Category Archives: News

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Facebook and Google push deadline to comply with Seattle’s political ad disclosure law

Social media has become an important tool in political campaigns. (Bigstock Photo)

Facebook and Google have asked for more time to respond to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission mandate that the companies comply with a city law governing political ads, according to The Stranger.

The law requires anyone selling advertising related to local elections to disclose data on the ads, including who payed for them. In response to The Stranger’s reporting, the commission sent letters to Google and Facebook demanding they provide that data for ads sold during 2017 Seattle election by Jan. 2.

Each company asked for an additional 30 days, which the commission granted, provided they use the time to prepare to comply with the law. A Google attorney told the commission it would use the extension to make a good-faith effort to provide the information mandated by law. Facebook was more vague, asking for an extension to craft a response to the commission’s letter.

Seattle’s efforts to bring more transparency to political ads on social media mirror an attempt at the federal level called the “Honest Ads Act.” If approved by Congress, the law would hold online political advertisements to the same standards governing traditional media.

Social media has become an important tool for political campaigns but regulators have not caught up to the new technology, creating a Wild West effect.

Related: Deadline 2020: Regulators need to catch up to social media propaganda by the next big election

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OceanGate and Everest Marine complete construction of Titanic sub’s launch pad

Mobile launch platform
Workers install an air tank on the mobile subsea platform that OceanGate will use to deploy its Cyclops 2 submersible. (OceanGate Photo)

Construction work is complete for an essential part of the dive system that’s due to carry scientists and amateur adventurers down to the world-famous Titanic shipwreck this summer.

The nearly 11-ton mobile subsea platform will be used to launch a five-person submersible into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and bring it back to the surface at the end of each dive.

Everest Marine. a division of Burlington, Wash.-based Penn Cove Shellfish, spent five months on the custom fabrication of the 38-foot-long aluminum platform. It’s designed to be used with the Cyclops 2 deep-sea submersible that’s been assembled by OceanGate at its headquarters in Everett, Wash.

The submersible and its platform are due to go through a round of shallow-water dives in Puget Sound this month, followed by deep-water testing in the Bahamas in April.

Those tests will lead up to the inaugural Titanic campaign in June, which will make a series of dives to the ship’s remains, 13,000 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic.

Cyclops 2 on platform
An artist’s rendering shows the Cyclops 2 submersible sitting on its mobile platform. (OceanGate Illustration)

The Titanic is arguably the world’s most famous shipwreck, left behind by its sinking during its maiden voyage in 1912. More than 1,500 of the ocean liner’s 2,224 passengers and crew died in the tragedy.

After decades of lying undisturbed, the Titanic wreck was rediscovered in 1985. Since then, scientific and tourist expeditions have documented its deterioration due to natural causes.

The crews for this year’s Titanic Survey Expedition will include professional pilots and researchers as well as mission specialists who are paying more than $100,000 each to be part of the expedition.

Both Cyclops 2 and its launch-and-recovery platform incorporate cutting-edge technologies for undersea operations. For Cyclops 2, those innovations include a carbon-composite pressure vessel and streamlined electronic controls.

The newly finished mobile platform can be disassembled for transport on standard flatbed trucks, and reassembled when it’s time to go into the water. Ballast tanks can be flooded to sink the platform into the water, to a depth about 30 feet below the effects of surface waves. Once submerged, Cyclops 2 lifts off the platform to begin its mission.

Mobile platform
The two halves of the mobile platform can be disattached for transport, as shown here at OceanGate’s Everett headquarters. (OceanGate Photo)

At the end of each mission, the submersible returns to the platform and gets locked into place. The ballast tanks are filled up with air from low-pressure tanks, and the entire dive system rises back to the surface.

Remote-controlled mechanisms are used for engaging and disengaging the submersible, which eliminates the need for manual labor by a scuba-diving support team. No crane or A-frame is required, which means Cyclops 2’s crew can work from nearly any local ship of opportunity.

“We knew there had to be a more efficient way to launch and recover our submersibles,” OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush said today in a news release. “The OceanGate team did a fantastic job in the design and engineering of the platform, and Everest Marine made it a reality.”

Everest Marine engineer Jim Nagel said he “couldn’t be prouder of this project and the opportunity it provides for the advancement of ocean exploration.”

“As a fellow local Northwest business, it was an honor to work with the OceanGate crew on this unique opportunity,” Nagel said.

Read more: OceanGate gets Titanic sub ready for its dives

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Edward Luttwak on Why the Iranian Regime Cannot Last

Ronald Reagan, who outraged the Washington elite and frightened European leaders by flatly refusing coexistence with the Soviet Union, lived to see its sudden decline and fall. There is a fair chance that Donald Trump, who contradicts Barack Obama and Europe’s leaders by refusing coexistence with Iran’s ayatollah empire, will also have the satisfaction of seeing the dissolution of a regime that Obama among many others preferred to accommodate.

