For years, I’ve tried to work my way back into the middle class

 

Early this winter, I took a long walk in the Salt Lake City park in which I had been arrested for bathing in a river when I was homeless.

About 30 minutes into that walk, I stood across from the park’s granite meditation temple, thinking: Three and a half years ago, I slept under that building’s awning.

I can still feel how hard that temple’s cold stone floor was; I remember how people strolled by my bed of cardboard and clothes and stared with what struck me as a combination of concern, contempt, and pity. Now I see that these are also the lenses through which I have often judged my own progress in my new, not-yet-middle-class life.

These days, I often wonder: Am I really doing as well as I should be after all this time? How did I ever allow myself to fall so far? Trying to Read more

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The government failed Texans—so people on the internet stepped in

On Valentine’s Day, Texas plunged into a polar vortex the likes of which hadn’t been seen since 1899. Freezing temperatures led to widespread power outages. Homes more used to the swampy heat were useless against the wind and cold, with pipes bursting and ceilings caving in. Where water, clothing, and food were being distributed, lines snaked around the block. Hundreds of people in Texas have been made homeless so far. At least 30 have died.

The official response was sluggish and inadequate. It took until Thursday for the federal government to step in and send generators, water, and blankets to affected areas, and local municipalities struggled to coordinate efforts to clear roads and restore access to water. 

But within hours of the storm’s onset, a predictable pandemic-era sequence of events took place: people stepped into the void left by the government. With the pandemic and icy roads preventing them from … Read more

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A leaked report shows Pfizer’s vaccine is conquering covid-19 in its largest real-world test

A leaked scientific report jointly prepared by Israel’s health ministry and Pfizer claims that the company’s covid-19 vaccine is stopping nine out of 10 infections and the country could approach herd immunity by next month.

The study, based on the health records of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, finds that the vaccine may sharply curtail transmission of the coronavirus. “High vaccine uptake can meaningfully stem the pandemic and offers hope for eventual control of the pandemic as vaccination programs ramp up across the rest of the world,” according to the authors.

The nationwide study was described by the Israeli news website Ynet on Thursday, and a copy was obtained by MIT Technology Review.

The findings are important because Israel is leading the world in vaccinating its population, turning the country into real-life laboratory to understand if vaccines can end the pandemic.

So far Israel has fully vaccinated 32% of its … Read more

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What we can learn from the Facebook-Australia news debacle

Democracies around the world are all mired in one crisis or another, which is why measures of their health are trending in the wrong direction. Many look at the decline of the news industry as one contributing factor. No wonder, then, that figuring out how to pay for journalism is an urgent issue, and some governments are pushing ahead with ambitious plans. Big ideas for ways to funnel billions of dollars back into newsrooms are rare, but it’s time to take a gamble on more than one. 

Such an idea rose to the world’s attention this week: an Australian law that would compel search and social media platforms to pay news organizations for linking to their content. Google has decided to comply with the law and is doing deals with major companies such as News Corp, Nine, and Seven West Media. But Facebook took the other route—rather than pay for … Read more

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A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step

Trapped inside a long glass tube in a ground-floor lab at Harvard University is a miniature copy of the stratosphere.

When I visited Frank Keutsch in the fall of 2019, he walked me down to the lab, where the tube, wrapped in gray insulation, ran the length of a bench in the back corner. By filling it with the right combination of gases, at particular temperatures and pressures, Keutsch and his colleagues had simulated the conditions some 20 kilometers above Earth’s surface.

In testing how various chemicals react in this rarefied air, the team hoped to conduct a crude test of a controversial scheme known as solar geoengineering, which aims to counter climate change by spraying tiny particles into the stratosphere to reflect more of the sun’s heat back into space.

But is what’s in that tube “really what the stratosphere is like?” asks Keutsch, a professor of engineering, chemistry, … Read more

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For years, I’ve tried to work my way back into the middle class

 

Early this winter, I took a long walk in the Salt Lake City park in which I had been arrested for bathing in a river when I was homeless.

About 30 minutes into that walk, I stood across from the park’s granite meditation temple, thinking: Three and a half years ago, I slept under that building’s awning.

I can still feel how hard that temple’s cold stone floor was; I remember how people strolled by my bed of cardboard and clothes and stared with what struck me as a combination of concern, contempt, and pity. Now I see that these are also the lenses through which I have often judged my own progress in my new, not-yet-middle-class life.

These days, I often wonder: Am I really doing as well as I should be after all this time? How did I ever allow myself to fall so far? Trying to Read more

READ MORE

FGM safeguarding policies are alienating UK’s African diaspora communities

Credit: United Nations

AHEAD of tomorrow’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, by the United Nations, FORWARD, the leading African women-led organisation working to end violence against women and girls, and the University of Huddersfield have published new research that documents how the stringent, targeted, FGM safeguarding measures introduced since the 2014 Girl Summit are causing distress and mistrust amongst African diaspora communities in Bristol, and potentially across the country.

