marble fallsmarble falls's Journal
What do we need to look for? We want to Skype for phone and use a service for TV.
Would it be better to use a local internet supplier instead. We do travel and have concerns with public wi-fi.
Please help some old technology-challenged folks out!!!!
What Went Wrong With The South Is What Went Wrong With America
An economy built on a violent system of unpaid forced labor, replaced by a violent system of underpaid exploitative labor.
By Alyson Zandt / Facing South
November 6, 2015
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States
"The Deep South's paralyzing intergenerational poverty is the devastating sum of problems both historical and emergent ones that, in the life of a young man, can build in childhood and then erupt in early adulthood," says Harlan. These young people "deal with traumas at home and dysfunction at school only to find themselves, as graduates, searching for low-paying jobs in states that have been reluctant to fund programs that help the poor."
An accompanying infographic, which maps life expectancy, children living with one parent, unbanked households, median household income, and income mobility, poses a solemn question:
What went wrong is centuries of enslavement and systemic discrimination that resulted in the immense disparities we see today but most news stories don't capture that context. What went wrong with the Deep South is, in many ways, what went wrong with America. In the South, the effects of our nation's enduring racism are most apparent, and it's hard to overstate the continued legacy of slavery. The American economy was built on the wealth created by a violent system of free labor. The economic motivation for that system was most apparent in the agricultural South, and so people in this region went to increasingly great lengths over time to preserve it in spite of contradictions with American ideals of equality. The narrative of racial difference that was created to justify that system is still with us.
So, what went wrong in the South? A long history of social and economic inequity, which is most apparent in the places that pop out on the Washington Post's interactive map. The historical roots of this swath of concentrated poverty and low mobility can easily be traced back to the 17th century (or even to the Cretaceous era, as the places with the largest populations of enslaved people were where the soil was the best for growing cotton, which follows the pattern of ancient coastlines). In 1860, 78 percent of people in Sunflower County, Mississippi, the setting of Harlan's article, were enslaved. A map showing the percentage of the total population that was enslaved in 1860 by county bears remarkable similarity to the pattern of those Washington Post maps:
Breakdowns in educational and economic opportunity like those Harlan describes in the Deep South may appear unique to a small number of communities, but they are indicative of broader systemic failures. Harlan mostly focuses on the issues facing economically isolated rural communities, but the accompanying map of low mobility shows that low-income young people are struggling even in some of the South's most prosperous and dynamic metros. If we want to make national progress on equity, opportunity, and mobility, then we have to figure out how to reduce disparities in the South and in those communities where economic insecurity is greatest. The Infrastructure of Opportunity varies noticeably in quality, consistency, and accessibility across the U.S.; that doesn't have to continue to be the case.
Alyson Zandt writes for the State of The South blog. She was Manpower Development Corp's 2009-2010 Autry Fellow and is manages research and analysis for its State of the South report, which features analysis of state and regional data and calls on the region to develop and implement purposeful policies and systemic practicesan infrastructure of opportunityto bolster the prospects for its 15- to 24-year-olds to achieve economic resilience and a fulfilling social and civic life.
Ben Carson: Uneducated people are easily tricked into voting for free education
Bethania Palma Markus
11 Nov 2015 at 13:53 ET
GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson on Wednesday seemed to give contradicting statements when he said it was very easy to mislead uneducated people into thinking that providing college education was a good thing.
The remarks, made at Liberty University in Virginia, seemed to be a swipe at Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who has said that higher education should be funded by states and the federal government, according to The Hill. Carson said doing so would lead to the destruction of the nation.
It becomes easy to swallow things, the retired neurosurgeon told the audience. If you dont understand our financial situation and someone comes along and says, free college for everybody, theyll say, oh how wonderful, and have no idea theyre talking about hastening the destruction of the nation.
But Carson, a devout Christian, has chalked it all up to being unfairly treated by the gotcha media, telling the crowd at the Christian university he has relied on his faith to remain unfazed, according to The Hill.
Hey, it makes sense to him.
How Law Enforcement Can Use Google Timeline To Track Your Every Move
Nov. 6 2015, 8:53 a.m.
THE RECENT EXPANSION of Googles Timeline feature can provide investigators unprecedented access to users location history data, allowing them in many cases to track a persons every move over the course of years, according to a report recently circulated to law enforcement.
The personal privacy implications are pretty clear but so are the law enforcement applications, according to the document, titled Google Timelines: Location Investigations Involving Android Devices, which outlines the kind of information investigators can now obtain.
The Timeline allows users to look back at their daily movements on a map; that same information is also potentially of interest to law enforcement. It is now possible to submit a legal demand to Google for location history greater than six months old, the report says. This could revitalize cold cases and potentially help solve active investigations.
