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Industry & Technology

VW inexplicably decides to build a convertible SUV, baffling everyone - Roadshow - News - 59 min 49 sec ago
The German giant thinks that the way forward to profitability is to chop the roof off of its smallest SUV.

AI trained to spot heart disease risks using retina scan

Ars Technica - 1 hour 59 min ago

The yellow spots in this image are sites of retinal degeneration. (credit: NIH)

The idea behind using a neural network for image recognition is that you don't have to tell it what to look for in an image. You don't even need to care about what it looks for. With enough training, the neural network should be able to pick out details that allow it to make accurate identifications.

For things like figuring out whether there's a cat in an image, neural networks don't provide much, if any, advantages over the actual neurons in our visual system. But where they can potentially shine are cases where we don't know what to look for. There are cases where images may provide subtle information that a human doesn't understand how to read, but a neural network could pick up on with the appropriate training.

Now, researchers have done just that, getting a deep-learning algorithm to identify risks of heart disease using an image of a patient's retina.

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These LED bulbs offer 100 watts worth of light: Which is best? - CNET - News - 2 hours 15 min ago
100-watt replacement LEDs like these are plenty bright and surprisingly affordable. Let's put them to the test.

Silicon Valley pub that helped birth PC industry to close because of high rent

Ars Technica - 2 hours 49 min ago

Enlarge / The O sits at 241 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, a short distance from Stanford University. (credit: Cyrus Farivar)

MENLO PARK, Calif.—An iconic, family-run burger-and-pizza pub that has been operating in the heart of Silicon Valley for 60 years announced this week that it would close for good on March 7 due to an unaffordable rent.

In addition to being a local favorite, The Oasis Beer Garden—a short drive away from nearby Stanford University—also has a special place in the hearts of many of the region’s early tech pioneers.

Members of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club—a 1970s-era monthly club that met in the early days of personal computing—would often relocate to "The O" as the night wore on.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Elon Musk blasts off from OpenAI to focus on cars, how to make smart code fair, and more

The Register - 2 hours 49 min ago
E: Syntax error at line 42 in journobot/

Roundup Welcome, friends. Here's your human-generated, totally not computer written, summary of this week's AI news, beyond what we've already covered. In short: Elon Musk steps down from OpenAI's board, Uber is looking to train new coders in machine learning, and there's a new AI conference.…

Space Photos of the Week: Juno Helps Jupiter Shows Off Its Stripes

Wired - 3 hours 1 sec ago
Juno completed its eleventh orbit of the planet on February 7, capturing some spectacular images in the process.

Annihilation is a gorgeous movie that went terribly wrong

Ars Technica - 3 hours 59 min ago

Annihilation came with great credentials. It's jam-packed with great actors; it's based on a brilliant, award-winning novel by Jeff VanderMeer; and it is directed by Alex Garland, the mastermind behind indie breakout Ex Machina. And yet, despite being arguably beautiful, this movie fails on multiple levels. Incoherent, implausible, and often downright embarrassing, it verges on self-parody.

What's frustrating about Annihilation is that the acting is superb, and the concept design is mostly gorgeous. Immersed in the film's macabre, trippy landscapes, it's easy to get lost in the imagery and forget that the plot has fallen to pieces until about halfway through the story.

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Aliens Would Probably Like It If You Gave them Flowers

Wired - 4 hours 1 sec ago
Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, author of 'Enlightenment Now,' argues that highly developed civilizations tend toward peace and tolerance.

The Rick Gates Plea, an Apple Watch Mess, and More Security News This Week

Wired - 4 hours 1 sec ago
A Mueller probe plea, and Apple snafu, and more of the week's top security news.

Doom on the Switch shows motion controls still have a place - CNET - News - 4 hours 59 min ago
Or, how I learned to stop flailing and love the Joy-Con.

How 'Early Man' mixes painstaking puppetry with a little CG - CNET - News - 4 hours 59 min ago
Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park talks us through Aardman's stop-motion creative process.

5 Best Picture Oscar winners you can watch on Netflix - CNET - News - 4 hours 59 min ago
There’s no better time than awards season to look back on the classics. Check out all the films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture on Netflix.

XPS 13 2018 review: Dell’s improvements propel this laptop forward

Ars Technica - 4 hours 59 min ago


The XPS 13 laptop needed an overhaul and Dell needed to make a statement. The XPS family has produced some of the best and most-loved consumer ultrabooks, but this particular laptop has been stifled in recent years. Since 2016, it has seen incremental improvements that helped it keep up with the competition in terms of performance, but not in design, hardware perks, and general innovation.

Performance is key, sure, but it's not the only factor that contributes to why customers choose some laptops over others. The new XPS 13, announced at CES in January, has plenty of new characteristics that Dell hopes will push the device back to the front of the pack: a fresh rose gold and alpine white color option, a refreshed design with a new thermal management system, new biometric security features, and 8th-gen Intel CPUs.

But not everything has changed, and the XPS 13's biggest challenge is proving that it has matured well by balancing necessary new features with reliable existing features that users have grown to expect.

Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

F1's 2018 Cars Come With a New Engineering Puzzle: The Halo

Wired - 5 hours 1 sec ago
These potentially life-saving bands of titanium come with a handful of fresh potential problems.

Science after hours: Barney’s aquatic traits and how pregnant women stay upright

Ars Technica - 5 hours 14 min ago

Nathan Mattise

AUSTIN, Texas—The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference is an inherently serious event, filled with cutting-edge research from some of the world’s brightest scientific minds. But after hours, like any good conference, people in attendance can loosen their figurative ties... and have a good chuckle considering whether cats are liquids or solids.

That kind of Saturday-night-ready research is the trademark of the Annals of Improbable Research, the journal and organization behind the yearly First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. That event has long been an Ars favorite as it honors research "that makes you laugh, then think" about topics like why dog fleas jump better than cat ones and why humans stink at carrying coffee. And at the latest AAAS conference in Texas earlier this month, the Improbable Research team brought together both visiting and Texas-local Ig recipients to elaborate on their award-winning research.

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This TV sound bar uses phone tech to aim audio at your ears - CNET - News - 5 hours 58 min ago
The prototype from the mobile mavens at Qualcomm borrows from Wi-Fi technology to find the sweet spot.

Inside Bigelow Aerospace Founder Robert Bigelow's Decades-Long Obsession With UFOs

Wired - 6 hours 1 sec ago
The budget hotel magnate and inflatable space habitat maker has a unique side project.

10 of This Weekend's Best Tech Deals: Dell, Vizio, Xbox One

Wired - 6 hours 1 sec ago
Whether you're looking for an Xbox, a Vizio TV, or an Air Fryer, these are some great deals.

Stunning infosec tips from Uncle Sam, furries exposed, Chase bank web leak, and more

The Register - 6 hours 47 min ago
A busy and bonkers week in security

Roundup Happy weekend, everyone. Here's a roundup of computer security news beyond everything we've already reported this week.…

When clever code kills, who pays and who does the time? A Brit expert explains to <i>El Reg</i>

The Register - 9 hours 23 min ago
Liability for artificial intelligence won't be easy

Analysis On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, an officer in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, heard an alarm and saw that the warning system he'd been assigned to monitor showed the US had launched five nuclear missiles.…

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