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2 Elderly Men Escape Nursing Home To Attend Heavy Metal Festival


You’re never too old to rock! Two elderly men in Wacken, Germany were reported missing Friday when they escaped from their nursing home to attend the world’s largest heavy metal festival.

The nursing home reported the missing elderly men to police when they were not found in their rooms.

The police found the pair at 3 am in the middle of the Wacken Open Air festival, the largest heavy metal festival in the world. The police reported that the men looked “dazed and confused” according to Deutsche Welle.

The police had some difficulty persuading the elderly gentlemen to leave the heavy metal festival. They were placed in a taxi and escorted by police back to the nursing home.

Over 75,000 people enjoyed the heavy metal festival with acts including Judas Priest, Hatebreed and In Flames, and Danzig.

You gotta love these guys; they were just following their hearts. Just goes to show you’re never to old to rock.


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Facebook Page’s Removal Angers Washington Protest Organizers

Facebook stunned and angered organizers of a protest against white supremacists when it disabled their Washington event’s page, saying it had been created by “bad actors” misusing the social media platform.


SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Facebook stunned and angered organizers of a protest against white supremacists when it disabled their Washington event’s page this week, saying it and others had been created by “bad actors” misusing the social media platform.

The company said the page — one of 32 pages or accounts it removed Tuesday from Facebook and Instagram — violated its ban on “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and may be linked to an account created by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, a so-called troll farm that has sown discord in the U.S.

But the organizers of next weekend’s protest in Washington say Facebook has unfairly and recklessly tarnished their work by suggesting their event could be linked to a Russian campaign to interfere in U.S. politics.

April Goggans, an organizer of Black Lives Matter DC, said protest organizers began planning the event before the Facebook page’s creation. Organizers have set up a new page, but Goggans fears Facebook’s crackdown left many people with the false impression that a Russian bot is behind their event.

“Our participation may take a hit because people are trying to find out what’s legit and what’s not,” she said Wednesday.

For weeks, activists have been planning a counterprotest to the Washington rally organized by Jason Kessler, the principal organizer of last summer’s deadly white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hundreds of Facebook users clicked on the event’s Facebook page to signal their intent to attend the counterprotest.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said in a statement Tuesday that “inauthentic” administrators of a page called “Resisters” connected with administrators from five legitimate pages to co-host the event and enlist support from “real people.”

“These legitimate Pages unwittingly helped build interest in ‘No Unite Right 2 – DC’ and posted information about transportation, materials, and locations so people could get to the protests,” Gleicher wrote.

Gleicher’s statement said Facebook disabled the event page Tuesday and reached out to the administrators of the five other pages “to update them on what happened.” Facebook also planned to report the issue to approximately 2,600 users who had expressed interested in the event and to more than 600 users who said they planned to attend it.

Andrew Batcher, an organizer for the Shut It Down DC coalition formed to protest Kessler’s rally, said the event page created by “Resisters” was taken over and controlled by “a lot of real people doing real work.” Batcher said he hasn’t seen any evidence that any of administrators for the “Resisters’ page was a “bad actor.”

“All the content on the page came from local organizers,” he said. “Facebook took it all down, which I see as censorship of a real protest event.”

Researchers at the Atlantic Council, a nonprofit working with Facebook to analyze abuse on its service, said the accounts identified for removal sought to promote divisions between Americans. The accounts seemed focused on building an online audience and moving it to offline events such as protests.

Facebook didn’t directly link Tuesday’s crackdown to Russia or U.S. midterm elections in the fall. But the company said it found evidence of “some connections” between the deleted accounts and accounts that Russia’s IRA created before Facebook disabled them last year. Facebook said one of the disabled IRA accounts shared a Facebook event hosted by the “Resisters” page, which had an IRA account as one of its administrators “for only seven minutes.”

“If that’s the case, then it’s pretty meaningless infiltration,” Batcher said.

But that discovery “could be a sign of something deeper” and not necessarily the full extent of the IRA account’s activity on the page, said Dipayan Ghosh, a former Facebook employee who worked on global privacy and public policy issues for the company.

“It just raises a bunch of questions that suggest there is a complicated ecosystem here and we’re only scratching the surface,” said Ghosh, a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

In February, a federal indictment accused 13 Russians of operating a hidden social media trolling campaign, posing as U.S. activists and posting about divisive political and social issues. Investigators have concluded the Russians coordinated and leveraged the support of unwitting Americans in carrying out their campaign.

