Thur. June 7

√ Ben Franklin had it almost right. In this life, only THREE things are certain: Death, Taxes and Bullshit. The first two we can do nothing about, but we can try to keep bullshit out of our daily report. Here we go …

Billions in solar projects stalled due to tariffs
Reuters
— “President” Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels has led U.S. renewable energy companies to cancel or freeze investments of more than $2.5 billion in large installation projects, along with thousands of jobs, the developers told Reuters.
>>> A move in Congress to reclaim authority over trade
The Weekly Standard
— A number of rank-and-file House Republicans on Wednesday night expressed support for a bill that would limit the president’s ability to impose far-reaching tariffs on national security grounds without congressional approval.
— The bill, introduced by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker alongside a bipartisan group of seven Republicans and four Democrats, would give Congress the ability to prevent tariffs …
>>>Putin to Europe: I told you so, US will betray you on trade
Moscow Times
“Dinner is served … please sit down and eat.”

The Achilles Heel of “Smart Cities” …
Attack cars intent on dirty tricks
The Conversation
— Someone who wanted to compromise the I-SIG system could hack her own car using (certain) methods, drive to a target intersection and park nearby.”

New Yorker staff petitions to join union
NY Mag
new yorker√ You would think the managers of this august magazine would treat the staff well enough that it wouldn’t come to this, but … no. 

Federal judge finds family separations at border “brutal, offensive”
Courthouse News Service
— Class action lawsuit … Congolese mother says she was held in a separate immigration detention facility from her young daughter without the government showing she was an unfit parent or posed a danger to her child.

Sixers top dude, accused of media fakery, fouls out
ABC News

Brooklyn pol backs “sex segregated” beach
NY Daily News
— “A lot of people are disenfranchised for religious reasons. They don’t use the beach because they don’t go mixed swimming. This is to give those people an opportunity for a day out at the beach.”
√ Does this beach come with a slippery slope?

Saudis assured Trump of oily support before Iran decision
Reuters
— A day before “President” Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, one of his senior officials phoned Saudi Arabia to ask the world’s largest oil exporter to help keep prices stable if the decision disrupted supply.

At least 350 homes destroyed, bay filled in, as Kilauea oozes lava
Gizmodo
— A terrifying wall of lava from Kilauea volcano has destroyed two entire tracts of suburban housing containing at least 280 units in the eastern part of Hawaii’s Big Island on Wednesday, meaning that the ongoing eruption there has now claimed at least 350 homes.

kilauea-bay
That big gray keyhole shape, now lava, used to be Kapoho Bay.

The looming demise (Thank God!) of Internet passwords
Gizmodo
— The idea behind Web Authentication is that you can use all manner of options in place of a password: A fingerprint, a webcam, a USB stick plugged into your computer, and so on. These login methods have been around for a number of years, but Web Authentication is designed to get them standardized across the web.

Gates Foundation details its new biotech,
one without a profit motive
Stat
“We don’t have to worry about revenue, return on investment. Our bottom line is lives saved. So it’s a pretty exciting place to be.”
— Dr. Penny Heaton, CEO

China’s ZTE will pay $1B bribe fine to end US sanctions
Newser
— The United States has reached a deal with Chinese criminal telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. that includes a $1 billion fine, says Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The resolution of the ZTE case may clear the way for the US to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China.

Black market will doom Canada’s legalized pot, dealers claim
The Guardian
“The majority of people aren’t connoisseurs and don’t have a lot of money to spend on pot. They want a good deal and don’t care, or know, much about quality. If the government prices pot too high … they will stick with the black market. I’m still going to deal with the regular people I deal (people who) don’t want to pay the astronomical prices the government is going to charge.”
— Ray, a black market Toronto pot dealer

The genes of thousands of marine creatures are patented
— and one company owns half those patents
Popular Science
… of the almost 13,000 genetic patents held on marine species, almost half are held by a single corporation and the vast majority are held by private companies, rather than public universities or governments. These patents span the gamut of ocean animals, and they offer corporations like BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, the opportunity to make money from the ocean’s genetic wealth.

dronePolice want control
over civilian drones

Voice of America
“While (drone) technology offers tremendous benefits to the economy and society, we recognize the misuse of this technology poses unique security challenges,” said Angela Stubblefield, deputy associate administrator for the FAA.

Voters fire sheriff who kept inmates’ meal money
NPR
— Voters in Alabama lost their appetite for a sheriff who personally profited off hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to buy food for inmates at the Etowah County Jail.
— Sheriff Todd Entrekin lost his re-election campaign during the Republican primary on Tuesday. Entrekin has said he had no choice but to take the money, and has urged state legislators to change the law so that no sheriff can profit in that way.

“Only a matter of time” until airliner is hacked, officials say
Motherboard
— US government researchers believe it is only a matter of time before a cybersecurity breach on an airliner occurs, according to government documents obtained by Motherboard.  The study builds on research in which a Department of Homeland Security team remotely hacked a Boeing 737.
— “Potential of catastrophic disaster is inherently greater in an airborne vehicle,” the report reads. It’s “a matter of time before a cyber security breach on an airline occurs.”

China backed off from hacking US companies …
But now it’s back in the game
McClatchy
— After a hiatus of several years, Chinese state hackers are once again penetrating networks at a range of U.S. corporations in a campaign to steal secrets and leapfrog ahead in a race for global technology supremacy, cyber researchers say.
— Companies in fields such as biomedicine, robotics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence have all been hit by cyber intrusions originating in China, the researchers say.
— “It’s definitely accelerating. The trend is up,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, cofounder and chief technology officer at CrowdStrike, a threat intelligence firm based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Dutch city creating the first habitable 3-D printed houses
Futurism
— Currently, there are five houses in total, each with a unique shape and size that shows off the flexibility of the cutting-edge tech. Since the printer is essentially a giant concrete nozzle that moves along a two-dimensional track high up in the air, architects are able to design homes in pretty much any shape they like. Right now, the homes are printed in pieces off-site, then transported to their final destination. 3d-dutch

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