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Author: arstechnica (Page 1 of 1476)

How the tech sector can legally justify breaking ties to extremists

Enlarge / CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA—A woman leaves a note on the ground as people gather at a memorial for Heather Heyer after her funeral service on Wednesday. Heyer was killed after a car rammed into a group of people during a planned Unite the Right rally last Saturday. The Daily Stormer's celebration of the death sparked a tech-sector backlash against extremism. (credit: The Washington Post, Getty Images)

In the wake of recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a swath of the tech sector has undergone a renaissance of sorts and announced that it was reducing or examining its ties to extremist groups.

CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said what a lot of executives were thinking when deciding to cancel service to the neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer. The site celebrated the death of a Charlottesville protester and sparked a tech-sector backlash against hate speech.

"My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I'd had enough," Prince said. "Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision."

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Rare pubic-grooming data reveals injuries, odd habits, and nicked bits

Be careful in there. (credit: TJStamp)

Trimming and shaping the shrubbery down below can be dangerous business, according to a new study.

Combing through survey responses from a nationally representative group of 7,456 US adults, researchers at University of California, San Francisco, found that 76 percent (5,674) were pubic groomers. Of those, one in four reported injuring themselves at least once from the below-the-belt beautification. Minor lacerations were the most common type of injury, accounting for 61 percent of those reported, followed by burns and rashes. But 1.4 percent of groomers reported severe enough injuries to require medical attention. That includes antibiotics for infections or surgical interventions, such as stitches and incisions to drain an abscess.

With the data, published Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology, the researchers hope to draw attention to the hairy problem—and pluck out factors that may contribute to injuries.

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AT&T’s attempt to stall Google Fiber construction thrown out by judge

Enlarge (credit: Google Fiber)

AT&T has lost a court case in which it tried to stall construction by Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky.

AT&T sued the local government in Louisville and Jefferson County in February 2016 to stop a One Touch Make Ready Ordinance designed to give Google Fiber and other new ISPs quicker access to utility poles. But yesterday, US District Court Judge David Hale dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, saying AT&T's claims that the ordinance is invalid are false.

"We are currently reviewing the decision and our next steps," AT&T said when contacted by Ars today.

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Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies

Enlarge

Wind and solar energy are obviously essential in reducing carbon emissions, but they also have a remarkable side effect: saving lives. As they edge out fossil fuels, renewables are reducing not just carbon emissions, but also other air pollutants. And the result is an improvement in air quality, with a corresponding drop in premature deaths.

A paper in Nature Energy this week dives into the weeds by trying to estimate the economic benefits of wind and solar power across the whole of the US. Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs.

Death is in the air

Poor air quality is a tricky beast in public health, since it’s not obvious when someone dies as a result of air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution leads to around 7 million premature deaths globally each year—people dying earlier than they otherwise would have from heightened incidence of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.

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Neo-Nazi Daily Stormer loses its Russian domain, too

Putin us on. (credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

When the Daily Stormer lost control of its .com domain in the face of a social media protest, the infamous hate site sought virtual refuge in Russia. For a few hours on Wednesday, the site re-appeared at the domain "dailystormer.ru" before the site lost DDoS protection from CloudFlare and disappeared from the Web once again.

Now the Russians have nixed the Daily Stormer's new online home, citing the country's laws against hate speech. According to Radio Free Europe, the Russian company responsible for registering the Daily Stormer's Russian domain received a letter from Russian authorities asking it "to look into the possibility of register suspension due to extremist content of this domain. So we decided to suspend [the] domain Dailystormer.ru."

"Russian law has established a very strict regime for combatting any kind of extremism in the Internet," said Aleksandr Zharov, head of the Roskomnadzor, the Russian government agency responsible for media and Internet regulation.

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