Kessler scheduled his Aug. 12 event in Washington to mark the anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where hundreds of white supremacists and counterprotesters clashed in the streets before a car plowed into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer. The National Park Service approved Kessler’s application for a “white civil rights” rally at Lafayette Square, near the White House, but hasn’t issued a permit for the event.

Goggans said Facebook’s crackdown has been a time-consuming distraction for counterprotest organizers.

“Over the past 18 hours, we’ve been having to prove we exist,” she said.


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The World’s Greatest Gathering Of Young Entrepreneurs, The Forbes Under 30 Summit, Just Amped Itself Up

The Forbes Under 30 Summit, which brings together more than 7,000 superstars, culled in large part from the global Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, has over the past five years established itself as the world’s greatest gathering of young entrepreneurs and game-changers. Malala Yousafzai gave her first public speech after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and Monica Lewinsky gave her first public speech ever. Investors like Ashton Kutcher and Steve Case have written more than $1 million in checks on stage. Michael Phelps and Lindsey Vonn have led workouts, mentors like Richard Branson and Jessica Alba have shared wisdom, ascendant musical acts from Zedd and Halsey to Shawn Mendes and Wiz Khalifa have given private concerts. Plus, more networking and top young chefs and bar crawls than any four days deserve.

This year, the Summit returns to Boston from September 30 through October 3 and again boasts the killer lineup. But it’s also reinvented itself in several crucial ways:

Meet the Under 30 Village

Meet the Under 30 VillageFORBES

Specific Content/Community Tracks — From crypto to sports to venture capital to consumer tech, we now have 24 tracks that take a huge event (and all the amazing opportunities that go with that) and break it down into communities that you’re interested in. Each of the 24 tracks will have a specific networking hub, customized programming and an exploration day that will offer special experiences across Boston.

·      Networking On Steroids – From interest-specific meetup hubs to private dinners to the chance to get mentored by the legends of your field, we’ve designed the Summit this year so that it encourages and creates life-changing connections. All attendees will get a private app that will help accelerate it all.

·      Startup Bonanza – We’re showcasing scores of startups (and pairing them with venture capitalists), ready to partner, hire and inspire. We also have a custom content stage devoted just to creating the next unicorn.

·      The Under 30 Village – We’re building a city within a city, a hive of innovation, several football fields large, full of content, networking, activities, music food and beer. (See the rendering above.) Get ready to be dazzled.

·      Food Festival – We’re expanding this Under 30 Summit favorite, which features the best young chefs in the world, so that all attendees get a taste. Plus, we’re adding a music stage and even more entertainment.

There’s a lot more (registration details are available here), with some huge announcements to come. In less than two months.

Follow me on Twitter: @RandallLane


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Facebook Identifies an Active Political Influence Campaign Using Fake Accounts

WASHINGTON — Facebook said on Tuesday that it had identified a political influence campaign that was potentially built to disrupt the midterm elections, with the company detecting and removing 32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in activity around divisive social issues.

The company did not definitively link the campaign to Russia. But Facebook officials said some of the tools and techniques used by the accounts were similar to those used by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked group that was at the center of an indictment this year alleging interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook said it had discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Activity was also detected around #AbolishICE, a left-wing campaign on social media that seeks to end the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“At this point in our investigation, we do not have enough technical evidence to state definitively who is behind it,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. “But we can say that these accounts engaged in some similar activity and have connected with known I.R.A accounts.”

The jolting disclosure, delivered to lawmakers in private briefings on Capitol Hill this week and in a public Facebook post on Tuesday, underscored how behind-the-scenes interference in the November elections had begun.

In recent weeks, there have been reports of other meddling, including a Daily Beast report that the office of Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this fall, was unsuccessfully targeted by Russian hackers last year, which Ms. McCaskill confirmed. American intelligence officials have indicatedthat at least one other unnamed Democratic senator up for re-election has been targeted.

Officials at Facebook, which is based in Silicon Valley, said they were working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other intelligence agencies on their discovery of the influence campaign. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and other executives also mounted a media blitz to explain what the company did and did not know about the efforts.

Those actions were a change from last year, when Facebook was widely criticized for failing to detect Russian interference in the 2016 election. It took Facebook executives months to acknowledge the extent of the Russian operation and release information connected with their investigation.

Since then, Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, have been under scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators for other scandals, including data misuse, a misinformation epidemic and accusations of political bias. Last week, the company lost over $120 billion in market value as it projected it would spend more money on moderation and security.

