Europe may harmonize how internet companies fight hate speech


Internet companies are already taking action against hate speech, but it’s no secret that they don’t always tackle it in the same way. One may delete the hostile material immediately, while the other might spend days reviewing it before taking action. That wildly inconsistent approach might not fly in European Union countries before long. Reuters says it has obtained a draft European Commission document proposing that the EU implement measures that harmonize how online firms remove hate speech, child porn and other illegal content. Just how they’d take material down isn’t clear, but Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have already agreed to an EU code of conduct that requires takedowns within 24 hours — this would dictate how they pull the offensive content.

The draft is quick to acknowledge that a common rule set wouldn’t be easy. There are “justified” differences depending on the type of content, for instance. However, it believes that consistent takedown guidelines would lead to a “more transparent and predictable environment” where internet companies would be more willing to curb hate speech.

A paper like this doesn’t guarantee action. Nonetheless, it’s easy to see the tech industry being uneasy with mandates. What if the rules are too rigid and don’t account for differences between sites and services? What are the chances of inadvertently pulling innocuous material? And would a harmonized process be quick enough that 24 hours is a realistic time frame for the vast majority of removals? If the idea goes forward, the EU will have to be careful to set realistic rules that are acceptable for both companies and the public.

Georges St-Pierre: McGregor is ‘going to lose’ to Mayweather

The proposed fight has been talked about for the past year but now negotiations are ongoing to put McGregor into the ring with Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record while widely being considered one of the best boxers of all time.

McGregor has never competed in a pro boxing match so clearly he’s fighting an up hill battle, but he’s stated numerous times that he plans to shock the world when he finally gets his opportunity to face Mayweather in the ring.

Unfortunately, it doesn?t appear St-Pierre is ready to buy that hype that McGregor has a realistic shot of handing Mayweather his first professional loss.

“He’s going to lose. I’m pretty sure he’s going to lose if it happens,” St-Pierre said in a recent interview with RT Sport. “The odds are not in his favor. But I think if he manages to survive, it could be like a win for him because after he’s going to start talking ‘I stepped into your game, why don’t you step into mine now?’.

“It depends on not only the result of how it’s done. It all depends on how things play out.”

Google Photos for iOS beams images to your TV with AirPlay

Google has been improving its Photos app for a while now, adding features like automatic white balance, compensation for wobbly video, social photo editing tools and even improving Apple’s own Live Photos. The one thing it’s been missing, however, is the ability to send your photos and videos to an Apple TV right from the app using AirPlay. That’s been remedied, though, with a new update that’s available to download right now from the App Store.

The Google Photos service and app came out in May 2015. Why it’s taken this long to be able to get those photos and videos to our big screen is beyond us. Sharing vacation videos and photos with a group of buddies is a ton of fun with AirPlay, and now you don’t have to leave the Google app to do so. If you’ve been waiting to go all-in with Google’s system for your visual media, it just might be time to do so.

Amazon is trying to be your one-stop subscription shop

Amazon’s subscription offerings go beyond Kindle Unlimited, Prime and its various add-ons. The retailer has offered magazine subscriptions for awhile too, and now the company has set up Subscribe with Amazon. It’s a hub that gives “subscription providers the ability to offer customers flexible pricing including introductory, monthly and annual pricing options, as well as the opportunity to explore offering Prime exclusive deals,” Amazon said in a press release.

The messaging on the customer-facing portal describes subscriptions as “fun to discover” and leverages the company’s reputation (“relax, we are always here for you”) and ease-of-use as key selling points. As for Prime-exclusive deals, right now you can pick up a free month of Dropbox Plus and two weeks of Amazon Rapids for free, among others.

The requirements seem pretty lax too. As a developer, all you need to get in on the program is to offer an app, website or software; have a US business address and sell a subscription that has recurring fees. Amazon takes the internet-standard 30 percent cut of a subscription’s first year, and that decreases to 15 percent if someone renews.

“You have full control over pricing, with the option to create different tiers of service, offer a free trial or set an introductory price,” according to the Subscribe with Amazon page. “Subscribe with Amazon is a self-service solution that allows you to make your digital subscription purchasable to millions of highly qualified shoppers who trust Amazon to be their primary shopping destination.”

That last line is the key here: Amazon is angling to be everyone’s goto stop for online shopping, and it’s going to use the subscription service to further push that.

