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Apple scientists disclose self-driving car research

"Research by Apple Inc (AAPL.O) computer scientists on how self-driving cars can better spot cyclists and pedestrians while using fewer sensors has been posted online, in what appears to be the company's first publicly disclosed paper on autonomous vehicles.

The paper by Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel, submitted on Nov. 17 to independent online journal arXiv, is significant because Apple's famed corporate secrecy around future products has been seen as a drawback among artificial intelligence and machine learning researchers.

The scientists proposed a new software approach called "VoxelNet" for helping computers detect three-dimensional objects..."

#future = #REALnews #selfdrivingcars #autonomousvehicles #robots #tech #innovation #science #design #singularity #engineering #automation #AI #artificialintelligence #cars #sustainability #climatechange #electriccars #electricvehicles #evs

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Stop Everything: Chrissy Teigen Is Pregnant with Baby Number Two

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#nasa #rocket

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New York attorney general slams the FCC for ignoring net neutrality comments investigation

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Is this the Honor V10, or are we looking at some other Honor-branded handset?

#honor #honorv10 #smartphone #news #android

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After ruling Zimbabwe for 37 years, Robert Mugabe has submitted his resignation as president in a letter to parliament

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A most recent discovery provides evidence that the human brain is strobing and not constant.
Evidence gathered from the finding of a landmark Australian-Italian collaboration suggests that oscillations or ‘strobes’ are a general feature of our brain’s perception. According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and Italian universities, perception and attention are intrinsically rhythmic in nature.
The researchers believe that this discovery will have an impact on our current understanding of human behavior and how we interact with the environment or make decisions.
In a paper they published on Friday in Current Biology, the researchers emphasized three key findings from their study:
Auditory perception oscillates as one ear peaks in perception before the other ear takes a turn. This is essential for accurately locating events in the environment.
Auditory decision-making also oscillates.
Oscillations occur in all perception, not just vision.

Human Brain is Found Strobing
According to an article published by The University of Sydney, Professor David Alais and his colleagues, Johahn Leung and Tam Ho from the schools of Psychology and Medical Sciences collaborated with Professor David Burr from the University of Florence and Professor Maria Concetta Morrone from the University of Pisa for the study.
While it has been known for years that human eye perception is cyclical, this is the first time that our auditory perception has been proven to be the same. In a statement, Professor Alais said:
These findings that auditory perception also goes through peaks and troughs supports the theory that perception is not passive but in fact, our understanding of the world goes through cycles.
Apparently, the evidence reflects the action of attention which appears to sample neural activity in rapid bursts.
By doing a simple experiment, the researchers demonstrated that the sensitivity for detecting weak sounds is not constant. Instead, its strobing, or it fluctuates rhythmically over time.
The experiment showed auditory cycles happen at a rate of around six per second. While we might deem this as fast, it’s quite slow as far as neuroscience is concerned. For the record, human brain oscillations might happen up to 100 times per second.
These findings are important as humans make decisions at the rate of about one-sixth of a second, which is in line with these auditory oscillations Professor Alais went on to say.
A variation of oscillation is said to be found between the two ears, with one ear showing peak sensitivity after the other. The oscillation is so fast that we appear to be unaware of it. However, experiments conducted using very fine-grained timing might reveal it.

What is Strobing Brain and how it Works
Typically, when we do different tasks in our everyday lives, not all parts of our body are equally important. Meaning, some parts may receive more attention and be prioritized in the process while others may not. This is considered as an effective strategy to limit cognitive resources on specific items of interests instead of wasting resources over an entire space.
The same thing is being demonstrated by strobing. Over time, strobing produces similar attention, concentrating resources into small temporal epochs rather than keeping them in a uniform but thin allocation.
This strobing approach to attention could help bind together relevant information at regular time points and allow new groupings of information to reassemble at other moments.
The authors of the study are planning to focus their attention on perceptions of touch and how this might use of neural oscillations in an effort to characterize perception, in general, and over all senses. Alais said:
The brain is such a complex ‘machine’ one could say, it is a testament to science that we are starting to make sense of it, but a takeaway could be that there is so much we don’t know. A decade ago, no one would have thought that perception is constantly strobing, flickering like an old silent movie.
For now, this research shows that sensory perception of the world is primarily oscillatory, something akin to a strobing light.

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We have some stills from episodes 1 and 2 Orientation and episode 3 A Life Spent and there's still no sign of Fitz anywhere. If he was left behind on earth as was suggested at Comic-Con the question is why...

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Google Shopping is becoming a lot like browsing on Amazon

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Google adds a slew of new Assistant features and languages for app developers

Google took a key step toward making Assistant a more compelling experience, announcing a boatload of new features for app developers, including a new push notifications, daily updates and additional language support. Google has announced a bunch of new updates coming to Assistant today that should make it possible for developers to make more functional applications that better integrate with your Google Assistant devices.

International support: One of the biggest additions is support for new languages. Developers will now be able to write apps in Spanish (US, MX and ES), Italian, Portuguese (BR) and Indian English.

Speaker to phone transfer: Another major update is the ability to create applications that take advantage of having both a Google Home and a phone with Assistant, allowing Home devices to hand off requests to smartphones for completion of actions (like, say, paying for a sandwich you ordered on your Home or need to send a map). Google will also allow apps to recognize implicit requests, so that you don’t have to specifically call them out by name. It’s the difference between saying “turn off the lights” and “have the Philips Hue app turn off the lights.”

Badges for family-friendly apps: We're launching a new "For Families" badge on the Google Assistant, designed to help users find apps that are appropriate for all ages.

The ability to link accounts in the app has been improved as well — in the earlier build, users could only do it before engaging with the app. Now it can be accomplished whenever it’s most convenient. Oh, and the updated version of the Cancel command lets the app send a user a polite farewell before logging off, because courtesy is important.

Making it easier for users to find new apps for Assistant. Instead of apps that are presented now, the Assistant companion app is getting “What's new” and “What's trending” sections to help surface recent and popular integrations.

Re-engaging with your users
To keep users coming back to your app, day after day, we're adding some additional features that you can experiment with.

Daily updates: At the end of a great interaction with your app, a user might want to be notified of similar content from your app every day. To enable that we will add a suggestion chip prompting the user to sign up for a daily update.

Push notifications: We're launching a new push notification API, enabling your app to push asynchronous updates to users. For the day trader who's looking for the best time to sell stock options, or the frugal shopper waiting for the big sale to buy a new pair of shoes, these alerts will show up as system notifications on the phone(and later to the Assistant on voice-activated speakers like Google Home).

Directory analytics: To give you more insight into how users are interacting with your app.

#googlehome #smarthome #actionsongoogle #googleassistant #okgoogle #digitalassistant

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Liars and Child Molesters Stick together like Glue
And they have No Place in Our Government!

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Jerry Jones done with NFL lawsuit idea over Roger Goodell's contract: Jerry Jones has been disappointed with Roger Goodell's handling of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

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Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens are again one step closer to making it to the Hall of Fame. Do you think B. Dawk or T.O. should make the cut?

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Uber Technologies Inc paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret a massive breach last year that exposed the data of some 57 million accounts

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Uber reveals cover-up of hack affecting 57M riders, drivers - Uber is coming clean about its cover-up of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service's customers and drivers.

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The brain’s dynamic properties, how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands, are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain, a new cognitive science theory posits.
Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some neuroscientists think intelligence springs from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism or the efficiency with which brain cells make use of essential resources are key.
University of Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey the author of the new paper, explained:
When we say that someone is smart, we understand intuitively what that means. Usually, we’re referring to how good they are at making decisions and solving particular types of problems. But recently in neuroscience, there’s been a focus on understanding in biological terms how general intelligence arises.
That requires studying the structural and functional characteristics of the brain.

Brain Modularity
Scientists have long understood that the brain is modular, with different regions supporting specific abilities, Barbey said.
For example, brain regions within the occipital lobe at the back of the brain are known to processes visual information he said. But interpreting what one sees requires the integration of information from other brain modules.
To identify an object, we also must classify it. That doesn’t depend only on vision. It also requires conceptual knowledge and other aspects of information processing, which are supported by other brain regions. And as the number of modules increases, the type of information represented in the brain becomes increasingly abstract and general. he said.

Organizational Headquarters
Scientists have struggled to understand how the brain organizes itself and have tried to identify a structure or region that performs that function.
The prefrontal cortex, a structure at the front of the brain, for example, has expanded dramatically over the course of human evolution Barbey said. Because this brain region is known to support several higher-order functions such as planning and organizing one’s behaviour, scientists have suggested that the prefrontal cortex drives general intelligence.
But really, the entire brain, its global architecture and the interactions among lower- and higher-level mechanisms, is required for general intelligence Barbey said.
Brain modules provide the basic building blocks from which larger, “intrinsic connectivity networks” are constructed, Barbey said.
Each network includes multiple brain structures that are activated together when a person engages a particular cognitive skill.
For example, the frontoparietal network is activated when attention is focused on external cues, the salience network is engaged when attention is directed to relevant events, and the default mode network is recruited when attention is focused internally he said.

