Theme Digital, Tech and Online EN http://feed.informer.com/digests/NUMUTH52MM/feeder Theme Digital, Tech and Online EN Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 09 Aug 2016 22:47:17 +0200 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ We spoke to a Waymo One customer about how robot taxis get confused by rainstorms https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/20/18175563/waymo-one-customer-interview-self-driving-arizona The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:1fd1d768-9d82-07b8-2b2a-2cec350d7fe8 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 16:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/X43goYIAVJwmUyK6MWu2klcdvm8=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873852/vpavic_181127_3122_0042.0.jpg" /> <p id="lWHQNa">Last month, Waymo launched its first self-driving taxi service — <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/5/18126103/waymo-one-self-driving-taxi-service-ride-safety-alphabet-cost-app">Waymo One</a> — in Phoenix, Arizona, but you would hardly know it by scrolling through your feed. No Facebook posts, no live-streaming videos, no tweets. We don’t know how many people are using the Google offshoot’s self-driving minivans (Waymo won’t say), but the ones that are have been surprisingly mute on social media. </p> <p id="ksFRAm">One exception is Shawn Metz, a 30-year-old HR manager who lives in Chandler, Arizona. Since he was invited to use Waymo One in December, Metz has posted at least a dozen videos on Instagram and YouTube, documenting his experience using Waymo’s self-driving minivans. </p> <div class="c-float-right"><aside id="rqyDrJ"><q>He’s become the hero of autonomous vehicle enthusiasts on Reddit</q></aside></div> <p id="A2BYe2">He’s become the hero of AV...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/20/18175563/waymo-one-customer-interview-self-driving-arizona">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> India wants social media platforms to remove content it deems ‘unlawful’ https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/20/18188587/india-facebook-twitter-tumblr-remove-content-unlawful-speech-freedom-internet-foundation The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:de9bae75-b099-ceef-46a7-95b0270c4bc0 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 15:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/98mJqxSmACZdifqDTp9uVimBDg8=/0x0:2500x1667/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873850/stock-reddit-0203.0.0.jpg" /> <p id="74m9wL">The Indian government has proposed new rules aiming to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation in the country on social media — and local civil liberties groups aren’t happy. Late last month, <a href="https://internetfreedom.in/india-must-resist-the-lure-of-the-chinese-model-of-surveillance-and-censorship-intermediaryrules-righttomeme-saveourprivacy/">the Internet Freedom Foundation</a> penned a statement saying that these new rules would act as a “sledgehammer to online free speech.”</p> <p id="sgHNvP">The proposed rules would amend Section 79 of India’s IT Act, the primary law in the country concerning online commerce and cybercrime. The IT Act works in a similar manner as the US’s Communications Decency Act, and the specific section that would be amended reads a lot like Section 230. If the amendments are approved, platforms like Facebook and Twitter would be required to censor content that the Indian...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/20/18188587/india-facebook-twitter-tumblr-remove-content-unlawful-speech-freedom-internet-foundation">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> For $40, Appz helps you win at Instagram without lifting a finger https://thenextweb.com/offers/2019/01/20/for-40-appz-helps-you-win-at-instagram-without-lifting-a-finger/ The Next Web urn:uuid:e4e0fadb-2e14-163d-7dcd-a139286b0a24 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 15:00:00 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Yn4rpYr-796x398.jpg" width="796" height="398"><br />Since you probably don’t want to stay tethered to posting 24/7/365, enlisting services like the Appz Instagram Assistant are practically a must. Right now, TNW Deals is knocking over 90 percent off the price of a lifetime Appz subscription, cutting your cost to only $39.99. The hidden secrets of insect poop https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/20/the-hidden-secrets-of-insect-poop/ The Next Web urn:uuid:5b383c42-40b5-ef54-942b-e40d01e01268 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 10:00:54 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-2-5-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />Insect defecation may not seem like one of the pressing scientific inquiries of our time, but in fact the faeces of these wee creatures serves an extraordinary variety of functions in bug and human life. Unlike most animals, many insect species actually use their excrement. They utilize it as their home, for feeding, in predator-prey interactions, for hygiene, habitat location, shelter construction, for reproduction and physical or chemical defense against natural enemies. (Kids: don’t try this at home.) For members of our own species, insect faeces may even have important and largely unlocked medicinal properties. Let’s take a look. A&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/20/the-hidden-secrets-of-insect-poop/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Apple is once again selling its iPhone SE — for now https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189785/apple-iphone-se-on-sale-clearance The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:64380de9-38e3-825a-5b3c-56f975b70ee0 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 22:32:29 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/xlJMuwYGZGzGptKrCVoIvwwkpI4=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874944/iphone-se-review-vpavic-verge-1.0.0.jpg" /> <p id="jDM610">Last September, Apple <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/12/17824594/apple-iphone-x-6s-se-discontinued-2018-event">officially stopped selling</a> its iPhone X, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6s models, following the release of the iPhone XS and XR. This weekend, <a href="https://www.macrumors.com/2019/01/19/iphone-se-clearance-special-249/?utm_source=feedly&amp;utm_medium=webfeeds"><em>MacRumors</em> noticed</a> that Apple has quietly begun to sell the iPhone SE once again in its clearance section. </p> <p id="IvUVQd">The 2016-era phone is available in 32GB and 128GB sizes, with $100 and $150 knocked off the price, respectively. The phones are available in space gray, rose gold, gold, and silver colors. </p> <p id="oVsRQr">It doesn’t appear that Apple has made the iPhone X or iPhone 6s for sale once again, but if you’ve been missing a decent phone with a headphone jack, this might be the time to pick one up.</p> <aside id="w3IHF1"><div data-anthem-component="readmore" data-anthem-component-data='{"stories":[{"title":"iPhone SE review: today’s tech, yesterday’s design","url":"https://www.theverge.com/2016/3/25/11302968/apple-iphone-se-review"}]}'></div></aside> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189785/apple-iphone-se-on-sale-clearance">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Leaked image shows off three variants for the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189749/samsung-galaxy-s10-plus-three-variants-evan-blass-leaked-image-cameras The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:64267f86-b372-bc15-c6d6-9b0c33d1395d Sat, 19 Jan 2019 22:12:13 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/w5xTt2Wkhn-f-z0xqCy08yCo4E4=/76x0:1125x699/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874885/DxQE_hfWsAAbTpj.0.jpg" /> <p id="ii4I9v">Samsung will <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/1/10/18176584/samsung-foldable-event-galaxy-s10-date-time-announcement">hold its next Unpacked event next month</a>, where it’s expected to show off a “fully functional” version of its <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/7/18072514/samsung-foldable-phone-screen-features-photos-sdc-2018">foldable phone</a>, along with the next iteration of its Galaxy lineup, Galaxy S10. A <a href="https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/1086499524456132608">new leaked image from Evan Blass</a> shows off three versions of the phone, the S10E, the S10, and the S10+. </p> <p id="z7Wm2K">There have been rumors floating around since last fall that the <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/10/26/18026136/samsung-foldable-phone-galaxy-s10-details-leak-report">S10 would come in three variants</a>: the S10 and S10+ with a curved OLED screen, hole-punch selfie camera, and in-display fingerprint scanners, with a third (presumably the S10E), serving as a cheaper edition without all the bells and whistles. The company is also rumored to have been in discussions with Verizon to bring a 5G version of the phone to the US. A <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/1/3/18166737/galaxy-s10-leak-hole-punch-display-thinner-bezels">leak from...</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189749/samsung-galaxy-s10-plus-three-variants-evan-blass-leaked-image-cameras">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Watch an inventor take on a Royal Marines assault course in a jet suit https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189636/gravity-industries-richard-browning-jet-suit-royal-marines-assault-course-watch The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:3d8a3df6-fc17-e764-7d8a-fe92bc5a240f Sat, 19 Jan 2019 22:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/ztLLt7PWGit1izNTNSSVfQzHoXE=/265x0:1656x927/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874786/Screen_Shot_2019_01_19_at_3.12.57_PM.0.png" /> <p id="zyoZPZ">For years, military science fiction has envisioned fantastical tech for soldiers to use in the distant future, from <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/10/16173596/science-fiction-power-armor-exoskeletons-iron-man-expanse-starship-troopers-halo-list">suits of powered armor</a> to advanced weapons. Richard Browning, the inventor and CEO behind Gravity Industries, recently took his jet suit for a spin over the UK Royal Commando’s Commando Training Center in Lympstone, Devon. </p> <p id="CWpEFk">Browning — a former Royal Marine reservist — started up his company in 2017, and has been <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2-VqGcwXVU">showing off his jet suit since then</a>. The suit, named the Daedalus Mark 1, uses six tiny jet engines — two mounted on the wearer’s back, with an additional two mounted on each arm — which allows the user to fly through the air in a controlled flight.</p> <p id="DDJG9w">I <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/24/16018410/sdcc-2017-best-of-marvel-stranger-things-favorites">saw Browning demonstrate his suit</a> a couple of years ago at San...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189636/gravity-industries-richard-browning-jet-suit-royal-marines-assault-course-watch">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Delta 4 rocket launches NROL-71 spy satellite after a month’s worth of delays https://www.geekwire.com/2019/delta-4-rocket-launches-nrol-71-spy-satellite-months-worth-delays/ GeekWire urn:uuid:47e058e5-d6f4-0c06-6655-8ba82bd718cf Sat, 19 Jan 2019 21:54:11 +0100 <img width="1200" height="800" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="Delta 4 Heavy launch" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta.jpg 1200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta-768x512.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta-630x420.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px"><br>The National Reconnaissance Office&#8217;s latest classified spy satellite, NROL-71, was launched today by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket into California&#8217;s sunny skies. Today&#8217;s trouble-free countdown at Vandenberg Air Force Base came in contrast to the string of technical glitches that held up liftoff by more than a month. The original launch date had been set for Dec. 7, but the technical issues — including concerns about a hydrogen leak on one of the engine sections — forced repeated delays. One memorable delay came just as a fireball was sighted over the region, sparking a momentary mystery. Plenty of mystery&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/delta-4-rocket-launches-nrol-71-spy-satellite-months-worth-delays/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475193" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-475193" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta-630x420.jpg" alt="Delta 4 Heavy launch" width="630" height="420" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta-630x420.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta-768x512.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-delta.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">United Launch Alliance&#8217;s Delta 4 Heavy rocket lifts off from California&#8217;s Vandenberg Air Force Base, sending the NROL-71 classified payload into space. (ULA Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>The National Reconnaissance Office&#8217;s latest classified spy satellite, NROL-71, was launched today by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket into California&#8217;s sunny skies.</p> <p>Today&#8217;s trouble-free countdown at Vandenberg Air Force Base came in contrast to the string of technical glitches that held up liftoff by more than a month.</p> <p>The original launch date had been set for Dec. 7, but the technical issues — including concerns about a hydrogen leak on one of the engine sections — forced repeated delays. One memorable delay came just as a fireball was sighted over the region, <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/rocket-launch-scrubbed-boo-meteor-flashes-southern-california-yay/">sparking a momentary mystery.</a></p> <p>Plenty of mystery still surrounds the NROL-71 mission: Outside experts suspect that the payload could be the first of what&#8217;s known as the <a href="http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2018/0058.html">Block 5 KH-11 spy satellites</a> — next-generation cousins of the Hubble Space Telescope that are tasked with watching Earth rather than the heavens.</p> <p>Neither United Launch Alliance nor the NRO is saying anything on that score.</p> <p>To preserve operational security, ULA cut off updates about the mission&#8217;s progress a little more than six minutes after the 11:10 a.m. PT liftoff. But in a <a href="https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/delta-iv-nrol-71">post-launch statement</a>, ULA indicated that it got NROL-71 off to a successful start.</p> <p>“Congratulations to our team and mission partners for successfully delivering this critical asset to support national security missions,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of government and commercial programs. “Thank you to the entire team for their perseverance, ongoing dedication and focus on 100 percent mission success.”</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DxjaRK2S7fw?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Machinima, one of YouTube’s biggest and oldest channels, goes dark https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189611/machinima-youtube-fullscreen-warner-bros-multi-channel-network The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:a14caf77-483a-0ce8-d584-279c8cb5a262 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 21:20:36 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/g59sOxml5IpCi7UmnK6nxuewGhc=/260x0:2090x1220/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874753/Screen_Shot_2019_01_19_at_1.32.43_PM.0.png" /> <p id="kVYJnd">Nearly every video on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/machinima/featured">Machinima’s popular YouTube channel</a> has seemingly been deleted following its sale to Fullscreen Media earlier this week, and it’s unclear if any will be re-uploaded in the coming days. </p> <p id="Ia3Zos">The channel currently has 18 videos listed on its channel, although most of those videos don’t actually play. Those videos are official Machinima productions, not independent uploads from creators who worked under the company’s multi-channel network Machinima Creators banner. A <a href="https://www.tubefilter.com/2019/01/16/machinima-creators-joining-fullscreen/">report from TubeFilter</a> stated that Fullscreen’s acquisition “will result in the layoff of Machinima employees — with some joining other units within WarnerMedia and Otter — though it is unclear how many staffers these cuts will ultimately impact.” </p> <p id="nx5O7O">Following...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189611/machinima-youtube-fullscreen-warner-bros-multi-channel-network">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Game Review: Play through the occasionally frustrating adventures of a 16-bit superhero in ‘Grapple Force Rena’ https://www.geekwire.com/2019/game-review-play-occasionally-frustrating-adventures-16-bit-superhero-grapple-force-rena/ GeekWire urn:uuid:64150eba-38c4-704c-3e3b-7694a7865314 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 21:00:49 +0100 <img width="1260" height="709" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-1260x709.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-1260x709.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-630x354.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>The Sega Genesis is best-remembered for Sonic the Hedgehog and its lineup of sports games, but one of the backbones of its library was a particular sort of platform game. Unlike the straight left-to-right play style of a Super Mario or its various imitators, these games — Vectorman, Ristar, Rocket Knight Adventures, Earthworm Jim, etc. — were more likely to drop you into an arena full of challenges, then leave you to find the exit on their own. It was less an obstacle course, and more of a sandbox. Even Sonic games tended to be like that, although their sheer velocity&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/game-review-play-occasionally-frustrating-adventures-16-bit-superhero-grapple-force-rena/">Read More</a> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-473240" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-630x354.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="354" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-630x354.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200255_1-1260x709.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p>The Sega Genesis is best-remembered for <em>Sonic the Hedgehog </em>and its lineup of sports games, but one of the backbones of its library was a particular sort of platform game. Unlike the straight left-to-right play style of a <em>Super Mario </em>or its various imitators, these games — <em>Vectorman, Ristar, Rocket Knight Adventures, Earthworm Jim, </em>etc. — were more likely to drop you into an arena full of challenges, then leave you to find the exit on their own. It was less an obstacle course, and more of a sandbox. Even <em>Sonic </em>games tended to be like that, although their sheer velocity tended to confuse the point.</p> <p><a href="https://www.grappleforce.com/"><em>Grapple Force Rena </em></a>reminds me of that particular style of game, in that particular window of time. It&#8217;s a mostly-one-man production by Portland, Ore.-based designer <a href="https://twitter.com/fluttersprite?lang=en">Tim Ashley Jenkins</a>, made with <a href="https://www.scirra.com/">Construct 2</a> and published by <a href="https://www.galaxytrail.com/">GalaxyTrail</a>, the designers of the similarly-16-bit <em>Freedom Planet</em>. At time of writing, <em>Rena </em>has a demo that can be played in any browser via its website, or it can be purchased for PCs running Windows or Linux <a href="https://store.steampowered.com/app/794550/Grapple_Force_Rena/">via Steam</a> for $14.99.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-473241" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200733_2-630x354.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="354" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200733_2-630x354.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200733_2-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200733_2-1260x709.