Ben Carson open to letting CDC research gun violence

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control should be able to conduct research on the causes of gun violence, a position that put him at odds with America‘s gun lobby and congressional Republicans. Asked after a speech here if the prohibition on that sort of research should be lifted, Carson said he was always interested in … Continue reading Ben Carson open to letting CDC research gun violence

People in Sweden are hiding cash in their microwaves as it gets closer to being the first cashless society with negative interest rates

Sweden is shaping up to be the first country to plunge its citizens into a fascinating — and terrifying — economic experiment: negative interest rates in a cashless society.

The Swedish central bank held its benchmark interest rate at
-0.35% today, the level it has been at since July.

Although retail banks have yet to pass on that negative to rate to Swedish consumers, the longer it’s held there the more financial pressure there is for banks to pass the costs onto their customers. That’s a problem because Sweden is the closest country on the planet to becoming an all-electronic cashless society. Continue reading “People in Sweden are hiding cash in their microwaves as it gets closer to being the first cashless society with negative interest rates”

Police Use Terrorism Act to Seize a Journalist’s Computer

A BBC journalist recently had his computer confiscated by British police because he was conducting interviews with people the government suspected were terrorists. Journalist Secunder Kermani has been working with BBC’s Newsnight for just over a year and has developed a reputation for obtaining exclusive interviews with Western-born ISIS fighters. This reputation caught the eye of the British government, which used powers granted through the Terrorism Act to confiscate the reporter’s property.

According to a statement from the BBC: “Police obtained an order under the Terrorism Act requiring the BBC to hand over communication between a Newsnight journalist and a man in Syria who had publicly identified himself as an IS member. The man had featured in Newsnight reports and was not a confidential source.”

Newsnight editor Ian Katz said these types of confiscations could prevent reporters from being able to cover related issues. Continue reading “Police Use Terrorism Act to Seize a Journalist’s Computer”

New Probe Reveals NSA Targeted Entire Staffs of EU Governments

A German government-sanctioned special investigation has exposed a “clear breach” of intelligence-sharing agreements—including illegal surveillance of European authorities—between the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its German counterpart, known as the BND. The news magazine Der Spiegel reported (German) the development on Friday, after having seen a copy of the 300-page report from former federal judge Kurt Graulich, who was appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel … Continue reading New Probe Reveals NSA Targeted Entire Staffs of EU Governments

Robot Buses Are Coming To America

Self-driving buses are coming to America. The Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon, California will be the first place in the U.S. to use French robo-buses to ferry passengers around.

Perhaps the best place for autonomous vehicles to start out is in this kind of training ground, although given the safety record of Google’s self-driving cars, the training might be for us humans in getting used to them. It’s hard to argue that preset routes and low speeds aren’t ideal for an introduction to driverless vehicles, and that’s just what the Easymile company specializes in.

The EZ10 is a driverless bus designed for short hops. It has been deployed in Europe—in Finland, France, and is just about to launch in Spain. The electric vehicles carry up to ten passengers, and have ramps for wheelchairs and strollers. The idea is that they carry you the “last mile” of your journey, and one of their main uses is in theme parks. Continue reading “Robot Buses Are Coming To America”

Senate passes controversial cybersecurity bill Cisa 74 to 21

The US Senate overwhelmingly passed a controversial cybersecurity bill critics say will allow the government to collect sensitive personal data unchecked, over the objections of civil liberties groups and many of the biggest names in the tech sector.

The vote on Tuesday was 74 to 21 in support of the legislation. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. None of the Republican presidential candidates (except Lindsey Graham, who voted in favor) were present to cast a vote, including Rand Paul, who has made privacy from surveillance a major plank of his campaign platform.

Ahead of the vote a group of university professors specializing in tech law, many from the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, sent an open letter to the Senate, urging them not to pass the bill. The bill, they wrote, would fatally undermine the Freedom of Information Act (Foia). Continue reading “Senate passes controversial cybersecurity bill Cisa 74 to 21”

School Cop Punches 16-Year-Old Student in the Face for Not Having a Hall Pass

Oklahoma City, OK – A school resource officer was recently arrested after he was caught assaulting a student on a surveillance recording. The student had reportedly been in the hallway without a pass, and after he was confronted by officer Thomas Jaha, he went to get a drink of water. Since he did not leave the hallway immediately and go directly back to class, Jaha … Continue reading School Cop Punches 16-Year-Old Student in the Face for Not Having a Hall Pass