Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3: 7 winners and 6 losers from “The Queen’s Justice” – Vox


Winners: Cersei Lannister and foreshadowing. Losers: A lot of other characters.

“The Queen’s Justice,” the third episode of Game of Thronesseventh season, so thoroughly makes the argument that the final two combatants in the battle for the Iron Throne will be Cersei Lannister and the Night King that I might be a little disappointed when Daenerys inevitably rallies.

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Source: Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3: 7 winners and 6 losers from “The Queen’s Justice” – Vox

Hackers accidentally create network busting malware – Joe Uchill 07/30/17 11:11 PM EDT


Hackers accidentally create network busting malware

© Greg Nash

LAS VEGAS – Newly detailed malware can knock networks offline with devastating efficiency, although the effected networks might not be the ones intended by the malware’s creators.

The malware was presented by the security firm Arbor Networks on Sunday at the cybersecurity conference DEF CON. It appears to be designed to use internet-connected devices from one network to attack another. In practice, it would likely only knock out the network the devices were attached to off the internet.

But Steinthor Bjarnason, the Arbor Networks researcher who presented the discovery, noted that can be a destructive attack in its own right.

“It’s like inventing the wheel. You cannot control what other people are going to do with the wheel after you invent it,” he told The Hill.

The malware is a variant of the Mirai botnet. Mirai infected internet-connected security cameras and coordinated them to repeatedly access the same server at the same time. The traffic would overwhelm the targeted server with requests and knock it offline. That type of attack is known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS).

Mirai was only able to infect devices that circumvented network security measures such as routers and firewalls to allow users to access them through the internet. Bjarnason cited research showing that only around one in 20 devices were not protected by firewalls or routers.

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Carrier Layoffs & Bricklaying Robots: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO) – Published on Jul 28, 2017


This is the July 19, 2017, FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO. During the White House’s self-proclaimed ‘Made in America’ week, a Carrier factory in Indiana lays off more than 600 employees. A look at George Soros’s funding of district attorney races. Plus, we go on a night trip with New York City’s flower flasher.

What does the director switch on “Justice League” mean for the auteur theory? – John Semley SATURDAY, JUL 29, 2017 01:30 PM PDT


The new disposability of directors in recent blockbuster productions raises questions about the state of the art

What does the director switch on "Justice League" mean for the auteur theory?

It’s one of the most iconic endings in American cinema: battered, punch-drunk Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), having “gone the distance” against heavyweight champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) calls out to his mousy girlfriend, Adrian (Talia Shire). Adrian pushes through the crowd, the two embrace, profess their love to one another to riotous applause. A sweet, tearful finale to Rocky’s story of against-all-odds underdogism. But it wasn’t meant to be that way.

As Stallone told the Los Angeles Times in 2016, Rocky was originally meant to crowd-surf across the audience to Adrian. But, hamstrung by a modest budget and a lack of extras, it wasn’t convincing. So Stallone and director John G. Avildsen reshot the sequence, making it more personal, strengthening the romance between Rocky and Adrian as the film’s real emotional center.

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Activists marking 100th anniversary of NAACP’s silent parade see scary parallels – Jamiles Lartey Last modified on Saturday 29 July 2017


Organizer says unlike 1917 march against Woodrow Wilson’s civil rights failures, this had no demands but adds: ‘I don’t know that we’re in such a different space’

Silent Protest Art March, Bryant Park, New York
In protest at the policies of the Trump administration and threats to various communities in America, artists, activists and community members participated in the solidarity march to bring attention to the marginalized. Photograph: Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

On a July day in 1917, in the face of a presidential administration seen as taking regressive steps on civil rights, nearly 10,000 black Americans walked down Fifth Avenue in New York. Wearing uniform clothing and carrying signs, demanding federal action over the lynchings of black men, they marched in total silence.

A century later, also clad in white, a much smaller group assembled outside Bryant Park on Friday. They were there to commemorate the occasion in a world, attendees said, that did not feel altogether changed.

“It just seems like we’ve gone in a circle,” said Sacha Dent, an educator from the city. “And it’s the same thing with not just things that are like lynchings and close to lynchings but just the hate … everywhere.”

The attendees held portraits of well-known victims of police and vigilante violence – Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice – and of people who lost their lives after traumatic encounters with the criminal justice system, such as Sandra Blandand Kalief Browder.

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Dems pivot to offering ObamaCare improvements – BY MIKE LILLIS – 07/29/17 04:25 PM EDT


House Democrats are poised to advance a flood of proposals designed to address the problems dogging President Obama’s signature healthcare law –– a move that puts pressure on Republican and Democratic leaders alike.

The strategy marks a pivot for the Democrats, as party leaders have throughout the year discouraged members from offering improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), fearing they would highlight problems with the law and divert attention from the Republicans’ months-long struggle to repeal and replace it.

But rank-and-file Democrats are getting restless, with some saying they can no longer tell constituents they oppose the Republicans’ repeal bills without offering solutions of their own.

“When I go back to the district, they want to know what you’re going to do,” said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).

