Dwight Black

Dwight Black

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UK
According to a newly released Foreign Policy report, leaked communications show Wikileaks declined to release a cache of hacked Russian documents in the summer of 2016, dismissing the only partially published records as “already public.” While there will be plenty of talk about this being proof of founder Julian Assange’s loyalties to Russia, it most prominently displays his general hypocrisy and self-interest.Ever since Wikileaks published Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and John Podesta’s email archives, the organisation has been on the outs with many liberals and leftists in the US.It was hard to deny that Assange has held a grudge against Hillary Clinton for many years and, by all appearances, he was willing to take that grudge so far that he’d help get a maniac like Donald Trump elected.Foreign Policy’s report from Thursday will not help the Wikileaks founder gain much credibility in his denials.Foreign Policy was able to view partial chat logs from the time and was given details by a source that provided the internal communications.The logs show only Wikileaks’ side of the conversation, with an unidentified representative reportedly writing, “As far as we recall these are already public.” In 2014, the BBC reported on some of the hacked materials that were being offered to Assange, but according to Foreign Policy, that was less than half of the materials that Wikileaks turned down in 2016.
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Controlling the smart home has more options than ever, but sometimes you just want a regular light switch to turn on your connected bulbs.iDevices‘ new Dimmer Switch offers just that, a new in-wall control that, though requiring a little DIY action on your part, promises not only more convenient operation but instant compatibility with some of the popular virtual agents, too.Once installed, it’ll work with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri courtesy of HomeKit.The switch itself looks much like a regular rocker-plate control.It’ll slot into a single-gang opening just like one, too, and will work with single pole, 3- and 4-way installations – such as at the top and bottom of stairs – without any extra confirmation, iDevices says, though you’ll need all the switches involved to be upgraded to the Dimmer Switch.Through the app, user-customized dimming presets can be set.
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While the full potential of drones extends beyond transport, there’s little doubt that the fledgling technology will turn consumer package delivery upside down.As production of both commercial and personal drones continues to rise, global revenue is expected to increase 34 percent to more than $6 billion in 2017, according to research firm Gartner.Individual drones could be collected via a shuttle once a batch of deliveries is complete.Another patent suggests deliveries by parachute, which would decrease the risk of drones colliding with children, pets or backyard furniture.San Francisco-based Zipline is already delivering by parachute medicine to remote hospitals throughout Rwanda.Other developments include drones with legs and a safety feature to disable propellers when they’re near a foreign object.
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To get people into their product, many SaaS companies turn to discounts to increase acquisition.They think that they can raise prices later, once these customers see the value in the product.But by discounting, you have already hurt that value.After spending so much time perfecting your pricing, you shouldn't use discounting as a “quick fix” to bring in more customers by underselling the value of your product.Let's walk through why this is so painful from a data perspective, as well as how you should use discounts if you need to use them.
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I review many integrated amplifiers and receivers, but it's been ages since I covered a matching preamp and power amplifier.So when I was offered the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC stereo preamp ($1,699, £1,700) and Stellar S300 power amp ($1,499, £1,500), I quickly accepted.They're available in silver or black finishes, both feel substantially built, and they're designed and assembled in PS Audio's factory in Boulder, Colorado.The company's roots in American high-end audio date back to 1973!The Gain Cell DAC's front panel may be a model of simplicity, but it still offers the user a number of options: phase invert, digital filters, preset maximum speaker volume, preset maximum headphone volume and more.The Gain Cell DAC handles high-res PCM files up to 384 kHz, and standard and double rate DSD files.
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One of the earliest investors in Uber is suing the ride-hailing firm's founder, Travis Kalanick, for fraud, accusing him of attempting to "increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends".Venture capital firm Benchmark Capital filed the lawsuit in an attempt to force Mr Kalanick to leave the board and give up his right to fill three board seats.The investor claimed his "overarching objective is to pack Uber's board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO—all to the detriment of Uber's stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers".However, in June this year, Mr Kalanick resigned, following calls to do so from several of Uber's most high-profile investors, including Benchmark partner Bill Gurley and amid criticism that he fostered a male-dominated sexist culture.The search giant claimed Uber’s Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 highly confidential documents before his resignation, which he took to Uber just months laterTravis Kalanick filmed in heated driver row
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UK
Almost exactly a year ago, Facebook unveiled Lifestage, an iOS app designed for high schoolers to share photos and videos of themselves and connect with classmates.The company has now killed off the platform, pulling it from the App Store earlier this month.Lifestage, which bore a resemblance in functionality to Snapchat, was built by a 20-year-old Facebook employee named Michael Sayman.It failed to catch on widely, and also caused worry with its lack of security, as it had no way of ensuring people who claimed they were below age 21 really were high schoolers.Facebook said in a statement to Business Insider:We originally launched Lifestage to make it easier for teens in the US to connect with others at their school by creating a video profile with content for all of things that make up their identity.
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American Express has found itself in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after "misleading" consumers around how its cashback scheme worked.The watchdog has slapped the brand's 'Everything Has an Upside' ad with ban after ruling that it had exaggerated the claim that consumers get 5% cashback on all purchases.Two complaints were received about the spot, which promoted the American Express 'platinum cashback everyday' credit card featured animations of different situations that could result in unexpected spending, like a plumbing leak or dropping a mobile phone in water.A voiceover stated: 'Sometimes we have to pay for things we don’t actually like.But there is an upside to everything.There is a card that could give you 5% cashback on all purchases.
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If you're in the market for new, unique password, Troy Hunt has a trove of what you don't want.Hunt, the security expert behind Have I Been Pwned website, on Thursday released a searchable tool that contains 306 million previously compromised passwords.The tool's database of passwords, collected from dozens of data breaches, aims to help individuals and companies improve their online security.With data breaches out of your control, it's imperative to choose passwords that can withstand brute-force attacks.Ideally, your passwords should be at least 16 characters, mixing numbers and symbols with uppercase and lowercase letters.Hunt's website already lets users see if their email address has been exposed in a breach -- without associated passwords, of course.
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"When you hear the sound of the Hyperloop One, you hear the sound of the future," said Shervin Pishevar, executive chairman and Co-founder of Hyperloop One.And that sound is Woosh.Hyperloop One has started to show off the types of speeds promised by the magnetic levitating train technology, entering its second phase of testing in the Nevada desert with the pod hurtling through the near-vacuum test tunnel at speeds of 309km/h.The Hyperloop One XP-1 pod accelerated for 300m before coming to a gradual stop, the company said, in a tube depressurised to the equivalent of air at 200,000 feet above sea level.The trial put to the test the motor, controls, guidance system, suspension and more.In the first phase of the trials in May 2016, Hyperloop One travelled at 69mph for 315 feet after 30m of acceleration, using 891 horsepower.
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Today, YouTube clarified how it plans to handle videos that don’t violate any of its policies but still contain offensive religious and supremacist content: hide them and make sure they can’t make any money.These steps included investing in machine-learning technology to help identify videos associated with terrorism, increasing the number of “Trusted Flaggers” to identify content that can be used to radicalise terrorists, and redirecting potential extremist recruits to watch counterterrorism videos instead.Walker also wrote that YouTube would take a “tougher stance” on controversial videos that don’t actually violate any YouTube policies.In a blog post today, YouTube provided a better sense of what that stance entails.Now, when YouTube decides that a flagged video doesn’t break policy but still contains “controversial religious or supremacist content,” the video will be put in a “limited state.” Here, the video will exist in a sort of limbo where it won’t be recommended or monetised.This new approach will apply to desktop versions of YouTube within the next few weeks and on mobile soon after that.
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We've written about eye-tracking hardware from Tobii a couple of times over the years.The company builds PC peripherals that can follow the gaze of your eyes and determine where on screen you're looking.Until now, much of Tobii's end-user products have tended to focus on gamers.They've used the eye tracking to either track how a game is being played (for example, to better understand how often you look at the minimap) or to add another style of input to a game—letting you aim where you're looking, for example.Today, Microsoft and Tobii announced a new feature that will expand eye control to work across Windows.Available in the latest Insider Preview builds, Eye Control lets you use tracking hardware to control a mouse cursor and an on-screen keyboard using the power of your gaze.
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Built up since the original release in 2011, Nintendo’s brilliant dedicated handheld games console has a slew of fantastic games: Super Mario, Zeldas both old and new, sprawling RPGs in the form of Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter and a host of quirky, inventive titles.In an interview with the Telegraph ahead of the Switch launch, Shinya Takahashi promised that the company would continue to support the console well into 2018 and that he saw the 3DS as the perfect entry point for kids before, just maybe, graduating to a Nintendo Switch.Such a thing is easy to say, of course, but Nintendo has shown every intention of extending the 3DS’s tenure.So here it is, the terrific but somewhat clunkily and confusingly named New Nintendo 2DS XL.The "2" refers to the fact that this is the second revision of the hardware that doesn’t feature the 3D that the original console sold itself on but everyone switched off.It is a lovely thing, its smart clamshell design striking that balance between quality hardware and playful toy design that Nintendo are so good at.
