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Canadian Influencer Megha Thakur Dies “Suddenly and Unexpectedly” at Age 21
Source: Megha Thakur/Instagram
The UN committee against torture has found Australia still has work to do
Startup valuations are declining — but not consistently
While this year’s stock market decline was swift, it was also widespread, with very few companies escaping the downturn. But current market conditions haven’t caused the same uniform trajectory for startups.
President Trump Delivers Special Message to January 6th Political Prisoners (VIDEO)
Ye is no longer buying Parler, the ‘free speech’ social media app
Ye is no longer buying Parler, the controversial social media app that’s billed itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, originally struck a deal with Parlement Technologies in October to buy the company for an undisclosed amount.That deal is now off, according to the company. “Parlement Technologies has confirmed that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” a spokesperson for Parler said in a statement. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.”Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.— Parler (@parler_app) December 1, 2022News of the deal imploding comes just hours after Ye praised Nazis and said, “I like Hitler,” during an appearance on Alex Jones’ podcast. A spokesperson for Parler didn't comment on whether these statements played a role in the decision to terminate the acquisition, but cited Ye’s recent and ongoing business difficulties as a reason for the deal falling through.Ye had first announced he would buy Parler after he was suspended from Twitter following a series of antisemitic tweets. (Twitter CEO Elon Musk later welcomed him back to the platform.) At the time, Parlement technologies CEO George Farmer said that the proposed acquisition will assure Parler a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome.”Update 12/1 3:10 PM PT: Added additional info from a Parler spokesperson. ]]>
Chris Dawson handed 24 year jail term for wifes murder
The judge dismissed his lawyers' argument that media coverage served as extra punishment, saying Dawson was the author of his own misfortunes. ]]>
The world finally has its first parastronaut. Can we expect anyone to be able to go to space one day?
NASA astronaut Winston E. Scott on an EVA in 1996. NASA JSCThe European Space Agency made history last week with the announcement of the first “parastronaut”, 41-year-old UK citizen John McFall.
BREAKING: Court Throws Out Special Master For Trump’s MaraLago Documents Case
Former FTX CEO – Sam BankmanFried – Admits FTX Didn’t Buy Bitcoin for Clients – Just Took Their Money (VIDEO)
Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi
Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla’s electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its Semi Delivery Event held at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.Tesla Semi driving 500 miles, fully loaded, on a single charge pic.twitter.com/iZzomLcwZF— Tesla (@Tesla) December 2, 2022Each rig is “designed like a bullet,” Musk said at the vehicle’s unveiling, and would come equipped with a massive 1MW battery pack. This reportedly offers a 20-second 0-60, which is impressive given that these vehicles are towing up to 80,000 pounds at a time, and a spent-to-80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes. The Semis are also outfitted with Enhanced Autopilot capabilities, as well as jackknife-mitigation systems, blind-spot sensors and data-logging for fleet management.As reservations opened in 2017, Musk said at the time, deliveries would begin two short years later, in 2019. By April 2020, Tesla had officially pushed that delivery date back to 2021, citing production delays and supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two months after that, in May of 2020, Musk sent a company-wide email reading, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design,” as seen by CNBC. In the same email he confirmed that production would take place in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.Cut to July, 2021, and the new delivery date has been pushed again, this time to 2022, citing both the ongoing global processor shortage and its own pandemic-limited battery production capability for the new 4680 style cells as contributing factors.“We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021,” Musk said during the company’s Q2, 2021 investor call. “The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.”“To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022,” he continued. Beginning in May of this year, Tesla started actively taking reservations again for a $20,000 deposit. And first deliveries are now, Musk said on Thursday before welcoming Kirk Tanner, CEO PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO PepsiCo Foods North America, on stage for high fives and handshakes. ]]>
Australian city friendliest in the world
There is a surprising result in a UK survey to find the world's friendliest city. ]]>
Hunter Biden Attends His Dad’s Lavish White House State Dinner with French President Macron, Billionaires and Elites
Boundary Layer pivots from container ships to hydrofoiling personal watercraft
Boundary Layer, which was gunning for local air freight, and announced a slew of launch partners earlier this year, today announced a shift in strategy, with some high-performance foiling personal watercraft. Think low-flying SeaDoo, and you’ve got the right idea.
To da moon: Emm aims to innovate on the menstrual cup
Menstrual cups (sometimes known as “moon cups”) have been around since the 1930s, and it’s been a bloody long period since we’ve seen much innovation in that category. Emm just closed a $1 million round of funding to add some smarts. The company adds an applicator and an app tracking feature to help keep an eye on things.
Japanese victory condemns Germany to shock World Cup exit
The four-time champions have failed to get out of the group stage in Qatar
German finance ministry rejects call to solve military crisis – media
The finance ministry said lack of funding was not the cause of the sluggish availability of ammunition
How protesters dodge Chinas massive censorship machine
Videos of hundreds protesting in Shanghai started to appear on WeChat on Saturday night. Showing chants about removing COVID-19 restrictions and demanding freedom, they would stay up only a few minutes before being censored.Elliot Wang, a 26-year-old in Beijing, was amazed.READ MORE: Numerous devices found after Ukrainian Embassy blast in SpainI started refreshing constantly, and saving videos, and taking screenshots of what I could before it got censored, Wang, who only agreed to be quoted using his English name, in fear of government retaliation, said. A lot of my friends were sharing the videos of the protests in Shanghai. I shared them too, but they would get taken down quickly.That Wang was able to glimpse the extraordinary outpouring of grievances highlights the cat-and-mouse game that goes on between millions of Chinese internet users and the country's gargantuan censorship machine.Chinese authorities maintain a tight grip on the country's internet via a complex, multi-layered censorship operation that blocks access to almost all foreign news and social media, and blocks topics and keywords considered politically sensitive or detrimental to the Chinese Communist Party's rule. Videos of or calls to protest are usually deleted immediately.But images of protests began to spread on WeChat, a ubiquitous Chinese social networking platform used by over 1 billion, in the wake of a deadly fire November 24 in the north-western city of Urumqi. Many suspected that lockdown measures prevented residents from escaping the flames, something the government denies.READ MORE: Uvalde school shooting survivors file $39b lawsuit against policeThe sheer number of unhappy Chinese users who took to the Chinese internet to express their frustration, together with the methods they used to evade censors, led to a brief period of time in which government censors were overwhelmed, according to Han Rongbin, an associate professor at the University of Georgia's International Affairs department.It takes censors some time to study what is happening and to add that to their portfolio in terms of censorship, so it's a learning process for the government on how to conduct censorship effectively, Han said.In 2020, the death from COVID-19 of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was arrested for allegedly spreading rumours following an attempt to alert others about a SARS-like virus, sparked widespread outrage and an outpouring of anger against the Chinese censorship system. Users posted criticism for hours before censors moved to delete posts.As censors took down posts related to the fire, Chinese internet users often used humour and metaphor to spread critical messages.READ MORE: Christchurch terrorist claims he pleaded guilty due to 'torture'Chinese netizens have always been very creative because every idea used successfully once will be discovered by censors the next time, Liu Lipeng, a censor-turned-critic of China's censorship practices, said. Chinese users started posting images of blank sheets of white paper, said Liu, in a silent reminder of words they weren't allowed to post.Others posted sarcastic messages like Good good good sure sure sure right right right yes yes yes, or used Chinese homonyms to evoke calls for President Xi Jinping to resign, such as shrimp moss, which sounds like the words for step down, and banana peel, which has the same initials as Xi's name.But within days, censors moved to contain images of white paper. They would have used a range of tools, said Chauncey Jung, a policy analyst who previously worked for several Chinese internet companies based in Beijing.Most content censorship is not done by the state, Jung said, but outsourced to content moderation operations at private social media platforms, who use a mix of humans and AI. Some censored posts are not deleted, but may be made visible only to the author, or removed from search results. In some cases, posts with sensitive key phrases may be published after review.A search on Weibo on Thursday for the term white paper mostly turned up posts that were critical of the protests, with no images of a single sheet of blank paper, or of people holding white papers at protests.It's possible to access the global internet from China by using virtual private networks that disguise internet traffic, but these systems are illegal and many Chinese internet users access only the domestic internet. Wang does not use a VPN.I think I can say for all the mainlanders in my generation that we are really excited, Wang said.But we're also really disappointed because we can't do anything. … They just keep censoring, keep deleting, and even releasing fake accounts to praise the cops.But the system works well enough to stop many users from ever seeing them. When protests broke out across China over the weekend, Carmen Ou, who lives in Beijing, initially didn't notice.Ou learned of the protests only later, after using a VPN service to access Instagram.I tried looking at my feed on WeChat, but there was no mention of any protests, she said.If not