Whether or not this past weekend’s mass demonstrations in Iran will spread, whether a second revolution is imminent or not, the numbers for the ayatollah empire just don’t add up. A breakdown is materially inevitable.

Continue reading “Edward Luttwak on Why the Iranian Regime Cannot Last” at…

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Unorthodox Podcast Seeking Experienced Audio Producer

Our dear producer Elissa Goldstein is moving on, and we’re looking for someone to take the reins of Unorthodox. Over the past two years Elissa has helped make our show an unmissable weekly experience for thousands of listeners and helped build a dedicated community of listeners, and we’re hoping to bring someone on board who can help continue our growth and development.

We’re looking for a freelance half-time audio producer who will work closely with the hosts of the show and the existing production team to execute weekly hour-long episodes, as well as several live recordings each year. This is an on-going contract position—while much of the work can be done remotely, you will need to be present at our studio and office in Manhattan one day a week, and be able to travel for live shows out of state three OR four times a year. The producer must have an obsessive eye for detail and an appetite for unique, quirky, thought-provoking stories with a Jewish angle. The producer should also have experience in audio. We’re looking for a collaborative producer who will steer the ship, think about the big picture, and help us produce great content every week. This is a team that has had a lot of fun growing the most successful Jewish-themed podcast in America, and the producer should be excited to make this show even more fun, unexpected, and engaging for our diverse audience.

Continue reading “Unorthodox Podcast Seeking Experienced Audio Producer” at…

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2,700-Year-Old Jewish Seal Found in Jerusalem

Earlier this week, Israeli archaeologists revealed a recently discovered 2,700-year-old clay seal impression, unearthed not far from the Western Wall and belonging, according to the inscription, to one of the governors of Jerusalem mentioned in the bible.

About as big as a small coin, the seal carries an inscription in Hebrew that reads “belonging to the governor of the city.” Having studied it, Hebrew University professor Tallay Ornan and Tel Aviv University Professor Benjamin Sass described the image it depicts: “Above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised. Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment.”

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Let Omri Casspi Guide Your New Year’s Resolutions

When Omri Casspi was picked by the Golden State Warriors last year, most Jewish sports fans applauded the move but paid it little mind. True, Casspi is the first Israeli in the NBA, and as such a source of unending pride, but he’d been in the league since 2009 and has slogged on as a capable but unremarkable journeyman in teams like the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans, a respectable benchwarmer but never exactly a household name.

What a difference a year makes.

Continue reading “Let Omri Casspi Guide Your New Year’s Resolutions” at…

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Video- A great way to remember UCF, Jaguars memorable seasons

UCF has finished off a perfect season with their Monday Peach Bowl win over Auburn. And the Jaguars now get set to host the Bills in their first home playoff game in 18 years.

And, proud F.F.I. Sponsor,, wants to help you remember these great seasons with some of their gear.

We were at their offices today to show you more of the great and at times, hilarious products they have at Smack, and remember to use the special code: “Champ” at checkout for an exclusive deal from us!



The post Video- A great way to remember UCF, Jaguars memorable seasons appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Friedman and Dreger | Penguins have appetite for change

A scuffling, mediocre season from the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Penguins cannot be leaving many people in this team’s circle – be it fans, players, or management – too happy.  

So what is the temperature in Pittsburgh these days?

“It’s hot,” replied NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman during a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650. “It’s not global warming hot, it’s center of the earth hot. Like, it’s hot there. And they’re looking to do things. They’re trying to get some offense in there, there’s no question about that.

“I think they’ve had some interest in Evander Kane. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were interested in Pacioretty. They’re looking. I think if they could, they’d add a winger and a center. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could do both.

“Jim Rutherford, we’ve talked about he’s a guy who likes to move early, but I think he realizes he’s just at a point now – I think that’s the toughest division in hockey. There’s going to be three teams there that could make the playoffs just about anywhere else who are going to miss it. I just think that they’re running out of time. They’ve got to do something, and they know.

“There’s still a lot of divisional matchups left and that will balance it, but I really think it’s interesting. Matt Murray – somebody told me today – he’s not starting tonight. Tristan Jarry is going to start their game against Philadelphia. I think this is the first game that Murray hasn’t started where he was eligible to play where he wasn’t hurt or a back-to-back. He doesn’t miss standalone games, and he’s missing this one tonight. They’re playing Jarry because Murray has really been struggling. They say they’re not worried about him and I think in a pure play point of view they’re not worried about him, but he can’t stay healthy and you’ve got to be worried about that.

