How to Make Sense of the Wikileaks Clinton Campaign Email Document Dump and Controversy

It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from fiction in the coverage of Wikileaks' ongoing publication of internal emails from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, known as the Podesta emails. There are internet hoaxsters pushing fake emails that are not contained in the actual published files. There are junk reports from prominent newsy websites that are based on obvious misreadings of the files in question. There is Clinton campaign and Democratic party spin seeking to distract from the content of the published emails. There is Trump campaign and Republican party spin exaggerating the content and import of what has been revealed by the leaked documents. And so on. In this article, we'll provide a bit of context on the leak itself, cover some examples of how it is being exploited by hoaxsters, how it is helping to reveal the incompetence of newsy sources of information, and how it is playing out within the context of the presidential campaign itself. We'll conclude with some tips on how to sift through the bullshit.

How to Spot a News Hoax and Prove that Its Source Is Fake

Image via Hoax Slayer
We all know the internet is rife with falsehoods, misinformation and disinformation. And, sooner or later, we're all bound to be taken in by an internet hoax, whether it is a fake news article, a photoshopped image, an advertisement masquerading as legitimate content, or even a government-sponsored propaganda campaign. In this article we'll use a real-world example to take a look at some simple sleuthing strategies on how to spot a hoax news article and prove that its source is fake.


Space Station Sunday: Fire It Up!

Good morning / afternoon / evening (depending where you are on this fine planet), space fans! Here's what's been up lately in low-earth orbit!

Lookin' good, homeworld!
 The Northern Lights were so strong this week,
Reykjavik, Iceland turned off their streetlights to watch the whole show.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Space Station Sunday: Soyuz Sails Home

Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another week of excellence from the orbital office!  Here’s what was up…


Welcome home Jeff, Anatoly, and Oleg!
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Space Station Sunday: Three Hurricanes And A Spacewalk


Good evening, space fans!  What a week for working offshore of the world!  Here's what was up...

Sometimes the Earth acts up:
Hurricanes Lester, Madeline, and Gaston
breeze over seas.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)


Space Station Sunday Standby

Good afternoon, space fans!  We've swung a little outside the usual orbit today, but will be back later on this evening (or possibly early tomorrow, depending on your Earthling location) with all of this week's stories from space!  Standby for the science...watch this space!

Space Station Sunday: National Treasures

Good afternoon space fans!  It's been another wonderful week for our friends whipping around above the world.  Here's what was up!


The SpaceX Dragon heads back to the realm of mortals.
(Image courtesy phys.org.)

Sounds Like Victory: New Ultrasonic Brain Surgery Heals Tremors Sans Cracking Skulls

It sounds like something out of the future, but it's actually in operational trials for human beings right now:  a new type of surgery that uses ultrasonic sound waves to target specific neurons for eradication, thus healing certain brain malfunctions non-invasively...


This is a "song" that can heal certain brain anomalies,
if it gets stuck in your head properly.
(Image courtesy itnonline.com.)

3-D Print-ception: Scientists Create New, Working Ovaries Via 3-D Printing

It seems that the only technology progressing as rapidly as the robots who are going to take your jobs is that of 3-D printing.  Capable of creating clothes, huts, offices, art, prosthetic limbs, space station parts, and more, the science has now expanded to being able to reproduce the organs that are used to reproduce.


Even though they actually work, can we please call them "faux-varies"?
(Image courtesy chicagotribune.com.)

Spice Up Your Dinner Conversation With ACTUAL Conversation, Courtesy "Pepper Hacker"

Sometimes, it doesn’t take Wikileaks or the Russians to make a hack that changes everything.  Even a small-scale rerouting of the information superhighway can have an impact on everyday humans, and possibly even work in everyone’s best interests.  That was the thought behind this one unassuming new invention…

The Internet of Things?
How about the NON-Internet of Things?
(Image courtesy news.co.au.)

Space Station Sunday: Dock Stars

Good afternoon, space fans!  It's been another week of outstanding operations in orbit!  Here's what was up...

Astronaut Rubins makes space for more spacecrafts
by installing the new International Docking Adapter.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

And We All Float On, Alright: Flying Taxis To Be Tested In 2017

Alright nerds.  It’s Friday, and while you’re dreaming about the impending weekend, why not also dream about the phenomenal parts of our future?  Especially that old (new?) chestnut, flying cars.  Why aren’t they already floating around in this glorious 21st-century utopia we’ve created for ourselves?  Well, glorious 21st-century utopia or no, the flying cars could be swooping in for testing as early as next year.

It is time.
(Image courtesy darkroastedblend.com.)

Here Comes The Sun King: Elon Musk's New "Solar Shingles" To Cut Power Bills, Ties To Grid

Having safely ensconced himself as a pioneer in modern spacefaring, electric vehicle technology, sustainable-electric storage, and even a completely unheard-of new type of transportation, Elon Musk has now focused his sights on improving home energy for the average human.  The plan is simple, but he’s the man for the job:  solar roofing tiles.


Easily the best way to get your home looking
and operating at peak futuristic capacity.
(Image courtesy electrek.com.)

NSA = Not So Adept: Hackers Loot Brash Stash Of NSA Exploits & Data

Who watches the watchers?  Apparently, now it’s…well, everybody with a computer.  A massive hack against the NSA has revealed a treasure trove of previously-private exploits and other data, and it doesn’t make our “security agency” look very secure at all…


If the future won't let us have space-war, we'll have cyberspace-war.
(Image courtesy techworm.com.)

Space Station Sunday: Small Satellites, Science And Spacewalks

Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another week of excellence in orbit.  Here’s what was up!

The sun rises on another 16 mornings (per day!) in space.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Robot Lawyer To The Rescue! Chatbot Helps Homeless Get Re-Situated

A while ago we wrote about “the world’s first robot lawyer”, an AI software program that interacts like a chatbot and has already helped hundreds of thousands of people defeat parking tickets.  Now, its creator has raised the bar for the 'bot to take on another societal issue:  homelessness.

When human society turns heartless, only the heartless can help human society?
(Image courtesy southernmarylandlaw.com.)

Flights Of Fancy: New Drone Programmed To Paint Pointillist Portraits

Despite their reputation for being death-dealing, bomb-bearing little robo-bats, drones have been taking flight for many moregood reasons these days.  Now, with robotic art competitions actually becoming a thing, a new technique for creating masterpieces has emerged thanks to drone technology:  pointillist portraits created in flight.

Make art, not war.
(Image courtesy dailymail.co.uk.)

Space Station Sunday: Every Breath You Take, Every Micro-Satellite You Make

Good afternoon, space fans!  We hope you have had a stellar week…we know a few people who always seem to!  Here’s what was happening on our favorite orbital outpost…


Don't knock the noctilucent clouds.
It was another stunning spin through space this week...
(Image courtesy Jeff Williams / NASA.gov.)

"Doctor" Watson? IBM's Supercomputer Diagnosed A Deadly Disease (Better Than Humans Did)

Many people wouldn't consider trivia smarts and higher intelligence - on par with, say, medical knowledge - to necessarily be similar.  However, now that advanced artificially-intelligent robots are in the mix, their wisdom might surprise even seasoned scholars...


But does it know the meaning of love?
Who cares.  It saved a human life.
(Image courtesy kurzweilai.net.)

Booze Tattoos: This New Wearable Device Calls The Cops If You Get Too Sauced

Woohoo!  It’s the weekend, and you want to hit the bars / clubs / speakeasies / after-hours / diners that serve booze / brunch / bars again, etc.  Go crazy!  But be careful not to get written up for driving under the influence, because now, robots will be able to rat you out if you grab another round...


If you're going to have enough money to do this,
also have enough money for a cab.
(Image courtesy usnews.com.)

The Bright Side Of The Moon: Speculative Moon-Mining Mission Is Go

As Led Zeppelin extols, it’s been a long time since we walked in the moonlight.  Well, at the source, at least.  Now, although humans aren’t slated to return to our shiny little satellite-rock anytime soon, a private company has been granted access to robotically rock the regolith…


Sky pioneers = sky-oneers?
(Image courtesy techcrunch.com.)

