groups of Actors.
Implementations that produce or consume Activity Streams 2.0 documents MUST take steps to openly and publicly document and communicate to all potential users: (a) the kinds of potentially sensitive personal information published, consumed or collected by the implementation, (b) the reasons for publishing, consuming and collecting that information, (c) the manner in which that information is being used, (d) the identity of any other party with whom that information is being shared, and (e) the reason the information is being shared with other parties.
Implementations that publish Activity Streams 2.0 documents SHOULD assume a default position of limiting both the kind and amount of sensitive personal information included in the document unless users have "opted in" to sharing additional detail.
Implementations that consume Activity Streams 2.0 documents SHOULD NOT, by default, store or share sensitive personal information included within consumed documents unless users have "opted in" to allowing that information to be stored or shared.
In this context, "opting in" does not necessarily require explicit action on the part of the user. If, for instance, the use of certain sensitive personal information is clearly implicit in the use of an implementation (a location tracking service, for example), then any use of that implementation can be considered an implicit acknowledgement that the sensitive personal information will be used and shared so long as the documentation guidelines listed above are followed.
7. Security Considerations Publishers or Consumers implementing Activity Streams as a stream of public data may also want to consider the potential for unsolicited commercial or malicious content and should take preventative measures to recognize such content and either identify it or not include it in their implementations.
Publishers should take reasonable measures to ensure potentially malicious user input such as cross-site scripting attacks are not included in the Activity Streams data they publish.
Consumers that re-emit ingested content to end-users MUST take reasonable measures if emitting ingested content to make sure potentially malicious ingested input is not re-emitted.
Consumers that re-emit ingested content for crawling by search engines should take reasonable measures to limit any use of their site as a Search Engine Optimization loophole. This may include converting untrusted hyperlinks to text or including a rel="nofollow" attribute.
Consumers should be aware of the potential for spoofing attacks where the attacker publishes activities or objects with falsified property values with the intent of injecting malicious content, hiding or corrupting legitimate content, or misleading users.
Activity Streams are JSON Documents and are subject to the same security considerations described in [RFC7159].
Activity Streams implementations handle URIs. See Section 7 of [ RFC3986].
Activity Streams implementations handle IRIs. See Section 8 of [ RFC3987].
8. IANA Considerations 8.1 The application/activity+json Media Type This specification registers the application/activity+json MIME Media Type specifically for identifying documents conforming to the Activity Streams 2.0 format.
Type name: application Subtype name: activity+json Required parameters: None Optional parameters: profile: The profile parameter for the application/activity+json media type allows one or more profile URIs to be specified. These profile URIs have the identifier semantics defined in [RFC6906]. The "profile" media type parameter MUST be quoted. It contains a non-empty list of space-separated URIs (the profile URIs).profile-param =  "profile="  profile-valueprofile-value =  < " >  profile-URI 0*( 1*SP profile-URI )  < " > profile-URI   = URI The "URI" in the above grammar refers to the "URI" as defined in Section 3 of [RFC3986]. Encoding considerations: Resources that use the "application/activity+json" Media Type are required to conform to all of the requirements for the "application/json" Media Type and are therefore subject to the same encoding considerations specified in Section 11 of [RFC7159]. Security considerations: As defined in this specification. Contact: James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com> Note that while the Activity Streams 2.0 format uses JSON-LD conventions, there are a number of constraints and additional requirements for Activity Streams 2.0 implementations that justify the use of a specific media type.
Because Activity Streams 2.0 can be considered a restricted profile of JSON-LD, Implementations SHOULD consider the `application/ld+json; profile="https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams"` media type as being equivalent to `application/activity+json`.
9. Conformance All diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.
9.1 Documents Conforming documents are those that comply with all the conformance criteria for documents. For readability, some of these conformance requirements are phrased as conformance requirements on publishers; such requirements are implicitly requirements on documents: by definition, all documents are assumed to have a publisher.
Conforming documents must not include deprecated or obsolete syntax from Activity Streams 1.0. Conforming documents must include properties and types from the Activity Vocabulary. Conforming documents that use other vocabularies must also include equivalent Activity Vocabulary properties and types as illustrated in Section C. Conforming documents must not use features of JSON-LD or other serialization features disallowed in this specification, as in Section 2. Conforming documents that include types or properties beyond those defined in the Activity Streams 2.0 Vocabulary must use the extensibility features defined in section 5.
A non-exhaustive list of examples of documents includes:
A document representing an actor A document representing an object A document representing an activity A document representing a collection of the activities done by an actor A document representing a collection of the activities done to an object A document representing a collection of the activities addressed to an actor or object 9.2 Implementations Conforming implementations are software that publish, store, analyze, consume or otherwise process conforming documents. The two main kinds of implementations are publishers and consumers.
9.2.1 Publishers Conforming publishers are implementations that create and publish conforming documents. Conforming publishers must make conforming documents available according to the serialization requirements of section 2. Conforming publishers must consider privacy as described in section 6. Conforming publishers must consider security as described in section 7.
A non-exhaustive list of example publishers includes:
A social network A personal web site A document publishing system A bridge from a non-conforming social network A document converter from similar document types such as RSS or Atom 9.2.2 Consumers Conforming consumers are implementations that read and analyze conforming documents. Conforming consumers must tolerate deprecated or obsolete properties or types from Activity Streams 1.0. Conforming consumers must ignore properties or types that are not applicable to their application domain.
Conforming consumers may re-publish conforming documents in other other data formats. Conforming consumers may present conforming documents to a user on screen, in print, in audio format, or using other presentation mechanisms. Conforming consumers must faithfully translate the information represented in conforming documents into these other formats or media. Conforming consumers that re-publish conforming documents must consider privacy as described in section 6 and security as described in section 7.
