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Open Office Plans Are Bad

 

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A cubicle-free workplace without private offices is supposed to force employees to collaborate however  it does not

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Senators Say “Smart TV’s Are Invading Privacy

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Two Democratic US senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate privacy problems related to Internet-connected televisions.

“Many Internet-connected smart TVs are equipped with sophisticated technologies that can track the content users are watching and then use that information to tailor and deliver targeted advertisements to consumers,” Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter yesterday to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.

It would be up to Congress to pass new laws for smart TVs. But the FTC can punish companies for unfair and deceptive business practices. Action was taken against smart TV manufacturer Vizio last year.

 

Record Number Of Seniors Over 85 Still Working

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 255,000 Americans 85 years old or older were working over the past 12 months. The highest number on record.

They’re doing all sorts of jobs — crossing guards, farmers and ranchers, even truckers, as my colleague Heather Long revealed in a front-page story last week. Indeed, there are between 1,000 and 3,000 U.S. truckers age 85 or older, based on 2016 Census Bureau figures. Their ranks have roughly doubled since the Great Recession.

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It’s Difficult To believe They Don’t Have The Equipment For Cave Problems

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Cave_diver_running_a_reel.jpg

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Image result for small size submarine that travels faster underwater

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Submarine Sports Car

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_diving

The DeepFake Video Problem

 

Buzzfeed has created a video that shows a more troubling side of this technology. The video shows former President Barack Obama saying things he never said, and it looks surprisingly believable.

In the video above, Obama is voiced by Jordan Peele, who does a passable impersonation. Having Peele do the voice gets the video more attention, but there are probably voice actors who could do an even better job. Buzzfeed started by pasting Peele’s mouth over top of Obama’s, and then replaced Obama’s jawline to match the mouth movements. Rendering took 56 hours for a minute-long video.

The tool is known as FakeApp, but the videos are usually called “Deepfakes” because that’s the handle used by the original developer on Reddit. You can download the code freely all over the internet, but it’s not easy to set up — you need to configure Nvidia’s CUDA framework to run the FakeApp TensorFlow code, so the app requires a GeForce GPU. The video you want to alter has to be split into individual frames, and you need a large number of high-resolution photos of the face you want to insert. In the case of Obama, there are plenty of photos online that can be used to generate a model.

Currently, new technology on the internet lets anyone make videos of real people appearing to say things they’ve never said. Republicans and Democrats say this deceitful technology  will become the latest weapon in disinformation wars against the United States and other Western democracies. This technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to produce videos that appear so genuine it’s hard to spot the phonies. Lawmakers and intelligence officials worry that the bogus videos — called deepfakes that could be used to threaten national security or interfere in elections.

When an average person can create a realistic fake video of the president saying anything they want, and the reverse is a concern, too. People may dismiss as fake genuine footage, say of a real atrocity, to score political points.

Realizing the implications of the technology, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is already two years into a four-year program to develop technologies that can detect fake images and videos. Right now, it takes extensive analysis to identify phony videos. It’s unclear if new ways to authenticate images or detect fakes will keep pace with deepfake technology.

Deepfakes are so named because they utilize deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence. They are made by feeding a computer an algorithm, or set of instructions, lots of images and audio of a certain person. The computer program learns how to mimic the person’s facial expressions, mannerisms, voice and inflections. If you have enough video and audio of someone, you can combine a fake video of the person with a fake audio and get them to say anything you want.

Deepfake technology still has a few flaws. For instance, people’s blinking in fake videos may appear unnatural. But the technology is improving.

1. Don’t jump to conclusions

2. Consider the source

3. Check where else it is (and isn’t) online

4. Inspect the mouth

5. Slow it down

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn New York High School Class Can’t Take Serial Killer Book Off The Premises

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High school students from Brooklyn’s Midwood high school are taking a true crime class where teens read up on real  murderers and mass shooters. Assistant Principal of English Suzane Thomas issued an edict to the school’s librarians last month that bars them from allowing students to take copies of the books home.

“I am requesting that the following list of books be placed on ‘restricted access’ to students,” Thomas said in the May 30 memo. “They have been borrowed by students in the True Crime class.

“In no way am I suggesting that these books be censored, as they are NYSTL [Text Law] approved by the DOE,’’ she wrote. “However, please do not allow students to take them home — they should be read in the library where they are supervised by a teacher or a librarian.’’

City education officials said the edict was given simply so every student could have access to the books.

“The books were available for all students to read and were kept in the library so that they could be accessible to everyone,” said Department of Education spokesman Doug Cohen.‎‎ “Any other interpretation of the guidance that was shared is simply inaccurate.’’

However, It seems that some Midwood HS staffer begged to differ

The in-school-only restriction “doesn’t make sense,” said retired Midwood librarian Arlene Weber Morales, who was at the school when the crime course was created and admitted she had “mixed feelings” about offering such violent content to teens.

“The librarians order extra copies of books so students can take them home,’’ said Morales, who retired in 2015. “Don’t parents want to know what the kids are reading? I would order more copies of the books.’’

A current Midwood staffer said Thomas “clearly states that this is not book banning. But it is.

“We are waiting to see if the administration cancels this course, because most of the books used in the class are on the[banned] list,’’ the source added, noting it would be a shame if True Crime were killed because it is “a very popular class.’’

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn/Staten Island) questioned why the class was even in existence.

“Sadly, this is a city in which criminals are sometimes placed on pedestals, and entrepreneurs are vilified,” she said. “How about teaching about civic and business leaders who beat the odds so they too can strive for success?

“I see why the school doesn’t want students to take the books home,’’ she added. “Parents will flip out.”

Thomas declined to comment.

L’Oreal’ UV Sensor

 

UV Sense

The UV Sense is simple to use. Stick it on your nail, swipe it over your iPhone or Android phone, and it will wirelessly transfer UV exposure data to the companion app using near-field communication (NFC). It’s the NFC chip that also charges the device through the data transfer process.

Placing it on your thumbnail exposes the UV Sense to optimal sunlight, and the sensor is activated by UVA and UVB rays. Along with your UV report, you’ll also get some advice on on avoiding the sun, and recommendations on L’Oreal products to purchase.

The data the sensor collects is accurate, or at least that’s what L’Oreal claims.

UV Sense
L’Oreal

It’s important to note the UV Sense itself strictly measures UV exposure. The app is where you can find additional information such as allergens, pollution, and other factors in the environment that can effect your skin

Pilot program and launch

The UV Sense will launch in the U.S. this summer as a pilot program. The company will continue to do testing with dermatologists and consumers, which allows L’Oreal to get even more feedback to improve the experience even better.

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