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p>In a nondescript, slightly self-parodying fantasy world, a girl named Rena finds a pair of bracelets that allow her to shoot a tether that can be used to pick up or latch onto distant objects, even things that should be too heavy or dangerous for her to hold. They only seem to work for her, which naturally indicates to Rena that she&#8217;s now meant to be a hero, and protect her village from all dangers.</p> <p>Eventually, that danger shows up in the form of robots called Hollow Men, which show up, led by a notorious bandit, to try and sack the town. Rena, overjoyed at being able to start her intended career, sets out to protect her town, thrash the bandit, and eventually, to discover where her bracelets came from in the first place.</p> <p>Each level of <em>Grapple Force Rena </em>sets you down in a new environment with a specific goal: reach a certain area, defeat all enemies, collect all of a certain object, solve a particular puzzle, etc. Past that, they&#8217;re often surprisingly open-ended, with a lot of ways to proceed.</p> <p>Part of that open-endedness is Rena&#8217;s mobility. With the push of a button, you can fire a tether at any time and in any direction, which either yanks objects over to Rena so she can hold and throw them, or latches you onto a wall or ceiling. The tether, if you attach it high enough on a vertical surface, lets you scale it, or swing off an overhead vantage point to bridge a chasm. Rena&#8217;s only real method of offense is, in fact, to grab objects and enemies with her tether, then throw them at walls or other enemies for a KO.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-473247" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200646_1-630x354.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="354" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200646_1-630x354.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200646_1-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200646_1-1260x709.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p>From the start of the game, Rena is extraordinarily mobile, even for the main character in a platforming game. In addition to the grapple, you can also slide down and bounce off walls <em>Mega Man X-</em>style. A lot of the time, it doesn&#8217;t feel like obstacles in <em>Grapple Force Rena</em> even <em>have </em>a developer-intended solution, because it&#8217;s so easy to get around anyway. Yes, I <em>could </em>ascend the far side of the room, make a series of tricky grapple shots, and eventually swing over a chasm to my destination, but I could just as easily scale the wall below it with my tether and get there anyway. It&#8217;s an entire game made out of what feels like<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_breaking"> sequence breaks,</a> because nothing short of an actual floor-to-ceiling wall can keep Rena from getting around it.</p> <p>The game starts slowly, with a few slow-moving robots to pick up and toss around, but gradually introduces more obstacles, gimmicks, enemy types, and scenarios until it reaches its conclusion, which is one of the best-designed final levels in recent memory. It&#8217;s not some get-it-over-with conclusion that was thrown out in a week because the team was in a hurry to ship the game; <em>Grapple Force Rena&#8217;s </em>final stages actually feel like a deliberate summary of what&#8217;s come before them. This is one of those things that, in a perfect world, would always be the case the final stage of a video game ought to be a test of all the skills specific to that game that you&#8217;ve had to develop to get that far in the first place — but in practice, a lot of conclusions get phoned in. <em>Rena</em>&#8216;s isn&#8217;t.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-473249" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200819_1-630x354.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="354" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200819_1-630x354.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200819_1-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190110200819_1-1260x709.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p>That being said, it&#8217;s not without its little frustrations. <em>Grapple Force Rena</em> isn&#8217;t a particularly difficult game, but it&#8217;s got a host of small problems that drag down the whole, most of which have to do with its emphasis on perfectionism. The game is made to be repeatedly replayed in search of better ranks on each level, so it&#8217;s full of a lot of cheap hits and tiny irritations that feel like they&#8217;re meant as &#8220;gotcha&#8221; moments. They&#8217;re there to be memorized for your next run, not reacted to.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re just playing at your own pace and not stressing over your performance, this is a solid weekend&#8217;s worth of retro-styled fun, like a game I&#8217;d have rented from Blockbuster in 1993. You can even turn on regenerating or infinite health in the options menu, just to smooth your progress. If there&#8217;s a competitive bone in your body, though, and <em>I have several</em>, <em>Rena</em> ends up being surprisingly challenging. You need to get damn near perfect at a stage to get anywhere near an A rank, let alone an S, and that means finding your way through a gauntlet of enemies and traps that are there to whittle you down one incidental, barely-avoidable hit at a time.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-473248" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190108214107_1-630x354.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="354" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190108214107_1-630x354.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190108214107_1-768x432.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20190108214107_1-1260x709.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p><em>Grapple Force Rena </em>does fit neatly into another interesting recent trend, though, with its emphasis on idealism and hope. Without trying to spoil much of anything, Rena starts the game as a young would-be hero who wants nothing more than to stand up and protect everyone around her, and the game doesn&#8217;t go out of its way to try to break her of that habit. In fact, that belief is more or less rewarded; the people trying to convince her that her dreams of heroism are stupid are all either wrong or villains. Rena&#8217;s adventure does teach her that the world&#8217;s more complicated than she thought, but not that she&#8217;s <em>wrong</em>.</p> <p>It reminds me a bit of <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/game-review-wandersong-refreshingly-optimistic-story-end-world/"><em>Wandersong</em></a>, which had a similar emotional arc for its protagonist. A lot of games tend to deal in cynicism, but I&#8217;d be okay if we saw an upswing towards heroes who may take a few hits, but who aren&#8217;t actually treated by their stories as if they&#8217;re naive children, simply because they genuinely try to do the right thing.</p> <p>In general, though, <em>Grapple Force Rena </em>is an all-ages, decent adventure with a few rough spots that&#8217;s well worth anyone&#8217;s time. It&#8217;s a perfect encapsulation of a particular style of game from a particular window in time, and if you grew up on the weird platform games of the early to mid-1990s, you&#8217;ll feel instantly at home from the moment you start stage 1-1.</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pL_BeaLECME?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Fortnite’s floating sphere exploded, leaving the island covered in snow and zombies https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188401/fortnite-ice-monsters-sphere The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:6ac3e34f-49ac-c6f1-59d3-01303f928d79 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 20:17:02 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/lD8xjNufsDo9hYeMURHls9NWjIU=/150x0:1770x1080/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874582/Fortnite_20190119133950.0.jpg" /> <p id="O1YLYR"><em>Fortnite</em>’s latest mystery is finally starting to unravel. Not long ago a floating sphere made of ice appeared in the game, leaving many players to wonder just what was going on. Now we have an answer, sort of: it exploded and a mysterious figure inside created a massive storm, which covered the entire island in snow.</p> <p id="cEmWdJ">It was a dramatic moment that included a towering, ghostly apparition appearing around Polar Peak, which kicked off the storm. In addition to the shift in weather, there are now ice monsters in the game — called ice fiends — which spawn from glowing blue stones scattered across the map. The new creatures also come with a new set of challenges where players can earn wintery gear and other bonuses.</p> <p id="hnLLVH">Developer Epic teased that...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188401/fortnite-ice-monsters-sphere">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Google Maps will now display speed limits for its Android and iOS apps https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189559/google-maps-speed-limits-android-and-ios-apps The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:89e82d66-67b2-7155-3ede-68192f7823e3 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 20:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/7ndbNHbqYrR8gzYE1hG7FDBz-H4=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874424/DSCF2501.0.jpg" /> <p id="4NuJVY">For the last couple of years, my wife and I have relied on an ancient Garmin GPS for long road trips, in part because it had a useful feature that Google Maps lacked: speed limits. We might end up switching soon, because Google has begun rolling out the feature to Google Maps on iOS and Android devices. </p> <p id="HBfSOw">The new feature, <a href="https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/01/17/google-maps-speed-limit-feature-goes-live-for-some-across-the-united-states/">spotted by <em>Android Police</em></a> (via <a href="https://mashable.com/article/google-maps-speed-limits-speed-traps/#MsAPcCSW3sqi"><em>Mashable</em></a>), displays the posted speed limit on roads in the corner of the app, and also introduces an icon to denote the location of speed cameras. <a href="https://mashable.com/article/google-maps-speed-limits-speed-traps/#MsAPcCSW3sqi"><em>Mashable</em> reports</a> that drivers will get an audio notification when they’re approaching a speed trap. The update is currently rolling out to users in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while speed camera icons are rolling out to...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189559/google-maps-speed-limits-android-and-ios-apps">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Jeff Bezos on going to space vs. making Earth better: ‘It shouldn’t be either-or’ https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-going-space-vs-making-earth-better-shouldnt-either/ GeekWire urn:uuid:d18cddca-9206-4ddf-76c1-c1a866e4d8c3 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 19:43:13 +0100 <img width="1260" height="945" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-1260x945.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="Tom Enders and Jeff Bezos" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-1260x945.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-630x473.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Jeff Bezos, the world&#8217;s richest person and the founder of Amazon as well as the Blue Origin space venture, defended his billion-dollar-a-year expense on space travel here on Friday night in front of a receptive, star-studded crowd. The occasion was the 16th annual Living Legends of Aviation awards ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with John Travolta as host and Harrison Ford as one of the celebrity presenters. The event, produced as a fundraiser for the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, honors those who have made significant contributions to aviation. Bezos got a triple dose of recognition, thanks&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-going-space-vs-making-earth-better-shouldnt-either/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475182" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-475182" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-630x473.jpg" alt="Tom Enders and Jeff Bezos" width="630" height="473" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-630x473.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190119-bezos-1260x945.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Airbus CEO Tom Enders and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos celebrate after Enders&#8217; presentation of the first Jeff Bezos Freedom&#8217;s Wings Award at the Living Legends of Aviation awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Airbus Photo via Twitter)</figcaption></figure> <p>BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Jeff Bezos, the world&#8217;s richest person and the founder of Amazon as well as the Blue Origin space venture, defended his billion-dollar-a-year expense on space travel here on Friday night in front of a receptive, star-studded crowd.</p> <p>The occasion was the 16th annual <a href="https://www.livinglegendsofaviation.org/">Living Legends of Aviation</a> awards ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with John Travolta as host and Harrison Ford as one of the celebrity presenters. The event, produced as a fundraiser for the <a href="https://kiddie-hawk-air-academy.myshopify.com/">Kiddie Hawk Air Academy</a>, honors those who have made significant contributions to aviation.</p> <p>Bezos got a triple dose of recognition, thanks to his induction into the Living Legends lineup plus his acceptance of the Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award and a newly created honor called the Jeff Bezos Freedom&#8217;s Wings Award.</p> <p>After receiving the Freedom&#8217;s Wings trophy from Airbus CEO Tom Enders, Bezos sat down for one of his traditional fireside chats. At one point, Bezos was asked why he should spend money on space exploration rather than on earthly issues that need fixing.</p> <p>The question addressed the controversy that Bezos faced last year after telling an interviewer that Blue Origin, which he&#8217;s supporting to the tune of a billion dollars a year, ranked as <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-focus-space-spending-sparks-questions-philanthropy/">&#8220;the most important work that I&#8217;m doing.&#8221;</a></p> <p>Since then, Bezos and his <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-mackenzie-bezos-plan-divorce-25-years-marriage/">soon-to-be ex-wife</a>, MacKenzie Bezos, created a $2 billion <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-unveils-2b-day-one-fund-focusing-homeless-families-preschool-education/">Day One Fund</a> to focus on helping homeless families and improving preschool education. At the Beverly Hills ceremony, the billionaire gave a nuanced summary of his spending philosophy.</p> <p>&#8220;If you take the big picture, you should spend money here on Earth,&#8221; he said. &#8220;There are a lot of important objectives here on Earth we need to do here and now. The real question is, it shouldn&#8217;t be framed as an either-or choice. You also have to spend some money on things that are 10 years out, 20 years out, 50 years out, 100 years out.&#8221;</p> <p>Bezos said he wants to have &#8220;a whole diversified portfolio of trying to do the right thing.&#8221;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Airbus made the &quot;Living Legends of Aviation Awards&quot; fly yesterday in Beverly Hills! <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffBezos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeffBezos</a> was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation by our CEO Tom Enders. Jeff is joined by our former CCO John Leahy and Jim Payne, <a href="https://twitter.com/PerlanProject?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PerlanProject</a> 2 chief pilot. A brilliant night! ✨ <a href="https://t.co/hTb0gzxA0h">pic.twitter.com/hTb0gzxA0h</a></p> <p>&mdash; Airbus (@Airbus) <a href="https://twitter.com/Airbus/status/1086643977091235841?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 19, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p>Blue Origin plays a big part in that long-range portfolio. The company is working on a suborbital spaceship called New Shepard, an orbital-class rocket called New Glenn, a new breed of rocket engine called the BE-4, and a lunar lander concept called Blue Moon.</p> <p>New Shepard and suborbital spaceflights, including passenger flights, represent the first step because &#8220;the frequency of those missions can be very high,&#8221; providing lots of practice for more challenging missions, Bezos said.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-venture-resets-new-shepard-test-launch-snag/">next uncrewed New Shepard test flight is scheduled for Monday</a>, and Bezos said the program was on track to start flying people later this year. He referred indirectly to the fact that over the years, Blue Origin&#8217;s development schedule has slid to the right.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;ve rarely been confident we&#8217;ll fly &#8216;this year,&#8217; &#8221; Bezos joked. &#8220;I&#8217;ve often been confident we&#8217;ll fly &#8216;next year.&#8217; I keep telling the team this is not a race. We&#8217;re going to do this right, and safely.&#8221;</p> <p>Blue Origin is due to start launching its orbital New Glenn rocket in the 2021 time frame — and could send its Blue Moon lander to the lunar surface starting around 2023, assuming that the project wins NASA&#8217;s support.</p> <p>Bezos said &#8220;the moon is critical to the future that we envision at Blue Origin,&#8221; because it&#8217;s the closest off-Earth prospect for settlement. He talked up the possibilities of building settlements sustained by deposits of water ice in the moon&#8217;s deep craters, and suggested that it could be a steppingstone to Mars as well as <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-space-colonies-oneill/">artificial homes and factories in space known as O&#8217;Neill habitats</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s time to go back to the moon, and this time to stay. &#8230; When we do that, we will find it a very useful place to build all kinds of things we will use to explore the solar system,&#8221; he said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A big salute to the Living Legends of Aviation. You put on one helluva gala. <a href="https://t.co/b4BJiOeVpE">pic.twitter.com/b4BJiOeVpE</a></p> <p>&mdash; Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBuzz/status/1086622451197452288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 19, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p>Bezos echoed past comments he&#8217;s made about the need to put energy-intensive heavy industry in space so that Earth could be zoned for light industrial and residential use.</p> <p>&#8220;If you want to protect the Earth, save the Earth, we have to go to space,&#8221; he said. &#8220;This isn&#8217;t an option. It might appear to be an option, but that&#8217;s just because we haven&#8217;t gotten there yet. If you wait until it&#8217;s obvious to everyone, it will be too late.&#8221;</p> <p>Bezos argued against the idea, often advanced by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, that Mars should be the first focus of off-Earth settlement.</p> <p>&#8220;I have long been an opponent of the idea of going first to Mars,&#8221; he said. &#8220;I am a proponent of settling the moon first. Going first to Mars would be skipping steps. And by the way, Mars is not enough. [Settling Mars] would at most double Earth&#8217;s population. We really need to figure out how to build O&#8217;Neill-style space colonies.&#8221;</p> <p>Referring to the Freedom&#8217;s Wings Award, Bezos repeated his view that keeping humanity confined to Earth would eventually lead to limits to growth and &#8220;stasis&#8221; for the species.</p> <p>&#8220;If somebody is telling you how many children you can have, and how much energy you can use, that doesn&#8217;t sound like freedom to me,&#8221; Bezos said. &#8220;What sounds like freedom to me is moving out into the solar system, where we have, for all practical purposes, unlimited energy, unlimited resources. We&#8217;d have a trillion humans in the solar system, and then we&#8217;d have a thousand Mozarts and a thousand Einsteins. That&#8217;s the world I want my grandchildren&#8217;s grandchildren to live in.