The research reveals first-hand evidence documenting how FGM safeguarding policies are leaving families feeling racially profiled, criminalised and stigmatised. To access the full study report, please follow this link: https://www.forwarduk.org.uk/forward-publications/fgm-safeguarding-bristol-study/.

Over the latter half of the last decade, the UK government intensified its response to FGM, giving FGM a ‘special’ status within national safeguarding, going far beyond the UK’s regulatory approach to other forms of child abuse.

This includes the introduction of FGM Mandatory Reporting Duty, the

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Predictive policing is still racist—whatever data it uses

It’s no secret that predictive policing tools are racially biased. A number of studies have shown that racist feedback loops can arise if algorithms are trained on police data, such as arrests. But new research shows that training predictive tools in a way claimed to lessen bias has little effect.

Arrest data biases predictive tools because police are known to arrest more people in Black and other minority neighborhoods, which leads algorithms to direct more policing to those areas, which leads to more arrests. The result is that predictive tools misallocate police patrols: some neighborhoods are unfairly designated crime hotspots; others are underpoliced.

In their defence, many developers of predictive policing tools say that they have started using victim reports to get a more accurate picture of crime rates across different neighborhoods. In theory victim reports should be less biased because they aren’t affected by police prejudice or … Read more

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Save $90 on the Pixel 4a 5G, and more of the best Google Pixel deals

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The Google Pixel family has long had a list of features that make it a go-to for die-hard fans. Whether it’s the vanilla Android experience or the powerful camera, the Pixel packs some features that set it apart from the pack. As Android nerds, we’re always on the lookout for Google Pixel deals. With the Google Pixel 5 finally here, we’re hoping that we’ll start to see bigger discounts on previous variants soon.

Here are some of the best deals on everything from the Pixel 5 to the original Pixel XL and everything in between.

Featured deal: Save $90 on the Pixel 4a 5G

Unlocked Google Pixel 4a 5G Best Buy Deal

Credit: Best Buy

The Google Pixel 4a 5G was already considered to be great value for its price point. Now a number of retailers have the Pixel 4a 5G on offer for $459 ($40 off), and Best Buy … Read more

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We asked, you told us: You don’t think Samsung should kill the Note series

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Multiple recent reports have sounded the death knell for Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. Some say Samsung will completely ditch the phablet line in 2021 while others insist there might be one last Note on its way out next year.

Based on these reports, we asked our readers what they think of Samsung merging the Galaxy Note series with the Galaxy S flagship line. We also asked our audience across YouTube, Twitter, and our website if they want Samsung to kill off the Galaxy Note series completely. Here are the results of both those polls.

Do you want Samsung to merge the Galaxy S and Note series?



Do you think Samsung should kill off the Galaxy Note series?



Results

60.4{0ab330907ab55d1d247a5e46cbfc213f668b37838ccb2fc637c3c0da5f4ad964} of the 1,238 Android Authority readers who voted in … Read more

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OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 will get Android 11…and then that’s it.

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus Nord N10 and Nord N100 will receive just one Android upgrade.
  • Since the devices ship with Android 10, that means they’ll eventually get Android 11 and then no more upgrades after that.
  • The company did also confirm that both phones will see two years of security updates.

The OnePlus Nord series is brand new in 2020. As such, we don’t have years and years of history to look at when it comes to software upgrades, security support, etc. Up until now, that info has been all up in the air.

Related: OnePlus phones: A history of the company’s entire lineup so far

However, OnePlus recently confirmed to Android Central that the two newest Nord phones — the Nord N10 and Nord N100 — will only receive one software upgrade. Both devices ship with Android 10, which logically means … Read more

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The Charlesworth Group strengthens Hindawi partnership in China

Leading open access publisher Hindawi has extended their partnership with The Charlesworth Group to include digital author marketing in China.

Credit: © The Charlesworth Group
© Hindawi Limited

The services provided by The Charlesworth Group form part of a holistic package of solutions across the entire publication journey to support Hindawi’s author engagement strategy in China. Through this partnership, The Charlesworth Group are now providing Hindawi with comprehensive digital marketing, including a new Chinese website and search marketing campaigns. Charlesworth have provided WeChat account management services and media monitoring to Hindawi since early 2018 and have recently begun offering Hindawi authors optional expert editing services through Charlesworth Author Services.

Through offering these new services, together with the existing WeChat account management service, this partnership can offer deeper author engagement in the China market at a key time for Chinese researchers as institutions begin to map out their publications policy in

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