facility:university of california

  • ‘Siding with Big Pharma’ : Republicans warn CEOs not to cooperate with Democrats’ drug price probe – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/04/siding-with-big-pharma-republicans-warn-ceos-not-to-cooperate-with-democra

    Jusqu’où iront les Républicains US en tordant les déclarations et en absolvant d’avance les Big Pharma. La bataille politique ne porte plus sur les projets, mais sur les détournements du langage. Ce ne sont plus les « petites phrases », mais les « extraits de phrases utilisés pour faire dire l’inverse ». Ce phénomène est grave. Il est un symptôme de la fin des Lumières... du mauvais côté (il y a des critiques à faire aux Lumières, mais pas celles portant sur le Tribunal de la raison et le développement d’une connaissance appuyées sur les faits).

    As Democrats on the House Oversight Committee attempt to investigate soaring drug prices in the U.S., Republicans are warning the CEOs of some of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies against cooperating with the probe.

    Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), leaders of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, sent letters (pdf) to a dozen drug company CEOs “warning that information they provide to the committee could be leaked to the public by Democratic chair Elijah Cummings in an effort to tank their stock prices,” Buzzfeed reported Monday.

    Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, launched his investigation in January with a request for “information and communications on price increases, investments in research and development, and corporate strategies to preserve market share and pricing power” from pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and others.

    In their letters to the same pharmaceutical companies, Jordan and Meadows suggested that Cummings is attempting to obtain information that “would likely harm the competitiveness of your company if disclosed publicly.”

    “While we cannot speculate about Chairman Cummings’s motives, we believe the committee should not pursue an investigation to ‘impact… stock prices with regard to drugs’—especially when there is bipartisan interest in real oversight of rising prescription drug prices,” the Republicans wrote in their letters, dated April 5.

    As Buzzfeed notes, Jordan and Meadows’ claims rest on an out-of-context quote from Cummings:

    The [Republicans’] letter quotes Cummings as saying of his drug team: “If you follow the headlines, we have already seen the impact they have had… on stock prices with regard to drugs. I mean, it has been astronomical.” The letter omits the rest of the sentence: “saving the taxpayers money.”

    In the edited quote, Cummings seems to be bragging about an “astronomical” impact on drug company stocks. In the context of his statements before and after, he seems to be saying the “astronomical” impact is on taxpayer savings, which justify giving his committee more resources. A minute later he says: “Whatever you all give us, we will give it back in savings by rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse.”

    In a statement to Buzzfeed, Cummings said Jordan—the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee—”is on the absolute wrong side here.”

    “He would rather protect drug company ‘stock prices’ than the interests of the American people,” Cummings added.

    Economist and University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich expressed agreement with Cummings, tweeting of the two Republicans, “Once again, they’re siding with Big Pharma at the expense of the American people.”

    #Big_pharma #Politique_USA #Langage


  • The Software That Shapes Workers’ Lives | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/the-software-that-shapes-workers-lives

    How could I know which had been made ethically and which hadn’t?

    Answering this question can be surprisingly difficult. A few years ago, while teaching a class about global labor at the University of California, Los Angeles, I tried assigning my students the task of analyzing the “supply chain”—the vast network of factories, warehouses, and shipping conduits through which products flow—by tracing the components used in their electronic devices. Almost immediately, I hit a snag: it turns out that even companies that boast about “end-to-end visibility” and “supply-chain transparency” may not know exactly where their components come from. This ignorance is built into the way supply chains work. The housing of a television, say, might be built in a small factory employing only a few people; that factory interacts only with the suppliers and buyers immediately adjacent to it in the chain—a plastic supplier on one side, an assembly company on the other. This arrangement encourages modularity, since, if a company goes out of business, its immediate partners can replace it without consulting anyone. But it also makes it hard to identify individual links in the chain. The resilient, self-healing quality of supply chains derives, in part, from the fact that they are unsupervised.

    When people try to picture supply chains, they often focus on their physical infrastructure. In Allan Sekula’s book “Fish Story,” a volume of essays and photographs produced between 1989 and 1995, the writer and photographer trains his lens on ports, harbors, and the workers who pilot ships between them; he reveals dim shipboard workspaces and otherworldly industrial zones. In “The Forgotten Space,” a documentary that Sekula made with the film theorist Noël Burch, in 2010, we see massive, gliding vessels, enormous machines, and people rummaging through the detritus around ports and harbors. Sekula’s work suggests the degree to which our fantasy of friction-free procurement hides the real, often gruelling, work of global shipping and trade.

    But supply chains aren’t purely physical. They’re also made of information. Modern supply-chain management, or S.C.M., is done through software. The people who design and coördinate supply chains don’t see warehouses or workers. They stare at screens filled with icons and tables. Their view of the supply chain is abstract. It may be the one that matters most.

    Most of the time, the work of supply-chain management is divided up, with handoffs where one specialist passes a package of data to another. No individual is liable to possess a detailed picture of the whole supply chain. Instead, each S.C.M. specialist knows only what her neighbors need.

    In such a system, a sense of inevitability takes hold. Data dictates a set of conditions which must be met, but there is no explanation of how that data was derived; meanwhile, the software takes an active role, tweaking the plan to meet the conditions as efficiently as possible. sap’s built-in optimizers work out how to meet production needs with the least “latency” and at the lowest possible costs. (The software even suggests how tightly a container should be packed, to save on shipping charges.) This entails that particular components become available at particular times. The consequences of this relentless optimization are well-documented. The corporations that commission products pass their computationally determined demands on to their subcontractors, who then put extraordinary pressure on their employees. Thus, China Labor Watch found that workers in Heyuan City, China, tasked with producing Disney’s Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel Bath Doll—retail price today, $26.40—work twenty-six days a month, assembling between eighteen hundred and twenty-five hundred dolls per day, and earning one cent for each doll they complete.

    Still, from a worker’s point of view, S.C.M. software can generate its own bullwhip effect. At the beginning of the planning process, product requirements are fairly high-level. But by the time these requirements reach workers, they have become more exacting, more punishing. Small reductions in “latency,” for instance, can magnify in consequence, reducing a worker’s time for eating her lunch, taking a breath, donning safety equipment, or seeing a loved one.

    Could S.C.M. software include a “workers’-rights” component—a counterpart to PP/DS, incorporating data on working conditions? Technically, it’s possible. sap could begin asking for input about worker welfare. But a component like that would be at cross-purposes with almost every other function of the system. On some level, it might even undermine the purpose of having a system in the first place. Supply chains create efficiency in part through the distribution of responsibility. If a supervisor at a toy factory objects to the production plan she’s received, her boss can wield, in his defense, a PP/DS plan sent to him by someone else, who worked with data produced by yet another person. It will turn out that no one in particular is responsible for the pressures placed on the factory. They flow from the system—a system designed to be flexible in some ways and rigid in others.

    #Algorithmes #SAP #Droit_travail #Industrie_influence


  • The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistle-Blower - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/magazine/the-mystery-of-the-exiled-billionaire-whistleblower.html

    From a penthouse on Central Park, Guo Wengui has exposed a phenomenal web of corruption in China’s ruling elite — if, that is, he’s telling the truth.

    By Lauren Hilgers, Jan. 10, 2018

    阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版

    On a recent Saturday afternoon, an exiled Chinese billionaire named Guo Wengui was holding forth in his New York apartment, sipping tea while an assistant lingered quietly just outside the door, slipping in occasionally to keep Guo’s glass cup perfectly full. The tycoon’s Twitter account had been suspended again — it was the fifth or sixth time, by Guo’s count — and he blamed the Communist Party of China. “It’s not normal!” he said, about this cycle of blocking and reinstating. “But it doesn’t matter. I don’t need anyone.”

    Guo’s New York apartment is a 9,000-square-foot residence along Central Park that he bought for $67.5 million in 2015. He sat in a Victorian-style chair, his back to a pair of west-facing windows, the sunset casting craggy shadows. A black-and-white painting of an angry-looking monkey hung on the wall to Guo’s right, a hat bearing a star-and-wreath Soviet insignia on its head and a cigarette hanging from its lips. Guo had arrived dressed entirely in black, except for two silver stripes on each lapel. “I have the best houses,” he told me. Guo had picked his apartment for its location, its three sprawling balconies and the meticulously tiled floor in the entryway. He has the best apartment in London, he said; the biggest apartment in Hong Kong. His yacht is docked along the Hudson River. He is comfortable and, anyway, Guo likes to say that as a Buddhist, he wants for nothing. If it were down to his own needs alone, he would have kept his profile low. But he has a higher purpose. He is going to save China.

    Guo pitches himself as a former insider, a man who knows the secrets of a government that tightly controls the flow of information. A man who, in 2017, did the unthinkable — tearing open the veil of secrecy that has long surrounded China’s political elite, lobbing accusations about corruption, extramarital affairs and murder plots over Facebook and Twitter. His YouTube videos and tweets have drawn in farmers and shopkeepers, democracy activists, writers and businesspeople. In China, people have been arrested for chatting about Guo online and distributing T-shirts with one of his slogans printed on the front (“This is only the beginning!”). In New York, Guo has split a community of dissidents and democracy activists down the middle. Some support him. Others believe that Guo himself is a government spy.

    Nothing in Guo’s story is as straightforward as he would like it to seem. Guo is 47 years old, or 48, or 49. Although he has captured the attention of publications like The Guardian, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the articles that have run about him have offered only hazy details about his life. This is because his biography varies so widely from one source to the next. Maybe his name isn’t even Guo Wengui. It could be Guo Wugui. There are reports that in Hong Kong, Guo occasionally goes by the name Guo Haoyun.

    When pressed, Guo claims a record of unblemished integrity in his business dealings, both in real estate and in finance (when it comes to his personal life, he strikes a more careful balance between virility and dedication to his family). “I never took a square of land from the government,” he said. “I didn’t take a penny of investment from the banks.” If you accept favors, he said, people will try to exploit your weaknesses. So, Guo claims, he opted to take no money and have no weaknesses.

    Yet when Guo left China in 2014, he fled in anticipation of corruption charges. A former business partner had been detained just days before, and his political patron would be detained a few days afterward. In 2015, articles about corruption in Guo’s business dealings — stories that he claims are largely fabrications — started appearing in the media. He was accused of defrauding business partners and colluding with corrupt officials. To hear Guo tell it, his political and business opponents used a national corruption campaign as a cover for a personal vendetta.

    Whatever prompted Guo to take action, his campaign came during an important year for China’s president, Xi Jinping. In October, the Communist Party of China (C.P.C.) convened its 19th National Congress, a twice-a-decade event that sets the contours of political power for the next five years. The country is in the throes of a far-reaching anti-corruption campaign, and Xi has overseen a crackdown on dissidents and human rights activists while increasing investment in censorship and surveillance. Guo has become a thorn in China’s side at the precise moment the country is working to expand its influence, and its censorship program, overseas.

    In November 2017, the Tiananmen Square activist Wang Dan warned of the growing influence of the C.P.C. on university campuses in the United States. His own attempts to hold “China salons” on college campuses had largely been blocked by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association — a group with ties to China’s government. Around the same time, the academic publisher Springer Nature agreed to block access to hundreds of articles on its Chinese site, cutting off access to articles on Tibet, Taiwan and China’s political elite. Reports emerged last year that China is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars quarterly to purchase ads on Facebook (a service that is blocked within China’s borders). In Australia, concerns about China’s growing influence led to a ban on foreign political donations.

    “That’s why I’m telling the United States they should really be careful,” Guo said. China’s influence is spreading, he says, and he believes his own efforts to change China will have global consequences. “Like in an American movie,” he told me with unflinching self-confidence. “In the last minutes, we will save the world.”

    Propaganda, censorship and rewritten histories have long been specialties of authoritarian nations. The aim, as famously explained by the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, is to confuse: to breed a combination of cynicism and gullibility. Propaganda can leave people in doubt of all news sources, suspicious of their neighbors, picking and choosing at random what pieces of information to believe. Without a political reality grounded in facts, people are left unmoored, building their world on whatever foundation — imaginary or otherwise — they might choose.

