Hillary Clinton has laid out a sweeping gun-control plan

from Business Insider http://ift.tt/1KWAF1c

hillary clintonREUTERS/Brian Snyder

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton laid out a broad vision Monday to reduce gun violence in the US in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

The former US secretary of state’s campaign rolled out an expansive gun-control policy platform as part of the candidate’s campaign swing through New Hampshire.

"It’s time to act on gun violence. We simply cannot accept as normal 33,000 gun deaths a year," Clinton tweeted Monday.

Clinton has been outspoken on the issue throughout her campaign, expressing exasperation after several mass shootings and calling for policy fixes like universal background checks on gun purchases.

But many of Monday’s proposals go further than what she has advocated or supported in the past. 

Here’s a look at some of Clinton’s proposals:

  • Universal federal background checks. Clinton said she supports the 2013 US Senate bill expanding background checks on gun purchases, which most Republicans argue will not prevent determined individuals from getting their hands on guns. Polls have found that background checks enjoy broad support among most Americans.
  • Close various loopholes. Clinton’s proposal cited several laws that allow individuals to purchase guns without undergoing existing background checks that look to ensure that gun purchasers do not have a history of court-documented mental illness. The proposal would end the "Charleston loophole" — referring to a shooting earlier this year in South Carolina — a quirk that allows gun sales to go through if a check is not completed within three days.
  • Repeal a law protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits. The law is fairly complicated, but gun manufacturers have certain special protections that prevent victims of gun violence from suing for negligence.
  • Expand inspections of gun dealers.
  • Criminalize purchasing guns on behalf of those barred from buying guns themselves. Clinton proposes criminalizing "straw purchases," in which individuals buy guns and provide them to individuals who cannot pass background checks themselves.
  • Block convicted domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns.
  • Improve laws blocking individuals suffering from mental illness from obtaining weapons. This is possibly an area that she could find compromise — gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association have presented improved gun-control databases as the solution to curbing mass shootings, though many Democrats say this alone does not go far enough.

And the platform unveiled Monday also a contrasts Clinton with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), her main rival for the Democratic nomination.

Though Sanders and Clinton agree on many gun-control proposals, such as closing the so-called gun-show loophole on background checks, Sanders’ somewhat checkered history on the issue allows Clinton to stake out a position to his left.

Sanders supported recent Senate legislation expanding background checks, but during his time in the US House of Representatives, he voted against the 1993 Brady bill, which required background checks for gun purchases. As The Washington Post reported, the NRA actually aided Sanders in his first congressional race based on his promise to oppose a waiting period on gun purchases.

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Drunk Mode Helps You Stay Safe When You’ve Had One Too Many

from Lifehacker http://ift.tt/1ZlCY5o

Android/iOS: When you go out drinking with friends, there’s often a moment in which you realize you’ve had one too many: your judgement is impaired and driving is not an option. Drunk Mode can help you stay responsible when you reach this point.

After you download and register with the app, it can activate a few features when you enable Drunk Mode:

  • Hide specific phone contacts: This way, you can’t drunk dial or text for up to 12 hours
  • Integration with Uber: Helps you find a ride home
  • Track your friends via GPS: So you can easily find them if you can’t get in touch with them
  • Retrace your steps from the night before: Helpful if you accidentally leave your card somewhere and you can’t remember the name of the place

Once you activate Drunk Mode, it stays active for a set amount of time. You can only disable early if you can correctly solve an equation. For example:

It’s not foolproof, but it’s useful to have on hand. The app was originally designed with college students in mind, but it’s a smart idea for anyone who wants to enjoy a night of responsible drinking. See how it works in the above video, then check it out for yourself at the link below.

Drunk Mode | via Product Hunt

Volkswagen may give money to owners of emissions-cheating cars

from Engadget http://ift.tt/1jeDiC1

VW America CEO Testifies At House Hearing On Emissions Cheating Scandal

If you’re an owner of one of the 11 million owners of a Volkswagen car that’s part of the company’s huge emissions cheating scandal, you might be getting some compensation for the car’s lost value. As reported by ABC News, Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn (pictured above) testified today in front of a congressional subcommittee and said that the company might pay the owners of affected cars as a way to make up for the fact that resale value for those vehicles (and indeed pretty much any VW out there) is going to drop. However, Horn said that Volkswagen wouldn’t be refunding customers money. The company also isn’t planning to provide loaner cars for owners, as the affected vehicles are still safe to drive (even though they’re releasing up to 40 times more than the EPA’s acceptable standard).

