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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Links - 10th March 2016

The StingRay’s tale | The Economist - "The Hailstorm is a more advanced version of the StingRay, a surveillance device that operates by mimicking a cellular tower, forcing all nearby mobile phones to reveal their unique identifying codes, known as IMSI numbers. By crosschecking the IMSI numbers of suspects’ phones with those collected by “cell-site simulators” such as Hailstorm and StingRay, police officers can pinpoint people with astonishing precision. The tools have been used to trail suspects to specific rooms in apartment blocks and to find them on moving buses on busy city streets. Developed at first for military and intelligence services, cell-site simulators are now furtively used by federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as well as by local police forces across the land."

Texas family releases shocking video of fatal deputy-involved shooting - "Footage of the terrifying encounter, which was captured on a home security camera, shows the two officers trying to coax Blair out of the bathroom he locked himself in after threatening suicide. But when the officers manage to open the door, they see Blair brandishing a knife. “He’s got a knife! He’s got a knife!” one cop yells. “Stay down! Stay down!” But Blair shuts the door on the officers, who kick it back open. “I do not want to shoot you,” one deputy tell him. “I do not want to shoot you.” The officers ordered Blair to drop the knife about 50 times until one of the officers fired a Taser at the emotionally disturbed man. “Keep Tasing, keep Tasing,” one deputy tells his partner. “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” But, suddenly, the blade-wielding man stands up and appears to lunge towards one officer — who opened fire, striking Blair 11 times... The officers were later cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation and, later, when the case was presented in front of a grand jury."
Poor police officers
"There seems to be this romantic notion that a police officer can shoot a suspect non-fatally to avoid unnecessary death. It's not widely known, but even after being shot in the heart or brain, humans can still act for a few seconds, longer still if they are on some kind of stimulant. In those few seconds, a rapidly moving attacker can still do a lot of damage. Perhaps some of you might have experience dealing with drug-intoxicated aggressive individuals? I do. They have unnatural speed and strength, and can mount immense aggression."

Here's Why Cops Often Shoot Suspects Multiple Times - "But the public should not focus too heavily on the number of times Brown was shot, two experts on police force told us. It sounds excessive when you hear that a police officer shot a suspect multiple times, but these experts say cops often have very good reasons for doing so. “Hollywood has us believing that if you shoot someone once or twice, they fall,” former police chief Chuck Drago told BI over the phone. But, he added, “I’ve seen people shot many times, and they don’t even slow down.” Police often keep firing because they don’t even realize they hit the person, Drago says. Cops are also taught to fire three times before reassessing the threat — a procedure known as “triple tap,” according to Dr. Daniel Kennedy, a forensic criminologist."

Stunning video: African family shown how to use toilet in their new flat as homeless veteran freezes to death in street - "After being evicted from the hospital, Sture first took to a public toilet, but there he was chased away by foreign beggars. He then turned back to the hospital and sat down at the bench at the bus stop where he froze to death during the night, when the temperature was about 12-14 degrees below zero. RIP Sture, and shame on Sweden!"

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Kyary explained her stage name in a Japanese MTV interview. Wearing blonde wigs as a fashion affectation in high school, a friend began calling her "Kyari" because she embraced Western culture and seemed "like a foreign girl". The name stuck. Upon starting her blog, she felt the name "Kyari" — a phonetic Japanese spelling of the Western name "Carrie" — was too short, and "missing something". She added "Pamyu Pamyu" because it sounded cute. She states her full stage name as "Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu" (きゃろらいんちゃろんぷろっぷきゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ Kyarorain Charonpuroppu Kyarī Pamyu Pamyu)"

Dorothy Parker martini poem: Why the attribution is spurious. - "In 1959, an undergraduate humor magazine at the university founded by Thomas Jefferson published a column of gags that included a certain quatrain:
I wish I could drink like a lady.
"Two or three," at the most.
But two, and I'm under the table—
And three, I'm under the host."

Change Your Account's Gender in Web Services to Avoid Annoying Advertisements - "After switching my gender to Female, Pandora showed me nothing but birth control ads, which, while not exactly applicable to me, were a whole lot less annoying than the over-animated, window-usurping Bud Light ads I was getting before."

Vagina kung-fu master wants to women to empower themselves through vaginal weightlifting - "Anami says that without a device inserted into the vagina, which she claims is how Dr Kegel originally intended them to be performed, they are useless. Explaining her technique, she writes: “This is the equivalent to me going to the gym, staring at the weight rack, and waving my arms and legs wildly in the air. Then I wipe the imaginary sweat off my brow, congratulate myself on a ‘Great workout!’ and go home.” Anami believes her method of vaginal weightlifting will increase libido, give you and your partner orgasms and – added bonus – allow you to “ejaculate across the room - every woman can.”"

Under China's New Law, Divorced Women Can End Up Homeless - TIME - "In China, nothing quite kills the romance like the threat of losing real estate. Last month, the country's Supreme Court rolled out a new interpretation of China's Marriage Law that changes the way property disputes are handled after a divorce. Since then, couples across China have been thinking more seriously about tying the knot: in the southwest city of Chongqing alone, marriage registrations fell by 30% in the weeks after the changes were made."
People respond to incentives. Even with regard to marriage and family life

Star Wars: The Empire Strips Back

Halal certification bad for business because we can’t sell alcohol, Sabah seafood restaurant owners say - "With fresh seafood being one of the state’s attractions, some seafood restaurants have said it does not want to lose out on potential tourist dollars or any side income it may get from selling alcohol and cigarettes... Another popular outlet, Welcome Seafood Restaurant, appeals to Muslims by having a separate kitchen that did not serve pork and specified green tables which its Muslim clientele may feel more comfortable dining in."

