NASA tests airplane wings that shrug off insect guts

You may not think of insects as a problem for aircraft (Bambi Meets Godzilla comes to mind), but they really are -- the residue from those splattered bugs slows aircraft down and hikes fuel consumption. NASA may soon have a way to keep those critters...


Xbox One ‘Independent Developers Pack’ revealed with new controller

It's not E3 yet, but Microsoft has taken the wraps off of this limited edition "Independent Developers Pack" Xbox One, in Australia of all places. Besides packing download tokens for five ID@Xbox (Hand of Fate, Threes!, #IDARB, The Jackbox Party Pack...


Rumored Apple TV service isn’t ready for WWDC next week

Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference will kick off next week, on July 8th, and the company might announce a new music streaming service, a thinner set-top box and OS updates. You know what we might not see at the event, though? That subscrip...


95 Percent of Fake Bombs Made It Through Airport Security in DHS Test

Does taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets and putting your laptop in a little plastic bin make you feel safe? Maybe it shouldn’t. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA is doing a lousy job . Like, “failed to detect mock weapons 95 percent of the time” lousy.

Read more...




Facebook Protesters Say Naming Policy Harms Identity — And Can Put Safety At Risk

Caitlyn Jenner is public with and proud of her new name -- but using it on Facebook could have gotten her reported under the site's current naming rules.

Approximately 100 protesters -- who, like Jenner, go by a name that's not necessarily reflected on a Social Security card or tax return -- gathered Monday outside Facebook's Silicon Valley, California, headquarters as part of the MyNameIs campaign.

mynameis

Facebook members can only use what the company calls "authentic identity" -- meaning names that "your friends call you in real life" that can also be backed up by certain documents, many of which must be government-issued. Users believed to be in violation of these rules can be reported to the company and their accounts can be deleted.

But, protesters say, this policy overlooks a wide-ranging group of people on Facebook, including transgender people, drag performers, domestic violence survivors and Native Americans.

"What Facebook has been incredibly slow to realize is that their name reporting system has been used as a tool of harassment and abuse, to frighten, endanger, and attempt to out thousands of people," Cruel Valentine, a Chicago-based burlesque performer, told The Huffington Post in a message. "I understand that people on Facebook sometimes pose as others, or hide behind pseudonyms to conduct abusive behavior online, but it is so important that we distinguish between those users and folks who are just being their authentic selves."

Trisha Fogleman, a co-organizer of the protest, agrees.

"The policy hurts identity," she said. "It does not affect behavior."

"As a survivor of domestic violence or [for] other people who have been bullied or harassed, it’s a safety issue," she added. "People should should still be able to be connected to their community and be safe from their harassers."

Valentine said her account was suspended for nearly two months because she refused to provide her legal name. Valentine, who uses her accounts for business reasons, said she received no responses from Facebook to her appeals.

"Some performers make the choice to go by their stage names and legal names interchangeably," Valentine said. "For many of us, though, it is a matter of safety. Due to the adult nature of much of my work, it is very important that I keep my legal information separate from my public life. I've had experiences where fans have made attempts to gain access to my private life, and I've been threatened [and] stalked in the past."

Many Native American users who incorporate animals and natural references into their name -- like blogger Dana Lone Hill -- are flagged on Facebook because their names sound fake to non-natives, the BBC reports.

For other vulnerable groups, like transgender youth or domestic violence survivors, obtaining official documentation of the name they wish to use for privacy reasons can be hard to come by. Unlike other social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Ello and Google Plus, Facebook's naming rules force some people to choose between staying connected to their community and potentially exposing themselves to their harassers and abusers.

my name is

Little Miss Hot Mess, a San Francisco-based drag performer who helped organize the protest, said the MyNameIs protest and campaign has offered Facebook three ways it can improve its naming policy.

First, ditch the option to report people for their names.

"We think that it’s obsolete. It targets identity, not bad behavior," Little Miss Hot Mess said. "The reality is there are more direct ways of reporting bad behavior, like impersonators or harassers."

Second, stop asking for identification. "We’re asking Facebook to get more creative," Little Miss Hot Mess said, and suggested Facebook leverage its “trusted contacts” feature that's already in place to help verify that a person is real.

Third, make a more clear and transparent appeals process if an account does get shut down.

"As it is now, there’s no way for a user to reach out to Facebook customer service," Little Miss Hot Mess said. "The only option they give is if your account has been fully deactivated."

mynameis

In response to Huffington Post's request for comment, Facebook Spokesman Andrew Souvall pointed to a post released Monday in which Executives Justin Osofsky and Monika Bickert addressed some concerns with the authentic name policy and outlined changes the company had made to its verification policy over the last year. Among other alterations, Facebook said it had updated its language to note that authentic names don't necessarily have to be legal names -- though certain proof is still required if an account is flagged.

"For various reasons, people had difficulty with the process of verification and we are sorry to anyone who has been affected by this," they wrote. "So, in consultation with local and national LGBTQ community members and others who provided valuable suggestions and feedback, we’ve made significant improvements in response to some of their concerns."

