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06-18-2018 Sports
World Cup 2018: Proposed bill would make it illegal to criticize Russia's national team

MOSCOW – Of all the sentences you didn’t expect to read during the World Cup, how’s this one... The controversial politician who sponsored Russia’s much-maligned “gay propaganda” law has launched a bill that would make it a criminal offense to criticize the country’s national soccer team. That’s right, Vitaly Milonov, who likes to think of himself as one of Russia’s tough guy political influencers (because, you know, they don’t have enough of those), apparently thinks his nation’s World Cup squad are so delicate as to be unable to cope with a few harsh words from fans or in the media. According to, the website of Russia’s Kremlin-backed television network, Milonov is behind a bill that would see fines of $160 levied on anyone found guilty of “verbally tormenting” the team. He strongly believes in his argument, reasoning that such criticism lowers national morale. He strongly believed in his argument when he successfully sponsored the anti-LGBT law in 2013, too, claiming that to allow protest or speech in favor of “non-traditional sexual relations” was damaging to the minds of Russian children. Back then, his law was lambasted internationally for having little in the way of common sense and providing a poisonous curb on basic human rights. “Our players are ours, regardless of how good they are,” Milonov told the Komsomolskay Pravda newspaper this week. “And here some idiots make fun of them and spoil their pre-game moods. If our footballers lose, we should blame those who insulted our boys.” How’s his logic working out this time? Well, ahead of the World Cup, Russia had failed to win for seven games and entered the event ranked 70th, the lowest of all teams. Because of this dismal run, it was, incredibly, criticized by its fans and media. And, whether inspired by or in spite of said criticism, it went out and destroyed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament opener to instantly give itself one foot in the knockout round, barring a major collapse. Yet while Milonov’s latest round of rhetoric is notable for its absurdity, the most remarkable thing about it is that we have come to hear about it at all. Not much Russian news is finding its way into the public domain right now, unless you count photos of Vladimir Putin looking like a proud papka as the goals piled in on Thursday. The much is by design, according to the Mediazona news service, which reported that Russia’s Interior Ministry has ordered local authorities to cease releasing figures that could spark fears about crime rates among foreign fans and to instead report “things that are cheerful.” ...

Read Original Article     ON:   USA Today

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06-18-2018 Science&Technology
Microsoft Office Redesign Makes It Easier To Use: What's New?

Not too long after Google revamped its Gmail, Microsoft has now redesigned its Office productivity apps for a more streamlined design and simplicity. Office 365 apps such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel should now be easier to use following the redesign, and the changes should be particularly useful for users with disabilities. "Beginning today, millions of people who use Office at home and work will begin to see some welcome changes designed to deliver a balance of power and simplicity," says Microsoft. "These updates are exclusive to and Office 365 - the always up-to-date versions of our apps and services." Customer-Centric Microsoft Office Apps Microsoft highlights that its Office apps are customer-centric, and its design team worked closely with customers to find out how they use the apps and how they could improve. The new Office redesign brings three major changes to search, the ribbon toolbar, as well as icons and colors. The revamped design will start rolling out to both business customers and consumers this month. Microsoft Office Word Ribbon Redesign The ribbon in Microsoft office, meaning the toolbar at the top, has been cluttered with a slew of buttons for several years. With the revamped design, the ribbon is now significantly smaller, aiming to make it easier for users to focus on what they have to do and boost productivity. Users will also be able to pin various features to the ribbon just like they pin apps to the Windows start menu, so they can have shortcuts for what they use most often. Not everyone might appreciate the smaller ribbon, however, but those who don't like it can always revert to the previous three-line view to expand the ribbon. Microsoft Office Apps Get New Colors And Icons Microsoft also added new colors and icons across the Office apps, designed as scalable graphics so that they look good on all screens regardless of size. The changes aim to deliver a more modern design, as well as make the apps more accessible to people with disabilities. Microsoft Office Apps Search The redesign also brings changes to Search, making it more prominent and improving the user experience by allowing users to quickly access content, commands, and people. The new Search box in the Office apps and website will now offer automatic suggestions of files and people based on usage, with suggestions varying by apps. Microsoft calls this "zero query search" because it offers AI-powered suggestions when placing the cursor in the search box. To get a better idea of the changes coming to Microsoft's Office apps, check out the video below.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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06-18-2018 Cars
Tesla is now making 3,500 Model 3 cars per week

