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Thursday, April 20, 2017

News Feed Bias Checker, Random Stuff, and More

Wrote a script to check for bias on news feeds of websites:
Obviously, really basic (and built from my Linux Planet Blog Checker Script, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/04/linux-planet-blog-checker-script-github.html) but gives a good estimate... You won't understand some of the choices unless you understand a bit more about politics (think a little bit and you'll realise how biased our lives can often be?). 

Will scan the the folder for a file called newsfeeds.txt. This file is scanned for RSS news feeds which are then checked for bias based on a pretty simple set of metrics. At some stage down the line I may re-write this or other pieces of software to do more thorough checking.

Obviously, it's pretty rudimentary and reads feeds included in the newsfeeds.txt file. Add feeds as you want. Comment out newsfeeds that are irrelevant using the "#" symbol like in Python and BASH (some feeds aren't really possible to check because of their structure or you can't get a decent gauge of bias because the size of the feeds vary drastically).

It's not supposed to be taken too seriously (though I may write something more relevant later on?).

I've been very surprised/perplexed by some of the results (a good example of this is the following. A lot of websites that don't look biased seem to be while others that seem more neutral? That said, since it's doing 
the check on a very small sample that often differs from site to site which makes adequate quantification of bias very difficult.

File included called bias_check.txt contains results of a scan completed as of the day this post was published... Below are results.
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.cnbc.com/id/100727362/device/rss/rss.html
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 2

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.channelnewsasia.com/rss/latest_cna_world_rss.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 45

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.rt.com/rss/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.rt.com/rss/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 138

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.smh.com.au/rssheadlines/world/article/rss.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 4

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/World.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 92

[Currently checking URL] - #http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/rss/world
[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/rss/world

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.news.com.au/world/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.news.com.au/world/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 7

[Currently checking URL] - http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition_world.rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition_world.rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 1

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.skynews.com/feeds/rss/world.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 7

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.reuters.com/tools/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.reuters.com/tools/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 32

[Currently checking URL] - http://feeds.reuters.com/Reuters/worldNews
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.reuters.com/Reuters/worldNews
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 28

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.economist.com/sections/international/rss.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 4

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.france24.com/en/top-stories/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.france24.com/en/top-stories/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 47

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://russia-insider.com/en/all-content/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 30

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://allafrica.com/tools/headlines/rdf/latest/headlines.rdf
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 8

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.news24.com/articles/news24/TopStories/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 26

[Currently checking URL] - #http://www.politico.com/rss/politics08.xml
[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #http://www.politico.com/rss/politics08.xml

[Currently checking URL] - #http://www.scmp.com/rss/5/feed
[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #http://www.scmp.com/rss/5/feed

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/rss/world_rss.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 1762

[Currently checking URL] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/zerohedge/feed
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/zerohedge/feed
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 220

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.infowars.com/feed/custom_feed_rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 185

[Currently checking URL] - http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Maxkeisercom
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Maxkeisercom
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 83

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://zeenews.india.com/rss/world-news.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 20

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://indianexpress.com/section/world/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 410

[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 841

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.presstv.ir/RSS/MRSS/1
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.presstv.ir/RSS/MRSS/1
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 1

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.timesofisrael.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.timesofisrael.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 32

[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #https://sputniknews.com/export/rss2/archive/index.xml

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/c/world/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 645

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.kyivpost.com/feed
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.kyivpost.com/feed
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 76

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.globalresearch.ca/feed
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.globalresearch.ca/feed
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 74

[Currently checking URL] - http://mediamonarchy.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://mediamonarchy.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 178

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.washingtonsblog.com/feed
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.washingtonsblog.com/feed
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 243

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.democracynow.org/democracynow.rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 154

[Currently checking URL] - http://globalnews.ca/pages/feeds/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://globalnews.ca/pages/feeds/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 19

[Currently checking URL] - http://globalnews.ca/world/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://globalnews.ca/world/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 38

[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 33

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/index.rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 49

[Currently checking URL] - http://rss.dw.com/rdf/rss-en-world
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://rss.dw.com/rdf/rss-en-world
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 20

[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #http://www.worldbulletin.net/servisler/rss/haberler/22

[Currently checking URL] - #https://www.corbettreport.com/rssfeeds/
[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #https://www.corbettreport.com/rssfeeds/

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/CorbettReportRSS
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 46

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.theatlantic.com/feed/all/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.theatlantic.com/feed/all/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 41

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.latinospost.com/rss/sections/world.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 192

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.newsamericasnow.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.newsamericasnow.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 60

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.rfa.org/english/feed/RSS
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.rfa.org/english/feed/RSS
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 112

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.asiaone.com/rss-feed/5
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.asiaone.com/rss-feed/5
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 86

[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #http://www.asianewsnet.net/rss/top_story.xml

[Currently checking URL] - http://rss.upi.com/news/tn_int.rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://rss.upi.com/news/tn_int.rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 96

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.abcnews.com/abcnews/internationalheadlines
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 17

