Daily Archives: May 11, 2020

Smell cameras built to detect explosives on planes – The Nation

Posted: May 11, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Islamabad-Aeronautic giant Airbus is working on sensors that could be used to sniff out coronavirus. Ultra-sensitive smell cameras have been in development since 2017 and were initially designed to detect explosives.

The innovative sensors use microprocessors made of biological cells to identify specific chemicals or microbes floating in the air. Similar technology has already been used to detect cancer and influenza, and it could soon be used to provide advance warning of areas contaminated with SARS-Cov-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

According to the people behind the project, there are already encouraging signs of early progress as the technology is adapted help to fight the pandemic. California-based Koniku partnered with Airbus on the project as the start-up specializes in neurotechnology.

Adapting the existing technology in the help against the coronavirus pandemic is possible because the virus makes slight tweaks to particles produced by humans. These alterations act as markers which can trigger the so-called smell cameras.

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Elon Musk Really Is A Huge Gearhead (These Facts Prove It) – TheThings

Posted: at 12:01 pm

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know who Elon Musk is. He does many things. Many people know him for being the CEO and co-founder of Tesla, but he's also the CEO and founder of Space X (an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company), The Boring Company (infrastructure and tunnel construction services company), Neuralink (neurotechnology company), SolarCity (solar energy services), and many other companies and projects.

He is also kind of crazy, he gets frequently involved on Twitter rants, shares memes, and he named his kid X A-12. Yes, that's right, he recently had a kid with Canadian pop singer Grimes and named the baby X A-12. Which we recently learned from his new interview with Joe Rogan that it's pronounced X = X (letter X); = Ash; A-12 (Archangel, his favorite aircraft).

Besides wanting the human race to become a multi-planetary species, and wanting us to become cyborgs, he is also a gearhead; he has a history with cars that goes back many years even before Tesla.

In this list, you're going to take a look at ten facts that prove that Elon Musk is really a huge gearhead.

In 1999 Elon Musk ordered a Mclaren F1, as you can see in this old CNN interview, where he was taking a look at his brand new carfor the first time; back then, he was younger, balder, and had a thicker Southafrican accent. Even back then,you can tell that he was a true gear head.

After selling his company, Zip2, for 400 million dollars cash, Elon bought an F1.The Mclaren F1 was the fastest car at the time, only 64 of these cars were made, and Elon paid one million dollars at the time for one of them.

He used to daily-drive this car, and a year later, he wrecked it while showing off the car's capabilities to investor Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal). The craziest thing about this story is that the car didn't have insurance.

Related:15 Facts About McLaren Supercars And How Theyre Made

In a tweet, back in 2017, Musk revealed that he owned only two gas cars. One of them is a Ford Model T that a friend gave to him.

The model T was the first affordable vehicle; it was the vehicle that came to revolutionize the world. Before the Model T, people used horses, and only very wealthy people were able to buy cars, this has certain parallelism with the Model 3, Elons idea is to revolutionize the automotive world, making electric cars affordable and practical for everyone.

Related:Here's What Elon Musk Used To Drive Before Tesla

The other gas car Elon owns is a Jaguar E-type.This British sports car is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was produced from 1961 to 1975 in two body styles, roadster and coupe. Its not clear which of these two Elon owns, but either way, both are beautiful cars.

Related:15 Things To Be Aware Of Before Buying The 2020 Jaguar F-Type

Back in 2012 Elon owned an Audi Q7 and a Porsche 911, he recently had things to say about the new Porsche Taycan, a model that aims at part of tesla's market as a high-end, high-performance electric sedan. Elon's thing with porsche was also present at the launch of the Cybertruck prototype; when he compared the performance of the truck to that of a 911.

This car belonged in the 1977 James Bond Movie 'The Spy Who Loved Me', and Elon was always amazed by this vehicle since he was a kid, and in 2013, he paid 920,000 dollars at an auction to get this car. The blocky and angular design of this vehicle drew inspiration in Musk for the Cybretruk prototype.

It's no secret that Elon enjoys driving, he daily-drove his Mclaren F1 back then, and he daily drives his teslas today. He's been seen driving his Cybertruck around Los Angeles on many occasions. According to one of his tweets, the cars he drives the most are his Model S Performance, then a Model 3, and a Model X if he's driving with his kids.

