Even rugby players would be impressed:
Dept Of Holy Shit
Even rugby players would be impressed:
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
1. The Aristocracy Is Dead …
For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around Christmas, more often on the Fourth of July, my family would take up residence at one of my grandparents’ country clubs in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Asheville, North Carolina. The breakfast buffets were magnificent, and Grandfather was a jovial host, always ready with a familiar story, rarely missing an opportunity for gentle instruction on proper club etiquette. At the age of 11 or 12, I gathered from him, between his puffs of cigar smoke, that we owed our weeks of plenty to Great-Grandfather, Colonel Robert W. Stewart, a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt who made his fortune as the chairman of Standard Oil of Indiana in the 1920s. I was also given to understand that, for reasons traceable to some ancient and incomprehensible dispute, the Rockefellers were the mortal enemies of our clan.
Sometimes the real promise of the system is simply the power to remove leaders.
What is democracy for? This might seem like an obvious question. Yet disagreements over democracy’s ends are multiplying in the West, including in the oldest, most advanced democracies. Those disagreements include the question of whether democracy is an end unto itself or a means to something greater.
Is it possible that the United States and Europe might learn something from Malaysia, a country long seen as a flawed semi-democracy?
In this month’s elections, the ruling United Malays National Organization, as part of the National Front coalition, lost its hold on power for the first time since Malaysia won independence from the British in 1957—Mahatir Mohammed has replaced the long-serving Najib Razak as prime minister. In an unusual twist, though, the de facto leader of the opposition Alliance of Hope, Anwar Ibrahim, had been serving a five-year prison sentence on politically motivated sodomy charges. This week, he walked out a free man after receiving a full pardon. He may eventually become the country’s prime minister. These events were a reminder of a different kind of democratic euphoria, offering a stark contrast to the pessimism that citizens of Western countries have by now grown accustomed to. Elections do, in fact, have consequences.
Judea Pearl helped artificial intelligence gain a strong grasp on probability, but laments that it still can't compute cause and effect.
Artificial intelligence owes a lot of its smarts to Judea Pearl. In the 1980s he led efforts that allowed machines to reason probabilistically. Now he’s one of the field’s sharpest critics. In his latest book, The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, he argues that artificial intelligence has been handicapped by an incomplete understanding of what intelligence really is.
Three decades ago, a prime challenge in artificial-intelligence research was to program machines to associate a potential cause to a set of observable conditions. Pearl figured out how to do that using a scheme called Bayesian networks. Bayesian networks made it practical for machines to say that, given a patient who returned from Africa with a fever and body aches, the most likely explanation was malaria. In 2011 Pearl won the Turing Award, computer science’s highest honor, in large part for this work.
Sites like Wish.com are taking out the middleman in retail. Will customers like this new dynamic?
The package came in a small black box, covered in tape. It had no return address. Under layers of packaging, there was a box labeled Smart Watch, with no brand name. Inside the box was the watch itself, which looked nothing like the inexpensive Apple Watch I’d hoped it would be. Instead, the large digital face featured icons for Twitter, Facebook, a pedometer, and a photo-taking app called “Camina” rather than “camera.” It was about what you’d expect for a smart watch that cost less than $20.
I ordered the watch from Wish.com, one of a growing number of sites that allows consumers from around the world to buy deeply discounted goods from China, directly from sellers or manufacturers there. After receiving promotional emails from Wish offering bikinis for $4 (marked down from $75!), camera drones for $29 (down from $1,399!), and, for some reason, a spoon that says “My Peanut-Butter Spoon” for $1 (down from $12), I could no longer resist. I ordered the smart watch, advertised as “Hot Sell New product Q18S Smart Wrist Watch” for $18, marked down, supposedly, from $896. The product had more than 8,000 reviews in dozens of languages, averaging four stars. “Its cool I like it for the price,” read one.
Electronic mail as we know it is drowning in spam, forged phishing mails, and other scams and hacks. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
One week ago, a group of European security researchers warned that two obscure encryption schemes for email were deeply broken. Those schemes, called OpenPGP and S/MIME, are not the kinds of technologies you’re using but don’t know it. They are not part of the invisible and vital internet infrastructure we all rely on.
This isn’t that kind of story.
