If you’re looking for somewhere a little different for your next holiday, Airbnb is offering the chance to stay in a giant potato.
The six-ton spud was originally a marketing tool for the Idaho Potato Commission but has now been outfitted as a mini hotel in South Boise.
The Big Idaho Potato Hotel contains a double bed, seating area, minibar and sink in its 336 sq ft of space, while a nearby silo serves as the dwelling’s bathroom.
The potato, which is made of steel, plaster and concrete, is set in a large field and is said to have breathtaking views of the Owyhee Mountains.
Kristie Wolfe, who oversaw the conversion of the potato, told the Idaho Statesman: “It’s designed for couples. I think there will be a lot of staycations and hopefully it will be a thing like if your family is coming from out of town like ‘oh, you have to go and stay a night in the Big Idaho Potato Hotel’.”
The idea went down a storm on Facebook, with one user dubbing the concept a “potatotel” and another joking: “I’m sure the sheets are starched…..”
The Big Idaho Potato Hotel is available to book for about £150 a night plus service fee and taxes.
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators gathered inside the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall in London on April 22 to stage a “die-in,” one week after demonstrators first occupied roads and bridges around the city. Protesters lay on the floor of the hall under the giant blue whale skeleton that hangs from the ceiling, and decried what they called “the sixth mass extinction.” When the silent action concluded, protesters clapped and chanted. On the same date, the Metropolitan Police said they had arrested over 1,000 people involved in the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations since April 15, with 53 of those arrested being charged.
Scores of eco-protesters were massed outside Parliament as Environment Secretary Michael Gove admitted “we have not done nearly enough” on man-made climate change.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) members assembled in Parliament Square on Tuesday at around noon, continuing the second week of disruptive demonstrations as politicians returned to work after the Easter recess.
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The Swedish Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who has sparked a wave of youth climate protests around the world, told a politician’s roundtable on Tuesday: “We just want people to listen to the science.”
Miss Thunberg met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable, Green MP Caroline Lucas and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts.
The Department of Homeland Security says that facial recognition technology will be used on 97% of passengers departing the US by 2023, according to The Verge.
Already deployed in seventeen international airports, including Atlanta, New York City, Boston, San Jose, Chicago, and two airports in Houston, DHS systems will photograph and scan passengers at their departure gate, cross-referencing their face against a library of face images from visa and passport applications, as well as those taken by border agents when foreigners enter the country.
The aim of the system is to offer “Biometric Exit,” which gives authorities as good an idea of who’s leaving the country as who’s entering it, and allows them to identify people who have overstayed their visas. Quartz notes that US authorities have traditionally relied on airline flight manifests to track who’s leaving the country. –The Verge
Last week, JetBlue customer MacKenzie Fegan was shocked after finding out that her face had been scanned in order for her to board the plane. “I just boarded an international @JetBlue flight. Instead of scanning my boarding pass or handing over my passport, I looked into a camera before being allowed down the jet bridge,” she tweeted. “Did facial recognition replace boarding passes, unbeknownst to me? Did I consent to this?”
I just boarded an international @JetBlue flight. Instead of scanning my boarding pass or handing over my passport, I looked into a camera before being allowed down the jet bridge. Did facial recognition replace boarding passes, unbeknownst to me? Did I consent to this?
When asked how they knew it was her, JetBlue said that the information was provided by DHS “from existing holdings,” and later clarified “these photos aren’t provided to us, but are securely transmitted to the Customs and Border Protection database. JetBlue does not have direct access to the photos and doesn’t store them.”
We should clarify, these photos aren’t provided to us, but are securely transmitted to the Customs and Border Protection database. JetBlue does not have direct access to the photos and doesn’t store them.
Would love more info about how my image was matched to a name on the flight manifest. I looked at the camera & a few seconds later the gate opened. Was my image, in the space of those seconds, sent to CBP, run through a database, matched to a name, and then sent back to @JetBlue?
So far over 7,000 passengers across 15,000 flights have been identified by the current system who have overstayed their visas. According to The Verge citing US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), approximately 600,000 people overstay their visas every year – which carries a maximum penalty of a 10-year ban from entering the US.
According to a March report by BuzzFeed, the wheels are already in motion:
Many major airlines are on board with the idea — Delta, JetBlue, British Airways, Lufthansa, and American Airlines. Airport operations companies, including Los Angeles World Airports, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Mineta San Jose International Airport, Miami International Airport, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, are also involved. –BuzzFeed
According to a 346-pages of “as-yet-unpublished” documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and reviewed by BuzzFeed News, US Customs and Border Protection is furiously rushing to meet the deadline for this “biometric entry-exit system” – which will use facial recognition technology on more than 100 million passengers in as little as two years, or roughly 16,300 flights per week.
As we noted in March, the biometric systems are being implemented “despite questionable biometric confirmation rates and few, if any, legal guardrails.”
What’s more, there are no limits to how airlines can use facial recognition data.