for a VPN and access to Instagram, I might not have found out that such a monumental event had taken place.Han, the international affairs professor, said censorship doesn't have to be perfect to be effective.Censorship might be functioning to prevent a big enough size of the population from accessing the critical information to be mobilised, he said.China's opaque approach to tamping down the spread of online dissent also makes it difficult to distinguish government campaigns from ordinary spam.Searching Twitter using the Chinese words for Shanghai or other Chinese cities reveals protest videos, but also a near-constant flood of new posts showing racy photos of young women. Some researchers proposed that a state-backed campaign could be seeking to drown out news of the protests with not safe for work content.A preliminary analysis by the Stanford Internet Observatory found lots of spam but no compelling evidence that it was specifically intended to suppress information or dissent, said Stanford data architect David Thiel.I'd be sceptical of anyone claiming clear evidence of government attribution, Thiel said in an email.Twitter searches for more specific protest-related terms, such as Urumqi Middle Road, Shanghai, produced mainly posts related to the protests.Israeli data analysis firm Cyabra and another research group that shared analysis with the AP said it was hard to distinguish between a deliberate attempt to drown out protest information sought by the Chinese diaspora and a run-of-the-mill commercial spam campaign.Twitter didn't respond to a request for comment. It hasn't answered media inquiries since billionaire Elon Musk took over the platform in late October and cut back much of its workforce, including many of those tasked with moderating spam and other content.Musk often tweets about how he's enacting or enforcing new Twitter content rules but hasn't commented on the recent protests in China. ]]>
Tesla offers $3,750 discount for Model 3, Model Y deliveries in December
Tesla is offering Model 3 and Model Y buyers in the U.S. a $3,750 credit if they have their vehicle delivered in December 2022, according to an update on the company’s inventory page and several posts on Reddit.
Lehrmann retrial abandoned because of a significant and unacceptable risk to Brittany Higgins life
The plan for a second trial of Bruce Lehrmann has been dropped after expert medical advice warned it posed a “significant and unacceptable risk” to Brittany Higgins’ life.
Kim Jong Un wants North Korea to be a nuclear superpower – the real risk is a regional arms race
The recent claim by Kim Jong Un that North Korea plans to develop the world’s most powerful nuclear force may well have been more bravado than credible threat. But that doesn’t mean it can be ignored.
Kanye West isn’t buying Parler after all
Despite a joint statement between Ye (fka Kanye West) and Parler in October noting that the two had reached an agreement for the rapper to buy the social network, that will not come to pass, Parler owner Parlement Techonologies said today.
Meet the earlystage startups exhibiting at TC Sessions: Space
The technological advances happening within the space industry are nothing short of dramatic — from propulsion systems, heavy-lift rockets and increased payload capabilities to building commercial space stations to fill the gap when the International Space Station ceases operations in 2030.
Facebook failed to stop test ads from threatening midterm election workers
Meta's election integrity efforts on Facebook may not have been as robust as claimed. Researchers at New York University's Cybersecurity for Democracy and the watchdog Global Witness have revealed that Facebook's automatic moderation system approved 15 out of 20 test ads threatening election workers ahead of last month's US midterms. The experiments were based on real threats and used clear language that was potentially easy to catch. In some cases, the social network even allowed ads after the wrong changes were made — the research team just had to remove profanity and fix spelling to get past initial rejections.The investigators also tested TikTok and YouTube. Both services stopped all threats and banned the test accounts. In an earlier experiment before Brazil's election, Facebook and YouTube allowed all election misinformation sent during an initial pass, although Facebook rejected up to 50 percent in follow-up submissions.In a statement to Engadget, a spokesperson said the ads were a small sample that didn't represent what users saw on platforms like Facebook. The company maintained that its ability to counter election threats exceeds that of rivals, but only backed the claim by pointing to quotes that illustrated the amount of resources committed to stopping violent threats, not the effectiveness of those resources.The ads wouldn't have done damage, as the experimenters had the power to pull them before they went live. Still, the incident highlights the limitations of Meta's partial dependence on AI moderation to fight misinformation and hate speech. While the system helps Meta's human moderators cope with large amounts of content, it also risks greenlighting ads that might not be caught until they're visible to the public. That could not only let threats flourish, but invite fines from the UK and other countries that plan to penalize companies which don't quickly remove extremist content. ]]>
On the secondary market, shares are discounted 40% on average, says industry pro
Earlier today, we talked with Phil Haslett, the cofounder and now chief strategy officer of EquityZen, a 10-year-old, New York-based secondary marketplace that connects accredited buyers with privately held company shares that their owners — including founders, employees, and VCs — are looking to sell.
