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Laptops, Other Electronics Banned On Some Flights To U.S.

The United States and United Kingdom have banned laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in the cabins of some flights from airlines operating in parts of North Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. ban, which affects devices larger than a cellphone ― including cameras, DVD players and electronic games ― went into effect Tuesday morning, senior Trump administration officials said in a conference call with reporters.  Federal officials, requesting anonymity, said intensifying threats from terrorist groups against commercial airlines and airports prompted the new rules. Officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation imposed the change, officials said in the conference call.  “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” said a DHS fact sheet released Tuesday. “The record of terrorist attempts to destroy aircraft in flight is longstanding and well-known.” The rules affect passengers on direct flights to the U.S.

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Don’t Blame The Batteries For Every Lithium-Ion Explosion

By Tim Moynihan for WIRED . Lithium-ion batteries have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The latest marquee moment involved a pair of exploding headphones on a plane. That incendiary incident came hot on the heels of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 (double) recall and major issues with “hoverboard” batteries. You can’t chalk it all up to incompetence, either

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U.K. To Also Ban Large Electronics On Some Flights From Middle East, Africa

The threat of terrorism has prompted the United Kingdom to follow the United States’ lead and ban passengers from having electronics larger than a cellphone in the cabin on U.K.-bound flights from certain countries, The Associated Press reports . The ban will affect flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, according to a U.K. government spokesperson.  U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.S.

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Hero Game Developer Starts Donation Campaign On Behalf Of Her Trolls

One video game developer has shown us a beautiful way to deal with online trolls. Alex Neonakis, who has worked in game design for 10 years, started a donation campaign for video game education program  Girls Make Games  (GMG) after she became the target of online harassment. Neonakis found herself on the receiving end of trolling after standing up for video game animator Allie Rose-Marie Leost, who wa s trolled for working on a new game  “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” Neonakis came to her defense on Twitter and was subsequently targeted as well.  “Ever want to have a bunch of dudes explain meritocracy to you over and over again? Post about your experience existing in a workplace,” she told the Huffington Post. I've worked in this industry for 10 years. I have clawed to where I am today despite people telling me I couldn't and shouldn't.

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News Roundup for March 21, 2017

Ya news, ya lose. 1. Ivanka Trump is getting her own office in the White House. Although she won’t be a government employee, which directly contradicts President Trump’s claims on the campaign trail. What a surprise..

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Twitter Transparency Report Details Escalating Crackdown On Terrorists

If Twitter has to break a few eggs to scramble the plans of terrorists attempting to use the site, it’s more than happy to oblige. Since the middle of 2015, the company has broken a little more than 636,248 (metaphorical) terrorist eggs. That’s according to its latest transparency report , released Tuesday, which details the various external information requests Twitter has received in the last six months, and how Twitter has responded. Of the 636,248 accounts Twitter has suspended overall for promoting terrorism, the company suspended 376,000 in the last half of 2016 alone, marking a sharp increase in enforcement efforts. For comparison, in the first half of 2016, Twitter suspended around 235,000 accounts

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Donald Trump Signs Bill Authorizing NASA Budget, Mars Exploration

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Tuesday that authorizes $19.5 billion in NASA funding for the 2018 budget year and adds human exploration of Mars as an agency objective, The Associated Press  reports. Trump signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act as astronauts and the bill’s sponsors, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), looked on. The new law allows NASA to redouble its deep space exploration efforts and develop a manned mission to Mars.  The Trump administration released a preliminary budget last week  that proposed a $19.1 billion budget for the space agency next year, down $200 million from the current budget of $19.3 billion. However, Tuesday’s bill reversed course, boosting NASA’s budget to $19.5 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins October 1

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Airline Electronics Ban Probably Based On Legitimate Threats, Experts Say

The  ban on electronics larger than a cellphone on incoming flights to the United States and the United Kingdom from a handful of airports in the Middle East and North Africa was announced Tuesday without much information to back it up. But the action was probably based on credible terrorist threats against air travel, experts said. The link between terror and aviation isn’t new, and the fact that other countries are implementing versions of an electronics ban points to the legitimacy of the threats. Still, the rollout of the ban in the U.S. lacked transparency and will likely cause confusion and apprehension on the part of many travelers. The Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on Tuesday that leaves unanswered many questions about the ban ― like why laptops or tablets are any more dangerous than cellphones.

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