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›  Interior Dept. Suspends Tweeting Over National Park Service?s Anti-Trump Retweets

The Department of the Interior temporarily suspended all activity on its Twitter accounts after one of its agencies, the National Park Service, retweeted seemingly critical messages about President Donald Trump on Friday.

One retweet involved a post with side-by-side photos suggesting that Trump’s inauguration was poorly attended compared to Barack Obama’s. The NPS also retweeted a post stating that “civil rights, climate change, and health care” had been “scrubbed clean” from the White House website.

The mandate to stop tweeting came from the Department of the Interior communications team, said NPS’s chief of public affairs, Tom Crosson.

“Two retweets from the National Park Service’s main Twitter account Friday were inconsistent with the agency’s approach to engaging the public through social media,” Crosson said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post.

“Out of an abundance of caution, while we investigated the situation involving these tweets, the Department of the Interior’s communications team determined that it was important to stand down Twitter activity across the Department temporarily, except in the case of public safety,” he added.

Official Twitter accounts that fall under the provenance of the Department of the Interior include the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, according to The Washington Post.

It’s unclear exactly when the ban began, but Gizmodo noted that at least one NPS account said at around 6:30 p.m. Friday that it would be moving road condition updates to its Facebook page.

The NPS, which deleted the offending retweets, resumed tweeting Saturday morning, writing, “We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you.”

Though Trump’s choice for interior secretary, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), alarms environmental advocates somewhat less than other some of his other Cabinet picks, he still has conservationists concerned. Zinke has a strong record of voting against environmentalists during his time in office, and though he said he’s against the sale or transfer of public lands, he suggested at his confirmation hearing that he would support drilling or mining on them.

How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out.


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  George W. Bush's Poncho Struggle Sparks The Photoshop Battle It Deserves

It was only a matter of time.

Redditors were quick to mock former President George W. Bush after he was captured battling with his poncho at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Via an intense Photoshop battle, they hilariously reimagined Bush wearing his poncho on a theme park ride and modeling it for a clothes catalog.

Check out some of the best posts we’ve seen so far below: 

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=588329eee4b070d8cad2acb8,588322e5e4b0e3a735692c72,58831406e4b096b4a231e862,587f1736e4b01cdc64c879bd

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Big Changes On White House Website As Donald Trump Takes Over

WASHINGTON ? With a new president comes a new presidential website. Gone are sections like “Civil Rights” and “Reducing Gun Violence” and in are pages like “America First Energy Plan” and “America First Foreign Policy.”

But people also quickly noticed that certain pages seemed to have disappeared altogether. Searches for LGBT turn up nothing and the section on climate change goes to a broken link. 

Advocacy groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality quickly condemned the Trump administration for scrubbing mentions of their community.

There is a good chance that Trump’s WhiteHouse.gov will not have a specific section on LGBTQ rights. That’s not surprising, since it was not a focus of his campaign and he has spoken out against full equality. Same with climate change ? Trump has been skeptical of the human connection to global warming.

That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that that content is gone forever. The Trump administration is essentially building a new site from scratch ? even though it looks like the Obama administration’s WhiteHouse.gov ? and that means replacing the content bit by bit. 

“The transition of the site is in progress as updates are made,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. 

And the glitches aren’t restricted to progressive priorities. A search for “China” for example, comes up with only a handful of results. The site for the Office of Management and Budget similarly is gone

The Obama White House content is also still accessible at a new site, ObamaWhiteHouse.Archives.Gov. As Kori Schulman, the Obama deputy chief digital officer explained in October, “Similar to the Clinton and Bush White House websites, President Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov will be preserved on the web and frozen after January 20th and made available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov. The incoming White House will receive the WhiteHouse.gov domain and all content that has been posted to WhiteHouse.gov during the Obama administration will be archived with NARA [National Archives and Records Administration].”

So far on Trump’s White House site, there are also no pages devoted to immigration or repealing Obamacare, which were two of Trump’s top priorities during the campaign. 

Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Barack Obama Tweets As A Private Citizen For First Time

The office of the president has changed hands, and so has the official @POTUS Twitter account.

