Cambridge Analytica whistleblower talks info warfare in Vancouver

The whistleblower behind a scandal involving data collected from millions of Facebook users warned attendees at a Vancouver conference Wednesday about the threat posed by those who harness social media for nefarious political purposes. Christopher Wylie, a social researcher and data scientist from Victoria, B.C., spoke at Cambridge House International’s Extraordinary Future about his time as former director of research for Cambridge Analytica and its London-based affiliate SCL Group. Wylie, 29, is known for his role as whistleblower for bombshell reports last March on Cambridge Analytica’s unauthorized collection of data from 87 million Facebook users, intended to be used in political campaigns during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The company… Read More

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Blue Jays Takeaways: Estrada playing out the string strongly

The Toronto Blue Jays fell to the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night, 2-1. There wasn’t much in it. Five Orioles pitches pieced together a four-hitter, with Billy McKinney’s eighth-inning solo shot — a 409-foot blast — winding up as Toronto’s only extra-base hit. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a couple of singles, Justin Smoak walked twice, and Teoscar Hernandez made a real, honest-to-goodness impressive play on a challenging fly ball to the wall in right in the fifth inning. Otherwise, this was about as September-ey as September baseball gets between two non-contending teams playing out of little but obligation. But we still found some takeaways. And we might as well start with… Read More

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Support slipping slightly for gas tax hike to raise money for schools, poll shows

SALT LAKE CITY — Support is slipping slightly for the nonbinding question on the November ballot about raising state gas taxes by 10 cents a gallon to help fund schools, according to a UtahPolicy.com poll. Results released Wednesday show 50 percent of Utahns say they back raising the gas tax for education, down from 52 percent in May. Opponents of the increase are up to 47 percent, from 43 percent. The poll of 809 likely Utah voters was conducted Aug. 22-31 for the online political news source by Dan Jones & Associates and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent points. “It’s going to be close,”… Read More

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Tyler Ennis leads Maple Leafs past Senators in pre-season

OTTAWA — Tyler Ennis scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Wednesday to sweep their two-game pre-season series. The two teams played Tuesday night in Lucan, Ont., as part of Kraft Hockeyville Canada with Toronto taking a 4-1 victory. Auston Matthews, and Jeremy Bracco scored for the Leafs on Wednesday. Frederik Andersen played two periods, stopping all 19 shots he faced. Calvin Pickard played the third period, allowing one goal on six shots. Filip Chlapik had a power-play goal for the Senators. Goalie Craig Anderson played the first half of the game for Ottawa and allowed one goal on 18 shots before being replaced… Read More

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Orioles avoid three-game sweep with win over Blue Jays

BALTIMORE — Rookie DJ Stewart hit his first major league home run and the Baltimore Orioles used five pitchers to avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Wednesday night. The Orioles bounced back one night after taking their 108th loss of the season, the most since moving to Baltimore in 1954. They remained three away from the franchise mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. Jimmy Yacabonis started for Baltimore and threw four scoreless innings, followed by Mike Wright (4-2), who blanked the Blue Jays over two innings. Miguel Castro allowed a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the eighth that cut the lead to… Read More

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Max Domi sucker punches Panthers’ Ekblad in Canadiens debut

Max Domi certainly made an impact in his pre-season debut with the Montreal Canadiens, but it might earn him a suspension from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Domi was assessed match penalty after sucker punching Florida Panthers star defenceman Aaron Ekblad in the third period of Wednesday’s exhibition game. The young forward, who was acquired in a summer swap with the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, challenged Ekblad to a fight the 2014 first-overall pick wanted no part of. Domi gave Ekblad a couple light shots to the face with his left glove before shaking off his right glove and dropping Ekblad with a bare-knuckle shot. You… Read More

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Microsoft researcher cautions media not to fall prey to fringe groups flying ‘false flag of conservatism’

Fringe groups are seeking to manipulate the media and tech companies with accusations of anti-conservative bias, aiming to invoke anger among conservatives and provoke reactions from journalists and the tech industry, according to danah boyd*, a Microsoft Research principal researcher and founder of the Data & Society research group. The situation is making journalists and others in the media business desperate to prove that they aren’t biased, boyd said during her address at the Online News Association conference in Austin, Texas. For example, she said, social media companies hesitate to ban people who violate terms of service because they fear that banning users will feed into accusations of bias. She… Read More

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Max Domi punches out Aaron Ekblad, gets match penalty

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Vaughn Palmer: Rapid escalation of light rail costs in Surrey are literally taxing

VICTORIA — The transportation ministry has provided an explanation of sorts for the soaring price tag for light rail in Surrey, now budgeted at more than double the estimated cost per kilometre from just five years ago. The recent request for qualified bidders on the project includes an estimate of $1.65 billion to construct the 10.5 kilometre-long first phase of an L-shaped line linking the Newton and Guildford town centres to Surrey Central. As recently as 2013, Surrey sought funding of $1.8 billion to construct the first phase as well as a second 16.5 kilometre-long link to Langley. The then-to-now difference in cost per kilometre: about $65 million versus the… Read More

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