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Hachette Book Group Terminates Weinstein Books Imprint Effective Immediately.

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Weinstein titles will now be published under the Hachette Books imprint, Deadline has confirmed.

The company said in a statement, “Hachette Book Group has terminated the Weinstein Books imprint, effective immediately (Perseus Books has had a co-publishing agreement with The Weinstein Company, under which we published around ten new books a year). Titles currently under the Weinstein Books imprint will be published by Hachette Books imprint, and the Weinstein Books imprint team will join Hachette Books.

The imprint, which was originally called Miramax Books, was founded in 2001 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. It relaunched in 2009 as part of Perseus Books, an independent publishing company that Hachette bought in 2016. The imprint typically publishes around 10 new titles a year.

Despite the Weinstein’s cache in the entertainment industry, Weinstein Books never made much of a mark in the literary world. The majority of its titles tend to be celebrity-driven memoirs and diet and wellness books.

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Is Racism Becoming The Norm?

Racist Museum In China

A museum in China has removed an exhibit this week that showcased photographs of animals with portraits of black Africans, sparking complaints of racism.

The exhibit titled This Is Africa at the Hubei Provincial Museum in the city of Wuhan displayed a series of diptychs, each one containing a photo of an African person paired with the face of an animal. In a particularly striking example, a child with his mouth wide open was paired with a gorilla and other works included baboons and cheetahs.

The curator said exhibit was eventually removed after complaints by Africans, including some living in China, All the photographs were taken by Yu Huiping, a construction magnate who has traveled to Africa more than 20 times, has previously won awards for his work and is vice-chairman of the Hubei Photographers Association.

About 92% of the population belongs to the dominant Han ethnicity and ethnic minorities mostly live in the sporadically populated far west of the country. African countries are increasingly important trading partners, but cultural stereotypes dominate Chinese popular discourse on the continent.

 

Mattel Scrappes Smart Home Device Designed For Children

Mattel scrapped a “smart home” device designed with kids in mind after awful reviews and privacy concerns.

“Aristotle” was first shown off at CES earlier this year. The red-and-white device is meant to be kept in a child’s room where its WiFi-enabled camera acts primarily as a voice-controlled baby monitor. It can adjust lighting levels, noting when babies wake up and then playing a lullaby or turning on a nightlight.

The device also claimed to be able to extensively interact with a young child. It can recognize and answer questions, play games, do singalongs, and teach the ABCs. Aristotle’s voice-interaction capabilities are intended to be like a kid-centric version of Amazon’s Alexa.

Last week, two members of Congress sent a letter (PDF) to Mattel about the device.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass wrote “Never before has a device had the capability to so intimately look into the life of a child,” consumers should know how this product will work and what measures Mattel will take to protect families’ privacy and secure their data.” Instead of answering those questions, Mattel has withdrawn the product.

CBS’s Showtime Detected Mining Crypto-Coins In Viewers’ Web Browsers

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The websites of US telly giant CBS’s Showtime contained JavaScript that secretly commandeered viewers’ web browsers over the weekend to mine cryptocurrency.

The flagship Showtime.com and its instant-access ShowtimeAnytime.com sibling silently pulled in code that caused browsers to blow spare processor time calculating new Monero coins – an alternative to the Bitcoin. The hidden software typically consumed as much as 60 per cent of CPU capacity on computers visiting the sites. The scripts were written by Code Hive, a legit outfit that provides JavaScript to website owners: webmasters add the code to their pages so that they can earn slivers of cash from each visitor as an alternative to serving adverts to generate revenue. Over time, money mined by the Code-Hive-hosted scripts adds up and is transferred from Coin Hive to the site’s administrators. One Monero coin, 1 XMR, is worth about $92 right now.

They say  it’s extremely unlikely that a large corporation like CBS would smuggle such a piece of mining code onto its dot-coms – especially since it charges subscribers to watch the hit TV shows online – suggesting someone hacked the websites’ source code to insert the mining JavaScript and make a quick buck.

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Afrotech 17

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1000 Black techies, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs in 1 room for 2 days on the water in San Francisco? AfroTech, the largest black tech conference in Silicon Valley!

With two full days of the latest technologies and hottest startups, you will have a chance to learn from some of the best, and connect with fellow innovators.

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Stanford University Study Claims To Detect Whether A Person Is Straight Or Gay By Using Facial Recognition Software

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The Standford Study suggests that computers have a better ‘gaydar’ than humans brings up all sorts of questions about the morality of such technology and the potential consequences of it falling into the wrong hands.

