Huffington Post Technology

Subscribe to Huffington Post Technology feed
Technology news articles from The Huffington Post
Updated: 4 hours 15 min ago

Flying Taxis Could Soon Be Coming To A Sky Near You

8 hours 40 min ago

Flying taxis and other futuristic passenger vehicles are about to take a giant leap out of science fiction and into reality.


It’s not exactly the vision of the “Back To The Future” film trilogy, which predicted that by 2015 we’d fill the skies with flying cars and get around on personal anti-gravity hoverboards.


But it turns out the movies may have just been a few years off. Singapore plans to have airborne cabs taking flight by 2030, according to the island city-state’s Business Times daily newspaper.


Singapore’s Ministry of Transport Permanent Secretary Pang Kin Keong said he’s in talks with tech companies to begin trials to create drones to carry passengers.


Three companies on tap to manufacture the drones include a Russian-made Hoversurf Scorpion, the German Volocopter VC and China’s autonomous aerial device Ehang 184, pictured at the top of this story and in the video below.





The electric-powered Ehang 184, with its four arms with eight mounted propellers and weighing 440 pounds, can transport a person for about 23 minutes ― covering a distance of 10 miles at a maximum height of just over 11,000 feet. The passenger would merely punch in a location on a control pad and Ehang 184 does the rest.


Single-person taxi drones aren’t the only ultra modern transportation mode on Singapore’s drawing board. They’re also looking to create driverless buses that carry multiple passengers.


Pang revealed both of these concepts at the Business Times Leaders’ Forum this week.


“There is going to be a significant shift in the public mindset from one of ownership of transport assets ― which is the mindset today ― to one of procurement of transport services as and when you need them,” Pang told the 400 forum attendees.


But you won’t have to wait until 2030 for Singapore’s launch of the Ehang 184. Dubai is preparing to roll out that high tech drone this summer, according to Fortune.com.



“Ehang 184 has enough room for a small suitcase and will be controlled through 4G mobile Internet,” Fortune reports. “It is able to carry a single passenger who weighs less than 220 pounds over short distances at 62 miles per hour with a fully-charged battery.” 


And with news that Uber has hired a NASA engineer to develop airborne cars, it’s surely only a matter of time before you, too, can hitch a ride in a flying cab.


Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Teenager Calls Cops On His Mom For Confiscating His Cell Phone

11 hours 27 min ago

Hell that no fury like a teenager denied their cell phone.


A 15-year-old boy in southern Spain reported his mother to police after she confiscated his device in a bid to get him to study for a test.


The mom, 37, asked her son to hand over his phone at their home in El Ejido, near Almeria, on Feb. 28, La Voz De Almeria newspaper reports.



Quita el móvil a su hijo, él la denuncia y el juez la absuelve. El fiscal pedía 9 meses de cárcel. https://t.co/PIgERN8FZ9 pic.twitter.com/b96AbzGLeV

— La Voz de Almería (@lavozdealmeria) March 22, 2017


When he refused, she forcefully took it from him and allegedly scratched him in the resulting struggle, according to national El Pais newspaper.


The youngster denounced his mother for “mistreatment.” Appearing in court in Almeria this month, prosecutors called for the mother to be jailed for nine months over the incident. 


But the judge, Luis Miguel Columna, dismissed the case. He ruled she was “well within her rights” to seize the cell and had taken “the correct action.”


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=589325a7e4b0bf5206e64506,56950496e4b086bc1cd51dec,58413871e4b017f37fe402f7

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Historian: Human History 'Will End When Men Become Gods'

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:11

Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian and the internationally best-selling author of Sapiens, has a new book out about the future of humanity, called Homo DeusHe recently sat down with The WorldPost at a Berggruen Institute salon in Los Angeles. In the following interview, he discusses the new authority of “dataism” and godlike powers of science to redesign humanity and create an inorganic, new species ― artificial intelligence.


WorldPost: In your previous book, Sapiens, you observed that humans are the only species that can organize themselves around abstract ideas or codes ― myth, religion, ideology. In your new book, Homo Deus, you argue that a new ideology has arisen ― “dataism” ― that is the new organizing principle of humanity.


When big data is married to biology ― happening as we speak ― you worry that it will reduce the biological organism to a set of information that can be organized by programmed algorithms to seek a desired outcome. Those who subscribe to this view that “the organism is an algorithm” believe that the genome of humans and other species can be designed to order and that, if computers can process and place into patterns more information than the human brain can, then we can also create a new non-biological species ― artificial intelligence.


To be sure, deciphering a deadly virus to stem a spreading plague is something humanity would welcome. But what does it mean to be human in the age of the algorithm if all that it means to be human ― love, empathy, creativity, agony ― falls between lines of code? Are such godlike powers then a great benefit to humanity, or do they portend a dark future?


Yuval Noah Harari: Like every major invention, it has both a good and bad potential. But the scale is completely different. I titled the book Homo Deus because we really are becoming gods in the most literal sense possible. We are acquiring abilities that have always been thought to be divine abilities ― in particular, the ability to create life. And we can do with that whatever we want.


You talked earlier about how humans create networks of cooperation around abstractions. I don’t like the word “abstractions” very much because most people don’t think in abstractions. That is too difficult for them. They think in stories. And the best stories are not abstract; they are concrete. If you think about the great religions that have united large parts of humankind, people believe gods are very concrete ― there is an angry old man in the sky, and if I do something wrong, he will punish me.


In the book, I use the term “fiction,” not abstraction, because what really unites humans are fictional stories. That is also the case with the new revolution that is now unfolding. It is not going to be an abstract revolution but a very concrete one.



'If you have a problem in life, you don’t ask God, you ask Google or Facebook.'



The basic idea of dataism is a shift in authority. Previously, authority resided above the clouds and descended down to the pope, the king or the czar. Then for the last two or three centuries, authority came down from the clouds and took up residence in people’s hearts. Your feelings became the highest source of authority. The emotions of the voters in a democracy, not his or her rationality, became the number one authority in politics. In the economics of the consumer society, it is the feelings of the customer that drive every market. The feelings of the individual are the prime authority in ethics. “If it feels good, do it” is the basic ethical ideal of humanism.


So authority came down from the clouds, moved to the human heart and now authority is shifting back to the Google cloud and the Microsoft cloud. Data, and the ability to analyze data, is the new source of authority. If you have a problem in life, whether it is what to study, whom to marry or whom to vote for, you don’t ask God above or your feelings inside, you ask Google or Facebook. If they have enough data on you, and enough computing power, they know what you feel already and why you feel that way. Based on that, they can allegedly make much better decisions on your behalf than you can on your own.


WorldPost: Is that the ultimate objectivization of reality ― that which reduces your identity to only what data is known or collected? Or is it the opposite: subjectivization as the pure reflection of personal choices and preferences fed back to you? Or, compounded by the subjective bias of the algorithm inputs, is it both: subjective objectification?


Harari: Do you mean is it true?


WorldPost: What I’m getting at is that there seems to be a double movement going on simultaneously. Data-absorbing, peer-driven social media enables the collection of massive information on a person organized into the ultimate objectification of reality through mathematical algorithms. At the same time, we are seeing an explosion of the “subjectivization of facts” ― alternative facts, fake news ― that is unmoored from any objective reality other than the likes or dislikes of your very similar peers.





Harari: I don’t think the “subjectivization of facts” is anything new in what is happening now. This has been going on for thousands of years. All the big religions have been organized around fake news. Just think of the Bible. Fake news lasts forever in some cases.


WorldPost: Eternal fake news…


Harari: In big historical struggles, history does not go to the truth. It goes to the most effective story. And very often, the most effective story is not true. The idea that people sooner or later will discover that something is untrue usually doesn’t happen, as in the case of all the big religions.


With regard to the algorithms, there is a good chance, too, that this will be just a myth that they are the highest source of authority with all the answers. But people will believe that. They will voluntarily, consensually, give the algorithm that kind of authority. And that will be the reality in which we live.


We see it happening all around us. If you apply to the bank for a loan or for a job at a big corporation, very likely your application is being processed by an algorithm and not by a human being. Let’s say the algorithm refuses you, and you are not hired. You go to the company and ask why, and they say, “Because the algorithm said no.” And then you ask, “Why did it say no?” And they will say, “We don’t know. If we thought we could get a good reading by ourselves, we wouldn’t need an algorithm.”


The thing about the new generation of computer algorithms is that machines are now able to learn by themselves. They sift through immense piles of data and they, at least allegedly, find patterns that humans are unable to find, including whether you are a good fit for that job. And we trust that more and more.



There are some very good things about this, but also some big dangers. In the 20th century, we had this big fight over statistical discrimination against entire groups of people ― African Americans, women, gays or Jews ― based on faulty information.


People now look back to those days and say, “We must refight those battles.” Yes, perhaps some of them need to be refought. But as a military strategist, I know that people tend to prepare themselves for the previous war, and they miss the coming war. The much bigger danger in the coming decades won’t be this group discrimination, but something far more Kafkaesque ― discrimination against individuals. It doesn’t give you a loan. It doesn’t hire you. The algorithm doesn’t like you. The algorithm is not discriminating against you because you are Jewish, Muslim or gay, but because you are you.


There is something about your data that the algorithm doesn’t like. It is not about some category you fall into you. It is only you. There is something that is different about you versus everyone else that raises some warning sign. And you don’t even know what it is. And even if you know what it is, you can’t create a political movement around it because there is no one else in the world who suffers from this particular discrimination.


The other side of the coin that is being talked about widely these days is the capacity to individualize. You can write a book for one person. You can compose music or a movie just for one person. So we are developing the capacity to create for one person but also the capacity to oppress just one person. The Israeli military is extremely excited about the potential of having the first total surveillance system, to be used in the occupied territories. They will actually be able to follow each and every person instead of relying on statistics. 



'We are developing the capacity to create for one person but also the capacity to oppress just one person.'



WorldPost: Here, too, we have the same dialectic: by missing all those intangibles that make each of us a person, all those things that fall between lines of code that don’t fit into the pattern being searched, individuation by an algorithm is actually a form of depersonalization.


Doesn’t this kind of depersonalization ― particularly when big data and the algorithm merge with biology to reduce being to nothing more than an immune system ― prepare the way for a “Brave New Biocracy” that will manage human life from “sperm to worm, womb to tomb?” In short, individuation by an algorithm diminishes, not advances, human autonomy, no?


Harari: Yes. But again, there is both a danger and a promise. There are many good things about these medical algorithms. Today, you have hundreds of millions of people around the world who have no health care. They don’t have a doctor to diagnose a disease and to recommend treatment. Within a very short time, you will be able to have a much better AI doctor on your smartphone in a village in Colombia than the president of the U.S. has today from human doctors.


The big battle in this regard in the 21st century will be between privacy and health. And health will win. Most people will be willing to give up their privacy in exchange for much better health care, based on 24-hour monitoring of what’s happening inside their bodies.


Very soon people will walk around with biometric sensors on or even inside their bodies and will allow Facebook, the Chinese government or whomever to constantly monitor what’s happening in their bodies. The day the first cancer cell starts to multiply and spread, someone at Google or at the health authority will know and will be able to very easily nip the cancer in the bud. The day a flu epidemic starts, they will immediately know who are carrying it, and they can take very effective, quick and cheap action to prevent it. So the promises are enormous.



The dangers are also enormous. Just think of a place like North Korea. People will be walking around with biometric bracelets. If you see a picture of Kim Jong Un on a wall and your blood pressure elevates, which the algorithm correlates with some emotion like anger, then that is the end of you.


WorldPost: China already is developing a system of “social credit” that correlates all your observable behavior ― what you buy, who you talk to, whether you throw trash on the ground ― and gives you a score that will follow you through your life as you apply for college or a home loan. It will also be used to assess political loyalty and monitor official corruption.


Harari: We will see more and more of that everywhere. With all the genuine objections and worries that you have expressed, what will ram such a future through the wall is health. People will voluntarily give up their privacy.


WorldPost: Health care is the idol that confirms belief in the god of dataism.


Harari: Exactly.



'The big battle of the coming century will be between privacy and health. And health will win.'



WorldPost: How does your idea of dataism relate to the notion of the “singularity”? Do you see singularity as a kind of scientific Tower of Babel of hubris, a kind of Anthropocene surge, an algorithmic imperialism over all life? Ecology, on the other hand, proposes an equilibrium between nature and human potential. Where does your idea fit within that matrix?


Harari: Dataism is very close to singularity. I see singularity as the point beyond which our imagination completely fails because our imagination itself is only the manipulation of what we so far know. There are many things that can bring about the shift to singularity. It could be advances in bioengineering, in machine intelligence or a combination of the two. It could be some completely new technology not yet on the horizon. The key point is that you reach a certain level of technological development that renders all of our assumptions about everything we know about humans and the world irrelevant, because all that can be changed.


WorldPost: The ecological perspective is more about the equilibrium it would seek to balance the promise and perils of dataism so we get more of the benefit and less of the darker downside. You seem to be saying we ought to just go with the flow and commit to our mutation.


Harari: I’m not saying singularity or dataism are good. I am only looking at the long trajectory of human history. Humans have been getting more and more out of equilibrium as we advance in time. When you try to manipulate the system even more to bring back balance to an earlier state, you solve some of the problems, but the side effects only increase the disequilibrium. So you have more problems. The human reaction then is that we need even more control, even more manipulation.


Go back to the 19th century and read Marx and the Communist Manifesto ― he says, “All that is solid melts into air.” His reading of history is that the key characteristic of modern society is that it requires constant change and disruption. The implication is that you cannot live in equilibrium. For modern society, equilibrium is death. Everything collapses if you reach a point of equilibrium. In the case of the economy, it depends on constant growth. If we reach a point of zero growth and continue with that for more than a few years, the entire system will probably collapse.


WorldPost: Your book Homo Deus, it seems to me, is really a brilliant update of Goethe’s Faust. In that masterpiece of literature, the Earth Spirit puts down Faust’ hubris as a great achiever of earthly accomplishment by saying, “You are equal to the spirit you understand,” meaning human’s limited understanding is not at the level of the gods. Do you agree?