Consider including Gmail, photos and videos, search history, contacts, applications, other connected devices, Google Voice and Google Wallet, if they are relevant to the investigation, the report suggests. Investigators are also advised to include a non-disclosure order with their search warrants for Google data, which prevents the company from notifying the account holder that their data is being provided to law enforcement.
Intelligence gathering is now ready to be privatized.
Around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 11 last year, Duval Arthur, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, got a call from a resident who had just received a disturbing text message. Toxic fume hazard warning in this area until 1:30 PM, the message read. Take Shelter. Check Local Media and columbiachemical.com.
By ADRIAN CHENJUNE 2, 2015
St. Mary Parish is home to many processing plants for chemicals and natural gas, and keeping track of dangerous accidents at those plants is Arthurs job. But he hadnt heard of any chemical release that morning. In fact, he hadnt even heard of Columbia Chemical. St. Mary Parish had a Columbian Chemicals plant, which made carbon black, a petroleum product used in rubber and plastics. But hed heard nothing from them that morning, either. Soon, two other residents called and reported the same text message. Arthur was worried: Had one of his employees sent out an alert without telling him?
If Arthur had checked Twitter, he might have become much more worried. Hundreds of Twitter accounts were documenting a disaster right down the road. A powerful explosion heard from miles away happened at a chemical plant in Centerville, Louisiana #ColumbianChemicals, a man named Jon Merritt tweeted. The #ColumbianChemicals hashtag was full of eyewitness accounts of the horror in Centerville. @AnnRussela shared an image of flames engulfing the plant. @Ksarah12 posted a video of surveillance footage from a local gas station, capturing the flash of the explosion. Others shared a video in which thick black smoke rose in the distance.
Dozens of journalists, media outlets and politicians, from Louisiana to New York City, found their Twitter accounts inundated with messages about the disaster. Heather, Im sure that the explosion at the #ColumbianChemicals is really dangerous. Louisiana is really screwed now, a user named @EricTraPPP tweeted at the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Heather Nolan. Another posted a screenshot of CNNs home page, showing that the story had already made national news. ISIS had claimed credit for the attack, according to one YouTube video; in it, a man showed his TV screen, tuned to an Arabic news channel, on which masked ISIS fighters delivered a speech next to looping footage of an explosion. A woman named Anna McClaren (@zpokodon9) tweeted at Karl Rove: Karl, Is this really ISIS who is responsible for #ColumbianChemicals? Tell @Obama that we should bomb Iraq! But anyone who took the trouble to check CNN.com would have found no news of a spectacular Sept. 11 attack by ISIS. It was all fake: the screenshot, the videos, the photographs.
In St. Mary Parish, Duval Arthur quickly made a few calls and found that none of his employees had sent the alert. He called Columbian Chemicals, which reported no problems at the plant. Roughly two hours after the first text message was sent, the company put out a news release, explaining that reports of an explosion were false. When I called Arthur a few months later, he dismissed the incident as a tasteless prank, timed to the anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Personally I think its just a real sad, sick sense of humor, he told me. It was just someone who just liked scaring the daylights out of people. Authorities, he said, had tried to trace the numbers that the text messages had come from, but with no luck. (The F.B.I. told me the investigation was still open.)
The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. The perpetrators didnt just doctor screenshots from CNN; they also created fully functional clones of the websites of Louisiana TV stations and newspapers. The YouTube video of the man watching TV had been tailor-made for the project. A Wikipedia page was even created for the Columbian Chemicals disaster, which cited the fake YouTube video. As the virtual assault unfolded, it was complemented by text messages to actual residents in St. Mary Parish. It must have taken a team of programmers and content producers to pull off.
And the hoax was just one in a wave of similar attacks during the second half of last year. On Dec. 13, two months after a handful of Ebola cases in the United States touched off a minor media panic, many of the same Twitter accounts used to spread the Columbian Chemicals hoax began to post about an outbreak of Ebola in Atlanta. The campaign followed the same pattern of fake news reports and videos, this time under the hashtag #EbolaInAtlanta, which briefly trended in Atlanta. Again, the attention to detail was remarkable, suggesting a tremendous amount of effort. A YouTube video showed a team of hazmat-suited medical workers transporting a victim from the airport. Beyoncés recent single 7/11 played in the background, an apparent attempt to establish the videos contemporaneity. A truck in the parking lot sported the logo of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
On the same day as the Ebola hoax, a totally different group of accounts began spreading a rumor that an unarmed black woman had been shot to death by police. They all used the hashtag #shockingmurderinatlanta. Here again, the hoax seemed designed to piggyback on real public anxiety; that summer and fall were marked by protests over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. In this case, a blurry video purports to show the shooting, as an onlooker narrates. Watching it, I thought I recognized the voice it sounded the same as the man watching TV in the Columbian Chemicals video, the one in which ISIS supposedly claims responsibility. The accent was unmistakable, if unplaceable, and in both videos he was making a very strained attempt to sound American. Somehow the result was vaguely Australian.
