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17 Nov 23:42

Sunday funday.More comics on Facebook.

Sunday funday.

More comics on Facebook.

17 Nov 23:38

Whose fault is it?

by CommitStrip

Obviously the hotfix should have been added to the deployment queue after the fix was made. What an intern level mistake.

17 Nov 23:13

The “W” word.More on Facebook.

17 Nov 20:42

New Airless Bike Tires That Will Never Get Flat

by Rokas L

A flat tire is a thing that can ruin even the best bike trip. However, riders can forget dragging around their patch kits and pumps, because Nexo created an airless tire to ensure they keep pedaling.

Show Full Text

Flat-free tires aren’t new, however they weren’t widely used because of poor stiffness and shock absorption, compared to the conventional ones. But this Utah-based company claims to have found a solution to these problems. The tires are made from polymeter blends that are said to offer not only a perfect balance of cushion and resilience, but durability as well. The product comes in two different shapes – tires to be mounted on existing wheels with a lifespan of up to 3,100 miles, and others, which replace the entire wheel set and last for up to 5,000 miles.

If that’s not enough, Nexo made their products from a single material, which makes recyclability really easy. Considering that 10,000,000 tons of bike tires and tubes are discarded every year, that’s certainly a step in the right direction.

More info: Kickstarter (h/t: treehugger)

These innovative bike tires can’t get flat


They are made from polymeter blends that offer durability and a perfect balance of cushion and resilience


Users can mount them on their wheels or purchase entirely new wheel sets


Cyclists can ride these tires for up to 5,000 miles


Because they’re made from a single material, recycling becomes really easy


Are you ready to say goodbye to conventional tires?


Watch the video below for more information

17 Nov 19:32

Sigh of Relief of the Day: Breathe Easy: The Air Horn Terrorist Has Been Arrested

 Air Horn Terrorist Has Been Captured by police

Our long national nightmare is over. Police apprehended the air horn terrorist of El Segundo, California on Sunday morning. Citizens of that sleepy, SoCal city have been on edge for the past few weeks as an air horn that sounds like a train has been wreaking havoc on their community.

Police have detained a suspect in connection with the noise, and boy, does he look like someone who likes a good air horn. We’re not talking about the air horn you here when some serious good times are about to go down. We’re talking about a good, old fashioned annoying honk from someone with a crazy hair cut and unkempt facial hair.

NBC Los Angeles reports on the ups and downs of the police investigation into the noise:

“Police have received numerous reports of an extremely loud air horn going off before residents spot a getaway car, a blue four-door sedan driven by a man.”

“Oftentimes, officers couldn't catch the air horn blower because the person would blare the horn and then ‘beat feet,’ police said. At times, officers on the east side of town could hear the noise and would hurry over, only to find that the perpetrator had taken off.”

"He's been doing this for weeks, and we've been chasing him for weeks — but we got him," El Segundo Police Lt. Ray Garcia said. Now imagine Garcia saying this while popping on a pair of aviator sunglasses and dusting off his hands. So cool.

via Villians

This game of cat and mouse didn’t end with the apprehension because they still had this fantastic mugshot to take, and wow, move over, Nick Nolte, this one’s a keeper.

Submitted by: (via NBC Los Angeles)

Tagged: mugshot , air horn , funny , police
17 Nov 19:12

We Have a Bad News Problem, Not a Fake News Problem

by (David Mikkelson)
Fake news may be a bad thing, but not all bad news reporting is "fake," and that distinction should be kept clear.
17 Nov 18:18

Bella the Boxer Is Not Happy About the New "No Dogs on the Couch" Rule

Submitted by: (via S Wells)

Tagged: dogs , talking , boxer , Video
17 Nov 06:44

'FIFA' hackers guilty of 'mining' $16 million from EA

by Sean Buckley

We tend to think of 'wire fraud' as a white collar crime perpetrated against a banking institution, but in a world with virtual currencies and online marketplace, the reality can be a bit more complex. Take the case of Anthony Clark, a 24-year-old man from Whittier, CA, who was found guilty of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He didn't defraud a major US bank -- he and three others mined $16 million worth of FIFA Coins from EA Sports' popular series of soccer games.

