"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, May 04, 2019

Links - 4th May 2019 (3)

Report: Hackers Fool Tesla Autopilot into Driving Towards Oncoming Traffic - "Hackers have reportedly begun using stickers which confuse Tesla’s autopilot system to trick the cars into driving into the wrong lanes or towards oncoming traffic... Tesla has had a number of issues relating to its autopilot system, some of which have allegedly proven fatal in the past"

Your Own Personal Slaves – Daniel Garcia Art - "Which of these products do you use?
I wanted to do a piece about all the products we depend on, that are made or reaped by forced labor, child workers, sex slaves, etc."
Of course the guy in the picture is wearing a Che Guevera T-shirt

American vs. British scones: Why the sweet American kind are a delicious pastry in their own right. - "An American scone does not need jam or clotted cream—or any filling, really: It’s a self-contained snack (though an extra smear of butter never killed anyone … at least not right away). It’s pleasantly sweet, and it has wiggle room for all sorts of additions: spices, fruits, nuts, even chocolate. A wise baker will not overload an American scone with extra goodies, nor will she shy away from them. Freed of cultural baggage and expectations of authenticity, the American scone is flexible in shape and content. Like Dylan going electric, this casting off of tradition may upset some people. But such flexibility is key to the deliciousness of a great American scone."

Vaccines Against Measles And Other Diseases Confer Added Protections - "A new study shows that vaccination with a weakened strain of salmonella not only protects against typhoid fever but also seems to rev up the immune system to fight off other problems, like influenza and yeast infection."

Electric Vehicles Send Real-Time Data to Chinese Government - "The automakers say they are merely complying with local laws, which apply only to alternative energy vehicles. Chinese officials say the data is used for analytics to improve public safety, facilitate industrial development and infrastructure planning, and to prevent fraud in subsidy programs.But other countries that are major markets for electronic vehicles — the United States, Japan, across Europe — do not collect this kind of real-time data. And critics say the information collected in China is beyond what is needed to meet the country's stated goals. It could be used not only to undermine foreign carmakers' competitive position, but also for surveillance — particularly in China, where there are few protections on personal privacy. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has unleashed a war on dissent, marshalling big data and artificial intelligence to create a more perfect kind of policing, capable of predicting and eliminating perceived threats to the stability of the ruling Communist Party... Jose Munoz, the head of Nissan's China operations, said he was unaware of the monitoring system until the AP told him, but he stressed that the automaker operated according to the law. Asked by the AP about the potential for human rights abuses and commercial conflicts posed by the data sharing, Munoz smiled and shrugged... "It's useless to be concerned about it," said Min Zeren, who owns a Tesla Model S. "If you're concerned about it, then there's no way to live in this country.""

Cedar Grove Farm - "Dear Lucky Brand, My name is Quintin McEwen and I am the owner-operator of a Canadian sheep farm. Today I saw an advertisement highlighting your “shearless wool” clothing and I am absolutely shocked by your blatant disregard for my industry and not gathering the facts before you launched this campaign. The picture of the sheep on your tag is a direct violation of the Canadian Sheep Farmers Code of Practice. Farmers are responsible for shearing their sheep, because if the sheep’s wool becomes over grown (like the one on your tag) their chance of becoming sick and immobile drastically increases. Shearing sheep in a huge part of keeping my sheep healthy. I don’t make any money from the wool they produce and every time I get them shorn I lose money (it typically costs around $5/ewe to shear and I get about $3 of wool from a ewe). And we aren’t talking a few dollars. I lose hundreds of dollars every year on shearing, but I gladly do it because my sheep need it to stay healthy and it’s my job as a responsible farmer to make sure my animals get the care they need. And the fact that your company believe a polyester product is a better alternative for our planets health than wool product seems crazy to me. How can filling our planet with more plastic byproducts be a better alternative than using an all natural, biodegradable, sustainable product?"

Google's Brand New AI Ethics Council Is Already Falling Apart - "Google recently appointed an external ethics council to deal with tricky issues in artificial intelligence. The group is meant to help the company appease critics while still pursuing lucrative cloud computing deals.In less than a week, the council is already falling apart, a development that may jeopardize Google’s chance of winning more military cloud-computing contracts... a group of employees started a petition asking the company to remove another member: Kay Coles James, president of a conservative think tank who has fought against equal-rights laws for gay and transgender people. More than 500 staff signed the petition anonymously by late Monday morning local time. Employee activism on equal pay for women, sexual harassment, AI ethics and doing business in China has roiled Google over the past year. The protests have been effective"

Clear racial preference for Prime Minister, President: Survey - "the vast majority of the 2,000 respondents prefer the country’s top leaders to be of the same race as themselves. This sentiment was markedly stronger among respondents aged 50 and above"
Even Malays and Indians prefer Chinese to the other minority
IPS survey methodology is a lot more rigorous than that of market research firms; I take the black box survey on people liking Tharman with a pinch of salt


Why Girls Like Bad Boys - "I guess you could sum it up by saying it's a combination of the newness and unexpectedness of the bad boy with the comfort and ease he puts women in. He's exciting and refreshingly different, and at the same time he isn't heaping women with his expectations of them and getting upset if they don't meet them. Women can both find something new and just be themselves around him – and that's quite a rare thing for women to find in a man.No wonder girls like bad boys."

