36 of the Handiest Gadgets on Amazon

Make your life way easier with these super handy gadgets!

We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: 22Words is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.

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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/36-of-the-handiest-gadgets-on-amazon/

Susan Rice, ex-Obama official, appointed to Netflix board of directors

Former national security adviser and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice now has a new role on Netflix’s board of directors, appearing to follow her former boss who is in reported “advanced negotiations” to create a series of shows with the streaming giant.

The company made the announcement on Wednesday, with Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings praising her prior work on intelligence issues for former President Barack Obama.

In fact, Rice’s former boss may be joining her at Netflix, as the New York Times first reported earlier this month the 56-year-old was in talks for a deal that would pay him and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, for Netflix-only “exclusive content” that would be available to subscribers of the digital streaming service.

Netflix has about 118 million subscribers globally. It was not immediately clear how many shows or episodes would be ordered or how much the Obamas would be paid.

The streaming service recently tried a talk show featuring anti-Trump comedian Chelsea Handler called “Chelsea” that lasted two seasons before getting canceled.

Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice is joining the Netflix Board of Directors.  (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,” Hastings said in a statement. “For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.”

Rice, 53, said she was “thrilled” to be joining the board.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Netflix, a cutting-edge company whose leadership, high-quality productions, and unique culture I deeply admire,” she said in a statement.

Silicon Valley has come under fire from its few conservatives who say they’ve been shunned, as Fox Business reported. “Silicon Valley is a one-party state,” Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor, Facebook board member and ally of President Trump, said earlier this year at Stanford University, his alma mater. “The other side doesn’t care for you, and your side doesn’t care for you because they don’t need to.”

The New York Times reported last August that Thiel was informed he would receive a negative review of his board performance by Hastings, a fellow Facebook board member.

While the head of Netflix praised Rice for her four years as Obama’s national security adviser and role at the United Nations, her tenure in the positions did not come without its share of controversy.

Last month, two senators disclosed that Rice sent an “unusual email” to herself the day Trump was sworn in to office, documenting then-President Obama’s guidance at a high-level meeting about how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

WHO IS SUSAN RICE? OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STALWART AT CENTER OF SCANDALS

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News at the time it was “odd and disturbing.” While an attorney for Rice said there was nothing unusual about the note, White House spokesman Raj Shah told “Fox & Friends” the email “raises a lot of questions.”

She also was slammed by Trump last year for efforts to “unmask” his associates’ identities in intelligence reports in 2016.

Tom Fitton, the president of the watchdog group Judicial Watch, said on Twitter Wednesday, “.@Netflix doubles down in support of Obama corruption — compromised Susan Rice, who lied repeatedly on both Benghazi and the unmasking issue joins its Board of Directors.”

In 2012, Rice, who was then serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on five different Sunday talk shows to suggest that the Benghazi terror attacks were the result of spontaneous protests over what she called a “hateful” Internet video.

BARACK OBAMA IN TALKS WITH NETFLIX TO PRODUCE SHOWS: REPORT

Emails uncovered after the fact revealed that administration officials knew the Benghazi attacks were the result of terrorism, not an internet video, and indicated that even folks within the State Department were stunned by Rice’s appearances. One State Department employee suggested Rice had gone “off the reservation.”

It was less than a year later, in June 2013, that Rice was tapped by President Obama to serve as national security adviser.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Brooke Singman, Alex Diaz, and Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/03/28/susan-rice-ex-obama-official-appointed-to-netflix-board-directors.html

British Company Releases Pictures Of Worlds First ‘Smart Condoms’

These days, most people have some kind of smart device, whether it be a phone, watch, or something that helps you track your daily steps.

And now, men everywhere are about to have access to what’s been called the “Fitbit” for a man’s penis. Yep, you read that right. The company British Condoms has developed i.Con, the world’s first smart condom.

“Have you ever wondered how many calories you’re burning during intercourse? How many thrusts? Speed of your thrusts? The duration of your sessions? Frequency? How many different positions you use in the period of a week, month or year? Ever wondered how you stack up to other people from around the world?” the company wrote on the device’s product page. “Welcome to the future of wearable technology in the bedroom.”

The i.Con is said to track a number of things during sexual intercourse, including the number of calories burned, the speed of the man’s thrust, and the duration of the session. British Condoms even claims it can detect STD’s.

The company logs the data that it receives from the high-tech rubber bracelet that is placed on the condom, then sends it to the user’s smartphone.

