Study: California’s Background-Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths

Gun Control

The findings—which run counter to the conventional wisdom that gun control saves lives—have received almost no media attention.

“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.

Despite the dismal record of gun control, expect the media and “experts” to use a repertoire of self-justifications rather than modify their beliefs—regardless of what the evidence shows…”

The Science of the Job Search (Part 7: You Only Need 50% of Job “Requirements”

You’re as likely to get a job interview meeting 50% of job requirements as meeting 90% of them.
You’re as likely to get a job interview meeting 50% of job requirements as meeting 90% of them.

You’re as likely to get a job interview meeting 50% of job requirements as meeting 90% of them.

We were curious about how many job requirements are actually required, so we analyzed job postings and resumes for 6,000+ applications across 118 industries from our database of users. We found that while matching requirements is important, you don’t necessarily need to match all of them.

  • Your chances of getting an interview start to go up once you meet about 40% of job requirements.
  • You’re not any more likely to get an interview matching 90% of job requirements compared to matching just 50%.
  • For women, these numbers are about 10% lower i.e. women’s interview chances go up once they meet 30% of job requirements, and matching 40% of job requirements is as good as matching 90% for women.

You only need 50% of job requirements

You’re just as likely to get an interview matching 50% of requirements as matching 90%. We saw a clear upward trend in interview rates based on matching requirements, but with an upper bound. When users applied to jobs where they matched 40 – 50% of job requirements, they were 85% more likely to get an interview than when they matched less, and applying to jobs where they matched 50 – 60% of requirements made them an extra 192% more likely to get an interview over the 40 – 50% matches.

But after that point, you’re in diminishing returns. Applying to jobs where they matched 60% or more of job requirements didn’t provide any additional boost in interview rate.

Job Search Tip #1: Apply for jobs once you match 50% of job requirements.

For women, the % of requirements required is lower

You may have seen stories before about how women in particular don’t apply for jobs unless they’re 100% qualified. We wondered if they were on to something – maybe there’s gender discrimination at play and hiring managers look for women to meet more of the requirements. Turns out, our findings apply just as much to women as to men, and actually, for women, the chances of getting an interview start increasing as soon as you meet 30% of requirements.

Women get interviews at higher rates with fewer matched requirements – if only they applied to those jobs in the first place.
Women get interviews at higher rates with fewer matched requirements – if only they applied to those jobs in the first place.

Continued: The Science of the Job Search, Part VII: You Only Need 50% of Job “Requirements”

Healing Foods for Five Common Ailments

Try healing foods for five common conditions with advice from the experts at Consumer Reports.
Try healing foods for five common conditions with advice from the experts at Consumer Reports.

For some health concerns, your kitchen may provide good medicine. Here’s what to eat and when

Certain foods can have a more immediate benefit and may help tame common health problems such as headaches and insomnia. So the next time you experience one of the conditions below, consider heading to your kitchen before you open your medicine cabinet…

Continue reading: Healing Foods for Common Ailments

Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.

Lawrence Lessig: “When voters rank their first, second and third-choice candidates, the winner is broadly acceptable.”

Voters were lined up outside of the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind.,. on Nov. 5, 2018, to take advantage of the final day of early voting.
(Photo: Austen Leake, Tribune-Star via AP)

“Maine is not the only jurisdiction in America to use ranked-choice voting. It is just the first where it has mattered in a federal election. We should follow its example. There is plenty of time to carry its idea to the 2020 election and give all of us a system less prone to the vicious attacks, and more guaranteed to select candidates supported by at least a majority in every state…”

Source: Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.

Surveillance Cameras Can Identify Anyone by “Talking to Their Cellphones”

Surveillance cameras will soon be able to identify everyone by “talking” to their cell phones thanks to research by a university with ties to the federal surveillance state.

“This system basically allows surveillance cameras to talk to the public through their individual phones,” Purdue University doctoral student Siyuan Cao said.

As the video illustrates, soon nowhere will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes.

Purdue University’s SIMBA Labs has developed a camera-to-human surveillance program called PHADE otherwise known as Private Human Addressing … To call PHADE a privacy nightmare really does not do it justice…

Continue reading: Surveillance Cameras Can Identify Anyone by “Talking to Their Cellphones”

Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency”

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being 'weaponized against us with military efficiency'

“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them”, Cook said. “This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook blasted Silicon Valley tech companies and their abuse of user privacy in a keynote address at a privacy conference in Brussels Wednesday, saying personal information is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency.”

  • Apple and its CEO have long touted personal privacy, distancing themselves from recent, growing scandals among tech companies — but the comments from Cook are some of the strongest to date.
  • CEO Tim Cook said the business of selling ads against personal data has become a “data industrial complex” and stopped just short of naming tech giants like Facebook and Google in his criticisms.

