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Submission + - No, You Can't Predict Likely Criminals Based On Their Facial Features (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In a recent paper, researchers Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang claim they've found evidence that criminality can be predicted based on facial features—they say they've trained classifiers using various machine learning techniques that were able to distinguish photos of criminals from photos of non-criminals with a high level of accuracy. At Backchannel, Katherine Bailey points out one major flaw with that notion: if human beings can be prone to bias, the machine learning systems they trained can, too.

Submission + - Amazon Just Launched A Cashier-free Convenience Store

Dave Knott writes: Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards. Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine. Though Amazon Go does do away with human cashiers, we haven’t seen anything about robots physically stocking the store, so while it does eliminate some jobs, it’s not a completely automated system... at least, not yet.

Comment Re:This works for me (Score 1) 296

Heh, Italy just rejected the attempt to create a new Mussolini, signalling that an Ixit is likely on the Horizon - a move that's been called "Trump-aligned" as well as "Brexit-aligned".

Rejecting the power of a central government to impose unwanted immigration on the people is an anti-authoritarian move.

Comment Re:This works for me (Score 0) 296

I'm old enough to remember how Regan was Hitler. We all remember how Bush was Hitler. But, hey, I'm sure there's a wolf this time.

Also, your characterization of people* who say "let's have less immigration while the economy sucks" as "supremacists" is cute. They must be racists, right? It's also the reason Trump won. Keep it up.

(*) About 1/3rd of America, ditto Brexit voters and the coming Ixit voters.

Submission + - Scientists Develop Robotic Hand For People With Quadriplegia (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup. The low-cost device was tested in Spain on six people with quadriplegia affecting their ability to grasp or manipulate objects. By wearing a cap that measures electric brain activity and eye movement the users were able to send signals to a tablet computer that controlled the glove-like device attached to their hand. Participants in the small-scale study were able to perform daily activities better with the robotic hand than without, according to results published Tuesday in the journal Science Robotics. It took participants just 10 minutes to learn how to use the system before they were able to carry out tasks such as picking up potato chips or signing a document. According to Surjo R. Soekadar, a neuroscientist at the University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany and lead author of the study, participants represented typical people with high spinal cord injuries, meaning they were able to move their shoulders but not their fingers. There were some limitations to the system, though. Users had to have sufficient function in their shoulder and arm to reach out with the robotic hand. And mounting the system required another person's help.

Comment Re:Fake news? (Score 1) 296

"One thing it's not any more is a truly communist country."

Really, you're going to use the 'no true Scotsman" fallacy?

To be fair, the majority of the Chinese economy is now owned by private individuals, not the state. So, in that sense, it's a capitalist economy with a strong communist presence, as opposed to a communist economy.

It's still totalitarian, though, which is enough of a problem.

Submission + - Doom Roguelike Open Sourced seemingly to spite Zenimax® Takedown (kickstarter.com)

jeffm2501 writes: Kornel Kisielewicz has published the pascal source code and art assets for his roguelike take on the first person shooter DOOM, on github [https://github.com/ChaosForge/doomrl] under the GPL v2 license. This comes only a few days after the project received a takedown letter form Zenimax (the owner of the Doom IP) [https://twitter.com/epyoncf/status/804482084702187520?lang=en].

In posting the source the author states:
"The big news today is that D**mRL (or DRL as we may have to start calling it) is now open source! The plan was to release this upon conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign as a thank you to backers, but Zenimax® have pushed our hand."

The authors are currently involved in a kick-starter campaign to create a new game based on an original IP, titled "Jupiter Hell"[https://jupiterhell.com/],

Comment Re:This works for me (Score 1) 296

C'mon man, just come out and say it: "Trump is literally Hitler". You know you want to. The stormtroopers with their Pepe insignia will be carting off all the gay mexican muslims to the Trump-branded death camps by the end of January, right? Refer to this documentary proof: https://youtu.be/uMk2X5eDYFU

Comment Re:This works for me (Score 1) 296

Those are for top tier talent, possibly white americans to basically export their knowledge and kickstart their startups

Western-appearing people are a real prestige thing for Chinese companies. To the point where they'll hire non-technical people who are good at public speaking to give power-point presentations, and pretend the speaker is the chief architect (jobs like this are known as "white monkey jobs"). I expect they'd be willing to pay a hefty premium for actual skilled talent from the West.

Being a fashion thing, it could vanish any year, but for once there's a situation where "White guy form America" is actually a plus in the tech labor market.

Submission + - To promote tech education, Canada's Prime Minister made his own game (gamasutra.com)

Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it.

It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appear to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.

Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

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