In the card game of bridge, the teams bid to have one suit rank higher than the others. This is called the trump suit. However, a contract of, say, one no trump means that the bidders will aim to win seven tricks (rounds) if there is no trump suit. Statisticians Andrew Gelman and Jonathan Falk undertook a study to see if professional bridge players were now consciously or unconsciously bidding “no trump” more often as a result of Donald Trump’s campaign. To draw their conclusions, they studied a major American tournament, whose players are presumably keenly aware of The Donald, and a major Dutch tournament, where the players are presumably much less aware of him. The conclusion of their paper is that the Americans bid “no trump” 29% of the time, vs. 26% for the Dutch.
Actually, the paper was a satire on how people lie using statistics, although the data are real. (V)
A family argument over whether the Earth is flat or round became so heated that one of the participants threw a propane cylinder onto a campfire, prompting an intervention by firefighters.
The dispute over a question most considered resolved centuries ago boiled over around 10:30 p.m. Monday at St. Lawrence Park in Brockville, Ont.
Police said a 56-year-old Brockville man was at a campsite with his son and his son’s girlfriend when the woman began insisting that the Earth is flat.
The older man insisted the Earth is round.
It’s not clear if anyone at the campfire put forth the argument that the Earth’s equatorial bulge makes it not perfectly round, but instead a shape known as an oblate spheroid.
I love it when a journalists takes the opportunity to troll.
Pope Francis said on Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from homosexuals for the way they had treated them.
Speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia, he also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it has treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labor and for “blessing so many weapons” in the past.
In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his international travels, Francis was asked if he agreed with recent comments by a German Roman Catholic cardinal that the Church should apologize to gays.
Francis looked sad when the reporter asked if an apology was made more urgent by the killing of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida this month.
He recalled Church teachings that homosexuals “should not be discriminated against. They should be respected, accompanied pastorally.”
In early 2015 the Pope personally supported a referendum against marriage equality in Slovakia. The government had previously removed legal protections for same-sex married couples, and the church attempted to double down by banning same-sex marriages and adoptions entirely, but lost the vote. Same-sex couples can only be quasi-married in Slovakia thanks to the Pope.
In late 2015 Slovenia legalized same-sex marriage and the Pope personally supported a referendum to strike down that law, which succeeded. Same-sex couples cannot get married in Slovenia thanks to the Pope.
And yet I don’t see him asking forgiveness for those actions. Hypocrite.
Nicola Sturgeon has suggested that the Scottish parliament could block the passage of legislation necessary for the UK to leave the EU.
In an interview with the Sunday Politics Scotland, she said that “of course” she would consider asking the Scottish parliament to vote down the legislative consent motions required for the legislation.
In her fifth major political interview of the morning, Scotland’s first minister told the show’s host, Gordon Brewer: “If the Scottish parliament is judging this on the basis of what’s right for Scotland, then the option of saying we’re not going to vote for something that’s against Scotland’s interests, that’s got to be on the table. You’re not going to vote for something that is not in Scotland’s interests.”
The proposal focuses on arrival / departure forms commonly collected from non-citizens at the US border, as well as the electronic form used for anyone entering the country under a visa waiver. Under the proposed changes, those forms would include a new optional data field prompting visitors to “please enter information associated with your online presence,” followed by open fields for specific platforms and screen names.
Okay, here it is:
‘Robert’); DROP DATABASE;–‘
Until now, automotive content has often been dictated or hampered by car availability, model revisions, limited access to locations and footage that can quickly become irrelevant. In collaboration with JemFX, Performance Filmworks and Keslow, The Mill has created The Mill BLACKBIRD® which sets out to transform the way automotive advertising is made – it’s a car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car.
The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car. Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and dampening to replicate typical driving characteristics.
I’m glad that the car industry is well known for NEVER exaggerating the capabilities of their cars, so I guess this will never work… oh wait..
Mit dieser Meldung sicherte sich Google in der Nacht zum Freitag reichlich Aufmerksamkeit: Morgens um 2:28 Uhr twitterte der Statistikdienst Google-Trends, dass es in Großbritannien am Donnerstagabend einen starken Anstieg von Suchanfragen nach den Folgen eines EU-Austritts gebe. Wussten die Briten zuvor womöglich nicht, worüber sie abstimmen?
A massive, 40-year-old relic left over from NASA’s Apollo moon program has landed a new mission as a roadside attraction on one of the United States’ most traveled highways.
Drivers taking Interstate 10 to enter Mississippi from Louisiana on Tuesday (June 21) were the first to catch sight of the newly-delivered Saturn V first stage parked outside the Infinity Science Center, the visitor center for the nearby NASA Stennis Space Center in Pearlington, Mississippi.
Every few months a little device in my pocket, still called a “phone” for some reason, using a network of satellites to pinpoint the exact time and my location on Earth, alerts me that if I step outside in a few minutes, I can witness a freaking Space Station flying overhead, a station that has been continuously occupied by humans over fifteen years.
We keep this station occupied via a series of rocket launches, both crewed and uncrewed. Some of these uncrewed rockets are launched by commercial enterprises. Those same companies will soon be launching crewed rockets to the station and beyond.