After Barack Obama handed the country and the Twitter handle over to Donald Trump, the outgoing president wasted little time in tweeting from his private Twitter account, which had been basically only used to retweet from the POTUS account since Jan. 19, 2009.

Obama may have worried his old account was a little rusty.

Obama, a former law professor, couldn’t sign off completely from social media without first giving America a homework assignment.

Michelle Obama also tweeted from @MichelleObama, a change from the official @FLOTUS account, which is now “run by the Office of First Lady Melania Trump.” 

Although Trump now has control over the @POTUS Twitter handle, he said he would stick with his personal account, @RealDonaldTrump.

If you want to read what Obama tweeted while president, visit the new accounts @ObamaWhiteHouse, @POTUS44, @VP44 and @FLOTUS44.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week

The ladies of Twitter never fail to brighten our days with their brilliant ? but succinct ? wisdom. Each week, HuffPost Women rounds up hilarious 140-character musings. For this week’s great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.       

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Here's What's Really Going On With Mark Zuckerberg's Hawaiian Land Battle

HONOLULU ? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is making a lot of noise on the quiet Hawaiian island of Kauai after word got out that lawsuits he filed last month to secure his beachfront estate could force Hawaii residents to sell their inherited land. 

Zuckerberg’s 700-acre property, which the billionaire purchased for more than $100 million in 2014, contains almost a dozen smaller parcels known as “kuleana” lands, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Local families hold rights to these lands under The Kuleana Act of 1850 and can legally enter Zuckerberg’s estate to reach their parcels.

To keep his new property private, three of Zuckerberg’s Hawaii-based companies filed eight lawsuits, called “quiet title and partition” actions, on Dec. 30 against hundreds of people, living and dead, who have partial rights to kuleana lands on the estate, according to court records.

A quiet title claim is a common way of establishing real estate ownership, and ultimately may lead to a judge ordering the land sold at auction, the Star-Advertiser reported.

Defendants listed on the complaint were given 20 days to respond once they are served with a copy. Anyone who does not respond or chooses not to participate forfeits the right to contest the proceedings.

The Kuleana Act of 1850 ? passed by the Hawaiian Kingdom after it had legalized the ownership of private land ? granted some Native Hawaiians the right to own land they had cultivated themselves, and allowed native and non-native Hawaii residents to purchase government land, according to a legal primer published by the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law.

These so-called kuleana lands are automatically passed down to the heirs of the first owner, often without documentation, according to the Star-Advertiser. And, as descendants’ families grow over time, each person’s stake in the inherited land shrinks, often to a just a small percentage.

Zuckerberg’s legal teams are using quiet title law to identify all descendants who may be partial owners of kuleana land within his private estate so he can obtain sole ownership of the parcels.

Keoni Shultz, one of Zuckerberg’s attorneys, told Kauai’s The Garden Island newspaper that it’s common for larger tracts of land in Hawaii to contain smaller kuleana parcels with titles that become crowded over time.

“In some cases, co-owners may not even be aware of their interests,” Shultz told the newspaper. “Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share.”

 Some kuleana parcel owners, however, may not want to sell at any price. Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Ing described Zuckerberg’s tactics as “bullying” and is drafting a bill to give kuleana landowners more power, Hawaii News Now reports.

“We need to look at this issue through the eyes of the families affected,” Ing said in a statement to Maui Watch. “Here we have the world’s sixth richest individual, with a team of the world’s best lawyers, suing you, then asking you to make a deal. Obviously, no matter how expensive, you will lawyer up too.”

One lawsuit filed by Zuckerberg’s camp involves hundreds of defendants who are descendants of the late Manuel Rapozo, who purchased four parcels totaling two acres in 1894, the Star-Advertiser reported. 

Carlos Andrade, Rapozo’s 72-year-old great-grandson and a former Hawaiian studies professor at University of Hawaii, is helping Zuckerberg as a co-plaintiff in that lawsuit. He reportedly wrote a letter to Rapozo’s descendants expressing his concern with the growing number of people crowding the title and their shrinking split of land.