Crystallized And Fluid Intelligence
Neural networks are made up of two types of connections that are believed to support two types of information processing, Barbey said:
There are the pathways that encode prior knowledge and experience, which we call crystallized intelligence. And there are adaptive reasoning and problem-solving skills that are quite flexible, called fluid intelligence.
Crystallized intelligence involves robust connections, the result of months or years of neural traffic on well-worn pathways. Fluid intelligence involves weaker, more transient pathways and connections that are formed when the brain tackles unique or unusual problems.
Rather than forming permanent connections, we are constantly updating our prior knowledge, and this involves forming new connections
Barbey said. The more readily the brain forms and reforms its connectivity in response to changing needs, the better it works, he said.
Although researchers have known that flexibility is an important characteristic of human brain function, only recently has the idea emerged that flexibility provides the basis for human intelligence, he said.
General intelligence requires both the ability to flexibly reach nearby, easy-to-access states, to support crystallized intelligence, but also the ability to adapt and reach difficult-to-access states, to support fluid intelligence. What my colleagues and I have come to realize is that general intelligence does not originate from a single brain region or network. Emerging neuroscience evidence instead suggests that intelligence reflects the ability to flexibly transition between network states Barbey said.

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After making history as the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards, BTS found time to sit down for an interview right before jetting off for a photo shoot at Vogue Magazine. Even amidst a packed schedule, the idols gave thoughtful…

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Graduate Students Are Terrified by the Republican Tax Plan

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$34.99 😎

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A shot from gusting evening walks when the high wind was forcing sea waves to strike hard on shore. I push my tripod harder into the sand to fight with that strong gust. Sun was behind me lighting up low clouds tips in front of me and was about say good for that day.

#landscape #landscapephotography #seascape #clouds #seascapephotography #hdr #hdrphotography #nature #naturephotography #usa #connecticut #sunset #water #longisland #longislandsound #nikon #nikond5500

#hqsphdr for +HQSP HDR
#BTPLandscapePro+BTP Landscape Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Nancy Dempsey
#hqsplandscape for +HQSP Landscape
#LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin

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Tianjara at sunset

A couple of days ago i became a little disoriented at the top off the escarpment and found myself in the wrong place. I stopped to take stock and watch the shadows move. Near me, the silhouette of a face took form and darkened. Then, the sun's horizontal rays hit the edge behind a waterfall and set the rock wall on fire.
The lens flare here is partly due to the sun but has taken on color from water vapor (a secondary/inverse rainbow?). The silhouette rock appeared to move slowly as the sun's rays moved to the horizontal.

A handheld HDR, lightly toned for structure, desaturated slightly in the red/magenta range.

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Inside a capper flower

My industrial page

#macrophotography #hqspmacro #hqspflowers #fotomaniaitalia #ilovephotography #capper

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Tension further grows because of the American financier

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The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy and healthy?

Here are 5 choices you can make today for better brain health.

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This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat

flat earth research? LOL

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Get inspired from Celebrity-Inspired Outfits to Wear on a Plane

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Venture Into The Mysterious #Agumbe #Rainforests - The Land Of King Cobra

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NFL looks for a way to side-step the anthem protest issue

Prior to 2009, you didn't see all the players at NFL games standing the sidelines during the national anthem for prime time games. Prior to that year, NFL players in such games stayed in the locker room, though on Sunday afternoon games the players were out on the sidelines. [1]

In 2009, the NFL set a new policy saying that, nope, players had to be out on the sidelines during the national anthem during prime time, and suggesting (but not mandating) that the players should stand during the anthem.

(There have been reports that the Defense Dept. paid the NFL to do this. The actual DoD actions, that have been documented, were payments to the NFL in 2012 for various patriotic displays at NFL games, itself a sketchy practice.)

The kneeling protests by NFL players during the anthem, protesting racism (esp. law enforcement) in America, have been highly controversial (which, indirectly, is kind of what you want protests to be). The president has been livid about it, fans (some at least) have been angry, the NFL owners have been unhappy about the brouhaha but haven't been willing to force the issue (perhaps because compelling people to act patriotic is, even if legal, also kind of sketchy).

Well, word is that the NFL owners may try to defuse the whole mess by simply going back to having the players stay in the locker room until after the national anthem. That will probably make all sorts of people unhappy, too, but its also an unhappiness that doesn't have a weekly set of visuals to go with it.

(Questioning the American compulsion to engage in a communal expression of patriotic fervor before sporting events apparently is not on the table. Why is there a big national anthem at football games and NASCAR races, but not before Formula 1 races or golf tournaments? What purpose of national interest or celebration of liberty does such a mandated display actually serve?)



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Kendall Jenner checks out Blake Griffin’s moves

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A cheap phone with great features...