&#8221;</p> <p>Coming back down to Earth, here are some of the event&#8217;s Hollywood angles:</p> <ul> <li>Celebrity websites made much of the fact that <a href="https://people.com/movies/jeff-bezos-steps-out-first-time-since-divorce/">this was Bezos&#8217; first high-profile appearance</a> since he and MacKenzie Bezos announced that they were ending their 25-year marriage. There were no references to Bezos&#8217; private life at the ceremony, of course, and no spottings of Lauren Sanchez — a former TV host and helicopter pilot with whom Bezos has been romantically linked.</li> <li>During his opening remarks at the ceremony, a smooth-pated Travolta joked that he had lots in common with Bezos. In addition to loving aviation and the cloud, &#8220;we both made the decision to shave our heads,&#8221; Travolta said. After the event, <a href="https://www.tmz.com/2019/01/19/john-travolta-bald-jeff-besos-living-legends-of-aviation-awards/">Travolta was mobbed by autograph-seekers</a> outside the Beverly Hilton&#8217;s back door. Bezos, in contrast, made a clean getaway.</li> <li>Among the evening&#8217;s other honorees was Kenny G, the Seattle-born saxophonist and avid aviator who <a href="https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2017/may/pilot/pilots-kenny-g">got his pilot&#8217;s license 30 years ago</a>. One of the biggest laugh lines came when he riffed on his long-term relationships. &#8220;I actually have had the same de Havilland Beaver for 25 years,&#8221; he said. &#8220;I&#8217;ve had the same saxophone since high school. &#8230; It really means, with the sax, if you blow something for 40 years you&#8217;re going to stay together.&#8221;</li> </ul> Amazon and Microsoft diverge on approach to housing crisis in their home region https://www.geekwire.com/2019/amazon-microsoft-diverge-approach-housing-crisis-home-region/ GeekWire urn:uuid:021443da-be81-0ca0-bb41-a9fd6e4596a1 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 19:25:23 +0100 <img width="1260" height="971" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-1260x971.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-1260x971.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-768x592.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-630x486.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>As two of the world&#8217;s most valuable companies, Amazon and Microsoft have created mind-boggling wealth and economic vitality in the Seattle region. But around them, housing prices have skyrocketed and the number of people experiencing homelessness has spiked as the rising tide of the tech industry fails to lift all boats. Now the two tech giants are taking on the housing crisis, but their approaches are as different as the companies themselves. That&#8217;s one of the topics we discuss on the new episode of GeekWire&#8217;s Week in Geek Podcast. We also delve into the story of Bill Gates standing in&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/amazon-microsoft-diverge-approach-housing-crisis-home-region/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_474807" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-474807" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-630x486.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="486" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-630x486.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-768x592.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/brad-smith-1260x971.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Microsoft President Brad Smith announces a new $500 million affordable housing fund. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)</figcaption></figure> <p>As two of the world&#8217;s most valuable companies, Amazon and Microsoft have created mind-boggling wealth and economic vitality in the Seattle region. But around them, housing prices have skyrocketed and the number of people experiencing homelessness has spiked as the rising tide of the tech industry fails to lift all boats.</p> <p>Now the two tech giants are taking on the housing crisis, but their approaches are as different as the companies themselves.</p> <p>That&#8217;s one of the topics we discuss on the new episode of GeekWire&#8217;s Week in Geek Podcast.</p> <p><iframe src="https://omny.fm/shows/geekwire-podcast/week-in-geek-microsofts-500m-housing-bet/embed?style=cover" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>We also delve into the story of <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/billions-served-bill-gates-photographed-standing-line-burger-dicks-drive-seattle/">Bill Gates standing in line for a hamburger </a>and the Seattle Sounders <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/microsoft-zulily-sounders-teamed-seattle-e-commerce-company-aims-rebrand/">dropping Xbox in favor of Zulily on their jerseys</a>.</p> <p>But the more substantive news this week was Microsoft&#8217;s announcement of <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/microsoft-will-spend-500-million-address-affordable-housing-homelessness-seattle-region/">a $500 million initiative</a> in the hopes of correcting the Seattle region&#8217;s dysfunctional housing market. It&#8217;s a novel approach. Microsoft plans to invest $475 million in low- and middle-income housing developments at market rate returns or lower. <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/qa-microsoft-president-brad-smith-hopes-accomplish-new-500m-housing-fund/">Microsoft President Brad Smith</a> said the returns will be re-invested into the program so that it is sustainable long term. The remaining $25 million will be donated to organizations tackling the region&#8217;s homelessness crisis.</p> <p>In recent years, Amazon has targeted a different symptom of the housing crisis: homeless families. Amazon is building a permanent shelter for Mary&#8217;s Place, a non-profit that provides services to homeless women and families, on the company&#8217;s Seattle campus. Through its support of groups such as Mary&#8217;s Place and FareStart, an organization that provides job training for people experiencing homelessness and poverty, Amazon has donated tens of millions of dollars.</p> <p>Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also using some of his personal fortune on the issue. Last year <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-unveils-2b-day-one-fund-focusing-homeless-families-preschool-education/">he announced a new $2 billion philanthropic initiative</a> called the Day One Fund. About $1 billion of the fund will be donated to homeless service providers.</p> <p>There&#8217;s also a difference in optics between the two companies and their efforts to mitigate the housing crisis. Amazon was the poster child for <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/amazon-says-seattle-head-tax-repeal-right-decision-regions-economic-prosperity/">an opposition effort to Seattle&#8217;s short-lived head tax</a>, which would have collected funds from the city&#8217;s top-grossing companies to fund affordable housing. The tax was repealed quickly after passage because the Seattle City Council didn&#8217;t believe they could win a fight with the business community, including Amazon.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s what Smith said when <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/qa-microsoft-president-brad-smith-hopes-accomplish-new-500m-housing-fund/">we asked him about the contrast between the companies</a>.</p> <blockquote><p><strong>GW: </strong>Lots of tech companies in the area have used their voice on this issue, but on some occasions, they’ve used their voice in ways that might seem a little bit incongruous. I’m thinking of the head tax and Amazon really loudly using their voice to say that they didn’t support it. So do you think that there’s dissonance between these things?</p> <p><strong>BS: </strong>I don’t know that there’s dissonance. I think we need to address the right problems, but we need to focus on the right solutions. I think it’s understandable that there were companies last summer in Seattle that thought that the solution that was being offered was going to be a step backwards rather than forwards. At the end of the day though, we all have to decide what we stand for and not just what we stand against, especially when we’re talking about a problem that affects our region as broadly and deeply as this one does. One of the benefits of being proactive is that it’s actually easier to fashion some ideas and hope to build some momentum behind them. That’s part of what we’re doing here. I do think that all of us in the tech sector in Puget Sound have an opportunity to take more steps to show the region what we stand for.</p></blockquote> <p>Microsoft stayed out of the head tax fight. fight. The company has also chosen to grow in the suburbs of Seattle, rather than the urban core. As a result, Microsoft hasn&#8217;t become the visible symbol of tech growth that Amazon has. Its foray into the housing issue comes off as more forward-looking than reactive.</p> I read MacKenzie Bezos’ books, and this is what I learned https://www.geekwire.com/2019/read-mackenzie-bezos-books-learned/ GeekWire urn:uuid:4bb64d93-da15-6bec-d8e0-f6266b20362a Sat, 19 Jan 2019 19:00:24 +0100 <img width="769" height="518" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks.jpg 769w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks-768x517.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks-630x424.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 769px) 100vw, 769px"><br>She was an aspiring fiction writer with an audacious start along that path. She pursued creative writing at Princeton, and studied and worked as a research assistant for Nobel prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. Then she met Jeff Bezos, married him, and played an instrumental role in getting Amazon off the ground. MacKenzie Bezos is suddenly in the spotlight with the news of her &#8220;amicable&#8221; split from her husband of 25 years, the Amazon CEO. She stands to become one of the richest &#8212; if not the richest &#8212; woman on the planet. Even the New York Times is asking, &#8220;Who is&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/read-mackenzie-bezos-books-learned/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_474747" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-474747 size-full-width" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks-630x424.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="424" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks-630x424.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks-768x517.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bezosbooks.jpg 769w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">MacKenzie Bezos&#8217; first book, &#8220;The Testing of Luther Albright,&#8221; was published in 2005, and her second, &#8220;Traps,&#8221; in 2013.</figcaption></figure> <p>She was an aspiring fiction writer with an audacious start along that path. She pursued creative writing at Princeton, and studied and worked as a research assistant for Nobel prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison.</p> <p>Then she met Jeff Bezos, married him, and played an instrumental role in getting Amazon off the ground.</p> <figure id="attachment_474749" style="width: 296px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-medium wp-image-474749" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-296x300.jpg" alt="" width="296" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-296x300.jpg 296w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-100x100.jpg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-630x638.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-200x202.jpg 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos-99x100.jpg 99w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/mackenziebezos.jpg 741w" sizes="(max-width: 296px) 100vw, 296px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Photo via Bystander Revolution/Elena Seibert</figcaption></figure> <p>MacKenzie Bezos is suddenly in the spotlight with the <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-mackenzie-bezos-plan-divorce-25-years-marriage/">news of her &#8220;amicable&#8221; split</a> from her husband of 25 years, the Amazon CEO. She stands to become one of the richest &#8212; if not the richest &#8212; woman on the planet. Even the New York Times is asking<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/style/jeff-bezos-mackenzie-divorce.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/style/jeff-bezos-mackenzie-divorce.html">,</a> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/style/jeff-bezos-mackenzie-divorce.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/style/jeff-bezos-mackenzie-divorce.html&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1547996734436000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE5Tldree4NKVOA6sQRY1jspCLWlw">&#8220;Who is MacKenzie Bezos?&#8221;</a></p> <p>She&#8217;s a novelist who has published two books, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JMKT46/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JMKT46/ref%3Ddbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1547996734436000&amp;usg=AFQjCNESHlqfyaBzjiGMpomUQP66I_W1zw"><em>The Testing of Luther Albright</em></a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009C81YLU/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009C81YLU/ref%3Ddbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1547996734436000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFzDjSF97VhktSFNC8pGjY9AMNXXA"><em>Traps</em></a>, out in 2005 and 2013 respectively. What better way understand who she is than to read her books? So that&#8217;s what I did. Here are my key takeaways from the world of MacKenzie Bezos&#8217; fiction.</p> <h4><strong>She doesn&#8217;t write fun, happy tales</strong></h4> <p>This is serious fiction that unfolds in a long, slow burn. MacKenzie&#8217;s books are not easy, fun reads. In fact, they feature seemingly common people struggling with some kind of internal strife that comes from mundane everyday living.</p> <p>How does she illustrate this? She uses a lot of descriptive details. A lot. You will know the color of everyone&#8217;s clothes, what they&#8217;re eating, what they&#8217;re looking at, and the details of their every move.</p> <p>What the characters don&#8217;t do is talk much about what&#8217;s on their minds. Instead, the dialogue is mostly the surface-y stuff people say instead of the truth. Meanwhile, their emotions roil and boil on the insides, and often what they&#8217;re thinking is communicated through their actions. Her characters&#8217; main communication style is not unlike the infamous Seattle Freeze, with almost no one saying what they really think.</p> <h4><strong>Strong female characters abound</strong></h4> <p>While her first book, <em>Luther Albright</em>, is written from the perspective of an outwardly strong but deeply flawed man, his wife is a strong presence in the book: accomplished, graceful, and giving. In <em>Traps</em>, MacKenzie explores women as the heroes of the story. It focuses on four different characters, who come from hardscrabble backgrounds and have the scars to show for it.</p> <p>While incredibly damaged, each woman also rises to her challenges to prevail. One woman becomes a movie star, another a concise, measured soldier/bodyguard, and two others leave destructive, abusive lives to improve their lots in life and strike out on their own. No one is a damsel in distress waiting for Mr. Darcy. In fact, these women are all singular entities perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.</p> <h4><strong>Of monsters and men</strong></h4> <p>Throughout these books, the men are portrayed as stoic and &#8220;repressed,&#8221; aka lead character Luther in her first novel, or the monsters and heroes in <em>Traps</em>.</p> <p>It&#8217;s intriguing that she chose to write her first protagonist from a male perspective. A civil engineer who builds dams, Luther is predictable, precise, and emotionally frozen, unable to share what he&#8217;s really thinking with his wife and son. Dedicated to process, it&#8217;s his inability to deviate from his exacting path that ultimately costs him the connection he desires with his family. The more he tries to control things, structurally or emotionally, the more they fall apart.</p> <p>While <em>Traps</em> focuses on its female heroines, the men are supporting characters. They are either monsters who abused and harassed these women, or the complete opposite: So lovingly supportive that they&#8217;re almost too good to be true.</p> <h4><strong>There are no easy resolutions</strong></h4> <p>Many fiction books tie it all up with a neat resolution. While <em>Traps</em> does end with a surprisingly pleasant twist and change of heart for its characters, it&#8217;s a pain-filled slog for them to reach that point. In her first book, Luther&#8217;s end isn&#8217;t remotely happy or complete. If you&#8217;re looking for a Disney-like, happily ever afters, you won&#8217;t find it. Like in life, full closure is often a pipe dream.</p> <h4><strong>So, what&#8217;s next?</strong></h4> <p>I&#8217;m echoing the<em> New York Times </em>sentiment that this is really MacKenzie&#8217;s time to do what she wants, after spending more than a couple decades in Jeff&#8217;s shadow, and hopefully what she does is for the better public good. She obviously loves literature and writing, so it would be outstanding to see her start an organization that promotes something related to that, especially for underserved people around the world.</p> <p>She&#8217;ll also likely have more time for her writing post-Jeff. The best writing comes from real life, and this is one story that no one else on the planet can tell. If and when she does decide to write her memoir, there will be an insane bidding war among New York publishers for it, and it will surely be the bestseller everyone is dying to read, even if it isn&#8217;t the bestseller she wanted to write.</p> Remember the beauty of physical media with this animated ode to blank VHS covers https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2019/1/19/18186931/be-kind-rewind-blank-vhs-cover-youtube-video-watch The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:80dd0a87-7f0a-fddf-4249-3b714ca5655c Sat, 19 Jan 2019 19:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/8BYPQNFVMcZa5hEq6iZf9XOwHUQ=/38x0:443x270/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873860/giphy__1_.0.gif" /> <p id="5aO28T">It’s hard to remember in today’s digital world, where nearly everything is just a string of code on a hard drive, but physical media used to be beautiful. And not just the giant, colorful album artwork of vinyl records or holographic DVD cases, either: even the nondescript boxes for blank VHS tapes had a certain charm, if you looked for it. </p> <p id="KVh9v2"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTH6s1SMIQicvyd8OLBYMtQ">YouTuber and animator 4096’</a>s video “blank vhs covers were kinda beautiful” is the perfect encapsulation of that, gorgeously animating together a series of classic covers from blank VHS tapes from over the years. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <cite><a class="ql-link" href="https://vaultofvhs.tumblr.com/image/177812378137" target="_blank"><em>Vault of VHS</em> (Tumblr)</a></cite> </figure> <p id="4O7I0z">4096’s great animation certainly helps the case designs pop, with creative transitions that seamlessly shift from one case to the next, but it’s...