Will Amazon’s facial-recognition tech enable mass surveillance?

Amazon has been selling a facial-recognition system to police, sparking fears that the technology will one day power mass surveillance.

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and 35 other advocacy group sent a letter to the company’s CEO Jeff Bezos, demanding that he stop providing the technology to law enforcement.

The technology, called Amazon Rekognition, can identify people’s faces in digital images and video. Police in Oregon and Florida have been using the system to help them solve crimes, but the ACLU argues that it’s ripe for abuse.

“With Rekognition, a government can now build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone,” the ACLU said in a blog post.

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Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/05/23/will-amazons-facial-recognition-tech-enable-mass-surveillance.html

Naomi Wadler, James Shaw Jr. And Others Honored As BET Humanitarian Heroes

The 2018 BET Awards honored several heroes on Sunday night whom presenter John Legend described as “individuals who’ve had the opportunity in their everyday lives to do something unexpected and impactful for our community.”

Justin Blackman, Anthony Borges, Mamoudou Gassama, Shaun King, James Shaw Jr. and Naomi Wadler were all honored as BET’s first-ever Humanitarian Heroes.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
The recipients of BET’s first-ever Humanitarian Heroes awards: Anthony Borges, James Shaw Jr., Justin Blackman, Mamoudou Gassama, Naomi Wadler and Shaun King.

“Everyone has an opportunity to be extraordinary, don’t be afraid to be a hero,” said Legend of the honorees. 

For a refresher on who these honorees are, you can read more below:

Teenager Justin Blackman was the sole student of roughly 700 enrolled at Wilson Preparatory Academy in North Carolina who participated in the March 14 walkout to protest gun violence. He spent 17 minutes outside the school to demonstrate alone in memoriam of the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting just one month before.

Anthony Borges is a high school student at that Parkland school ― Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ― that Blackman walked out on behalf of and helped save many of his classmates on the day of that horrific shooting. The soccer player used his own body to shield classmates and suffered from multiple gunshot wounds.

Sun Sentinel via Getty Images
Anthony Borges seen on April 6 still recovering from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two months earlier.

Mamoudou Gassama has been referred to a real-life Spider-Man for his incredible climbing feat in Paris, France, last month. The 22-year-old Malian native rescued a 4-year-old dangling from a fourth-floor balcony. Of the heroic moment, Gassama told Le Parisien: “I did not think of the floors … I did not think of the risk. I did it because it’s a child.” 

MICHELE CATTANI via Getty Images
Mamoudou Gassama talks to media during a meeting with Mali’s president on June 18.

Activist and journalist Shaun King is a columnist for The Intercept and the Writer-In-Residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project. The 38-year-old has frequently spoken out on social media about violence or harassment toward people of color and has helped police identify and arrest violent white supremacists.

Karen Ducey/Getty Images
Shaun King speaks at a rally in Seattle, Washington, March 8.

BET says King has used his platform to “discover the truth beyond local media, and to guide us in our organization to lobby, speak, litigate, protest, write, or find justice.”

James Shaw Jr. became a household name after single-handedly disarming a gunman in a Tennessee Waffle House during a horrific attack that left four people dead and two others injured. The 29-year-old tackled the shooter, grabbed the gun’s barrel with his bare hands, and kicked him out of the establishment. 

Mere weeks after his incredible actions, Shaw Jr. continued his good deeds by starting a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $250,000 for the families of the dead and injured.

Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images
James Shaw Jr. accepts an award onstage at the MTV Movie & TV Awards June 16.

Shaw Jr. was also honored just last week at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards by Chadwick Boseman, who gave the his Best Hero trophy to the Waffle House shooting hero.

The final honoree was Naomi Wadler, a poised 11-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia, who delivered an inspiring speech during the March for Our Lives rally earlier this year about the black girls whose stories never make the news.

“I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,” she said in her speech. 

Mike Coppola via Getty Images
Naomi Wadler attends The Tory Burch Foundation 2018 Embrace Ambition Summit on April 24.