A normal condom still needs to be used, but the rubber band is very flexible to ensure maximum comfort for all sizes. It’s also waterproof.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/smart-condoms/

Paid summer breaks and other common myths about teachers

(CNN)As teachers in several states across the United States protest for higher pay and more funding for public education, lawmakers and onlookers are debating whether teachers deserve more money.

Here are a few common myths about teachers and their pay.

MYTH: Teachers work less than other professionals

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average length of an American school day is just over 6.5 hours. But teachers work much longer than that.
    Kristen Emanuel, a 7th grade teacher in New York City, said she regularly works 11 hours a day. Nine of those are spent at school.
    More than 3.5 million full-time teachers in the United States are required to work 38.2 hours a week on average, according to the NCES. But when taking into account all other school-related activities teachers participate in — like after school conferences, staff meetings and extracurricular programs — they actually end up working 53.3 hours during a typical work week.
    For most other professions, a typical American work week in 2017 was 42.3 hours, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Emanuel stays at the school late to work on lesson plans and prepare for the next day, she said, knowing it will be harder to get work done at home with her three kids.
    When she finally leaves work, Emanuel makes her kids dinner and puts them to bed. “And the second they’re down, I start grading papers and doing lesson plans for the next day,” she said, adding she also spends 4 to 5 hours grading papers on the weekend.
    “I love my students, but it’s also emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting and mentally taxing,” Emanuel said.
    Leslie Busch, a special education teacher in Kentucky, agrees. “It’s not a 9 to 5 and leave-your-stuff-at-work kind of job,” she said. “You live it. You breathe it. It’s there with you all the time.”

    MYTH: Teachers have a paid summer vacation

    “That’s a misconception on many people’s minds,” Busch told CNN. In fact, teachers are only paid for the days they work. For Busch, that’s 187 days a year.
    Busch said many teachers, including herself, choose to have a portion of each of their paychecks withheld during the school year so they can continue to receive a paycheck through the summer. That means about 9 months’ worth of money is spread out over 12 months.
    Several teachers in different states told CNN they choose to have their pay prorated so they can have a steady stream of income over the summer, but they’re not getting paid to lounge by the pool, they said.
    “I get a paycheck,” Busch said. “I do not get extra pay.”

      Teacher’s photo leads to outpouring of support

    Emanuel also chooses to have her pay spread out. “It’s about budgeting,” she said, “and allocating pay.”
    “I do it myself because I just like to have that steady stream of income,” she told CNN, adding that some teachers choose not to have their pay withheld, and receive the money up front. But those teachers won’t get a paycheck over the summer.

    MYTH: Teachers are given all their supplies

    Many teachers have to pay for classroom supplies out of their own pockets, further adding to the financial burdens many educators are facing.
    A 2016 study by educational publisher Scholastic found teachers, on average, spent $530 of their personal money on supplies for their classrooms.
    They’re buying supplies for students like pencils, notebooks, tissues, books, lesson plans, technology and software, the study showed.
    Kerrie Dallman, the president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), said each year she’d spend between $800 and $1,000 on average buying supplemental textbooks and classroom materials, but most CEA members pay about $650.
    Emanuel, the teacher in New York City, buys books, posterboard, tape, scissors, staplers, hand sanitizer, tissues and organizational materials, she said. “It really runs the gamut.”
    It’s gotten better in recent years, she said, with organizations like DonorsChoose.org helping teachers supply their classrooms. But she said still spends at least $1,000 each year.

    MYTH: All teachers receive an adequate wage

    Besides the teaching work they take home, many educators take on extra work or second jobs to supplement their incomes.
    In the 2015-2016 school year, 17.9% of public school teachers had a job outside of the school system, according to data from the NCES. Another 44.5% took on extracurricular activities within the school system that netted additional pay.
    Dallman said she worked all kinds of jobs to make extra money when she was in the classroom, teaching high school social studies.
    “In the past I’ve coached swimming, I’ve coached softball,” she said. “I have worked for UPS as a truck loader in the summer in 100-degree heat in a semi-truck at midnight.”
    The CEA collects information from its 35,000 members to see what additional jobs they take to supplement their salaries, and there are many examples of teachers driving for Lyft, working at Walmart or doing landscaping, Dallman said.
    Colorado teachers aren’t alone, either. Educators in Oklahoma told CNN about working 2, 3 or even up to 6 jobs to make ends meet.
    “I think it’s a real testament to an individual’s commitment to teaching when they could probably go find another job and earn more money,” Dallman said.
    “But,” she adds, “they stay in the classroom because of their passion for our students.”

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/15/us/teacher-pay-myth-misconception/index.html

    This womans a bad mom. And shes damn proud of it.

