Monthly Archives: August 2018

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The convictions of 2 top Trump aides made last week one of the most dramatic of Trump’s presidency. Here’s what could happen next. Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. Last week was one of the most dramatic of President Donald Trump’s tenure so far. Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort were convicted of federal crimes. Now all eyes are on what happens next. Last week featured some of the biggest drama of President Donald Trump’s tenure so far. In courtrooms separated by about 200 miles, Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of federal felonies, two of which were campaign-finance violations that he said Trump “directed” him to make, while the president’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight felony counts while the jury was hung on another 10 counts he faced. So what’s next? What’s next for Michael Cohen? In cutting […]

How to Create and Share 360-Degree Panoramas With Your Drone We’ve become used to shooting panoramas with convenient preset modes on our phones and cameras, but the unique perspective from a drone adds a vertical dimension that can create some impressive bird’s-eye views. However, this also complicates the process of capturing, processing, and sharing images. We’ll walk you through how to do it and the tools you’ll need. For illustration we’ll use my favorite DJI Mavic Pro, but the process is very similar for other prosumer drones. Capturing 360-degree Panoramas with your Drone For starters, you’ll want to optimize your drone’s camera settings. Use as low an ISO as you can that still allows you enough shutter speed to reduce or eliminate motion blur from the scene. For landscapes I’ve found speeds as low as 1/60 of a second work fine. If you are shooting in bright light, it is […]

Artificial General Intelligence Is Here, and Impala Is Its Name One of the most significant AI milestones in history was quietly ushered into being this summer. We speak of the quest for Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), probably the most sought-after goal in the entire field of computer science. With the introduction of the Impala architecture, DeepMind, the company behind AlphaGo and AlphaZero, would seem to finally have AGI firmly in its sights. Let’s define AGI, since it’s been used by different people to mean different things. AGI is a single intelligence or algorithm that can learn multiple tasks and exhibits positive transfer when doing so, sometimes called meta-learning. During meta-learning, the acquisition of one skill enables the learner to pick up another new skill faster because it applies some of its previous “know-how” to the new task. In other words, one learns how to learn — and can generalize that […]

(So the say…) Here’s how you can trace an ’80s hip-hop beat back to 1910’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell explains it all.   What makes ’80s music sound like ’80s music? There’s one particular sound that stands out.’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell showed Recode’s Code Conference audience how a single chord, first created by Igor Stravinsky in the early 1900s, became a ubiquitous marker of ‘80s hip-hop music. Caswell can be found explaining all sorts or sound conundrums on Vox’s YouTube series Earworm. She also directed an episode of Vox’s new Netflix show “Explained” about K-Pop. You can watch Caswell’s original video about this singular sound below.

Barack Obama shares touching statement on the death of Aretha Franklin Aretha Franklin performs during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Since news of Aretha Franklin’s death broke on Thursday morning, the internet has been flooded with memories, condolences, and tributes to the Queen of Soul. Former president Barack Obama — who,  like many of us, has been moved to tears by Franklin’s music and spirit — shared an emotional note about her passing. “Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” Obama wrote. “Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped […]

Tim Cook’s advice to his younger self: ‘The joy is in the journey’ “Our purpose is to serve humanity.” MSNBC “Knowing everything you know now, what would be the greatest piece of advice you’d give your high school self?” That was the final audience question for Apple CEO Tim Cook during this week’s taping — at a Chicago public high school — of “Revolution: Apple Changing The World,” a TV collaboration between Recode and MSNBC that’s scheduled to air on Friday, April 6 at 8 pm ET. His response: “I would tell myself that the joy is in the journey.” The crowd applauded loudly, and Cook shifted into commencement-address mode, continuing: And that the real purpose of life — everybody talks about “find your purpose, find your purpose, find your purpose” — the truth is we all have the same purpose. And we should all quit looking. Our purpose is […]

‘Alien’ with thousands of thrashing tentacles and NO FACE found washed up on beach The mysterious sea creature in Vietnam was found by curious locals who couldn’t work out if it was an animal or a vegetable Click to play Watch NextAre these ALIENS? Extreme close-ups taken on a smartphone make everyday creatures look terrifying Mystery sea creature found on shore in Vietnam A bizarre-looking clump of tentacles was washed up on a beach in Vietnam, leaving locals scratching their heads over whether it was a animal or a plant. Thousands of tiny suction pads flailed around in the air as it was captured by an intrigued tour guide in Kien Giang province in the south of the country. Du Man Du, the man who spotted it, decided to take a closer look to work out what the mysterious organism was. The footage shows the black-brown ‘ alien ‘ wriggling […]