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For some die-hard tech evangelists, using neural interfaces to merge with AI is the inevitable next step in humankind’s evolution. But a group of 27 neuroscientists, ethicists, and machine learning experts have highlighted the myriad ethical pitfalls that could be waiting.
To be clear, it’s not just futurologists banking on the convergence of these emerging technologies. The Morningside Group estimates that private spending on neurotechnology is in the region of $100 million a year and growing fast, while in the US alone public funding since 2013 has passed the $500 million mark.
The group is made up of representatives from international brain research projects, tech companies like Google and neural interface startup Kernel, and academics from the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, China, Japan, and Australia. They met in May to discuss the ethics of neurotechnologies and AI, and have now published their conclusions in the journal Nature.
While the authors concede it’s likely to be years or even decades before neural interfaces are used outside of limited medical contexts, they say we are headed towards a future where we can decode and manipulate people’s mental processes, communicate telepathically, and technologically augment human mental and physical capabilities.
Such advances could revolutionize the treatment of many conditions…and transform human experience for the better they write. But the technology could also exacerbate social inequalities and offer corporations, hackers, governments, or anyone else new ways to exploit and manipulate people. And it could profoundly alter some core human characteristics: private mental life, individual agency, and an understanding of individuals as entities bound by their bodies.
The researchers identify four key areas of concern: privacy and consent, agency and identity, augmentation, and bias.

The researchers identify four key areas of concern: privacy and consent, agency and identity, augmentation, and bias. The first and last topics are already mainstays of warnings about the dangers of unregulated and unconscientious use of machine learning, and the problems and solutions the authors highlight are well-worn.
On privacy, the concerns are much the same as those raised about the reams of personal data corporations and governments are already hoovering up. The added sensitivity of neural data makes the suggestion of an automatic opt-out for sharing of neural data and bans on individuals selling their data more feasible.
But other suggestions to use technological approaches to better protect data like “differential privacy,” “federated learning,” and blockchain are equally applicable to non-neural data. Similarly, the ability of machine learning algorithms to pick up bias inherent in training data is already a well-documented problem, and one with ramifications that go beyond just neurotechnology.
When it comes to identity, agency, and augmentation, though, the authors show how the convergence of AI and neurotechnology could result in entirely novel challenges that could test our assumptions about the nature of the self, personal responsibility, and what ties humans together as a species.
They ask the reader to imagine if machine learning algorithms combined with neural interfaces allowed a form of ‘auto-complete’ function that could fill the gap between intention and action, or if you could telepathically control devices at great distance or in collaboration with other minds. These are all realistic possibilities that could blur our understanding of who we are and what actions we can attribute as our own.

The authors suggest adding “neurorights” that protect identity and agency to international treaties like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or possibly the creation of a new international convention on the technology. This isn’t an entirely new idea; in May, I reported on a proposal for four new human rights to protect people against neural implants being used to monitor their thoughts or interfere with or hijack their mental processes.
But these rights were designed primarily to protect against coercive exploitation of neurotechnology or the data it produces. The concerns around identity and agency are more philosophical, and it’s less clear that new rights would be an effective way to deal with them. While the examples the authors highlight could be forced upon someone, they sound more like something a person would willingly adopt, potentially waiving rights in return for enhanced capabilities.
The authors suggest these rights could enshrine a requirement to educate people about the possible cognitive and emotional side effects of neurotechnologies rather than the purely medical impacts. That’s a sensible suggestion, but ultimately people may have to make up their own minds about what they are willing to give up in return for new abilities.
This leads to the authors’ final area of concern, augmentation. As neurotechnology makes it possible for people to enhance their mental, physical, and sensory capacities, it is likely to raise concerns about equitable access, pressure to keep up, and the potential for discrimination against those who don’t. There’s also the danger that military applications could lead to an arms race.

The authors suggest that guidelines should be drawn up at both the national and international levels to set limits on augmentation in a similar way to those being drawn up to control gene editing in humans, but they admit that any lines drawn will inevitably be blurry.
That’s because it’s hard to predict the impact these technologies will have and building international consensus will be hard because different cultures lend more weight to things like privacy and individuality than others.
The temptation could be to simply ban the technology altogether, but the researchers warn that this could simply push it underground. In the end, they conclude that it may come down to the developers of the technology to ensure it does more good than harm. Individual engineers can’t be expected to shoulder this burden alone, though.
History indicates that profit hunting will often trump social responsibility in the corporate world the authors write. And even if, at an individual level, most technologists set out to benefit humanity, they can come up against complex ethical dilemmas for which they aren’t prepared.
For this reason, they say, industry and academia need to devise a code of conduct similar to the Hippocratic Oath doctors are required to take, and rigorous ethical training needs to become standard when joining a company or laboratory.

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There’s a Hitch in Trump’s Plan to Stick Mick Mulvaney on the CFPB: It’s Illegal -via Flynx

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he PS Store Black Friday event begins this Thursday 23rd November but, if you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can start making some serious savings today with two-day early access to the Black Friday deals!

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"Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of a large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth. The findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, provide new insight into how these 'tidal stellar streams' form around galaxies."

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