Employees ask Amazon not to sell face recognition to law enforcement

A group of Amazon employees has penned a letter to company chief Jeff Bezos, asking him to stop selling facial recognition to law enforcement. They said that “in the midst of historic militarization of police, renewed targeting of Black activists, an…

Source: Engadget – Employees ask Amazon not to sell face recognition to law enforcement

Alzheimer's Link To Herpes Virus In Brain, Say Scientists

Tests of brain tissue from nearly 1,000 people found that two strains of herpes virus were far more abundant in the brains of those with early-stage Alzheimer’s than in healthy controls. “[S]cientists are divided on whether viruses are likely to be an active trigger, or whether the brains of people already on the path towards Alzheimer’s are simply more vulnerable to infection,” reports The Guardian. From the report: “The viral genomes were detectable in about 30% of Alzheimer’s brains and virtually undetectable in the control group,” said Sam Gandy, professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York and a co-author of the study. The study also suggested that the presence of the herpes viruses in the brain could influence or control the activity of various genes linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

The scientists did not set out to look for a link between viruses and dementia. Instead they were hoping to pinpoint genes that were unusually active in the brains of people with the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s. But when they studied brain tissue, comparing people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and healthy controls, the most striking differences in gene activity were not found in human genes, but in genes belonging to two herpes virus strains, HHV6A and HHV7. And the abundance of the viruses correlated with clinical dementia scores of the donors.

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Source: Slashdot – Alzheimer’s Link To Herpes Virus In Brain, Say Scientists

New York Knicks top pick wore a 'Fortnite' suit to the draft

Last night the (real, not 2K League) NBA Draft took over the Barclays Center in New York, and once again, Fortnite was on display. Considering the age of most top picks it’s not surprising the game has fans among players, but Kevin Knox took his trib…

Source: Engadget – New York Knicks top pick wore a ‘Fortnite’ suit to the draft

Nintendo can quickly ban Switch pirates from online play

Nintendo has implemented some pretty stringent anti-piracy measures for the Switch, and according to one console hacker, it has already started banning game cart certificates. In a lengthy PSA on the SwitchHacks subreddit, “SciresM” said Nintendo can…

Source: Engadget – Nintendo can quickly ban Switch pirates from online play

California Rep. requests 23andMe to help reunite children with families

California Representative Jackie Speier reportedly asked DNA-testing company 23andMe to help reunite children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border due to Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policies. She told Buzzfeed that she was co…

Source: Engadget – California Rep. requests 23andMe to help reunite children with families

You'll Soon Be Able to Sponsor Your Favorite YouTube Creators for $5 Per Month

Fans of popular YouTube personalities will soon have a new way to show their support for their favorite creators. YouTube announced Thursday several new tools for YouTubers to generate revenue, including a Channel Memberships feature that will allow viewers to subscribe to channels for a monthly fee.

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Source: Gizmodo – You’ll Soon Be Able to Sponsor Your Favorite YouTube Creators for Per Month

How Twitter Made the Tech World's Most Unlikely Comeback

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed: Two years ago, people were writing eulogies for Twitter. Rudderless and without product direction, the company was losing users and advertisers, and seemed unable to contain a metastasizing trolling crisis that was destroying its credibility. Employees left by the dozens and then got laid off by the hundreds. It tried to sell, and failed at that too. The press, Wall Street, and the public were merciless. The New Yorker declared it “The End of Twitter.” Analyst Michael Nathanson said that at $14 per share there was “no compelling reason to own the stock,” and his counterparts applied “sell” ratings in bunches. Over a single weekend in February 2016, more than one million people tweeted “#RIPTwitter.”

But then, even as those eulogies were being published, things started changing. Twitter began beating earnings expectations. Star ex-employees trickled back in, finding a new, more positive internal culture than the toxic one they’d left. Advertisers came back too, as did users. The company finally began addressing its trolling problem. And its stock, once unappealing to analysts like Nathanson at $14, is now trading above $46. It’s still somewhat taboo to say it, but it’s no longer possible to deny it: Twitter is making an unexpected, somewhat miraculous comeback. It is the first major consumer social company to lose users and start growing again in a meaningful way. The report mentions four major factors that led to Twitter’s resurgence: “Its acceptance it would never be Facebook, leading to a decision to focus on news as Facebook pulled back. Its move to aggressively add premium live video to its service. Its CEO Jack Dorsey’s directive to its product team to rethink everything. And a key component of many great comebacks: luck.”