Work is being done on the next generation of space craft that will hopefully send us back to the moon, to asteroids, and on to Mars. Those things are still a long way off, but they’re being worked on.
Up until a year or so ago Pluto was a blurry dot in even the best photographs. Now we have high resolution closeups.
We have a bunch of robots on Mars and will soon be sending more.
There is a spaceship still orbiting Saturn. Saturn.
We have craft currently orbiting Mercury, Venus (I think?), Mars, The Moon, Ceres.
We have sent spacecraft beyond the solar system. One of them has a dick drawn on it.
Spacecraft have landed, or sort-of-crash-landed on, and taken photographs of the surface of, The Moon, Mars, Venus, Titan, a freakin’ comet, and couple of asteroids.
Astronauts tweet and post photos from space. One of them recorded a music video.
Some dude who, among other things, makes amazing electric cars has a good chance of sending humans to Mars in the near future. Some of his billionaire buddies are doing similar things.
Space is still super exciting to me.
In remarkably large numbers, our respondents claimed that they would indeed cancel Netflix over ads. Nearly three quarters of respondents – 74%, to be exact – said they’d be done with Netflix if ads debuted on the service.
Our survey offered a comment section, and those that took advantage of it overwhelmingly used it to voice their disapproval for ads. A noticeable minority resorted to profanity to voice their displeasure. Clearly, ads on Netflix would upset a lot of users, and plenty of them were happy to have the chance to say just how quickly they’d ditch the streaming leader.
Whether all of these users would follow through on their threats to cancel the service if Netflix did indeed get ads is an open question, but if even a fraction of them did, the company would lose a lot of revenue in their quest to do the opposite. Netflix’s users are sending the service a pretty clear message: if the service starts selling ads, customers would consider leaving.
Or, as one respondent put it: “WTF, I would cancel immediately.”
An online gun store based in the United States sold more than 30,000 AR-15 assault rifles in one seven-day period.
Hunter’s Warehouse, based in Bellevue, Pennsylvania, claims that since the killing of 49 people in the Orlando nightclub shooting, the AR-15 has proved popular with buyers.
A semi automatic relation of the military M-16 assault rifle, the AR-15 was used in the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, San Bernadino Inland Regional Centre and Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
A studio in India, founded by British photographers Charles Shepherd, Samuel Bourne and William Howard in 1840 will close its doors after 176 years in operation. Considered the oldest continuously operating photographic studio, Kolkata-based Bourne & Shepherd’s current owner cites the recent major changes in photographic technology as a reason for the closure.
The studio was known for its portraiture, producing images of religious figures and government officials, from the British Raj era onward. Speaking to Indian publication The Hindu, a former employee explains that the shift to digital made it difficult for the studio to survive, saying ‘How can you expect that a studio can operate in this generation where everyone is clicking photos from their mobiles and digital cameras?’
Though the studio will no longer be in operation, the current owner says that he’ll continue to maintain the shop’s collection of historic photos and equipment.
Bleeping Computer malware man Lawrence Abrams described the ransomware noting it is shipped as a JS file and uses the CryptoJS library for AES encryption.
“RAA is currently being distributed via emails as attachments that pretend to be doc files and have names like mgJaXnwanxlS_doc_.js,” Abrams says.
“When the JS file is opened it will encrypt the computer and then demand a ransom of about US$250 USD to get the files back.
But evacuation efforts such as this are exceedingly uncommon — only two have been undertaken in the 60 years since the South Pole research station opened. The brutal cold and total darkness that blankets Antarctica during the austral winter make flights in and out of the station all but impossible. In 1999, a doctor who discovered a cancerous lump in her right breast treated herself — even performing her own biopsy and administering her own chemotherapy — for almost six months until the weather thawed enough for a rescue plane to arrive.
The scandal is unprecedented: According to multiple sources close to the department and the city of Oakland, and documents obtained by the Express, at least fourteen Oakland police officers, three Richmond police, four Alameda County sheriff’s deputies, and a federal officer took advantage of the teenager. (The Express is not publishing her real name because she was a minor when her abuse began.)
Three Oakland police officers committed statutory rape of Guap when she was under-age. By the state’s legal definition, they engaged in human trafficking. The victim says every law-enforcement agent who had sex with her knew she was a sex worker.
Guap, now eighteen years old, said she sometimes slept with cops as a form of protection from arrest or prosecution. Experts in human trafficking told the Express this amounts to coercion.
So what, besides the badges, separates the police from the pimps in Oakland? Answer: Pimps are black and stimulate the local economy. Police are white and spend their money in Concord.
According to a report from Politico, Apple has told Republican leaders that it will not be providing support in any way, including financial, for the party’s upcoming convention. The report says that Apple’s reasoning for this decision is Donald Trump and the comments he has made regarding immigrants, minorities, and women.
Citing two sources “familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans,” Apple will not be donating money or technology to the GOP event like it has done in the past. On the other hand, Microsoft and Google have both said that they will provide technology and/or cash to the GOP convention, which will be held next month in July.