World’s First Malaria Vaccine to Help Prevent Deaths in 3 African Countries

The world’s first notably effective malaria vaccine is set to save thousands of lives throughout Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi starting in 2018.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa is introducing the RTS,S; the first malaria vaccine to have successfully completed a Phase III clinical trial – which was completed in 2014 – to Africa.

Africa bears the greatest burden of malaria worldwide. Global efforts in the last 15 years have led to a 62% reduction in malaria deaths between 2000 and 2015, yet approximately 429,000 people died of the disease in 2015, the majority of them young children in Africa.

The RTS,S’s pilot program will be conducted on children ages 5 to 17 months old in hopes that it will drastically reduce infection throughout the poorest regions of Africa. The study will assess the efficiency of the vaccine by delivering four injections of RTS,S to infants in high-risk areas for the disease.

“The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”

Canada Rules to Uphold Net Neutrality

The internet of Canada is to remain a fair and equal space for all thanks to this new ruling.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) strengthened its commitment to net neutrality yesterday by declaring that Internet service providers should treat data traffic equally to foster consumer choice, innovation and the free exchange of ideas. As such, the CRTC today is publishing a new framework regarding differential pricing practices.

This framework supports a fair marketplace for services, cultural expression and ideas in which Internet service providers compete on price, quality of service, speeds, data allowance and better service offerings, rather than by treating the data usage of certain content differently.

hands on smart phones – a group of friends using mobile phones sitting at the table

The ruling comes as a direct stance against Videotron: a music streaming service that allows users to stream music from third party apps without using data. After assessing Videotron’s Unlimited Music Service under the new framework, the CRTC found that the company is giving an undue preference to certain consumers and music streaming services, while subjecting other consumers and content providers to an unreasonable disadvantage. The company has been given 90 days to comply with the new guidelines.

“A free and open Internet gives everyone a fair chance to innovate and for a vast array of content to be discovered by consumers,” says Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC. “A free and open Internet also allows citizens to be informed and engage on issues of public concern without undue or inappropriate interference by those who operate those networks. Rather than offering its subscribers selected content at different data usage prices, Internet service providers should be offering more data at lower prices. That way, subscribers can choose for themselves what content they want to consume.”

Wellcome science book prize goes to story of a heart transplant

A novel that “illustrates what it is to be human” has become the first translated book to win the Wellcome prize for science writing.

Maylis de Kerangal’s Mend the Living, which tracks the journey of a heart from donor to recipient over 24 hours, is only the second novel ever to scoop the £30,000 prize, which is awarded to a work of fiction or nonfiction that engages with health and medicine.

Announcing the winner, chair of judges Val McDermid said: “Sometimes you read a memoir and it is just one person’s tragedy, but this is about the tragedy and hope that comes from loss that could affect every single one of us.” She said the judges “felt very strongly” that the book had the potential to change the lives of readers and called it “compelling, original and ambitious”.

De Kerangal’s novel was translated from French by Jessica Moore, who was awarded £10,000. McDermid praised the translation, which she told the Guardian pulled off the difficult trick of shaping a book into a second language without undermining the intention or voice of the original.

Describing herself as a “long-time advocate” of translated fiction, McDermid, a bestselling crime writer, said: “Publishers have very slowly woken up to the importance to readers of translated fiction as a way of understanding a globalised world … The English language doesn’t have a monopoly on terrific writing and I am very happy to be one of the judges who chose this book.”

Mend the Living begins with vibrant young surfer Simon Limbeau suffering catastrophic injuries in a road traffic accident. Faced with a son who has been left brain dead, his parents are forced to decide whether to turn off his life support and donate his heart. The story then follows Limbeau’s heart on its way to a donor recipient and explores how people recover hope in tragic circumstances.

The novel, which was also longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker international prize, has also been adapted to film. Directed by Katell Quillévéré and renamed Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants), it stars Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner and Anne Dorval and is set for a UK release at the end of April.

Mend the Living was chosen from a strong shortlist of six books that included two novels, the other being Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss, about a family navigating the NHS as they come to terms with a child’s unexpected illness.

Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes, which examines how the 40tn microbes in the human body affect us, was the only debut on the shortlist. The other three books interweaved science with personal experience. Neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was the first author to be in contention for the prize posthumously, with his memoir When Breath Becomes Air recounting his final months of life with terminal lung cancer. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene blends a narrative about genetics with the story of reoccurring mental illness in his family, while David France, a gay man and an eyewitness to the Aids epidemic, wrote of the struggle faced by HIV/Aids activists during the 1980s in How to Survive a Plague.

