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As a formally closeted gay Black kid being raised by a Catholic mama in the south, I’m all too familiar with using the internet to explore worlds — and, subsequently, people different than me. Likewise, as a non-straight person who witnessed the country transition from instituting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to legalizing marriage equality (and keenly aware of the lingering prejudices against LGBTQ folks), I know how helpful dating apps can be for those longing to forge a connection with another person.
Thanks to broadband internet, phones that double as minicomputers and, most of all, less stigmatization around online dating, seemingly every straight has joined the rest of us of using apps to help us secure love and sex. We all want a connection and to quote Ronnie from The Players Club, “You’ve got to use what you got to get what you want.”
However, in recent months, there have been a few new dating apps that suggest that some would rather stick to the rivers and lakes that they’re used to, rather than find someone new who could potentially expand their outlook on life and love.
In recent months, there have been a few new dating apps that suggest that some would rather stick to the rivers and lakes that they’re used to, rather than find someone new who could potentially expand their outlook on life and love.
That feels a little “Sad!” as the current resident of the White House would say — but, then, there is the app TrumpDating. When its launch was was announced in February, its homepage claimed, “We believe that by matching patriotic and political viewpoints as a foundation of the relationship, it will allow one to focus on what really matters — conversation, commonalities and if all goes well, courting.”
It’s not a unique thought: There is also the site Trump Singles, which shares a similar vision. But while some Tinder users might applaud conservatives keeping to themselves, others have noted that it’s entirely possible (and, given some conservative men, even preferable) to date more broadly.
But for other megalomaniac enthusiasts, there is a dating app called Yeezy.Dating, “for the fans of the genius Mr Kanye West.” It is presently in soft launch, and though one might worry that Kanye’s embrace of Donald Trump and subsequent embrace by conservatives could make for strange bedfellows, now that West has new music on the horizon, the user base could return to the one initially envisioned, and possibly for the better. After all, who better to understand one Kanye West stan than another?
Now, I will admit that, when it comes to Donald Trump, my tolerance for difference is tested to the max.
The first time I heard of Yeezy.Dating, I thought a better business model would be a dating site for Beyoncé fans, partly because I don’t trust people who don’t like Beyoncé, and partly because it’s very important for me to know how prospective love interests rank Beyoncé’s albums. (“I Am…Sasha Fierce” cannot be your favorite and, if you say that it is, I would assume you’re a Russian bot who managed to escape Twitter.)
But when I thought a little more about it, and I’m not so sure. Do I really need someone to love Beyoncé as much as I do? I wouldn’t want to go out with a person who absolutely hates her — who would raise kids with such a monster? — but if he said that he respects her as “an entertainer” and respected me nearly as much, think what I could be missing out on.
Now, I will admit that, when it comes to Donald Trump, my tolerance for difference is tested to the max: I’m Black and I’m gay, so this current administration ain’t exactly in line with my politics. But, while I’ll be damned if I will date a deplorable, if you asked me whether I would go out with a Republican, my response would be “How much of a snack is he?”
The reality that requiring such specificity may come back to bite one in the behind.
If I’m being really honest, I do turn into Ted Cruz for a week after every April 15th and I have found kinship with Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt, so I’d be willing to at least try dating a real conservative. But if I logged onto a dating app called “I Hate All Republicans,” chances are that any potential potential boo might never surface, because Republicans would be hanging out elsewhere. (Where, I couldn’t say. A polo club? A golf course? A circle of hell? Someone who knows, please advise.)
Everyone certainly has the right to preference, including ones different than mine — but note that I said preference, rather than inherent bias. There’s no excuse for folks who guise their sexual racism with the “It’s just my preference” line. Religious beliefs (or lack thereof), political leanings and taste all matter, but the modern history of successful relationships suggests that they are not the end all be all.
Single life can be rough, so we probably shouldn’t create even more barriers to finding that someone who could be perfect for us even if he or she doesn’t have identical interests
Religious beliefs (or lack thereof), political leanings and taste all matter, but the modern history of successful relationships suggests that they are not the end all be all.
The more niche our dating apps get, the greater the risk we all run of merely recreating our respective bubbles. The best thing about the internet is that it connects people from all over the world. To now use it to recreate our existing silos would make all of us even more disconnected from each other.
And then, of course, there is the reality that requiring such specificity may come back to bite one in the behind.