This isn't the first time there have been legal charges surrounding the EA games' digital currency -- earlier this year some popular YouTube streamers got in trouble for violating the UK Gambling Act by creating online lotteries with FIFA Coins. Compared to this hacker group's efforts, however, that was almost nothing: According to the Justice Department, Clark and his team created software that tricked EA's servers into thinking their accounts had played thousands of FIFA Soccer matches in seconds, causing the game's normally small FIFA Coin payouts to be multiplied exponentially. Over time, the group sold these ill-gotten winnings on secondary coin markets for millions.

The feds closed in on Clark and the rest last year, seizing money, cars and a house, before things ended this week when a jury convicted Clark on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The rest of the group pleaded guilty earlier, and all four are currently awaiting sentencing. Check out the Justice Department's official statement for more details.

Source: Department of Justice

16 Nov 21:57

'Drain the swamp' more a Trump slogan than a practice so far


"Drain the swamp. Stop the revolving door. These are great things to say to get elected," said Howard Marlowe, president of Warwick Group Consultants, and a longtime advocate for fellow lobbyists. "After you get elected, you find a way to quietly push it aside."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The leader of a bipartisan good-government group, Zach Wamp, headed to the White House last week to ask whether President Donald Trump's "drain the swamp" slogan would ever be more than a throwaway campaign slogan. One of the president's closest aides, Steve Bannon, assured him it's a priority....
16 Nov 21:45

Judge again refuses to toss Bill Cosby's sex-assault case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania judge has denied Bill Cosby's latest attempt to get his sexual assault case dismissed.
16 Nov 21:45

Tony Romo accepts backup role with Cowboys

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sideline in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, OhioDallas Cowboys player Tony Romo has officially endorsed rookie Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback and says he is ready to accept his new role as a backup. Romo made the declaration while reading from a prepared statement at the Cowboys' facility. "He has earned the right to be our quarterback," Romo said.

16 Nov 20:15

Joyful House Republicans vote to repeal reviled 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Delivering at last, triumphant House Republicans voted Thursday to repeal and replace the "Obamacare" health plan they have reviled for so long, overcoming united Democratic opposition and their own deep divisions to hand a major win to President Donald Trump....
16 Nov 19:51

PoisonTap Makes Raspberry Pi Zero Exploit Locked Computers

by Brian Benchoff

[Samy Kamkar], leet haxor extraordinaire, has taken a treasure trove of exploits and backdoors and turned it into a simple hardware device that hijacks all network traffic, enables remote access, and does it all while a machine is locked. It’s PoisonTap, and it’s based on the Raspberry Pi Zero for all that awesome tech blog cred we crave so much.

PoisonTap takes a Raspberry Pi Zero and configures it as a USB Gadget, emulating a network device. When this Pi-come-USB-to-Ethernet adapter is plugged into a computer (even a locked one), the computer sends out a DHCP request, and PoisonTap responds by telling the machine the entire IPv4 space is part of the Pi’s local network. All Internet traffic on the locked computer is then sent over PoisonTap, and if a browser is running on the locked computer, all requests are sent to this tiny exploit device.

With all network access going through PoisonTap, cookies are siphoned off, and the browser cache is poisoned with an exploit providing a WebSocket to the outside world. Even after PoisonTap is unplugged, an attacker can remotely send commands to the target computer and force the browser to execute JavaScript. From there, it’s all pretty much over.

Of course, any device designed to plug into a USB port and run a few exploits has a few limitations. PoisonTap only works if a browser is running. PoisonTap does not work on HTTPS cookies with the Secure cookie flag set. PoisonTap does not work if you have filled your USB ports with epoxy. There are a thousand limitations to PoisonTap, all of which probably don’t apply if you take PoisonTap into any office, plug it into a computer, and walk away. That is, after all, the point of this exploit.

As with all ub3r-1337 pen testing tools, we expect to see a version of PoisonTap for sale next August in the vendor area of DEF CON. Don’t buy it. A Raspberry Pi Zero costs $5, a USB OTG cable less than that, and all the code is available on Github. If you buy a device like PoisonTap, you are too technically illiterate to use it.

