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Friday, October 05, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 5, 2018

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted 11 minutes.
Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) -- Oct. 5, 2018


The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies
Denials in 10th paragraph.
Bloomberg’s report of Amazon’s denial: “It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental.”
The actual Amazon denial: “As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.”

China inserted surveillance microchip in servers used by Amazon and Apple, report says
In the Mercury News version of the article, Apple and Amazon denials come in the 16th paragraph. In the Post, we now read: “Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional reporting on the views of U.S. officials about the Bloomberg Businessweek report. One official who previously had conveyed confidence in the report later expressed uncertainty. The story also includes additional denials from Apple and Amazon.” In the article, we now read: “Several U.S. officials contacted by The Washington Post said they were uncertain about the accuracy of the Bloomberg Businessweek report. One U.S. official who said Thursday morning that the thrust of the article was true later expressed uncertainty about that conclusion.”


*A lot of the criticism of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' actually came from Russian trolls and bots, new study finds
Subhead even goes from “a lot” to “Much of the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" backlash came from Russian trolls — not fans — according to a new study.”
As this propagated through the media, it became simple fact, e.g.,
*Why The Russian Trolling Of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Proved So Successful
In a word, no. Even the author really doesn’t say that: “I have discovered political agitation for right-wing values using The Last Jedi as a placeholder for left-wing positions. Furthermore, it appears that political activists have used bots and sock puppet accounts to troll left-wing fans, and there is even evidence that Russian influence operators have inserted themselves into the debate to exploit and exacerbate the conflict, thereby securing more media attention to the conflict, which again helps spread the perception that America is divided and in chaos.”

He studied 206 Twitter accounts which tweeted negatively (basically racist and misogynist content) about The Last Jedi; 16 (a whopping 8%) of them "appear to be Russian trolls, or at least possess several of the Russian troll characteristics presented above"; those characteristics include "Russian trolls usually target “very specific world events” and “political threads”" and "prefer the Twitter web client over the mobile client". "They predominantly report their location (if at all) to be in the U.S., Germany and Russia"

Indicative of the “scholarship”, he found this tweet suspicious and likely “Russian” because it was short and had misspellings “So, now explain why Mark Hamil didn't like Luje in TLJ?”. Apparently he has never looked at a keyboard! [amusingly, while I was writing this I typed lijely instead of likely!)

Notes: “Star Wars movies, books, video games, tv shows and comics have consistently attempted to convey left-leaning values. For years, the franchise’s creator, George Lucas, has explained the series’ impetus as partially being a comment on the Vietnam war, which ended just as Lucas started work on the first Star Wars film. The evil, oppressive, technologically and economically superior Empire represented the United States, while the far less advanced, but resilient South Vietnamese [sic] forces and their unlikely victory inspired the “good guys” in the Rebel Alliance.”
Link to paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328006677_Weaponizing_the_haters_The_Last_Jedi_and_the_strategic_politicization_of_pop_culture_through_social_media_manipulation


*College students say they can't send in their absentee ballots because they don't know where to buy stamps
Funny not funny. But here’s the funniest (but actually serious) part: “The US Postal Service also has a policy that it mails absentee ballots, whether or not they contain postage. Instead of returning the ballot to sender, they charge the local election board.” But the absentee ballot (at least in California) doesn't bother to tell you this.

'We fell in love:' Trump swoons over letters from North Korea's Kim
What can you say?

China reveals its new party line: We're trying to save the world from the US
If only they were talking about imperialism and not just economic trade wars.
China hit out against the U.S. in a 71-page paper, accusing President Donald Trump's administration of "trade bullyism practices" that have become "the greatest source of uncertainty and risk for the recovery of the global economy."

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle visit namesake county of Sussex
Highlighting the absurdity of the concept of “royalty” and royal titles — the “Duke” and “Duchess” of Sussex visit Sussex…for the first time! Imagine “the King of Sweden visits Sweden for the first time”, etc.

*Kavanaugh writes op-ed arguing he is an 'independent, impartial judge' after emotional testimony
Uh huh.

*Drunk birds are causing havoc in a Minnesota town. Police say they’ll sober up soon.
A member of our local Audubon Society  is quoted in this article!
An early frost meant that berries had fermented earlier than usual, he explained, and Cedar Waxwings were eating them and getting drunk.
The Gilbert Minnesota Police Department issued a press release filled with fake news, telling residents to call if they saw:
• Heckle and Jeckle being boisterous or playing practical jokes. #FakeNews — H&J are Magpies, not Cedar Waxwings!
• Woodstock pushing Snoopy off the doghouse for no apparent reason. #FakeNews - Woodstock is a small yellow bird, possibly a Yellow Warbler, and definitely not a Cedar Waxwing!
• The Roadrunner jumping in and out of traffic. Again, #FakeNews — not a Cedar Waxwing.

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