Who was behind all of this? When I stumbled on it last fall, I had an idea. I was already investigating a shadowy organization in St. Petersburg, Russia, that spreads false information on the Internet. It has gone by a few names, but I will refer to it by its best known: the Internet Research Agency. The agency had become known for employing hundreds of Russians to post pro-Kremlin propaganda online under fake identities, including on Twitter, in order to create the illusion of a massive army of supporters; it has often been called a troll farm. The more I investigated this group, the more links I discovered between it and the hoaxes. In April, I went to St. Petersburg to learn more about the agency and its brand of information warfare, which it has aggressively deployed against political opponents at home, Russias perceived enemies abroad and, more recently, me.
LONG story well worth the read.
Chilean Desert, One Of The Driest Places On Earth, Is Awash In Flowers
October 30, 201512:31 PM ET
A view over a mallow field in the Atacama region in Chile on Oct. 21. This year's rainfall over the hostile land has led to the most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.
One of the driest places on Earth has blossomed after some unusual rain earlier this year.
The Atacama Desert, primarily located in Chile along the Pacific Ocean, is flush with flowers after relatively heavy precipitation in March and August fell in the drought-stricken region.
The bloom generally occurs once every five to seven years, but rain in March and more in August has produced an array of blooms reportedly not seen in such profusion in nearly two decades.
A car passes through a mallow field in the Atacama region of Chile on Oct. 21.
The rainfall on one day in March 0.96 inches was the equivalent of approximately 14 years of precipitation, according to The Washington Post.
More than 25 people were killed and thousands left homeless after the March rain, which caused mudslides and flooding, according to EFE. The Spanish news agency spoke with Daniel Diaz, the director of the National Tourism Service in Atacama, about the region's recent rain and the result:
" 'The Atacama region was punished, but also blessed by the phenomenon of a flourishing desert, something that happens only after the rains, this time brought about by El Niño and climate change,' he said.
" 'The intensity of blooms this year has no precedent, and the fact that it has happened twice in a same year has never been recorded in the country's history. We are surprised.' "
The desert once went more than 14 years without rain in the early 20th century, according to Arizona State University's School of Geographical Sciences.
If you'd like to see the carpet of more than 200 native plant species in person, you'll have to get to Chile quickly, as the bloom will soon end, says EFE.
Japan has finally figured out what to do with its abandoned golf courses
Ariel Schwartz, provided by
Published 9:14 am, Thursday, July 16, 2015
This is what's happening in Japan, where developers built too many golf courses over the last few decades after demand shot up in the 1980s. Now the industry is in decline, with participation in the sport down 40% from the 1990s, and abandoned golf courses are starting to pop up.
Kyocera's solution: turn the abandoned green space into solar farms. Japan has been hungry for alternative energy ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster made nuclear power an unattractive option in the country, and golf courses just happen to be perfectly suited for solar power they're large open spaces that often get lots of sunlight.
The golf course that will be turned into a 23 MW solar farm.
Kyocera's first project, now under construction, is a 23 megawatt solar plant on a golf course in Kyoto prefecture. When it goes live in 2017, the plant will produce enough power for about 8,100 households.
The company is also developing a 92 megawatt solar plant generating enough energy for over 30,000 households on an abandoned golf course in Kagoshima prefecture. No word on when that project will go live.
Texas man busted for falsely accusing #BlackLivesMatter supporters of vandalizing his truck
18 Sep 2015 at 20:43 ET
Scott Lattin is arrested outside his home in Whitney, Texas on Sept. 18, 2015. [KDFW-TV]
A Texas man who raised almost $6,000 in funds online to repair his truck was arrested on Friday after authorities determined that he vandalized the vehicle himself and tried to blame supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement for the damage, KDFW-TV reported.
Police charged 45-year-old Scott Lattin with making a false report after arresting him at his home in Whitney, Texas. While the suspect denied the accusation during a brief on-camera interview, his arrest warrant stated that he admitted to damaging the truck for insurance reasons.
Lattin organized the fundraiser after claiming last week that vandals spray-painted Black Lives Matter across his truck as well as F*ck the police because he had decorated the vehicle with the phrase Police Lives Matter in support of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, who was shot and killed at a gas station last month. Both authorities and conservatives have attempted to connect Goforths death with the movement, seemingly without any evidence.
Whitney Police Chief Chris Bentley told KDFW that when his department took Lattins initial statement, there was no damage to the inside of the truck. But footage aired on the station showed that the suspect then claimed that the vehicles seats were slashed and its glove compartment ripped open.
Hi. This is Sarah Palin. Is Senator Lieberman in?
No, governor. This is Rosh Hashanah.
Well, hello, Rosh. Can I leave a message?
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