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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,297

Journal Archives

Apple Is Said to Be Rethinking Strategy on Self-Driving Cars

Apple is rethinking what it plans to do about self-driving cars, just as other big tech companies appear ready to plow ahead with competing efforts.

In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees, according to three people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.

The job cuts are the latest sign of trouble with Apple’s car initiative. The company has added resources to the project — code-named Titan — over the last two years, but it has struggled to make progress. And in July, the company brought in Bob Mansfield, a highly regarded Apple veteran, to take over the effort.

Apple is not the only big tech company pursuing autonomous driving technology. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has tested self-driving cars on the road for years, but its focus has been on designing the underlying software and systems to make that technology work. Tesla has a self-driving feature within its cars that has come under scrutiny in recent months after a fatal accident was connected to its use.


The Selling of Donald J. Trump

In their struggle to understand the Trump phenomenon, establishment pundits, political scientists and millions of flabbergasted American voters have settled on a long list of sober-sounding socioeconomic explanations: Deindustrialization. Anomie. Racial animosity. The rising up of a dislocated America.

Perhaps. Surely, Donald J. Trump is where he is because of a new force in American politics, one very different from the old politics as usual. But the difference is not just socioeconomic. It’s much deeper than that. Mr. Trump has survived disasters that would have sunk an establishment politician because he and his supporters have a fundamentally different worldview. Mr. Trump isn’t just the first reality-TV candidate; he is the first candidate to embrace a slice of the country that sees everything, even the fate of the nation, through the logic of cutthroat American capitalism.

The world that Mr. Trump inhabits is today’s Other America, the seamy, blustering, hustling and huckstering underside of our fabled brightness and optimism. For those who can afford to idealize politics, it may seem alien. But for many people, it is everyday life.

The political and business worlds have always overlapped. But we used to — and the establishment still does — expect politicians to adhere to a minimal level of honesty and consistency. We judge business tycoons differently; within the confines of the law, more or less, we expect them to lie and cheat their way to the top, and we assess them solely on how quickly and efficiently they get there. The reputation of Ulysses S. Grant was tarnished by the mere association with the unseemly practices that earned his Gilded Age counterparts in the business world everlasting glory.


Donald Trump’s ‘Big Liar’ Technique

Long ago, you-know-who suggested that propagandists should apply the “big lie” technique: make their falsehoods so huge, so egregious, that they would be widely accepted because nobody would believe they were lying on that grand a scale. And the technique has worked well for despots and would-be despots ever since.

But Donald Trump has come up with something new, which we can call the “big liar” technique. Taken one at a time, his lies are medium-size — not trivial, but mostly not rising to the level of blood libel. But the lies are constant, coming in a steady torrent, and are never acknowledged, simply repeated. He evidently believes that this strategy will keep the news media flummoxed, unable to believe, or at least say openly, that the candidate of a major party lies that much.

And Wednesday night’s “Commander in Chief” televised forum suggested that he may be right.

Obligatory disclaimer: No, I’m not saying that Mr. Trump is another Hitler. More like Mussolini. But I digress.


The Capitol is back to its former glory. But Congress is as useless as ever.

The smell of fresh paint greeted lawmakers reacquainting themselves with their workplace after their seven-week break.

The scaffolding was coming down, revealing a gleaming dome and, underneath it, restored friezes, oil paintings and statues. The Capitol has been returned to its former glory.

If only they could do the same to Congress.

After their seven-week recess, which included both party conventions and was the longest break since at least 1960, the people’s representatives in the House are back for just four weeks before recessing again until the election — and there has been talk of cutting those four weeks of work to three or even two.


Missed opportunities to stop OPM cyber breach spelled out

Source: AP

It was time to purge the hacker from the U.S. government's computers. After secretly monitoring the hacker's online movements for months, officials worried he was getting too close to critical information and devised a plan, dubbed "the Big Bang," to expel him.

Trouble was, with all their attention focused in that case, they missed the other hacker entirely.

A new congressional report provides previously undisclosed details and a behind-the-scenes chronology of one of the worst-ever cyberattacks on the United States, laying out missed opportunities before the break-in at the Office of Personnel Management exposed security clearances, background checks and fingerprint records. That attack — widely blamed on China's government — compromised personal information of more than 21 million current, former and prospective federal employees, led to the resignation of the OPM director and drew outrage over changing explanations about the hack's seriousness.

The report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform faulted the personnel agency for failing to secure sensitive data despite warnings for years that it was vulnerable to hackers. It concluded that the hacking revealed last year could have been prevented if OPM had put in place basic, required security controls and recognized from an earlier break-in that it was actually dealing with a sophisticated, persistent enemy.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/missed-opportunities-stop-opm-cyber-breach-spelled-071524192--politics.html

Over 20 million people had their personal information compromised by this breach.

Ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson settles sexual-harassment lawsuit for $20 million

Source: Business Insider

Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson settled her sexual-harassment lawsuit against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, 21st Century Fox announced Tuesday morning.

According to Vanity Fair, the two parties reached an agreement to settle for $20 million.

As part of the agreement, Carlson agreed not to bring further lawsuits against other network executives, the report said.

21st Century Fox also issued a public apology to Carlson.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/report-ex-fox-news-host-132639883.html

Clinton Says Trump Created 'Diplomatic Incident' With Mexico Trip

Hillary Clinton said in an interview in Cleveland, Ohio, with ABC News' David Muir that Donald Trump created a "diplomatic incident" last week with his trip to Mexico.

"He came out saying one thing and the Mexican president contradicted him almost immediately," said Clinton, referring to Trump's claim that he did not discuss payment for the border wall, a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

"He didn't raise it, so he did choke. He didn't know how to even communicate effectively with a head of state. And I think that's a pretty clear outcome from that trip," she added, taking Trump's word that the issue was not discussed.

But after the joint press conference in Mexico City, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted that the topic of the wall led off their conversation and said that he was unambiguous regarding his country’s stance.


Gloves are coming off.

In Pennsylvania and nationally, Trump's problems with suburban voters blunt his ascent

Marie Jeffries has a very firm view of Donald Trump, and she says it won’t change in the nine weeks before election day.

“He’s a wild man. I think he might put us into a war,” said Jeffries, who was among hundreds sauntering down Main Street in this southeastern Pennsylvania town on the balmy evening that opened Labor Day weekend.

She once was intrigued by Trump, she said, but “then he started the shenanigans, and opened his trap.”

“He’s a bully,” she said. “We’re trying to get away from it in schools. Why have a bully as president?”


Fugitive busted after using wanted poster as Facebook profile pic

A Florida fugitive has been arrested after cops said he used a wanted poster with his mug shot for his Facebook profile picture.

Stuart police say they were able to track down the wanted man, Mack Yearwood, 42, this week thanks to his choice of a Facebook photo, Fox 29 Palm Beach reported Friday.

Yearwood’s wanted poster, which included his mug shot, was posted online in October by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. He had been charged with violating terms of his probation in a battery case.

Several months later, Yearwood made the poster his Facebook profile picture.



Why ISIS Is Rooting for Trump

Donald Trump has been campaigning on a promise to eradicate the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). The Republican presidential nominee regularly makes belligerent statements such as “I would bomb the shit out of . . . those suckers” and “We have to knock the hell out of them.” He has said that he would send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to fight ISIS and refuses to rule out the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the group. One might expect ISIS to view his candidacy with apprehension. However, interviews with ISIS supporters and recent defectors suggest just the opposite: jihadists are rooting for a Trump presidency because they believe that he will lead the United States on a path to self-destruction. Last week, an ISIS spokesman wrote on the ISIS-affiliated Telegram channel, Nashir, “I ask Allah to deliver America to Trump.” Meanwhile, an ISIS supporter posted on one of the numerous jihadist “channels” hosted by the Telegram messaging application, “The ‘facilitation’ of Trump’s arrival in the White House must be a priority for jihadists at any cost!!!”

Analysis of ISIS chatter on social media and conversations with 12 current and former supporters of the group do indicate that ISIS strongly prefers Trump over the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. When asked to explain their preference for Trump, interviewees offered several reasons. First, Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric plays into ISIS’ narrative of a bipolar world in which the West is at war with Islam. Second, ISIS hopes that Trump will radicalize Muslims in the United States and Europe and inspire them to commit lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. Third, ISIS supporters believe that Trump would be an unstable and irrational leader whose impulsive decision-making would weaken the United States. And fourth, ISIS subscribes to the prophecy of a “Final Battle,” to take place in the northern Syrian town of Dabiq, in which the caliphate will decisively triumph over its enemies. Some ISIS supporters believe that Trump would lead the United States and its Western allies into the apocalyptic clash they have been waiting for.

Although not all ISIS supporters are following the election—some say they aren’t interested or don’t have time to care about the domestic politics of their enemies—many are keen spectators of a bitter and divisive race that they believe has the potential to do serious damage to the United States. According to Khaled, a former ISIS fighter who now supports Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), Trump is becoming well-known among jihadists owing to Al Jazeera’s regular coverage of the election. Azzam, another ISIS defector who still considers himself a jihadist, said he watches television every day just to see what Trump will say next. As the presidential race intensifies, it is clear that ISIS views the impending change in U.S. leadership as an opportunity to advance its ideological and military goals.


This is a sobering article. Both ISIS and our homegrown religious nutjobs want Armageddon, and so support Trump's candidacy.
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