Tesla has been scrambling to make its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week by July, and it appears to be making good progress... although it also has a long way to go. Electrek has obtained a company-wide email from Elon Musk indicating that Tesla is now reliably producing "above 500" vehicles per day, or about 3,500 per week. Some portions of the line are "almost at 700" per day, he added. In a tweet, Musk also noted that Tesla had assembled its first performance-oriented dual motor model. Musk pointed out that a few parts of the production line still needed "radical improvements," such as the paint shop and the end of the line. And there's still a tremendous sense of urgency -- Musk said he would be at his company's Fremont factory "almost 24/7" over several days to ensure teams get "as many resources as they can handle." it's difficult to know whether or not this will be enough for Tesla to meet its target, but it doesn't have much choice but to try. The automaker was originally supposed to make 5,000 Model 3 units per week by the end of 2017, and the six-month delay has hurt Tesla's bottom line in addition to frustrating early adopters. Even with job cuts, Tesla needs to up its production rate quickly if it's going to turn its finances around.

Read Original Article     ON:   Engadget

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06-18-2018 Science&Technology
Apple's self-driving program nets former Waymo engineer

Apple's self-driving-car program might not have the luster of Waymo or other high-profile companies, but that doesn't mean it can't attract some proper talent. Apple has hired Jaime Waydo, a former senior engineer with Waymo, The Information reports, citing a source familiar with the hire. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment, but it did confirm Waydo's hire to The Information. A Waymo spokeswoman sent a statement that wished Ms. Waydo well in her future endeavors. According to The Information, Ms. Waydo was a rather high-profile engineer, being in charge of systems engineering and ensuring the safety of Waymo's prototypes. She was apparently involved in Waymo's launch in Phoenix, followed by its decision to remove human drivers from the equation entirely. Prior to Waymo, she was a senior engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Apple's hire could signal that the company is ready to begin verifying its own platform for expansion, but it's not clear what position Waydo holds and what she has say over. The tech giant's self-driving efforts, referred to as Project Titan, have lagged behind those of competitors like Waymo, General Motors and even Uber. According to reports, Apple had originally planned to create an entire self-driving car, only to scale back its aspirations a couple of years ago. It's now reportedly focused on a platform that it can develop and sell to automakers that lack the time, funds or manpower to develop an independent system. It's a smart move, as developing a new car from the ground up can cost billions of dollars before anything like autonomy even enters the picture.

Read Original Article     ON:   Cnet

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06-18-2018 Science&Technology
The 2009 iPhone 3GS is going back on sale in South Korea

The Apple iPhone 3GS is going back on sale via South Korean carrier SK Telink after a new batch was found still in boxes at a warehouse, as reported by VentureBeat. The devices will be sold with original packaging for 44,000 won (about $41) with no contract. When the phone first came out in 2009, the 8GB model retailed for $99 with an AT&T plan. Since the phones have been sitting unused for almost a decade, SK Telink will be testing each one to see if the battery has held up, then it will repackage them for shipment. Even if the battery works, the data speed will be slower, and the phone won’t be able to run many current iOS apps, and it also uses an older, larger SIM card. Also, if it breaks, repairs will probably be hard to come by. However, it should be just fine for basics like making and receiving calls and sending texts... and it has a headphone jack. The 3GS originally debuted in June 2009, and at the time, it boasted new features like Cut, Copy and Paste, a 3-megapixel autofocus camera, and Find My iPhone. It was also the last flagship iPhone to have plastic housing before the company started using metal and glass. The highest-priced 32GB version was $299. By comparison, Apple’s cheapest iPhone that can currently be purchased is the 32GB SE for $349.

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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06-18-2018 Environment
Antarctica is melting faster than anyone thought, and we're not ready for the sea level rise ...

