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Bumble disabled its politics filter after it was used to out Capitol rioters

Engadget

The dating app Bumble has disabled its politics filter after it was supposedly used to reveal the identities of Capitol rioters, Mashable has reported. Bumble support posted on Twitter that it "temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse," adding that it "prohibits any content that promotes terrorism or racial hatred." Bumble has promised in another tweet that it will "be reinstated in the future." It also stated that it has removed users confirmed as participants in the US Capitol attack. We've temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse.


NASA abandons InSight mission to crack the surface of Mars

Engadget

NASA has been forced to end its mission to drill down into the Martian soil after its unique geology proved too much for the InSight lander. The InSight probe was equipped with a probe -- dubbed the Mole -- which was going to drill up to 10 feet into the ground. However, the agency said that the soil's "unexpected tendency to clump" meant that the drill could never get enough purchase to function properly. It's the end of a long saga that began at the start of 2019 when the properties of Mars' soil proved tough to crack. After plenty of trial-and-error, and some help from InSight's robotic arm, the hardware only managed to reach a few centimeters into the ground.


AI-Powered Text From This Program Could Fool the Government

WIRED

In October 2019, Idaho proposed changing its Medicaid program. The state needed approval from the federal government, which solicited public feedback via Medicaid.gov. But half came not from concerned citizens or even internet trolls. They were generated by artificial intelligence. And a study found that people could not distinguish the real comments from the fake ones.


NASA gives up trying to burrow under Mars surface with 'mole' probe

New Scientist

NASA's "mole" on Mars has failed. After nearly two years of attempting to dig the InSight lander's heat probe – nicknamed the mole – into the Red Planet's surface, engineers have finally given up. The InSight lander arrived on Mars in November 2018. Its main purpose is to study the planet's deep interior in order to help us understand the history of the solar system's rocky worlds. The lander has three main instruments to help it do that: a seismometer to catch vibrations travelling through the ground, a radio to precisely measure Mars's rotation and learn more about its metal core and a setup called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) to measure the heat flowing out of the planet's centre.


The White House Launches the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office

#artificialintelligence

For the past 4 years, the Trump Administration has been committed to strengthening American leadership in artificial intelligence (AI). After recognizing the strategic importance of AI to the Nation's future economy and security, the Trump Administration issued the first ever national AI strategy, committed to doubling AI research investment, established the first-ever national AI research institutes, released the world's first AI regulatory guidance, forged new international AI alliances, and established guidance for Federal use of AI. Building upon this critical foundation, today the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) established the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, further accelerating our efforts to ensure America's leadership in this critical field for years to come. The Office is charged with overseeing and implementing the United States national AI strategy and will serve as the central hub for Federal coordination and collaboration in AI research and policymaking across the government, as well as with private sector, academia, and other stakeholders. The National AI Initiative Office is established in accordance with the recently passed National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020.


Global Big Data Conference

#artificialintelligence

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than 80% of the ocean "remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored" – despite constituting more than 70% of the planet's surface. Now, a pair of Navy veterans are looking to change that with a line of autonomous robot vehicles that will plunge the ocean's depths in search of big data for the company's clients. "The company really started when Joe [Wolfel] and I first got together, which was back in 2004," said Judson Kauffman, who shares the CEO role with Wolfel, in an interview with Datanami. "We met in [Navy] SEAL training together, and ended up being assigned the same unit, and then went into combat together and became very close friends. There, they developed the idea for Terradepth, which "stemmed from some knowledge that we gained in the Navy" – really, Kauffman said, "just of how ignorant humanity is of what's underwater, what's in the sea." "It was shocking to learn how little we know, how little the U.S. Navy knew," he continued – and the more they dug into the issue after their time in the Navy, the more surprised they were.


Los Angeles man admits flying drone that struck LAPD helicopter over Hollywood

Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles man admitted in federal court Thursday that he flew a drone that struck a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter that was responding to a crime scene in Hollywood. Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, made the admission in pleading guilty to one count of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, a misdemeanor. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles said Hernandez is believed to be the first person in the country to be convicted of that offense, which carries a punishment of up to one year in prison. In his plea agreement, Hernandez admitted that he "recklessly interfered with and disrupted" the operation of the LAPD helicopter, which was responding to a burglary of a pharmacy, and that his actions "posed an imminent safety hazard" to the chopper's occupants. Reached by phone Thursday, Hernandez declined to comment.


Bumble removes political filter amid search for Capitol rioters on the app

Mashable

Shortly after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week, the hunt was on to find those who participated. It wasn't that difficult, as these insurrectionists refused to wear masks in the middle of a pandemic, even if it meant being filmed breaking the law (or being livestreamed by one of their own). While the FBI seemingly failed to see the Capitol riot coming, they have set up a tip line for anyone who had information about participants. This led to people scouring the internet in attempt to identity these domestic terrorists. On January 7, the day after the riot, Foreign Policy for America NextGen Initiative Co-Chair Alia Awadallah noticed an uptick of MAGA-lovers on dating apps.


An Algorithm Is Helping a Community Detect Lead Pipes

WIRED

More than six years after residents of Flint, Michigan, suffered widespread lead poisoning from their drinking water, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to improve water quality and bolster the city's economy. But residents still report a type of community PTSD, waiting in long grocery store lines to stock up on bottled water and filters. Media reports Wednesday said former governor Rick Snyder has been charged with neglect of duty for his role in the crisis. Snyder maintains his innocence, but he told Congress in 2016, "Local, state and federal officials--we all failed the families of Flint." One tool that emerged from the crisis is a form of artificial intelligence that could prevent similar problems in other cities where lead poisoning is a serious concern.


Learning from the Failure of Reconstruction

The New Yorker

Last Wednesday, January 6th, a day after Georgia elected its first Black senator, a mob encouraged by Donald Trump and his false claims of election fraud stormed Capitol Hill, resulting in at least five deaths. Despite widespread condemnation of these events, the F.B.I. revealed on Monday that it expects protests at all fifty state capitals in the days leading up to next Wednesday, when Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President. These events have drawn comparisons to coup attempts around the world, but also to the Reconstruction era, when white mobs inflicted violence on citizens and legislators throughout the South. To better understand the lessons of Reconstruction for our times, I recently spoke by phone with Eric Foner, an emeritus professor of history at Columbia, and one of the country's leading experts on Reconstruction. During the conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we also discussed the use of Confederate imagery by those who stormed the Capitol, balancing unity and punishment in the wake of terror, and the historical significance of the two Georgia Senate runoffs.