How To Create Fresh Viral News Stories Through NewsMakerPRO


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NewsMakerPro requires WordPress 4.1 or higher (current version is 5.2; if you keep your WordPress updated you’re fine) After you purchase you’ll be offered to upgrade to a NewsMakerPro UNLIMITED version which among other additional features has developer’s license.

Source: NewsMakerPRO


Altered Video Of CNN Reporter Jim Acosta Heralds A Future Filled With ‘Deep Fakes’ – Lauren Aratani




A viral clip of an interaction between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and a White House intern has sparked an intense online debate over whether it was doctored—a harbinger of the polarization that’s likely to follow if manufactured videos known as “deep fakes” become widespread. The clip, a tweaked version of a video showing Acosta and a White House staffer who attempted to take his microphone at a press conference Wednesday, was posted by Paul Joseph Watson of conspiracy site………

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Beaches Getting Sand to Replace What Irma Washed Away – Larry Barszewski


More sand is on the way for beaches in south Broward County that took a hit from Hurricane Irma last year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend $9.7 million in January to truck in and replenish about 123,000 cubic yards of sand — enough to cover a football field with sand 57 feet high — lost during the storm on beaches south of Port Everglades. The project in January won’t make the south county beaches wider, but it will put more sand on dry sand areas away from the water…….

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Prisoner, Wife Allegedly Commit Suicide During Visiting Hours – ASEAN Plus


The Lumajang Police have reported that a prisoner and his wife allegedly committed suicide during visiting hours at the Lumajang Penitentiary Class II-B in East Java on Friday.

The Lumajang Police’s criminal investigation unit head, AKP Hasran, said the prisoner, 30, and his wife, 18, died after drinking the same beverage.

“The wife and the prisoner’s mother brought him a meal that had been checked by penitentiary officers,” Hasran said on Friday.

He explained that, according to information gathered, the prisoner asked for plastic cups from the canteen officer. He then poured the beverage into the plastic cups for himself and his wife.

“After a while, as they were hugging each other, they both laid down and experienced shortness of breath,” he said.

The penitentiary officers and several prisoners brought them to the polyclinic but they died shortly afterwards, Hasran added.

The police took the bottle and the plastic cups used by the victims to the East Java Police forensic laboratory in Surabaya for examination.

The police have also requested Lumajang Hospital to perform an autopsy on the bodies. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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Asbestos, Other Chemical Toxins Found In Five Back-to-School Items Sold at Dollar Tree, Other Retailers – Ross Torgerson


Five back-to-school items have tested positive for toxic chemicals – including asbestos – according to a release from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Those items include Playskool crayons (36 count), Brace Brands children’s Reduce Hydro Pro Furry Friends water bottle, GSI Outdoors Kids’ insulated water bottles, Jot brand blue 3-ring binder and The Board Dudes brand markers.


According to the release, trace amounts of asbestos were found in green-colored Playskool crayons sold at Dollar Tree. Asbestos, which can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, has recently been found in other children’s products such as makeup. Of the six different types of crayons tested, Playskool crayons was the only brand that tested positive for toxic chemicals. Crayola, Up & Up, Cra-Z-Art, Disney Junior Mickey and the Roadster Racers and Roseart crayons all tested negative for toxic chemicals.

Two recently-recalled water bottles also tested positive for toxic chemicals, research shows. Both the Base Brands children’s Reduce Hydro Pro Furry Friends and the GSI Outdoors children’s water bottles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission due to high levels of lead. The Base Brands water bottle can be found primarily at Costco and on Amazon, while the GSI Outdoors water bottle is sold mainly at L.L. Bean. Lead has been known to cause severe developmental and behavioral problems.

Phthalates, which has been linked to causing birth defects, hyperactivity and reproductive problems, was found in the Jot brand blue 3-ring binder sold at Dollar Tree. According to the CPSC, the levels of phthalates found in the binder is considered unsafe for children.

Lastly, benzene, a carcinogen linked to leukemia and disruptions in sexual reproduction and liver, kidney and immune system function, was found in The Board Dudes brand markers sold on

According to the U.S. PIRG, it is legal to have asbestos in crayons, however, scientists and government agencies say that it is unnecessary to expose children to asbestos. In the release, the research group urges any manufacturers that sell crayons that contain asbestos should issue a voluntary recall and reformulate the ingredients.

“Based on our testing, we know that most manufacturers make safe school supplies,” said Kara Cook-Schultz, U.S. PIRG education fund toxics director. “We’re calling on the makers of unsafe products to get rid of toxic chemicals and protect American schoolchildren.”