    The tight grip that the C.P.C. keeps on information may be nothing new, but China’s leadership has been working hard to update the way it censors and broadcasts. People in China distrusted print and television media long before U.S. politicians started throwing around accusations of “fake news.” In 2016, President Xi Jinping was explicit about the arrangement, informing the country’s media that it should be “surnamed Party.” Likewise, while the West has only recently begun to grapple with government-sponsored commenters on social media, China’s government has been manipulating online conversations for over a decade.

    “They create all kinds of confusion,” said Ha Jin, the National Book Award-winning American novelist born in China’s Liaoning Province, and a vocal supporter of Guo. “You don’t know what information you have and whether it’s right. You don’t know who are the informers, who are the agents.”

    Online, the C.P.C. controls information by blocking websites, monitoring content and employing an army of commenters widely known as the 50-cent party. The name was used as early as 2004, when a municipal government in Hunan Province hired a number of online commenters, offering a stipend of 600 yuan, or about $72. Since then, the 50-cent party has spread. In 2016, researchers from Harvard, Stanford and the University of California-San Diego estimated that these paid commenters generated 448 million social-media comments annually. The posts, researchers found, were conflict averse, cheerleading for the party rather than defending it. Their aim seemed not to be engaging in argument but rather distracting the public and redirecting attention from sensitive issues.

    In early 2017, Guo issued his first salvos against China’s ruling elite through more traditional channels. He contacted a handful of Chinese-language media outlets based in the United States. He gave interviews to the Long Island-based publication Mingjing News and to Voice of America — a live event that was cut short by producers, leading to speculation that V.O.A. had caved to Chinese government pressure. He called The New York Times and spoke with reporters at The Wall Street Journal. It did not take long, however, before the billionaire turned to direct appeals through social media. The accusations he made were explosive — he attacked Wang Qishan, Xi Jinping’s corruption czar, and Meng Jianzhu, the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, another prominent player in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign. He talked about Wang’s mistresses, his business interests and conflicts within the party.

    In one YouTube video, released on Aug. 4, Guo addressed the tension between Wang and another anti-corruption official named Zhang Huawei. He recounted having dinner with Zhang when “he called Wang Qishan’s secretary and gave him orders,” Guo said. “Think about what Wang had to suffer in silence back then. They slept with the same women, and Zhang knew everything about Wang.” In addition, Guo said, Zhang knew about Wang’s corrupt business dealings. When Zhang Huawei was placed under official investigation in April, Guo claimed, it was a result of a grudge.

    “Everyone in China is a slave,” Guo said in the video. “With the exception of the nobility.”

    To those who believe Guo’s claims, they expose a depth of corruption that would surprise even the most jaded opponent of the C.P.C. “The corruption is on such a scale,” Ha Jin said. “Who could imagine that the czar of anti-corruption would himself be corrupt? It is extraordinary.”

    Retaliation came quickly. A barrage of counteraccusations began pouring out against Guo, most published in the pages of the state-run Chinese media. Warrants for his arrest were issued on charges of corruption, bribery and even rape. China asked Interpol to issue a red notice calling for Guo’s arrest and extradition. He was running out of money, it was reported. In September, Guo recorded a video during which he received what he said was a phone call from his fifth brother: Two of Guo’s former employees had been detained, and their family members were threatening suicide. “My Twitter followers are so important they are like heaven to me,” Guo said. But, he declared, he could not ignore the well-being of his family and his employees. “I cannot finish the show as I had planned,” he said. Later, Guo told his followers in a video that he was planning to divorce his wife, in order to shield her from the backlash against him.

    Guo quickly resumed posting videos and encouraging his followers. His accusations continued to accumulate throughout 2017, and he recently started his own YouTube channel (and has yet to divorce his wife). His YouTube videos are released according to no particular schedule, sometimes several days in a row, some weeks not at all. He has developed a casual, talkative style. In some, Guo is running on a treadmill or still sweating after a workout. He has demonstrated cooking techniques and played with a tiny, fluffy dog, a gift from his daughter. He invites his viewers into a world of luxury and offers them a mix of secrets, gossip and insider knowledge.

    Wang Qishan, Guo has claimed, is hiding the money he secretly earned in the Hainan-based conglomerate HNA Group, a company with an estimated $35 billion worth of investments in the United States. (HNA Group denies any ties to Wang and is suing Guo.) He accused Wang of carrying on an affair with the actress Fan Bingbing. (Fan is reportedly suing Guo for defamation.) He told stories of petty arguments among officials and claimed that Chinese officials sabotaged Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014 en route to Beijing, in order to cover up an organ-harvesting scheme. Most of Guo’s accusations have proved nearly impossible to verify.

    “This guy is just covered in question marks,” said Minxin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna who specializes in Chinese governance.

    The questions that cover Guo have posed a problem for both the United States government and the Western journalists who, in trying to write about him, have found themselves buffeted by the currents of propaganda, misinformation and the tight-lipped code of the C.P.C. elite. His claims have also divided a group of exiled dissidents and democracy activists — people who might seem like Guo’s natural allies. For the most part, the democracy activists who flee China have been chased from their country for protesting the government or promoting human rights, not because of corruption charges. They tell stories of personal persecution, not insider tales of bribery, sex and money. And perhaps as a consequence, few exiled activists command as large an audience as Guo. “I will believe him,” Ha Jin said, “until one of his serious accusations is proved to be false.”

    Pei, the professor, warns not to take any of Guo’s accusations at face value. The reaction from the C.P.C. has been so extreme, however, that Pei believes Guo must know something. “He must mean something to the government,” he said. “They must be really bothered by this billionaire.” In May, Chinese officials visited Guo on visas that did not allow them to conduct official business, causing a confrontation with the F.B.I. A few weeks later, according to The Washington Times, China’s calls for Guo’s extradition led to a White House showdown, during which Jeff Sessions threatened to resign if Guo was sent back to China.

    Guo has a history of cultivating relationships with the politically influential, and the trend has continued in New York. He famously bought 5,000 copies of a book by Cherie Blair, Tony Blair’s wife. (“It was to give to my employees,” Guo told me. “I often gave my employees books to read.”) Guo has also cultivated a special relationship with Steve Bannon, whom he says he has met with a handful of times, although the two have no financial relationship. Not long after one of their meetings, Bannon appeared on Breitbart Radio and called China “an enemy of incalculable power.”

    Despite Guo’s high-powered supporters and his army of online followers, one important mark of believability has continued to elude him. Western news organizations have struggled to find evidence that would corroborate Guo’s claims. When his claims appear in print, they are carefully hedged — delivered with none of his signature charm and bombast. “Why do you need more evidence?” Guo complained in his apartment. “I can give them evidence, no problem. But while they’re out spending time investigating, I’m waiting around to get killed!”

    The details of Guo’s life may be impossible to verify, but the broad strokes confirm a picture of a man whose fortunes have risen and fallen with the political climate in China. To hear Guo tell it, he was born in Jilin Province, in a mining town where his parents were sent during the Cultural Revolution. “There were foreigners there,” Guo says in a video recorded on what he claims is his birthday. (Guo was born on Feb. 2, or May 10, or sometime in June.) “They had the most advanced machinery. People wore popular clothing.” Guo, as a result, was not ignorant of the world. He was, however, extremely poor. “Sometimes we didn’t even have firewood,” he says. “So we burned the wet twigs from the mountains — the smoke was so thick.” Guo emphasizes this history: He came from hardship. He pulled himself up.

    The story continues into Guo’s pre-teenage years, when he moved back to his hometown in Shandong Province. He met his wife and married her when he was only 15, she 14. They moved to Heilongjiang, where they started a small manufacturing operation, taking advantage of the early days of China’s economic rise, and then to Henan. Guo got his start in real estate in a city called Zhengzhou, where he founded the Zhengzhou Yuda Property Company and built the tallest building the city had seen so far, the Yuda International Trade Center. According to Guo, he was only 25 when he made this first deal.

    The string of businesses and properties that Guo developed provide some of the confirmable scaffolding of his life. No one disputes that Guo went on to start both the Beijing Morgan Investment Company and Beijing Zenith Holdings. Morgan Investment was responsible for building a cluster of office towers called the Pangu Plaza, the tallest of which has a wavy top that loosely resembles a dragon, or perhaps a precarious cone of soft-serve ice cream. Guo is in agreement with the Chinese media that in buying the property for Pangu Plaza, he clashed with the deputy mayor of Beijing. The dispute ended when Guo turned in a lengthy sex tape capturing the deputy mayor in bed with his mistress.

    There are other details in Guo’s biography, however, that vary from one source to the next. Guo says that he never took government loans; Caixin, a Beijing-based publication, quoted “sources close to the matter” in a 2015 article claiming that Guo took out 28 loans totaling 588 million yuan, or about $89 million. Guo, according to Caixin, eventually defaulted. At some point in this story — the timeline varies — Guo became friends with the vice minister of China’s Ministry of State Security, Ma Jian. The M.S.S. is China’s answer to the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. combined. It spies on civilians and foreigners alike, conducting operations domestically and internationally, amassing information on diplomats, businessmen and even the members of the C.P.C. Describing Ma, Guo leans back in his chair and mimes smoking a cigarette. “Ma Jian! He was fat and his skin was tan.” According to Guo, Ma sat like this during their first meeting, listening to Guo’s side of a dispute. Then Ma told him to trust the country. “Trust the law,” he told Guo. “We will treat you fairly.” The older master of spycraft and the young businessman struck up a friendship that would become a cornerstone in Guo’s claims of insider knowledge, and also possibly the reason for the businessman’s downfall in China.

    Following the construction of Pangu Plaza in Beijing, Guo’s life story becomes increasingly hard to parse. He started a securities business with a man named Li You. After a falling-out, Li was detained by the authorities. Guo’s company accused Li and his company of insider trading. According to the 2015 article in Caixin, Li then penned a letter to the authorities accusing Guo of “wrongdoing.”

    As this dispute was going on, China’s anti-​corruption operation was building a case against Ma Jian. In Guo’s telling, Ma had long been rumored to be collecting intelligence on China’s leaders. As the anti-corruption campaign gained speed and officials like Wang Qishan gained power, Ma’s well of intelligence started to look like a threat. It was Guo’s relationship with Ma, the tycoon maintains, that made officials nervous. Ma was detained by the authorities in January 2015, shortly after Guo fled the country. Soon after Ma’s detention, accounts began appearing in China’s state-run media claiming that Ma had six Beijing villas, six mistresses and at least two illegitimate sons. In a 2015 article that ran in the party-run newspaper The China Daily, the writer added another detail: “The investigation also found that Ma had acted as an umbrella for the business ventures of Guo Wengui, a tycoon from Henan Province.”

    In the mix of spies, corrupt business dealings, mistresses and sex scandals, Guo has one more unbelievable story to tell about his past. It is one reason, he says, that he was mentally prepared to confront the leaders of the Communist Party. It happened nearly 29 years ago, in the aftermath of the crackdown on Tiananmen Square. According to Guo, he had donated money to the students protesting in the square, and so a group of local police officers came to find him at his home. An overzealous officer fired off a shot at Guo’s wife — at which point Guo’s younger brother jumped in front of the bullet, suffering a fatal wound. “That was when I started my plan,” he said. “If your brother had been killed in front of your eyes, would you just forget it?” Never mind the fact that it would take 28 years for him to take any public stand against the party that caused his brother’s death. Never mind that the leadership had changed. “I’m not saying everyone in the Communist Party is bad,” he said. “The system is bad. So what I need to oppose is the system.”

    On an unusually warm Saturday afternoon in Flushing, Queens, a group of around 30 of Guo’s supporters gathered for a barbecue in Kissena Park. They laid out a spread of vegetables and skewers of shrimp and squid. Some children toddled through the crowd, chewing on hot dogs and rolling around an unopened can of Coke. The adults fussed with a loudspeaker and a banner that featured the name that Guo goes by in English, Miles Kwok. “Miles Kwok, NY loves U,” it said, a heart standing in for the word “loves.” “Democracy, Justice, Liberty for China.” Someone else had carried in a life-size cutout of the billionaire.

