LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Science/Technology’ Category

Transgender? Now you can declare it on Facebook

Rainbow pride: Facebook's diversity team is letting its users freely self-identify their gender.

Rainbow pride: Facebook’s diversity team is letting its users freely self-identify their gender. Photo: Facebook

| The Age | February 26, 2015

Facebook has given another thumbs up to social progression with the introduction of a custom gender option for all Facebook US English users worldwide.

Now, rather than being restricted to female or male, users can enter just about whatever they like into a custom field – whether it’s transgender, transexual or lumbersexual – and customise who gets to see that information.

The change expands upon the social network’s introduction last year of more than 50 gender options for its United States users to choose from in a drop-down list.

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FCC Votes to Allow Cities to Expand Broadband Networks

Tom Wheeler. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Tom Wheeler. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Kate Cox | Consumerist | Reader Supported News | February 26, 2015

s expected, the FCC today has confirmed an order permitting two cities to expand their existing municipal fiber broadband networks despite state-level laws that block them from doing so.

After a brief weather delay caused by this never-ending winter, the commission voted 3-2 to allow the cities of Wilson, NC and Chattanooga, TN to expand their existing public networks. Chairman Tom Wheeler was joined by commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn in approving the measure, while commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly dissented.

Speakers at the meeting all referred several times to the FCC’s Congressional mandate to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications nationwide on a reasonable and timely basis — a mandate that, the FCC concluded earlier this year, is not currently being met. Several speakers also made references to chairman Wheeler’s stated goal to protect, encourage, create, and promote broadband expansion and competition.

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Memories could soon be uploaded to the brain

FCC Is Expected to Enforce Net Neutrality

Senator John Thune of South Dakota. (photo: Jabin Botsford/NYT)
Senator John Thune of South Dakota. (photo: Jabin Botsford/NYT)

Jonathan Weisman | The New York Times | February 25, 2015

enior Republicans conceded on Tuesday that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet. While the two Democratic commissioners are negotiating over technical details, they are widely expected to side with the Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, against the two Republican commissioners.

And Republicans on Capitol Hill, who once criticized the plan as “Obamacare for the Internet,” now say they are unlikely to pass a legislative response that would undo perhaps the biggest policy shift since the Internet became a reality.

US, UK SIM hacks raise real concerns for security, privacy activists

Psychedelic researcher says he believed LSD was dangerous ‘until I saw the science’

Geometry of the Soul series two. Background design of human profile and abstract elements on the subject of spirituality, science, creativity and the mind (Shutterstock)

We are currently experiencing a “renaissance” in psychedelic research, as Michael Pollan writes in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Hallucinogenic drugs like psilocybin can be used to treat a range of mental health disorders, from anxiety and addiction to depression, and researchers at the nation’s leading medical schools are intent on discovering their full therapeutic potential.

Psilocybin is among a group of drugs labeled “classic psychedelics,” which also includes LSD, mescaline and DMT, and has been designated a Schedule I drug since Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act back in 1971. This classification—which defines a drug as having a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision—has made psychedelics very difficult to study in a laboratory setting.

But the last few years have witnessed a flood of new research in the field, beginning with a landmark study by Roland Griffiths, a psychopharmacologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In his double-blind study, volunteers who were administered doses of psilocybin, under the close supervision of therapists, reported having life-altering experiences and long-term improvements in personal well-being, life satisfaction and “positive behavior change.” Two-thirds of participants said the session was one of the “most spiritually significant experiences of their lives.” Griffiths’ work has inspired many other experiments, including an ongoing New York University study in which advanced cancer patients undergo a psilocybin therapy session to help them manage end-of-life anxiety.

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Underwater drones to gather deep sea intelligence

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