Automated “killbots” are a popular film trope. Will they soon be a reality?

(Credit: Getty/Oli Scarff) Last month, viewers of the popular sci-fi anthology show “Black Mirror” were treated to a story that was particularly terrifying because of its prescience. In the harrowing episode “Metalhead,” a woman is chased by killer robots that appear loosely based on the Boston Dynamics robot “dogs” that have been making the rounds online. The technology displayed in that episode isn’t too far removed from what engineers are developing (or have already developed). But while “Metalhead” has provoked a lot of discussion about its quality as a thriller, a more unsettling question has also emerged: Could this sort of machine actually be in humanity’s future? “We are still… Read More

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Twitter to notify 677k people they were followed by Russian-linked troll account IRA

(Credit: AP/Jeff Chiu) Twitter published a statement on Friday to update the public on its ongoing review of the 2016 election. The statement revealed that 677,775 people in the U.S. will be receiving an email from the company notifying them that they were followed, retweeted or liked, by accounts potentially connected to the Russian-linked organization referred to as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). The statement says: “Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period. Because we have already suspended these accounts, the… Read More

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Overwatch: Here’s Every New Skin That’s Coming Next Week (Jan 2018)

Overwatch is kicking off 2018 with a barrage of new loot for players to enjoy including new emotes, sprays, and skins for their characters. Announced on January 17, Blizzard has promised a full week of previews for items arriving for the hit FPS next week. This is scheduled to continue until January 23 when the new map Blizzard World releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Many of these skins were revealed back during Blizzcon 2016, as they revolve around “cosplays” of various, famous Blizzard characters. The other set of skins are a mix of ideas from Blizzard and fan requests that have been made since the title’s launch. Among… Read More

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Google CEO Has No Regrets About Firing Author of Anti-Diversity Memo

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday expressed no regret over the firing of James Damore, author of an infamous memo criticizing Google’s pro-diversity policies and culture. During an appearance with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Pichai said, “I don’t regret it,” when asked about Damore’s firing by Recode head Kara Swisher. He insisted that the firing was primarily a strategic decision for Google. “The last thing we do when we make decisions like this is look at it with a political lens,” Pichai said, according to TechCrunch. Google has been working to increase its hiring of women. Damore’s memo, which became public in August, argued in part that women might not… Read More

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The Chinese think Palo Alto is dumpy

Good news! The great Raw Water Story of 2017 is finally over. Google tells me that searches went up ten-fold over the raw water craze, but thankfully, humans seem to have filtered out any more stories or follow ups. Silicon Valley can rest easy. But wait! There is another crisis brewing, and it isn’t the animal fecal matter in your algae water. Over the past few days, we’ve seen… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch

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Interfaces are dying, so your brand needs a bigger personality

Less than a decade ago, branding style guides used to be a huge PDF covering multiple visual aspects of a brand, such as typography, colors, and photography. When digital came about, style guides started to account for pixel-based touchpoints between brand and consumer, including things like header styles, grid systems, and more detailed interaction design patterns. Over the years, they have continuously evolved. Static PDFs were not appropriate for representing hover states, animations, drags and drops, and other user interactions anymore. In the past couple years, we started creating living design systems, covering interface behaviors that can only be represented in… This story continues at The Next Web …read more… Read More

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A randomly generated, totally novel enzyme rescues mutant bacteria

Enlarge / Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli (E. coli), grown in culture and adhered to a cover slip. (credit: NIAID / Flickr) Proteins are chains of amino acids, and each link in the chain can hold any one of the 20 amino acids that life relies on. If you were to pick each link at random, the number of possible proteins ends up reaching astronomical levels pretty fast. So how does life ever end up evolving entirely new genes? One lab has been answering that question by making its own proteins from scratch. Way back in 2016, the same lab figured out that new, random proteins can perform… Read More

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Climate change and weather extremes: Both heat and cold can kill

(Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong, File) Climate change is increasing the frequency and strength of some types of extreme weather in the United States, particularly heat waves. Last summer the U.S. Southwest experienced life-threatening heat waves, which are especially dangerous for elderly people and other vulnerable populations. More recently, record-setting cold temperatures engulfed much of the country during the first week of 2018. This arctic blast has been blamed for dozens of deaths. Some scientists believe that Arctic warming may be a factor in this type of persistent cold spell, although others question this connection. In a recent working paper, we studied the effect of temperature extremes on elderly mortality, using… Read More

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MoviePass Says It Will Start Acquiring Films Directly

MoviePass, the startup that is now subsidizing the moviegoing habits of 1.5 million subscribers, is shopping for movies to call its very own. Variety reports that MoviePass, a subsidiary of Helios and Matheson Analytics, is creating a subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures, to acquire films in conjunction with distributors, and is on the lookout at the Sundance Film Festival. In a statement, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said that the move was in part so that MoviePass could share in the sizeable uptick in moviegoing that it is helping generate. MoviePass subscribers can see one film a day in almost any U.S. theater, for a fee that dropped to just $9.95 in August… Read More

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Mike Moritz and the declining America worker

Storied Sequoia investor Mike Moritz threw fire into the tech Twitter gumbo with his observations of hard-working Chinese workers and slothful Silicon Valley engineers. Moritz, a billionaire, clearly needs page views to fund his retirement. The major money quote about Silicon Valley is this: “In recent months, there have been complaints about the political sensibilities of speakers… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch – Startups

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Mike Moritz and the declining America worker

Storied Sequoia investor Mike Moritz threw fire into the tech Twitter gumbo with his observations of hard-working Chinese workers and slothful Silicon Valley engineers. Moritz, a billionaire, clearly needs page views to fund his retirement. The major money quote about Silicon Valley is this: “In recent months, there have been complaints about the political sensibilities of speakers… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch

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Tim Cook ‘Won’t Allow’ His Nephew on Social Media

Speaking at Harlow College in the U.K., Apple CEO Tim Cook warned against “overuse” of technology, and said he didn’t want young members of his own family to use social media. Cook’s comments, reported by The Guardian, came as part of a tour of Europe to support Apple’s Everyone Can Code training curriculum. “I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using [technology] all the time,” Cook said in part. Discussing education specifically, Cook emphasized that technology shouldn’t dominate even computer-specific courses, instead emphasizing the importance of “concepts that you want to talk about and understand.” That’s very much in line with Apple’s history. Founder and longtime… Read More

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Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman pens riveting diary on the IPO process: from a ‘death-march to a celebration’

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman rings the Nasdaq opening bell with members of the team. (Nasdaq Photo) Redfin had one of the better IPOs in 2017. In a process that has become more hit-or-miss in recent years, Redfin’s stock spiked right away on the first day of trading, and it has stayed well above its initial price for the last six months. It didn’t always seem like things would work out that way as the tech-powered real estate brokerage prepared to go public. In a LinkedIn blog post, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman pulled back the curtain on the process of talking investors into buying stock in a soon-to-be-public. Check out Kelman’s… Read More

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