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Messages - knarf

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1
My fifteen year old midi guitar controller died. I decided to search for a new one. I found the cheapest one I could find, and then a place that was selling a used one for 1/2 price. I bought it. It is wireless and fits nicely on my semi hollow body guitar.
  Now I  have formed a new band and have called it "Fish Man". Me on keyboard. Me on Bass. Me on Guitar. Me on Horns and Strings and Pads. Me on Lead instrument.  The discerning listener will notice I have a formula for the creation of the songs. It is intended, because I am old and tired of getting complicated. I have presented various styles of music in this compilation with some new and exciting lead instruments.

Enjoy if you can. ( that is the title of my first cassette of original music 32 years ago )

http://sutros.com/playlists/2311-fish-man?

I listened to "senseless", "calm down" and "vienna" so far.  Very Good! 🎹 🎸

Doesn't seem to be a way to download or embed from this website though. ☹️  Upload the mp3s to the Diner or send me them in email so I can use them in your sidebar box on the Blog.

Also, you need to add lyrics and SING! 🎤   :icon_sunny:

RE

LOL...I wouldn't try to sing a note anymore. Maybe Eddie's daughter and I could hook up! :) LOL

2
Diner Newz & Multimedia / Just finished my new online CD "Fish Man"
« on: January 20, 2018, 06:51:45 PM »
My fifteen year old midi guitar controller died. I decided to search for a new one. I found the cheapest one I could find, and then a place that was selling a used one for 1/2 price. I bought it. It is wireless and fits nicely on my semi hollow body guitar.
  Now I  have formed a new band and have called it "Fish Man". Me on keyboard. Me on Bass. Me on Guitar. Me on Horns and Strings and Pads. Me on Lead instrument.  The discerning listener will notice I have a formula for the creation of the songs. It is intended, because I am old and tired of getting complicated. I have presented various styles of music in this compilation with some new and exciting lead instruments.

Enjoy if you can. ( that is the title of my first cassette of original music 32 years ago )

http://sutros.com/playlists/2311-fish-man?

3
The Kitchen Sink / Re: I don't want to put Emojii's in my newz titles
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:59:45 PM »
It's completely optional because there is abso-fuckin-lutely no way I'm doin' it.

Eddie, you are sounding more like El Trumpo every day.  :D

I think you got Eddie and RE mixed up. LOL

4
The Kitchen Sink / Re: I don't want to put Emojii's in my newz titles
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:55:43 PM »
It's completely optional because there is abso-fuckin-lutely no way I'm doin' it.

again LMAO!!!!! :)

5
The Kitchen Sink / I don't want to put Emojii's in my newz titles
« on: January 20, 2018, 11:17:03 AM »
This new idea of putting an emojii in the title has the following problems for me...

1. It interrupts the the flow of my transfer of the intended context of my newz posting.

2. It changes the context of the title by adding a symbol that doesn't come close to representing the language.

3. It adds a lot of extra time to look up the emojii and the search until you find something that really doesn't work for the title.

4. I don't want  to compromise the impact of the title in plain language with a barely related icon.

5. When you say "I am issuing a new style directive on the Diner", you surely mean it is optional, right?

6
Knarfs Knewz / Russian combat engineers test new advanced assault suit
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:55:10 AM »

Soldiers of the assault engineer battalion of the Russian Armed Forces take part in the exercises in Russia's Vladimir region.

 An advanced battle suit has been put to the test by a new unit of the Russian Engineering Corps. The contingent is tasked with carrying out engineering functions and be a formidable fighting force at the same time.

The full body armor suit is specifically designed to protect soldiers in intense urban warfare. It's made from composite materials that provide a decent level of protection without impairing combat mobility. But it is more than just armor – the suit is equipped with a body camera and even a built-in cooling system, while weighing only 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

The state-of-the-art equipment was designed for a new type of Russian trooper – the assault engineer. Recruits to the new unit are expected to be a versatile force, capable of carrying out specific engineering tasks and functioning as an effective attack unit as well.