The exploit, called Efail by the researchers who released it, showed that encrypted (and therefore private and secure) email is not only hard to do, but might be impossible in any practical way, because of what email is at its core. But contained in the story of why these standards failed is the story of why email itself is the main way we get hacked, robbed, and violated online. The story of email is also the story of how we lost so much of our privacy, and how we might regain it.
Emoji hearts are hard to read but there’s one that beats them all.
There’s no more universal sign of love than a heart. The traditional red heart has become the default signal of approval on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and countless other apps. According to Apple, the red heart emoji was the second-most popular emoji in 2017, bested only by the crying-laugh face. When Facebook released its emoji data last year, hearts were included in three of the top six emojis used (the classic red heart, along with the heart-eyes emoji and the kissing face with a heart).
“The top emojis used on most platforms tend to be positive,” says Jeremy Burge, an emoji historian and the founder of Emojipedia. “Things like hearts are always popular, which makes sense given that we hopefully spend more time chatting to people we like than people we don’t.”
In a hearing today, European parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt said many of the things that Facebook haters have been thinking.
On Tuesday, as the deadline to implement the sweeping European internet rule known as the General Data Protection Regulation approached, Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the European Parliament in Brussels to answer a few questions.
The representatives of the many different parties present in the European legislative body asked some tough questions, but the format did not allow them to pin Zuckerberg down on specific issues. First, the legislators asked all their questions in a row. Rather than answering them one at a time, Zuckerberg answered to the “themes” of the questions after they had all been asked.
The most caustic line of questions came from a centrist, Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt, the former prime minister of Belgium and now the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. He begins roughly 30 minutes into the video below.
“Bird hunting” has become a pastime and a side hustle for teens and young professionals, but for some it’s a cutthroat business.
Every afternoon around 4 p.m., when school lets out, Brandon, an 18-year-old high-school senior in Los Angeles who asked to be referred to only by his first name, goes “Bird hunting.” He heads for his minivan and, on the drive home, he’ll swing through convenient neighborhoods, picking up about 13 Bird electric scooters along the way, tossing them into the back of his car.
“I have a whole system,” he says. “I’ll go home, put the 13 I initially caught on the chargers. They’ll charge for about three hours until around 7 or 8 p.m.”—when Bird makes more scooters available for charger pickup. “Then I’ll go back out.”
Over the course of the next few hours, Brandon loops around his Santa Monica, California, neighborhood collecting as many scooters as possible. He brings back his bounty and, as his parents sleep, neatly sets them up to charge in batches overnight.
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.
Three years ago, at a conference on transatlantic issues, the subject of artificial intelligence appeared on the agenda. I was on the verge of skipping that session—it lay outside my usual concerns—but the beginning of the presentation held me in my seat.
The speaker described the workings of a computer program that would soon challenge international champions in the game Go. I was amazed that a computer could master Go, which is more complex than chess. In it, each player deploys 180 or 181 pieces (depending on which color he or she chooses), placed alternately on an initially empty board; victory goes to the side that, by making better strategic decisions, immobilizes his or her opponent by more effectively controlling territory.
The myriad Trump scandals can obscure the fact that they’re all elements of one massive tale of corruption.
The sheer volume of Trump scandals can seem difficult to keep track of.
There’s the ongoing special-counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign aided a Russian campaign to aid Trump’s candidacy and defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton; there’s the associated inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, whom he had asked not to investigate his former national-security adviser; there are the president’s hush-money payments to women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, made through his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and facilitated by corporate cash paid to influence the White House; there is his ongoing effort to interfere with the Russia inquiry and politicize federal law enforcement; there are the foreign governments that seem to be utilizing the president’s properties as vehicles for influencing administration policy; there’s the emerging evidence that Trump campaign officials sought aid not only from Russia, but from other foreign countries, which may have affected Trump’s foreign policy; there are the ongoing revelations of the president’s Cabinet officials’ misusing taxpayer funds; there is the accumulating evidence that administration decisions are made at the behest of private industry, in particular those in which Republican donors have significant interests.
After her husband was killed in a hate crime in Kansas, an American immigrant reevaluates her dream of the country.
There is a new American aristocracy, and it's bigger than previously thought.
Modeling respectful conflict can foster creativity in children.