Day: July 2, 2020

US Senate panel OKs online child protection bill amid privacy fears

Washington (AFP) – A US Senate panel Thursday approved legislation aimed at combatting online child exploitation as civil liberties activists warned the measure could lead to an array of constitutional and privacy problems.

The Judiciary Committee voted to approve a revised version of the Earn It Act which would eliminate “blanket liability protection” for online platforms which fail to protect against child sexual abuse material.

The bill, which needs approval by the full Senate and House of Representatives, is among the first to chip away at the liability shield for internet services — under a law known as Section 230 — which has come under renewed scrutiny in recent months.

Backers of the bill say it would provide incentives to crack down on online child abuse and exploitation, but critics say it could shut down constitutionally protected free speech and open up online firms to endless litigation.

“To all the

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Fake reviews should stay online, researchers say. I’m not so sure

Perhaps it was inevitable that in this strange era of “alternative facts” and fake claims of “fake news,” someone would make the case for why bogus online reviews are a good thing.

Still, that anyone would make such an argument is jarring, especially when it comes from scholars writing in an academic journal.

The study is titled, “A Tangled Web: Should Online Review Portals Display Fraudulent Reviews?” It was published recently in the journal Information Systems Research.

The key finding, says Beibei Li, an associate professor of information technology and management at Carnegie Mellon University, is that consumers place greater trust in websites “that display fraudulent reviews alongside nonfraudulent reviews.”

Which is to say, the presence of fake reviews enhances the value of honest reviews.

To which I and perhaps many others respond, “Huh?”

“At first, we also thought it was crazy that people would want to see the dark

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5 Stocks to Make the Most of Growing Technology Dependence

New coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 50,000 mark on Jul 1, once again raising fear in millions. Fresh coronavirus cases have been on the rise since the economy started reopening and now experts claim that the numbers could further rise in the days to come.

Fears of a second wave of coronavirus are looming already and it won’t come as a surprise if people once again start staying at home. Two months of at-home orders following the coronavirus outbreak have changed the way lives were led in the pre-COVID-19 era. With no signs of the virus receding, life has become a lot more technology dependent and in all likelihood will remain so.

New COVID-19 Cases Hit Record High

On Jul 1, United States recorded a whopping 52,000 new COVOD-19 cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Several states also imposed 14-day quarantines on visitors in the

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A U.S. vs. China Railgun Arms Race?

Click here to read the full article.

Here’s What You Need To Remember: It could give the Chinese a technological edge, but repeatedly throughout history, it has been shown that being first doesn’t mean best.

Last month the United States Navy scaled back its efforts to develop and electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), a weapon that wouldn’t be out of place in a futuristic science fiction movie or video game. To date the U.S. Navy has spent some $500 in RYD efforts. The Navy’s EMRG project was first conceived in 2003.

Across the Pacific, Chinese efforts to develop a ship-mounted EMRG is still moving forward, and last year it was reported that such a weapon could be “capable of striking a target 124 miles away of speeds of up to 1.6 miles per second.”  

EMRG is unlike traditional artillery-based weapons in that it utilizes no gunpowder. It is essentially a large electric

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This demographic tends to rely on news to make money decisions

Older Americans are putting overwhelming faith in news to inform their financial decisions as compared to the younger generation, according to the first installment of the new Yahoo Finance-Harris poll.

Eighty-one percent of people ages 55 years and older say their money and investment decisions are influenced by the coverage of current events. Only 25% of people between 18 and 34 years old use the news as an information source for their financial decisions.

The results stem from a poll of 2,033 respondents, conducted from June 15 to 17. Yahoo Finance has teamed up with Harris to produce monthly insights on consumer and workplace trends

Fifty-five percent of U.S. adults get their news from social media, according to a 2019 Pew Research Report, up from 47% in 2018. And Facebook (FB) is the top destination among its peers, with 52% of all U.S. adults getting their news from the platform.

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How Cuba’s propaganda spreads on Twitter

Twitter user Mariam Gómez claims to be “faithful to the homeland and the Cuban Revolution” on her account @mpgcibermambisa. But her profile picture, a woman showing her bare back, comes not from a real person but from an article about how gradual tanning is back.

On his Twitter profile, user Kaleb Guevara reproduces a phrase attributed to Ernesto “Che” Guevara: “The true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The profile photo is also a reminder of the controversial Argentine figure, a young dark-haired man with a beard and a cigarette on his lips. But it does not belong to someone named “Kaleb Guevara” but to the Canadian model Nick Bateman.

These are just two of what seem to be false profiles linked to Cuba’s propaganda efforts identified on the new website lasciberclarias.com, created by a Cuban software engineer and Florida International University graduate.

“I have been investigating the

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Fashion Weeks Are Set for a Radical Makeover, and Not Just Because of COVID-19

Tristan Fewings/Getty
Tristan Fewings/Getty

The fashion calendar is built around four major cities: New York, London, Milan, and Paris. As coronavirus has affected every facet of life, the fashion industry has been put on pause. However, with a moment of pause also comes a moment of self-reflection. 

An open letter started by fashion designer Dries van Noten and Lane Crawford CEO Andrew Keith called for global fashion industry reform, including adapting the format of fashion shows and Fashion Weeks.

At NYFW, Michael Kors’ Not-So Wild West, Christian Cowan’s Pop Star Appeal, and Aliétte’s Red Carpet Glamor

New York Fashion Week recently announced that the September shows would be shortened to just three days from Sept. 14 to 16. None of the New York shows are expected to have live audiences, but, rather, they will be static presentations where models will be stationery and attendees can walk in and out. London Fashion Week

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Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

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Online shopping a steep learning curve for Cuba

Havana (AFP) – When Jorge Noris first tried online shopping, Cuban-style, the products he bought never turned up.

Like most people, the father of two living on the outskirts of Havana was seduced by the convenience of shopping over the internet.

However, Cuba’s catch-up with the world of e-commerce, encouraged by its communist rulers during the coronavirus lockdown, has left many users angry.

“After a month, the store called me to ask if the order had arrived,” said Noris, a 34-year-old technician. He was similarly stunned when he discovered he had to travel into the shop to be reimbursed.

Worldwide, the online food trade has been given a massive shot in the arm by the pandemic. With millions confined to their homes, online consumer activity soared by 300 percent in Italy and Spain, and 100 percent in France, according to pollsters Nielsen.

But the experience is still a novel one

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Terry Crews Panned Online For His Cautionary Tweet On Black Lives Matter

Terry Crews again faced heated criticism on Tuesday over a tweet about the possible direction of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology,” the actor tweeted. “We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”

His comment ― like one he made earlier this month voicing concerns about “Black supremacy” ― drew swift and harsh backlash.

It prompted Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., to respond, “We’re so far from that bridge, Terry.”

She explained in her tweet:

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