Tag Archives: Tech-Science

Labeled ‘research’ chemicals, doping drugs sold openly on Amazon.com

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It’s not for the needle-shy. The drugs are sold in vials, and users reconstitute the powder in sterile water, suck the substance into a syringe, stick the needle under their skin, and blast it into their body. These are peptides, short chains of amino acids that, when made naturally in the body, serve a wide range of functions, including stimulating the release of human growth hormone to build muscle and repair injury. Olympic athletes, bodybuilders, and major leaguers have sought out synthetic versions or variants of peptides, easily manufactured in a lab, in an attempt to speed recovery from injury…

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IFTTT introduces a paid plan, reduces free usage to 3 applets

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If This Then That (IFTTT), a web-based service that lets you set up useful task flows between popular apps (like sync photos you post on Twitter to your Dropbox storage) is adding a paid tier after a decade of being available for free. More importantly, it’s reducing free tier usage to three applets (tasks). The company said it’s taking this step to “better align our Pro product roadmap with the needs of our most active Applet creators.”  With the pro tier, IFTTT is introducing new features such as multi-step applets, multiple action execution with logic, and faster execution. The last…

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Facebook doesn’t fix its shit until there’s a controversy — that needs to change

Earlier today, Facebook removed the account of T. Raja Singh, a leader of India’s ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), for hateful speech against Muslim minorities. This step came after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out the company’s policy executive, Ankhi Das, stopped moderators from removing hateful posts and accounts of politicians of BJP. More reporting outlined how Das and Facebook have sided with the Indian government over the years. zuckerberg-blockchain-796x431.png
Earlier today, Facebook removed the account of T. Raja Singh, a leader of India’s ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), for hateful speech against Muslim minorities. This step came after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out the company’s policy executive, Ankhi Das, stopped moderators from removing hateful posts and accounts of politicians of BJP. More reporting outlined how Das and Facebook have sided with the Indian government over the years. Earlier this week, the company’s executives also appeared in front of a parliamentary committee, where both sides of the aisle questioned its executives about hate speech and misuse prevention on the platform. It took Facebook constant…

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Uber and Lyft should just become taxi firms and get over themselves

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If you hadn’t heard, you must’ve had your head under a rock because there’s a new story every week, but ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft are in an intense legal battle in California right now over how the companies classify their drivers. Their future remains uncertain, but what happens if they are forced to shut down? What apps would move into their space? CNN recently interviewed the creators of a couple of options, and they show that proven business models can still be supported and built upon using innovative technologies. Dumpling, an app created by a Seattle-based startup, sprouted up…

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NASA’s impressive new AI can predict when a hurricane intensifies

They discovered three strong signals that a hurricane will become more severe: abundant rainfall inside the storm‘s inner core; the amount of ice water in the clouds within the tropical cyclone; and the temperature of the air flowing away from the eye of the hurricane. Untitled-design-2020-09-03T103620.842-79
Meteorologists have gotten pretty damn good at forecasting a hurricane’s track. But they still struggle to calculate when it will intensify, as it’s seriously hard to understand what’s happening inside a tropical cyclone. A new machine learning model developed by NASA could dramatically improve their calculations, and give people in a hurricane’s path more time to prepare. Scientists at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California developed the system after searching through years of satellite data. They discovered three strong signals that a hurricane will become more severe: abundant rainfall inside the storm‘s inner core; the amount of ice water in…

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Does Facebook still sell discriminatory ads?

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In May, a Wisconsin health care agency, Tenderness Health Care, posted a job ad on Facebook looking for personal care workers. According to Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this ad” pop-up, when the agency purchased the ad, it asked Facebook to not show it to anyone over 54 years of age. And they asked Facebook to show it specifically to people who have “African American multicultural affinity.” Facebook, apparently, complied. The problem? Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age and race, including in advertising open jobs. When The Markup brought the ad to Facebook’s attention, the…

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A play-by-play account of Facebook’s hate speech controversy in India

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Since last week, Facebook India‘s director of policy, Ankhi Das, has been under the spotlight for her role in taking moderation decisions that favored the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). A report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published last Friday suggested that on multiple instances, Das overruled the moderation team’s decision to remove certain violence-inciting communal posts by BJP‘s leaders on the social network. According to the report, Facebook didn’t block several posts from BJP leaders that spoke against Rohingya Muslim community, and also blamed Muslims at large for spreading “Corona Jihad.” [Read: Most mobile apps suck — here’s how…

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Report: Facebook turned a blind eye to violence-inciting posts to appease India’s government

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India is one of the biggest markets for Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Google. It’s also a slippery slope in terms of politics as the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) yields a lot of power over how these companies can operate. In the past, the parliamentary committee had summoned Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to question him about the platforms’s alleged left-leaning bias. Because of this power, platforms often think about taking actions on incriminating posts by leaders of the party — even if they violate their content policy. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Ankhi Das, Facebook India’s…

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Instagram wants suspected bot accounts to provide government IDs

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Instagram is planning to boot out suspicious accounts, including bots, by verification through government IDs. The company’s idea is to control “potential inauthentic behavior,” presumably to stop fake follower counts and likes from shady accounts. The company says most users won’t be affected by this, so you won’t likely get the prompt to show your ID. Through this new policy, Instagram classes dodgy accounts as those that have a majority of followers in a different country to their own. The company will also hunt out suspect bot accounts. [Read: Get yourself off social media: A guide to deleting your accounts] If…

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How studying our reaction to coronavirus can help us fight climate change

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Climate change and COVID-19 are the two most significant crises faced by the modern world – and widespread behavior change is essential to cope with both. This means that official messaging by the government and other authorities is critical. To succeed, leaders need to communicate the severe threat effectively and elicit high levels of public compliance, without causing undue panic. But the extent to which people comply depends on their psychological filters when receiving the messages – as the coronavirus pandemic has shown. With COVID-19, the early messaging attempted to circumscribe the nature of the threat. In March, the WHO…

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