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After firing Timnit Gebru, Google is now investigating another researcher in its ethical AI division January 20, 2021

Google has suspended the corporate account of Margaret Mitchell, Timnit Gebru’s former co-lead of the Big G’s ethical AI division, claiming she shared thousands of internal files with people outside the company. A source told Axios that Mitchell had been using automated scripts to find messages showing discriminatory treatment of Gebru, whose recent ousting from the […]

After firing Timnit Gebru, Google is now investigating another researcher in its ethical AI division


Google has suspended the corporate account of Margaret Mitchell, Timnit Gebru’s former co-lead of the Big G’s ethical AI division, claiming she shared thousands of internal files with people outside the company. A source told Axios that Mitchell had been using automated scripts to find messages showing discriminatory treatment of Gebru, whose recent ousting from the tech giant sparked outrage among colleagues. A Google spokesperson said the company was investigating the incident: Our security systems automatically lock an employee’s corporate account when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving…

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After firing Timnit Gebru, Google is now investigating another researcher in its ethical AI division
Source: The Next Web

Windows 10X spotted running on a MacBook with M1 chip and Lumia smartphone

Remember that recently leaked near-final build of Windows 10X? It’s now running on a number of assorted devices. Windows 10X spotted running on a MacBook with M1 chip and Lumia smartphone
Source: Tech Radar Software

3D Printed Gesture-Controlled Robot Arm is a Ton of Tutorials

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Ever wanted your own gesture-controlled robot arm? [EbenKouao]’s DIY Arduino Robot Arm project covers all the bases involved, but even if a robot arm isn’t your jam, his project has plenty to learn from. Every part is carefully explained, complete with source code and a list of required hardware. This approach to documenting a project is great because it not only makes it easy to replicate the results, but it makes it simple to remix, modify, and reuse separate pieces as a reference for other work.

[EbenKouao] uses a 3D-printable robotic gripper, base, and arm design as the foundation of his build. Hobby servos and a single NEMA 17 stepper take care of the moving, and the wiring and motor driving is all carefully explained. Gesture control is done by wearing an articulated glove upon which is mounted flex sensors and MPU6050 accelerometers. These sensors detect the wearer’s movements and turn them into motion commands, which in turn get sent wirelessly from the glove to the robotic arm with HC-05 Bluetooth modules. We really dig [EbenKouao]’s idea of mounting the glove sensors to this slick 3D-printed articulated gauntlet frame, but using a regular glove would work, too. The latest version of the Arduino code can be found on the project’s GitHub repository.

Most of the parts can be 3D printed, how every part works together is carefully explained, and all of the hardware is easily sourced online, making this a very accessible project. Check out the full tutorial video and demonstration, embedded below.

3D printing has been a boon for many projects, especially those involving robotic arms. All kinds of robotic arm projects benefit from the advantages of 3D printing, from designs that focus on utility and function, to clever mechanical designs that reduce part count in unexpected ways.

3D Printed Gesture-Controlled Robot Arm is a Ton of Tutorials
Source: HackADay

Need help to help organise your working day? Microsoft's Lists app arrives for iOS

It’s free to download but with a Sharepoint catch. Need help to help organise your working day? Microsoft's Lists app arrives for iOS
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Google’s new Chrome 88 update improves dark mode, removes FTP and Adobe Flash

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is releasing a new version of Chrome this week that will improve its dark mode support, alongside removing FTP and Adobe Flash support. The dark mode improvements can be found on both Windows and Chrome OS. There are refinements to both the light and dark modes in Chrome OS, with the themes updated for the app launcher, quick settings, and shelf parts of Chrome OS.

How To Geek also reports that the Windows 10 dark mode is improved with Chrome 88, with scroll bars finally appearing dark. Unfortunately, these are currently limited to the settings, bookmarks, history, and new tab pages of Chrome 88 and not across all websites with dark themes.

Elsewhere, Google is also removing some old web technology in Chrome 88. The File…

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Google’s new Chrome 88 update improves dark mode, removes FTP and Adobe Flash
Source: New feed

Open source security software Snort gets a major upgrade

New release follows over seven years of development. Open source security software Snort gets a major upgrade
Source: Tech Radar Software

MediaTek’s 2021 flagship chip comes with big promises: 168Hz display and ray tracing


When it comes to smartphone chipsets, usually, Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung rule consumer debates. However, Taiwanese firm MediaTek, which became the largest chipset vendor in Q3 2020, is no small fish. The chipmaker released its new flagship processor, called the Dimensity 1200, today. The chip is the firm’s first high-end mobile CPU since 2019, when it released the Dimensity 1000. It also released a toned-down cousin of the 1200, called the Dimensity 1100. The 6nm chip follows an architecture of 1 ultra-high performance core, 3 high-performance cores, and 4 efficiency cores. However, the most interesting feature of the process is support for 168Hz…

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MediaTek’s 2021 flagship chip comes with big promises: 168Hz display and ray tracing
Source: The Next Web

Some Trump backers are getting hit with one-star online reviews — including MyPillow and real estate agent Jenna Ryan

Welcome to online activism in the digital age. Some Trump backers are getting hit with one-star online reviews — including MyPillow and real estate agent Jenna Ryan
Source: Washington Post Tech

Biden takes over POTUS Twitter account, inheriting a blank slate from Trump

President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will take over the official White House social media accounts Wednesday. But Twitter won’t transfer followers, unlike with the previous administration. Biden takes over POTUS Twitter account, inheriting a blank slate from Trump
Source: Washington Post Tech

Interview with Drupal founder Dries Buytaert as it marks 20 years, on importance of user experience, open source, API first approach, JavaScript bloat, and more (Tim Anderson/The Register)


Tim Anderson / The Register:

Interview with Drupal founder Dries Buytaert as it marks 20 years, on importance of user experience, open source, API first approach, JavaScript bloat, and more  —  Commercial involvement in open source is essential, says CMS boss  —  Interview Content management system Drupal is 20 years old …

Interview with Drupal founder Dries Buytaert as it marks 20 years, on importance of user experience, open source, API first approach, JavaScript bloat, and more (Tim Anderson/The Register)
Source: Tech Meme

Google is investigating another top AI ethicist

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is investigating artificial intelligence researcher Margaret Mitchell, who co-leads the company’s Ethical AI team, and has locked her corporate account, Axios reports. The news comes a little over a month after another prominent AI ethicist, Timnit Gebru, said she was fired by the company. Mitchell’s account has now reportedly been locked for “at least a few days” but she hasn’t been fired, according to a tweet from Gebru. Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement given to Axios, Google said it was investigating Mitchell after its systems detected an account had “exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with multiple external accounts.” According to an Axios source, Mitchell had been…

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Google is investigating another top AI ethicist
Source: New feed

LG considers exiting smartphones in 2021

LG’s Wing smartphone. | Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

LG is considering exiting the smartphone market in 2021. After losing around $4.5 billion over the past five years, LG’s smartphone business has been struggling to compete with rivals. Now LG CEO Kwon Bong-seok has notified employees that the company is considering making big changes to its smartphone business.

The Korea Herald reports that Kwon Bong-seok sent out an internal memo to staff on Wednesday, hinting at a change in direction for LG’s phone business. “Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” says an LG official in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale,…

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LG considers exiting smartphones in 2021
Source: New feed

3 creative ways to use your brand’s data to improve marketing measures


Marketing is an undeniably creative medium. But all too often, I’ve seen marketers lean a bit too heavily on the creative side — to the point where they ignore or overlook the messaging that would have the greatest impact on their customers. When it comes to understanding your customers’ needs and communicating how you can address those needs, you’re going to have to rely on data. While data may not always seem like a natural match with a creative activity like advertising, there is no denying that when used right, it will make all the difference in helping you achieve…

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3 creative ways to use your brand’s data to improve marketing measures
Source: The Next Web

Windows 10 update is reportedly causing serious problems that prevent PCs from starting

Microsoft’s latest patches for January seem to be bad news for some users. Windows 10 update is reportedly causing serious problems that prevent PCs from starting
Source: Tech Radar Software

How machine learning enhances customer segmentation


One of the key challenges that marketing teams must solve is allocating their resources in a way that minimizes “cost per acquisition” (CPA) and increases return on investment. This is possible through segmentation, the process of dividing customers into different groups based on their behavior or characteristics. Customer segmentation can help reduce waste in marketing campaigns. If you know which customers are similar to each other, you’ll be better positioned to target your campaigns at the right people. Customer segmentation can also help in other marketing tasks such as product recommendations, pricing, and up-selling strategies. Customer segmentation was previously a…

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How machine learning enhances customer segmentation
Source: The Next Web

Mercedes-Benz EQA debuts as the automaker's entry-level EV – Roadshow

The EQA has great standard tech and a handsome face, but we don’t yet know if it’ll come to the US. Mercedes-Benz EQA debuts as the automaker's entry-level EV – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Mercedes-Benz unveils EQA electric crossover with less than 300 miles of range

Images: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz threw back the curtain on the EQA crossover, its latest electric vehicle as part of a slate of new EVs that are being planned for the coming years. The compact SUV will have a range of less than 300 miles, a 66.5kWh battery pack, and a net list price of €39,950 ($48,442).

The EQA, which is based on the German automaker’s GLA-class of SUVs, is scheduled to go into production this year in Europe, but likely won’t make it to the US anytime soon. That said, a spokesperson for Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, said the EQA is still being considered for the US market.

American car buyers would do better waiting for the EQB electric crossover, which will be closely related to the boxier GLB-class vehicle. The EQB is also…

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Mercedes-Benz unveils EQA electric crossover with less than 300 miles of range
Source: New feed

Alibaba shares jump 8% as Jack Ma surfaces after 3 months


Jack Ma is back. Well, not in an Arnie-in-terminator way, but the Alibaba co-founder, who was believed to have gone missing for several weeks until recently, made a video appearance in an educational event where he addressed teachers working in rural China. The ecommerce company’s shares jumped by more than 8% on the Hong Kong stock exchange on the back of Ma’s first sighting in three months. Ant Group, Alibaba’s affiliate company, confirmed the video’s authenticity to Bloomberg and TechCrunch. At the time of writing, the company’s share prices were HKD265.0 ($34.19). Ma, who used to be an English teacher and founder…

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Alibaba shares jump 8% as Jack Ma surfaces after 3 months
Source: The Next Web

Scanner Snooping Uncovers Focus Farce

From his comments about the noisy image and limited controls, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume [Andrew Jeddeloh] isn’t a huge fan of using his Epson V550 for scanning film. But is it really irredeemable? That’s what he set out to determine in a recent series of posts on his blog, and from what we can tell, it’s not looking good for the old Epson.

The first post attempts to quantify the optical capabilities of the scanner by determining its modulation transfer function (MTF), point spread function (PSF), and comparing its horizontal and vertical resolution. As you might expect, the nuances of these measurements are a bit beyond the average user. The short version of his analysis is that the scanner’s slide frame does indeed seem to be holding objects at the proper “sweet spot” for this particular image sensor; meaning that contrary to the advice he’d seen online, there’s nothing to be gained by purchasing custom film or slide holders.

MTF versus height of film from bed.

While investigating the optical properties of the scanner, [Andrew] became curious about the automatic focus options offered by the VueScan software he was using. The images produced appeared to be identical regardless of what option he selected, and he began to suspect the feature wasn’t actually doing anything. To confirm his theory, he wrote a shim program that would sit between the proprietary VueScan program and the V550 driver and log all of the data passing between them.

After tweaking various options and comparing the captured data streams, [Andrew] determined that enabling automatic focus in VueScan doesn’t do anything. At least, not with his scanner. He did notice a few extra bytes getting sent to the driver depending on which focus options were selected, but the response from the scanner didn’t change. He thinks the program likely has some kind of generic framework for enabling these kind of features on supported hardware, and it’s just mistakenly showing the autofocus options for a scanner that doesn’t support it.

If there’s some film you want to digitize, but you’re saddled with a scanner like the V550, you could always do it with a camera instead. You could even put together a passable film scanner with LEGO.

Scanner Snooping Uncovers Focus Farce
Source: HackADay

Google Chrome 88's new features to make your passwords more secure

The update will identify when a password is weak and then give Chrome users the opportunity to create and store something that’s stronger. Google Chrome 88's new features to make your passwords more secure
Source: Tech Radar Software

Alibaba’s Jack Ma reemerges from three-month absence after clash with Beijing

The entrepreneur gave a speech on rural education, his first appearance since his public criticism of China’s financial regulators. Alibaba’s Jack Ma reemerges from three-month absence after clash with Beijing
Source: Washington Post Tech

MediaTek's new chipsets pack in features for high-end phones — but not faster 5G – CNET

The Dimensity 1100 and 1200 will first arrive in China in handsets made by realme, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi. MediaTek's new chipsets pack in features for high-end phones — but not faster 5G – CNET
Source: CNet

Facebook’s AI for describing photos in your feed is way smarter now


The internet is not easy to navigate for people with visual imparities. While there are screen reader applications to help them, often, websites or users don’t add alt text to images. In turn, the reader can’t describe to the user what the picture looks like. Thankfully, we have seen plenty of AI models in the last few years that make this task easier by automatically captioning photos. Facebook, which introduced a model called Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) in 2016, has updated its model to identify objects in a photo 10 times more efficiently than before, and in greater detail. The refreshed model can…

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Facebook’s AI for describing photos in your feed is way smarter now
Source: The Next Web

Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski; Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey were among those supporting a pardon for Levandowski (Richard Lawler/Engadget)


Richard Lawler / Engadget:

Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski; Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey were among those supporting a pardon for Levandowski  —  Last year Anthony Levandowski pleaded guilty to one count of stealing materials from Google, where he was an engineer for its self-driving car efforts …

Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski; Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey were among those supporting a pardon for Levandowski (Richard Lawler/Engadget)
Source: Tech Meme

Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski

Anthony Levandowski In Court For Bond Hearing After Being Charged With Stealing Google Trade Secrets
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One of President Trump’s final acts in office is to pardon a former Google engineer who was convicted of stealing trade secrets. Anthony Levandowski worked for Google’s self-driving car division, now called Waymo, before leaving to found Otto, a self-driving truck company that was acquired by Uber. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in August, with judge William Alsup describing the incident as the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.”

“My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to move forward, and thankful to the President and others who supported and advocated on my behalf,” Levandowski said in a tweet confirming the pardon.

Levandowski was found to have downloaded thousands of files to his laptop before he left…

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Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski
Source: New feed

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