Monthly Archives جولای 2020

Facebook showed this ad almost exclusively to women. Is that a problem?

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In 2019, Facebook settled a lawsuit with civil rights organizations following the revelation that advertisers could use the targeting options on its platform to exclude many specific demographic groups from seeing its ads. It’s now more difficult for an unscrupulous advertiser to use Facebook’s platform to discriminate.

However, even when you remove human bias from the system, Facebook’s ad delivery algorithms can result in biased outcomes. According to researchers at Northeastern University, Facebook sometimes displays ads to highly skewed audiences based on the content of the ad.

By purchasing ads and inputting neutral targeting options, the researchers found that the algorithmically determined audience for job ads for cleaners, secretaries, nurses, and preschool teach...

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Roads closed in Desert Hot Springs as police investigate collision, shots fired

Desert Hot Springs Police have closed Flora Avenue between Mesquite Avenue and Verbena Drive while investigating a collision that resulted in a serious injury and that occurred soon after a report of shots fired in the area, according to Deputy Chief Steven Shaw. 

The passenger in the vehicle sustained a serious head injury when the vehicle collided with a parked car, Shaw said.

Shaw said no one was injured in the shots fired incident and the department has not determined if the two incidents are related.

This developing story will be updated.

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The NYPD unit that snatched a protester off the street has been accosting people for years

A silver minivan had been driving just ahead of a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Manhattan Tuesday night when it came to a sudden stop. Five men in plain T-shirts and cargo shorts came pouring out of the vehicle and grabbed a young woman in the crowd off of her skateboard. They then violently placed her into the van, driving off, leaving surrounding protesters confused and upset about what just happened.

To some observers, it looked like a kidnapping; in video clips, protesters are seen surging forward, trying to intervene. Then, immediately, a group of about a dozen uniformed police on bikes encircle the van to push people away.

The men in the van, it turns out, were plainclothes officers from the New York Police Department’s Warrant Squad, and they were detaining a young w...

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Two Cardinals Test Positive for COVID-19, Friday’s Game Is Postponed

click to enlarge Today's game will not go on as planned. - DOYLE MURPHY

  • Today’s game will not go on as planned.

This afternoon’s scheduled game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed after two members of the Cardinals tested positive for COVID-19.

The MLB confirmed the postponement, and the positive tests, in a statement Friday morning.

“Today’s scheduled game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park has been rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader on Sunday, August 2nd at 1:10 p.m. (CT),” the statement reads. “The rescheduling as a result of two positive COVID-19 tests in the Cardinals’ organization is consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted.”

Though the names of the players who ...

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States are scrambling to stop a slow-motion 2020 election disaster

President Donald Trump escalated his false claims about vote-by-mail in the November 3 election on Thursday, going so far as to suggest that the election be delayed outright.

Trump has been attacking vote-by-mail for months, suggesting a well-established method of voting used for years by Democratic and Republican voters alike is “fraudulent” and “inaccurate.” Rather than focusing on the federal government’s dismal response to the Covid-19 pandemic or the stagnant American economy, Trump is questioning the outcome of an election that hasn’t happened yet.

While he does not have the authority to actually cancel or delay the election (Congress has more authority in this matter than the president does, as Vox’s Ian Millhiser explained), he still wields enormous power...

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South St. Louis Fender Bender Ends in Carjacking, Police Say

Friday, July 31, 2020

Posted By Doyle Murphy on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:09 AM

A man says he was rear-ended and then carjacked in south St. Louis. - RFT FILE PHOTO

  • A man says he was rear-ended and then carjacked in south St. Louis.

A man tells police he was carjacked early this morning by a driver who rear-ended him in south St. Louis.

The 26-year-old was driving about 3 a.m. on Carondelet Boulevard, nearing Interstate 55 in the Boulevard Heights neighborhood, when he was hit from behind, police say.

The man tells police he got out to check on his vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet Impala, and the other driver and a passenger from the other vehicle also got out. One of the men asked if he was OK, and then they started punching him, he says. The 26-year-old sprinted away.

He claims the men fired shots at him as he ran and then jumped in his Impala and ...

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Community rallies to help Desert Rose Playhouse relocate to Palm Springs

Since its founding in 2012 by Jim Strait and Paul Taylor, the Desert Rose Playhouse has sought to produce quality LGBTQ-positive plays in their Rancho Mirage location, a former restaurant known as The Commissary. Its inaugural production, Tom Orr’s Broadway parody “Dirty Little Showtunes!”, was so popular it ran for 24 weeks, setting a longevity record for a local nonprofit theater company.

When they retired in 2018, Strait and Taylor named actor-singer-director Robbie Wayne as their successor. As the new producing artistic director, Wayne wanted to expand operations; in addition to mounting significant plays, he envisioned opening the venue to local artists who needed a place to perform...

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Scientists have ruled out the worst-case climate scenario — and the best one too

The basic mechanics of climate change are simple: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat. More carbon dioxide means more heat is trapped across the Earth, causing it to warm up.

But scaled up over the entire planet, these physical processes interact in a myriad of complex and sometimes unexpected ways. The Arctic reflects sunlight back into space. Clouds in some circumstances trap heat, and in others, they cool the region beneath them. Forests store a big chunk of carbon, but they’re being burned, cut down, and dying off from warming. The ocean soaks up a huge amount of heat and carbon dioxide, but it can’t absorb it forever. And these effects are not all linear; some may taper off as the planet heats up while others may suddenly accelerate.

That’s why scientists for decades ha...

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Testing delays are ruining America’s chances of stopping Covid-19

In late June, an Austin, Texas, man with a runny nose and sore throat got a Covid-19 test and was told it could take up to 10 days for his results to come back. While he waited, he shrugged off his symptoms as a cold and continued with his plans, which included attending a wedding outside Dallas.

Several days after the wedding, however, he felt much worse, with shortness of breath and a cough. So he went to the ER, where his physician, Natasha Kathuria, ordered a rapid Covid-19 test. It came back positive.

“If he had a test turnaround of 24 to 48 hours, he would have had a sustained sense of urgency, likely quarantined, and avoided infecting up to 150 people at a wedding,” Kathuria, who is also on the board of Global Outreach Doctors, a humanitarian nonprofit, tells Vox. Though Kathur...

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St. Louis Restaurant Openings and Closings July 2020

9 Mile Garden, the city's first food truck park, was open for three weeks before it temporarily shuttered because of COVID-19. - COURTESY OF 9 MILE GARDEN

  • 9 Mile Garden, the city’s first food truck park, was open for three weeks before it temporarily shuttered because of COVID-19.

If you want a window into the abject hell COVID-19 has wreaked upon the food and beverage industry, consider 9 Mile Garden. Perhaps the highest profile — or at least most exciting — opening of the year, the food truck park opened with much fanfare on July 3rd as a vibrant, outdoor dining and entertainment venue. With its outdoor environment and commitment to sanitation and social distancing, 9 Mile Garden seemed like the perfect solution for folks desperate to eat and imbibe outside of their homes, but concerned about doing so in a public space...

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