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Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, have rapidly emerged onto the startup scene as an alternative way for founders to raise capital directly from the community without suffering any dilution.By ‘tokenising’ their organisations – that is, designing a ‘token’, which acts as a unit of exchange in that technology’s ecosystem and is often available for secondary trading – founders can now raise funds quickly, in a crowdfunded model, with incredible network effects.They have become so popular on the Ethereum public blockchain they are ‘bloating’ one of the world’s largest and most widely used blockchain networks, damaging its utility for almost any other form of activity.But we are already seeing the trend go mainstream, breaking out into the wider startup space where network effects are a fundamental requirement.Take the ‘Useless Ethereum Token’, whose token sale website openly declares: ‘You're literally giving your money to someone on the internet and getting completely useless tokens in return.’ This parody of the ICO craze still raised more than $70,000.However, as a venture capitalist I look past today and focus on tomorrow.
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That’s both good and bad.The Z2 Force looks a lot like the original Moto Z. That’s no surprisee, as Motorola needs to maintain the same overall shape to maintain compatibility with Mods.Instead of the original model’s subtle stripes, the Z2 Force uses a brushed metal pattern that both looks and feels premium.I think the clean finish on the Z2 Play is nicer, but your mileage may vary.It comes in three colors – black, gold, and grey (T-Mobile exclusive) – though of course you can customize them using one of the many available Style shells.The device feels remarkably solid for something so thin, and I’m glad Motorola kept the ShatterShield screen.
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While waiting for his brisket to slow cook, he delivered an admonition to Elon Musk, his fellow Silicon Valley billionaire, and others who sound alarm bells over artificial intelligence posing a threat to our safety and well-being.AI is going to make our lives better in the future, and doomsday scenarios are “pretty irresponsible,” says Zuckerberg.A user submitted a question, which Zuckerberg read out loud: “I watched a recent interview with Elon Musk and his largest fear for future was AI.What are your thoughts on AI and how it could affect the world?”Earlier in July, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, said that artificial intelligence will cause massive job disruption, that robots “will be able to do everything better than us.”Musk also expressed dire concern over a future shared with robots: “I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it,” Musk said.
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In 1996, the year my father brought home our first Gateway desktop, there was little for a ten-year-old to do on a computer.The simple graphics software came preinstalled on computers running Window’s operating system, and the program was completely idiot-proof.You didn’t have to know a thing about technology to use it, which made Paint the entry point to personal computing for an entire generation.Paint is now a relic of computing history—one that very soon will be gone, after an update to Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 10 Creator's Edition.The application, along with Reader and Outlook Express, has been moved to its list of “removed or deprecated features,” which means it’s only a matter of time until the software permanently fades into obscurity.Go ahead and shed a tear, but don't act surprised.
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UK government targets 14-18 year old’s to tackle security skills gapStudents across the UK are being encouraged to consider taking part in a £20 million cyber security schools programme being rolled out across the country in an attempt to tackle a growing skills shortage.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s Cyber Schools Programme will seek to train the next generation of employees by giving them the chance to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies.A nationwide network of extracurricular clubs, activities, along with an online game, will be launched to support and encourage schoolchildren in their development.SANS, BT, FutureLearn and Cyber Security Challenge UK have already been confirmed as partners and will help to deliver the four-year programme to students.Teachers, industry members and volunteers can also register their interest now.
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Ikea has unveiled a TVC promoting the relaxing qualities of the living room, appointing the character of ‘Lion Man’ as its star.Much like the rest of his species (the advert tells us), Lion Man spends up to 18 hours a day relaxing.In the film, which comes in 60-second and 20-second forms, he’s seen reading, taking a nap, sipping on juice and watching fellow lions on the small screen, all the while recharging his batteries for when he’s needed to strike.When the time comes, he’s faced not with a herd of wildebeest or a rival pride, but with the similarly terrifying prospect of a children’s party.The Swedish tones of Rikard Wolf encourage the audience to “relax into greatness” via voiceover, while By The Sleepy Lagoon – the theme tune to Desert Island Discs – provides a blissful soundtrack.Retained agency Mother led the creative while the film was shot by Us as a parody of a wildlife documentary.
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I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing some top-notch headphones recently, but I’m not comfortable roughhousing with them as I would with a cheaper and smaller pair.That’s why I was glad to give Wicked Audio’s new Endo headphones a go.At under $50, these are inexpensive enough to purchase on impulse and to relegate to a life on the road as my commuter cans.Wicked’s been making budget gear for a good while now, so I was keen to find out if they can deliver decent audio at a low price point.Here’s what I found in testing the Endo for a couple of weeks.The Endo is mostly just plastic and synthetic fabric, but it manages to look exceedingly sleek, thanks to a subtle matte black rubberized finish.
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