‘Briefing Room’: Acting AG Whitaker, possible Florida recounts, Michelle Obama interview

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‘The Briefing Room’: Mark Ruffalo, Billy Ray Cyrus talk voting rights, Trump on campaign trail

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Cyber Saturday—Reader Reactions to Facebook’s ‘War Room’

Last weekend’s newsletter, “Facebook’s ‘War Room’ Is a Marketing Ploy,” elicited mixed reactions. Some readers agreed with my criticism that Facebook’s unveiling of a misinformation-quashing initiative was a PR stunt. Other readers felt I had been unfair to the company, arguing that it is taking the threat of fake news seriously. Below is a sampling of the mailbag.

J.B.: “Thank You for calling out FB for their PR/marketing ploy with their ‘war room’. I was surprised and disappointed from a number or articles from other news organizations that essentially praised the company for all of its efforts while failing to exercise any basic form of journalistic/critical thinking.”

K.S.: “Sorry but I’m with Facebook on this…. The unanimous view is, there’s no reliable technology available today using which Facebook, or anyone else, can conclude that a piece of news is fake news at the point it is posted.”

A.J.: “I smiled as I read your analysis. But then, as a professional communicator who eschews hype (though not transparency), I wondered how should FB solve this: 1. Should it go dark? Can’t do that now, since it would seem like they were hiding. 2. Should it go very proactive? Not sure that would work since it would feel like hype.”

Melanie Ensign, ex-Facebook, present Uber PR: “The event might have been a performance for press, but the team/effort/initiative is real w/ origins long before the 2016 drama began. We all know plenty of journos who require a ‘visual element’ before they commit to anything.”

M.C., discussing whether Facebook had contradicted itself when one executive said it’s easier for the fake news-fighting squad to work side-by-side in a single office, whereas the company’s cybersecurity director said it’s harder for them to collaborate with external partners when seated next to one another: “From a security perspective, it is absolutely easier to collaborate virtually. Allowing employees of your competitors into your office, with access to your systems, is a huge security risk compared to digital collaboration. The exec and security director are both correct.”

Oren Falkowitz, CEO and cofounder of cybersecurity startup Area 1 Security, summed the reactions up best when he posted a gif from the film Dr. Strangelove (a personal favorite). “Gentlemen, no fighting in the war room!”

***

One note: in last weekend’s newsletter I misinterpreted views held by Jason Witty, chief information security officer at U.S. Bank, who was referenced talking about these flashy, cybersecurity workspaces in a separate New York Times story. He did not say that the war rooms themselves are mostly for show but, as paraphrased by a Times reporter, that “the blinking map he breaks out for customer briefings is mostly for show.” Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank’s communications lead, corrected me: “Jason believes that such ‘war rooms’ are very important and highly valuable to our company and our customers.”

Marketing at its finest. Have a great weekend.

Robert Hackett

@rhhackett

robert.hackett@fortune.com

Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.

THREATS

The jig is up. Law enforcement arrested a man accused of mailing pipe bombs to various prominent Democrats and others. The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, Jr., had apparently lived out of a van covered in pro-Trump paraphernalia in Florida. He had a history of prior offenses and bomb threats.

Please hold while I connect you. Chinese spies are snooping on President Donald Trump’s phone calls, reports the New York Times. The spooks are apparently trying to learn who the president communicates with and what kinds of arguments tend to sway him so as to engineer an influence campaign that will cause him to change his tune about a trade war.

Spoiling the bunch. Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a full-throated critique of Silicon Valley for its trust-eroding tech and invasive data privacy practices at a conference in Brussels this week. In response, Facebook’s former security chief called out Apple for its acquiescence to various security demands of the Communist Party in China–like putting iCloud servers in the country.

Data breaches and payouts. The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office, a data protection watchdog, fined Facebook some $ 640,000 to settle its Cambridge Analytica scandal, a small sum but an important precedent nonetheless. Meanwhile, Yahoo has agreed to pay $ 50 million in damages for its 2013 data breach.

Epidemiology as ad-tracking business.

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Quantum of Solace. MIT Technology Review profiled a project in the Netherlands that aims to stop snoops from spying on Internet-transmitted data through quantum encryption technology. Here’s a peek at the science behind it, per an excerpt.

The internet is vulnerable to the kind of hacking revealed by Snowden because data still travels over cables in the form of classical bits–a stream of electrical or optical pulses representing 1s and 0s. A hacker who manages to tap into the cables can read and copy those bits in transit.

The laws of quantum physics, on the other hand, allow a particle–for example, an atom, an electron, or (for transmitting along optical cables) a photon of light–to occupy a quantum state that represents a combination of 1 and 0 simultaneously. Such a particle is called a quantum bit, or qubit. When you try to observe a qubit, its state “collapses” to either 1 or 0. This, explains Wehner, means that if a hacker taps into a stream of qubits, the intruder both destroys the quantum information in that stream and leaves a clear signal that it’s been tampered with.