“I am here to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said during her speech. “I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/naomi-wadler-james-shaw-jr-and-others-honored-as-bet-humanitarian-heroes_us_5b304f6fe4b00295f15e019b

‘Fraiser’ reboot may be in the works with Kelsey Grammer

Could a “Frasier” reboot be coming to TV?

A possible revival of the beloved sitcom, which ran for 11 seasons on NBC from 1993 to 2004, is in the “very, very early” stages at CBS Television Studios with original star Kelsey Grammer, though it is not currently in development, ET can confirm. Deadline first reported the news.

If a “Frasier” revival were to come to pass, it is unclear if the series would focus on an entirely new premise or continue the show’s established canon, a la NBC’s “Will & Grace” and the upcoming return of CBS’ “Murphy Brown.”

Kelsey Grammer Reacts to ‘Frasier’ Co-Star John Mahoney’s Death

A spinoff of “Cheers,” “Frasier” centered on Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer), who returns to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, following the end of his marriage and his life in Boston, Massachusetts, but his desire for a new bachelor lifestyle quickly turns when he takes in his police officer father after he gets shot in the line of duty during a robbery.

In the one-hour series finale, which was watched by nearly 34 million viewers on May 13, 2004, Frasier left Seattle for Chicago, Illinois, to follow his girlfriend, Charlotte (Laura Linney), instead of relocating to San Francisco, California, for a new professional opportunity.

The comedy starred David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane, Frasier’s younger brother; Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, Frasier’s housekeeper and Niles’ love interest; Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Frasier’s radio show producer; and the lateJohn Mahoney as Martin Crane, Frasier’s dad.

John Mahoney, ‘Frasier’ Star, Dead at 77

During its 11-season run, “Frasier” won 37 Primetime Emmys, including five straight wins for Outstanding Comedy Series. Grammer won four Emmys for his titular performance.

In December 2016, Grammer seemed to bristle at the idea of a “Cheers” (where he originated the Frasier character) or “Frasier” reboot, telling Fox News at the time, “No, I’m very happy with what I’m doing now. I look back at the past as a very fond place and I’d like to keep it that way.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/07/25/fraiser-reboot-may-be-in-works-with-kelsey-grammer.html

These Are The “Greenest” Cities In The US In 2018

Under the reigns of the Trump administration, the US government has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, made a farce out of the Environmental Protection Agency, tried to make the dying coal industry a thing again, and is currently working to kill the Endangered Species Act and open up most US waters to offshore oil and natural gas drilling.

Suffice to say, it’s a heart-wrenching time to be eco-friendly in America. Thankfully, however, many important environmental policies are decided on at state and regional levels, meaning that there are geographic havens where rightfully concerned citizens trying to live as sustainably as possible, and are actually supported in this endeavor by local infrastructure and economic incentives. Want to know which areas fall into this category, as of 2018 (so you can immediately go on Craigslist to see how much a two bedroom costs a month)?

Researchers at the financial advising website Wallet Hub have just released their ranking of the country’s 100 most populous cities, based on scores for 26 “green” indicators across four categories: environment, transportation, energy sources, and lifestyle & policy. Examples of specific indicators include greenhouse gas emissions per capita, air quality, walk- and bike-ability, number of community green spaces, percentage of electricity from renewable sources, number of smart energy initiatives, and more.

You can check out the full ranking, plus more information about Wallet Hub’s methodology and data sources, here, but bear in mind that this list was not compiled as part of any formal scientific research.

Now, without further ado, here are the top 10:

1.       San Diego, California

2.       San Francisco, California

3.       Washington, DC

4.       Irvine, California

5.       San Jose, California

6.       Honolulu, Hawaii

7.       Fremont, California

8.       Seattle, Washington

9.       Sacramento, California

10.   Portland, Oregon

Infographic courtesy of Wallet Hub

And, sadly, the bottom 10:

90. Jacksonville, Florida

91. Gilbert, Arizona

92. Cleveland, Ohio

93. Mesa, Arizona

94. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

95. Detroit, Michigan

96. Memphis, Tennessee

97. Toledo, Ohio

98. St. Louis, Missouri

99. Corpus Christi, Texas

100. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

In addition to helping prevent the ecological apocalypse, many of the metrics used to calculate the rankings correspond to factors that have a significant direct impact on human health and longevity. Numerous recent studies have linked particulate air pollution to a greater risk of dementia, multiple types of cancer, preterm births and infant mortality, and even declines in intelligence. On the flipside, accessibility of nature and green spaces have been repeatedly associated with positive mental health outcomes. And we probably don’t need to remind you that having the opportunity to bike to work and buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market is better for you than sitting in a car stuck in traffic while dining on preservative-laden fast food.

If your home city doesn’t fall favorably on this list, yes, you could pick up and move to one that does. Or you can help change the culture of where you do live through environmental activism and probably the most important and powerful tool you have – your vote.

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/environment/these-are-the-greenest-cities-in-the-us-in-2018/

You Can Snag $49 Flights To California For A Limited Time During This Southwest Sale

Ralph Freso/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Southwest’s End Of March Flight Sale Has $49 Fares For A Summer Beach Getaway

As soon as I caught wind of Southwest’s End of March flight sale, I immediately began scouring the deals to see what’s available. Flight sales like these seem to be a dime a dozen recently, but that shouldn’t discourage you from taking a closer look. I can’t believe March is just about over. Seriously, this year is flying by. With the official start of summer just a few months away, it’s time to start thinking about using some of your PTO and planning a beach vacation.

Right now, Southwest is running a limited time flight sale on select fares nationwide. To take advantage of the End of March fare deals, you must book your tickets no later than 11:59 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 28, according to Southwest. There are a total of 11 fares starting at $49 for a one-way plane ticket. In some cases, you might be able to get your return fare for just as cheap. That could potentially work out to roughly $100 for a roundtrip ticket, which is a steal these days. For comparison’s sake, the national average for a plane ticket in 2018 was $343.28, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. See what I mean? This sale is pretty legit.


The travel dates for this Southwest flight sale range from May 7 to June 12 within the continental U.S, according to the airline. If you’re looking to travel internationally during this sale, be prepared because the travel dates are more restrictive. Per Southwest, international travel during this sale can be booked between May 7 and May 16. The sale includes a handful of routes to Mexico including picturesque beach destinations like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas.

Now, the thing about air travel sales like this one is that there are usually a handful of restrictions. For this specific fare sale, travel is only valid on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, according to Southwest. Additionally, fare sales on particular routes and destinations may only be offered on certain dates. You can find out more about this by reading the full terms and conditions of the flight sale on Southwest’s website. I know that doesn’t leave you a ton of flexibility with your travel dates. But, it may be a win-win for you and your bank account if you can swing it.

Most of the $49 tickets are for flights within California, like this flight from Burbank to San Jose. Or this fare from San Jose to Long Beach or Los Angeles with prices beginning at $49. There are a few more $49 fares within the Golden State, so make sure you search for the best flight to make your beach getaway happen. For $10 more, you can fly from San Francisco to San Diego starting at $59 for a one-way ticket.


If you don’t reside in the Golden State or don’t have any plans to be out that way in May and June, don’t worry. Southwest has oodles of other well-priced flights for you to choose from. Here are some other extraordinary fare deals under $100 that you can snag during Southwest’s End of March sale:

  • Washington D.C. to Columbus, Ohio, $80
  • West Palm Beach, Florida to Atlanta, $93
  • Raleigh, North Carolina to Orlando, Florida $93
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas, $76
  • Tampa, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee, $93
  • Spokane, Washington to Boise, Idaho, $59
  • Seattle, Washington to San Jose, California, $72
  • San Jose, California to Las Vegas, $51
  • Newark, New Jersey to Chicago, $91

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to back my bags ASAP. I haven’t booked my flights yet, but I’m giddy with anticipation about my next trip thanks to this Southwest flight sale.

