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Trump Lashes Out at Spell-Check for Treating Him Unfairly

The New Yorker

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)--Accusing it of treating him "very unfairly," Donald Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the widely used spelling tool spell-check. "Almost every time I type a word, spell-check puts a red squiggly line under it," he tweeted. "It never put a red squiggly line under Obama's words." "Spell-check is rigged against conservatives," he charged. Trump accused spell-check of infringing on his First Amendment rights by interfering with what he called "freedom of spelling."

The Morning After: Swiss contact tracing app uses Google & Apple tech


Another day, another canceled event. This time it's BlizzCon -- although we do have a likely online-only event to look forward to next year. Still, after last night's HBO Max debut, the big highlight on today's schedule is the planned SpaceX Crew Dragon launch. Set to go off at 4:33 PM ET -- if the weather holds up, at last check, there was a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions -- it will be a major step forward for the long-delayed Commercial Crew Program. According to the Swiss university EPFL, the country's tracing app, SwissCovid, is the first in the world to put the Apple–Google model to use.

Coronavirus Update: Trump Exempted From Wearing Face Mask At White House

International Business Times

On April 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission" of COVID-19. Despite a plethora of health experts telling it to do so since then, the White House only complied with this health guidance Monday. It sent an email to staffers ordering all of them to wear face masks inside the building. White House staffers can take-off their masks while they're seated at their desks and are able to maintain six feet of distance from others. Incredibly, President Donald Trump is exempted from this order, aides told The Washington Post.

AI researcher had to remove basic grammar tools to get software to understand Donald Trump

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The developers of a speech recognition bot assigned to analyze the public statements of politicians hit a major stumbling block when it tried to make sense of Donald Trump. Built by a tech startup called FactSquared, the bot AI was assigned to go through more than 11 million words Trump has spoken or tweeted since 1976--in interviews, campaign speeches, media appearances, and social media posts. According to FactSquared's CEO Bill Frischling, the bot failed to understand Trump's speeches until he brought in a specialist to strip out all of the bot's grammar and syntax coding. The tech startup FactSquared created an AI bot to try and catalog and analyze Donald Trump's public appearances and interviews, but they were so incoherent and rambling the bot actually crashed. 'It was still trying to punctuate it like it was English, versus trying to punctuate it like it was Trump,' Frischling told The LA Times.

Coronavirus Update: GOP Senators Disagree With Trump On COVID-19 Testing, 'There Are Still Shortfalls'

International Business Times

Republican senators are saying out loud the extent of mass testing for COVID-19 in the United States isn't where it should be -- not by a long shot -- and contradict president Donald Trump's oft repeated claims the U.S. has so much testing available. "We have so much testing," claimed Trump Thursday. Mass testing is one of the only few known ways to end the COVID-19 pandemic in this country. The U.S. has conducted only 8.1 million tests since February. The White House says its goal is two million tests per week per state by the end of May.

At Columbia University virtual conference, masters ply the strange and beautiful art of knowledge graphs


A "knowledge graph" of the COVID-19 disease's many "strains" created by startup Each dot is a strain of COVID-19 or a family of COVID-19, the lines show how one strain descends from another. Everyone who has tried to figure out something has experienced the pleasure of seeing how things fit together -- connecting the dots, or following the money, as they say. One of the most fascinating technologies in vogue is a tool that can automate the process of making connections. Called a knowledge graph, it gathers up all the data trapped in various databases and in emails and digital repositories of all sorts, and draws conclusions about how they fit together.

Talk to kids about online porn, because they're finding it during the pandemic


During the coronavirus pandemic, stressed out parents have embraced screens as a reliable way to keep their kids entertained for hours at a time. But amidst the classroom Zoom calls, marathon Minecraft sessions, and YouTube bingeing, there may be an unwelcome distraction: porn. Kids find porn online regardless of whether there's a global pandemic that's forced more than 50 million of them to stay home from school. Now many kids happen to be spending more time online with probably less supervision, more feelings of loneliness, and a lot of curiosity. A new set of commercials produced by AMAZE, a YouTube sex ed series for adolescents and teens, gives parents a glimpse of what happens when adults aren't aware of what their children encounter online.

Move toward normal, but stay the course on safety

Boston Herald

It's time to decide whether you're a hero or a zero. Starting today, wearing face masks is a must in Massachusetts as we take baby steps toward normalcy. I don't blame folks for getting antsy -- but this is not the time to diss social distancing or safety protocols. The idiots in Michigan dressed in full militia gear express frustration but little sense. Why do we need to wield guns to start the economy?

Democrats counter Trump's fake coronavirus news with AI that fought ISIS propaganda


An anti-Trump political organization is using AI originally designed to tackle Islamic State propaganda to counter coronavirus disinformation spread by the president. The system has been repurposed to spot comments from Trump that are about to go viral. It will then identify the most popular counter-narratives, and invite a network of more than 3.4 million influencers "to share these highly visual and emotional narratives from real people in unison and at scale." The initiative is being led by Defeat Disinfo, a political action committee (PAC) advised by retired general Stanley McChrystal, who commanded US and NATO forces during the Afghanistan war. The PAC claims that it won't use any bots, sock puppets, or false information.

The Technology 202: The coronavirus could worsen some of Amazon's political problems

Washington Post - Technology News

Amazon's business is booming amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. One of the top tech industry critics in Congress is now calling for the Justice Department to open a new, criminal antitrust investigation of the e-commerce juggernaut. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said recent reports indicate the company "has engaged in predatory and exclusionary data practices to build and maintain a monopoly." His letter, addressed to Attorney General William Barr, cites the Wall Street Journal's reporting that Amazon employees used data from third-party sellers to develop competing products. He said government action is even more urgent because of the virus.