Alan Rusbridger selected for Facebook overview board

first_imgThe announcement comes as research conducted by Avaaz reveals that 40% of misinformation surrounding Covid-19 was found on Facebook, prompting the company to direct users viewing false news to the World Health Organisation website.  Michael McConnell, one of the four co-chairs of the new board, said: “It is our ambition and goal that Facebook not decide elections, not be a force for one point of view over another, but the same rules will apply to people of left, right and centre.” The board will rule on the thin line between hate speech and free speech, reviewing the most controversial decisions on whether to leave or take down polarising content on Facebook and Instagram. It will also act in a “Supreme Court” like capacity to hear appeals from users on material that Facebook has removed.  Facebook has invested $130 million in this oversight board over the next six years, during which time the number of members will double. The co-chairs will collaborate with Facebook in selecting the next 20 members, and then Facebook will withdraw to leave the board to determine its composition independently.  Speaking to Cherwell, Alan Rusbridger said: “The pandemic is a stark realisation that unless you can agree on facts, and that there are such things as facts, running society becomes very difficult.” Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall and former Guardian editor, has been selected as one of 20 members on Facebook’s new independent oversight board.   Facebook moderators will continue to use their combination of computer algorithms and human input for general rule enforcement, only employing the board on matters of high importance.  Two years after Mark Zuckerberg announced his intention to create a structure to moderate content, Facebook has named its first 20 members. Alan Rusbridger will sit on a panel which includes Yemeni Nobel Laureate and free speech advocate Tawakkol Karman and Stanford law professors Pamela Karlan and Michael McConnell.  Tackling misinformation on Facebook, on a part-time basis of only 15 hours a month, poses a considerable challenge. In the coming months, the board will begin with “dozens” of cases, reviewed on an individual basis, out of the millions posted every hour. Moderating online content will be further complicated by Facebook rules differing according to the laws of each specific country.  Rusbridger did not underestimate the enormous scale of this challenge. He made clear that this is not “a magistrates court”, hearing every issue, but rather an attempt to pull together big themes, in the hope that “over time we will get to grips with the patterns of behaviour that most disturb people, and our rulings will set a clearer template for Facebook to make decisions.” He described “the chaos of information, where even the most powerful politician in the world spends his time trying to blur the boundaries between facts and fantasy. There is no getting away from the fact that social media has been a big part in this. This has become one of the most urgent problems facing the world at the moment.” The board is empowered to overrule Facebook executives and moderators on content issues, and its decisions will be binding unless implementation risks violating the law.  Image Credit to:Alessio Jacona/commons.wikimedia/CC BY-SA 2.0last_img read more

Oxford student stars in lockdown music video

first_imgAndy has played in a number of colleges and the song has been played at multiple college bops. He has held concerts in the Bullingdon and Freud, at which he combines many instruments such as the guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and even spoons, by recording loops. Andy Vaic, a student at Oxford, has released a humorous music video about lockdown to his song ‘Why, Why, Why’. His original music video has over 40 000 views on YouTube and the song got through to the second televised round of Eurovision in Lithuania. In the music video, Andy visits the sights of Oxford looking for love. Finding everywhere empty, he befriends the local cows. Andy told Cherwell: “I was just alone in a house since the lockdown started and was getting rather bored. So I decided to do something fun and amusing to entertain myself.”last_img read more

