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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 159 declined, 42 accepted (201 total, 20.90% accepted)

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Submission + - Microsoft's Gates, Allen and Ballmer Funding Takedown of Supreme Court Justice (kiro7.com)

reifman writes: Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen and former CEO Steve Ballmer are funding a takedown of Washington State Supreme Court Charles Wiggins who voted with the 6-3 majority to overturn their 2015 charter school initiative. This billionaire-driven 'democracy' is consistent with Gates' recent hypocritical call for taxpayers to fund government innovation while dodging taxes himself.

Submission + - Tax Dodger Bill Gates Calls for Taxpayers to Fund More Innovation (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Recently, Bill Gates launched a call for political leaders and taxpayers to accelerate funding of public sector innovation. '...innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights that entrepreneurs can turn into companies that change the world,' says Gates, which in turn helps 'unlock the private sector’s ingenuity.' There's just one problem. Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world but he's also one of its biggest tax avoiders. While Microsoft's historical earnings surpassed $1 trillion earlier this year, its held more than $108 billion offshore to avoid taxation. And in its home state of Washington, it's dodged so much tax that the courts have held the legislature in contempt for two years to find sufficient funding for education.

Submission + - Bill Gates Hypocritical Call for Accelerated Innovation (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Last week, Bill Gates called on political leaders to accelerate innovation. '...innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights.' But that requires taxes, funds that he's systematically avoiding paying the government for two decades; Microsoft currently has more than $108 billion offshore. Is Gates a hypocrite or is it just that his privileged billions keep him from understanding how the world works?

Submission + - You Can Control a BB-8 Droid with Your Thoughts (tutsplus.com)

reifman writes: Using the Emotiv Insight headset, you can control a Sphero BB-8 droid with your thoughts by training it to recognize your EEG signals as commands. Normally I wouldn't submit a sponsored post (who isn't mentioned here) but I was pretty amazed by this video demo and thought that Slashdot readers may not be aware of it. There's also a follow up post using a Myo Armband to control BB-8 with gestures. There's also a TED talk by the inventor of the Emotiv talking about how the headset works.

Submission + - Blind Apple Store Employee Guides my iPhone 7 Upgrade (jeffreifman.com) 2

reifman writes: Amidst the crowds and the noise, a blind Apple store employee named Stan led my iPhone 7 upgrade this past weekend. I was touched not only that he and his service dog Eclaire were on the front lines of retail but also by the camaraderie and mutual regard of his coworkers, helping him be successful. This isn't typical — the unemployment rate for blind people is estimated at 70 percent.

Submission + - Making Fun of the "Advanced Technology" in Amtrak's Security Gap (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: After traveling the Northwest via Amtrak, the lack of traditional TSA style security was both a refreshing pleasure and a bit unnerving — and I'm not referring to its unsecured WiFi network. I decided to modify Amtrak's branding campaign to poke fun at the invisibility of its security theater, or as security guru Bruce Schneier calls it, "the security mirage."

Submission + - Amtrak Experimenting with Advanced Security on Northwest Trains (schneier.com)

reifman writes: While security expert Bruce Schneier has regularly written about Amtrak's efforts to close the air travel security theater gap, he's impressed by its advanced security experiments making security theater essentially invisible to passengers. Breast milk, nipple piercings and growlers are now deemed safe. While not mentioned in its new branding effort, even WiFi passwords are unnecessary...complete with all the inherent protections TSA is known for.

Submission + - Apple.com Misleads T-Mobile Customers to Visit Stores for No Reason (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Apple's website tells T-Mobile customers to visit stores to sign up for the upgrade program but store staff tell them they must order online. It's a good example of the ridiculously poor customer facing side of the company's upgrade program and its iPhone7 launch. Attorneys are jumping in with a class action lawsuit, something most cellular contracts do not allow any longer.

Submission + - Trump's Tweets Reveal He Writes Only Angry Half (varianceexplained.org)

reifman writes: In an excellent forensic text analysis of Trump's tweets with the Twitter API, data geek David Robinson demonstrates Trump authors his angriest, pictureless, hashtag-less Android tweets often in the morning, while staff tweet from an iPhone with pictures, hashtags and greater joy mostly in the middle of the day. Robinson's report was inspired by a tweet by artist Todd Vaziri. Via Daring Fireball.

Submission + - SPAM: Analysis of Trump's Tweets Reveal He Only Writes Angry Half

reifman writes: In an excellent forensic text analysis of Trump's tweets buoyed by the Twitter API, data scientist David Robinson provides evidence that Trump authors his angriest, pictureless, hashtag-less Android tweets often in the morning, while his staff tweet from an iPhone with pictures, hashtags and greater joy mostly in the middle of the day. Robinson's report was inspired by a tweet by artist Todd Vaziri. Heard through Daring Fireball.
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Submission + - Actually, It is Guns Not Ideology (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: After the truck attack in Nice, France, radio host Joe Walsh tweeted, 'Not a gun. Not a bomb. This was a truck. 2-3 minutes. As of now over 80 dead. Please understand now. It's not the weapon. It's the ideology.' This got me into a Twitter argument with a friend who wrote, 'Rules against guns will go just about as well as drug laws. And, to be consistent, the left should be going to war against vans.' Another Walsh follower posted later, 'Paris and Orlando: guns. Nice: Truck. Germany: Axe. The issue is the ideology, not the weapons.' I decided to look up the statistics on the ground in America and actually, guns are the problem, not as much ideology.

Submission + - Seattle Amazocalypse Inspires Children's Book (geekwire.com)

reifman writes: A side effect of Amazon's rapid growth in Seattle has been that the Space Needle is quickly disappearing from view in much of the city. In "Zoe and the Amazocalypse," a young girl returns from summer camp to discover the Space Needle's gone completely missing and sets out on an adventure to search for it. Along the way she meets Amazocalypse and they become quick friends determined to find it.

Submission + - Seattle Tech Industry Fueling Local Sex Trade (crosscut.com)

reifman writes: Crosscut reports that Seattle's tech growth is driving rapid expansion of the local sex trade. In "one 24 hour-period in Seattle, an estimated 6,487 people solicited sex on only one of the 100+ websites that connect supply with demand." And that was in 2014, Amazon's currently hiring 14,000 people annually in Seattle, typically 85 percent male. Says Crosscut, "63 percent of prostituted people say they met clients on company properties" and 80 percent of buyers are white and 44 percent of sex workers are African American."

Submission + - Seattle's Tech Growth Fueling Local Sex Trade (crosscut.com)

reifman writes: In How the Tech Industry is Fueling the Local Sex Trade, Crosscut reports that "in one 24 hour-period in Seattle, an estimated 6,487 people solicited sex on only one of the 100+ websites that connect supply with demand." And that was in 2014, Amazon's currently hiring 14,000 people annually in Seattle, typically 85 percent male. According to Crosscut, "63 percent of prostituted people say they met clients on company properties" and 80 percent of buyers are white and 44 percent of sex workers are African American (compared to 7.9% of the overall population.) A sample of 104 people charged with soliciting sex with minors in King County revealed 12 percent working in the tech industry —the percentage involved in hiring adult workers would likely be much higher. After the response to the challenges of dating here detailed in "You've Got Male" and "Peepless in Seattle", I wondered when more data would emerge reinforcing last year's report that Seattle may have the fastest growing sex trade in the country. The Crosscut article highlights some encouraging, proactive steps members of the tech community are taking to create conversation around these issues including issues of the effect of tech culture.

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