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White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 20:39
As patience with the long war fades, diplomats have expanded authority to begin talks with the Taliban, which could grow into broader negotiations.

Trump, Treasonous Traitor

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 20:24
The president fails to protect the country from an ongoing attack.

Confronting Implicit Bias in the New York Police Department

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 20:20
The city has begun a $4.5 million training program to help all officers recognize and address underlying bias.

After Storm, Foreclosures in Puerto Rico Stopped. They’re Starting Again.

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 20:17
Wall Street investors and banks are beginning to file foreclosure cases in the United States territory as several moratoriums come to an end.

Feinstein Has Advantages in California Race. De León Now Has Party Leaders.

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 20:00
Though Senator Dianne Feinstein trounced Kevin de León in a primary, they will still face off in November, after party leaders endorsed Mr. de León, reflecting the power of liberal activists.

‘We Are United’: France’s World Cup Win Brings Together a Nation

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:58
From the Champs Élysées to the low-income Paris suburbs that many of the French team’s stars call home, the country rallied behind “Les Bleus” for the big game against Croatia.

Trump, on Eve of Putin Meeting, Calls E.U. a Trade ‘Foe’

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:51
The president made the remarks in an interview while he was at his golf resort in Scotland, ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader in Finland.

A Better Way to Run Schools

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:39
The New Orleans turnaround shows the power of giving more freedom to teachers and principals — and then holding them accountable for their performance.

Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:36
Booksellers on the online marketplace are charging thousands for books that normally sell for a few dollars. Authors are perplexed — and annoyed.

Digital Ads Are Starting To Feel Psychic

SlashDot - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:23
It seems like everyone these days has had a paranoiac moment where a website advertises something to you that you recently purchased or was gifted without a digital trail. According to a new website called New Organs, which collects first-hand accounts of these moments, "the feeling of being listened to is among the most common experiences, along with seeing the same ads on different websites, and being tracked via geo-location," reports The Outline. The website was created by Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne, two Brooklyn-based artists whose work explores the intersections of technology and society. From the report: "We are stuck in this 20th century idea of spying, of wiretapping and hidden microphones," said Brain. "But really there is this whole new sensory apparatus, a complicated entanglement of online trackers and algorithms that are watching over us." It is this new sensory apparatus that Brain and Lavigne metaphorically refer to as "new organs," as if the online surveillance framework used by social media platforms like Facebook has somehow transfigured into a semi-living organism. "These new organs don't actually need to listen to your voice to know that you like Japanese knives," Lavigne told me. "They actually have ways of coming to know things about you that we don't fully understand yet." In other words, these new methods of data collection have become so uncannily accurate in their knowledge of you as to occasionally feel indistinguishable from actual ears listening in on and understanding intimate conversations. There are a few things that we do already know about these new "organs" of data processing, as defined by Brain and Lavigne. We know, for instance, that they have an insatiable appetite for personal data. They gather this by first tracking online activity, which is enough to tell them what people like, what they search for, what they listen to, what they read, where they're walking for dinner, and also, worryingly, who their friends are and what they like, read, purchase -- data that is gathered without their awareness. But, then, the organs also gather information purchased from commercial data brokers about people's offline lives, like how many credit cards they own, what their income is, and what they purchase when they go grocery shopping. And all of this information is triangulated with friends' data, because if they know what those dear to you are buying -- a Japanese knife, for instance -- there is a good chance that that person will be interested in that very same thing. The new organs process this enormous amount of information to break you down into categories, which are sometimes innocuous like, "Listens to Spotify" or "Trendy Moms," but can also be more sensitive, identifying ethnicity and religious affiliation, or invasively personal, like "Lives away from family." More than this, the new organs are being integrated with increasingly sophisticated algorithms, so they can generate predictive portraits of you, which they then sell to advertisers who can target products that you don't even know you want yet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Editorial Observer: Cyrano Behind Bars

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:18
A prison theater program in New York offers hope for inmate rehabilitation.

Judge Orders Los Angeles Times to Delete Part of Published Article

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 19:04
Legal experts said the order, to remove references from a sealed document that was made public by mistake, was probably unconstitutional. The paper said it would appeal.

On Soccer: France, a World Cup Champion That Stood Above It All in Russia

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:59
France always felt out of place in Russia, winning with an air of cultivated detachment, as though it was competing in a completely different tournament.

Georgia Governor Candidate Caught Saying He’s in Race to Be the ‘Craziest’

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:41
His opponent has recorded ads with a chain saw, shotgun and “big truck” that he says he’ll use to round up “illegal immigrants.” It seems to be working.

Plans Unveiled for Memorial at Site of Charleston Church Massacre

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:41
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church hopes to erect a lasting tribute to both victims and survivors of the 2015 hate crime, and to the resilience of a 200-year-old congregation.

Cambridge Dispatch: Parks Give Cambridge a Rural Vibe. ‘But Cows Do It Better.’

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:36
The English university town, population 130,000, is also home to about 120 cattle. The urban herds have become another emblem of the city’s distinction.

Review: Sacha Baron Cohen Is Back. Should We Care?

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:12
“Who Is America?” on Showtime reprises the comedian’s gotcha techniques at a time when people don’t need to be tricked into saying embarrassing things.

How France Won Its Second World Cup Title

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:06
Led by Kylian Mbappé and Paul Pogba, France brings home its second World Cup trophy, 20 years after winning its first.

Man Arrested After Paraglider Unfurls Anti-Trump Banner at Scotland Resort

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 18:03
Footage on the website of Greenpeace U.K. showed a paraglider with a banner that read, “Trump Well Below Par” as President Trump arrived.

How Israel, in Dark of Night, Torched Its Way to Iran’s Nuclear Secrets

NY Times - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 17:31
The Israeli government showed three reporters, including one from The Times, documents indicating that the Iranian nuclear weapons program was larger and more sophisticated than once suspected.