“Resisting is no longer just enough, they want to see what your plan is.”

Following the early-morning failure of the Senate Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal bill on Friday, the Democrats –– leaders and rank-and-file members alike –– ramped up the pressure on GOP leaders to reach across the aisle and work on bipartisan ACA fixes.

“We can go right to the committees and have a discussion on how we keep America healthy,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters in the Capitol.

The bipartisan approach has been floated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but House GOP leaders don’t appear ready to move beyond their repeal effort. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday urged Senate Republicans not to abandon the fight.

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POTUS’ Intel Chief: North Korea Learned From Libya War to “Never” Give Up Nukes – Jon Schwarz July 29 2017


The media is now filled with headlines about North Korea’s missile test on Friday, which demonstrated that its ICBMs may be able to reach the continental U.S. What isn’t mentioned in any of these stories is how we got to this point — in particular, what Dan Coats, President Donald Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, explained last week at the Aspen Security Forum.

North Korea’s 33-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un is not crazy, said Coats. In fact, he has “some rationale backing his actions” regarding the country’s nuclear weapons. That rationale is the way the U.S. has demonstrated that North Korea must keep them to ensure “survival for his regime, survival for his country.”

Kim, according to Coats, “has watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability.” In particular, “The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes …  is, unfortunately: If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them.”

This is, of course, blindingly obvious and has been since the U.S. helped oust longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. But U.S. officials have rarely if ever acknowledged this reality. Here’s the timeline:

In December 2003, Libya announced that it would surrender its biological and chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as its rudimentary nuclear weapons program.

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I Drove a Tesla Model 3. Here’s What You Need to Know – JACK STEWART 07.29.17


The Tesla Model 3 might be the newest and “affordable” vehicle in the electric automaker’s lineup, but as I pushed my foot down on its accelerator, I thought, Yeah, this thing’s still a Tesla. There’s the silent driving, the signature rapid acceleration, and the semi-autonomous Autopilot function built right in. The company has been reminding customers that the Model S, its luxury car rolled out in 2012, will remain the flagship sedan and have the fanciest features. But if you’ve lusted after that expensive Model S, you’ll likely be satisfied with the Model 3 too.

This car feels like an automotive tipping point, a sign that electric vehicles—and hopefully, the infrastructure that supports them—have finally come into their own. Time will tell whether Musk & Co. can hit their deadlines and keep production lines hummingElon Musk revealed Friday at the Model 3’s coming out party that over half a million people have now plonked down $1,000 to reserve their own—but for now, it looks quite nice.

Initially, Tesla is building just two configurations of the car, to keep things simple on the production line. The base will be the $35,000 version, with a range of 220 miles and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The “long range” version will go a claimed 310 miles between charges, and do the 0 to 60 sprint in 5.1 seconds—but it’ll set you back $44,000. (In a break from tradition, Tesla won’t talk kilowatt-hour battery sizes, saying that customers understand range in miles better.) Both models come with just one electric motor driving the back wheels. The twin motor—the all-wheel-drive option—will follow in a few months.

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How a tiny Baltic nation became a top destination for U.S. officials – ANDREW HANNA 07/29/2017 08:08 AM EDT


Mike Pence’s visit reflects Estonia’s outsized clout amid a growing threat from Russia.

A Russian flag flies over Ivangorod Fortress, which lies on the Russian side of the Narva River, as seen from the western, Estonian, side on March 23. Estonia is a member of the European Union and shares its eastern border with Russia. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Estonia, a tiny Baltic nation dwarfed by neighboring Russia, isn’t a premier American tourist destination. But when Vice President Mike Pence arrives there on Sunday he’ll be just the latest in a parade of senior Washington officials to visit in recent months.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led a congressional delegation to Estonia in December and so did Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in June. America’s top NATO general dropped by in March, followed soon after by House Speaker Paul Ryan in April. President Barack Obama himself gave a September 2014 address in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Why all the fuss over a nation of just 1.3 million with a landmass roughly half the size of Maine? The short answer is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Situated across a 200-mile long border with Russia, Estonia—invaded by the Soviet Union in World War II and occupied for 70 years—is seen by strategists as a likely target for Russian aggression that could test the NATO alliance. Estonia is home to some 300,000 ethnic Russians whom many fear Putin could incite or take action to “protect.” And a recent RAND study showed a surprise Russian offensive could reach Tallinn within 36 to 60 hours. The unease is especially high ahead of a massive Russian war game this fall which experts see as a dry run for a possible invasion of the Baltics.

Such fears will be the main focus of Pence’s visit, according to a senior administration official who previewed the vice president’s trip to reporters, which will include a meeting with Estonian prime minister Jüri Ratas and an address to Estonian Defense Forces HQ.

“The Vice President’s speech there will underscore… the administration’s commitment to NATO, including Article 5,” the official said Thursday.

Many Estonians believe the only thing keeping Putin at bay is Article 5, the mutual defense guarantee of the NATO treaty, to which Estonia is a signatory. President Donald Trump has questioned Article 5 in the past, though he has more recently affirmed his commitment to defending fellow NATO members.

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