Related:15 Things We Learned About Tesla's New Cybertruck

All of Tesla's vehicles are super fast. The Model X is the quickest SUV on the market with a 0-60 mph of just 2.9 seconds; this 3 row SUV is faster than most supercars. Same with the Model 3 performance, as well as the Model S. Elon has made sure Tesla's cars are fast and sporty.

Elons roadster served as a dummy payload for a Falcon Heavy test flight. The car was set free on space with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit. The Roadster is now wandering around space.

Its predicted that radiation will start destroying parts of this car while in space, and that the only parts that will last are the aluminum frame, inert metals and glass (not shattered by meteoroids).This car is the only production vehicle outside the planet earth.

Trucks have been the same for 100 years, and Elon wants the first Tesla truck to re-invent how trucks are. With its stainless steel monocoque construction (Elon calls it ''exoskeleton''), the Cybertruck moves the stress from the frame to the skin of the vehicle. Allowing in this way to have a better towing capability as well as a more durable body.

Before Tesla, electric cars were slow, expensive, and had a very short range in terms of autonomy. In a way, Elon did with Tesla what Ford did with the Model T. Tesla has set the standard for electric cars, and thanks to its success, now we see every automaker making efforts to came out with better electric cars.

Sources: Business Insider, Autoblog, Youtube

Next:These Are The 10 Cars We Hope To See In The US From The PSA-FCA Merger

Next15 Supercars That Deserved Life But Were Discontinued

Augusto Bove is an International Commerce graduate based in Montevideo Uruguay.He's been obsessed with cars since he was a kid. Expert on international automotive markets. Frustrated designer. Dad of 2 puppies. Always looking for a new place to hike.

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Airbus working on sensors that can detect coronavirus – International Business Times, Singapore Edition

Posted: at 12:00 pm

Coronavirus : New travel advisory

Aerospace giant Airbus, which has been developing smell cameras to detect explosives, is working on sensors that could detect the coronavirus. Microprocessors made of biological cells are used in sensors to identify chemicals and microbes in the air. This technology could be used to provide warning in areas contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 as similar technology has already been used to detect cancer and influenza.

Airbus has partnered with Koniku, a California-based start-up which specializes in neurotechnology for the project. As virus makes slight tweaks to particles produced by humans, smell cameras can detect the alterations that act as markers.

Airbus said in a statement that the company and Koniku Inc entered into a corporate agreement in 2017, "leveraging Airbus' expertise in sensor integration and knowledge of ground and on-board security operations within the aviation and defense industries." Founder & CEO of Koniku, Osh Agabi, stated in a blog post that both the companies have been working to develop a biotechnology solution to track and locate explosives or chemicals in aircraft or at airports.

"We are now adapting our development activities to include the detection and identification of biological hazards including pathogens such as the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 with encouraging signals as of today."

Product security director of Airbus, Julien Touzeau, said in the best conditions the technology has a quick response of under 10 seconds. They are trying to improve it over time. When a specific molecular compound is detected, receptors in sensors would raise an alarm. As compared to sniffer dogs, the system will be faster, cheaper and more reliable.

US travel restrictions

Efforts such as the one by Airbus come as the US Travel Association is eagerly waiting for COVID-19 travel restrictions to ease. They have submitted a 15-page report to the White House and state governors highlighting health and safety guidelines for careful reopening of the travel industry. The US government imposed travel restrictions on March 16 in order to curb the spread of the virus.

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Fingerprint Biometrics In The VAR Market Analysis, Size, Outlook, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts to 2025 – Herald Writeup

Posted: at 12:00 pm

The report presents an in-depth assessment of the Fingerprint Biometrics In The VAR Market including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, deployment models, operator case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for Fingerprint Biometrics In The VAR investments from 2020 till 2026.

The analysts forecast the global fingerprint biometrics in value-added reseller (VAR) market to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% during the period 2016-2020.

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Introduced biometrics to identify individuals based on behavioral and physiological characteristics of individuals, which is difficult to duplicate. This is the authentication method that evaluates one or more unique biological characteristics such as voice, palm geometry, and DNA. Biometric technology is considered more reliable than the hardware and numeric codes. Biometrics involves the verification and identification of individuals for authentication. The verification process is the process of matching one-to-one that is used to verify the biometric characteristics of individuals against certain template in the database.

