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Among African American Women Voters, Optimism Is Its Own Superpower According to BU political scientist Christine Slaughter, Black women are driven to vote by their belief society can be improved—even though they’re skeptical the changes will benefit them

“What is it about African Americans, despite having fewer resources, that folks are still willing to participate in the political system?” asks Christine Slaughter, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences professor of political science who studies Black voter participation. Photo by adamkaz/iStock


Among African American Women Voters, Optimism Is Its Own Superpower According to BU political scientist Christine Slaughter, Black women are driven to vote by their belief society can be improved—even though they’re skeptical the changes will benefit them

There’s a lot at stake this Election Day. Republicans and Democrats are fighting for control of state houses, governors’ offices, and Congress—with Republicans needing just one seat to gain control of the Senate and less than 10 seats to flip the House. The results could dramatically impact the number of states that will outlaw abortion, a driving issue for Democratic voters after the Supreme Court overturned national protections for abortion access. For Republican voters, immigration and crime are top-line issues, according to the Pew Research Center. Both sides are predicting catastrophe should the other win.

Christine Slaughter, who was awarded a Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship, wants to better understand how persistent and systemic inequality has influenced the way Black Americans engage in the political system. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

“It’s very easy to fall into the doom and gloom of what’s occurring and our political landscape,” says Christine Slaughter, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of political science. There are a lot of emotions that can drive people to the polls—hope, anger, fear, belief in a particular candidate or ideology—but Slaughter is particularly interested in the political behavior and participation of Black voters in the United States, especially their optimism.  

“How do people remain hopeful, remain steadfast, have an outlook that can lead them to want to enact change versus to be motivated by anger?” she says, especially as minority voters face more structural barriers to participate in elections, like voter ID laws, limitations on voting hours, reductions in voting locations, language barriers, and other voter suppression tactics. This has happened as women of color increasingly shape and influence election outcomes. In her research, Slaughter studies how factors like resilience, optimism, and pessimism shape political decisions and actions. 

A Healthier Democracy

A good dose of optimism is linked to a healthier life. And, it turns out, being more optimistic and hopeful about the future can lead to a healthier democracy too.

Slaughter’s latest paper, for PHILLIS: The Journal for Research on African American Women, which is published by the Delta Research and Educational Foundation of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, investigated whether Black women who are more optimistic engage in politics differently than Black women who are more pessimistic. According to the paper, there is reason to believe that optimism is particularly potent among Black women willing to participate in the political process. 

Slaughter, who was awarded a Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship this fall, analyzed data collected in 2012 from the Outlook on Life Surveys, which polled political and social attitudes in the United States. There were 1,595 respondents, with 485 African American women, 380 African American men, 286 white women, and 315 white men. The survey, though 10 years old, asked the questions Slaughter was searching for about optimism and had an oversampling of Black women—a rare find in political science studies, she says.  

Among Black women, she found that optimism was associated with an increase in different kinds of participation—including signing petitions, participating in a community organization, handing out flyers, and voting—more so than with white men and women in the survey. “This suggests that Black women who are optimistic about the future of the United States are also willing to engage in the political process, which ultimately brings about change in society,” the paper states.

Slaughter isn’t sure why Black women are optimistic about the nation’s prospects, yet pessimistic about their own—though she speculates it could be a result of coming out of the 2008 recession, or the timing of the questions presented to survey participants—but aims to dig into the reasons in future studies. For now, she says, there are lessons for those trying to win voters to their cause. Her article points out that while there is distrust among African Americans about the US political system, messages of optimism—like former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan of “Yes we can”—may mobilize African American women voters in ways that are underutilized. 

A lot has obviously changed in the 10 years since the survey—two presidential elections, a record-breaking number of women elected to the US House of Representatives, Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and woman of color to be elected vice president, extremists attempting to subvert election results with an unprecedented attack on the US Capitol, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But, says Slaughter, a lot of core issues for voters remain the same. 

“In 2012, we have murder of Black men by police and vigilantes that brought race into the national conversation, and at the same time we were financially recovering from an economic recession. In 2023, we have widespread inflation, an overreliance on the gig economy, vast economic inequality, the housing and homelessness crisis here in Boston—these are issues that have strung through 10 years,” she says.

Holding Politicians Accountable

And with this year’s midterm elections, Slaughter hopes that minority voters in the United States can remain optimistic in a way that will translate to more voter participation and engagement. 