    The revelers decided to hold the event in the park partly for the available grills but also partly because the square in front of Guo’s penthouse had turned dangerous. A few weeks earlier, some older women had been out supporting Guo when a group of Chinese men holding flags and banners showed up. At one point, the men wrapped the women in a protest banner and hit them. The park was a safer option. And the protesters had learned from Guo — it wasn’t a live audience they were hoping for. The group would be filming the protest and posting it on social media. Halfway through, Guo would call in on someone’s cellphone, and the crowd would cheer.

    Despite this show of support, Guo’s claims have divided China’s exiled dissidents to such an extent that on a single day near the end of September, two dueling meetings of pro-democracy activists were held in New York, one supporting Guo, the other casting doubt on his motivations. (“They are jealous of me,” Guo said of his detractors. “They think: Why is he so handsome? Why are so many people listening to him?”) Some of Guo’s claims are verifiably untrue — he claimed in an interview with Vice that he paid $82 million for his apartment — and others seem comically aggrandized. (Guo says he never wears the same pair of underwear twice.) But the repercussions he is facing are real.

    In December, Guo’s brother was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for destroying accounting records. The lawsuits filed against Guo for defamation are piling up, and Guo has claimed to be amassing a “war chest” of $150 million to cover his legal expenses. In September, a new set of claims against Guo were made in a 49-page document circulated by a former business rival. For Ha Jin, Guo’s significance runs deeper than his soap-opera tales of scandal and corruption. “The grand propaganda scheme is to suppress and control all the voices,” Jin said. “Now everybody knows that you can create your own voice. You can have your own show. That fact alone is historical.” In the future, Jin predicts, there will be more rebels like Guo. “There is something very primitive about this, realizing that this is a man, a regular citizen who can confront state power.”

    Ho Pin, the founder of Long Island’s Mingjing News, echoed Jin. Mingjing’s reporters felt that covering Guo was imperative, no matter the haziness of the information. “In China, the political elite that Guo was attacking had platforms of their own,” Ho said. “They have the opportunity, the power and the ability to use all the government’s apparatus to refute and oppose Guo Wengui. So our most important job is to allow Guo Wengui’s insider knowledge reach the fair, open-minded people in China.” Still, people like Pei urge caution when dealing with Guo’s claims. Even Guo’s escape raises questions. Few others have slipped through the net of China’s anti-corruption drive. “How could he get so lucky?” Pei asked. “He must have been tipped off long before.”

    At the barbecue, a supporter named Ye Rong tucked one of his children under his arm and acknowledged that Guo’s past life is riddled with holes. There was always the possibility that Guo used to be a thug, but Ye didn’t think it mattered. The rules of the conflict had been set by the Communist Party. “You need all kinds of people to oppose the Chinese government,” Ye said. “We need intellectuals; we also need thugs.”

    Guo, of course, has his own opinions about his legacy. He warned of dark times for Americans and for the world, if he doesn’t succeed in his mission to change China. “I am trying to help,” he told me. “I am not joking with you.” He continued: “I will change China within the next three years. If I don’t change it, I won’t be able to survive.”
    Correction: Jan. 12, 2018

    An earlier version of this article misidentified the name of the province where the Chinese government hired online commenters in 2004. It is Hunan Province, not Henan.

    #Chine #politique #corruption #tireurs_d_alarme


  • Income inequality is likely worse than before the Great Depression

    U.S. wealth concentration, or income inequality, has returned to levels not seen since the 1920s, and it could actually be significantly worse.

    Driving the news: New research from Gabriel Zucman, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, for the National Bureau of Economic Research was unearthed recently by MarketWatch and finds that the top 1% owns about 40% of total household wealth. It reaches 40.8% when including the Forbes 400.

    Further, the top 1% richest U.S. families own 40 times the average family’s wealth.

    “No country (apart from Russia) for which estimates of wealth inequality are available has similarly high recorded levels of wealth inequality,” Zucman writes.

    Between the lines: Perhaps the most interesting part of Zucman’s research may be his point that the top 1% of American households likely hold much more of the nation’s and the world’s wealth than anyone realizes.

    “It is not enough to study wealth concentration using self-reported survey data or tax return data,” Zucman says in the report, estimating that 8% of the world’s household financial wealth is held offshore.

    “Because the wealthy have access to many opportunities for tax avoidance and tax evasion—and because the available evidence suggests that the tax planning industry has grown since the 1980s as it became globalized—traditional data sources are likely to under-estimate the level and rise of wealth concentration.”

    Zucman also notes that data shows the share of total wealth owned by the top 1% has increased by 9 points since 1989 and by 10 points when including the Forbes 400. In capitalized income estimates, it has increased by 11 points.

    “The share of wealth owned by the bottom 90% has collapsed in similar proportions.”

    https://www.axios.com/income-inequality-great-depression-gabriel-zucman-45ba4d26-d349-452e-9ca2-7ef
    #inégalités #Grande_dépression #USA #Etats-Unis #richesse #pauvreté #statistiques #chiffres #concentration

    Tentée de mttre le tag #2029...
    ping @reka


  • Private Mossad for Hire
    Inside an effort to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.
    February 18 & 25, 2019
    By Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/18/private-mossad-for-hire

    (...) Psy-Group had more success pitching an operation, code-named Project Butterfly, to wealthy Jewish-American donors. The operation targeted what Psy-Group described as “anti-Israel” activists on American college campuses who supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as B.D.S. Supporters of B.D.S. see the movement as a way to use nonviolent protest to pressure Israel about its treatment of the Palestinians; detractors say that B.D.S. wrongly singles out Israel as a human-rights offender. B.D.S. is anathema to many ardent supporters of the Israeli government.

    In early meetings with donors, in New York, Burstien said that the key to mounting an effective anti-B.D.S. campaign was to make it look as though Israel, and the Jewish-American community, had nothing to do with the effort. The goal of Butterfly, according to a 2017 company document, was to “destabilize and disrupt anti-Israel movements from within.” Psy-Group operatives scoured the Internet, social-media accounts, and the “deep” Web—areas of the Internet not indexed by search engines like Google—for derogatory information about B.D.S. activists. If a student claimed to be a pious Muslim, for example, Psy-Group operatives would look for photographs of him engaging in behavior unacceptable to many pious Muslims, such as drinking alcohol or having an affair. Psy-Group would then release the information online using avatars and Web sites that couldn’t be traced back to the company or its donors.

    Project Butterfly launched in February, 2016, and Psy-Group asked donors for $2.5 million for operations in 2017. Supporters were told that they were “investing in Israel’s future.” In some cases, a former company employee said, donors asked Psy-Group to target B.D.S. activists at universities where their sons and daughters studied.
    The project would focus on as many as ten college campuses. According to an update sent to donors in May, 2017, Psy-Group conducted two “tours of the main theatre of action,” and met with the campaign’s outside “partners,” which it did not name. Psy-Group employees had recently travelled to Washington to visit officials at a think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which had shared some of its research on the B.D.S. movement. In a follow-up meeting, which was attended by Burstien, Psy-Group provided F.D.D. with a confidential memo describing how it had compiled dossiers on nine activists, including a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. In the memo, Psy-Group asked the foundation for guidance on identifying future targets. According to an F.D.D. official, the foundation “did not end up contracting with them, and their research did little to advance our own.”

    Burstien recruited Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy director of Mossad, to help with the project. As the director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, from 2014 to 2016, Ben-Barak had drawn up a plan for the state to combat the B.D.S. movement, but it was never implemented. Ben-Barak was enthusiastic about Butterfly. He said that the fight against B.D.S. was like “a war.” In the case of B.D.S. activists, he said, “you don’t kill them but you do have to deal with them in other ways.” (...)

    #BDS


  • Why Signal and not Threema ? : signal
    https://www.reddit.com/r/signal/comments/852qor/why_signal_and_not_threema

    Signal is open source, Threema is not, so that disqualifies Threema as a secure app in my opinion. You could as well continue using WhatsApp since it’s also end to end encrypted but closed source. Wire is another great alternative, and it’s German.

    Hacker erklären, welche Messenger-App am sichersten ist - Motherboard
    https://motherboard.vice.com/de/article/7xea4z/hacker-erklaren-welche-messenger-app-am-sichersten-ist


    C’est en allemand, mais c’est valable sans égard de la langue que vous utilisez pour votre communication.
    – La communication sécurisée en ligne doit obligatoirement passer par une app et un prootocole open source.
    – Il vous faut un système qui exclue ou rend très difficile la collection de métatdonnées par des tiers.
    – Votre système de communication « voice » et « chat » doit fonctionner avec des clients smartphome et desktop si vous voulez entretenir un fil de commmunication indépendamment du type d’appareil à votre disposition.

    Passons sur les exigences plus poussées, je ne vois que Signal qui satisfait tous ces besoins. Après on peut toujours utiliser plusieurs « messenger apps » afin de rester au courant des « updates » de tout le monde - à l’exception des apps de Facebook (Whatsapp), Wechat et Google parce que leur utilistion constitue une menace de votre vie privée simplement par l’installation sur votre portable.

    Roland Schilling (33) und Frieder Steinmetz (28) haben vor sechs Jahren begonnen, an der TU Hamburg unter anderem zu dieser Frage zu forschen. In einer Zeit, als noch niemand den Namen Edward Snowden auch nur gehört hatte, brüteten Schilling und Steinmetz bereits über die Vor- und Nachteile verschiedener Verschlüsselungsprotokolle und Messenger-Apps. So haben sie beispielsweise im vergangenen Jahr geschafft, die Verschlüsselung von Threema per Reverse Engineering nachzuvollziehen.

    Ihre Forschung ist mittlerweile zu einer Art Aktivismus und Hobby geworden, sagen die beiden: Sie wollen Menschen außerhalb von Fachkreisen vermitteln, wie elementar die Privatsphäre in einer Demokratie ist. Im Interview erklären sie, auf was man bei der Wahl des Messengers achten soll, welche App in punkto Sicherheit nicht unbedingt hält, was sie verspricht und warum Kreditinstitute sich über datenhungrige Messenger freuen.
    ...
    Roland Schilling: Bei mir ist es anders. Ich bringe die Leute einfach dazu, die Apps zu benutzen, die ich auch nutze. Das sind ausschließlich Threema, Signal und Wire. Wenn Leute mit mir reden wollen, dann klappt das eigentlich immer auf einer von den Dreien.
    ...
    Frieder: ... Signal und WhatsApp etwa setzen auf die gleiche technische Grundlage, das Signal-Protokoll, unterscheiden sich aber in Nuancen. Threema hat ein eigenes, nicht ganz schlechtes Protokoll, das aber beispielsweise keine ‘Perfect Forward Secrecy’ garantiert. Die Technik verhindert, dass jemand mir in der Zukunft meinen geheimen Schlüssel vom Handy klaut und damit meine gesamte verschlüsselte Kommunikation entschlüsseln kann, die ich über das Handy geführt habe. Signal und WhatsApp haben das.
    ...
    Roland: Ein gutes Messenger-Protokoll ist Open Source und ermöglicht damit Forschern und der Öffentlichkeit, eventuell bestehende Schwachstellen zu entdecken und das Protokoll zu verbessern. Leider gibt es auf dem Messenger-Markt auch viele Angebote, die ihre vorgebliche „Verschlüsselung“ diesem Prozess entziehen und geheim halten, oder das Protokoll zwar veröffentlichen, aber auf Kritik nicht eingehen.

    Secure WhatsApp Alternatives – Messenger Comparison
    https://www.boxcryptor.com/en/blog/post/encryption-comparison-secure-messaging-apps

    Threema and Telegram under Control of Russia’s Government ?
    https://medium.com/@vadiman/threema-and-telegram-under-control-of-russias-government-f81f8e28714b

    WhatsApp Exploited by NSA and US Secret Services?
    Go to the profile of Vadim An
    Vadim An
    Mar 7, 2018
    This is the end of era centralized communication!

    The 2017/2018 years are hot and saturated with cybersecurity challenges. Almost every week, a major media source reported hacking incidents or backdoor exploits in popular communication and messaging services. Some of which granted government agents unauthorized access to private and confidential information from within the communications industry.

