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Study ties Facebook engagement to attacks on refugees

A study of circumstances and demographics attendant on attacks against refugees and immigrants in Germany has shown that Facebook use appears to be deeply linked with the frequency of violent acts. Far from being mere trolling or isolated expressions of controversial political opinions, spikes in anti-refugee posts were predictive of violent crimes against those groups. The study was conducted by Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz of the University of Warwick . Their theory was that if country-wide waves of “right wing anti-refugee sentiment” result in subsequent waves of actual crime, these waves would travel the way any others do, via TV, word of mouth, radio and, of course, social media. Now, if the anti-refugee rhetoric spreads via social media, then we can expect more crimes to occur in areas where there is more social media use, right? And specifically, areas where there is more activity among anti-refugee groups would see the most. To test this theory, Müller and Schwarz used activity on a pair of major Facebook pages in Germany to measure social media use in general and specific to right-wing groups. For right-wing activity they looked at the page of the “Alternative for Germany” party, the most popular anti-immigration political faction in the country and one that does not attempt to control the conduct on its threads. As a measure of overall Facebook use, they used Nutella’s popular public German page. With hundreds of thousands of posts and comments broken down by area, the researchers were able to identify overall patterns of social media use, and then isolate anti-refugee sentiment within that.

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Why the next CryptoKitties mania won’t be about collectables

Kyle Wood Contributor Kyle Wood is senior counsel in Perkins Coie’s Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency industry group in the Dallas office. Taylor Lindman Contributor Taylor Lindman is an associate in Perkins Coie’s New York office focusing on fintech, distributed ledger technology, payments and finance matters. In recent months, the CryptoKitties fad that had users buying and selling tens of thousands of dollars of blockchain-based collectable cats has settled down considerably. That is not to say that CryptoKitties hasn’t spawned numerous copycats (see CryptoPuppies, CryptoCountries and many more). Unfortunately, the immense popularity of CryptoKitties is unlikely to be repeated, at least not by clones hoping to cash in on the novelty of blockchain-based crypto collectables. The legacy of CryptoKitties is still in development, but most can agree that the project raised awareness (and attracted development talent) to new uses for blockchain tokens. In particular, CryptoKitties introduced many to the concept of non-fungible tokens, or “NFTs,” which might impact more than the world of cryptocurrencies. NFTs are unique blockchain tokens that can be transferred to other people, similar to cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum), but they ordinarily cannot be replaced by another token of equal value — this is because each NFT has its own unique token identifier (and often, associated reference metadata). Today, most NFTs are used in blockchain-based collectible games; however, use cases of NFTs are only just beginning to be explored. This article briefly discusses the origin of NFTs, explores several flavors of NFTs in the blockchain ecosystem and highlights some potential legal hurdles facing NFT developers. Collectible origins The physical collectible trade emerged in the 1860s with the first baseball trading cards. Since that time, physical collectibles have dominated the collectible market. Ownership of physical collectibles is straightforward: When a collector buys a physical collectible, the collector has complete ownership and can sell or trade the collectible at will

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Chinese professional networking service Maimai.cn raises $200M Series D led by DST Global and says it’s planning a US IPO for next year (Yimian…

Yimian Wu / China Money Network : Chinese professional networking service Maimai.cn raises $200M Series D led by DST Global and says it's planning a US IPO for next year   —  Chinese business and career-oriented social networking platform Maimai.cn today announced that DST Global has led a US$200 million series D round.

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Sources: Benchmark plans to keep its next fund, expected early next year, about the same size as its previous ones, eschewing trend in VC to raise…

Rolfe Winkler / Wall Street Journal : Sources: Benchmark plans to keep its next fund, expected early next year, about the same size as its previous ones, eschewing trend in VC to raise larger funds   —  Early bets on Uber, WeWork and Snap have delivered unrivaled returns in one fund, but the venture-capital firm resists getting bigger

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On Tesla’s path to privatization, Morgan Stanley halts equity coverage of electric automaker

Morgan Stanley is no longer providing equity coverage on Tesla’s stock, the second firm to drop its stock rating on the electric automaker since CEO Elon Musk announced plans via Twitter to take the company private . Tesla declined to comment. Morgan Stanley could not be reached for comment to explain why it dropped Tesla. However, some speculate that the brokerage firm could be playing some role in Tesla’s plan to become a private company. Morgan Stanley’s website no longer shows a stock rating or target price on Tesla.  Tesla stock was previously rated at “equal weight.” The move, which was reported by Bloomberg , caused Tesla shares to rise Tuesday. Shares closed at $321.90, about 3.6 percent higher than its opening price. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, a longtime bull of Tesla, had a $291 price target on the company. In his last research note on August 7, Jonas explained Morgan Stanley placed an equal weight rating on the company because it supports a near fair value and “not a more attractive investment on a risk-adjusted basis than the average stock under our NA coverage.” Last week, Goldman Sachs Group dropped its Tesla rating and price target, although it gave an explanation for the move. The company is stepping in to advise Musk and the Tesla board on taking the company private. Musk’s tweet August 13 provided more details, including that the company is working with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as advisors. The company has hired Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors. I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2018 Musk first floated the idea of taking Tesla private at $420 a share on August 7 via a tweet that prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate .

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A look at Facebook’s voice ambitions: from developing a speech recognition feature for Facebook and Messenger apps called Aloha to patents for a…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : A look at Facebook's voice ambitions: from developing a speech recognition feature for Facebook and Messenger apps called Aloha to patents for a speaker device   —  Code reveals unlaunched speech recognition feature  —  Facebook has been a bit slow to adopt the voice computing revolution.

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Contractor Booz Allen wins $1.03B six-year contract to extend cybersecurity capabilities at many federal agencies including DHS, GSA, NASA, USPS, and…

Stephanie Condon / ZDNet : Contractor Booz Allen wins $1.03B six-year contract to extend cybersecurity capabilities at many federal agencies including DHS, GSA, NASA, USPS, and Treasury   —  The contractor is now responsible for securing nearly 80 percent of the .gov enterprise.  —  The US Department of Homeland Security …

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Verizon throttled fire department’s “unlimited” data during Calif. wildfire

Enlarge / A firefighter battling the Medocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan ) Verizon Wireless' throttling of a fire department that uses its data services has been submitted as evidence in a lawsuit that seeks to reinstate federal net neutrality rules. "County Fire has experienced throttling by its ISP, Verizon," Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote in a declaration. "This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services. Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire's ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services." Bowden's declaration was submitted in an  addendum  to a  brief  filed by 22 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, and the California Public Utilities Commission. The government agencies are seeking to overturn the recent repeal of net neutrality rules in a lawsuit they filed against the Federal Communications Commission in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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