Day: July 8, 2020

Civil rights leader says Mark Zuckerberg’s power must be reined in

The 100-page independent audit faulting Facebook for decisions that were “significant setbacks” for civil rights shows that Mark Zuckerberg’s vast power over the social media company must be reined in, activist Rashad Robinson told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. 

Robinson, president of online racial justice group Color of Change, urged lawmakers to demand accountability from Zuckerberg when he appears before Congress later this month as part of a sweeping investigation into the market power of some of the world’s largest and most powerful technology companies. 

“Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression,” wrote the auditors, Laura Murphy and Megan Cacace, who are civil rights experts and attorneys.

What civil rights groups want: For Facebook to stop hate speech and harassment of

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Coronavirus Pandemic Shifts Back-to-School Spending

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping parents from hitting the back-to-school sales, but it may be changing what’s on their shopping lists.

Back-to-school spending for children in grades K-12 is expected to hit $28.1 billion — or $529 per student — which is relatively flat from last year, when $27.8 billion was spent, according to the 2020 Back-to-School survey by international accounting and professional services firm Deloitte, released July 8.

However, the uncertainty over whether students will be learning in-person or virtually is driving many parents to spend more on technology upgrades.

Improving the learning experience with technology

As the school season nears, parents have a lot on their mind. Two-thirds of the parents surveyed said they were anxious about sending their children back to school this fall because of the pandemic.

In addition, a majority of parents were not satisfied with their children’s learning experience during the last school year.

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11 Side Gigs You Can Do From Home

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The rapid changes we experienced worldwide to slow the spread of the new coronavirus were, to put it lightly, tough on the wallet.

Whether your work hours have been reduced, you’ve been laid off from a full-time job, or you need a break from gigs that don’t allow social distancing like ride share or grocery delivery, finding a new source of income without leaving home might be daunting. 

You can always find work-from-home jobs though our portal. But maybe you just need something to get by for now until this all blows over.

Side gigs are a great way to bolster your bank account, and you can find a ton of online gigs that never require you to leave the

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Harvard, MIT sue Trump administration over international student visas

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over a directive that would prevent international students from studying in the United States on F-1 or M-1 student visas in the fall if their school only offers online classes.

The institutions are seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction preventing the government from enforcing the directive, arguing, in part, that the administration made the decision to bar international students to pressure institutions to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The order came down without notice—its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others,” Harvard President Larry Bacow said

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Colleges reel from new immigration announcement

When Nay, a senior at University of Illinois at Chicago, came to the U.S. from Bogor, Indonesia, in 2017, she thought she’d get the most out of her university experience — working, studying, and experiencing life in America.

Even with the coronavirus outbreak, she remained optimistic. But on Monday, new visa restrictions announced by the federal government left her worried.

“It’s very disheartening and very confusing,” Nay, who didn’t want to use her last name, told Yahoo Finance.

Visa guidelines for international students announced by the Trump administration have thrown the entire higher education industry — from students to university deans — into a tailspin. For colleges already scrambling to figure out how to safely open their campuses this fall amid a pandemic, the industry now worries about its future.

“I mean, I have to be honest, this one caught me much more by surprise,” Greg Siskind, an immigration lawyer

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International Students in the U.S. Could Face ‘Devastating Upheaval’ in Wake of ICE Guidance for Foreign Students to Leave if Schools Are Online-Only

On her birthday, Justine learned that her future as a student in the U.S., and the futures of hundreds of thousands of international students like her — may be in jeopardy. New federal guidance announced Monday that international students will be required to leave the U.S. if their schools switch to an all-online curriculum amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students already residing in the U.S. have been thrust into panic and uncertainty. “We’ve uprooted our entire lives to be here,” Justine says. She asked for her full name to be withheld because of fears about her immigration status. “The fact that it’s not coordinated and it’s not consistent messaging is very distressing for us and for our families.”

The new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance, states that international students on F-1 and M-1 visas “may not take a full online course load and remain” in the U.S. — posing

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Virtual training can be good for trainers, owners and dogs

Jennifer Stile was apprehensive when she found out that training classes for her puppy Josie would be moving online because of the pandemic.

“Initially I said I’d wait till it’s over,” says Stile, who was taking a class at My Fantastic Friend in Ellicott City, Maryland. “But then I realized that it wasn’t going to be over fast enough, and I knew I needed to train my dog and I didn’t have the tools to do that without help.”

So she took the plunge — and she’s glad she did.

“I’d been trying to watch YouTube videos and do it on my own, but I wasn’t getting that instant feedback, knowing if I was doing it correctly,” she says. “Having that feedback from a trainer who was invested in me and my dog and getting to know my dog, it was much more successful than I thought.”

In fact, many

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Google internet balloons sent into the air in Kenya to provide 4G from the sky

Visitors stand next to a high altitude WiFi internet hub, a Google Project Loon balloon, on display at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch on June 16, 2013: AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE
Visitors stand next to a high altitude WiFi internet hub, a Google Project Loon balloon, on display at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch on June 16, 2013: AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE

Google-created, internet-enabled balloons have been sent to the edge of space, in order to provide internet in Kenya.

The technology aims to allow people who are either underserved or entirely unserved by current internet infrastructure to be able to get online, by sending out connections over a span of 31,000 square miles.

There will eventually be 35 of the solar-powered balloons hovering over Africa, with solar power allowing them to hover in the air like floating cellphone towers.

The technology is run by Loon, which is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It began as one of Google’s many “moonshots”, with initial versions created out of beer coolers and WiFi routers.

But Loon has gradually expanded and is

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These 2 books will strengthen your command of Python machine learning

Mastering machine learning is not easy, even if you’re a crack programmer. I’ve seen many people come from a solid background of writing software in different domains (gaming, web, multimedia, etc.) thinking that adding machine learning to their roster of skills is another walk in the park. It’s not. And every single one of them has been dismayed.

I see two reasons for why the challenges of machine learning are misunderstood. First, as the name suggests, machine learning is software that learns by itself as opposed to being instructed on every single rule by a developer. This is an oversimplification that many media outlets with little or no knowledge of the actual challenges of writing machine learning algorithms often use when speaking of the ML trade.

[Read: How the Dutch government uses data to predict the weather and prepare for natural disasters]

The second reason, in my opinion, are

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France to Protect Economy; Violence in Serbia: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — France’s new prime minister said he would back targeted restrictions to preserve the economy if the country is hit by a second wave of virus infections. Violence flared in Serbia with Belgrade facing lockdown at the weekend to confront an “alarming” spike in cases.

The U.S. gave the United Nations one-year notice that it plans to exit the World Health Organization, and President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in retaliation for China’s handling of the coronavirus.

States across the U.S. recorded new highs in cases and deaths Tuesday, with total infections in the country approaching 3 million.

Global Tracker: Cases top 11.8 million; deaths exceed 544,000U.S. plans a testing surge as latest virus data hints at shiftNew York City’s rental market is being pushed to breaking point.Cruise ships risk rusting away while sitting idleThese mistakes pushed an Australian city back into lockdownWhy ‘silent spreaders’ make the virus … Read More