Five privacy questions for Singapore's gantry-free ERP system - "In an exchange of letters in the media in 2001, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) rather contradicted itself when it claimed it did not track all the vehicles passing through or kept records of them. If so, it was a mystery how the LTA had once issued refunds to those who were wrongly charged by the system. How did it identify these vehicles? If the authorities were not clear then about the way data was collected and stored, what about now, when there’s the added ability to also analyse the data? Sadly, the LTA has so far not been clear either. Almost as a side note to the big news of this impressive satellite tracking technology, it has been telling people not to worry so much."

What Do We Know About the Association Between Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Injuries? - " Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively"

Why Some Healthy Foods Are Not Sustainable
Between health, sustainability, organic, animal cruelty and Fairtrade, you might as well starve to death

Backlash against Olympics, IOC demands is about much more than Rio woes - "During the bidding process for the 2022 Winter Games, five cities that expressed interest in bidding abandoned their candidacies because voters or the government wouldn't accept the financial risk. Many of them also blamed the IOC's demands and even "arrogance." Jeff Ruffolo, an American who helped Beijing operate the 2008 Summer Games and make its 2022 bid successful, called the bidding process "a joke." "Everybody's laughing about it except for the people in Lausanne," Ruffolo told the Guardian, referring to the IOC's headquarters in Switzerland. "They don't realize they are riding a dead horse." The specter of many of the world's major cities balking at chasing the Olympics was prophesized back in 2002, when then-IOC president Jacques Rogge acknowledged a "need to streamline costs and scale down the Games so the host cities are not limited to wealthy metropolises. The scale of the Games is a threat to their quality"... London ran up a $15 billion cost overrun in 2012. Now Tokyo, host of the 2020 Summer Games, has already decided it can't afford the stadium that was a centerpiece of its bid. The plans were scrapped in July amid howls of protest. "Does the IOC care?" Short asks. "What's happened is a classic lesson from the global financial crisis: If you're not responsible for risk, you do stupid things. But many cities are recalculating. That could finally be the crunch"... mass withdrawals from the 2022 Winter Games bidding left the IOC with a choice between only Almaty, Kazakhstan, and a return to Beijing, which will have to manufacture massive amounts of snow and is as far as 90 miles from the mountains that will host events. What do the former Soviet Republic and China have in common? "They're two of the worst places for human rights in the world," Short says. "A lot of European cities are having a hard time getting the choice to bid on the Games past voters. Boston also said no. So what you're left with are countries desperate for recognition and a boost in prestige. Or cities from nondemocratic, totalitarian countries where there are no voter referendums"... Short, in an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, advocates a more radical approach. It's a fresh, somewhat utopian twist on an old idea that never launched and isn't under serious discussion now: staging the Summer Games in a permanent site near Athens, the ancestral home of the Olympics. Short proposes making the IOC pay -- for a change -- for the construction, facility maintenance and staging of the Games at a green, sustainably built, multivenue complex on one of Greek's many islands and that it be used for other cultural and athletic purposes year-round."

'Ruin Porn' --- the Aftermath of the Beijing Olympics - The New York Times - "In Athens, site of the 2004 Summer Games, 21 of the 22 stadiums were reported to be unoccupied by 2009. Some even blame the Greek financial crisis, in part, on the $15 billion cost of the Games. The poster child of ill-conceived venues is undoubtedly the main Olympic Stadium in Montreal. A report on Canadian Broadcasting said the stadium became “a familiar mix of tragedy and farce,” the brainchild of Jean Drapeau, the late mayor who was “widely portrayed here as a megalomaniac who led Montreal over a cliff.”"

40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities - "Even though a larger share of Millennials favor allowing offensive speech against minorities, the 40% who oppose it is striking given that only around a quarter of Gen Xers (27%) and Boomers (24%) and roughly one-in-ten Silents (12%) say the government should be able to prevent such speech... Nearly twice as many Democrats say the government should be able to stop speech against minorities (35%) compared with Republicans (18%). Independents, as is often the case, find themselves in the middle. One-third of all women say the government should be able to curtail speech that is offensive to minorities vs. 23% of men who say the same. Furthermore, Americans who have a high school degree or less are more likely than those with at least a college degree to say that speech offensive to minority groups should be able to be restricted (a 9-percentage-point difference)."
Unsurprisingly, Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to support censorship to 'protect' 'minorities'. And those with a college degree are more likely to support censorship. Yet more proof that Modern Liberals have betrayed the Enlightenment

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Chinese President Xi Jinping courts a willing Britain - "They will not support the Springboks. They will support their opponents. And that reminded me of a time in the 80s when we grew up, I grew up under apartheid Emily as you know. And there was a big boxing fight here between an African American boxer known as John Tate against a local white Afrikaner heavyweight champion Gerrie Coetzee. And in the suburbs where white people lived... they supported Gerrie Coetzee, who was the South African. And in the townships we were supporting a man we didn't know, we've never met called John Tate. purely because he was black. And that's how people felt when the Springbok left for the Rugby World Cup"
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