In 2008, Apple provided roughly $140,000 in technology devices to the Democratic and Republican events, while it sat out in 2012 due to the Democrats not accepting corporate donations.
Yesterday at the WWDC keynote, Apple announced a series of new security and privacy features, including one feature that’s drawn a bit of attention — and confusion. Specifically, Apple announced that they will be using a technique called “Differential Privacy” (henceforth: DP) to improve the privacy of their data collection practices.The reaction to this by most people has been a big “???”, since few people have even heard of Differential Privacy, let alone understand what it means. Unfortunately Apple isn’t known for being terribly open when it comes to sharing the secret sauce that drives their platform, so we’ll just have to hope that at some point they decide to publish more. What we know so far comes from Apple’s iOS 10 Preview guide:
Starting with iOS 10, Apple is using Differential Privacy technology to help discover the usage patterns of a large number of users without compromising individual privacy. To obscure an individual’s identity, Differential Privacy adds mathematical noise to a small sample of the individual’s usage pattern. As more people share the same pattern, general patterns begin to emerge, which can inform and enhance the user experience. In iOS 10, this technology will help improve QuickType and emoji suggestions, Spotlight deep link suggestions and Lookup Hints in Notes.To make a long story short, it sounds like Apple is going to be collecting a lot more data from your phone. They’re mainly doing this to make their services better, not to collect individual users’ usage habits. To guarantee this, Apple intends to apply sophisticated statistical techniques to ensure that this aggregate data — the statistical functions it computes over all your information — don’t leak your individual contributions. In principle this sounds pretty good. But of course, the devil is always in the details.
Unfortunately these attacks tend to stifle the release of data and information sharing. Differential privacy provides some hope. As we have learned, it is inherently flexible, which means it can easily be adapted to environments with differing privacy requirements. This flexibility does come at a cost: as we have seen, having very tiny privacy budgets (ε) can make some queries all but useless. However, as more people understand the concepts and more products get built on top of this paradigm we expect to see more sharing of data into the public domain without privacy concerns.
The more philosophical question is how private is private enough? Clearly, there is some tunability between how useful a differentially private query is and how ‘private’ it is. The aforementioned tradeoff between utility and privacy is unfortunately ‘left to the reader’. The literature does provide some rules of thumb for setting ε, with suggestions like 0.01, or ln2, etc. – however these have scant theoretical support. Perhaps most importantly, there are few, if any, precedents. At the end of the day it is the data curator’s job (or his lawyer) to decide on ‘private enough’. The lack of a clear framework to relate ε to privacy levels coupled with the difficulty of explaining it to the layperson has meant that differential privacy has largely remained confined to academia. However, as more people learn about it and more tools begin to emerge (PINQ, Airavat) this is starting to change. Clearly in this world of massive data sets and smart data scientists and hackers, data privacy needs to keep pace. We are very hopeful that these techniques are the next step.
An example: suppose that I never use the poop emoji, and never ever type the word “banana” on my iDevice. But suppose also that most other iDevice users simple love the poop emoji and can’t stop talking about bananas. Now, when Apple uses this statistical data to provide *me* with emoji and typing suggestions, because they went out of their way not to know *me*, they’ll suggest I use poop emojis, and wil suggest “banana” when I start to type “ba”.
Many of the features announced at WWDC expand security of user data, something Apple has been keen to promote as “protecting user privacy”. Safeguards include running artificial intelligence on the device itself, rather thanin the cloud, and using a technology called “differential privacy,” which anonymizes data Apple does collect from its customers.
Those features focus on protecting data in transit, yet APFS is more like a bank vault on a device that secures information even if someone gains physical access to their computer, phone, tablet, watch or Apple TV.
Apple declined to comment on the new feature.
ACLU staff technologist Daniel Kahn Gillmor said that the expansion of AFPS is likely to have been prioritised after Apple’s spat with the FBI. “Protecting the privacy of user data is one of the critical tasks of modern computing hardware and software. If Apple didn’t offer powerful encryption features for their filesystems, they’d be remiss.”
A bill that sought to punish chronic absenteeism in Colombia’s Congress failed to make it through the first debate because too many lawmakers were absent and the session was canceled.
My next car… well, I’ll probably be able to buy one old enough. But the next one after that… I may have to stop driving…
(scroll down to Europe)
Recordings of the sermon by Pastor Roger Jimenez surfaced on the Verity Baptist Church’s YouTube account.
“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” he said in the sermon. “Um — no — I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”
The remarks were delivered on Sunday morning, hours after the attack.
“We don’t need to do anything to help. As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer tonight,” he said.
Sandrea Nelson, the Pride director of the Davis-Phoenix coalition, was left in shock after hearing Jimenez’s sermon. He says in all his years growing up Baptist and attending church, no pastor ever spoke of inequality.
“He’s not a man of God. He is not a man teaching a true religion,” he said.
Ah, the No True Scotsman Fallacy. I’m sorry Sandrea, but yes he is, and that’s the problem.
Oh, anybody want to bet the Pastor is in the closet?