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, did not directly address Facebook’s findings with reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday, but he said President Trump had “made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference into our electoral process from any nation-state or other malicious actors.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr. Trump declared again on Twitter that there had been “No Collusion” between his campaign and the Russians, and asserted that, in any case, “collusion is not a crime.”

Lawmakers from both parties quickly set aside questions of who had perpetrated the influence campaign and said Facebook’s disclosure only clarified what they had feared since the extent of Russian involvement in 2016 became clear more than a year ago: that social media companies would be unable to keep up with the pace and scope of malicious efforts to abuse their platforms.

Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said he would make the disclosure a central part of a previously scheduled hearing on Wednesday, when lawmakers plan to press outside experts on the pervasiveness of foreign influence on social media networks like Facebook.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the committee, praised Facebook on Tuesday for bringing the activity out into the public, but asked for its cooperation in updating laws to prevent influence campaigns.

“Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation,” he said.

Facebook executives characterized the battle with foreign campaigns as a cat-and-mouse game, but said they were making progress to detect suspicious activity more quickly.

“Security is an arms race, and it’s never done,” Ms. Sandberg said in a conference call on Tuesday.

Facebook said the recently purged accounts — eight Facebook pages, 17 Facebook profiles and seven Instagram accounts — were created between March 2017 and May 2018 and were first discovered two weeks ago. More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the suspect pages, which had names like Aztlan Warriors, Black Elevation, Mindful Being and Resisters, the company said.

Between April 2017 and June 2018, the accounts ran 150 ads costing $11,000 on the two platforms. They were paid for in American and Canadian dollars. The pages created roughly 30 events over a similar period, the largest of which attracted interest from 4,700 accounts.

Finding suspicious activity was harder this time around, Facebook said. Unlike many of the alleged Russian trolls in 2016, who paid for Facebook ads in rubles and occasionally used Russian internet protocol addresses, these accounts used advanced security techniques to avoid detection. For instance, they disguised their internet traffic using virtual private networks and internet phone services, and used third parties to buy ads for them.

“These bad actors have been more careful to cover their tracks, in part due to the actions we’ve taken to prevent abuse over the past year,” Mr. Gleicher said.

But there were clues that the suspicious accounts may have been connected to the Internet Research Agency. Mr. Gleicher said an account known to be associated with the agency had been listed as an administrator of one of the pages for seven minutes.

Like the 2016 Russian interference campaign, the recently detected campaign sought to amplify divisive social issues, including through organizing real-world events.


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Trump tweets skepticism about 3D-printable guns. But his administration cleared the way for them.

Eight states are filing suit against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons threaten public safety. (July 30) AP


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s “looking into” easy access to blueprints for 3D-printable guns, saying in a tweet that “doesn’t seem to make much sense.”

Trump’s tweet comes less than 24 hours before that technology becomes widely available under a legal settlement his own administration reached earlier this year with Defense Distributed, a Texas-based nonprofit that will release blueprints for guns online starting Aug. 1.

“The age of the downloadable gun begins,” Defense Distributed stated on its site after its settlement with the State Department. Its founder, Cody Wilson, tweeted a photograph of a grave marked “American gun control.”

Under the legal agreement, the company will be able to post downloadable instructions for 3D-printable guns starting Wednesday, making such firearms available to anyone with the right machine and materials. All 3D-printed guns will be untraceable, and since you can make them yourself, no background check is required.

That prospect has startled gun control advocates, who say it could worsen the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. and make it easier for terrorists to gain access to a raft of deadly firearms.

“The Trump Administration’s sickening NRA giveaway undermines the very foundations of public safety,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.  “Metal detectors and other security measures will be completely useless against the flood of undetectable and untraceable ‘ghost guns’ that the GOP is inviting into our schools, workplaces, airports and public buildings.”

In his tweet, Trump said he had already talked to the NRA about the issue. An NRA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Donald J. Trump


I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested last week that he would review the issue, in response to questions from lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

But a State Department official said Tuesday that Pompeo was not planning to take further action on the issue. The Department of State has completed its obligations under its settlement with Defense Distributed, said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

“The decision to settle the case was made in the interest of the security and foreign policy of the United States and in consultation with the Department of Justice,” the State Department source said.

More: Make an AR-15 at home: 3D printed ‘downloadable guns’ available Aug. 1


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