... that's coming In the future, seas will rise far higher than they are today. The question is whether it happens quickly or slowly. There's enough ice stacked on top of Antarctica to raise seas around the globe by almost 200 feet. While it takes time for major changes to occur with that much ice, Antarctica is melting faster than we thought, according to a study recently published in the journal Nature. The melting rate has been speeding up significantly in recent years. Between 1992 and 2017, Antarctica lost more than 3.3 trillion tons of ice, causing sea levels around the globe to rise an average of 8 millimeters. About 40% of that loss occurred between 2012 and 2017, according to the new study. From 1992 to 2012, the continent lost about 84 billion tons of ice a year, and over the next five years, that jumped to more than 240 billion tons per year. If the acceleration of ice melt were to continue, it could potentially cascade, leading to runaway ice melt and rapid sea level rise. The biggest changes have come in West Antarctica, where the glaciers holding back ice sheets rest on rapidly warming ocean waters, causing them to melt more quickly. Climate science professor Chis Rapley of the University College London has previously described Antarctica as a "slumbering giant" of ice melt and sea level rise that seems to be awakening. "This paper suggests it is stretching its limbs," he told the UK Science Media Center. Melting ice, rising seas For the new study, scientists from 44 international organizations combined data from 24 different satellite surveys. "Thanks to the satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track [polar ice sheet] ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence," said Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, who led the study along with Erik Ivins of NASA's JPL Laboratory. "[T]he continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years." Their research brings our understanding of the current state of Antarctic ice up to date, according to researchers not involved in the study. While 8 millimeters of sea level rise from Antarctic melting alone might not sound extreme, the rapid changes associated with it should be enough to give anyone pause. In the 20th century, sea levels around the globe rose about six inches on average, Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences at Princeton, said during a recent media briefing on sea level rise. That was enough to narrow the typical East Coast beach by about 50 feet. Since the mid-1990s, places like Miami have seen an additional five inches of sea level rise. Seas rise faster in some places than others, due to ocean currents and the effects of gravity. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Insider

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06-18-2018 Science&Technology
Judge Says That Google Translate Can't Be Used To Authorize Police Search

A Kansas court has ruled that police can't use Google Translate as a form of communication when obtaining consent to search a person. In September 2017, Omar Cruz-Zamora was stopped by police when they used Google Translate to ask to search his car. Confused, he agreed to the search and was arrested. The judge ruled that Google Translate isn't good enough for constitutional search purposes. Police Using Google Translate For Consent In September 2017, police used Google Translate to ask Cruz-Zamora for permission to search his car. Cruz-Zamora is a Mexican citizen living in the United States on a visa. He isn't required by law to let police search his car. When police searched his car, they found 14 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamines. On June 4, a Kansas judge gave Cruz-Zamora a motion to suppress the evidence. In the ruling, the translation provided by Google Translate was called "literal but nonsensical." When police asked Cruz-Zamora if they could search his car, the translation provided was a literal translation but not one that showed the intent of the officer that wanted Cruz-Zamora's car. When police typed "can I search the car?" into Google Translate, the translation was equivalent to "Can I find the car." This shows that even though Google Translate can provide a translation, it doesn't mean that the result will make sense in the other language. During the exchange with police, Cruz-Zamora told officers that he didn't understand what they were trying to ask him nine times. The exchange between Cruz-Zamora and the police wasn't captured on video, and written transcript of the exchange doesn't prove that Cruz-Zamora knew what he was consenting to. Similar Case In Texas In a similar case in Texas, Google Translate was used by the police, and the court found that the exchange did lead to a voluntary search. In that case, the court found that the search was voluntary because the person knew what the officer was going to do. In this instance, the officer pointed to his eyes and then the trunk of the car. Once this happened, the person opened the trunk, which showed that they understand what was happening at the moment. In the Cruz-Zamora case, the state tried to argue that his actions implied that there was consent during the search. The judge said that person standing by the side of the road doesn't imply consent on their part.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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06-18-2018 Science&Technology
Parents’ Smartphone Habits Mold Children’s Unruly Behavior, According To New Study

