In a blog post on Tuesday, Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart announced he was resigning as the company’s CEO.“If you love something, set it free,” his goodbye post began, which may not be the standard way to announce one is stepping down, but is still one of the more grounded statements from a man whose oeuvre includes phrases like “grocery shopping is a multisensory living nightmare.”Rhinehart—whose personal achievements include giving up on the electrical grid, throwing out his fridge, and (to the chagrin of neighbors) attempting to live out of a shipping container which he dropped in LA without permits—wrote on the company website that he’s either grown bored with, or has been made obsolete by his contributions to the brand:Along the way I have seen my role as CEO evolve, especially enjoying the process of delegating my responsibilities to more skilled and experienced scientists, managers, and executives.These specialists are clearly better at their roles than I would be, especially if I were handling tons of other responsibilities simultaneously, which is the exciting early stage of a startup.Bryan Crowley, the president of Soylent’s parent company, will now take over the business of the meal replacement product that caused consumers to experience “uncontrollable diarrhoea” last year and was banned in Canada this year.
Yesterday, Gizmodo and other outlets signal-boosted recent statements from former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya saying that social media sites are “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Many of his incriminating assessments echoed analysis made a few days earlier by former Facebook president Sean Parker.Today, Facebook responded directly to what Palihapitiya said.In a statement with Gizmodo and other outlets, a Facebook spokesperson said:Chamath has not been at Facebook for over 6 years.When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world.We’ve done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we’re using it to inform our product development.
YouTube’s live television service has expanded into an additional 34 markets, bringing streaming access to a bunch of cities like Fresno, CA and New Orleans.As with the markets that already had access, people in these new markets can get access to live TV channels over the Internet by subscribing to YouTube Live, a service similar to PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, and Hulu Live TV.YouTube announced the new markets in a tweet yesterday, revealing that its live television service is now available in more than 80 markets throughout the US.Because YouTube has been heavily targeting large metro regions with its expansion, a large number of people throughout the US now have the option to sign up.However, the service isn’t perfect and some people are still waiting for YouTube to introduce better device support.As it stands, YouTube TV is available Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One, and some smart TVs from both Samsung and LG.
Force 1’s U34W Dragonfly is an entry-level drone advertised as being “easy to fly” and “for beginners.” I figured it would be the perfect drone for my family to try out, so we took one to the park.The Dragonfly is a fairly small drone, at only about 26 cm across, making it nearly palm sized.It ships with extra propellers, two batteries, a charging adapter, and a remote control.The controls are simple and, despite the fact it’s an entry-level device, it still has some nice features like headless mode (you can steer it without knowing what direction the ‘front’ is pointing) and one-button takeoff and landing.Black is fine, and at least here they add some bright blue racing stripes and props.I like the siderails, they look good and they work well.
Trump signs defense law with No Eugenes clause, plenty more cyber stuffPresident Donald Trump has signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, which includes a ban on products from Kaspersky Lab running in US government agencies.Section 1634 of the law specifies that:No department, agency, organization, or other element of the Federal Government may use, whether directly or through work with or on behalf of another department, agency, organization, or element of the Federal Government, any hardware, software, or services developed or provided, in whole or in part, by—(1) Kaspersky Lab (or any successor entity);(2) any entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Kaspersky Lab; or
New South Wales TAFE's failed IT project will be a millstone around the organisation's neck for years, the state's Auditor-General warned yesterday.Terminated last year, the Learning and Management and Business Reform (LMBR) project has nonetheless managed to reach out of the grave and grab the dollars.The Auditor-General's report puts depressing numbers to the ongoing cost of the disastrous project: AU$89 million on system replacement, plus “extra costs each year to produce reliable financial information”.Since the Oracle-based replacement system won't be implemented until the 2018-2019 financial year, TAFE “again needed to implement significant compensating controls and procedures” to count student revenues, with 100 staff employed at a cost of $6 million, not counting contractors.The Department of Education launched the project in 2006, and in nine years, was only able to bring it to pilot by 2015.A NSW government committee recommended the project be scrapped in December 2015, but in a classic death-march it was still grinding on in April 2016.
Call them content creators, influencers, or maybe just fellow narcissists with a camera, but whether you like it or not, the people you follow on social media are how you get introduced to things like news, memes, or trends.But in an update scheduled to start rolling out later today, Instagram is trying to change that by letting people follow hashtags for the first time.Currently, there are two main ways to find photos and videos with a certain hashtag.One way is to search for them under the Explore tab, the other is to click on a hashtag in the body of post in hopes of finding more related content.But with the new update, Instagram will allow people to follow entire communities, instead of just singular entities.Let’s say, for example, that you like photos of cuddly critters.