    According to mass-media reports, one of the most popular Swiss secure messaging apps Threema moved under the control of the Russian government and has been listed in the official registry with a view to controlling user communications.

    This can be seen on regulatory public website https://97-fz.rkn.gov.ru/organizer-dissemination/viewregistry/#searchform

    This knockout news was commented by Crypviser — innovative German developer of the most secure instant communication platform based on Blockchain technologies, of the point of view, what does it mean for millions of Threema users?

    To answer this question, let’s understand the requirements for getting listed in this registry as an “information-dissemination organizers” according to a new Russian federal law, beginning from 01 June 2018.

    The law requires that all companies listed in internet regulator’s registry must store all users’ metadata (“information about the arrival, transmission, delivery, and processing of voice data, written text, images, sounds, or other kinds of action”), along with content of correspondence, voice call records and make it accessible to the Russian authorities. Websites can avoid the hassle of setting aside this information by granting Russian officials unfettered, constant access to their entire data stream.

    This is very bad news for Threema users. Threema officials have reported that they are not aware of any requirements to store, collect, or provide information. Maybe not yet though since there is still some time until 01 June 2018 when the new law kicks in and Threema will be obligated to provide direct access to sensitive user’s data.

    It’s possible that Threema is fully aware of this despite claiming otherwise. They may realize that the most popular messenger in Russia, Telegram, has been under pressure since refusing to officially cooperate with Russian secret services. If Russia takes steps to block Telegram as a result, then Threema would become the next best alternative service. That is assuming they’re willing to violating the security and privacy rights of its users by giving in to the new law’s requirements.

    Based on the reports of Financial Time magazine, the Telegram founder agreed to register their app with Russian censors by the end of June 2017. This, however; is not a big loss for Telegram community because of the lack of security in Telegram to date. During the last 2 years, its security protocol has been criticized many times and many security issues were found by researchers. Although there is no direct evidence showing that Telegram has already cooperated with the Russian government or other governments, these exploitable bugs and poor security models make Telegram users vulnerable victims to hackers and secret services of different countries.

    The same security benchmark issues have been explored in the biggest communication app WhatsApp. The security model of WhatsApp has been recognized as vulnerable by the most reputed cryptographic experts and researchers worldwide. According to the Guardian, a serious “backdoor” was found in encryption. More specifically, the key exchange algorithm.

    A common security practice in encrypted messaging services involves the generation and store of a private encryption key offline on the user’s device. And only the public key gets broadcasted to other users through the company’s server. In the case of WhatsApp, we have to trust the company that it will not alter public key exchange mechanism between the sender and receiver to perform man-in-the-middle attack for snooping of users encrypted private communication.

    Tobias Boelter, security researcher from the University of California, has reported that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, based on Signal protocol, has been implemented in a way that if WhatsApp or any hacker intercepts your chats, by exploiting trust-based key exchange mechanism, you will never come to know if any change in encryption key has occurred in the background.

    The Guardian reports, “WhatsApp has implemented a backdoor into the Signal protocol, giving itself the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered. The recipient is not made aware of this change in encryption.”

    But on the other hand, the developer of Signal messaging app Open Whisper Systems says, ”There is no WhatsApp backdoor”, “it is how cryptography works,” and the MITM attack “is endemic to public key cryptography, not just WhatsApp.”

    It’s worth noting that none of the security experts or the company itself have denied the fact that, if required by the government, WhatsApp can intercept your chats. They do say; however, WhatsApp is designed to be simple, and users should not lose access to messages sent to them when their encryption key is changed. With this statement, agrees on a cybersecurity expert and CTO of Crypviser, Vadim Andryan.

    “The Man-in-the-Middle attack threat is the biggest and historical challenge of asymmetric cryptography, which is the base of end-to-end encryption model. It’s hard to say, is this “backdoor” admitted intentionally or its became on front due lack of reliable public — key authentication model. But it definitely one of the huge disadvantages of current cryptographic models used for secure instant communication networks, and one of the main advantage of Crypviser platform.”

    Crypviser has introduced a new era of cryptography based on Blockchain technologies. It utilizes Blockchain to eliminate all threats of Man-in-the-Middle attack and solves the historical public key encryption issue by using decentralized encryption keys, exchanges, and authorization algorithms. The authentication model of Crypviser provides public key distribution and authorization in peer-to-peer or automated mode through Blockchain.

    After commercial launch of Crypviser unified app, ”messenger” for secure social communication will be available on the market in free and premium plans. The free plan in peer-to-peer authentication mode requires user interaction to check security codes for every new chat and call. The full-featured premium plan offers Blockchain based automated encryption model and powerful professional security features on all levels.

    You can see the comperisation table of Crypviser with centralized alternatives in the below table

    #internet #communication #sécurité #vie_privée


  • High score, low pay : why the gig economy loves gamification | Business | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/20/high-score-low-pay-gamification-lyft-uber-drivers-ride-hailing-gig-econ

    Using ratings, competitions and bonuses to incentivise workers isn’t new – but as I found when I became a Lyft driver, the gig economy is taking it to another level.

    Every week, it sends its drivers a personalised “Weekly Feedback Summary”. This includes passenger comments from the previous week’s rides and a freshly calculated driver rating. It also contains a bar graph showing how a driver’s current rating “stacks up” against previous weeks, and tells them whether they have been “flagged” for cleanliness, friendliness, navigation or safety.

    At first, I looked forward to my summaries; for the most part, they were a welcome boost to my self-esteem. My rating consistently fluctuated between 4.89 stars and 4.96 stars, and the comments said things like: “Good driver, positive attitude” and “Thanks for getting me to the airport on time!!” There was the occasional critique, such as “She weird”, or just “Attitude”, but overall, the comments served as a kind of positive reinforcement mechanism. I felt good knowing that I was helping people and that people liked me.

    But one week, after completing what felt like a million rides, I opened my feedback summary to discover that my rating had plummeted from a 4.91 (“Awesome”) to a 4.79 (“OK”), without comment. Stunned, I combed through my ride history trying to recall any unusual interactions or disgruntled passengers. Nothing. What happened? What did I do? I felt sick to my stomach.

    Because driver ratings are calculated using your last 100 passenger reviews, one logical solution is to crowd out the old, bad ratings with new, presumably better ratings as fast as humanly possible. And that is exactly what I did.

    In a certain sense, Kalanick is right. Unlike employees in a spatially fixed worksite (the factory, the office, the distribution centre), rideshare drivers are technically free to choose when they work, where they work and for how long. They are liberated from the constraining rhythms of conventional employment or shift work. But that apparent freedom poses a unique challenge to the platforms’ need to provide reliable, “on demand” service to their riders – and so a driver’s freedom has to be aggressively, if subtly, managed. One of the main ways these companies have sought to do this is through the use of gamification.

    Simply defined, gamification is the use of game elements – point-scoring, levels, competition with others, measurable evidence of accomplishment, ratings and rules of play – in non-game contexts. Games deliver an instantaneous, visceral experience of success and reward, and they are increasingly used in the workplace to promote emotional engagement with the work process, to increase workers’ psychological investment in completing otherwise uninspiring tasks, and to influence, or “nudge”, workers’ behaviour. This is what my weekly feedback summary, my starred ratings and other gamified features of the Lyft app did.

    There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that gamifying business operations has real, quantifiable effects. Target, the US-based retail giant, reports that gamifying its in-store checkout process has resulted in lower customer wait times and shorter lines. During checkout, a cashier’s screen flashes green if items are scanned at an “optimum rate”. If the cashier goes too slowly, the screen flashes red. Scores are logged and cashiers are expected to maintain an 88% green rating. In online communities for Target employees, cashiers compare scores, share techniques, and bemoan the game’s most challenging obstacles.
    Advertisement

    But colour-coding checkout screens is a pretty rudimental kind of gamification. In the world of ride-hailing work, where almost the entirety of one’s activity is prompted and guided by screen – and where everything can be measured, logged and analysed – there are few limitations on what can be gamified.

    Every Sunday morning, I receive an algorithmically generated “challenge” from Lyft that goes something like this: “Complete 34 rides between the hours of 5am on Monday and 5am on Sunday to receive a $63 bonus.” I scroll down, concerned about the declining value of my bonuses, which once hovered around $100-$220 per week, but have now dropped to less than half that.

    “Click here to accept this challenge.” I tap the screen to accept. Now, whenever I log into driver mode, a stat meter will appear showing my progress: only 21 more rides before I hit my first bonus.

    In addition to enticing drivers to show up when and where demand hits, one of the main goals of this gamification is worker retention. According to Uber, 50% of drivers stop using the application within their first two months, and a recent report from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California in Davis suggests that just 4% of ride-hail drivers make it past their first year.

    Before Lyft rolled out weekly ride challenges, there was the “Power Driver Bonus”, a weekly challenge that required drivers to complete a set number of regular rides. I sometimes worked more than 50 hours per week trying to secure my PDB, which often meant driving in unsafe conditions, at irregular hours and accepting nearly every ride request, including those that felt potentially dangerous (I am thinking specifically of an extremely drunk and visibly agitated late-night passenger).

    Of course, this was largely motivated by a real need for a boost in my weekly earnings. But, in addition to a hope that I would somehow transcend Lyft’s crappy economics, the intensity with which I pursued my PDBs was also the result of what Burawoy observed four decades ago: a bizarre desire to beat the game.

    Former Google “design ethicist” Tristan Harris has also described how the “pull-to-refresh” mechanism used in most social media feeds mimics the clever architecture of a slot machine: users never know when they are going to experience gratification – a dozen new likes or retweets – but they know that gratification will eventually come. This unpredictability is addictive: behavioural psychologists have long understood that gambling uses variable reinforcement schedules – unpredictable intervals of uncertainty, anticipation and feedback – to condition players into playing just one more round.

    It is not uncommon to hear ride-hailing drivers compare even the mundane act of operating their vehicles to the immersive and addictive experience of playing a video game or a slot machine. In an article published by the Financial Times, long-time driver Herb Croakley put it perfectly: “It gets to a point where the app sort of takes over your motor functions in a way. It becomes almost like a hypnotic experience. You can talk to drivers and you’ll hear them say things like, I just drove a bunch of Uber pools for two hours, I probably picked up 30–40 people and I have no idea where I went. In that state, they are literally just listening to the sounds [of the driver’s apps]. Stopping when they said stop, pick up when they say pick up, turn when they say turn. You get into a rhythm of that, and you begin to feel almost like an android.”

    In their foundational text Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark write: “Uber’s self-proclaimed role as a connective intermediary belies the important employment structures and hierarchies that emerge through its software and interface design.” “Algorithmic management” is the term Rosenblat and Stark use to describe the mechanisms through which Uber and Lyft drivers are directed. To be clear, there is no singular algorithm. Rather, there are a number of algorithms operating and interacting with one another at any given moment. Taken together, they produce a seamless system of automatic decision-making that requires very little human intervention.

    For many on-demand platforms, algorithmic management has completely replaced the decision-making roles previously occupied by shift supervisors, foremen and middle- to upper- level management. Uber actually refers to its algorithms as “decision engines”. These “decision engines” track, log and crunch millions of metrics every day, from ride frequency to the harshness with which individual drivers brake. It then uses these analytics to deliver gamified prompts perfectly matched to drivers’ data profiles.

    To increase the prospect of surge pricing, drivers in online forums regularly propose deliberate, coordinated, mass “log-offs” with the expectation that a sudden drop in available drivers will “trick” the algorithm into generating higher surges. I have never seen one work, but the authors of a recently published paper say that mass log-offs are occasionally successful.

    Viewed from another angle, though, mass log-offs can be understood as good, old-fashioned work stoppages. The temporary and purposeful cessation of work as a form of protest is the core of strike action, and remains the sharpest weapon workers have to fight exploitation. But the ability to log-off en masse has not assumed a particularly emancipatory function.