Source: Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being ‘weaponized against us with military efficiency’

TSA Announces Plans To Subject Domestic Travelers To Biometric Screening

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As promised/threatened, the DHS is moving forward with expanded use of biometric scanning at airports, including facial recognition and fingerprint matches. What was touted as a way to combat international terrorism and illegal immigration will now include those on the home front, as the tech spreads to include US citizens on domestic flights. But the TSA doesn’t see this as an unwanted incursion into the lives of innocent citizens. Instead, it pitches it as a useful tool to speed up security screening at TSA checkpoints.

The TSA expects paying customers to foot the bill for the expansion — the same citizens it’s been selling civil liberties back to for years. From the TSA’s “roadmap” for expanded biometric screening:

Yes, the paying members of the TSA’s Pre✓ program will be the first to “enhance” their “travel experience” by feeding their faces into a database the TSA controls, using tech prone to erroneous conclusions. Other travelers won’t be able to opt out of biometric screening, however. They’ll just be subject to the non-enhanced travel experience where TSA and CBP officers ask a long series of invasive questions and infer suspicious behavior on the part of travelers who bypass the biometric kiosks.

It’s true that traveling in the US has always been a “papers, please” experience. But prior to the 9/11 attacks, this simply meant presenting a ticket before boarding. Now, it’s everything about everybody, no matter how useless this information is 99.9% of the time. Rather than move towards smarter screening methods, the TSA has decided to subject everyone to the same level of screening with the same arbitrary rules stemming from airborne attacks the TSA failed to prevent.

The TSA pitches this as a paperless airport, but it’s really just another way for the government to compile a massive database of identifying info and of citizens’ movements. The DHS likes to talk about its 96% accuracy target, but has released no information about actual accuracy in test runs, so concerns about false positives/negatives aren’t going away anytime soon.

The government has responded in the worst way to terrorist attacks in the US. It has made freedom of movement a hassle — one that diminishes Constitutional protections and turns every traveler into a potential suspect.

Source: TSA Announces Plans To Subject Domestic Travelers To Biometric Screening

“Five Eyes” Wants Access to Every Electronic Device

According to an article in the National Post the Five Eyes intelligence network is demanding tech companies provide a back-door into all electronic devices.

“Canada joined its intelligence allies recently in demanding that technology companies co-operate with law enforcement agencies in allowing access to encrypted communications.”

Five Yyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

Although similar requests for co-operation have been made in the past, that “is the most aggressive call we’ve seen,” said Tamir Israel, a lawyer at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

The big change, according to Israel, is that governments are now saying “fix it for us or we will fix it for you.” That’s led to concerns among privacy experts that the government will try to legislate a requirement for tech companies to build backdoors for law enforcement.

Letting multi-national intelligence agencies have access to every electronic device can and will be abused.

Giving law enforcement access to electronic devices is a bad idea

Why Columbus is more important than you realize

“Whether we love him or hate him, we should be aware that Columbus set in motion a series of interchanges that will affect us more than we’ll ever know…”

There is likely no public secular holiday more controversial than Columbus Day. Since the observance first began to be celebrated in the nineteenth century it has been opposed by a diverse rage of groups, from the Ku Klux Klan to the American Indian Movement to the National Council of Churches…

While we may downplay the individual achievements of Columbus, we should acknowledge he launched one of most significant events in the history of the world: the Columbian Exchange…

Article: Why Columbus is more important than you realize – Acton Institute

That sign telling you how fast you’re driving may be spying on you

Road sign records a photograph of your license plate.
Road sign records a photograph of your license plate.

The next time you drive past one of those road signs with a digital readout showing how fast you’re going, don’t simply assume it’s there to remind you not to speed. It may actually be capturing your license plate data.

According to recently released US federal contracting data, the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of “multiple” trailer-mounted speed displays “to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms.” The DEA is buying them from RU2 Systems Inc., a private Mesa, Arizona company. How much it’s spending on the signs has been redacted…

Continued: That sign telling you how fast you’re driving may be spying on you

USAID Spends $89.7 Million Finding Jobs for 55 Afghan Women

Afghan women walk with their children / Getty Images
Afghan women walk with their children / Getty Images

“A federal government program to promote gender equality in Afghanistan and help women find employment is costing taxpayers over $200 million but has only found jobs for 55 women.”

‘The USAID program, Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs, or Promote, is a five-year $216 million effort. USAID has spent $89.7 million in three years but “has not demonstrated whether the program has made progress” toward its goals…’

A 2017 goal of the program was to help 420 women find new or better employment, enroll 1,968 women in the internship program, and have 900 program graduates. By halfway through the year, Promote had only found new or better employment for 39 women, or 9.2 percent of its goal.”

Continued: USAID Spends $89.7 Million Finding Jobs for 55 Afghan Women

“Take back control—it’s time for IREXIT” | New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

A new Irish political party will campaign for the Republic of Ireland to leave the EU, inspired by the successful Brexit movement.

The Irexit Freedom party, which is set to be launched in Dublin next Saturday, wants Ireland to ‘take back control’ from Brussels.

Nigel Farage speaks to journalists in Brussels

The party, which plans to run candidates in next year’s European Parliament elections and the 2021 Irish general election…

Continued: ‘Take back control – it’s time for IREXIT’ New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU