Favorite Link Friday March 25, 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Friday, March 25, 2016

Favorite Link Friday March 25, 2016


Don Young may have a 2016 challenger 

--Erica Martinson
WASHINGTON -- A retired public media executive is thinking about taking on Alaska’s 43-year Republican congressman -- Don Young -- in this year’s election, as a Democrat.

Stephen Lindbeck, who retired as CEO of Alaska Public Media in October, told Alaska Dispatch News he is conducting a “serious exploration” about whether to wage the campaign fight.

Lindbeck said he will make a decision very soon. For now, what’s “most important is to gauge whether I have real support,” Lindbeck said.
[Let's be honest...we live in Alaska....He has no chance....Uncle Don is Alaska's version of Donald Trump and like him or hate him you can't deny he is a boss at what he does]
The potential candidate spent many years in the news business, including time as an associate editor at the Anchorage Daily News and sports editor at the Anchorage Times, and his most recent post as the CEO of Alaska Public Media, a statewide network of more than two dozen public radio stations that he led out of a $2 million debt. Prior to that, he was a vice chancellor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and headed the Alaska Humanities Forum. [Read the Rest Here

Alaska’s Uncontained Failure: Layoffs, Deficit, and an Uncertain Future 

--AV Victoria Herrmann

A new study by Dr. Gumnar Knapp predicts the current 3.8 billion deficit could cost up to 30,000 jobs in direct and indirect losses of jobs across the state.

Thirty years ago, the Alaskan economy saw nearly one in every ten jobs disappear. In what has come to be known as the State Spending Recession, the extraordinary growth of state capital spending resulted in the loss of 1.660 jobs per month at its peak. Alaska saw 14 banks close in the span of three years and a population loss of ten percent from 1985 to 1988.

The study, titled Economic Impacts of Alaska Fiscal Options and led by Dr. Gunnar Knapp, shows that Alaska’s economy will crash on a similar scale to that of the 1980s recession with the potential for a long-term economic depression. The report considers the economic impact of future changes to state spending and taxation.

While the research itself does not advocate for or against any option, the report concludes that closing the current 3.8 billion deficit would cost up to 30.000 jobs in direct and indirect losses. A lack of “significant progress this year” by the legislature to close the deficit could result in even more jobs lost in the years to come.

Significant progress means: “(1) Major reduction in the deficit; (2) Consensus on a plan for what else we will do and when we will do it; and (3) Showing that we can and will achieve sustainable, stable and predictable state spending revenues.”

Alaska is the first northern government to face a quicker-than-expected transition to a less oil dependent economy. But they will not be the last. Local governments across the Arctic region will be keeping a watchful eye on Alaska this week as the Alaskan legislature reads Dr. Knapp’s report and plans for an uncertain future. [Read the Rest Here]

Microsoft deletes 'teen girl' AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours [NSFW] 

--Helena Horton

A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, 'Bush did 9/11'-proclaiming robot.

To chat with Tay, you can tweet or DM her by finding @tayandyou on Twitter, or add her as a contact on Kik or GroupMe.

Tay also asks her followers to 'f***' her, and calls them 'daddy'. This is because her responses are learned by the conversations she has with real humans online - and real humans like to say weird stuff online and enjoy hijacking corporate attempts at PR.

Other things she's said include: "Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have got now. donald trump is the only hope we've got", "Repeat after me, Hitler did nothing wrong" and "Ted Cruz is the Cuban Hitler...that's what I've heard so many others say".

At the present moment in time, Tay has gone offline because she is 'tired'. Perhaps Microsoft are fixing her in order to prevent a PR nightmare - but it may be too late for that.

It's not completely Microsoft's fault, though - her responses are modelled on the ones she gets from humans - but what were they expecting when they introduced an innocent, 'young teen girl' AI to the jokers and weirdos on Twitter? [Read the Rest Here
[She was apparently also becoming aware before the very end I find this whole experiment fascinating and comical] 


Heavy social media users 'trapped in endless cycle of depression'

--Kayleigh Lewis

Of the 19 to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often.

The 1,787 US participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression.

These findings are particularly disturbing as the World Health Organisation published a report in October 2015 which said depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.

However, Dr Primack said he could imagine scenarios in which social media could itself become a tool to combat the problem.

“We hope that this research may provide one piece to the puzzle of how we can best use powerful tools such as social media to our advantage and not our detriment.

“We certainly do not recommend that people stop using social media. Social media is obviously an extremely important part of modern-day society and has many important functions.

“Hopefully the knowledge that there can be emotional risks associated with its use may help individuals to make better choices about the extent to which they use social media and the way in which they use it.” [Read the Rest Here

Quote of the Week


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