Images 23/7/17

•July 24, 2017 • 8 Comments

its all about the eye with katy..

a peculiar pattern here..

jay-z..a lot going on here..

bunch of 17th century anti-semites!

agree..

peace..

see it?

see it here?

anti soros posters in hungary..nice work..

i love a piece of hypocrisy early in the morning..

whats behind you kim?..oh..its just some sugar from candy you decided to make two lines out of..

bam!

thoughts?

401

The robot revolution blurs the line between man and machine

•July 24, 2017 • 2 Comments

https://www.ft.com/content/98cc085a-62f6-11e7-8814-0ac7eb84e5f1

So, I turned to Sophia and asked: “Are you going to destroy us?” “Not if you’re nice to me,” she replied. It’s always a little unnerving talking with a non-human, as I did at a recent FT125 Forum event, but it is an experience we are going to have to grow used to as the robot revolution unfolds.

Sophia was well programmed to respond to human fear of machines but many of her answers were a little clunky. What was mesmerising was her lifelike facial features. Capable of smiling, frowning, scowling, winking, Sophia was exceptional at mimicking human expressions thanks to some clever nanotechnology and artificial connective tissue.

Humanoid robots are already being used as security guards, nursing assistants, teachers and sex toys. Within 10 years such robots will surely be a lot smarter than today and in some respects may be all but indistinguishable from humans. Is this a good idea? There is a persuasive school of thought that argues not. The line between man and machine should never be smudged because it risks dehumanising humans. Plus, as the joke runs: “You shouldn’t anthropomorphise computers because they don’t like it.”

The philosopher Daniel Dennett is an eloquent advocate of this line of reasoning. He argues that we should regard robots as nothing more than technological tools or digital slaves designed to do our express bidding. It is dangerous to endow them with human characteristics they do not possess. To kit them out with “cutesy human stuff” amounts to false advertising. “We want to be sure that anything we build is going to be a systemological wonderbox, not a moral agency,” he told me earlier this year. “It’s not responsible, it doesn’t have goals. You can unplug it any time you want. And we should keep it that way.”

The distinctions between man and machine may be clear in a seminar room but are a lot more blurry in the outside world. Millions of people have electronic pacemakers and hip implants and so could technically be counted as cyborgs. Collaborative robots (or cobots) have been working in harmony with humans on the factory floor. Disembodied digital assistants, such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa, are “talking” with millions of us every day.

Sophia’s creator, David Hanson, the founder and chief executive of Hanson Robotics, makes two main arguments as to why we should continue developing humanoid robots, one playful, the other deadly serious. The first is that humanoid robots are entertaining, fun, artistic creations that can help forge new “pathways of communication”. They are, as he puts it, like computer animations in physical shape, the next figurative art form. Just as Disney cartoonists exaggerate facial features to trigger supernormal stimuli in the brain, so humanoid robots can be made to appear more human than humans. “We are neurohacking people. That’s what artists do,” he says. His second argument is that we want computer systems to understand human values, cultures, and behaviours so that we can create “moral machines” to minimise the dangers of artificial intelligence going awry.

Algorithms in self-driving cars, for example, may indirectly determine life and death. That is why some car companies have employed philosophers to devise ethical settings for their driving systems. Mr Hanson is literally putting a face on AI systems to increase mutual understanding. Computers use natural language processing to communicate with humans. But a lot of human communication is non-verbal, depending on facial expressions and body movements. Robots can act as AI learning platforms to absorb our ways. In that sense, creating humanoid robots is a provocative act, designed to trigger debate about the scope of machine intelligence. AI-enabled robots make visible what is all too often invisible. “If we develop AI and it’s just behind the scenes in a big server farm, it’s alien to humans,” he says.

Much of Mr Hanson’s talk seems way out there and is freighted with its own moral concerns — humanoid robots that can be used for benign purposes can have malign ends too. Mapping the contours between humans and machines is becoming one of the most intriguing, and at times creepy, challenges of our times. Huge amounts of money are also to be made from exploring this interface. But perhaps the greatest contribution humanoid robots can make is to force us to consider what really distinguishes man from machine. What makes us truly human?

———-

“we should regard robots as nothing more than technological tools or digital slaves designed to do our express bidding. It is dangerous to endow them with human characteristics they do not possess.”

yeah..

“Millions of people have electronic pacemakers and hip implants and so could technically be counted as cyborgs.”

really?

“Algorithms in self-driving cars, for example, may indirectly determine life and death. That is why some car companies have employed philosophers to devise ethical settings for their driving systems. Mr Hanson is literally putting a face on AI systems to increase mutual understanding.”