Since it is often legal to sell products that contain toxic chemicals, the U.S. PIRG said that parents who buy glue, markers, pencils, rulers and crayons should look for the Art and Creative Materials Institute label, which lets consumers know that the product is non-toxic for children.

For products like water bottles and lunch boxes where there is no label offered, look for a manufacturer’s “children’s product certificate” on the product. That label assures consumers that the product has been tested in a third-party laboratory under specifications set by the CPSC.




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Why Everyone Should Watch Less News – Ryan Holiday


According to a 2017 report by the American Psychological Association, 95% of American adults follow the news regularly, even though more than half of them say it causes them stress and over two-thirds say they believe the media blows things out of proportion. In contextualizing the survey’s findings, the APA’s chief executive officer, Arthur C. Evans Jr, said, “Understanding that we all still need to be informed about the news, it’s time to make it a priority to be thoughtful about how often and what type of media we consume.”


Perhaps it’s time we realize that consuming more news about the world around us is not the way to improve it (or ourselves), personally or politically. Two thousand years ago, Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations, “Are you distracted by breaking news? Then take some leisure time to learn something good, and stop bouncing around.”

Our modern notion of leisure has perverted the ancient definition of the word. For the Greeks and Romans, it meant pursuing and engaging with higher things, making space for the contemplation of bigger ideas.

To follow Marcus’ example then, I say: Watch less news. Read more books.

Of course, being informed is important. But is tracking the “specious present,” as the sociologist Robert E. Park once termed the news, really the best way to do that?

Novels. Non-fiction. Memoirs. Biographies. Self-Help and the Classics. Just about anything bound between two covers will teach you something more than the latest headlines — and will do far more in regards to settling your soul.

This is not just the biased opinion of an author and former news junkie. The comparison between the health benefits of reading books and the ill effects of consuming the news is stark.

While research has shown that visually shocking and upsetting news can contribute to anxiety, sleeping trouble, raise cortisol levels and even trigger PTSD symptoms, a University of Sussex study found that just six minutes reading a book can reduce stress levels up to 68%. A study done by former journalist turned positive psychology researcher Michelle Geilan found that watching just a few minutes of negative news in the morning increases the chances of viewers reporting having had a bad day by 27%, while Barnes and Noble just reported soaring sales for books that help people deal with anxiety and find happiness. Life Time Fitness, a gym chain with locations in 27 states, recently decided that tuning their TVs to FOX News and CNN was antithetical to their mission of making people healthier, so they’ve banned the news from the gym.

Sadly, less than three quarters of Americans report having read a book in the last twelve months, while the average American consumes 6.5 hours of television news per week. Some leisure.

Books that delve deeply into the past manage to capture the essence of what is happening right now better than any other medium.

Books, both in terms of the length of the final product and the length of the process that goes into creating them, have an opportunity to explore topics at much greater depth than a newspaper article or a cable news segment. While news of current events is often rendered irrelevant by subsequent current events, books can endure for centuries or millennia. Often, in fact, books that delve deeply into the past manage to capture the essence of what is happening right now better than any other medium.

A reader of Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage would find that between 1971 and 1972, there were some 2500 politically motivated bombings in the United States. In the pages of Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War, they’d find an eerily modern jockeying between an ascendant power and a dominant power and the mistakes made by both. Reading Robert Kennedy’s Thirteen Days, his first-hand account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, would reveal the life and death calculations of nuclear powers, each looking to save face and neither looking to actually blow up the world. In Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, a reader might relate to the rather ageless angst of the next generation trying to find its meaning and purpose in the world.

In Anne Frank’s diary we hear of the timeless plight of the refugee, we are reminded of the humanity of every individual (and how societies lose sight of this) and we are inspired — even shamed — to see the cheerful perseverance of a child amidst far worse circumstances than ours.

In Stefan Zweig’s biography of Montaigne we get the unique perspective of a man turning away from the chaos of the world to examine the life of a man who turned inward, away from the chaos of the world some 400 years earlier.

In each of these books — none of which are new releases or about new events — we learn something about history, something about the human condition, and, it goes without saying, something about the present moment too. We could say that while breaking news is usually about lowercase t truth — what happened, who did it, who said it — the great books are about capital T Truth — why it happened, what it means, what it says about us.

Part of this has to do with the economics of each medium. News, as a business, has low margins and requires high volume (big viewership, lots of articles) to make up for it. This is why stories are always developing and rarely conclusive, and why the audience is always being prompted to stick with it through the commercial break or click the link to the new story.