“I feel that each succeeding generation will become owners of smaller and smaller interests, each having less and less percentage of the lands and less and less capability to make sure everyone gets their fair share of (Rapozo’s) investment in the future of his family,” reads Andrade’s letter, obtained by local media.

One of Rapozo’s great-great-great-granddaughters told The Huffington Post that she didn’t learn of the lawsuit until news of it went viral and didn’t receive a letter from Andrade, who is her cousin. She filed an answer to Zuckerberg’s complaint in Kauai County Court opposing the quiet title action.

Neither Shultz nor Andrade responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.

It’s not clear how many other kuleana landowners are unaware of the lawsuit ? or of their ownership of the land. The Star-Advertiser identified at least one other descendant of Rapozo, Marian Tavares, who had no knowledge of her rights to the land.  

After news of Zuckerberg’s lawsuits spread, the CEO defended himself on Facebook against what he called “misleading stories.” He said he has worked with majority landowners to strike deals they felt was fair.

“As with most transactions, the majority owners have the right to sell their land if they want, but we need to make sure smaller partial owners get paid for their fair share too,” Zuckerberg wrote. 

“For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land,” he added. “It is important to us that we respect Hawaiian history and traditions. We love Hawaii and we want to be good members of the community and preserve the environment.”

Regardless of Zuckerberg’s intentions for his Kauai estate, some locals see his arrival and his lawsuits as a land grab by the rich and famous.

Quiet title actions have had unfortunate consequences in Hawaii, contributing to a loss of land ownership among Native Hawaiians, according to Ka Huli Ao’s legal primer.

It can sever “a family’s connection to ancestral land,” the document explains. “In many cases, the parcel of land that a Native Hawaiian family might have an interest in is quite small, and therefore, the loss of such parcels and interests through forced judicial sale may seem inconsequential. However, the impact of the loss of these lands to Native Hawaiian families is immeasurable.”

Keola Worthington, a Hawaiian musician and genealogist, told HuffPost he is a kuleana landowner on the island of Oahu and has been reaching out to Native Hawaiians with a stake in the Kauai parcels. What Zuckerberg doesn’t understand, he said, is many Kauai families have no interest in selling. 

“A lot of people are going to fight it, because it takes away access as well,” Worthington said. He predicted the lawsuit will get tied up in court, and Zuckerberg ultimately will fail to win the exclusive rights he’s after. 

“He may think he’s doing something good and great,” Worthington said, but “he’s just opened the worst can of worms ever.”

This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has butted heads his neighbors on the Garden Isle. Community members last year became angry after a construction crew erected a six-foot rock wall around his property, claiming it blocked scenic views and cool ocean breezes. Kauai residents told The Garden Island newspaper the wall was “oppressive” and a “monstrosity.”

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the year when the late Manuel Rapozo bought his land, in 1894.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Climate Change Disappears From White House Website Under Trump

The White House website has removed the page devoted to climate change action and posted newly sworn-in President Donald Trump’s pledge to undo environmental regulations and “revive America’s coal industry.” 

The 361-word policy outline on the new page, titled “America First Energy Plan,” makes no reference to global warming or climate change, except to note Trump’s commitment to “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”

The Climate Action Plan, which the Obama administration launched in 2013, set forth a strategy for slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The utility sector makes up the largest portion of the country’s carbon footprint, producing 30 percent of emissions, according to 2014 data from the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s because coal, by far the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel, once served as the country’s primary source of electricity.

Republican-dominated states have sued to halt the Climate Action Plan, and last February the Supreme Court granted a stay on the rules until a lower court hears the case. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, led the charge to block the plan. With Trump now in the White House, Republican majorities in Congress and an open seat on the Supreme Court, the climate rules are in jeopardy. 

Trump, along with many Republican lawmakers, blames former President Barack Obama’s push to cut emissions for the virtual collapse of the coal industry over the past decade. But the domestic coal industry was already on the decline before the Clean Power Plan. 

The U.S. coal industry has struggled for several reasons, including the risky bet many companies made on the future of coal consumption in China. While China still uses enormous amounts of coal, it has dramatically curbed its consumption over the last few years as it invests heavily in renewable energy.

