Tue 4.17

Among all the “news” stories floating around out there, which figure to have an impact on America’s future? RealNews.Ink is an attempt to filter out the noise and answer that question.

Will you soon pay tax on every online purchase?
— A multibillion-dollar argument that will directly affect consumers, cash-strapped states and companies large and small goes before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.
— More than 50 years ago, the justices ruled that companies do not have to collect sales taxes for out-of-state purchases. The court reaffirmed that ruling in 1992, but that was before the Internet revolutionized the economy. Now the court has decided to take another look at the issue.

Two Koreas ready to officially end the Korean war

Rated TRUE by Politifact
“… there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years.”
— Jerry Brown, Governor of California


News media pathos
Dude who took Pulitzer-winning photo now works at brewery


The winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography now works in a brewery. It was Ryan Kelly’s last day of work at the Daily Progress when he captured a car slamming into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist gathering last year in Charlottesville, Va., the paper reports. Kelly, a 31-year-old who had worked at the Progress since 2013, now runs social media for Ardent Craft Ales.

Two bereaved families sue paranoid losers at Info Wars

  • Sandy Hook parent: “I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole in his head.”
  • Info Wars: No, there was no shooting at Sandy Hook school. The whole thing was a hoax. In one instance, they posted a video titled “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed.”
  • Result: Lawsuit

They were gonna drain the swamp, right?
FCC’s broadband adviser arrested in fraud
The Verge
— Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of Quintillion, an Alaska-based fiber optic cable provider, allegedly raised more than $250 million from two New York-based investment companies using forged contracts.
Facebook’s got a lot of ‘splaining to do
Here’s how they track you even when you’re not on FB
And surely they’re tracking whoever goes to their page, so here’s the no-click version:
Many websites and apps use Facebook services to make their content and ads more engaging and relevant. These services include:

  • Social plugins, such as our Like and Share buttons, which make other sites more social and help you share content on Facebook;
  • Facebook Login, which lets you use your Facebook account to log into another website or app;
  • Facebook Analytics, which helps websites and apps better understand how people use their services; and
  • Facebook ads and measurement tools, which enable websites and apps to show ads from Facebook advertisers, to run their own ads on Facebook or elsewhere, and to understand the effectiveness of their ads.

When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook.

Supremes rule that crime isn’t necessarily a cause for deportation
— The Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a provision of federal law that requires the mandatory deportation of immigrants who have been convicted of some crimes, holding that the law is unconstitutionally vague.
— The case, Sessions v. Dimaya, had been closely watched to see if the justices would reveal how they will consider the Trump administration’s overall push to both limit immigration and increase deportations.

24 million Americans have limited or no Internet service,
pretty much leaving them out of the 21st Century


— Ben Wilfong leaned toward his computer screen, fingers poised over the mouse and keyboard, ten-gallon hat above his brow. The cow that was up for auction could be seen in a video.
— For Wilfong, however, the auction was little more than a mirage. The internet connection on his rural West Virginia farm was so agonizingly slow, there was no way to load the video in time.
— “By the time I’ve clicked to bid on cattle, the auction is over. Five seconds is an eternity in an auction.”

Warming climate could speed regrowth of forests in eastern US

“Diamond from the sky” may be evidence of “lost” planet
— Fragments of a meteorite that fell to Earth more than a decade ago provide compelling evidence of a lost planet that once roamed our solar system, according to a study published Tuesday.
— Researchers from Switzerland, France and Germany examined diamonds found inside the Almahata Sitta meteorite and concluded they were most likely formed by a proto-planet at least 4.55 billion years ago.
— The diamonds in the meteorite, which crashed in Sudan’s Nubian Desert in October 2008, have tiny crystals inside them that would have required great pressure to form, said one of the study’s co-authors, Philippe Gillet.

US, UK fix hacking blame on Russia
Official UK report
Russian state-sponsored actors are using compromised routers to conduct spoofing ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks, and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations.

Hannity insanity
Sean Hannity reminds you: Michael Cohen wasn’t his lawyer.
But he still expects attorney-client privilege.
He has nothing to hide. But he ordered Cohen not to reveal him.
And he defended Cohen all week.
But now Cohen’s a liar.
And that’s why Hillary Clinton must be stopped.
— John Fugelsang, radio host

Clean up San Francisco, tourim honcho pleads
S.F. Chronicle
— People injecting themselves with drugs in broad daylight, their dirty needles and other garbage strewn on the sidewalks. Tent camps. Human feces. The threatening behavior of some people who appear either mentally ill or high. Petty theft.
— “The streets are filthy. There’s trash everywhere. It’s disgusting,” tourism honcho Joe D’Alessandro said. “I’ve never seen any other city like this — the homelessness, dirty streets, drug use on the streets, smash-and-grabs. “How can it be? How can it have gotten to this point?”
— Remember, this is the man whose job is to glorify San Francisco, which tells you how far the city has sunk.


>>> San Francisco’s big seismic gamble
NY Times
If you only get a few clicks a month at the NYT, this may be worth one of ’em. Fantastic graphics and deeply-researched story.

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