Books, even in a world of Amazon dominance and publishing dinosaurs, are not only more profitable for their creators at smaller scale, but authors and readers have a more honest and straightforward exchange of value. I write, you pay. If I don’t deliver, you won’t buy from me again, bookstores will stop carrying my work, and my work will die. If my work does not endure — does not make the transition from a frontlist title to a backlist title that maintains relevance — it’s unlikely I will see much in the way of royalties in return for the years I spent writing.

This obligation is undoubtedly why books suffer less from clickbait or sensationalism than your average media outlet is forced to dabble in to keep the lights on. Even if the Trump presidency has been good to some authors, no publisher would dare say as CBS CEO Leslie Moonves did of our toxic political environment, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Because the classic titles always outsell new releases.

Where news hardens or angers us, a book properly written and read can, in Kafka’s words, break the frozen sea within us.

There is also something to the way books are consumed, often in physical form in a quiet place away from the noise of the world. We flip through a newspaper, we pore over the pages of a good book. We forward articles or videos that provoke us, we press life changing books in the hands of our friends as meaningful gifts.

Where news hardens or angers us, a book properly written and read can, in Kafka’s words, break the frozen sea within us. It can make us feel. It can make us truly understand. Although the studies have not been replicated, it makes sense that novels might increase empathy as a study by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano found. They force us to really see something from someone else’s perspective, to live with a character or an idea for far longer than a tweet or a talking head can ever capture.

While there is plenty to be outraged about in our current world, we should not forget part of this is related to the fact that anger and outrage are the most viral emotions. Should it surprise us then that the news in an attention economy provokes these emotions more than any others?

In 55 B.C., after returning from exile and being forced to withdraw for a time from political life, Cicero wrote of “feasting” on the library of Faustus Sulla near his villa in Cumae. That famed library was no less than Aristotle’s, part of the war booty of Faustus’ father’s sack of Athens. Cicero’s leisure time produced a flood of writing over a 12 year period that included almost all of his surviving works — many of which are shockingly relevant to anyone trying to make sense of today’s complicated world.

The way to solve big problems is to get bigger perspectives, to get away from being reactive or the hopelessness of despair. We need the insights and the empathy and restorative benefits of books more than ever. We need them to awaken within us our shared humanity and the timelessness of the struggle of good against evil. (If you want book recommendations, try this list)

Most of all we need the relief and solace they provide. As Thomas Kempis said, in omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro. Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.

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Fake News – Resources for Learners and Educators | CristinaSkyBox | Information and digital literacy in education via the digital path

Digital literacies, Visual literacies, Social Media literacies.The skills and demands of today’s literacies change and so should educational practices by meeting learners in the world in which they live in.   Here are some resources for helping students understand the issue of fake news.

Source: Fake News – Resources for Learners and Educators | CristinaSkyBox | Information and digital literacy in education via the digital path



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The Problem with “Great Schools”

by Ali McKay If you have young kids or use Redfin, you’ve probably seen the school ratings from GreatSchools. Our school is rated a “4”. That’s out of 10. When I was in school, forty percent is not a grade that I or my parents would have been happy with. In fact, there would have […]

via The Problem with “Great Schools” —

A Hiker Has Died After Falling From Yosemite’s Half Dome

(YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.) — A hiker in Yosemite National Park fell to his death while climbing the iconic granite cliffs of Half Dome in rainy conditions, authorities said Tuesday.

The National Park Service said the accident occurred Monday at about 4:30 p.m. in the Northern California national park. The hiker’s body was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

NPS spokeswoman Jamie Richards said the man and a companion were scaling the steepest part of the trail where rangers recently installed cables to help hikers to climb the steepest part of the 4,800-foot (1,463-meter) ascent.

Richards said the companion was helped from the trail and was unharmed.

The cables are installed each summer to assist the thousands of hikers who make the popular 14-mile (23-kilometer) round trip. Richards said hikers can clip safety harnesses to the cables, but the vast majority don’t.

Richards said investigators are still trying to determine how the fall occurred. She said it’s unclear if the hikers were climbing in the rain, but that the well-worn trail over smooth rock was wet.

The NPS declined to release the man’s name pending notification of his family. The NPS said it’s the first fatal fall from Half Dome since 2010.

NPS requires hikers to obtain permits to hike the popular trail to avoid overcrowding during the peak summer season.

Important Highlights Of Google io18 Which You Don’t Wanna Miss


No one on the planet has access to data as Google does. They are literally everywhere now, in our laptops, mobiles and some of them are in our wrists too. Google io18 just proved how it can make use of all these data in creating a smart (really smart) artificial intelligence. From its recent updates, I can see Google is putting together some of its small, small application to make something great.