A non-exhaustive list of example consumers includes:
A social network A search engine A feed reader A document validator A feed aggregator A statistical analyzer A. Acknowledgements The Activity Streams 2.0 specification is a product of the W3C Social Web Working Group. The editors thank all of the Working Group members who contributed to the conversations, issues and testing that helped shape the current specification.
The editor's also wish to thank all of those who contributed to Activity Streams prior to the specification being picked up as a contribution to the W3C Social Web Working Group. Activity Streams 1.0 was a community driven effort and the specification would not be where it is today without the earlier contributions from the community, including, but not limited to: Abdul Qabiz, Adina Levin, Adrian Chan, Adriana Javier, Alan Hoffman, Alex Kessinger, Alexander Ovchinnikov, Alexander Zhuravlev, Alexandre Loureiro Solleiro, Amy Walgenbach, Andres Vidal, Angel Robert Marquez, Ari Steinberg, Arjan Scherpenisse, Arne Roomann-Kurrik, Beau Lebens, Ben Hedrington, Ben Metcalfe, Ben Werdmuller, Benjamin Goering, Bill de hOra, Bo Xing, Bob Aman, Bob Wyman, Brett Slatkin, Brian Walsh, Brynn Evans, Charlie Cauthen, Chris Chabot, Chris Messina, Chris Toomey, Christian Crumlish, Dan Brickley, Dan Scott, Daniel Chapman, Danny Ayers, Dare Obasanjo, Darren Bounds, David Cramer, David Nelson, David Recordon, DeWitt Clinton, Douglas Pearce, Ed Summers, Elias Bizannes, Elisabeth Norris, Eric Marcoullier, Eric Woods, Evan Prodromou, Gee-Hsien Chuang, Greg Biggers, Gregory Foster, Henry Saputra, Hillary Madsen, Howard Liptzin, Hung Tran, Ian Kennedy, Ian Mulvany, Ivan Pulleyn, Jacob Kim, James Falkner, James Pike, James Walker, Jason Kahn, Jason Kantz, Jeff Kunins, Jeff Martin, Jian Lin, Johannes Ernst, John Panzer, Jon Lebkowsky, Jon Paul Davies, Jonathan Coffman, Jonathan Dugan, Joseph Boyle, Joseph Holsten, Joseph Smarr, Josh Brewer, Jud Valeski, Julien Chaumond, Julien Genestoux, Jyri Engestroem, Kaliya Hamlin, Kevin Marks, Laurent Eschenauer, Laurie Voss, Leah Culver, Libby Miller, Manu Mukerji, Mark Weitzel, Marko Degenkolb, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Martin Atkins, Martin Svensson, Marty Alchin, Mary Hoder, Matt Leventi, Matt Wilkinson, Matthias Mueller-Prove, Max Engel, Max Wegmueller, Melvin Carvalho, Michael Buckbee, Michael Chan, Michael Richardson, Michael Sullivan, Mike Macgirvin, Mislav Marohnić, Mo Jangda, Monica Wilkinson, Nate Benes, NeilFred Picciotto, Nick Howard, Nick Lothian, Nissan Dookeran, Nitya Narasimhan, Pablo Martin, Padraic Brady, Pat Cappelaere, Patrick Aljord, Peter Ferne, Peter Reiser, Peter Saint-Andre, Phil Wolff, Philip (flip) Kromer, Richard Cunningham, Richard Zhao, Rick Severson, Robert Hall, Robert Langbert, Robert Dolin, Robin Cover, Ryan Boyd, Sam Sethi, Scott Raymond, Scott Seely, Simon Grant, Simon Wistow, Stephen Garcia, Stephen Sisk, Stephen Paul Weber, Steve Ivy, Steve Midgley, Steven Livingstone-Perez, Sylvain Carle, Sylvain Hellegouarch, Tantek ‡elik, Tatu Saloranta, Tim Moore, Timothy Young, Todd Barnard, Tosh Meston, Tyler Gillies, Will Norris, Zach Copley, Laurent-Walter Goix, Matthew Marum, Andy Smith, and Zach Shepherd.
B. Deprecated Activity Streams 1.0 Syntax This section is non-normative.
Note: While this appendix sections is non-normative, it uses normative terms such as MUST. Where used, the meaning is to indicate what would be required to properly implement the Activity Streams 1.0 backwards compatibility model described in this appendix if an implementer chose to do so.
While the syntax defined by this specification diverges from that defined by JSON Activity Streams 1.0, the fundamental model defined by that original specification remains intact. Specific processing rules are defined by this specification that allow existing Activity Streams 1.0 documents to be mapped to and processed as an Activity Streams 2.0 document.
The JSON syntax defined by this specification differs somewhat from that defined in the original JSON Activity Streams 1.0 [ AS1] specification in ways that are not backwards compatible. Implementations can choose to continue supporting the JSON Activity Streams 1.0 syntax but ought consider it to be deprecated. This means that while implementations can continue to consume the 1.0 syntax, they should not output the 1.0 syntax unless specifically interacting with older non-2.0 compliant implementations.
