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In the News 06.10.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 06.10.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 06.10.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 06.10.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How countries like China and Russia are able to control the internet

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In January 2011, protests broke out across Egypt to demand an end to the despotic and repressive regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protests were largely organized online, through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Mubarak quickly realized this, and launched a counterattack: He severed all access to the internet from within Egypt.

Dyn Research, a internet performance company that analyzes how the internet performs, noted that Egypt’s Arab Spring shutdown started with just a couple phone calls from the government:

Read the rest of this article at Quartz

Liquid Assets: How the Business of Bottled Water Went Mad

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Thee dress code of the clientele in Planet Organic, Notting Hill is gym chic. On a hot day in mid-August, the men wore mid-thigh shorts, pectoral-enhancing vests, neon Nikes; the women were in black leggings and intricate ensembles of sports bras and cross-strapped Lycra. They had all either just worked out, were about to work out, or wanted to look as if working out was a constant possibility.

They examined the shelves. As well as the usual selection of kale crackers and paleo egg protein boosters, there were promises of wizardry, such as a packet of Alchemy Organic Super Blend Energy Elixir (£40 for 300g of powder). But never mind the food. Life, in 2016, is liquid. Opposite a display of untouched pastries and assorted bread products (who, in Planet Organic in Notting Hill, still eats bread?), were the waters.

There was Life, Volvic, Ugly, Sibberi (birch or maple), Plenish, What A Melon watermelon water, Vita Coco, Coco Pro, Coco Zumi, Chi 100% Pure Coconut Water, Rebel Kitchen Coconut Water and coconut water straight from the nut (“you have to make the hole yourself”, explained a shop assistant). Also: an electrolyte-enhanced water pledging to hydrate you with 40% less fluid than ordinary water (Overly Fitness), a birch water offering “a natural source of anti-oxidising manganese” (Tapped) and an alternative birch water promising to “eliminate cellulite” (Buddha). There was also a “water bar” – a tap in the corner of the shop – that, according to the large sign hanging from the ceiling, offered, for free, the “cleanest drinking water on the planet”, thanks to a four-stage process conducted by a “reverse osmosis deionising water filter”.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

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The Google Phone

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In a nationally televised commercial that premiered last month, an empty search box sitting against a stark white background slowly morphs, becoming taller and skinnier. As Redbone croons “Come and get your love,” the lines take shape and the outline of a phone emerges. It is, of course, the Pixel, a new phone “made by Google.” The metaphor damn near hits you in the face: the search box once defined Google, but now Google needs to be something more.

It needs to find what comes after that bare search box and the basic web page results it often returns. Google has been around for 18 years now and someday — perhaps soon — a better paradigm for using the internet is going to supplant the ubiquitous box. At the same time, Google has also decided it needs to become a hardware company, making its own products instead of leaving that work solely to partners.

Read the rest of this article at The Verge

A Nonlinear History of Time Travel

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doubt that any phenomenon, real or imagined, has inspired more perplexing, convoluted, and ultimately futile philosophical analysis than time travel has. (Some possible contenders, determinism and free will, are bound up anyway in the arguments over time travel.) In his classic textbook, An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, John Hospers tackles the question: “Is it logically possible to go back in time—say, to 3000 B.C., and help the Egyptians build the pyramids? We must be very careful about this one.”

It’s easy to say—we habitually use the same words to talk about time as we do when talking about space—and it’s easy to imagine. “In fact, H. G. Wells did imagine it in The Time Machine (1895), and every reader imagines it with him.” (Hospers misremembers The Time Machine: “A person in 1900 pulls a lever on a machine and suddenly is surrounded by the world of many centuries earlier.”) Hospers was a bit of a kook, actually, who achieved the unusual distinction for a philosopher of having received one electoral vote for President of the United States. But his textbook, first published in 1953, remained standard through four editions and 40 years.

Read the rest of this article at Nautilus

Life on a ledge

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The woman was perched on a concrete ledge four stories above Madison Street.

She was a strange sight there in red-and-black pajama bottoms, a black sweatshirt and pink flip-flops. She hung her legs over the side of the building like a kid gathering the courage to jump into chilly water.

Below, construction workers and morning commuters gawked. They feared the worst but couldn’t turn away. A few recognized her, though none knew her well.

At 7:36 a.m., a 911 dispatcher radioed officers: “You got a female sitting on the roof with legs dangling over. Fire is rolling.”

The first cop arrived at the West Loop apartment building — the Luxe, at 1222 W. Madison St. — at 7:43 a.m. He radioed in, confirming what the dispatcher already knew: “There’s somebody on the roof, dangling. There’s a lot of fire equipment out here already.”

Thirty seconds later, he asked to get someone out from the department’s Crisis Intervention Team — somebody trained to deal with mental illness. Already on the way, the dispatcher said, “but you’re going to have to give him a few minutes.”

Firefighters began to inflate the enormous yellow air mattress they carry to break the fall of jumpers. But there was a tree in the way.

So they were preparing instead for a rooftop rescue. That’s when, suddenly, the woman scooted forward and, without a word, launched herself into the air.

At 7:46 a.m., a police officer radioed in: “She jumped!”

Read the rest of this article at Chicago Sun Times

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @aparisianmoment, @gracerosefarm, @oraclefox