Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #1987 on: Aug 10th, 2017, 08:27am »
Alien in the skies: Mystery hexagon cloud formation over Finland is ‘clearly a UFO’
A BIZARRE cloud formation appeared over Finland leading to claims that it was a result of alien activity.
By Sean Martin PUBLISHED: 12:00, Thu, Aug 10, 2017
The mesmerising cloud looks similar to a hexagon and seems almost too perfect to be caused naturally, according to conspiracy theorists.
The incredible cloud formation was spotted on Wednesday morning over the Scandinavian country and quickly uploaded to social media by people who snapped it.
One person wrote on Twitter: “It is clearly a UFO”
Another added on Facebook: “For a certain cloud formation that's not too common we sure are seeing them often. I'm finished accepting what ‘they’ want us to believe so from here on out we must question everything.”
While a third posted: “Cloaked UFO sitting at Cloud level. Just saying!”
However, the Finnish Meteorological Institute chipped in, stating the odd cloud was probably formed by ice crystals in the sky reacting with a ‘plate’ of droplets a bit lower down in the skies.
Paavo Korpela, a meteorologist with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, told Iltalehti: “That cloud layer, which is now there, is about six to seven miles (10-12km) high, and the temperature is over 20 degrees frost (12 Fahrenheit).
“One explanation could be that if ice crystals come from above cloud layers, it causes very rapid liquid water freezing in ice crystals, where clouds will rain down and evaporate at the same time.”
It is not the first time that civilians have been baffled by a cloud formation and cried alien.
Black rings have been spotted across the world, which some believe is a sign of alien activity.
Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #1988 on: Aug 10th, 2017, 10:26am »
I was an early investor in Google and Facebook and regret it
by Roger McNamee 8/10/17
I invested in Google and Facebook years before their first revenue and profited enormously. I was an early adviser to Facebook’s team, but I am terrified by the damage being done by these internet monopolies.
Technology has transformed our lives in countless ways, mostly for the better. Thanks to the now ubiquitous smartphone, tech touches us from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. While the convenience of smartphones has many benefits, the unintended consequences of well-intentioned product choices have become a menace to public health and to democracy.
Facebook and Google get their revenue from advertising, the effectiveness of which depends on gaining and maintaining consumer attention. Borrowing techniques from the gambling industry, Facebook, Google and others exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose only goal is to generate profits for their owners.
The people at Facebook and Google believe that giving consumers more of what they want and like is worthy of praise, not criticism. What they fail to recognize is that their products are not making consumers happier or more successful. Like gambling, nicotine, alcohol or heroin, Facebook and Google — most importantly through its You-Tube subsidiary — produce short-term happiness with serious negative consequences in the long term. Users fail to recognize the warning signs of addiction until it is too late. There are only 24 hours in a day, and technology companies are making a play for all them. The CEO of Netflix recently noted that his company’s primary competitor is sleep.
How does this work? A 2013 study found that average consumers check their smartphones 150 times a day. And that number has probably grown. People spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Other social apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter combine to take up still more time. Those companies maintain a profile on every user, which grows every time you like, share, search, shop or post a photo. Google also is analyzing credit card records of millions of people.
As a result, the big Internet companies know more about you than you know about yourself, which gives them huge power to influence you, to persuade you to do things that serve their economic interests. Facebook, Google and others compete for each consumer’s attention, reinforcing biases and reducing the diversity of ideas to which each is exposed. The degree of harm grows over time.
Consider a recent story from Australia, where someone at Facebook told advertisers that they had the ability to target teens who were sad or depressed, which made them more susceptible to advertising. In the United States, Facebook once demonstrated its ability to make users happier or sadder by manipulating their news feed. While it did not turn either capability into a product, the fact remains that Facebook influences the emotional state of users every moment of every day. Former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris calls this 'brain hacking.'
The fault here is not with search and social networking, per se. Those services have enormous value. The fault lies with advertising business models that drive companies to maximize attention at all costs, leading to ever more aggressive brain hacking.
The Facebook application has 2 billion active users around the world.
