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Facebook’s next project: American inequality

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quietly cracking open his company's vast trove of user data for a study on economic inequality in the U.S.
  • Facebook and Chetty declined to talk about the full scope of the research, but veterans of Washington's domestic policy debates say the social network's involvement could turbo-charge efforts to map out how geography and social connections play into economic inequality.
  • Chetty, in a brief interview following a January speech in Washington, said he and his collaborators — who include researchers from Stanford and New York University — have been working on the inequality study for at least six months.
  • According to a Stanford University source familiar with Chetty's study, the Facebook account data used in the research has been stripped of any details that could be used to identify users.

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Tandem launches a credit card that offers cashback and no fees when spending abroad

  • Tandem, the U.K. challenger bank that recently acquired the banking arm of the famous Harrods department store partly in order to get its banking license back on track, has launched its first banking product: a credit card that offers cashback on every purchase and no exchange fees when spending abroad.
  • Specifically, Tandem says its new credit card brings customers a competitive combination of cashback on all purchases (0.5 percent), no overseas transaction fees, a “market leading” exchange rate, and real time updates when you purchase.
  • It also points to the startup bank’s initital “attack vector” (as Monzo’s Tom Blomfield calls each fintech’s entrance point): come for the cashback credit card and zero fees when spending abroad, and stay for the PFM and soon-to-launch savings deposit accounts.

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Chef InSpec 2.0 helps automate security compliance in cloud apps

  • Chef wants to help developers and operations teams prevent that kind of incident.
  • Today, the company released InSpec 2.0, which is designed to help automate applications security and compliance in the cloud.
  • InSpec is a free open source tool that lets development teams express security and compliance rules as code.
  • The new version extends this capability to the cloud where companies are running the applications, enabling teams to test and write rules for compliance with cloud security policy.
  • Companies running multiple applications across multiple clouds face challenges in today’s continuous development environment.
  • It takes some work in getting the security, development and operations teams together to discuss what needs to be locked down, but once they come to an agreement, they can to use InSpec to write rules to validate proper cloud configurations using the InSpec scripting language.

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Get ahead of DNS propagation with Apache Proxy

  • The problem: I host several websites for a number of my clients who publish new content on a daily basis.
  • But even if your zone TTL is low, some ISP will still resolve to the old IP address.
  • If your customer lands on B and posts new content, these users will not be able to see it.
  • The situation gets even trickier if your customer ISP is still resolving requests to the old server.
  • New content may be published on the old server, and it gets messier to sync things from A to B.
  • Don’t worry, this can be handled properly: Apache Proxy to the rescue!
  • Test your Apache configuration and restart it.
  • I can now watch the requests count on A get lower and lower until they completely go away, and my customers can publish their new content with confidence.

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February Make: Pusheen Heart

  • Creating a google assistant app, how to avoid soldering, and discovering what makes projects motivating and fun.
  • It’s a smart heart that lights up with an invocation to a google assistant app I called “Pusheen Heart”.
  • First, I wanted to quickly create a Google Assistant app and have it control Neopixel strips.
  • I opted to keep the project simple but delightful, so I went to a local print shop to print out the Pusheen, backed it with one of those 24" x 36" tri-fold poster boards, cut a hole to line up with the 3d printed heart’s hole and threaded the Neopixel strip through it.
  • I think just knowing that these exist and what they’re called will help you decide if they are useful for your particular project situation.

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The evolution of Trump and Romney's relationship, as told by their tweets

  • The last time the two had played nice on social media was way back in 2012, when Trump backed Romney for president.
  • He even called Romney "fantastic" after his first debate with Barack Obama.
  • It seems like they patched things up after the election -- Trump was pleased with Romney's congratulatory call.
  • Maybe they worked things out -- or settled at being frenemies.
  • Although Trump didn't end up picking Romney to serve as secretary of state, we'll always have this awkward photo.

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Depressed teen's guns didn't raise red flags for host family of Florida shooter

  • James and Kimberly Snead told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Monday that despite being depressed, the teen was doing really well in school, and that Cruz "was proud of what he was doing," sharing his grades with the family and working toward his high school diploma.
  • Kimberly Snead says Cruz had told their son two weeks ago that "he's the happiest" he had been in recent times.
  • James Snead says before Cruz moved in with them, he had seen him around the house on occasion because he was a friend of the couple's son.
  • A law enforcement source briefed on the investigation told CNN that Cruz had obtained at least 10 firearms, all of them rifles.
  • The couple also says the cell phone video showing Cruz dressed in boxer shorts, shooting what appeared to be a BB gun in a backyard, was not from his time at their house.

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Russian curler's second sample tests positive for meldonium

  • PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky's second sample has tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, the Russian Olympic delegation said in a statement on Tuesday.
  • Krushelnitsky, who won bronze in Pyeongchang with his wife in mixed doubles curling, had been under investigation over a suspected anti-doping violation.
  • The delegation said it could not explain how the substance had ended up in Krushelnitsky's body and it was launching an investigation into the case.

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People hate Snapchat's redesign so much that another Wall Street analyst downgraded the stock

  • Analysts at Citi bank are the latest to downgrade Snap Inc.'s stock rating, going to "Sell" from "Neutral" in a note to investors on Thursday morning.
  • Snap has been rolling out a redesign for Snapchat over the past few months, with the intent of clearly separating "the social from the media" and making the app easier to use for newcomers.
  • Citi's graph below shows a massive jump in one-star reviews of the app in the past two months.
  • Citi also cited Snap's move to self-serving ads, suggesting they may create a squeeze on pricing, as well as its weak free cash flow and its high valuation.
  • In other words, the redesign could be successful and persuade lots more people to spend lots more time on Snapchat.
  • That, in turn, would boost ad spend.
  • Citi's price target moved to $14 (£10) from $18 (£13).
  • Get the latest Snap stock price here.

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The Danish inventor accused of the horrific murder of a Swedish journalist on his submarine allegedly texted his girlfriend a description of the crime

  • Peter Madsen, who is on trial for Wall's murder, detailed a violent fantasy of cutting up a woman on board his home-made submarine, the UC3-Nautilus, according to a report by WIRED.
  • According to Danish prosecutors, Madsen killed Wall on board the submarine then cut her body into pieces and threw them into the sea.
  • The article by WIRED author May Jeong was published last week, and goes into an unprecedented amount of detail about the circumstances surrounding Wall's death, including interviews with those close to Madsen.
  • One was described by Jeong as "a friend and recent sexual partner of Madsen's," and described texts she had been sent which echo the situation in which Wall found herself.
  • It said Madsen's actions were pre-planned, and tortured Wall with a variety of tools including a saw, knife, screwdrivers, and body restraints before killing her.

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