Meds Overhead: New Drone System Delivers Blood & Medical Supplies To Remote Areas

Recently we discussed what might happen if drones begin making commercial deliveries inthe United States.  The attendant surveillance and sky-traffic might make things a little weird, particularly in urban areas.  However, it’s important to note that non-commercial drones could make some very important deliveries out beyond where traditional services usually roam…

 
But will it get chased by vampire bats?
(Image courtesy fiercebiotech.com.)

Space Station Sunday: Hearts And Minds (And Eyeballs)

Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another outstanding week in orbit!  Here’s what was up.

Grand Teton National Park,
somehow even MORE beautiful from space.
(Image courtesy NASA astronaut Jeff Williams.)

Putting The "Art" In "Artificial Intelligence": Robots Vs. Real Writers

***Wordsmiths Wanted: A Haiku***

Silicon Valley
needs poets, writers, empaths
to teach A.I….us.


We didn't say the emotional input wouldn't be cheesy.
(Image courtesy conversations.e-flux.com.)

From Bytes To Buildings: New Robots Lay Bricks Super-Quick

Traditional science fiction would have us believe that some robots want to watch the world burn, but reality shows us that there are plenty of robots here to help it build!  While 3-D printed buildings, from mud huts to museums, are rapidly becoming a hot housing idea, there are several ‘bots that build in the most elementary (and necessary) of manners:  bricklaying.

Edgar Allen Poe could wall up some serious enemies
with this baby.
(Image courtesy techtimes.com.)

Sharing Economy Is Caring Economy: New App Helps "Hack Hunger"

Yesterday we wrote about a less-pleasant (though useful) "Uber" type of "shared economy" app involving dog poop.  Today, we'll brighten the mood and talk about the victories of a shared-economy app that has been aiding human sustenance!


Be a superhero, straight from your smartphone!
(Image courtesy appdevelopmentmagazine.com.)

Swoop Out With The Poop Out: New App Hires People To Remove Your Dog's Mess

There's shitty jobs, and then there's LITERALLY shitty jobs.  In an age where manufacturing jobs are waning but posting pictures of your food on the internet can be a full-time business, the strange powers of commerce and instant gratification have combined into one nasty but necessary gig...

They'd use the app themselves, but they're too busy
sending selfies to all the bitches.
(Image courtesy 123rf.com.)


Space Station Sunday: Progress & Dragon Deliver

Hello, space fans!  It's been another wonderful week for the humans and spacecraft whipping around over the world.  Here's what was up!

"Game Of Thrones" has nothing on this beast.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Standby For Space Station Sunday!

Good afternoon, space fans!  We have to swing a little bit outside our usual orbit today, but the latest news on the ISS resupply ships, the new DNA and heart muscle studies aboard, and the most interesting images from that lofty laboratory will be arriving later on today (possibly very early tomorrow, depending on your position on our planet.)  Thanks for standing by...watch this space!

Dragon, draggin' up supplies!
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Crushing Bugs: Snowden To Sever Secret Smartphone Radio Transmissions

Oh, Edward Snowden.  A hero to any modern man who doesn’t want every other modern man, woman, and robot peeking into his business, the young former NSA operator has sacrificed his safety (and effectively the rest of his life) in pursuit of reform of the sickening surveillance state.  Now, he’s created a new device that shows his mission has not subsided in the slightest…


How can you cut a cord you can't see?
Snowden knows.
(Image courtesy rt.com.)

Prints To Convince: 3-D Printed Fingerprints To Be Used In Murder Case

3-D printing is experiencing a boom across a fascinating variety of sectors.  It can be used for construction, creating artistic foods arrangements, making clothing, or even fashioning spare parts for the International Space Station.  Now, cops have used it to help gather evidence…but is it ethical?


Every other part of you can be cloned, why not your fingerprints too?
(Image courtesy dhgate.com.)

Drone-O-Gram! Amazon Secures Patent For Air-Based Deliveries

Like it or not, drone technology is here to stay.  Besides providing for brutally asymmetric warfare, however, they could also be pretty useful for delivering things other than bombs.  Since we all know the surveillance state isn’t about to let anything get actually lost anymore, it only stands to reason that a new patent could provide drone-docks all around your neighborhood…

Just make sure they use lots of bubble wrap in the packing...
(Image courtesy dailymail.co.uk.)

Space Station Sunday: New Hearts And Spare Parts

Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another wonderful week aboard our favorite orbital observatory!  Here’s what was up!

It's not like there's any rest stops up there!
The Progress 64 is loaded with goodies for a special space delivery
before departing Kazahkstan.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Get Your Kicks (And E-Car Charges) On Route 66!

It’s immortalized in song as “the highway that’s the best” for a reason…and now, even more so!  The United States' storied stretch of roadway, Route 66, will be going green in a major way…


Oldschool neon can now be lit by futuristic solar power...
what a trip!
(Image courtesy e-spaces.eu.)

Big Brother In Mother Russia: Putin's New Anti-Terror Bill Wants ALL The Data

Oh, Vlad.  Just when the rest of the world is getting really good at pretending we want to value human rights and raise awareness, you have to go and sign into law an anti-"terrorism" bill so rights-infringey, even some of the pro-Kremlin crowd thinks it goes too far…


Big Comrade is watching you...
(Image courtesy thetimes.co.uk.)

Do Androids Dream On Electric Pillows? Because Now, You Can...

“Smart” devices pervade our culture, giving everything from your car to your medicine cabinet a mind of its own.  Now, even when your own mind is shut off for the night, a smart device can be there to keep you informed of your sleep stats.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is totally not a joke.  Meet the smart pillow.

If you like death metal and your partner likes dubstep,
now you can both snooze to your own tunes!
(Image courtesy kickstarter.com.)

Space Station Sunday: Expedition 48-49 Moves On Up

Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another week of spectacularity from those humans spinning around the planet!

So long, Soyuz!
From Kazahkstan to the stars...
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Bomb 'Bots Vs. Bad Guys: How Explosives And Xbox Controllers Can Take Down Terrorists

We may joke a lot about the impending horrors of how robots are coming for our jobs, but many times, for the most part, these replacements ultimately will bode well for the labors of the industrial or commercial world.  More importantly, at the top of the line, in each of these instances, the robots are being deployed by human beings capable of critical thinking and (theoretically) feeling emotions.  Now, we will find ourselves being increasingly placed in difficult situations where there are strong arguments both for and against the usage of robots in delicate human-induced situations…


A bomb robot in Arlington, TX, during the 2011 Super Bowl.
Will more such machines quell our quandaries?
(Image courtesy qz.com.)

Uploaded And Shut Down: Japan's First Virtual Reality Porn Fest Cancelled Due To Crowds

As the future hurtles forth, we have many new and often strange entertainment options to choose from.  But when those options get extended to include a whole extra reality, things get serious.  And when that whole extra reality includes a whole lot of porn…well, mayhem breaks out.

At least no robosexual hate crimes were committed.
(Image courtesy lewdgamer.com.)

Independence Day For The Internet! New U.N. Resolution Expands E-Freedoms

Congratulations!  If you are reading this right now, you are exercising one of the most recently-expanded universal human rights!  As of July 1st, by order of the United Nations, access to the internet (which had been considered a basic human right since 2011) has been supported even more thoroughly by the organization, who condemned any “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online.”

In grand internet tradition, a cat meme seemed the best way to celebrate.
(Image courtesy funnyjunk.com.)

Space Station Sunday: Brine Times And New Climbs


Good afternoon, space fans!  It’s been another week of excellence in orbit!

The "bulls-eye" of the Richat structure, North Africa.
(Image courtesy NASA astronaut Jeff Williams.)

Fight For Your Rights With Megabytes: New "Robot Lawyer" Appeals Parking Tickets For You

We all know by now that there are apps to help aid and abet all sorts of daily occurrences in life...but what if they could help out with run-of-the-mill legal troubles as well?  No, you're not likely to have a robo-attorney for your divorce or murder case anytime soon, but when it comes to appealing the obnoxious - in this case, traffic tickets - a souped-up chatbot might now help you win your case.