    Sia Cooper is a mother of two, a certified personal trainer, and an Instagram dynamo with over 921,000 followers.

    WHY DO YOU WORKOUT ON VACATION?? 🤔 I’m sure some of you might wonder. To me, it’s just another day to improve myself mentally and physically while indulging. Yes, you can do both! 🙃 I also like keeping up my routine so that when I go back home to my ordinary life, it won’t be as hard to get back into the groove. Also my muscles won’t hate me for taking that time off. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I don’t think working out on vacay is obsessive nor is it to punish myself for anything that I ate! I workout because it’s a celebration for what my body can do and I want to treat it well. 💜 Trust me… I’m eating all the pancakes while I’m here! I’m just also balancing it out with keeping fit, too! ✌🏽

    A post shared by SIA COOPER (@diaryofafitmommyofficial) on

    She’s also discovered an excellent way to get rich.

    “If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been called a ‘bad mom,’ Cooper wrote in a recent Instagram post that’s since gone viral, “I would be soooo rich!”

    OK, so maybe Cooper won’t be heading to the bank to cash in on this any time soon, but anyone who’s ever been shamed for not being a “good enough” parent will immediately know what this mom’s talking about.

    The reasons Cooper’s been criticized? It’s not neglect or abuse — she’s not handing her kids a box of matches and telling them to knock themselves out — but rather, a host of regular everyday things that other people see as “wrong” due to their own subjective values.  

    And according to the list of complaints Cooper’s collected, it seems like no one’s holding back from offering their opinions on her parenting.

    Here are just some of the things Cooper’s been called out for: working out while having kids, having tattoos and piercings, letting her kids use technology, drinking wine “every now and then,” letting her kids enjoy a Happy Meal on occasion, not covering up, having a hobby, and — bafflingly — using canned goods and plastic crockpot liners.

    She’s also gotten flak for exercising at Target.

    The only thing she hasn’t gotten criticized for? Breathing. …At least not yet.

    We are back at @Target and getting our fit on! 🎯 I even got a few employees to join in with me. 👯 Obviously, Target isn’t where I go to workout-it’s the idea behind it. However, many have taken these videos way too literally and have missed my main point. As a busy mom of two, I don’t always have time to make it to a gym and I don’t expect you to, either. Get it where you can; when you can. As a certified personal trainer, I preach this to my clients daily. It’s the little steps that you take that create the biggest results. Those calf raises that you do while reaching from the top shelf. Those squats you do while waiting for dinner to cook. Those lunges you do at the gas station. Those jumping jacks you do during commercial break. It ALL counts! Think outside the box and get creative. Don’t be afraid to do you. Don’t care what others think! 🤷🏽‍♀️The haters talk because they have nothing else to do. Special thanks to Target employee @veratellez for joining in the fun!💜

    A post shared by SIA COOPER (@diaryofafitmommyofficial) on

    It’s like parents can’t do anything right.

    “It seems almost impossible to be a textbook or politically correct good mom these days because everywhere you turn another mom is judging your parenting choices,” Cooper wrote in her post.

    She’s not alone in her exasperation. According to a 2017 survey, 61% of moms said they’d been criticized about their parenting choices.

    And with all those (perhaps well-meaning) critical opinions on top of raising two kids? Well, it’s enough to drive someone to distraction — or at least the occasional glass of wine that Cooper mentions having.

    Shaming someone’s parenting choices is just wrong.

    As any amount of how-to books will tell you, parenting is hard work. And moms especially can be under a lot of pressure to be perfect. But that doesn’t mean they have to give in to all the finger-wagging that comes their way.

    That’s why Cooper’s no longer fighting the “bad mom” label. In fact, she’s actually damn proud of the kind of mom she is.

    If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been called a “bad mom,” I would be soooo rich! It seems almost impossible to be a textbook or politically correct good mom these days because everywhere you turn another mom is judging your parenting choices. Am I right? I’ve been called a bad mom for: Workout out during pregnancy. Working out while having kids… period. For caring about my looks and health. Working out in Target. Using canned goods and plastic crockpot liners. Having tattoos and piercings. Enjoying wine every now and then. For letting my kids use technology. For letting my kids have sugar and happy meals occasionally. For not “covering up” around my kids. For running a full time business from home. For co-sleeping with my kids. For collecting sports cars and motorcycles aka having a hobby. For taking time for myself. For having abs. I’ve learned that the true “bad moms” out there are the ones who constantly tear other moms down by judging them. Those moms are the ones who are truly insecure and have strong feelings of inadequacy because why else would they do that? Misery loves company. There’s no one right way to parent or to be a mom. We all are running in the same race and doing the best that we can. Motherhood is not a one size fits all-what works for one family may not work for the next. So who are we to judge another mom’s choices or reasoning? Being a mom is hard enough and if all the following make me a “bad mom” then I’ll gladly wear it proudly! Here’s to all the bad moms out there. Follow @badmomconfessions to submit a confession or read other anonymous mothers’ spills! @todayshow @goodmorningamerica @theviewabc @thetalkcbs @theellenshow

    A post shared by SIA COOPER (@diaryofafitmommyofficial) on

    “I’ve learned that the true ‘bad moms’ out there are the ones who constantly tear other moms down by judging them,” Cooper wrote. “Those moms are the ones who are truly insecure and have strong feelings of inadequacy because why else would they do that? Misery loves company.”

    “There’s no one right way to parent or to be a mom,” she continued. “We all are running in the same race and doing the best that we can. Motherhood is not a one size fits all — what works for one family may not work for the next. So who are we to judge another mom’s choices or reasoning?”

    Cooper’s post is an important call for compassion.

    Sure, nobody should ignore clear signs of child abuse or neglect, but it’s important to remember that buying into societal notions of what a “good mom” should be is damaging.

    And it perpetuates the myth that a mother must be perfect — No wine! No swearing, ever! — to be considered adequate. And that kind of pressure can just lead to more problems.

    As Cooper makes clear, “mom guilt” is real. But it doesn’t mean parents have to buy into it.

    Think before you comment on someone’s parenting. And if you’ve been criticized? Just breathe, keep going, and continue living your life.

    It’s working for Cooper. Why shouldn’t it work for you?

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-woman-s-a-bad-mom-and-she-s-damn-proud-of-it

    Facebook Scans the Photos and Links You Send on Messenger

    • System aims to detect content that violates standards
    • Company on the defensive about how it handles private data

    Facebook Inc. scans the links and images that people send each other on Facebook Messenger, and reads chats when they’re flagged to moderators, making sure the content abides by the company’s rules. If it doesn’t, it gets blocked or taken down.

    The company confirmed the practice after an interview published earlier this week with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg raised questions about Messenger’s practices and privacy. Zuckerberg told Vox’s Ezra Klein a story about receiving a phone call related to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Facebook had detected people trying to send sensational messages through the Messenger app, he said.

    “In that case, our systems detect what’s going on,” Zuckerberg said. “We stop those messages from going through.”

    Some people reacted with concern on Twitter: Was Facebook reading messages more generally? Facebook has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over how it handles users’ private data and the revelation struck a nerve. Messenger doesn’t use the data from the scanned messages for advertising, the company said, but the policy may extend beyond what Messenger users expect.

    Read more: Zuckerberg’s date with Congress is set

    The company told Bloomberg that while Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse there that it does on the social network more generally. All content must abide by the same "community standards." People can report posts or messages for violating those standards, which would prompt a review by the company’s “community operations” team. Automated tools can also do the work.

    “For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” a Facebook Messenger spokeswoman said in a statement. “Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform.”

    Messenger used to be part of Facebook’s main service, before it was spun off into a separate application in 2014. Facebook’s other major chat app, WhatsApp, encrypts both ends of its users’ communications, so that not even WhatsApp can see it — a fact that’s made it more secure for users, and more difficult for lawmakers wanting information in investigations. Messenger also has an encrypted option, but users have to turn it on.

    The company updated its data policy and proposed new terms of service on Wednesday to clarify that Messenger and Instagram use the same rules as Facebook. “We better explain how we combat abuse and investigate suspicious activity, including by analyzing the content people share,” Facebook said in a blog post.

    Facebook is on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent. Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before the House next week and is holding a conference call on Wednesday afternoon to discuss changes to Facebook privacy policies. (Follow the call on the TOPLive blog.)

    The company is working to make its privacy policies clearer, but still ends up with gaps between what it says users have agreed to, and what users think they actually agreed to.

    The Messenger scanning systems “are very similar to those that other internet companies use today,” the company said.

    For more on Facebook, check out the   podcast:

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-04/facebook-scans-what-you-send-to-other-people-on-messenger-app

    4 Creepy Ways Everyday Life Is Turning Into Sci-Fi

    The goal of any good dystopian story is to warn us about the future that we could end up with if we’re not careful. But they’re usually inspired by something that’s happening right now. Which means that while most of us are watching some cool new show in which future people live in pods and are haunted by cyber ghosts, a few unlucky SOBs are out there already living it.

    4

    Japanese People Are Having To Live In Internet Cafes

    Much like America, Japan’s middle class is shrinking thanks to the upsurge in contract-only and temporary work. That makes paying rent all but impossible, so as many as 4,000 people in Tokyo alone are now living out of internet cafes — those places you thought became outdated shortly after we all moved on from 56k modems. They’re called saiba homuresu, or cyber homeless, which is a cool name for a sign of the crushingly bleak economic times.

    Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe “tiny house” thing is a little less cute when taken to its logical conclusion.

    And this isn’t a trendy way for young people to keep their lives simple before they get their feet on the ground. Nearly 40 percent of the cyber homeless are in their 30s, and 29 percent are in their 50s. There’s an imbalance in Japan’s economy whereby many people can’t get jobs, but those with jobs feel like they have to work themselves to death (and sometimes do) to stay in the game. And if you can’t afford a home, and have no free time to spend in one anyway, why not downgrade? Many cafes, which charge around 15 dollars a night, offer showers, laundry, and other amenities to their long-term residents. It’s kind of like living out of your car, except with much easier access to pornography. Plus you get to look like someone out of a William Gibson novel.

    Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTube

    Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe Depression Engine

    The cyber homeless try to see the bright side of downsizing, but take a look at the ancient computers they’re stuck with and try to tell us that that’s not suffering. If you’re going to have your life destroyed by a brutal economic recession, at least you shouldn’t also have to use Windows XP.

    Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeUpside: hardwood floors. Downside: Theyre also his bed.

    3

    Iran Has A Legal Organs-For-Cash Program

    Sci-fi dystopias frequently revolve around the stark contrast between the wasteful opulence of the wealthy and the brutal desperation of the poor. One of the most popular ways to illustrate this is organ replacement for hire. Whether a poor person needs to rent an organ on a monthly payment plan in Repo Men or a wealthy person simply has their own clone murdered for spare parts like in The Island, the idea of cashing in on organ donation immediately signifies that we’re in a nightmarish dystopia.

    Well, unless you live in modern Iran. Then it’s a fact of life. Iran has a legal marketplace for kidney sales, and while “kidney sale” immediately conjures images of spiked drinks and a bathtub full of ice and regret, it’s all above-board. Poor Iranians are so eager to “donate” that the streets leading to some hospitals are plastered with homemade advertisements proclaiming how healthy their signmakers are …

    Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesNo better way to advertise lifesaving surgery than with Sharpie on the side of a tree.

    Before you write off Iran as a backwards country with inferior healthcare, it’s been argued that their system is in some regards actually better than that of the United States. For all we may squirm at the concept, Iranians in need of kidneys, well, get kidneys. Meanwhile, as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise, America’s demand for healthy kidneys is only increasing. As of 2015, 100,000 Americans were waiting for a new kidney, and in 2014, 7,600 Americans either got too sick (or too dead) to receive one.

    Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesLuckily, the transplant specialists dont have to advertise like someone trying to sell a pee-stained couch … we hope.

    Iran’s healthcare system saves money overall, because patients get new kidneys quickly instead of spending a long time on dialysis, and the legal framework prevents the donor from getting screwed on payment. Plus, both donor and receiver must be Iranian nationals, so you don’t see “kidney tourism.” Iran has largely managed to address their organ shortage, although information on the long-term health of the sellers is unavailable, because the future is a morally complicated quagmire of nightmares.

    The system has its flaws, of course, with prospective patients making some seriously sketchy side deals to get around waiting periods. Oh, and also the whole vampiric overtone of the rich buying body parts from the poor. That’s pretty weird too.

    2

    Apple’s iPhone Factories Have Suicide Nets Lining The Buildings

    Our iPhones are made in Chinese factories, of which Longhua is the largest and most ominous. About 450,000 workers live and work in the highly regulated quasi-city-state. Nobody else gets in. Delivery truck drivers must first have their fingerprints scanned, and unauthorized visitors have been beaten in the past. Why all the secrecy? Well, if you were running a secret mini-dystopia, you’d be less keen on visitors too. Longhua workers alternate 12-hour shifts and live in grey dorms a few feet from the high-pressure environment where they work. Perhaps understandably, this situation has led to mass suicides. It turns out that forcing workers to pay for running water and getting mad at them for wanting bathroom breaks is bad for morale, even if you do throw the odd potluck.

    Tyrone Siu/ReutersHaving a workplace that could pass for a scene from 1984 isnt super encouraging.

