you might be killed by a drone

Greg linked to this video. I thought it was real … for the first few minutes.

It’s fiction. Black Mirror scary.

Click PLAY or watch Slaughterbots on YouTube.

The video was created by Autonomousweapons.org and Stuart Russell, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. …

Next Web

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter should be regulated

Great article.

Al Franken:

Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech. …

… we can’t trust the companies to get it right …

… as has become alarmingly clear in recent months, these companies have unprecedented power to guide Americans’ access to information and potentially shape the future of journalism. It should go without saying that such power comes with great responsibility. …

ProPublica recently revealed that up until two months ago, Facebook allowed advertisers using the company’s self-service ad-buying platform to target more than 2,000 people who expressed interest in the topic of quote “Jew hater” and other antisemitic themes. …

As it stands now, Google and Facebook control 75% of all internet news traffic referrals …

Currently, Amazon controls over 83% of e-book sales, nearly 90% of online print sales, and almost 99% of digital audio sales.

Amazon has since used its unprecedented monopsony power to force publishers to agree to contract terms and conditions that the publishers say have stalled price competition …

… how do we ensure transparency and accountability from them going forward?

We must not let big tech threaten our security, freedoms and democracy

Has the USA already peaked?

Some argue that the USA peaked in the 1990s.

Under Trump it certainly seems that the States now have far less world authority and moral influence. Americans consider their politicians corrupt and ineffective.

The Republican / Democrat split solidified by gerrymandering would seem to make gridlock inevitable.

But having toured Washington DC the past 3 days, I’m not so sure the USA is on permanent decline.

My favourite attraction on the mall was the Washington Monument.

Very inspiring.

It’s the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk.

George Washington is inspiring too:

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.

Like the USA, the Washington Monument has problems. $2-3 million is needed to modernize the elevator.

Has the USA peaked? For some reason I think the best is yet to come.

The nation will have to rally around one leader and Party. A fiscally conservative Democrat. Or moderate Republican.

Dinosaurs like Jeff Sessions will need to go extinct for the nation to move forward. Trump is the worst American leader of all time. By far. The sooner his regime ends, the better.

neo-Nazis in southern California

The twist on these Nazi wannabes is that they are into inflicting physical violence.

For some reason authorities haven’t done much yet to put them in jail. Or back in jail. Many have a criminal history.

Guys like this are energized by Trump, of course.

Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group’s Campaign of Menace

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

 

THE definitive commentary on #TakeAKnee

I think people should just stick to their profession, that is, unless they agree with me politically

Best quote:

Thinking NFL players are protesting the flag and the military is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation

“America’s Team” — along with its famous billionaire owner Jerry Jones — kneeled BEFORE the national anthem on Monday Night Football. Good move, Cowboys. A smart compromise.

Stephen King – The Stand

Stephen King has 7 book adaptations coming to TV or film in 2017. He’s bigger than ever.

This may be the second Stephen King book I’ve read after 11/22/63: A Novel. Millions love The Stand, many considering it to be his best.

Obviously King’s a great story teller with mass appeal.

There are some terrific characters in this book. King understands people. He understands Trump voters, I’m sure.

Stephen King hates Trump. That might be one reason I read this book.

The Stand is a post-apocalyptichorror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. …

… the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic which kills off the majority of the world’s human population. …

The novel was originally published in 1978 in hardcover, with a setting date of 1980. … The book was later re-released in 1990 as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition (the longest book published by King at 1152 pages); King restored some text originally cut for brevity, added and revised sections, changed the setting of the story to 1990 …

The miniseries was broadcast in 1994 … In February 2016, The Stand movie had been put on hold …

Some criticize the book for being racist. I didn’t feel that way. It’s an epic of Good v Evil. The evil guys are racist.

I didn’t love the book. But liked it enough to download Stephen King – It: A Novel (2016).

related – Zack HandlenWhat I Learned From Re-Reading Stephen King’s The Stand

the future of the NEWS

What will the most popular news sources of the future look like?

I’m hopeful for the soon to be launched Wikitribune.

Evidence-based journalism

People today mostly get their news from TV (not bad) and social media (terrible).

My favourite news source right now is Axios, just 6 months old.

Smart brevity.

Axios covers 7 areas: politics, tech, media trends, health, science, energy, and future of work (AI, robotics, etc.).

They want to deliver the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trust-worthy experience for readers and advertisers alike.

It was founded by Mike Allen, former chief political reporter for Politico. I like Politico too, founded in 2007. And  Jim VandeHei.

John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei left The Washington Post to become The Politicos editor-in-chief and executive editor, respectively.

So … Washington Post begat Politico begat Axios.

If interested, start by signing up for any of the Axios email newsletters.

 

 

I’m not celebrating the 4th of July

His approach is not working. Five months into his first term, Mr Trump presides over a political culture that is even more poisonous than when he took office.  …

The Trump presidency has been plagued by poor judgment and missed opportunities. …

Economist

Unethical, immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. If you still support Trump I’d prefer we never speak again.

Why Hate the Koch Brothers?

If you hate GOP policies, you hate the Koch brothers. Right?

After listening to the Freakonomics interview with David Koch, I’ve now got mixed feelings.

Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his management philosophy and why he supports legislation that goes against his self-interest.

Charles Koch

The list of charitable causes supported by Charles Koch, and his brother David, is long and diverse, and would surely find approval with even their most devout political enemies. David is particularly well-known in New York for funding the arts and medical research. Among the Koch Industries beneficiaries are the United Negro College Fund; Project JumpStart, which provides construction training; and the movement for criminal-justice reform.

He’s very smart. Very well read.

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1)

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)

They want tax reform and want to roll back regulations. They don’t like idiot Jeff Sessions’ idiotic “war on marijuana”.

They are disappointed with GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. They don’t like Trump.

They are for free trade. Against border-adjustment fees that Trump keeps trumpeting.

All that said, if you hate GOP policies, know that the Koch brothers do as much as anyone to ensure dinosaurs like Pence stay in office.

The network of conservative donors announced Saturday it plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 cycle. …

Koch network ramps up political spending while trying to push Trump team

On the other hand, some Koch donors are so pissed they want the “Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform.