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Slate Articles
Facebook’s oversight board could bring a justice system to a platform that needs one
Illustration by Alex Castro / Th About a year ago, after Mark Zuckerberg floated the idea on a podcast with Ezra Klein, I argued that Facebook needed some kind of Supreme Court. “A perfect content moderation regime likely is too much to hope for,” I wrote at the time. “But Facebook could build and support institutions that help it balance competing notions of free speech and a safe community. Ultimately, the question of what belongs on Facebook can’t be decided solely by the people who work there.” In the months since, Facebook’s vision for its Supreme Court — which it has decided to give the rather less glamorous name of independent oversight board — has rapidly come into focus. Today, the company offered us the most details we’ve had on the plan to date. In a series of blog posts, the company unveiled its draft charter for the organization, summarized some of the key decisions that went into it, and described some of the rationale for its design. Finally, Mark Zuckerberg published a letter in which he reiterated the need for a kind of judicial branch for Facebook: We are responsible for enforcing our policies every day and we make millions of content decisions every week. But ultimately I don’t believe private companies like ours should be making so many important decisions about speech on our own. That’s why I’ve called for governments to set clearer standards around harmful content. It’s also why we’re now giving people a way to appeal our content decisions by establishing the independent Oversight Board. Facebook’s independent oversight board is a subject that I find very exciting, but I understand if the very idea of it makes your eyes glaze over. Viewed from a far enough remove, the idea can seem rather quaint. The board’s primary authority will be to decide which Facebook posts stay up and which come down, and you can imagine all manner of petty disputes on which the board will be asked to weigh in. But we also know now that Facebook and its moderators currently police the boundaries of speech on an enormous portion of the internet. And for those who feel that the company made the wrong decision about a post, there has historically been very little recourse. You could fill out a little text box and pray, but you were unlikely to ever receive much more than an automated message in response. The system might work in the majority of cases, but it never felt particularly just — which is to say, open and accountable. As laid out in today’s materials, the board is designed to create a feeling of justice where none has existed before. The board will have meaningful independence from Facebook, and while its decisions will not be legally binding, Facebook is highly incentivized to follow its recommendations. Its decisions will be public, and will serve as precedents — meaning that a kind of case law will develop over time. And the board will be able to go beyond decisions to offer advice on policymaking — Facebook will obligate itself to respond in public. “I have no idea if the Board will gain legitimacy. Maybe it will disappear overnight like Google’s AI Ethics Board,” said Kate Klonick, a law professor who has spent the past several months studying Facebook’s board plan, in a Twitter thread. “But at the very least, so far, it’s a bigger & more rigorous commitment of time, money, & platform power than anything that’s come before.” Why would Facebook put itself through this? I think Zuckerberg is being sincere when he says he doesn’t want to make important speech decisions by himself. There’s very little upside in doing so — when you run a platform that the whole world uses, every high-profile speech decision that you make can alienate millions of people. Better to entrust those decisions to a board, and give it just enough independence that you can credibly say you had nothing to do with the decision. Then again, we live in a time when trust in institutions is on the decline. Many people are already disinclined to trust Facebook, for a variety of reasons; it’s not clear how an entity as strange as Facebook’s oversight board can gain legitimacy in the eyes of the public. And even if it does, the highly political nature of many board decisions will make it a lightning rod for controversy. It’s hard to imagine that Facebook won’t continue to take collateral damage. All that said, the design of Facebook’s board is thoughtful and even clever. Board members with domain expertise, rendering decisions in public, could bring a legitimacy to Facebook’s content moderation operations that it has never had before. And even if falls short of Facebook’s highest ideals, on the surface this board charter looks much better than the system we live under today. The Ratio Today in news that could shape public perception. Trending up: Facebook updated its policy on dangerous individuals and organization to explicitly include domestic terrorists. Trending up: Snap might pay publishers for news content, bringing high-quality content to an app whose news offerings have largely been lowbrow and shallow. Trending down: The fall guy for some of Facebook’s policy missteps over the past two years never actually took the fall. Governing ⭐ The Facebook page ‘Vets for Trump’ was taken over by a North Macedonian businessman and the owners couldn’t get it back for months. After taking over the page, the Macedonians began asking the page’s 100,000 followers for donations. (Craig Timberg / The Washington Post) Foreign actors — some seeking profit, some seeking influence and some seeking both — haven’t flagged in their efforts to reach U.S. voters through online information sources such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Veterans and active-duty military personnel are especially valuable targets for manipulation because they vote at high rates and can influence others who admire their records of service. “Veterans as a cohort are more likely than others to participate in democracy. That includes not only voting but running for office and getting others to vote,” said Kristofer Goldsmith, chief investigator for Vietnam Veterans of America. He was the first to discover the takeover of Vets for Trump during research for a report to be released Wednesday that documents widespread, persistent efforts by foreign actors to scam and manipulate veterans over Facebook and other social media. Facebook updated its policy for dangerous individuals and organizations in response to the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand. The company will now target content from hate groups with the same AI techniques used against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Facebook also expanded its definition of “terrorist organization” to include groups that even attempt acts of violence against civilians — such as the white supremacists. (Facebook) Facebook removed 244accounts and 269Pages for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior originating in Iraq and Ukraine. The people behind the scheme used fake accounts to amplify content and manage pages. In Iraq, they typically posted about religion, Saddam Hussein, and US military action. In Ukraine, they posted about celebrities and sports. (Nathaniel Gleicher / Facebook) Moderating Facebook content continues to be highly traumatic for some contractors — months after the company committed to improve working conditions. This story includes conversations with current and former moderators in Berlin. (Alex Hern / The Guardian) Facebook executive Elliot Schrage stepped down as policy chief in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal — but he never left the company. Schrage has remained as vice president of special projects, where he is now working on the Libra mess. (Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg) President Trump returned to the Bay Area for the first time since he was elected, for a fundraising event in Palo Alto. Only 5 percent of donations tech workers have made to presidential candidates have gone to Trump since 2017. (Rebecca Ballhaus and Chad Day / The Wall Street Journal) Police reopened an investigation into a college student’s death after the victim’s family discovered a Snapchat photo implicating his roommate. (John Frank / The Colorado Sun) Russia undertook a ‘stunning’ breach of FBI communications, resulting in diplomats’ expulsion from the country in 2016. Among other things, the Russians were trying to stop the bureau from tracking spies. (Zach Dorfman, Jenna McLaughlin, and Sean D. Naylor / Yahoo) Surveillance in the U.K., already much greater than in most western democracies, is ramping up even further thanks to facial recognition software installed in some of the country’s many public surveillance cameras. In May, San Francisco went the opposite route and banned this technology altogether. (Adam Satariano / New York Times) Industry ⭐ Facebook is partnering with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica to develop augmented-reality glasses. The company hopes to having something to sell to customers by 2023, CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez reports: The glasses would allow users to take calls, show information to users in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to their social media friends and followers. Facebook is also developing an artificial intelligence voice assistant that would serve as a user input for the glasses, CNBC previously reported. In addition, the company has experimented with a ring device that would allow users to input information via motion sensor. That device is code-named Agios. The company has hundreds of employees at its Redmond offices working on technology for the AR glasses, but thus far, Facebook has struggled to reduce the size of the device into a form factor that consumers will find appealing, a person who worked on the device told CNBC. Snapchat rolled out 3D Camera Mode, which adds a new dimension to photos. Users with an iPhone X or newer can apply 3D effects, lenses, and filters to their photos. The effect requires an iPhone X or newer, and replicates a upcoming feature in the next iteration of Spectacles, which are going on sale soon. (Ashley Carman / The Verge) Snapchat is also exploring a new bet on news, courting publishers for a dedicated news tab in the app. My dream of high-quality news publishers being paid what are essentially carriage fees by the platforms is rapidly coming into focus. (Facebook is doing something similar.) (Alex Heath and Jessica Toonkel / The Information) In a beautiful essay, Tavi Gevinson interrogated her own rise to fame, beginning with a fashion blog at age 12 and a magazine at age 15, and the conflicted relationship with Instagram she developed along the way. Make time for this one. (Tavi Gevinson / The Cut) We reviewed Apple’s new phones and concluded that the iPhone 11 is the phone most people should buy (if they’re planning to upgrade). I got the green iPhone 11 Pro, though. (Nilay Patel / The Verge) Repo men are scanning and uploading the locations of every car they drive by into Digital Recognition Network — a surveillance database of 9 billion license plate scans accessible by private investigators. Although the network isn’t run by the government, law enforcement have access to it. (Joseph Cox / Vice) Scientists predict sea waters could rise 4 feet or more by 2100, inundating tech headquarters in Silicon Valley. But Google and Apple are among those still investing heavily in real estate in the area. (Marketplace) Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media introduced a tool that claims to instantly detect the use of fake accounts to manipulate public opinion. It’s called BotSlayer, and I’m curious to see how well it works — detecting bots is notoriously difficult. (Indiana University) And finally ... ‘I’d Rather Die Hot Than Live Ugly’ Eve Peyser talks to people who modify their bodies in extreme ways for Instagram followers: Earlier this year, Louise — who ultimately aspires to be a reality television star — made a bombastic appearance on Dr. Phil, wherein she played a cartoon of herself, proclaiming herself a “skinny legend,” and remarking, “I’d rather die hot than live ugly.” She’s earned over 70,000 followers since her TV appearance, and now claims to earn around $3,000 per month hawking products like Flat Tummy Tea. “I could say that social media puts a lot of pressure on me, but I’m thankful for that. I wonder if Instagram didn’t exist, what I would look like at this point?” she mused. Ultimately, she’s in it for the money. “Back when I had, like, 200 followers, I was still on the app all day looking at people,” she explained. So why not capitalize on that? I can think of some reasons! Talk to us Send us tips, comments, questions, and oversight board charters: and
The Verge
Apple Watch Series 5 review: the best smartwatch
There’s basically no competition The highest praise I can give the new Apple Watch Series 5 is simply this: it’s an Apple Watch. There’s a running joke in my recent iPad reviews: I just get to say “it’s an iPad,” and everybody knows what that means. It’s a sign that the product isn’t changing year over year, sure. But more importantly, it’s a promise that it’s good, that it will do what you expect it to do, and that you don’t need to overthink how it will fit into your life. Not very many products reach that level. Even the iPhone has ups and downs, with some years being a little more inconsistent than others. But minus a rough start and a cellular hiccup a couple of years ago, the Apple Watch has been on a very steady trajectory: slightly better every year. It starts at the same $399 price point as last year, and cellular or material upgrades will add to that cost. Compared to the Series 4, the Series 5 has only a few minor updates. Chief among them is a new always-on screen. Compared to the rest of the smartwatch market, the Apple Watch Series 5 is in a completely different league. Relative to the Series 4, there are four new things on the Apple Watch Series 5. The first is that Apple is offering new materials for the casing. You can get