Read more: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/southwests-end-of-march-flight-sale-has-49-fares-for-a-summer-beach-getaway-16984763

Artist Creates These Funny And Weird Comics To Cope With Getting Older (30 Pics)

Comic artist, Dogmo, creates funny, relatable, and weird comics making fun of today’s social issues, especially the overuse of smartphones and the things people post on social media.

He told Bored Panda: “To put it succinctly, I make these comics as a way to cope with growing older (I just turned 30), and to have a creative outlet in a world of 40-hour workweeks, and unending societal obligations.”

Hopefully, you will enjoy his humorous and sometimes dark comics.



The artist who lives in Seattle, Washington started drawing comics about a year ago out of boredom. “I scoured my old doodles (mostly drawn during class lectures) for comic ideas at first,” said Dogmo. When asked how he comes up with ideas for new comics, he said: “I often come up with them as I’m sketching – sometimes I’ll just draw the first panel, and try to come up with a joke afterwards.”




“My art style is based on simple characters that are easy to draw and not off-putting. The colors were meant to help readers identify and recognize my work, but I don’t know how well that’s worked out,” said the artist. Dogmodog’s drawing style is clean and simple, but his humor is most certainly not. Dark or black humor is described as a humorous way of looking at or treating something that is serious or sad. It isn’t for everybody as one can get offended, but some people find it quite entertaining. He creates comics with dark twists, but still somehow manages to keep it relatable. “I get a lot of comments that my characters look like ghosts!” – said the artist, whose comics take an average of 3 hours to complete, including the initial sketch and digital finalizing.




His comics are about social media, internet security, weird and silly social interactions. The artist pokes fun at smokers and also investigates the secret life of inanimate objects. He also draws weird thoughts that we all get sometimes and comedic situations that are strangely relatable. “When I started off, I made 2 rules for myself: (1) each comic should at least TRY to be funny, and (2) No meta or autobiographical comics.”




The author mentions that he started creating again because he was getting older, perhaps it’s because of the quarter-life crisis. Everyone’s heard about the mid-life crisis, but the quarter-life crisis is less known but just as important. An official definition of the term is a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life. Unfortunately, many people experience such a period in their life when they lose direction and don’t know where their life is going, it’s important in those times to find some sort of hobby or something that keeps your mind away from negative thoughts.




Here are some statistics based on the research carried out by First Direct bank and psychologist Dr. Oliver Robinson. “Nearly 60% of 25 to 30-year-olds report financial difficulties are the main cause of a crisis, 31% say being in a wrong relationship lacking in romance can cause a crisis, 40% of millennials in a crisis blame this on their current living situation, that could be renting or living with parents”. As you can see a high percentage of young people report having experienced a quarter-life crisis themselves.



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The artist also says that it’s hard to live in a world where you need to work 40 hours a week and have to be socially presentable almost all the time. Not to mention, have a bunch of responsibilities! These comics are a helpful creative outlet for him and help him combat boredom. Probably, a lot of people can relate to this. It’s hard to be part of society sometimes, but our hobbies and time spent to ourselves help us survive the responsibilities we have.










See Also on Bored Panda

See Also on Bored Panda



Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/dark-humor-comics-dogmodog/

Woman From Seattle Tries Getting Tested For Coronavirus And Her Story Exposes How Unprepared The USA Is

With the new coronavirus continuing to spread across the world, some people are, without a doubt, fearing for the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. So naturally, when someone believes they have all the symptoms of the illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), they want to reach out to health professionals and get tested.

When one woman living in Seattle, Washington, tried to get tested for the coronavirus, she ran into roadblock after roadblock.

She documented her frustrating experience on Twitter where it went viral as people couldn’t believe the responses that she got from healthcare professionals. Scroll down to read Sketchy Lady’s story in her own words. And let us know if you’ve run into similar situations.

126 people are infected with the new coronavirus in the US…

Image credits: Masa Israel Journey (not the actual photo)

…and one woman who had all the symptoms tried to get tested to see if she has Covid-19. Here’s her story

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The New York Times writes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “botched its first attempt to mass produce a diagnostic test kit, a discovery made only after officials had shipped hundreds of kits to state laboratories.”

