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The Verge

Turing Award winners endorse Biden, say Trump immigration policy will stifle tech research

Twenty-four winners of the Turing Award are endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election, The New York Times reported, explaining they’re concerned the Trump administration’s immigration policies could be detrimental to both computer research and the technology industry over the long term. “The most brilliant people in the world want to come here and be grad students, but now they are being discouraged from coming here, and many are going elsewhere,” David Patterson, a Google distinguished engineer and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley told the Times. Among the names on the endorsement are Vint Cerf, who co-designed TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the internet; Martin Hellman, who invented public key cryptography; Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar; Facebook AI scientist Yann LeCun; and Barbara Liskov, known for her work in designing computer programming languages. “It is unprecedented for winners of the top prize in computer science, the ACM Turing Award, to endorse a political candidate, but these are unprecedented times,” Hellman tweeted. The endorsers are acting as private citizens and not representing any one company or organization, and include 24 of the 35 living Turing Award recipients. Here’s their statement: Information technology is thoroughly globalized. Academic computer science departments attract talented students, many of whom immigrate and become American inventors and captains of industry. We celebrate open source projects, the lifeblood of our field, as exemplars of international collaboration. Computer Science is at its best when its learnings and discoveries are shared freely…Continue readingTuring Award winners endorse Biden, say Trump immigration policy will stifle tech research

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Mashable

‘SNL’ prepares for fall audiences, casts Jim Carrey as Joe Biden

Saturday Night Live will return to business as usual for its Oct. 3 premiere, with new episodes filmed in front of a limited New York audience and Jim Carrey joining as a guest star to portray presidential nominee Joe Biden. Creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels revealed that and more in a Vulture interview, confirming as well that Maya Rudolph and Alec Baldwin will reprise their roles as Kamala Harris and Donald Trump, respectively. The plan is to release five(!) consecutive new shows leading up to the 2020 presidential election. “There was some interest on his part,” Michaels said of Carrey. “And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and … Hopefully it’s funny.” Michaels also provided more insight on how SNL will incorporate an audience while continuing to provide safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But he insisted that the audience is an integral part of SNL, particularly in how its response informs which sketches will hit or miss and make it into the final performance. “The physical problems of doing it — number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they’re not in any jeopardy — all of those are part of the meetings we’ve been having,”…Continue reading‘SNL’ prepares for fall audiences, casts Jim Carrey as Joe Biden

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Mashable

Stephen Colbert mocks Trump’s bizarre, unfounded speculation that Biden is on drugs

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is scheduled to take place on September 29, just two weeks away. As such, Trump is busy preparing in the lead up to this important event — by accusing Biden of taking drugs.  “‘Ya caught me, Don!’” quipped Late Show host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, donning aviator sunglasses to perform an impersonation of Biden. “‘I’ve been juicing. Tomato, beet, prune. I’m as regular as the atomic clock, Jack!’” If you thought Trump might have a reasonable basis for his speculation then I’m sorry to disappoint you, but also that’s kind of your bad for assuming he’d have a reasonable basis for anything. Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Trump stated he thought Biden might be on drugs because he participated in a “normal boring debate” against Bernie Sanders, in which “nothing amazing happened.” “Trump thinks anyone who shows basic competency must be cheating,” said Colbert, before switching to his impersonation of Trump. “‘Well did you see Biden jog up that ramp without tripping once? He’s gotta be ‘roiding. Plus he drank his water with just one hand. It’s like they ground up Lance Armstrong and injected it into his neck.’” Trump also compared the debate to a “prizefight” or gladiatorial combat, which admittedly is a hilarious mental image. “You’re not a gladiator,” Colbert bluntly stated. “They fought lions. You brag about identifying one on a piece of paper.” Source linkContinue readingStephen Colbert mocks Trump’s bizarre, unfounded speculation that Biden is on drugs

