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This is excellent news
at 16:45 16 Oct 2019

Not only do these people and theories cause harm to the people involved in the actual incident but they propagate myths which are often seized on and repeated by others. Furthermore they undermine belief in the truth and in verifiable facts.

Hopefully it's bankrupted them. Still doesn't make up for what they are doing but it's a start.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/16/sandy-hook-father-awarded-450000

SB
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This is pretty nuts
at 15:50 15 Oct 2019

Who has a pet lion anyway?

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/lion-attack-electrician-wages-atte

SB
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Welfare decisions being made by algorithms
at 13:16 15 Oct 2019

I am quite surprised that so many councils are using machine learning to make some of these decisions. There are a number of issues around overfitting which I would think would be magnified given the likely patchy data that councils have.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/15/councils-using-algorithms-make-w

"But concerns have been raised about privacy and data security, the ability of council officials to understand how some of the systems work, and the difficulty for citizens in challenging automated decisions."

“There is too much hype and mystery surrounding machine learning and algorithms. I feel that councils should demand trustworthy and transparent explanations of how any system works, why it comes to specific conclusions about individuals, whether it is fair, and whether it will actually help in practice.”

This is especially important as it's not always possible to give a transparent explanation of how the algorithm reached it's decision and thus feeds back into the point of it being hard to challenge.

It just all seems a bit premature in a rush to cut costs and use the latest tech.

SB
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The sinking megacity
at 11:21 15 Oct 2019

A good (but long) read about Jakarta and how it could be the first "megacity" claimed by climate change:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/jakarta-sinking

It's essentially a catalogue of errors in both infrastructure snd bureaucracy coupled with the rising sea level from climate change. There is serious talk about having to build a new capital and relocate 30m people at some point in the future - the numbers are simply huge.

SB
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Crazy first half in the Czech Republic
at 18:45 14 Oct 2019

NI 3-0 after 42 minutes.

SB
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Radcliffe's marathon record is gone
at 16:20 13 Oct 2019

Wasn't expecting to hear that for a while - beaten by over a minute:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/50035304

SB
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Alexei Leonov RIP
at 15:57 11 Oct 2019

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50017409

Must have been amazing to be the first human to perform a spacewalk. A time when things were really pushing the boundaries of what was technically possible.

An artist as well, quite an interesting self-portrait:



SB
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Hard to know what to say anymore
at 15:57 10 Oct 2019

So previously they refused to vote because they don't agree with EU institutions (but are happy to take their salary from them) and now they have made sure they vote in order to block a proposal on monitoring Russian meddling in EU elections:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/russian-election-nigel-farage-bre

The Brexit Party said that claims of Russian interference in elections were "baseless propaganda and scare stories used to shut down debate".

It's an unparalleled level of hypocrisy and self-serving.

SB
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The Polluters
at 12:23 9 Oct 2019

The Top 20 firms behind 1/3 of all carbon emissions:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/revealed-20-firms-third-carb

An interesting read.

"The top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965."

"Twelve of the top 20 companies are state-owned and together their extractions are responsible for 20% of total emissions in the same period."

SB
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China's destruction of Uighur society continues
at 11:12 9 Oct 2019

I know it's been highlighted a few times but it's still continuing apace. They are now destroying their historic burial grounds:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/09/chinas-destruction-of-uighur-buria

Perhaps surprisingly the US has today imposed restrictions on officials travelling to the US over the issue:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-49979063

SB
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For the sci-fi geeks out there
at 15:52 8 Oct 2019

Star Trek: Picard trailer:



SB
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Ian Hislops Fake News: A True History
at 10:08 8 Oct 2019

This was rather good last night, especially given some of the stuff that is posted or pushed on here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00095hv/ian-hislops-fake-news-a-true-hist

If you don't want to watch the whole thing, just his monologue summary for the last 90 seconds is spot on.

SB
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4x400m mixed relay
at 14:43 1 Oct 2019

Did people see this the other night? Was actually quite interesting and fun. The format is 2 men and 2 women and each team can decide who runs what leg thus sometimes it's opposite sexes against each other for that leg.

You can see the race here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07p5ww4/world-athletics-championships-doh

SB
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Not looking good in Hong Kong
at 11:29 1 Oct 2019

Banning legal protests today because it's the 70th anniversary of the instigation of communist rule was never going to end well. If they had allowed the peaceful legal protest it's possible things could have been better today although it's hard to say anymore.

Seems the police have started using live rounds and a protester has been shot in the chest which has just lead to more violence all round. Live rounds is a definite escalation.

SB
[Post edited 1 Oct 11:32]
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This looks very dodgy
at 13:10 30 Sep 2019

The winner of the 100m at the World Championships has missed 3 drugs tests in the last 12 months and only avoided a ban due to a miss-dating of the first missed test. Doesn't say why he missed the other two as well.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/49867141

SB
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A repeat of diesel-gate?
at 09:32 30 Sep 2019

This is really poor form from the global shipping industry. Spending a vast amount of money in order to circumvent the new environmental regulations rather than taking the spirit of the changes and doing whats needed.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/shipping-pollution-sea-open-loop-scrub


"Global shipping companies have spent billions rigging vessels with “cheat devices” that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air.

More than $12bn (£9.7bn) has been spent on the devices, known as open-loop scrubbers, which extract sulphur from the exhaust fumes of ships that run on heavy fuel oil.

This means the vessels meet standards demanded by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that kick in on 1 January.

However, the sulphur emitted by the ships is simply re-routed from the exhaust and expelled into the water around the ships, which not only greatly increases the volume of pollutants being pumped into the sea, but also increases carbon dioxide emissions."

"The ICCT has estimated that cruise ships with scrubbers will consume around 4 million tons of heavy fuel oil in 2020 and will discharge 180 million tons of contaminated scrubber washwater overboard."


It's essentially the same issue which occurred with cars - any way possible to circumvent the regulation is better than try to actually change and meet them.

The regulations need to be tightened so the actual engines are made more efficient.

SB
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Good first half from Wales
at 09:45 29 Sep 2019

Not sure about the Aussie captain debating with the ref.

Aussies need to regroup or might get quite bad for them.

SB
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Formation quandary
at 17:01 28 Sep 2019

So once again we tried 3-5-2 and it just didn't work. It looks great on paper (I thought it was the right team and formation for today) but it just doesn't seem to work.

They either need to practice it a lot or find something else. When we changed at half-time the result was never in doubt.

We can't really go 1 up top as for most that seems to mean dropping Jackson and he's been our best forward this year - he was good again today.

SB
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Japan beating Ireland with only 20 minutes left
at 09:47 28 Sep 2019

Deservedly so as well - great stuff.

The number 9 for Japan who is the smallest player in the tournament was excellent until he went off.

Regardless of the end result they have played superbly and the crowd are loving it.

SB
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Spitting Image is back
at 00:48 28 Sep 2019

They aren't going to be short of material in our current times:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/sep/28/spitting-image-returns-chao

SB
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