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Trump Orders Easing Safety Rules Implemented After Gulf Oil Spill

On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump repeatedly vowed to open up vast swaths of American lands and waters to oil and gas drilling, which he has touted as a major job creator. Mr.

Zinke said that the review process did not guarantee that all those areas would be opened up to drilling, but noted that they would come under review.

“There’s no set goal. But if there’s areas that are acceptable, that have resources, and local communities are for it and states are for it we could include it in next five-year plan,” Mr. Zinke said in a conference call with reporters.

The order also appears designed to roll back a permanent ban placed by President Barack Obama on offshore drilling off some portions of the Atlantic and Alaskan coasts, but that move is expected to be met with immediate legal challenges.

Continue reading the main story[1]

Friday’s order will also direct Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary — who has jurisdiction over marine sanctuaries — to conduct a review of all such sanctuaries created over the past 10 years, and not to create any new sanctuaries during that review period.

Continue reading the main story[2]

The most likely targets of that review will be major protected marine parks created or enlarged by Mr.

Obama. Last year, Mr. Obama created the largest marine sanctuary on the planet, enlarging the boundaries of the Papahanaumokuakea park near Hawaii.

Continue reading the main story[3]

Also last year, the Obama administration unveiled a set of regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling equipment, intended to tighten the safety requirements on underwater drilling equipment and well-control operations.

In particular, the new rules tighten controls on blowout preventers, the industry-standard devices that are the last line of protection to stop explosions in undersea oil and gas wells.

The 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig was caused in part by the buckling of a section of drill pipe, prompting the malfunction of a supposedly fail-safe blowout preventer on a BP well.

It appears that those rules may be targeted in Mr. Trump’s new order. But when questioned on which specific equipment regulations would be reviewed, Mr.

Zinke simply replied that the review would apply “from bow to stern.”

Continue reading the main story[4]


  1. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  2. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  3. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  4. ^ Continue reading the main story (

Ja Rule’s music festival disaster is a good reminder not to trust Instagram sponcon

If you’ve been on Twitter the past couple of hours, you may have heard of something called Fyre Fest[1], and you may have heard that it’s already a disaster, even though it technically wasn’t supposed to start until today. The music festival, which was billed as a luxury experience in the Bahamas, has been “fully postponed[2],” which is fancy festival speak for “canceled.” The ticket holders who made it to the fest are currently stranded on the island of Exuma, living in what some have called a “tent city[3].” Others never even left Miami. The festival’s website[4] is currently just a placeholder for an apology letter.

Fyre Fest was the brainchild of Fyre Media, a startup owned by Ja Rule and Billy MacFarland.

Tickets reportedly cost between £450 and £12,000 dollars, and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism was coordinating[5] with the festival to provide catering, Jet Skis, and transportation via yacht. Now guests are apparently signing pieces of computer paper[6] hoping to get refunds.

Here, sign this blank piece of paper

It’s not clear exactly how many people bought tickets Fyre Fest. The festival organizers barely did any promotion (its official Twitter account[7] only features eight tweets, the first of which was sent last night, once things started going wrong).

Instead, Fyre Fest relied almost entirely on popular Instagrammers and models to spread the word.

In Vanity Fair[8], Kenzie Bryant writes:

To announce a festival without name recognition or a finalized lineup, McFarland and Ja Rule personally invited 400 influencers in various sectors. Their only job, besides attending the festival when it came time, was to post an orange square (orange like fire) to Instagram at a certain time on on a certain day in December, announcing Fyre Festival to the public.

Bryant notes that these “influencers” included professional surfers, DJs, and a bunch of models — almost all of whom seem to have deleted the Fyre Fest announcement from their Instagram pages.

Back in December, a group of supermodels including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Hailey Baldwin posted snapshots of a photoshoot for Fyre Fest shot in the Bahamas. Ratajkowski was, according to Vanity Fair, the only one who labeled the post with the hashtag #ad, although she has also since deleted the photo.


A post shared by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on Dec 11, 2016 at 2:13pm PST

Obviously the festival’s untimely end is a result of poor management, planning, and probably a bunch of other things, but it’s also a good reminder that Instagram is still full of sponcon — and the impossibility of constant oversight means it’s often not labeled as such.

