German quote of the week

first_imgThanks to the big screen in the Frankfurt underground for this: Der Utopist sieht das Paradies, der Realist das Paradies plus Schlange— Friedrich HebbelOr in translation: The utopian sees Paradise; the realist sees Paradise plus a queue serpentUPDATE: Many, many thanks to Stefan in the comments for pointing out my inaccuracy and lack of cultural knowledge. I assumed it was about having to queue up outside heaven, but it seems it’s actually about a serpent (a reference to Eden, I guess?). I have to say, I prefer my version…last_img read more

Man pleads guilty to false imprisonment and threat to kill

first_imgA DONEGAL man has appeared in court on a number of charges including false imprisonment and making a threat to kill.Stephen Roulston (53) of Cavan, Ballindrait, was before Letterkenny Circuit Court, where he was indicted on the charges arising out of an indecent at 1 Glen Park, Mountain Top, Letterkenny, on May 7, 2019. Roulston faced charges assault causing harm, of producing a knife, of making threats to kill or cause serious harm and of false imprisonment. The defendant spoke only to plead guilty to the charges.Judge John Aylmer requested a psychiatric report for Roulston, who was remanded on continuing bail. Judge Aylmer adjourned the case for sentencing at the next session of the Court.Man pleads guilty to false imprisonment and threat to kill was last modified: November 10th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ballindraitJudge John AylmerletterkennyLetterkenny Circuit CourtStephen Roulstonlast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal activate Monreal one-year extension

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal activate Monreal one-year extensionby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal have reportedly extended Nacho Monreal’s contract until 2020.Monreal, 32, had entered the final year of his contact this season.However, the Gunners have trigged an extension clause that will stretch his current deal for another season, according to ESPN.Talks over a longer extension have been put on hold until the summer.There are a host of Arsenal players who have entered the final six months of their contract, including Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck. last_img read more

Montreal mayor commits to 55 per cent emissions cut at UN says

first_imgUNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante was on the international stage at the United Nations Climate Summit today, telling the audience that cities will have a key role to play in the fight against climate change.Plante says two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban centres by 2050, putting cities at the forefront of the climate fight.And she vowed that Montreal would take a leadership role, committing to reduce carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, which Plante called an ambitious but reachable goal.In a brief speech to the UN General Assembly, she noted Montreal is aiming to surpass the UN target of a 45 per cent reduction in emissions from countries by 2030.The UN seeks to achieve carbon neutrality — when as much carbon is removed from the atmosphere as is added — by 2050.Plante said cities are working to tackle climate change, but much more needs to be done, and it will require the help of governments and the private sector.“We know the recipe, and we know exactly what to do,” she said Monday in a speech delivered in French.Plante said reaching those goals will require such actions as reducing the use of cars for solo trips, increasing active transport and making buildings carbon neutral.She also noted the city has moved to protect local biodiversity by stopping a large real estate project that would have destroyed the last of Montreal’s large green spaces and added 10,000 more vehicles to the roadways.Plante thanked youth who have mobilized in favour of the planet and “remind us every day that this Earth, we do not inherit from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”Plante’s office says she was the only mayor to be invited to speak at the event.Her remarks came ahead of Friday’s climate march in Montreal to be attended by Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg will be given the key to the city during her visit.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Why buy social bots For illusion of popularity researcher says

Provided by Northeastern University On Saturday, the New York Times published an article detailing its investigation into Devumi, a company that sells Twitter followers to celebrities, influencers, and anyone else willing to pay for online popularity. The purchased followers are automated social bots—fake Twitter accounts that exist solely to boost a user’s follower count or perform simple tasks like retweeting. The Times reported that about 55,000 of these bots were found to be using photos stolen from the profiles of real people. Spotting a social bot might be harder than you think Credit: Northeastern University Citation: Why buy social bots? For ‘illusion of popularity,’ researcher says (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from I think those numbers are creating the illusion of popularity. This is just one of the cognitive biases affect our judgement on accounts value or usefulness. Similarly, if your tweet is favorited or retweeted by 50 bots, a real human will look at it and say, ’50 people liked it, so maybe I should also share with my network so others can like the content.’Is purchasing followers against Twitter’s rules and regulations? If so, how are Devumi and its customers getting away with it?According to Twitter’s terms of service and developer agreements, the large-scale purchasing activities shouldn’t be allowed. As a result of the Times article, the New York attorney general started an investigation of Devumi for impersonation and deception, which are illegal under the state’s law. But the problem with these accounts is they are not really active—they just boost followers. They give visibility but they don’t really act. If you look at most of the fake accounts, they either haven’t tweeted yet or they replicate other real human beings’ existing accounts.Why isn’t Twitter doing more to regulate the use of social bots?It’s hard to say. I think Twitter could easily identify and deactivate bots. They have much more information and insight about user behavior, and they have better data about tweet deletions or profile changes. Practically, it’s a relatively easy task for them to do.I think the only reason Twitter is not proactive on addressing social bots is that if they say, ‘On our platform, 15 percent of the accounts are bots,’ that looks really bad for their investors. Their business plan relies on advertisement, they charge their customers based on the number of impressions, or the number of people who will see the ad.I think there will eventually be more tools like Botometer to succeed in this arms-race with bot creators. Then the platforms will become more aware of the public’s response to exceeding number of bots wandering in their platform and engaging randomly with their followers. If people start finding that significant fraction of their followers are fake, maybe Twitter will promise to take action. Otherwise, they won’t invest on deleting accounts because it doesn’t have direct effect and what they promise to their followers is more followers, more engagement, and larger networks, so they don’t want to pay attention. Instead, they assume these are genuine interactions. Luckily, we have been observing more Twitter users have become aware of social bot problems and engaging with research community to help them improve their tools by providing feedback, reporting bot accounts, and using browser plug-ins and tools like Botometer to analyze their own followers. Explore further Twitter recently confirmed that more than 3,800 Russian troll accounts were created and deployed during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to confuse and mislead voters. As the influence of social bots becomes more apparent, Congress and consumers alike are calling for increased oversight.Onur Varol, a postdoctoral research associate at Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research, has been studying the problem of social bots for several years. His research, which was cited in the Times article, found that between 9 and 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are bots. Varol even created a platform—Botometer—that analyzes Twitter accounts and scores them based upon how likely they are to be bots. Here, Varol explains why social bots have become so prominent and why Twitter isn’t doing more to combat them.The New York Times article pointed out that Twitter, unlike most online platforms, doesn’t require new users to complete a spam test before signing up. Why do you think that is?I think it’s a probably a platform design choice. They don’t want to dismay people from using the platform, so they try to make it as easy and user-friendly as possible. At some point early on, Twitter made those choices and now it’s harder for them to roll back. There is email validation, which can be easily bypassed, and then recently there is mobile phone validation. But even those mobile activations can be easily dealt with by, say, creating a Google Voice number to receive confirmation SMS during account creation.If social bots are fake, does buying them really help people grow their online influence? After all, the purchased followers aren’t real people.The point is not to expect anything from the bot accounts. Bots accessible to regular users for purchase are not very sophisticated. The simple bot accounts might not help users directly to be more influential or visible, but they create a cognitive bias. If I see that you have 100 followers compared with 1,000 followers, it makes a difference. If I see you have 1,000 followers, I might think, ‘Okay, this person is sharing something really interesting. One thousand people followed her, so I should follow her, too.’ But if I see you only have 100 followers, I might think, ‘Maybe this account is not worth following.’ This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more