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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 […]

Best car air fresheners in 2021 – Roadshow

Whether you simply want a nice clean scent, or want to keep the car fresh for ridesharing purposes, these are our top picks. Best car air fresheners in 2021 – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Robotic Melodica Student Is Enthusuastic But Terrible

Anyone who has through the process of learning to play a musical instrument for the first time, or listening to someone attempting to do so will know that it can be a rather painful and frustrating experience. [Alessandro Perini] apparently couldn’t get enough of the sound of a first-time musician, so he created a robot to play the melodica badly for hours on end, as demonstrated in the video after the break.

The project is appropriately named “AI’ve just started to learn to play”, and attempts to copy every melody it hears in real-time. The robot consists of the cartridge carriage from an old printer, mounted on a wooden frame to hold the melodica. The original carriage used a DC motor with an encoder for accurate movement, but since position accuracy was not desirable, [Alessandro] ditched the encoder. Two small trolley wheels are mounted on the cartridge holder to push down on the melodica’s key. A bistable solenoid valve controls airflow to the melodica from an air compressor. The DC motor and solenoid valve is controlled by an Arduino via a pair of LM298 motor drivers.

A host computer running software written in Cycling ’74 MAX listens to the melody it’s trying to imitate, and send serial commands to the Arduino to move the carriage and open the solenoid to try and match the notes. Of course, it keeps hitting a series of wrong notes in the process. The Arduino code and build instructions have been published, but the main Max software is only described briefly. [Alessandro] demonstrated the robot at a local festival, where it played YouTube tutorial snippets and jammed with a local band for a full 24 hours. You have to respect that level of endurance.

If listening to less error-prone electronically controlled instruments is more to your taste, listen to this building-sized pipe organ play MIDI files.

Robotic Melodica Student Is Enthusuastic But Terrible
Source: HackADay

Best smart displays for 2021: Amazon, Google and more – CNET

Keep in touch with your fam at a distance this holiday with a smart display. Best smart displays for 2021: Amazon, Google and more – CNET
Source: CNet

Flexiv, a Chinese startup that makes general-purpose adaptive robots powered by computer vision and AI, raises $100M+ Series B from investors including Meituan (Rita Liao/TechCrunch)


Rita Liao / TechCrunch:

Flexiv, a Chinese startup that makes general-purpose adaptive robots powered by computer vision and AI, raises $100M+ Series B from investors including Meituan  —  As businesses around the world look to automate production lines and supply chains, companies making the robots are attracting great investor interest.

Flexiv, a Chinese startup that makes general-purpose adaptive robots powered by computer vision and AI, raises 0M+ Series B from investors including Meituan (Rita Liao/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

NYSE says it will delist three Chinese companies, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, on January 7 to comply with a US EO imposing restrictions (Max Zimmerman/Bloomberg)


Max Zimmerman / Bloomberg:

NYSE says it will delist three Chinese companies, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, on January 7 to comply with a US EO imposing restrictions  —  The New York Stock Exchange said it will delist three Chinese companies to comply with a U.S. executive order that imposed restrictions …

NYSE says it will delist three Chinese companies, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, on January 7 to comply with a US EO imposing restrictions (Max Zimmerman/Bloomberg)
Source: Tech Meme

Best smart scale for 2021: Withings, Fitbit, Garmin and Eufy, compared – CNET

The best smart scales can tell you about much more than just your weight. Best smart scale for 2021: Withings, Fitbit, Garmin and Eufy, compared – CNET
Source: CNet

7 most valuable US tech companies added a combined $3.4T in market cap in 2020: Apple gained ~$1T, Amazon $710B, Microsoft $480B, Alphabet $268B, Facebook $193B (Ari Levy/CNBC)


Ari Levy / CNBC:

7 most valuable US tech companies added a combined $3.4T in market cap in 2020: Apple gained ~$1T, Amazon $710B, Microsoft $480B, Alphabet $268B, Facebook $193B  —  – Apple’s market cap jumped by almost $1 trillion this year, followed by Amazon, which increased by over $700 billion.