A few months ago, I’m sure plenty of Kanyettes thought it would be a fun, novel idea to only date fellow Kanyettes. Then came Kanye West’s declaration that he “loves” Donald Trump, is a “free thinker” (which loosely translates to “I don’t read and I’m gullible to YouTube conspiracy videos published by far right wingers”) and all of that other mess he’s spouted on Twitter that has since made him a darling of the so called alt-right. So what are the Kanyettes supposed to do now?
Therein lies the danger in trying to date by such a specific sort of affinity: People are far too prone to change. I’m not trying to be anyone’s personal Steve Harvey, but I do offer, by way of example, my philosophy of dating: If we are attracted to one another, can make each other laugh and can have a conversation that makes me not want to run into exposed brick, then there’s possibly some potential here.
It’s not that hard.
Michael Arceneaux is the author of the book “I Can’t Date Jesus” (July 2018, Atria Books).
Emotet: Police raids take down botnet that hacked ‘millions of computers worldwide’ | Science & Tech News
Emotet, one of the world’s most dangerous cyber crime services, has been taken down following one of the largest ever internationally-coordinated actions against cyber criminals.
Although it began as banking malware designed to steal financial credentials, Emotet had become an infrastructure tool leased out to cyber criminals to break into victim computer networks and install additional malicious software.
Law enforcement agencies in the UK, North America and Europe had worked for almost two years to map the system’s infrastructure before the National Police of Ukraine raided properties to capture the computers it was being controlled from.
Videos of the raids uploaded by the National Police of Ukraine show the messy environments the computers were being operated from and the range of digital devices, foreign currencies, and even gold bars that were also seized.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said the botnet had been used “to infiltrate thousands of companies and millions of computers worldwide”, with Europol – who coordinated the operation alongside Eurojust – described it as “the world’s most dangerous malware”.
Police in the Netherlands, Germany, the US, UK, France, Lithuania, Canada and Ukraine took part in the investigation, with the British NCA leading the financial sleuthing team, tracking “how the criminal network behind the malware was funded, where that funding went, and who was profiteering”.
Although Emotet was first discovered in 2014 as banking malware, it gained a reputation in the cyber crime community as a tool that could be used to open the door for other malwares and ransomware.
“Cyber criminals used Emotet as their first port of call,” said the NCA, explaining how the automated botnet “would send out emails to unsuspecting victims or companies with the malware either embedded in the email as a downloadable link, or included as a word doc attachment.
“When people clicked into the attachments or links, they were prompted to enable content to view the document, but in doing so allowed the malware to install and take hold of their computers.”
Europol said the Emotet infrastructure “involved several hundreds of servers located across the world, all of these having different functionalities in order to manage the computers of the infected victims, to spread to new ones, to serve other criminal groups, and to ultimately make the network more resilient against takedown attempts”.
Law enforcement has taken down the botnet by effectively hijacking it from the inside.
Although they are unable to uninstall the malware from victim’s computers, the infected machines are now being redirected towards infrastructure which the police are controlling – preventing criminals from using them to steal more data or send phishing emails.
The NCA’s analysis identified $10.5m being moved by the Emotet operators over a two-year period on just one virtual currency platform.
They also spotted almost $500,000 had been spent by the group over the same period just to maintain their criminal infrastructure.
Nigel Leary, the deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Emotet was instrumental in some of the worst cyber attacks in recent times.”
He said that it enabled up to 70% of the entire world’s malwares, including many – such as Trickbot and RYUK – which had a “significant economic impact” on businesses in the UK.
None of the police agencies announced arrests for the individuals who operated the infrastructure, although there was a suggestion that those who used it might be identified.
“Working with partners we’ve been able to pinpoint and analyse data linking payment and registration details to criminals who used Emotet,” said Mr Leary.
“This case demonstrates the scale and nature of cyber crime, which facilitates other crimes and can cause huge amounts of damage, both financially and psychologically.
“Using our international reach, the NCA will continue to work with partners to identify and apprehend those responsible for propagating Emotet Malware and profiting from its criminality.”
Alexei Navalny’s flat search by ‘masked men’ as UK considers Russia sanctions | World News
Masked men have broken into the Moscow flat of detained Vladmir Putin critic Alexei Navalny, according to one of his allies.
Ivan Zhdanov, head of Mr Navalny‘s anti-corruption foundations, said that they broke down the door of his apartment on Wednesday afternoon and searched it.
