Tag Archives: Gadget News

Trump takes to Twitter to promise death of Obamacare

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


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Pointing fingers and predicting explosions.


Pool, Getty Images

It was something of a Black Friday for President Donald Trump.

His attempt to push through the repeal and replace of Obamacare met the same mad, bad fate as Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

The president sprinkled a little blame on Democrats whom, oddly, he was unable to persuade to join his cause.

After sleeping on it, however, he took to his favorite instrument of optimism — Twitter — and sounded a newly upbeat tone.

“ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!” he tweeted.

Those of moderately dry temperament might feel that Obamacare surviving relieves the worries of up to 24 million people who might have otherwise lost their health care.

On Twitter, however, many were focused on Trump’s past tweeted pronouncements and offered them up as banners of victory.

For example, this from 2013: “Just shows that you can have all the cards and lose if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Then there was this from a year earlier: “‘You can’t con people, at least not for long. If you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.’ — The Art of The Deal.”

Or these tweeted words from just a couple of weeks ago: “Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!”

How we all crave a beautiful picture, just for a while at least.

Some might imagine that the president’s promise of everyone huddling as one to pick up the pieces from the Healthcare Humpty smacks of high fantasy.

I fear, instead, that there will be more explosions of the rhetorical kind. Many of them will continue to be on Twitter. And many will incite unhealthy levels of shrieking response.

Indeed, on Sunday morning, the president re-emerged on Twitter to declare: “Democrats are smiling in DC that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood Ocare!” Oh, save me.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/trump-twitter-to-promise-death-of-obamacare-health-care/#ftag=CAD590a51e

‘Black box’ technique may lead to more powerful AI

The system starts with many random parameters, makes guesses, and then tweaks follow-up guesses to favor the more successful candidates, gradually whittling things down to the ideal answer. You may start with a million numbers, but you’ll end up with just one in the end.

It sounds a bit mysterious, but the benefits are easy to understand. The technique eliminates a lot of the traditional cruft in training neural networks, making the code both easier to implement and roughly two to three times faster. And when ‘workers’ in this scheme only need to share tiny bits of data with each other, the method scales elegantly the more processor cores you throw at a problem. In tests, a large supercomputer with 1,440 cores could train a humanoid to walk in 10 minutes versus 10 hours for a typical setup, and even a “lowly” 720-core system could do in 1 hour what a 32-core system would take a full day to accomplish.

There’s a long way to go before you see the black box approach used in real-world AI. However, the practical implications are clear: neural network operators could spend more time actually using their systems instead of training them. And as computers get ever faster, this increases the likelihood that this kind of learning can effectively happen in real time. You could eventually see robots that are very quick to adapt to new tasks and learn from mistakes.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/26/black-box-strategy-helps-neural-networks/

First look at ‘Twin Peaks’ cast, plus more clues

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Here’s one of the three Entertainment Weekly covers out now featuring the cast of “Twin Peaks” and its director/co-creator David Lynch.


Entertainment Weekly

Dying to see Agent Cooper pontificate about murder and mayhem over a cup of Joe and a slice of cherry pie in the upcoming “Twin Peaks” revival?

Luckily for you, Entertainment Weekly magazine is not only revealing the first look at the “Twin Peaks” cast, on its March 31 cover, it’s also talked with actors Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn, Peggy Lipton, Everett McGill and Wendy Robie about their roles in the unusual murder mystery that originally debuted on ABC in 1990.

The revival comes to Showtime with a two-hour premiere May 21. (Disclosure: Showtime is owned by CBS, which is also the parent company of CNET.)

“We get to come back more grown up, with a level of wisdom we didn’t have,” Fenn says in a promo video posted March 23.

“It’s been a number of years, and we’re all different,” MacLachlan says in the video. “So you bring those world experiences with you into the creation of the characters.”

Entertainment Weekly also offers up a slideshow of the “Twin Peaks” revival that includes David Lynch directing as well as waitresses Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) and Norma Jennings (Lipton) back at the Double R Diner. But even more exciting is David Duchovny reprising his role as FBI agent Denise Bryson.