Implementations can use the "application/stream+json" MIME media type when producing a JSON serialization using the Activity Streams 1.0 syntax, and "application/activity+json" when producing a serialization conforming to the 2.0 syntax. Implementations that process serializations identified using either the "application/stream+json" or the more generic "application/json" MIME media type MUST follow the syntax and processing rules set by [AS1]. The 2.0 syntax and processing rules apply only when handling serializations using the "application/activity+json" media type. When processing Activity Streams 1.0 documents using a JSON-LD processing model, implementations can use the special AS 1.0 to AS 2.0 expansion @context definition provided here to produce the JSON-LD expanded representation. Refer to the JSON-LD Processing Algorithms and API for details. When processing Activity Streams 1.0 documents and converting those to 2.0, implementations ought to treat id as an alias for the JSON-LD @id key word; and the objectType and verb properties as aliases for the JSON-LD @type keyword. Activity Streams 1.0 uses the displayName property which has been renamed to name in Activity Streams 2.0. Implementations ought to treat displayName as an alias for name. Activity Streams 1.0 uses the title property which has been dropped from Activity Streams 2.0. Implementations processing Activity Streams 1.0 documents as Activity Streams 2.0 ought to treat instances of the title property as an extension. This document redefines the content and summary properties as natural language values which means their values can be expressed as either a string or an object mapping language tags to string values. In the 1.0 syntax, these are expressed solely as String values. Because the 1.0 values are a valid subset allowed by this specification, implementations are not required to take any specific action to continue supporting those values. This document redefines a large number of common properties defined originally as Objects in 1.0 as either Objects or Links. The JSON-LD serialization allows such property values to be expressed as either an IRI String, an JSON object, or an Array of IRI Strings and JSON objects. Because the 1.0 values are a valid subset allowed by this specification, existing implementations are not required to take any specific action to continue supporting those values. This specification deprecates the upstreamDuplicates and downstreamDuplicates properties defined by Activity Streams 1.0 and does not provide a replacement. This is due largely to lack of any reasonable implementation evidence. While the upstreamDuplicates and downstreamDuplicates properties MAY continue to be used, implementations SHOULD avoid them. In Activity Streams 1.0, the "post" verb was defined to describe the action of both creating an object and "posting" or uploading it to a service. This specification replaces the "post" verb with separate Create and Add Activity types. When processing Activity Streams 1.0 documents and converting those into 2.0, implementations SHOULD treat instances of the " post" verb as equivalent to Create if there is no target property specified; and equivalent to Add if there is a target property specified. By following these guidelines, all JSON Activity Streams 1.0 serializations can be processed successfully by 2.0 implementations.
C. Example using Multiple Vocabularies This section is non-normative.
It is possible use multiple vocabularies to cover particular characteristics of the activities like data provenance and annotations, which can compliment the Activity Vocabulary. For example: Eric writes a short note to be shared with his followers. After posting the note, he notices a spelling error. He edits the note and re-posts it. Later, Eric decides that the information in the note is incorrect. He deletes the note.
Figure 34 A series of activities; creating, editing, and deleting a note. Example 32
{   "@context" : [     "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams" ,    {       "oa" :  "http://www.w3.org/ns/oa#" ,       "prov" :  "http://www.w3.org/ns/prov#" ,       "dcterms" :  "http://purl.org/dc/terms/" ,       "dcterms:created" : {         "@id" :  "dcterms:created" ,         "@type" :  "xsd:dateTime"       }    }  ],   "summary" :  "Editing history of a note" ,   "type" :  "Collection" ,   "items" : [    {       "id" :  "http://example.org/activity/20150101000000" ,       "type" : [  "Create" ,  "prov:Activity"  ],       "actor" : {         "id" :  "http://example.org/#eric" ,         "name" :  "Eric"       },       "summary" :  "Eric wrote a note." ,       "object" : {         "id" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000000" ,         "type" : [  "Note" ,  "prov:Entity"  ],         "attributedTo" :  "http://example.org/#eric" ,         "content" :  "Remember... all I'm offering is the trooth. Nothing more."       },       "published" :  "2015-01-01T00:00:00Z"     },    {       "id" :  "http://example.org/activity/20150101000059" ,       "type" : [  "Update" ,  "prov:Activity" ,  "oa:Annotation"  ],       "summary" :  "Eric edited a note." ,       "dcterms:created" :  "2015-01-01T00:00:59Z" ,       "dcterms:creator" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/#eric"  },       "oa:hasBody" : {         "id" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000059" ,         "type" : [  "Note" ,  "prov:Entity"  ],         "content" :  "Remember... all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more." ,         "prov:wasAttributedTo" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/#eric"  },         "prov:wasRevisionOf" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000000"  }      },       "oa:hasTarget" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000000"  },       "oa:motivatedBy" : {  "@id" :  "oa:editing"  },       "prov:generated" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000059"  },       "prov:wasInformedBy" : {  "@id" :  "http://example.org/activity/20150101000000"  }    },    {       "id" :  "http://example.org/activity/20150101010101" ,       "type" : [  "Delete" ,  "prov:Activity"  ],       "actor" :  "http://example.org/#eric" ,       "summary" :  "Eric deleted a note." ,       "object" :  "http://example.org/entry/20150101000059" ,       "published" :  "2015-01-01T01:01:01Z"     }  ]} D. Changelog This section is non-normative.
The following notable changes have been made to this document since the previous candidate recommendation of 2016-12-15.
