Sex robot gets 92 Tinder matches in 2 hours

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Millions of people go on dating apps for some human warmth now and then – for some, though, ‘human’ isn’t necessarily part of the equation. A realistic sex robot has garnered almost a hundred matches on Tinder in just two hours.

An experiment was conducted by a filmmaker working on a film about sex robot brothels. In a quest for source material, Jimmy Meihel set up a dating profile on Tinder for Harmony – the world’s first sex robot with an AI.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Meihel said he picked a prime time and prime place: 9 to 11pm on a Friday night on the lower east side of Manhattan. A stunning 92 men in the vicinity spied right.

It’s not like they could have easily thought Harmony was human: one of the pictures Meihel provided clearly had her robotic brain on display, and the profile right below the images clearly laid all the cards on the table.

Hi, I’m an anatomically correct, sexually capable robot with the most advanced AI available. I’m on Tinder to find out if guys are interested in me.

Yet when confronted by Meihel about their choice, only 17 people said they would want to have sex with a robot. Fifteen said maybe, and 25 backed down.
Meihel’s scheme was merely a thought experiment, and he never planned to watch a sex robot actually go on dates (maybe it’ll be in his next film, who knows). In fact, Harmony wasn’t even his to begin with: he got the permission from Mat McMullen, the robot’s creator, to use its (her?) images.

Sex doll brothel in Moscow gets chatty ‘intelligent’ robot – but it can only speak English & Chinese

Which is understandable, considering it costs some $ 15,000 to purchase one of the ultra-high-tech sex toys. She’s more than that to the first proud owner, however: in July, the connoisseur (going under the apt moniker Brick Dollbanger online), rated sex with her at an 8.5/10 compared to a real woman, and said he believed it would be a true relationship.

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Trump finds Saudi explanation ‘credible’, calls 18 arrests in Khashoggi probe a ‘great 1st step’

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Calling Saudi Arabia a crucial ally against Iran that purchases billions of dollars-worth of US weapons, Donald Trump lamented Khashoggi’s “unacceptable” death but praised Riyadh for making the first arrests in the ongoing probe.

“It is a good first step. It is a big step,” Trump said, admitting, though, that “some questions” do remain and that he will be dealing with Congress on how to proceed to address the issue.

READ MORE: Not buying it: Lawmakers & journalists skeptical of Saudi story about Khashoggi death

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened in unacceptable,” Trump emphasized.

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Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul © Reuters / Huseyin Aldemir

“I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything,” the president said. “But I would prefer that we don’t use as retribution, canceling the $ 110 billion-worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.”

“They have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a counter-balance to Iran. So it’s not the simplest solution. It’s not the simplest situation to be in,” Trump reiterated, expressing hope that “it will get solved, it will get solved.”

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As Bolton heads to Moscow, US charges another Russian with ‘election meddling’

By ethan / October 20, 2018

The Department of Justice has charged a Russian national with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 and upcoming 2018 elections, in an indictment released just one day before crucial meetings between US and Russian officials.

Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, allegedly served as the chief accountant for ‘Project Lakhta’, a strategic effort to “sow discord in the US political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” according to US Attorney Zachary Terwilliger.

The Department named Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two of his companies, Concord Catering and Concord Management and Consulting LLC, as the source of the project’s funding.

Khusyaynova, 44, was allegedly responsible for distributing the project’s $ 35 million budget, which the Department says went towards buying domain names, paying trolls to post as American activists, and posting inflammatory content on a whole spectrum of issues, including “immigration, gun control and the Second Amendment, the Confederate flag, race relations, LGBT issues, the Women’s March, and the NFL national anthem debate.”

Concord will be a familiar name to anyone watching Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing ‘Russiagate’ probe. The company was one of three indicted by Mueller in February, for allegedly interfering with the 2016 election. Concord responded with a court filing saying that the charges amounted to a “make-believe crime” and that Mueller was trying to “justify his own existence” and “indict a Russian ‒ any Russian” for political reasons.

Friday’s indictment comes one day before US national security adviser John Bolton flies to Moscow for a series of meetings with Russian officials, aimed at continuing the dialog started by President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this summer. A meeting between Putin and Bolton is reportedly on the table.

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© Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Curiously, Mueller’s last indictment against ‘Russian hackers’ was issued a few days before Trump’s head-to-head summit with Putin. A host of top Democrats, and some Republicans – such the late Russia-hawk John McCain – called on Trump to cancel the summit in the wake of the indictment. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the timing was intended to “spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit.”

“The influential political forces in the US, that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years, are desperately trying to make the best use of yet another fake,” the Foreign Ministry added.

The DOJ’s latest indictment, as well as Mueller’s previous two, all have two things in common: First, the accused parties will likely never be extradited to the US to answer the charges. Secondly, all the indictments caution that they don’t allege the ‘interference’ actually “had any effect on the outcome of an election,” or involved “collusion” by any Americans.