7 most valuable US tech companies added a combined .4T in market cap in 2020: Apple gained ~T, Amazon 0B, Microsoft 0B, Alphabet 8B, Facebook 3B (Ari Levy/CNBC)
Source: Tech Meme

How a tiny mutant worm is helping find a cure for a rare form of cancer


When the Williamson family from Dundee lost their mother Sue to a rare cancer named phaeochromocytoma in 2003, they didn’t realize that further devastation was to follow. Of her four children, twins Jennie and James discovered that they also have the faulty gene that cut short their mother’s life. Both twins are affected with inoperable tumors wrapped around vital blood vessels and nerves in their necks. Father Jo decided to appear in a Cancer Research pledge video (below) in memory of his wife and to raise awareness of the important work that cancer researchers do for people like his children.…

This story continues at The Next Web

How a tiny mutant worm is helping find a cure for a rare form of cancer
Source: The Next Web

Ambience Lamp Ripples Like Water

After the year humanity has endured, we could all use a little more relaxation in our lives. This atmosphere lamp is just the thing to set a relaxing ambience for work, studying, or hanging out. Just touch the surface and the light ripples to life, resembling the concentric circles that form on the surface of still water when it is touched. When the light settles, it looks like an inviting pool that’s ready for a nighttime swim.

There aren’t really any surprises inside — the lamp is operated via capsense by touching the center of the top. Three NeoPixel rings and an RGB LED strip provide the lighting, and an Arduino UNO runs the show. [Qttting_F] used an inexpensive ceramic bowl with a piece of acrylic for a lid, but this could just as easily be printed in white PLA or something. Check it out in action after the break.

Ambience is nice, but sometimes you need something more functional. Those types of lamps can be printed, too.

Ambience Lamp Ripples Like Water
Source: HackADay

Alphabet's Wing says new FAA drone rules mandating radio-frequency broadcasts for remote identification will erode privacy, suggests internet-based tracking (David Shepardson/Reuters)

David Shepardson / Reuters:

Alphabet’s Wing says new FAA drone rules mandating radio-frequency broadcasts for remote identification will erode privacy, suggests internet-based tracking  —  Alphabet Inc’s drone delivery unit Wing criticized Trump administration rules issued this week mandating broadcast-based remote identification …

Alphabet's Wing says new FAA drone rules mandating radio-frequency broadcasts for remote identification will erode privacy, suggests internet-based tracking (David Shepardson/Reuters)
Source: Tech Meme

The best shower filter for 2021: How they work and why you need one – CNET

Wash away all the chemicals that are hiding in your shower water with these filters. The best shower filter for 2021: How they work and why you need one – CNET
Source: CNet

Best college laptop for 2021: Apple, Microsoft, Dell and more – CNET

Find an affordable laptop for every type of student. Best college laptop for 2021: Apple, Microsoft, Dell and more – CNET
Source: CNet

Gebru's firing reveals tech's ability to co-opt and minimize criticism of its AI systems, highlighting the need for tech unions, research protection, regulation (Wired)


Wired:

Gebru’s firing reveals tech’s ability to co-opt and minimize criticism of its AI systems, highlighting the need for tech unions, research protection, regulation  —  The situation has made clear that the field needs to change.  Here’s where to start, according to a current and a former Googler.

Gebru's firing reveals tech's ability to co-opt and minimize criticism of its AI systems, highlighting the need for tech unions, research protection, regulation (Wired)
Source: Tech Meme

A journalist had a seizure while playing ‘Cyberpunk 2077.’ Then she helped change the game.

“Cyberpunk 2077” publisher CD Projekt Red, worked with Game Informer’s Liana Ruppert to alter certain sequences of the game following the reviewer’s seizure. A journalist had a seizure while playing ‘Cyberpunk 2077.’ Then she helped change the game.
Source: Washington Post Tech

A YouTube channel run from Germany by exiled Turkish journalists was shut down due to copyright claims from Turkey; one expert blames YouTube's Turkey office (Cevheri Güven/Turkish Minute)


Cevheri Güven / Turkish Minute:

A YouTube channel run from Germany by exiled Turkish journalists was shut down due to copyright claims from Turkey; one expert blames YouTube’s Turkey office  —  Bold Medya, a YouTube channel run by the German-based International Journalists Association eV (IJA), was shut down due …