Removed process sections, especially those noting exit criteria and at-risk features. Updated Collection Paging to clarify additional CollectionPage properties. Used better wording for summary as text representation. Updated context examples to include more realistic complex contexts. E. Table of Figures Figure 1 Document providing a context as a string. Figure 2 Document providing context as an object using the @vocab keyword and a prefix for extension terms. Figure 3 Document providing context as an array, and including an alias for an additional term. Figure 4 Expresses the statement 'http://www.test.example/martin' created 'http://example.org/foo.jpg'. No additional detail is given. Figure 5 Expresses the statement "Martin Smith added an article to the blog 'Martin's Blog' at 3:04 PM UTC on February 10, 2015." Some additional details about the article, actor and target blog are given using properties defined by the Activity Streams 2.0 Vocabulary . Figure 6 A more extensive, single-entry "Activity Stream" follows. Figure 7 Following is an example Object that uses the id and type properties to express the global identifier and object type: Figure 8 An Object that is both a Place and a gr:Location: Figure 9 A note with a name defined by the author Figure 10 A note with an automatically-generated summary Figure 11 To reference a single image without any additional metadata, a direct association can be expressed as a JSON string containing an absolute IRI. Figure 12 Alternatively, if additional metadata is required (such as the MIME content type of the referenced resource) a Link can be used: Figure 13 If more than one value is to be expressed, A JSON Array with a mix of strings and Link s can be used: Figure 14 Figure 15 An Activity with a Person actor extended with VCard properties: Figure 16 The following example illustrates a simple Activity: Figure 17 An Activity that is both a Like and a http://schema.org/LikeAction: Figure 18 The following is a simple unordered collection: Figure 19 The following is a simple ordered collection: Figure 20 An illustration of the relationship between Collection, OrderedCollection, CollectionPage, and OrderedCollectionPage: Figure 21 A visualization of the Collection paging model: Figure 22 The following is a simple unordered collection with paging: Figure 23 A single name String value without language information: Figure 24 Multiple, language-specific values: Figure 25 Using the "und" language tag: Figure 26 Specifying the default "@language" within the JSON-LD @context: Figure 27 GeoJSON Point Coordinates: Figure 28 The Equivalent Place alternative: Figure 29 GeoJSON Polygon Coordinates: Figure 30 The Equivalent GeoSparql Well-Known-Text alternative: Figure 31 A JSON-LD Compact URI definition Figure 32 A simple extended Object Figure 33 The reserialized compacted form: Figure 34 A series of activities; creating, editing, and deleting a note. F. References F.1 Normative references [BCP47] Tags for Identifying Languages. A. Phillips; M. Davis. IETF. September 2009. IETF Best Current Practice. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp47 [BIDI] Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm. Mark Davis; Aharon Lanin; Andrew Glass. Unicode Consortium. 18 May 2016. Unicode Standard Annex #9. URL: http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr9/tr9-35.html [HTML5] HTML5. Ian Hickson; Robin Berjon; Steve Faulkner; Travis Leithead; Erika Doyle Navara; Theresa O'Connor; Silvia Pfeiffer. W3C. 28 October 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/html5/ [JSON-LD] JSON-LD 1.0. Manu Sporny; Gregg Kellogg; Markus Lanthaler. W3C. 16 January 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/json-ld/ [JSON-LD-API] JSON-LD 1.0 Processing Algorithms and API. Markus Lanthaler; Gregg Kellogg; Manu Sporny. W3C. 16 January 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/json-ld-api/ [RFC2119] Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. IETF. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119 [RFC3339] Date and Time on the Internet: Timestamps. G. Klyne; C. Newman. IETF. July 2002. Proposed Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3339 [RFC3986] Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. T. Berners-Lee; R. Fielding; L. Masinter. IETF. January 2005. Internet Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3986 [RFC3987] Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs). M. Duerst; M. Suignard. IETF. January 2005. Proposed Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3987 [RFC5988] Web Linking. M. Nottingham. IETF. October 2010. Proposed Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5988 [RFC6906] The 'profile' Link Relation Type. E. Wilde. IETF. March 2013. Informational. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6906 [RFC7159] The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data Interchange Format. T. Bray, Ed.. IETF. March 2014. Proposed Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7159 F.2 Informative references [ABNF] Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF. D. Crocker, Ed.; P. Overell. IETF. January 2008. Internet Standard. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5234 [AS1] JSON Activity Streams 1.0. J. Snell; M. Atkins; W. Norris; C. Messina; M. Wilkinson; R. Dolin. http://activitystrea.ms. unofficial. URL: http://activitystrea.ms/specs/json/1.0/ [SWP] Social Web Protocols. A. Guy.URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/social-web-protocols/ [vcard-rdf] vCard Ontology - for describing People and Organizations. Renato Iannella; James McKinney. W3C. 22 May 2014. W3C Note. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/vcard-rdf/'†‘
Benghazi Hero Exposes Massive Cover-Up: Brennan Tried Forcing Survivors to Sign NDA to Hide What Really Happened - Page 2 of 2 - Chicks On The Right '-- Young Conservatives
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:31
Don't Miss an Update! Subscribe Now! Former CIA Director John Brennan has been gathering folks to flood media with defenders bashing Trump for pulling his security clearance. But a very powerful voice, a Benghazi hero, has weighed in and revealed what Brennan did to him and other survivors, including lying, trying to shut them up and pulling their security clearances.
From Fox News:
Kris ''Tanto'' Paronto, a former Army Ranger and private security contractor who was part of the CIA team that fought back during the 2012 Benghazi terror attack, accused Brennan of putting his ''politics'' before those in the field.
''He is lucky the security clearance is all he is getting away with,'' Paronto told Fox News in an interview on Friday.
Paronto blasted Brennan to his face after Brennan tweeted his disturbance at having his clearance pulled by President Donald Trump.
''My principles are greater than clearances too John, especially when you and the @CIA kool-aid drinkers punishes us for not going along with the Benghazi cover-up story in order to protect you, @HillaryClinton's & @BarackObama's failures. You put your politics before us.''
What did Brennan do?
Paronto and his fellow survivors were made to sign three non-disclosure agreements pertaining to Benghazi in a six month period.
They were even given non-disclosure agreements to sign when during the memorial to their dead comrades, Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty, an incredibly offensive act.
This, of course, was to try not to have the men speak out and rebut the story being pushed by the Obama administration, to shut them up.
Meanwhile, CIA officials were telling Congress that there had been no effort to keep the Benghazi survivors from telling their stories.
And John Brennan categorically denied to the Weekly Standard that the CIA had discouraged the contractors from speaking out.
Then when they couldn't take the lies and spoke out, their security clearances were pulled.
Paronto maintains, however, that he didn't share classified information in telling the Benghazi story and continues to object to their clearances being revoked.
''Normally when you have a clearance suspended, you're supposed to know why '... I was never given that,'' he said, blaming Brennan. ''It was his determination whether we kept our clearances or not.''