[Samy] has a demonstration of PoisonTap in the video below.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi, security hacks, slider
16 Nov 19:02

Google Earth is now available in VR

by Andrew Dalton

The virtual whole-Earth model that Google has been perfecting for over a decade has finally reached its next big step: Google Earth is now available in virtual reality. For the first time, users can walk through real city streets, fly through canyons and teleport to anywhere in the world all in an completely immersive VR experience.

Google Earth VR covers the entire 196.9 million square miles of the planet, so if you can't decide where where to take your first virtual trip, Google has helpfully included cinematic tours and curated destinations through places like the Amazon River, downtown Manhattan, the Grand Canyon and the ruins of Rome. While there's no Google Sky yet, you can still zoom out and fly through the edges of spaces as you look black on our virtual blue marble.

The initial release is free and available now on Steam, so users with compatible HTC Vive headsets can explore the red planet and the blue one without ever leaving their living room. According to the release notes, Google Earth will be coming to even more platforms (and presumably Google Daydream) sometime next year.

Source: Google Blog, Steam

16 Nov 18:47

Is This the Hatchback Model?


Submitted by: beernbiccies

Tagged: fashion , wtf , car , pants
16 Nov 18:45

Marketplace for Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Facebook and Google are figuring out how to handle fake news. Plus, we look at Donald Trump's conflicts of interest and James Fallows tells us about the president-elect's relationship with China. Finally, two voters in Alabama reflect on the election.
16 Nov 18:35

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Since Donald Trump's victory last week, encryption apps have seen an increase in users — like Signal, which has experienced 400 percent growth. On today's show, we'll interview Moxie Marlinspike, co-founder of the company that created the app. In other privacy news, Chicago has started constructing a network of data sensors to monitor the city's traffic flow — but some are worried that it could be used as a spying tool. We'll dive into their concerns. Plus: We have a preview of the second season of our "Codebreaker" podcast, which launches today. This season's fundamental question about tech: Can it save us? 
16 Nov 18:32

Russia withdraws signature from ICC founding statute

The International Criminal Court is based in The Hague and was established in 2002 to prosecute war crimesRussia said Wednesday it is formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court, saying the tribunal has failed to live up to the hopes of the international community. Russia in 2000 signed the Rome Statute setting up the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, but never ratified the treaty. "The court did not live up to the hopes associated with it and did not become truly independent," Russia's foreign ministry said, describing its work as "one-sided and inefficient".

16 Nov 18:32

Russian official faces corruption charges over World Cup

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 file photo, a soccer stadium is under construction on Krestovsky Island, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russian investigators are pressing graft charges against a former deputy governor of St. Petersburg linked to the construction of a trouble-plagued stadium that is to host World Cup matches in 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)MOSCOW (AP) — Russian investigators are pressing graft charges against a former deputy governor of St. Petersburg linked to the construction of a trouble-plagued stadium that is to host World Cup matches in 2018.

16 Nov 18:24

Feds Kashkari Unveils His Plan to End Too-Big-to-Fail Banks

by Christopher Condon

His plan is purely advisory and doesn’t represent the stance of the Fed’s top regulatory officials in Washington.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari proposed a series of new rules for banks and non-bank lenders that he said would eliminate the threat posed by financial institutions whose failure could wreak havoc in global financial markets.

The plan centers on significantly increasing the capital cushion banks must hold to protect against losses in a crisis. It also calls on the U.S. Treasury to certify individual institutions as no longer “too big to fail” or subject them to even higher capital requirements. Finally, the plan would impose a tax on debt for large non-bank lenders and reduce the regulatory burden on community banks.

“We believe the Minneapolis Plan does a much better job of reducing risks at reasonable costs to society than current regulations” Kashkari said in the text of a speech he is set to deliver Wednesday while introducing the plan at the Economic Club of New York. “Ultimately, the public needs to make their own determination.”

Kashkari estimated that regulations introduced since the financial crisis of 2008-09, including the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, reduced the chance of a government banking bailout over the next 100 years to 67 percent from 84 percent. His proposals, he said, would further reduce that chance to below 10 percent.