“Flexibility is one of the most important qualities of the assault engineering units,” the head of the Russian Engineering Corps, Lieutenant General Yury Stavitsky, told the Izvestia daily. The new troops can both carry out “mine clearing [operations], as well as crush an enemy in a fortified combat emplacement.”

The drills that were held in Russia’s Vladimir region, simulated a combat operation against a group of militants entrenched in a fortified building in an urban terrain setting. In the final part of the exercise, the assault engineers went through a fire assault obstacle course.

The units, which were first formed in 2014, are now wrapping up their training and are expected to start active duty later this year. “By the end of 2018, we expect each [engineering] brigade and regiment to have at least one such ‘strike force’,” Stavitsky said.

These developments form part of a major overhaul of the Russian Engineering Corps, with that process drawing from the combat experience gained during the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria.

The combat engineers are now receiving the most advanced equipment and adjusting their tactics for the new challenges ahead, the Lieutenant General told Izvestia.

Russian combat engineers discovered and defused “one of the largest jihadist arsenals” while working in Palmyra in April 2016. It involved more than 12,000 explosive devices, after they cleared an impressive 234 hectares of land, 14 miles of road, and 10 historical structures at the UNESCO World Heritage site located near the city.

In December 2016, Russian bomb disposal teams also worked in Aleppo after it was wrested from militant control. There, they cleared 2,149 buildings in and around the city, including 44 schools, 38 mosques and 10 medical facilities, according to a Russian-Syrian Reconciliation Center report issued at the time. In 2017, Russian sappers equipped with the latest demining technology found and destroyed over 1,500 explosives in the city of Deir ez-Zor.

https://www.rt.com/news/416461-russia-combat-engineers-suit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

7


 Declassified documents reveal the National Security Agency has been using secret “speaker recognition” technology to identify people by their unique “voiceprint” for more than a decade.

The NSA has been recording and gathering private phone calls for years, but it used to be difficult for the agency to identify unknown speakers. In the past, signals intelligence (SIGINT) transcribers worked on the same targets for years before they became familiar enough with a speaker’s unique voice to be able to verify their identity.

Now, the NSA is using more advanced computational systems developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in order to catch spies and terrorists, according to a declassified NSA document obtained by media outlet the Intercept.

The document describes how the NSA used the technology during Operation Iraqi Freedom to match an audio recording to former leader Saddam Hussein’s “voiceprint.” The NSA also used the technology to compare the voice of a captured suspect with previous audio recordings from terrorist Abu Hakim to confirm that the suspect was not a match.

In order to test their technology, analysts at the NSA compared old intercepts and audio files relating to Ron Pelton, a former NSA analyst who sold details about several secret US programs to the Soviet Union. At the time, the agency failed to identify Pelton through human voice identification. However, in 2006, the agency was able to automatically match Pelton’s voice using the technology.

“Had such technologies been available twenty years ago, early detection and apprehension could have been possible, reducing the considerable damage Pelton did to national security,” the document states.

Jake Laperruque
😒‏ @JakeLaperruque

Remember that scene in The Dark Knight where Batman makes a hyberbolic crazy surveillance system that uses all phones to find the Joker based on his voice? That could actually happen 5/10



According to the classified document, the NSA was able to automatically identify a Chinese speaker when they were speaking in English. The document states that voice recognition technologies were “rapidly becoming the standard in the Intelligence Community” more than a decade ago.

Civil liberties advocates are concerned that the technology could make it easier for the NSA to violate the privacy rights of American citizens.

“This creates a new intelligence capability and a new capability for abuse,” Timothy Edgar, a former White House adviser to the Director of National Intelligence, told the Intercept. “Our voice is traveling across all sorts of communication channels where we’re not there. In an age of mass surveillance, this kind of capability has profound implications for all of our privacy.”