He also took exception at how the Benghazi team was treated upon their return.
''We come back from being on the ground to be treated as a second-class citizen. You come back and you're called a liar,'' Paronto told Fox News. ''Brennan came in and there was no talk of 'hey, good job guys,' not that you look for it, but instead, it was 'don't say anything guys, we don't want the truth to get out.'''
Paronto finished Brennan off on Thursday night, tweeting a veritable list of the machinations and lies in which Brennan has allegedly been involved.
Hero vs. proven liar John Brennan who spied on the Senate when they were trying to investigate the CIA and got caught lying to Congress about it.
No contest.
Instagram users are reporting the same bizarre hack
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:26
Krista, an Instagram user with more than 4,500 followers on her fitness account, noticed something strange on Saturday evening: she had been logged out of her account.
When she tried to log back in, she got a message that her username didn't exist. She soon realized her handle and photo had both been changed, as had the email address and phone number associated with her account. She tried to request a password reset, only to see the new email linked to her account was now a .ru email: she had been hacked.
SEE ALSO: Dozens of Vegas slots went offline simultaneously during a hacker convention
Megan, an Instagram user with about 2,000 followers, has a similar story. She woke up Monday morning to a logged out Instagram account. Her user name and profile image had changed, as had the password, email address, and Facebook account linked to her Instagram.
Like half a dozen other hacking victims who spoke with Mashable, her profile photo had been changed, as had all the contact information linked to the account, which was now linked to an email with a .ru Russian domain.
Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram's Twitter account for help
Megan and Krista's experiences are not isolated cases. They are two of hundreds of Instagram users who have reported similar attacks since the beginning of the month. On Twitter, there have been more than 100 of these types of anecdotal reports in the last 24 hours alone. According to data from analytics platform Talkwalker, there have been more than 5,000 tweets from 899 accounts mentioning Instagram hacks just in the last seven days. Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram's Twitter account for help.
Though Instagram, which has more than 1 billion users, says it hasn't seen an uptick in hacks, a search of Twitter data suggests otherwise. Twitter users have directed approximately 798 tweets to Instagram's official account with the word "hack" since the beginning of the month, compared with about 40 tweets during the same period in July.
There are numerous reports of hacks on Reddit, and a Google Trends search shows a spike in searches for "Instagram hacked" on Aug. 8, and again on Aug. 11.
''We work hard to provide the Instagram community with a safe and secure experience," an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement. "When we become aware of an account that has been compromised, we shut off access to the account and the people who've been affected are put through a remediation process so they can reset their password and take other necessary steps to secure their accounts.''
It's not clear how hackers are gaining access to these accounts, or if it's the result of a coordinated attack. But Mashable has identified several commonalities among the hacking victims '-- like a changed handle and profile avatar (often to an animated character from a Disney or Pixar film), deleted bios, and a new .ru email address on the account. In most cases, the Instagram users did not have two-factor authentication enabled at the time of the hack, but it appears even this setting may not be enough to deter hackers.
Chris Woznicki's account info was changed, along the with the email associated with his account.
The extra security measure didn't protect Chris Woznicki, who was using two-factor authentication at the time his account was hacked 10 days ago. Woznicki says Instagram sent him security emails notifying him the email address on his account had been changed (once again, to a .ru address) and 2FA had been disabled. But by the time he saw the messages, it was too late and he had already lost access to his account, which had 660 followers. Others have reported similar occurrences.
Interestingly, the hackers don't appear to be posting new photos or removing old posts from their victims' accounts, as is often the case when a social media account is compromised. But they are changing all of the contact information linked to the account, which makes it exceedingly difficult for its owner to regain access.
A security email sent to Chris Woznicki, he saw it too late to lock down his Instagram account.
That's because Instagram's own security policies can make it challenging for someone to access an account if they no longer own the email and phone number associated with the account. While that policy is in place for obvious reasons '-- you don't want just anyone to be able to request a password reset, for example '-- it also has the effect of making the account recovery process extremely difficult for people who have had their account credentials changed.
"When I reported it, they sent an automated email which told me to log in and change the password," says Woznicki. "However at this point it was impossible to do that."
Instagram say it has a process in place to address these types of cases, but many users have found it lacking. Because the company relies on a largely automated account recovery process, it can be time consuming, and leave users feeling like they are moving in circles without anyone actually addressing their situation.
"The maze that Instagram sends you on to get your account back is laughable"
"The maze that Instagram sends you on to get your account back is laughable and leads to broken/dead links and emails from robots which lead nowhere," says Abigail Nowak, whose Instagram was also hacked.
Nowak, who works closely with Facebook as part of her day job as a social media manager, has not been able to access her account for five days, despite several attempts to contact Instagram, she said. Her account is now linked to an email address with a Russian domain.
For others, regaining access to their Instagram accounts is more than just a personal matter. Krista, the fitness influencer, is worried losing her account could compromise her relationship with several sponsors. "If I am unable to get my account back it's going to affect the sponsorships I have," she says.
Some Instagram users have been able to successfully navigate Instagram's remediation process. One user said her account access was restored after being contacted by Mashable, but described the process as "extremely stressful."
Instagram hacks are not a new occurrence. With more than 1 billion users, the service has become a major target for hackers of all stripes. But it's not clear if the company's policies for dealing with these cases have scaled with the rest of the service. Instagram declined to share specifics on how long its remediation process typically takes, but if the volume of angry tweets is any indication, it's not addressing these reports quickly enough.
Many users, like Woznicki, have resorted to creating brand new accounts while they wait out a response from Instagram. "I have no hope from Instagram for any real help," he says.
Has your Instagram account been hacked in this way? Email the author at karissa [at] mashable.com.