50 years ago today, Gough Whitlam was elected. There are some lessons for Albanese in what came next
Cadillac says its new electric race car is almost ready for 24 Hours of Daytona
Cadillac Racing says its first electric race car is almost ready for the 24 Hours of Daytona event in January after passing critical testing and development milestones. Since July, the V-LMDh has gone through nearly 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of on-track testing, including a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway.Cadillac collected data on nighttime operation and durability on the bumpy 3.7-mile circuit. Program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser claimed Sebring was the perfect testing ground for the V-LMDh ahead of its competitive debut at Daytona. “To complete that endurance test was extra motivation for our team and provided a sense of accomplishment,” Klauser said in a statement. “We still have a lot to do in a short time, but we are at the point where we are fine-tuning many things.”The car is also slated to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June. Cadillac plans to run it in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. A final test will take place next week at Daytona as part of mandatory evaluations for all manufacturers intending to take part in the IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype class. Cadillac Racing will reveal the final competition version of the three V-LMDh race cars, including liveries (and hopefully a new name), in mid-January. ]]>
Now AI can outmaneuver you at both Stratego and Diplomacy
While artificial intelligence long ago surpassed human capability in Chess, and more recently Go — and let us not forget Doom — other more complex board games still present a challenge to computer systems. Until very recently, Stratego and Diplomacy were two of those games, but now AI has become table-flipping good at the former and passably human at the latter.
Fifty years ago, the new Whitlam government removed the luxury sales tax on the pill. It changed Australian womens lives
Tesla reveals longawaited Semi Truck and begins first deliveries
Tesla delivered Thursday evening the first production versions of its long-delayed electric semi truck five years after CEO Elon Musk revealed the commercial vehicle. The first Tesla Semi trucks were handed over to Pepsi at an event at the company gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.
Daily Crunch: SBF says he’s ‘had a bad month,’ but is he really giving us the full story?
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US sanctions top North Korean officials
Washington said the step was taken in “close coordination” with South Korea and Japan
‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 will premiere on March 1
Disney announced today The Mandalorian’s long-awaited third season will debut on March 1st on Disney+. The company had previously said that the third season would debut in February, so fans will have to wait a little longer than expected to see the upcoming season.
New York seeks handson leader in antirat fight
Hate rats? Are you a “somewhat bloodthirsty” New Yorker with excellent communication skills and “a general aura of badassery”? Then you might have what it takes to be the city's new rat tsar.Mayor Eric Adams’ administration posted a job listing this week seeking someone to lead the city's long-running battle against rats.The official job title is “director of rodent mitigation,” although it was promptly dubbed the rat tsar. Salary range is $176,000 to $250,000.READ MORE: 'Rodent infestation' forces closure of New York Mexican fast food chain“The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter,” reads that ad.The posting is whimsical, but the job is daunting.New York City leaders have been trying to control the rodent population for generations, with mixed results.READ MORE: Starving cannibal rats swarm deserted US streets in lockdownSightings of rats in parks, sidewalks and other places in the city have recently increased.City rats have survived a multimillion-dollar effort under former Mayor Bill de Blasio that focused on more trash pickups and better housing inspections in targeted neighbourhoods.The city also launched a program to use dry ice to suffocate rats in their hiding spots.Adams, when he was borough president of Brooklyn, once demonstrated a trap that used a bucket filled with a toxic soup to drown rats lured by the scent of food.READ MORE: Russian public support for Ukraine war crumblesNow, the Adams' administration is looking for a top rat bureaucrat to become the public face of the city's eradication and education efforts.“Cunning, voracious, and prolific, New York City’s rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city – we do,” claimed the posting.Applicants are expected to have a crafty sense of humour and “to lead from the front, using hands-on techniques to exterminate rodents with authority and efficiency.” ]]>
US authorizes another missile sale to NATO hopeful
The move comes amid a wave of proposed arms deals with European allies in recent weeks