Mr Zhdanov added that Mr Navalny’s brother, Oleg, was in the apartment at the time.
The staunch critic of the Russian leader was detained in the Russian capital last week after stepping off a flight from Germany, where he was being treated following his poisoning last year.
The apparent raid of Mr Navalny’s flat comes as the UK government revealed it was keeping sanctions on Russia under review, in light of the arrest.
Wendy Morton, a foreign office minister, said in the Commons: “We keep further sanctions designations under constant review.
“However it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage on possible future designations as this could undermine their impact.”
Responding to Ms Morton, Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, who tabled an urgent question in the Commons, said: “I spoke with the Russian ambassador, he chose to call me this morning, Andrei Kelin, and he made it absolutely clear to me during that call that the Russians regarded Mr Navalny as a prisoner who had broken his bail conditions and therefore would not be released.
“Under those circumstances, I have to say that I still regard this is a gross breach of the Convention on Human Rights and I hope that (Ms Morton) will do everything in her power to underscore that and to make it plain that this conduct is completely unacceptable.”
The UK government has already placed sanctions on six people and one organisation, Ms Morton added.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, likened the Russian government to a “gangster elite”, and called for a list of the “ill-gotten gains that President Putin has stolen off the Russian people over the last 20 years”.
Over the weekend, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab criticised the Russian authorities for their tactics during the pro-Navalny demonstrations, saying he condemned the “use of violence against peaceful protesters and journalists” while calling on its government to “release citizens detained during peaceful demonstrations”.
Since his arrest, Mr Navalny’s team has released a huge video investigation into the construction and alleged slush fund behind what is known as “Putin’s palace”, a £1bn private residence on Russia’s Black Sea coast.
Calling it “Putin’s biggest secret”, Mr Navalny and his team revealed new details about the sprawling complex near the resort town of Gelendzhik which has long been rumoured to belong to the Russian president.
Boeing 737 MAX declared safe in Europe after deadly crashes | Business News
The 737 MAX has been cleared to resume passenger flights in Europe in a boost for Boeing as it revealed a record annual loss for the company of almost $12bn (£8.7bn).
The US plane maker has been locked in crisis mode since the flagship of its fleet of planes was grounded globally in March 2019 following crashes of passenger flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia that left 346 dead.
While the 737 MAX was granted clearance by US regulators late last year to fly again following an overhaul of key safety systems, the green light was given far later than Boeing had expected.
Europe’s aviation watchdog, EASA, confirmed just moments before the company’s annual results were due to be published on Wednesday that the planes had met its own four tests to return to the skies.
They included a full design review and the implementation of a pilot training regime.
EASA executive director Patrick Ky said: “We have every confidence that the aircraft is safe, which is the precondition for giving our approval.
“But we will continue to monitor 737 MAX operations closely as the aircraft resumes service.”
Relatives of those who died in the crashes have condemned regulators for the lifting of their restrictions, arguing they are premature and even “dangerous” given the findings of a US Congressional investigation surrounding Boeing’s behaviour and the original certification of the MAX.
It is a welcome development though for Boeing following a devastating 2020 that saw its planned fightback from the 737 MAX crisis thwarted and sales devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The crisis forced the company to hoard completed orders, slash production, cut jobs, agree compensation with airlines for missed deliveries and pay $2.5bn to resolve a US investigation into the MAX accidents.
Now, the challenge facing Boeing is one of an industry battered by COVID-19 seeking to delay orders because of the collapse in demand for travel during much of 2020 and beyond.
The company said it would further delay its 777X aircraft programme at a cost of more than $6bn.
That charge was reflected in the record net loss which, at $11.9bn, was more than double the figure analysts had expected.
Shares were 1% down in pre-market deals.
The market had already been told that total aircraft deliveries were at a 43-year low in 2020 with coronavirus-inspired travel bans also depressing shipments of Boeing’s second most important cash generator currently – the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing revealed on Wednesday that it burned $18.4bn in cash during the year as it grappled the challenges but said it welcomed commitments from airlines, including Ryanair, for additional 737 MAX orders.
Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun told staff in a memo: “2020 was a year of profound societal and global disruption, which significantly impacted our industry.
“In the face of these challenges, we made important strides to strengthen our safety processes, rebuild trust, and transform our business to prepare for a robust recovery.”
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