ET Deals: Get a 49-Inch 4K TV for $230, $200 off Dell 34-Inch Curved Monitor If you’ve been biding your time, waiting for 4K sets to drop, this is a good time to buy. Right now, you can snag a 49-inch Hisense model at Walmart at a $120 discount. Even better, our friends at TechBargains have discovered loads of other deals ranging from a curved 1440p monitor to wireless routers to aluminum ladders. Featured Deals Back in stock! 49-inch Hisense 49H6E 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV for $229.99 at Walmart (List price: $349.99). Dell UltraSharp U3417W 34-inch 3440×1440 Curved LED-backlit Monitor and $200 Gift Card for $819.99 at Dell (List price: $1099.99). Amazon Fire HD 8 32GB Wi-Fi 8-inch Tablet with Special Offers for $59.99 at Amazon (Select users save 10 Percent with code: SAVE10OFF – List price: $109.99). $30 price drop – Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Intel Core […]

Native Tribes Are Taking Fire Control Into Their Own Hands The Klamath region near the California-Oregon border is home to indigenous tribes that once used controlled burns to prevent wildfires. Now, their role is being restored. Sometimes Vikki Preston is inching her way through the forest when she comes across a grove of tan oak trees that feels special. The plants are healthy, the trees are old, and their trunks are nicely spaced out on the forest floor. “You can feel that the grove has been taken care of,” she says. “There’s been a lot of love and thoughtfulness.” Tan oak groves have long been tended by indigenous people who still live along the banks of the forested Klamath and Salmon Rivers near the California-Oregon border. Preston, a cultural resource technician for the Karuk tribe, grew up watching her grandfather tend just such a grove—by burning it. Fire helped cleared […]

Hacking a Brand New Mac Remotely, Right Out of the Box Apple’s supply chain is one of the most closely monitored and analyzed in the world, both because of the control the company exerts and keen interest from third parties. But there’s still never a guarantee that a mass-produced product will come out of the box totally pristine. In fact, it’s possible to remotely compromise a brand new Mac the first time it connects to Wi-Fi. That attack, which researchers will demonstrate Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, targets enterprise Macs that use Apple’s Device Enrollment Program and its Mobile Device Management platform. These enterprise tools allow employees of a company to walk through the customized IT setup of a Mac themselves, even if they work in a satellite office or from home. The idea is that a company can ship Macs to its workers directly […]

OpenAI Bots Crush the Best Human Dota 2 Players in the World A lot of humans think they’re so good at video games that they make the point of describing themselves as “gamers.” Well, the AI platform developed by OpenAI would like to have a word, humans. After demonstrating its prowess in Dota 2 1v1 games, the newly enhanced “OpenAI Five” has shown that it can thrash even the best human teams. OpenAI challenged five of the world’s best pro Dota 2 players, and the AI won handily. You might remember OpenAI popping up in the news just recently. It developed an artificial intelligence that can perform complex hand movements, and it didn’t need any human examples to do it. The OpenAI Dota bot gets better by playing games against itself at high-speed. Using a massively scaled-up version of “Proximal Policy Optimization,” which is a training system designed for OpenAI’s […]

A Deadly Hunt for Hidden Treasure Spawns an Online Mystery Art dealer Forrest Fenn in his Santa Fe home. Eight years ago, Fenn claims, he hid a treasure chest filled with artifacts, gold, and jewels somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. An epic riddle. An eccentric storyteller. A missing person. When a man vanishes in the wilderness, his family takes to the internet to find him. Everybody is searching for something. Paul Ashby’s search began with an unexpected phone call on July 8, 2017. It was a Saturday night in Townsend, Tennessee, a small town just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. An affable Army vet with gray hair, a goatee, and wire-frame glasses, Paul worked as a concierge at a rustic event space called the Barn. He was dressed in his usual top hat and coattails that night, greeting guests who were attending a wedding. Paul had lived in Townsend, […]

Captive Audience: How Companies Make Millions Charging Prisoners to Send An Email For companies like JPay, the business model is simple: Whatever it costs to send a message, prisoners and their families will find a way to pay it. Last July, as she has for the past 10 years, Dianne Jones spent 45 minutes on a city bus heading to the local WalMart. There, under fluorescent lights, she scanned rows of brightly colored birthday cards to pick out the perfect greeting for her son—let’s call him Tim—who is imprisoned more than 100 miles from his mother’s home just outside New Orleans. The card she settled on was dark brown with trees and a birthday message that read, “For the best son in the world.” Tim was in his 10th year of a 30-year prison sentence for an armed robbery he committed at age 17; he would not be able to […]