Drinking straws that are made of pasta

Do we really hate paper straws so much that drinking through pasta seems reasonable? Apparently so! Because here are Italian-made Stroodles. Their selling points: They’re edible, vegan, made for cold drinks, have a shelf life of three years, and don’t get soggy. Just don’t give them to someone with celiac disease — these are wheat!

If pasta isn’t your thing, try these straws made of rice, hay, sugar cane, bamboo, ice, or metal. I guess the message is, “leave plastic straws behind.”


Google debuts Security Health Analytics for its cloud platform

Google debuts Security Health Analytics for its cloud platform

Google debuts Security Health Analytics for its cloud platform 1
Google LLC today launched a new cloud security service that aims to help ensure its customer stay in compliance with any regulations they need to adhere to. Security Health Analytics is a security service that integrates with Google’s Cloud Security Command Center. In a blog post, Google Cloud product manager Kyle Olive said it enables […]

The post Google debuts Security Health Analytics for its cloud platform appeared first on SiliconANGLE.

Edward Snowden on the global war on encryption: “This is our new battleground”

Since the 1990s, governments around the world have waged war on working encryption, arguing that “civilians” should be limited to using crypto with known defects that allow it to be broken, so that “good guys” can chase “bad guys.”

The defects in this argument are numerous and insurmountable, boiling down to: a) Criminals will just install illegal crypto (which is impossible to stamp out and which all computers are capable of running) and use that to evade the authorities; and b) “Good guys” using broken crypto can be attacked in horrible, ghastly, comprehensive ways by criminals, authoritarian states, griefers, stalkers, etc. Ultimately, banning crypto makes all of us less safe, risking our privacy, physical security, finances, etc, while still allowing every actual criminal to continue to enjoy the benefits of strong information security.

Despite this, proposals to ban crypto are alive and well: they’re already law in Australia, edging into UK law, and under consideration in Germany and the USA, thanks in large part to Rod Rosenstein, who proves that the enemy of your enemy is not your friend (see also: “intelligence community whistleblowers” who hate Trump but are firmly committed to the kinds of grotesque human rights abuses that the CIA and NSA are rightly synonymous with).

Writing in The Guardian, actual whistleblower Edward Snowden makes the case plain: if we allow western governments to ban working crypto, “our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe.”

Crypto is what protects the firmware updates for your home security system, your pacemaker, and your antilock braking system. It’s what protects you from the stalkerware that allows abusive men to terrorize and murder their former romantic partners. It’s what keeps Hong Kong’s dissidents out of reach of the torturing, genocidal Chinese state.

It is striking that when a company as potentially dangerous as Facebook appears to be at least publicly willing to implement technology that makes users safer by limiting its own power, it is the US government that cries foul. This is because the government would suddenly become less able to treat Facebook as a convenient trove of private lives.

To justify its opposition to encryption, the US government has, as is traditional, invoked the spectre of the web’s darkest forces. Without total access to the complete history of every person’s activity on Facebook, the government claims it would be unable to investigate terrorists, drug dealers money launderers and the perpetrators of child abuse – bad actors who, in reality, prefer not to plan their crimes on public platforms, especially not on US-based ones that employ some of the most sophisticated automatic filters and reporting methods available.

The true explanation for why the US, UK and Australian governments want to do away with end-to-end encryption is less about public safety than it is about power: E2EE gives control to individuals and the devices they use to send, receive and encrypt communications, not to the companies and carriers that route them. This, then, would require government surveillance to become more targeted and methodical, rather than indiscriminate and universal.

Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground [Edward Snowden/The Guardian]

Robot assemblers build structures out of identical modular pieces

Pushing forward on the vision of “programmable matter,” MIT researchers demonstrated a new kind of assembly system based on robots that can collaboratively build complicated structures from small identical pieces. Professor Neil Gershenfeld, graduate student Benjamin Jenett, and their colleagues present their research in a scientific paper titled “Material–Robot System for Assembly of Discrete Cellular Structures.” From MIT News:

“What’s at the heart of this is a new kind of robotics, that we call relative robots,” Gershenfeld says. Historically, he explains, there have been two broad categories of robotics — ones made out of expensive custom components that are carefully optimized for particular applications such as factory assembly, and ones made from inexpensive mass-produced modules with much lower performance. The new robots, however, are an alternative to both. They’re much simpler than the former, while much more capable than the latter, and they have the potential to revolutionize the production of large-scale systems, from airplanes to bridges to entire buildings.

According to Gershenfeld, the key difference lies in the relationship between the robotic device and the materials that it is handling and manipulating. With these new kinds of robots, “you can’t separate the robot from the structure — they work together as a system,” he says. For example, while most mobile robots require highly precise navigation systems to keep track of their position, the new assembler robots only need to keep track of where they are in relation to the small subunits, called voxels, that they are currently working on. Every time the robot takes a step onto the next voxel, it readjusts its sense of position, always in relation to the specific components that it is standing on at the moment….

Ultimately, such systems could be used to construct entire buildings, especially in difficult environments such as in space, or on the moon or Mars, Gershenfeld says. This could eliminate the need to ship large preassembled structures all the way from Earth. Instead it could be possible to send large batches of the tiny subunits — or form them from local materials using systems that could crank out these subunits at their final destination point. “If you can make a jumbo jet, you can make a building,” Gershenfeld says.

Robot assemblers build structures out of identical modular pieces 2

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office to Appear on Live PD: Wanted Series

Courtesy: Pennington County Sheriff’s Office

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is joining a take on the popular television series Live PD.

Hosted by Tom Morris Jr., Live PD: Wanted will help law enforcement agencies across the country track down fugitives. This weekly series will also update the stories of the fugitives the #LivePD audience has already helped capture while embedding with multiple task forces around the country.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office’s Operation Fall Clean-up which ran from September 16-20 will appear on the show. The sheriff’s office says 67 fugitives were arrested. The operation was a part of South Dakota’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program.

The Live PD: Wanted crew followed a warrant team with members from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, National Park Service, and others.

The show airs on A&E and will premier Thursday, October 17 at 9.

Categories: Local News, News

ALCS Game 4 postponed for rain, Yanks-Astros resume Thursday

NEW YORK – Game 4 of the AL Championship Series scheduled for Wednesday night has been postponed because of rain in the forecast.

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will play Game 4 on Thursday night instead, with Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium and Game 6 in Houston on Saturday if necessary. Houston beat New York 4-1 in the Bronx on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead.

It’s expected that Houston will start Zack Greinke against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of Game 1. Tanaka pitched six sterling innings as New York won the opener 7-0.

Both clubs had planned to use bullpen openers Wednesday, and the day off will be welcome for New York after manager Aaron Boone used five relievers to cover 4 2/3 innings Tuesday. Starter Luis Severino threw 36 pitches in the first inning and was pulled in the fifth. Boone deployed key arms Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton in the loss, although none threw more than 11 pitches.

Of course, now the teams might play the final four games without a day off, culminating in Game 7 on Sunday. With the Yankees leaning heavily on their bullpen this month, the starter-driven Astros could be at an advantage.

Greinke, a 2009 Cy Young Award winner acquired from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline, has struggled through two starts this post-season. He allowed six runs and couldn’t finish the fourth inning against Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the AL Division Series, and the Yankees hammered two homers and scored three runs against him in six innings in the ALCS opener.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

Joe Maddon returns to Los Angeles Angels as new manager

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Joe Maddon is back under the halo.

Maddon agreed to become the Los Angeles Angels’ manager on Wednesday, reuniting the World Series-winning former manager of the Chicago Cubs with the organization where he spent the first three decades of his baseball career.

“We are thrilled that Joe is coming back home and bringing an exciting brand of baseball to our fans,” general manager Billy Eppler said. “Every stop he has made throughout his managerial career, he has built a culture that is focused on winning while also allowing his players to thrive. We believe Joe will be a great asset for our club and look forward to him leading the team to another World Series championship.”

The Angels will formally introduce the 65-year-old Maddon at a news conference next week, but he already knows his way around Angel Stadium.

Maddon signed with the Angels as an undrafted catcher in 1975, and he spent the next 31 years working at almost every level of the organization as a player, coach and manager. He served as a big league assistant coach under five managers, and he had two stints as the Angels’ interim manager.

He was the Angels’ bench coach during their championship season in 2002. He left to manage Tampa Bay in 2006 for nine mostly successful seasons, followed by a move to Chicago to make history.

Maddon left the Cubs by mutual consent last month after they missed the playoffs for the first time in his five-year tenure. In 2016, he led Chicago to its first World Series title in 108 years.

Maddon replaces Brad Ausmus, who was fired after one season when the Angels finished 72-90, their worst record since 1999. Ausmus was abruptly dismissed shortly after Maddon became available, and most observers assumed Angels owner Arte Moreno had his eye on a reunion with Maddon, who was the Angels’ bench coach when Moreno bought the club in 2003.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Rocky RCMP charge two with drug trafficking

Rocky Mountain House RCMP have charged two adults following a vehicle stop that netted evidence of drug trafficking.

On Friday, the Rocky Mountain House RCMP General Investigation Section was engaged in a drug trafficking investigation that resulted in members pulling over a vehicle on Highway 11 near Condor. Two of the occupants were noted to have outstanding warrants and were subsequently arrested.

A search of the occupants and vehicle revealed that they were in possession of cocaine, fentanyl and drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Randy Bootsma of Rocky Mountain House, 28, is currently facing charges for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. At the time of the offence, Bootsma was wanted on several outstanding warrants.

Dana Morin of Rocky Mountain House, 27, is facing the same charges as well as failing to comply with recognizance. Morin was also wanted on several warrants of arrest at the time of arrest.

Both Bootsma and Morin were remanded into custody to appear Wednesday in Rocky Mountain House Provincial Court.

Trudeau accuses Tories of running ‘one of the dirtiest, nastiest campaigns’

MONTREAL – The Conservatives are running one of the dirtiest, nastiest election campaigns Canadians have ever seen, Justin Trudeau said Wednesday as he suggested that a Liberal government would be open to greater restrictions for third-party election advertising.

“We are, I think, all of us as Canadians, a little saddened to see the polarizing, negative nature of the campaign being run by some or our opponents, which is directly imported from the challenging electoral situations we see in fellow democracies around the world,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop in Montreal.

“Canadians need to stay strong and yes, we need to continue to develop the right tools that both protect freedom of expression and ensure that Canadians can make informed choices in election times.”

The Liberal leader was responding to a question about whether a re-elected Liberal government would further strengthen the rules for third-party advertising groups, which must register with Elections Canada and disclose how they are spending money on partisan activity and where they raised the funds.

The Manning Centre has turned out to be a driving financial force behind a network of anti-Liberal Facebook pages pumping out political messaging and memes during the federal election campaign this fall.

The organization, launched in 2005 by the founder of the Reform party, Preston Manning, gave a total of $312,450 to a network of related third-party advertising groups that operate on Facebook and Instagram.

The Manning Centre was the sole donor listed by many of those groups, according to disclosure forms filed with Elections Canada.

The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that the Manning Centre had raised the money that it passed along to the third-party groups, but that it would not disclose the donors.

Elections Canada says that is not against the rules.

Originally asked about what he thought of the Manning Centre being involved in the anti-Liberal ads, Trudeau unleashed a tirade against the Conservatives, arguing they have crossed a line in their campaign to convince Canadians to choose them in the Oct. 21 vote.

“We know that the Conservative party is running one of the dirtiest, nastiest campaigns based on disinformation that we’ve ever seen in this country,” Trudeau said.

“And it’s no surprise that they don’t want to share whose deep pockets are funding their attacks on Canadians, on other parties, and on the most important fight of our generation, the fight against climate change.”

Over the weekend, a security threat forced Trudeau to wear a bulletproof vest at an event, and the next day he lamented the divisive nature of the campaign.

He said the Conservatives are adopting the politics of fear and negativity, though he did not blame them for the security threat.

Gerry Butts, a top aide and close friend of Trudeau’s, was criticized on social media this week after for comments about a Conservative ad, which depicted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer shaking hands with a man wearing a yellow construction vest.

“Well, this is subtle. Sometimes a yellow vest is just a yellow vest?” Butts, who was principal secretary to Trudeau before he resigned as part of the SNC-Lavalin affair, tweeted Monday.

The Canadian version of the so-called yellow vest movement around the world has seen protesters showing up at events over the past year with varying agendas, including support for pipelines or opposition to a non-binding United Nations compact on global migration.

Some of those involved have also adopted a more clearly racist tone, with its Facebook page having included comments from people celebrating the attack on mosques in New Zealand.

Asked Wednesday whether he agreed with Butts that the Conservative ad was intended as a dog whistle to the yellow-vest protesters, Trudeau expressed support for construction workers before once again taking aim at the Scheer campaign.

“I have spent a lot of time in this campaign shaking hands with many, many people, including a lot of hard-working Canadians wearing construction gear, and I know how hard Canadians work day in and day out to build this country,” Trudeau said.

“We also know that Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives are choosing to play very divisive games and to use the politics of fear and division to try and get Canadians to vote for them,” he said. “I think Conservatives need to continue to be called out on the nasty, negative campaign that they are running, because Canadians deserve better.”

Trudeau was spending the day campaigning in Quebec, making a specific appeal to potential Bloc Quebecois voters, saying the Liberals stand up for the values people in that province hold.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press

Guilty Verdict in 2015 Des Moines Murder, Attempted Murder Case

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Des Moines man was found guilty Tuesday in connection with a 2015 murder.

Court documents show a Polk County jury found 64-year-old Alf Freddie Clark Sr. guilty of first-degree murder in Tacono Conner’s death. He was also found guilty of attempted murder for the shooting of Amy Stolki and possession of a weapon by a felon.

Prosecutors say Clark shot Conner and Stolki in the hallway outside of Conner’s apartment at 5201 South Union on December 27th, 2015.

Clark disappeared just a few hours after the shooting and he wasn’t taken into custody until June of 2018, when a Federal Fugitive Task Force arrested him on a material witness warrant in Tucson, Arizona.

Clark’s trial began on Oct. 7th and the jury reached a verdict Tuesday.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 12th. The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder in Iowa is life in prison.