“Fawkes” can protect you from facial recognition online


Jason Hargrove/Flickr

Software called Fawkes “cloaks” photos to trick the deep learning computer models that power facial recognition…

The rapid rise of facial recognition systems has placed the technology into many facets of our daily lives, whether we know it or not…But thus far, people have had few protections against this use of their images—apart from not sharing photos publicly at all.

The Fawkes project provides a powerful new protection mechanism.

With enough cloaked photos in circulation, a computer observer will be unable to identify a person from even an unaltered image, protecting individual privacy from unauthorized and malicious intrusions.

Math and science wins, again.

NRA boss asked for luxury mansion as “protection” after Florida shooting


It takes lots of money to make me feel safeJose Luis Magana/AP

❝ The chief executive of the National Rifle Association asked the nonprofit organisation buy him a luxury mansion last year after a mass shooting at a Florida high school, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions…Wayne LaPierre told associates he was worried about being targeted and needed a more secure place to live after 17 people were gunned down last year in Parkland, Florida, sources said.

❝ Mr LaPierre and his wife, Susan, rejected an upscale high rise in Dallas with numerous security features in favour of a 10,000-square-foot French country-style estate with lakefront and golf course views in Westlake, Texas, on the market for about $6m, according to emails and text messages.

Obviously, it costs a great deal to make a miserable low-life creature like Wayne LaPierre feel “safe”.

Anti-Vaxxers defeated in New York

❝ Anti-vaccine advocates received a blow in New York Thursday as state lawmakers banned non-medical exemptions based on religious beliefs — and there may be more blows coming.

❝ Also on Thursday, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy to step up its fight against such non-medical exemptions. The AMA, the country’s largest physicians’ group and one of the largest spenders on lobbying, has always strongly support pediatric vaccination and opposed non-medical exemptions. But under the new policy changes, the association will now “actively advocate” for states to eliminate any laws that allow for non-medical exemptions.

Overdue. I don’t expect this to change folks who trust preachers over scientists; but, we all stand a better change of keeping children safer from preventable disease.

Record Number of Countries Sign Up to Protect Sharks and Rays


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❝ Momentum for international protections for sharks and rays continues to grow, with a record 67 governments co-sponsoring one or more listing proposals in the lead-up to this year’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Conference of the Parties…Species listed under Appendix II can be traded internationally but only if the trade does not cause detriment to them in the wild.

24 December 2018 was the deadline for co-sponsorship of the Appendix II proposals, which would require all continuing trade of these species to be sustainable. The co-sponsors span the globe and include Sri Lanka, western and northern African governments, Dominican Republic, Palau—the first country to declare all of its national waters a shark sanctuary — and the 28 member states of the European Union.

Previous CITES listings have made significant advances in protection for endangered marine species. This is the first major attempt in this manner to protect species like sharks killed by the thousands just for their fins to make soup.

Good News for Sharks


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❝ The waters surrounding the South Pacific island nation of Samoa are prime habitat for nearly 30 species of sharks and rays, and today the government took a critical step toward protecting them. At a forum to celebrate the region’s history of strong shark conservation, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the country is designating all of its national waters a shark sanctuary—the 17th such sanctuary in the world.

The regulations ban commercial fishing and the possession, trade, and sale of sharks and shark products throughout Samoa’s 128,000-square-kilometer exclusive economic zone, and prohibits the use of fishing gear typically used to target sharks, such as wire leaders. Sharks are important to Pacific heritage and healthy marine ecosystems. Yet, at least 63 million and as many as 273 million sharks are killed every year in commercial fisheries globally.

Overdue. And all credit to the nations who have made this decision. Healthy natural environments most often include predators as part of a wholistic balance. Why – in my case – I have long opposed any hunting of predators.

Black Cop doing his job, protecting KKK scum, speaks out

The officer stands calmly as a group of white supremacists act out behind him. One man’s outstretched right arm signals a Nazi salute. Another wears a red hood. A third rests a Confederate flag on his shoulder.

❝ The provocative scene that Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, captured with an iPhone, was shared with a modest public following but would attract a wide audience. “Confederate flags, Nazi salutes, and Klansmen having their rights protected by a black police officer,” reads a tweet posted on Aug. 12 by Ubadah Sabbagh, a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. “This picture hurts.” James P. O’Neill, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, shared the image and commended law enforcement in Charlottesville “for handling today’s events with true professionalism. Much respect.” Tim Hogan, a former member of the Hillary for America communications team, tweeted it, too: “A picture worth a thousand words.” A writer, Yashar Ali, suggested the image be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. “A black police officer protecting a group of men who wish him harm,” he wrote in a tweet. “Incredible.”

He prefaced that remark with a question common during breaking news: “Who took this photo?”…

❝ The image spread further after a speeding car smashed into counterdemonstrators—sending bodies flying, killing one woman and injuring 19 others…As the retweets entered into the tens of thousands…A reverse image search on Google pointed…that the image was not from Aug. 12. Among the comments was a link…“This picture was taken at the KKK rally July 8th in Charlottesville, Virginia.”…

A school resource officer at Charlottesville High School, Darius Nash, confirmed to TIME on Aug. 14 that it was he in the photograph…

❝ “I don’t feel like I’m a hero for it,” Nash wrote…”I swore to protect my city and that’s what I was there to do. I don’t think it makes me a hero, just doing what I believe in.”…

Nice job of journalistic research. Even better job by the Black cop standing up for Constitutional principles – protecting the scum of the Earth from retribution outside the law. Doing his job.