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2019/1/19/18186931/be-kind-rewind-blank-vhs-cover-youtube-video-watch">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> How IoT-enabled scooters, bikes, and cars are making streets safe https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/how-iot-enabled-scooters-bikes-and-cars-are-making-streets-safe/ The Next Web urn:uuid:ab840e23-735e-e9ed-4604-a77731ac79ee Sat, 19 Jan 2019 18:30:08 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-2-6-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />The flurry of anti-dockless electric scooter headlines reached critical mass last summer. “This town seriously hates electric scooters,” screamed the link to a story focused on Santa Monica, Calif. “San Francisco Is Fighting the Scooter Trend With Poop and Vandalism,” blared another. There’s even an Instagram account devoted to images of destroyed rideshare scooters. And, of course, “bike share” bashing is old news by now. Chalk it up to predictable, initial backlash to disruptive technologies. The ironic truth is that these nontraditional two-wheeled machines are redefining urban transportation and – along with ongoing innovations in autonomous vehicles and evolving connected-city technologies&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/how-iot-enabled-scooters-bikes-and-cars-are-making-streets-safe/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Foxconn might slow hiring at its Wisconsin plant https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189480/foxconn-wisconsin-plant-possible-hiring-slowdown-jobs The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:4062eb86-dc09-538c-115c-05406703eeb1 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 18:25:31 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/N8R0sDaf3_p_JR0-pYp7iXev3pE=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874324/jlott_181024_3052_0630.0.jpg" /> <p id="u9b0Gt">in 2017, Foxconn has said that its $10 billion manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin would eventually create upwards of 13,000 jobs, lured to the state by <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/29/18027032/foxconn-wisconsin-plant-jobs-deal-subsidy-governor-scott-walker">lucrative state subsidies</a> to reinvigorate manufacturing in the area. While the plant is still under construction, initial hiring appears to be slow, and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-19/foxconn-may-delay-hiring-timeline-for-new-wisconsin-plant">the company says that it’s</a> “adjusted our recruitment and hiring timeline,” due in part to global economic conditions and a tight labor market in the state. </p> <p id="n2aaOZ">On Friday, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/foxconn-falls-short-of-job-creation-target-in-wisconsin-11547854525"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> reported</a> that the company “fell short of the minimum number of jobs it was required to create in 2018 to claim state-job creation tax credits.” The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp says that the company needed to create 260 full-time...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189480/foxconn-wisconsin-plant-possible-hiring-slowdown-jobs">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> How 2018 became Facebook’s worst year in privacy and security https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/how-2018-became-facebooks-worst-year-in-privacy-and-security/ The Next Web urn:uuid:1d48af2c-14a6-dcab-ceb2-035918a4d9dc Sat, 19 Jan 2019 18:00:51 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-3-3-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />In early December, Facebook’s developer team declared the discovery of a security bug that gave developers access to photos users hadn’t shared on their timeline, including photos they had posted in Facebook Marketplace or Stories. More worryingly, apps could find access to images users might have uploaded to Facebook but didn’t post anywhere. For example, this could be pictures you uploaded to a profile update you abandoned and did not complete. These are pictures that users haven’t shared with anyone. According to Facebook, up to 1,500 might have made use of the bug and up to 6.8 million users might have been&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/how-2018-became-facebooks-worst-year-in-privacy-and-security/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web 11 new trailers you should watch this week https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188970/new-trailers-john-wick-3-game-of-thrones-spider-man-far-from-home-watch The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:b6c7b4e1-67e7-c2a9-f465-5d620a024969 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 18:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/j0r0-6dLVoGPT8ShlIhMuOAViM8=/72x0:1560x992/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873844/img02.0.jpg" /> <p id="NY93Hx">I finally got around to watching <em>Roma</em> the other week. It’s a fascinating film, telling its story in a way that few others do — not quite through the intimate portrait of one character, but through a world of contrasts and colliding events.</p> <p id="R0qKGK">Honestly, I couldn’t quite get a grasp on how to understand Alfonso Cuarón’s approach until I saw <a href="https://twitter.com/RealGDT/status/1084704182563594240">a tweet from Guillermo del Toro</a> the other day. “In every sense, <em>Roma</em> is a fresco, a mural, not a portrait,” he wrote.</p> <p id="3V1NTZ">And it’s true. The background of each shot matters as much, if not more, than the foreground, and frequently they’re playing off one another in one big, looping narrative. I do wish the film had gotten closer to its main character, but del Toro’s analogy helps me appreciate its grander...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188970/new-trailers-john-wick-3-game-of-thrones-spider-man-far-from-home-watch">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Discounted 128GB iPads, and hundreds off of LG OLED 4K TVs are this week’s best deals https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/1/19/18188139/ipad-lg-oled-4k-ps4-pro-sales-deals The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:1821d5cb-180f-edb3-340a-71a65320ce89 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 17:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/9X5t4WNMxuUxvS03_dy3XSW7zpU=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62871901/vpavic_180330_2434_0072.0.jpg" /> <p id="wjzJqa">2019 has delivered some pretty decent deals already, and this weekend’s roundup showcases the wide range of tech that’s available for less. Super Bowl LIII and the Academy Awards ceremony loom, which means that some great deals on home entertainment gear like TVs and soundbars will be coming soon. But until then, let’s take a look at this week’s best deals.</p> <figure class="e-image"> </figure> <p id="0fs5e9"><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=66960X1514734&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newegg.com%2FProduct%2FProduct.aspx%3FItem%3D2SH-000D-000J4%26ignorebbr%3D1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Newegg is offering $40 off of the PS4 Pro</a> with the offer code <strong>EMCTUUD67 </strong>used at checkout. Any discount on Sony’s 4K-ready console is rare, and given that 2019 will be another big year for the console (<em>The Last of Us Part II</em>, <em>Death Stranding</em>, <em>Judge Eyes</em>, and <em>Ghost of Tsushima</em> are expected to launch this year), it’s worth picking it up if you don’t have one yet.</p> <figure class="e-image"> ...</figure> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/1/19/18188139/ipad-lg-oled-4k-ps4-pro-sales-deals">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Hulu cancels space drama The First after one season https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189434/hulu-the-first-canceled-sean-penn-one-season The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:bb82720b-1943-7571-3dc0-cb31efa6b86e Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:59:55 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/qys20e_rTQ7LqR8-zbUTqzzGXD4=/285x0:1635x900/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62874078/Screen_Shot_2018_07_26_at_10.11.04_AM.0.png" /> <p id="twyKVe">Hulu has canceled its space drama <em>The First, </em>after a single season<em>, </em><a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/first-starring-sean-penn-canceled-at-hulu-1177451">according to <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em></a><em>. </em>The series, which launched last year, followed the astronauts and theif families as they prepared to travel to Mars. </p> <p id="mchbHc">Hulu ordered the series from <em>House of Cards</em> showrunner Beau Willimon <a href="https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/hulu-the-first-beau-willimon-mars-tv-show-1202407542/">back in 2017</a> for an eight-episode season. The show follows the efforts of a private space company in 2033 as it prepared a mission to the red planet, and starred Sean Penn as the leader of that expedition.<em> (Spoilers ahead) </em></p> <p id="uivkI3">After the company’s first effort mission ends in disaster, it struggled to justify and prepare a second mission, led by Tom Hagerty (Penn). The season followed the impact of those preparations on the astronauts and their families,...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189434/hulu-the-first-canceled-sean-penn-one-season">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Like a brick: Chevy uses more than 300,000 Lego pieces to construct full-size pickup truck https://www.geekwire.com/2019/like-brick-chevy-uses-300000-lego-pieces-construct-full-size-pickup-truck/ GeekWire urn:uuid:1d47074c-2ca0-f02f-ac39-83fcf126f9ad Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:26:05 +0100 <img width="1260" height="895" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-1260x895.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-1260x895.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-768x545.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-630x447.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>Still working on that 4,000 piece Lego set you got your kid for Christmas? The people over at Chevrolet just unveiled a full-size pickup truck that has 334,544 pieces and took more than 2,000 hours to build. Chevy relied on 18 Lego Master Builders to construct the model of its 2019 Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss and it debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Saturday morning. The effort is part of a marketing push for the vehicle, obviously, as Chevy has teamed with Warner Bros. Pictures to get the truck in “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,&#8221; which hits&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/like-brick-chevy-uses-300000-lego-pieces-construct-full-size-pickup-truck/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475169" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-475169" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-630x447.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="447" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-630x447.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-768x545.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-FullSize-LEGO-Silverado-02-1260x895.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">(Chevrolet Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Still working on that 4,000 piece Lego set you got your kid for Christmas? The people over at Chevrolet just unveiled a full-size pickup truck that has 334,544 pieces and took more than 2,000 hours to build.</p> <p>Chevy relied on 18 Lego Master Builders to construct the model of its 2019 Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss and it debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Saturday morning.</p> <p>The effort is part of a marketing push for the vehicle, obviously, as Chevy has teamed with Warner Bros. Pictures to get the truck in “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,&#8221; which hits theaters on Feb. 8.</p> <p>Here are some more specs on the truck:</p> <ul> <li>Dimensions: 6 feet high, 20 feet long, 8 feet wide.</li> <li>Total weight: 3,307 pounds.</li> <li>Most common Lego brick used: red 2&#215;8 stud brick.</li> <li>The LEGO® Silverado took 18 builders more than 2,000 hours to assemble.</li> <li>Designed and assembled by Master Builders in the Lego Group’s Model Shop in Enfield, Conn.</li> </ul> <p>Check out the time-lapse video below showing it all snap together:</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iTw8MHmPKUI?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Stratolaunch is scaling back operations following the death of co-founder Paul Allen https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189377/stratolaunch-scaling-back-operations-medium-launch-vehicle-rocket-layoffs-paul-allen-death The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:af89bef7-b3f9-c315-e8b5-08385bd755cd Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:21:07 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/St24f68CLH1c92icdFH4WEtACjo=/94x0:1107x675/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873985/drone1_website.0.png" /> <p id="kM58HS">Stratolaunch Systems, the private space company founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says that it is discontinuing development of a new group of rockets and is <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/stratolaunch-layoffs/">reported to be laying off</a> “more than 50 people” following <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/15/17980912/paul-allen-microsoft-cofounder-dies-65">Allen’s death last October</a>. </p> <p id="ggVKaF">The company <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/stratolaunch-layoffs/">told <em>GeekWire</em></a> that it is “ending the development of their family of launch vehicles and rocket engine,” in order to focus on its flagship aircraft, which is expected to take its first flight this year. That’s a turnaround from the company, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/20/17759930/stratolaunch-airplane-spaceplane-rockets-air-launch-pegasus">which announced plans</a> for the rockets last summer. </p> <p id="4JAgRv">Allen co-founded the company in 2011 to develop a massive aircraft that would haul a rocket to an altitude of 35,000 feet, where it would then launch into orbit. Stratolaunch <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/31/15721480/stratolaunch-paul-allen-rockets-space-satellites">unveiled its...</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18189377/stratolaunch-scaling-back-operations-medium-launch-vehicle-rocket-layoffs-paul-allen-death">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Dolby made a secret app for recording studio quality audio on your phone https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188842/dolby-234-app-recording-audio-iphone The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:454da4e2-7341-46b7-7a9c-f4c2e34e1486 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/qnzgU9w019DrdEXwLfZyO7u8h0w=/0x115:2160x1555/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62873846/IMG_5923.0.jpg" /> <p id="j4nU5A">Dolby has been quietly testing a new mobile app for recording and cleaning up audio under the codename “234,” as first <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/17/dolby-234/">spotted by <em>TechCrunch</em></a>. The app, which was available through a website sign-up form, lets you record audio (a la Voice Notes), cancels background noise, and then apply presets, with names like “Amped,” “Thump,” and “Bright,” to theoretically make your recordings sound more professional.</p> <p id="Djy7dE">The sign-up site, which has since been deactivated, advertised the app by saying: “How can music recorded on a phone sound so good? Dolby 234 automatically cleans up the sound, gives it tone and space, and finds the ideal loudness. It’s like having your own producer in your phone.” Those are big claims. Luckily, I snagged a copy of the app...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/19/18188842/dolby-234-app-recording-audio-iphone">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Time’s up, Alexa: After one lukewarm leftover too many, we pulled the plug on Amazon’s microwave https://www.geekwire.com/2019/times-alexa-one-lukewarm-leftover-many-pulled-plug-amazons-microwave/ GeekWire urn:uuid:c54191a1-59e4-4fc4-56b5-ce59c4f0a164 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 15:40:19 +0100 <img width="1260" height="945" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-1260x945.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-1260x945.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-630x473.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>Instead of using our fingers to push the buttons on a microwave keypad over the past couple months, we here at GeekWire have relied on a voice-enabled unit featuring Amazon&#8217;s Alexa to take our commands and heat our leftovers. I don&#8217;t have any trouble putting my finger on a reason for why we&#8217;re unplugging the thing and getting a new unit: because our food is barely hot to the touch. The tech giant first introduced its $60 AmazonBasics Microwave in September, and GeekWire staffers started using one in the office kitchen at the end of November. Some of us were&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/times-alexa-one-lukewarm-leftover-many-pulled-plug-amazons-microwave/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_463518" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-463518" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-630x473.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="473" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-630x473.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-from-iOS-6-1260x945.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The AmazonBasics Microwave. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)</figcaption></figure> <p>Instead of using our fingers to push the buttons on a microwave keypad over the past couple months, we here at GeekWire have relied on a voice-enabled unit featuring Amazon&#8217;s Alexa to take our commands and heat our leftovers.</p> <p>I don&#8217;t have any trouble putting my finger on a reason for why we&#8217;re unplugging the thing and getting a new unit: because our food is barely hot to the touch.</p> <p>The tech giant <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/alexa-cook-potato-amazon-unveils-60-wifi-connected-microwave/">first introduced</a> its $60 AmazonBasics Microwave in September, and GeekWire staffers <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/alexa-heat-leftovers-geekwire-gives-amazons-new-voice-controlled-microwave-spin/">started using one</a> in the office kitchen at the end of November.</p> <p>Some of us were skeptical before we even asked Alexa to get cooking. Was this even necessary? Who is too busy to enter the time on a microwave? Over the weeks that followed, as holiday leftovers and regular old lunches made their way into the office, the microwave seemed to fail to meet expectations on a few different levels:</p> <ul> <li>People didn&#8217;t know what to say to it to activate the nearby Echo speaker it was hooked to. This created a lot of unnecessary chatter in our small newsroom. &#8220;Alexa heat up my burrito. Why the hell won&#8217;t this work?&#8221; &#8230; &#8220;You have to say, &#8216;Alexa, microwave!&#8221;</li> <li>The 700 MW appliance wasn&#8217;t getting food hot enough quick enough. People complained about eating not-so-hot leftovers or having to stand in front of the machine for repeat heatings.</li> <li>Heating your leftovers and eating in front of co-workers is kind of a weird thing to begin with. Speaking out loud about it to the microwave and drawing even more attention to your stinky food unnerved some people.</li> </ul> <p>Yes, the voice commands are optional; you can use the microwave by simply pressing buttons, but when the lone selling point is actually a drawback, it&#8217;s a sure bet the device in question isn&#8217;t going to be around very long.</p> <p>Here are more reactions from those of us who eat at GeekWire:</p> <p><strong>Taylor Soper, reporter:</strong> &#8220;I never used the Alexa microwave and I didn&#8217;t plan to. Pushing a button takes one second. Speaking a command and waiting for Alexa to respond takes longer. We don&#8217;t need the Alexa microwave.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Monica Nickelsburg, civic innovation editor: </strong>&#8220;In my view, a microwave has one job. That job isn&#8217;t to talk to me. It isn&#8217;t to predict my desires or feelings. It isn&#8217;t to be my friend. It is to heat my food. In this, the Alexa microwave has failed over and over again.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Frank Catalano, contributing writer:</strong> &#8220;It was just too distracting. Every time someone used it, they spoke to it, sometimes a little too loudly, as though Alexa was an elderly grandparent. There&#8217;s enough noise in a kitchen area without adding shouting at a small appliance.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Daniel Rossi, chief business officer:</strong> &#8220;It&#8217;s fine. It makes my cold food hot. Not as fast as the larger and more powerful microwave we replaced it with, but my oatmeal is eventually warm. I don&#8217;t need to ask Alexa to turn it on. My fingers still work. But I can spend the extra minute I&#8217;m forced to wait to ask the nearby Alexa to tell me a joke.