As bezels on smartphones have gotten thinner, their designers are faced with a challenge that becomes more difficult with each passing model released: how do you make your phone stand out amongst the rest?Without bezels or a visible fingerprint biometrics on the phone’s front or back, there’s increasingly little to work with when it comes to crafting a phone’s identity.Sure, you might be thinking, the Samsung Galaxy S8, Essential Phone, iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL look fairly unique.But as I’m sure you’re aware, this aesthetic has since been adopted far and wide in the world of smartphone manufacturing, from the flagship price point down to the startlingly affordable Honor 7X and LG Q6.The honeymoon effect of design is getting shorterWhen the first smartphones with minimal bezels hit the market, the effect seemed revolutionary, an example of engineering mastery that’s was reserved only for the most elite of devices.
Sony today released its Stranger Things VR Experience on the PlayStation store.Don’t get too excited though.It’s shorter than Eleven’s Season 1 haircut, which is a crying shame.The game, first teased back in October, appears to take place during the first season of the show.Promotional images show the Byers’ light-festooned home and little else.From what I’ve been able to tell, the game consists of a few jump scares and an extended trailer for the show.
You may not know who Kelly Marie Tran is yet, but you’re about to hear a lot more of her thanks to her breakthrough role in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’.However, despite now being part of one of the biggest franchises in cinema history, the actress has claimed she doesn’t see her life changing to become a huge name like Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.The pair became overnight stars when they landed roles in 2015′s ’The Force Awakens, and when asked for what advice they had given her about dealing with sudden fame, Kelly Marie told HuffPost UK at the European premiere: “John and Daisy are both the most supportive, amazing humans I’ve met in this whole experience.David M. Benett via Getty Images“I don’t know if it’s true that my life is actually going to change.Only because I went on a run earlier today and no-one knew who I was.
The news of Apple’s iMac Pro release date wasn’t even a day old before we learned some juicy details about the firm’s most powerful all-in-one computer ever.App developer Cabel Sasser has confirmed on Twitter that the rumored T2 coprocessor is indeed inside the device.It was widely expected that said device would be the iMac Pro first unveiled in June 2017, and now those expectations have been realized.Naturally, the most important of which are his insights regarding this T2 chip.Simply put, the T2 is the evolution of Apple’s T1 chip, a processor designed on ARM architecture for the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models that handles basically everything there is to do with the Touch Bar and Touch ID.This allows the main, Intel-made processor inside that much more headroom to handle all other tasks.
As revealed last week, today is the day that Overwatch‘s Winter Wonderland event goes live.Though this event for 2017 shares its name with the same event from last year, there will be fair amount of new content for fans to unlock and play.Of course, all of the old stuff from last year’s Winter Wonderland will be returning, so if you missed a few seasonal skins last year, you’ll have another chance to unlock them.If you’re looking to unlock all of the content Winter Wonderland 2017 has to offer, you’re in for a busy few weeks.The event lasts from today until January 1, and during that time, Overwatch‘s loot boxes will be replaced with Winter Wonderland loot boxes.Those loot boxes are guaranteed to have at least one Winter Wonderland item, but with all of the sprays and icons being added, you’ll have to play quite a bit to unlock all of the seasonal skins.
Cat has announced an update to its S30 rugged smartphone: the S31.This model tweaks the popular ultra-durable handset, building upon elements that are important to consumers including battery capabilities.The phone targets adventurers are much as its does construction workers and others who work in dangerous environments.The phone is designed to withstand a variety of abuses, including drops, water, dust exposure, and more.The Cat S31 has a modest display measuring 4.7-inches with a 720p resolution and touchscreen that can be used both with wet and gloved fingers.The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 for scratch-resistance; the phone is able to withstand drops from heights up to 5.9ft onto concrete and has an overall MIL-SPEC 810G rating.
I generally don’t care for the poetics of life.When I’m walking down the street and something poetic happens—sunlight piercing rainclouds, golden leaves dancing in an autumn wind—I just go “ehh.” But human emotion is quantifiable, meaning it can be taught to computers.A collaboration between MIT’s Lab for Social Machines and McKinsey’s Consumer Tech and Media team want to use film to quantify and “teach” emotions to computers in order to create AI that can tell emotional stories.MIT’s machine learning model reviewed “thousands” of movies and eventually became able to track and label emotional arcs—not story beats exactly, but the shifts from happy to sad a viewer might feel as they watch the movie.Crucially, this research wanted AI to understand how the film triggered them, using music, dialogue, camera angles, etc.As discussed in the blog post, the machine watched the infamously sad opening sequence from Up, discerning the story beats that had the most emotional impacts, both positive and negative.