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Source: Slashdot – How Twitter Made the Tech World’s Most Unlikely Comeback

GarageBand lessons are now free for aspiring musicians

GarageBand has long been a useful tool to record music, podcasts and more. Even better, the app is free to download and use on your Mac or iOS devices, making it easy to try. Recent updates have brought enhancements like a portal for free sound packs…

Source: Engadget – GarageBand lessons are now free for aspiring musicians

Instagram Removed a ProPublica Post Outing White Supremacists Because Facebook Keeps Blocking the Wrong Things

Facebook, in attempts to crack down on fake news and other content, has somehow made news organizations its enemy. Just one day after Facebook was criticized for rejecting a promoted post from the nonprofit investigative journalism outlet Reveal, Instagram has now reportedly removed a video from ProPublica’s account.

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Source: Gizmodo – Instagram Removed a ProPublica Post Outing White Supremacists Because Facebook Keeps Blocking the Wrong Things

SpaceX Wins $130 Million Air Force Launch Contract, Marking a First For Falcon Heavy

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $130 million firm-fixed-price contract to SpaceX for the launch of its classified AFSPC-52 satellite on a Falcon Heavy rocket. From a report: It’s the first national security contract won for SpaceX’s heavy-lift rocket, which had its first test flight in February. AFSPC-52 is tue to lift off in 2020 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will support the Air Force Space Command’s “mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation while maintaining assured access to space,” Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for space and commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said today in a news release. In an emailed statement, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said her company was “honored by the Air Force’s selection of Falcon Heavy to launch the competitively awarded AFSPC-52 mission.”

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Source: Slashdot – SpaceX Wins 0 Million Air Force Launch Contract, Marking a First For Falcon Heavy

nuTonomy can test autonomous vehicles city-wide in Boston

Autonomous cars will now be allowed on all public Boston roads. The city has played host to nuTonomy for some time now, allowing the company to test its self-driving Renault Zoes at the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in January of last year, later expa…

Source: Engadget – nuTonomy can test autonomous vehicles city-wide in Boston

Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement

Following employee protests at Google and Microsoft over government contracts, workers at Amazon are circulating an internal letter to CEO Jeff Bezos, asking him to stop selling the company’s Rekognition facial recognition software to law enforcement and to boot the data-mining firm Palantir from its cloud services.

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Source: Gizmodo – Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement

Minecraft Is Coming to Adventure Time for a Very Blocky Episode

Adventure Time already came to Mojang’s survival game/block building phenom Minecraft last year, and now the animated series is returning the favor with a special episode that sees Finn and friends having fun in a much more angular version of the Land of Ooo than they’re used to.

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Source: Gizmodo – Minecraft Is Coming to Adventure Time for a Very Blocky Episode

Algeria Shuts Off Entire Country's Internet To Stop Students From Cheating

Algeria has begun instituting nationwide internet blackouts to prevent students from leaking high school diploma exams online. Gizmodo reports: The country will turn off mobile and landline internet service across the country for an hour at a time during the exam period, which started on Wednesday and runs through June 25. The 11 blackouts are scheduled for an hour after each exam begins. In 2016, exam questions were reportedly leaked online and authorities were dissatisfied with a less stringent attempt to limit social media during the 2017 exams. The sweeping shutdown will also block Facebook for the entirety of the exam period, Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit told Algerian newspaper Annahar, according to the BBC. Benghabrit reportedly said they are “not comfortable” with their choice to shut down all internet service, but that they “should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak.” Metal detectors are reportedly being used to make sure that no one brings any internet-enabled devices into the exam halls. Surveillance cameras and phone jammers are also being used at the locations where the exams are being printed.

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Source: Slashdot – Algeria Shuts Off Entire Country’s Internet To Stop Students From Cheating

The iPhones of the Future May Be Wireless, Portless and Buttonless

The first iPhone to shed its headphone jack was the iPhone 7, which launched in late 2016. Now it seems like the Lightning port may be the next to go. CNET reports: Apple has considered removing the Lightning port on the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg, citing unnamed “people familiar with the company’s work.” While earlier rumors suggested that Apple would remove the Lightning port in favor of USB-C, Apple’s goal may be to remove all ports entirely.

Bloomberg’s report is about the challenges that Apple faces with its AirPower wireless charger, but it also shares some details about Apple’s vision for a wireless future. The report says: “Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company’s work. During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn’t feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.”

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Source: Slashdot – The iPhones of the Future May Be Wireless, Portless and Buttonless

YouTube looks to merch and memberships to make creators more money

YouTube is having a busy day at VidCon 2018. Aside from launching Premieres, a new feature that lets creators hype pre-recorded videos with a public landing page, the company is also announcing new ways for them to make more money. For starters, chan…

Source: Engadget – YouTube looks to merch and memberships to make creators more money

YouTube creators can hype pre-recorded videos with 'Premieres'

While YouTube users have been able to schedule pre-recorded videos for years, up until now there hasn’t been a seamless way to build anticipation for those videos. But, there’s a new feature being launched at VidCon 2018, called YouTube Premieres, th…

Source: Engadget – YouTube creators can hype pre-recorded videos with ‘Premieres’