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Cara Kuhlman, marketing, operations and events coordinator:</strong> &#8220;For better or worse, I catch a lot of the galley (sailor for &#8216;kitchen&#8217;) chatter, and this microwave’s lackluster performance was a talking point. While it may have fueled water-cooler conversation, our team has a lot of other things we enjoy chatting about like hot, tasty lunches. I don’t own an Alexa-enabled device, so for the uninitiated, figuring out the correct phrase to use required too much effort right before lunch, so I quickly gave up.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Adam Rubens, senior account director:</strong> &#8220;I was basically ambivalent about the Alexa Microwave. I wanted to love it. I wanted to be like &#8216;this is so cool, I don&#8217;t have to use my hands, I can just tell it what I want and BAM, hot oatmeal.&#8217; In the end, I realized that using my fingers is actually not that big of a deal. Most of the time, I might have saved mere milliseconds if I got the statement correct: &#8216;Alexa, microwave for 2 and 1/2 minutes.&#8217; About half of the time I would garble my statement, or miss a word and have to start over — which killed all of that convenient millisecond saving. I feel like if I was doing a more complex task like &#8216;Alexa, thaw 20-pound turkey,&#8217; that might have been a big plus, but for an office microwave, used primarily for warming disappointing leftovers, it was, well, disappointing.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Todd Bishop, editor</strong>: &#8220;I&#8217;ve suffered through the experience of using cheap, underpowered Amazon devices in the past, such as the original Fire TV Stick and a budget Fire tablet bought off the Treasure Truck. A few extra seconds waiting for a show to load is one thing. But food is a different matter, and when your frozen lunch is still frozen after three minutes on high, it&#8217;s time to move on. (I actually believe that the performance of the microwave deteriorated in the month or so that we owned it, because <a href="https://youtu.be/sk1AnwxGQ_I?t=2433">it did heat up my burrito thoroughly when I first tried it</a>.)&#8221;</p> <p><strong>James Thorne, contributing writer:</strong> &#8220;The Alexa microwave failed the most basic test of any new technology. It wasn&#8217;t easier than the old way of doing things — in this case, pressing a single button to reheat yesterday&#8217;s pasta.&#8221;</p> <p>So there you have it. Kind of a lukewarm group. Like our food.</p> <p>The use of the machine definitely illustrated that people can be annoyed by tech &#8220;disruption&#8221; when it shows up in unexpected places and gets in the way of what already seemed like a convenient enough device or activity. I mean, it&#8217;s not like the AmazonBasics Microwave showed up at our office and replaced a campfire. We were pretty content with our previous &#8220;dumb&#8221; microwave. Some things just aren&#8217;t begging to be &#8220;smart.&#8221;</p> <p>There are plenty of ways in which artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart speakers and voice have and will continue to wow us here at GeekWire. Just so long as all of that doesn&#8217;t interfere with our lunch, apparently.</p> <p>Good luck at Goodwill, Alexa.</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WJye30brhrM?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Watch ULA launch a secret satellite with its most powerful rocket https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/7/18130477/united-launch-alliance-delta-iv-heavy-nrol-71 The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:cdb6f3bc-9464-309c-de31-3781b552a4d2 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 15:09:56 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jQezvnLt4D9ea9T3cASEx2rDwIU=/0x0:1800x1200/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62643624/46160720932_7f5ddce03e_o.0.jpg" /> <p id="RIohLe">This afternoon, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to launch its most powerful rocket — the Delta IV Heavy — sending up a secret spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The mission will be the 132nd mission for the ULA, and the latest of many launches the company has done for the NRO, a significant customer of the launch provider.</p> <p id="MqEuFx">This particular launch has struggled to actually get into space. Originally set for December 7th, the flight was delayed multiple times throughout the end of last year. Then, in early January, ULA decided to take a break from launch attempts in order to review some technical issues with the rocket that stopped it from launching on December 19th. Now at long last, the company is ready to...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/7/18130477/united-launch-alliance-delta-iv-heavy-nrol-71">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Hiveage streamlines your freelance and small business invoicing for just $50 https://thenextweb.com/offers/2019/01/19/hiveage-streamlines-your-freelance-and-small-business-invoicing-for-just-50/ The Next Web urn:uuid:651e1d6e-2ef9-e37a-d6a4-3bd627497ca3 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 15:00:00 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/5KjOgFb-796x398.jpg" width="796" height="398"><br />Hiveage is trusted by 60,000 small businesses and freelancers around the globe -- and with this offer, you can get a lifetime of access to their suite of invoicing features for only $49.99, hundreds of dollars off the regular price. The security threats of neural networks and deep learning algorithms https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/the-security-threats-of-neural-networks-and-deep-learning-algorithms/ The Next Web urn:uuid:73490b30-1704-1c62-41ab-4db2461c2791 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 14:00:14 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-2-4-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI. History shows that cybersecurity threats evolve along with new technological advances. Relational databases brought SQL injection attacks, web scripting programming languages spurred cross-site scripting attacks, IoT devices ushered in new ways to create botnets, and the internet in general opened a Pandora’s box of digital security ills. Social media created new ways to manipulate people through micro-targeted content delivery and made it easier to gather information for phishing attacks. And bitcoin enabled the delivery of crypto-ransowmare attacks. The list goes on. The point is, every&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/the-security-threats-of-neural-networks-and-deep-learning-algorithms/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Sonos Beam is $50 off in time for the Super Bowl https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/1/19/18186663/sonos-beam-sale-amazon-deal The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:cd414e14-0d28-c523-0deb-c925df41ad39 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 13:34:45 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/HHLnz5SSOdyX-xI8HUnNh8zrCFU=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62864869/akrales_180626_2683_0033.0.jpg" /> <p id="G5a8yo">If you want to improve on your television’s built-in speakers, which are likely to be terrible, there are a lot of ways to do it. The Sonos Beam soundbar is one of them, and starting today (until February 3rd), <a href="https://amzn.to/2Fxpulz" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Amazon is reducing its cost to $349</a> for a savings of $50.</p> <p id="Nut0vb">The Beam is Sonos’ most affordable soundbar by a long shot, and it’s made just a bit cheaper by this deal. Its good looks and a few unique features make it worth considering over cheaper soundbars. First, it’s a smart speaker and soundbar rolled up into one that supports Alexa voice commands, and <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/9/18174686/sonos-google-assistant-beam-one-beta-demo-features-ces-2019">Google Assistant is slowly but surely on its way</a>. Once it’s plugged into your television’s HDMI ARC port (most, but not all, recent TVs have one), Alexa can power your TV on and...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/1/19/18186663/sonos-beam-sale-amazon-deal">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Government use of blockchain will shape our digital identity https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/government-use-of-blockchain-will-shape-our-digital-identity/ The Next Web urn:uuid:7dcd5667-2ae1-6c49-dd42-8c691edf638f Sat, 19 Jan 2019 13:30:35 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design71-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />To be honest, I hate the word “identity.” There’s a lot of talk about this now, but if anyone is telling you they’re building “identity” on a public network, you should run immediately. Why? Because it’s probably the worst thing to do. The irony of this all, is that the more we advance into the future – with devices, IoT, blockchain technology, and hyper-connectivity – the more data is going to be brought into the ecosystem. And the more data that is brought into the system, the more we’ll find companies and, naturally governments, are going to want to focus&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/government-use-of-blockchain-will-shape-our-digital-identity/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Twitter Publisher Dashboard Improves Audience Insights https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-publisher-dashboard-improves-audience-insights/ Social Media Examiner urn:uuid:571f6d45-1567-92ee-45d2-690724471320 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 12:00:32 +0100 <img width="1200" height="630" src="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" link_thumbnail="" srcset="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200.png 1200w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200-150x79.png 150w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200-300x158.png 300w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200-768x403.png 768w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SMMT-Show-2018-01-19-1200-1024x538.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><p>Welcome to this week&#8217;s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week&#8217;s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Twitter announcing new publisher tools, a beta program for upcoming features, and more with special guest Madalyn [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-publisher-dashboard-improves-audience-insights/">Twitter Publisher Dashboard Improves Audience Insights</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com">Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner</a>.</p> Recycling the world’s plastic garbage could buy you the NFL, Apple and Microsoft https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/recycling-the-worlds-plastic-garbage-could-buy-you-the-nfl-apple-and-microsoft/ The Next Web urn:uuid:30917f0b-96d2-5c92-94db-4189927eb12b Sat, 19 Jan 2019 09:30:04 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-1-5-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />This year, I served on the judging panel for The Royal Statistical Society’s International Statistic of the Year. On Dec. 18, we announced the winner: 90.5 percent, the amount of plastic that has never been recycled. Okay – but why is that such a big deal? Much like Oxford English Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” competition, the international statistic is meant to capture the zeitgeist of this year. The judging panel accepted nominations from the statistical community and the public at large for a statistic they feel shines a light on today’s most pressing issues. Last year’s winner was 69.&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/19/recycling-the-worlds-plastic-garbage-could-buy-you-the-nfl-apple-and-microsoft/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web AI isn’t here to steal your job, it’s here to make it better https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/ai-isnt-here-to-steal-your-job-its-here-to-make-it-better/ The Next Web urn:uuid:63b6e30d-e282-4bd0-0d04-7d0abc490283 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 08:30:34 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/Untitled-design-1-7-796x417.png" width="796" height="417"><br />The belief that AI will displace jobs has been well countered with arguments that AI actually empowers workers to focus on higher-level thinking and creating. It’s an advantage in the workplace, not an obstruction. But there’s another, less discussed advantage of adopting AI at work. One with the potential to level the playing field for underrepresented groups at the very top levels of many corporate environments.   I see a not-too-distant future in which AI enables new voices and perspectives to emerge from within the ranks. A recent survey from Marketforce and Pega of top executives around the world supports&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/19/ai-isnt-here-to-steal-your-job-its-here-to-make-it-better/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Facebook’s secretly working on LOL — a meme hub meant to lure teens from Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2019/01/19/facebooks-hard-at-work-on-lol-a-meme-hub-meant-to-lure-teens-from-snapchat-instagram-and-tik-tok/ The Next Web urn:uuid:b8802676-71f5-1f6c-dc89-ae9d37f72bc8 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 02:22:04 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/lol-fb-796x419.png" width="796" height="419"><br />Facebook hasn’t given up on attracting teens. After numerous failed products aimed at teens — including LOL, Facebook Watch, and IGTV — the company is now hard at work on LOL, a meme hub of sorts meant to win the hearts and minds of teens fleeing for greener pastures at TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. First reported by TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, LOL would bridge the gap of a traditional News Feed with meme-focused content that Facebook hopes will attract teen attention. For the 100 or so high schoolers currently testing it (each bound by NDA with parental consent), the feed replaces&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2019/01/19/facebooks-hard-at-work-on-lol-a-meme-hub-meant-to-lure-teens-from-snapchat-instagram-and-tik-tok/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web<br/><br/>Or just read more coverage about: <a href='https://thenextweb.com/company/facebook/'>Facebook</a>,<a href='https://thenextweb.com/company/instagram/'>Instagram</a>,<a href='https://thenextweb.com/company/snapchat/'>Snapchat</a> Alphabet’s health division gets FDA clearance to test EKG smartwatch feature https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188910/alphabet-verily-health-ekg-feature-fda-clearance-clinical-research-google The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:7bacedcd-ccfa-a8b1-24f0-bc97f83fd3cb Sat, 19 Jan 2019 02:00:16 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jKCbM_x4zx5Ro0OMYB1cOtOCpbA=/20x0:620x400/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62872704/Study_Watch_Clearance.0.png" /> <p id="9OejW8">Alphabet’s health division, Verily, has <a href="https://blog.verily.com/2019/01/verily-study-watch-receives-fda-510k.html">received FDA 510(k) clearance</a> for its Study smart watch for an “on-demand ECG feature.” The Study Watch, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/14/15305694/alphabet-verily-health-tracking-smartwatch-study-watch">announced in April 2017</a>, is <em>not</em> a consumer smartwatch, but instead meant as a test platform for the Google-adjacent company to research how to best gather health data on a wearable. </p> <p id="LgxZJB">Back <a href="https://blog.verily.com/2017/04/introducing-verily-study-watch.html?m=1">when it was announced</a>, Verily said that it had an ECG feature alongside the usual stuff you expect on a smartwatch — but it didn’t receive clearance from the FDA for it until today (oddly, in the midst of a government shutdown). </p> <p id="oZ0TK4">When Apple announced its electrocardiogram feature for the Apple Watch, it seemed like a completely unique and differentiating feature. Now, it’s starting to feel like EKG is about to...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188910/alphabet-verily-health-ekg-feature-fda-clearance-clinical-research-google">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Seattle mayor taps Saad Bashir for Chief Technology Officer https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/ GeekWire urn:uuid:8bf4c54e-c1f8-5256-a1b2-42d5c712a268 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 01:55:39 +0100 <img width="398" height="398" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-200x200.jpeg 200w" sizes="(max-width: 398px) 100vw, 398px"><br>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s new Chief Technology Officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government. For the past eight years, Bashir has served as Chief Information Officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, according to Ottawa Citizen. If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy left by Michael Mattmiller a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across city&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475130" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-475130 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s next CTO. (LinkedIn Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/saadbashir/?originalSubdomain=ca">Saad Bashir</a> as the city&#8217;s new Chief Technology Officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government.</p> <p>For the past eight years, Bashir has served as Chief Information Officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, <a href="https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/citys-tech-boss-wants-to-erase-it-from-everyones-hit-list">according to Ottawa Citizen</a>.</p> <p>If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/seattle-cto-michael-mattmiller-resigns-return-private-sector/">left by Michael Mattmiller</a> a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across city government. Mattmiller resigned from the post last January.</p> <p>Bashir would inherit a department providing IT support for more than <a href="https://www.seattle.gov/tech/services">12,000 city employees</a> and running all of the municipal government&#8217;s technology services. More than 750 employees work in IT roles for the city on a wide range of initiatives including an open data portal and the Seattle Channel television station.</p> <p>Durkan will formally announce her nomination of Bashir at Seattle City Hall Tuesday morning.</p> Seattle mayor taps City of Ottowa’s CIO as chief technology officer https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/ GeekWire urn:uuid:e4cc0f7d-245d-d715-1de3-0e30aaca0699 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 01:55:39 +0100 <img width="398" height="398" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-200x200.jpeg 200w" sizes="(max-width: 398px) 100vw, 398px"><br>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s new chief technology officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government. For the past eight years, Bashir has served as chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, according to the Ottawa Citizen. If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy left by Michael Mattmiller a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475130" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-475130 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s next CTO. (LinkedIn Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/saadbashir/?originalSubdomain=ca">Saad Bashir</a> as the city&#8217;s new chief technology officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government.</p> <p>For the past eight years, Bashir has served as chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, <a href="https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/citys-tech-boss-wants-to-erase-it-from-everyones-hit-list">according to the Ottawa Citizen</a>.</p> <p>If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/seattle-cto-michael-mattmiller-resigns-return-private-sector/">left by Michael Mattmiller</a> a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across city government. Mattmiller resigned from the post last January.</p> <p>Bashir would inherit a department providing IT support for more than <a href="https://www.seattle.gov/tech/services">12,000 city employees</a> and running all of the municipal government&#8217;s technology services. More than 750 employees work in IT roles for the city on a wide range of initiatives including an open data portal and the Seattle Channel television station.</p> <p>Durkan will formally announce her nomination of Bashir at Seattle City Hall Tuesday morning.</p> Seattle mayor taps City of Ottawa’s CIO as chief technology officer https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/ GeekWire urn:uuid:1fb115b8-5ce2-fca3-821b-51edbc271343 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 01:55:39 +0100 <img width="398" height="398" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-200x200.jpeg 200w" sizes="(max-width: 398px) 100vw, 398px"><br>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s new chief technology officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government. For the past eight years, Bashir has served as chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, according to the Ottawa Citizen. If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy left by Michael Mattmiller a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-mayor-taps-saad-bashir-chief-technology-officer/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475130" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-475130 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-300x300.jpeg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-150x150.jpeg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir-100x100.jpeg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/saad-bashir.jpeg 398w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate Saad Bashir as the city&#8217;s next CTO. (LinkedIn Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to nominate <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/saadbashir/?originalSubdomain=ca">Saad Bashir</a> as the city&#8217;s new chief technology officer to oversee a massive department that powers the municipal government.</p> <p>For the past eight years, Bashir has served as chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, where he oversaw an annual budget of $55 million and 300 full-time employees, <a href="https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/citys-tech-boss-wants-to-erase-it-from-everyones-hit-list">according to the Ottawa Citizen</a>.</p> <p>If confirmed, Bashir will fill the vacancy <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/seattle-cto-michael-mattmiller-resigns-return-private-sector/">left by Michael Mattmiller</a> a year ago. Mattmiller was originally appointed by former Mayor Ed Murray, who formed the Seattle Information Technology department in 2015 to centralize IT teams that were dispersed across city government. Mattmiller resigned from the post last January.</p> <p>Bashir would inherit a department providing IT support for more than <a href="https://www.seattle.gov/tech/services">12,000 city employees</a> and running all of the municipal government&#8217;s technology services. More than 750 employees work in IT roles for the city on a wide range of initiatives including an open data portal and the Seattle Channel television station.</p> <p>Durkan will formally announce her nomination of Bashir at Seattle City Hall Tuesday morning.</p> Stratolaunch space venture sharply scales back its operations, months after Paul Allen’s death https://www.geekwire.com/2019/stratolaunch-layoffs/ GeekWire urn:uuid:e56d101a-c3b5-b14b-8142-1575cd542467 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 01:45:45 +0100 <img width="1260" height="840" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-1260x840.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="Stratolaunch taxi test" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-1260x840.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-768x512.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-630x420.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>Stratolaunch, the Seattle-based space venture created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen seven years ago, says it&#8217;s discontinuing its programs to develop a new type of rocket engine and a new line of rockets. The company said it would continue work on the world&#8217;s largest airplane, which is designed to serve as a flying launch pad for rockets. Last week, Stratolaunch put its 385-foot-wide, twin-fuselage plane through a high-speed taxi test that many saw as a precursor for its first test flight at Mojave Air and Space Port. “Stratolaunch is ending the development of their family of launch vehicles and rocket&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/stratolaunch-layoffs/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_472847" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-472847" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-630x420.jpg" alt="Stratolaunch taxi test" width="630" height="420" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-630x420.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-768x512.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190109-stratolaunch-1260x840.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">A photo taken during a high-speed taxi test shows the nose gear on Stratolaunch&#8217;s twin-fuselage airplane rising from the runway at California&#8217;s Mojave Air and Space Port. (Stratolaunch Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Stratolaunch, the Seattle-based space venture created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen seven years ago, says it&#8217;s discontinuing its programs to develop a new type of rocket engine and a new line of rockets.</p> <p>The company said it would continue work on the world&#8217;s largest airplane, which is designed to serve as a flying launch pad for rockets. Last week, Stratolaunch put its 385-foot-wide, twin-fuselage plane through a <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/stratolaunch-gets-worlds-biggest-airplane-ready-takeoff-136-mph-taxi-test/">high-speed taxi test</a> that many saw as a precursor for its first test flight at Mojave Air and Space Port.</p> <p>“Stratolaunch is ending the development of their family of launch vehicles and rocket engine. We are streamlining operations, focusing on the aircraft and our ability to support a demonstration launch of the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL air-launch vehicle,&#8221; the company said in an emailed statement. &#8220;We are immensely proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to first flight in 2019.”</p> <p>The dramatic turn of events comes three months after Allen&#8217;s death.</p> <p>Employees were told today that more than 50 people were being laid off as a result of the streamlining strategy, according to two sources who aren&#8217;t employed by Stratolaunch but are familiar with the operation. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told GeekWire that about 20 employees were staying on to work on the plane and prepare for the flight test.</p> <p>Stratolaunch&#8217;s statement didn&#8217;t provide specifics on the layoffs, and efforts to get further details were not immediately successful.</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xsee1sZv6SA?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p>The company&#8217;s development plan has called for getting its giant plane certified to carry rockets by as early as 2020, with the capacity to launch up to three of Northrop Grumman&#8217;s Pegasus XL launch vehicles from an altitude in the neighborhood of 35,000 feet.</p> <p>Air-launch capability has the advantage of allowing payloads to be sent into orbit on a variety of trajectories, from any base of operation that&#8217;s big enough to accommodate the plane. Such flexibility may be attractive to certain types of commercial, governmental and military customers.</p> <p>It&#8217;s not clear how the streamlining effort announced today will affect the company&#8217;s timeline or its long-term business plan.</p> <p>Stratolaunch had been working on a hydrogen-fueled rocket engine that was named the &#8220;PGA,&#8221; in honor of Paul G. Allen. It also laid out a plan for building a variety of launch vehicles, including a space plane, with the first in-house rocket targeted for launch in 2022. Those parts of the Stratolaunch program have now been canceled.</p> <p>Paul Allen passed away in October at the age of 65, after a struggle with non-Hodgkin&#8217;s lymphoma. Control of Stratolaunch as well as Allen&#8217;s many other ventures passed to his sister, Jody Allen, as executor of his estate.</p> <p>Jody Allen has not said much about Stratolaunch or her late brother&#8217;s space aspirations. However, the cost of pursuing a private space effort would give anyone pause, even billionaires and their heirs. Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, for example, has said he is spending $1 billion or more annually on his Blue Origin space venture. Last month, British billionaire Richard Branson said he&#8217;s &#8220;personally invested about a billion dollars&#8221; in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.</p> <p>In the absence of any more definitive information, the likeliest motivation for cutting back on Stratolaunch&#8217;s agenda would be to reduce the program&#8217;s costs and risks, thus freeing up resources for other priorities.</p> Shareholders pressure Amazon to stop selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement https://www.geekwire.com/2019/shareholders-pressure-amazon-stop-selling-facial-recognition-technology-law-enforcement/ GeekWire urn:uuid:a136a8eb-ce49-644c-2473-b5f695b74a28 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:28:53 +0100 <img width="1260" height="945" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-1260x945.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-1260x945.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-630x473.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>Amazon shareholders have filed a resolution asking the company to stop selling its facial recognition software to government agencies until the board has determined that the technology doesn&#8217;t pose risks to civil and human rights. The shareholders backing the resolution hold $1.32 billion in Amazon assets, according to Open MIC a non-profit that organized the initiative. Amazon first introduced its image recognition service in 2016 and enhanced it to handle video recognition at AWS re:Invent 2017. The company says Rekognition “provides highly accurate facial analysis and facial recognition.” Civil rights activists, including the American Civil Liberties Union, question the accuracy of the technology and worry&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/shareholders-pressure-amazon-stop-selling-facial-recognition-technology-law-enforcement/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_428156" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-428156" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-630x473.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="473" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-630x473.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-768x576.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_3773-1260x945.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Community leaders asked Amazon to stop selling Rekognition to police at the company&#8217;s Seattle headquarters last June. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)</figcaption></figure> <p>Amazon shareholders have filed a <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57693891579fb3ab7149f04b/t/5c2cf4f86d2a73e6a9cfd391/1546450246520/Amazon+Prohibit+Sales+Resolution">resolution</a> asking the company to stop selling its facial recognition software to government agencies until the board has determined that the technology doesn&#8217;t pose risks to civil and human rights.</p> <p>The shareholders backing the resolution hold $1.32 billion in Amazon assets, <a href="https://www.openmic.org/news/2019/1/16/halt-rekognition">according to Open MIC</a> a non-profit that organized the initiative.</p> <p>Amazon <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2016/amazon-launches-new-artificial-intelligence-services-developers-image-recognition-text-speech-alexa-nlp/">first introduced</a> its image recognition service in 2016 and <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2017/new-machine-learning-services-amazon-web-services-include-video-recognition-transcription/">enhanced it to handle video recognition at AWS re:Invent 2017</a>. The company says Rekognition “provides highly accurate facial analysis and facial recognition.”</p> <p>Civil rights activists, including the American Civil Liberties Union, question the accuracy of the technology and worry it can be used to disproportionately target communities of color. Law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Florida have piloted Rekognition.</p> <p>In addition to activists, <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/1984-become-reality-2024-microsofts-brad-smith-calls-regulation-facial-recognition/">high-profile tech leaders</a> and hundreds of Amazon employees have spoken out against the practice over the past year. Now Amazon shareholders are adding their voices to the chorus.</p> <p>&#8220;It’s a familiar pattern: a leading tech company marketing what is hailed as breakthrough technology without understanding or assessing the many real and potential harms of that product,&#8221; said Open MIC Executive Director Michael Connor in a statement. &#8220;Sales of Rekognition to government represent considerable risk for the company and investors. That’s why it’s imperative those sales be halted immediately.&#8221;</p> <p>Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence for Amazon Web Services, has made the case for selling Rekognition to law enforcement in a series of blog posts.</p> <p>&#8220;We have seen customers use the image and video analysis capabilities of Amazon Rekognition in ways that materially benefit both society (e.g. preventing human trafficking, inhibiting child exploitation, reuniting missing children with their families, and building educational apps for children), and organizations (enhancing security through multi-factor authentication, finding images more easily, or preventing package theft),&#8221; <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/some-quick-thoughts-on-the-public-discussion-regarding-facial-recognition-and-amazon-rekognition-this-past-week/">he wrote</a> last June.</p> <p>Wood acknowledged that &#8220;there have always been and will always be risks with new technology capabilities,&#8221; but said, &#8220;it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future.&#8221;</p> <p>This isn&#8217;t the first time Amazon shareholders have used their power to make a political statement. In December, more than a dozen employees <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/amazon-employees-flex-shareholder-muscle-push-climate-change-plan/">filed a shareholder resolution</a> urging Amazon to detail its plans to reduce fossil fuel dependence and deal with weather events and disruptions that result from the planet warming.</p> <p>The shareholders behind the Rekognition resolution expect it to be voted on at Amazon&#8217;s annual meeting in the spring.</p> Popular travel app hands out Trump-shaped stress balls to anyone who books a trip to Mexico https://thenextweb.com/insider/2019/01/18/trvl-travel-app-trump-stress-balls-mexico/ The Next Web urn:uuid:624c0373-b877-0999-86a5-c559a4c82187 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:07:21 +0100 <img src="https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/TRVL-Stress-Featured-796x414.jpg" width="796" height="414"><br />Travel app TRVL is offering Trump-shaped stress balls to travelers heading to Mexico, as a reward for those visiting in spite of damaging rhetoric from the US president. The item looks about how you’d expect: a recreation of the President’s head in squishy foam form. The company has 1,000 balls to give away, and they’re available to any traveler who books a trip to Mexico via TRVL’s site or app. For those who don’t know, TRVL is (as the name implies) a booking and travel app that allows anyone to act as a travel agent. Locals and experienced travelers can leave&#8230; <br><br><a href="https://thenextweb.com/insider/2019/01/18/trvl-travel-app-trump-stress-balls-mexico/?utm_source=social&#038;utm_medium=feed&#038;utm_campaign=profeed">This story continues</a> at The Next Web Shaky rings help scientists measure Saturn’s days https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188429/rings-saturn-nasa-day-time-hours-duration The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:6a63da4c-64bb-8e32-4400-7df0cda17de5 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:01:48 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/kuDy3kuldgPBwHU2rkttGR6h9oQ=/690x0:2211x1014/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62872340/PIA18320_full.0.jpg" /> <p id="GAXqan">A day on Saturn lasts for 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds, according to a <a href="http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aaf798">paper published</a> in <em>The</em> <em>Astrophysical Journal </em>that used wobbles in Saturn’s rings to make the calculation<em>. </em>That’s several minutes shorter than older approximations of the gas giant’s day, but the new timetable lines up with some previous <a href="https://www.space.com/28928-saturn-day-length-spin-measured.html">mathematical estimates</a>.<em> </em></p> <p id="jJIr1z">It was hard for researchers to figure out how long a day was on Saturn for a few reasons. First, the planet has an incredibly thick and rotating atmosphere, which obscured the inner surface. That’s usually not a huge problem. When they can’t see how fast a planet’s surface is spinning, astronomers can generally measure movements in its magnetic field to figure out what’s going on inside. But Saturn’s...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188429/rings-saturn-nasa-day-time-hours-duration">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> The FCC has reopened its device approval system during the government shutdown https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188807/fcc-government-shutdown-reopen-equipment-authorization-system-phone-electronics-certification The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:efbfefb4-631b-7575-14e4-a91b3211c67c Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:00:54 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hbAlj0mzkFqKBh0ph6U60zUaFNU=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62872333/acastro_180608_1777_net_neutrality_0002.0.jpg" /> <p id="vGCCgW">The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reopening its hardware certification program amid the partial government shutdown, averting a potential delay in releasing new phones and other electronics. <a href="https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-19A1.pdf">The FCC said</a> today that it was reactivating the Equipment Authorization System, reversing a decision <a href="https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-10A1.pdf">announced on January 2nd</a>. Several other FCC services will remain unavailable, and the FCC isn’t offering support staff for the system until after the shutdown ends.</p> <p id="psn90J">Many electronics must receive FCC certification before going to market, and a prolonged closure could push back their release. Last week, <a href="https://www.tiaonline.org/press-release/government-shutdown-to-impact-5g-rollout-says-tia/">the Telecommunications Industry Association warned</a> that phone carriers might have to slow the rollout of new 5G phones if the shutdown...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188807/fcc-government-shutdown-reopen-equipment-authorization-system-phone-electronics-certification">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> This new app brings Google’s Digital Wellbeing features to all Android phones https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188782/actiondash-digital-wellbeing-alternative-google-android-app The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:ce3ee851-e981-8375-d4d1-1ef098eda632 Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/f5UnGpC0sXnWW__eUIe28U1lF6s=/0x34:1080x754/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62872320/actiondash.0.jpg" /> <p id="oDNlqz">A new app takes <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/20/18104987/google-digital-wellbeing-pixel-android-9-pie-exit-beta-features-now-available">Google’s Digital Wellbeing</a> features — a set of helpful tools for telling which apps you’re spending too much time in — and opens many of them up to all Android phones. It’s called <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actiondash.playstore">ActionDash</a>, and it comes from the developer of the home screen customization app <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore&amp;hl=en">Action Launcher</a>.