    After weeks of driving like a maniac in order to restore my higher-than-average driver rating, I managed to raise it back up to a 4.93. Although it felt great, it is almost shameful and astonishing to admit that one’s rating, so long as it stays above 4.6, has no actual bearing on anything other than your sense of self-worth. You do not receive a weekly bonus for being a highly rated driver. Your rate of pay does not increase for being a highly rated driver. In fact, I was losing money trying to flatter customers with candy and keep my car scrupulously clean. And yet, I wanted to be a highly rated driver.
    How much is an hour worth? The war over the minimum wage
    Read more

    And this is the thing that is so brilliant and awful about the gamification of Lyft and Uber: it preys on our desire to be of service, to be liked, to be good. On weeks that I am rated highly, I am more motivated to drive. On weeks that I am rated poorly, I am more motivated to drive. It works on me, even though I know better. To date, I have completed more than 2,200 rides.

    #Lyft #Uber #Travail #Psychologie_comportementale #Gamification #Néo_management #Lutte_des_classes


  • Brazilian media report that police are entering university classrooms to interrogate professors

    In advance of this Sunday’s second-round presidential election between far-right politician Jair #Bolsonaro and center-left candidate Fernando Haddad, Brazilian media are reporting that Brazilian police have been staging raids, at times without warrants, in universities across the country this week. In these raids, police have been questioning professors and confiscating materials belonging to students and professors.

    The raids are part a supposed attempt to stop illegal electoral advertising. Brazilian election law prohibits electoral publicity in public spaces. However, many of the confiscated materials do not mention candidates. Among such confiscated materials are a flag for the Universidade Federal Fluminense reading “UFF School of Law - Anti-Fascist” and flyers titled “Manifest in Defense of Democracy and Public Universities.”

    For those worrying about Brazilian democracy, these raids are some of the most troubling signs yet of the problems the country faces. They indicate the extremes of Brazilian political polarization: Anti-fascist and pro-democracy speech is now interpreted as illegal advertising in favor of one candidate (Fernando Haddad) and against another (Jair Bolsonaro). In the long run, the politicization of these two terms will hurt support for the idea of democracy, and bolster support for the idea of fascism.

    In the short run, the raids have even more troublesome implications. Warrantless police raids in university classrooms to monitor professor speech have worrisome echoes of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime — particularly when the speech the raids are seeking to stop is not actually illegal.

    Perhaps the most concerning point of all is that these raids are happening before Bolsonaro takes office. They have often been initiated by complaints from Bolsonaro supporters. All of this suggests that if Bolsonaro wins the election — as is widely expected — and seeks to suppress the speech of his opponents, whom he has called “red [i.e., Communist] criminals,” he may have plenty of willing helpers.

    https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2018/10/26/18029696/brazilian-police-interrogate-professors
    #université #extrême_droite #Brésil #police #it_has_begun
    Je crois que je vais commencer à utiliser un nouveau tag, qui est aussi le nom d’un réseau : #scholars_at_risk

    • Brésil : à peine élu, Jair Bolsonaro commence la chasse aux opposants de gauche

      Les universités dans le viseur

      Enfin, toujours pour lutter contre l’opposition à gauche, Jair Bolsonaro entend faire pression sur les professeurs d’université qui parleraient de politique pendant leurs cours.

      Le président élu a récemment scandalisé une partie du monde éducatif en accusant des professeurs, cités avec leurs noms et prénoms, de défendre les régimes de Cuba et de Corée du Nord devant leurs élèves, dans une vidéo diffusée sur Internet.

      Et pour y remédier, il compte installer des pancartes devant les salles de cours pour appeler les étudiants à dénoncer leurs professeurs par le biais d’une « hotline » téléphonique dédiée à la question.

      https://www.bfmtv.com/international/bresil-a-peine-elu-jair-bolsonaro-commence-la-chasse-aux-opposants-de-gauche-

    • Au Brésil, vague de répression dans les universités à la veille du second tour

      Quelques jours avant le second tour de l’élection présidentielle brésilienne, qui voit s’affronter le candidat d’extrême droite Jair Bolsonaro et le candidat du Parti des travailleurs (PT) Fernando Haddad, les campus universitaires du pays ont fait face à une vague inédite de répression de la liberté d’expression. Jeudi 25 octobre, la police a investi 27 universités, à la demande des tribunaux électoraux, dont les juges sont chargés de faire respecter les règles de communication et de propagande électorales des partis en lice. Les forces de police étaient à la recherche de supposé matériel de propagande électorale illégale. En fait, ces opérations ont visé des banderoles antifascistes, de soutien à la démocratie, un manifeste en soutien à l’université publique, des débats et des cours sur la dictature, la démocratie et les « fakes news » – ces mensonges ayant été largement diffusés pendant la campagne, en particulier par l’extrême-droite… [1]

      À Rio, une juge a ainsi fait enlever une banderole du fronton du bâtiment de la faculté de droit de l’université fédérale Fluminense (UFF), sur laquelle était inscrit, autour du symbole antifasciste du double drapeau rouge et noir, « Droit UFF antifasciste ». À l’université de l’État de Rio, les agents électoraux ont retiré une banderole en hommage à Marielle Franco, l’élue municipale du parti de gauche PSOL assassinée en pleine rue en mars dernier.

      220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours contre une journaliste

      Dans une université du Pará, quatre policiers militaires sont entrés sur le campus pour interroger un professeur sur « son idéologie ». L’enseignant avait abordé la question des fake news dans un cours sur les médias numériques. Une étudiante s’en est sentie offensée, alléguant une « doctrine marxiste », et l’a dit à son père, policier militaire. Une enquête du journal la Folha de São Paulo a pourtant révélé mi-octobre que des entreprises qui soutiennent le candidat d’extrême droite avaient acheté les services d’entreprises de communication pour faire envoyer en masse des fausses nouvelles anti-Parti des travailleurs directement sur les numéros whatsapp – une plateforme de messagerie en ligne – des Brésiliens. L’auteure de l’enquête, la journaliste Patricia Campos Melo, et le quotidien de São Paulo, ont ensuite reçu 220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours ! [2] Le journal a demandé à la police fédérale de lancer une enquête.

      Mais ce sont des conférences et des débats sur la dictature militaire et le fascisme qui ont pour l’instant été interdits. C’est le cas d’un débat public intitulé « Contre la fascisme, pour la démocratie », qui devait avoir lieu à l’université fédérale de Rio Grande do Sul (la région de Porto Alegre). Devaient y participer l’ex-candidat du parti de gauche PSOL au premier tour de la présidentielle, Guilherme Boulos, un ancien ministre issu du Parti des travailleurs, des députés fédéraux du PT et du PSOL. « J’ai donné des cours et des conférences dans des universités en France, en Angleterre, au Portugal, en Espagne, en Allemagne, en Argentine, et ici, même pendant la dictature. Aujourd’hui, je suis censuré dans l’État, le Rio Grande do Sul, que j’ai moi-même gouverné. Le fascisme grandit », a réagi l’un des députés, Tarso Genro, sur twitter.

      Une banderole « moins d’armes, plus de livres » jugée illégale

      Dans le Paraíba, les agents du tribunal électoral se sont introduits dans l’université pour retirer une banderole où était simplement inscrit « moins d’armes, plus de livres ». « Cette opération de la justice électorale dans les universités du pays pour saisir du matériel en défense de la démocratie et contre le fascisme est absurde. Cela rappelle les temps sombres de la censure et de l’invasion des facultés », a écrit Guilherme Boulos, le leader du PSOL, sur twitter, ajoutant : « Le parti de la justice a formé une coalition avec le PSL », le parti de Bolsonaro. « De telles interventions à l’intérieur de campus au cours d’une campagne électorale sont inédites. Une partie de l’appareil d’État se prépare au changement de régime », a aussi alerté l’historienne française, spécialiste du Brésil, Maud Chirio, sur sa page Facebook.

      Dimanche dernier, dans une allocution filmée diffusée pour ses supporters rassemblés à São Paulo, Jair Bolsonaro a proféré des menaces claires à l’égard de ses opposants. « Ou vous partez en exil ou vous partez en prison », a-il dit, ajoutant « nous allons balayer ces bandits rouges du Brésil », et annonçant un « nettoyage jamais vu dans l’histoire de ce pays ». Il a précisé qu’il allait classer le Mouvements des paysans sans Terre (MST) et le Mouvement des travailleurs sans toit (MTST) comme des organisations terroristes, et menacé Fernando Haddad de l’envoyer « pourrir en prison aux côtés de Lula ».


      https://www.bastamag.net/Au-Bresil-vague-de-repression-dans-les-universites-a-la-veille-du-second-t

    • We deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities

      107 international academics react to social media reports that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been invaded by military police in recent days, with teaching materials confiscated on ideological grounds

      Reports have emerged on social media that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been subjected in recent days to: invasions by military police; the confiscation of teaching materials on ideological grounds; and the suppression of freedom of speech and expression, especially in relation to anti-fascist history and activism.

      As academics, researchers, graduates, students and workers at universities in the UK, Europe and further afield, we deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities, which comes as a direct result of the campaign and election of far-right President Bolsonaro.

      Academic autonomy is a linchpin not only of independent and objective research, but of a functioning democracy, which should be subject to scrutiny and informed, evidence-based investigation and critique.

      We call on co-workers, colleagues and students to decry this attack on Brazil’s universities in the name of Bolsonaro’s wider militaristic, anti-progressive agenda. We will not stand by as this reactionary populist attacks the pillars of Brazil’s democracy and education system. We will campaign vigorously in whatever capacity we can with activists, educators and lawmakers in Brazil to ensure that its institutions can operate without the interference of this new – and hopefully short-lived – government.
      Dr William McEvoy, University of Sussex, UK (correspondent)
      Dr Will Abberley, University of Sussex
      Nannette Aldred, University of Sussex
      Patricia Alessandrini, Stanford University, USA
      Dr Michael Alexander, University of Glasgow
      Steven Allen, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Katherine Angel, Birkbeck, University of London
      Pedro Argenti, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Nick Awde, International Editor, The Stage newspaper, London
      Professor Ian Balfour, York University, Toronto, Canada
      Lennart Balkenhol, University of Melbourne, Australia
      Nehaal Bajwa, University of Sussex
      Dr Louis Bayman, University of Southampton
      Mark Bergfeld, former NUS NEC (2010-2012)
      Professor Tim Bergfelder, University of Southampton
      Dr Patricia Pires Boulhosa, University of Cambridge
      Dr Maud Bracke, University of Glasgow
      Max Brookman-Byrne, University of Lincoln
      Dr Conrad Brunström, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Christopher Burlinson, Jesus College, Cambridge
      Professor Martin Butler, University of Sussex
      Professor Gavin Butt, University of Sussex
      Cüneyt Çakirlar, Nottingham Trent University
      Guilherme Carréra, University of Westminster
      Geoffrey Chew, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Maite Conde, University of Cambridge
      Dr Luke Cooper, Anglia Ruskin University, UK, and Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria
      Dr Sue Currell, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Dalakoglou, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
      William Dalziel, University of Sussex
      Dr April de Angelis, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Olga Demetriou, Durham University
      Dr Stephanie Dennison, University of Leeds
      Dr Steffi Doebler, University of Liverpool
      Dr Sai Englert, SOAS University of London
      James Erskine, University of Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London
      Professor Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London
      John Fallas, University of Leeds
      Dr Lynne Fanthome, Staffordshire University
      Dr Hannah Field, University of Sussex
      Dr Adrian Garvey, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Laura Gill, University of Sussex
      Dr Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge
      Bhavini Goyate, University of Sussex
      Dr Craig Haslop, University of Liverpool
      Professor Björn Heile, University of Glasgow
      Dr Phil Hutchinson, Manchester Metropolitan University
      Professor Martin Iddon, University of Leeds
      Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou, University of Groningen, Netherlands
      Dr Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex
      Andrew Key, University of California, Berkeley, USA
      Professor Laleh Khalili, SOAS University of London
      Dr Theodore Koulouris, University of Brighton
      Professor Maria Lauret, University of Sussex
      Professor Vicky Lebeau, University of Sussex
      Professor James Livesey, University of Dundee, Scotland
      Professor Luke Martell, University of Sussex
      Dr N Gabriel Martin, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
      Wolfgang Marx, University College, Dublin, Ireland
      Andy Medhurst, University of Sussex
      Professor Philippe Meers, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Dr Shamira A Meghani, University of Cambridge
      Niccolo Milanese, CESPRA EHESS, Paris, France and PUC Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      Dr Ian Moody, CESEM – Universidade Nova, Lisbon
      Professor Lucia Naqib, University of Reading
      Dr Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou, University of Oxford
      Mary Parnwell, University of Sussex
      Professor Deborah Philips, University of Brighton
      Dr Chloe Porter, University of Sussex
      Dr Jason Price, University of Sussex
      Dr Duška Radosavljević, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
      Francesca Reader, University of Sussex and University of Brighton
      Naida Redgrave, University of East London
      Professor Nicholas Ridout, Queen Mary, University of London
      Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex
      Dr Kirsty Rolfe, University of Sussex
      Dr Joseph Ronan, University of Brighton
      Dr Michael Rowland, University of Sussex
      Dr Zachary Rowlinson, University of Sussex
      Professor Nicholas Royle, University of Sussex
      Dr Eleanor Rycroft, University of Bristol
      Dr Jason Scott-Warren, University of Cambridge
      Dr Deborah Shaw, University of Portsmouth
      Dr Lisa Shaw, University of Liverpool
      Kat Sinclair, University of Sussex
      Sandrine Singleton-Perrin, University of Essex
      Despina Sinou, University of Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité, France
      Dave Smith, University of Hertfordshire
      John Snijders, Durham University
      Dr Samuel Solomon, University of Sussex
      Dr Arabella Stanger, University of Sussex
      Professor Rob Stone, University of Birmingham
      Bernard Sufrin, Emeritus Fellow, Dept of Computer Science, University of Oxford
      Dr Natasha Tanna, University of Cambridge
      Professor Lyn Thomas, University of Sussex
      Simon Thorpe, University of Warwick
      Dr Gavan Titley, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Pamela Thurschwell, University of Sussex
      Dr Dominic Walker, University of Sussex
      Dr Ed Waller, University of Surrey and University of Portsmouth
      Dr Kiron Ward, University of Sussex
      Helen Wheatley, University of Warwick
      Ian Willcock, University of Herfordshire
      Professor Gregory Woods, Nottingham Trent University
      Dr Tom F Wright, University of Sussex
      Dr Heba Youssef, University of Brighton

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/01/we-deplore-this-attack-on-freedom-of-expression-in-brazils-universities
      #liberté_d'expression

    • Brazil Court Strikes Down Restrictions on University Speech

      Brazil´s Supreme Court issued an important decision striking down restrictions on political speech on university campuses in a unanimous ruling yesterday. Meanwhile, president-elect Jair Bolsonaro´s allies in Congress are pressing ahead with efforts to restrict what students and educators can discuss in the classroom.

      The court ruling overturned decisions by electoral court judges who recently ordered universities across the country to clamp down on what they considered illegal political campaigning. The orders were spurred by complaints from anonymous callers and, in a few cases, by members of conservative groups.

      For example, at Grande Dourados Federal University, court officials suspended a public event against fascism, according to the student group that organized it. At Campina Grande Federal University, police allegedly seized copies of a pamphlet titled “Manifesto in defense of democracy and public universities” and hard drives, said a professors´ association.

      At Rio de Janeiro State University, police ordered the removal of a banner honoring Marielle Franco, a black lesbian human rights defender and councilwoman murdered in March, despite not having a judicial order.

      The attorney general, Raquel Dodge, asked the Supreme Court to rule the electoral court judges´ decisions unconstitutional, and Supreme Court justice Cármen Lúcia Rocha issued an injunction stopping them. The full court upheld that decision on October 31.

      “The only force that must enter universities is the force of ideas,” said Rocha.

      “The excessive and illegitimate use of force by state agents … echoes somber days in Brazilian history,” said Justice Rosa Weber, referring to Brazil´s 1964 – 1985 military dictatorship.

      The ruling comes as Bolsonaro, who remains in Congress until he assumes the presidency on January 1, and his allies push a bill that would prohibit teachers from promoting their own opinions in the classroom or using the terms “gender” or “sexual orientation,” and would order that sex and religious education be framed around “family values.”

      A state representative-elect from Bolsonaro´s party has even called on students to film and report teachers who make “political-partisan or ideological statements.” Bolsonaro made a similar call in 2016. State prosecutors have filed a civil action against the representative-elect, alleging she instituted “an illegal service for the political and ideological control of teaching activities.”

      In his long career in Congress, Bolsonaro has endorsed abusive practices that undermine the rule of law, defended the dictatorship, and has been a vocal proponent of bigotry.

      More than ever, Brazil needs its judiciary to defend human rights within and outside the classroom.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/01/brazil-court-strikes-down-restrictions-university-speech
      #cour_suprême #justice

    • Présidentielle au Brésil : relents de dictature militaire

      Présidentielle au Brésil : Bolsonaro et le « risque d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine »

      Porté par plus de deux cents universitaires, responsables politiques et citoyens d’Europe et du Canada, ce manifeste s’inscrit dans un mouvement mondial de soutien à la démocratie face à la violence déchaînée par la candidature de Jair Bolsonaro au Brésil. Il est ouvert aux démocrates de toutes les sensibilités politiques. Face au risque imminent d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine, la solidarité internationale est impérative.

      Nous, citoyens, intellectuels, militants, personnalités politiques vivant, travaillant et étudiant en Europe et au Canada, exprimons notre vive inquiétude face à la menace imminente de l’élection de Jair Bolsonaro à la présidence du Brésil le 28 octobre 2018.

      Le souvenir de la dictature militaire

      La victoire de l’extrême droite radicale au Brésil risque de renforcer le mouvement international qui a porté au pouvoir des politiciens réactionnaires et antidémocratiques dans de nombreux pays ces dernières années.

      Bolsonaro défend ouvertement le souvenir de la dictature militaire qui a imposé sa loi au Brésil entre 1964 et 1985, ses pratiques de torture et ses tortionnaires. Il méprise le combat pour les droits humains. Il exprime une hostilité agressive envers les femmes, les Afro-descendants, les membres de la communauté LGBT +, les peuples autochtones et les pauvres. Son programme vise à détruire les avancées politiques, économiques, sociales, environnementales et culturelles des quatre dernières décennies, ainsi que l’action menée par les mouvements sociaux et le camp progressiste pour consolider et étendre la démocratie au Brésil.

      L’élection de Bolsonaro menace les fragiles institutions démocratiques pour la construction desquelles les Brésilien·ne·s ont pris tant de risques. Son arrivée au pouvoir serait aussi un frein majeur à toute politique internationale ambitieuse en matière de défense de l’environnement et de préservation de la paix.

      Premiers signataires : Martine Aubry , maire de Lille, ancienne ministre (PS) ; Luc Boltanski , sociologue, directeur d’études, EHESS ; Peter Burke , historien, professeur émérite à l’université de Cambridge ; Roger Chartier , historien, directeur d’études EHESS/Collège de France ; Mireille Clapot , députée de la Drôme, vice-présidente de la commission des affaires étrangères (LRM) ; Laurence Cohen , sénatrice du Val-de-Marne (PCF) ; Didier Fassin , professeur de sciences sociales, Institute for advanced study, Princeton ; Carlo Ginzburg , professeur émérite à UCLA et à l’Ecole normale supérieure de Pise ; Eva Joly , députée européenne (groupe Verts-ALE) ; Pierre Louault , sénateur d’Indre-et-Loire (UDI) ; Paul Magnette, bourgmestre de Charleroi, ex-ministre président de la Wallonie, ex-président du Parti socialiste belge ; Thomas Piketty , directeur d’études à l’EHESS.

      http://jennifer-detemmerman.fr/index.php/2018/10/23/presidentielle-au-bresil-relents-de-dictature-militaire

    • Une pétition qui a été lancé avant l’élection...
      Defend Democracy in Brazil. Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      Defend Democracy in Brazil,

      Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      We, citizens, intellectuals, activists, politicians, people living, working, and studying in Europe and Canada, wish to express our growing alarm at the imminent threat of Jair Bolsonaro’s election to the presidency on October 28, 2018. The potential victory of a far-right radical in Brazil would reinforce a dangerous international trend of extremely reactionary and anti-democratic politicians gaining state power in recent years.

      Bolsonaro explicitly defends the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964-85 and praises torture and torturers. He condemns human rights efforts. He has expressed aggressive and vile hostility toward women, people of African descent, the LGBT+ community, indigenous people, and the poor. His proposed policies would effectively undo all of the political, social, economic, labor, environmental, and cultural gains of the last four decades, efforts by social movements and progressive politicians to consolidate and expand democracy in Brazil. A Bolsonaro presidency also threatens to undermine the still fragile democratic politics that people throughout Brazil have risked so much to build.

      His election would seriously hamper any ambitious international effort for environmental protection, against climate change and for the preservation of peace.

      Adapted version of the text « Defend Democracy in Brazil, Say No to Jair Bolsonaro! »

      https://www.change.org/p/association-pour-la-recherche-sur-le-br%C3%A9sil-en-europe-pour-la-d%C3%A9fe


  • Urban Planning Guru Says Driverless Cars Won’t Fix Congestion - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/technology/driverless-cars-congestion.html

    Mr. Calthorpe is a Berkeley-based urban planner who is one of the creators of New Urbanism, which promotes mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods. His designs emphasize the proximity of housing, shopping and public space.

    He is not opposed to autonomous vehicles. Mr. Calthorpe’s quarrel is with the idea that the widespread adoption of personally owned self-driving cars will solve transportation problems. In fact, he worries it will lead to more urban congestion and suburban sprawl.

    “One thing is certain: Zero- or single-occupant vehicles,” even ones that can drive themselves, “are a bad thing,” he and the transportation planner Jerry Walters wrote in an article last year in Urban Land, an urban planning journal. “They cause congestion, eat up energy, exacerbate sprawl and emit more carbon per passenger-mile.”

    “The key distinction is the number of people per vehicle,” said Mr. Walters, a principal at Fehr & Peers, a transportation consultancy in Walnut Creek. “Without pretty radically increasing the number of people per vehicle, autonomous systems will increase total miles traveled.”

    He used his software to show that by changing just commercial zoning to permit higher density along El Camino Real — the 45-mile boulevard that stretches through the heart of Silicon Valley from San Francisco to San Jose — it would be possible add more than a quarter-million housing units.

    The Valley’s housing crisis can be explained in data that shows that since 2010, the region has added 11 jobs for every new home built; the median home price has reached $934,000; and rents have gone up 60 percent since 2012. One of the consequences of the growing imbalance between housing and jobs is the increasing traffic and congestion, according to an Urban Footprint report.

    To avoid congestion, the plan requires efficient mass transit. Mr. Calthorpe has proposed an alternative — autonomous rapid transit, or ART — using fleets of self-driving vans in reserved lanes on main arteries like El Camino Real. Those lanes would allow the vehicles to travel faster and require a lower level of autonomous technology. And the vans could travel separately or be connected together.

    Mr. Calthorpe’s plan is an evolution of the concept of “transit-oriented development” he pioneered while teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1980s. It focuses on designing urban communities that encourage people to live near transit services and decrease their dependence on driving.

    “You have to redesign the street itself,” he said. “You need to add autonomous transit, and you need to get rid of parallel parking and put in bikeways and better sidewalks.”

    #Mobilité #Automobile #Communs_urbains



  • Most White Americans’ DNA Can Be Identified Through Genealogy Databases - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/science/science-genetic-genealogy-study.html

    The genetic genealogy industry is booming. In recent years, more than 15 million people have offered up their DNA — a cheek swab, some saliva in a test-tube — to services such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com in pursuit of answers about their heritage. In exchange for a genetic fingerprint, individuals may find a birth parent, long-lost cousins, perhaps even a link to Oprah or Alexander the Great.

