Twitter forms safety council to help prevent abuse

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Twitter lets people around the world express diverse opinions, but it can also be a hellhole of harassment and abuse.

The company has repeatedly tried to solve this issue, with feeble results. Now, it has announced that it is forming the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a panel of organizations and experts who will help the company develop tools and policies to get rid of abuse, bullying and harassment on the platform.

Currently, the council consists of some 40 global organizations and individuals, including the Anti-Defamation League, Childnet International, Thorn, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and Bravehearts (see the full list here). 

“With hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power,” Patricia Cartes, head of Twitter’s Global Policy Outreach, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. The newly assembled council, she claims, is a “foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.” Read more…

More about Bullying, Abuse, Harassment, Twitter, and Social Media

Skylake Breaks 7GHz In Intel Overclocking World Record

MojoKid writes: Intel’s latest generation of processors built on the Skylake architecture are efficient as well as seriously fast. The flagship, Core i7-6700K, is an interesting chip as it’s clocked at a base 4GHz, and can peak at 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost. Of course, as fast as the 6700K is, overclocking can always help take things to the next level, or at least temporarily explore future potential. In Chi-Kui Lam’s case, he did just that, and managed to break a world record for Intel processors along the way. Equipped with an ASRock motherboard, G.SKILL memory, and a beefy 1.3KW Antec power supply — not to mention liquid nitrogen — Lam managed to break through the 7GHz barrier to settle in at 7025.66MHz. A CPU-Z screenshot shows us that all cores but one were disabled — something traditionally done to improve the chances of reaching such high clock speeds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The American South grapples with its monuments to white supremacy

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Growing up in the 1950s, William Bell had to enter Birmingham’s segregated Lyric Theatre though a side entrance, marked “COLORED,” that was walled-off from the elegant lobby. He climbed a dimly lit stairwell to watch movies from the steep balcony where black patrons had to sit for generations.

Now the city’s mayor, Bell recalls the Lyric’s beauty, but also the way it isolated black people.

The inequity built into the Lyric Theatre’s very architecture is a painful reminder of the city’s ugly past as one of the most segregated places in America. But it also serves as a living history lesson, a symbol of how the Deep South has changed since the courts ended discriminatory Jim Crow laws. Read more…

More about Black History Month, Racial Justice, Racism, Us, and Social Good

Lust, luxury and Tom Hiddleston combine in ‘High-Rise’ trailer

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“For all its inconveniences, Laing was satisfied with life in the high-rise.” So beings the trailer for High-Rise, StudioCanal’s film based on a novel about life in a luxurious apartment building that becomes a microcosm for society at large.

Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, a new tenant who moves in “ready to move forward and explore life.” He soon becomes enmeshed in a culture of parties and power struggles (both literal and figurative). Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elizabeth Moss costar as fellow tenants, with Jeremy Irons playing Anthony Royal, the building’s enigmatic owner. The film is based on J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel of the same name Read more…

More about Uk, Entertainment, Movies, Movie Trailers, and Movie Trailer


Chicago Union Station’s angelic light resulted from an air raid precaution

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Image: Jack Delano/Library of Congress

Image: Jack Delano/Library of Congress

Begun in 1913 and finished in 1925, Chicago Union Station is one of the three busiest rail terminals in the United States

Based on a Beaux-Arts design by architect Daniel Burnham, the centerpiece of the station was the western headhouse, which featured the spectacular Great Hall

The cavernous space was topped by a 300-foot-long vaulted skylight, arching 115 feet above the marble floor, supported by 18 Corinthian columns

The station saw its peak during World War II, when it serviced as many as 100,000 passengers a day

During this wartime period, the skylight was blacked out to make the building less identifiable to potential enemy aircraft. As a result, the huge space was lit only by shafts of light streaming through the clerestory windows on the sides of the building Read more…

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Who will win the New Hampshire primary?

AFTER IOWA If you remember my Iowa Caucus prediction article, a couple points were off. Senator Rand Paul ended up with an extremely disappointing night, forcing him to drop out days later. The reasons why Senator Paul failed to catch on for the entire cycle and fell flat in Iowa …

Do Keywords Matter?

How we search online is changing at the speed of sound and it’s our job to keep up or get left behind. Adding Meta keywords (a chain of keywords related to your content, but not incorporated into the text) are things of the past. Incorporating keywords and phrases into web …

Maine Maritime Museum Offering Free Admission During School Break Week

Maine Maritime Museum will be offering free admission for kids 12 and under with a paid adult February 13-20, and a special morning of kids’ activities is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Salty School Break Fun Day, Thursday, February 18, will feature a variety of …

Obama to release $4 trillion-plus budget for 2017

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.

The budget will be released Tuesday morning, the same day as the New Hampshire primary when it’s likely to get little attention. It comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up, above the half-trillion mark.

The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Long gone are proposals such as slowing the automatic inflation increase for Social Security benefits and other ideas once aimed at drawing congressional Republicans into negotiations on a broader budget deal.

Now, Obama has broken out a budget playbook filled with ideas sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.

The budget also pledges to make Americans safe in an increasingly dangerous world through higher military spending to fight the Islamic State terrorist threat and increased support for cybersecurity in the wake of last summer’s hack of government computers that compromised the personal information of 21 million Americans. The administration’s budget askes for a $19 billion increase in spending to upgrade cybersecurity across government agencies, including $3 billion for an overhaul of federal computer systems.

“These cyber threats are among the most urgent dangers to America’s economic and national security,” Obama wrote in an opinion piece Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal. “With the nation’s cyber adversaries getting more sophisticated every day … we have to be even more nimble and resilient and stay ahead of these threats.”

The $10-per-barrel tax hike proposal comes as the price of crude has dropped to the $30 per barrel range.

“We’re going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil – imported, exported – so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments in basic research and technology that’s going to be needed for the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “Then 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we’re going to be in a much stronger position when oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again.”

Republicans, however, immediately rejected the idea after its release last week and it will meet the fate of prior dead-on-arrival proposals such as increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthy, imposing a fee on big banks, and cutting the value of charitable deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Higher cigarette taxes and a minimum 30 percent rate for wealthier filers have also gone nowhere.

Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.

The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year. But a softening economic outlook, combined with a round of tax cuts and increased spending enacted by Congress last year, will make the deficit problem about $1.5 trillion worse over the coming 10 years, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimate.

CBO’s “baseline” deficit – what it expects would occur if Congress does nothing – would now total almost $10 trillion over the coming decade.

The White House hasn’t revealed what, if anything, Obama will propose to address the worsening deficit picture. In its budget roll-out, the White House has instead focused on new spending initiatives. The plan is also likely to call for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, highly unlikely in an election year.

On Monday, Obama proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect – babies born with abnormally small heads – and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.

Obama has largely shifted his focus elsewhere. After winning a higher income tax rate in 2013 on couples earning more than $400,000 per year, Obama and Republicans have battled over relatively small increases to the less than one-third of the budget passed by Congress each year. Republicans seeking higher spending for the Pentagon have been forced to accept Obama’s demands for additional funds for domestic agencies.