Last year the Federal Trade Commission claimed it was going to get tougher on celebrities who posted sponsored content.

The FTC said that the hashtag #ad worked as a disclaimer only if it appeared at the beginning of a caption, and that #sp and #spon were not sufficient, according to Bloomberg[10]. But many sponsored posts are still not properly labeled. Just last week the FTC said it sent warnings to 90 “influencers and marketers[11]” about disclosing sponsored content.

In the announcement, the FTC called out Bella Hadid, Rihanna, and Michael Phelps as examples of celebs who had failed to properly disclose.

Of course, an unlabeled fit tea ad probably won’t get you stranded on an island, and this isn’t the first time a poorly organized event has spun out of control[12], but Fyre Fest organizers appear to have spent more time wooing influencers than actually planning anything.

And the repercussions of that could be more than just a bad reputation for Fyre Media.

One Twitter user who has already nabbed the handle @FyreFraud is now threatening a lawsuit, saying they “know where the bodies are buried[13].” At least some of those bodies might be on Instagram, if a few rogue influencers failed to delete.


  1. ^ something called Fyre Fest (
  2. ^ fully postponed (
  3. ^ tent city (
  4. ^ festival’s website (
  5. ^ was coordinating (
  6. ^ signing pieces of computer paper (
  7. ^ official Twitter account (
  8. ^ In Vanity Fair (
  9. ^ Heaven (
  10. ^ according to Bloomberg (
  11. ^ influencers and marketers (
  12. ^ spun out of control (
  13. ^ know where the bodies are buried (

Appearances Suggest That Apple’s Autonomous-Car Endeavor Is Lacking

Apple’s desire to build an autonomous car is no secret[1], but until recently it’s been hard to unearth many details about its research. Now that’s changed, and what we’ve learned suggests that Apple is firmly on its back foot. In the middle of April, the California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Apple a license[2] to begin testing autonomous vehicles on the state’s highways.

It was pretty late to the show–29 other companies have already started testing driverless cars there. But knowing Apple, it could have developed a killer product behind closed doors andthen wowed the world with a big reveal. So far, that’s not been the case.

A first clue came earlier this week, when the Wall Street Journal published[3] a list of names of the engineers who would sit behind the wheel as safety drivers during the firm’s tests. Among them was a selection of engineering PhDs who have worked on robotics and autonomy projects at NASA, its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Bosch.

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The Journal posits that having such intellect at the wheel is a sign that tests are in their infancy. Meanwhile, Business Insider claims[4] that Apple’s new director of AI, Ruslan Salakhutdinov[5], is involved in the hiring process for new autonomy engineers–which also suggests that the company isn’t as far along in building out its team as we might have expected.

And a kicker: images acquired of Apple’s autonomous Lexus[6] as it drove around Silicon Valley. While no autonomous car is yet a sleek-looking object, Apple’s vehicle doesn’t look to be from 2017. Decked in scaffolds front, rear, and top to hold many of its sensors, it bears rather more in common with some of the vehicles that rolled into the DARPA Urban Challenge back in 2007 than it does with those being tested by Waymo or Uber.

Still, a little over six months ago, reports swirled that Apple’s driverless-car project was on the ropes[7], with senior management issuing a firm deadline of late 2017 by which to show that the technology was worth pursuing.

With that threat looming over the team, perhaps making the car look nice was way down the list.

(Read more: Bloomberg[8], Wall Street Journal[9], Business Insider[10], “Apple’s AI Director: Here’s How to Supercharge Deep Learning[11],” “Apple’s Car Plans Are on the Ropes[12],” How Might Apple Manufacture a Car?[13]“)


  1. ^ no secret (
  2. ^ granted Apple a license (
  3. ^ the Wall Street Journal published (
  4. ^ Business Insider claims (
  5. ^ Apple’s new director of AI, Ruslan Salakhutdinov (
  6. ^ images acquired of Apple’s autonomous Lexus (
  7. ^ on the ropes (
  8. ^ Bloomberg (
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal (
  10. ^ Business Insider (
  11. ^ Apple’s AI Director: Here’s How to Supercharge Deep Learning (
  12. ^ Apple’s Car Plans Are on the Ropes (
  13. ^ How Might Apple Manufacture a Car? (