401

Saudi-led bloc modifies demands to end Qatar crisis

•July 24, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40654023

The four Arab nations leading a boycott of Qatar are no longer insisting it comply with a list of 13 specific demands they tabled last month.

Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the UN they now wanted it to accept six broad principles.

These include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism and to end acts of provocation and incitement.

There was no immediate comment from Qatar, which denies aiding terrorists.

It has refused to agree to any measures that threaten its sovereignty or violate international law, and denounced the “siege” imposed by its neighbours.

The restrictions put in place six weeks ago have forced the gas-rich emirate to import food by sea and air to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

At a briefing for a group of UN correspondents in New York on Tuesday, diplomats from the four countries said they wanted to resolve the crisis amicably.

Saudi permanent representative Abdullah al-Mouallimi said their foreign ministers had agreed the six principles at a meeting in Cairo on 5 July and that they “should be easy for the Qataris to accept”.

They were combating terrorism and extremism, denying financing and safe havens to terrorist groups, stopping incitement to hatred and violence, and refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, according to the New York Times.

Mr Mouallimi stressed that there would be “no compromise” on the principles, but added that both sides would be able to discuss how to implement them.

The list of 13 demands handed to Qatar on 22 June included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing a Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

Mr Mouallimi said closing Al Jazeera might not be necessary but stopping incitement to violence and hate speech was essential.

———-

“The four Arab nations leading a boycott of Qatar are no longer insisting it comply with a list of 13 specific demands they tabled last month.”

somebody blinked..was this all symbolism and actually nothing will come out of it?

“Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the UN they now wanted it to accept six broad principles.”

401

Elon Musk: I got “government approval” for New York-DC Hyperloop..Officials: “no he didn’t”

•July 24, 2017 • 1 Comment

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/20/elon-musk-hyperloop-verbal-government-approval

Elon Musk does not have government approval to build a Hyperloop tunnel from New York City to Washington DC.

The Tesla executive took to Twitter this morning to tantalize his legion of fans and the tech press with the “news” that he had “just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins … City center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”

Lest any billionaires need to brush up on civics 101: the US system of government does not operate on “verbal government approvals”.

Musk walked back his claim about 90 minutes later, tweeting: “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly”.

A lot of work is needed to receive formal approval, indeed.

Musk was received with typical credulity by the tech press, and considerable consternation by various government agencies. Several spokespeople who answered the phones at relevant city, state and federal government bodies laughed upon hearing of the claim that an interstate transit project with a significant street-level footprint in four of the east coast’s largest cities could be approved verbally.

“Who gave him permission to do that?” asked a spokesman with the Maryland department of transportation.

“Elon Musk has had no contact with Philadelphia officials on this matter,” said Mike Dunn, the city spokesman. “We do not know what he means when he says he received ‘verbal government approval’. There are numerous hurdles for this unproven ‘hyperloop’ technology before it can become reality.”

A spokesperson for the state of Pennsylvania confirmed that neither the governor nor the state’s department of transportation had been contacted by Musk or his company.

Ben Sarle, a spokesman for the New York City mayor’s office, said in an email: “Nobody in City Hall, or any of our city agencies, has heard from Mr Musk or any representatives of his company.”

“The New York state department of transportation did not give verbal approval for a hyperloop,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Post.

Anthony McCarthy, the spokesman for the Baltimore mayor, Catherine Pugh, said: “Mr Musk’s announcement on Twitter was the first that the city heard of the Hyperloop project. ” However, Pugh said in a statement that she was “excited” to hear about the idea, which could “create new opportunities for Baltimore and transform the way we link to neighboring cities” – if it becomes a reality.

Similarly, LaToya Foster, the spokeswoman for Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser, said: “This is the first we heard of it . We can’t wait to hear more.”

Spokespeople for other state and federal regulators said they were getting numerous calls about Musk’s claims but did not yet have any information to share.

“I really have no idea,” said Ben Fritsch, spokesman for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents Washington DC and sits on the House transportation committee.

———-

just about had my fill of elon for the year..hes the everywhere man..making it up as he goes..doing whatever he wants because he knows he has this game sewn up..

“Several spokespeople who answered the phones at relevant city, state and federal government bodies laughed upon hearing of the claim that an interstate transit project with a significant street-level footprint in four of the east coast’s largest cities could be approved verbally.”

so he lied..