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.ndtv.com/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.ndtv.com/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 15

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/ndtvnews-world-news
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 48

[Currently checking URL] - #https://www.usnews.com/rss/news
[Skipping URL as it's commented out] - #https://www.usnews.com/rss/news

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.theguardian.com/world/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.theguardian.com/world/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 190

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.arabnews.com/cat/3/rss.xml
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.arabnews.com/cat/3/rss.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 30

[Currently checking URL] - http://realiran.org/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://realiran.org/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 124

[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 8

[Currently checking URL] - http://theduran.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://theduran.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 0

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.nationalinterest.org/feed
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.nationalinterest.org/feed
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 185

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.romaniajournal.ro/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.romaniajournal.ro/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 133

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/AfricaEnergyIntelligence
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 2

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 402

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.uen.org/feeds/lists.shtml
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.uen.org/feeds/lists.shtml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 8

[Currently checking URL] - https://au.news.yahoo.com/rss/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://au.news.yahoo.com/rss/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 6

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.yenisafak.com/en/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.yenisafak.com/en/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 132

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.thenews.com.pk/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.thenews.com.pk/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 18

[Currently checking URL] - http://tribune.com.pk/rss/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://tribune.com.pk/rss/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 3

[Currently checking URL] - http://tribune.com.pk/world/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://tribune.com.pk/world/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 85

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.egyptindependent.com/rss_channels_en
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 2

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/rss_feeds.php
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 37

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.cbc.ca/rss/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.cbc.ca/rss/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 15

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.france24.com/en/top-stories/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.france24.com/en/top-stories/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 47

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.theatlantic.com/feed/all/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.theatlantic.com/feed/all/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 41

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.telesurtv.net/english/pages/rss.html
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 18

[Currently checking URL] - https://www.sabanews.net/en/category15.htm
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.sabanews.net/en/category15.htm
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 18

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.defensenews.com/rss
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.defensenews.com/rss
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 34

[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://feeds.feedburner.com/rss/category/def-home?format=xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 51

[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 13

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.aljazeera.com/xml/rss/all.xml
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.aljazeera.com/xml/rss/all.xml
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 1

[Currently checking URL] - http://www.somalilandpress.com/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.somalilandpress.com/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 0

[Currently checking URL] - http://diplomat.so/feed/
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://diplomat.so/feed/
[News Bias Checker measures this particular URL RSS Feed at] - 108

Random Stuff:
- latest in ICT
- latest in science and technology
Experts excited by brain 'wonder-drug'
Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water
- thank God for Google? Only they could make the simple seem impossibly difficult? I'm a former postgraduate student and even I struggled with trying to understand what the IRS wanted me to do via Google (was trying to figure out how to unlock payments for some other work)? Eventually, had to just use the search engine instead of the arcane form that tried to figure things out for me...
- tools associated with Google seem to keep on getting broken over and over again? May just have to build my own one day?
- been struggling with a bunch of binary WIM archive files that seemed to be BIN files but have no easy method for extraction and seem to be custom made? May have to build my own tool/s? Been down this pathway before though. Know how difficult/time consuming this could get?
extract contents recovery disk
working with wim files linux
can't extract all from wim file
- crazy, funny way to make a living if you think about it? The funny thing is if you look around the Internet they seem to imply he's a CIA asset?
- feels like the US Empire is imploding sometimes? I wonder whether they ever confuse themselves with their confusing (and that of their foes) operations/antics?
Severe humanitarian crisis in Iraq with 800000 going to bed hungry

Random Quotes:
- It's a problem for two main reasons. First, we're not America. We don't have an American economy, American hyper-capitalism, American inequalities, or anything remotely like American levels of illegal immigration. Nor do we have the American sense of wounded pride at the thought of losing our dominance as a superpower. We have versions of these things, but we tend to underappreciate to just what extent the American pact is falling apart.

Theirs is an economy in which one part (led mainly by tech industries) is cannibalising another (characterised mainly of blue-collar manufacturing). Accordingly, it is an economy in which education is a brutally powerful predictor of success; in which social mobility is disintegrating; in which the middle class is being hollowed out; in which masses of working-class people are waking abruptly from their American dream.

Our crises are just more modest than that. We have struggling states, and some dying industries. But we haven't had a deep recession – or indeed a recession at all – and the relationship between income and education isn't quite so stark. Our tradies earn significantly more than their American brethren, for instance. All this is partly why we have a One Nation vote that, when it surges, merely hits double figures.

But that leads us to the second problem: it won't be this way forever. Last week's Bureau of Statistics report, which confirmed a long-term trend towards increasingly part-time and casual work, left the news cycle far too quickly. If our unemployment figures can be called low, it's only because they're hiding a falling participation rate and a swathe of underemployed people. We keep adding jobs, but our wages are barely growing because we're adding low-hour work. That means we're adding insecurity: people who have jobs but not reliable work; income but no hope of, say, getting a home loan. When the next crunch comes, there will be plenty of vulnerable, dispensable people.

What will become of us then? Well, if the way we're handling our relative prosperity based on the result of an election on the other side of the Pacific is any indication, it's going to get damn ugly. America is a nation built with a strong, civic national identity. It's a country built on the mythology of individual freedom – an idea that is political, rather than ethnic. The American miracle has been to hold together all manner of people under its banner – from white supremacists through to civil rights activists – because the idea of being American was somehow open even to people who couldn't stand each other. That's why, in spite of its pockets of deep, enduring racism, America has remained extraordinarily good at absorbing migrants.

We have been, too, but not in the same, deliberate way. We don't do it through some powerful national mythology. We do it almost by accident, through a kind of pragmatic accommodation. We are routinely suspicious of migrants, but we lack the kind of hard-edged ethnic nationalism of Europe that has resulted in their suite of fascistic movements.

That means our ability to handle diversity, while considerably better than Europe's, is fragile. More fragile than America's. And yet here we are, watching as the Ku Klux Klan hold a post-election victory parade, and as a speaker at a white supremacist conference exclaims "Hail Trump" before an audience responding with cheers and Nazi salutes. We're watching a President-elect have to disavow these movements, even as he appoints advisers who are worryingly sympathetic to them. In short, we're watching the worst of America's possibilities unfold; its civic identity – which has held it in such good stead – begin to disintegrate.

If we're to avoid something similar, we'll need to tend our garden now; to build a concept of Australia that carries the diversity we now irreversibly have. We'll need to do better than to capitulate to nationalist reflexes, visible in another country with problems that aren't yet ours. Because one day that test will come properly. And when it does, our apparent desperation to adopt other countries' catastrophes as our own will have been no use at all. It will mean only that we're well practiced at enacting their failures.
- In 1991, Putin, then 39 years old, warned of the danger of totalitarianism in Russia. He considered this danger to be latent in the Russian mentality: "All of us, myself included, sometimes believe that if order were imposed with an iron hand, we could all live better, more comfortably and securely. In reality, though, this comfort and security would soon be gone, because that iron hand would soon throttle us all."

And today? Never in the history of modern Russia has the yearning for an iron hand been as apparent as it is today. The yearning for censorship and state intervention.

This climate of denunciation and self-censorship is advantageous for the confrontation with the West. And that's the reason why the Kremlin is reluctant unequivocally to condemn the Stalinist Terror.

Instead, there is a fear that every movement that comes from the grassroots, from the people, from voting citizens, that is not sanctioned from above, could constitute a threat to the retention of power.
- Mann called for the necessity of setting up a whistle-blowing service to help victims come forward, adding that the female employees did not feel secure to raise the issue.

The lawmaker told the committee that he was aware of cases where staff had “significant issues” with the way current parliamentarians behave towards them but he was powerless to report colleagues to police because "there is no criminality" involved.

“That is not a matter of criminality but [one] that would be potentially an issue for whistle-blowing to make a complaint. The cases I am aware of, there is no criminality otherwise it would be very straightforward. I would be advising go to the police," he said.

In a shocking example, Mann said that older MPs would force young female interns to work late before "pressing" them into going home with them.

"There has been improper sexual behavior in this building that I am aware of with members of staff by Members of Parliament, including in recent times, the last two years, and I have had complaints of that, the individuals do not feel comfortable or confident, working in a political environment, of raising that issue and explicitly did not want me to raise the issue and therefore potentially have them named," Mann noted.

UK MPs are already embroiled in other sexual scandals. In 2015 alone, reports by UK media reveled that over 247,000 attempts were made by users of the British parliament's network to check out pornographic material.
- The cheapest flight to Mars may leave from a tiny barrier island in southeastern India.

Sriharikota, the nation’s Cape Canaveral, is the launchpad for an ambitious space program that has shot more than 120 satellites into orbit -- including for the U.S., Israel and Germany. Spacefaring rivals can’t beat the prices charged by India, which sent its own probe to the Red Planet for less money than Hollywood spent making a movie about an astronaut stranded there.

While China strives to put people farther into space, this South Asian country instead eyes a bigger slice of the $5.4 billion satellite-launching industry. India added an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary as a customer this year, heightening its profile just as the global launch market surges because of the demand for constant internet connectivity and monitoring of the earth by commercial, scientific and military entities.
- Ask a harried air traveler about the basics of modern flight, and you’ll probably elicit surprise when they discover commercial airplanes fly only as fast as they did in the 1950s. Given the range of aerospace advances in the past half-century, plus the technological leaps in almost every other area of human endeavor, it seems reasonable to ask: Why can’t we fly faster?

That’s the question driving a startup called Boom Technology, which says it’s time to bring supersonic jet travel into the mainstream—in a modern way. The company is pursuing speed with an audacious idea: a 45-seat aircraft that cruises at Mach 2.2 (1,451 miles per hour), faster than the defunct Concorde and certainly faster than the standard 550 mph, with fares no more expensive than a current business-class round trip, which ranges between $5,000 and $10,000. 
- "Before I finally passed the National Civil Service Exam, I attended a training class and concentrated on preparing for the exam over five months on a full-time basis. It's really hard work plus luck."