These same documents state — explicitly — that there were no limits on how partnering airlines can use this facial recognition data. CBP did not answer specific questions about whether there are any guidelines for how other technology companies involved in processing the data can potentially also use it. It was only during a data privacy meeting last December that CBP made a sharp turn and limited participating companies from using this data. But it is unclear to what extent it has enforced this new rule. CBP did not explain what its current policies around data sharing of biometric information with participating companies and third-party firms are, but it did say that the agency “retains photos … for up to 14 days” of non-US citizens departing the country, for “evaluation of the technology” and “assurance of the accuracy of the algorithms” — which implies such photos might be used for further training of its facial matching AI. –BuzzFeed
“CBP is solving a security challenge by adding a convenience for travelers,” said an agency spokesperson in an email to BuzzFeed. “By partnering with airports and airlines to provide a secure stand-alone system that works quickly and reliably, which they will integrate into their boarding process, CBP does not have to rebuild everything from the ground up as we drive innovation across the travel experience.”
Meanwhile, it appears that CBP has simply skipped part of the “rulemaking process” – foregoing public feedback prior to implementing the technology. Beyond “privacy, surveillance and free speech implications,” this is worrisome according to BuzzFeed, which notes that last summer the ACLU reported that Amazon’s facial recognition technology falsely matched 28 members of congress with arrest mugshots.View image on Twitter
According to a Homeland Security OIG report, CBP was able to provide biometric confirmation for just 85% of passengers processed, while Mexican and Canadian citizens were “particularly problematic” reports BuzzFeed.
“The low 85-percent biometric confirmation rate poses questions as to whether CBP will meet its milestone to confirm all foreign departures at the top 20 US airports by fiscal year 2021,” said the audit – while a spokesperson said that the rate has risen to 98.6% since the report.
“I think it’s important to note what the use of facial recognition [in airports] means for American citizens,” said Jeramie Scott – director of EPIC’s Domestic Surveillance Project. “It means the government, without consulting the public, a requirement by Congress, or consent from any individual, is using facial recognition to create a digital ID of millions of Americans.”
“CBP took images from the State Department that were submitted to obtain a passport and decided to use them to track travelers in and out of the country,” said Scott.
“Facial recognition is becoming normalized as an infrastructure for checkpoint control,” said ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley. “It’s an extremely powerful surveillance technology that has the potential to do things never before done in human history. Yet the government is hurtling along a path towards its broad deployment — and in this case, a deployment that seems quite unjustified and unnecessary.”
CBP has suggested that privacy concerns are overblown, and that “CBP is committed to protecting the privacy of all travelers and has issued several Privacy Impact Assessments related to [its biometric entry-exit program], employed strong technical security safeguards, and has limited the amount of personally identifiable information used in the transaction,” according to an agency spokesperson.
What if the Powers That Be are purposely ramping stocks as high as possible while they implement legislation/ policies that will make it all but impossible to get your money out when the panic hits.
Put another way… what if the stock market bubble is just one gigantic trap so that when the next crisis hits… the Fed can implement policies through which it uses YOUR money, to prop up the system?
If you think I’m being dramatic here, consider that Bail-Ins are now legal in the US.
A Bail-In is when your savings deposits are used (read: taken) to prop up a failing bank. And thanks to Dodd Frank, it’s not only perfectly legal, but now the policy of choice in the US for whenever a systemically important financial institution fails.
But did you know that as of 2016, many money market funds… funds that are supposed to be as safe as sitting in cash… are permitted to STOP you from getting your money out?
It’s called “Redemption Gates” and thanks to new laws implement in June 2016, many money market funds have the ability to lock in your capital at their own discretion… meaning, your money is frozen until they allow you to have it back.
Oh, and those funds that DO let you get your money back will fine you a “liquidity fee”… meaning that a percentage of your capital is taken in the process.
All of this is perfectly legal. All of it is now standard policy.
And then of course, there are wealth taxes.
Consider the following:
The IMF has already called for a wealth tax of 10% on NET WEALTH.
More than one Presidential candidate for the 2020 US Presidential Race has already openly called for a wealth tax in the US.
Polls suggest that the majority of Americans support a wealth tax.
And if you think this will stop with the super wealthy, you’re mistaken. You could tax 100% of the wealth of the top 1% and it would finance the US deficit for less than six months.
Cash grabs, wealth taxes, and more will soon be coming to Main Street America.
Indeed, we’ve uncovered a secret document outlining how the Fed plans to both seize and STEAL savings during the next crisis/ recession.
This morning the Tory Government tried to fob you off with excuses as to why there should be no Independent Public Inquiry into deaths caused by DWP and its policies.
The response is very misleading and full of apologies for the deaths they have caused yet paradoxically insists there should be no Independent Public Inquiry into those same deaths. We suggest they’re ‘too scared’ about what such an Inquiry would find.
Ignore any suggestion made by the Tories that justice will not be done.
We need everyone to spread the word far and wide and get more people to sign the petition. More people means more publicity and the Tories do not want that. We need a proper investigation into these deaths without interference from those who caused them.