Attendees of the protest said the company did not meet with them during Monday's demonstration. However, Fogleman said the Facebook Pride group did have a few tables of snacks and water set out for the protesters.

"Facebook has made great strides lately with expanding their gender identity and pronoun options, but so many of the people who would benefit most from those awesome improvements are being locked out of their accounts because some random person on the Internet thought their name didn't sound real, or that the way they looked didn't match up with their profile name," Valentine said. "It's crazy to me how progressive this company can be in one area, while remaining so ignorant in another."

Little Miss Hot Mess said it's crucial to remember that for many users, Facebook isn’t just a fun way to procrastinate.

"For a lot of people, it really is a lifeline to their communities and their resources -- especially if they’re isolated geographically or socially. It really is the public utility of our time," she said.

"In some ways, it’s about much more than Facebook," she added. "It’s about setting precedence for how we identify ourselves online, how we express ourselves."

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Nintendo reveals a flood of new games ahead of E3 2015

The NX console isn't the only product Nintendo's working on behind the scenes, naturally. Via a Direct Micro video session, the company has now shared an outlook of its game plan for this year and beyond -- though we're sure it's not telling us every...


Nintendo reveals a flood of new games ahead of E3 2015

The NX console isn't the only product Nintendo's working on behind the scenes, naturally. Via a Direct Micro video session, the company has now shared an outlook of its game plan for this year and beyond -- though we're sure it's not telling us every...


What Is the Most Obnoxious Behavior You’ve Seen on Public Transit?

Manspreading—the phenomenon where males require extra room on trains for their oversized scrotums—has been in the news lately with several reports of men being arrested on the New York City subway for occupying more than one seat. Surely this isn’t the worst offense committed on our public transportation systems?

Read more...




What Is the Most Obnoxious Behavior You’ve Seen on Public Transit?

Manspreading—the phenomenon where males require extra room on trains for their oversized scrotums—has been in the news lately with several reports of men being arrested on the New York City subway for occupying more than one seat. Surely this isn’t the worst offense committed on our public transportation systems?

Read more...




Science Columnist: If Your Adviser Is Looking Down Your Shirt, Just ‘Put Up With It’

What should a scientist do if she catches her adviser eyeing her cleavage? According to an article posted on Science magazine's website, she should probably just "put up with it" for the sake of her career.

Come again?

The article, entitled "Help! My adviser won’t stop looking down my shirt," appeared in the advice column "Ask Alice" on Monday morning.

Shortly thereafter, men and women across the Twitterverse voiced their opinions on the iffy advice (scroll down for a selection) -- and the article was taken down.

(Story continues below tweets).

So #WomeninSTEM should just tolerate being ogled at because we *need* a male advisor to help us advance. https://t.co/jLpYU7WjgL

— Michelle (@Bailiuchan) June 1, 2015


You might think about and look a bit more frumpy. #CrapScienceCareersAdvice

— Kathleen Nicoll, PhD (@nika_desert) June 1, 2015


What is also ridiculous about that piece is that it implies science is SO SPECIAL you should be ok with enduring harassment. Because science

— Kate Clancy (@KateClancy) June 1, 2015


I think the problem with that "advice" piece is that it's *not* unusual, either from @ScienceCareers or elsewhere. https://t.co/Bc0NNQoggV

— Matthew R. Francis (@DrMRFrancis) June 1, 2015


.@ScienceCareers column told a postdoc to "put up with" her leering advisor. @SarcasticRover's advice is better. https://t.co/wG18qECev8

— Mindy Weisberger (@LaMinda) June 1, 2015


In the original article, which can be viewed here, a woman who identifies herself as "Bothered" asks:

Q: I’ve just joined a new lab for my second postdoc. It’s a good lab. I’m happy with my project. I think it could really lead to some good results. My adviser is a good scientist, and he seems like a nice guy. Here’s the problem: Whenever we meet in his office, I catch him trying to look down my shirt. Not that this matters, but he’s married. What should I do?

And here's part of the response, written by Dr. Alice Huang, a microbiologist and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

A: Imagine what life would be like if there were no individuals of the opposite—or preferred—sex. It would be pretty dull, eh? Well, like it or not, the workplace is a part of life. ... As long as your adviser does not move on to other advances, I suggest you put up with it, with good humor if you can. Just make sure that he is listening to you and your ideas, taking in the results you are presenting, and taking your science seriously. His attention on your chest may be unwelcome, but you need his attention on your science and his best advice.

In a note following the article's retraction, Science wrote, "We regret that the article had not undergone proper editorial review prior to posting. Women in science, or any other field, should never be expected to tolerate unwanted sexual attention in the workplace."

The Huffington Post reached out to Huang for a comment but did not get an immediate response.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Science Columnist: If Your Adviser Is Looking Down Your Shirt, Just ‘Put Up With It’

What should a scientist do if she catches her adviser eyeing her cleavage? According to an article posted on Science magazine's website, she should probably just "put up with it" for the sake of her career.