However, she has a word of warning for Huang.

"After working less than one year, I actually regretted my decision." Yolanda admitted.

"The civil service job is boring and I do the same work day after day. I work in the financial department of the water conservation bureau. I'm very enthusiastic but work is not that busy."

Her sentiments were echoed on Weibo by one user going by the name Linyuan-y who passed the exam two years ago. "This is like a siege. People from outside of the circle desperately want to get in, but people inside also want to quit the jobs and explore the world outside. If you are capable, why not try to challenge yourself and explore the wider society?" 
- Republicans have always struggled with a quandary presented by their economic ideology, which is that it's difficult to get majority support for a set of policies intended to shower benefits on a small portion of the population. When they argue about it explicitly they use a kind of rhetorical redirection, claiming that cutting rich people's taxes isn't really about rich people at all, but is actually intended to help the middle class and even the poor. The rich themselves are merely a vehicle to accomplish this noble end, unselfishly accepting the government's largesse on behalf of their lessers.

Needless to say, there are only so many people you can persuade with that argument. So in order to compensate, Republicans have complemented their economic case with a menu of social issues with which they can demonise their opponents. Those Democrats hate America, Republicans would say, they're weak, they don't love God the way you do, they want to take your guns, they want to force your kids to get gay abortions. Often enough, it worked.

Trump said most of those things in the 2016 campaign, but you could tell that he was just going through the motions, ticking off the boxes to reassure ideological conservatives that they didn't have anything to worry about. The true beating heart of his appeal was a slightly different kind of culture war, one based on rage and resentment at cultural change and the declining status of working class white men. With his attacks on immigrants, racial minorities, and an "establishment" of Washington politicians and economic powers-that-be, Trump convinced them that it was finally their turn: their turn to say whatever they want, their turn to have their interests put first, their turn to see their communities revived and their pride restored.

But now, Trump is filling up his administration with, guess what, Washington politicians and representatives of the economic powers-that-be, whose top priorities are tax cuts, deregulation, and destroying the safety net, including the privatisation of Medicare. The idea that they'll be labouring to serve the interests of the working class is a joke. Yet it's a joke people somehow keep telling with a straight face.
- "We don't want confrontation with anyone. We don't need it. We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends," Putin told Russia's political elite gathered in one of the Kremlin's grandest halls.

"We are ready to cooperate with the new U.S. administration. We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security."

Any U.S.-Russia co-operation would have to be mutually beneficial and even-handed, he said.

Putin has spoken previously of his hope that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may help restore tattered U.S.-Russia relations, and analysts said he was unlikely to want to dial up anti-Western rhetoric before Trump's inauguration in January.

The Russian leader said he was hoping to find common ground with Washington on fighting global terrorism in particular.

That was a reference to Syria where Moscow is backing President Bashar al-Assad, while the outgoing U.S. administration has supported anti-Assad rebels.

Russia hopes Trump will give Russia a freer hand there and cooperate militarily to fight Islamic State.

Putin's tone may have been softer than usual, but he still made it clear that Russia would continue to robustly stand up for its own interests.

Complaining about what he said were "myths" about Russian aggression and Russian meddling in other countries' elections, he said Moscow wanted to independently decide its own fate.

"We will build our future without advice from anyone else," said Putin.

The main target of Putin's speech appeared to be the Russian people though.

His message was that the worst of a grinding economic crisis was in the past and that it was now time to focus on improving living standards by investing more heavily in education and health.

The next presidential election takes place in 2018, and though he has not said yet if he will seek another term, Putin is widely expected to run.
- I live with my girlfriend and he lives with his boyfriend. The four of us go for dinner sometimes as we have become good friends.

After I got married, friends who knew my sexuality started asking me for advice. That's when my girlfriend and I realised that there are many people who are in desperate need of help.

Not only the 70 million homosexual people in China, but also the millions of heterosexual women who risk ending up married to homosexual men.

So we set up a service on social media called iHomo. Over the course of a year, we organised more than 80 events, helping to form 100 marriages of convenience. And now we are working on an iHomo app. 
- Arrests and searches in five countries have resulted in the takedown of a botnet known as Avalanche that has been behind phishing attacks and about 20 different malware variants over the last decade.

The countries involved in the operation were listed by the European Union law enforcement agency Europol as Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, India, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, UK and US.

There were a total of five arrests, 37 searches, 39 servers seized and 221 servers taken offline through abuse notifications.

Europol said the botnet had caused an estimated €6 million in damages in concentrated cyberattacks on online banking systems in Germany alone.
- Despite the fact that Windows is the major attack interface, it is impossible to hear anyone in the IT industry recommend getting rid of Windows as a means to keep out ransomware. One can ask till one is blue in the face, but so-called tech experts will do everything but say the obvious.

You would think that if eating a certain type of food caused humans to vomit, the best way to avoid spilling one's innards on the footpath would be to avoid that food. Nope, tech experts will tell you to continue eating that same food and then take an anti-emetic.

