The Apocalypticon ~ Facebook anti-likes, Russian Troll Factory, racial recognition, falling satellites, nature’s armageddons, Pruitt wants more rads, Fahrenheit 451,


US Department of Justice dropped request for names of people who Facebook-liked and anti-Trump page — In a court hearing on October 14th, the US Department of Justice dropped its request for the names of an estimated 6000 people who ‘liked’ a Facebook page about an Inauguration Day protest. The search was considered ‘over-broad‘… [like].

A new story of Russian meddling one comes from a respected Russian news source, for a change, the RBC. From the report: “Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues. RBC said it had identified 118 accounts or groups in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that were linked to the troll factory, all of which had been blocked in August and September this year as part of the US investigation into Russian electoral meddling.

Apple avoided FaceID being ‘racist’ — Earlier facial recognition systems from HP and Google failed to recognise people with dark skin. In 2009, a HP webcam failed to register black people. And in 2015, Google Photos’ facial recognition categorized black people as gorillas. If Face ID made similar mistakes, it could be a sign that Apple didn’t train Face ID to recognise a diverse set of faces. Apple worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors.

How scientists predict if a satellite is going to fall on your head — Here we introduce you to the supremely fascinating world of object reentry risk analysis: the science of predicting which of the tens of thousands of derelict spacecraft, spent launch vehicles and various other hunks of technology orbiting our planet will survive their inevitable plunge through the atmosphere and pose a threat to people here on Earth.
Because you know, an 8.5-ton Chinese space station is coming down, down …

But where have all the flying insects gone? The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon.” [Right – maybe we should be eating crickets after all, then?]

Why stop there? The Great Barrier Reef now looks like a graveyardDr Charlie Veron, the world’s leading expert on coral reefs, said this while speaking to a Nordic investment bank on the future of the Great Barrier Reef,.

Scott Pruitt reckons humans might be able to handle ‘more’ radiation — Donald Trump’s appointment of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency this year drew eyebrows, because Pruitt had made his career as a longstanding legal opponent of the EPA and a prominent climate change sceptic. Since he’s been put in charge of the agency, Pruitt has allegedly made plans to water down federal scientific research on the climate, deflected from the issue during natural disasters, and cut loose hundreds of employees in a deregulation push.
Now some are worried he’s trying to lower the bar for deadly radiation.
[Hey, maybe he’s right. I vote he tries it first.]

Fahrenheit 451 hot to read — Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of a dystopian future where books have been outlawed and are destroyed by firemen who set them ablaze. But in an ironic twist, French publisher Super Terrain has created a new edition of Bradbury’s classic that actually requires extreme heat in order to be read.

Want some good news? Well, kinda: here’s how to spot fake photos on the web.

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