“We, as voters, should be vigilant in observing which races, especially local races, [center] around the issues that matter, such as student debt cancellation, living wages, and affordable housing,” she says. “We have to ensure that the policy priorities of our elected officials represent our values as voters, and, beyond participating in elections, we have to hold them accountable in doing so.”

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How Google Is Screwing Its Own Advertisers With Comparison Ads

Shown exclusively in the #1 position

Contain radio buttons

Don’t have to measure up to Google’s own quality score guidelines

Google sits in the lead generation Catbert’s seat:  able to control massive amounts of highly coveted search traffic, the same traffic that lead generation companies have been paying enormous sums of money to reach via AdWords and SEO.

“Oh, all right, I’ll take all of them.”

Image courtesy

“Don’t be evil … OK, you can be a little bit evil.”

And it may not be limited to mortgages and credit cards. Here are some additional categories that would be logical next steps for Comparison Ads:



Comparison Shopping

Banking and Financial Services

Utility Companies


Medical Service Providers

Any industry where users compare prices

For all of those online insurance and travel sites out there like chúng tôi chúng tôi Travelocity and Expedia, that buzzing sound you hear outside your door is a marauding horde of ravenous locusts that just moved in.  The good news is they’re eating all of your neighbor’s tomatoes today, but the bad news is that your vegetable garden is on the menu next.

But it’s not all bad news. Despite the threat, there are still opportunities for small, nimble publishers to compete against Google’s Comparison Ads in some of these prized vertical markets.  Think: how can my site be even more relevant than Comparison Ads? Focus on content that leverages your site’s conversion data, user reviews and rating systems, and next-generation comparison tools.

With the rise of Facebook and Twitter, Google is no longer the only game in town. But there’s no doubt that to compete with Google Comparison Ads, web publishers and content creators must innovate beyond compare.

Apple Looking To Design Its Own Chips

Recent signs indicate that Apple may be looking to design computer chips for its own devices as early as next year. With its own chips, the company could potentially create Apple-only features, but — perhaps more importantly — it could also keep Apple’s product plans secret from its competitors, according to The Wall Street Journal.

There’s also the concern that technology developed for Apple by a third-party could be sold to Apple’s competitors. That’s not an uncommon event, and already happened with the Merom chip Intel developed for the MacBook Air. Intel also introduced another reduced-size processor shortly after the MacBook Air debuted in 2008. Apple may also be concerned that any customizing it does on existing chip designs from third-party suppliers could be shared with other companies, according to the Journal.

We’ve heard rumblings for some time that Apple could be going after its own chip designs. Last April, Apple bought P.A. Semi a chip designer that makes “energy-efficient processors based on the Power architecture that Apple used in its Macintosh computers for many years before adopting Intel’s x86 chips.” When Apple acquired P.A. Semi, many analysts discounted the notion that Apple would design its own chips. The analysts pointed to Apple’s relationship with Intel — the current supplier of Mac processors — as being very strong and that Apple was merely buying talent to customize chip design for future Apple products and not to design its own chips.

Since then there have been other signs of Apple’s interest in computer chips: in December 2008 the company picked up a 3.6 percent stake in Imagination Technologies, a graphics chip maker; and Apple recently hired Bob Drebin as a Senior Director. Drebin has a long history in the computer chip industry, serving as Engineering Director for the graphics card maker ATI Technologies until that company was bought out by Advanced Micro Devices, when he became the chief technology officer of AMD’s Graphics Products Group. The Journal says Apple also recently hired Raja Koduri, another former technology officer at AMD.

Apple is also currently on a hiring spree for top chip-making talent. The company has listed several job openings on its Web site that have to do with chip design, including a posting for an SOC SW Test Development Engineer, which lists the engineer’s main responsibility as “verifying the functional correctness and optimizing the coverage of Apple developed silicon.” The Journal reports that Apple has also listed several jobs on the professional social network LinkedIn, and Apple representatives recently took part in a job fair for engineers whose jobs will soon disappear at Spansion Inc. Spansion, a flash memory chip maker, in February announced plans to lay off more than 3000 employees and then in March Spansion filed for bankruptcy.

While Apple is looking to pull in chip-making talent, the company isn’t immune to the current recession. In March, a rumor came out that layoffs at Cupertino were imminent, then earlier this week it was discovered that Apple had reduced its retail staff by more than ten percent.

You Should Switch To A Browser That Has Its Own Vpn

Putting a virtual private network (VPN) between you and the internet means your connection to the web becomes much more difficult to track and locate—whether the potential eavesdropper is a government agency or someone sitting behind you at a coffee shop.

It doesn’t give you total anonymity, but it sends everything you do online through an encrypted tunnel that’s exceptionally hard for anyone else to break into. That means a lot for your online security and privacy.

Dozens of the best VPN providers (Nord and IPVanish, for example) are ready and willing to set this service up for you, but if you want to cut out the middle man, there’s another option: pick a browser with a VPN attached. It’s quick and convenient and there are a growing number to choose from.

VPN basics

This means your internet service provider (ISP) won’t know what you’re looking at, which can be useful in countries with heavily censored access to the web. It also means you can pretend to be from a different location, which might give you access to streaming content you couldn’t otherwise get at.

Before you rush in and sign up for a VPN, though, take note: VPNs don’t make you anonymous online, and if you sign into Facebook, Amazon, or anywhere else, those sites will still be able to track your activity. So will your VPN provider, so look for one that explicitly states that it doesn’t keep any logs of browsing activity.

Adding a VPN can also have a negative impact on your browsing speed, as you’re taking a roundabout route to the websites you want to get to. This isn’t usually a major issue, however, and many people consider the privacy and security trade-off worth it.

The benefit of having a VPN right inside your browser is that there are no separate app settings to configure and no separate user account to sign up for. Because of the way VPNs work at the system level, even the ones that are associated with specific browsers are technically separate programs, but you can easily switch between them without having to log in multiple times. It’s almost the same as having a built-in browser feature.

We’re going to look at two browsers already well-known for user privacy and security: Firefox and Brave. While we don’t have space for a full browser vs. browser comparison, you’ll find them both speedy and simple to use, with plenty of options for limiting how you’re tracked on the web.

Switch to Firefox

You can activate and disable Mozilla VPN with a single switch. David Nield

Firefox developer Mozilla now has its own VPN called Mozilla VPN. It’ll set you back $5 a month and, while there’s no free trial, there is a 30-day, money-back guarantee if you decide it’s not for you. Having just launched, the VPN is only available for Windows on the desktop, but a macOS version is coming soon and you can also enable the Mozilla VPN on Android and iOS.

You’ll need a Firefox account to sign up for the Mozilla VPN, after which you can download and log into the apps. On Android, for example, open and sign into the app, tap the toggle switch under VPN to enable it, and … that’s all there is to it. You’ve now got a secure and encrypted connection to the web (Android lets you know by sticking a key logo in the status bar).

Underneath the toggle switch is a drop-down menu that lets you pick which of the Mozilla VPN servers you connect to. If you’re experiencing slow speeds, or you want your phone to appear as if it’s located in a particular country, make a different selection than the one that’s automatically given to you.

By default, this VPN protection applies to every app on your Android device, including Firefox. If you want only certain apps to use a VPN, you can make your choices under Settings and App permissions. You can install Mozilla VPN on up to five devices, and you can check on your registered devices via Settings and My devices.

Mozilla VPN makes use of the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is one of the newer and faster protocols (ways of configuring a VPN, essentially). It’s also built on top of infrastructure provided by the Mullvad VPN service that’s based in Sweden.

Switch to Brave

You can switch to the Brave VPN right inside the browser. David Nield

Brave is another mobile and desktop browser that just added integrated VPN capabilities, built in partnership with the Guardian firewall and VPN apps. For now, the functionality is only available in the Brave app for iOS, but Brave says the same protection is coming to other platforms later this year. The cost is double what you’ll pay for Mozilla VPN though: $10 a month (after a 7-day free trial).

You’ll have to activate the Brave VPN through the iPhone or iPad app: Tap the three dots in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window, then hit Brave VPN (this option will also let you toggle the VPN on and off once you’ve signed up). It’ll ask if you want to start a free trial, and if you don’t cancel before a week is up, your Apple ID billing details will be used to continue your subscription.

Brave asks to install a VPN profile, which is standard—you can see your VPN profiles on iOS by opening Settings and choosing General and VPN. (If you have multiple VPNs installed, you can switch between them here.) On iOS, if a VPN is active, a VPN logo shows next to the carrier name in the top left corner (swipe down from the top right corner of the screen if you can’t see it).