There is one reason for this: Windows has spawned a multi-billion-dollar anti-virus industry that does not want to eat its own breakfast. The more Windows threats come along, the better the bottomline for these industries. Why would one try to kill off the goose that lays the golden eggs?
- M5S has been the focus of much of the international media attention during the campaign. Its nebulous anti-establishment policies make it difficult to pin down. Ostensibly left-leaning populists, spokesman and comic Beppe Grillo still made the surprising move of hailing Trump's electoral win, writing in his popular blog that the people were ready to turn their back on the status quo.

Although they have some seats in parliament, the only blueprint for a M5S government is the municipality of Rome, which saw Virginia Raggi elected mayor in June with a promise to fight corruption. Thus far, however, her administration has been mired in high-profile resignations and questions about some of her picks for top appointments.

In a recent letter to Italians abroad, Prime Minister Renzi asked them not to continue Italy's role as a "laughing stock" for having had "63 governments in 70 years." However, as of November 18, the last day official pollsters were allowed to publish results, the "No" side was still enjoying a healthy lead. Although such an outcome is unlikely to herald inescapable catastrophe, it would prove another blow to mainstream politics in the year of Trump and Brexit.
- In light of Abbas’s attitude, Netanyahu said the best approach to peace building would be a “regional” one. “Going through UN resolutions is not the way to advance peace,” he said.

He also dismissed a question about Israel’s increased isolation in the international community, and efforts to boycott Israel over its policies regarding the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said he was not worried about the boycott movement, because many countries seek out Israelis technology and proven track record fighting terror. They also know Israel wants peace, he asserted. Automatic voting majorities against Israel in the UN were also starting to change, he said.

He stressed that, in the Middle East, only the strong survive. “Nobody makes peace with the weak,” he said. “In the Middle East, the weak don’t survive… The strong and the smart survive.”

In his final remarks, Netanyahu derided the notion that Israel’s press is not free, saying it was more free than in any other country worldwide, and that he was attacked by the Israeli media more than any other home leader is attacked by the press in other countries. “There is no country [whose press] attacks its leader more than the Israeli press attacks me,” he said.
- One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, accusing the Labor Party of catastrophising on the subject of the government's proposed industrial reforms, enriched his Chicken Little metaphor with some actual chicken noises and pecked his microphone, which performance was valiantly recorded in Hansard thus: "bwok bwok bekerk!"

And Hansard reporters deployed their customary tact when transcribing the remarks of the Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie, in this case delivering a subtle but necessary tweak to her passionate declaration in the chamber that the ABCC legislation in some circumstances "inappropriately reverses the anus of proof" (Ouch!)
- With regard to Russia, it would be best to focus on four major issues, the resolution of which requires Russian cooperation: Syria, Ukraine, Crimea and Baltic security. These issues are not the result of bad relations, but of greatly divergent goals and fundamental disagreements about facts. For example, Russian security elites believe that the United States has fomented instability in the world to drive foreign investment into the United States at the expense of other markets (like Russia’s). This sincerely held belief is an example of the depth of misunderstanding.
- The Russian Navy is developing a new rotary wing unmanned aircraft for its ships. The unmanned helicopter will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as targeting. The Russians have been somewhat lagging in the development of unmanned systems, which are increasingly becoming commonplace in most western militaries.

“An unmanned aerial system of the helicopter type—designed for reconnaissance and target designation—is being developed created for Russian naval aviation,” a Russian defense ministry spokesman told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

There are no further details available about the Kremlin’s new project, but it could increase the organic ISR capabilities of Russian surface combatants in the same way as Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B and its larger MQ-8C Firescout unmanned helicopters do for the United States Navy.
- Hacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices are powering massive botnets and cybercriminals are offering DDoS attacks as a service. 900,000 XyXEL routers bought Deutsche Telekom users down last week.

Let’s start with IoT – essentially it is anything that connects to the Internet apart from a computer. That includes Wi-Fi routers, security cameras, thermostats, home appliances to sensors used in industrial and manufacturing applications.

IoT is inherently insecure - a lack of standards, operating systems, embedded passwords, and manufacturer’s backdoors make it so. For example, a team of security experts hacked 12 of 16 most common Bluetooth smart locks used in the USA. Smart thermostats, security cameras and kids toys have also been hacked.

All IoT devices have some capability to send email alerts, or access the internet to upload data and receive instructions and that is why access to them is sought after by hackers. According to Motherboard two hackers have created a new powerful zombie army of hacked IoT devices for rent to launch DDoS attacks.

The hackers claim to have improved on the Mirai “virus” enabling it to troll the internet, find insecure devices, and bring them into the botnet. They now have over 1 million devices under control.

“The original Mirai was easy to take, like candy from this kids,” the hacker, who calls himself BestBuy, told Motherboard in an online chat, referring to other competing hackers, who’ve been fighting in an online turf war to control vulnerable devices in the last few weeks.

