Facebook hit with housing discrimination charge by US government

first_img Facebook said it has been trying to work with HUD to prevent discrimination.”While we were eager to find a solution, HUD insisted on access to sensitive information — like user data — without adequate safeguards. We’re disappointed by today’s developments, but we’ll continue working with civil rights experts on these issues,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.The social media giant also said that it had reached “historic agreements” with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the ACLU and other advocacy groups on changes to its advertising system. The charge marks the latest incident that calls into question how Facebook conducts its business. It’s been under fire over how it collects user data for the past year.Here is HUD’s filing: Tags 13 1:31 “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson says. Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The US Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook on Thursday with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act through targeted ads.The charge follows an August 2018 complaint that alleged the social network lets landlords and home sellers engage in housing discrimination through advertising that can exclude people based on race, national origin, religion, gender or disability.”Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”The initial complaint came after a ProPublica investigation in 2016 showed that housing advertisements could be targeted at and away from specific groups. ProPublica followed up a year later, showing that the targeting hadn’t stopped.According to HUD’s lawsuit, Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude people who were born outside the US, non-Christians, interested in accessibility issues or interested in Latino culture. HUD also accuses Facebook of allowing advertisers to exclude people based on their neighborhoods or whether they have children.”Even as we confront new technologies, the fair housing laws enacted over half a century ago remain clear — discrimination in housing-related advertising is against the law,” HUD general counsel Paul Compton said in a statement. “Just because a process to deliver advertising is opaque and complex doesn’t mean that it exempts Facebook and others from our scrutiny and the law of the land.” Now playing: Watch this: Share your voicecenter_img See how much time you’re wasting on Facebook Comments First published at 5:11 a.m. PT.Updates, 6:16 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.: Adds more details, Facebook’s comment and HUD’s filing. Internet Services Politics Facebooklast_img read more

Acura MDX recalled due to possible taillight malfunction

first_imgHonda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV 10 Photos More From Roadshow 0 49 Photos 26 Photos Tags Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado 81 Photos Acura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families 18 Photos Recalls Acura 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness 68 Photos 10 Photos Share your voice 2019 Acura NSX review: Hitting its stride SUVs Crossovers Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. 52 Photoscenter_img 12 Photos 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 first drive: Diesel power and upgraded tech 3 Comments Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. Post a comment Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois. Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader Tags 71 Photos Share your voice More From Roadshow 69 Photos 2020 GMC Sierra HD first drive: Towing tech marvel Car Industry Acura,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker. This recall affects the MDX crossover’s taillights. Acura Acura is recalling more than 323,000 MDX crossovers in the United States due to the potential of leaky taillight assemblies. Vehicles from model years 2014 through 2019 are affected, according to the automaker’s official statement Monday.In addition to the 323,000 affected vehicles in the United States, The Washington Post reports an additional 37,000 or so are located in other markets. That brings the total number to more than 360,000 worldwide.”Due to a body variation in tailgate manufacturing, the rear tailgate lid light seals may deform and allow water to leak into the light assemblies,” Acura said in a statement. Should this happen, the water can find its way to electrical components, and cause the taillights to malfunction.Acura says its dealers will replace the gasket seals on the affected vehicles, and if necessary, replace the faulty light assemblies and their associated wiring subharnesses. As with all recalls, the repair work will be performed free of charge.The automaker says MDX owners will be notified by mail beginning early next month. To see if your car is affected by this — or any other — recall, head over to our how-to guide on checking for a car recall to find out (don’t worry, it’s a breeze). GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acuralast_img read more

Linguists to rethink reason for short words

first_img A link between the length of words and how frequently they are used was first proposed in 1935 by George Kingsley Zipf, a Harvard University linguist and philologist. Zipf’s idea was that people would tend to shorten words they used often, to save time in writing and speaking. The relationship seems intuitive and it seems to apply to many languages with short words such as “the”, “a”, “to”, “and”, “so” (and equivalents in other languages) being frequently used. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), led by Steven Piantadosi, tested the Zipf relationship by analysing word use in 11 European languages. They analyzed digitized texts for correlations between words by counting how often all pairs of words occurred in sequence. This information was then used to estimate the probability of words occurring after given previous words or sequences of words. They made the assumption that the more predictable a word is, the less information it conveys, and estimated the information content from information theory, which says the information content is proportional to the negative logarithm of the probability of a word occurring.Piantadosi said if the word length is directly related to information content this would make the transmission of information through language more efficient and also make speech and written texts easier to understand. This is because shorter words, carrying less information, would be scattered through the speech, essentially “smoothing out” the information density and delivering the important information at a steady rate.The studies suggest that the short words are in fact the least informative and most predictable words rather than the most often used, and that word length is more closely related to the information the words contain.The paper is soon to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Steven Piantadosi belongs to the PhD program with MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. As long as original version still available, tweaking Twain is OK, professor says Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Linguists to re-think reason for short words (2011, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-linguists-re-think-short-words.htmlcenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — Linguists have thought for many years the length of words is related to the frequency of use, with short words used more often than long ones. Now researchers in the US have shown the length is more closely related to the amount of information the words carry than their frequency of use. More information: Piantadosi, S. T., et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2011). PNAS paper will appear online at dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1012551108 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more