Harari: Not really. Faust, like Frankenstein or “The Matrix,” still has a humanist perspective. These are myths that try to assure humans that there is never going to be anything better than you. If you try to create something better than you, it will backfire and not succeed.


The basic structure of all these morality tales is: Act I, humans try to create utopia by some technological wizardry; Act II, something goes wrong; Act III, dystopia. This is very comforting to humans because it tells them it is impossible to go beyond you. The reason I like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World so much is that it plays with the scenario: Act I, we try to create a utopia; Act II, it succeeds. That is far more frightening ― something will come that is better than before.


WorldPost: But success is a failure that destroys human autonomy and dignity?


Harari: That is an open question. The basic humanist tendency is to think that way. But maybe not.


WorldPost: But all of history up to this point teaches that lesson. You are saying it is different now?


Harari: Going back to the Earth Spirit and Faust, humans are now about to do something that natural selection never managed to do, which is to create inorganic life ― AI. If you look at this in the cosmic terms of 4 billion years of life on Earth, not even in the short term of 50,000 years or so of human history, we are on the verge of breaking out of the organic realm. Then we can go to the Earth Spirit and say, “What do you think about that? We are equal to the spirit we understand, not you.”


Human history began when men created gods. It will end when men become gods.


This interview has been edited for clarity.


Earlier on the Berggruen Institute:




-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Siri Helps Hero 4-Year-Old Save His Unconscious Mom's Life

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 08:18



Siri helped a quick-thinking boy in England save his unconscious mom’s life.


Roman, 4, used his mother’s thumb to unlock her iPhone before asking Apple’s voice assistant for help after she passed out at their home in Croydon, South London, on March 7.


Siri dialed the emergency service number and the child informed a dispatcher what had happened. Heartbreaking audio, above, captures Roman saying his mom is “dead” because “she’s closing her eyes and she’s not breathing.”


Paramedics arrived on the scene 13 minutes later, revived the unidentified woman and took her to the hospital. Authorities have not revealed what caused her to fall unconscious.


It’s an amazing story,” Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, from London’s Metropolitan Police Service, said in a statement.


“Thanks to his quick thinking and by asking ‘Siri’ for help, this little boy saved his mum’s life and it means she is still here and can be extremely proud of him and his brothers,” Adelekan added.


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=56f53a79e4b0a3721819ac2f,581a2630e4b043bd31419e90,570fe6dfe4b088aea430dcc5

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Senate Republicans Vote To Overturn Internet Privacy Protections

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 18:06

By David Shepardson


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted narrowly to repeal regulations requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc’s Google <GOOGL.O> or Facebook Inc <FB.O>.


The vote was along party lines, with 50 Republicans approving the measure and 48 Democrats rejecting it. The two remaining Republicans in the Senate were absent and did not cast a vote.


According to the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October under then-President Barack Obama, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.


The vote was a victory for internet providers such as AT&T Inc <T.N>, Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> and Verizon Communications Inc <VZ.N>, which had strongly opposed the rules.


The bill next goes to the U.S. House of Representatives, but it was not clear when they would take up the measure.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate was overturning a regulation that “makes the internet an uneven playing field, increases complexity, discourages competition, innovation, and infrastructure investment.”


But Democratic Senator Ed Markey said, “Republicans have just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared, and sold to the highest bidder without their permission.”


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said consumers would have privacy protections even without the Obama administration internet provider rules.


In a joint statement, Democratic members of the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission said the Senate vote “creates a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies now have no discernible privacy requirements.”


Republican commissioners, including Pai, said in October that the rules would unfairly give websites like Facebook, Twitter Inc <TWTR.N> or Google the ability to harvest more data than internet service providers and thus dominate digital advertising. The FCC earlier this month delayed the data rules from taking effect.


The Internet and Television Association, a trade group, in a statement praised the vote as a “critical step towards re-establishing a balanced framework that is grounded in the long-standing and successful FTC privacy framework that applies equally to all parties operating online.”


Websites are governed by a less restrictive set of privacy rules overseen by the Federal Trade Commission.


Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for advocacy group Consumers Union, said the vote “is a huge step in the wrong direction, and it completely ignores the needs and concerns of consumers.”


 


(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Hero Game Developer Starts Donation Campaign On Behalf Of Her Trolls

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:57

One video game developer has shown us a beautiful way to deal with online trolls.


Alex Neonakis, who has worked in game design for 10 years, started a donation campaign for video game education program Girls Make Games (GMG) after she became the target of online harassment. Neonakis found herself on the receiving end of trolling after standing up for video game animator Allie Rose-Marie Leost, who was trolled for working on a new game “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” Neonakis came to her defense on Twitter and was subsequently targeted as well. 


“Ever want to have a bunch of dudes explain meritocracy to you over and over again? Post about your experience existing in a workplace,” she told the Huffington Post.



I've worked in this industry for 10 years. I have clawed to where I am today despite people telling me I couldn't and shouldn't.

— Alexandria Neonakis (@Beavs) March 19, 2017


On Monday, in response to a particularly nasty slew of comments, Neonakis made a $500 donation to GMG in honor of three of her worst trolls. She then shared screenshots of her donation, as well as the some of the harassing tweets she had received.



I just donated to @GirlsMakeGames in honor of these lovely boys. Thanks guys! pic.twitter.com/gDlbfVzan6

— Alexandria Neonakis (@Beavs) March 21, 2017


Neonakis told HuffPost that she chose to donate to Girls Make Games because the organization “provides a space for young women to nurture [their] interests.”


She encouraged other Twitter users to follow suit, and by Wednesday morning, women and men in gaming and other STEM fields had also made donations to Girls Make Games.



@Beavs @GirlsMakeGames Sorry y'all, we aren't going anywhere. pic.twitter.com/MTOJNjk2Ct

— ChairmanChen (@YingjueChen) March 21, 2017



@Beavs @GirlsMakeGames lol we're going nowhere. Count it! pic.twitter.com/1BfQZs0YVR

— mingjue helen chen (@MingjueChen) March 21, 2017



Brilliant idea. @Beavs @GirlsMakeGames Thank you for starting this. Proud to help move towards improving the industry. pic.twitter.com/Zov3xCwB5h

— Paul Haban (@XpresoAdct) March 22, 2017



@Beavs @GirlsMakeGames bc i'm seeing mostly women donate and i don't want the act of supporting women in games to fall solely to other women pic.twitter.com/PZnknf2yHt

— Sam Johnston (@kingsamj) March 21, 2017



@Beavs Making a donation too, because bullies don't get to win. Staying for as long as I want. Also <3 you @GirlsMakeGames pic.twitter.com/5ZsLqLqF4U

— Ju Li K (@Juleshortstuff) March 21, 2017



LRT: Thank you kindly to @Beavs for creating awareness. You have my wand and light as a fellow lighter at ND! https://t.co/lKybOXrKFw pic.twitter.com/m7DlTMQT21

— B綺綺 (@b33chichi) March 21, 2017


Girls Make Games, founded in 2014, hosts summer camps and workshops to teach girls ages 8-18 about game design and engineering. GMG CEO Laila Shabir told HuffPost that the company is “reeling” from the influx of donations, which will predominantly be used for scholarships.


“The ability to pay shouldn’t stop students applying,” she said. “We’re still reeling from it. It’s insane. It’s getting close to $20,000.” 


Shabir told HuffPost that donations from individual sponsors usually come out to $800-$1000 annuallyNeonakis has helped to raise almost $20,000 in just three days. 


The donations will also be used to fund a college scholarship for former GMG student, Nat Rusboldt (who uses they/them pronouns). Nat is the first graduate of GMG’s program to go on to college for game design, and graduated with GMG’s first crop of students in 2014.


“As our campers get older and graduate from the program we want to create opportunities to support their growth and career development,” Shabir said. “The pipeline gets narrower and narrower...But [Nat] can finally enter the industry.”


Speaking of that industry, according to GMG, while 47 percent of gamers are women, women make up just 12 percent of the gaming industry.



This gender disparity, present in both gaming and STEM fields generally, has been discussed widely ― especially in conjunction with the online harassment many women who work in gaming have faced since 2014 at the hands of Gamergate


Shabir hopes that the continued support for GMG and organizations like it will normalize women in the gaming industry so that stories like Neonakis’s and the experiences of women who have been victimized since Gamergate, are no longer the norm. 


“We’re all so pumped,” she said. “I feel like GMG was created for this moment. So that what happened to Alex can become history.”


And Neonakis recognizes how essential GMG is for fostering skills in young women. “I would have just loved it when I was little,” she said. 


H/T Kotaku


CORRECTION: This article initially stated that corporate donations come out to $800-$1000 a year. That amount is donated by individual sponsors. 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 Classic Movies You Can Watch With Your Kids On Netflix

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 13:14

Going to the movies can be a hassle for parents, but luckily today you can enjoy a huge selection of great films from the comfort of your couch. And you can get the kids involved, too.


Netflix recently shared a collection of beloved family movies available on the streaming platform. Take a nostalgia trip on family movie night with these modern classics you can watch with your kids.  


Kids Under 6 

Kids 6-10

Tweens 10-12 

Teens 13 And Over

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Let This Spectacular Video Take You On A Virtual Flight Over Mars

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 12:38


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Although Donald Trump has signed a bill authorizing money to fund future exploration of Mars, tourism to the Red Planet is still a long way away.


Still, a person can dream, and one Finnish filmmaker is making that dream look like reality.


Jan Fröjdman spent three years turning photos taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter into a four and a half minute travelogue of the planet’s surface.


Take a look with the full screen for best effect:





Fröjdman said the anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface.


Over a three-month period, he slowly and meticulously turned that data and the photos into the video above.


“There is a feeling that you are flying above Mars looking down watching interesting locations on the planet. And there are really great places on Mars!” he said on the video page. “I would love to see images taken by a landscape photographer on Mars, especially from the polar regions. But I’m afraid I won’t see that kind of images during my lifetime.”


As cool as it looks, the colors may not be true to Mars. Because the original images were taken in grayscale, Fröjdman added colors he thought were appropriate.


For instance, the light regions are yellowish and the dark regions are bluish, while the polar regions have a white-blue tone.


And while it may not be 100 percent accurate, it might actually be a better view than any actual visitors to Mars will see.


Wired points out that Mars is so dusty that it if you were actually there, it would probably be impossible to see any of the deep valleys or soaring mesas in Fröjdman’s video.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Uber Board Stands By Embattled CEO

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 20:11


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Controversies be damned. Uber’s board still has complete confidence in CEO Travis Kalanick.


That’s according to Uber board member (and former HuffPost editor in chief) Arianna Huffington, who told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that the ride-hailing company’s board doesn’t anticipate asking Kalanick to step down.


“The fact is that the board has confidence in Travis and we are proceeding ahead with the search for the COO,” Huffington said, responding to a reporter’s question about whether Kalanick would step down if he were asked. “This is a completely hypothetical question. It has not taken place.”


It’s been a tumultuous couple weeks for Uber, with #DeleteUber protests that led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of users, a potentially devastating lawsuit from competitor Waymo alleging theft of trade secrets, claims by former employees of a work culture that tolerates sexual harassment, and ― most damaging to Kalanick personally ― the emergence of a video of Kalanick angrily telling off an Uber driver upset by compensation changes.


On Sunday, Uber president (and second in command) Jeff Jones abruptly resigned. Jones fired off a parting statement: “The beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business.”


Kalanick, battered by the unending controversies, has pledged to “fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.” The company is looking to hire a chief operating officer to work as “a partner” with Kalanick, Huffington said.


“It’s clear that both Uber and the whole ride-sharing industry would not be where we are today without Travis,” Huffington said, explaining why Uber’s board continues to back Kalanick. “He has helped create an entire industry and a great company, which millions of people rely on every day.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Airline Electronics Ban Probably Based On Legitimate Threats, Experts Say

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 18:02


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


The ban on electronics larger than a cellphone on incoming flights to the United States and the United Kingdom from a handful of airports in the Middle East and North Africa was announced Tuesday without much information to back it up.


But the action was probably based on credible terrorist threats against air travel, experts said.


The link between terror and aviation isn’t new, and the fact that other countries are implementing versions of an electronics ban points to the legitimacy of the threats. Still, the rollout of the ban in the U.S. lacked transparency and will likely cause confusion and apprehension on the part of many travelers.


The Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on Tuesday that leaves unanswered many questions about the ban ― like why laptops or tablets are any more dangerous than cellphones. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, didn’t bother answering any of the lingering questions, either. 


“As you can imagine, I can’t talk about the intelligence we have,” Spicer said during Tuesday’s news briefing. “I can just tell you that the steps we are taking are commensurate with the intelligence we have.” 



Experts agreed there’s probably a tangible threat, most likely emanating from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has a history of targeting aviation.


“There’s been repeated AQAP and Islamic State attempts to build explosives into electronic devices,” said Clinton Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The threats date to a foiled 2009 plot to fill a printer cartridge with explosives.


Enhanced aviation security measures were put in place three or four times during the Obama administration, said Christian Beckner, deputy director of George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. “At this point, this looks more to me like something that’s generally consistent with prior action that’s been taken,” he said of Tuesday’s order.


If the AQAP threat has loomed over the U.S. for years, it raises the question of why the ban is just now going into effect. Either there is credible intelligence of a threat coming from countries the ban affects, or the administration believes “security is weak in those parts,” Watts said.


But security at many of the affected airports, like those in Doha and Dubai, is on par with or better than in the U.S. That means the explanation probably is new intelligence or a threat, Watts said.


“Now is the best time in a long time to launch an international terrorist attack just because America will be forced by the administration to respond hard,” he said.



2- DHS laptop ban - does this just point to which countries the US believes have inadequate airport security screening procedures?

— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) March 21, 2017


The U.K. government imposed its own ban following the U.S. action on Tuesday. Canada also is considering one. Moves by multiple countries lend credence to the threats, Beckner and Watts said.


“I think it confirms that it’s less like the travel executive orders and more consistent with the longstanding way we’ve treated impending urgent information on aviation threats,” Beckner said.


“If other countries go along with it, to me it suggests that there’s something to it,” Watts added.


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat, supported the ban after receiving an updated intelligence briefing over the weekend.


“These steps are both necessary and proportional to the threat,” Schiff said in a statement Tuesday. “The global aviation system remains a top target.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Twitter Transparency Report Details Escalating Crackdown On Terrorists

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 16:48


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


If Twitter has to break a few eggs to scramble the plans of terrorists attempting to use the site, it’s more than happy to oblige.


Since the middle of 2015, the company has broken a little more than 636,248 (metaphorical) terrorist eggs. That’s according to its latest transparency report, released Tuesday, which details the various external information requests Twitter has received in the last six months, and how Twitter has responded.


Of the 636,248 accounts Twitter has suspended overall for promoting terrorism, the company suspended 376,000 in the last half of 2016 alone, marking a sharp increase in enforcement efforts.


For comparison, in the first half of 2016, Twitter suspended around 235,000 accounts. That’s up from around 125,000 a year earlier, most of which were “threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.”



Your grandfather’s al Qaeda, if you wanted to get propaganda, you had to go find it. ... Now all that’s in your pocket.
FBI Director James Comey


Fortunately for Twitter employees, internal filters now bear the brunt of the enforcement burden.


The company said 74 percent of the 376,000 terror-promoting accounts it banished most recently were handled by “internal, proprietary spam-fighting tools,” with large spikes in suspensions immediately following terror attacks. An additional 0.015% of requests about suspected accounts came from the government, Twitter said.


Twitter dramatically increased its self-policing in summer 2015 after a study earlier that year by George Washington University identified the social media platform as a major conduit for ISIS outreach. 


“Your grandfather’s al Qaeda, if you wanted to get propaganda, you had to go find it,” FBI director James Comey remarked at the time, applauding Twitter’s efforts to weed out ISIS. “Now all that’s in your pocket. All that propaganda is in your pocket, and the terrorist is in your pocket. ... It’s the constant feed, the constant touching, so it’s very, very different and much more effective at radicalizing than your grandfather’s al Qaeda model.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Searches Of Travelers' Electronics Should Require A Warrant, ACLU Contends

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 15:29


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


The American Civil Liberties Union contends U.S. customs agents should have to obtain search warrants before they rifle through travelers’ electronic devices at border crossings. 


The ACLU, in an amicus brief filed Monday, urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to “hold that searches of portable electronic devices may not be conducted without a warrant or, at an absolute minimum, a determination of probable cause,” by Customs and Border Protection agents.


The Fourth Amendment, which gives people the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, doesn’t apply at the border. Customs agents assert they have the authority to search all electronic devices at the border, “no matter your legal status in the country or whether they have any reason to suspect that you’ve committed a crime,” according to the ACLU.


“We are urging the court to hold that the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant, or at minimum a probable cause, to search electronics because of the huge amount of personal information they contain,” the ACLU lawyer Esha Bhandari told The Huffington Post.


The brief was filed in a case involving a Turkish citizen convicted last year of trying to enter the U.S. with gun parts. Authorities seized his iPhone during the search. Bhandari said the ACLU’s brief is not to defend the Turkish citizen, but to remind the courts about the potential for government overreach. 


“The goal of ours is to have the court think about the implications of ruling in this case for hundreds of millions of other travelers,” Bhandari said. “We want to urge the court ― regardless of whether evidence is warranted enough for this defendant ― to address squarely the Fourth Amendment question.”


The ACLU filed a similar brief in 2015, but that case was dismissed before the appeals court could decide whether warrantless border searches are legal. 


Customs agents sometimes use their broad authority to inspect electronic devices belonging to travelers who may not appear to arouse suspicion of wrongdoing. Last year, a Wall Street Journal reporter said she was detained and asked to hand over her cellphone at Los Angeles International Airport.


Border agents detained a Canadian photojournalist for more than six hours as he traveled to cover to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in October. Ed Ou, 30, told The New York Times the agents asked for his phone to look through his photos so that they could make sure he wasn’t “posing next to any dead bodies.” He was ultimately denied entrance into the U.S.


The reach of Customs and Border Protection extends to domestic flights as well. In February, federal agents demanded passengers arriving in New York show their identification as they searched for an immigrant who had received a deportation order to leave the country. The person they were seeking was not on the flight, according to The Washington Post.


On Monday, the U.S. banned laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in the cabins of flights from nine airlines operating in parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has twice attempted to ban travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Those bans have been temporarily blocked by federal courts.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Thinx Co-Founder Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 14:43


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Miki Agrawal, the co-founder of underwear company Thinx, is denying claims she sexually harassed a former employee and engaged in other inflammatory behavior in the workplace. 


The company, perhaps best known for its eye-catching ads on public transportation systems, manufactures underwear for menstruating women to use as an alternative to tampons or pads. Thinx earned praise early on for its feminist message and efforts to normalize women’s periods. However, the company has recently been plagued by unflattering portraits of its workplace culture and Agrawal’s leadership. (Agrawal, a self-proclaimed “taboo breaker,” stepped down as CEO earlier this month, and is now serving as the company’s “chief vision officer.” )


On Monday, New York Magazine reported that Chelsea Leibow, the company’s former head of public relations, filed a complaint with the New York Commission on Human Rights alleging Agrawal routinely engaged in hostile behavior in the company’s mostly female office, including touching Leibow’s breasts and asking her to expose them. The complaint also says Agrawal changed clothes in front of her employees, spoke in detail about her sex life, and conducted videoconferences while appearing unclothed, among other allegations. Leibow said she was fired from the company in December after she complained about Agrawal’s behavior. 


In an update to a Medium blog post first published last week, Agrawal denied the charges. She also said an employment law firm had investigated Leibow’s claims and found they were without merit. 


“To be crystal clear, I know I’m passionate and oft unruly in my ways (as a taboo breaker must be), but I have never, ever crossed the line in the inflammatory ways described,” Agrawal wrote. “This is all I am going to say on this matter.”


A Thinx spokesperson declined to discuss the specifics of Leibow’s complaint.


“Related to Ms. Leibow’s allegations, THINX has not been served with a legal complaint or charge from any agency,” the spokesperson said. “When the issues were brought to our attention following Ms. Leibow’s departure from THINX, the company commissioned an investigation that concluded the allegations had no legal merit. The company cannot comment further on these legal matters.” 


The spokesperson added that the company plans to hire a human resources executive. (Thinx currently has no formal HR structure.


Leibow declined to comment for this story or provide a copy of her complaint. A spokesperson for the New York Commission on Human Rights said the organization does not share files related to ongoing investigations.


The latest allegations came one week after Racked published a lengthy report on Thinx’s workplace culture. The story details past and present employees’ experiences in the company, and how those experiences were at odds with the company’s feminist mission and branding. The complaints included poor parental leave policies, “prohibitively expensive” health care plans and stagnant wages.