18 Negros families flee Kanlaon unrest

first_imgEntry into the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited due to further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Wednesday these residents were transferred to a school as a precautionary measure. Bago City Councilor and SP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Chairman Councilor Jozsef Mark Dexter Somcio, said 50 individuals who flee home are residents of Sitio Harab in the said barangay. The said sitio sits below a cliff.Bago City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head Dr. Merijene Ortizo, said they called for the evacuation due to the danger of landslides and rockslides which were being triggered by the earthquake.Ortizo also reported that there were no reported damages or casualties caused by the recent earthquakes.Aside from Barangay Ilijan, residents of the neighboring Barangay Mailum, also reported landslides in their area during the 4.7 magnitude earthquake last Monday.However, authorities in the barangay reported no casualties and no damages to either crops or livestock in the area. Earthquakes and sulfuric fumes emitted by Mt. Kanlaon force these residents of Barangay Ilijan in Bago City, Negros Occidental to flee their homes Tuesday night. Localities surrounding the volcano were alerted after two magnitude 4.7 earthquakes were recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology early Monday morning. BAGO CITY DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phivolcs on Tuesday recorded 104 volcano-tectonic earthquakes from the western flanks of Kanlaon during the 24-hour observation period. It also observed “weak emission of white steam-laden plumes” that rose up to 300 meters before drifting northwest and southeast. Kanlaon Volcano continued its unrest after it emitted white steam-laden plumes that rose 300 meters, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). In its advisory on Wednesday morning, the PHIVOLCS said the emission in the last 24 hours indicates that hydrothermal or magmatic activity is occurring beneath the edifice. Alert Level 1 means the volcano is at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.center_img “Ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements indicate a slight deflation of the lower and mid slopes since January 2020. Short-term electronic tilt monitoring on the southeastern flanks recorded continuing deflation on the lower slopes but inflation on the mid slopes since April 2020,” it added. “Activity at the vent consisted of moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that rose 300 meters before drifting southwest. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 438 tonnes per day on 13 June 2020,” said Phivolcs. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA and ADRIAN STEWART COBACOLOD City – Mt. Kanlaon remains at Alert Level 1. Some 18 families in Bago City, Negros Occidental were evacuated. Alert level 1, out of a maximum of 5, remains raised, indicating that the volcano is in “an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.” It added that a total of 38 volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded from the western flanks of the volcano, including a 3.6 magnitude at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, which was felt at Intensity III in La Carlota City and at Intensity II in Bago City, Negros Occidental. Civil aviation authorities were also urged to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejecta as materials spewed into the air from any sudden phreatic eruption can be dangerous to aircraft. (With PNA/PN)last_img read more

AgiproNews Italian View – Dignity Decree’s blanket ban shows no effectiveness

first_img Share Share BGC: Charities win big as bookies take beating in Britannia Stakes June 19, 2020 Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Oddschecker: ‘Unusual circumstances’ fail to hinder Royal Ascot traffic July 23, 2020 Submit Italian betting leaders attending the ICE2020 London conference detailed their frustrations as Italy’s new coalition government continues to enforce a blanket ban on gambling advertising sanctioned by the former administration’s Dignity Decree mandate.Prior to the conference, online gambling trade body LOGiCO bluntly stated that the Decree had failed in its core objectives of reducing Italian gambling spend and safeguarding consumers.Stating its case, LOGiCO would simply point to online statistics taken from August to December 2019, which underlined that during the first five months of the Decree’s full enforcement, online betting grew 13% on 2018 comparatives.Following a one-year grace period, Italian betting consumers appear to have neglected the ‘blanket ban’s effectiveness’ as online betting GGR grew from €274m to €324m.Online casino trends further back LOGiCO’s statement, in which decree restrictions had no impact on market leaders, with legacy operators Snaitech, Sisal, Eurobet and Goldbet all reporting significant GGR growth within their online casino verticals.The only perceived impact that could be potentially attributed as a ‘Decree outcome’ is that foreign online operators such as bet365, bwin and William Hill noted ‘weaker growth’ (below 10%) during the reported period.Speaking at ICE2020, Snaitech Group CEO Fabio Schiavolin stated that his firm’s online casino growth had little to do with the Decree’s advertising ban, explaining that it is “an effect of a long-term strategy and the work we have carried out across our gaming sites”.He added: “In a moment of total blackout, we are perceived as a reliable brand, which keeps its promises.”Despite their online gains, Italian betting leadership highlighted the wider negative impacts that the Decree’s blanket ban had placed upon critical stakeholders.Governance of Lega Calcio, the governing body of Italian professional football leagues, remains critical of the Decree’s reach and consequences.A Lega Calcio assessment had estimated that the Decree had cost Serie A football clubs approximately €100m in the form of lost sponsorships, reduced TV rights and further marketing revenues.LOGiCO detailed that further sporting bodies shared Lega Calcio’s concerns, as the Decree’s blanket ban had negatively impacted Italian media coverage and broadcast of smaller sports.Following the Decree’s first months of enforcement in which its objectives appear to have been outdone, Alexander Martin (New Chief Executive of SKS365) shared his frustration at a new government failing to take the opportunity to collaborate with industry incumbents to gain effective insights.“Politicians often forget that legal operators can reduce the problem gambling as they can control the activity of their customers and identify any problems,” Martin told the  ICE2020 audience.Despite its well-documented flaws, in 2020 the new Italian coalition government has detailed that it maintains no schedule to review its Decree mandate on betting advertising.________________last_img read more

