Monday, March 20, 2017
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- Trump tweet fact-checked by James Comey in real-time. Trump is caught in another LIE in real-time.
- Trump ignores FBI chief Comey's words to insist he 'refuses to deny' Obama briefing
- FBI director confirms Donald Trump's wiretap allegation against President Obama was a lie
- Daily Kos brings you independent news and progressive views every day. Can you chip in $1 to support our work?
- Republicans want to talk about anything but Comey's bombshell statement
- Republicans at Comey hearing show why we need a special prosecutor now
- Democrat Adam Schiff opens Trump-Russia hearing with a list of what we know—and it's amazing
- FBI chief Comey confirms that Russia used WikiLeaks—which Trump loves—to release hacked information
- Donald Trump's campaign is being investigated for its ties to Russia. Sign the petition: Postpone Supreme Court hearings until after Russia investigation has been completed.
- Spicer deflects and denies on Trump Russia ties, says 'nothing has changed' after Comey testimony
- Comey, asked what would prompt an FBI investigation, says 'a credible allegation of wrongdoing'
- Republicans go to ludicrous lengths to talk about anything but the subject of Russia hearing
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COMEY ON RUSSIAN Interference in USA Elections; CREATE A PAPER: The Olga Lazin Daily Analysis of Mental Health News
The Olga Lazin Daily Analysis of Mental Health News:
Comey said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a broad inquiry into Moscow’s efforts to “interfere” in the presidential election, an effort he said began in late July of last year.
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said. “And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Comey cautioned he wouldn’t be able to discuss many details of what remains a classified probe and said that his refusal to answer a question shouldn’t be taken as a tacit confirmation. “Please don’t draw any conclusions from the fact that I may not be able to comment on certain topics,” he said, adding it “really isn’t fair to draw conclusions.”
Nonetheless, Trump tweeted during the hearing: “FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.”
It was a reference to Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, who was fired for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the content of phone calls with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, a few weeks before Trump’s inauguration. Media reports at the time, based on anonymous sources, said the subject of U.S. sanctions against Russia was discussed.
White House Reaction
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday afternoon that nothing had changed as a result of the hearing and that officials in President Barack Obama’s administration had said they had no evidence of collusion between Trump’s camp and Russia.
Asked whether Trump still has confidence in Comey, Spicer told reporters, “There’s no reason to believe he doesn’t at this time.”
While some Republicans on the committee suggested Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have collaborated with Russians, Comey bluntly rejected that notion. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal was to undermine the former secretary of state’s candidacy while aiding Trump’s, as U.S. intelligence agencies found in a report published in January.
‘Hate’ For Clinton
“They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her and help him," Comey said. "Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much."
As of August and September, the Russians expected Clinton to win based on polling that indicated “Trump didn’t stand a chance,” Comey said, so their thinking was “let’s just focus on undermining her.”
Comey addressed the panel alongside the head of the National Security Agency as leaders of the Intelligence Committee debunked Trump’s claim that his predecessor listened in on his communications.
Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the committee, said “the fact that Russia hacked U.S. election-related databases comes as no shock to this committee.” He also went on to reject the president’s claims that the Obama administration “wiretapped” Trump Tower last year, saying, “Let me be clear: we know there was not a wiretap on Trump Tower.”
His Democratic colleague, Adam Schiff of California, said there was “no crime” in Trump or his aides having legitimate connections with Russian interests. But he added, “If the Trump campaign, or anybody associated with it, aided or abetted the Russians, it would not only be a serious crime, it would also represent one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.”
Nunes said Monday’s public hearing, with Comey and NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers, was intended to focus on Russia’s actions, whether campaign officials or other U.S. citizens were improperly monitored and who was responsible for leaks of sensitive information. The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting its own, separate investigation into similar issues. Both probes are expected to last for months.
“There is a big gray cloud that you’ve now put over people” in the Trump administration, Nunes told Comey at the end of the public hearing.
Looming over Monday’s session was the case of Flynn. Republicans focused their questioning on how Flynn’s identity and his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak were unmasked and leaked, saying it was a crime that has damaged U.S. spy programs.
Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, said there’s “an agreement between the American people and its government: We the American people give certain powers to the government to keep us safe.” But when those powers are misused, citizens may be “rethinking their side of the equation.”