The report presents the market competitive landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the major vendor/key players in the market. Top Companies in the Global Fingerprint Biometrics In The VAR Market: Fulcrum Biometrics, Delaney Secure Ltd., Neurotechnology, 360 Biometrics, AKSA Solution Development, AutoStar Technologies, Bayometric, Bromba Biometrics, California Peripherals and Components, Digital Data Systems, DYDEX-HS, Eyenetwatch

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Like it or not, Google and Facebook are becoming the leading patrons of the news industry – Digiday

Posted: at 11:55 am

For years, Google and Facebook wanted to have it both ways. They wanted publishers content to attract and retain users, but they didnt want to pay for it. They wanted to publishers to create content and test new products they were trying, but they didnt want them to build businesses that relied on those products.

At one point early last year, Facebooks point person on the news industry, Campbell Brown, gave publishers some tough talk: Facebook cannot be the entire solution to your problems, she told a room full of magazine publishers.

But today, in the middle of a shared economic downturn, Facebook and Google are playing a larger role in the future of news publishers. Over the next few months, Google and Facebook will, combined, spend close to a quarter billion dollars supporting local news, through a combination of emergency relief grants, extra marketing dollars earmarked for ads on publishers sites, and the waiving of fees Google normally collects from its ad server. Google said it expects its relief funds will reach at least 4,000 different publishers. Facebook has already dispersed $16 million across 200 different newsrooms.

On top of that, Google and Facebook are both large advertisers for news publishers, which are seeing tech as one dependable category for growing ad spending when most categories are down to wiped out.

The money we make with our advertising tools is entirely dependent on the success of publishers, said Richard Gingras, vp of news at Google.

Google and Facebook also face pressure as more foreign governments force them to compensate publishers directly for using their content. In April, the Australian government ruled that both companies would have to pay Australias publishers for using their content; earlier that same month, the French governments competition authority ruled that Google was obligated to pay publishers for reusing their content in its search results.

While American antitrust laws prohibit U.S. publishers fromworking together on similar concessions, some are interested in buildingsupport around a similar initiative: Two weeks ago, The New York Timess BenSmith tweetedout a letter that Heath Freeman, the CEO of Alden Global Capital, a hedgefund that owns newspapers including the Denver Post, sent to several Americannewspaper CEOs trying to build support for a campaign requiring Google andFacebook to pay up.

Though Google and Facebook in many cases represent news publishers most important business and distribution partners, most publishers are still unhappy with this situation, said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute. Earlier this month, the Google News Initiative announced it was supporting an independent news emergency relief effort led by the Reuters Institute. They feel that this is unsatisfying and unfair.

The emergency funds, which Facebook began doling out lastweek, were needed because news media has become even more precarious. The LosAngeles Times, for example, told staffers in April that the spread ofcoronavirus had nearly eliminated the papers advertising revenues.

We had over 2,000 applications, said Nancy Lane, thepresident of the Local Media Association, which helped select recipients forthe first round of grants Facebook meted out. And a lot of them were, If wedont get this money, were going to go out of business.

That would have undone a lot of work and money that Facebook and Google have invested already. Both companies have separately pledged to spend $300 million to help publishers figure out a sustainable business model. That money has gone to subscription labs, programs to help local publishers create branded content; it funded Facebook Watch shows and publishers trying Subscribe with Google.

I still believe that subscriptions and building on the work weve done is the direction we want to go but its impossible to have these conversations when youre just trying to keep the lights on, said Brown in an interview.

That investment in a new business model, and the programs those dollars have funded, have drawn high marks from their participants. But progress for some publishers does not help all of them. Many local news publishers, particularly smaller ones, remain heavily reliant on print advertising.

[The past few weeks], Ive had many meetings with local news associations, and one of them said, This has been a wake up call for us to focus on our digital strategies, Gingras said. That was such a sad statement to hear.