The company says it is taking the allegations raised in the story seriously. 


“In light of the concerns raised in the Racked story: our leadership is getting to the bottom of these allegations, and, as ever, we are actively working to address and improve our corporate culture,” a spokesperson told The Huffington Post last week.


Agrawal, meanwhile, attributed the subpar policies to the growing pains of running a start-up.


“Like any start-up when faced with something new, you do your best in solving it as it arises,” she wrote on Medium. “THINX has proven over and over again that we care so much about improving the lives of women globally through innovation, eliminating the oldest shame in the world (a woman’s period) and one that has helped SO many girls go back to school in the developing world, changing their lives forever.”  


Lydia O’Connor and Matt Ferner contributed reporting. 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Donald Trump Signs Bill Authorizing NASA Budget, Mars Exploration

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 12:38

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Tuesday that authorizes $19.5 billion in NASA funding for the 2018 budget year and adds human exploration of Mars as an agency objective, The Associated Press reports.


Trump signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act as astronauts and the bill’s sponsors, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), looked on. The new law allows NASA to redouble its deep space exploration efforts and develop a manned mission to Mars. 


The Trump administration released a preliminary budget last week that proposed a $19.1 billion budget for the space agency next year, down $200 million from the current year.


“I’m delighted to sign this bill,” Trump said. “It’s been a long time since a bill like this has been signed, reaffirming our national commitment to the core mission of NASA, human space exploration, space science and technology.”


“With this legislation, we support NASA’s scientists, engineers and astronauts and their pursuit of discovery,” Trump continued, adding that the new legislation would support jobs. “This bill will make sure that NASA’s most important and effective programs are sustained.”


Watch Trump sign the NASA Transition Authorization Act into law below.





This is a developing story and will be updated.


How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get breaking updates on Trump’s presidency by messaging us here.


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58ca746be4b0be71dcf1ad3d,58aebff5e4b01406012ff265,58ca2f55e4b00705db4c1de2

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

U.K. To Also Ban Large Electronics On Some Flights From Middle East, Africa

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 12:19


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


The threat of terrorism has prompted the United Kingdom to follow the United States’ lead and ban passengers from having electronics larger than a cellphone in the cabin on U.K.-bound flights from certain countries, The Associated Press reports.


The ban will affect flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, according to a U.K. government spokesperson. 


U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.S. have in recent weeks discussed intelligence reports about intensifying terrorist threats to aviation, according to CNN.



This is not a reaction to a specific threat but the ongoing general of terrorism against aviation

— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) March 21, 2017


“We have been in close touch with the Americans to fully understand their position,” the U.K. spokesperson said in a statement. “Airlines affected are being informed of the new requirements.”


The policy affects certain British and foreign carriers: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia. 


The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation have banned passengers on nine airlines operating in parts of North Africa and the Middle East from having laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in the cabins of flights to the U.S. According to the ban, which went into effect Tuesday morning, people can still travel with larger electronic items in checked baggage.


“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the DHS said in a fact sheet released Tuesday. “The record of terrorist attempts to destroy aircraft in flight is longstanding and well-known.”


The DHS noted that there’s no specific end date to the ban, and that it will remain in place “until the threat changes.”



Airlines affected by #electronicsban:
Egyptair
Emirates
Etihad
Kuwait Airways
Qatar Airways
Royal Air Maroc
Jordanian
Saudi Airlines
Turkish

— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) March 21, 2017


The U.S. regulation affects 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. U.S. officials said Monday that the ban stemmed from intelligence reports that terror groups have expressed interest in targeting U.S. aviation.


These airports were chosen “based on the current threat picture,” the DHS sheet said.


Many of these airports, like those in Doha and Dubai, are major international travel hubs.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Chinese Park Skimps On Toilet Paper With Facial-Recognition Machines

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 19:42

It may sound like a bum idea, but a park in China is using facial-recognition technology to dole out short strips of toilet paper in a high-tech experiment to wipe out thieves.


All the TP in restrooms at the Temple Of Heaven Park in Beijing is now locked and dispensed by six machines that rely on facial-recognition software to make sure no one takes more than their share, according to The New York Times. 


The machine only hands out about two feet of tissue ― a crappy amount, some would argue. If that’s insufficient, you have to wait nine minutes to get more, according to TheVerge.com.


Some locals said they fear Chinese government officials will use data gleaned from the machines to flush out dissidents. 



An official said the park is trying to make things easier by upgrading from one-ply to two-ply tissue, according to the BBC. In addition, people who require more than two feet of tissue can flag down a park employee.


“If we encounter guests who have diarrhea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper,” a park spokesman said, according to the BBC.


Using expensive facial-recognition machines to meter toilet paper may seem extreme to protect a something of such low value, but an undercover investigation this month discovered thieves were stealing 30 rolls of toilet paper from park restrooms each day, according to ShanghaiList.com.



The technologically advanced TP dispensers were installed for a two-week trial period, according to TheBeijinger.com.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Laptops, Other Electronics Banned On Some Flights To U.S.

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 18:06


function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


The U.S. has banned laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in the cabins of flights to the U.S. from nine airlines operating in parts of North Africa and the Middle East.


The ban, which affects devices larger than a cellphone ― including cameras, DVD players and electronic games ― went into effect Tuesday morning, senior administration officials said in a conference call with reporters. 


Federal officials, requesting anonymity, said intensifying threats from terrorist groups against commercial airlines and airports prompted the new rules. Officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation imposed the change, officials said in the conference call. 


“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” said a DHS fact sheet released Tuesday. “The record of terrorist attempts to destroy aircraft in flight is longstanding and well-known.”


The rules affect passengers on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. 


These airports were chosen “based on the current threat picture,” the DHS sheet said.


The affected airlines are all foreign carriers. Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia and Turkish Airlines have 96 hours to implement the change, officials said. 


Passengers on the roughly 50 flights per day affected by the change can put the banned devices in checked baggage. 


The United Kingdom implemented a similar ban Tuesday ― it encompasses some U.K. airlines in addition to foreign airlines and only applies to flights from six countries.


There’s no specific end date to the ban, DHS added. It will remain in place “until the threat changes.”


Authorities referred to the recent downings of commercial planes by terrorists and the attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport that killed 45 people last June in justifying the electronics ban. They declined to say whether they’d uncovered new information that led to the tightened rules.


More details of the ban are expected to be released by Tuesday afternoon. One security expert said it’s possible the departments behind the ban are concerned with the size of an electronic device rather than how much information is stored on it.


“My assumption would be that if there’s a security basis for the ban, there’s some new means of masking explosives in a device that can’t be detected by X-rays,” Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at The Constitution Project, told The Huffington Post. “I can have a phone that can hold 10 times more information than a laptop. ... This seems to be a ban based on size of a device and implies that it has something to do with hardware and what you can put into hardware.”


The revision supersedes Federal Aviation Administration warning that lithium batteries in many electronics posed a fire risk when stored with checked baggage in a plane’s hold. 