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The Verge

Biden campaign enlists teen’s Instagram account for online organizing

The Joe Biden campaign is taking over a popular Instagram account from a teen supporter, who built a huge following over their summer break. Formerly a fan account, @VoteJoe account will now serve as the campaign’s primary point of grassroots outreach on Instagram, supplementing Biden’s personal account. The account began as @TeamJoeBiden and launched earlier this year by a 15-year-old supporter from California. The young supporter spent their summer creating content for the account which quickly grew to over 85,000 followers. The campaign contacted the owner of the account earlier this year asking if they could acquire it and switch it over as an official campaign channel. Now, the account’s former owner will be volunteering for the campaign and will continue to make content after school alongside Biden’s Social Media and Audience Development team. “as a result of COVID, we’re having these political conversations online.” The @VoteJoe account now has over 93,000 followers as of publication. Before joining the campaign, the account largely posted quasi-official content like clips from Billie Eilish’s DNC appearance and information-based Instagram feed galleries that could easily be mistaken for official campaign messaging. Now, the campaign says it plans to use the account to boost user-generated content from Biden supporters, whether it’s videos or screenshots of tweets. The campaign is also planning Instagram stories that mirror the PowerPoint-style activism that’s grown popular on Instagram over the last few months. “What we’ve seen blowing up in places both in and outside of politics is a focus on…Continue readingBiden campaign enlists teen’s Instagram account for online organizing

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The Verge

Joe Biden recommits to ending fossil fuel subsidies after platform confusion

Joe Biden recommitted to ending fossil fuel subsidies following backlash from environmentalists. On August 17th, the Democratic National Committee quietly removed language calling for an end to the subsidies from a draft document, HuffPost first reported. That triggered confusion over Democrats’ stance on fossil fuel subsidies, since the DNC, Biden, and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) have all opposed fossil fuel subsidies in the past. “A worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies” But reached by The Verge, the Biden campaign emphasized that it was still committed to ending oil and gas subsidies, both in the US federal budget and across the world. “Vice President Biden’s commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies remains as steadfast as it was when he outlined this position in the bold climate plan he laid out last year,” Stef Feldman, policy director for the Biden campaign said in a statement to The Verge. “He will demand a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies and lead the world by example, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in the United States during the first year of his presidency,” Feldman said. Fossil fuel subsidies cost the US between $20 to $649 billion each year, according to different estimates. Ending those subsidies has become a key proposal among progressive and establishment Democrats as the climate crisis looms, as a budget-saving way of fighting climate change. The Trump administration has remained focused on financially supporting the oil and gas industries. The Democratic Party’s official website still includes language calling for an end to the…Continue readingJoe Biden recommits to ending fossil fuel subsidies after platform confusion

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Mashable

No, of course Joe Biden doesn’t own ‘antifa.com’

Supporters of President Donald Trump went nuts online Wednesday after they discovered that the domain name “antifa.com” redirects to Joe Biden’s website. Things really took off when a reporter with the far-right cable news network OANN asked Trump about “antifa.com” redirecting to Biden’s page during a press conference.  Antifa, of course, stands for “anti-fascists” and is the name of a loosely organized leaderless movement that opposes the president. Presumably, to conservatives, “antifa.com” would be the organization’s homepage, so being associated with it in some way means you are affiliated with the group. So does this mean the Democratic presidential nominee has something to do with the organization? Did former Vice President Biden’s campaign purchase antifa.com? Did the Democratic Party set this up? No. It doesn’t mean any of that. Here’s what we know so far about the domain name “antifa.com” and its ownership as of now. First of all, how do you explain “antifa.com” sending you to Joe Biden’s campaign website? Easy. The owner of a domain name can redirect their domain name to any webpage. The person who runs “antifa.com” could have just as easily set the redirect up to forward visitors to Donald Trump’s campaign site. It’s an easy process that just requires that you type in the URL you want your domain to redirect to in your registrar’s administration panel. Could it still mean Joe Biden’s campaign runs the domain? It could. But it could also mean that the Trump campaign or someone supportive of it did…Continue readingNo, of course Joe Biden doesn’t own ‘antifa.com’

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Mashable

Joe Biden built up the VP hype and then just… tweeted it out

Everybody freaked out about who it would be, then he just… tweeted it out.  We’re talking, of course, about former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden picking California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election after weeks of hype. Biden, signaling a shift in how things work, tweeted on Tuesday that he was honored to have Harris as his veep choice, calling her a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.” Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign. — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020 It wasn’t long before Harris followed up with a tweet of her own. .@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief. — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 11, 2020 Everything is sort of topsy-turvy in 2020 — in case you didn’t notice — but Biden’s decision to post the news to Twitter feels like an endpoint in a shift in how political messaging works. Obama shifted how things worked by using…Continue readingJoe Biden built up the VP hype and then just… tweeted it out