Google’s YouTube has 1.5 billion. These numbers are comparable to Christianity and Islam, respectively, giving Facebook and Google influence greater than most First World countries. They are too big and too global to be held accountable. Other attention-based apps — including Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, SnapChat and Twitter — also have user bases between 100 million and 1.3 billion. Not all their users have had their brains hacked, but all are on that path. And there are no watchdogs.
Anyone who wants to pay for access to addicted users can work with Facebook and YouTube. Lots of bad people have done it. One firm was caught using Facebook tools to spy on law abiding citizens. A federal agency confronted Facebook about the use of its tools by financial firms to discriminate based on race in the housing market.
America’s intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in our election and that Facebook was a key platform for spreading misinformation. For the price of a few fighter aircraft, Russia won an information war against us.
Incentives being what they are, we cannot expect Internet monopolies to police themselves. There is little government regulation and no appetite to change that. If we want to stop brain hacking, consumers will have to force changes at Facebook and Google.
Roger McNamee is the managing director and a co-founder of Elevation Partners, and investment partnership focused on media/entertainment content and consumer technology.
Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #1992 on: Aug 11th, 2017, 08:00am »
GOOD MORNING LOVELY UFOCASEBOOKERS
Chimps Just Showed They Can Learn a Simple Game Just Like 4-Year-Old Humans
Rock, paper… wait, what?
by SIGNE DEAN 11 AUG 2017
To play any game, you need to have a basic grasp of the rules. But the way we learn and process those rules is a fascinating process in itself - one that scientists can use to investigate learning in animals.
Now scientists have demonstrated that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) can learn the relationship between the three hand signals we use to play rock-paper-scissors, and become as adept at it as four-year-old people.
The team, led by researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, employed seven chimps of both sexes and various ages, all residents of the university's Primate Research Institute. All were already familiar with computer-controlled tasks.
Even though chimps have more sophisticated hands than we do, they weren't actually taught to make the hand signals we use to play the game, but instead were presented with pictures of these signals on a screen, portrayed with both chimp and human hands.
Each picture showed two of the three hand signals, and the chimps had to indicate the preferred one - paper over rock, scissors over paper, and rock over scissors.
Then the learning process began. Sitting in a cosy experimental booth, the animals would tap on the pictures on the screen and either be rewarded with a piece of apple and a chime sound, or an error buzzer and no food.
This went on for 48 trials per session, three times a day, and the different signals were progressively mixed in complexity as the chimps learnt the relationships between them.
Eventually five of the seven chimps completed the entire training program with pictures of both chimp hands and - once they'd mastered those - of human hands as well. It took them an average of 307 training sessions.
To see how their learning ability compared to human kids, the researchers then experimented with teaching this same set of game rules to 38 preschool children, ranging in age from about three to six years.
The set-up was similar, except the experiments were conducted at a kindergarten and the kids were not rewarded with a piece of apple when choosing correctly - it was just a chime sound and a picture of happy chimps… and a small reward for showing up.
"After the experiment, the children received cartoon stickers as a reward for their participation, regardless of their performance," the researchers note in the study.
In comparison to the chimps, most of the kids grasped the rules pretty quickly, averaging just five sessions of 12 trials. But their success was strongly correlated with age - anyone under four years old was hopeless, scoring no better than chance at selecting the right hand signals.
"[T]his circular problem is highly difficult for children below the critical age of approximately 4 years," the team concluded, noting that it's also possible older kids might be more familiar with the game already.
Overall, after crunching the data, researchers concluded that once chimps have learned the basics, their mastery of rock-paper-scissors was as good as that of tiny people.
"The chimpanzees' performance during the mixed-pair sessions was similar to that of four-year-old children," says lead researcher Jie Gao.
The team's results build on previous studies that investigate how animals other than ourselves can learn circular relationships, and they hope they have laid ground for further investigations on the subject.
And we like to imagine that somewhere in the outdoor compounds of the institute in Kyoto a bunch of chimps are currently playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who wins the juiciest fruit for lunch.