“So I think that there’s a lot of concern there and they’re looking to do something. I’ll tell you this: I had a conversation with a general manager yesterday, it was pretty funny. He just said to me, ‘I hope nobody helps Pittsburgh.’ Like, it’s enough. They’ve won twice in a row. Why is somebody going to help them. So I kind of laughed and thought that was pretty funny.”

Friedman | Penguins have kind of tested the water on Letang trade

Darren Dreger also appeared on the radio in the Vancouver market a short time later, but on TSN 1040.

Again the Penguins were mentioned, with the question put to Dreger if Rutherford might like to make a move to get a jump on the second half of the season.

“Yeah, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Jim Rutherford is going to do something,” agreed Dreger. “And your evaluation/assessment/recollection is bang-on. It’s looking back at the moves that he’s made, sometimes they’re depth moves like Ron Hainsey that turned out to be a key move that helped the Pittsburgh Penguins last year win a Stanley Cup because he elevated into a Top 4 and some nights, some shifts, a top-pairing defenseman. And he was brought in to be a depth guy at best. Sometimes those little tweaks can turn out to be much bigger deals.

“But that was a different team than the team we’re looking at right now. This Penguins team – it looks tired. It looks like it was hoping that some of the players that aren’t necessarily young players just developing, trying to turn a corner in National Hockey League, haven’t yet embraced the opportunity. And I’m not being critical of those guys, it’s just when you’ve got a team that’s front-loaded with the likes of Crosby and Malkin and Kessel and the big contract guys – and Kris Letang fits into that discussion as well – you need Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary and go down the list of all of those guys to really take a step forward.

“And I thought that they had very good years last year. But when you have a good year, everyone around you – including your coach and general manager – expect more from you the following year. And so I think the middle of that team has been somewhat problematic to go along with injury and some other things that are going on in Pittsburgh.

“So I’m not willing to write them off yet. I think that the goal for the Penguins is a pretty simple one: claw your way back into contention in terms of a playoff spot. If that team qualifies for the playoffs in the East, then all bets are off. Because again, their leadership can find a way to grab hold of the situation.

“But I suspect that Jimmy will try and pull a couple of things off to try and energize that group.”

LeBrun | Pacioretty trade speculation may spur more calls to Canadiens

Friedman said during his appearance that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Canadiens had interest in Pacioretty, and last week he had thought there might be a deal to be made there with Kris Letang and Pacioretty being the key pieces. Again, just speculation.

During his Tuesday hit on 650, Friedman was asked this question about the trade conjecture surrounding the captain of the Canadiens:

“It’s always noisy in Montreal. Is it noisy because it’s Montreal, or should we expect Pacioretty perhaps to be dangled somewhere?”

“Well, it’s definitely column A and it’s partly column B,” replied the Insider. “I mean, it’s always noisy because it’s Montreal. It’s like two weeks ago I came on your show and we talked about Gudbranson and it’s news because it’s Vancouver, right. So the same deal happens here. Nick mentions Pacioretty and it’s news because it’s Montreal.  

“The thing is he’s making 4.5 and he’s got a year-and-a-half left on it. He’s not going to be making 4.5 on his next deal. He’ll sort this out and he will get a bigger number than that. Montreal is going to know if there’s another year-and-a-half of this, he’s not going to want to stay anyway. So I think they realize there’s a clock ticking here and I think that’s why they’re looking, but I believe the Canadiens are also well aware that if they trade him – their center situation, they can’t sort it out. They’re having a really difficult time finding wingers for him. The next team is not going to have that problem. You’re not trading for Max Pacioretty if you think you’re going to have the same difficulties setting him up in your new city as opposed to where Montreal is. So I think that’s why Montreal is really wary about this deal.”

Pacioretty does not have any trade protection in his contract and as Friedman mentioned, the 29-year-old winger counts as a $4.5 million cap hit for this season and next, at which point he can become an unrestricted free agent.

Whether or not Jim Rutherford will nab him or not remains to be seen, but there seems to be little doubt that the Penguins GM has an appetite to get something done on the trade front – potentially something significant.

Source: Sportsnet 650, TSN 1040, CapFriendly

The post Friedman and Dreger | Penguins have appetite for change appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Dwyane Wade looks to enjoy having Isaiah Thomas back

Isaiah Thomas‘ long-awaited Cleveland Cavaliers debut has produced some highlight-worthy plays despite the smallest Cav being on a minutes restriction.

Running with the Dwyane Wade-led second unit, Thomas is assimilating well. Early in the fourth quarter, he found Wade with a deft no-look pass that the fellow first-year Cavalier turned into an easy layup.

Thomas has 16 points thus far in his debut, and he’s spurred on the Cavs’ bench.

Thomas, Wade, Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson are each boasting at least a plus-10 in the plus/minus column and made a big difference for the home team.

The post Dwyane Wade looks to enjoy having Isaiah Thomas back appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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