    But as these registries of genetic identity grow, it’s becoming harder for individuals to retain any anonymity. Already, 60 percent of Americans of Northern European descent — the primary group using these sites — can be identified through such databases whether or not they’ve joined one themselves, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

    Within two or three years, 90 percent of Americans of European descent will be identifiable from their DNA, researchers found. The science-fiction future, in which everyone is known whether or not they want to be, is nigh.

    Their results were eye-opening. The team found that a DNA sample from an American of Northern European heritage could be tracked successfully to a third-cousin distance of its owner in 60 percent of cases. A comparable analysis on the MyHeritage site had similar results. (The analysis focused on Americans of North European background because 75 percent of the users on GEDmatch and other genealogy sites belong to that demographic.)

    Some experts have raised questions about the study’s methodology. Its sample size was small, and it didn’t factor in that more than one match is often required to identify a suspect.

    CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist with Parabon, a forensic consulting firm, also expressed worry in an email that the Science paper may obscure the difficulty involved in puzzling out someone’s identity; it takes a highly skilled expert to build a family tree from the initial genetic clues.

    Still, she said, the takeaway of the study “is not news to us.” In recent months Ms. Moore has been involved in a dozen murder and sexual assault cases that used GEDmatch to identify suspects. Of the 100 crime-scene profiles that her firm had uploaded to GEDmatch by May, half were obviously solvable, she said, and 20 were “promising.”

    “I think it’s a strong and convincing paper,” said Graham Coop, a population genetics researcher at the University of California, Davis. In a blog post in May, Dr. Coop calculated just how lucky investigators had been in the Golden State killer case. He reached a statistical conclusion similar to Dr. Erlich’s: society is not far from being able to identify 90 percent of people through the DNA of their cousins in genealogical databases.

    “This is this moment of, wow, oh, this opens up a lot of possibilities, some of which are good and some are more questionable,” he said.

    In an alarming result, the Science study found that a supposedly “anonymized” genetic profile taken from a medical data set could be uploaded to GEDmatch and positively identified. This shows that an individual’s private health data might not be so private after all.

    #Génomique #ADN #Vie_privée


  • Judy Collins - Marat/Sade
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvW2v9dUjI8

    Marat/Sade - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marat/Sade

    Musical score

    Marat/Sade is a play with music. The use of music follows the approach of Brecht, whereby the songs comment on themes and issues of the play. Unlike a traditional musical format, the songs do not further the plot or expositional development of character in the play. By contrast they often add an alienation effect, interrupting the action of the play and offering historical, social and political commentary. Richard Peaslee composed music for the original English-language production of Marat/Sade directed by Peter Brook. Although there is no official score to the play in any language, the success of the Brook-directed Royal Shakespeare Company production and film made the Peaslee score popular for English-language productions. Sections of the Peaslee score have been included in trade copies of the Geoffrey Skelton/Adrian Mitchell English version (based on the text used for the Royal Shakespeare Company productions). The full score is available from ECS Publishing/Galaxy Music Corporation. The original Royal Shakespeare Company production was so popular that some of the songs from the show were recorded as a medley by Judy Collins on her album In My Life.

    Marat/Sade production at the University of California, San Diego, 2005, directed by Stefan Novinski

    Marat/Sade production at the State University of New York at Fredonia, 2008, directed by James Ivey

    Marat/Sade production at the Theatre of NOTE, 2000, directed by Brad Mays

    Marat/Sade is set at later mental home “Hôpital Esquirol” in present-day Saint-Maurice

    Recordings of the songs were made by the cast of the original Royal Shakespeare Company production and film. The first recording of the show was a three-LP set released in 1964 by Caedmon Records. This was a complete audio recording of the original Broadway production. The second release was a single soundtrack album LP of the film score, released by Caedmon/United Artists Records.

    The third release was a CD compilation of two 1966 Brook/Peaslee Royal Shakespeare Company productions: Marat/Sade and US, released by Premier Recordings. The songs included on this 1992 CD were:

    Homage to Marat
    The Corday Waltz
    Song and Mime of Corday’s Arrival in Paris
    The People’s Reaction
    Those Fat Monkeys
    Poor Old Marat
    One Day It Will Come to Pass
    Poor Marat in Your Bathtub Seat
    Poor Old Marat (Reprise)
    Copulation Round
    Fifteen Glorious Years (interpolating the “Marseillaise”)
    Finale

    This track listing omits Royal Anthem (which appears on all other recordings) and does not specifically mention The Tumbrel Song either individually or as a part of Song and Mime of Corday’s Arrival in Paris. The cast of this recording includes Patrick Magee, Glenda Jackson and Freddie Jones. (The accompanying production, US, is about an American soldier “zappin’ the [Viet] Cong” in the Vietnam War.)

    Marat/Sade (1967) + subtitles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJc4I6pivqg

    #théâtre


  • Military robots are getting smaller and more capable (https://www.e...
    https://diasp.eu/p/7664483

    Military robots are getting smaller and more capable

    Soon, they will travel in swarms Article word count: 1557

    HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17898057 Posted by prostoalex (karma: 64719) Post stats: Points: 90 - Comments: 68 - 2018-09-02T18:45:51Z

    #HackerNews #and #are #capable #getting #military #more #robots #smaller

    Article content:

    ON NOVEMBER 12th a video called “Slaughterbots” was uploaded to YouTube. It is the brainchild of Stuart Russell, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley, and was paid for by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), a group of concerned scientists and technologists that includes Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer Royal. It is set in a near-future in which (...)


  • The rape of men: the darkest secret of war | Society | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

    Because there has been so little research into the rape of men during war, it’s not possible to say with any certainty why it happens or even how common it is – although a rare 2010 survey, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence. As for Atim, she says: “Our staff are overwhelmed by the cases we’ve got, but in terms of actual numbers? This is the tip of the iceberg.”

    Later on I speak with Dr Angella Ntinda, who treats referrals from the RLP. She tells me: “Eight out of 10 patients from RLP will be talking about some sort of sexual abuse.”

    “Eight out of 10 men?” I clarify.

    “No. Men and women,” she says.

    “What about men?”

    “I think all the men.”

    I am aghast.

    “All of them?” I say.

    “Yes,” she says. “All the men.”

    The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn’t only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. “Typically,” Stemple says, “as a passing reference.”

    ...

    Stemple’s findings on the failure of aid agencies is no surprise to Dolan. “The organisations working on sexual and gender-based violence don’t talk about it,” he says. “It’s systematically silenced. If you’re very, very lucky they’ll give it a tangential mention at the end of a report. You might get five seconds of: ’Oh and men can also be the victims of sexual violence.’ But there’s no data, no discussion.”

    As part of an attempt to correct this, the RLP produced a documentary in 2010 called Gender Against Men. When it was screened, Dolan says that attempts were made to stop him. “Were these attempts by people in well-known, international aid agencies?” I ask.

    “Yes,” he replies. “There’s a fear among them that this is a zero-sum game; that there’s a pre-defined cake and if you start talking about men, you’re going to somehow eat a chunk of this cake that’s taken them a long time to bake.”

    #Afrique #Congo #guerre #violence_sexuelle #hommes


  • Editoria — Building a Book in a Browser
    https://www.pagedmedia.org/editoria-building-a-book-in-a-browser

    Paginated outputs remain important to scholarly communications, and are still critical for books like monographs. Even in today’s increasingly digital discovery landscape, many readers of long-form content continue to prefer print, and the ability to cite page numbers continues to be critical to creating good old-fashioned tools like a book index. But producing paginated books from HTML source files that could also be used for generating other types of digital files has always been a challenge, as Nellie McKesson notes in her recent blog post on Hederis.

    So, a couple of years ago, the University of California Press and the California Digital Library partnered with Coko to begin an ambitious project to develop a workflow application that would allow books to be built in a browser using entirely open source technologies. Editoria is not the first open source, browser-based book production system that has ever been attempted, but it’s (at least to our knowledge) the first that has attempted to replicate the rigorous production editing process and workflow, which includes styling, copyediting, author review, and proofreading, in a browser-based application.

    We borrowed the idea of single-source publishing using HTML source from predecessor applications like Adam Hyde’s Booktype, O’Reilly’s Atlas, and Hugh McGuire’s Pressbooks, all of which use some form of PDF rendering engine (often proprietary) to output beautiful, paginated books in addition to EPUBs and other HTML or XML-based files. Then, we’ve tried to stand on the shoulders of those applications by building in a greater degree of workflow support. It’s an ambitious project, and supporting paginated outputs from a single HTML-based source file, has been a non-trivial aspect of the system’s development.

    https://editoria.pub
    https://coko.foundation

    #publications_hybrides #prepostprint #web2print #digital-first_publishing


  • Is There a Smarter Path to Artificial Intelligence? Some Experts Hope So par Steve Lorh, New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/technology/deep-learning-artificial-intelligence.html

    “There is no real intelligence there,” said Michael I. Jordan, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of an essay published in April intended to temper the lofty expectations surrounding A.I. “And I think that trusting these brute force algorithms too much is a faith misplaced.”



  • Three decades before the #MeToo movement, UC San Diego led the way against sexual assault
    http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-uc-sandiego-sexual-assault-20180430-story.html

    When Nancy Wahlig first started her fight against sexual assault, one company was marketing a capsule for women to stash in their bras and then smash to release a vile odor.
    “Because of the very nature of society, the only person who can prevent rape is the woman herself,” read a 1981 advertisement for the Repulse rape deterrent.
    Ideas about how to prevent sexual violence have come a long way since then, and Wahlig has helped lead that evolution on college campuses. In 1988, she started UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), the first stand-alone program at the University of California. Today, she remains the system’s most senior specialist.


  • Learning to Speak Shrub - Issue 59: Connections
    http://nautil.us/issue/59/connections/learning-to-speak-shrub-rp

    Entomologist Richard Karban knows how to get sagebrush talking. To start the conversation, he poses as a grasshopper or a chewing beetle—he uses scissors to cut leaves on one of the shrubs. Lopping off the leaves entirely won’t fool the plants. So he makes many snips around the edges and tips of the leaves—“a lot of little bites.” A few months later, Karban, a professor at the University of California, Davis who studies plant defense communication, returns to the sagebrush and examines its leaves, many of which now have damage from real grasshoppers or beetles. However, within about two feet of the branches he clipped, leaves have been spared the worst ravages of the hungry insects. That’s because Karban’s cuttings convinced those damaged leaves they were under insect attack, so they sent (...)


  • A startling new discovery could destroy all those global-warming do...
    https://diasp.eu/p/6997219

    A startling new discovery could destroy all those global-warming doomsday forecasts

    Source: Investors Business Daily by staff

    “Scientists just discovered a massive, heretofore unknown, source of nitrogen. Why does this matter? Because it could dramatically change those dire global warming forecasts that everybody claims are based on ‘settled science.’ The researchers, whose findings were published in the prestigious journal Science, say they’ve determined that the idea that the only source of nitrogen for plant life came from the air is wrong. There are vast storehouses in the planet’s bedrock that plants also feed on. This is potentially huge news, since what it means is that there is a vastly larger supply of nitrogen than previously believed. University of California at Davis (...)

    • Présentation de la publication à l’UCDavis, contenu repris dans l’article cité.

      https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/new-source-global-nitrogen-discovered

      L’article (résumé) de Science

      Convergent evidence for widespread rock nitrogen sources in Earth’s surface environment | Science
      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6384/58.full

      $Freed from a rocky embrace*
      Nitrogen availability is a central controller of terrestrial plant growth and, thereby, of the carbon cycle and global climate change. It has been widely assumed that the atmosphere is the main source of terrestrial nitrogen input. Surprisingly, Houlton et al. now show that bedrock is just as large a nitrogen source across major sectors of the global terrestrial environment. They used three diverse and largely independent assessments of the nitrogen mobility and reactivity of rocks in the surface environment. These approaches yielded convergent estimates pointing to the equal importance of the atmosphere and bedrock as nitrogen sources.