it in the standard aluminum and steel, but you can also spend more for titanium or ceramic now. There are some subtle weight differences on the more expensive materials, and they also have sapphire glass on the front of the Watch. But you should not spend the extra money on those more premium materials in the hope that they’ll be better from a feature perspective. They’re the same Apple Watch; you’d just be paying more for something fancier. Some people like doing that! The second new feature is the big update this year: an always-on screen. I feel like a lot of users have been asking for this since the very first Apple Watch was announced five years ago alongside the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay. It’s something other smartwatches were already doing back then, and it was annoying that Apple didn’t figure out a way to do it. Now it has, and in typical Apple fashion, it’s saying it was able to do so because of some slick new screen technology that mitigates the usual battery trade-offs. Specifically, Apple says it can dynamically change the screen’s refresh rate from as fast as 60Hz to as slow as 1Hz, updating just once per second. Doing that allows the screen to draw radically less power when it’s in ambient mode. It also means that if you want an always-on display, you’re going to have to pony up for the Series 5. It’s not something that will be added to older models via software updates. The technology that makes that possible is a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO for short) display that Apple developed. The tech behind an LTPO version of an OLED screen is interesting — especially since it was first introduced in the Series 4 — but it’s not something you really need to understand. The screen looks identical to the Series 4; it’s just as big and bright. What last year’s Watch lacks are the chips to control the refresh rate on that LTPO screen so it won’t be able to do always-on. Specifically, the Series 5 has an “ultra-low power display driver, efficient power management integrated circuit and new ambient light sensor,” according to Apple. I love the always-on screen on the Series 5. Apple’s implementation is better than other smartwatches I’ve used for two reasons: it legitimately doesn’t hurt the battery life as much, and Apple keeps a little color visible in ambient mode. For whatever reason, I’ve never been able to get earlier Apple Watches to show their screens with subtle wrist movements. I’ve always had to cartoonishly raise my arm. An always-on screen means I am a little bit less of a jerk in conversations and meetings. An always-on screen was my number one feature request — it took five years, but we got it But the big question is battery life: Apple claims it still gets 18 hours with standard use, and I have gotten that. So, box checked — except that the Series 4 usually outperformed that estimate. I won’t go so far as to say that the Series 5 gets notably worse battery life than the Series 4, but at best, it’s on par. You’ll be charging it every day. But let’s not grade on a curve here. The Apple Watch is better than any other computer-on-your-wrist-style smartwatch by a country mile, but there are other watches with smart features that can last for days, weeks, or even months. The Garmins and Fitbits and Withings of the world are all meant for different things than the Apple Watch, but many can do some of the basics, like notifications and weather, nearly as well. The last two new features on the Apple Watch Series 5 are a built-in compass and cellular bands that can work internationally. The former could be useful for day hikers, while the latter really only allows the cellular version to make emergency calls anywhere in the world. To get service in more places, you’ll need to wait for Apple to make more carrier deals. So to sum up: new case materials, new always-on screen, a compass, and more cellular bands. All in all, that’s a very minor update. But the truth is that Apple could have done literally nothing, and the Apple Watch would still have been the best smartwatch for iPhone users by far. Some apps will require you to use your iPhone, but Apple says, at launch, many will be fully independent. If you have a current Apple Watch and are thinking of upgrading, I strongly recommend you wait for watchOS 6 to arrive for your current Watch. It might be good enough for you to hang on to what you have or, more rarely, these updates can make older Watches feel slower. Either way, it’s worth it to wait a bit. The big headline feature for watchOS 6 is that it has an independent App Store that allows you to download and install apps without needing your iPhone. It does exactly that, but make sure you have your iPhone handy the first time to enter some passwords. There will be other times when some of the apps will not work on your Watch until they can communicate with a paired app on your iPhone. Apple tells me that after watchOS 6 launches, many fully independent Watch apps will be available and featured on the main page of the Watch version of the App Store. I think the hope is that an onboard App Store may spur more usage and make supporting the Apple Watch more worthwhile to third-party developers. We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath just yet. So far, it’s been a moneymaker mainly for Apple. Apple has done a decent job of curating apps for the main page on the App Store, but otherwise, it’s not as easy to browse as it is on your phone. The new App Store on the Watch doesn’t make it any more independent from the iPhone, however. You still need an iPhone to set up and use the Apple Watch, even if you have a Watch with an LTE connection and its own version of the App Store. This is still an accessory to the iPhone and not a truly independent device, though, with watchOS 6, you can start to see the hazy outlines of that path. Alongside the App Store are a few new and updated apps directly from Apple. The most important in my mind is the new Cycle Tracking app for tracking menstrual cycles. It took Apple longer than it should have to prioritize features designed for the health of people who have periods. But now that it’s here, it seems as though the company has done a good job. Apple has taken a cautious approach. The complication doesn’t show information, for example, and it won’t be overconfident in guessing the dates for your predicted periods and fertility windows. If you’re planning on using this to gather data for family planning purposes, you should talk to your doctor before acting on any of the data this app collects. Apple also has put some thought and care into whether and when to show various Cycle Tracking options, depending on the age and gender information it knows. You can also turn certain types of tracking (like fertility) off if you want. There’s a specific onboarding flow that happens on the phone only because it’s better able to communicate information and nuance than your tiny watch screen. And if you’d like to remove the Cycles app entirely, for the first time, watchOS 6 will allow users to delete some of Apple’s own apps from