There’s also a shot of Lynch returning in front of the camera as hard-of-hearing FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole.

Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), the police station receptionist, and the Don Knotts-esque Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) also return to “Twin Peaks” — but are they still a quirky couple or just friendly co-workers?

Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) comes back to the police station with probably a lot more insight regarding the ancient myths surrounding the Black Lodge.

In another promo video, posted March 24, MacLachlan opens up about playing Cooper and explains why the role remains his favorite.

MacLachlan, Fenn, Lipton, Sheryl Lee and James Marshall discuss how some things have changed in the revival, in the March 23 video.

If fans want to stroll down memory lane, MacLachlan, Fenn, Robie and McGill talk about their favorite episodes in yet another video posted March 24.

And in a video posted Saturday, new cast member Laura Dern lists some of the many interesting unanswered questions left over from the original series, just to remind us that answers may be revealed in the revival.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/first-look-at-twin-peaks-cast-plus-more-clues/#ftag=CAD590a51e

3D-printed cartilage cell implants thrive in baby mice

Somewhere in Sweden, a few lab mice have human cartilage cells living and growing within their bodies. A team of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy used a CELLINK 3D bioprinter to make hydrogel out of human-derived cartilage cells. They then implanted the gels into six-week-old mice and found “something that begins to resemble cartilage” after 60 days. The researchers are working towards being able to use 3D bioprinting to create body parts for patients who need them. While they’re far from achieving that goal, this particular experiment proves that it’s a possibility in the future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/25/3d-printed-cartilage-cell-implants-baby-mice/

‘Justice League’ comes together in new trailer

The “Justice League” is finally forming, and in the first official trailer trailer released Saturday, the members are ready to have a good time.

Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) seek out the help of Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) to face off against a new threat.

The trailer appears to provide a quick glimpse of that threat, but more details about it will have to come later. Meanwhile, we see fight scenes with the members of the new superhero fighting team.

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you’ll find in CNET’s newsstand edition.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/justice-league-comes-together-in-new-trailer/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Uber CEO linked to escort bar visit that resulted in an HR complaint

All of this has become news now, apparently, because in the last month Michael contacted Holzwarth in an attempt to stop the trip from becoming public knowledge, telling her to simply say they went to karaoke and had a good time. His statement, which is quoted in the article, reads: “Given the intense news cycle I thought it was the right thing to do to reach out and let her know that reporters may try to contact her directly. I have known her for a long time, consider her a friend and did not want her to be taken by surprise. Her recollection of this conversation was different from mine and I am very sorry if the purpose of my call was misunderstood.”

A statement from Uber says that “This all happened about three years ago and was previously reported to human resources. In early March it was referred to Eric Holder and Tammy Albarran as part of their review.”

UBER-AUTONOMOUS/

As far as the accident, a picture posted on Twitter showed one of Uber’s self-driving Volvo SUVs laying on its side in the road. It’s next to a Ford Edge showing serious damage along the passenger side. The Arizona Republic spoke to a policeman who says that a vehicle failed to yield while making a left turn and collided with the self-driving car before a third car was hit by one of the first two vehicles. Thankfully, no serious injuries have been reported. The company is aware of the incident, but so far we don’t have any other information and don’t know if the car was in self-driving mode at the time of the accident.

As I noted the last time Uber had two negative stories break almost simultaneously, a slew of self-inflicted wounds have already damaged the company’s credibility. Emil Michael is the same exec who openly discussed hiring investigators to dig up dirt, and these Volvos are on Arizona streets because California temporarily banned them.

We keep hearing that Uber and its executives — including Kalanick, who just met with Jesse Jackson on an apology tour — will change, but the bad stories seem to stay the same, whether they’re about internal obliviousness about the problems with its workplace culture or making sure its self-driving cars are safe before they’re let loose on public streets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/25/uber-ceo-kalanick-self-driving-car-crash/