Flashpoint puts the figure at around 5 million devices as the new Mirai virus finds more targets. It says while the original Mirai propagated over TCP/23 (Telnet) and TCP/2323 and leveraged default usernames and passwords, this new variant of Mirai utilizes the TR-064 and TR-069 protocols over port 7547 and exploits a known vulnerability to gain control of devices.

Flashpoint says it was used to take down 900,000 routers on the Deutsche Telekom network last week. It says infected devices have been found in the following countries: United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, Iran, Chile, Ireland, Thailand, Australia, Argentina, Italy, and Germany.
- The firm uses a mix of statistical and fundamental analysis to drive its investment strategies in equities trading, arbitrage and market-making as part of a high-frequency trading industry made famous in the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys.

Tibra's accounts said the core products it trades on a regular basis include fixed income derivatives, commodities securities, exchange traded options over major indices and leading stocks, futures over major indices and leading stocks, over-the-counter equity derivatives contracts in the wholesale market, and foreign exchange contracts and securities.
- In terms of security, however, the plane has no equal —Business Insider went as far as describing it as an “unrivalled flying fortress”.

Mirrors on the wings can be used to scramble infra-red missile guidance systems, and there are flares to confuse enemy missiles. There’s also an electronic defence system located in the top of the plane that can jam enemy radars.

Aside from having armoured windows, the body of the plane is designed to withstand a nuclear blast from the ground.

While you won’t see a parachute deck like the one in Harrison Ford’s movie Air Force One, there are extra emergency exits located underneath the plane, in front of the wings, with retractable staircases.
- Italy requires a government that understands the needs of her people, not one which semi-coherently articulates an obtuse and bizarre philosophy.  People in Italy do not want to be tied into a failed Germanic monetary system that has eroded the traditional modus operandi of the national economy. They want higher employment, increased living standards and a more accountable government.

It is one thing for Italians to reject neo-liberalism, but the alternatives best suited for Italy do not include Grillo’s odd, utopian fantasy of rejecting the greatest achievements of modernity and return to a kind of weird utopia where people blog from their caves and have no relationship with the realities of the world.

Grillo has always been a clown, but now that he is inching closer to power, he is becoming a dangerous clown. If he gets anywhere near power, the nation that brought the world Leoncavallo, could become a land of Pagliaccis.
- The quest for freedom from US technologies and patent fees has been a persistent theme in China and has helped shape the new mobile landscape, in which Baidu and Alibaba, not Google and Amazon, dominate the user experience. Less is heard about another massive market, Russia, but here too, the push for technology self-sufficiency is gathering momentum, creating opportunities for alternatives to Android and iOS.

The Russian government has chosen Sailfish – a Finnish Linux-based mobile operating system created by start-up Jolla – as the basis of its own mobile software platform, which will be developed by new venture Open Mobile Platform (OMP) and will be adopted by government agencies and state-owned corporations.
- In the near future small and medium enterprises in which foreigners own more than 49 percent of the shares will be able to apply for Russian state aid, according to the Kommersant business daily, which reports that the initiative is part of a bill created by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

In the opinion of the document's authors, the initiative will attract additional investment and help to "form new technological networks" in the country. The benefits will primarily involve the purchase of premises, fiscal preferences, advantageous credits and exemption from scheduled inspections.

The ministry explains that a medium business consists of anywhere between 101 and 200 people, while a company employing anywhere up to 100 people is considered a small enterprise. The maximum revenue of a medium enterprise is considered to be two billion rubles ($31.4 million), with that of a small company being set at up to 800 million rubles ($12.5 million).

"This is a big step towards improving small and medium business. I am sure this will stimulate entrepreneurial activity and the registration of new companies," said Emil Martirosyan from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration’s Institute of Business Administration.
- The award winning journalist recently appeared on RT’s Going Underground program, saying how dangerous US attempts to provoke China really are.

“The point about all of this is that, I don’t think anyone wants a nuclear war or even a war between great powers like the US and China. But what’s happening here is that laying of ground, a landscape of potential mistakes and accidents,” Pilger told host Afshin Rattansi.

“So, we're back to that almost estranged Stranglove world that we were worried about,” he added, referring to Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,’ which satirizes the threat of nuclear conflict between the US and Soviet Union.

The documentary contains Pilger’s interview with US Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel R. Russel, who states that the American presence in the pacific is “is warmly welcomed by the vast majority of the coastal states” and “is fully accepted by the Chinese.”

Which, according to Pilger, is far from the truth. “My impression is that they are scared,” he says.

“We stand at a few minutes to midnight in terms of the threat of nuclear war. That aim of this film is to break a science. A nuclear war is no longer unthinkable,” Pilger said of his documentary.
- An alleged US-led coalition airstrike on an Iraqi town left numerous civilians dead and injured, but no one wants to take responsibility for careless actions and bad intelligence, which are usually covered up by double standards, an analyst and a former Pentagon official both told RT.