A YouTube channel run from Germany by exiled Turkish journalists was shut down due to copyright claims from Turkey; one expert blames YouTube's Turkey office (Cevheri Güven/Turkish Minute)
Source: Tech Meme

Best action cameras for 2021: GoPro, Insta360, DJI and more compared – CNET

These tiny rugged cameras are made for shooting and sharing your adventures, even if they only happen in your backyard. Best action cameras for 2021: GoPro, Insta360, DJI and more compared – CNET
Source: CNet

A psychologist’s guide to changing the minds of anti-maskers


While the world is eagerly waiting for COVID-19 vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic, wearing a mask to help prevent viral transmission has become more or less mandatory globally. Though many people embrace mask wearing and adhere to public health advice, some rebel and argue that wearing a mask has been imposed upon them against their will. With mask wearing and social distancing, it’s down to the individual to decide whether or not to comply, yet what influences compliance isn’t straightforward. Demographic factors such as income level, political affiliation, and gender have all been associated with whether people…

This story continues at The Next Web

A psychologist’s guide to changing the minds of anti-maskers
Source: The Next Web

The Best Superhero Movies To Revisit, Since We Didn’t Get Many in 2020

30-Day Free Trial | Amazon Prime Video

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The Best Superhero Movies To Revisit, Since We Didn’t Get Many in 2020
Source: Life Hacker

Daniel M. Tellep, Engineer Who Steered Lockheed’s Growth, Dies at 89

A pioneer of aerospace and missile systems, he rose to chief executive, then initiated the Lockheed-Martin merger that formed the world’s largest military contractor. Daniel M. Tellep, Engineer Who Steered Lockheed’s Growth, Dies at 89
Source: NY Times Tech

The Biggest Trends of TikTok 2020

Business, entertainment, news, activism and social connection will never be the same. The Biggest Trends of TikTok 2020
Source: NY Times Tech

Source: Amazon's acquisition of Wondery values the podcasting company, which began in 2016, at roughly $300M (Lauren Hirsch/New York Times)


Lauren Hirsch / New York Times:

Source: Amazon’s acquisition of Wondery values the podcasting company, which began in 2016, at roughly $300M  —  The deal, valued at $300 million, is the latest in a string of acquisitions as streaming platforms expand beyond music and video.  —  Amazon is acquiring Wondery …

Source: Amazon's acquisition of Wondery values the podcasting company, which began in 2016, at roughly 0M (Lauren Hirsch/New York Times)
Source: Tech Meme

Cupcake Machine Makes Tasty, If Weird, Creations

Baking cupcakes is a fun pastime, and one which we imagine many people took up in this year of quarantine and lockdown. However, anything a human can do, a machine can certainly make an attempt at, as [Skyentific] shows with this roboticized cupcake machine.

The build will be familiar to anyone who has worked with 3D printers or DIY CNC machines before. A series of stepper motors move a carriage carrying a regulation-sized patty pan. This is filled with dough from a tube, squirted out by a modified electric caulking gun. The carriage then transports it to a small microwave chamber of custom construction. After a minute or so of cooking, it’s then removed, and topping is applied from a further two caulking guns. An Arduino is in charge of the operation, running the show with some stepper drivers, limit switches, and a bank of relays.

The final product isn’t the prettiest cupcake we’ve ever seen, but it’s perfectly edible. We can imagine with some small modifications the device could probably cook batches of four at a time without too much trouble. We’ve seen other baking robots before, too. Video after the break.

Cupcake Machine Makes Tasty, If Weird, Creations
Source: HackADay

The 10 Best Deals of December 31, 2020

Thursday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

Read more…

The 10 Best Deals of December 31, 2020
Source: Life Hacker

It's game over for FarmVille, as Flash also buys the farm – CNET

The sun is setting on the Facebook game that once had 30 million daily players. It's game over for FarmVille, as Flash also buys the farm – CNET
Source: CNet

SolarWinds hackers accessed Microsoft source code

Microsoft says this is no big deal as the company doesn’t rely on the secrecy of source code for the security of its products. SolarWinds hackers accessed Microsoft source code
Source: ZDNet Microsoft