‘Politics’ Category

  1. AI: breaking news

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    May 26, 2017 by AK

    As Interfax reports from Moscow, the Russian cabinet’s representative in the Duma has asked the chairman of its legislative committee if MPs could be replaced by robots: “I am very much interested in your view on this. I’ve been to a lecture on artificial intelligence, and apologists for this theory are saying that soon, within five-ten years, …
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  2. The contagion of example

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    May 16, 2017 by AK

    Denys Krasnikov reports in KyivPost: Ukraine will block access to the Russian websites VKontakte, Yandex and Odnoklassniki — all hugely popular in the country — under new sanctions measures. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on May 16 blocking access to the websites… it’s probably worth noting that VKontakte and Odnoklassniki are social network …
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  3. Russistan’s blasphemy law?

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    May 11, 2017 by AK

    Observer.com, formerly the New York Observer, reports from Russia: Thursday morning in a Moscow courtroom, YouTuber Ruslan Sokolovsky was sentenced to three and a half years probation for an August stunt in which he filmed himself playing Pokémon Go in church. In a Yekaterinburg courtroom, if I remember correctly. Sokolovsky’s YouTube channel had about 280,000 …
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  4. Russian truckers protesting again

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    April 24, 2017 by AK

    This is not fake news: The truckers went on strike this time after the Russian government announced it would double the Platon [toll-collection system] tariff as of April 15… [The] government softened that blow in March, temporarily raising the fee by a lesser amount to about 3.4 cents per kilometer.  That doesn’t seem like much. But Ibragimov says he travels …
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  5. Who’s next, the Pentecostals?

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    April 21, 2017 by AK

    Christianity Today reports from Moscow: It’s official. Jehovah’s Witnesses can no longer practice their faith freely in Russia, where the Supreme Court on Thursday declared the pacifist religious organization an “extremist group” and banned all of its activity. The judge ordered all 395 local chapters and its Russian headquarters to close and authorized the government to …
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  6. Into deeper s—, endlessly: Russia to ban foreign VPNs?

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    April 19, 2017 by AK

    This reads like a good summary of what I’ve read in Vedomosti: Russia has drafted a bill that blocks anonymous proxies and VPN services that refuse to prohibit access to forbidden websites… According to the bill, anonymizers and VPN services will be required to block access to resources from Roskomnadzor black list. What isn’t clear to me is …
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  7. “Positive obligation of the State to prevent any threat to life”

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    April 15, 2017 by AK

    The Kremlin has called the ECHR’s ruling on the 2004 Beslan attack “absolutely unacceptable.” And yet, unless Russia wins a reversal, it will have to accept it. After all, what did it expect? Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Russia bungled the siege and blocked attempts by victims’ relatives to get at the truth. Now the …
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  8. Way too much credit for someone else’s work

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    April 14, 2017 by AK

    More details in the curious case of Turovsky & Meduza vs. Kramer & the Gray Lady, by RuNet Echo at Global Voices. “Take one text by Turovsky on Meduza, then take a second text by Turovsky on Meduza, stir, stir, and POOF you’ve got a New York Times article,” Gorbachev [editor of Meduza] wrote on Facebook …
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  9. Andrew Kramer’s Pulitzer-winning piece: plagiarized or not?

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    April 11, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times won three Pulitzer prizes yesterday, one awarded… …for international reporting for a series on Russia’s surreptitious assertion of power. The series, a collaboration among The Times’s international, Washington and investigative teams, explored how Russia was expanding its influence at home and abroad. One report from the Times’ Russia’s Dark Arts series is How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for …
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  10. The Lord’s refuse

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    April 5, 2017 by AK

    Christopher Caldwell’s speech at Hillsdale College, How to Think About Vladimir Putin, suggests an angle and a point of view symptomatic of a certain strain of thought on the American right. I believe it rests on error. No matter what perspective the observer chooses, mistaking myths and half-truths for verifiable facts will distort his view …
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