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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google Drive's new trick will save you hella time – CNET

There’s an even faster way to create a new doc.
Source: CNET

Microsoft execs defend bid for US military contract – CNET

The company says that despite ethical issues, working in the field gives Microsoft influence over how new technologies are used.
Source: CNET

New iPad Pro, new MacBook Air, updated Mac Mini and more: What to expect from Apple's Oct. 30 event in Brooklyn – CNET

New iPad Pros and a redesigned MacBook Air are likely. And we may see some other product updates, too.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the difference.

The post Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Twitter suspends accounts linked to mail bomb suspect

At least two Twitter accounts linked to the man suspected of sending explosive devices to more than a dozen prominent Democrats were suspended on Friday afternoon.

Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, was apprehended by federal law enforcement officers in Florida on Friday morning. “Though we’re still analyzing the devices in our laboratory, these are not hoax devices,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a press briefing.

Facebook moved fairly quickly to suspend Sayoc’s account on the platform, though two Twitter accounts that appeared to belong to Sayoc remained online and accessible until around 2:30 p.m. Pacific. Both accounts featured numerous tweets, many of which contained far-right political conspiracy theories, graphic images and specific threats.

TechCrunch was able to review the accounts extensively before they were removed. Both known accounts, @hardrockintlet and @hardrock2016, contained many tweets that appeared to threaten violence against perceived political enemies, including Keith Ellison and Joe Biden, an intended recipient of an explosive device.

In one case, those threats had been previously reported to Twitter. Democratic commentator Rochelle Ritchie tweeted that she reported a tweet from @hardrock2016 following her appearance on Fox News. According to a screenshot, Twitter received the report and on October 11 responded that it found “no violation of the Twitter rules against abusive behavior.”

The tweet stated “We will see u 4 sure. Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave home” accompanied by a photo of Ritchie, a screenshot of a news story about a body found in the Everglades and the tarot card representing death.

Between the two accounts linked to Sayoc, many of the threats were depicted with graphic images in sequence. In one tweet on September 18 to former Vice President Joe Biden, the account tweeted images of an air boat, a symbol depicting an hourglass with a scythe and graphic images of a decapitated goat.

Threatening messages that emerge out of a sequence of images would likely be more difficult for machine learning moderation tools to parse, though any human content moderator would have no trouble extracting their meaning. In most cases the threatening images were paired with a verbal threat. At least one archive of a Twitter account linked to Sayoc remains online.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Twitter stated only that “This is an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We do not have a comment.” The company indicated that the accounts were suspended for violating Twitter’s rules, though did not specify which.


Source: TechCrunch

'Red Dead Redemption 2' Early Impressions: A Game Too Big for Just One Review

While we continue to lose ourselves in Rockstar Games’ open-world behemoth, we’ve got some thoughts.
Source: Wired

Expedia acquires Pillow and ApartmentJet to conquer the short-term rental market

To keep up with the rising demand for short-term rentals in U.S. cities and compete with the home-sharing giant Airbnb, travel booking site Expedia has picked up a pair of venture-backed hospitality startups, Pillow and ApartmentJet.

Employees of both companies will join Expedia . The company declined to disclose the financial terms of the deals.

“Acquiring Pillow and ApartmentJet will help unlock urban growth opportunities that, over time, will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace and marketplaces across Expedia Group brands, ensuring travelers always find the perfect place to stay,” the company explained in a statement.

Expedia paid $3.9 billion for HomeAway and its portfolio of travel brands in 2015. The deal was its first major move in the alternative accommodations space, as well as the beginning of a series of efforts to outdo VC darling Airbnb. Its latest targets provide software tools for property managers to easily manage short-term rentals on Airbnb competitors like HomeAway and VRBO.

Located in San Francisco, Pillow helps residents list their apartments as short-term rentals without violating their leases. It’s raised a total of $16.5 million in VC backing since 2013, including a $13.5 million round last year led by Mayfield, with participation from Sterling.VC, Peak Capital Partners, Expansion VC, Chris Anderson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Dennis Phelps and Veritas Investments.