And we'll explain: Epic trolling, online pressure, window-dressing, serious wonk writingIt may have escaped your notice but America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, will vote on Thursday on a provision that would effectively undermine net neutrality protections in the US.Net neutrality is the notion that ISPs should not favor some internet traffic over another – such as streaming its own TV service at high speed to the detriment of a rival.Now, in the era of Trump, the Republican-controlled panel of commissioners that oversee the FCC is set to vote this week to undo those changes, going back to how it was pre-2015, thus allowing ISPs to control their network pathways as they see fit – albeit without potentially upsetting federal regulators, such as by making false advertising claims about connections speeds, and so on.This morning, an online campaign kicked off aimed at pressuring lawmakers in US Congress to take citizens' concerns about the planned vote seriously, and exert pressure on Pai and his fellow Republican commissioners at the FCC to call off the vote.Ignoring for a second the slightly disturbing concept of asking Congress to lean on a semi-autonomous federal regulator, the idea behind this latest pressure campaign is to demonstrate what a "broken internet" would look like as a result of the rules being torn up.
Virtual reality may be comparatively stuck in the mud for the time being, but augmented reality is in full gear.Facebook realizes this, and to that effect it has announced it’s bringing new Snapchat-style augmented reality features called World Effects to its Facebook Messenger app.They’re basically the same things as Snapchat’s World Lenses.The basic idea is that you can drop 3D objects into your photos to make them appear as though they’re there in real life, such as a heart over someone’s head.A bit more usefully, you could use a floating arrow to point out a specific location in a wide shot.The news accompanies the announcement that Facebook is letting the general public use its augmented reality Camera Effects Platform and AR Studio kit, which lets developers create items like “masks” that fit over your face in photos.
Every December, for about the last 30 years according to the New York Times, the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) publishes a batch of studies and papers that sound way more fun than the typical science fare.Last year, for instance, a Stanford epidemiologist asked whether caviar could be a risk factor for being a millionaire.Two years earlier, a researcher from Ohio’s Kent State University conducted a review of everything we know about zombie infections—including prevention!And this year, a paper has made the case that Peppa Pig is overtaxing UK doctors by raising expectations of how all-knowing they can be, through its character Dr Bear.Another paper claims to have found evidence of the “man-flu”—the phenomenon of men turning into deflated balloons and becoming sicker than women the moment they feel the sniffles coming on.These papers aren’t fake, at least not in the sense that scientists are gleefully making things up.
For as long as Twitter has existed, users have been circumventing its 140 character limit (which, as of last month, is now 280).One way most people do this is through the tweet storm – instead of boiling down opinions, news, or arguments into a single tweet, users will instead create a string of tweets, each one replying to the last, to form a thread of connected thoughts.Today, Twitter is making it a little bit easier to do that.The company is making the tweet storm an official feature called Twitter Threads.Noting that tweet storms have taken off in popularity but realizing at the same time that they’re an inefficient way to create a thread, Twitter has rolled out new tools that will let you create a thread without a lot of effort.As explained on the Twitter Blog today, creating a thread is a pretty simple process.
A chunk of amber dating back about 99 million years has been found containing perfectly preserved ticks, shedding light on how these tiny pests evolved and what similarities they shared with their modern-day counterparts.One particular tick found within the amber has caught researchers’ attention: it is young and shown clearly clinging to a preserved feather, seemingly confirming that these parasites sought out dinosaurs.Ticks remain a big problem to this day: they carry diseases and are particularly problematic for pet owners who live in certain states.The parasite isn’t a new problem, though; various creatures have been dealing with them for millions of years.Debate exists about whether ticks had fed on dinosaurs, and now a tiny one preserved in amber offers an answer: yes, they probably did.Amber has been the source of many preserved insects, giving us a near-perfect look at critters that crawled the land millions of years ago.
The headphones are so good, I’ve always thought, they don’t even need noise-cancelling.The Bowers & Wilkins PX are are the best wireless headphones the company’s ever made.However, I have tested every other set of wireless Bowers & Wilkins headphones: the P5s and P7s.The feature set is similarly sleek.Yes, there is now a noise-cancelling feature that can be toggled on or off with a little switch on the right ear cup.This so-called “wear sensor” will play or pause the audio based on whether the headphones think you’re wearing them or taking a break, and by proxy, this saves battery life.