Notably, in Friday’s indictment the Justice Department praised the “exceptional cooperation” of Facebook and Twitter in turning over evidence of troll and bot activity. On Wednesday, Twitter released a database of tweets and media it claims “resulted from potentially state-backed information operations” in Russia and Iran.

It would not, however, say how it came to believe the offending tweets came from Russia, and the company has been accused before of roping in genuine accounts in its wide-net bot hunts, which consider an account “Russian-linked” if the user has Cyrillic characters anywhere on their profile, and if they ever logged in from a Russian IP address, even once, to list only two criteria.

In a familiar twist, Twitter’s bot-hunting partner organization – the NATO-sponsored Digital Forensics Lab – concluded that there was “no evidence to suggest” that the tweets “triggered large-scale changes in political behavior.”

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‘Hope we can keep it’: Trump touts Saudi arms deal while talking sanctions over Khashoggi death

By ethan / October 19, 2018

US President Donald Trump has again warned that Saudi Arabia will face consequences if it was behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – but he also suggested that Washington will not be axing its arms deal with Riyadh.

When a reporter, employing some lingo previously used by the president, asked Trump what “severe consequences” against Saudi Arabia would entail, the president had a rather vague answer.

“I think it’s too early to say,” he said, while stressing that it’s “very serious stuff” and “something we don’t like” if Riyadh was indeed behind Khashoggi’s murder. He added that Congress would be involved when it came to determining an appropriate response.

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Pictures of Saudi journalist Khashoggi placed on security barriers during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul © Reuters / Murad Sezer

However, he once again touted the arms deal between Washington and Riyadh, citing the $ 450 billion and 600,000 jobs it is bringing into the country, and adding that it would be “very hurtful” to the US if it was dropped.

“I hope we can keep that,” he said.

When asked specifically whether sanctions might be considered, Trump said it was a possibility but declined to commit to implementing them. Instead, he said the US is first going to “find out who knew what, when, and where.”

Trump went on to once-again call Saudi Arabia a “great ally” of the United States. “That’s why this is so sad.”

Khashoggi, a journalist with The Washington Post, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Turkish officials have accused a Saudi assassination squad of murdering and dismembering his body. Riyadh says it is investigating the circumstances of his disappearance.

Trump’s comments come just one day after he stated that it “certainly looks like” Khashoggi is dead, adding that whoever was behind his murder would face “severe consequences.” 

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Hillary 2020? Former adviser says there’s a (slim) chance

By ethan / October 19, 2018

With no clear frontrunner emerging from the Democratic camp, one former adviser reckons 2020 might be Hillary Clinton’s time to shine – much to the amusement of the White House.

Philippe Reines, a former senior adviser to Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State, told Politico on Friday that while Clinton’s chances of running in 2020 are “somewhere between highly unlikely and zero,” people shouldn’t be so quick to write her off.

No other Democrat has “anywhere near a base of 32 million people,” Reines argued, referring to how many votes Clinton could muster if half of her 2016 supporters voted for her again. Reines added that Clinton is “smarter,” “tougher,” and could fundraise easier than any other Democrat.

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FILE PHOTO © Reuters / Aaron P. Bernstein

Speculation that Clinton might run again was given a boost this summer, when the one-time presidential hopeful gave a handful of campaign-style speeches and sent out emails to supporters. However, these rumors were dismissed by her former campaign strategist as a “pipe dream.”

The public seem to agree. According to a Rasmussen poll taken in July, only 22 percent of Democrat voters think Clinton has been good for the party, while 58 percent think she’s damaged its standing.

While Reines argues that Clinton is a Democratic stalwart, she’s also tainted: by her shock loss against Trump in 2016, by a history of scandals that Trump seems only too delighted to remind the public of, and by her association with the watery centrism that Democratic voters are moving leftwards from.

This disconnect is best illustrated by Clinton’s relationship with Florida’s progressive gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, according to Politico’s Annie Karni. After offering Gillum their full support, Bill and Hillary Clinton were spurned by the up-and-coming candidate. Gillum opted not to have Bill Clinton campaign with him at all, and is keeping Hillary’s appearances to a minimum.

“Even Hillary voters don’t want to see or hear from her again,” tweeted Miami filmmaker Billy Corben.

Gillum’s rise to prominence is not a unique story. Along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Ayanna Pressley in Boston, he is among the new crop of young, progressive candidates campaigning on a platform far to the left of anything Clinton ever offered.

In addition, Clinton’s defense of her husband against sexual assault allegations, her exhortation that he did “nothing wrong” in his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and her close ties to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, all make her seem woefully out of touch with the #MeToo generation.