 Edward Snowden

@Snowden

Here's the (new) report describing how NSA is laying the groundwork to track people down through the microphones around us every day (your phone calls, a friend's laptop, the phone next to you on the train, that Amazon Echo on the shelf...): https://theintercept.com/2018/01/19/voice-recognition-technology-nsa/https://twitter.com/JakeLaperruque/status/954403265747259393
1:55 PM - Jan 19, 2018



Since a “voiceprint” is nearly impossible to change or disguise, privacy advocates also fear the NSA would be able to instantly locate and track anyone who can be heard by a microphone.

“There are microphones all around us all the time. We all carry around a microphone 24 hours a day, in the form of our cellphones,” Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told the Intercept. “And we know that there are ways for the government to hack into phones and computers to turn those devices on.”

Former NSA intelligence analyst, Edward Snowden added that the technology could even be used to track people down through other kinds of listening devices, including “a friend's laptop, the phone next to you on the train, that Amazon Echo on the shelf…”

Although the NSA has kept their voice-matching technology a secret, the Associated Press reported that Turkcell, the largest mobile phone company in Turkey, used a popular speech recognition technology to collect voice data from approximately 10 million customers in 2014.

In October, Human Rights Watch reported that the Chinese government has been gathering tens of thousands of “voice pattern” samples to establish a national voice biometric database and a program that can automatically identify voices in phone conversations.

Interpol also recently announced the Speaker Identification Integrated Project (SIIP), a speaker identification technology funded by the European Union, had passed its final field test.

The program, which began in 2014, was finally able to identify unknown speakers talking in different languages in November of last year.

The Senate recently voted to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), permitting electronic surveillance of non-Americans. However, it has been shown that the NSA has also collected data on Americans during their surveillance.


https://www.rt.com/usa/416470-nsa-technology-classified-voice-recognition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

8


 The NASA space probe Juno has once again captured the jaw-dropping beauty of Jupiter in another breathtaking image of the gas giant posted to the space agency’s Twitter feed Thursday.

The picture, which has been color-enhanced, was snapped by the Juno probe during its 10th flyby of the gas giant on December 16. The spacecraft was positioned just above the planet’s south pole, meaning it effectively recorded the different strata of the planet from the bottom up.

The largest body in our solar system is mostly made up of gaseous hydrogen and helium. Colorful bands are arranged in dark belts and light zones, created by strong east-west winds in the planet’s upper atmosphere. Blue clouds, such as those seen in the image above, are visible at the deepest levels.

Jupiter’s size is such that up to 11 Earths could fit inside its clouded disc. The bright oval features, which appear so small on its face, are actually vast cyclones which can measure up to 600 miles (1,000kms) in diameter. Juno has captured a number of similarly fascinating images in recent days.

 NASA's Juno Mission‏Verified account @NASAJuno

High Above the Jovian Clouds: This image of colorful, turbulent clouds in #Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured during my latest flyby of the planet https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/news/high-above-jupiters-clouds



https://www.rt.com/usa/416482-jupiter-image-south-pole/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

9


 Imagine taking a big swig from a can of Coca-Cola only to find you had swallowed a worm. That’s exactly what happened to a 12-year-old Italian girl who had to be taken to hospital after the revolting incident.

The youngster from the town of Andria in southern Italy noticed the worm in her mouth as she took a gulp from the coke can, Italian news agency Ansa reports.

She was taken to hospital where doctors monitored her condition and carried out a number of tests. Thankfully the investigations found no sign of any harm.

“According to a first macroscopic examination of the worm there are no elements that cause concern but we will send the sample to the zooprophylactic institute of Foggia for in-depth analysis by experts,” hospital spokesman Stefano Porziotta said.

“The girl isn’t suffering from vomiting or diarrhea or other alarming symptoms; she will remain in hospital for a few hours”.

Police officers and inspectors from the Food and Nutrition Hygiene service are also carrying out inspections on the can.

