Blaine Pilgrim

Blaine Pilgrim

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Following 26
US
Google Voice is one of those services of which people tend to say, “Is that still around?Originally called GrandCentral before it was bought by Google in 2009 and only intermittently updated since, Voice is a telecommunications service that works in conjunction with your existing phone service and offers a free secondary phone number with voicemail, SMS capabilities, and other services.Although Voice’s interface is a bit old-fashioned (despite a relatively recent update), and (this being Google) there is always the chance that the company will suddenly decide to get rid of it, it’s a very good alternative.You can sign up for Google Voice either on the web or by downloading the Google Voice app from Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.Google will give you a choice of several locations in your region.You’ll be asked to enter your existing phone number so you can be texted a six-number code (if you don’t want to text, you can opt to receive a phone call).
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Starting today, Amazon Prime members in the US can have their packages delivered directly to their garages.Key for Garage, which Amazon first announced back in January, is an expansion of the company’s existing Amazon Key service, which already lets Amazon’s drivers deliver packages directly into your home or the trunk of your car.It’s a compromise between the invasiveness of letting a driver into your home and the risk of leaving a package vulnerable to the elements, not to mention passing porch pirates.In order to use the new service, you’ll need a myQ-compatible garage door opener from Chamberlain or LiftMaster.Amazon has a lookup tool available on its site so you can check if your existing garage door is compatible.If you don’t, then Amazon will sell you a myQ Smart Garage Hub to retrofit your existing garage door opener for an introductory price of $50 (regular price $80).
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A computer built entirely out of pasta might not be possible, but you can probably build a fairly solid chassis for a computer with enough uncooked pasta and hot glue.According to The Verge, that’s precisely what YouTuber Laplanet Arts did: He filmed himself as he built a chassis that resembled sheets of lasagna layered with pasta sauce to house the hardware from an Asus Transformer convertible tablet.After showing the process of how the lasagna-style PC was put together, the almost 26-minute video also went on to show Laplanet Arts testing his newly rebuilt PC.The pasta PC was made out of uncooked pasta (lasagna sheets and rigatoni), hot glue, and the Asus hardware.The sheets of lasagna made up the majority of the chassis, but Laplanet Arts notes later in the video that the rigatoni was used to make “vents for airflow.” The most realistic looking aspect of Laplanet Arts’ pasta PC, isn’t actually made of pasta or food at all.The “sauce” included in the layers of the lasagna computer is actually just hot glue painted to resemble cheesy pasta sauce.
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When Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election yesterday and political wonks across the internet rushed to download it, many people noticed two things: you couldn’t search for any text on the pages, and the whole file was really, really large.If you were annoyed by either of those things, you probably weren’t nearly as ticked off as the PDF Association, which published a long explanation of just why the Mueller report PDF file was so bad.“A Technical and Cultural Assessment of the Mueller Report PDF” is both an indictment of the Justice Department and a celebration of the venerable Portable Document Format.It starts with some basic facts: the 448-page document is “of acceptable quality,” but it doesn’t conform to archival standards.It was produced on April 17th on “probably a typical office network copier/printer,” and it uses lossy compression “more appropriate to photographs than to text.” The Justice Department might have gotten a high-quality PDF from Mueller, printed it, and re-scanned it, or Mueller might have delivered a paper report that the department scanned and released.As the post notes, re-scanning makes absolutely sure there’s no inappropriate text data released, limiting people to the words they can see and the black redacted boxes.
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Plant cell walls, as repositories of fixed carbon, are an important source of biomass, which is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.However, the complex lignin structure makes it a rather inefficient biomass source.Thorough understanding of lignin biosynthesis will improve the efficiency of biomass conversion into biofuels and increase the quality of forage and silage.Maize brown midrib (bm) mutants, with reddish-brown pigmentation accumulated in the leaf midrib and reduced lignin content, are a significant germplasm.To date, at least six independent maize bm mutants (bm1-6) have been identified, among which genes controlling the bm1-4 mutants have already been recognized.However, genes controlling bm5 and bm6 had previously been unidentified.
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French judicial police believe an electrical short-circuit is most likely what caused the devastating fire that blazed through Paris' historic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday.According to the anonymous official who spoke with Associated Press investigators Thursday, investigators still aren't allowed inside the cathedral to work and search the debris for safety reasons.Elements like firewalls and sprinkler systems were reportedly missing from Notre Dame's attic, where the fire burned, by choice.Valérie Pécresse, the president of the Île-de-France region in which Paris lies, confirmed Tuesday that the fire was an accident, though officials haven't elaborated on the exact cause.It took nine hours and more than 400 firefighters to bring the blaze under control and eventually put it out altogether in the early hours of Tuesday.On Tuesday, a tweet surfaced showing that the rooster from the iconic spire survived the fire.