the Watch. (To do that, you need to have your app view set in the hexagonal grid view. Then, long-press any app to go into jiggly mode, at which point, you’ll be able to tap an X to uninstall.) Other new apps include an updated Reminders app and a Voice Memos app, both of which sync automatically with their paired apps on the iPhone. There’s also a Calculator app. (Why the Apple Watch has a first-party Calculator app while the iPad does not is a riddle for all iPad users.) The Apple Watch can now also detect ambient noise. If it gets too loud, it will warn you, and it will also track your overall ambient noise level over time. It confirmed that the BART trains in San Francisco are ridiculously loud. Oddly, the noise section in Apple Health only works on environmental noise, not the volume you set on your headphones. Apple put in a few new watchfaces, as usual. And as usual, I find them to be nice but always a few degrees off from what I actually want. I respect that Apple is opinionated about the aesthetics of the Apple Watch, but I’m increasingly annoyed that it won’t allow third-party watchfaces. However, Apple has finally made a change that I’m over the moon about: on most watchfaces, when you set a custom color, it sets all of the complications to monochrome to match that color. I found too many of them to be garishly colorful before, and now I can tone them down to my preferred color. Last and (given its reputation) possibly least, Siri has a few small updates. It’s able to recognize music when you ask for it, and it can present answers to questions with web links now, too. Yes, you can still open webpages on the Apple Watch. And yes, it’s still as adorable as ever. Fortunately, it also still defaults to opening specific articles in Safari Reader Mode. If you’re interested in the cellular version, I can report that it works about the same in watchOS 6 as it did before, which is to say everything works, but it all feels just a little slower and worse than it would if you had your phone with you. Calls aren’t as crisp, latency is a bit higher when using data, and, of course, it’ll ding your battery more. But again, slightly worse than ideal for the Apple Watch is still many multiples better than most of the competition. It is about time that Apple added an always-on screen to the Apple Watch Series 5, but that’s not the best thing about it. Nor is it the LTPO technology that enables it or the new compass or the noise meter or any single one of the features I’ve brought up in this review. The best part of the Apple Watch is that I’m able to talk about those features at all. Every other smartwatch I have used in the past few years (and, reader, I have used a lot) has failed to cross very basic thresholds of usability. Some don’t last more than 12 hours, some can’t seem to open apps in fewer than 10 seconds, some are hard to navigate, and some have really buggy software. The lion’s share of the blame for those issues lies with the various companies that have tried and failed to make great smartwatches. But I want to save some portion for Apple because it allows the Apple Watch to have deeper and better integrations with the iPhone than it will give to third parties. It automatically “just works” with Apple’s apps, notification frameworks, and — critically — iMessage. That Apple integration cuts both ways. Because it’s tied so closely to the iPhone, the possibility that it will ever be an option for Android users seems to be getting smaller. That’s a shame because there are many, many more Android users, all of whom don’t have great smartwatch options. Apple is adding advanced features while everybody else struggles with the basics In fact, look closer at the Android world, and you will see just how far ahead the Apple Watch truly is. Google’s Wear OS platform is in the midst of its umpteenth strategic reboot, and it’s not going well. Samsung’s Tizen platform is better, but it has struggled to gain wider adoption among anybody but Samsung users. Fitbit has hung on to a loyal following for its basic fitness trackers, but its attempts at more advanced smartwatches have been disappointing. It’s as if the Apple Watch is in high school and taking AP courses while everybody else is repeating the 7th grade for the third time. Sure, the Apple Watch Series 5 hasn’t reached anything close to its full potential yet, but right now, this thing is an overachiever. It’s an Apple Watch. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.
The Verge
Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Always on Time
The biggest update is a most welcome one: A redesigned display that always shows the time of day.
Don't Storm Area 51, Begs the Webmaster of the UFO Kingdom
Joerg Arnu loves the secretive military base, documents it on an exhaustive fan site, and wants people to visit—just not all at once.
Sadly, it's probably time to think about upgrading from your iPhone 6S
It's with great sadness that I tell all iPhone 6S devotees out there that the next year or so might be the time to finally think about replacing your beloved phone. There are gripes to be had with just about any piece of technology, but the iPhone 6S was pleasantly free of things to hate. Plenty of people still rock the 2015 edition of the iPhone, in fact, because it has a little bit of something for everyone. Unlike newer iPhones, there's no notch or camera bump to worry about. It still has a "real" home button. It brought 3D Touch to the world, a convenient feature Apple just dropped from the entire iPhone 11 line. It isn't too big and it isn't too small. It might not have best-in-class cameras or battery life, but they're still good enough. Read more...More about Apple, Iphone, Iphone 6s, Headphone Jack, and Iphone 11
Jimmy Fallon's interview with Sarah Paulson quickly descends into giggling chaos
Remember Jimmy Fallon's famous interview with Bradley Cooper, where the two of them simply couldn't stop giggling? Well, his recent interview with Sarah Paulson isn't quite on that level, but it's not far off. In the clip above, the two of them attempt to discuss Paulson's new movie The Goldfinch — but things get off to a shaky start when Fallon admits he stopped reading the book part way in. "I'm gonna read it before the film comes out," says Fallon, in an attempt to recover. "Yeah, when is it coming out?" "It's out now," replies Paulson. Oh dear. Read more... More about Interview, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Paulson, and The Goldfinch
5 things to know for September 18: Saudi Arabia, politics, weather, Cokie Roberts
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
EU warns Britain it is heading for a no-deal Brexit
The European Union delivered a stark warning on Wednesday that Britain was headed for a damaging no-deal Brexit, with London's ideas on replacing the contentious backstop to unlock an accord falling short just six weeks before Britain is due to leave.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Blues' O'Reilly has 'another gear' after being playoff MVP
Ryan O'Reilly stockpiled quite the hardware to show off at his Stanley Cup day.