 RT‏Verified account @RT_com

'Squid-like' creature found inside coconut water carton https://on.rt.com/8b79



This is far from the first time someone has discovered an intruding creature in their beverage. In May last year New York woman Barbara Cline fell ill after swallowing “some kind of animal” in a carton of Vita Coca Pure Coconut Water.  Moreover, as any student of the Law of Torts will tell you, a snail in a bottle of ginger beer has the power to rewrite legal history, as happened in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson.

https://www.rt.com/news/416488-coca-cola-worm-italy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

10
Knarfs Knewz / Civilian deaths in 2017 US-led anti-ISIL push 'triple'
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:35:14 AM »

Airwars said civilian death toll from coalition air raids in 2017 was up 200 percent as compared with 2016

he number of civilian deaths caused by a US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq surged by 200 percent in 2017 compared with the year before, a monitor has said.

US and allied strikes killed between 3,923 and 6,102 non-combatants in both countries last year, Airwars, a UK-based group tracking allegations of civilian casualties said on Thursday, calling the 2017 campaign the "deadliest year yet for ordinary Syrians and Iraqis".

The group said its estimates were based on publicly available data.

The sharp rise last year was because of intense fighting in densely populated urban areas, as Iraqi troops and Syrian Kurdish-dominated forces, both backed by the US-led coalition, fought respectively to remove the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group from Iraq's Mosul and Syria's Raqqa.

The administration of US President Donald Trump, in power since January 20, 2017, was also partly to blame, Airwars said.

"This unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump presidency, and suggested in part that policies aimed at protecting civilians had been scaled back under the new administration," the monitor said.

In Syria, the toll for civilians killed in coalition air raids quadrupled compared with 2016, with between 2,786 and 4,374 deaths likely killed in 2017, the group said.

In Iraq, deaths were up by 87 percent, with at least 1,128 non-combatants dying in more than 100 air attacks, it added.

While US officials call the campaign "the most precise in history", according to Airwars, "the urban battlefields laid waste by bombs, artillery and improvised explosives told another story".

Coalition forces carried out some 11,573 air and artillery attacks in 2017 and dropped a total of 39,577 bombs and missiles against ISIL.

More than 70 percent of those raids were in Syria, largely because of the campaign to capture Raqqa.

By the time the city was seized from ISIL, more than 1,450 civilians were killed, Airwars said, and 80 percent of the city was left uninhabitable.

Kinda Haddad, the head of Airwars' Syria team, said the coalition repeated Russian and Syrian government "tactics of 'siege, bomb and evacuate' in order to achieve the stated aims of defeating" ISIL.

Coalition raids, in the nine-month battle for Mosul, which began in October 2016, claimed between 1,066 and 1,579 lives, Airwars said.

That was "the biggest urban assault since World War Two", it said, and left the city reduced to rubble.

An Airwars researcher said that by the end of the campaign in June, "it sometimes seemed that the coalition were attacking everything in order to eradicate ISIS from the city".

The coalition said only 93 of its raids caused deaths and injuries, but Airwars said it had identified 673 other such incidents.

In addition to the deaths, some 2,433 civilians were wounded in the attacks.

The group said coalition-linked civilian casualties in 2017 "far" outnumbered those attributed to Russia.

However, it said it had to suspend its assessments of Russia from March last year because of the "massive rise" in coalition actions and limited resources.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/civilian-deaths-2017-led-anti-isil-push-triple-180119181224333.html

11
Knarfs Knewz / What happens when the US government shuts down?
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:32:27 AM »
The United States federal government began partial shutdown at midnight Friday after Senate Democrats voted to block a bill over immigration and spending.

A measure to fund the government until the middle of February was passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. But the Republican-led Senate was unable to sway enough Democrats to vote for the bill that would have kept agencies open.

The shutdown comes after the collapse of bipartisan talks on a US spending bill that hinged on continued protections under the DACA programme for undocumented immigrants, which Democrats support.

It would deliver a "direct and indirect impact" on the US economy, Beth Ann Bovino, a senior economist at financial ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P), told Al Jazeera.

The last shutdown was in 2013 and lasted 16 days.
What's the direct impact?

The direct impact, Bovino explained, would be an immediate loss of productivity from about 700,000 government employees deemed "nonessential".

These workers will be "furloughed", meaning they will be put on leave until the government resumes functioning.