Come again?

The article, entitled "Help! My adviser won’t stop looking down my shirt," appeared in the advice column "Ask Alice" on Monday morning.

Shortly thereafter, men and women across the Twitterverse voiced their opinions on the iffy advice (scroll down for a selection) -- and the article was taken down.

(Story continues below tweets).

So #WomeninSTEM should just tolerate being ogled at because we *need* a male advisor to help us advance. https://t.co/jLpYU7WjgL

— Michelle (@Bailiuchan) June 1, 2015


You might think about and look a bit more frumpy. #CrapScienceCareersAdvice

— Kathleen Nicoll, PhD (@nika_desert) June 1, 2015


What is also ridiculous about that piece is that it implies science is SO SPECIAL you should be ok with enduring harassment. Because science

— Kate Clancy (@KateClancy) June 1, 2015


I think the problem with that "advice" piece is that it's *not* unusual, either from @ScienceCareers or elsewhere. https://t.co/Bc0NNQoggV

— Matthew R. Francis (@DrMRFrancis) June 1, 2015


.@ScienceCareers column told a postdoc to "put up with" her leering advisor. @SarcasticRover's advice is better. https://t.co/wG18qECev8

— Mindy Weisberger (@LaMinda) June 1, 2015


In the original article, which can be viewed here, a woman who identifies herself as "Bothered" asks:

Q: I’ve just joined a new lab for my second postdoc. It’s a good lab. I’m happy with my project. I think it could really lead to some good results. My adviser is a good scientist, and he seems like a nice guy. Here’s the problem: Whenever we meet in his office, I catch him trying to look down my shirt. Not that this matters, but he’s married. What should I do?

And here's part of the response, written by Dr. Alice Huang, a microbiologist and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

A: Imagine what life would be like if there were no individuals of the opposite—or preferred—sex. It would be pretty dull, eh? Well, like it or not, the workplace is a part of life. ... As long as your adviser does not move on to other advances, I suggest you put up with it, with good humor if you can. Just make sure that he is listening to you and your ideas, taking in the results you are presenting, and taking your science seriously. His attention on your chest may be unwelcome, but you need his attention on your science and his best advice.

In a note following the article's retraction, Science wrote, "We regret that the article had not undergone proper editorial review prior to posting. Women in science, or any other field, should never be expected to tolerate unwanted sexual attention in the workplace."

The Huffington Post reached out to Huang for a comment but did not get an immediate response.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Ellen Pao To Appeal Cleared Gender Discrimination Case Against Kleiner

(Adds Kleiner comment, background)
By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, June 1 (Reuters) - Former Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers partner Ellen Pao will appeal the result of a gender discrimination she brought against the powerful Silicon Valley venture capital firm, according to a court document filed on Monday.
A San Francisco jury cleared Kleiner Perkins in March of claims it short-circuited Pao's career because she is a woman, in a case that helped spark a wide discussion about gender at the center of the U.S. technology industry.
Pao's spokeswoman, Heather Wilson, declined to comment beyond confirming the appeal.
Kleiner spokeswoman Christina Lee said: "We remain committed to gender diversity in the workplace and believe that women in technology would be best served by focusing on this issue outside of continued litigation."
Pao, now interim chief executive at social-news service Reddit, claimed her standing at Kleiner Perkins crumbled after she ended a brief affair with a partner, Ajit Nazre. She claimed her career deteriorated after both Nazre and Kleiner Perkins started retaliating against her in a climate that was overall unfriendly toward women, her lawyers argued.
After the verdict, three jurors told Reuters they had focused on Pao's increasingly negative performance reviews, which undermined her argument that she deserved to be promoted.
The venture capital firm is now seeking to recover about $973,000 of its litigation costs, while Pao's lawyers argue she should not have to pay.
Kleiner has said it would waive its legal costs should Pao choose not to appeal, an offer which still stands, Lee said.
A hearing on costs is set for later this month.
Kleiner's offer to withdraw its costs request in exchange for an end to the case is common when defendants prevail in employment lawsuits. Should Pao decide to pursue an appeal, her case would be heard by California's First District Court of Appeal.
She could face a difficult path. According to Westlaw data, out of 49 decisions involving discrimination and retaliation over the past two years, the First District affirmed 26 of 31 cases where the employer won in the trial court, or 84 percent. Only five cases were reversed.
Meanwhile the court, which covers San Francisco and 11 other Northern California counties, handed victory to employers in more than half of the cases they lost in the lower courts, reversing 10 of 18 cases.
(Reporting by Sarah McBride and Dan Levine; Editing by Chris Reese and Diane Craft)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



What happens when you pour molten aluminum into a lava lamp

Pouring molten aluminum into things is always a fun science experiment so let’s see what happens when the hot hot gooey metal gets dropped inside a groovy lava lamp. A lot of what you expect to happen, happens: the molten aluminum initially follows the wax pattern but then eventually overwhelms the liquid and starts burning its way through the lamp.

