Facebook removes hundreds of fake profiles tied to pro-Trump group

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake profiles it has linked to the conservative group Turning Point USA for carrying out organized attacks on the site, including attempts to influence public conversations by flooding news articles with pro-Trump comments and misinformation.



Charlie Kirk wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters

The move was prompted by reporting last month in the Washington Post that found Turning Point Action, an affiliated pro-Trump group, was paying teenagers to post coordinated messages on the site, a violation of Facebook’s rules.

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Related: Facebook announces plan to stop political ads after 3 November

In comments on news articles, paid users cast doubt on mail-in ballots, praised Trump, and spread misinformation about coronavirus. Facebook traced these profiles to an Arizona-based communications company called Rally Forge, which it says worked on behalf of Turning Point USA.

In a blogpost, Facebook said it had removed 276 fake accounts,

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US Army trials augmented reality goggles for dogs

The goggles are both a camera and a display
The goggles are both a camera and a display

The US Army has shown off augmented reality goggles for combat dogs, designed to let them receive orders at a distance.

The technology, made by a firm called Command Sight, is managed by the US Army Research Laboratory.

Military dogs can scout ahead for explosives and other hazards, but need instructions.

The goggles are designed to let their handlers direct them, safely out of harm’s way.

In current combat deployments, soldiers usually direct their animals with hand signals or laser pointers – both of which require the handler to be close by.

But that need not be the case if the prototype AR goggles are widely adopted, the army said.

Inside the goggles, the dogs can see a visual indicator that they can be trained to follow, directing them to a specific spot.

The handler, meanwhile, can see what the dog

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Can the Red Raiders right the ship with an upset of No. 24 Iowa State?

Texas Tech at No. 24 Iowa State

When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium

Records: Texas Tech (1-2 overall, 0-2 Big 12); Iowa State (2-1, 2-0 Big 12)

Last meeting: Iowa State defeated Texas Tech 34-24 on Oct. 19, 2019, in Lubbock, Tx.

TV: ABC

What’s at stake?

This may only be Texas Tech’s fourth game, but it likely will decide the fate of the season and, possibly, Matt Wells’ future in Lubbock. It sounds dramatic, but the Red Raiders need this upset in a bad way. Texas Tech is tied with Oklahoma for eighth place in the conference.

Since Matt Campbell took over in 2016 the Red Raiders are 0-4 against the Cyclones, including an embarrassing 66-10 loss by Patrick Mahomes and company in Campbell’s first year. That year’s Iowa State team finished the year 3-9.

When Texas Tech has the ball

After leaving

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COVID-19 budgets, data security, and automation are concerns of IT leaders and staff

Dueling surveys from Kaseya showed that IT department leaders share their underlings’ worries about security and productivity.

IT technician with network equipment and cables

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

IT infrastructure and security management company Kaseya have released a two-part report featuring insights gleaned from surveys of both IT leaders and IT practitioners. The two reports—”Technical Priorities for IT Practitioners” and “Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders”–show that members of both sides of IT departments share broad concerns on a variety of issues including data protection and security. 

The researchers behind the study spoke with 878 respondents in July 2020, more than 500 of whom were IT practitioners and 335 were IT leaders. According to the survey responses, IT leaders are more concerned with ensuring that operations are always up and running amid coronavirus-related budget shortages, while the managers and technicians working daily with technology are more focused on maintaining productivity using limited resources.

“Our 2020 IT Operations survey makes

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OpenInvest now shows investors exactly how they’re helping the world

  • Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup OpenInvest just released Portfolio Diagnosis, a platform which allows investors to understand the social impact their investments.
  • For example, investors can learn about the amount of carbon emissions they’ve saved and how that translates to trees planted. Or, if they wish, they can ensure they are not investing in companies that support the politically divisive National Rifle Association.
  • OpenInvest was co-founded by two former Bridgewater Associates hedge funders and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Andreessen Horowitz-backed fintech startup OpenInvest is making it easier for investors to measure the impacts of their social or sustainable investments — down to the number of trees or carbon emissions they’ve saved.

The product, called Portfolio Diagnosis, will allow registered investment advisors — the people who help rich people manage their portfolios — more concretely describe the social impact specific investments will

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Elon Musk’s Tesla, Starman fly past Mars 2 years after SpaceX launch

  • In February 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster owned by the company’s founder, Elon Musk, into deep space.
  • The electric vehicle, which has a spacesuit-clad “Starman” dummy in the driver’s seat, just made its first flyby of Mars.
  • To Starman, Mars would have appeared to be about one-tenth the size of the moon as seen from Earth, the astronomer Jonathan McDowell said.
  • The vehicle and its unlikely passenger, launched on the upper stage of a Falcon Heavy rocket, may travel for millions of years before crashing, most likely back into Earth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An electric car that Elon Musk rocketed into space more than two years ago just flew past Mars for the first time.

SpaceX, the rocket company Musk founded, launched his old Tesla Roadster aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018 with a spacesuit-wearing dummy named “Starman” at the wheel.

The car

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Microsoft 365 to get big Nvidia AI-editing boost

Disclosure: Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.

Nvidia’s big fall show, GTC (GPU Technology Conference), offered a lot of artificial intelligence news this week, ranging from autonomous robots to AIs that write the software they use. This matters to me because I’m a heavy Microsoft 365 user — I currently rely on Grammarly for automated editing — and Nvidia announced that Microsoft would be using Nvidia’s AI in Microsoft 365, initially for grammar correction, Q&A helper bots, and text prediction. 

This move is only the start, so let’s look at how this AI capability could boost your productivity and evolve over the next few years.

Making Microsoft 365 smart: Step 1

One of the biggest frustrations for me is that even with products like IBM Watson in the market, we still don’t have smart digital assistants. Most translate queries into text, post them in a search

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U.S. appeals judge’s ruling that blocked U.S. ban on TikTok downloads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said in a court filing on Thursday it was appealing a judge’s ruling that prevented it from prohibiting new downloads of the Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok.

The Justice Department said it appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In late September, a U.S. judge temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s Google <GOOGL.O> from offering new TikTok downloads.

China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has been under pressure to sell the popular app. The White House contends that TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who use the app could be obtained by China’s government. Any deal will also still need to be reviewed by the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Negotiations are under way for

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Opinion | Don’t Let Amazon Get Any Bigger

We tend to credit Amazon’s enormous reach to its inventiveness. Jeff Bezos has built a logistics operation that rivals UPS and FedEx in the volume of packages it delivers to consumers in the United States. Amazon’s Alexa is the dominant operating system in the new arena of voice-enabled devices and web access.

Amazon produces clothing and advanced computer chips, dispenses a growing share of the nation’s prescription drugs, markets surveillance services to police departments, and runs a rapidly expanding advertising business.

But the evidence presented this week in a long report by the House Judiciary Committee, following a bipartisan investigation of the tech giants, tells a very different story. Amazon’s website forms a choke point through which other companies must pass to reach the market. It has exploited this commanding position to strong-arm other companies, control their means of distribution and drive them out of business.

While the report concludes

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Virgin Hyperloop to build new certification center in West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice (R-W.Va.) on Thursday announced plans for a new Virgin Hyperloop Certification Center in West Virginia spanning across 800 acres of land.

Virgin Hyperloop shared that work on the new development is expected to begin in 2021. According to a press release from Justice, the research facility will create “thousands of new jobs across construction, manufacturing, operations, and high-tech sectors.”

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University predicts that the venture will impact West Virginia’s economy by $48 million annually.

Virgin Hyperloop CEO Jay Walder said in the announcement, “West Virginia is well-positioned to provide a fully-integrated solution that advances the nationwide opportunity for hyperloop.”

Hyperloop transportation is a recently proposed form of passage that seek to cut cross-country land travel to a fraction of current times by moving people and goods through a vacuum at speeds over 600 mph. In the future, they

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