“A promised replacement took several weeks, and still did not permit state and local laboratories to make final diagnoses. And the CDC essentially ensured that Americans would be tested in very few numbers by imposing stringent and narrow criteria, critics say.” In other words, this might explain part of the reason why not every case of suspected infection is tested in the US.

The global response to the health crisis has had varying degrees of success in different countries. For instance, if you watch John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, then you’ll know that Vietnam has an amazing and effective handwashing commercial.

As John pointed out, it’s best to react to the crisis somewhere between apathy and total panic. In other words, wash your hands often, stay vigilant, but don’t buy up all the food at your local grocery store.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, CNN reports that there are 126 people infected with Covid-19 in the US. 9 people have died from the illness—all of them in Washington state. California and Washington both have the most cases, with 27 people infected.

The situation in some other countries is far worse. South Korea reported 516 new confirmed cases of people infected with the virus on Wednesday. The country has 5,328 infected; 33 have died from the virus, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, the WHO states that Covid-19 is most dangerous to those over 60, who have preexisting health concerns and are already ill. That’s not to say that you get a free pass if you’re young and fit, but you are in a better position to weather the storm.

Some people shared similar experiences and pointed out flaws in the system

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Some Twitter users blamed the government

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Others explained how their countries are dealing with the health crisis

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/woman-shares-coronavirus-test-story/

This Woodworker Uses His Background In Shipbuilding To Create Stunning Wooden Bathtubs

The NK Woodworking & Design studio, created by craftsperson Nathie Katzoff, is known for its intricate and award-winning staircases—however, other items it creates are gaining popularity among home design enthusiasts. The studio is making headlines with its one-of-a-kind bathtubs. The most unique thing about them is the medium they are made from. Apparently, Katzoff has perfected a technique that allows him to make stunning bathtubs out of wood. The methods developed by the studio allow these bathtubs to keep water warmer for much longer than regular porcelain or metal tubs.

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

The tubs are made out of sustainable domestic and exotic hardwood and built in Seattle, Washington. “My favorite to use, visually, as a composition, is walnut and a mahogany called sapele,” Katzoff told Bored Panda. The process of making them is quite lengthy.

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

“With every bath being different, it varies on complexity. However, it often takes us three or four months to make a bath. The most extreme custom bath (no public photos available) we made took almost a year to create,” the creator said. The tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some of them looking like giant bowls and others resembling little vessels.

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

If you’re interested in having one of these in your home, be prepared for a hefty price tag. While the studio didn’t reveal the exact price range, it is known that the price starts at $30,000. As Katzoff described it: “These are art-level pieces priced similarly to nice cars and handmade high-end art furniture.”

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

When asked how he became interested in woodworking, Katzoff said that it all began when he was 5 years old and started playing with Lego and painting artistic landscapes.

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

“At sixteen, I got my first carpentry job building a composite timber frame home in New England, and at eighteen, went to a boat building school in Maine to continue my path in expertise of craft. After working as a wooden boat builder for many years, in 2011, I decided to start my own business based around my love of fine wood furniture and fine woodwork. My goal was to merge my interests of art and nature along with my honed appreciation for the fine craft of woodworking. Over the last nine years, we ended up winning many awards and getting recognized worldwide for our sculptural curved stairways along with our sculptural baths,” he said.

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

The artist says that inspiration for his creations comes from nature. “The unique geometry and forms that are created are present everywhere if we only pay attention. As a designer and artist who works with wood and glass, my goal in my work is to emulate or celebrate the natural materials and natural forms found in the world and bring them to the built environments.”

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

Nathie Katzoff revealed that he has plenty of exciting plans for the future. “Although wood is my favorite medium, I have started doing some very exciting projects with bronze and glass and look forward to sharing more of these with the world in the coming years.”

Image credits: NK Woodworking & Design studio

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/wooden-bathtubs-nk-woodworking-design/

Coronavirus and the restaurant industry: Petitions and fundraisers hope to keep eateries, bars afloat

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/coronavirus-restaurants-bars-petition-funds-hope