“The financial system as a whole will be much, much better capitalized and capable of withstanding a major shock without triggering a crisis,” he said.

The plan includes four broad proposals:

  • All bank holding companies larger than $250 billion would be required to increase loss-absorbing capital to 23.5 percent of risk-weighted assets. Unlike current regulations, banks would only be allowed to count common equity toward that threshold and not long-term debt. The largest banks are currently required to hold no more than 10.5 percent of common equity.
  • The U.S. Treasury would analyze and certify individual large banks as no longer too big to fail. Banks that didn’t obtain the certification would have to raise capital to 38 percent of risk-weighted assets.
  • So-called shadow banks -- including hedge funds, mutual funds and other financial institutions -- larger than $50 billion would pay a tax of 1.2 percent or 2.2 percent on debt.
  • Banks with less than $10 billion in assets would be subject to “a much simpler and less burdensome regulatory framework that reflects their relative lack of risk to the economy.”

Kashkari, who managed the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion rescue of banks in the 2008 crisis, has led the Minneapolis Fed since January and has made ending too big to fail a top priority. His plan is purely advisory and doesn’t represent the stance of the Fed’s top regulatory officials in Washington.

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16 Nov 18:21

'EVE Online' is now free-to-play

by Tom Regan

After over 13 years of paid subscriptions, EVE Online's recently revealed free-to-play experiment is now live. In a bid to boost its dwindling player base, CCP's latest expansion allows both new and existing players to explore the EVE universe for free.

This new pricing model is known as Clone States, and is the headline addition to the game's latest expansion, EVE Online: Ascension. New players will automatically start off as "Alpha Clones," with free access to all of EVE's world, though they'll be limited to to certain skills and spaceships. Pilots who want the complete EVE Online experience can opt to pay the $10 (£7) a month subscription, upgrading their player state to "Omega Clone," unlocking the game's full gamut of skills and spaceships.

One aspect of the expansion, called "Inception," offers a "revised new player experience," promising fully voiced mentor characters to ease players into the game, as well as a greater emphasis on story and large scale space battles. Thankfully for long-time players, the new pricing model and a few revisions to the existing gameplay aren't all that this expansion brings. Ascension also provides players with new sandbox features, buildings, management tools, ships and more immersive ship customization, and let's not forget the all important space explosions .

With EVE Online infamous for sparking wars that cost players hundreds of thousands of real-world dollars in damages, there's never been a more wallet-friendly way to dip your toes into EVE's all-consuming universe. After years of losing players, CCP will be hoping this new way to play does enough to change EVE Online's fortunes -- with the alternative being an Evolve-like fall from grace.

Source: CCP

16 Nov 18:19

Business Suffers As India Struggles to Replace Banned Cash

by Archana Chaudhary,Pratik Parija

Major wholesalers at Delhi’s largest fruit and vegetable market, which serves most of the capital’s nearly 17 million people, are planning sell their products at bargain prices in order to move perishable stock as the impact of India’s cash shortages continues to bite.

Sales are down by as much as 50 percent at Azadpur Mandi, traders said, while the price of some fruit had fallen by as much as 25 percent since Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the nation with the withdrawal of large denomination notes last week. 

Cash shortages

Eight days since Modi’s announcement there was no sign the government had managed to print enough notes to replace its withdrawal of 86 per cent of currency in circulation.

The government is falling far short of meeting people’s requirements for 100 rupee notes, finance ministry officials, who declined to be identified citing rules, said, admitting they were not in a position to fill the gap any time soon. Only 2000 rupee notes are circulating in good numbers, they said.

Adding to the chaos were rumors the government was planning to announce further measures, however India’s state-run Press Information Bureau said talk of plans to demonetize smaller notes was a myth.

About 25 percent of the business is done by cash and the majority of the cash business has vanished, said Ashok Kumar, who has been trading in fruit for three decades.

"We are sitting almost idle," Kumar said. "I have asked my suppliers to reduce supplies. There are no buyers in the market. These are perishable and we can’t store them for long.”

