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$5K Hillary hair bounty, Mork and Mindy, smartphones make you mentally ill, the fantasy-industrial complex
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Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 12:12 AM EDT
Sep 14 2017

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Today is Thursday, September 14, the 257th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 108 days remaining.

This is the 237th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,225 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.

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What happened on September 14 from  On This Day

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Among other things, today is National Cream-Filled Donut Day.

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Florida Man drives Can-Am right into swimming pool without even spilling his beer. “Would you like for me to hold your beer?” offers a kind soul nearby. “No, I got this,” said the true, honest-to-goodness Florida Man man atop a camo-print 2013 Can-Am XMR 1000 at the bottom of the pool.

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Quote of the day:

"We cannot abdicate our conscience to an organization, nor to a government. 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Most certainly I am! I cannot escape my responsibility by saying the State will do all that is necessary."
-Albert Schweitzer
(More Albert Schweitzer quotes)

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On this date in 1978, Mork and Mindy premiered on ABC-TV.

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In one of the stranger stories of the day, "Pharmacy Bro" Martin Shkreli is jailed for offering to pay $5,000 to anyone who could obtain a hair from Hillary Clinton. No explanation available for why Shkreli wants the hair, which he said must contain a follicle to get the cash.

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Smartphones could be leading to a mental health crisis. And no, it's not from labeling someone willing to pay a thousand dollars for an iPhone as being insane. This guy claims technology is making millennials unhappy and unprepared to be adults.

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The fantasy-industrial complex: how America got lost inside a dream. Where America really went haywire, author Kurt Andersen explains, is when the cult of celebrity and the cult of capitalism merged: it was the opening of Disneyland in 1955. A bizarre reality where advertising met animation. You could buy real wares, from fake characters, in real stores, with make-believe themes.

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U.S. moves to ban Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage. There's a good chance you may have their security software on your PC. But don't worry, the NSA already knows everything about you.

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Russia isn't the only country that tries to tamper with foreign politics. Reagan documents shed light on U.S. 'meddling'. "Secret" documents, recently declassified by the Reagan presidential library, reveal senior White House officials reengaging a former CIA "proprietary," The Asia Foundation, in "political action," an intelligence term of art for influencing the actions of foreign governments.

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Pelosi and Schumer say they have deal with Trump to replace DACA. Democratic leaders on Wednesday night declared that they had a deal with President Trump to quickly extend protections for young undocumented immigrants and to finalize a border security package that does not include the president's proposed wall. Trump appears to be stepping up his courtship of House and Senate Democrats.

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Tagging fake news on Facebook doesn't work. A Yale survey of 7,500 people shows little benefit, and possible detriments, to fact-check programs.

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Good bye, Cassini. The spacecraft's mission will come to an end with a plunge into Saturn's atmosphere, which will destroy the spacecraft launched in 1997.

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Why the underfunded 2020 census is a civil rights issue. The census is in klaxon-level trouble. The decennial census, that once-every-ten-years count of the American population, is drastically underfunded. And what happens if it's underfunded? A lot of people don't get counted, so they don't get what they need in terms of hospitals, schools, roads, emergency services, healthcare, social services- the census numbers are the starting point for allocating more than $600 billion of federal funding every year.

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Hackers attacking US and European energy firms could sabotage power grids. Cybersecurity firm Symantec says 'Dragonfly' group has been investigating and penetrating energy facilities in US, Turkey and Switzerland.

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Equifax faces multibillion-dollar lawsuit over hack. Class action seeking to represent 143 million consumers alleges company didn't spend enough on protecting data.

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Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you'll remember.

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Hackers have already started to weaponize artificial intelligence. Last year, two data scientists from security firm ZeroFOX conducted an experiment to see who was better at getting Twitter users to click on malicious links, humans or an artificial intelligence. The researchers taught an AI to study the behavior of social network users, and then design and implement its own phishing bait. In tests, the artificial hacker was substantially better than its human competitors, composing and distributing more phishing tweets than humans, and with a substantially better conversion rate.

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Noted science fiction author and former Byte magazine columnist Jerry Pournelle passed away on September 8. Pournelle is generally acknowledged to have produced the first published book written on a computer, and his interest in computers led to his wildly popular Chaos Manor column in Byte. His conversational tone, voicing the perspective of a typical hobbyist/user, was the prototype for many others, including my own DCL Dialogue column in DEC Professional magazine back in the 90s. One of my most prized possesions from that era is a hand-written note from Jerry in response to my column on DCL hacking. Nearly 30 years later, it's still proudly tacked to my bulletin board. Politically an ultra-conservative, self-described to be "somewhere to the right of Ghengis Khan", he was nontheless a gentleman and a master of civilized discourse. We won't see his like again.

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« National Peanut Day, gobblefunk, coffee's in your head, Trump's 1,145 lies, London fatberg, Medicare for All, solar freakout
Home Page
National Cheeseburger Day, Emmys, hurricane debris, super AIs, Oliver Stone is a Buddhist? »