ONE MORE THING

Trying the front door. Peter Avritch, chief technology officer of a startup called Hello Gloss, wrote a fun, personal essay about a time almost two decades ago when, he claims, the National Security Agency phoned him in a panic requesting his help. The agency apparently needed to get its hands on the source code for some encryption software Avritch had developed. He cooperated, and he received an NSA coffee mug as a gift, he said.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Augmented reality porn stars are coming to a living room near you

It was only a matter of time: Adult entertainment studio Naughty America released one of the industry’s very first XXX-rated augmented reality (AR) apps for Android phones this week, which promises to put life-sized 3D versions of adult entertainers in your living room. Or bedroom, for that matter, with Naughty America CEO Andreas Hronopoulos touting…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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Cyber Saturday—Facebook’s ‘War Room’ Is a Marketing Ploy

In response to mounting criticism from consumers, citizens, and lawmakers, Facebook is pursuing a public relations blitz. The media giant wants to change people’s perceptions about how it is handling the scourge of misinformation and concomitant threat to elections presented by its websites and apps.

Enter the “war room.” Facebook invited journalists from a number of publications–Fortune included–to visit a cramped conference room on the company’s Menlo Park campus inside which a squad of 20-or-so employees is tasked with valiantly defending democracy around the globe–from the U.S., to Brazil, and beyond. The walls and desks are cluttered with video screens and computer monitors. Around them, Facebook’s freedom fighters huddle, clattering away on their keyboards, stemming a tide of malicious, politically-motivated influence campaigns.

One moment in Fortune reporter Jonathan Vanian’s account of the war room made me grin widely. A Facebook executive, Samidh Chakrabarti, director of elections and civic engagement for the company, tells Vanian that having everyone in the same room allows for “face-to-face” communication and quick decision-making. A few paragraphs later, we learn why Facebook does not plan to invite collaborators from other misinformation-besieged Silicon Valley companies, like Twitter and Reddit, to take seats in the room. It is easier for these groups to collaborate “virtually” rather than physically, says Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. Hmm…

Facebook’s war room seems, to this columnist, like a PR stunt. It is reminiscent of the cybersecurity fusion centers that banks and other companies set up to dazzle visitors. Such displays are “mostly for show,” as Jason Witty, chief information security officer at U.S. Bank, told the New York Times for an unrelated story about such flashy workspaces. They, you know, look cool.

I do not mean to denigrate Facebook’s efforts entirely. To be fair, the company is trying to address the many problems that plague its platforms. And the war room does serve an important purpose: making the company’s behind-the-scenes battles more tangible for its own employees, for regulators, and for the public. Hopefully it does help quench disinformation.

Still, the tidy image of the war room comes across as a bit of marketing misdirection. After all, the walls of this room extend far, far beyond Menlo Park. Ask any journalist. As the Times’ editorial board notes in a recent op-ed, Facebook effectively relies on news reporters as an army of unofficial, unpaid, outsourced content moderators, helping to root out spammers, trolls, and propagandists. Companies like Facebook “have all the tools at their disposal and a profound responsibility to find exactly what journalists find–and yet, clearly, they don’t,” the Times writes.

Indeed, the real war room has no walls.

***

Last week I warned readers about the many ways Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent report about Chinese spy chips smells foul. Just yesterday Apple CEO Tim Cook took the unprecedented move of personally calling for Bloomberg to retract the story. So far Bloomberg has not backed down. We’ll continue to track this story and its fallout.

Have a great weekend.

Robert Hackett

@rhhackett

robert.hackett@fortune.com

Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.

THREATS

Rushin’ to the polls. The Justice Department charged a Russian woman named Elena Khusyaynova, 44, with conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering in the upcoming 2018 election. Prosecutors say she managed financed for a foreign influence operation called “Project Lakhta.” The group allegedly spread misinformation online to incite controversy over divisive social and political issues.

Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Facebook believes that a recently disclosed breach, the biggest known in the company’s history, was caused by spammers, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the company’s investigation. The hackers apparently posed as a digital marketing agency.

Google censored search engine. Google CEO Sundar Pichai doubled down on the company’s interest in a censorship-friendly search engine for China, codenamed “Project Dragonfly.” Pichai said Google wants to provide people access to information while complying with laws around the globe. Asked about employees’ protests over this project as well as over potential U.S. military work, Pichai said “we don’t run the company by holding referendums.”

You’re hired. Stripe has hired Niels Provos, an ex-Googler who spearheaded many security initiatives, such as Safe Browsing, at the search giant, as its head of security. Intel’s new chief software security officer, Window Snyder, has plans to boost the chipmaker’s security in the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws. And Microsoft has hired Hemma Prafullchandra, ex-chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm HyTrust, as the tech chief for its Microsoft 365 security and compliance team.

I’d like to buy the world a coke.

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After the curtain. The Washington Post has published the final opinion piece of Jamal Khashoggie, the Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist who is reported to have been dismembered and decapitated at the country’s consulate in Istanbul by more than a dozen Saudi agents. (Saudi Arabia, after denying involvement for 18 days, now claims Khashoggie died in a fistfight gone wrong.) Khashoggie, in his posthumous column, calls for alternatives to the “state-run narrative [which] dominates the public psyche” in the Middle East. I include this excerpt because the Web has become a global battleground for information warfare, and securing cyberspace requires a recognition of that fact.

The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar.

ONE MORE THING

Into the aether. Popular Mechanics’ latest installment of “We’ve Been Wrong Before,” a series that explores debunked scientific theories, offers a history of aether, a mysterious element invented by the ancients whose idea persisted, in various forms, until the 19th century. Two scientists, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, famously failed to prove the invisible material’s existence in an 1877 experiment that involved attempting to measure light moving at different speeds. Albert Einstein would build on the duo’s findings with his theory of relativity. As Popular Mechanics writes, aether, echoes of which resonate in today’s concepts of dark energy and dark matter, “may be the most enduring imaginary concept in scientific history.”

At least that we know of…

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Inside Facebook’s ‘war room,’ where the company is fighting to stop election manipulation

Facebook's roughly 900-square-foot room, which it recently showed to journalists, is a visual representation of the company's commitment to dramatically improving communication and security ahead of the U.S. midterms.
Media

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How to Turn a Spare Closet into a Powder Room

According to an article published on HGTV.com, bathroom remodels tend to yield 100 percent return on investment – at least. A similar tune can be sung when it comes to adding a second bath. A National Association of Realtors study, conducted by Florida State University professors G. Stacy Sirmans and David Macpherson, revealed that adding a bathroom can increase the selling price of a home by about 24 percent.

That said, while it may make fiscal sense to add a bath, logistics can be another story entirely. For homeowners without a lot of space to spare, converting a spare closet into a half bath could be a clever workaround. Here are three important things to consider before you do so:

 

Consider: Resale Value

As any real estate agent will tell you, homes with at least two bathrooms tend to be more appealing to home buyers – but adding a full bathroom can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. Half baths, on the other hand, demand less space, are generally more manageable to install, and add value. Long story short: if you have a conveniently located closet, you likely have the requirements necessary to add a half bath. When styling your half bath, stick to simple, neutral styles, which will bode better as far as resale is concerned.

 

Consider: Layout

Once you’ve determined where your half bath will go, start brainstorming what will go in it. As important as style is, functionality is key, so you may want to skip the fancy storage unit and decorative accents and stick to the half-bath-basics: a sink, mirror, and toilet. If possible, give priority to adding a window, which is a clever and effective way to add ventilation and nature lighting. If a window is not possible, opt for a fan/vent system to prevent stuffiness.

 

Consider: SANICOMPACT, by SANIFLO

It’s a shame that our houses don’t evolve as our families do; fortunately, bathroom technology is evolving. At the forefront of bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room innovation is SANIFLO. The SANICOMPACT system by SANIFLO is a compact and self-contained pumping system, which makes it possible to install a new bathroom without a plumbing rough-in. The SANICOMPACT system utilizes up flush technology and features a sleek tankless design. In addition to being an affordable alternative to a traditional plumbing system, SANICOMPACT uses minimal amounts of water, making it an environmentally friendly choice as well.

To learn more about the SANICOMPACT system, visit the SANIFLO website.

 

The post How to Turn a Spare Closet into a Powder Room appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Trends 2 Watch: Family Room Design Ideas

Home Trends’ Style Editor Jo Alcorn shares some family room design ideas.

Photography by Jason Hartog

SEATING Family rooms need adequate seating for reading, relaxing and hosting movie nights. In this space, I chose an oversized sectional and complemented it with a side chair and a modern rocker. When arranging your seating, be sure to also add hard surfaces such as a large coffee table and side tables to hold snacks and drinks.

PERSONAL TOUCHES Large scale frames featuring artistically taken family photos make a great statement over a sofa and are a great alternative to a gallery wall.

ACCESSORIZE ME Don’t shy away from accessories in a family room. Find a way to incorporate family treasures, bowls and lush throw cushions to give the space an elevated look.

TO SERVE AND PROTECT A high quality area rug goes a long way by protecting your valuable hardwood floors. Choose a subtle color in an interesting pattern (to hide possible stains) for a beautiful, timeless look. – Text by Jo Alcorn

The post Trends 2 Watch: Family Room Design Ideas appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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