Previous studies have warned about the effects of smartphones on children's well-being. Now, a new study examines parents' smartphone habits and its impact on their parenting. The new research found that parents who are glued to their phones or other gadgets, including television, are more likely to miss out on quality times with their kids. Parents who prefer attending to their phones instead of eating and playing with their kids, and putting them to sleep could strain their relationships with them in the long run. Aside from having a fewer conversation with their little ones, parents who are busy with their smartphones are also most likely to exhibit hostile reactions when their kids try to get their attention. Their children, on the other hand, tend to be more frustrated all the time. They could also be hyperactive, more prone to whining, sulking, and throwing tantrums. Technoference And Parenting The researchers from the Illinois State University and the University of Michigan Medical School has particularly looked into "technoference" and its impact on the quality of parenting. The study submitted in the journal Pediatric Research and published in Springer Nature on June 13 specifically defined technoference as "everyday interruptions in face-to-face interactions because of technology devices." In the study, the researchers mentioned previous surveys where parents were found to use televisions and other gadgets for a total of nine hours every day. A third of this time, parents are glued to their smartphones and tend to neglect more important family activities that mold their children's interpersonal and emotional well-being. For their study, the researchers surveyed 337 parents with children age 5 years and below. The parents were asked about how many times in a day do devices interrupt their activities with their children, even the mere conversation with them. In most of the families surveyed for the study, one or several devices disrupted a supposed parent-child bonding activity at some point within the day. The couples were also asked to monitor the number of times that their children sulk or exhibit internalized behavior as compared to acting out or displaying externalized behavior. The survey found that children are more likely to complain and behave worse than simply brood over their frustrations. Escaping Kids' Bad Behavior The study also highlighted that some parents use smartphones to divert their attention away from disappointments felt about parenthood. Instead of addressing their children's mischief by having a meaningful conversation with them, these parents resorted to spending more time with their gadgets. The researchers warned that this might only create a more concerning cycle. ...

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06-16-2018 Politics
China: 'The US has launched a trade war'

The world's two biggest economies are now at war over trade. China accused the United States of firing the first shot on Friday when the White House confirmed that it would impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The announcement confirms a threat first made by President Donald Trump in March and follows months of trade talks between the two sides. A truce was announced in May but it proved short-lived. "The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war," China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement. The Chinese government said it would respond in kind to the US tariffs, which will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target China's aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries. "China does not want a trade war," it said, adding that it would "fight back vigorously" in defense of its national interests, globalization and the world trade system. "We will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States." It also said "all economic and trade agreements reached by previous negotiations will be nullified at the same time." That includes a tentative deal to increase Chinese purchases of energy and agricultural goods. The Commerce Ministry statement gave no further details of the American products that would be hit. China has previously promised to respond with retaliatory tariffs on US products such as cars, planes and soybeans. Trump has long complained about China's huge trade surplus with the United States. In a statement Friday, he said trade with China "has been very unfair, for a very long time." The US president said the new tariffs, which will start to take effect on July 6, were designed to punish China for the theft of American intellectual property and technology. And he warned that any retaliation by Beijing would trigger another round of tariffs on Chinese goods. That raises the specter of an intensifying trade war, which would hurt consumers, companies and the global economy. The Dow fell nearly 200 points on Friday after the tariffs were announced. Growth forecasts for major economies are already being slashed due to the rise of protectionism. Germany's central bank cut its forecast for Europe's biggest economy on Friday. "An escalating global trade dispute or widespread rises in import tariffs would have a marked negative impact on Germany's export oriented economy," it said. The United States has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. All have promised to hit back. The 28 members of the EU agreed Thursday that retaliatory tariffs would go into effect in the coming days. "In this day and age, launching a trade war is not in the interest of the world," China's Commerce Ministry said. "We call on all countries to act together to firmly stop such an outdated and backward move, and to firmly safeguard the common interest

Read Original Article     ON:   CNN

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06-16-2018 Sports
World Cup fever hits UN as ambassadors don their nations' soccer shirts

Russia, so often seen as a bad actor in the international arena, got a break Thursday at the United Nations and throughout the universe as World Cup fever began. Standing next to U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley wearing her U.S. soccer shirt, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia looked to be enjoying the occasion as he hosted a team picture with the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, who also donned their nations’ jerseys. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, a Portuguese national, entered the Security Council chamber blowing a whistle and wearing a traditional black referee’s shirt. Earlier in what looked like a World Cup fan zone, Russia, who holds June’s rotating Security Council presidency, which sets the agenda and program of work for the Council that month, invited diplomats to join them in watching the opening game that featured Russia playing Saudi Arabia. Russia has set up TVs all over the U.N. so all can keep an eye on their team. Standing in front of the World Cup mascot, Zabivaka, Nebenzia welcomed U.N. diplomats. He said: “I earnestly hope that it will be a peaceful month to enjoy both peace and football, and sports as you know is a great medium and a great uniting force in the world … may the best team win, and let’s enjoy football together.” Russia went onto win the game 5-0 against a much weaker Saudi Arabia team. Fox News spoke to several ambassadors and asked for some predictions. Peru’s Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra diplomatically said that he believed the World Cup would go back to South America, and was ecstatic that Peru was back in the tournament for the first time in 36 years. “We have a wonderful team,” he said. Standing next to the Peruvian ambassador was Brazil’s Deputy Ambassador Frederico S. Duque Estrada Meyer, who said none of his colleagues want to take a bet with him, saying it was “a pity.” Brazil is going for its sixth World Cup final win. His prediction: “Brazil, then Peru.” Perhaps a country the U.S. could learn a thing or two from in building up a winning soccer program is the tiny European nation of Iceland with a population of 300,000 — the smallest country playing at this year’s World Cup. Two years ago Iceland shocked the world beating England on its way to a quarter-final birth before losing out to France at the European Championships. Asked by Fox News for his advice to U.S. soccer, its U.N. Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson said that, “The basis for our success was to invest in the young — in the youth. So two decades ago, we started a very strong focus on building up facilities, training the trainers and focusing on the youth movement, and that is really the basis for what we have been doing.”