The U.S. natural gas boom likely sealed the domestic coal industry’s fate, as the less-polluting fuel became cheaper. In 2001, just 17.1 percent of U.S. electricity came from natural gas generation. By 2014, the share from natural gas had increased to 27.4 percent. Now it is tied with coal at 33 percent

Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, previously led a company that vowed to eat coal’s lunch with its natural gas business. Exxon Mobil has showed no signs that it plans to cut back on natural gas production. 

The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America?s coal industry.
White House website

“Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America,” the new White House website reads. “The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans.”

The new president’s energy plan ? to the extent it’s explained on the website ? seems to signal a shift away from renewable energy sources, which flourished under Obama. Trump, who has called climate change “a hoax,” has also stacked his Cabinet with fossil fuel allies who, even if they acknowledge that the planet is warming, question the overwhelming scientific evidence that puts the blame on carbon emissions. 

“Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well,” says the new White House site. “The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.”

The White House website for the Council on Environmental Quality, which was founded in 1969, also disappeared on Friday afternoon.

Study after study shows the planet began rapidly warming as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere soared in response to humans burning coal, oil and gas on an industrial scale. Separate analyses from two federal agencies released Wednesday show that 2016 was the hottest year on record.

“Minutes after he was sworn in, any illusion that Trump would act in the best interests of families in this country as President were wiped away by a statement of priorities that constitute an historic mistake on one of the key crises facing our planet and an assault on public health,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement. “This is a shameful and dark start to Trump’s Presidency, and a slap in the face to any American who thought Trump might pursue the national interest.”

How Trump might actually ease coal’s pain is unclear. Even coal magnate Robert Murray said in 2014, “If you think it’s coming back ... you’re smoking dope.”

This article has been updated with information about the CEQ website. 

How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  This Toaster For Bacon Is Just What You Need Right Now

Maybe you’re groaning about Donald Trump’s speech, weeping over Michelle Obama’s last outfit, or still racking your brain as to WHY Kellyanne Conway chose to wear a bizarre coat of cats.

But no matter what ails you on this Inauguration Day, we’ve found the cure: This brilliant bacon grill. According to its makers, you simply open it up and lay your meat on...

...then wait a few moments and watch your perfect, crispy bacon emerge. 

The Bacon Express is technically a grill, but it looks more like a toaster, as Gizmodo points out. The gadget has a built-in grease catcher for easy cleanup, and its arched grill structure reportedly prevents the shriveling that so often happens in pans.

The Bacon Express is available on Amazon for about $40 plus shipping. See more of the action below:

H/T Gizmodo

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Women in Tech Speak Up at Data Natives Tel Aviv
Let's face it: Women in tech are few and far between. According to a recent 'Women in Tech' report, women held 57% of all professional occupations in 2015, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations.

There are, however, those women in tech "unicorns" that magically appear every so often to speak at conferences or whom are featured on the "Forbes 30 Under 30" list each year.

Still, there is a noticeable shortage of women in the tech industry. For example, after skimming through the "Forbes 30 Under 30" list for Enterprise Tech in 2017, I noticed only 7 women featured out of the 30 nominees.

Another thing I've noticed (after living in San Francisco for the past few years), is the underwhelming number of women present at tech conferences. In fact, the only time you really see a noticeable amount of women during these conferences is when you are waiting in line for the women's bathroom.

A Data-Driven Conference Featuring Women

There was a time, however, when I noticed more women speakers present in comparison to male speakers during a tech conference.

Data Natives Tel Aviv, hosted by Dataconomy, is part of a series of events that started with Data Natives Berlin. The first Data Natives conference took place in Berlin in 2015, attracting thousands of data-driven individuals from across the globe. Since then, Dataconomy decided to bring Data Natives to Tel Aviv, Israel, one of the most innovative and startup oriented cities in the world. Data Natives Tel Aviv has since become part of a bigger international project that includes meetups in 40 locations (the next meetup will take place in San Francisco).

While Data Natives Tel Aviv was similar to Data Natives Berlin, the conference in Tel Aviv took a unique spin by featuring a majority of women speakers.

