Friday, August 30, 2019

Inside the media industry’s struggle to take on Silicon Valley - POLITICO

The news companies’ efforts have taken many forms, including complaints with regulators and lawmakers in multiple countries about tech’s alleged antitrust or copyright violations. But the American publishers’ major focus at the moment is persuading Congress to grant them an exemption from antitrust law, which would let them combine forces to negotiate the terms of the online platforms’ use of their news content.

That effort, which recently got a plug from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, echoes the tactic behind a new European Union copyright directive that gives publishers greater economic leverage against tech. That EU law is the result of years of hit-or-miss efforts to combat what the media companies call a Google-Facebook "digital duopoly."

via www.politico.com

Hard to know which is worse.

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inside the media industry’s struggle to take on Silicon Valley - POLITICO

The news companies’ efforts have taken many forms, including complaints with regulators and lawmakers in multiple countries about tech’s alleged antitrust or copyright violations. But the American publishers’ major focus at the moment is persuading Congress to grant them an exemption from antitrust law, which would let them combine forces to negotiate the terms of the online platforms’ use of their news content.

That effort, which recently got a plug from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, echoes the tactic behind a new European Union copyright directive that gives publishers greater economic leverage against tech. That EU law is the result of years of hit-or-miss efforts to combat what the media companies call a Google-Facebook "digital duopoly."

via www.politico.com

Hard to know which is worse.

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

China's Lunar Rover Has Found Something Weird on the Far Side of the Moon | Space

So far, mission scientists haven't offered any indication as to the nature of the colored substance and have said only that it is "gel-like" and has an "unusual color." One possible explanation, outside researchers suggested, is that the substance is melt glass created from meteorites striking the surface of the moon.

via www.space.com

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Human-like neural activity detected in lab grown mini brains

It's not clear whether the pea-sized brains are conscious: the team behind the breakthrough suspect they're not because the activity resembles that of preterm babies, but they cannot say for certain, opening up a new ethical dimension to this area of research.

via news.yahoo.com

Suspect?

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brexit Opponents Shape Agreement Too | National Review

On the advice of her prime minister, Al “Boris” Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II will temporarily suspend Parliament in a few weeks. This is called proroguing Parliament. For this, Johnson is being pilloried as a dictator by Remainers. Why? By doing this, Johnson has made it harder for parliamentarians who oppose a no-deal exit from the European Union to interrupt Johnson’s Brexit negotiation strategy, which includes the possibility of no deal. Johnson has very sharply limited the time in which parliamentarians could organize to force the government to request another extension from the EU and thus make a mockery of Johnson’s promise of leaving the European Union — deal or no deal — by October 31. Essentially, parliamentarians will face a choice: Allow Johnson to proceed with his form of brinkmanship while negotiating with Brussels, including the possibility of no deal, or make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister.

Remainers should look into the mirror, however. They have shaped this outcome as much as any hardcore Brexiteer. At every single turn, in fact, it has been Remainers who have increased the chances of the U.K.’s not only leaving, but crashing out on a series of ad hoc emergency measures, rather than a comprehensive adjustment to its relationship to Europe.

via www.nationalreview.com

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Is Rude But Right About Jay Powell and the Fed - Bloomberg

Yet Trump is onto something important even on this question. Tariffs and uncertainty about future trade restrictions seem to be pulling the “neutral” or “equilibrium” interest rate, which neither expands nor contracts the economy, downward. That’s a reason for Trump to reconsider his trade policies. But it’s also a reason for the Fed to reduce its target interest rate.

via www.bloomberg.com

Personally, I don't think so. I think it's a disastrously bad idea for a country to borrow more than they can service in debt, which the US is close to doing. That way leads to the dollar ceasing to be the reserve currency o' the world, which would be bery bery bad for us. And of course all this keeping interest rates low is effectuated by increasing the money supply.

Yet I also think we have to stand up to China, which would seem to require the tariffs PDT is imposing. He would have more room to maneuver if we could stop wasting so much money on our various government entitlement programs, including the military, which yes, we do need at the moment we are trying to stand up to China.

Thus the US seems to be stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place. We can see now why it was such a bad idea to drop a trillion dollars trying to establish democracy in the Middle East. Thanks, neo-cons! But past is past. Suggestions welcome!

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

G-7 Meeting: Climate Action Flops as Countries Pursue Their Own Economic Growth | National Review

Why, despite the urgency of dealing with climate change, aren’t more countries making big cuts to their emissions? The most succinct explanation can be had by understanding what Roger Pielke Jr. has dubbed the Iron Law of Climate Policy: “When policies on emissions reductions collide with policies focused on economic growth, economic growth will win out every time.”

via www.nationalreview.com

And a good thing too.

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Horrified Amazon Worker Awakes From Warehouse Accident To Find Jeff Bezos Welding Mechanical Limbs Onto Stumps Where Arms Used To Be

SEATTLE—Following an incident in which the employee was severely injured and rendered unconscious by a 30-foot fall from a ladder, horrified warehouse worker Paul Diaz awoke from heavily medicated sleep Friday to find Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos welding robotic limbs onto the stumps where his arms once were.

via www.theonion.com

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanford Students Admit It Was Pretty Obvious Billionaire’s Dog Didn’t Get In By Itself

STANFORD, CA—Saying that certain undergrads clearly hadn’t been accepted on their own merits, students at Stanford University admitted Friday that it was pretty obvious that the billionaire’s dog in the freshman class didn’t get in by itself. “A lot of us were skeptical that Bailey actually got admitted without help, and once we learned his owner is some big hedge fund guy, it’s obvious money was involved,” said Lydia Riley, 19, adding that she and other members of their Psychology 101 class doubted whether the yellow Labrador had really taken the SATs by itself or was actually planning to join the crew team it had been recruited for. “I’m not saying Bailey’s stupid, just that the dog clearly never does any work, and whenever you look over during class, he’s never paying attention. Also, my friend lives in the same hall and said Bailey is always out playing Frisbee in the quad and partying. Bailey’s got a really nice laptop, though, and a collar that clearly cost a lot of money, so we looked it up, and turns out his owner is worth over a billion dollars. You just know a couple million of that went to making sure their spoiled dog got into Stanford. It really diminishes the prestige of this university if you work really hard and then you’re just in class next to a dog whose owner paid top dollar to get him admitted.” Stanford students added that the worst part about Bailey’s acceptance was that it got a spot over some poor dog who could have really used the opportunity. 

via www.theonion.com

Like Chopi. But I would miss him terribly.

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cheerfulness cannot be compulsory, whatever the T-shirts say | Aeon Essays

The Ancient Greeks named four virtues: temperance, wisdom, courage and justice. Aristotle added more, but cheerfulness wasn’t one of them. The Greek philosophers didn’t seem to care about how we felt compared with how we acted. Aristotle said that we would ideally feel good while acting good, but he didn’t consider pleasure necessary for beautiful action. Acting virtuously meant steering clear of excess and deficiency. But in order to reach his ‘mean’, we need to jettison every action that misses the mark. Most of the time, the mean is incredibly tough to find, but if it came down to a choice between feeling good while acting badly or feeling badly while acting good, Aristotle said to choose good behaviour. He understood that feelings are hard to control, sometimes impossible, but he also knew that positive feelings like to hang around virtuous actions. While we’re waiting for the good feelings to show up, he asked us to get to work on temperance, wisdom, courage and justice. But he never said anything about smiling through it.

via aeon.co

Quite right, but nobody likes a grump.

August 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)