    Now, to be fair, Steve Jobs did highlight how the suicide rate in China was about the same as at the factory, which is only a couple steps removed from telling someone that it’s statistically unlikely to be murdered while you’re stabbing them. Nevertheless, Apple and Foxconn, the factory’s parent company, did take measures to prevent suicides. If you think that sounds nice, think more literally. No steps were taken to improve the working and living conditions, which are infamous for their relentless pace, cruel management, and blatant recruiting lies. Instead, workers had to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves. Quickly realizing that a pinky promise didn’t mean much to someone standing on a ledge, they took one more measure: adding netting to all the tall buildings in the complex.

    Thomas Lee/WiredAlternately, a quick way down from the upper floors for people trying to preserve their four minutes a day of personal time.

    Shockingly, these measures haven’t really helped, as threats of mass suicide have become the workers’ only negotiating chip. In 2012, 150 of them gathered on a roof and threatened to jump if working conditions didn’t improve. It happened again in 2016 over withheld wages, which suggests that the 2012 protest didn’t go as well as it could have. Guardian journalists interviewed workers in 2017 to see if any improvements had been made, and one worker summed things up thusly: “It’s not a good place for human beings.”

    The iPhone X looks neat though, huh?

    1

    The Japanese Corpse Warehouses That Deliver The Dead Via Conveyor Belt

    Japan is running out of space to bury their dead, and a booming elderly population means that they’re going to have a whole lot of dead to bury. Further compounding the issue, people who have moved away from their hometowns are finding it troublesome to return to their family graves to care for them. The solution? Conveyor belts for the dead!

    Alexander Martin/Nikkei Asian Review

    .Tokyo GobyoObviously.

    The empathetic folks at Toyota are trying to save people from the tedious job of keeping their family graves clean by providing a low-maintenance alternative, meaning that a night on the town can now feature both sushi and your father’s ashes being brought to you by the same technology. When you arrive at the urn warehouse, you scan an ID card and are directed to a private prayer booth. In under a minute, a conveyor system transfers the relevant ashes into your booth from a behind-the-scenes storage area.

    Kazuhiro Kobayashi/The Japan TimesAll while enjoying a quiet Buddhist ceremony hosted by a vacant-eyed robot.

    A typical conveyor-fed urn warehouse holds 5,500 remains in just over 20,000 square feet, and a slot is roughly half as cheap as a traditional grave site. The only major downside is that it looks like Ghost In The Shell meets Beetlejuice.

    Chunichi Shimbun/The Japan TimesHonor your loved ones memory with the gift of high-volume automated storage.

    Oh, and that you couldn’t be sure — truly sure — that grandpa’s ghost likes hanging out in a robotic corpse warehouse for all eternity. You know old people and technology.

    Tiagosvn would love to hear about the most dystopian elements of your life on his Twitter. Nick is an attorney who hopes his writing career will continue to keep him out of the courtroom.

    Michael Gibson’s work is intense stuff. Check out his first graphic novel, Archangel, today!

    Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

    For more, check out 15 Real Sci-Fi Technologies About to Change the World and 5 Awesome Sci-Fi Movies Technologies That’d Suck In Real Life.

    Also, follow us on Facebook, it’s easy!

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25475_4-creepy-ways-everyday-life-turning-into-sci-fi.html

    5 Reasons Cryptocurrency Is Way Dumber Than You Thought

    Hey, remember how you never invested in Bitcoin in 2009 because you’d never heard of Bitcoin and didn’t really care about magic internet money? Same. And remember how in 2017, everyone and their uncles started talking about how Bitcoin was now worth a shitillion dollars and you totally should’ve gotten on the train in 2009? Same. So now “cryptocurrency” is everywhere, and barely anyone understands it. (“So it’s basically new types of digital money that any jackass can invent, and then other people start treating it as valuable? And tons of assholes are getting rich just by trading it? Really?”) Here’s what we do know: Almost everything about it is utterly ridiculous.

    5

    Bizarre Celebrity Endorsements

    The problem: There are hundreds of these cryptocurrencies now, so how does a new one gain credibility in a skeptical marketplace? The solution: celebrity endorsements, baby. Just ask the people behind Bitcoiin, and note the extra “i,” which stands for “I can’t believe Steven Seagal is the spokesman for this goddamned thing.”

    Twitter

    Meanwhile, Ghostface Killah, the Wu Tang Clan’s financial advisor, is giving the world CREAM, except this time, the acronym stands for “Crypto Rules Everything Around Me.” But that’s kind of what you get when a man whose first name is “Ghostface” is working PR for you. Paris Hilton tweeted support for LydianCoin, and then had to backpedal when the CEO was convicted of domestic battery and assault. Also, their launch video looks like it was made by The Onion on an especially cynical day.