Mosquito-borne virus victim went from healthy to brain dead in 9 days
Gregg McChesney was a "perfectly healthy, happy human being" less than two weeks before his August 19 death from the rare mosquito-borne virus, his brother said. A Michigan man went from healthy to brain dead in just nine days after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis, his brother said. - RSS Channel
Elizabeth Warren stopped cold by Colbert's question
Stephen Colbert asks Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) if she "agrees with President Donald Trump on anything?" - RSS Channel
Apple iPhones, Instant Pots, Microsoft laptops, Kindles, and more on sale for Sept. 18 in the UK
Welcome to another roundup of the very best deals from across the web. In this edition, we have sourced discounted Amazon devices, smart scales, robot vacuums, backpacks, laptops, and more.  You can save on a wide variety of top products from the biggest of brands. We have tracked down deals on the likes of Apple, Microsoft, ASUS, and Bosch, with something for everyone. Even you. These are the best deals from across the internet for Sept. 18. Best of the best All the best deals from across the UK, including discounted laptops, smartphones, earbuds, and more on offer. Amazon devices Your chance to save on a wide variety of Amazon's own devices, including an impressive range of certified refurbished products. Read more...More about Amazon, Home And Tech, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals IMAGE: AMAZON £31.99 £33 OFF (51%) £64.99 APEMAN 4K Action Camera -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £16.69 £13.30 OFF (44%) £29.99 Sosoon Laptop Backpack -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £18.99 £21.00 OFF (53%) £39.99 Sosoon Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £53.19 £46.80 OFF (47%) £99.99 Arealer Foot Spa and Massager -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £15.99 £30 OFF (65%) £45.99 INLIFE Sunrise Alarm Clock -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £28 £6.99 OFF (20%) £34.99 Umi. True Wireless Earbuds -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £599.95 £199.05 OFF (25%) £799 Microsoft Touchscreen Surface Laptop -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £249.99 £100 OFF (29%) £349.99 ASUS Touchscreen Chromebook Flip -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £479 £120 OFF (20%) £599 Apple iPhone 8 (64GB) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £429 £140 OFF (25%) £569 Apple iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £49.99 £20.00 OFF (29%) £69.99 Kindle -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £119 £60 OFF (34%) £179 Ring Stick Up Cam -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £34.99 £15 OFF (30%) £49.99 Echo Dot (3rd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £24.99 £20.00 OFF (44%) £44.99 Certified Refurbished Echo Dot (3rd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £77.99 £30 OFF (28%) £107.99 Certified Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £19.99 £25.00 OFF (56%) £44.99 Certified Refurbished Amazon Echo Dot -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £49.99 £30.00 OFF (38%) £79.99 Certified Refurbished Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £59.99 £70 OFF (54%) £129.99 Certified Refurbished Echo Plus -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £79.99 £30 OFF (27%) £109.99 Certified Refurbished Amazon Echo Spot -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £89.99 £90.00 OFF (50%) £179.99 Certified Refurbished Echo Show -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £26.99 £9.00 OFF (25%) £35.99 RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £49.01 OFF (55%) £89 Eufy Smart Scale -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £22.99 £13.00 OFF (36%) £35.99 FITINDEX Smart Body Fat Scale -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £199.99 £160 OFF (44%) £359.99 Bagotte BG600 Robot Vacuum Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £249.99 £149.01 OFF (37%) £399 iRobot Roomba 671 Robot Vacuum Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £89.99 £80.00 OFF (47%) £169.99 Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £57.99 £22.00 OFF (28%) £79.99 AmazonBasics 23-in-1 Multi-Purpose Electric Steamer -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £524 £305.99 OFF (37%) £829.99 De'Longhi Eletta ECAM Bean to Cup Cofee Machine -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £67.50 OFF (63%) £107.49 Bosch Tassimo Vivy 2 Coffee Machine -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £52.99 £47.01 OFF (47%) £100 De'Longhi Dolce Gusto Capsule Coffee Machine -- See Details
Huawei’s Thursday event lineup apparently leaks in full
The Mate 30 can be seen here in four of its upcoming colors. | Image: 长安数码君 / Weibo Huawei is running out of surprises for its Mate 30 launch event on September 19th. Not only has the Mate 30 Pro itself leaked in new images posted on Weibo as well as a pair of videos, but Android Headlines has reported what it claims is the entire announcement lineup for tomorrow’s event. The report claims Huawei will announce the Watch GT 2 smartwatch, a new fitness band, a TV, and the worldwide release of the MediaPad M6 Android tablet. Since Evan Blass tweeted a collection of renders of the Mate 30 lineup, including the Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, and Mate 30 Lite, there aren’t many details left for photographs to reveal. They do confirm a display that curves around the edges of the Mate 30 Pro, rear cameras contained within a circular camera bump, and a large notch at the top of the display, which a tweet from Blass suggests is due to the additional sensors required for Huawei’s face unlock technology. Image: 长安数码君 / Weibo The photograph shows off the now-familiar circular camera bump on the rear of the Mate 30 Pro. Image: 长安数码君 / Weibo The Mate 30 Pro appears to have a large notch containing some kind of face unlock technology. As well as photographs, we’ve also seen a pair of videos of the Mate 30 Pro. One unboxing was uploaded to TikTok before being reposted to Youtube, while a second short video gives another brief look at the device. At this point, the biggest unknowns about the Mate 30 Pro surrounds its internals, both in terms of specs and software. For example, we’re still waiting for more details about its camera array beyond a tweet from Ice Universe which suggested that it will have a pair of 40-megapixel sensors along with an 8-megapixel sensor and a time-of-flight sensor. There are also big questions about the phone’s software, after Google confirmed that the Mate 30 phones will not be able to launch with official Google apps, meaning they won’t be able to easily access Google’s Play Store. The situation had previously lead Huawei to announce an operating system of its own called Harmony OS, which is designed to power everything from wearables to smart speakers. However, at the moment the only Harmony OS device Huawei has announced is the Honor Vision smart TV, and it’s said that it intends to continue using Android for its phones where possible. The Mate 30 series is expected to run the open-sourced version of