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06-16-2018 Science&Technology
Spacewalking Astronauts Prep Space Station for SpaceX, Boeing Spaceships

Two NASA astronauts took a spacewalk today (June 14) to continue preparations for the arrival of the first commercial crew vehicles that will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year. Expedition 56 Cmdr. Drew Feustel and flight engineer Ricky Arnold departed the ISS through the Quest airlock after switching their spacesuits over to battery power at 8:06 a.m. EDT (1206 GMT). They spent 6 hours and 49 minutes working in the vacuum of space. Some technical difficulties put them off to a rough start, but the two spacewalkers aced all of their assigned tasks for the day and even had some time left over for a few get-ahead tasks. They spent some time wrestling with a jammed panel to a micrometeoroid shield, which was stuck open and needed to be closed. [Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos] Flight controllers were considering giving up on the pesky door so the spacewalkers could move on to other important tasks, but Feustel was unwilling to give up on the stubborn panel. With a little elbow grease and a lot of determination, he put that panel in its place. "I think I got it!" Feustel exclaimed while catching his breath after the strenuous feat. Feustel's most notable achievement of the day came a few hours later, when he surpassed NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's accumulated spacewalking time, bumping him up from seventh place to third place on the list of most experienced spacewalkers. "Feustel has now moved into third for all-time spent spacewalking," NASA TV commentator Dan Huot said during a live broadcast of the spacewalk. He also surpassed Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronauts Jerry Ross and John Grunsfeld. Feustel has now spent a total of 61 hours and 48 minutes working in the vacuum of space, or 1 hour and 21 minutes more than Whitson. It was the ninth spacewalk of Feustel's career as a NASA astronaut. Arnold, who completed his fifth spacewalk today, has accumulated a total of 32 hours and 4 minutes of spacewalking time.A rnold and Feustel have now completed three consecutive spacewalks together this year. For the last two spacewalks, Feustel was designated as EV-1 (extravehicular crewmember 1), and Arnold was EV-2. Today, however, the roles were reversed. "Welcome to being the first out of the hatch," Feustel told Arnold as they left the Quest airlock this morning. To make it easier to tell the two spacewalkers apart, the spacesuit for EV-1 has red stripes, while the spacesuit for EV-2 is plain white. ...

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06-16-2018 Games
Three things Cyberpunk 2077 gets right about the original tabletop RPG