    And because no one can outdo Floyd Mayweather when it comes to obnoxious bluster about money, he endorsed Centra, a company that made up its CEO. The image on the website was a Canadian professor who had no idea what the company was. A good tip regarding any financial opportunity: If your company made up its CEO, you might want to not go in for more than a double-digit investment.

    4

    There Is A Wave Of Stupid Currencies

    You presumably know about Bitcoin, possibly from an evangelist who hopped onboard a few years ago, made a questionable amount of possibly fake money, and can’t wait to spread the good word about how out of luck you are. But did you know that there are also about a thousand other cryptos out there, ranging from the more normal ones like Ripple to the bizarre Dogecoin, based on the unkillable meme and somehow now worth over a billion dollars? And there are even more preposterous currencies out there too, all vying for their slice of the “we just pretended we’re millionaires and it came true!” pie.

    BunnyToken is trying to position itself as the official currency of the $100 billion adult industry, selling its growth with a Playboy-esque rabbit theme. So are our profits going to be multiplying like bunnies? I just ask because it’s weird to base your business model on the question “People know that rabbits screw a lot, right?” And for those less interested in virtual currency to spend on porn, maybe because you need a root canal and your masturbation schedule has been disrupted due to tooth pain, there’s Dentacoin. It’s for paying your dentist, because why not? You probably have money, and your dentist accepts that shit, but why not use this currency that’s not good for anything else instead?

    Prodeum was a recent currency that managed to raise $11 during its initial coin offering and then vanished, replacing its website with the word “penis,” which is exactly what I would have done had I thought of it first. And in the same throbbing vein is Useless Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that repeatedly tells you on its own site that it’s not worth anything and all you’re doing is giving your money to a stranger so he can buy a TV. In fact, the site has a running tally of how much money people have sunk into Useless Ethereum (about $175,000), and in turn, how many TVs can be bought with that money

    While many of these currencies seem to have no real purpose, Russian Burger King gave us Whoppercoin, which you could use to buy Russian Whoppers. Get 1,700 Whoppercoins (which works out to spending about $30), and you get a Whopper. For $30, you can get 7.15 American Whopper meals, but that’s beside the point. The point is that it’s crypto, guys! Whatever that means.

    3

    There Is Rampant (And Ridiculous) Thievery

    TRIVIA TIME: Is a currency that doesn’t physically exist harder or easier to steal than the sock full of quarters that I definitely don’t keep under my bed? ANSWER: Waaaay easier, because that sock of quarters that isn’t under my bed can only be stolen from not under my bed, while something like $500 million in a cryptocurrency can be stolen from anywhere on Earth, and was indeed stolen from Coincheck in Japan in early 2018. It was literally the biggest heist in the history of stealing shit ever. But who cares, right? Cryptocurrency is super secure, because [citation needed].

    That Coincheck heist was beyond any bank robbery in real life, and while Coincheck is refunding the stolen money, they didn’t get the actual stolen funds back. No one knows who took it, and the security measures that monitored where the money went have since been removed, because crime-solving is hard. The money is never coming back, and seems to have mostly been funneled into the deep, dark, dirty web.

    In fact, over $9 million per day gets scammed in the world of cryptocurrency. Which is a lot, right? Like, I don’t have anywhere near that much money, so it seems like a lot to me. But it’s par for the course in this realm, until someone figures out a way to make it harder to steal. But even that probably won’t stop hackers from just using your WiFi to hijack your device when you’re sitting in Starbucks, forcing your machine to mine cryptocurrency for them using a process not even your computer fully understands.

    2

    Companies Are Rebranding To Jump On The Bandwagon

    Imagine if you sucked super hard at life and decided you needed to shake shit up to not suck, so you let everyone know that you were putting suck on the back burner and changing your name to Artemis Bitcoin FinTech Blockpunch. Would that make you a better person? The question is rhetorical, because of course it would. And businesses know this, which is why so many of them did almost exactly the awesome thing I just mentioned.

    Consider the Long Island Iced Tea Company, a boring if not fairly straightforward name attached to a business that made the titular beverages. And then they changed their name to Long Blockchain Corp, causing their stock value to increase sixfold. They literally did nothing else. They didn’t implement any changes or discover a bunch of enchanted rubies in the cellar. They announced they were going to become a cryptocurrency business — something any small beverage company is of course set up to do at a moment’s notice — and that they would buy 1,000 Bitcoin mining machines, or what the layman might call “computers.”