Tempers fray

Less than an hour’s drive from India’s capital New Delhi, the situation was no better. Tempers frayed as farmers and day laborers stood in long lines outside banks, while inside fights broke out over the slow pace of currency exchange.

Not a single functioning ATM machine appeared to be operating between Delhi and Chithera, across the border in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most-populated state that is facing an election early next year. 

Fuel stations were empty and in the nearby customs yard, thousands of trucks were stranded, their drivers sitting in groups playing cards. They say they’ve been unable to work for a week because transport company owners couldn’t get cash from the banks to buy fuel or pay their 100-rupee daily allowance for food. Their business depended heavily on wads of the now-banned 500-rupee notes, they said.

People abused guards at Dadri’s Bank of Baroda office, while nearby policemen did little to break up a scuffle in the unruly queue outside. Most men in the lines -- some who were queuing for a second day after banks ran out of cash -- said they were daily wage workers who had no choice but lose a day’s pay in order to access a small amount of money.

Trucks idle

Sundar Singh has not driven his truck since Modi’s announcement, which was aimed at eliminating unaccounted money from the economy and reigning in corruption.

"There’s no work. I can’t even charge my cell phone because I don’t have any change," the 38-year-old from Aligarh said. "We drivers had to go hungry because no hotel would accept 500 rupees, nor could we get change."

His concerns were echoed by fellow drivers and by those who resented wasting days standing in queues to access the smallest amount of money.

"Modi’s getting his food while my children are going hungry," said Kamlesh Sharma, 40, a housewife. "I had to drop everything at home to stand here. First to deposit whatever little money I had at home and then to withdraw the paltry few rupees that the bank allows us to. If I don’t, my husband has to lose a day at work."

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16 Nov 17:47

BACK IN STOCK: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game (At a Reasonable Price!)

by Geeks are Sexy


Just a quick post to let you guys know that Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game is now once again available for purchase on at a more reasonable price: $49.99! It was available on a few online stores in the past few months, but most of them were asking over $100 for the game!




[Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game]

The post BACK IN STOCK: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game (At a Reasonable Price!) appeared first on Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

16 Nov 17:42

China Tells Trump That Climate Change Is No Hoax It Invented

by Jessica Shankleman

China couldn’t have invented global warming as a hoax to harm U.S. competitiveness because it was Donald Trump’s Republican predecessors who started climate negotiations in the 1980s, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said.

U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush supported the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in initiating global warming talks even before China knew that negotiations to cut pollution were starting, Liu told reporters at United Nations talks on Wednesday in Marrakech, Morocco.

Ministers and government officials from almost 200 countries gathered in Marrakech this week are awaiting a decision by President-elect Trump on whether he’ll pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. The tycoon tweeted in 2012 that the concept of global warming “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” China’s envoy rejected that view.

“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu told reporters during an hour-long briefing.

Reagan’s Legacy

While Reagan died in 2004, George Schulz, who served as his secretary of state, has become one of the most prominent Republicans voicing concern about climate change and urging action.

“The potential results are catastrophic,” said Schulz, 95, in an interview with Bloomberg in 2014. “So let’s take out an insurance policy.”

Increased U.S. efforts to curb emissions through investing in new cleaner technologies and manufacturing could actually boost U.S. competitiveness, Liu countered. “That’s why I hope the Republican’s administration will continue to support this process.”

A fortnight of discussions in Marrakech were thrust into the spotlight last week by Trump’s victory. The negotiating texts being drafted by delegates and officials in north African country were suddenly overshadowed by a uncertain political future cast by Trump’s shadow over the two-decade-old process.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped secure the Paris Agreement last year, said the majority of U.S. citizens back action on climate change and tried to assuage concern.

“No one has a right to make decisions for billions of people based solely on ideology,” he said. “Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It isn’t a partisan issue for our military. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community.”

China’s President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of cooperation between the two largest economies when he spoke to Trump last week, said Zhenmin, who added China will continue its fight against climate change “whatever the circumstances.”

“Of course we’re still expecting developed countries including the United States will continue to take the lead on mitigating climate change,” he said.