      Science, this issue p. 58

      Abstract
      Nitrogen availability is a pivotal control on terrestrial carbon sequestration and global climate change. Historical and contemporary views assume that nitrogen enters Earth’s land-surface ecosystems from the atmosphere. Here we demonstrate that bedrock is a nitrogen source that rivals atmospheric nitrogen inputs across major sectors of the global terrestrial environment. Evidence drawn from the planet’s nitrogen balance, geochemical proxies, and our spatial weathering model reveal that ~19 to 31 teragrams of nitrogen are mobilized from near-surface rocks annually. About 11 to 18 teragrams of this nitrogen are chemically weathered in situ, thereby increasing the unmanaged (preindustrial) terrestrial nitrogen balance from 8 to 26%. These findings provide a global perspective to reconcile Earth’s nitrogen budget, with implications for nutrient-driven controls over the terrestrial carbon sink.

      #séquestration #météorisation #weathering


  • Alerte #santé_publique
    https://www.globalhealthnow.org

    Je me suis abonné avec le temps à des tas de newsletters et de flus rss pour suivre les questions de santé publique. Beaucoup trop, et désormais la newsletter GHN semble me donner tout ce dont j’ai besoin (et même sans doute trop).

    Exemple ce matin :

    Reservoir Dogs
    A vaccine used to treat dogs with leishmaniasis could help stop the disease’s spread to humans, University of Iowa researchers found.

    The strain of Uganda’s cholera outbreak is compounded by the flood of 70,000 Congolese refugees who’ve arrived this year, sharing crowded quarters where disease spreads easily. The International Federation of Red Cross

    Some recruiters make birth control mandatory for Sri Lankan women seeking work in the Middle East, desperate to support their families amid civil war at home. The Guardian

    Ireland’s measles outbreak has swelled to 40 confirmed cases after beginning in Limerick in January; an outbreak control team has been deployed. TheJournal.ie

    Over 200 previously unknown viruses found in fish, frogs and reptiles have been unveiled by researchers; they date back hundreds of millions of years to the advent of modern animals. Nature

    A Harder Death for People with Intellectual Disabilities – The New York Times

    Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data – CNBC

    2018 March for Science will be far more than street protests – Science

    Clinical trials may be based on flimsy animal data – Science

    How The NRA Worked To Stifle Gun Violence Research – NPR’s Here & Now

    Negative fateful life events and the brains of middle-aged men – University of California - San Diego via ScienceDaily

    Solving Japan’s Fertility Crisis – IPS

    In Detroit, Baby Steps to Better Births – US News

    Why I did a vasectomy: Kerala man’s post on family planning is a must-read – The News Minute

    Taboo talk in Mali marriages overlaps with healthy choices – Futurity

    The Controversial Process of Redesigning the Wheelchair Symbol – Atlas Obscura

    #veille #ressources


  • Malaysian government using fake news law to crush freedom of speech - CNET
    https://www.cnet.com/news/malaysian-government-passing-fake-news-laws

    The bill makes not only creating fake news illegal, but also sharing it. A Malaysian citizen could be punished, then, for simply retweeting fake news. If found guilty, Malaysians can be sentenced to prison for up to six years and fined up to 500,000 Malaysian ringgit (which roughly converts to $130,000). Plus, it’s not a domestic law — it applies to those outside the country who are responsible for fake news.

    “This legislation is problematic on so many different levels,” David Kaye, clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, said to CNET. “The definition of fake news is so broad it seems like the government could decide anything could be fake news. On top of that, it has these extraordinarily harsh penalties.”

    Case study: A scandal erupted in 2015 around Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when the Wall Street Journal reported that around $700 million in funds were transferred from a state-owned company to his personal bank accounts. Over 10 sites were taken down for reporting on this, according to EFF.

    With the new fake news law, journalists who wrote those stories and citizens who shared them online could face legal punishment and even jail time. That includes international journalists.

    “[The new law] applies to non-Malaysian citizens internationally if ’fake news’ published overseas involves Malaysian citizens,” said a Khairil Yusof, team coordinator at Sinar Project, an organization that defends digital rights of citizens in Malaysia. “For example the WSJ journalists that broke the story [that alleged Prime Minister Razak’s corruption] face the possibility of being jailed and fined when visiting Malaysia.”

    #Fake_news #Malaisie


  • Why the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is a Watershed Moment for Social Media - Knowledge Wharton
    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/fallout-cambridge-analytica

    “We’re experiencing a watershed moment with regard to social media,” said Aral. “People are now beginning to realize that social media is not just either a fun plaything or a nuisance. It can have potentially real consequences in society.”

    The Cambridge Analytica scandal underscores how little consumers know about the potential uses of their data, according to Berman. He recalled a scene in the film Minority Report where Tom Cruise enters a mall and sees holograms of personally targeted ads. “Online advertising today has reached about the same level of sophistication, in terms of targeting, and also some level of prediction,” he said. “It’s not only that the advertiser can tell what you bought in the past, but also what you may be looking to buy.”

    Consumers are partially aware of that because they often see ads that show them products they have browsed, or websites they have visited, and these ads “chase them,” Berman said. “What consumers may be unaware of is how the advertiser determines what they’re looking to buy, and the Cambridge Analytica exposé shows a tiny part of this world.”

    A research paper that Nave recently co-authored captures the potential impact of the kind of work Cambridge Analytica did for the Trump campaign. “On the one hand, this form of psychological mass persuasion could be used to help people make better decisions and lead healthier and happier lives,” it stated. “On the other hand, it could be used to covertly exploit weaknesses in their character and persuade them to take action against their own best interest, highlighting the potential need for policy interventions.”

    Nave said the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposes exactly those types of risks, even as they existed before the internet era. “Propaganda is not a new invention, and neither is targeted messaging in marketing,” he said. “What this scandal demonstrates, however, is that our online behavior exposes a lot about our personality, fears and weaknesses – and that this information can be used for influencing our behavior.”

    In Golbeck’s research projects involving the use of algorithms, she found that people “are really shocked that we’re able to get these insights like what your personality traits are, what your political preferences are, how influenced you can be, and how much of that data we’re able to harvest.”

    Even more shocking, perhaps, is how easy it is to find the data. “Any app on Facebook can pull the kind of data that Cambridge Analytica did – they can [do so] for all of your data and the data of all your friends,” said Golbeck. “Even if you don’t install any apps, if your friends use apps, those apps can pull your data, and then once they have that [information] they can get these extremely deep, intimate insights using artificial intelligence, about how to influence you, how to change your behavior.” But she draws a line there: “It’s one thing if that’s to get you to buy a pair of shoes; it’s another thing if it’s to change the outcome of an election.”

    “Facebook has tried to play both sides of [the issue],” said Golbeck. She recalled a study by scientists from Facebook and the University of California, San Diego, that claimed social media networks could have “a measurable if limited influence on voter turnout,” as The New York Times reported. “On one hand, they claim that they can have a big influence; on the other hand they want to say ‘No, no, we haven’t had any impact on this.’ So they are going to have a really tough act to play here, to actually justify what they’re claiming on both sides.”

    Golbeck called for ways to codify how researchers could ethically go about their work using social media data, “and give people some of those rights in a broader space that they don’t have now.” Aral expected the solution to emerge in the form of “a middle ground where we learn to use these technologies ethically in order to enhance our society, our access to information, our ability to cooperate and coordinate with one another, and our ability to spread positive social change in the world.” At the same time, he advocated tightening use requirements for the data, and bringing back “the notion of informed consent and consent in a meaningful way, so that we can realize the promise of social media while avoiding the peril.”

    Historically, marketers could collect individual data, but with social platforms, they can now also collect data about a user’s social contacts, said Berman. “These social contacts never gave permission explicitly for this information to be collected,” he added. “Consumers need to realize that by following someone or connecting to someone on social media, they also expose themselves to marketers who target the followed individual.”

    In terms of safeguards, Berman said it is hard to know in advance what a company will do with the data it collects. “If they use it for normal advertising, say toothpaste, that may be legitimate, and if they use it for political advertising, as in elections, that may be illegitimate. But the data itself is the same data.”

    According to Berman, most consumers, for example, don’t know that loyalty cards are used to track their behavior and that the data is sold to marketers. Would they stop using these cards if they knew? “I am not sure,” he said. “Research shows that people in surveys say they want to maintain their privacy rights, but when asked how much they’re willing to give up in customer experience – or to pay for it – the result is not too much. In other words, there’s a difference between how we care about privacy as an idea, and how much we’re willing to give up to maintain it.”

    Golbeck said tools exist for users to limit the amount of data they let reside on social media platforms, including one called Facebook Timeline Cleaner, and a “tweet delete” feature on Twitter. _ “One way that you can make yourself less susceptible to some of this kind of targeting is to keep less data there, delete stuff more regularly, and treat it as an ephemeral platform, _ ” she said.

    Mais est-ce crédible ? Les médias sociaux sont aussi des formes d’archives personnelles.

    #Facebook #Cambridge_analytica


  • Male contraceptive pill is safe to use and does not harm sex drive, first clinical trial finds
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/18/male-contraceptive-pill-safe-use-does-not-harm-sex-drive-first

    male contraceptive pill has been developed which is effective, safe and does not harm sex drive, scientists have announced.

    In what has been described as a “major step forward”, the drug was successfully tested on 83 men for a month for the first time.

    So far efforts to create a once-daily pill to mimic the mainstream female contraceptive have stalled because men metabolise and clear out the hormones it delivers too quickly.

    It means temporary male contraception has relied on condoms alone, with the main hopes for future contraceptive developments resting on a long-acting injection or topical gel, both of which are also under development.

    However, the new drug, called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, includes a long-chain fatty acid which slows down the clearance, allowing just one dose to be taken each day.

    Like the pill for women, the experimental pill combines activity of an androgen - a male hormone such as testosterone - and a progestin.

    Investigators at the University of Washington Medical Centre tested three doses of DMAU - 100, 200 and 400mg - on 100 healthy men between 18 to 50 years old, 83 of whom completed the study.

    Contraception innovations
    Male hormone injections

    Progestogen jabs to cut off sperm production were found to be 96 per cent effective in clinical trials at University of Edinburgh last year. Research stalled due to side effects, including depression, mood disorders, libido changes and acne (which may sound familiar to women who’ve used the contraceptive pill)
    Male contraceptive gel

    A non-hormonal and non-surgical ‘reversible’ vasectomy, Vasalgel would be injected into the vas deferens, the small duct between the testicles and the urethra, to block sperm from being released. After successful tests on animals, the first clinical trials are expected to be finished in 2020.
    Contraceptive chip

    A computer-activated version of the levonorgestrel implant, this device being developed at MIT could last 16 years and let women turn off the hormone release using a wireless remote control.
    Unisex pill

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are testing a Catsper blocker, to stop sperm from entering and fertilising an egg. In women, it would be effective within a short window after sex. In men, it could work like the daily contraceptive pill, but it is unlikely to be on shelves for at least a decade.

    They were subject to blood sampling for hormone and cholesterol testing on the first and last days of the study.

    At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed “marked suppression” of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production.

    The results showed that the pill worked only if taken with food. “Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess,” said Professor Stephanie Page, senior investigator on the study.

    “These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” All groups taking DMAU experienced some weight gain, as well decreases in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

    However, all subjects passed their safety tests, including markers of liver and kidney function. “DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ’male pill’,” said Professor Page.

    “Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development.”

    Contraceptive pills for females have been available for almost 70 years, although the only achieved widespread use in Britain, including availability on the NHS, in 1961.

    However, other than the condom, which were first invented in 1855, there have never been a temporary male contraceptive.

    16 types of birth control you need to know about - plus their pros and cons

    #contraception_masculine


  • North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/02/26/north-pole-surges-above-freezing-in-the-dead-of-winter-stunning-scie

    The sun won’t rise at the North Pole until March 20, and it’s normally close to the coldest time of year, but an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Analyses show that the temperature warmed to the melting point as an enormous storm pumped an intense pulse of heat through the Greenland Sea.

    Temperatures may have soared as high as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) at the pole, according to the U.S. Global Forecast System model. While there are no direct measurements of temperature there, Zack Labe, a climate scientist working on his PhD at the University of California at Irvine, confirmed that several independent analyses showed “it was very close to freezing,” which is more than 50 degrees (30 degrees Celsius) above normal.

    #climat #arctique