Michael Vaughn

Michael Vaughn

Followers 10
Following 16
US
Its creators, Hanson Robotics, consistently exaggerate the bot’s abilities, pretending that it’s “basically alive,” rather than just a particularly unnerving automaton.For AI researchers, this has long been an annoyance, but as artificial intelligence becomes more of a global hot topic and Sophia is given more and more coverage, they’re angry that Hanson Robotics is misleading the public about what AI can and cannot do.After Business Insider published an interview with Sophia that played into the fantasy of Sophia as a semi-sentient entity, LeCun called the whole thing “complete bullsh*t” on Twitter, saying: “This is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic.” (For a more detailed breakdown of what makes Sophia tick, you can check out this article from Quartz.)In other words, it's complete bullsh*t (pardon my French).— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) January 4, 2018In January, “Sophia” replied to LeCun’s criticism, tweeting that it was “a bit hurt” by his comments.
2
UK
It’s rare in the days following a cryptocurrency correction to find genuinely good reporting surrounding the issue.Steve Jonson, the author of the piece, then proceeds to follow up this tragic mishap by sharing his private key.That private key number is then run through two additional transformations, creating a new string:That string is my address on the Ethereum blockchain.You can think of my Ethereum address as having elements of a bank account, an email address and a Social Security number.The results of that verification are then broadcast to the wider network again, where more machines enter into a kind of competition to perform complex mathematical calculations, the winner of which gets to record that transaction in the single, canonical record of every transaction ever made in the history of Ethereum.
2
US
Starting with the first batch of lawsuits, a horde of Attorney Generals from 21 states throughout the US, as well as the District of Columbia’s Attorney General, have signed a petition for review formally kick-starting the process of taking the FCC to court.New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading the coalition, which features the following:New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.“This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet.Under this act, the FCC cannot make ‘arbitrary and capricious’ changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality, with the coalition stating the FCC has not justified the Commission’s departure from its policy and practice of defending net neutrality.In Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina, both Senators are Republican, though the Attorney General has decided to side with the coalition.
US
While it may be a bit premature to expect collaborative humanoid robots to be doing anything useful in a warehouse environment, the only way we’re going to make it happen is by encouraging the difficult transition between research labs and industry.The European Union is doing a pretty good job of providing support for things like this through its Horizon 2020 program, and one of the projects it’s supporting is called SecondHands, intended to “design a robot that can offer help to a maintenance technician in a pro-active manner… as a second pair of hands that can assist the technician when he/she is in need of help.”SecondHands is a collaboration between Ocado (a U.K. company that operates highly automated warehouses), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (which has a bunch of experience building capable humanoid robots), and other research institutions including EPFL, UCL, and Sapienza University of Rome.Together, they’re using the first prototype of the SecondHands collaborative robot, which also happens to be the sixth version of ARMAR, and one that’s ready (we hope) to do something practical.ARMAR was created by Professor Tamim Asfour and his team at the High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab (H T) at KIT’s Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics.What Ocado is looking for is a robot that can help a human perform maintenance on the automated systems that make up its warehouses.
US
The accusation comes in the form of a report from Project Veritas, which used hidden cameras to record current and former Twitter employees appearing to confirm and endorse the practice of ‘downranking’ or even ‘shadowbanning’ specific Twitter users if they disapprove of what they’re posting.This results in those users getting less prominence on the platform and thus, it’s alleged, effectively having their posts buried.“Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request,” said the Twitter spokesperson.“Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.Twitter does not shadowban accounts.We do take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive, and mark them accordingly so people can still to click through and see these Tweets if they so choose.”
US
A new jewelry line launched this week in literally the last place on Earth any reasonable human being would look for fashion advice — but the style gurus at Dell Computers are going for it anyway, announcing a limited-edition jewelry collection made from gold mined from recycled motherboards.Dell has partnered with Twilight actress Nikki Reed on the line, offering up 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cuff links.It’s mostly a bit of a ploy to bring attention to the company’s recycling efforts, let’s be honest, but at least it’s a pretty fun one.According to the EPA, somewhere in the neighborhood of only 12.5 percent of e-waste is recycled, resulting in around $60 million in gold and silver being thrown away each year in the form of old phones.Dell says its efficient new recycling processes have given the company an excess amount of the material, so it decided to do something a bit more interesting with the gold rather than just stockpiling it.The Reed-designed circular jewelry is a nod to the company’s push toward a “closed-loop system” it hopes will help create around a million new motherboards within the next year.
US
Open-source software was once something that large businesses shied away from, but over the course of the last few years, it’s made inroads into virtually every enterprise company.With Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), the Linux Foundation hosts a project that aims to bring open source to the car industry.As the AGL group announced at CES in Las Vegas today, Toyota and Amazon have now signed up to support the project, as well.Indeed, you may have seen another Toyota and Amazon mashup today, which is probably no coincidence.With this, Toyota joins other car manufacturers like Ford, Mazda, Honda, Subaru and Suzuki, as well as suppliers like Denso, Panasonic, LG and chip industry giants like Nvidia, Intel and ARM.Overall, the foundation now has 110 member companies.