401

Aboriginal archaeological discovery in Kakadu rewrites the history of Australia

•July 21, 2017 • 4 Comments

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/aboriginal-archaeological-discovery-in-kakadu-rewrites-the-history-of-australia-20170719-gxe3qy.html

Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for a minimum of 65,000 years, a team of archaeologists has established – 18,000 years longer than had been proved previously and at least 5000 years longer than had been speculated by the most optimistic researchers.

The world-first finding, which follows years of archaeological digging in an ancient camp-site beneath a sandstone rock shelter within the Jabiluka mining lease in Kakadu, Northern Territory, drastically alters the known history of the trek out of Africa by modern humans, according to the leader of the international team of archaeologists, associate professor Chris Clarkson of the University of Queensland.

The findings, which are already causing intense interest in archaeological circles across the world, have been peer reviewed by internationally recognised scientists and are published this week in the world’s most prestigious science journal, Nature.

Among the trove of discoveries are the world’s oldest stone axes with polished and sharpened edges, proving that the earliest Australians were among the most sophisticated tool-makers of their time: no other culture had such axes for another 20,000 years.

“The axes were perfectly preserved, tucked up against the back wall of the shelter as we dug further and further,” Professor Clarkson told Fairfax Media.

“There was one on the surface, another further down that we dated at 10,000 years. Then there were quite a few further down still which were able to date at 35,000 to 40,000 years, and finally one at 65,000 years, surrounded by a whole bunch of stone flakes.”

The team had also found the oldest known seed-grinding tools in Australia, a large buried midden of sea shells and animal bones, and evidence of finely made stone spear tips.

———-

“drastically alters the known history of the trek out of Africa by modern humans, according to the leader of the international team of archaeologists, associate professor Chris Clarkson of the University of Queensland.”

maybe it went the other way..and the first were here and then went to africa? 😉

“Among the trove of discoveries are the world’s oldest stone axes with polished and sharpened edges, proving that the earliest Australians were among the most sophisticated tool-makers of their time: no other culture had such axes for another 20,000 years.

so they could be the first..

401

S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq race to new records

•July 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14235716/1/s-amp-p-500-nasdaq-sprint-to-new-records-as-broadcast-and-tech-stocks-climb.html

Another day of gains for Wall Street pushed the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average to new records on Wednesday, July 19.

The S&P 500 added 0.53% to a record close of 2,473, and the Nasdaq increased 0.64% to 6,385. The Dow was up 0.30 to a new record of 21,640.

Merger talks between Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) set the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher. A Wall Street Journal report broke earlier that the two are in talks to merge, reviving discussions of a merger that fizzled in 2013. The Journal article, which cited sources familiar with the matter, didn’t report on any specifics of the deal, but noted that it’s possible the deal could fall apart or that another bidder for Scripps could emerge.

Scripps shares rocketed 14% higher, while Discovery increased 4%. Other media and entertainment stocks rose, including AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) , Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI) , CBS Corp. (CBS) and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) .

More gains in the tech sector also helped out markets on Wednesday. Major tech stocks have mostly recovered from a mid-June selloff with the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) now down 0.3% from the first crash on June 9. Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares were up 0.7% on Wednesday, looking to close out the session with gains for the ninth time in a row.

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run with the bulls..but dont forget to bring a red flag..

nasdaq flying..i smell an epic bubble..

401

Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria

•July 21, 2017 • 6 Comments

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?pushid=596fab4ff1dad71d00000034&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.689db6c4ed80

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.

Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.

Just three months ago, after the United States accused Assad of using chemical weapons, Trump launched retaliatory airstrikes against a Syrian air base. At the time, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, said that “in no way do we see peace in that area with Assad at the head of the Syrian government.”

Officials said Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of a July 7 meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Spokesmen for the National Security Council and the CIA declined to comment.

After the Trump-Putin meeting, the United States and Russia announced an agreement to back a new cease-fire in southwest Syria, along the Jordanian border, where many of the CIA-backed rebels have long operated. Trump described the limited cease-fire deal as one of the benefits of a constructive working relationship with Moscow.

The move to end the secret program to arm the anti-Assad rebels was not a condition of the cease-fire negotiations, which were already well underway, said U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secret program.

Trump’s dealings with Russia have been under heavy scrutiny because of the investigations into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. The decision on the CIA-backed rebels will be welcomed by Moscow, which focused its firepower on those fighters after it intervened in Syria in 2015.

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this one sort of slipped through..not a lot of attention..i guess thats because it confirms the loss and the victory to assad..

“Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.”

should never have been there anyway..

“Officials said Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of a July 7 meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

(((who))) will pick up the slack now?

401

 
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