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Regardless of political affiliation, over-65s are most likely to share "fake news" (and there's not much fake news, and it's largely right-wing)

A peer-reviewed study conducted by a trio of Princeton and NYU political scientists and published in Science Advances systematically examined the proliferation of fake news in the 2016 election cycle and found that, contrary to earlier reports, disinformation did not get shared very widely, and that most of it was right-wing, and that the people who shared disinformation of all political orientation were over 65. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica pleads guilty, faces the first in a probable series of criminal convictions

EU privacy rules force European companies to surrender data they hold on anyone, anywhere; and that includes SCL Elections, which owned Cambridge Analytica, the notorious Facebook data-miner and election-manipulator that extravagantly claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump. Read the rest

Samsung phone owners are upset because they can't delete the Facebook app

Samsung's sleazy deals with Facebook mean that owners of Samsung phones are not able to uninstall the Facebook apps that come pre-installed with their devices. Read the rest

Precision helicopter rescue

A helicopter pilot pulls off an amazing rescue, with incredible precision flying, in the French Alps.

Global News:

Nicolas Derely wrote on Facebook that he was skiing on Jan. 2 with his family and his son’s friend, Emmanuel De Bellavoine, when the latter began complaining of a knee injury.

Derely says it was a miracle that he had “four bars and 4G” in the middle of the Anterne Pass to call emergency services.

Read the rest

Blame authors' fortunes on monopolism, not university professors, booksellers and librarians

The New York Times weighs in on an Authors Guild survey that shows a "drastic 42% decline in authors' earnings over the past decade. John Scalzi offers some important perspective. Read the rest

Zuckerberg San Francisco General attempts to excuse price gouging

Zuckerberg San Francisco General has arranged for all ER care to be out-of-network, allowing the hospital to charge whatever wild prices it likes.

VOX:

Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG), recently renamed for the Facebook founder after he donated $75 million, is the largest public hospital in San Francisco and the city’s only top-tier trauma center. But it doesn’t participate in the networks of any private health insurers — a surprise patients like Dang learn after assuming their coverage includes a trip to a large public ER.

Most big hospital ERs negotiate prices for care with major health insurance providers and are considered “in-network.” Zuckerberg San Francisco General has not done that bargaining with private plans, making them “out-of-network.” That leaves many insured patients footing big bills.

The problem is especially acute for patients like Dang: those who are brought to the hospital by ambulance, still recovering from a trauma and with little ability to research or choose an in-network facility.

A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that ZSFG does not accept any private health insurance, describing this as a normal billing practice. He said the hospital’s focus is on serving those with public health coverage — even if that means offsetting those costs with high bills for the privately-insured.

“It’s a pretty common thing,” said Brent Andrew, the hospital spokesperson. “We’re the trauma center for the whole city. Our mission is to serve people who are underserved because of their financial needs. We have to be attuned to that population.”

But most medical billing experts say it is rare for major emergency rooms to be out-of-network with all private health plans.

Read the rest

HACKED: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and hundreds of government officials

Hackers have published a big dump of private data related to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and hundreds of other of the country's politicians, in what is said to be the biggest data dump of its kind ever in Germany. Read the rest

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook executives are upset at The New York Times

NBC News reports that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives are super pissed at the New York Times over what they say are weeks of antagonistic coverage and an anti-Facebook bias. Read the rest

Bad swan dies

A memorial service was held Thursday for Angry Bob the bad swan. Bob went viral in 2010 after killing one mate and chasing two more away.

The ceremony for 'Angry Bob' was held after a large online response to a post announcing his death on the Facebook page of Hestercombe House in Somerset.

The swan's temperament even inspired a poem which was read at the memorial.

Photo: BBC Somerset

Read the rest

Man attacks McDonald's worker, gets a battery charge and a beating

St. Petersburg, Florida.

Facebook user TJ Biandudi posted a video he says was filmed by his mother and sister when they patronized a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Monday. The footage shows a white man, whom the St. Petersburg Police Department identified as 40-year-old Daniel Willis Taylor, allegedly upset because he wanted a straw, grabbing a young black woman named Yasmine James, yanking her over the counter that separated the two, according to the police report obtained by The Root.

If you want an idea of how these men think, note that the attacker thinks that she is going to get arrested: “I couldn’t control you,” he says.

He was charged on two counts of battery, having also lashed out at another worker while leaving the restaurant. Read the rest

Inside China's censorship factories, where young censors learn to erase history

The censorship industry in China is big business. Read the rest

It's January, so it's time to settle in with the annual WELL State of the Union address, with special guest James Bridle!

For decades, the WELL has rung in the new year with a weeks-long public discussion led by Jon Lebkowsky and Bruce Sterling (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2005, etc). Read the rest

Fans of Brazil's new fascist president chant "Facebook! Facebook! Whatsapp! Whatsapp!" at inauguration

Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro rode to power on a platform of racist and gendered discrimination, genocide for indigenous people, homophobia, torture apology, and the abolition of human rights; he owes his victory to political spamming and conspiracy theories spread on Facebook at Whatsapp. Read the rest

Trustbusting is now a bipartisan issue

Ronald Reagan may be sainted by the right, but 2018 was the year conservatives broke with his slavish, simpleminded adherence to the Chicago School antitrust theory that says that governments should only regulate monopolies when they give rise to higher consumer prices -- it's also the year the right realized that extreme market concentration in the tech sector could lead to a future in which conspiracy theorists, Nazis, "white identity enthusiasts," and crank misogynists might find themselves with nowhere to talk and be heard by others. Read the rest

Barack Obama lists his favorite books, music, and movies of 2018

President Barack Obama released his annual list of favorite books, movies, and songs on his Facebook page yesterday. Remember when we had an intellectually and culturally curious president who did things like reading books? It seems so long ago...

From Facebook:

As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list - I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.

Here’s a reminder of the books that I read this year that appeared on earlier lists: Becoming by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne Educated by Tara Westover Factfulness by Hans Rosling Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti The Return by Hisham Matar Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Warlight by Michael Ondaatje Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

Here are my other favorite books of 2018: American Prison by Shane Bauer Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday Feel Free by Zadie Smith Florida by Lauren Groff Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W.

Read the rest

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook's horrible year was pretty good, actually

In a year-in-review post, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday he is “proud of the progress we've made.”

Yes, he really is that deluded. Read the rest

For Sale: (1) Santa in Carbonite

John Eldredge of St. Petersburg, Florida writes in a Facebook Marketplace listing that he made this lifesize Santa in Carbonite for a sci-fi Christmas party. But the party's over and Santa must go. $200.

Light settings are adjustable to flash at different speeds or not at all. Made with wood, clothes and a lot of hot glue! It's basically a craft and not a precision model, but looks cool. Side panels are made with cosplay foam. Unit is pretty light and stands about 6.5 ft. tall.

photo via John Eldredge/Facebook

(Nerdcore) Read the rest

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