UK
As well as revealing the initial details about its Ryzen 2 and new Ryzen mobile processors at CES in Las Vegas, AMD also took the wraps off its first Ryzen Pro mobile CPUs.Targeted at business laptops and ‘commercial ultra-thin’ models as well as workstations, AMD has three new processors which come with integrated Radeon Vega Graphics: the Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U, Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U and the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U.In terms of core specs, they mirror the respective consumer versions of these chips.So the entry-tier Ryzen 3 Pro CPU is a quad-core (four-thread) model clocked at up to 3.4GHz with boost, with integrated Vega Graphics boasting six graphics compute units and a GPU clock of up to 1100MHz.Stepping up to the Ryzen 5 Pro, this is a quad-core (eight-thread) CPU clocked at up to 3.6GHz, with Vega Graphics offering eight graphics compute units and the same GPU clock speed as the Ryzen 3 Pro offering.At the top of the tree is the Ryzen 7 Pro, which is also a quad-core (eight-thread) processor clocked at up to 3.8GHz, with the integrated Vega Graphics having 10 graphics compute units and a GPU clock of up to 1300MHz.
US
Microsoft and Johnson Controls joined forces to create a Cortana-powered smart thermostat called GLAS.We previewed GLAS earlier this year, and Microsoft announced today that pre-orders will begin in March 2018 with a retail price of $319.GLAS is powered by Windows 10 IoT Core and features a translucent OLED display with touch controls.You can also control GLAS by voice, through Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana.GLAS controls your home's climate, but also monitors indoor and outdoor air quality and tracks energy savings.GLAS is the newest device built using the Cortana Devices SDK, much like the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker we reviewed in 2017.
US
The park is being built by a state-owned developer called Zhongguancun Development Group.Russian president Vladimir Putin believes that in the future, the country that leads in AI could dominate the world.The Chinese government is building a $2 billion (£1.5 billion) artificial intelligence (AI) research park as it looks to become a world leader in the field by 2025, Reuters reports, citing local news agency Xinhua.The AI research park — to be located in west Beijing — will reportedly be able to accommodate 400 companies and that are expected to generate 50 billion yuan (£5.6 billion) each year.The park's developer, state-owned Zhongguancun Development Group, is hoping to partner with foreign universities and build a "national-level" AI lab in the area, according to Reuters.It will reportedly aim to attract companies working on big data, biometric identification, deep learning, and cloud computing.
US
One of the worst things about playing outdoors in the winter is having to put on cold, boots that are still wet from a previous outing.If you’ve ever done any skiing, snowshoeing, or winter hiking, you’ve probably experienced the uncomfortable feeling of slipping your foot back into a boot that hasn’t quite dried yet.But this annoying side effect of the winter season could be a thing of the past thanks to DryGuy.With a line of products designed to both heat and warm our winter boots, DryGuy has made it a mission to stamp out wet winter footwear.The company’s flagship model is the Force Dry DX, which is equipped with four pillars on each of its corners that can accommodate two pairs of boots, shoes, or gloves at the same time.Those garments are slipped over the pillars, which then blow air inside to help speed the drying process.
US
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week the crew — Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Barrett Daniels, the CEO of Nextstep Advisory, an IPO shop that helps companies go public.We also answered critical questions like “what was the worst IPO of 2017?” (For more results, check the spreadsheet here.)Or what may be, looking into 2018.After all, some IPOs that we expected to see have yet to appear (Vice, Pinterest, Dropbox), while some have cropped up before we thought that they were probably fully-cooked (Snap, Blue Apron).You’ll just have to listen.
US
Let’s face facts: We often look at cloud computing as a single place to put our workloads and our data, where magic pixy dust takes care of what’s needed.But today we increasingly understand that the reality of the cloud—like the datacenter before it—is complexity, labor intensitiy, and more costs than we expected.Cloud computing, including the hybrid and multicloud approaches, are complex distributed systems.Although the use of the public cloud buys you not having to purchase and maintain hardware and software, you still have to monitor, manage, and deal with cloud-based systems as if they were down the hall.[ Learn all about the cloud at InfoWorld.Then learn what is IaaS (infrastructure as a service), what is PaaS (platform as a service), and what is SaaS (software as a service).