Warsaw, Poland-based CD Projekt Red was on hand at this year’s E3 with a nearly hourlong demonstration of its next game, Cyberpunk 2077. The maker of the Witcher series is well outside of its comfort zone on this one, having traded in horses, magic and swords for fast cars, cybernetic implants and futuristic small arms. Polygon’s viewing of the demo this morning was among the last very last at the expo, so you may have heard that Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person, role-playing, cover-based shooter and not a third-person brawler. But what many writers have overlooked is how much respect CD Projekt is giving to the game’s original lore, a tabletop RPG first published in 1988. Cyberpunk 2020 is the brainchild of Mike Pondsmith, an award-winning game designer with roots in board gaming and pen-and-paper RPGs. He may not have coined the word “Cyberpunk,” but his game system crystallized everything that had come before to create a coherent and unique vision of what a world gone cyberpunk could actually be like. From the demo that I was shown, it’s clear that CD Projekt has mined the source material with all the passion and respect of a true fan. Here’s what Cyberpunk 2077 got right about Pondsmith’s legendary tabletop RPG. THE LOOK The source book for Cyberpunk 2020 kicks off with a few pages on the overall tone of that universe. Bullet point number one is “style over substance.” “It doesn’t matter how well you do something, as long as you look good doing it,” Pondsmith writes. “Normally, clothes and looks don’t matter in an adventure — in this world, having a leather armor jacket and mirrorshades is a serious consideration.” That note on the theme from the original tabletop game seems prescient of modern day gaming, where cosmetic enhancements are monetized to an almost absurd degree. But, in CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, looking good will actually affect the player’s performance. In this year’s E3 demo, even the NPCs are dressed to the nines. I’ve never seen exterior body armor matched with a three-piece suit before, but they made it look amazing. Your sidekick, Jackie, is an excellent example of that kind of mashup. He’s a heavily armed thug with arms shaped like HoneyBaked Hams, but every morning he gets up, touches up the edges of his crew cut and puts on his favorite chains and bracelets. Even his ride looks the part; it’s a futuristic gold-plated muscle car that looks like a Chevrolet Camaro with bodywork designed by Bugatti. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Polygon

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06-12-2018 Science&Technology
The end of net neutrality is here

The way the internet is regulated in the US is about to change. The controversial repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections is officially set to take effect on Monday, despite ongoing efforts from members of Congress, state officials, tech companies and advocacy groups to save the rules. The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines in December to repeal the rules, which were intended to prevent internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down access to specific online services. The order required the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which the FCC announced receiving last month. In a statement at the time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai framed the upcoming repeal as removing burdensome regulations. "Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored," Pai said in a statement last month. An FCC spokesperson confirmed to CNN this week that the timetable is proceeding as previously announced. "June 11 is significant because it will be the first time in the over 15 year battle over net neutrality that the FCC will have essentially no role in preserving an open Internet and overseeing the broadband market," Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, told CNNMoney. The concern among net neutrality advocates is that the repeal could give internet providers too much control over how online content is delivered. It may also make it harder for the next generation of online services to compete if they have to pay up to be placed in a so-called internet fast lane. "Those 'fast lanes' will put those who won't or cannot pay in the slow lane, making the internet look a lot like cable TV," Sohn says. But even those who oppose the repeal say very little is likely to change right away given pending litigation and possible legislation to settle the issue. "Nothing will change the next day," says Kevin Werbach, an associate professor of legal studies at Wharton and former FCC adviser. "Companies are not going to take any major action to change their policies until it's resolved." Last month, the Senate passed a measure to preserve the net neutrality rules. On Thursday, with the official repeal date looming, dozens of senators sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on the issue. A collection of advocacy groups has called for "mass online actions" on June 11 to once again call attention to the issue and pressure Congress to act. ...

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06-12-2018 Politics
North Korea summit: What's at stake when President Trump meets with Kim Jong Un?

Even attempting a summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un is surely one of the greatest high wire acts in diplomatic history -- two unpredictable leaders meeting in Singapore to negotiate the total elimination of what just last year was considered the gravest threat facing the United States. The stakes couldn't be higher. Mr. Trump is demanding the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. To Kim Jong Un those weapons -- the nuclear warheads and the missiles that would carry them -- are his country's most valuable possession. He is being asked to lay all his nuclear secrets on the table. As we reported in previous stories for 60 Minutes, U.S. Intelligence agencies have expended enormous effort trying to uncover those secrets as North Korea developed not only a nuclear arsenal but the capability to reach the United States. At the National Air and Space Intelligence Center -- NASIC for short -- more than 100 photo interpreters, engineers, rocket scientists and intelligence analysts pore through reams of data collected every time North Korea launches a missile. Last summer, says NASIC commander Sean Larkin, the North Korean threat went to a whole new level. Sean Larkin: They demonstrated the ability that they could reach the continental United States. David Martin: The lower 48? Sean Larkin: Yes. There were two tests in the month of July. Both were launched at a very high angle so did not go far out to sea. But once NASIC crunched the numbers there was no doubt, had they been fired on a standard trajectory they could have reached California and beyond. Sean Larkin: Math is our secret weapon so there's lots of things that go into an ICBM or other types of weapons systems that simply -- even if we don't have the pieces of the puzzle we can do the math and figure out what's missing. This is a computer simulation of the weapon the North Koreans call "The God of War" -- an intercontinental ballistic missile. Jeremy Suel: Well, this is the actual code that we develop. It was produced by Jeremy Suel and his team of analysts at NASIC. David Martin: So, can you take me through what this would look like on a flight? Jeremy Suel: Yes, the first stage of the system is there to get it off the ground, get initial motion. But then it will drop that stage. After the missile's engines have sent it into space all that is left is the re-entry vehicle. A warhead would be inside as gravity pulls it back to earth. Jeremy Suel: You're at the mercy of the atmosphere at that point. You're slamming into it at many thousands of miles per hour, so that will have tremendous forces imparted on the- the re-entry vehicle. ...