With things in such a precarious place, the Duopoly may not be able to avoid calls for them to directly support news publishers. The industry is going to perilous places, said David Chavern, the president of the News Media Alliance, a trade group. Therell be more and increasing calls where theyre going to have to create a compensation regime.

And for publishers that have managed to diversify their businesses and create balanced relationships with the platforms, the continued support suits them just fine.

People want to debate whether this is an offensive move or a defensive move, and I dont care, said Evan Smith, the CEO of the Texas Tribune, which has applied for money from both Facebook and Google. My job, our job, is to get as much money as we can to pay for serious journalism.

This story has been updated. An earlier version story said Facebook and Google each pledged $300 million in 2017. Google made its pledge in 2018; Facebook in 2019.

Like it or not, Google and Facebook are becoming the leading patrons of the news industry

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Facebook and the Folly of Self-Regulation – WIRED

Posted: at 11:55 am

My late colleague, Neil Postman, used to ask about any new proposal or technology, What problem does it propose to solve?

When it comes to Facebook, that problem was maintaining relationships over vast time and space. And the company has solved it, spectacularly. Along the way, as Postman would have predicted, it created many more problems.

Last week, Facebook revealed the leaders and first 20 members of its new review board. They are an august collection of some of the sharpest minds who have considered questions of free expression, human rights, and legal processes.


They represent a stratum of cosmopolitan intelligentsia quite well, while appearing to generate some semblance of global diversity. These distinguished scholars, lawyers, and activists are charged with generating high-minded deliberation about what is fit and proper for Facebook to host. Its a good look for Facebookas long as no one looks too closely.

What problems does the new Facebook review board propose to solve?

In an op-ed in The New York Times, the boards new leadership declared: The oversight board will focus on the most challenging content issues for Facebook, including in areas such as hate speech, harassment, and protecting peoples safety and privacy. It will make final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns).

Only in the narrowest and most trivial of ways does this board have any such power. The new Facebook review board will have no influence over anything that really matters in the world.

It will hear only individual appeals about specific content that the company has removed from the serviceand only a fraction of those appeals. The board cant say anything about the toxic content that Facebook allows and promotes on the site. It will have no authority over advertising or the massive surveillance that makes Facebook ads so valuable. It wont curb disinformation campaigns or dangerous conspiracies. It has no influence on the sorts of harassment that regularly occur on Facebook or (Facebook-owned) WhatsApp. It wont dictate policy for Facebook Groups, where much of the most dangerous content thrives. And most importantly, the board will have no say over how the algorithms work and thus what gets amplified or muffled by the real power of Facebook.

This board has been hailed as a grand experiment in creative corporate governance. St. Johns University law professor Kate Klonick, the scholar most familiar with the process that generated this board, said, This is the first time a private transnational company has voluntarily assigned a part of its policies to an external body like this.

Thats not exactly the case. Industry groups have long practiced such self-regulation through outside bodies, with infamously mixed results. But there is no industry group to set standards and rules for Facebook. One-third of humanity uses the platform regularly. No other company has ever come close to having that level of power and influence. Facebook is an industryand thus an industry groupunto itself. This is unprecedented, though, because Facebook ultimately controls the board, not the other way around.

We have seen this movie before. In the 1930s the Motion Picture Association of America, under the leadership of former US postmaster general Will Hays, instituted a strict code that prohibited major Hollywood studios from showing, among other things, dances which emphasize indecent movements. The code also ensured that the use of the [US] flag shall be consistently respected. By the 1960s, American cultural mores had broadened, and directors demanded more freedom to display sex and violence. So the MPAA abandoned the Hays code and adopted the ratings system familiar to American moviegoers (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17).

Its a good look for Facebookas long as no one looks too closely.

One reason the MPAA moved from strict prohibitions to consumer warnings was that American courts had expanded First Amendment protection for films, limiting how local governments could censor them. But all along, the MPAA practiced an explicit form of self-regulation, using a cartel that represented the interests of the most powerful studios to police behavior and represent the industry as a whole to regulators and the public.

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Facebook just launched its brand new site here’s how to check it out if you don’t see it yet – CNBC

Posted: at 11:55 am

Facebook's new homepage in dark mode

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Facebook on Friday launched its brand new desktop website. The new site will soon be available to everyone by default it's rolling out now but, if you don't see it yet, I'll show you how to check it out.