Android, similar to Huawei phones sold in China. Along with its new range of phones, Android Headlines claims that Huawei will have a new smart watch, a fitness band, a Huawei-branded TV, and a MediaPad M6 to show off at the event. The smart watch is thought to be the Huawei Watch GT 2. Android Headlines says that this time around the watch will come in two different sizes. There will apparently be a version with a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, in addition to the 1.39-inch display seen on the previous model. Both sizes are powered by Huawei’s new A1 chip which the company announced alongside the Freebuds 3 back at IFA, but the smaller watch size apparently doesn’t include a microphone. There will be four different designs of the watch overall, which are thoroughly detailed in a series of tweets from Evan Blass. Image: Android Headlines The new watch will be available in four different styles and two different sizes. Along with the Watch GT 2, Huawei reportedly has a second wearable announcement planned for the event: a new fitness band. The device will apparently be equipped with GPS, a motion sensor, a geomagnetic sensor, an air pressure sensor, and an optical heart rate sensor. The images shared by Android Headlines suggests that it has a built-in USB connector for charging without a cradle. There’s no mention of what operating system the two wearable ranges will run on. Huawei dropped Google’s Wear OS for its first Watch GT in favor of its own software. There’s a chance the devices could switch to using the company’s new Harmony OS software. Image: Android Headlines The new fitness band will be equipped with GPS and a heart-rate sensor. Image: Android Headlines The band also appears to have a built-in USB connector. Android Headlines also says that the company might announce a Huawei-branded TV, following on from the set it previously announced from its Honor sub-brand. Like the Honor Vision, Huawei’s new TV will apparently run its first-party Harmony OS operating system, and also feature a pop-up camera designed for video calling. We don’t know too much about the specs of the TV or what sizes it will be available in, but at least one model will be available with an Ultra HD resolution, according to Android Headlines. Image: Android Headlines Like the Honor Vision, the TV will also feature a pop-up selfie camera. Image: Android Headlines The TV will carry Huawei’s own branding, rather than that of its Honor sub-brand. The final announcement Huawei could make at tomorrow’s event is the worldwide release of the MediaPad M6, the 10.8-inch Android tablet the company released in the Chinese market back in July. It’s common for devices to leak before big events but it’s rare to see an entire lineup emerge in one go like this. If these leaks are accurate, the only announcements that Huawei will be left to make are detailed specs, pricing, and release dates.
The Verge
Which World Cup '98 players are still playing competitive football? | The Knowledge
Plus: adventures in outfield players catching the ball, a close cross-border African cup tie and moreMail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“With the retirement of Samuel Eto’o, how many players to have featured at France ‘98 remain active?” tweets JBfaeDundee. “Buffon was in the Italy squad, but didn’t actually play.” Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Israel, California, Federal Reserve: Your Wednesday Briefing
Here’s what you need to know.
NYT > Home Page
Samoa's tattooed rugby players to cover up at times in Japan
Samoan rugby players will wear skin suits to cover their traditional tattoos during some training sessions at the World Cup in order not to offend their Japanese hosts.
Cavan Biggio hit for cycle, just like dad Craig
Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle, just like his dad.
Dellin Betances tore Achilles in return to Yankees
Dellin Betances' season appears to be over after just eight pitches.
Barack Obama hung out with Greta Thunberg and they shared a glorious fist-bump
When Barack Obama says you're part of his team, you know you're probably doing something pretty cool.  The word cool doesn't begin to cover the actions of 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who is, in the words of Obama himself, "changing the world."  Thunberg met with the former U.S. president during her visit to Washington D.C. on Tuesday. "You and me, we're a team," Obama said during the meeting. Then the pair enjoyed a pretty epic fist bump. Frankly we'd expect nothing less of both of them.  Thunberg is currently in the U.S. after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean instead of flying. She will speak at Mashable's Social Good Summit in New York on Sept. 22, ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. Read more...More about Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg, Culture, Activism, and Climate Environment
Rachael Denhollander’s Memoir Is a Searing Exposé of the Suppression of Women’s Stories
What Is a Girl Worth? is rigorous and righteous and driven both by anger and remarkable grace.
Slate Articles
Finally, Facebook Put Someone in Charge
You won’t like Facebook’s new Oversight Board. Yesterday, the social-media giant unveiled its “charter” for a 40-person board with the power to review the company’s decisions about which content can appear on Facebook-owned platforms and which rules it applies when taking postings down. Deciding which videos are too violent, which photos too racy, and which behavior too “inauthentic” is a job destined to make the board unpopular. That it can be unpopular—with users, the media, and Facebook employees alike—and still exist is precisely the point.Facebook is setting up its own Oversight Board because, as founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote, private companies should not “be making so many important decisions about speech on our own.” He has pleaded unsuccessfully with governments to tell him exactly what he needs to remove from his sites. Now, he’s outsourced the final say on a range of decisions to the new board. Still unclear is who will be appointed to the body, how many disputes it will take up, how it will triage them out of millions of possible cases, or how precisely it will interpret the underlying “values” that Facebook released last week. But for now these details matter less than the fact that someone is finally in charge of making difficult decisions about online speech in public view and on a principled basis.Vowing to select members from “the widest possible set of diverse candidates from outside our normal channels,” Facebook itself will appoint the initial members by the end of the year, who will then help select the remaining members until the board reaches its full capacity of 40 people. The hope is that by appointing members for fixed terms with protection against removal for any reason except breach of a yet-to-be-announced code of conduct, the board will make decisions without regard to public opinion or Facebook’s business interests. Importantly, it will also be seen to be doing so.The board’s decisions might not be any better in substance than the ones Facebook has been making already. Often, there