An algorithm associated with the software correctly identified gay men 81% of the time, while it was accurate for 74% of the women it tested.

Research of more than 35,000 faces – taken from a dating website – was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and first reported in the Economist, and claimed that gay men and women had ‘gender-atypical’ features, expressions and grooming styles.

Data also claimed to show that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men.

The paper claims to show for once and for all that exposure to certain hormones before birth determines sexual orientation; that being gay is not a choice, in other words.

However, those critical of the research claim that the technology could easily fall into the wrong hands.

The fear is that spouses could use it to identify a ‘closeted’ husband or wife, or that teenagers could deploy it as a means of outing their peers. Worse again, that anti-gay governments – such as Russia – could use it to target members of a country’s population.

Critics suggest that profiling people based on their appearance, then identifying them is wrong.

 

Andrew Carnegie & His Libraries

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Andrew Carngie libraries brought a world of books to many towns and opened a broader world to those who read.

When Andrew began thinking of what to do with the vast wealth he had accumulated, his thoughts turned to the libraries that had given him his self-education and helped make him the man he became. He decided that to give that same opportunities to others was the best use of his money.

He began by funding libraries in the two locations he had grown up in: Dunfermline, Scotland, and the Allegheny/Pittsburgh area in Pennsylvania. The first of the Carnegie libraries was the one in Dunfermline and it opened in 1883.

The first library he commissioned in the U.S. was at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. The grand opening was in 1890, but although it was the first one he commissioned, a second one in Braddock, Pennsylvania, was the first to open in the states in 1889.

In 1892, he granted the funds for a library in Fairfield, Iowa, the first outside Pennsylvania.

By 1899, his Carnegie Libraries were springing up across the nation.

Because of segregation, black people were not allowed to use libraries, so Andrew also funded libraries strictly for them. He founded Colored Carnegie Libraries in Houston, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia, among other cities.

 

Andrew set up his library grants so that small towns could receive $10,000 to build a library, which was a substantial amount in those days. In order to receive that grant, the town’s elected officials had to demonstrate the need for a public library, provide the building site, pay to staff and maintain the library by committing public funds for that purpose in the amount of 10 percent of the construction cost per year and to provide free access to its patrons.

When Andrew began funding library construction, the policy of existing U.S. libraries was to operate with “closed stacks,” which meant that patrons requested a book from a staff member and that person would bring the book from the off-limit shelves of books. No browsing allowed.

 

The first five libraries he funded operated in this fashion, but Andrew soon realized this required more staff, so he came up with an “open stacks” form of operation where patrons could browse the collection of the library and decide which books they wanted to check out. He was then able to have the libraries he funded designed so that just one librarian could staff the library.

This new policy caught on quickly and soon most other public libraries were adopting this form of operating system.

In Missouri, the earliest Carnegie Library was built in 1899 and the last one in 1921. His donations for the 35 Carnegie Libraries in Missouri totaled over $1.5 million during that 22-year period.

The Carnegie Library at Bolivar was constructed in 1915 with a grant from Andrew for $8,000. It was the first public library in Bolivar and remained a public library until 2000. The building now serves as the home of the Polk County Genealogical Society.

The Carnegie Library at Marshfield is claimed to be the one granted by Andrew to the smallest community west of the Mississippi to receive such a grant. It was constructed in 1911 with that $5,000 grant and operated as a public library until 1995. It now houses the Webster County Historical Museum.

 

At the turn of the last century, Springfield residents began negotiating with Andrew Carnegie to acquire funds for a library and he granted them $50,000.

They then raised $3,250 to purchase the site for the library and it was constructed and then opened in March of 1905. At the time it opened, Springfield’s Carnegie Library housed 700 books. That building still serves as a library today and is part of the Springfield/Greene County Library System.

By the time Andrew Carnegie died on Aug. 11, 1919, he had given away over $350 million, which would equate to over $80 billion in today’s dollars.

 

Moreover, he endowed the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, founded the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.

He contributed a substantial amount of money to construct the Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson in 1911 to study the planets and stars. He built and owned the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was one of the contributors to Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, and help Washington found the National Negro Business League.

Andrew also started the Carnegie Hero Fund for the United States and Canada to recognize deeds of heroism. In 1903, he contributed $1.5 million to build the Peace Palace at The Hague and in 1914 he founded the Church Peace Union comprised of world leaders in politics, academia and religion in the hopes of heading off World War I.

There are two towns in the U.S., one in Pennsylvania and one in Oklahoma that bear his last name.

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