"Dataconomy and Data Natives' mission is to share knowledge, educate and connect the data-driven generation. Being a woman MD in a male-dominated industry, I see it as an integral part of my work to bring women leaders to speak at our events, to deliver quality content and to inspire other women attendees. We really aspire to be a gender equal tech platform and I believe we can certainly achieve that goal," said Elena Poughia, Managing Director at Dataconomy.

Notable women speakers during Data Natives Tel Aviv included:

Crystal Valentine, VP of Technology Strategy for MapR Technologies. Crystal was the keynote speaker for Data Natives Tel Aviv, discussing how new data-driven technologies are being applied to help fight breast cancer.

Ruth Bergman, Director of Research at Hewlett Packard Labs. Ruth discussed her role at Hewlett Packard Labs in Israel, explaining how she is helping create a new infrastructure for computing called "The Machine". The Machine leverages the latest hardware technologies to create a platform to process large amount of data.

Maren Lesche, Communications Manager at the European Innovation Hub and Startup Advisor. Maren shared her insights on how big data is changing the technology and healthcare sector.

Shira Kimchi, Business Manager for Google Cloud Platform in Israel. Shira discussed how data is being used and how people are implementing big data and machine learning.

Efrat Hexter, Watson Solutions Architect for IBM Watson Israel. Efrat discussed the Watson API services how these can be applied to different applications and the role that big data plays in this technology.

Sigalit Bechler, Researcher at Similar Web. Sigalit described quantum clustering and how patterns in data are being discovered for innovation.

Visit Data Natives' You Tube channel to view all of the speaker interviews.

What's in Store for the Future?

Data Natives Tel Aviv demonstrated just how successful a tech conference could be when more women speakers are involved. Having a majority of women speakers present during a tech conference not only highlights the notion that there are indeed women in tech, but it also inspires, educates and empowers women everywhere to become involved in the technology sector.

In the future, I hope to attend more tech conferences that feature women speakers. Conference leaders who seek out women presenters will discover that there are actually many women who would like to share their voices and passions for technology.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Estonia and Finland enter patient data sharing agreement
Data sharing in healthcare is a topic I've touched on a number of times recently, with a recent paper from the European Commission highlighting some of the benefits, and challenges, of doing so, with a number of fascinating case studies from across Europe.

Estonia have been at the vanguard of the open health data movement for a few years now, so it's perhaps no surprise that they recently announced a plan to share patient data with their neighbor Finland.

The plans have been in gestation for a while, with an announcement made last summer to develop a roadmap for data sharing between the two countries, with an eventual platform created for the automatic exchange of data in various fields, including population registers, e-prescriptions and social benefit data.

Mutual sharing

The plan allows for the databases of both countries to be mutually available, thus supporting cross-border access to things such as digital prescriptions in the coming year, before then progressing to full medical records by 2018-2019.

The move is a welcome one, and is part of the wider Zeitgeist of connecting up health systems, and health data, so that people, and indeed researchers, have access to all of the data in one place.

"People move around more and more therefore data about their health should always be with them. This way they're able to use the best services from different countries, or live where they desire, without the loss of important healthcare services," said the Deputy Secretary General on E-services Development and Innovation Ain Aaviksoo.

Securing the data

The team behind the project are focusing heavily on security to ensure that the privacy of patients is not compromised, but they are steadfast that the first step of any privacy agenda should be ensuring people have control over their own data.

"Ensuring privacy and security starts with giving people real control over their healthcare data. Actually, this could be made to suit any country's combination of law, information technology, and information management applications. The only real technological challenge is the lack of standards to connect all of the necessary data in a suiting way, but in my opinion, this is a question of political will," they say.

Suffice to say, whilst the plans are fantastic, they do at the moment only cover official medical data. They aren't designed to incorporate the growing volume of data that we generate ourselves from mobile apps, wearable devices and even genome sequencing.