is no “right” answer. And to hope that this body will finally resolve intractable disputes about the proper limits of free speech that have bedeviled lawyers and philosophers for centuries, well before all the added challenges of the digital age, is to misunderstand the board’s purpose.What the board can do is explain the reasoning behind any particular decision or rule. This process of transparent, public reasoning is the main way people in a pluralistic community can come to view the rules that they have to abide by as legitimate. Research shows that people’s feelings about whether a decision is legitimate depend more on the process for reaching the decision—and, crucially, whether the decision is explained by reference to neutral, generally applicable rules—than whether they agree with the answer.This emphasis on explanation is seen throughout the charter. In nine pages the charter repeatedly refers to the responsibility of the board to make decisions that are “explained clearly” “using clearly articulated reasoning” and “plain language.” The charter also instructs the board to give substantial weight to its own prior decisions—like common-law legal systems do—in deciding any case. This all amounts to the idea that the board’s decisions should be based on something more than mere gut feeling or personal opinion. That’s why it’s a little simplistic for Zuckerberg to write in his letter yesterday that “Just as our Board of Directors keeps Facebook accountable to our shareholders, we believe the Oversight Board can do the same for our community.” While the board should have regard to the community interest, it should not merely be a proxy for public sentiment—otherwise Facebook could just decide these issues by poll. Decisions need to be based on something more fundamental.This is the role of the Facebook’s “values.” So while the new board and its charter are getting all the attention, the values that Facebook published last week are just as consequential. These values, like the charter itself, emphasize Facebook’s commitment to “voice,” but note that this needs to be balanced against the need to respect authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity. Importantly, these documents expressly incorporate international human rights norms as informing its decision-making. This grounding in a more widely endorsed set of principles is another bid for broader acceptance of its new rules.The charter that Facebook unveiled Tuesday comes after months of consultation with experts and the public around the world. A report on that process, released in June, chronicled a lot of hand-wringing over how the board should be set up. The only issue on which consensus emerged was that the board should not be limited to deciding individual cases but should also have power to influence Facebook’s policy development. This is a recommendation that the company somewhat reluctantly adopted; the final charter says Facebook may request “advisory” policy guidance.Obviously, influence over policy is a much bigger grant of power to the board. The policies that decide what stays up and what comes down determine users’ entire experience on Facebook or Instagram. But to confine the Oversight Board’s impact to individual disputes when it will hear only the tiniest fraction of the millions of content moderation decisions Facebook makes every week would limit the board’s role significantly. And to ignore the 95 percent of people who said the Oversight Board needed this power to be a legitimate check on Facebook would make a mockery of the consultation process. According to the final charter, however, how broadly Facebook implements the board’s decisions will depend on what the company deems “technically and operationally feasible”—a slippery and opaque standard.This dialogue between the board, Facebook and the broader public depends in no small part, then, on the actors operating in good faith. As is evident from current events around the world, constitutions—written or unwritten—can only get you so far. A lot depends on the norms that develop and the commitment of the people involved to carry out their roles reasonably.The Oversight Board is fundamentally a bet by Facebook that the legitimacy of its decisions matters—and matters more than getting its way on every question. As other platforms seem to double down on the idea that they do not need to publicly explain their decisions or abide by their own rules when it does not suit their short-term interests, Facebook appears to be making a different wager: accountability and legitimacy can reassure users—and regulators—of the value of its product. Acting in bad faith would undermine Facebook’s own gamble. Legitimacy, Facebook hopes, will become part of its value proposition.The Oversight Board could be, as former British deputy prime minister and current Facebook vice president Nick Clegg wrote yesterday, “a model for our industry.” Enough thought has gone into the proposal, at least, that it is unlikely to go the way of Google’s artificial-intelligence ethics board that was dissolved before it even got started. Norms and legitimacy are built and earned over time. Facebook had to start somewhere.
World Edition - The Atlantic
Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter files restraining order against brother Aaron
Boy band star claims former teen idol Aaron said he intended to kill his pregnant wife, which Aaron deniesNick Carter, a member of boy band Backstreet Boys, has taken out a restraining order against his brother, pop star Aaron Carter.Nick wrote that “after careful consideration” he and his sister Angel had both sought restraining orders. He added: “In light of Aaron’s increasingly alarming behaviour and his recent confession that he harbors thoughts and intentions of killing my pregnant wife and unborn child, we were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family.” Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
The Most Powerful Lightning Strikes in Unexpected Places
Superbolts are extremely rare, and thousands of times more powerful than the tendrils in the typical electrical storm.
NYT > Home Page
Dead heat in re-run Israeli election leaves Netanyahu on back foot
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's grip on power was hanging in the balance Wednesday after local TV channels projected him neck-and-neck with centrist rival Benny Gantz, following a re-run general election.
Saudi Arabia promises concrete proof Iran behind oil attack
Saudi Arabia said it would produce evidence on Wednesday linking regional rival Tehran to an unprecedented attack on its oil industry that Washington believes originated from Iran in a dangerous escalation of Middle East frictions.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Family of notorious gangster John Dillinger submits new application to exhume his remains
Some have theorized that it is not gangster John Dillinger who was killed outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago in 1934, but rather a double.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Neanderthal Footprints in France Offer Clues to Group Behavior
The 80,000-year-old prints fill in gaps left by fossils and artifacts.