While there is no guarantee government workers will be paid for this leave, historically they have been paid retroactively in the case of a shutdown.

Even if they are paid, the US government will experience "lost productivity" from almost a million people, Bovino said.

The time spent not working on ongoing initiatives will "never come back", the economist continued.
How will people be affected?

National parks, museums and monuments are expected to shut down, as will the processing of passports and visas if the shutdown continues beyond a few days.

This will impact tourism. National parks in the west and the Smithsonian Institute museums in the east will not open to the public.

Another indirect loss will be to contractors - government employees are not the only ones waiting for a paycheck from Uncle Sam.

Over $43bn has been awarded in contracts for the fiscal year 2018, according to government figures.

None of this money will be paid as long as the shutdown continues. That will remove a fair amount of money from the pockets of private citizens throughout the country.

Retail sales would drop.

"It's not quite the height of the holiday season, so that suggests the impact would be less severe. However, when we look at holiday sales, they continue into January," Bovino said.
Which government services would continue?

Those related to national security and domestic safety, including the military, law enforcement and air traffic control.

Certain entitlements, such as hospitals for veterans administered by the government and food stamps for families in need, would be unaffected.

Federal courts, where the Trump administration is currently battling an order to undo his decision to end the DACA programme, will continue but are subject to disruption.
How long will it last?

In the case of the 16-day 2013 shutdown, Republicans and Democrats were at odds over funding then-President Obama's landmark healthcare law, known as Obamacare, and the US "debt ceiling," which allows the US Treasury to continue borrowing to pay debts.

There was a 27-day shutdown from December 1995 to January 1996, resulting from a clash between Republicans and Democrats over funding a health insurance programme for the elderly. That came a month after a November shutdown that lasted four days.

Before these examples, shutdowns were rare.

The US government typically only experienced funding gaps over the weekend, not impacting the economy in any major way, according to data from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a think-tank in Washington, DC.
How much will it hurt the US economy?

The 2013 shutdown cost the US economy $24bn, according to estimates from S&P. While costly, GDP was over $16 trillion that year.

The firm estimates a shutdown would cost the US economy about $6bn per week in 2018.

Any losses this early in the year could be regained later, Bovino said.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/government-shutdown-180117203918771.html

12
Knarfs Knewz / Mattis: Defence plan focus on Russia, China, not terror
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:29:07 AM »

Mattis said the US is facing growing threats from 'revisionist powers' such as Russia and China

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said that "great power competition, not terrorism" will now be the main focus of national security policy.

Mattis, unveiling America's first new defence strategy in a decade on Friday, said the US is facing growing threats from countries such as Russia and China, calling them "revisionist powers" that "seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models".

"Today, America's military reclaims an era of strategic purpose and we're alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us," he said at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

"Adapting to today's realities, this strategy expands our competitive space, prioritises preparedness for war, provides clear direction for significant change at the speed of relevance, and builds a more lethal force to compete strategically."

China was quick to respond to Mattis' comments, with a spokesperson for the country's embassy in the US saying Beijing is seeking "global partnership, not global dominance" in a statement on Saturday.

"China and the United States shoulder important responsibilities and have extensive common interests in upholding world peace and stability and promoting global development and prosperity," the statement said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meanwhile, called the new defence strategy confrontational.

"It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of international law, the US is striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts," he told reporters at the UN headquarters, in New York, on Friday.

Mattis, however, said that the US has lost its "competitive edge … in every domain of warfare" and now has an "overstretched and under-resourced military" created by ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, technological change and defence spending caps imposed by Congress.

"We need Congress back in the driver's seat of budget decisions, not in the spectator seat of Budget Control Acts' indiscriminate and automatic cuts. We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we're to sustain our military's primacy," he said.

US President Donald Trump has pledged to increase the US' defence spending by $54bn as part of his administration's 2018 budget.

However, the federal government shut down on Saturday after members of Congress failed to reach an agreement on the government's spending plans.

