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Someone Let Your Voting Data Leak Online. Here’s What That Means

There’s a database of 191 million voter records online, and no one knows where it came from or who owns it.  That revelation comes from security researcher Chris Vickery, who found the data on Dec. 20 and shared his discovery with an anonymous privacy advocate at DataBreaches.net  and CSO Online’s Steve Ragan, who confirmed that the records of American voters  — including himself — are indeed available for free online. The data in question includes the full of name of a given voter, his or her home address, phone number, gender, date of birth, state voter ID, unique voter ID, date of voter registration, phone number, political affiliation and whether or not he or she voted in primary elections, beginning in 2000.  Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, famously said that ” information wants to be free .” But when it comes to the  sacred act of voting  in a democracy, should  that information be freely and easily accessible online?   “Our society has never had to confront the idea of all these records, all in one place, being available to anyone in the entire world for any purpose instantly,” wrote Vickery  on Reddit on Monday. “That’s a hard pill to swallow.” While state voter registration records  are public records, it isn’t always easy — or cheap — to access them across the United States.  Using voter data is also tricky. Depending on the state, the data may not be used for commercial or charitable purposes, or it may  only  be used for political or electoral purposes, or it may have no restrictions at all.  Both Ragan and DataBreaches.net suggested that the data originated with campaign software vendor NationBuilder, which provides its users with access to a national voter file .  NationBuilder founder and CEO Jim Gilliam, however,  told The Huffington Post  that while some of the data probably came through his firm, the schema — or how it’s structured — is not theirs .

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Everyone Deserves Internet Access, Mark Zuckerberg Says

Mark Zuckerberg wants to bring Internet access to everyone. In a column published Monday in the Times of India, the Facebook CEO once again made his case for “free basic internet services.” The column arrived just days before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is slated to rule on net neutrality — a decision that could have a major impact on Facebook’s ability to provide services to people in India.  “In every society, there are certain basic services that are so important for people’s wellbeing that we expect everyone to be able to access them freely,” Zuckerberg wrote. He compared basic access to the Internet to basic healthcare, basic education and basic library books. We repeat the word “basic” because the Facebook CEO did, underscoring that the Internet he envisions bringing to everyone is  not  the same thing you’re likely reading this article on right now. Instead, Zuckerberg’s talking about Facebook’s Free Basics platform. Free Basics, which operates under the Internet.org umbrella, provides limited services — things like weather, health information, messaging and, yes, Facebook — to people who otherwise might not be able to access the Internet at all

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What It Was Like to Teach Obama to Code

How was President Obama convinced to do Hour of Code? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights . Answer by Hadi Partovi , CEO, Code.org, on Quora . This is a great story. Code.org launched in 2013 with a video, and we had little more than a video, a great name, and a web site. I was a one-man team at the time, but with one million people having signed our petition, and 15,000 schools having reached out asking our help to bring coding and computer science to their school, I knew we could do a lot more.

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NASA Flight Controller Robert Frost Talks About Life on Other Planets

These Questions originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights . Answers by Robert Frost , Instructor and Flight Controller at NASA, on Quora . Q: What is the most interesting evidence that there is life on other planets? A: I am not aware of any evidence of life on other planets. I think there is, however, starting to be more and more evidence that the conditions to support life have existed and maybe do still exist, at locations other than Earth. The entire subject is challenging because we have to start by defining a term on which we have a very narrow perspective.

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The Top 10 New Shows Of 2015, According To IMDb

This year may account for the biggest loss of brain cells in human history. You can’t really blame everyone for just mindlessly staring at their television screens in 2015. “Game of Thrones” had one of the most-talked about scenes in TV history with Jon Snow in its  Season 5 finale , we all freaked out over a huge “Walking Dead” fake-out , the twist in ” Leftovers ” Season 2 completely blew our minds and the force finally awakened for Sheldon on ” The Big Bang Theory .” Sadly, we lost a lot of our favorite shows, too. ” Mad Men ,” ” Two and a Half Men ,” ” Parks and Rec ,” “The Mentalist,” ” Glee ” and more aired their series finales in 2015. Here’s to you, Don Draper . But to quote everyone’s favorite ’90s band,  Semisonic , “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The bodies of those shows weren’t even cold before we replaced them with new ones. Netflix rolled out a number of hits, including ” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ,” ” Narcos ” and ” Jessica Jones “; USA gave the surprise of the year with ” Mr.

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Turning Lunch Into LEDs

By Don Willmott What’s not to like about LEDs? The highly efficient and long-lasting light sources are steadily taking over the lighting market, pushing hot, inefficient incandescent light bulbs into the past. There are only two real gripes to be made about LEDs: they’re expensive, and they’re often made from toxic materials. Now, however, science is poised to address both issues. University of Utah Metallurgical Engineering Research Assistant Professor Prashant Sarswat and Professor Michael Free have found a way to create luminescent materials from food waste , hinting at future LED light sources that are far cheaper and far less toxic than the ones we are buying today.

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Mommy Bloggers Beware! Here Comes MomCave TV

Have you ever wanted to be part of a club and found that there just wasn’t a place for people like you? For Jennifer Weedon, Stephanie Faith Scott and Valise Tate, that’s what propelled them off the couch and into action. You see, they were moms, but the more time they spent looking at “mommy bloggers,” the more they just couldn’t find any voice that sounded like them. So rather than be disenfranchised moms, they decided to turn their unique voices into a Web TV channel called MomCave. Think “mancave,” but for moms.

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A Community Advocacy Success Story

Shenango Coke Works is a massive coke processing facility on Neville Island in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a large industrial site ironically situated in the midst of 70,000 residents who witness the flares, captive emissions, and industrial smells of heavy industry daily. Just last month, the residents of surrounding neighborhoods, organized together as Allegheny County Clean Air Now , succeeded in bringing the Philadelphia-based head of the regional EPA to their local church for a meeting with the local health department and with local citizenry. During the meeting, the EPA officials faced a projection that was remarkable.

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