Blog Rolls

Trump's Wall Won't Solve a National Emergency. It Is One

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 14:05
President Trump has signaled that in addition to signing a Congressional spending bill, he will declare a national emergency to fund his misbegotten border wall.
Categories: Just News

The Dying Art of Conversation

Shane Parrish – Farnam Street – The Dying Art of Conversation: My Interview with Author and Speaker Celeste Headlee [The Knowledge Project Ep. #51 – Podcast] “Speaker, author and radio journalist Celeste Headlee has had decades of experience fine tuning the recipe for engaging and rewarding conversation. She shares some tips to help us instantly improve our conversational skills and meaningfully connect with others.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Interactive map shows what the climates of 540 urban areas in US and Canada will feel like in 60 years

The University of Maryland: “The map was created by Matt Fitzpatrick at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Robert Dunn of North Carolina State University [previously], who have also published an accompanying paper that details their methods for climate-analog mapping. In general, the closest analogs for future North American climates are to the south. But due to changing precipitation patterns significant eastward or westward shifts may also be involved. And for higher altitude cities, the nearest equivalent future climate may even exist to the north at lower elevations. The map and study look at two different scenarios: a business-as-usual future with no significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, and a moderate reduction in emissions as envisioned under the Paris Agreement.

“Under the business as usual emissions the average urban dweller is going to have to drive nearly 1,000 km to the south to find a climate like that expected in their home city by 2080,” said Fitzpatrick. “Not only is climate changing, but climates that don’t presently exist in North America will be prevalent in a lot of urban areas.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Amazon Won't Build Its HQ2 in New York City

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 14:01
The company says it will no longer build its highly anticipated office in Queens, after the deal faced backlash from politicians, taxpayers, and activists.
Categories: Just News

AALL Calls on Congress to Improve Access to Electronic Records of Federal Court System

“The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is advocating for the passage of the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus. This legislation would, for the first time, allow free access to electronic federal court records through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system and improve the efficiency and transparency of the courts. AALL coordinated a letter signed by 15 other organizations—including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Data Coalition, and the Project on Government Oversight—urging passage of the bill. “Access to the law, and information about the law, is the cornerstone of any democracy. The American Association of Law Libraries has long advocated for no-fee access to federal court records through PACER,and the Electronic Court Records Reform Act would finally make that vision a reality,” said Femi Cadmus,president of AALL. “Eliminating PACER fees will improve transparency of the courts and allow law libraries to preserve and provide access to court records.

We urge Congress to enact this legislation.”The Electronic Court Records Reform Act would: Consolidate the case management/electronic case files system and require all documents in the system be searchable, machine-readable and available to the public and to parties before the court free of charge; Protect private information, requiring the courts to redact any information prohibited from public disclosure…”

Categories: Law and Legal

India Is Cracking Down on Ecommerce and Free Speech

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 13:51
Following China's lead, India is restricting some sales by global ecommerce companies, and weakening protections around online free speech.
Categories: Just News

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

“It’s a continuing love story for most owners and their vehicles as overall dependability for three-year-old vehicles improves 4% from last year, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (SM) (VDS). “Vehicle dependability continues to improve, but I wouldn’t say that everything is rosy,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts and battery failures. Flawless dependability is a determining factor in whether customers remain loyal to a brand, so manufacturers need to help customers who are currently experiencing vehicle problems and address these trouble spots on future models.” The study, now in its 30th year, measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old model-year vehicles. The 2019 study measures problems in model year 2016 vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality, and the study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For

Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For – This year’s annual list of best companies to work for features Hilton in the top spot. But the companies on this list belong to a variety of industries, from grocery chains to tech organizations. Fortune research partner Great Place to Work evaluated everything from company perks to opportunities for innovation for this year’s list. Learn more about the companies – here.

Innovation by all. How do you encourage it? How do you harness it? And most important, how do you make sure you’re not stifling it? As we talked to top-performing companies of every size and across every industry on our 22nd annual list, the challenge of getting the best ideas from all your employees is the theme that came up more than any other. One obvious example is at our new No. 1: Hilton. Relying on a Millennial Team Member Resource Group is just one of the ways this 100-year-old hospitality company is making sure all employees (in this case, its youngest) get a chance to contribute their best ideas. Attempting to “actively solicit input, new ideas, learnings, and experiences” has become paramount, says Hilton’s chief human resources officer Matthew Schuyler.

Elsewhere on our list, Cisco (No. 6) is developing more and more programs to seed innovation, such as an annual companywide competition in which employees can “invest” tokens in the best ideas (the contest has led to seven proofs of concept and eight patents). Indeed, this list includes dozens of role models for encouraging innovation (which is also the theme of our February Great Place to Work for All Summit). Still, we wondered: Could this magic formula be quantified?…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Weather Service prepares to launch prediction model many forecasters don’t trust

The Washington Post: “In a month, the National Weather Service plans to launch its “next generation” weather prediction model with the aim of “better, more timely forecasts.” But many meteorologists familiar with the model fear it is unreliable. The introduction of a model that forecasters lack confidence in matters, considering the enormous impact that weather has on the economy, valued at around $485 billion annually. The Weather Service announced Wednesday that the new model, known as the FV3 (which stands for Finite­ Volume Cubed-Sphere dynamical core), is “tentatively” set to become the United States’ primary forecast model on March 20, pending tests. It will replace the current version of the GFS, popularly known as the American model, which has existed in various forms for more than 30 years. The introduction of the FV3 is intended as the Weather Service’s next step toward building the best weather prediction model in the world, a stated priority of the Trump administration. The current GFS model trails the European model in accuracy, and it has for many years, despite millions of dollars in congressional funding dating back to 2012, after Hurricane Sandy hit.

Numerous meteorologists who have experience using the FV3 worry it’s not ready for prime time and have been underwhelmed by its performance. For months, its predictions have been publicly available, on an experimental basis for forecasters to evaluate. When news broke about the Weather Service’s intention to make the FV3 the United States’ primary model, meteorologists unleashed a torrent of complaints and negative reviews on Twitter…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Senate Confirms William Barr As Next Attorney General

The prominent Republican lawyer will return to lead the Justice Department for a second time. He first served as attorney general under George H.W. Bush in the early '90s.

(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Internet Archive’s ebook loans face UK copyright challenge

The Guardian UK – “The Society of Authors (SoA) is threatening legal action against the Internet Archive unless it stops what the writers’ body claimed is the unauthorised lending of books unlawfully scanned for its Open Library. Set up in San Francisco 1996 to preserve pages published on the internet, the Internet Archive also collects digital books, offering borrowers access to hundreds of thousands of titles through its Open Library arm. Some are out of copyright, but the collection includes books from authors including AS Byatt, Kate Atkinson, Hilary Mantel, William Boyd, Philip Pullman and Iain Banks that are still in copyright and currently available to be borrowed in the UK. According to its website, the organisation began digitising books in 2005, because “not everyone has access to a public or academic library with a good collection, so to provide universal access we need to provide digital versions of books”. Today the archive scans 1,000 books a day in 28 locations around the world, through its book scanning and book drive programmes – with the “ultimate goal of [making] all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world”. Users can borrow up to five books at a time, with each loan expiring after two weeks.

The SoA, which represents more than 10,000 writers in the UK, called on the Internet Archive to “cease making available to UK users the unauthorised lending of scanned books” via Open Library. In an open letter, the SoA said that in the UK, all scanning and lending must be authorised by the copyright owner. Despite this, users in the UK are currently able to borrow scanned copies of physical books from Open Library. “That is a direct and actionable infringement of copyright,” said the SoA. “Authors are not asked for permission before their work appears on Open Library, and they do not receive any royalties … We are calling on you to cease this practice, which … is unquestionably unlawful in the UK.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Heartbreaking Plight Of Zimbabwe's Doctors

Inflation in Zimbabwe is sky-high — marked by long lines for fuel and ill-equipped hospitals. NPR talks with two doctors who say they don't have the supplies to keep patients, and themselves, safe.

(Image credit: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

'We Live With It Every Day': Parkland Community Marks One Year Since Massacre

Following a year of outraged activism, some survivors went silent Thursday. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School invited students to participate in community service projects.

(Image credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Categories: Just News

Greeting Cards Are Still A Thing In The Digital Age. Thanks, Millennials

Greeting card companies have weathered some tough times as more people send good wishes online. But millennials are purchasing more cards, which has helped stabilize the industry.

(Image credit: Colin Gray/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

With Constitution Changes, Egypt's President Could Stay In Power Until 2034

The parliament overwhelmingly approved the changes, which require a referendum to enter into force. Human rights groups are expressing alarm, saying they "sanction lifelong presidency."

(Image credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AP)

Categories: Just News

Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters

An Amazon spokeswoman told NPR that this decision is not reversible, and the company plans no further negotiations. The company will not search for a new HQ location.

(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Women Will Dominate—and Dismantle—the Music Industry in 2019

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:00
From Ariana Grande and Kacey Musgraves to Tierra Whack and Lizzo, this year is all about female artists remaking the music biz.
Categories: Just News

The AI Text Generator That's Too Dangerous to Make Public

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:00
Researchers at OpenAI decided that a system that scores well at understanding language could too easily be manipulated for malicious intent.
Categories: Just News

Federal Watchdog Issues Scathing Report On Ed Department's Handling Of Student Loans

The department's own inspector general says student loan companies aren't following the rules, and that the government isn't doing enough to hold them accountable.

(Image credit: Hanna Barczyk for NPR)

Categories: Just News

A 'Breaking Bad' Movie Is Coming to Netflix

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 11:16
Also: Apple is reportedly announcing its streaming plans in March, and Thanos is going to 'Dune'.
Categories: Just News

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