Trump said in a post on Twitter that the situation was "not looking good" for the US military as a result of the impasse.

"Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy," he said.

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.
8:28 PM - Jan 19, 2018

    46,743 46,743 Replies
    23,803 23,803 Retweets
    79,507

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/mattis-defence-plan-focus-russia-china-terror-180120103926446.html

13
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say.

The purported Russian activity involves the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, a reference to a secret congressional report about President Donald Trump’s allegations that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration. A group that tracks Russian-linked social media influence campaigns says the volume of Russian-related #ReleaseTheMemo traffic represents the most coordinated such effort since their website launched in early August.

“I’ve never seen any single hashtag that has had this amount of activity behind it,” said Bret Schafer, an analyst who helps runs the Hamilton 68 dashboard , a project with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. It tracks about 600 accounts that it says are tied to Russian-sponsored influence and disinformation campaigns; most of those accounts were promoting the same meme Friday.

WHAT IS THE MEMO?

The underlying #ReleaseTheMemo drama started Thursday after Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, revealed a brief report produced by Republican staff dealing with Trump’s wiretapping allegations. The report stems from a lengthy investigation House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes conducted into the alleged surveillance of Trump transition aides and the revealing of names — or “unmasking” — of Trump aides in classified reports.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted on party lines — over Democratic member objections — early Thursday to make the brief, 3-page report available to members of Congress. But the same Republican members have said they cannot say what exactly the report shows because it is classified — and revealing classified information is a federal crime.

Committee officials who reviewed the documents said that they revolve around a dossier on Trump produced by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and questions over whether it was used to obtain surveillance warrants. The report also relies on classified intelligence that is only available to a select group of lawmakers known as the “Gang of Eight” — a sign that some of the information is highly sensitive.

Throughout the day Thursday and Friday, lawmakers walked in and out of a classified room in the Capitol to review the report — but never leaving with a copy because of the sensitive contents.

WHERE DID THE MEME COME FROM?

As with previous spikes of coordinated activity tracked by the Hamilton 68 group — such as one surrounding the national anthem protest controversy at NFL games — it’s hard to trace back to how it started, and how much the Russian-linked network might simply be mimicking a U.S. trend.

“My guess is this started organically,” Schafer said. The website WikiLeaks was an early big promoter of #ReleaseTheMemo, and it received attention Thursday night from conservative personalities including the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King. It’s possible that the Russian-affiliated accounts simple “hopped on it, promoted it, amplified it,” Schafer said.

On Friday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted Hamilton 68 — where else? — on Twitter, calling its work “propaganda” and its methodology “unfalsifiable” and “appalling.”

VEIL OF SECRECY

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, said Friday that lawmakers had to sign a waiver produced by the House Intelligence Committee that barred them from obtaining copies of the report, taking notes about the report or discussing anything they read in the report. Krishnamoorthi said he did not know what the penalty was if anyone violated that waiver.

House Russia investigation chairman Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, said the intelligence committee could make this report available to the public directly. If the committee votes to “override” the classification of the material in the report, it would then move to the president, who would have five days to decide whether the classified material poses a national security risk. The full House could vote to override the president if he opted to keep the material secret.

Conaway said late Friday that he would like to make this report public, but declined to say if the intelligence committee would exercise its classification override powers.

ANOTHER TWITTER CLAMPDOWN

Meanwhile, Twitter said in a blog post Friday that it would email nearly 678,000 people in the U.S. to notify them they had followed accounts linked to Russian propagandists or had retweeted or liked a tweet sent out by them around the 2016 election.

It also said it had found 1,062 new accounts associated with the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency. That brings the total to 3,814; Twitter has suspended those accounts.

Twitter also identified another 13,500 automated accounts — for a total of 50,258 — that were linked to Russia and tweeting out election-related material. “Any such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere, and we’re committed to continuing to work on this important issue,” the company said.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia who’s harshly criticized Twitter’s lackluster investigation into Russian meddling, tweeted Friday that he was “encouraged to see the company beginning to take responsibility” in dealing with the issue.

https://apnews.com/2d85eff8400f4825877e22321f98ccb0/Russian-networks-pushing-conservative-meme,-researchers-say

14
Twitter will inform nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. that they either followed a Kremlin-linked troll account, or retweeted or liked a tweet sent by one of the accounts, the social media company said Friday.