Nevertheless, she persisted: The Clintons announced earlier this month that they will embark on a speaking tour of the US after next month’s midterm elections, beginning in Las Vegas on November 18 and ending in Inglewood, California in May next year. Ticket prices range from $ 72 to $ 750, not quite the fees either of them commanded between 2000 and 2008 for clients like Goldman Sachs, but not exactly pocket-change either.

Clinton has publicly stated that she will not take a shot at the presidency again, but Reines isn’t so sure.

“She’s younger than Donald Trump by a year. She’s younger than Joe Biden by four years. Is it that she’s run before? This would be Bernie Sanders’ second time, and [Joe] Biden’s third time,” he told Politico. “Is it lack of support? She had 65 million people vote for her.”

Among those praying for a Clinton/Trump rematch are Republicans and conservatives, who consider Clinton an easy opponent and a handy foil to whip up support against. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders greeted the Friday article with a tweet saying “Christmas coming early this year?”

“Please let this be true” tweeted Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson.

Meanwhile, even ultra-liberal news site the Daily Beast ran an op-ed on Thursday by anti-Trump political strategist Liz Mair, who argued that even Republicans are getting tired of attacking Clinton.

In the article titled “Dear God, Hillary Clinton. Please, Just Go,” Mair lashed out against the Clintons’ “zombie politics,” which she called “a brain-devouring, egocentric version of Democrat-ism lurching and festering onward, seemingly endlessly.”

Trump himself put things more succinctly earlier this month, when he addressed public comments by Clinton after the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in which she blasted Trump’s conduct at Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony.

“I guess that’s why she lost. She doesn’t get it,” he said. “She never did. I knew that a long time ago. Hillary never got it. That’s why she lost.”

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Marijuana legalization linked to spike in car crashes, studies reveal

By ethan / October 19, 2018

Marijuana legalization hit another milestone this week as Canada lifted its ban on the drug. But new research may undermine pot’s march towards the mainstream, as two studies have linked legalization with a rise in car crashes.

The US-focused research detected a marked rise in the number of collisions in states where it’s legal to smoke pot for recreational reasons.

Analysis by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that claims filed to insurers spiked by as much as 6 percent in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington after marijuana became legal. A separate study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) detected a 5.2 percent spike in police crash reports in Colorado, Oregon and Washington over a five-year period.

“The new IIHS-HLDI research on marijuana and crashes indicates that legalizing marijuana for all uses is having a negative impact on the safety of our roads,” IIHS President David Harkey said. “States exploring legalizing marijuana should consider this effect on highway safety,” he added.

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Canada is only the second nation in the world to legalize recreational use of cannabis after Uruguay © REUTERS / Carlos Osorio

The researchers compiled the states’ stats and compared them to neighboring states where recreational pot use is still banned. The two findings were found to be consistent.

It’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana across America, including in states that have given cannabis the green light. Those in favor of relaxing cannabis laws could point out that the studies only looked at four states, while a total of nine allow recreational consumption of the drug. Medical marijuana is legal in another 30 states.

READ MORE: Russian kids in ‘birthplace of recreational weed’ could face compulsory drug tests

The research notes that determining impairment from marijuana is a tricky task and the drug’s role in crashes isn’t as clear as the link between alcohol and accidents. Unlike booze, the amount of marijuana present in a person’s body doesn’t consistently relate to impairment. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. However a positive test for THC doesn’t mean the driver was impaired at the time of the crash. Regular marijuana users may have positive blood tests for THC days or weeks after using the drug.

“Despite the difficulty of isolating the specific effects of marijuana impairment on crash risk, the evidence is growing that legalizing its use increases crashes,” Harkey added.

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‘I stripped off for a reason’ – Russian hockey fan backs team in unusual way

By ethan / October 19, 2018

A fan of Russia’s Sibir ice hockey club, Elena Kusacheva, has stripped off in support of her team – which has got off to a slow start in the new KHL season, sitting last in the standings.

READ MORE: ‘I spent 10 yrs in the gym, I’ll never hide my body’ – Ice hockey presenter on ‘sexism row’ (VIDEO)

The hockey fan, whose revealing photo session has caused a social media stir, said that she wanted to “see more beautiful people in the stands,” adding that Sibir supporters needed to be more enthusiastic in backing their team.

Our home sector is very dull. These are people who came to watch hockey after a hard working day at a factory. I want to see more beautiful people in the stands. I want the stadium to be rebranded. I would like to see more colorful jerseys, because we are really too ‘grey’,” Kusacheva was quoted as saying by Novosibirsk outlet NGS.

Kusacheva, who will also be a presenter for HC Sibir’s YouTube channel, said that her scantily-clad pictures were also dedicated to the global No Bra Day, aimed at raising breast cancer awareness.

