Suggestions for Posts?

If you’d like to suggest an article you think should be posted for view and/or discussion – just add a comment below including the url. The editors are always willing to consider suggestions from our readers that don’t involve self-immolation.

We’ll probably delete the suggestion after deciding to Post or not – just to keep the place tidy. 🙂

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39 thoughts on “Suggestions for Posts?

  1. Gwalio says:

    “China adds a quantum computer to high-performance computing arsenal” http://www.cio.com/article/3194571/high-performance-computing/china-adds-a-quantum-computer-to-high-performance-computing-arsenal.html The country already has the world’s fastest supercomputer (TaihuLight) and has now built a prototype quantum computer based on multi-photon entanglement that could outpace today’s PCs and servers. Two years ago China said it would spend US$150 billion on semiconductor development so that PCs and mobile devices would convert to homegrown chips. Afraid that low-cost Chinese chips will flood the market the U.S. accused China of rigging the semiconductor market to its advantage. Two weeks later (Jan 20, 2017) Tsinghua Unigroup announced it was investing US$30 billion in a new 2.34 square mile chip factory. Beyond their investment in the manufacturing facility Tsinghua Unigroup will also invest about $4.3 billion to build a complimentary IC (integrated circuit) international city that will include a science technology park, a school, commercial facilities, and apartments. http://www.pcworld.com/article/3155334/techology-business/as-trump-presidency-approaches-us-warns-china-on-semiconductors.html

  2. Jesus Murphy says:

    “Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes have risen from their winter slumber. They’ve slithered out of their dens into the sunlight, wiggled the cold away, and started ravaging each other wholesale. Experts call this phenomenon a “mating ball”. The best part is, the Narcisse Snake Dens site is a tourist attraction that Manitoba is very proud of.” https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/manitoba-red-sided-garter-snake-spring-orgy

  3. Darwinist says:

    “Personality factors are best defense against losing your job to a robot” (University of Houston) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/uoh-pfa050917.php Recent findings suggest traditional education may not be fully equipped to address upcoming changes in the labor market. Also that “every 15-point increase in IQ predicted a 7 percent drop in the probability of one’s job being computerized, the equivalent of saving 10.19 million people from losing their future careers to computerization if it were extrapolated across the entire U.S. population. Similarly, an increase of one standard deviation in maturity or in scientific interests – equal to an increase of 1 point on a 5-point scale, such as moving from being indifferent to scientific activities to liking them fairly well – across the U.S. population would each be equivalent to 2.9 million people avoiding a job loss to computerization. While IQ is not easily changed, a solution could be to find effective interventions to increase some personality traits – doing well in social interactions, for example, or being industrious – or interest in activities related to the arts and sciences.” While machine learning and big data will allow the number of tasks that machines can perform better than humans to increase so rapidly that merely increasing educational levels won’t be enough to keep up with job automation, “The edge is in unique human skills” researchers say, suggesting that an across-the-board increase in U.S. education levels could mean millions fewer jobs at risk. According to the lead author of the study, which was published this week in the European Journal of Personality, targeting at-risk groups would yield significant benefits and “By preparing more people, at least more people will have a fighting chance”.

  4. Misdirection Inc. says:

    Two Democratic senators are demanding answers from the Federal Communications Commission about its response to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that temporarily prevented the public from commenting on a controversial proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/05/after-net-neutrality-comment-system-fails-senators-demand-answers/ The FCC’s public comments site struggled for hours Sunday night and Monday after comedian John Oliver called on HBO viewers to write in protest of Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to eliminate the current net neutrality rules. The FCC issued a statement yesterday attributing the downtime to DDoS attacks, without mentioning the influx of comments caused by Oliver’s show.
    Comments will be accepted until August 16th https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/throttling-of-websites-and-online-services-might-help-customers-fcc-says/

  5. Cassanda says:

    Recent swarm of minor earthquakes and other temblors in the Seattle region raises concerns they might signal the coming of a much larger event. (May 12) http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/what-happens-after-a-swarm-of-earthquakes-strikes-the-seattle-region-heres-what-the-experts-say/ “The Really Big One : An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.” (July 2015) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one “Risk Of Cascadia Quake Elevated As Puget Sound ‘Slow Slip’ Event Begins : A slow earthquake is happening under Puget Sound right now, which increases the risk of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.” (Feb 2017) https://patch.com/washington/seattle/risk-cascadia-quake-elevated-puget-sound-slow-slip-event-begins