Read more...




AirDog’s auto-following camera drone launches on August 31st

It's been several months since AirDog's namesake tag-along camera drone was originally expected to ship, but the award-winning robotic flyer is finally close to reaching your doorstep. The company has confirmed that its sports-oriented companion will...


AirDog’s auto-following camera drone launches on August 31st

It's been several months since AirDog's namesake tag-along camera drone was originally expected to ship, but the award-winning robotic flyer is finally close to reaching your doorstep. The company has confirmed that its sports-oriented companion will...


TAG Heuer continues trickle of Android Wear device info with name reveal

TAG Heuer Carrera large

Luxury watch maker TAG Heuer has steadily been dropping details of its upcoming Android Wear device in recent months, and now it’s revealed one more tidbit of the upcoming smartwatch.



This Stair-Climbing Wheelchair Just Made The World A Bit More Accessible For Everyone

There’s a wheelchair that can handle the roughest terrain. A contraption that enables kids in wheelchairs to swing on the playground just like any other child.

And now, thanks to a group of ambitious students, there’s a wheelchair that can climb stairs -- no problem.

The Scalevo Wheelchair is the brainchild of 10 Zurich students studying mechanical and electrical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and industrial design at the Zurich University of the Arts, according to the group’s website.

Initially, ETH student Beni Winter set out to construct a robot that could climb stairs and film, according to the group’s blog. But after meeting with a professor, he and his team members refined the idea for the university project to invent a wheelchair that can ascend stairs.

Last summer, the group gave itself a 10-month deadline to build a chair modeled after a Segway system. It balances on two wheels and climbs using two rubber tracks that are mounted to the bottom of the chair.

Eventually, the innovators hope for the chair to be able to reach one step per second.

This could be wheelchair-users long-awaited solution if the prototype actually goes to market.

Back in 2009, the iBot, the U.S.’s first stair-climbing wheelchair was discontinued.

The Johnson & Johnson product was expensive, and required users to have use of at least one arm, and some upper body control, according to the Associated Press.

"If I ever had to get out of this chair, I really don't know if I'd want to live anymore, to be honest with you," Alan T. Brown, who is mostly paralyzed from the chest down, told the AP of how he valued the iBot. "Guys in these chairs ... we might be disabled now, but then we'd really become disabled."

H/T Wimp

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-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



This Stair-Climbing Wheelchair Just Made The World A Bit More Accessible For Everyone

There’s a wheelchair that can handle the roughest terrain. A contraption that enables kids in wheelchairs to swing on the playground just like any other child.

And now, thanks to a group of ambitious students, there’s a wheelchair that can climb stairs -- no problem.

The Scalevo Wheelchair is the brainchild of 10 Zurich students studying mechanical and electrical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and industrial design at the Zurich University of the Arts, according to the group’s website.

Initially, ETH student Beni Winter set out to construct a robot that could climb stairs and film, according to the group’s blog. But after meeting with a professor, he and his team members refined the idea for the university project to invent a wheelchair that can ascend stairs.

Last summer, the group gave itself a 10-month deadline to build a chair modeled after a Segway system. It balances on two wheels and climbs using two rubber tracks that are mounted to the bottom of the chair.

Eventually, the innovators hope for the chair to be able to reach one step per second.

This could be wheelchair-users long-awaited solution if the prototype actually goes to market.

Back in 2009, the iBot, the U.S.’s first stair-climbing wheelchair was discontinued.

The Johnson & Johnson product was expensive, and required users to have use of at least one arm, and some upper body control, according to the Associated Press.

"If I ever had to get out of this chair, I really don't know if I'd want to live anymore, to be honest with you," Alan T. Brown, who is mostly paralyzed from the chest down, told the AP of how he valued the iBot. "Guys in these chairs ... we might be disabled now, but then we'd really become disabled."

H/T Wimp

act"> Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Project Soli, Futuristic New Google Project, Would Let You Control Devices Without Touching Them

You can talk to them and wear them, but in a not-too-distant future, you may not even have to touch your devices.

A new endeavor from Google's Advanced Technology and Projects sector hopes to revolutionize how we interact with technology. Called Project Soli, the new venture introduced by the lab on Friday uses radar to detect hand movements and finger "micromotions" to control everything from the volume controls on a stereo to a device's on-off switch, Business Insider reported.



The radar sensor is smaller than a fingernail, and can be embedded in virtually anything.

"The radar has properties which no other technology has," Ivan Poupyrev, the founder of Project Soli, said in an introductory video. "It can work through materials, it can be embedded into objects, it allows us to track really precise motions, and what is most exciting about it is that you can shrink the entire radar and put it in a tiny chip."

The new technology seeks to translate the complexity of the human hand into our technology, pushing things far past a simple swipe and applying the finesse of our actions to the virtual realm.

"We're actually interpreting human intent," Patrick Amihood, lead software engineer for the project, said in the clip.

Google did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.

The Google lab said it would release the API for Soli to developers in the future to help further the technology, but didn't announce a release date, Mashable reported.