Dozens of civilians, including many women and children, were killed in an airstrike on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)-held town of Qaim in Iraq on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The airstrike reportedly hit a busy market in the small town, which is located in Anbar province, near the Syrian border.

The US-led coalition’s joint air force operates in the area, but coalition representatives denied conducting any strikes in Qaim. There’s little-to-no possibility that the coalition will ever acknowledge responsibility for the alleged airstrike, said political analyst Daniel Patrick Welch.

“They are not going admit it, because only ‘bad people’ like the Russians carry out airstrikes that hit civilians. But no one else is bombing ISIL in that area, as far as I’m aware, or has the capacity to do so from the air,” Welch told RT.
...
“I don’t understand why they won’t comment. And it sounds like they are trying to get their story straight, which is another problem, when you have bad intelligence and you… I hate to say this, but they are quite willing to have civilian casualties. I think that’s clear.”

The US military has a “long history” of bombing “not proper, by Geneva convention, targets” and might be somewhat accustomed to it, according to Kwiatkowski. However, the coalition will have to take full responsibility, since the “blame Russia” scenario won’t work this time.

“I don’t know if they … thought they could get away with it, because it’s a small town, and people are focused on Aleppo, people are focused on Mosul. It seems careless. The fact that some militants are in hospital and possibly dead from this attack kind of suggests that it was done on purpose. You know, to target and ... get a few guys,” said Kwiatkowski.

“I think it’s sloppy, it’s inhuman. I’m curious to see how the US and how SATCOM is going answer to this, because they said that the coalition didn’t do it. Unless they are going to pin it on Turkey, or Russia, or Syria which I haven’t seen [that] they are going to do, they going to have to take responsibility for it, the coalition itself is going to have to take responsibility and tighten up their game. And particularly their intelligence game.”
- In Kara-Suu, Jumabayev chose his words carefully, but said the direction of movement was clear: “If a civilisational form doesn’t carry out its obligations to the people, then other forms of civilisation will inevitably develop. We saw it happen with communism, which was overtaken by democracy. Now, we are seeing the same thing happen to democracy.”
- The form of political organisation that best guarantees human rights is democracy. Certainly democratic majorities can produce illiberal policies, but democracy provides the opportunity to change those policies. Against a tyrant the only opportunity for change is revolution.
- Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC is by far the largest contract manufacturer of semiconductor chips in the world. The company is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and reportedly has a massive 55 percent share of the global market. Now, according to new reports coming out of the island nation, the company is looking to expand even further, and towards that end, has asked the country’s government to help them find a suitable location to build “an advanced chip plant to manufacture 5nm and 3nm chips”. According to Taiwan’s minister of science and technology, Mr. Yang Hung-duen, the company is planning to build a massive NT$500 billion ($15.7 billion) facility that should be up and running by 2022.

While exact details about the project are still hard to come by, the overall land requirement for the factory is said to be between 50 to 80 hectares (123 to 197 acres). The planned facility, meanwhile, promises to be one of the most advanced of its kind with a capability to make some of the smallest, most power efficient and cutting edge chips in the market. According to the company, the massive investment is needed to compete on even terms against its deep-pocketed American and South Korean rivals, as well as to make a foray into some of the emerging tech sectors that are expected to become multi-billion dollar industries in the future; namely, artificial intelligence, machine learning and self-driving vehicles, all of which require some serious processing power.

TSMC recently announced that the company has already been working on 5nm chip technology for a while, and that it has now got over 300 of its engineers working on 3nm and 2nm chips. The company plans to start mass production of its 7nm chips in early 2018. As mentioned already, TSMC is the largest operator of dedicated independent semiconductor foundries with around 55 percent of the global market. The company has around 470 clients worldwide, including American tech giant Apple, whose 10nm ‘A11’ chips are currently produced by the Taiwanese firm. TSMC’s other notable clients include U.S. chipmakers Qualcomm and Nvidia, alongside fellow Taiwanese tech company, MediaTek. TSMC also has a contract to manufacture the Kirin-branded chips for HiSilicon Technology, which is the firm responsible for Huawei’s own silicon in devices like the Huawei Mate 9.
- Russia’s Rubin design bureau is working on developing a miniature autonomous unmanned submarine that would be used to replicate the characteristics of a full-sized submarine. Called the Surrogat, the new underwater drone will do exactly what its name suggests—it will imitate the sound of an enemy submarine during naval exercises.

"Today, combat submarines have to be involved for exercises or tests and this practice distracts them from carrying out their basic missions. The use of an unmanned imitator will help avoid this and cut the cost of drills. Besides, a submarine without a crew reduces risks while keeping simulated scenarios realistic," Rubin chief executive officer Igor Vilnit told the Moscow-based TASS news agency. "This apparatus will be distinguished by its simplicity in operation and the low cost of its maintenance and upgrade. Now we’re holding consultations with Navy representatives to make the imitator fully meet the Navy’s requirements."