</p> <p id="CI7quw">When you open it, ActionDash shows you a clear breakdown of which apps have been taking up your time today, how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, and how many notifications you’ve received. Swiping to different screens allows you to see breakdowns by day, by hour, and by app. </p> <p id="wSlE94">ActionDash looks and feels almost exactly like Digital Wellbeing. The apps are so similar that while comparing the two side by side on my phone, I frequently had to...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188782/actiondash-digital-wellbeing-alternative-google-android-app">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p> Tech Moves: InfluxData hires former Salesforce exec; Alder adds to C-suite (again); Aiqudo brings on Alexa vet; and more https://www.geekwire.com/2019/tech-moves-influxdata-hires-former-salesforce-exec-alder-adds-c-suite-aiqudo-brings-alexa-vet/ GeekWire urn:uuid:8deac9be-7af9-22a6-35f9-b4fe29f164c2 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 23:45:20 +0100 <img width="1009" height="1260" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-1009x1260.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-1009x1260.jpg 1009w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-768x959.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-630x787.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh.jpg 1144w" sizes="(max-width: 1009px) 100vw, 1009px"><br>Open-source database firm InfluxData has a new SVP of engineering in Jim Walsh, who formerly held a similar role at Salesforce. Time series databases, like the one InfluxData created, are behind many of the applications that make up the internet of things. They’re designed to handle real-time data more quickly than traditional databases. Lucky for InfluxData, Walsh knows a thing or two about speed from his time racing cars. Walsh will be staying put in Seattle, working remotely for the San Francisco-based firm. Prior to Salesforce, Walsh co-founded cybersecurity firm Versive, which was acquired by eSentire in 2018. Walsh spent&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/tech-moves-influxdata-hires-former-salesforce-exec-alder-adds-c-suite-aiqudo-brings-alexa-vet/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_474782" style="width: 240px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-474782 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-240x300.jpg" alt="" width="240" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-240x300.jpg 240w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-768x959.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-1009x1260.jpg 1009w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-630x787.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-200x250.jpg 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh-80x100.jpg 80w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jim-Walsh.jpg 1144w" sizes="(max-width: 240px) 100vw, 240px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Jim Walsh. (InfluxData photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Open-source database firm <a href="https://www.influxdata.com/"><strong>InfluxData</strong></a> has a new SVP of engineering in <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim1walsh/"><strong>Jim Walsh</strong></a>, who formerly held a similar role at Salesforce.</p> <p>Time series databases, like the one InfluxData created, are behind many of the applications that make up the internet of things. They’re designed to handle real-time data more quickly than traditional databases.</p> <p>Lucky for InfluxData, Walsh knows a thing or two about speed from <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2012/meet-fastest-moving-dude-seattle-tech-big-data-scientist-race-car-driver-jim-walsh/">his time racing cars</a>. Walsh will be staying put in Seattle, working remotely for the San Francisco-based firm.</p> <p>Prior to Salesforce, Walsh co-founded cybersecurity firm Versive, which was acquired by eSentire in 2018. Walsh spent over two decades at Microsoft, where he co-founded the Bing engineering team and started the Cosmos data platform.</p> <p>&#8220;As technology embeds itself into everything, I&#8217;m super excited to be joining the world leader in time series platforms as we drive the ability to derive value and insight from the constantly growing trends of increasing sensorization and instrumentation of both virtual and physical worlds,” Walsh told GeekWire in an email.</p> <figure id="attachment_474982" style="width: 240px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-474982 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Paul-Streck-Headshot-240x300.png" alt="" width="240" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Paul-Streck-Headshot-240x300.png 240w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Paul-Streck-Headshot-200x250.png 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Paul-Streck-Headshot-80x100.png 80w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Paul-Streck-Headshot.png 360w" sizes="(max-width: 240px) 100vw, 240px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Paul Streck. (Alder photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>—It&#8217;s been a busy 12 months for leadership changes at <a href="https://www.alderbio.com/"><strong>Alder BioPharmaceuticals</strong></a>. The migraine drugmaker named <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-streck-md-mba-0a8a044/"><strong>Paul Streck</strong></a> as chief medical officer, following the appointment of Carlos Campoy as CFO in December and Bob Azelby as CEO last summer.</p> <p>Streck was formerly CMO at Insmed, where he helped to secure FDA approval for Arikayce, which treats lung disease caused by bacteria. He was also global medical lead of the Immuno-inflammation division at pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline.</p> <p>The Bothell, Wash.-based biotech said it’s planning to submit a biologics license application for its migraine drug eptinezumab in the first quarter of this year.</p> <p>“I’m excited to join Alder’s strong leadership team and have been inspired by the company’s commitment to transform the treatment paradigm for millions of patients debilitated by migraine,” Streck said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Alder team to ensure the successful approval and launch of eptinezumab and the growth of Alder as a leader in novel migraine therapeutics.”</p> <figure id="attachment_474783" style="width: 225px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-474783 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-225x300.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-225x300.jpg 225w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-768x1026.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-944x1260.jpg 944w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-630x841.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-200x267.jpg 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jatin_Profile-75x100.jpg 75w" sizes="(max-width: 225px) 100vw, 225px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Jatin Mehta. (Aiqudo photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>—Voice-command startup <a href="https://www.aiqudo.com/"><strong>Aiqudo</strong></a> lured Amazon veteran <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jatin-mehta-9952872/"><strong>Jatin Mehta</strong></a> to help build an Alexa competitor as VP of business development. Mehta’s task at his former employer: monetize Alexa.</p> <p>Aiqudo —whose name is a play on the Japanese martial art Aikido — aims to bring natural language voice commands to everyday apps and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/aiqudo-startup-voice-assistants-better-2017-8">get around the walled gardens</a> that prevent today’s voice assistants from being more useful. It currently powers Motorola&#8217;s Moto Voice hands-free command system.</p> <p>&#8220;I spent the better part of the last two years evangelizing voice and saw firsthand how conversational AI has revolutionized our interaction with technology,” Mehta said. “I am thrilled to join Aiqudo because it is uniquely positioned to redefine the relationships consumers have with their devices and mobile apps using voice.”</p> <figure id="attachment_474779" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-474779 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Lucas-Welch-Headshot-300x200.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Lucas-Welch-Headshot-300x200.jpg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Lucas-Welch-Headshot-630x420.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Lucas Welch. (Highspot photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>—<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucaswelch206/"><strong>Lucas Welch</strong></a> has moved from cloud startup Skytap to sales software firm <a href="https://www.highspot.com/"><strong>Highspot</strong></a> as senior director of content and communications.</p> <p>In December, fast-growing Skytap <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/skytap-cuts-25-marketing-jobs-amid-shift-selling-cloud-services-partners/">cut 25 marketing jobs</a> as it transitioned to selling its cloud services through partners. Welch joined Skytap a little less than two years ago, prior to which he led communications at Chef.</p> <p>Highspot <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/highspot-raises-35m-grow-ai-fueled-sales-software-used-amazon-dropbox-twitter-others/">raised $35 million</a> last September in its bid to make salespeople more efficient with AI-fueled software.</p> <p>&#8220;The enthusiasm and momentum at Highspot are tangible and contagious. I&#8217;ve worked to enable sales through comms and content my whole career. So, joining a company using incredible tech to reimagine sales and marketing is really energizing, both personally and professionally,” Welch told GeekWire in an email.</p> <figure id="attachment_474818" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-474818 size-medium" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/David_Parker_Smile_02-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/David_Parker_Smile_02-300x300.jpg 300w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/David_Parker_Smile_02-150x150.jpg 150w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/David_Parker_Smile_02-100x100.jpg 100w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/David_Parker_Smile_02-630x630.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">David Parker. (PMI photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>—Seattle-based <a href="https://www.pmi-worldwide.com/our-brands.aspx"><strong>PMI</strong></a>, the parent of food container company Stanley, hired <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-parker-1543185/"><strong>David Parker</strong></a> to be COO and CFO. Parker joins from the Honest Company, the maker of safe baby products that was founded by actress Jessica Alba. Parker will report to CEO Bob Keller in the wide-ranging role.</p> <p>Beloved by outdoor gear geeks, Stanley is known for its long-running line of thermoses and other durable containers.</p> <p>“Many people today own Stanley thermoses, handed down over generations from their parents and grandparents,” Parker said in a statement. &#8220;I’m thrilled to join an organization that’s driven by a deep, lasting commitment to its customers, and look forward to partnering with the team in leading the company forward.”</p> <p>Fun fact: David’s brother Allen Parker <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/zillow-group-hires-amazon-veteran-allen-parker-new-cfo/">became Zillow&#8217;s CFO</a> last November.</p> Who watches this hit? Amazon Studios revs up its hashtag game in promoting ‘The Grand Tour’ https://www.geekwire.com/2019/watches-hit-amazon-studios-revs-hashtag-game-promoting-grand-tour/ GeekWire urn:uuid:0fb2317c-863b-16eb-dca0-ffbb2b2cce04 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 23:27:40 +0100 <img width="1260" height="351" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-1260x351.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM.png" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-1260x351.png 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-768x214.png 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-630x176.png 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>There&#8217;s plenty of s*it on television. Promoting it as such is generally not the norm for studios. Amazon Studios was having some fun on Twitter on Thursday and Friday — and trending, to boot — with a hashtag for the series &#8220;The Grand Tour&#8221; which runs a few words together and turns &#8220;hitshow&#8221; into a &#8220;s*itshow.&#8221; The docu-style car lovers&#8217; comedy, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, just returned to Amazon Prime Video for season three. The gents get to &#8220;rampage around the world driving muscle cars, Italian classics, hot hatchbacks, luxury bargains, pick-up trucks, photography platforms, grand tourers,&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/watches-hit-amazon-studios-revs-hashtag-game-promoting-grand-tour/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_475086" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-475086" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-630x176.png" alt="" width="630" height="176" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-630x176.png 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-768x214.png 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-18-at-2.22.18-PM-1260x351.png 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The banner across the top of the @TheGrandTour Twitter page. (via @TheGrandTour)</figcaption></figure> <p>There&#8217;s plenty of s*it on television. Promoting it as such is generally not the norm for studios.</p> <p>Amazon Studios was having some fun on Twitter on Thursday and Friday — and trending, to boot — with a hashtag for the series &#8220;The Grand Tour&#8221; which runs a few words together and turns &#8220;hitshow&#8221; into a &#8220;s*itshow.&#8221;</p> <p>The docu-style car lovers&#8217; comedy, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KR8383J/ref=dvm_us_aos_soc_tgt_twt_pd_1">just returned to Amazon Prime Video</a> for season three. The gents get to &#8220;rampage around the world driving muscle cars, Italian classics, hot hatchbacks, luxury bargains, pick-up trucks, photography platforms, grand tourers, motorised suitcases, astronauts&#8217; cars and more,&#8221; according to the show description.</p> <p>The kids in marketing apparently didn&#8217;t want to be left out of the fun &#8230;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Amazon’s hit car show returns. Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheGrandTour?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheGrandTour</a> now only on Prime Video. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/amazonshitcarshow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#amazonshitcarshow</a></p> <p>&mdash; The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) <a href="https://twitter.com/thegrandtour/status/1085848332940050437?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 17, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The guys at <a href="https://twitter.com/thegrandtour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@thegrandtour</a> asked us to help promote the new season. And include <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/amazonshitcarshow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#amazonshitcarshow</a> in the caption. Send tweet. <a href="https://t.co/8HuaLBoCjV">pic.twitter.com/8HuaLBoCjV</a></p> <p>&mdash; Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonStudios/status/1086261994787926016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Great hashtag, guys, really nailed the marketing this season. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/amazonshitcarshow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#amazonshitcarshow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/thegrandtour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@thegrandtour</a> <a href="https://t.co/epAopE437f">pic.twitter.com/epAopE437f</a></p> <p>&mdash; Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonStudios/status/1086284615193690112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks. Really wasn&#39;t that difficult. Put some words together that describe the show, then stick a hashtag in front of it for the youths.</p> <p>&mdash; The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) <a href="https://twitter.com/thegrandtour/status/1086295503745269760?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good at driving AND marketing, so much talent</p> <p>&mdash; Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonStudios/status/1086297523696787462?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote> Wrong Number: How to tell fact from fiction in a world full of bogus data https://www.geekwire.com/2019/wrong-number-tell-fact-fiction-world-full-bogus-misleading-data/ GeekWire urn:uuid:5c4dbb99-0623-f21e-038a-f6e0a3447260 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 22:54:40 +0100 <img width="1048" height="716" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump.jpg 1048w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump-768x525.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump-630x430.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1048px) 100vw, 1048px"><br>Here&#8217;s a pop quiz: Which of these public statements contained incorrect or misleading numbers? &#8220;Add that to Marco&#8217;s plan for a trillion dollars in new military spending, and you get something to me that sounds not very conservative.&#8221; ― U.S. Sen Rand Paul, speaking about Sen. Marco Rubio during a 2015 Republican Presidential Debate. &#8220;Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase, which they didn&#8217;t even ask for.&#8221; ― U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then a House candidate, in July 2018 on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. &#8220;They said, &#8216;You know we could make it smaller. &#8216;We&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/wrong-number-tell-fact-fiction-world-full-bogus-misleading-data/">Read More</a> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full-width wp-image-475015" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump-630x430.jpg" alt="" width="630" height="430" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump-630x430.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump-768x525.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/numbersgeektrump.jpg 1048w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /></p> <p>Here&#8217;s a pop quiz: Which of these public statements contained incorrect or misleading numbers?</p> <p>&#8220;Add that to Marco&#8217;s plan for <strong>a trillion dollars in new military spending</strong>, and you get something to me that sounds not very conservative.&#8221; ― U.S. Sen Rand Paul, speaking about Sen. Marco Rubio during <a href="https://youtu.be/38IC-htEWoQ?t=42s">a 2015 Republican Presidential Debate</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;Just last year we gave the military <strong>a $700 billion budget increase</strong>, which they didn&#8217;t even ask for.&#8221; ― U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then a House candidate, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUmIdCClbTE&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=13m50s">in July 2018 on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;They said, &#8216;You know we could make it smaller. &#8216;We could make it 3 percent, we could make it 2 percent, we could make it 4 percent.&#8217; I said, &#8216;No, <strong>make it 10 percent, make it more than 10 percent.</strong>&#8216; &#8221;  ―  President Donald Trump on military pay increases during <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_u5zPWNlIs">a December 2018 visit to Iraq.