Reds’ Trevor Bauer is right to lament exclusion of Barry Bonds, other ‘Steroid Era’ stars from Hall of Fame

first_imgDuring a career that stretched from age 21 to 42, Barry Bonds earned seven MVP awards, eight Gold Gloves and 14 times trips to the All-Star Game. He hit more home runs and drew more walks than any player in the long, grand history of baseball.“Barry Bonds is a Hall of Famer,” pitcher Trevor Bauer of the Reds said Sunday on Twitter. This was a statement of opinion, not fact. Because Barry Bonds has not been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, even though he has been eligible for eight years, even though his achievements stand far above the majority of those honored.Bonds has been excluded, because of his association with performance-enhancing drugs, along with all-time greats Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, a reality that was underscored Sunday evening with the airing of ESPN’s documentary on the 1998 season, “Long Gone Summer.”MORE: Why MLB needed the McGwire-Sosa home run race then — and must celebrate it nowApparently, this extended reminder of what occurred in baseball in 1998, with both McGwire and Sammy Sosa of the Cubs surpassing Roger Maris’ record 61 home runs, prompted Bauer to share his beliefs about how the legacy of such players has been regarded. Safe to say he disagrees with how the majority of voters from the Baseball Writers of America has dealt with their Hall of Fame candidacy.The hall of fame is a shrine to the history of the game. Regardless of your feelings on this, steroids are part of the game’s history. It would be very hard to convince me that no players in the hall of fame currently used performance enhancing drugs. And even if they didn’t use— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) June 15, 2020“The Hall of Fame is a shrine to the history of the game,” Bauer wrote during an extended Twitter thread. “Regardless of your feelings on this, steroids are part of the game’s history. It would be very hard to convince me that no players in the Hall of Fame currently used performance-enhancing drugs. And even if they didn’t use what we would consider ‘steroids,’ substances that are illegal today were legal back then. Greenies, amphetamines, etc., used to be handed out like candy. Players were forced to take them because it was seen as ‘not doing everything you could to help the team’ if you didn’t.“Those same substances are illegal today, so by that logic, should every player that took them be disallowed from the Hall of Fame? It would be a hall of empty if that were the case. At some point, the best players of their era have to be enshrined. Period. It’s part of our game’s history.”He is right, of course. It has been preposterous to watch Bonds treated like a career utility player and Clemens like a journeyman middle reliever during the Hall voting of the past decade. There never has been any formal establishment as to which players of their era did (and which did not) take performance-enhancing drugs, which weren’t against the rules of the game. And yet those who achieved the most have been excluded.MORE: Remembering Mark McGwire’s 70-home run season If we could be sure the extended wait for these players is being wielded as a punishment for perceived sins against the game — that, ultimately, they’ll be honored — it might be a tenable position. But McGwire already fell off the ballot after never receiving more than 23.7 percent support of the voters, a tape-measured blast away from the threshold necessary for election. In 2020, Clemens climbed to 61 percent and Bonds to 60.7, not terribly far from making it, but both have only two more shots before they end up in “veterans committee” purgatory.Baseball analyst Ryan Spaeder, who has written for Sporting News and other publications, replied to Bauer’s thread with the statement, “I can tell you, for an absolute fact, that there are players in the Hall of Fame who used PEDs to include steroids, some dating back 40 years.”He chose not to name any names. It doesn’t really matter, though. What is germane to this discussion is who is excluded, not who is included. Bonds, Clemens and McGwire have become symbols of latent outrage. Their exploits were celebrated at the time by many of the same people now blocking their entry to the Hall.last_img read more

Lunar Mysteries Plague Materialist Theories 50 Years After Apollo

first_img(Visited 447 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Apollo was supposed to decide between 3 competing theories for the moon’s origin. Conclusion: all 3 were wrong.The last Apollo mission left scientists with many questions. Artwork by Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut.In the 1960s, there were three competing theories for how the moon formed: (1) it spun off the Earth (fission theory), (2) it formed at the same time as Earth (co-formation theory), or (3) it was captured by the Earth (capture theory). Now, most planetary scientists reject all three theories in favor of the Giant Impact theory. Sometime in unseen history, they allege, a Mars-sized body impacted the Earth and spun off material that formed the moon. This theory became popular around 2000, decades after Apollo, although some simulations suggested it around 1980. In some versions, the impactor brought water to the Earth, creating our oceans.It may be the most popular idea, but the Giant Impact theory is not without huge problems of its own. For one, an impactor would have to be just the right size, and would have to approach the Earth at a finely-tuned speed, angle and position in order to work. Otherwise, it would either speed by the Earth, merge with it, or obliterate it. Computer models can be intelligently designed to achieve the desired result, but how realistic are they? That’s only one of many mysteries for those wishing to limit their explanatory toolkit to the Stuff Happens Law (i.e., chance). Even so, they will admit that we were awfully lucky to have a moon, because without it, we would not be here.Lucky Break?Other than Pluto (which is lifeless), no other planet in our solar system has a moon as relatively large as ours. Because of its size and distance from Earth, our moon gives us at least three outstanding benefits. It stabilizes our axis of rotation, giving us reliable seasons so that solar heat is distributed efficiently around the globe in a predictable way. It is the main contributor to ocean tides that cleanse our coastlines and create oceanic currents used by marine life and by sailors. It also creates ideal conditions for solar eclipses—unique phenomena among all the bodies in the solar system—which are not only awesome to behold but also provide unique opportunities for scientific discovery (see The Privileged Planet book and film; the documentary can be watched on YouTube).Many see these benefits as indicators of intelligent design and foresight. Secular scientists, preferring to remain materialists, just say we are lucky. But accounting for the moon by sheer dumb luck doesn’t help science. It actually creates more problems that remain baffling 50 years after Apollo was supposed to solve them.Earth Has WAY More Gold Than the Moon and Here’s Why (Space.com). There are two problems emerging from low lunar quantities of gold and other siderophile (iron-loving) elements: (a) The debris from the Giant Impact should have spread these elements to both the Earth and Moon equally, and (b) The Earth’s abundances should have sunk into the core, but are largely at the surface. How do secularists explain these facts? The article invokes several theory-rescue devices to get around the problems. For one, they allege that these elements arrived later by asteroids. Then why didn’t the moon get them, too? For the next rescue device, they allege that the Earth, with its higher gravity, was better at holding onto its siderophiles than the moon was.“This has been a major problem in terms of how we understand the moon’s accretion history,” Qing-zhu Yin, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Davis, said in a statement.See also the press release from UC Davis that includes Qing-zhu Yin’s boast,Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon. Artwork by Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut. Used by permission.Reconstructing the late-accretion history of the Moon (Nature). Here’s the paper for the above article. Calling on Lady Luck, it models “random impactors” coming in to bring Earth’s gold special delivery after the moon had formed. They first state the problems facing theorists:The importance of highly siderophile elements (HSEs; namely, gold, iridium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium and ruthenium) in tracking the late accretion stages of planetary formation has long been recognized. However, the precise nature of the Moon’s accretional history remains enigmatic. There is a substantial mismatch in the HSE budgets of the Earth and the Moon, with the Earth seeming to have accreted disproportionally more HSEs than the Moon. Several scenarios have been proposed to explain this conundrum, including the delivery of HSEs to the Earth by a few big impactors, the accretion of pebble-sized objects on dynamically cold orbits that enhanced the Earth’s gravitational focusing factor, and the ‘sawtooth’ impact model, with its much reduced impact flux before about 4.10 billion years ago. However, most of these models assume a high impactor-retention ratio (the fraction of impactor mass retained on the target) for the Moon.And thus they go, weaving new scenarios they hope will work. They tweak their models by adjusting the size of the impactors, their arrival times and other knobs, then run a “Monte Carlo simulation” (more Lady Luck) that tapers off to get the results they want. “The combination of a low impactor-retention ratio and a late retention of HSEs in the lunar mantle provides a realistic explanation for the apparent deficit of the Moon’s late-accreted mass relative to that of the Earth,” they boast. The boasting will probably last until the next critic comes along. Qing-zhu Yin actually admits this: ““The beauty of this work is such that all of these things are now coming together nicely. We may have solved this problem, at least until someone find [sic] new discrepancies!” Yin said in a press release from UC Davis.Note: no actual observations were conducted outside the computer. They use various forms of the word assume (assuming, assumption) 33 times, usually in the form, “we assume.”Tomorrow, we will look at more “lunar tunes” coming from the Stuff Happens crowd.last_img read more

Google Acquires Simplify Media to Enable Music Syncing for Android

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#Google#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… About two months ago, the popular music- and photo-streaming service Simplify Media suddenly shut down its services and pulled its mobile apps from Apple’s App Store. Today, we finally found out why. During his keynote presentation at Google I/O, Google’s vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, noted that Google has acquired Simplify Media. Google will use Simplify Media’s technology to allow Android users to stream their music directly from their desktops to their phones.Simplify Media allowed its users to access the music and photos they store on their desktop machines at home via their mobile phones. Now, Google will use this technology to power its new music syncing service for Android. Simplify Media was always one of our favorite music streaming services and we are glad to see that the company didn’t just shut down for lack of success. When Simplify Media announced that it would stop its services in March, it noted that the company was currently “unable to share our future plans at this time but hope to be able to announce the re-launch of the technology soon. In the meantime, we will continue to operate the existing service for at least the next 3 months.” Now, of course, we know why Simplify Media decided to close its doors.center_img frederic lardinois Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Pellegrini wants Hammers to never underestimate Wimbledon

first_imgWest Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned his players not to underestimate AFC Wimbledon ahead of their FA Cup clash on Saturday.The Hammers are expected to field a lineup which will be a mix of both experienced players and their younger teammates when they visit Kingsmeadow.Wimbledon are on a poor run of form under new manager Wally Downes, but Pellegrini, who picked up his first win as West Ham boss at against the Dons in the League Cup, says they would be foolish to underestimate them.“All the teams when you start a competition must have that mentality to think you can do it,” he said, according to Evening Standard.declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“I remember the year before I arrived at Man City, Wigan won the cup but were relegated. It’s a different competition, just one game, anything can happen, our mentality if to continue as far as we can.”“For us to continue in the FA Cup we will make a big mistake if we think we are going to beat Wimbledon because they are in a bad moment or because they lost their last game, FA Cup is a different competition, everyone wants to demonstrate that they are able to continue.”last_img read more

KMC to conduct monthlong campaigns on environment protection in all schools

first_imgKolkata: Commemorating the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to take up a month-long awareness campaign on environment in all the schools across the city. The awareness campaign will not only cover KMC schools but also government and private schools in the city.”We have made elaborate plans for a month-long programme to mark the World Environment Day. We will take up awareness campaigns through documentary, magic shows and various posters to make it interesting for the students. The emphasis will be on curbing the use of plastic,” Member Mayor-in-Council (Environment ) Swapan Samaddar said.Sammadar feels that if students are made aware in a proper manner, they will inform their parents about the necessity of keeping the environment clean. The entire team of the Environment department of the civic body will be involved in the campaign and the MMiC himself will try to cover as many schools as possible. The Borough chairmans have been directed to take up awareness campaigns on environment at their respective boroughs. KMC has already prepared 3,000 banners and several hoardings for the campaign, which will focus on abstaining from the use of plastic, quitting of smoking, keeping the vicinity clean and planting of trees and saplings.”The use of plastic has turned into a menace in the city and awareness is the only way to prevent its excessive use,” a senior official of the Environment department of the civic body said. The campaign will kick off with a rally on June 5 from KMC office on SN Banerjee Road to College Square in presence of Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.The Environment department will hold a meeting with the Parks & Gardens department of the civic body in this regard on Saturday.last_img read more