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16 Nov 17:42

Why thousands of dead fish flooded a New York canal

by Mary Beth Griggs
Dead Fish

Caught between a lock and a hard place

Locals in Hampton Bays, New York woke up to an odd sight earlier this week.
16 Nov 17:40

The new MacBook Pro is more appliance than PC

by Jon Fingas

It almost goes without saying that modern Apple devices are tough to repair or upgrade, but the Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro might just take the cake. An iFixit teardown of the 13-inch model reveals that there are even fewer replaceable parts than before. The solid-state drive is embedded on the motherboard (even the non-Touch Bar model has a removable card), to begin with -- whatever capacity you choose is what you'll have for the life of the system. The Touch Bar, as you might guess, isn't exactly easy to replace. And while having a fingerprint reader in the power button is very convenient for sign-ins and purchases, that also makes repairs complicated. The button is tied to a chip on the motherboard (since it needs a secure element), so you can't just slip in an aftermarket component and call it a day.

There are a few surprises. There's an unusually beefy three-microphone array, possibly to improve Siri voice commands. And curiously, the speakers on the 13-inch Touch Bar system don't actually sit underneath the grilles -- those openings are only there for the more conventional model. Instead, sound blasts out the side vents.

There are advantages to this design. It's more compact and lighter than its predecessors despite the improved performance and extra features. However, there's no denying that the new MacBook Pro represents the end of an era for Apple's pro machines. Although there weren't that many people upgrading SSDs or otherwise tinkering with previous-generation MacBook Pros, this system effectively rules that out. It's a powerful portable appliance rather than a conventional PC, and you're expected to use it as-is until you need a full-fledged replacement.

Source: iFixit

16 Nov 17:38

U.S.-China Investment Ties Are Deeper Than You Thought

by Bloomberg News

For the first time, Chinese companies invested more in the U.S. last year than American companies in China

Foreign direct investment flowing both ways between the U.S. and China may be two to four times greater than shown by data from both governments.

That’s according to a Rhodium Group analysis of deals from 1990 to 2015 released in a joint report with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Nearly 6,700 U.S. investments in China over that quarter century have a combined value of $228 billion, Rhodium found, far beyond the $75 billion U.S. Department of Commerce estimate or the $70 billion from China’s Ministry of Commerce. China’s 1,200 transactions over those years come to a combined value of $64 billion, eclipsing Mofcom’s $41 billion tally and the $15 billion to $21 billion range from the Commerce Department.

For the first time, Chinese companies invested more in the U.S. last year than American companies in China, underscoring the evolution of the world’s two largest economies.

Economic integration "is much greater than official statistics suggest," said Thilo Hanemann, an economist at Rhodium who manages the consulting firm's work on global trade and investment and co-wrote the report. "That means that the costs on both sides from protectionist frictions are much higher than commonly assumed." 

Such links may be more crucial than ever after President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise win. Chinese President Xi Jinping told Trump in their first conversation this week that cooperation was the only correct choice for their ties.

American companies employ more than 1.6 million workers in China, while that country’s investment presence provides more than 100,000 jobs in the U.S, and the benefits are spread across more than 90 percent of U.S. states and Chinese provinces, according to Rhodium.

"The local benefits have been enormous," the New York-based organizations wrote in their joint report. "These links also facilitate people-to-people relationships to a greater extent than trade and tourism."

More than 1,300 American companies have major operations in China, with 430 of those investing over $50 million and 56 more than $1 billion, Rhodium concluded. U.S. firms are eager to engage Chinese consumers and compete in growth sectors such as services, health care, and research and development, it said.

While some Americans want reciprocity requirements on Chinese FDI, and some Chinese complain about the lack of American openness, "policy makers are well advised to consider how much further along the relationship is than official data suggests," the report said.

"Doing so argues for upgrading the policy framework presently used to manage related opportunities and concerns," the organizations concluded. "Upgrading U.S.-China FDI policy is not just a noble long-term goal but a present necessity."