 The company last year identified thousands of Twitter accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian government-linked troll army in St. Petersburg that worked to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and to promote chaos and division in American society more generally.

"Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period," Twitter said in a blog post announcing the move.

Twitter initially said it had found 200 accounts linked to the group. Then it told Congress last fall that it had identified 2,752 accounts linked to the group. On Friday, Twitter said it had since identified an additional 1,062 accounts, bringing the total to 3,814. The accounts together sent more than 175,000 tweets, the company said.

 Twitter said it will hand over the details of the additional accounts to Congress.

The company also said it had also found more than 50,000 Russian-linked automated accounts that tweeted about the presidential election. Networks of automated accounts are often run from the same computer and sometimes post the same link, talking point or hashtag en-masse in an attempt to make it trend on the platform.

Among those getting emails will likely be some current and former members of the Trump administration, as well as a member of the Trump family.

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway retweeted one of the IRA-linked accounts, @TEN_GOP, which was designed to look like it was run by the Tennessee Republican Party, just days before the 2016 election.

Donald Trump Jr. also followed the @TEN_GOP account, CNN found.

And former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, his son Michael Flynn Jr. and former deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka all followed a separate IRA-linked account, a CNN analysis last year found. That account, which used the pseudonym "Jenna Abrams," developed a persona of a conservative American woman, and amassed a following of more than 70,000.

 A copy of the email sent to one Twitter user after the blog post was published Friday obtained by CNN showed that Twitter informed the user they had interacted with one of the IRA-linked accounts, but did not say which account it was.

In December, Facebook launched a tool in its help section that allows users to see if they followed any Facebook or Instagram accounts run by the Internet Research Agency. Unlike Twitter, Facebook has not announced plans to inform users directly.

Both companies appeared to time these announcements for moments when they would get less attention than they might otherwise. Facebook made its announcement the Friday before Christmas; Twitter published its blog post on a Friday when the news media was focused on a possible government shutdown.

Twitter also said on Friday it was investing in technology to help "detect and mitigate the effect on users of fake, coordinated, and automated account activity."

Its efforts on that front have included some missteps. The fake "Jenna Abrams" persona that was followed by the Flynns and Gorka has twice since re-emerged on the platform using the same name. On both occasions Twitter did not take action against the new accounts until CNN reported their existence.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/19/media/twitter-internet-research-agency-accounts/index.html

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Knarfs Knewz / Bellandur Lake goes up in flames yet again
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:18:20 AM »

The fire was first sighted at around 12 noon towards the MEG side of the lake in Chellaghatta near T-Nagar.

Bellandur lake, whose restoration the National Green Tribunal is sternly monitoring, erupted in flames again on Friday.

The fire raged all day, keeping firemen busy well into the night. This is the fourth major fire at the lake. The last, in 2017, had broken out near the Bellandur bridge.

The lake is notorious for its toxic froth and fire eruptions. Its conditions had prompted the National Green Tribunal to take up a suo motu case against the government in 2016.

On Friday, officials claimed someone had set fire to the dry grass around the lake.

"It all started on the Yemalur side, near the defence land. Since the wind is strong, the blaze spread quickly," a fireman said.

Police and emergency services took the help of around 5,000 personnel from the adjoining ASC Centre and College to combat the fire. Twelve fire tenders were pressed into service.

"We were unable to get into the water to fight the fire, but managed to bring things under control by 9.45 pm. We are working with defence personnel to ensure the fire does not spread to residential areas," an official said.

As we go to the press at 10 pm, firefighters were still struggling to douse the flames in areas around Iblur, Challaghatta, Ejipura and Sun City. The fire was partially under
control.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/654737/bellandur-lake-goes-up-flames.html

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