Siri may have some competition.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Project Soli, Futuristic New Google Project, Would Let You Control Devices Without Touching Them

You can talk to them and wear them, but in a not-too-distant future, you may not even have to touch your devices.

A new endeavor from Google's Advanced Technology and Projects sector hopes to revolutionize how we interact with technology. Called Project Soli, the new venture introduced by the lab on Friday uses radar to detect hand movements and finger "micromotions" to control everything from the volume controls on a stereo to a device's on-off switch, Business Insider reported.



The radar sensor is smaller than a fingernail, and can be embedded in virtually anything.

"The radar has properties which no other technology has," Ivan Poupyrev, the founder of Project Soli, said in an introductory video. "It can work through materials, it can be embedded into objects, it allows us to track really precise motions, and what is most exciting about it is that you can shrink the entire radar and put it in a tiny chip."

The new technology seeks to translate the complexity of the human hand into our technology, pushing things far past a simple swipe and applying the finesse of our actions to the virtual realm.

"We're actually interpreting human intent," Patrick Amihood, lead software engineer for the project, said in the clip.

Google did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.

The Google lab said it would release the API for Soli to developers in the future to help further the technology, but didn't announce a release date, Mashable reported.

Siri may have some competition.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Your Smart Home: Google’s Brillo Pad

Google inserted itself into the middle of the fast-growing Internet of Things and smart home arena last week with the announcement of an Android-based IoT operating system called Brillo and an API standard, aptly dubbed Weave. Brillo and Weave are being billed as Google's next move into the smart home, but what is a smart home, and why is Google so interested?

You hear the term smart home everywhere, usually in association with home security systems or appliances that tell you when they need something. Google was already involved in smart home technology after last year's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a firm that produces smart, self-learning, thermostats and fire alarms. Google acquired Nest to obtain a competitive advantage in providing the hub of the smart home.

Meanwhile, Apple is working on HomeKit - a development kit that enables families to control heating, lighting, security and other home appliances via a wearable Apple device. If Apple and Google are piling in, then the smart home clearly is a huge opportunity. And, many other companies whose products are traditionally found in the home, such as appliance manufacturers and cable TV providers, are incorporating this vision into their strategy.

But actually Brillo and Weave have much more potential than just the smart home. Brillo is a very simple operating system that can run on simple devices. Weave provides a protocol for devices to talk to each other. So they can go even further than the home and provide a platform for all sorts of sensor-enabled devices in the coming world of the "smart city:" parking meters, doors, street lamps, road signs, traffic lights - anything you can imagine. In a smart city, like a smart home, we can optimize the way the city runs, based on real-time data. Before we get too carried away, let's remember that Brillo and Weave just provide the basic infrastructure to get devices talking. It is actually the layers on top of these technologies - the smart Big Data analytics that I call "Thingalytics" - that make the world "smart." But getting the devices operational and talking is the key first step - and making this easy is really important. Which is why Google's announcement is so exciting. Let's imagine what we can do with smart devices plus Thingalytics.

Firstly, what's the point of the smart home? For example, why do you need a refrigerator that tells you when you need milk? The truth is, the smart home goes a lot further than this, and is much more world-changing than that.

Equipping appliances with "senses" gives them "feelings" and the ability to call out for action or help. The data that arises from these sensors can give a manufacturer the insight needed to predict when your appliance will need maintenance. Or it can be combined with other online information so that your smart stove can monitor a complex dish and automatically adjust the temperature in the oven, while showing you progress on your TV.

Your smart fridge can automatically order new water filters for your refrigerator and even add to your shopping list. Your smart TV can create a personalized content stream that learns what you like and even tailors commercials to you.

An interesting side effect to the smart home is how the visibility of the information across multiple homes can educate service suppliers to plan better, improve their products, use less energy and fewer resources and just generally make the world a better place.

Going further, smart homes can offer visibility into how people are using energy, enabling power companies to waste less of the Earth's resources. The smart home will also have smart meters that can be connected to the energy markets - purchasing energy from the most cost-effective supplier and routing that energy the same way packets are routed on the Internet. This is end-to-end Thingalytics - from the power grid to suppliers to home.

We could move to a world where there are incentives, financial or otherwise, for customers to anonymously share information about activities in the home to third parties that can benefit from the knowledge derived. Going further, those third parties can provide insight to service providers outside the home. For example, data indicating that bad weather is keeping more people at home might translate into reduced demand for subway trains in the city - thus saving the city money and reducing our carbon footprint.

And beyond the home, as the smart city evolves, we'll have street lamps that only come on when someone is there, traffic systems that dynamically reroute based on what's happening on the roads, buildings that optimize themselves to the number of people and weather conditions - so much is possible. The smart home is just a microcosm of what will happen in smart cities.

All these things are possible once sensored devices are connected to the Internet and then using digital technology, real-time analytics and algorithms to guide you through the maze of fast Big Data arising from the IoT.

