Spend “frivolously” and be penalized under China’s new social credit system

Spend “frivolously” and be penalized under China’s new social credit system

People who waste money on non-essentials or behave “badly” are penalized under the controversial new ranking. In 2020, China will fully roll out its controversial social credit score. Under the system, both financial behaviors like “frivolous spending” and bad behaviors like lighting up in smoke-free zones can result in stiff consequences. Penalties include loss of employment and educational opportunities, as well as transportation restrictions. Those with high scores get perks, like discounts on utility bills…

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Twitter removes thousands of bot accounts discouraging Democrats from voting in the midterms

Twitter removes thousands of bot accounts discouraging Democrats from voting in the midterms

Ahead of the US midterm elections on next Tuesday, Twitter is hard at work scrubbing its platform of thousands of fake accounts and coordinated activity seemingly designed to influence voter turnout, according to a report from Reuters today. The report says Twitter has removed around 10,000 such accounts targeting Democratic voters and masquerading as party members and officials, and it continues to monitor its platform for similar activity. Twitter confirmed to The Verge that it…

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Stores like Levi’s and North Face are giving their workers time to vote

Stores like Levi’s and North Face are giving their workers time to vote

Brands are getting politically involved — in a nonpartisan way — by encouraging employees to vote in the midterms. In September, a group of retailers signed a letter announcing their commitment to encouraging employees to vote in the midterm elections. While it’s a tidy way to signal civic-minded values to shoppers, the project does tackle a real issue: Scheduling conflicts are one of the top reasons why people don’t make it out to the polls…

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Trump is embracing amoral villainy (and making HBO mad) with a Game of Thrones tweet

Trump is embracing amoral villainy (and making HBO mad) with a Game of Thrones tweet

Politicians are routinely compared to fictional villains, but Donald Trump is one of only a few to actively court these comparisons. Sometimes this is an ordinary act of reclaiming someone else’s insults, but often, it’s more like a quasi-ironic attempt to appropriate the coolness and machismo of villainy. Trump is the presidential version of 4chan denizens adopting Bane and the Joker as patron saints: some men want to watch the world burn, others salivate at…

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Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes

Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes

The many, many factors that stress people out while flying. A white man on a Ryanair fight was caught on video last week berating a black woman passenger sitting next to him. After he called her a “stupid, ugly cow” and an “ugly black bastard,” and asking her to not speak a foreign language (although she was speaking English), flight attendants intervened, moving the elderly woman, not the man who was verbally abusing her, to…

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Amazon will soon let you pick which day your package arrives

Amazon will soon let you pick which day your package arrives

Amazon launched a new delivery option for Prime members in the US today, just ahead of the holiday gift-giving season. The invite-only program is curiously called Amazon Day, not to be mistaken for Amazon’s yearly Prime Day shopping event, as spotted by CNET. Through Amazon Day, you can set the day of the week when you prefer all of your shipments to arrive. So far, the program is only open to a small group of…

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Here are all of the new Overwatch Lego sets

Here are all of the new Overwatch Lego sets

Blizzard and Lego showed off the first Overwatch Lego set last month in the form of a limited-edition Bastion figure, and now at BlizzCon the two companies are taking the wraps off the rest of the lineup. There are a total of six sets coming from the two companies: a $14.99 Tracer vs. Widowmaker set, a $19.99 Hanzo vs. Genji set, a $29.99 Dorado Showdown set, a $39.99 D.Va & Reinhardt set, an even bigger…

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Gee, how did women make music before this awful makeup kit-shaped audio interface?

Gee, how did women make music before this awful makeup kit-shaped audio interface?

Taiwanese audio gear company MidiPlus has announced a new product called Mirror that is incomparably sexist. It’s an audio interface that’s designed to look like an eyeshadow palette, including a light-up mirror. The website says it’s “specially designed for females,” since women can only be tricked into using gear when being tantalized by pretty, shiny objects. We’re like crows, really. People have been pinging me about this product since last night, and to be frank,…

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Why do people hate vegans so much?

Why do people hate vegans so much?

A UK food editor just lost his job for writing an email about “killing vegans.” Food critic William Sitwell isn’t the first person to express hatred toward vegans, but he might be the first to lose his job for it. Sitwell stepped down from his job as editor of Waitrose Food, the magazine of a UK supermarket chain, after his email response to a freelance journalist pitching a series on plant-based recipes went public. “How…

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