Comey acknowledged it would be a crime if a U.S. person’s identity was willfully unmasked and leaked. However, Comey declined to say whether the leaking of Flynn’s name and phone call with the Russian ambassador was a crime or if it’s under investigation by the FBI, saying he didn’t want to confirm the existence of classified information.
Following Flynn’s dismissal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian probes after acknowledging that he met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.
Trump supporters including Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and energy consultant Carter Page have denied any improprieties in their contacts with Russian officials or intermediaries. Documents released last week by congressional Democrats show Flynn received more than $45,000 from RT, the Russian government-backed media company, for his participation at a December 2015 gala where he sat at Putin’s table.
Spicer told reporters Monday that some of those said to have contacts with Russia were just “hanger-ons” to Trump’s campaign -- a description he said applied to Page, who Trump last March cited as a foreign policy adviser -- and that Manafort, who led Trump’s campaign during the Republican convention, “played a limited role for a limited time.”
Read more about documents showing Flynn’s work with Russian companies
Trump preemptively weighed in on the proceedings Monday morning, saying it was part of a political attack meant to undermine his administration, even though the hearing was led by the Republican-majority committee.
“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted, using an acronym for President of the United States and referring to the former director of national intelligence. “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”
Trump said Congress should be investigating leaks that have harmed his young administration.
“The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information,” the president said in a Twitter post. “Must find leaker now!”
Later Friday, Comey left his congressional interrogators with a cautionary note: Russia may want to repeat its meddling in the future “because they introduced chaos and division” in the U.S. political system.
“They’ll be back,” he said. “They’ll be back in 2020, they may be back in 2018.”
(Updates to add hearing ending and Nunes comments to Comey in 17th paragraph.)
To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org, Billy House in Washington at email@example.com, Toluse Olorunnipa in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.'via Blog this'
FBs New Mystery Software Being Buit: The all-star roster of tech veterans that Facebook began assembling one year ago is quietly making progress, steadily expanding the size of its ranks and the hardware prototypes under development.
The group, known as Building 8, currently has four simultaneous projects underway, spanning everything from cameras and augmented reality to science fiction-like brain scanning technology, Business Insider has learned.
And Facebook is already thinking about the coming-out party for its impending family of gadgets, laying the groundwork to drum up interest and sell the products when the time is right. Building 8 has yet to unveil any of its products, but people familiar with the matter said the hardware group is expected to play a key role in Facebook’s developer conference next month, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his 10-year vision for the company last year.
To be part of this next wave, they’ve got to get real and hurry
The move to hardware is an ambitious and risky adventure for Facebook, which reigns as an internet superpower thanks to its nearly 2 billion users. With virtually no experience in the world of hardware, Facebook is taking on deep-pocketed competitors like Apple, Google and upstarts such as Snap, in a cut-throat business defined by thin profit margins and complex logistics.
And Facebook doesn't appear to be treating Building 8 like a hobby.
An analysis of Building 8’s recent hires and job listings by Business Insider, as well as conversations with people close to the company, shows an ambitious effort to create and sell millions of consumer hardware units, from a supply chain outpost in Hong Kong to a planned retail push and customer call center operation.
Facebook declined to comment for this story.
Cardiologists and prosthetics
One of the current Building 8 projects involves cameras and augmented reality, according to people familiar with the matter, and recent hires point to the development of a drone.
Another project involves brain-scanning technology and is lead by a former John Hopkins neuroscientist who helped develop a mind-controlled prosthetic arm. Yet another project could have medical applications, as it’s led by an interventional cardiologist from Stanford with expertise in early-stage medical device development. The group is also planning to jumpstart a fifth unspecified project, and is currently looking for the right person to lead it.
Overseeing everything is Regina Dugan, the former DARPA executive who Facebook CEO Zuckerberg poached from Google’s advanced projects division last April.
Building 8 is structured similarly to Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Group, or ATAP, and is also similar to X, the “moonshot” lab where Google's self-driving cars were born.
At Building 8, technical project leads are treated like mini-CEOs and given two-year deadlines to prove a concept that will either be shipped and sold or spun out into a different part of Facebook, which also owns Oculus VR, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
"He's going to help us make things fly"
The first such deadline is about a year away, coming up in the summer of 2018. Frank Dellaert, a robotics and computer vision expert, is leading that project. His involvement could suggest that Facebook is looking at making a consumer drone, something which Snapchat maker Snap Inc. has also looked into.
Before he joined Facebook last summer, Dellaert was the chief scientist at Skydio, a small startup that is working on an unreleased drone that can autonomously track a person while navigating through physical space. Dellaert also served as a professor at Georgia Tech and has shown specific interest in quadcopters, according to a person familiar with his work.
Additionally, Skydio’s former head of hardware, Stephen McClure, joined Facebook to be Building 8’s head of hardware in January, according to his LinkedIn profile. A handful of former GoPro employees have also joined Building 8 in recent months, including a founding member of the drone maker’s industrial design team.
In a separate Facebook post announcing his hire, Building 8 chief Regina Dugan hinted at Dellaert’s aerial ambitions. “He’s going to help us make things fly… when he’s not guarding the door,” she wrote.
Workers from other parts of Facebook have also been pulled in to staff Building 8. One engineer who joined last year named Alex Granieri previously worked on Aquila, Facebook’s high-altitude drone designed to beam internet connectivity to the developing world.
In an August 2016 post announcing his decision to join Building 8, Frank Dellaert signaled that his Building 8 project would be over by the summer of 2018, when he planned to return and teach at Georgia Tech.
“I can’t yet discuss the details of what I’ll be working on at Building 8, so stay tuned,” he wrote. “Suffice it to say, I accepted this position because of the potential impact. I'm eager to apply DARPA-style development to building hardware products at Facebook – audacious science and product development in one place? Let’s do it.”
“Disruptive shopping experiences”
While Building 8 is only less than a year old, the group is already ramping up plans to release its products into the wild, with multiple open “go-to-market,” retail, supply chain, and customer experience job positions listed on its website.
An open retail manager positionsays the job will “have the responsibility of creating disruptive ground up shopping experiences of Facebook consumer hardware,” and another open partnerships lead positionsays the person will “build an engaging and successful 3 year partnership strategy for Building 8 retail.”
The listings also indicate that Facebook plans to leverage outside partnerships to sell its products. One responsibility for the partnerships lead position is to “identify unique and inspiring collaborations that will drive innovation, impact social good, and inspire consumer loyalty and trust.”
Shipping and selling consumer hardware to millions of people represents a new challenge for Facebook, which to date has only tried smaller-scale retail pushes for its expensive Oculus VR headset.
Facebook’s early efforts with Building 8 are an indication that the company wants to be a serious player in augmented reality, which is considered to be the next frontier of technology, according to Loup Ventures partner Gene Munster.
“They realize to be part of this next wave, they’ve got to get real and hurry,” said Munster, who was previously known for his coverage of Apple as a Piper Jaffray analyst.
Munster, whose firm closely follows augmented and virtual reality companies, foresees Facebook wanting to ship at least 20 million units per year to be considered a successful consumer hardware company. Even then, he predicts that competition from the likes of larger companies like Apple and smaller incumbents like Snap Inc. will be strong.
“It’s a sign that they want to be more impactful and have a seat at the table,” he said of Facebook’s hardware efforts with Building 8. “I think it’s the right thing to do, but I’m hesitant to say it will be a success.”
Still, Building 8 is continuing to make hires from well-known hardware companies. The majority of Building 8’s senior leadership previously worked with Dugan at Google’s advanced technologies division, including the leadership team responsible for the shuttered Project Ara modular smartphone.
Interestingly, Dugan has made a couple of Facebook posts in recent weeks that hint at what she’s focusing on within Building 8.
In a post from February, she cited a statistic that 93% of “face-to-face” time between parents and their children is done by the time kids graduate high school.
“Most people experience this fact like a kick in the gut,” she wrote. “Because it is a profound reminder of the power of connections. And that we can do more to increase our sense of presence beyond the remaining 7%. I’m optimistic that technology can help... it will require new advances. Including hardware advances. That are social first.”
In a March post, Dugan wrote, “Smartphones have the power to connect us to people far away from us. Too often, at the expense of the people sitting right next to us. We shouldn’t have to choose.”
Do you know more about what's going on in Building 8? Contact the author securely (and discreetly) via aheath@businessinsider, Twitter direct message, or "alexeheath" on Telegram.
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NEW COMPUTER: Educational Counselling and Resource Did Computer Store give a date to pick up new computer - email@example.com - Gmail
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TO; dr OLGA, Educational Counselling and Resource
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|date:||Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 7:22 PM|
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