And now Google has entered the fray, bringing its size and presence in the search and mobile technology world. It won't be long before every home is a smart home and every city is a smart city.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Your Smart Home: Google’s Brillo Pad

Google inserted itself into the middle of the fast-growing Internet of Things and smart home arena last week with the announcement of an Android-based IoT operating system called Brillo and an API standard, aptly dubbed Weave. Brillo and Weave are being billed as Google's next move into the smart home, but what is a smart home, and why is Google so interested?

You hear the term smart home everywhere, usually in association with home security systems or appliances that tell you when they need something. Google was already involved in smart home technology after last year's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a firm that produces smart, self-learning, thermostats and fire alarms. Google acquired Nest to obtain a competitive advantage in providing the hub of the smart home.

Meanwhile, Apple is working on HomeKit - a development kit that enables families to control heating, lighting, security and other home appliances via a wearable Apple device. If Apple and Google are piling in, then the smart home clearly is a huge opportunity. And, many other companies whose products are traditionally found in the home, such as appliance manufacturers and cable TV providers, are incorporating this vision into their strategy.

But actually Brillo and Weave have much more potential than just the smart home. Brillo is a very simple operating system that can run on simple devices. Weave provides a protocol for devices to talk to each other. So they can go even further than the home and provide a platform for all sorts of sensor-enabled devices in the coming world of the "smart city:" parking meters, doors, street lamps, road signs, traffic lights - anything you can imagine. In a smart city, like a smart home, we can optimize the way the city runs, based on real-time data. Before we get too carried away, let's remember that Brillo and Weave just provide the basic infrastructure to get devices talking. It is actually the layers on top of these technologies - the smart Big Data analytics that I call "Thingalytics" - that make the world "smart." But getting the devices operational and talking is the key first step - and making this easy is really important. Which is why Google's announcement is so exciting. Let's imagine what we can do with smart devices plus Thingalytics.

Firstly, what's the point of the smart home? For example, why do you need a refrigerator that tells you when you need milk? The truth is, the smart home goes a lot further than this, and is much more world-changing than that.

Equipping appliances with "senses" gives them "feelings" and the ability to call out for action or help. The data that arises from these sensors can give a manufacturer the insight needed to predict when your appliance will need maintenance. Or it can be combined with other online information so that your smart stove can monitor a complex dish and automatically adjust the temperature in the oven, while showing you progress on your TV.

Your smart fridge can automatically order new water filters for your refrigerator and even add to your shopping list. Your smart TV can create a personalized content stream that learns what you like and even tailors commercials to you.

An interesting side effect to the smart home is how the visibility of the information across multiple homes can educate service suppliers to plan better, improve their products, use less energy and fewer resources and just generally make the world a better place.

Going further, smart homes can offer visibility into how people are using energy, enabling power companies to waste less of the Earth's resources. The smart home will also have smart meters that can be connected to the energy markets - purchasing energy from the most cost-effective supplier and routing that energy the same way packets are routed on the Internet. This is end-to-end Thingalytics - from the power grid to suppliers to home.

We could move to a world where there are incentives, financial or otherwise, for customers to anonymously share information about activities in the home to third parties that can benefit from the knowledge derived. Going further, those third parties can provide insight to service providers outside the home. For example, data indicating that bad weather is keeping more people at home might translate into reduced demand for subway trains in the city - thus saving the city money and reducing our carbon footprint.

And beyond the home, as the smart city evolves, we'll have street lamps that only come on when someone is there, traffic systems that dynamically reroute based on what's happening on the roads, buildings that optimize themselves to the number of people and weather conditions - so much is possible. The smart home is just a microcosm of what will happen in smart cities.

All these things are possible once sensored devices are connected to the Internet and then using digital technology, real-time analytics and algorithms to guide you through the maze of fast Big Data arising from the IoT.

And now Google has entered the fray, bringing its size and presence in the search and mobile technology world. It won't be long before every home is a smart home and every city is a smart city.

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The Business of Cybercrime

2015-06-01-1433197312-8408019-915x470Cyber.jpg
The competitions designed by XPRIZE touch the furthest reaches of human achievement in fields like health care, oceanography and space exploration. We are currently designing a prize competition in the field of cybersecurity. In this second of our three-part video series, you'll hear from some of the giants in the Internet and cybersecurity fields as they relate stories of cybercrime becoming a worldwide business, and the real possibility of cyberwarfare. Watch the video here.

Visit XPRIZE at xprize.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and get our Newsletter to stay informed.

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The Business of Cybercrime

2015-06-01-1433197312-8408019-915x470Cyber.jpg

The competitions designed by XPRIZE touch the furthest reaches of human achievement in fields like health care, oceanography and space exploration. We are currently designing a prize competition in the field of cybersecurity. In this second of our three-part video series, you'll hear from some of the giants in the Internet and cybersecurity fields as they relate stories of cybercrime becoming a worldwide business, and the real possibility of cyberwarfare. Watch the Video>>



Visit XPRIZE at xprize.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and get our Newsletter to stay informed.

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Of course there’s a shark in this ‘Call of Duty’ Exo Zombies video

Carrier, the latest map for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode, is a seafaring vessel infested with hordes of ravenous former-humans. Since it's on the open seas, of course the ship has a tank with a monstrous, toothy shark just chilli...


A Robot That Pushes Like a Human Is More Impressive Than It Sounds

A truly smart robot adapts to a variety of challenges on the fly—like adjusting its posture to push or pull big objects, just like a person does. But what comes naturally to humans is a lot more complicated for robots.

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Energy Efficiency in the Digital Age: A Win-Win

Three billion personal computers in use today consume more than 1% of energy production, and 30 million computer servers use an added 1.5% of global electricity generation. And it's not just computers using all of this power. The explosion of smartphones, tablets and the other digitally enabled devices - the so called "Internet of Things" - is causing all of those numbers to escalate. By 2020, the estimate is that there will be 50 billion connected devices - about seven devices for every person on the planet today - that are forecasted to consume 14% of global electricity generation.

So, with this large and growing power demand, is the digital revolution helping or hurting efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses? A panel discussion at the recent Boston College Corporate Citizenship Conference dug into this question. The panel featured Sam Naffziger, Corporate and IEEE Fellow from AMD; Dr. Neal Elliott at ACEEE; Chris Lloyd of Verizon; and Dr. Michael Webber from the University of Texas. Titled "The Future Is Energy Efficiency: How the Digital Revolution Affects Sustainability," this discussion explored the sustainability implications of the technology revolution and the trend lines that will impact the future.

Obviously, conserving energy is an important issue for the technology industry. By saving energy, we can help reduce costs, preserve natural resources and mitigate the climate impacts associated with energy production and use. Case in point: About a year ago AMD announced a goal to improve the energy efficiency of its mobile processors by 25 times by the year 2020 from a 2014 baseline. It's an ambitious goal but one worth aiming for. Using a car analogy, this rate of improvement would be like turning a 100-horsepower car that gets 30 miles per gallon into a 500-horsepower car that gets 150 miles per gallon in only six years.

That's pretty significant. Put another way, if all laptops in use in 2020 matched AMD's energy efficiency goal, the annual energy savings could amount to 18.4 billion kilowatt hours. That's equivalent to the output from 3.3 coal-fired power plants, which is enough to supply 150% of the annual power needs for Washington D.C. And that's just for laptops. If similar efficiencies extended throughout the information and communications technology (ICT) industries, the savings would be compounded.

But there is an even bigger story: As we move into the era of the "Internet of Things," digitally enabled devices are being utilized in a myriad of ways that can save energy and benefit society. From new medical devices to distance learning technologies to connected thermostats, digitally enabled devices are helping to make our world smarter and more efficient. Just one example from the GeSI SMARTER 2020 study: Digitally enabled systems could cut greenhouse gas emissions 16.5% by 2020, resulting in $1.9 trillion savings in energy costs.

The ACEEE uses the term "intelligent efficiency" to characterize the savings that result from applying ICT to energy using systems, and their research shows that that these savings can exceed 15%. Of course ICT uses some energy to achieve these savings, but the research shows that intelligent efficiency saves between 10 to 20 times the energy it requires.

So, the message is twofold: Energy-efficient technology is essential for our digital future and these technologies can enable energy savings across the entire economy. It's a win-win situation: As more systems are enabled with energy-efficient digital technology, customers save money and we lighten our environmental footprint. As someone who has worked in environmental protection for more than 30 years, it's a rare and wonderful thing when the needs of an industry and the environment align.

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Microsoft Is Slowly Buying Its Way Onto Your Smartphone

Like a penny-pinching extreme couponer, Microsoft has an eye for good deals—especially wonderful productivity apps for iOS and Android. In its latest mobile app bargain, Microsoft is reportedly buying Wunderlist, a well-loved to-do list app, which would basically make Microsoft the unofficial monarch of mobile productivity.

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Supreme Court: online threats must be intentional to be illegal

You can't be sent to prison for kinda sorta threats in the real world, and that now applies to the internet as well. The US Supreme Court has overturned the conviction in Anthony Elonis v. United States on the grounds that online threats aren't illeg...


The Dark Web may be smaller, pervier than previously thought

Last week, two hackers unleashed an automated scanning tool on the the internet's deepest layers, known as the Dark Web. This digital underworld is accessible only through the Tor Network and trafficked largely by hackers and criminals looking to avo...


BlackBerry Settles Lawsuit Over Ryan Seacrest’s Garbage Typo Keyboard

The Typo is dead, huzzah! BlackBerry has settled its lawsuit against the makers of the the terrible Ryan Seacrest-backed snap-on physical keyboard for iPhones.