For example; the Google sound, that app is been there on my mobile since I bought it in 2015. When we fast forward to 2017 this feature is given in the Pixel 2 to identify the name of the song. Like this application, Google has put many small services, which we rarely use and big projects to create a smarter Artificial Intelligence in the Google iO18. A lot happened in the event, including the launch of Android P beta; here are some of the highlights of Google iO18.

AI Powered Camera

Google lens is quite a useful feature available for the Pixel users alone, and now the lens is coming to Android P as a built-in option. Just like the Huawei P20pro, you can access the Google lens feature right inside your default camera application itself. Unfortunately not all Android OEM manufacturers support this feature as of now, but Google has given us a list of manufactures in which you will get this update. Samsung lover,s you will get the same features in Bixby version in the next year.


I have a small hunch that Google will use its machine learning to set camera settings automatically based on the subject you are taking, just like the Huawei P20 pro and the latest LG G7 ThinQ devices. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

AI Powered Google Photo

Google has moved a step further than the Huawei P20 pro by adding AI to its gallery application. We all know how quick the Google photo can identify faces and the location, with the latest updates it becomes, even more, smarter and also gives us some useful editing options.


Most of the photographers and graphic designers might be familiar with this term. In this effect, particular color or object alone is highlighted by changing rest of the images to grayscale. To make this effect, before we used Photoshop or other photo editing tool, but now just a tap will do in the Google Photo.



Colorize converts your old black and white photos to colorful images in a tap. All these are done intelligently by the Google AI.


Text Identifier

Actually, text identifier can be used in both the Google lens and also in Google Photos application. In Google lens, you can do live translate before, but now you can copy the texts right away, pretty dope. On the other hand in the Google photo, say you have taken a picture of a page, now you can convert this image into a PDF right away.

New Voices To Google Assistant

Google Assistant now get six new voices. Still, it is not clear how can we choose the voice model we want, once I get my hands on Android P will let you guys know. You might have heard this by now, John Legend voice is also coming to Google Assistant. But it is coming only later part of this year, maybe with the Pixel 3. From the marketers perspective, Google will be using John Legend’s voice for promoting Pixel 3 and for commercial ads.

Google Duplex

At the beginning of the post, I told you guys about Google putting together pieces to create smarter AI. Google Duplex is the ultimate example. Google has put together its knowledge from text to speech, Deep learning, and all other projects related to natural language understanding to create this damn smart intelligent Assistant. The “mm-hmm”, “umm” and the pauses given by the Google Assistant is so real, the person on the other side can’t even feel they are talking to an AI actually.


There is a lot of ethical issues already going on this matter. Dieter from Verge has already tweeted about it and lot other tech people who are into making a safe future, arguing about it. Let’s wait and see when we can use Duplex in the real world.

New Android P Features

Artificial intelligence is going to be a part of Android P. With the help of Deepmind, Google engineers have made the Android P intelligently manage the battery performance. Based on your application usage and pattern, Android P will be managing battery intelligently in the background.

As I have mentioned in my previous Pixel 3 post, Android P will be getting swipe up gesture just like in the iPhone X. The first swipe up gives you the overview section of your apps and the second swipe up gets you to the app draw. When you are in an application you can hit the home button to reach the home page.


In the app draw also the Google AI gets in. At the top, you have app recommendations based on your application usage. If you are an HTC user, you might be familiar with the Sense Home widget which shows your most used application based on your location. The same thing is happening here in the Android P app draw but in a more clever way.

Android wellbeing is a dashboard which helps the user to see how they spend their time on their smartphone. You can control the time you spend on an application from the dashboard to help you to be more productive.


Shush is the new actual do not disturb option. In this mode your phone never bothers you, all the notifications and calls are blocked. To activate it you can simply face down your smartphone on the table and the shush mode will activate.

AR In Google Maps

Google now uses your smartphone camera to navigate easily. When you are walking all you have to do is to hold your phone higher and the virtual elements will guide you, just like in a game. Even Google has introduced virtual characters to make your search easier and fun filled.


If you have ever seen the Nokia N8 commercial ad, to demonstrate the map they have used virtual elements hanging out on the real world objects. This thing is becoming real now, while you navigate with the new camera feature, it automatically shows the shop, restaurants, and any other places around you.

Google I/O 18 gave us so many jaw-dropping moments. It clearly shows that the future solely depends on the AI. Hereafter the quality of the smartphone and smart devices won’t be calculated with the hardware alone. Software and the AI features will also be considered to evaluate the quality of the product. As Apple WWDC 18 is just a few weeks away from now, am eagerly waiting to see what APPLE is going to do. To stay updated please subscribe if you haven’t already, the link is below. See you soon.

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