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06-11-2018 Culture
A 3,000-year-old glass head deepens one of the Bible’s oldest mysteries

Buried under a pair of hills at Israel's northern border, at the nexus of three ancient kingdoms, is one of the last large biblical sites yet to be uncovered. So said an international team of archaeologists after they started to dig up the ruins of Abel Beth Maacah five years ago. The lost town is also one of the more enigmatic places mentioned in the Old Testament. As legend had it, the archaeologists wrote, Abel Beth Maacah was a fortified crossroads connecting the kingdoms of Israel, Damascus and Tyre, and “perhaps the seat of a local oracle.” It's unclear to which king the town was loyal, they wrote — or whether it belonged to a possibly mythical fourth kingdom called Maacah. Only a few stories about the town are told in the Bible, and all of them are more tantalizing than illuminating for scientists who want to know what Abel Beth Maacah actually was. A traitor to Israel's King David once took refuge in Abel, according to the books of Samuel. The king's men accordingly besieged the town, and were in the process of ramming down the wall when a “wise woman” called out to them from inside: “Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?” she asked. The soldiers said they just wanted the traitor. So the wise woman had her people cut off his head and toss it over the wall, and King David left Abel Beth Maacah alone. And then a century or so after that episode, if radiocarbon dating can be trusted, this little guy showed up in Abel: The Israeli and American-led team of archaeologists were about five years into their excavations last summer, “digging through the floor of a massive Iron Age structure” when they found the head beneath the top of the site, the Associated Press wrote. The exquisitely carved head was about two inches around, encased in a clump of dirt that dated to between 900 and 800 B.C. — a period when Israel had splintered into two kingdoms, and Abel would have been in the middle of a complicated geopolitical power struggle between its many neighbors. Which raises the question: Who was the man whose likeness is captured in the figurine, and what did he mean to the people of Abel? “We're guessing probably a king, but we have no way of proving that,” Robert Mullins of Azusa Pacific University, who is co-directing the American side of the excavation, told LiveScience. That the man was important is obvious. Even aside from his crown, regal beard and elegant hair, the AP wrote, he was crafted with artistic precision almost unheard of for that time and region. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Washington Post

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06-11-2018 Games
It Took Six Minutes For E3's First Battle Royale Announcement

Battlefield V bring the series back to World War Two and, dear God, has playable women. EA revealed more details today at the EA Play press conference including a closer look at the game’s multiplayer. And of course, that means a battle royale mode. The battle royale format mode will be called “Royale,” although no further details were revealed during conference. It is the first of what will probably be 100 battle royale modes announced at E3. EA’s preview of Battlefield V also stressed a faster and more active multiplayer. Players will have the ability to dive and smash through windows and move around heavy turrets from their fixed position. That should pick up the pace of Operation. But seriously, six minutes for a battle royale announcement.

Read Original Article     ON:   Kotaku

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85 O Globo / Brazil 86 Aftonbladet / Sweden 87 The Japan Times / Japan 88 Business Standard / India
89 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 90 Kommersant / Russia 91 Le Parisien / France 92 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand
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129 Independent Online / South Africa 130 The New York Observer / United States 131 Yeni Safak / Turkey 132 Seattle Post-Intelligencer / United States
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137 Deseret News / United States 138 Herald Sun / Australia 139 The Vancouver Sun / Canada 140 Yang Cheng Wan Bao / China
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145 The Orange County Register / United States 146 Expressen / Sweden 147 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 148 / Russia
149 Handelsblatt / Germany 150 The Daily Telegraph / Australia

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