You’re then good to go—you can carry on browsing, safe in the knowledge that you’re now protected by the Brave and Guardian VPN. As with any VPN you install on your phone, every app makes use of it, not just the Brave browser.

To configure the browser further, tap on the three dots in the lower right-hand corner of the browser interface, then choose Settings and Brave Firewall + VPN. You won’t get a choice of locations for your VPN server—Brave will simply fix a secure, encrypted connection to whichever server is closest.

You can install the Brave VPN on up to five devices, the same as the Mozilla VPN, though it’s based on the more traditional IKEv2 protocol rather than WireGuard—a technical difference that shouldn’t really matter to your user experience. Whichever option you go with (more browsers will hopefully follow in the future), you can be sure that all the browsing you do inside the app is VPN-protected.

How Do I Stop Windows From Zooming In And Out On Its Own?

If you want to keep your computer screen at 100% and it starts to zoom in and out randomly, then there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Some Windows users say that this happens when they place their finger near the touchpad. Others say that their PCs zoom in and out on their own, even when the scroll feature is disabled in the Control Panel. In this article, we will provide working ways to stop Windows from zooming in and out on its own and resume your normal PC functions.

In many cases, when a computer zooms in and out randomly due to some settings, a faulty keyboard, or other system issues. Some users have reported that the issue affects their screen several times a day. At one point a PC screen can zoom in to 300% and to 15% within seconds. Sometimes, it just happens when you touch the mouse wheel or just the touchpad.

Why is my computer zooming in and out randomly?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact issue causing Windows to zoom in and out randomly. However, there are issues that we believe may trigger the problem. For instance, if your keyboard Ctrl button is stuck, or mouse. touchpad and keyboard drivers have issues, your computer might zoom in and out on its own. In other instances, if the Pinch Zoom is activated, it might also trigger the problem. If you have outdated software and drivers related to mice and keyboards, that too can trigger some weird functionalities of the zooming feature in Windows.

How do I stop Windows from zooming in and out on its own?

No matter what causes computer screen zoom issues, there are ways we can help you fix the problem and enjoy performing tasks on your PC seamlessly. If you want to stop Windows from zooming in and out on itself, follow the following solutions;

Start with basic steps

Disable the Pinch Zoom feature

Run the Hardware & Devices troubleshooter

Uninstall and reinstall the Touchpad, Mouse, and Keyboard drivers

Let us look into these solutions in detail.

1] Start with basic steps

Disconnect your mouse from your computer and reconnect again. There could be issues with drivers or connections and reestablishing them might resolve the issue.

Ensure that your keyboard Ctrl button is not stuck. You can resolve this by resetting the Touch keyboard for your Windows PC.

Try disconnecting all peripherals and restarting your computer. This can fix bugs or issues that need automatic repair during startup.

Ensure your system drivers are updated and no app has an issue, especially those that are connected to the mouse, touchpad, and keyboard.

If these basic steps don’t stop your Windows PC from zooming in and out on its own, you can try other steps in this post.

2] Disable the Pinch Zoom feature

The Pinch Zoom feature on your PC might be the cause of your Windows zooming in and out randomly. Follow these steps to disable the pinch zoom feature on Windows.

Press the Windows key + R and type Control followed by pressing Enter. This will open the Windows Control Panel.

On the top bar, you will see various options. At the far right side, select Device Settings.

You will see a Properties for Synaptics TouchPad window pop up. Locate Pinch Zoom and uncheck it.

The steps might be slightly different depending on your computer manufacturer. If you don’t see the touchpad controls, you may need to download the touchpad software and install it from the manufacturer.

3] Run the Hardware & Devices troubleshooter

Run the Hardware & Devices Troubleshooter using the command line. To invoke the troubleshooter, all you need do is to launch the command prompt, then type or copy and paste the command below and hit Enter.

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

You can also run the Keyboard Troubleshooter:

You will see a list of all troubleshooters available in Windows 11. Locate the Keyboard troubleshooter.

4] Uninstall and reinstall the Touchpad, Mouse, and Keyboard drivers

Uninstalling and reinstalling drivers fixes issues like compatibilities, bugs, incomplete installations, corrupted files, etc. Once you uninstall these drivers, your system will reinstall them automatically and update to the most recent ones. Although Windows zooming in and out on its own is a mouse or touchpad issue, keyboard hitches can also play a role. To uninstall the touchpad, mouse, and keyboard drivers, follow the steps below use the Device Manager.

