Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument

Abstract of a study: The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called "50c party" posts vociferously argue for the government's side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime's strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. You can find the study here (PDF).

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YouTube TV expands to 10 more U.S. markets, adds more YouTube Red series

 YouTube TV, Google’s $35 per month streaming service aimed at a younger demographic of cord cutters and cord-nevers, is expanding to ten more markets, the company announced this week at VidCon. The service had initially launched in April offering streaming live TV and DVR functionality to just five major metros: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. In just… Read More

Samsung Begins Production For Its First Internet of Things-optimised Exynos Processor

An anonymous reader shares a report: Samsung Electronics has launched the Exynos i T200, its first processor optimised for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the company has announced. The South Korean tech giant said the chip has upped security and supports wireless connections, with hopes of giving it an advantage in the expanding IoT market. The Exynos i T200 applies Samsung's 28-nanometer High-K Metal Gate process and has multiple cores, with the Cortex-R4 doing the heavy lifting and an independently operating Cortex-M0+ allowing for multifunctionality. For example, if applied to a refrigerator, Cotext-R4 will run the OS and Cotex-M0+ will power LED displays on the doors.

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ACLU releases video of brutal beating of motorist by enraged cop

In dashcam video posted by the ACLU, police officer Joe Joswiak pulls over Anthony Promvongsa, driving a dark SUV. Joswiak immediately approaches the vehicle screaming "get out of the car motherfucker!", with his gun drawn and posed sideways. Then he starts pounding and kicking at Promvongsa through the open car door — before Promvongsa seems to have a chance to do anything.

The inexplicably violent attack occurred on July 28, 2016. According to police reports, Promvoska "was attempting to pass" an off-duty officer and swerving aggressively, backup was called, and Joswiak spotted the vehicle first.

Promvongsa's attorney finds it odd that none of that was caught on any camera along the route. Audio is missing from much of Joswiak's dashcam recording, too, for no given reason — another officer is observed turning it off during the attack.

The ACLU contends the arrest was unnecessarily physical and should spur an internal investigation by the Worthington Police Department.

"Agent Joswiak claims Anthony refused his order to leave his car, but the video contradicts this assertion," the ACLU said in a statement. "Instead it shows a textbook case of excessive force."

"We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution," said Teresa Nelson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Minnesota.

"Thus far, Agent Joswiak has received no punishment for this abhorrent treatment of Anthony," she added. "This sends a message that the department condones the officer’s behavior, which it should not."

Logitech’s Slim Combo for iPad Pro really boosts your portable productivity power

 Logitech has a long history of making keyboard accessories for iPad, and it has a new product out in time for the release of the latest iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 updates. The Slim Combo, which is available for either size device, includes a back cover case with an integrated Apple Pencil sleeve, and a keyboard that uses the iPad’s Smart Connector. The two piece approach results in a slim… Read More

Find out what makes things cool

Think you know how to make something cool? Mid-century industrial designer Raymond Leowry sure did. He's behind some of the most iconic pieces of American culture, including the Coke bottle and the Shell logo.

In this video, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic shares Leowry's effective MAYA (Most Advanced. Yet Acceptable) principle. The trick is this, Thompson says:

To sell something surprising, make it familiar. To sell something familiar, make it surprising.

Science even backs him up.

Road rage nightmare crash footage

A motorist was left with a "gash to the head" after crashing on a California highway, reports the BBC. In the video, posted courtesy of Chris Traber, a motorcyclist veers close to a car and kicks it. The car then swerves, though it's not clear if the driver was retaliating or panicking. Then the car strikes the center divide and all hell breaks loose.