— With assistance by Jeff Kearns, and Kevin Hamlin

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16 Nov 17:35

Blackstones Schwarzman Sees Business Benefiting Under Trump

by Henri Gendreau,Melissa Mittelman

The Blackstone Group L.P. is an American multinational private equity, investment banking, alternative asset management and financial services corporation based in New York City. As the largest alternative investment firm in the world, Blackstone specializes in private equity, credit and hedge fund investment strategies, as well as financial advisory services, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), restructurings and reorganizations, and private placements.

Blackstone Group LP’s Steve Schwarzman said the business community will prosper under Donald Trump’s presidency.

“Things are going to change, and I think things are going to change a lot,” Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chief executive officer, said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council on Tuesday in Washington, about a mile from the White House. The billionaire didn’t mention President-elect Trump by name.

Schwarzman, 69, is one of the first private equity executives to speak publicly about his outlook after votes were tallied on Nov. 8, saying he’s “excited” about the prospects for economic growth in the U.S. and expects the business community to look “infinitely better” in the next few years. The traditionally Republican donor has criticized the build-up in government regulation under President Barack Obama, saying stricter guidelines have suppressed access to credit for businesses and hampered productivity.

Going forward, the business community will become “front and center,” Schwarzman said, speaking at the event alongside Honeywell International Inc. CEO David Cote.

Carlyle Group LP President Glenn Youngkin echoed that sentiment Wednesday, saying he’s uncertain but optimistic about business prospects under Trump.

“This is the first time in a long time that we have a uniformly pro-business policy outlook, and we think that’s really positive,” Youngkin said at a Bank of America Corp. conference in New York. While fear of an economic downturn has likely damped the valuations of private equity firms over the past year, a more pro-business sentiment may revive investor confidence, he said.

Industry Implications

As with other industries, the fate of private equity firms under a Trump administration remains uncertain. The tax treatment of carried interest and corporations, as well as deregulation in financial services, could have positive or negative implications, Youngkin said. Government spending in industries such as health care, infrastructure and defense will also have an effect, he said.

Schwarzman, who has a net worth of about $9.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, also called income inequality in the U.S. a serious problem. Middle-class and lower-income Americans haven’t had an economic environment suitable for income growth since at least 2000, he said.

“You have to address this with a positive approach in policies to create economic expansion,” Schwarzman said at the event Tuesday.

Blackstone manages $361 billion in private equity holdings, real estate, credit assets and hedge funds. Schwarzman, who grew up in Philadelphia as the son of a dry-goods store owner, started the New York-based firm in 1985 with Peter G. Peterson, who served as U.S. Commerce secretary from 1972 to 1973.

Schwarzman hasn’t publicly said which presidential candidate won his vote. In September he called the campaigns a “mystery” and said he hoped his choice would become clearer as election day approached.

Youngkin, 49, helped raise money for Republican candidate Jeb Bush last year.

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16 Nov 17:34

Math Can Be Extremely Dangerous for Animals

math can be extremely dangerous for animals

Submitted by: (via Stripesthetiger)

Tagged: classroom , math , animals
15 Nov 22:54

Trump's Facebook focus helped him win the election

by Jon Fingas

Despite Facebook's arguments to the contrary, its social network helped Donald Trump win the US election... if not for the reasons you'd suspect. Wired has learned that the Trump campaign focused very heavily on its Facebook strategy, eclipsing a Clinton campaign that (while definitely digital-savvy) still devoted a lot of its attention to TV. Most of Trump's $250 million in fundraising came from supporters on Facebook, and it was extremely aggressive in running and refining ads. Trump's digital team ran between 40,000 to 50,000 variants of its promos per day, endlessly figuring out which strategies worked best. They knew if subtitles would help, or if a video was more effective than a still image.

Combine this with Trump's fondness for Twitter and it's clear that the campaign was constantly reaching out to the internet, making sure that anyone receptive to its ideas could interact. Contrast that with the relatively insular Clinton campaign. While her team certainly made an effort to influence undecided voters, its unofficial online support included massive private Facebook groups that served as echo chambers. Simply speaking, undecided voters more likely to hear from Trump while skimming their social feeds. This suggests that future American political candidates may have to emphasize Facebook if they want to win -- they can't just treat it as one part of a larger plan.

Source: Wired