3
UK
Amazon India is hosting Samsung Happy Hours sale from 12PM to 2PM on December 26 where many smartphones from the company are available at exciting prices.The two hour sale also offers a 10% cashback on ICICI bank credit cards as well as a no cost EMI offer for 6 months.Samsung smartphones from their ON5 and On7 series are available during the Happy Hours.The On5 Pro features a 5-inch HD display and is powered by the company’s own Exynos quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and an internal memory of 16GB which can further be expanded up to 128GB.There’s an 8-megapixel rear camera along with a 5-megapixel selfie camera.The On5 Pro has a 2,600 mAh battery and is available for Rs 7,000 during the Amazon India sale.
6
US
At the time, I had a sense that I was far removed from the glamorous world of fashion, but I did not understand the extent to which trends were decided for me.Industry gatekeepers—like buyers for major retailers and magazine editors—kept fashion exclusive.Fashion Weeks consisted of runway shows where high-profile editors and endorsed celebrities sat in the front row, and the chosen pieces from designer collections would not be seen in stores for another four to six months.This model worked well for some time, but the rise of social media has diversified the power of fashion in many ways.The magazine editors and buyers still hold powerful influence, but the equation has expanded to include the voice of the average consumer.Today’s landscape of fashion is changing dramatically, and the average consumer is becoming more and more empowered.
1
UK
Apple is currently working on an EKG monitor that will be available in future Apple Watch models, according to sources, enhancing the wearable’s usefulness as a medical monitoring device.The Apple Watch already contains a heart rate monitor, however this upcoming version is said to include EKG functionality for detecting potential conditions rather than just tracking historical cardiac data.The information comes from sources speaking to Bloomberg, which reports that Apple’s developing an EKG feature for inclusion in future Apple Watch models.The sources say it isn’t certain that Apple will choose to include the feature in the future models, but it is currently being developed with such an intention.With the EKG feature, which reportedly requires the user to squeeze the watch with two fingers, the Apple Watch could be used to detect if the wearer is experiencing an irregular heart beat.The presence of an irregular heart rate could indicate that the person is at risk of a future heart attack or stroke, as well as hinting at an existing condition that could require medical attention.
1
US
at the University of Texas at Arlington and Apache Corporation have extended their partnership to study surface and groundwater quality in the Alpine High region of west Texas.The study has been extended by an additional year to augment baseline surface and groundwater quality data and support ongoing water quality monitoring efforts in southern Reeves County, Texas.Monitoring parameters include the same methods of analysis as the initial project that target thousands of organic, inorganic, and biological constituents that can be found in water."Throughout the exploration and early stages of development in Alpine High, Apache has taken proactive steps to protect the land, water and wildlife resources of the area," said Castlen Kennedy, vice president of Public Affairs for Apache.provides valuable data that helps ensure Alpine High is developed safely and responsibly."Zacariah Hildenbrand, scientific contributor to C.L.E.A.R, added that "This is great news for southern Reeves County and for anyone who enjoys the natural beauty of West Texas.
1
US
Google built a little application that downloaded and installed Chrome, and the company submitted that application to the Microsoft Store.The same problem is repeated on the broader Internet—a search for Chrome will yield not only Google's official download page but a wide range of scams and, I'm sure, malware.Google's reasoning is perfectly sound.Microsoft is well aware of the problem of fake apps and scam search results.In fact, I'd go a step further: Google's action here is actively desirable.I would even contend that using the Store in this way would increase the number of "real" Store apps—one of the Store's problems at the moment is its low footfall.
2
US
After more than three years, Magic Leap has unveiled what it describes as a “creator edition” of its augmented reality system.The Magic Leap One consists of a pair of oversized cyberpunk-y goggles, a puck-shaped external computer called a Lightpack, and a handheld controller.It’s supposed to accept “multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking,” and maps persistent objects onto the environment — “place a virtual TV on the wall over your fireplace and when you return later, the TV will be right where you left it,” the site promises.An SDK is supposedly coming in early 2018, and the hardware is supposed to ship at some point next year.Magic Leap invited Rolling Stone to try out some demos, which include virtual characters that can react to eye contact, a floating virtual comic book, and a virtual live performance using volumetric camera capture.The piece seems to refute rumors that Magic Leap was having difficulty shrinking its technology to goggle size while keeping performance up, saying that “there was no stuttering or slowdowns, even when I walked around the performance, up close and far away.”
1
UK
Pledge that everyone in UK will have legal right to broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020Every household and business in the UK will from 2020 have a legal right to access broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps after the government confirmed a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO).Earlier this month an Ofcom report revealed that more than a million homes and businesses in the UK still can’t receive ‘decent’ broadband ( at least 10Mbps download and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps).“After careful consideration the government has decided that regulation is the best way of making sure everyone in the UK can get a decent broadband connection of at least 10 Mbps as soon as possible.”The Government had launched a consultation on the design of the regulatory USO in the summer, and now will bring this legal right to high speed broadband in secondary legislation early next year.The Government essentially has rejected the proposal it had received from BT that would see the company deliver 10Mbps for anyone in the UK who demands it rather than be subjected to the USO.
More

Top