Trump/Kushner want Palestinians to meet “standards” never enforced on any Arab nation


Newsweek

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner told CNN that if Palestinians can’t meet certain conditions under the administration’s Middle East plan, then he doesn’t believe Israel should take “the risk to recognize them as a state.”…

Fareed Zakaria pointed out that “no Arab country” currently meets the criteria Palestinians are being asked to achieve in the next four years — including ensuring free press, free elections, guarantees of religious freedom and an independent judiciary and financial institutions that are as transparent as they are in the West.

“Isn’t this just a way of telling the Palestinians you’re never actually going to get a state,” Zakaria asked, “because … if no Arab countries today in a position that you are demanding of the Palestinians before they can be made a state, effectively, it’s a killer amendment.”

Anyone surprised at this crappola from Trump and Kushner? RTFA for beaucoup depth and analysis.

Think our basic education system isn’t crap? Read This!

❝ Engineers in the Bay Area. Advertising managers in Chicago. Freight specialists in Arizona. The job listings keep piling up at Amazon, a company that is growing in many directions amid one of the tightest labor markets in memory.

On Monday, Amazon said it had 30,000 open positions in the United States, including full- and part-time jobs at headquarters offices, technology hubs and warehouses…

❝ …Last fall, Amazon raised the minimum wage at its warehouses to $15 an hour, and this past summer, it said it would spend $700 million to retrain about a third of its American workers to perform tasks that required advanced skills. The effort included a major push to improve the technical expertise of corporate and tech-focused employees, such as turning entry-level coders into data scientists.

We live in a nation where most of our politicians don’t consider education as critical as infrastructure…and the last time the latter was brought up-to-date the president was a retired general named Eisenhower.

Border Patrol loses thousands of license plate photos at Canadian border

Hackers have stolen thousands of photos of travelers and their license plates from a subcontractor of Customs and Border Protection, the agency announced on Monday. A source told the Washington Post that the data was collected at a particular port of entry on the Canadian border…

❝ CBP says it learned of the breach on May 31, and the organization stated that its own network was not compromised. The agency says that the subcontractor violated agency policies when it copied the photos to its own network, making them more vulnerable to hacking.

“CBP takes its privacy and cybersecurity responsibilities very seriously and demands all contractors to do the same,” the agency said.

It just does a crap job of checking to see if “responsible” standards are implemented and maintained.

Going, going, gone…


Click to enlargeDOD photo

❝ One striking image shows the Marine Corps generals who will have left the Trump administration, after the president praised their service…

The photo above, taken in 2013, marked the first time six four-star Marines Corps generals were actively serving in the Marines.

Knowing Marine tradition of dedication to defense of this nation and its Constitution – the eventual departure of these Marines is precisely what I expected.

Facebook can’t manage the harm it causes

❝ Never before has one company’s failure had such a devastating impact on the world. Facebook’s presence is truly global, as are the consequences of its failure to anticipate how its platform could be misused and abused. And yet never before has a single company been asked to fix a global problem.

❝ Racists, autocrats, and purveyors of hate and disorder have found Facebook the perfect medium for spewing poison, normalizing it, and gaining adherents. Facebook is a broadcast platform for anyone, including those who would break the rules, fake the news, lie, and mislead the community. Societies around the world are reeling from the consequences. Politics and democracy are under duress. And thus far, Facebook does not have an effective way to fight back. It is only beginning to try…

❝ Facebook received repeated warnings for at least six years from informed observers around the world that things were going wrong. But it appears to have almost entirely disregarded them. Gaining more users in any and all geographies was the company’s overarching priority, and it succeeded. The service was growing at an incredible pace into just about every country on earth. It is now a dominant medium of communications, typically the most dominant, in about 190 countries.

It expanded at full tilt into innumerable geographies where it lacked local expertise. But how could it possibly ensure its rules were being followed when nobody at the company spoke the local language or understood the nuances of the local culture? It couldn’t.

RTFA! David Kirkpatrick continues to provide socially useful analysis and evaluation in the online world we all know and love – and criticize. I certainly take the time to pay him close attention when I catch his appearance online or on the tube (sic).

AI diagnosis to make medical decisions is just about here


AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

❝ The US Food and Drug Administration approved this week the first software powered by artificial intelligence that replaces the need for a specialized doctor to interpret medical imagery.

The software is called IDx-DR, made by diagnostic AI startup IDx, and specifically analyzes images of the retina to detect whether a person with diabetes has a complication from the disease called diabetic retinopathy…

❝ Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes where blood sugar damages the back of the eye, according to the FDA, and is the main cause of the loss of vision for those with diabetes…

By allowing this software to be marketed in the US, the FDA is setting a bar for the accuracy needed in order for AI to take over for human doctors. When validating that the AI system worked, the FDA used images from 900 US patients. The software correctly detected more than mild diabetic retinopathy 87.4% of the time, and identified when patients did not have more than mild retinopathy 89.5% of the time. Accuracy for humans naturally varies from doctor to doctor, but for the FDA to approve the technology it “must provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of a life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating disease or condition.”

No doubt a predictable percentage of Americans will demonstrate fear of this technology to a greater degree than any other educated nation. Part of that education and, more important, political processes, electoral politics, religious folderol, come together to work harder than anywhere else – to keep citizens from modernizing their lives and thinking. Why – we might even question authority.