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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Washington Post’s Truth Teller and the future of robots doing journalism

ON JANUARY 29, 2013

At some point in the history of letters, fact-checking went from a foundational part of journalism to a specialization practiced by few to a buzzwordy media trend, alternately praised and dismissed depending on what politician was getting called out. During the 2012 election, a race notable for its high levels of deceit, fact-checking was especially prevalent, and the Washington Post, along with Politifact and Factcheck.org, were leaders in the field.

Now the Post has debuted a real-time fact-checking program called Truth Teller. It transcribes political speeches using voice-to-text technology and automatically cross-checks the speaker’s claims against databases of facts, half-truths, and lies. In one example, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy repeats the well-worn claim that taxing the rich will result in the loss of 700,000 jobs. As he says this, the word “False” materializes in big red letters along with a link to a blog post where the Post’s resident fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunks the claim.

To be clear, the program is still a work in progress, but the Post’s executive producer for digital news Cory Haik told Poynter’s Craig Silverman, “The goal is to get closer to … real-time than what have now. It’s about robots helping us to do better journalism — but still with journalists.”



The Biggest Financial Fraud Of All Time

Libor Lies Revealed in Rigging of $300 Trillion Benchmark
By Liam Vaughan & Gavin Finch - Jan 28, 2013 4:54 PM ET
Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Every morning, from his desk by the bathroom at the far end of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s trading floor overlooking London’s Liverpool Street station, Paul White punched a series of numbers into his computer.

White, who had joined RBS in 1984, was one of the employees responsible for the firm’s submissions for the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, the global benchmark for more than $300 trillion of contracts from mortgages and student loans to interest-rate swaps. Behind him sat Neil Danziger, a derivatives trader who had worked at the bank since 2002.

On the morning of March 27, 2008, Tan Chi Min, Danziger’s boss in Tokyo, told him to make sure the next day’s submission in yen would increase, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its March issue. “We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible,” Tan, who was known by colleagues as Jimmy, wrote in an instant message to Danziger, according to a transcript made public by a Singapore court and reported on by Bloomberg before being sealed by a judge at RBS’s request.

Danziger typically would have swiveled in his chair, tapped White on the shoulder and relayed the request to him, people who worked on the trading floor say. Instead, as White was away that day, Danziger input the rate himself. There were no rules at RBS and other banks prohibiting derivatives traders, who stood to benefit from where Libor was set, from submitting the rate -- a flaw exploited by some traders to boost their bonuses.



NFL players union funding $100 million Harvard study on injury

Source: Chicago Tribune/Reuters

Scott Malone
11:21 a.m. CST, January 29, 2013

BOSTON (Reuters) - The union that represents U.S. professional football players has given Harvard University a $100 million grant for a study of the range of health problems, from brain damage to heart conditions, that affect current and former players.

Researchers withHarvard Medical School plan to spend a decade studying hundreds of former players who are members of the National Football League Players Association, university officials said on Tuesday. The aim is to develop strategies to limit the long-term damage that players suffer from years of hits on the field.

The recent suicides of a spate of formerNFL players, including 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, have raised concerns about the toll that blows to the head take on the brains of current and former players.

Scientists have found that years of steady, small hits can lead to a condition calledchronic traumatic encephalopathy, which at its start can cause victims to have a hard time concentrating on small tasks and eventually can lead to aggression and dementia.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-nfl-players-union-concussions,0,1529684.story

Bobo (David Brooks) is calling for the GOP to split- I couldn't agree more!

A Second G.O.P.
Published: January 28, 2013

On the surface, Republicans are already doing a good job of beginning to change their party. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana gave a speech to the Republican National Committee calling on Republicans to stop being the stupid party, to stop insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Representative Paul Ryan gave a fine speech to the National Review Institute calling for prudence instead of spasmodic protest. The new senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, gave a speech to the same gathering saying the Republicans should be focusing on the least fortunate 47 percent of Americans.

But, so far, there have been more calls for change than actual evidence of change. In his speech, for example, Jindal spanked his party for its stale clichés but then repeated the same Republican themes that have earned his party its 33 percent approval ratings: Government bad. Entrepreneurs good.

In this reinvention process, Republicans seem to have spent no time talking to people who didn’t already vote for them.


Why stop there, David? Split into 3, 4 or 5 pieces!

The First Panorama From the Top of the Tallest Building in the World

Jesus Diaz
Gizmodo friend Gerald Donovan has sent us an amazing 2.6 GB, 360-degree panorama from the very top of the highest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. You know, where Tom Cruise perched to be closer to Xenu and look out over all of us lousy, pill-popping humans. It'll take your breath away.

To put things in perspective—if the view itself isn't enough—the Burj Khalifa is so tall that you can watch two sunsets in the same day: 2,722 feet (830 meter) of glass, concrete and steel.

Now you can feel like Tom by looking into the interactive panorama here. And, until China builds its 2,749 feet (838 meters) prefab Sky City building in 90 days, this is the tallest man-made point of view you're going to get. Not that you could possibly ask for anything more.


Has Garrett McNamara ridden the 100-foot wave in Nazaré?

Garrett McNamara has surfed a giant wave in Nazaré and may have beaten his previous world record of the biggest wave ever surfed.

The man who tasted the biggest wave in the history of surfing might have improved the Guinness World Record. McNamara returned to Nazaré and on the 28th January a giant swell headed into his life.

The image captured by Tó Mané, one of the best surf photographers in Europe, is simply breathtaking. Garrett McNamara is seen riding what seems to be a 100-foot wave.

Although is far from clear, as the shot is taken from an upper angle, the ride is unbelievable. Tó Mané freezes the moment when McNamara descends the face of the wave.


Freakin insane....

Tuesday Toon Roundup 4- The Rest








Tuesday Toon Roundup 3- Women in War

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2- Guns

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Rethuglicans

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