Showing posts from March 22, 2016

Brussels attacks: Airport and metro rocked by blasts

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[Death toll rises to more than 30 in twin assaults on airport and metro station as Western Europe enters lock-down mode. Trump, of course, already has the solution: close all borders. So, see also: Terrorism Expert: ISIS Is "Probably Cutting Videos" of Donald Trump's Response to Belgium Attacks. *RON*]

Al Jazeera, 22 Mar 2016

Western Europe was on high alert on Tuesday after attackers launched twin assaults in Belgium's capital Brussels with bombs ripping through the airport and the underground metro line. More than 30 people were killed and hundreds wounded - many in critical condition.

Belgian's federal prosecutor told state media one of the explosions at Zaventem airport was "probably" a suicide attack.

Police were going door-to-door throughout Brussels searching for suspects or others planning attacks. The interior minister said 600 additional police were deployed.

"This is an attack against our value…

Traditional Economics Failed. Here’s a New Blueprint.

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[Businesses should be run (regulated?) on the basis of enlightened self-interest, not pure greed. True self-interest is mutual interest. *RON*]

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, Evonomics, 20 March 2016

Politics in democracy can be understood many ways, but on one level it is the expression of where people believe their self-interest lies— that is to say, “what is good for me?” Even when voters vote according to primal affinities or fears rather than economic advantage (as Thomas Frank, in What’s the Matter With Kansas?, lamented of poor whites who vote Republican), it is because they’ve come to define self-interest more in terms of those primal identities than in terms of dollars and cents.

This is not proof of the stupidity of such voters. It is proof of the malleability and multidimensionality of self-interest. While the degree to which human beings pursue that which they think is good for them has not and will probably never change, what they belie…

How Corporations Will Use Artificial Empathy to Sell Us More Shit

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[In case you hadn't fully realized that you are simply a commodity in the global corporatocracy. "The idea of getting a machine to come to useful conclusions from someone's expressions and behavior was … massively exciting to me..." *RON*]

By Daniel Oberhaus, Motherboard, 20 March 2016

Empathy is a tricky business. The range and complexity of human emotion makes it difficult, if not impossible, to ever really understand how someone else is feeling. Nevertheless, empathy is considered to be a crucial aspect of what makes us human—indeed, our brains appear to be hardwired for it. So perhaps it won’t come as much of a surprise that as machine learning becomes ever more sophisticated and capable of mimicking some of the most complex functions of the human brain, figuring out a way to teach a computer empathy is quickly becoming a business in itself.

Known as artificial empathy, the idea here is to train machines to recognize social s…

Why the Pentagon is finally acknowledging the U.S.'s 'offensive cyber' efforts

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[This is the first time that offensive cyber warfare has become part of the (public) national security discussion: "when it came to using it by the military and openly admitting — openly claiming — that we used it, we’ve never done that before... it’s much more palatable to go public with these details when the Pentagon is waging a battle against an enemy as ruthless as the Islamic State." See also: Send in the Malware: U.S. Cyber Command Attacks the Islamic State. *RON*]

James Bach, Jacksonville Business Journal, 4 March 2016
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was in Washington this past week testifying on the Pentagon’s budget before jetting off to Silicon Valley to talk innovation with tech business leaders, but whether he’s on the East Coast or the West Coast there’s one issue that every audience is asking about: offensive cyber.

The buzz began when Carter acknowledged before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense tha…

Why is Canadian LNG largely unregulated?

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["...the more I dig into it, the more Canadian regulation of LNG reminds me of the way Transport Canada regulated the railcars perched on the hillside above Lac Megantic, Quebec. It did not violate any Transport Canada regulation that highly dangerous Bakken crude was left unattended without the brakes on, in an antiquated rail car on a train track on the hill above the town... We cannot afford to establish a highly dangerous industry in BC—or anywhere in Canada—without first ensuring we have a robust regulatory system to ensure public safety." *RON*]
Elizabeth May, Elizabeth May Blog, 21 March 2016

British Columbians need to have a say on the provincial government’s commitment to link the province’s economic future to a very large bet on LNG. The total number of plants currently proposed for BC approach in volume the entire current global capacity. Yet, any review of the global industry reveals declining demand. When examined for its gr…

Critics Aghast at 'Disgusting Speech' Clinton Just Gave to AIPAC

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[Democratic presidential candidate speech praises "everything that is bad about Israeli policy and U.S. imperialism." This warmonger is the major alternative to Donald Trump!? See also: Israel loses its grip on democracy, and Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering. *RON*]

By Lauren McCauleyCommon Dreams, 21 March 2016

Palestinian and human rights advocates were aghast over remarks made by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention on Monday, saying that her speech represented "everything that is bad" with U.S. imperialism and policy in the Middle East.

During the address, Clinton vowed to take the U.S.-Israel relationship to "the next level"—a level which seemingly includes more war and imperialism, few, if any, rights for Palestinians, and definitely no economic boycotts of Israel.
"Has even…