Hundreds of Instagram accounts hit by cyberattack - CyberTalk.org
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:19
Hundreds of Instagram users have been locked out of their accounts by what appears to be Russian hackers, Newsweek reports. Users noticed that they had been logged out of their accounts when they entered the app. When they attempted to log back in, they were told that there was no account associated with the regular username, email address, or phone number.
Victims quickly realized that their account credentials had been altered, and that associated emails had been changed to a different address with a .ru suffix. They also reported profile pictures and biographies being modified (to Russian writing), although it doesn't appear that hackers are publishing new posts.
Instagram's security policies make it difficult for victims to regain control of their accounts, because most of their procedures require the user to be logged in. With so many affected, Instagram has been slow to respond and users have reported slow or crashing servers. Some have taken to Twitter in the hopes that they will get a response there.
According to Mashable, the affected users vary in terms of follower count. Some of the victims were Instagram ''influencers'' with thousands of followers. Others, however, were average users. One user who had enabled two-factor authentication (2-FA) on his account received an automated email from Instagram saying that 2-FA had been disabled.
Get the full story on Newsweek.
The Southern Poverty Law Center's terrible year just got worse
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 13:57
By Post Editorial Board
August 11, 2018 | 7:50pm
It's been a rough year for the Southern Poverty Law Center '-- deservedly so. And it just got more difficult, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The SPLC, formed in 1971 as an aggressive civil-rights nonprofit law firm, has become the left's go-to arbiter of what constitutes a hate group. Its pronouncements are quoted without challenge by the news media, and it has an endowment of $300 million, enriched by major corporate donors.
Yet its overly broad definition of ''hate'' often goes far beyond truly vile outfits to include people and groups that simply don't toe a politically correct line. That's why the SPLC two months ago had to pay $3.4 million and publicly apologize to Maajid Nawaz, whom it had falsely labeled an ''anti-Muslim extremist.'' (He's actually a practicing Muslim who opposes extremism.)
But that didn't stop the Star-Ledger last week from devoting an editorial to denouncing New Jersey's ICE spokesman, Emilio Dabul, for his ''links'' (as supplied by the SPLC) to ''anti-Muslim fanatics.'' This, even though the Star-Ledger admitted that Dabul's own writings ''showed no anti-Muslim bias.'' It was all guilt by association '-- right from the SPLC playbook.
Now Sessions has ordered a review to ensure the Justice Department no longer partners with the SPLC and other groups that ''unfairly defame Americans.''
Sessions acknowledged that the SPLC at one time ''did important work in South'': As an Alabama prosecutor he worked with it to convict a Ku Klux Klan member who'd murdered a black teenager.
But nowadays, Sessions charged, it uses its hate-group designations ''as a weapon'' to ''bully and intimidate'' organizations of which it simply doesn't approve.
Groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal foundation that specializes in religious liberty '-- and quite effectively: It has prevailed in the US Supreme Court nine times in the last seven years. Yet the SPLC has defamed ADF as a ''hate group,'' a label Sessions rejected by appearing before the group.
As Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who's also been smeared by the SPLC as an ''anti-Muslim extremist,'' has noted, the group these days is invested more in ''profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals'' than in actually upholding civil rights.
Sessions' review is long overdue, and follows other government agencies that have backed away from the SPLC. It's time for those who still merely parrot its smears to start taking a closer look.
Ocasio-Cortez bans press from covering campaign event | Fox News
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:27
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist star running for New York's 14th congressional district, is facing criticism after her campaign banned journalists from covering a town hall meeting with voters this week.
The Queens Chronicle, a local news outlet, reported that the campaign for the 28-year-old progressive prevented reporters from attending a campaign event in Corona on Sunday, even though it was open to the rest of the public. The campaign reportedly barred reporters from a prior event as well.
Ocasio-Cortez returned to her district after stumping for like-minded candidates across the country, even joining up with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. She became an overnight political sensation and a sought-after endorsement on the left upon defeating longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's Democratic primary in June.
Her campaign did not immediately return a request for comment about the ban from Fox News. But a spokesman told the Queens Chronicle all the national attention contributed to the decision to prevent reporters from covering the event.
''We wanted to help create a space where community members felt comfortable and open to express themselves without the distraction of cameras and press. These were the first set of events where the press has been excluded,'' campaign spokesman Corbin Trent said. ''This is an outlier and will not be the norm. We're still adjusting our logistics to fit Alexandria's national profile.''
The explanation, though, did not satisfy reporters.
Seung Min Kim, a Washington Post reporter, tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez ''is in for a rough time on Capitol Hill -- where reporters roam freely at all hours of the day and night -- if this is her attitude toward the press.''
By Friday afternoon, Ocasio-Cortez doubled-down on Twitter, calling it''a non-story.''
She said the journalist ban ''was designed to protect + invite vulnerable populations to PUBLIC discourse: immigrants, victims of domestic abuse, and so on.''
''We indicated previously that the event would be closed to press,'' she said. ''Future ones are open.''
The candidate has faced some scrutiny from media fact-checkers for a spree of claims she's made on the interview circuit.
Ocasio-Cortez's banning of reporters came the same week more than 300 publications across the country -- many of which supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- ran coordinated editorials hitting back at President Trump's attacks on members of the press.
The Boston Globe's piece, published Thursday, titled ''JOURNALISTS ARE NOT THE ENEMY,'' said replacing ''a free media with a state-run media'' is the ''first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country.''
''Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current U.S. administration are the 'enemy of the people,''' the editorial board wrote. ''This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president much like an old-time charlatan threw out 'magic' dust or water on a hopeful crowd.''
President Trump responded by accusing the Globe of ''collusion.''
''The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!'' Trump tweeted.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.