  6. Molly Maguire says:

    “While the US is ramping up coal, China is suspending most of its new coal power plants” https://qz.com/982437/china-is-suspending-permits-for-new-coal-power-plants-in-29-out-of-32-provinces/ “China has just announced that it will suspend building new coal power plants in 29 out 32 provinces, according to a state-owned newspaper. This news comes only months after China announced it was canceling more than 100 new coal power plants.” Meanwhile coal production in the US is on the rise but the number of coal jobs continues to fall . https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wyoming/articles/2017-04-24/coal-production-on-the-rise-in-wyoming Back in 2014 almost twice as many people worked at car washes in the U.S. as in the nation’s entire coal industry. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/31/8-surprisingly-small-industries-that-employ-more-people-than-coal/

  7. Gawrsh says:

    “Trump’s Expected Pick for Top USDA Scientist Is Not a Scientist” https://www.propublica.org/article/trumps-expected-pick-for-top-usda-scientist-is-not-a-scientist …Sam Clovis is better known for hosting a conservative talk radio show in his native Iowa and, after mounting an unsuccessful run for Senate in 2014, becoming a fiery pro-Trump advocate on television.
    Clovis advised Trump on agricultural issues during his presidential campaign and is currently the senior White House advisor within the USDA, a position described by The Washington Post as “Trump’s eyes and ears” at the agency.
    Clovis was also responsible for recruiting Carter Page, whose ties to Russia have become the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny, as a Trump foreign policy advisor.
    Clovis has repeatedly expressed skepticism over climate science and has called efforts to address climate change “simply a mechanism for transferring wealth from one group of people to another.” He has indicated the Trump administration will take a starkly different approach at the USDA. Representing the campaign at the Farm Foundation Forum in October, Clovis told E&E News that Trump’s agriculture policy would focus on boosting trade and lessening regulation and not the impact of climate change.

    • Toldja says:

      “Trump’s New Bank Regulator: Lawyer Who Helped Banks Charge More Fees” https://www.propublica.org/ “Keith Noreika helped big banks avoid state laws protecting consumers. As head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, he now has the power to override those state laws.”

    • MAGA Inc. says:

      President Trump’s administration has added another controversial figure, hiring Sheriff David Clarke for the Department of Homeland Security. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/controversial-sheriff-david-clarke-hired-homeland-security-article-1.3174234 Clarke became a vocal Trump supporter during last year’s campaign, most notably giving a Republican National Convention speech where he called Black Lives Matter protests “anarchy.” In 2015 he also said that the group, which he called Black Lies Matter, “will join forces with ISIS to being (sic) down our legal constituted republic. You heard it here first.”
      Sheriff Clarke has also faced criticism in his current job, particularly over deaths at the Milwaukee County Jail. A jury recommended charges for workers at the facility earlier this month for the death of Terrill Thomas, who died last year after he was allegedly deprived water for seven days. Three other people died at the jail in the following months, though Clarke has dismissed criticism including calls for his resignation as “fake news.”
      The hiring hasn’t been confirmed but as a “Secretarial appointment” from DHS Secretary John Kelly it wouldn’t require Senate confirmation.

  8. Ealing says:

    “How I accidentally stopped a global Wanna Decryptor ransomware attack : A British security researcher found and pulled WannaCrypt’s kill switch.” https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/05/wanna-decryptor-kill-switch-analysis/ “I’ve finally found enough time between e-mails and Skype calls to write up the crazy events that occurred over Friday, which was supposed to be part of my week off. You’ve probably read about the Wanna Decryptor (aka WannaCrypt or WCry) fiasco on several news sites, but I figured I’d tell my story.”

  9. News item says:

    Tribes in U.S., Canada to unite against Keystone XL oil pipeline http://www.seattletimes.com/business/tribes-in-us-canada-unite-against-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline/ (May 16, 2017) http://www.seattletimes.com/business/tribes-in-us-canada-unite-against-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline/ Leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Canada and the Great Sioux Nation and Ponca tribe in the U.S. plan to sign their declaration at a ceremony Wednesday in Calgary, Alberta, the city where pipeline developer TransCanada Corp. is based.