That’s just one aspect of the lengthy grilling session Horn endured today — he also claimed that Volkswagen as a company didn’t have any knowledge of what was going on, instead saying the "defeat devices" that made its cars pass their emissions tests were put in place by a small number of software engineers that the company has yet to identify. That’s a claim that at least one congressman (Chris Collins, R-NY) denied in strong language: "Either your entire organization is incompetent when it comes to trying to come up with intellectual property, and I don’t believe that for a second, or they are complicit at the highest levels in a massive cover-up that continues today," Collins said, according to The Washington Post.

It also seems that while the affected cars will be able to meet their original gas milage ratings after Volkswagen’s recall and fix, the cars will actually suffer a slight performance decrease. Horn said that at top speed, one to two miles per hour may be missing — not something that will likely affect most drivers, but still something worth noting. The full effects of Volkswagen’s planned recall will likely not be fully revealed for a bit longer, but the company says it’ll be kicking that off in 2016. But it won’t happen overnight: Horn said that the full recall could take at least one to two years to complete, notes The Verge. And that appears to be just for vehicles in the US — only a relatively small percentage of the total cars affected.

[Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Via: Phys.org

Source: ABC News, The Washington Post

Psychologists Push For Smartphone Warning Labels

from Technology – The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1VHgbS3

We’re used to seeing warning labels on alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs, for obvious reasons. 

But if one group of scientists has anything to say about it, similar warning labels will soon be showing up on your smartphone or tablet. 

Psychologists and computer scientists from Bournemouth University in the UK argue that the disclaimers should be added to personal digital devices so that people will be aware of the risks of excessive use. 

"Excessive and obsessive usage and preoccupation about technology are associated with undesirable behaviors such as reduced creativity, depression and disconnection from reality," Dr. Raian Ali, a professor of computing at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. 

He’s right. A growing body of research suggests that the Internet, smartphones and social media are all potentially addictive. And with the increasing digital saturation of our daily lives, it’s easy to lose awareness of the amount of time we’re spending in front of screens and how it’s affecting us. 

For this reason, the researchers say, warning labels on personal devices should be considered a "social responsibility" for technology developers. 

In a study published in March, Ali and his colleagues surveyed 72 adult technology users, and found that 80 percent were receptive to the idea of warning labels on digital devices. Roughly 30 percent said they thought warning labels were a good idea and that labels might encourage people to use their digital devices more mindfully.

The researchers flagged 11 male and female respondents (all between the ages of 19 and 35) whose survey results suggested that they were addicted to their devices and who indicated interest in the warning labels. They also flagged four people who did not think warning labels would be effective. Through 30-minute interviews with each participant, the researchers identified ways to maximize the effectiveness of the warning labels for consumers. 

What would a phone warning label look like? Most importantly, it would note the possible risks of addictive technology use, including withdrawal symptoms, tolerance to increased usage, relapse when trying to adjust usage and mood modification when online. (Wondering how addicted you are to your smartphone? Take this research-based "nomophobia" test to find out.) 

Unlike warning on cigarette packages or vodka bottles, digital warning labels could be interactive, with features like timers and reminders to help people limit their screen time. 

"[Warning labels] can take different forms," Ali told The Huffington Post in an email. "This includes messages  — pop-up, email, SMS, Facebook message, etc. — showing things like the amount of usage time, number of screen unlocks and apps checks, and how their usage compares to the usage of others within a certain community, age group or gender."

Would such warnings be effective? It’s hard to say right now. 

"Labels raise awareness and enable people to make a sort of self-monitoring so that they can adjust their usage style or at least take an informed decision about it," he said. "It is like having a scale at home to measure your weight and regulate your eating style. … We are advocating a policy change so that technology developers offer that option."

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