Your honor, my client is but a dirty human meatbag,
and clearly cannot park a car as well as we robots.
Verdict:  NOT GUILTY!
(Image courtesy legalcheek.com.)

No Shoot For You! Apple Patents Phone-Camera Blocking Technology

In an age where the average first-world citizen could expect to find themselves under the eyes of a camera literally hundreds of times per day, it becomes somewhat surprising when technology is invented to abet the exact opposite.  However, will blocking certain cameras’ features be in the best interests of society, or is this just a new form of censorship?

Well, at least shows will be way less populated by people like this.
(Imaqge courtesy livestrongforever.com.)

Skills For Pills: Meet Your New Robotic Drug Dealer

Today's humans seem to require all sorts of extra sustenance to maintain our lives.  From prescriptions to vitamins and supplements, we have pills for every possibility.  Now, there's a means of keeping track of these meds...yes, a pill-dropping domestic droid.


No, it didn't slip you a roofie, that's actually what it looks like.
(Image courtesy indiegogo.com.)

Space Station Sunday: A Lovely Landing & Fire In The Sky


Good afternoon, space fans!  It's been an informative and intriguing week, 200-odd miles above the Earth, and also back down dirtside...

Always nice to be able to continue to post images like these.
Congrats on the completed mission, gentlemen!
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Pride Vs. Prejudice: Anonymous Gaily Hacks ISIS Twitter Pages

When acts of terror occur, one wonders at the source of the vitriol towards certain intended targets. Often, it seems that ignorance, hatred, and other motivators of malevolent acts may be based in a person (or a fanatical subculture’s) self-hatred, or repression of certain aspects of their lives. This creates a strong means of turning the terror back upon itself...for instance, in this faaaaaaabulous way.


Oh myyyy.
(Image courtesy techly.com.au.)

Olli, Olli, Oil-Free: New Electric, 3-D Printed Shuttle Bus Rolls Out In DC

The description sounds like the ultimate futuristic vehicle, but the technology is here today: an autonomous, 3-D printed, electric shuttle bus. As of today, it’s transporting the citizens of one of America’s oldest cities into the future…

This cozy little computer-generated craft
might be revolutionizing shared vehicles in big cities.
(Image courtesy csmonitor.com.)

Fighting Trump Fans On Twitter? There's A Bot For That

The 2016 presidential election for the United States has already been weird, dirty, and unsettling, as any form of major or minor media will be happy to inform you of. Now, a chatbot posing as a Donald Trump fan (or foe?) has only added fuel to the fanatical fire…

Yell all you want at the AI Trump supporter...
like the hair of the Don, it is ultimately unflappable.
(Image courtesy play.google.com.)

Setting Sail For The Stars: Elon Musk's Martian Colonization Plan Is Serious

Earthlings, rejoice, you may not be forced to remain bound by the surly bonds of our gravity for much longer. Noted future-forward thinker and tech revolutionary Elon Musk wants to start a Martian migration A.S.A.P….are you willing to trade in the Pale Blue Dot for a chance to pioneer on the Red Planet?

Musk for Martian President, 2032!
(Image courtesy bornscientist.com.)

Space Station Sunday: Homeward Bound And Good-Looking Ground

Good afternoon, space fans!  It's been another exciting week in space...here's what was up!

"In peace for all mankind, I declare this my new chillax room."
Astronaut Jeff Williams inspects the B.E.A.M. module
(but later closed the hatch, leaving the B.E.A.M. empty for further study.)
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Keep On (Electric) Truckin': Tesla And Mack Team Up On Efficient New Powertrain

It’s not just fancy sports cars or even reasonable commuter vehicles that are getting the sustainable treatment.  The e-car rockstars at Tesla, in partnership with Mack, have also developed a non-fossil-fuel dependent garbage truck, with a special modification…

It's still trying to help the environment, even if your non-recycling, plastic-bag addicted self isn't.
(Image courtesy popsci.com.)