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All Clips

Al Sharpton on Trump Omarosa Dog calling-RESPICT.mp3
ASMR - Omarosa reads from book.mp3
ASMR Video example.mp3
backpage story wtf.mp3
Bill maher slams his liberal panel on Alex Jones de-platforming-Adam Ruins Everything-.mp3
Billy Bon3s-EOS-You Gotta Be_SONG.mp3
Brian Williams Investigates-Does Trump Hate Dogs.mp3
CBC report on Neewspapers op-eds agains trupm Enemy of the People-Lots mistakes in this one.mp3
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CSPAN-Larry Lessig-Attempt to amend cosntitution to remove electoral college.mp3
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eric prince vs andrea mitchell bad info.mp3
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google internal protests.mp3
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M5M freaking out over security clearance removal.mp3
madmonk13-The Poopp Police - EOS.mp3
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Michael Pillsbury-Defense RAND guy-China thinks Trump is a genius.mp3
NPR This Week - 43 percent of republicans want Trmp to shut down bad news outlets.mp3
NPR This Week - Fake News Enemies - Journos are protected as an indisytry in the constitution.mp3
NPR This Week - Revoking clearances - Watergate Enemies list.mp3
Phil Mudd freakout over credentials being pulled-unhinged after Paris speaks.mp3
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  • 0:00
    wake the neighbors quick Adam Curie John
  • 0:04
    C Devore award-winning chemo nation
  • 0:08
    media assassination episode 61 this is
  • 0:16
    [Music] assassination episode 61 this is
  • 0:25
    where it turns out that Trump is not the
  • 0:28
    leader of the free world I'm John see
  • 0:30
    Devoy you can't do that it was perfect
  • 0:37
    I'm John C Dvorak don't go breaking the
  • 0:40
    whole thing that you're the true leader
  • 0:42
    of the free world we get it are they'd
  • 0:46
    lock on your door already yeah they're
  • 0:49
    coming in they're coming to get me yo
  • 0:50
    hey I'm gonna take me away uh-huh uh-huh
  • 0:54
    Hey who was that again that was the
  • 0:56
    coming to take me away hee hee ha ha ho
  • 0:58
    ho to the funny farm
  • 1:00
    was that is beautiful all the time who
  • 1:03
    was that Bonzo Dog doo-dah baby no no
  • 1:07
    it's on the tip of my tongue it's uh oh
  • 1:11
    hey hey huh it's like okay in the chat
  • 1:17
    room we'll know well we don't have a
  • 1:18
    chat room we have a troll root old room
  • 1:21
    dr. Dement roll room we'll know it was
  • 1:24
    Napoleon about Napoleon something or
  • 1:26
    other that's right Napoleon okay why
  • 1:30
    even do that when we have important
  • 1:32
    things to discuss John I need you to
  • 1:33
    look at the Trump rotation today
  • 1:36
    the Trump rotation have it in front of
  • 1:37
    me no I cannot recall do we have dog
  • 1:42
    hater on the list nope I'm sure of it
  • 1:45
    dog hater should be added to the list
  • 1:48
    and I think I can prove it
  • 1:49
    okay hold on a second let me write it
  • 1:51
    get a pen yeah you do need to write this
  • 1:53
    down that's interesting we should have
  • 1:57
    caught this one much earlier but there
  • 1:59
    is an issue with dogs as you know the
  • 2:01
    president likes to call people dog for
  • 2:03
    numbers he does Brian Williams felt it
  • 2:06
    was time to investigate if the president
  • 2:09
    hates dogs is this president really
  • 2:11
    physically not like dogs
  • 2:14
    that's right Brian he's actually the
  • 2:16
    first president in more than a hundred
  • 2:18
    years who's not had a dog as a pet in
  • 2:21
    the White House he has looked with a dog
  • 2:23
    before when he first got married to his
  • 2:24
    first wife Ivana she brought with her a
  • 2:27
    poodle he resisted the dog he didn't
  • 2:30
    want to have anything to do with the
  • 2:31
    poodle but she said the poodles coming
  • 2:33
    along he's coming along turns out chappy
  • 2:35
    didn't like Trump very much because
  • 2:37
    whenever Trump would come near Ivana's
  • 2:39
    closet chappy would bark at him
  • 2:40
    territorial lady Ivana writes about this
  • 2:43
    in her memoir that came out a few months
  • 2:44
    ago we launched an extensive web search
  • 2:47
    that took us at least a few minutes and
  • 2:49
    we could only find one don't you love
  • 2:52
    that I mean I know he's making fun of
  • 2:53
    himself but it's just kind of it's so
  • 2:55
    beautiful to hear him say we did some
  • 2:57
    extensive research a two-minute Webster
  • 2:59
    Tamar that came out a few months ago we
  • 3:01
    launched an extensive web search that
  • 3:03
    took us at least a few minutes and we
  • 3:05
    could only find one photo extant in all
  • 3:08
    the land of Donald Trump for the daus
  • 3:10
    but it's deadly serious what he does
  • 3:12
    with that word using it as an attack
  • 3:16
    he's dehumanizing his enemies that's the
  • 3:18
    goal there and there's a long history
  • 3:20
    actually of authoritarian leaders who've
  • 3:23
    used these ANA animalistic slurs as
  • 3:26
    insults to dehumanize individuals or
  • 3:28
    groups of people we remember in during
  • 3:31
    the Holocaust the Nazis would call there
  • 3:35
    we go hey good good work it only took
  • 3:38
    him a minute to get to Hitler really
  • 3:41
    fast now they get it down now this is
  • 3:43
    just a lead-in to the real accusations
  • 3:46
    about Trump misusing dogs not just
  • 3:50
    hating them in general and I don't know
  • 3:52
    for pootle his dog by the way but
  • 3:56
    comparing people he hates to dogs al
  • 3:59
    Sharpton has details jokey-joke like a
  • 4:04
    dog it shoked like a dog jumped like a
  • 4:06
    dog we've seen you employed people
  • 4:09
    expect unwavering loyalty teach them
  • 4:12
    tricks and give them treats for job well
  • 4:15
    done and give them treats for job well
  • 4:16
    like oh six figures worth the hush money
  • 4:19
    to silence an alleged affair for example
  • 4:22
    but the moment they deviate
  • 4:24
    from their good behavior and failed to
  • 4:28
    fetch you publicly condemned them or
  • 4:31
    twitter with animalistic slurs steve
  • 4:35
    Bannon was quote jumped like a dog you
  • 4:38
    tweeted after he was fired Sally Yates
  • 4:41
    you said she choked like a dog during US
  • 4:44
    Senate testimony on the rush
  • 4:46
    investigation and now amarosa that
  • 4:50
    doesn't include all those outside your
  • 4:53
    orbit you hit with a canine cut-down
  • 4:56
    like when you refer to black NFL players
  • 4:59
    as sons of well female dogs but I think
  • 5:04
    you've might have learned a lesson this
  • 5:06
    week and wait for John pay attention
  • 5:08
    sometimes the dog bites back with a book
  • 5:12
    deal and while we're talking about
  • 5:14
    female canines if you know what they say
  • 5:17
    about payback it's a real well you I'm
  • 5:21
    sure you know the word I'm thinking of
  • 5:23
    so in the words of my late friend Aretha
  • 5:27
    Franklin and show some our ESP ICT
  • 5:37
    [Applause] and show some our ESP ICT
  • 5:46
    MSNBC everybody
  • 5:47
    hitman al sharpton spells respect RESP
  • 5:52
    eyes of the day I mean wanna make it
  • 5:59
    with nothing to top that clip show some
  • 6:07
    RESP ICT from this morning show my
  • 6:12
    everything blew up here around quarter
  • 6:15
    to 11:00
  • 6:16
    everyone's sending me this clip thank
  • 6:18
    you by the way everybody this whole
  • 6:28
    rigmarole is obviously written form so
  • 6:30
    smooth as silk got a lot of one-liners a
  • 6:33
    lot of good material and then he
  • 6:34
    finishes his putt he punches his punches
  • 6:37
    out with that unbelievable what an
  • 6:41
    incompetent bonehead
  • 6:43
    why does MSNBC pay this guy so much
  • 6:47
    money to be on that you know she's good
  • 6:50
    no I know let me tell you there's a he's
  • 6:54
    been in the news quite a bit actually
  • 6:55
    and I think it's what you fold one as we
  • 7:00
    know he's a hitman we learned this on
  • 7:04
    the last show so you don't mess with the
  • 7:06
    Hitman in fact this was haunt this was
  • 7:08
    on MSNBC the last step before witness
  • 7:10
    protection is always a visit with
  • 7:12
    Reverend Al uh-huh that's right Plus
  • 7:14
    that before witness protection is always
  • 7:16
    a visit Ruth with Reverend Al now
  • 7:19
    Reverend Al having worked for the FBI
  • 7:21
    being an informant guess what he has
  • 7:24
    since 83 what does he have clearance
  • 7:29
    this is why al is still around this is
  • 7:33
    this without us really realizing it
  • 7:37
    the swamp has been exposed at least a
  • 7:39
    big big scummy pond part of it which is
  • 7:43
    this clearances business oh yeah
  • 7:46
    and this is great let me just let me
  • 7:51
    just play this sharpen bit so we get
  • 7:53
    into it is what makes it so scary to me
  • 7:58
    because that effect I'm saying I can't
  • 8:01
    afford environment intelligence if I
  • 8:04
    want to do something later in my career
  • 8:06
    I can't afford to speak my mind even in
  • 8:10
    private cause I could have this against
  • 8:12
    me and that is where we're going toward
  • 8:15
    a almost totalitarian type of state
  • 8:19
    walking slowly there but headed that way
  • 8:22
    when people are afraid for political
  • 8:26
    reasons to exercise their freedom of
  • 8:28
    speech nada that is the threat here to
  • 8:31
    me I think that is a valid threat and
  • 8:34
    from intelligence perspective and
  • 8:36
    especially at the CIA professional
  • 8:38
    outside of their work they should do
  • 8:40
    that publicly when they have left the
  • 8:42
    agency as I have talked about their own
  • 8:46
    opinions and in quite often informed
  • 8:49
    opinions and I think that adding to the
  • 8:51
    public debate is what is so important so
  • 8:54
    we were half right or at least partially
  • 8:56
    right were half right or at least partially
  • 8:56
    that taking away someone's to clear the
  • 8:59
    security clearance in Washington DC is
  • 9:03
    extremely funny because a million and a
  • 9:06
    half people have top-secret clearance
  • 9:08
    already almost five million have some
  • 9:11
    sort of clearance across the USA so when
  • 9:14
    you don't have clearance you are truly
  • 9:15
    in DC a loser and wait so you know I've
  • 9:21
    dealt I think I've told the story many
  • 9:22
    times there were some distant nice in
  • 9:26
    the family we're all sitting around big
  • 9:27
    family reunion she's talking so I asked
  • 9:29
    or something says yeah I can't talk to
  • 9:31
    you about that because you have no
  • 9:32
    clearance this is how it works you got a
  • 9:34
    spy job you get clearance you can't talk
  • 9:37
    to people that's what it is now all of a
  • 9:40
    sudden is like bid my First Amendment
  • 9:42
    right has been taken away because I
  • 9:44
    don't have any clearance you still can't
  • 9:45
    talk to people no the problem is you're
  • 9:48
    not as valuable anymore you
  • 9:50
    zero value to MSNBC if you're John
  • 9:53
    Brennan and you don't have security
  • 9:55
    clearance you have no value and they are