  10. I kid you not says:

    “You Can’t Say That on Television (Colbert Edition)” By Brian Hauss, Staff Attorney, ACLU Center for Liberty https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/you-cant-say-television-colbert-edition
    “The FCC’s enforcement of its indecency regulations can most charitably be described as arbitrary. The agency fined PBS for broadcasting a Ken Burns’ documentary because it includes swears uttered by Black musicians. On the other hand, the FCC decided that the uninhibited use of profanity in “Saving Private Ryan” was acceptable because removing the expletives would “alter . . . the nature of the artistic work and diminish . . . the power, realism and immediacy of the film experience for viewers.”
    That arbitrariness has led to self-censorship: Broadcasters have squelched important artistic and political speech in order to avoid government sanction. In just one example, PBS provided broadcasters with a version of the civil rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize” that edited James Forman’s call for a more aggressive approach to the civil rights movement: “If we can’t sit at the table, let’s knock the fucking legs off.”

  11. McLeod says:

    “The Heart of Darkness: A walk through the scorched landscapes where our forest used to be and a glimpse of our future fires” http://nmpoliticalreport.com/320046/the-heart-of-darkness-a-walk-through-the-scorched-landscapes-where-our-forest-used-to-be-and-a-glimpse-of-our-future-fires-en/ “Into the Wildfire : What science is learning about fire and how to live with it.” (NYT 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/magazine/into-the-wildfire.html?pagewanted=all

    • Spit take says:

      Over the past three decades, deciduous tree species in the Eastern U.S. seem to be shifting westward, according to new research published on Wednesday. Evergreens, meanwhile, are going north. https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/purdue-university-us-forest-service-deciduous-trees-west-climate-change This wasn’t a modelling exercise that casts forward to something that may happen in the future. Rather, it’s tracking changes that are happening now.
      This strange shift appears to be linked to climate change and its accompanying effects. Over the last 30 years, the study says, the mean annual temperature in the eastern US has gone up by 0.16 ̊C, on average, and the northern region has seen the highest increase. Precipitation patterns are shifting, too: The central US has seen an increase of more than 150 mm total in annual precipitation, and there’s been a reduction in the southeast.

  12. Henry says:

    Chinese electric-car startup NIO EP9 supercar claims blistering Nurburgring lap record http://newatlas.com/nio-ep9-production-car-lap-record-nordschleife/49521/ The EP9’s 1-MegaWatt of power is equivalent to 1360PS (1342 bhp) and the vehicle has a top speed of 313kph (194mph). The EP9 accelerates from 0-200kph (0-124mph) in 7.1 seconds. Previously, the EP9 has broken or set new track records at four world-renowned racetracks. In March, NIO announced that they will have autonomous electric vehicles in the U.S. market in 2020. The company also unveiled “NIO EVE” – the embodiment of their vision for the future of autonomous cars. Last month, NIO unveiled the NIO ES8, a full size 7-seater all electric SUV that it will launch for the China market later this year. http://www.nio.io/about

  13. Bernays says:

    “21st-century propaganda: A guide to interpreting and confronting the dark arts of persuasion” https://qz.com/978548/introducing-our-obsession-with-propaganda/ “…in recent years we’ve learned much about the human mind that contradicts the view of people as rationally self-interested decision-makers. Psychologists have established that we form beliefs first and only then look for evidence to back them up. Research has turned up apparent physiological and psychological differences between liberals and conservatives, and found evidence that these differences have ancient evolutionary origins. It has identified the “backfire effect,” a.k.a. confirmation bias, in which people hew to even more strongly to an existing belief when shown evidence that clearly contradicts it.” Re: manufacturing consent see also “The Problem with facts” http://timharford.com/2017/03/the-problem-with-facts/

  14. Kurtz says:

    “World is plundering Africa’s wealth of ‘billions of dollars a year'” (Guardian, UK) https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/may/24/world-is-plundering-africa-wealth-billions-of-dollars-a-year Underdeveloped, or overexploitated? Against the narrative that Western aid “helps” poverty in Africa, a new study shows that the pillaging of Africa by Western economic interests is still the major source of poverty. A coalition of UK and African-based development campaign groups published research on Wednesday that indicates that Africa has an annual financial deficit of over US$40 billion in capital leaving the continent each year. https://www.healthpovertyaction.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Honest-Accounts-2017-1.pdf

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