The new design, announced last year during Facebook's annual F8 conference, introduces a new dark mode with lower brightness it's easier on your eyes at night and I think it looks cooler.

Facebook was starting to feel a bit cluttered. The new design has more space and bigger fonts in the columns on each side of the news feed. This makes it easier to find things like the pages you follow (such as stores you shop at, local restaurants, bands you like), groups you participate in (like your neighborhood or a fan club), and events (like birthdays and upcoming cocktail parties).

Facebook said it's also easier for people to create all of these things.

However, one setting appears to be gone: the ability to arrange your News Feed posts in reverse-chronological order. Facebook has been deemphasizing this capability, guiding users to rely on its algorithms for how posts are arranged, but in this revamp the option to organize by "most recent" is gone (or so deeply buried that we couldn't find it). You can prioritize which friends or pages you follow.

You may already have switched to the new design over the past few months, when Facebook began to ask some of its users to participate in the beta.

But, if you didn't, here's how to switch.

You may also see a pop up at the top of the screen that looks like this, which you can tap to switch to the new Facebook:

You may see this pop up, which also lets you switch.

Annie Palmer | CNBC

Facebook said soon you won't see those options and you'll just see the new version.

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Facebook claims it will not discriminate based on politics – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: at 11:55 am

Facebook has publicly promised not to discriminate against its employees based on their ideology or viewpoint as it battles continuing claims of political bias.

The social media giant quietly added language to its recruitment website late last year saying that it does not discriminate on the basis of "political views or activity".

The National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a conservative think tank based in Washington DC, took credit for the change, saying it had threatened to put public pressure on the company.

Justin Danhof, the NCPPR's general counsel, said he had told Facebook he would bring a shareholder motion similar to those it has already filed at Twitter, demanding board-level probes into political discrimination. He added that he withdrew the plan after Facebook updated its site.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said that it had merely updated its website to reflect a longstanding policy, but declined to say why or when the language had changed.

The change comes after the company was criticised by Conservative MPs for appointing Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian,to its experimental new "supreme court".

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For Some Facebook Empathy Moms, Joe Biden Is Just Another Compromise – Mother Jones

Posted: at 11:55 am

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In the Before Times, Jody Kanikula and a half dozen fellow Democratic women activists would gather for drinks each Thursday after the weekly Kane County Democrats meeting in Geneva, Illinois. These days, they settle for Saturday morning Zoom calls to reimagine what their political organizing looks like now that their preferred tools of the tradedoor knocking and mail dropsare off the table.

I met Kanikula and her friends in October 2018, a high season of political activity. The group was trying to elect Democrat Lauren Underwood, then a 32-year-old nurse whod guided the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, to Congress. The women were mostly new to politics, having dipped their toes into activism in the wake of Donald Trumps election.They spent the 2018 cycle rebuilding Democratic infrastructure in their cluster of exurbs 50 miles west of Chicago, an area where Republicans had long ruled by default. That year, they focused their energies on ginning up excitement for a small slate of Democratic candidates. This time around, a Democrat is challenging a GOP officeholder in the county for every elected position but coroner.

In recent weeks, Tara Reades sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden have rippled through the group, setting off a flurry of notifications in their text chain with each new development. Reades claims are disheartening, Kanikula tells me. But like the 10 other resistance women I spoke with, shes sticking with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee regardless. If it was a different kind of election, Id give it more weight, she says. But the No. 1 goal is to get Trump out of there.

Kanikula and her friends seem yanked from research conducted by Harvard sociologist Theda Skopcol and University of Pittsburgh historian Lara Putnam in the wake of the 2016 election. The scholars had identified a new brand of Democratic activist: white, college-educated women who live in suburban and exurban communities where country club Republicans had long reigned. In the wake of Trumps victory, these women flocked to their nearest city for the Womens March, formed Indivisible groups, and, eventually, worked with their local Democratic parties to unseat Republicans at every level of government.