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Wired

With VP Pick Kamala Harris, Joe Biden Gets a Digital Juggernaut

On Tuesday, following weeks of speculation, Joe Biden’s campaign texted supporters to let them know that he’d selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. The news was hardly a surprise, but it marked an important moment in history: Harris is the first woman of color ever on a presidential ticket. But that isn’t the only first of this election cycle. As the US continues to struggle to get the coronavirus under control and in-person events remain limited, this is also the first presidential campaign that will take place almost entirely online, making it all the more important that Biden’s running mate bring with her a strong digital presence. By all accounts, Harris is well suited for the task. Harris, a Senator from California and the state’s Attorney General before that, was previously a candidate for the Democratic nomination herself. She dropped out of the historically crowded race in December, citing dwindling funds. But over the past few years, she’s built out a robust digital network of supporters, and a track record of highly successful engagement strategies. The New York Times once referred to her email list as a “a kind of stealth weapon,” deployed to raise millions of dollars not just for the first-term senator but also on behalf of other Democratic candidates. The Biden campaign already has its own fundraising and digital infrastructure in place, of course, but experts who spoke to WIRED suggested that Harris is a valuable addition. “I think especially when we think about operating…Continue readingWith VP Pick Kamala Harris, Joe Biden Gets a Digital Juggernaut

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The Next Web

Instagram’s algorithm favored Trump over Biden

Conservatives have long accused social media platforms of being politically biased. A new report suggests they might be right — but not in the way they claim. The Tech Transparency Report (TTP) found that Instagram pushed searches about Joe Biden towards negative hashtags about the former vice president, but blocked them for President Trump. The action was apparently triggered by Instagram‘s related hashtags, which direct users to content related to their previous hashtag searches. TTP compared searches for 20 popular hashtags about the presidential candidates. It found that all the related hashtags were disabled for searches about Trump, but appeared for searches about Biden. At times, Biden searches led to hashtags that insulted the former VP, such as #creepyjoebiden — an echo of the nickname beloved by allies of Trump. People who clicked on this hashtag were shown images mocking Biden‘s reputation for touching women inappropriately. [Read: UK ditches visa algorithm accused of creating ‘speedy boarding for white people’] Other searches led to more baseless and inflammatory accusations. Searches for #nomalarkey, a Biden campaign slogan, pointed users to the related hashtag #joebidenpedophile. Meanwhile, searches for hashtags associated with Trump, such as #maga and #draintheswamp, didn’t trigger any related hashtags. According to a follow-up investigation by BuzzFeed News, this pattern continued for at least two months. Instagram blamed the problem on a “bug.” The company claimed it also prevented thousands of non-political hashtags, such as #menshair, from producing related hashtags. “A technical error caused a number of hashtags to not show related hashtags,” said Instagram spokesperson Raki Wane.…Continue readingInstagram’s algorithm favored Trump over Biden

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TechCrunch

Instagram’s hashtag searches gave Trump better treatment than Biden – TechCrunch

Instagram apparently handled searches for popular hashtags related to the two presidential candidates differently, pointing Joe Biden search queries toward often negative related hashtags while making no such suggestions in corresponding searches pertaining to President Trump. A new report by the Tech Transparency Project details the strange platform behavior. In the report, the tech watchdog compared searches for 20 popular hashtags related to the Trump and Biden campaigns and found that related hashtag suggestions were disabled for the Trump-related searches, including #donaldtrump, #trump, #draintheswamp and #trump2020. For searches of corresponding Biden hashtags like #Biden, #biden2020, #joementum and #teambiden, Instagram suggested a number of related hashtags in a list that was obviously algorithmically generated. While those related suggestions were a mixed bag, they included many hashtags critical of the Biden campaign like #sleepyjoe, #neverbiden and even adjacent conspiratorial hashtags like #covid19isahoax and #georgesorosisevil. Image Credit: Tech Transparency Project Alerted to the discrepancy by Buzzfeed, which first reported the new Tech Transparency Project finding, Instagram called the issue a “bug.” “This isn’t about politics,” Instagram’s comms team wrote in a combative reply to Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac on Twitter. Instagram also accused the reporter of cherry-picking examples to fit a “sensational narrative.” This isn’t about politics. Tens of thousands of hashtags were affected, and your story cherry-picked a handful of those thousands to fit a sensational narrative. The bug was also not partisan, as you note #democrats was impacted. — Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) August 5, 2020 Instagram’s team downplayed the uneven handling of…Continue readingInstagram’s hashtag searches gave Trump better treatment than Biden – TechCrunch