Despite largely operating independently of each other, innovators are already achieving some great things. By pulling them together and enabling greater collaboration, we really can achieve some incredible things. Where Estonia leads, the rest of the world needs to follow suit.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Sony A6500 Review
The Sony a6500 is a faster and more stable version of the Sony A6300 with probably the best image quality and features of any camera in the world. But sometimes a camera needs more than just an awesome spec list so let's take a look at the Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Camera Review

Purchase the Sony A6500: B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon

With 4k video, IBIS in body image stabilization, 11fps RAW bursts, great low light performance, log video, and a host of other options, it's easy to see why the A6500 is one of the best cameras around beating both mirrorless cameras and the best DSLR cameras from Canon & Nikon. The image quality is probably the best of any APS-C camera currently available and there is nothing else that even comes close for video quality. On the feature side, the A6500 is so packed that the most difficult thing is navigating the menus (which thankfully have improved) and setting up the endless customizable options. The focus system is snappy and accurate with tons of flexibility and control. Unfortunately, the touch AF is not as snappy and I found it extremely unreliable. Focusing in video is also amount the best around but the lock on AF feature I use the most which locks on your subject and follows them around the frame does not work while shooting 4k video. Another amazing part of the A6500 is the shooting speed. With 11fps shooting, I picked off over 200 RAW shots before thing started to slow down. You can even view your images when righting to the card! The result is a camera that felt at home no matter what I was shooting.

The small size is great for portability and saving space and the grip is nice enough to support most larger lenses. We do have quite a few dials & custom buttons but many other cameras like the Panasonic G85 also have on screen buttons which the A6500 doesn't use. Unfortunately, we are missing a front dial and the back scroll wheel just doesn't have the tactile feel of a higher end camera. The screen while it does have up/down articulation, it is almost useless on a tripod, doesn't flip to the front for self-shooting, and unfortunately is very dim while shooting 4k video. It is now touch enabled for focusing (no scrolling through playback or navigating menus though) but I find it extremely laggy and it often does not respond to my touches. The camera seems built well though but it just never quite feels tough. We are still missing a headphone jack which may be forgivable but the battery life is still dreadful with no battery grip option to extend it. Thankfully, it can be charged over USB.

I still have a love/hate relationship with the Sony A6500. When it comes to features and quality, the camera is simply second to none. It offers the ultimate performance for the price and I am confident that it will remain the leader for years to come. Unfortunately, there are some extremely frustrating aspects to this camera when it comes to ergonomics, the touch interface, overheating with long 4k video recordings, lack of F2.8 zoom lenses, some missing AF options for video shooting, and deplorable battery life. While none of these issues are by themselves non-starters (except possibly overheating), they do take some of the wind out of Sony's Sails and as someone who has used a variety of different camera systems, it leaves me torn. The A6500 is not my favorite camera to use and is not particularly fun to shoot with compared to other systems. But if quality, performance, and portability are high on your list, the Sony A6500 is still the camera to beat.

You may also like: Sony A6300 Review | Fujifilm X-T2 Review | Panasonic G85 Review
Download the full resolution RAW+JPEG files: Learningcameras

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

›  Is part of Chelsea Manning's legacy increased surveillance?
By Sanjay Goel, University at Albany, State University of New York

The military's most prolific leaker of digital documents has ushered in an age of even more increased surveillance over government workers. The legacy of Chelsea Manning's actions is under discussion in the wake of the announcement that the former Army private will be released from military prison in May. In one of his last official acts, President Obama commuted her sentence for violations of the Espionage Act and copying and disseminating classified information. The commutation reduced her sentence from 35 years to the seven years she has already served, plus four additional months needed to effect her release.

In 2010, Manning, then presenting as male and going by the first name Bradley, was an intelligence analyst serving in Iraq. Disillusioned by callous behavior and indiscriminate killing of people in Afghanistan and Iraq by American soldiers, Manning copied and digitally released a massive trove of classified information. The data included 250,000 cables from American diplomats stationed around the world, 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and logs of military incident reports, assessment files of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and war zone videos of airstrikes in Afghanistan and Iraq war in which civilians were killed.

Government officials immediately expressed concerns about damage to national security, international relations and military personnel because of the information contained in the material. There appears to have been relatively little lasting damage to American diplomacy. The military revelations were more damaging, with documents discussing prisoner torture and an assassination squad made up of American special forces operators. Those enraged American citizens and the international community alike, and may have hardened the resolve of adversaries.

