California: Evacuations Ordered Below Oroville Dam

February 12th, 2017

Via: Mercury News:

An emergency evacuation was ordered for Oroville-area residents by the state Department of Water Resources, which predicted that the auxiliary spillway at the Oroville Dam could fail Sunday night.

Related: Feds and State Officials Ignored Warnings 12 Years Ago


Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze

February 12th, 2017

Via: National Geographic:

Alcohol isn’t just a mind-altering drink: It has been a prime mover of human culture from the beginning, fueling the development of arts, language, and religion.


Strange WikiLeaks Tweets

February 11th, 2017

Via: Press for Truth:


The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet, It’s the End of the Middle Class

February 11th, 2017

Via: Wired:

At a time when the Trump administration is promising to make America great again by restoring old-school manufacturing jobs, AI researchers aren’t taking him too seriously. They know that these jobs are never coming back, thanks in no small part to their own research, which will eliminate so many other kinds of jobs in the years to come, as well. At Asilomar, they looked at the real US economy, the real reasons for the “hollowing out” of the middle class. The problem isn’t immigration—far from it. The problem isn’t offshoring or taxes or regulation. It’s technology.


Leaked DHS Report: Trump Border Wall to Cost $21.6 Billion, Take 3.5 Years to Build

February 10th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

President Donald Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The report’s estimated price-tag is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The report is expected to be presented to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly in coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take actions it recommends.


CIA Files Reveal How U.S. Used Psychics to Spy on Iran

February 10th, 2017

Via: Miami Herald:

“The stuff that the CIA has declassified is garbage,” one of the Grill Flame psychics, Joseph McMoneagle, told the Miami Herald. “They haven’t declassified any of the stuff that worked.” Agreed Edwin May, a physicist who oversaw parapsychology research for government intelligence agencies for 20 years: “The psychics were able to tell, in some cases, where the hostages were moved to. They were able to see the degree of their health…. If you can sit in Fort Meade and describe the health of hostages who are going to be released, so that the right doctors can be on hand, that’s very helpful.”


Republicans and Democrats Reportedly Using Self-Destructing Message Apps to Avoid Leaks

February 10th, 2017

Via: The Verge:

Trump administration members and other Republicans are using the encrypted, self-destructing messaging app Confide to keep conversations private in the wake of hacks and leaks, according to Jonathan Swan and David McCabe at Axios. Axios writes that “numerous senior GOP operatives and several members of the Trump administration” have downloaded Confide, which automatically wipes messages after they’re read.

Encrypted message apps like Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp apparently spiked in popularity after Trump’s election, and the Clinton campaign reportedly adopted Signal after the DNC hack was discovered.


Cortana Now Reminds You to Do the Things You Promised in Emails

February 9th, 2017

haha.

Just cut to the chase and release a Cortana anal suppository.

Via: The Verge:

Microsoft is adding a new feature to Cortana today that will remind you to keep your promises. Suggested reminders lets Cortana remind you when you’ve promised to do something in an email. Microsoft is using machine learning to highlight phrases in emails where you might promise your boss something, or make a commitment to a friend or family member. The result is a reminder that pops up telling you “don’t forget you mentioned this.”

Cortana’s suggested reminders will be available in the US first on Windows 10 PCs, and Microsoft is planning to bring them to iOS and Android in the coming weeks. Microsoft is supporting Outlook.com and Office 365 accounts for these reminders, and other accounts like Gmail will be supported soon. You’ll need to connect an Outlook.com or Office 365 account to Cortana to enable the feature, and you’ll start receiving reminders once the service detects your promises and commitments.


Record Number Renounce U.S. Citizenship in 2016

February 9th, 2017

Via: U.S. News and World Report:

A record number of individuals renounced their U.S. citizenship or chose to expatriate in 2016, according to data published by the Internal Revenue Service today.

The government agency, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department, publishes the names of those individuals in a list each quarter, in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. Before 2011, less than 1,000 individuals chose to expatriate each year, according to the lists published on the Federal Register. More than 2,300 expatriated in the last quarter of 2016 alone, and this year’s total of 5,411 individuals is 26 percent more than last year’s 4,279.


As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened

February 9th, 2017

Via: MIT Technology Review:

At its height back in 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, buying and selling stock on the orders of the investment bank’s large clients. Today there are just two equity traders left.

Automated trading programs have taken over the rest of the work, supported by 200 computer engineers. Marty Chavez, the company’s deputy chief financial officer and former chief information officer, explained all this to attendees at a symposium on computing’s impact on economic activity held by Harvard’s Institute for Applied Computational Science last month.

The experience of its New York traders is just one early example of a transformation of Goldman Sachs, and increasingly other Wall Street firms, that began with the rise in computerized trading, but has accelerated over the past five years, moving into more fields of finance that humans once dominated. Chavez, who will become chief financial officer in April, says areas of trading like currencies and even parts of business lines like investment banking are moving in the same automated direction that equities have already traveled.


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