A tweet from Royal Jordanian airlines created confusion Monday when it was sent before the security measure was announced. 


The company said that starting March 21, passengers could no longer bring cameras, DVD players and electronic games with their carry-on items and that such items must be checked on flights to and from New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.


Cellphones and medical devices would still be permitted, Royal Jordanian said.


The tweet was later deleted. 


Officials on the conference call said they had no complaint with how Royal Jordanian informed its customers of the electronics rules.  


Saudia also commented on the new measure in a tweet, advising customers about which devices were banned.


This article has been updated with new details, including official confirmation of the ban and comment from Saudia.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated the ban applies to flights to and from the United States. The rule for electronics, however, only affects flights on the listed airlines bound for the U.S. from the affected North African and Middle Eastern airports. 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Camera Catches 2-Year-Old Twins Having Epic Party After Bedtime

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:54



Everyone’s had their fair share of fun nights, but we’re pretty sure no one’s ever had a better time than these twin toddlers caught on camera in their nursery.


New York parents Jonathan and Susana Balkin got a glimpse into their twin toddlers’ nighttime antics thanks to their Nest home monitoring system. As their now-viral video shows, 2-year-old Andrew and Ryan escaped their cribs, played around their couch, built an awesome pillow mountain, practiced gymnastics, and more.


Not even multiple interventions from Mom and Dad could put an end to their party.


Fox TV news affiliates in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina, among others, posted the video on Facebook, where it racked up over 100 million views and counting.


On Monday, the family appeared on “Today” to talk about the viral adventure.




function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Jonathan told Carson Daly the twins have escaped from their cribs a couple of times before, but this was a particularly epic incident.


“We actually had heard them giggling and laughing from our living room, so we were eavesdropping outside their door,” the dad explained. “We ended up spying on them for a little while on the camera just to make sure they weren’t getting into trouble, they weren’t getting hurt. And then after a while we decided, ‘Okay, it’s time to intervene, put them to bed.’ That didn’t really work out so well.”


While it looks like the twins had a full night of fun, Jonathan said the party lasted just a couple of hours before he and Susanna went to bed.


Daly asked if the parents were considering upgrading the twins’ beds. “They sleep in their beds really well, so we are exploring toddler beds,” Jonathan said. “We did change it so you can take off one of those walls, and they just ended up going in and out all night. So the cribs are good for now.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Harvard Scientists Say Aliens May Be Using Giant Radio Beams To Travel The Cosmos

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 20:05

Two Harvard University scientists are suggesting that mysterious fast radio bursts, detected in faraway galaxies, may be evidence of aliens traveling through the cosmos.


FRBs are extremely bright flashes of radio waves that last for only a thousandth of a second and are detected by earthbound telescopes. Since the first one was observed 10 years ago, 17 have actually been reported, although scientists think there are thousands of them a day.


At first, Abraham “Avi” Loeb said, he took a conservative approach to explaining them.


“It looked like the simplest explanation would be flares from stars in the Milky Way galaxy,” said Loeb, a theoretical astrophysicist and chair of Harvard’s astronomy department.


But then “one of the FRBs was localized to reside in a small galaxy at a distance of about a billion light-years away,” Loeb told The Huffington Post. (One light-year is about 6 trillion miles.)


Essentially, that means these FRBs are coming from the edge of the universe and must be brighter than anything else we know.


In a new paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters this month, Loeb and Harvard physicist Manasvi Lingam say they decided to “examine the possibility that fast radio bursts originate from the activity of extragalactic civilizations.”


“Since there are many more galaxies out there than the Milky Way, it makes sense statistically that one would detect such phenomena outside the Milky Way more often rather than inside it,” Lingam told HuffPost.


While Loeb and Lingam don’t claim that FRBs definitely originate from aliens, they speculate that such phenomena could be the result of other civilizations using gigantic radio transmitters to hopscotch from one galaxy to another.


An almost planet-sized, solar-powered radio transmitter could generate enough energy to propel an interstellar light sail (like the one illustrated above), they suggest. These sails, in turn, might be sufficient to push “about 20 times the largest cruise ships on Earth.” FRBs would be the leakage from such transmitters.


“Our upper bound on the number of such civilizations is 10,000 in a typical galaxy,” Lingam said. “But I’d like to reiterate that this is the maximal value. In all probability, the real value is likely to be much lower.”





Nobody on Earth has detected any interstellar light sails yet. What large radio telescopes, like the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico or the Parkes Observatory in Australia, have picked up are very fast, bright flashes of energy.


For us to detect these bursts so many light-years away, Loeb said, they’d need a very bright source.


“So what we are considering in our scenario is a very narrow beam of radiation pushing on a sail, and that requires roughly the amount of energy intercepted by the Earth [from] sunlight. That’s the kind of power you need ― the energy falling on the Earth from the sun,” he said.


Loeb chairs the advisory committee for the Starshot project, which seeks to send a spaceship to Alpha Centauri, a star system over four light-years from Earth. The idea would be to aim powerful laser beams from Earth at thin sails carrying more than 1,000 probes. It’s not the same as the radio waves possibly used by aliens, but then humans are still taking baby steps into space. 


“I can imagine [aliens] doing what we are just starting to do now,” Loeb said.


The Harvard scientist is well aware that talking about aliens, even hypothetically, can start some eye-rolling. But he doesn’t share that bias.


“We shouldn’t be guided by prejudice when we think about what may be out there,” said Loeb. “Many people tend to think they know the truth. They think that we are special, that maybe there is nothing out there.


“I think we should just observe and whenever we see something unusual, we should think, contemplate the possibility that it could be artificial. And there is nothing bad about that ― it’s a learning experience.”


Indeed, it’s probably the essence of being a theoretical astrophysicist.


“The whole principle of science is that you collect data that can falsify an idea that you have or prove it right,” Loeb said.


Lingam acknowledges that their hypothesis is still a tad speculative. 


“We have suggested a potential means of distinguishing between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ origin of FRBs by taking a closer look at the signals, and looking for certain distinguishable patterns,” he said.


But don’t expect a quick answer on the aliens question. “With more data expected to emerge in the coming decades, I believe that our hypothesis will be testable,” Lingam said.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Girl With No Job Shares Her Instagram Tricks And Dishes On Social Media Fame

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:22

Sign up for The Tea, a weekly email with exclusive interviews from your favorite celebs.




function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Anyone who follows Claudia Oshry on Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter can tell you that her hilarity knows no bounds. The social media maven began her career as “Girl With A Job,” chronicling her riotous exploits as a NYC fashion and PR intern. But when she was fired for being an “awful intern,” she changed her brand to the massively popular “Girl With No Job.”


Girl With No Job quickly rose to Instagram fame for posting hilarious memes, which earned her a whopping 2.5 million Instagram followers. In an exclusive interview for Huffington Post’s “The Tea,” we chatted with Claudia about her favorite Instagram tricks, her biggest social media pet peeve and her undying love for Andy Cohen. 


Read her full interview below and sign up here to get more exclusive interviews with your favorite celebs, from Lauren Jauregui to Noah Cyrus and more. 