According to TASS, the Surrogat will be a modular design that will be able to replicate the acoustical characteristic of a nuclear or diesel-electric boat. The robotic sub will carry a host of towed arrays sonars and other features to help replicate a full-sized boat’s acoustic and electromagnetic signature—according to the Rubin design bureau. Surrogat also appears to have some capability for conducting surveillance missions independent of its role of being an aggressor platform.

The Surrogat will measure roughly 56ft long and is expected to displace about 40 tons. The vessel is being designed with a cruising range of about 600 miles at a speed of 5 knots. With its lithium-ion battery, it is expected to have an endurance of roughly 16 hours. The Russians claim that it will have a maximum speed of over 24 knots and the maximum diving depth of nearly 2000ft.

If the Russian Navy approves the Surrogat for full-scale development and the project is successful, it could be a very significant development in the battle for undersea dominance. The U.S. Navy is also working on unmanned underwater vehicles to augments its dwindling attack submarine fleet. A missionized version of Surrogat could serve in a similar role for Moscow—bolstering the capabilities of a much atrophied Russian submarine force that has only recently embarked on a revival of sort after its near collapse after the fall of the Soviet Union.
- Here is a thought experiment. I'm going to describe a substance, and you decide whether using it is cheating. This substance does the following: strengthens muscle fibers, stimulates muscle cell activity, reduces tissue breakdown, aids in recovery, and increases blood flow and speeds circulation. If you use in the wrong way, however, you could damage yourself. In one study, athletes who used it perform better in sprints. In another, athletes who used it showed faster restoration and increased strength and power compared to athletes who declined to use it.

Guess what it is.

Ice.
- Today Asia accounts for more than half of global economic growth and is expected to nearly match the military spending of the United States by 2020. Donald Trump’s questioning of American alliances and vision of “America first” isolationism espoused on the campaign trail raise questions about the longevity of U.S. commitments to Pacific partners. The United States relies on Asia for 60 percent of total export in goods and 72 percent of agricultural exports. But without TPP’s passage, U.S. economic influence in Asia will decline markedly.
- The planes are now getting ready for deployment. The Su-35 is a multidimensional high-maneuverable fighter of 4++ generation with thrust-vectoring modules.

The Sukhoi Su-35 remains the top Russian air fighter in service today. Its technical characteristics allow the plane to evade missiles or dogfight at close ranges. The latest versions of the plane are equipped with advanced active jamming stations making it difficult for the enemy to detect it.

Su-35s offer a 360-degree field of view with coverage ranging up to 400 kilometers. The multirole fighter jet is capable of providing air cover for strike aircraft, as well as strike surface and subsurface targets. It remains the backbone of Russian airpower until a fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter enters service.
- The US sent a “planeload of FBI agents” to Iceland in 2011 to frame WikiLeaks and its co-founder Julian Assange, according to a former Icelandic minister of interior, who refused them any cooperation and asked them to cease their activities.

In June 2011, Obama administration implied to Iceland's authorities they had knowledge of hackers wanting to destroy software systems in the country, and offered help, then-Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, said in an interview with the Katoikos publication.

However, Jonasson said he instantly became “suspicious” of the US good intentions, “well aware that a helping hand might easily become a manipulating hand.”

Later in the summer 2011, the US “sent a planeload of FBI agents to Iceland seeking our cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks,” Jonasson said.

Icelanders seemed like a tough nut to crack, though.

“Since they had not been authorized by the Icelandic authorities to carry out police work in Iceland and since a crack-down on WikiLeaks was not on my agenda, to say the least, I ordered that all cooperation with them be promptly terminated and I also made it clear that they should cease all activities in Iceland immediately,” the politician said.

So the US were told to leave, and moreover, the politician made things quite clear for them.

“If I had to take sides with either WikiLeaks or the FBI or CIA, I would have no difficulty in choosing: I would be on the side of WikiLeaks,” he said.

J√≥nasson went on to discuss other whistleblowers like Edward Snowden: the Althing, the Icelandic parliament, debated whether Snowden should have been granted citizenship, but “there hasn't been political consensus” on the matter.
- The demand has become a major sticking point in the continuing row over the International Monetary Fund joining the latest rescue programme – participation Berlin deems crucial if it is to continue disbursing funds. The recession-hit country has lost over 25% of its GDP – the biggest downturn to be experienced by an advanced western economy in peacetime – since its financial collapse seven years ago.

But social tensions are also spiralling.

“Tsipras is worried and that is why he made this move,” Grigoris Kalomoiris, chief policy maker at the union of public sector employees Adedy, told the Guardian. “Come January there will be more cuts to salaries and pensions in very real terms. We are all being pushed to breaking point. This, believe me, is the calm before the storm.”

Ignoring creditor anger, Tsipras’s beleaguered administration dug in its heels late on Friday, saying the bonus did not threaten fiscal targets and would not be rescinded. “It is up to the Greek government to distribute expenditure in the way it sees most fit and socially correct, as long as agreed goals are reached,” the prime minister’s office said. “Greece is not a colony.”

Chinese Style Noodle Soup with Dumplings Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals: http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/09/sweet-chilli-chickenporkbeef-noodl...