This was not only about ice hockey. The photo shoot was dedicated to the international No Bra Day which is of great importance,” Kusacheva said.

A great number of groups and organizations that are connected with the underwear market are celebrating it. I just wanted to show that the team is developing, that it has its own traditions. It’s just a celebration, like Halloween.”

The devoted Sibir fan also revealed that the YouTube show she is about to launch will be designed for local supporters, who she expects will help the team to end its losing streak.

I can understand people who will stop attending the team’s matches. That’s why we decided to create the YouTube channel. We will record funny short videos with fans during hockey breaks. This show will be not about hockey, but about its fans,” she said. 

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Thousands of US-bound migrants storm Guatemala-Mexico border (VIDEO)

By ethan / October 19, 2018

Thousands of migrants have arrived at the Mexico-Guatemala border, with some climbing over the fence separating the two countries. US President Donald Trump has threatened to close the US-Mexico border and call in the military.

More than 3,000 migrants are demanding they be let into Mexico, and ultimately through to the US, with many heard chanting “We want to work!”

Others shouted, “We are not smugglers, we are immigrants!”

Most of the migrants are from Honduras, but some have joined the caravan from other Central American countries.

On Thursday, Trump referred to the caravan as an “assault on our country,” citing “criminal elements and drugs pouring in.” He encouraged Mexico to “stop this onslaught.”

He later thanked Mexico for sending police and riot gear to the Mexico-Guatemala border, saying that the US looks forward to working with the country.

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‘Sincerely proud’: Putin congratulates Russian team on topping Youth Olympics medal table

By ethan / October 19, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the nation’s Youth Olympics team on its dominant performance at the Summer Games in Buenos Aires, where it comfortably topped the medals table.

Russia ended with a record haul of 59 medals at the event, 29 of which were gold, with 18 silver and 12 bronze.

That put Russia way ahead of China in second – who ended with 36 medals in total, 18 of which were gold, and Japan in third, who ended with 15 golds and 39 medals in total.

READ MORE: Russian beach volleyball pair Bocharova & Voronina claim gold at Youth Olympics (PHOTOS)

Putin congratulated Russia’s rising generation of stars with a personal message, expressing the nation’s “sincere pride” at the team’s dominant performance at the event, which ran from October 6 to 18 in Argentinian capital.

“This triumph is an important contribution to strengthening the international prestige of our country as a strong sporting power,” read a message from Putin, via the presidential press service.

“It is a clear indication that a whole generation of young, talented athletes have grown up in the Russian regions who are able to compete for the highest places in both traditionally successful disciplines and new sports which were recently included in the Olympic program.

“We are sincerely proud that the national anthem of Russia was heard often in honor of our champions – representatives of sports and rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, cycling, shooting, taekwondo, judo, break dance, wrestling, beach volleyball, boxing.”

The Games came to a close on Thursday, and will next be held in Senegal in 2022, which will be the first time the event has headed to Africa.

This year was the first time Russia has topped the medals table at the Summer Youth Games, with China leading the way in the previous two editions.  

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White House chopper mechanic busted with crystal meth after calling the cops on himself

By ethan / October 19, 2018

A mechanic who maintains the White House’s fleet of helicopters has been busted with methamphetamine, after he called the cops while under the influence, thinking his house was being broken into.

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A file photo of crystal meth.

The high-flying Heisenberg, 30-year-old Cody Haynes, called police to his Florida home on Wednesday night, reporting an armed intruder. When police arrived, Haynes told them that three “African-American masked subjects” had broken in earlier on and held his girlfriend and the couple’s young daughter hostage, a police report reads.

Agitated, Haynes told police that his girlfriend remained trapped inside with the subjects, but a police search revealed a deserted house with no sign of a struggle. Instead they found a small amount of crystal methamphetamine, a pipe, and a scales, as well as an unidentified pill.

Cops noticed that Haynes was “sweating profusely,” and his breathing was labored. After some questioning, he admitted to smoking meth in the house earlier that evening and was arrested. Haynes’ girlfriend, Tara Frew, told police that no intruders entered the house, and that Haynes’ story was the product of a meth-induced hallucination.

She went on to explain that Haynes works as a mechanic for Sikorsky Aircraft in Maryland, earns over $ 150,000 per year, and has a top secret security clearance “due to his work with the Presidential helicopter fleet.”

A Sikorsky spokesman confirmed that Haynes does indeed work at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the homebase of the presidential fleet program, but could not confirm that he works on that program for sure.

According to Frew, Haynes often works in Maryland for days on end, and bizarrely, likes to self medicate his anxiety with crystal meth when he gets home to Florida.

Haynes was charged with felony narcotics possession and child neglect, for allegedly smoking meth while caring for his daughter. He was freed on bail after a court hearing on Thursday.

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