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Amazon is planning to close its online store in China after more than a decade of trying to gain a foothold in the country.The ecommerce giant will shutter its domestic marketplace which allowed shoppers to buy from local sellers on its site.Chinese shoppers however will still be able to order products from Amazon's global store once its local store closes in July and the company will continue to operate its cloud business in China.Despite its popularity in the West, Amazon has struggled to carve out a place for itself in China where it faces stiff competition from local rivals Alibaba and JD.com.The news that Amazon will close its domestic marketplace in China by mid-July was first reported by Reuters which revealed that the company would instead focus on the more lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the region.According to a company spokesperson, Amazon is currently “working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to deliver the best customer experience possible.”
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Coffee startup Luckin is continuing its fundraising spree as it sets its sight on becoming an alternative to Starbucks in China.The a-year-and-a-half old company announced on Thursday that it closed a Series B-plus raise totaling $150 million.The fresh proceeds valued Luckin at $2.9 billion post-money, up from $2.2 billion just four months ago.While many question Luckin’s cash-fueled expansion, Blackrock, which owns a 6.58 percent stake in Starbucks, shows its confidence in the Chinese startup by pumping $125 million through its private equity fund into Luckin’s new round.With that, the New York-based investment firm has its bet on two contrasting models for China’s coffee consumption.While Starbucks zeroes in on the brick-and-mortar experience, Luckin is a network of last-mile coffee delivery centers plus places for people to pick up orders and sit down targeting busy white-collar workers.
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You know what turns so many people off to using task management apps?It’s the fact that these alleged time-saving tools take so many steps to actually use!If you end up burning several minutes logging into an app, imputing your information and saving it to a reminder calendar, isn’t it often just a bigger hassle than it’s worth?2Do Task Manager feels your pain.In fact, they designed their productivity app with speed very much in mind.A tool garnering a nearly 5-star rating through the Mac App Store, you can let 2Do Task Manager optimize your life for $19.99 (60 percent off its regular price) from TNW Deals.
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Ad tech has endured a tumultuous start to 2019, with potential changes by the industry’s largest stakeholders dangling a question mark over many companies’ business models and Chapter 11 filings disrupting the sector’s liquidity flow.This is not to say the bubble has totally burst.Ehile ad-tech funding may not be as plentiful as it was a decade ago, those that can demonstrate unique value can convince investors they’re worth backing and helping marketers port their activity across online environments is currently in vogue.This was evident in separate announcements today, with 6sense announcing $27 million in funding led by Industry Ventures, while Improvado likewise announced $8 million in funding from Bullpen Capital, Cabra.vc and IAdata.According to 6sense, the company uses AI to provide “account-based orchestration” that helps business-to-business advertisers predict timing and coordination of tasks as well as target users across different marketing ecosystems (like walled gardens), as well as the open web.The round was led by Industry Ventures and included participation from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Venrock with the funds intended to further its international expansion.
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When the Wi-Fi Alliance released its next-generation WPA3 wifi security protocol last January, it was touted as being nigh impossible to crack.That made it a serious upgrade over WPA2, the current protocol used by modern wifi networks – including the one you’re probably reading this on.Except, researchers last week published findings that show WPA3 actually has several serious design flaws that leave it vulnerable to the same attacks that plagued WPA2.It improved on the current ‘four-way handshake’ used by WPA2 to validate devices trying to connect to a network.That means that anyone close enough to say, a phone or laptop trying to connect to a network can easily crack your password if it’s too short or not random enough.If that reads like gobbledygook, all you really need to know is that SAE gives you stronger password-based authentication and better protects against password guessing attempts – even if your passwords aren’t long enough and don’t contain a mix of capital letters, symbols, and numbers.
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AT has sold its 10 percent stake in Hulu back to the streaming service today for $1.43 billion dollars, in a move that will now give Disney (which already had gained a controlling interest in Hulu through its Fox purchase) even more control going forward.Post-purchase, that puts Disney’s stake in Hulu as owning 66 percent of the service, with Comcast owning the remaining 33 percent.As a sign of how quickly this has progressed, just last year, Hulu was still divided evenly between Disney, Fox, and Comcast — each owning a 30 percent cut of the company — alongside AT’s 10 percent stake.Disney gaining even more control over Hulu could also mean a radical shift in what Hulu even is.Right now, the site offers streaming content from a huge range of providers, including Comcast-owned NBC and Universal, and AT networks like TBS and TNT.But with AT no longer in the game and the balance of power firmly shifted in Disney’s favor, it’s easy to imagine a future where Comcast and AT pull out their shows entirely in favor of their own streaming efforts, leaving Hulu as an exclusively Disney service that compliments the upcoming Disney+.
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Deep learning models without arcane code?When it comes to business conversations about Uber, they tend to veer in one of two directions: the ride hailing platform’s pending* Initial Public Offering (IPO), or its ability to enrage taxi drivers and regulators around the world (the German Taxi and Rental Car Association is the latest to urge a strike) by radically disrupting entrenched markets.Typically less discussed is the San Francisco-headquartered company’s ability to steadily produce an eclectic – and typically polished and useful – array of open source tools for developers.(We touched on Uber’s free geospatial application Kepler last June; which is in turn built on deck.gl; Uber’s web.gl data visualisation tool.)It’s latest may be the most compelling yet.Ludwig, a new TensorFlow-based toolkit that enables users to train and test deep learning models without writing any code, drew comparatively little attention outside the engineering world when Uber open sourced it in February.
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As automated systems take over more and more decision-making in cities around the country, the new group could ask key questions about the systems that are being used in New York.Does automation favor some neighborhoods more than others?But the New York task force now shows signs of fraying, raising troubling questions for the algorithmic accountability movement nationwide.Some members have turned openly critical of the city, accusing officials of failing to provide transparent access to information, effectively turning the task force into a publicity effort instead of a source of accountability.At a city council hearing earlier this month, city officials said they had not yet come up with a definition of automated decision systems (ADS), the tools that the task force is meant to examine, and they couldn’t identify a single instance of an automated system that the task force could study in detail.With nothing to study, critics say, the task force is toothless and able to provide only broad policy recommendations — the kind that experts would have been able to suggest without convening a task force at all.
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Their journey didn’t quite end the way we wanted it to.It didn’t quite end the way perhaps even Lucasfilm had wanted it to, considering there were plans for plenty more stories to tell.But now, six years after it concluded, the Clone Wars animated series is back to tell Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan’s tales once more!For the first time since that shocking announcement at San Diego Comic-Con last year, at today’s panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago producer Dave Filoni and the gathered cast gave us a brand new look at what fans can expect for Clone Wars’ grand return.Unfortunately there’s no official upload of the trailer yet, but you can watch it in all its glory in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars panel video below – it starts at 52:23:Drawing on story ideas that remained after Clone Wars came to an end with the truncated sixth season of “Lost Missions”, the latest Clone Wars saga – 12 episodes set to run exclusively on Disney+ – will finally tell the tale not just of the Siege of Mandalore (a climactic battle intended to be a major part of Ahsoka Tano’s journey beyond her time as a Jedi), but several other stories previously only glimpsed in half-finished animatics and concept art.
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Game of Thrones is back, and so are the witty lines that help make the HBO fantasy hit such a deliciously quotable show.Here's our spoiler-filled show recap, but if you just want the best lines, read on.Varys: You take great offense at dwarf jokes, but love telling eunuch jokes.Tyrion: Last time we spoke was at Joffrey's wedding.Sansa: It had its moments.Order more Purina Dragon Chow
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Facebook upset millions upon millions of users five years ago when it removed chat from its core mobile app and forced them to download Messenger to communicate privately with friends.Now it looks like it might be able to restore the option inside the Facebook app.That’s according to a discovery from researcher Jane Manchun Wong who discovered an unreleased feature that brings limited chat features back into the core social networking app.Wong’s finding suggests that, at this point, calling, photo sharing and reactions won’t be supported inside the Facebook app chat feature, but it remains to be seen if that is simply because it is currently in development.Facebook is bringing the Chats back to the app for preparing integrated messaging— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 12, 2019
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Star Wars fans are about to be treated to a brand new game, and we've just had our first look.The official Star Wars and EA Star Wars Twitter accounts shared a teaser for the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game, which is set to be unveiled at Star Wars Celebration Chicago this weekend.The game from Titanfall creators Respawn has been rumored for some time, and in February we got news that it would be shown off at the massive fan weekend in Chicago.Now, we have a few more hints to what we'll see.The tweet shows a seriously broken lightsaber shooting sparks on top of an ancient look stone carving.That could be a hint to what the game will be about -- it's set after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when Order 66 called for the execution of all Jedi.
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China game-streaming firm Huya launches $343 million follow-on offering – ReutersWhat happened: Live-streaming platform Huya announced on Monday that it is planning to raise around $343 million in a new share offering of 13.6 million primary American Depositary Shares (ADSs).With the over-allotment option of 15%, the New York-listed company could raise as much as $394 million, based on Monday’s closing price of $25.23.Huya intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for investment in its content ecosystem and e-sports partners.Why it’s important: Huya’s second share offering could bring the company twice the amount it raised with its 2018 IPO.The additional funding could help the company gain an upper hand in the competition with its largest rival, Douyu, for the attention of the approximately 266 million gamers in China.
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Celebrity jeweler Ben Baller said Tesla canceled his meeting with CEO Elon Musk after Baller posted on social media after being locked in his Model X SUV.Baller described the experience, which he documented on Instagram, and Tesla's response in an April 4 Instagram post.According to Baller, Musk's assistant requested that he contact her about future issues instead of posting on social media and said his meeting with Musk was canceled.The meeting came after Baller made a $37,000 ring with Tesla's name and logo as a gift to Musk.He said he was locked in his Model X for 47 minutes after the vehicle went into low-power mode before exiting through the trunk.Read more: Tesla fired dozens of salespeople after its disappointing Q1 delivery report
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