NYT > Home Page
Iran's Zarif rejects as 'distraction' U.S. accusations over Saudi attacks - ISNA
Iran dismissed U.S. accusations over weekend attacks of Saudi Arabia's oil sites as a distraction from the realities in the Middle East, Iran's Students News Agency ISNA quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on Wednesday. "The United States should seek to look at the realities in the region, rather than simply using distractions. We feel that the U.S. government is trying to somehow forget the realities in the region," Zarif said.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Yorkshire mine firm is big, bold and northern – but it's riddled with risk
It is little wonder the government has declined an offer to back Sirius Minerals’ fertiliser mineSirius Minerals, the now-troubled $5bn (£4bn) fertiliser mine under the North York Moors, would seem to tick every box in the supposed post-Brexit industrial strategy playbook. It is big, bold, northern and a potential export earner. So why would the government decline the company’s kind invitation to guarantee $1bn-worth of its bonds?The answer, sadly for those local MPs screaming for intervention to save 1,200 jobs, is that Sirius is not a straightforward prospect. It is riddled with risk. First, the company doesn’t currently generate cash, and the production schedule doesn’t imagine polyhalite appearing until 2021. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
'We're a team': Greta Thunberg visits Barack Obama – video
After crossing the Atlantic on a solar-powered boat, the climate activist Greta Thunberg visited Barack Obama in Washington. The former US president later shared a photo of the pair and praised Thunberg as 'one of our planet's greatest advocates'. The Swedish teenager is in the US to speak at the UN climate summit on 23 SeptemberGreta Thunberg to Congress: ‘You’re not trying hard enough. Sorry’ Continue reading...
Chiefs' Demarcus Robinson steps up in Tyreek Hill's absence
It's easy for Demarcus Robinson to get overlooked in the Kansas City Chiefs' offense.
Shakhtar have 12 Brazilian imports but which should City fear most?
The Ukrainian club has long been a haven for Brazilians and three stand out as they start their Champions League campaignThe landscape in which Shakhtar Donetsk, displaced from their home city since 2014, operate has quite literally changed but one symbol of their power in the early years of this century remains. The club is still a haven for talented Brazilian players and Luis Castro, their Portuguese coach, will have 10 to select from when they face Manchester City — as well as as the Santos-born striker Júnior Moraes, who received Ukrainian citizenship in March, and the former São Paulo player Marlos, who made his Ukraine debut in October 2017.Brandão, signed from modest Iraty in 2002, blazed the trail and 34 – most recently the Brazil Under-20 captain Vitão – have followed him, with often spectacular results. Signings Brazilians became a specific strategy when the Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu, keen to create a more technical team and aided by the financial backing of the billionaire president Rinat Akhmetov, arrived in 2004. If the prospect of playing in Ukraine was not always an immediately easy sell, the money on offer helped and so did the fact that new arrivals would be playing alongside a cluster of their countrymen. European football meant exposure elsewhere and the prospect that, if they succeeded at Shakhtar, opportunities with bigger names might open up. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Miami's Minkah Fitzpatrick traded to Steelers
Miami Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick got his wish and was traded Monday night to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round draft pick in 2020, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
Iran seeks de-escalation but will give crushing response to any attack: security official
Iran wants to reduce tensions in the Middle East after attacks on oil sites in Saudi Arabia, but any aggression will meet a crushing response, a senior security official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
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Liverpool fan taken to hospital with head injuries after assault in Naples
• Supporter discharged on Wednesday after all-clear• Two Liverpool fans attacked by men wielding beltsA Liverpool fan was taken to hospital with head injuries during the team’s Champions League defeat in Naples having been assaulted in a bar hours before kick-off.Two Liverpool supporters were attacked in the Italian city at around 2pm on Tuesday by a group of men on scooters wielding belts. The pair were treated at the scene but one, a 26-year-old, later collapsed at the Stadio San Paolo and spent the night in hospital. He was discharged on Wednesday morning. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
$110 Million for a ‘Mostly Forgotten’ Part of Central Park
Wednesday: The plan calls for replacing the aging Lasker Pool and skating rink, which is mainly used by New Yorkers, not tourists.
NYT > Home Page
Jake Gyllenhaal shares adorable 'Spider-Man' outtakes with Tom Holland
Spider-Man: Far From Home co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland have provided us with some wonderful moments, both on- and off-screen.  When they're not teaming up to battle molten supervillains or each other, the two genuinely seem to get along really well between takes and during press tours. Whether they're agreeing on Sean Paul being awesome or disagreeing on how best to spell Gyllenhaal's name, the pair share a chemistry that is quite positively delightful to witness. To mark Far From Home becoming available for digital download, Gyllenhaal shared the following outtakes from a scene in the film on his Instagram page. It's supposed to be a pretty serious moment between Spider-Man and Mysterio, but someone can't keep it together. Read more...More about Bloopers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland, and Spider Man Far From Home
Mike Francesa rips John Mara, Dave Gettleman for Eli silence
Mike Francesa tore into Giants owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman for their silence on Tuesday, the day the organization moved on from Eli Manning after his 15-plus years as the team’s starting quarterback. Francesa — while rattling off all of Manning’s accomplishments which included two Super Bowls, all the all-time Giants passing...
New York Post
Saudi crown prince requests help from South Korea to strengthen air defenses: Yonhap
Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has requested help from South Korea to strengthen the country's air defense system after attacks on two oil plants initially halved the country's oil production, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday.
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Risk of a global pandemic is growing
The chances of a global pandemic are growing -- and we are all dangerously under prepared, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). - RSS Channel
Someone fund this genius albeit rickety Lego sorting machine invented by kids
Ever tried to sort Lego in a flash? It's pretty impossible. But two genius young minds have invented a device that could change this laborious process. Featured on The Tonight Show, the machine was demonstrated to host Jimmy Fallon by its creators, Graham and Tyler, during a segment called "Fallonventions." The S-Cubed (shakes, sucks, and sorts) is a little shaky, but we're in early prototype stages, people, and these wildly intelligent inventors are but nine years old.  "Sometimes it doesn't work," admitted Tyler. "Ahhh who cares? As long as you tell people that before you sell it!" replied Fallon. Read more...More about Lego, Stem, Jimmy Fallon, Inventions, and The Tonight Show
School shooting hoodies with bullet holes lands fashion company in hot water
A New York clothing company has debuted school shooting hoodies which have bullet holes in them and feature the names of four schools where nearly 100 students were shot
ABC News: Top Stories