</a></p> <p>The answer is … every one of those statements was incorrect or misleading.</p> <p><iframe src="https://omny.fm/shows/numbersgeek/wrong-number-how-to-detect-bogus-data-in-the-news/embed?style=cover" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>On this episode of Numbers Geek, we’ll talk with someone who specializes in recognizing &#8220;bogus and misleading&#8221; numbers in media coverage and public statements: Brian Kernighan, a Princeton University computer science professor and the author of a new book,<a href="https://press.princeton.edu/titles/14171.html"> “Millions, Billions, Zillions: Defending Yourself in a World of Too Many Numbers.”</a></p> <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-475013" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9780691182773_0-e1547842744355.png" alt="" width="282" height="338" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9780691182773_0-e1547842744355.png 282w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9780691182773_0-e1547842744355-250x300.png 250w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9780691182773_0-e1547842744355-200x240.png 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9780691182773_0-e1547842744355-83x100.png 83w" sizes="(max-width: 282px) 100vw, 282px" /></p> <p>The book arose from class that he teaches at Princeton about computing and communications for non-technical students. He uses the mistakes as real-world examples to help the students learn to detect errors.</p> <p>Among the techniques Kernighan suggests:</p> <ul> <li>Ask yourself what the implications of a particular number would be, if accurate. Kernighan cites the example of a news article suggesting energy savings of $88 per day if people turned off their computer monitors per night. In reality, that was the savings per year. Few people could afford to run a computer if that number was true.</li> <li>Break a number down to one person&#8217;s share of the number, and ask if the number makes sense on that scale. For example, a useful number to know for context is 325 million, the approximate population of the United States. An effective technique is to divide numbers by 325 million (or even 300 million to get in the ballpark) and asking if the result per person is reasonable</li> <li>Consider numbers as a percentage of larger known numbers. For example, it&#8217;s often useful to look at numbers as a percentage of total state, local and government spending of about $5.7 trillion.</li> </ul> <p>That last technique helps us fact-check the statements above about U.S. military spending and pay.</p> <figure id="attachment_475053" style="width: 542px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="https://usafacts.org/metrics/25519"><img class="wp-image-475053 size-full" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/defense5.jpg" alt="" width="542" height="715" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/defense5.jpg 542w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/defense5-227x300.jpg 227w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/defense5-200x264.jpg 200w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/defense5-76x100.jpg 76w" sizes="(max-width: 542px) 100vw, 542px" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">USAFacts Graphic</figcaption></figure> <p>National defense spending in 2017 totaled $728.9 billion, a decrease from $916.6 billion in 2010 (adjusted to 2016 dollars for comparison) These numbers ebb and flow with U.S. military engagement in overseas conflicts. Defense spending is about 13 percent of total federal, state and local government spending.</p> <ul> <li>In the case of <span style="font-weight: 400;">Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, she mistakenly referred to the total size of the military budget rather than the budget increase. To her credit, her campaign acknowledged afterward that she misspoke, although the Daily Show video of the misstatement <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUmIdCClbTE&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=13m50s">remains uncorrected</a>.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">What about Rand Paul&#8217;s statement that Marco Rubio wanted to increase military spending by a trillion dollars? That seems out of proportion given that the entire budget is $717 billion under the plan approved by Congress. It turned out that Paul <a href="https://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2015/nov/12/rand-paul/marco-rubio-not-conservative-proposes-1-trillion-b/">was referring to Rubio’s planned increase over </a></span><a href="https://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2015/nov/12/rand-paul/marco-rubio-not-conservative-proposes-1-trillion-b/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">10 years</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which Paul didn’t say.</span></li> <li>Trump&#8217;s statement on military pay <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/dec/27/donald-trump/trump-military-pay-increases-wrong-size-timing/">was incorrect</a>. The pay raise authorized in the 2019 budget was 2.6 percent. Total military compensation per active duty servicemember has grown from $59,000 in 1980 to $113,000 in 2016, after adjusting for inflation. This number includes salary and all benefits. Compensation of personnel represents 33 percent of military spending.</li> </ul> <p>Listen to the full episode of Numbers Geek above, and for a deep dive on U.S. military spending, see <a href="https://usafacts.org/metrics/25519">USAFacts.org</a> and pages 35-38 of the <a href="https://static.usafacts.org/public/resources/USAFactsReport2018.pdf">2018 USA Facts annual report.</a></p> Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture resets New Shepard test launch after snag https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-venture-resets-new-shepard-test-launch-snag/ GeekWire urn:uuid:caf34dff-e1da-a812-41a9-590c23e49312 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 22:45:16 +0100 <img width="1260" height="940" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-1260x940.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="New Shepard ready for launch" data-fl-original-src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue.jpg" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-1260x940.jpg 1260w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-768x573.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-630x470.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px"><br>Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, says it plans to launch the 10th uncrewed test flight of its New Shepard suborbital spaceship on Monday, more than a month after a ground infrastructure issue forced a postponement. Liftoff is set for 9 a.m. CT (7 a.m. PT) at Blue Origin&#8217;s spaceport and test facility in West Texas. Video coverage will be streamed via the Kent, Wash.-based company&#8217;s website. The flight&#8217;s main goal is to test the systems on New Shepard in preparation for flying passengers later this year. But even though the crew capsule won&#8217;t be&#8230; <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-venture-resets-new-shepard-test-launch-snag/">Read More</a> <figure id="attachment_468842" style="width: 630px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-full-width wp-image-468842" src="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-630x470.jpg" alt="New Shepard ready for launch" width="630" height="470" srcset="https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-630x470.jpg 630w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-768x573.jpg 768w, https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181217-blue-1260x940.jpg 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Blue Origin&#8217;s New Shepard suborbital spaceship sits on its West Texas launch pad in preparation for a launch in July 2018. (Blue Origin Photo)</figcaption></figure> <p>Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, says it plans to launch the 10th uncrewed test flight of its <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/tag/new-shepard/">New Shepard suborbital spaceship</a> on Monday, more than a month after a ground infrastructure issue forced a postponement.</p> <p>Liftoff is set for 9 a.m. CT (7 a.m. PT) at Blue Origin&#8217;s spaceport and test facility in West Texas. Video coverage will be <a href="https://www.blueorigin.com/">streamed via the Kent, Wash.-based company&#8217;s website</a>.</p> <p>The flight&#8217;s main goal is to test the systems on New Shepard in preparation for flying passengers later this year. But even though the crew capsule won&#8217;t be carrying any crew this time around, it won&#8217;t be empty:</p> <p>Blue Origin plans to fly eight NASA-funded science payloads, including a payload from the University of Central Florida that consists of two experiments. The payloads have received funding from NASA&#8217;s Flight Opportunities Program and are good to go despite the partial government shutdown. &#8220;Blue supports NASA’s Flight Opportunities program and its role in perfecting technology for a future human presence in space,&#8221; <a href="https://www.blueorigin.com/news/new-shepard-to-fly-9-nasa-sponsored-payloads-to-space-on-ns-10">Blue Origin said in a news release</a>.</p> <p>The flight profile for a typical New Shepard flight test involves firing up the craft&#8217;s booster to send the crew capsule to heights above 62 miles (100 kilometers), crossing the space frontier in the process. After separation, the reusable booster flies itself back to a landing, while the capsule deploys parachutes and floats back to Earth.</p> <p>There are a few minutes of weightlessness at the top of the ride, and based on webcam views from previous tests, there are great views of the curving Earth beneath the black sky of space.</p> <p>This 10th flight test was initially planned for Dec. 18, but Blue Origin said it had to delay the launch due to a <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-venture-will-send-science-space-10th-test-flight/">ground infrastructure issue</a> and other concerns that cropped up.</p> <p>The company hasn&#8217;t provided details, but outside sources who are familiar with launch procedures have speculated that the ground infrastructure issue had to do either with the system that provides liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for the booster, or with the range tracking system.</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/1086361054446141440">Today Blue Origin said</a> &#8220;we’ve fixed our ground infrastructure issue and both the vehicle and weather look good.&#8221;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The next launch attempt for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewShepard?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NewShepard</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NS10?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NS10</a> mission will be Jan 21. We’ve fixed our ground infrastructure issue and both the vehicle and weather look good. Stay tuned for launch timing. Live webcast will be on <a href="https://t.co/WAB1Oy2KuL">https://t.co/WAB1Oy2KuL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GradatimFerociter?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GradatimFerociter</a> <a href="https://t.co/6pusPUJd8v">https://t.co/6pusPUJd8v</a> <a href="https://t.co/dSTGebImjr">pic.twitter.com/dSTGebImjr</a></p> <p>&mdash; Blue Origin (@blueorigin) <a href="https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/1086361054446141440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p>Here’s the lineup of payloads, as described by Blue Origin:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Carthage College Space Sciences Program:</strong> The <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=c21ba3c7cc&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3Dc21ba3c7cc%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGBkAQuZ26Vh5bX3pVvpNfRbt6h0Q">Modal Propellant Gauging</a> experiment led by Kevin Crosby is a joint effort with the NASA Kennedy Space Center Cryogenics Laboratory. It demonstrates a way to measure fuel levels in microgravity by using sound waves.</li> <li><strong>Controlled Dynamics Inc</strong>.<strong>:</strong> The <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=d6702bf84f&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3Dd6702bf84f%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEnPb6Azf-H0zOMdkeY2a1yLrAWqw">Vibration Isolation Platform (VIP)</a> aims to separate payloads from the normally occurring vibrations experienced during spaceflight. The apparatus should give researchers a clear understanding of microgravity’s effects on their research results. The team is led by Scott Green. VIP also flew aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity.</li> <li><strong>Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab:</strong> On its second flight with Blue, the <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=ed294ed535&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3Ded294ed535%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFto3RhMvHOC8bLKQk-f7XE-ycEzg">EM Field</a> experiment will observe and collect data on the naturally occurring electromagnetic fields inside and outside New Shepard during the launch. Principal investigator Todd Smith will use this experiment to determine how global measurements of Earth’s electromagnetic field can be conducted in the future.</li> <li><strong>NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:</strong> Cooling tightly-packed electronics onboard a spacecraft can be challenging, and many solutions have not been able to undergo robust testing. Principal investigator Franklin Robinson will test one of these solutions in his <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=ac40e09ac8&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3Dac40e09ac8%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHYdvNva8mhHQw1I56Z8785ZzlylQ">Flow Boiling in Microgap Coolers</a> experiment.</li> <li><strong>NASA Johnson Space Center: </strong>On its third flight on New Shepard, the <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=3344e3108b&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3D3344e3108b%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGODdQN0C_kGz_RC4tdsiKpz5a2ZA">Suborbital Flight Experiment Monitor-2 (SFEM-2)</a>, led by Katy Hurlbert, will analyze various aspects of the flight environment during New Shepard’s mission profile, measuring cabin pressure, temperature, CO2, acoustic conditions, acceleration and more. The data collected will help future researchers on New Shepard design the most effective experiments for the vehicle.</li> <li><strong>Purdue University: </strong>Steven Collicott’s payload looks at <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=f400e0bc43&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3Df400e0bc43%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE5dd1RsFd1QboXNsrt834cCr1v6w">Zero-Gravity Green Propellant Management Technology</a>, which aims to help advance the use of a safer and more environmentally friendly rocket propellant by better understanding the fuel’s behavior in microgravity.</li> <li><strong>University of Central Florida:</strong> Two teams led by Josh Colwell and Addie Dove have planetary science payloads on New Shepard. The <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=e916d43bd7&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3De916d43bd7%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHM9F7KI3IbIO4fhcg_rg7WkejVag">Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE)</a> aims to understand how dust particles react after surface contact during exploration missions to places such as the moon, Mars and asteroids. The <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=936fe64926&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3D936fe64926%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE5jNF0dcLRFbcPPaB6ZGGYT5NMDg">Collection of Regolith Experiment (CORE</a>) addresses the unique challenge of collecting and analyzing material samples in microgravity. COLLIDE also flew aboard VSS Unity.</li> <li><strong>University of Florida:</strong> Rob Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul are adapting technology designed for the International Space Station to suborbital uses with their experiment, <a href="https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382&amp;id=69573fd7c3&amp;e=5d64710352" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://blueorigin.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Dca4c14684ac1af3f1219b4382%26id%3D69573fd7c3%26e%3D5d64710352&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1545159317078000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFB1AMWg2IdpBzzDCcwvotYQEFkyA">Validating Telemetric Imaging Hardware for Crew-Assisted and Crew-Autonomous Biological Imaging in Suborbital Applications</a>. By recalibrating the way data is collected, the experiment will enable more biological research on suborbital missions. This experiment also flew aboard VSS Unity.</li> </ul> <p>In addition to its suborbital New Shepard space program, Blue Origin is working on an orbital-class rocket called <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/tag/new-glenn/">New Glenn</a>. There’s also a lunar lander called<a href="https://www.geekwire.com/tag/blue-moon/"> Blue Moon</a> in the works.</p> <p>Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft and its hydrogen-fueled BE-3 rocket engine are built at the company’s headquarters in Kent.</p> <p>New Glenn will use a more powerful engine known as the <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/tag/be-4-rocket-engine/">BE-4</a>, which is fueled with liquefied natural gas. BE-4 engines are currently being manufactured in Kent and tested in Texas. However, engine production is expected to shift to Alabama, with the New Glenn rocket destined to be built and launched in Florida.</p> <p>This week, Blue Origin released a video highlighting the latest design of the New Glenn rocket, which has a wider payload fairing and a whiter paint job:</p> <div class="jetpack-video-wrapper"><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LSftIaLhQzE?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> Sonos and Ikea’s Symfonisk smart speakers will launch this August https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188661/sonos-ikea-symfonisk-smart-speaker-furniture The Verge - All Posts urn:uuid:30895812-54b8-a8f3-65b6-ba4b437f6f15 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 22:22:54 +0100 <img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Dyc1Nu-qEmF4BnRHvD7KOrfkna8=/0x0:920x613/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62871689/IMG_9551.1528368212.0.jpg" /> <p id="l5Z9cq">Ikea and Sonos released a teaser video today revealing that their collaborative line of Symfonisk smart speakers will launch this August, as spotted by <a href="https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/ikea-sonos-symfonisk-august-1203111872/"><em>Variety</em></a>. The partnership, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/6/16741194/sonos-ikea-partnership-home-smart">first announced in 2017</a>, was created to find seamless ways to integrate Sonos products into Ikea furniture and lower the cost of entry into built-in home sound systems.</p> <p id="8TkFPC">The collaboration focuses on bringing “music and sound” into the home, which covers playing from streaming services and <a href="https://www.pocket-lint.com/speakers/news/sonos/146195-sonos-ikea-symfonisk-ceo-interview">potentially also</a> the ability to access smart assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Sonos also has said that the Symfonisk line will fully integrate with Ikea’s range of Trådfri smart devices, like <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/10/2/16363566/ikea-smart-light-review-tradfri">lights</a>, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/29/18118357/ikea-smart-plug-echo-google-apple-homekit-tradfri-gateway">wall outlets</a>, and its upcoming <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/1/7/18172043/ikea-smart-blinds-kadrilj-fyrtur-tradfi-home-connected-wifi-homekit-alexa-price">smart shades</a>.</p> <div id="0j5WIT"><div style="left: 0; width: 100%; height: 0; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.2493%;"></div></div> <p id="8uOdQj">Ikea showed off...</p> <p> <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/18/18188661/sonos-ikea-symfonisk-smart-speaker-furniture">Continue reading&hellip;</a> </p>