Well Played, Yann LeCun!


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

Yann LeCun is the director of AI research at Facebook and an expert on many aspects of deep learning. As such he receives many invitations to speak at institutions around the world. He recently received one from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and here is his response. …

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Yann LeCun to KAUST

The Heretic


(The Independent) – Andy Martin:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the most forceful and provocative feminist critics challenging Islam today. She is also in hiding. Andy Martin meets her in an undisclosed location and finds a woman on a mission, a woman who found the power to say No and the freedom it gave her. …

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Strong and Stable


(indy100) – Bridie Pearson-Jones:

Theresa May has called an election for June 8.

She wants to be elected as Prime Minster, and she wants you to think she’s strong and stable.

She’s said this a few times, in fact, it’s pretty much all she’s said in the campaign.
However, it appears someone disagrees that she’s going to be a ‘strong and stable’ leader. …

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Strong and stable

Planet Nine, so far


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

Could there be a massive, giant planet beyond Neptune? Here’s what the science says… for now. …

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Planet Nine orbits

Trump’s Budget Is an Aristocratic Con


(The Atlantic) – Derek Thompson:

The president’s aristocratic tax-and-spend plan isn’t just a reversal of his campaign promises. It’s also a deeply unpopular blueprint for the country. …

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TLA Computer Security


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

There are many agencies that have some degree of charter for computer security – but “defense” has been a bit of a hot potato. Meanwhile, the NSA (and now we know CIA, and probably every other Three Letter Agency) used to go to security conferences like DEFCON and advertise that they were hiring hackers. Of course they were.

If you know anything about how the US empire operates, you’d predict right away that the effort in computer security has been pretty much all offense and no defense – like our Department of “Defense” and you’d be pretty much right. …

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Marcus J. Ranum: The Myth of Homeland Security

4-Year-Olds Don’t Act Like Trump


(NYTimes Opinion) – Alison Gopnik:

The analogy is pervasive among his critics: Donald Trump is like a child. Making him the president was like making a 4-year-old the leader of the free world.

But the analogy is profoundly wrong, and it’s unfair to children. The scientific developmental research of the past 30 years shows that Mr. Trump is utterly unlike a 4-year-old. …

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Donald Trump at the White House Easter egg roll 2017

Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 5 (part 1)


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Well, it’s the last scene of Act 3 and THEY’VE FINALLY MADE IT TO BED. …

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Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 5 (part 1)

When Will the First Star Go Dark?


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

It hasn’t happened yet in the entire Universe, not even once. …

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Black dwarf star

Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 4


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

It’s generally believed that Romeo and Juliet could easily be a comedy IF ONLY Mercutio and Tybalt hadn’t died, and that their duel is what turns the entire play from a comedy into a tragedy. However, it can effectively be argued that this is the scene that really removes any hope of a happy ending. And it’s ALL CAPULET’S FAULT. …

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Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 4