Thursday, April 5, 2018

Former Cambridge Analytica workers say firm sent foreigners to advise U.S. campaigns

By Craig Timberg and Tom Hamburger

March 25, 2018

LONDON — Cambridge Analytica assigned dozens of non-U.S. citizens to provide campaign strategy and messaging advice to ­Republican candidates in 2014, according to three former workers for the data firm, even as an attorney warned executives to abide by U.S. laws limiting foreign involvement in elections.

The assignments came amid efforts to present the newly created company as “an American brand” that would appeal to U.S. political clients even though its parent, SCL Group, was based in London, according to former Cambridge Analytica research director Christopher Wylie.

How to protect yourself (and your friends) on Facebook

By Brian X. Chen

A Facebook sign is displayed at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in the US. Photo: Reuters

20 March, 2018

NEW YORK ― Revelations that a voter-profiling that worked on US President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign harvested private information from 50 million Facebook profiles has many people wondering: What, if anything, they can do to protect their data connected to the social network?

Here’s the harsh truth: Not much, short of ceasing to browse the web entirely or deleting your Facebook account.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why China could win the West’s stupid — and pointless — war over steel

The truth is, the world is leaving the Industrial Age and entering a Digital Age of equal significance. The steel mills and coal mines of the past will not shape our future. 

By Carl Bildt
March 21, 2018

Once upon a time, the politics of Europe was all about coal and steel.

The coal fields of England made the nation the world’s first industrial power. Rising Germany built its might in the steel furnaces of the Ruhr area. The symbol of Stalin’s Soviet Union was the steel town of Magnitogorsk. When Europeans came together after two devastating world wars, they set up the European Steel and Coal Community, the origin of today’s European Union.

But that was a long time ago. Magnitogorsk might have been built to rival and overtake Pittsburgh as a steel town, but Pittsburgh has moved on. It is now a center of knowledge, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. Steel and coal have since long lost their hold on the geopolitics of Europe.

This month, President Trump tweeted, “If you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country!” Sounds great, but maybe he should try that line on his friend Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. Israel doesn’t have any steel mills, but it certainly is a country, focused instead on developing the technologies of the future, not of the past.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Deers of Nara and the true Masters of Nara (it's not the deers).

[Was surprised to see this news!]

Deer bites to tourists prompt Japan park to issue feeding tips

April 3, 2018
(Mainichi Japan)

NARA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Nara Park in western Japan began offering tips Tuesday on how to safely feed wild deer inhabiting the park amid a growing number of foreigners reporting getting injured by the animals.

The 660-hectare park encompassing the famous Todaiji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine has been a major tourist attraction as visitors can give special crackers to over 1,000 deer on the premises.

But its popularity has led to a record 180 injury reports in fiscal 2017, with 138 of them involving foreigners, including a number of Chinese, according to the park.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Commentary: Deactivate Facebook? Your online privacy depends also on your friends’ data habits

By Vincent Mitchell,
and Andrew Stephen
and Bernadette Kamleitner

31 Mar 2018

The silver lining to the Cambridge Analytica case is that more people are recognising that we pay for online services with not only our own privacy, but that of our friends, family and colleagues, say three observers.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The scary truth that Cambridge Analytica understands

By Ishaan Tharoor

March 22 2018

Cambridge Analytica, a London-based data firm that sold its services to political campaigns, has been thrust into the spotlight this week thanks to a number of startling exposés. Undercover footage, along with testimony and evidence provided by a former employee-turned-whistleblower, offered a glimpse of the company's shadowy dealings around the world. It secretly harvested the data of tens of millions of Facebook users and may have engaged in all sorts of offline skulduggery, including bribes and sexual blackmail, to help clients win elections.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Avoiding GMOs isn’t just anti-science. It’s immoral.

It’s not that the legitimate scientific community doesn’t understand the seriousness of the problem or the distortions of the naysayers. But too many keep what they know to themselves or, when they engage, observe the Marquis of Queensbury rules in what is essentially a street brawl. One can understand their reticence, facing an aggressive, often self-interested anti-GMO lobby that is indifferent to the facts and quick with ad hominem attacks.
If you’re an academic, you can tell yourself that, sooner or later, the science will prevail. If you’re from the world of commerce, you justify your silence (or complicity) by saying that you aren’t in business to argue with customers. If you’re a regulatory bureaucrat, you worry that you will be drawn and quartered for any mistake, whereas no one is ever held accountable for the miracle that never makes it to the marketplace.
By Mitch Daniels

December 27, 2017