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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

News

Five things you might have missed


This week brought out record-breaking statistics from Facebook, a staged suicide plot by an Illinois cop and an ordinance that didn’t grab enough Houstonians votes. Here are a few things you might have missed in national headlines this week:

Elections: HERO fails to pass
The Houston Equal Right Ordinance failed by a wide margin. Houstonians voted against the ordinance, 61 to 39 percent.

The law restricted discrimination against 15 different characteristics, such as sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status.

There is also a runoff election to come as Sylvester Turner gained 32 percent of votes, while Bill King gained 25 percent. In the “occasion that a candidate does not receive 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates are to filter into a runoff election in December,” according to a previous Cougar report.
Fox Lake cop staged his suicide
Officials said an officer who they thought was killed in the line of duty probably committed suicide to hide his long list of crimes.

Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz was found dead in the woods in the lakeside community on Sept. 1. After months of investigating a homicide, Gliniewicz’s death was discovered to be “a carefully staged suicide,” George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, said on Wednesday.

Gliniewicz was stealing and laundering money from the department for seven years while he mentored young people hoping to become law enforcement officers, Filenko said to CNN.

Facebook breaks record

More than 1 billion people visit the social media site a day on average, beating Wall Street expectations for the third-quarter. Facebook shares jumped as much as five percent in after-hours trading according to Yahoo Tech.

“Our community now has more than 1.55 billion people, including more than 1 billion people active every day. Through Internet.org, more than 15 million people now have access to the opportunities of the Internet who didn’t before,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.

Gmail works to respond for you

Google unveiled what it’s calling “deep learning”—a form of artificial intelligence that’s rapidly reinventing a range of online services according to Wired.

The company is beefing up the inbox to analyze the contents of an email and then suggests a few  quick responses. The idea is that you can rapidly respond to someone while on the go, without having to manually tap a fresh message into your smartphone keyboard.

The program, called Smart Reply, uses two neural networks.

First, it analyses the the message, distilling the general message, then it generalizes a response. The system uses a “long short-term-memory…something akin to a human memory,” as told by the Wired article.

The system can so far generate roughly 20,000 responses.

Clinton and Carson are neck-to-neck on Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows

Democratic former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, are each others biggest competitors thus far.

Each would be at 47 percent  if the election were held now, according to the poll.

The poll was conducted in October 25-29.

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