This is not the usual picture of the resurgent activist left. Many accounts of thesuburban womans political awakening are fond of anathematizing these activists as wine moms or MSNBC moms or the yoga vote. The Resistance was the new brunch, the new book club. For proof this was wrong one need only look at the 2018 midterms, when suburban women around the country retired teachers, librarians, health care people, some businesswomen, as Skocpol put ithelped power the Blue Wave that swept Democrats into control of the House. Health care was at the heart of their organizing efforts, a big reason its at the heart of the Democratic agenda today. This cycle, Biden not only needs these women to votehes relying on them to keep Democratic enthusiasm alive in their communities through November. The campaigns online strategy is shaped around appealing to what its digital director recently called, not a little cringingly, the suburban Facebook empathy moms.

These activists had been forged in no small part by Trumps chronic degradation of women; as it stands, roughly two dozen have accused him of sexual assault. But as an allegation concerning their partys presidential candidate captures national headlines, the women I spoke with remain committed to their political activism. Thats not because they believe Bidenthough many do. Its because their ultimate goal is limiting Trump to one term. If that requires some compromises along the way, so be it.

Do they think that sexual assault is okay? No, Putnam says. Do they think that being a woman involved in politics, where there are still lots of male politicians, means a lot of compromises all the time in order to get things done? Yes.

Reades claims against Biden have taken a muddled route to the national spotlight. In April 2019, Reade came forward to claim the former vice president had touched her neck and shoulders inappropriately when she had been an aide in his Senate office in the early 1990s; that claim had been corroborated by several of her contemporaries and more than half a dozen women whod made similar allegations.

But this spring, Reade leveled a more serious accusation at the former vice president: that he had shoved her against the wall of a Senate office building, reached under her skirt, and digitally penetrated her.Biden outright denies these claims. Reporters, lacking the copious documentation or clear pattern of predation on which much of #MeToo reporting is built, have thus far been unable to move the story onto the sturdier footing. The circumstances are best summarized by Voxs Laura McGann, who spent more than a year investigating Reades allegations: None of this means Reade is lying, but it leaves us in a limbo of Me Too: a story that may be true but that we cant prove.

A new Monmouth poll found that only 20 percent of Democrats think Reade is telling the truth, a sentiment mirrored by the activists I spoke with who say many are still processing the allegations. I dont think anyones rushing to judgment now, Kierstyn Zolfo, the Pennsylvania statewide legislative chair for Indivisible, tells me. Barb Kaplan, who leads an Indivisible group in the Cleveland suburbs, says fellow activists shes spoken with want to see some hard evidence, adding that most see it as a distraction.

But Putnam suggests another force is at work, and she points to the presidential primary as evidence. Biden had never been these activists favorite candidatemost of them preferred Elizabeth Warren or one of the other two dozen Democrats who sought the presidency this cycle. But these women got into politics, Putnam explains, with a vision of building Democratic political power above all else. Just as choosing one candidate over another is antithetical to their mission, so too would be calling for the removal of a candidate who most Democrats think did nothing wrong.

They have put a lot of energy into making politics be about more than just a single savior candidatewhether thats a candidate who they really loved or really disliked, Putnam says. They have been girding themselves for living with an outcome they knew they were not going to be personally excited about at the top of the ticket.

Coming out of 2016, most people have been unified in driving Trump out of the White House, Kaplan says. Its going to be really hard to dissuade them from that position.

This shouldnt be mistaken for blind party loyaltyindeed, a number of these activists, some of them former Republicans, identify as independents. Nor are these women turning a blind eye to the claims. In fact, quite the opposite: For many, Bidens history of behavior toward women has already been factored into their dim view of the candidate. Besides the allegations raised last spring, many activistsin particular, the older, professional women who make of up the bulk of the cohorthavent forgiven Biden for the way he treated Anita Hill, the law professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over Thomas confirmation hearing and failed to seriously investigate Hills accusations or call corroborating witnesses to testify against Thomas. Last year, Hill accused Biden of having set the stage for Brett Kavanaughs Supreme Court confirmation in 2018, when claims of sexual misconduct made against the judge were also poorly handled.

Such realpolitik can seem at odds with the revulsion that pushed many of the activists into politics in the first place. But to hear Lark Cowart tell it, that moral energy hasnt dissipated; it was merely channeled elsewhere once the womens preferred candidates began to exit the presidential race. When you lose your grand motivation, youre finding other races and things to focus on, says Cowart, a member of the Kane County group. Ill pour my energies behind the women who are running.

Melissa Rodriguez, who runs an Indivisible group near Dayton, Ohio, said her members had come to a similar agreement when Biden became the nominee. If you want to spend your energy on a local race or voter registration, go for it, she recalls saying. Were just pushing toward a great Democratic turnout.

The suburbs helped deliver the Democratic nomination to Biden, and hell rely on them to unseat Trump come November. His nascent digital operation has set its sights on those empathy moms whom the campaign believes can be won over with appeals to human decencythe premise of much of Bidens relatively non-ideological campaign. In the midst of the pandemic, paid family leave, health care, and related domestic issues are top of mind for swing voters. As for sexual assault, its way down the list, says Tresa Undem, a pollster who specializes in surveys on gender issues.

Undem is keeping a close eye on independent women voters. Theyre less likely to view the allegations through a politicized lensand in general they tend toward nihilistic doubts about their ability to change anything. Whether these voters see a difference between the parties on issues related to women could be an indicator of their apathy, Undem says. Could this dampen their vote? Yes.

And a lot of voter opinion, she says, will hinge on how much airtime the allegations receive in the coming weeks and months. That doesnt just mean news stories with new informationattack ads, Undem says, could play that role, something the Trump campaign already seems to have realized. Ultimately, she says, it could create the impression that neither candidate, and neither party, is good.

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For Some Facebook Empathy Moms, Joe Biden Is Just Another Compromise - Mother Jones

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These are the people Facebook put in charge of deciding whether to delete controversial posts – CNBC

Posted: at 11:55 am

Facebook on Wednesday announced the first 20 members of its Oversight Board, an independent body that can overturn the company's own content moderation decisions.

The oversight board will govern appeals from Facebook and Instagram users and questions from Facebook itself,although it admitted it will have to pick and choose which content moderation cases to take due to the sheer volume of them.

The board will receive cases through a content management system that is linked to Facebook's own platforms. They will then discuss the case as a group before issuing a final decision on whether the content should be allowed to stay up or not.

Facebook announced it was creating the independent board in November 2018, just after a report was published in The New York Times that detailed how the company avoided and deflected blame in the public conversation around its handling of Russian interference and other social network misuses.

The members are a globally diverse group with lawyers, journalists, human rights advocates and other academics. Between them, they are said to have expertise in areas such as digital rights, religious freedom, conflicts between rights, content moderation, internet censorship and civil rights.

Notable members include Alan Rusbridger, former editor in chief of The Guardian newspaper, and Andras Sajo, a former judge and VP of the European Court of Human Rights.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former Prime Minister of Denmark, is one of the board'sfour co-chairs."Up until now some of the most difficult decisions about content have been made by Facebook and you could say Mark Zuckerberg," she said on a call with the press Wednesday."Facebook has decided to change that."

The board will begin hearing cases in the coming months.Itwill eventually have around 40 members, which Facebook will help pick, it said.

"It's one thing to complain about content moderation and challenges involved, it's another thing to actually do something about it," said Jamal Greene, co-chair of the board. "These problems of content moderation really have been with us since the dawn of social media, and this really is a novel approach."

The move could help Facebook avoid accusations of bias as it removes content deemed problematic. Some lawmakers and conservative speakers have said that Facebook censors politically conservative points of view, a claim the company rejects.

"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 center," Michael McConnell, another co-chair of the board, told reporters Wednesday.

Facebook pledged to give the board $130 million in funding last December, with the money expected to cover operational costs for at least six years. The board will be compensated an undisclosed amount for their time.

Facebook in January outlined the board's bylaws, making it clear that the social media giant is still in control. The board's decisions do not necessarily set any precedents that Facebook has to follow in the future, and the board is limited when it comes to content it can address.

The board said it will publish transparency reports each year and monitor what Facebook has done with its recommendations.

"It will be very embarrassing to Facebook if they don't live up to their end of this,"Thorning-Schmidt, a co-chair, said.

Brent Harris, Facebook's director of global affairs, said Facebook will implement the board's decisions "unless they violate the law."

The full list of members includes:

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These are the people Facebook put in charge of deciding whether to delete controversial posts - CNBC

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