The Conversationalist - "In conversation, though, the conversationalist must manage a whole host of things. He has to manage how he’s feeling, what he’s expressing through his words, voice tone, and nonverbal communication, he has to read how others are feeling and what they are expressing, he has to steer the conversation so that it stays on productive and value-building topics and avoids destructive ones, he has to reward others’ efforts to contribute and provide value and remove embarrassment from them when they slip up and make a faux pas. And that’s just for starters."

Chinese VPN user fined for accessing overseas websites as part of Beijing’s ongoing ‘clean up’ of internet - "It is not the first time authorities have singled out a Chinese citizen for punishment for offering VPN services in China. In 2017, as part of a 14-month nationwide campaign against unauthorised internet connections, including VPN services, a Chinese man from southwest Guangxi province, Wu Xiangyang, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for selling VPN services online. Wu also had to pay a fine of 500,000 yuan (US$72,790), an amount equivalent to the profits he had made from his VPN business since 2013."

Decades of data suggest parenthood makes people unhappy - "Folk knowledge assumes having children is the key to living a happy, meaningful life; however, empirical evidence suggests nonparents are the more cheery bunch.
The difference is most pronounced in countries like the United States. In countries that support pro-family policies, parents can be just as happy as their child-free peers... Countries like Spain and Portugal, where parents report being 3.1 and 8 percent happier than nonparents respectively, culturally center on extended families. The Spanish manage personal problems through family, an approach that extends to child rearing where many hands make light work... Glass and Robin note that their results could be tempered by parental selectivity. They propose that countries like Spain and Italy, which have low fertility rates, may select toward people who truly desire to have children... our modern parenting model, in which we view children as material to be molded into a particular type of adult, is not only wrongheaded but also a source of stress and misery for many parents."

Why the word 'moist' makes you cringe - "So who's most likely to cringe at the word moist? “A young, neurotic, female who is well-educated and somewhat disgusted by bodily function""

How global warming and mind-eating parasites are creating a global intelligence gap - "Schistosomiasis and toxoplasmosis may sound like something you would pick up in a developing country, but the reality is that more and more so-called "third world" parasites are becoming endemic to the United States. Already, some 60 million people — that’s right 60 million — are infected with toxoplasma gondii or, as it's more fondly known as, the “cat poop parasite.”"

'Like a Big Mac But Juicier': Burger King renames sandwiches to troll McDonald's - "After McDonald’s lost its Big Mac trademark in the EU earlier this month, competitor Burger King wasted no time taking a big, juicy bite out of the world’s biggest burger chain. Burger King’s Swedish operation recently revamped menus to poke fun at McDonald’s loss. Under the header Not Big Mac’s (sic), the sign listed meal options like “Burger Big Mac Wished It Was”, “Like a Big Mac, But Actually Big” and “Big Mac-ish But Flame-Grilled of Course”... The stunt comes after McDonald’s lost the rights to its Big Mac trademark as part of its own lawsuit against a smaller burger company, the Irish chain Supermac’s. However, EU regulators found that McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of the name in the five years leading up to the case"

Germany’s soldiers of misfortune - "Fighter jets and helicopters that don’t fly. Ships and submarines that can’t sail. Severe shortages of everything from ammunition to underwear.If it sounds like an exaggeration to compare Germany’s Bundeswehr to “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” look no further than the army’s standard-issue assault rifle, Heckler & Koch’s G36. The government decided to scrap the weapon after discovering that the gun misses its target if it’s too hot... Much of the media now portrays the U.S. as a security threat on par with Russia. Public attitudes have moved in a similar direction. Security discussions are driven by a handful of like-minded think tank analysts who seem to spend most their time on Twitter, fretting about whether Trump will pull the plug on NATO... Many Germans appear blissfully unaware that their security, and by extension their prosperity, relies to no small degree on the presence of the U.S. nuclear shield... In Berlin and other German cities, some Bundeswehr personnel say they prefer not to wear their uniform when traveling to and from work, in order to avoid aggressive stares and rude comments. And in Potsdam, a regional capital near Berlin, local politicians have been debating whether it’s appropriate for city trams to carry recruitment advertisements for the Bundeswehr."

The Oscars and the ‘curse’ of winning - "The Real Oscar Curse: The Negative Consequences of Positive Status Shifts looks at the status change that occurs when actors win or receive nominations for an Academy Award.Its findings suggest there can be a negative impact as a result of sudden positive shifts of status, with implications for a range of workplace situations... the divorce rate for male Oscar winners is 205 percent higher compared to their non-nominees in the first year after their award wins."
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