Open the Device Manager

Once all is done, restart your PC and Windows will automatically install the latest drivers for the devices you uninstalled.

You can uninstall and then reinstall the latest version of the driver from your manufacturer’s website.

You can directly visit Synaptics to download the touchpad drivers.

If the issue persists, you might be dealing with a more technical issue that needs attention from a computer technician or manufacturer’s support team.

We hope something here works for you.

Read next: Mouse wheel is zooming instead of scrolling

How do I stop Windows from zooming in?

Read: How to Zoom in and Zoom out in OneNote

What is the shortcut for zooming in and out on Windows?

The default zooming in shortcut is by pressing the Ctrl key + (+), while zooming out is Ctrl key + (-). However, if you want to magnify your Windows screen, you can press the Windows key + (+) and Windows key + (-) to reduce the screen magnification. If you are using a mouse, you can press the Ctrl button and rotate the mouse wheel.

2024 Dodge Durango Srt Hellcat Is 710 Horsepower Of American Suv

2024 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is 710 horsepower of American SUV

Families in an extreme hurry have a new option, with the 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat promising 710 horsepower from the automaker’s now-legendary 6.2-liter V8. Though it may be bigger – and seat more – than a Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat, this hefty SUV can definitely hustle.

0-60 mph comes in 3.5 seconds, Dodge says, while the quarter-mile takes just 11.5 seconds. Top speed is a whopping 180 mph.

It’s all down to the 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, with its 645 lb-ft of torque. That makes it the most powerful SUV ever, Dodge crows. Standard is a TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission, along with Launch Control for maximum performance in a straight line. Launch Assist, meanwhile, taps wheel speed sensors to each out for wheel hop at launch, and tweak the torque to boost grip.

Outside, there’s a new front fascia with a new chin splitter. A functional snorkel on the hood is joined by an air guide and updated engine oil cooler duct, to keep the drivetrain supplied with cool air. At the rear, there’s a new spoiler redesign for better aerodynamic balance. Rear downforce has increased by more than 400-percent, Dodge claims, hitting 140 pounds at 180 mph.

Along with electric power steering – with selectable tuning – there’s an upgraded suspension system. Compared to the Durango SRT 393, knocked off the top of the tree by this SRT Hellcat, there’s the promise of more comfort when you’re in Auto mode, and better handling in Track mode.

To do that, Dodge has used 18-percent stiffer rear damper top mounts, among other changes. The result is a 20-percent increase in total rebound control, the automaker says, plus 2.5-percent less understeer and more stability when headed into corners. Drive modes include Auto, Sport, and Track, along with a Custom mode which can be set with a variety of adjustments for the transmission, steering, traction control, AWD, and suspension behavior.

When it comes to stopping, meanwhile, Dodge has taken no changes. There are high-performance six-piston Brembo brakes with two-piece calipers at the front, and four-piston rear calipers. Vented rotors are all-round, measuring in at 15.75-inches at the front and 13.8-inches at the rear.

Like the rest of the 2023 Durango range, this SRT Hellcat version gets a revamped exterior and interior. There are new LED headlamps and daytime running lights – slimmer and more sinister, Dodge says – though the Hellcat loses the otherwise standard LED fog lamps so that the openings can be used for, you guessed it, more cooling.

Two-piece Satin Chrome SRT Hellcat fender badges have been added, while the standard wheels are 20-inch by 10-inch machine-faced in mid-gloss black. A Lights Out darkened version is available as part of the Black Package. Either way, Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295/45ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard, with P-Zero 295/45ZR20 three-season tires available.

Inside, there’s a revamped dashboard, dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen running Uconnect 5. The shifter is fully-electronic now, though it looks like a traditional version; the steering wheel has red backlighting for the SRT logo. The gauges, too, are matching red, while the seats are Nappa leather with suede as standard – with heating and ventilation – while a Lagnua Leather version in black and Demonic Red is available.

If you want to put a Durango SRT Hellcat on your drive, though, don’t hang about. Dodge says it will only be producing the performance SUV for the 2023 model year. Orders open up this fall, with deliveries from early 2023.

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