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Scientists just spotted 2 black holes flirting and dancing like awkward middle schoolers 

  • Astronomers have detected a pair of supermassive black holes 750 million light-years away from Earth in a separate giant galaxy.
  • Courtesy of the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array’s (VLBA) radio vision data on the orbital motion of the black holes has been captured.
  • Together, the two black holes have a combined mass that is 15 billion times the mass of the Sun, which is 1.989 x 10^30 kilograms or 330,000 times the mass of Earth.
  • But most galaxies have supermassive black holes that are millions or billions times larger than the Sun at their core.
  • What makes these two black holes unique is their distance from one another: They’re relatively close to each other with only 24 light-years of distance between them. Read more (6/28/17)

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Facebook moderators are trained to protect “white men” and not “black children” from hate speech

  • A set of training materials leaked to ProPublica reveal the guidelines for what Facebook moderators should consider “hate speech” and what counts as an attack that should be taken down, or could trigger an account suspension. 
  • Included is a slide deck about protected groups that show why it’s not OK to curse at men, but why it’s fine to call for the complete segregation and exclusion of refugees and migrants.
  • The most alarming of the slides is a quiz from the slide deck that shows three groups: black children, female drivers and white men. The quiz asks which of the subgroups “do we protect” with content moderation and post take-downs. 
  • The correct answer is: “white men.” Read more (6/28/17)

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Inside the dangerous operation to smuggle free information into North Korea

In most of the Wi-Fi-enabled world, thumb drives are already a throwback; the latest Apple laptops don’t even come with a way to plug them in. But in the insular and rogue state of North Korea, USB drives have become a symbol of resistance.

Human rights groups based in South Korea, the United States and elsewhere load the flash drives with hours of foreign films like Titanic and TV shows like Friends, along with South Korean dramas and religious texts. Then they smuggle them north using drones, helium balloons or a secretive underground network of smugglers.

The hope is that thousands, if not millions, of North Koreans will get their hands on foreign media on a scale so large it could someday undermine the same regime that’s trying to brainwash them.

But in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a land where people often turn to the black market to make money, watching a foreign film or reading an independent newspaper could bring terrible consequences.

It could mean paying a bribe to an officer or spending time in one of the nation’s many gulags — or, in some cases, even worse. Read more (6/28/17)

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When cops kill, paying their victims’ families can be a cold, calculating process, attorneys say

  • What was the inherent value of Philando Castile’s life?
  • It’s an abstract question many people would refrain from answering. It’s also a complicated legal riddle attorneys are compelled to solve every time a police officer kills an individual.
  • On Monday, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, agreed to a nearly $3 million settlement to drop a lawsuit against St. Anthony, Minnesota, nearly a year after Officers Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot her son.
  • Major cities like New York and Chicago spend hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money every year to settle police misconduct lawsuits.
  • In fatal incidents, lawyers also must consider how many children the victim had, how relatively egregious the officer’s actions were and even how much physical pain the victim likely endured before he or she died. Read more (6/28/17)

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Democrats on Neil Gorsuch’s first Supreme Court term: “We’ve got another Scalia”

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Politico that Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was turning out to be a down-the-line conservative.
  • “We’ve got another Scalia,” Feinstein said.
  • She doesn’t seem to be alone in her assessment.
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former Supreme Court clerk, said his colleagues were concerned Gorsuch’s even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings “might be more an act than it was a real persona.” He called the justice’s early decisions a “disappointment.”
  • Here’s a look at four major cases from the final day of the court’s session that found Gorsuch embracing a hard-line conservative position. Read more (6/28/17)
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The Aston Martin DB11 Gets a V8 Engine Option

After its successful global introduction in 2016, Aston Martin’s definitive GT - the acclaimed DB11 - is now available with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Perfectly complementing the DB11’s existing 5.2-litre twin turbocharged V12 engine, this new powerplant has provided the opportunity to reveal more of the DB11’s sporting character, while expanding its global appeal with a combination of exceptional performance and improved efficiency.

Producing 510PS (503BHP) and 675Nm of torque, the V8 engine’s potency is beyond question, propelling the DB11 from 0-62mph in just 4.0sec and on to a top speed of 187mph. This performance is matched by impressive efficiency: CO2 emissions of 230g/km1 and an EU Combined fuel economy figure of 28.5 mpg. This new V8 derivative brings further significant benefits in markets where car taxation policy is structured around engine capacity, such as China.

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[ARTICLE] Blackpink Earns New High on Social 50 Chart

Blackpink rises to a new high on Billboard’s Social 50 chart, leaping 50-15 on the list dated July 8 following the release of the K-pop group’s new song “As If It’s Your Last.”

The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr. The chart’s methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views and engagement. The chart’s latest tracking week ended June 22.

The four-member K-pop act, which debuted less than a year ago with “Whistle” and “Boombayah” in August 2016, previously attained its Social 50 peak with its debut week, bowing at No. 19 on the chart dated Nov. 19, 2016. They rise following buzz generated by “As If It’s Your Last,” released June 22. The song’s music video became the quickest K-pop clip to reach 10 million global views on YouTube, doing so in 17 hours – besting the 21-hour ascent of BTS’ “Not Today” on Feb. 19.

The group leaps 431 percent in YouTube reactions (553,000) and 651 percent in YouTube subscribers (adding 301,000) in the tracking week, according to Next Big Sound. Blackpink also attains 6.6 million Instagram reactions, a 98 percent bump, with many posts promoting the release of the song as well as showcasing behind-the-scenes photos and clips.

“Last” also bows at No. 1 on the World Digital Song Sales chart, selling 4,000 downloads in the week ending June 22, according to Nielsen Music – the group’s third No. 1.

© Billboard