In what way has Instagram fame pleasantly surprised you, and in what way has it disappointed you?


It has pleasantly surprised me and it has also disappointed me in the exact same way — and that’s the people. I’ve talked to some of the most genuinely lovely, nice people that I never would have met if it weren’t for the internet. I’m constantly surprised by my followers and how great they are. But on the same note, I’m constantly disappointed in some of my followers and people on the internet because they can be so disgusting and so vile and really truly awful. It’s a sword that swings both ways.


Which Instagram account can you not live without?


@rememberthishappened and @popculturediedin2009. I really could not live without these throwback pop culture pages.


Is there a favorite Instagram trick that you know that most people aren’t using?


[Trends, but once] people get hip to them, they stop working. For a while, your geotag could actually increase your engagement if you were geotagging in Singapore. That lasted for a while, but everyone figured it out and it didn’t stick around for long.


One thing I’m seeing now is kind of almost moving away from what a generic meme looks like. Visually, the aesthetics of what people are finding funny on Instagram are changing. Things that I post that don’t look similar to something I would normally post are getting a lot of engagement.




@jackieoproblems YOUUUU

A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Mar 13, 2017 at 10:12am PDT




What advice do you have for teens who want to make their mark on social media?


The most important piece of advice is to have realistic expectations. You’re not going to post something funny and then the next day have 6 million people talking about you in every country in the world. And just another piece of advice — it’s really easy to lose yourself on the internet just because it is such an inauthentic platform. You can curate yourself to be whoever you want to be. But I think an audience responds better to authenticity. Just be yourself. The internet is so vast and wide and so deep that you will find a large concentration of people who really agree with what you have to say and really like what you have to say if you just are yourself.


What is the biggest social media faux pas that someone can make?


I feel really strongly about photo editing. I’m all for editing the sh*t out of your photo, but you cross the line when you look like a completely different person. Do whatever you want with your photos, but within reason.



DJ Khaled is kind of like getting your period. You know it's coming but you never expect it (@THELADBIBLE)

A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Feb 22, 2017 at 3:09pm PST





Whose Snapchat account is your absolute favorite?


I really love following everyone from “The Bachelor” on Snapchat because I feel like I can find secret spoilers. I love following Corinne on Snapchat. She basically just takes pictures of all the bad press she gets and is like “F**k you.”


You have several characters that you play on Snapchat and Instagram — how did they come about?


So I never was into wigs, but I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for the first time last year and I went to this bodega to buy beads and crazy things to wear and I bought this wig. It was like this yellow, purple and green-colored wig. I’m telling you, I put it on and my entire persona changed. I wish I could be like [my alter ego]. She’s so aggressive and out there. The wig brought it out in me.


This wig is a character inside of me called Claudette. She’s amazing and she only comes out when I wear the wig. And everyone responded to it so positively, I realized I needed more characters! I bought a Kylie wig where I act like I’m a Kardashian. I’m obsessed with wigs.


You meet a lot of celebrities through your work. Have you met a celebrity who pleasantly surprised you or one who disappointed you?


You know how they always say you should never meet your heroes? I was really apprehensive about meeting Andy Cohen because my expectations could not have been higher and I just didn’t want to be disappointed. But I was just so blown away at what a nice guy he was. He met every expectation. Just to meet him and have him be exactly who I thought he was was literally the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced.


You recently got engaged. What is your favorite part of wedding planning and what’s your least favorite?


My favorite part of wedding planning is getting to do it all on social media. I partnered with The Knot and we’re kind of planning my wedding on Instagram for everyone to see. I really wanted to get all my followers involved. They saw [my fiancée and I] get engaged, they saw us move in together — I felt like it was only right to include them. But at the same time you never want to overexpose because it really is a private thing. So partnering with The Knot was perfect because I get to include my followers, I get to have their input, but it’s still kind of private.


My least favorite part of wedding planning is just everyone’s opinion. I don’t need it, I don’t care for it. We all have different aesthetics. I don’t care where you got married, when you got married. Mine’s going to be completely different. If everyone could just back off, that would be amazing.




Which fast food chicken nugget is the best?


McDonald’s. They’re just always consistently good.




@boywithnojob TAKE NOTES

A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Feb 6, 2017 at 4:10pm PST




What’s the last song you played on your phone?


Oh my god, I am obsessed with Maren Morris. Her songs are so good. I listened to her album 400 times and I cannot wait to see her concert.


Would you rather do 1,000 crunches a day for a year or live with JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers for a month?


This is so hard. Honestly, I really don’t like doing crunches, but I also really despise Jordan and JoJo. But I think I would have to say Jordan and JoJo only because I would get such good Snapchat content from living with them for a month. And I would have so many of my questions answered, like do they really like each other? What do they do all day? Does she ever get off her phone?


If you could only wear one lipstick color for the rest of your life, what would it be?


Kylie Lip Kit — Candy K.


A train is coming down the track. Andy Cohen is standing on one fork of the railway and Kaitlyn Bristowe is standing on the other. You can flip the switch and save one of them — who do you save?


This is so hard because Kaitlyn is a friend, but she also has a really loving fiancée — I wouldn’t want her to die! But at the same time, I think that more people would be affected by Andy’s death. I think I would just throw myself in front of the train. I’m really in love with both of them. That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child, and honestly I feel like that would be easier.


Kiss, marry, kill: Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian.


Definitely would kill Khloe right out of the gate. She used to be everyone’s favorite. I’m so happy for her that she went through this really amazing transformation where her body’s completely different, her face is completely different, but I feel like she really lost a part of who she was and why she was everyone’s favorite. So, I’m definitely gonna kill her. I think I’m gonna marry Kim because I just want to spend as much time with her as possible — I think she’s amazing. I’d kiss Kourtney because she’s looking so good and she obviously likes Jewish people.  



Peep that Quick Trim on the back shelf tho #TBT (@yahoo7be)

A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Oct 7, 2016 at 10:54am PDT





If you had to live without eyeliner or contour stick, which would you lose?


I would lose the eyeliner because nobody wants to see my face without a proper contour.


Go-to pizza topping?


Just cheese. Let’s not reinvent the wheel.


You are super close with your sisters. What is the one thing you can’t stand when they borrow?


Um, anything. We are so close. We never fight. But if someone borrows something without asking, it’s literally World War III. That’s the only thing. What really bothers me is if I have something that doesn’t fit anymore, but it will fit me again, they’re like, “But it doesn’t fit you, I can have it!” NO. It doesn’t work that way. I will eventually fit into it again.


What does it mean when the vibes are “steeny”?


The vibes are steeny when all the steens are together. The steens are my sisters. The vibes are steeny when everyone’s having fun, having a good time — they’re just positive. Steens are positive. We’re fun, we like to dance, we like to listen to music, we like to party, so when the vibes are steeny, that means that everyone’s having a good time. Don’t you always want the vibes to be steeny?


If you could only guzzle one beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?


Diet Coke.


You low-key have a fantastic singing voice — what’s your favorite song to sing?


“Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl.” Staying true to my Jewish roots.


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Pages