But the most lasting effect will likely be a powerful new fear of so-called "insider threats" - leaks by people like Manning, working for the U.S. and having passed security clearance background checks. In the wake of Manning's actions, the military and intelligence communities have been ramping up digital surveillance of their own personnel to unprecedented levels, in hopes of detecting leakers before they let their information loose on the world.

Embarrassing to diplomats

The initial official response was that the release of State Department cables - internal communications between officials with candid assessments of international situations and even individual leaders' personalities - would be so debilitating to foreign relations that repair would take decades.

In reality, the cables were more embarrassing than destructive. A political uproar met the news that the U.S. and its purported ally Pakistan were working at cross-purposes: American forces were trying to fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida, while Pakistan was trying to offer them protection and even weapons. But overall, it didn't significantly increase the existing tensions in American-Pakistani relations. Other foreign officials may have become more wary about sharing information with Americans, but over time, new people come into key posts, the leak is forgotten and business continues as it has always done.

Foreign leaders about whom U.S. officials had made blunt and disparaging comments in the cables did suffer. For example, the cables revealed a secret agreement in which the U.S. conducted drone strikes in Yemen while that country's President Ali Abdullah Saleh publicly took the blame. Two years later, in 2012, a popular revolution ousted him. A similar fate befell the Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, whose lavish lifestyle - and lack of American support - was discussed in the cables.

Revealing military misdeeds

More damaging to the U.S. was what was revealed in the battlefield reports Manning released, and called evidence of American soldiers' "bloodlust." For instance, Manning's leaks disclosed the activities of an American assassination squad in Afghanistan. Called Task Force 373, the unit comprised specially trained U.S. personnel from elite forces such as the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force. Its goal was to assassinate a range of targets including drug barons, drug makers and al-Qaida and Taliban figures.

The documents also showed U.S. military personnel shooting innocent civilians on the ground and from the air - among them a Reuters journalist. They showed that American authorities ignored extreme torture inflicted on Iraqi prisoners, including sexual abuse and physical mistreatment, such as hanging detainees upside-down. Allegations of child trafficking by U.S. military contractors also came to light.

Surveilling the potential messenger

Manning is being hailed as a hero and as a traitor. There are arguments for both. The public has a right to know about official misdeeds carried out by the government and military. But those kinds of revelations can jeopardize our defense strategy and hurt our standing in the world community.

Manning's leaks raised alarms across the government because they came from a trusted insider. In 2011, Obama issued Executive Order 13587, directing Executive Branch departments and agencies to be on guard against insider threats.

National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's leaks of NSA documents in 2013 only heightened official fears. As a result, government organizations have increased surveillance and are closely monitoring their employees' online activity.

With software and techniques also in use in the private sector, government agencies and contractors use computer systems that monitor when employees are accessing, copying, deleting and transferring files.

Computers' external media ports are also being watched, to detect an employee connecting a USB thumb drive that could be used to smuggle documents out of a secure system. Workers' keystrokes and other actions on their computers are being analyzed in real time to detect unauthorized activity, such as accessing restricted files or even connecting to file-sharing or social media sites.

Agencies and private companies with government contracts will also have to keep their employees' after-work lives under greater surveillance, looking for behavior or situations that might compromise government security. The effectiveness of these efforts is not yet clear.

Leniency or mercy?

Chelsea Manning.
U.S. Army

Obama characterized Manning's release as a humanitarian gesture because of her personal circumstances. The day after she was sentenced, Manning revealed that she is transgender and identifies as a woman; nevertheless, she was held in a men's military prison.

The military was under increasing public and even international pressure to allow her to make a physical and biological transition - a procedure neither the military nor any U.S. prison has ever dealt with or paid for before. (She is likely to lose her military medical coverage upon her release from prison, leaving her medical care in question.)

Despite Obama's perspective, Manning's release could be viewed as an act of leniency, a signal that others might escape decades of prison time if they, too, were to violate their oaths of secrecy and reveal confidential public information. But fewer might get the chance to do so, because insiders are trusted less and being watched more.

The ConversationSanjay Goel, Professor of Information Technology Management, University at Albany, State University of New York

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


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