McDermid chaired a panel of judges that mixed broadcasters and writers with scientists. Cambridge professors Simon Baron-Cohen and Tim Lewens joined the Wire in the Blood author on a panel completed by broadcaster Gemma Cairney and radio producer Di Speirs.


Leon & Lulu hosts annual Books & Authors event in Clawson

How wonderful would it be to pick up a book you are interested in and have the author pop up in person to tell you all about it?

That is the idea behind the “Books and Authors” event at Leon & Lulu in Clawson.

More than 50 authors will be available to chat about the 125 book titles represented April 30, at Leon & Lulu. The books range in genre from self-help, children’s, poetry, romance, autobiographies, and fiction. This spring the store had its largest number of applicants.

“Clearly, people love to read. We always have a big crowd and a really fun day,” says Mary Liz Curtin, who along with Stephen Scannell owns this wildly amusing one-of-a kind shop.

The fun day begins when you walk into the converted historic Ambassador roller skating rink, and are greeted by a person on roller skates carrying a tray of warm chocolate chip cookies. In the food café you can treat yourself to complimentary hotdogs, popcorn and coffee during this event.

As you walk around the store looking at the stunning custom made furniture, zany accessories, women’s items and made-in-Michigan products, you might just be joined by one of the owners’ rescue animals. The store is named after the owners’ beloved cat and dog.

Throughout the 20,000-square-foot building, guest authors are set up at their tables, where customers can meet them and ask questions. As a bonus, Leon & Lulu will donate 10 percent of sales that day to the Oakland Literacy Council.

“This program has been a great way to give back to the community as well as spread our reach and meet new customers,” Curtin says. “We do love a party here at Leon & Lulu.”

It’s also a way to support your favorite authors and discovery new ones.

• Books & Authors is 11-5 p.m. April 30 at Leon & Lulu, 96 W. 14 Mile Road, Clawson. The event and parking are free.

Rossi annoyed with Zarco incident

Zarco, in his rookie season, attempted a pass on Rossi and the Italian went off the track to avoid contact, only to rejoin in front of Zarco and even closer to race leader Marc Marquez.

Race officials would hand Rossi a 0.3 second penalty – to be added at the end of the race – after he straight-lined the corner.

“For me it is not right because I have two choices…we do like this, or we touch and we crash,” the veteran told reporters after the race.

“But I hear the penalty is for gaining advantage and 0.3 is OK, but for me the problem is not Race Direction, the problem is Zarco.

“He is always very fast and rides the bike very well, he has great potential, but this is not Moto2 and if you want to overtake you have to overtake in another way. He always arrives too much in the line and for me, he has to stay more quiet.”

Meanwhile Zarco is in the midst of a superb rookie season on his Yamaha, having lead the race in Qatar and earning back-to-back fifth place finishes.

The Frenchman revealed he was never going to give up the opportunity to pass Rossi.

“It was necessary to do it like this, because there was an opportunity to pass him, and if asked myself, can I do it? Maybe I crash, so necessary just to do it,” said the 26-year-old.

“[It was] Because he was not so fast in corner two, because of the mistake in corner one, you need to anticipate a lot.

“So I said, this is the opportunity to go through at corner three. But he was able to come quite fast in corner 3, and as I say, I took the decision to do it, so I did, and it was on the limit, but it was OK.”

Thomas Jefferson’s Law School Books Going Online

Thomas Jefferson’s collection of law books for the University of Virginia is going online.

The law school is digitizing the books it’s collected in a search that started more than 40 years ago.

Jefferson personally selected the 375 law books for the university’s original 1828 library.

the project team carefully places the books under a dual-camera system that captures high-quality images of the pages. They’ll go into a *free* virtual library along with essays that help people today interpret the legal texts.

“It’s of interest to people to learn about how our legal culture developed,” said Jim Ambuske, a Digital Humanities post-doctoral fellow.

This is in a moment 50 years after independence when Americans were still trying to figure out what defines an American.

“It’ll be a great opportunity to really expand our knowledge of early American law and how Americans interacted with the law,” said >>>Melissa Gismondi, Project Co-Director.