    Here’s the kicker: They never bought those machines, because you can’t float them in vats of iced tea, and even if you could, who cares? The stock already went up! Now to keep that sweet interest flowing, they say they’re going to partner in the future with a blockchain company and something something profit.

    SkyPeople Juice International Holding recently shook their shit up by becoming Future FinTech. The company, most famous for making juice — because as I already established, beverages and Bitcoin go together like beverages and Bitcoin — switched gears and saw a triple increase in stock prices! But unlike Long Blockchain, Future FinTech didn’t promise to mine Bitcoin, or work with anyone who does, or actually anything of the sort. They want to get into e-commerce and commodities, which is kind of what they already do, but now with a new, hip name. But their stock still increased because it sounded to others like they were going to do something. What they do say is that they’re “a financial technology company and integrated producer of fruit-related products,” which maybe is how Fruit Roll-Ups were invented. That’s the power of rebranding in the world of cryptocurrency.

    Kodak announced plans to start their own cryptocurrency (which they’ve since pushed back) that would somehow protect the works of photographers, and their stock shot up like a rocket. There was even a company that used to make sports bras which decided one day to become a cryptocurrency consulting firm called the Crypto Company, and they saw their stock explode 57 times over. And then the SEC shut down trading for the business, because as it turns out, people get oddly suspicious when a bra company becomes a multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency firm out of nowhere.

    1

    It Wastes A Ton Of Energy

    I mentioned earlier that cryptocurrencies are “mined.” Basically, imagine an invisible resource that can only be extracted using lots of complicated math that requires thousands and thousands of computers. Well, because of all of those machines running around the clock, a single Bitcoin transaction has been estimated to use as much energy as your house will use in a week.

    Now, the metrics on Bitcoin waste are hard to pin down. Most come from one Digiconomist article that makes a lot of assumptions, but it’s also not outright making stuff up. Whether it’s the entire amount of energy used by Greece or Iraq in a year, it’s still taking a shit-ton of power to create nothing whatsoever. And a lot of that is being used and generated in China with fossil fuels, for that extra, secret layer of “fuck you” to everyone else.

    In theory, with software improvements, Bitcoin could become more energy efficient and maybe stop burning buildings down, which is literally a thing that has happened more than once. But for now, one estimate had Bitcoin using power equivalent to what 30 1.2-gigawatt nuclear plants generate, all day every day. Do you know how many times that could send Marty McFly back to 1985? Fuckin’ several.

    Some are trying to mitigate the waste. People are setting up mining operations in the Arctic so that the overheating is less of an issue. One dude is using the excess heat from his mining PCs to grow tomatoes, while others have just decided to use it to heat their homes — and those are just recovering small amounts of the energy that gets wasted as heat radiating from the processors.

    We may go around talking about how badly baby boomers screwed over the planet with their SUVs and heated pools, but at least they didn’t burn up several coal mines’ worth of energy on what may turn out to be an ephemeral get rich quick scheme.

    You’re honestly just better off putting your money into a literal piggy bank. It’s probably more secure.

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    For more, check out 4 Reasons Bitcoin Hoarders Are Screwed and 6 Everyday Objects You Had No Clue People Once Used As Money.

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    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-cryptocurrency-way-dumber-than-you-thought/

    Parkland Survivor Slams Fox Host: Coming From A 14-Year-Old, Please Grow Up

    Lauren Hogg, a teen survivor of last month’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, is accusing a Fox News host of cyberbullying.

    Laura Ingraham of the “Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday mocked Hogg’s brother, David Hogg, also a survivor of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 17 dead.

    David Hogg has since become a vocal proponent of gun control, and has been attacked from the right for it. 

    Ingraham said the high school senior “whined” about getting rejected by four colleges:

    Lauren Hogg defended her brother: 

    Her brother called for a boycott of Ingraham’s show on Wednesday evening: 

    Lauren Hogg also called on first lady Melania Trump, who has vowed to fight cyberbullying, to speak out. 

    Lauren Hogg, who lost four friends in the mass shooting, made a similar comment last month, when Donald Trump Jr. “liked” two tweets promoting right-wing conspiracy theories about her brother. 

    You say that your mission as first lady is to stop cyber bullying,” she tweeted to Melania Trump. “Don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your stepson @DonaldJTrumpJr before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which … put a target on my back?”

    The Hogg family has received death threats since the mass shooting, The Washington Post reported last month.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lauren-hogg-laura-ingraham_us_5abc7654e4b06409775d0d2c