How the Charleston massacre changed the Confederate flag market

How the Charleston massacre changed the Confederate flag marketA look at how Confederate flags are made and where they are sold today. Spoiler alert: Some of the flags waved at the white nationalist rally in Charleston may have been made in China.



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After 15 Years, Maine’s Laptops-in-Schools Initiative Fails To Raise Test Scores

For years Maine has been offering laptops to high school students — but is it doing more harm than good? An anonymous reader writes:
One high school student says “We hardly ever use paper,” while another student “says he couldn’t imagine social studies class without his laptop and Internet connection. ‘I don’t think I could do it, honestly… I don’t want to look at a newspaper. I don’t even know where to get a newspaper!'” But then the reporter visits a political science teacher who “learned what a lot of teachers, researchers and policymakers in Maine have come to realize over the past 15 years: You can’t just put a computer in a kid’s hand and expect it to change learning.”

“Research has shown that ‘one-to-one’ programs, meaning one student one computer, implemented the right way, increase student learning in subjects like writing, math and science. Those results have prompted other states, like Utah and Nevada, to look at implementing their own one-to-one programs in recent years. Yet, after a decade and a half, and at a cost of about $ 12 million annually (around one percent of the state’s education budget), Maine has yet to see any measurable increases on statewide standardized test scores.”

The article notes that Maine de-emphasized teacher training which could’ve produced better results. One education policy researcher “says this has created a new kind of divide in Maine. Students in larger schools, with more resources, have learned how to use their laptops in more creative ways. But in Maine’s higher poverty and more rural schools, many students are still just using programs like PowerPoint and Microsoft Word.”

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'He's toxic!': Trump goes after 2 GOP senators for Charlottesville criticism

'He's toxic!': Trump goes after 2 GOP senators for Charlottesville criticismTrump attacked Sens. Jeff Flake, an outspoken critic, and Lindsey Graham, one of few Republicans to call out the president by name over Charlottesville.



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Deadly Drug-Resistant Fungus Sparks Outbreaks In UK

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: More than 200 patients in more than 55 UK hospitals were discovered by healthcare workers to be infected or colonized by the multi-drug resistant fungus Candida auris, a globally emerging yeast pathogen that has experts nervous. Three of the hospitals experienced large outbreaks, which as of Monday were all declared officially over by health authorities there. No deaths have been reported since the fungus was first detected in the country in 2013, but 27 affected patients have developed blood infections, which can be life-threatening. And about a quarter of the more than 200 cases were clinical infections. Officials in the UK aimed to assuage fear of the fungus and assure patients that hospitals were safe. “Our enhanced surveillance shows a low risk to patients in healthcare settings. Most cases detected have not shown symptoms or developed an infection as a result of the fungus,” Dr Colin Brown, of Public Health England’s national infection service, told the BBC. Yet, public health experts are uneasy about the rapid emergence and level of drug resistance the pathogen is showing. In a surveillance update in July, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that C. auris “presents a serious global health threat.” It was first identified in the ear of a patient in Japan in 2009. Since then, it has spread swiftly, showing up in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., according to the CDC. So far, health officials have reported around 100 infections in nine U.S. states and more than 100 other cases where the fungus was detected but wasn’t causing an infection.

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How presidents should speak about racist violence: Lessons from history

How presidents should speak about racist violence: Lessons from historyCritics are rightly castigating President Trump for issuing a series of vague, opaque statements in the wake of white supremacist-fueled violence that rocked Charlottesville, Va., this weekend. As a candidate and now as president, Trump has established a pattern of refusing to repudiate in clear moral terms the white supremacists who backed his White House run, and their hate-fueled ideology.



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Why AI Won’t Take Over The Earth

Law professor Ryan Calo — sometimes called a robot-law scholar — hosted the first White House workshop on AI policy, and has organized AI workshops for the National Science Foundation (as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Academy of Sciences). Now an anonymous reader shares a new 30-page essay where Calo “explains what policymakers should be worried about with respect to artificial intelligence. Includes a takedown of doomsayers like Musk and Gates.” Professor Calo summarizes his sense of the current consensus on many issues, including the dangers of an existential threat from superintelligent AI:

Claims of a pending AI apocalypse come almost exclusively from the ranks of individuals such as Musk, Hawking, and Bostrom who possess no formal training in the field… A number of prominent voices in artificial intelligence have convincingly challenged Superintelligence’s thesis along several lines. First, they argue that there is simply no path toward machine intelligence that rivals our own across all contexts or domains… even if we were able eventually to create a superintelligence, there is no reason to believe it would be bent on world domination, unless this were for some reason programmed into the system. As Yann LeCun, deep learning pioneer and head of AI at Facebook colorfully puts it, computers don’t have testosterone…. At best, investment in the study of AI’s existential threat diverts millions of dollars (and billions of neurons) away from research on serious questions… “The problem is not that artificial intelligence will get too smart and take over the world,” computer scientist Pedro Domingos writes, “the problem is that it’s too stupid and already has.”

A footnote also finds a paradox in the arguments of Nick Bostrom, who has warned of that dangers superintelligent AI — but also of the possibility that we’re living in a computer simulation. “If AI kills everyone in the future, then we cannot be living in a computer simulation created by our decedents. And if we are living in a computer simulation created by our decedents, then AI didn’t kill everyone. I think it a fair deduction that Professor Bostrom is wrong about something.”

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