ApartmentJet helps property owners earn money off vacancies. Founded in 2016, the Chicago-headquartered startup had raised a reported $1.2 million in capital from Network Ventures and BlueTree.

Bellevue-based Expedia Group owns several travel brands, including HomeAway, VRBO, Travelocity, trivago, Orbitz and Hotels.com. The company is both an active investor in and acquirer of startups.

Expedia’s shares rose 9.4 percent Thursday after its third-quarter earnings beat analyst expectations. The company posted $3.28 billion in revenue, a notable increase from last year’s $2.97 billion.


Source: TechCrunch

Eerie AI-generated portrait fetches $432,500 at auction

The question of whether a machine can create art, or anything at all, is at the heart of many a philosophical debate and has been for decades. But whether it’s worth something on the market? That point has been settled definitively today as a portrait-like image issuing from an AI sold for nearly half a million dollars at auction.

“Edmond de Belamy,” whom you see above, such as he is, is one of several members of a fictitious family created by a “generative adversarial network,” in turn created by French AI engineers and artists Obvious.

GANs comprise two parts, for which terminology differs but Obvious calls the “generator” and the “discriminator.” Both visual recognition models are given a set of data to ingest, in this case 15,000 portraits from the last 600 years or so. Based on this data, the generator attempts to create new portraits, and the discriminator tries to identify those portraits as either authentic or artificial. The less sure the discriminator is that an image is artificial, the closer it tends to be to the authentic portraits.

The Belamy family is the result of this process playing out many times, producing the strange, distorted faces that have a dreamlike, and also nightmarish, quality to them.

They’re also unmistakably computer-generated. The patriarch and Count of the family, for instance, though the colors and gross figure are interesting and in broad strokes painterly, the pattern of stippling (or whatever you want to tall it) is a telltale mark of a computer attempting to create consistent texture. His wife, the Countess, has a psychedelic oil-slick quality to her hair and dress that’s quite unnatural, and what appears to be craquelure on closer inspection is revealed to be an intricate warping structure reminiscent of Photoshop effects.

“It is an attribute of the model that there is distortion,” explained Hugo Caselles-Dupré, from Obvious, to Christie’s. “The Discriminator is looking for the features of the image — a face, shoulders — and for now it is more easily fooled than a human eye.”

Obviously it doesn’t quite match the old masters. But as you can see from the variety evinced by the Belamy clan, the system has a remarkable range and one can intuitively grasp the type of painting this is — perhaps each even reminds you of a real one.

The full Edmond.

Certainly someone thought that Edmond at least was worth having; Obvious estimated that the painting (though surely a print) would fetch perhaps €10,000 on the block. Imagine the group’s surprise when the bidding escalated to $432,500 — obviously $500 too much for one of the bidders. The new owner remains anonymous, though we may learn more later. For all we know it is Obvious itself (unlikely) or some art holdings company speculating that this early AI piece may become an historic one.

As for the signature, a rather tongue-in-cheek solution was lit on by the team: At the bottom right of Edmond’s canvas is part of the algorithm that created him (though far from all the code required to do so).

The work page is a bit more specific: “generative Adversarial Network print, on canvas, 2018, signed with GAN model loss function in ink by the publisher, from a series of eleven unique images, published by Obvious Art, Paris, with original gilded wood frame.”

We’re no closer to getting at the heart of art, deciding whether these generated constructs count as art, and if so, by whom, but it’s interesting nevertheless. Even if these aren’t exactly the kind of thing you’d want to hang on your wall. That’s true of most art anyway.


Source: TechCrunch

California Will Pause Net Neutrality Law for Federal Suit

The delay could stretch into years, while a lawsuit challenging the FCC’s order repealing net neutrality rules is resolved.
Source: Wired

How Feds Tracked Down Mail Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc

At a press conference Friday, officials detailed how they identified and found Cesar Sayoc, who has been arrested in connection with a series of mail bombs targeting prominent liberals and CNN.
Source: Wired

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