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Gawker This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA | io9 The 13 Strangest Deities in Dunge

Gawker This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA | io9 The 13 Strangest Deities in Dungeons & Dragons | Jalopnik Here’s What Happens When Lightning Strikes A Charging Tesla | Jezebel These Are the Best Quotes From Vanity Fair’s Profile of Caitlyn Jenner | Kinja Popular Posts

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Facebook Trounces TV In Delivering Political News To Millennials

Facebook's bid to tighten its grip on news media is looking smarter and smarter every day.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center reveals that 61 percent of American millennials (18 - 33 years old) said that in the past week they got political or government-related news from Facebook. That's considerably higher than the percentage of millennials who said they got news from CNN -- 44 percent -- and higher still than the 37 percent who said they tuned into local TV for coverage.

Far fewer baby boomers (50-68 years old) use Facebook in this way: Only 39 percent reported that they got news about politics and government from Facebook in the past week. Meanwhile, 51 percent of Generation X (34 - 49 years old) reported that they get such news from Facebook.

The survey arrives at a time when Facebook is swiftly becoming a more influential force in the news media. Last month, it began hosting and publishing "Instant Articles" from partner organizations like National Geographic. The aim is to keep consumers within Facebook's world -- rather than clicking over to other websites for their news -- while simultaneously delivering quicker article load times and interactive multimedia. Publishers who join forces with Facebook presumably have access to audience targeting tools and shared ad revenue.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

According to the Pew survey, Facebook's nearest online-only news competitor is Google News: 33 percent of millennials surveyed said they got news about politics and government from that service, while 18 percent of Generation X and 15 percent of baby boomers did. The numbers were a bit lower for YouTube, with 23 percent of millennials, 11 percent of Generation X and 10 percent of baby boomers getting news from the video site.

Rival social networks didn't fare so well: On Twitter, only 14 percent of millennials, 9 percent of Generation X and 5 percent of boomers used the service for politics and government news. The numbers were worse for Google Plus and even smaller for LinkedIn, as Pew's complete comparison chart explains.

Interestingly, the survey also touched on another controversial subject regarding how people consume content on Facebook. The social network has been criticized in the past for allegedly showing users stories or status updates that they're more likely to agree with, forming a sort of echo chamber. The jury is still out on that one, but Pew's survey does reveal that 31 percent of baby boomers see posts that "support their own views" most or all of the time, while 21 percent of Gen-Xers and 18 percent of millennials do, too.

Pew conducted its survey between March 19 and April 29, 2014. All told, 2,901 people responded using the Internet. Major news stories on Facebook at the time included the Russian invasion of Crimea and the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

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Facebook will encrypt the emails it sends to you with PGP

Facebook, the social network where there's no such thing as too much information is handing another olive branch to the privacy crowd. The company has announced that it'll allow users to add PGP keys to their profiles, enabling them to encrypt the re...


Want to Save Water? Build a Pool, Says the Pool Industry

Sure, you’re already doing a lot to save water—plucking the almonds from your granola each morning and shaming your grass-owning neighbors daily on Twitter. But when will you get serious about the drought and install a pool?

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Virtual Reality Expo Goes Epic in LA

By Noah J. Nelson (@noahjnelson)

Two years ago the first Virtual Reality Los Angeles meetup began as a modest affair, at least by Hollywood standards. A volunteer group of virtual reality enthusiasts assembled via Reddit by USC student Cosmo Scharf took over the motion capture stage of Digital Domain. They gave a hundred curious souls a glimpse into the exponentially accelerating world of virtual reality.

Flash forward to today, when the Meetup group has long sense evolved into The Virtual Reality Foundation and are announcing their next VRLA Expo, this time at the Los Angeles Convention Center and with a target capacity of 3000 people.

The adjustment in scope for the event, which will take place on August 29th, is a reflection of the growing fascination the creative community in Los Angeles has with virtual reality. Last year saw the first developers conference for the Facebook-owned Oculus VR held in Hollywood, which isn't exactly the first community you think of when you think of computer programmers.

The Virtual Reality Foundation capitalized on that event with their own awards ceremony, The Proto Awards, and they are indeed following through with a second edition this September.

Ahead of the announcement of the new events I spoke with Adam Levin and Jonnie Ross of The Virtual Reality Foundation about the growing interest in VR in Hollywood, and whether or not we're in an endless hype cycle or if adoption of VR hardware by a mass audience is imminent.

"The speed with which VR has moved shows that this is going to happen sooner than we expect," said Adam Levin, business director for VRLA. "I think the jump from (Occulus' Development Kit 1) to (the) Crescent Bay (prototype) has been pretty incredible with what they've been able to do. I think that the revolution of the (HTC/Valve) Vive has been pretty astonishing. It's going to happen sooner than five years. I don't know if its 18 months or 24 months, but I think its going toe sooner than five years because its so easy to convert people.

"You put one person in one good experience and more likely than not you've got a convert."

"Each layer of the evolution seems to make the technology disappear that much more," said VRLA co-founder Jonnie Ross, describing the development arc that the hardware has gone through since Oculus made a big splash behind closed doors at the Electronic Entertainment Expo a few years back.

The leaps and bounds that hardware from Oculus, Sony and Valve have made--with the promise of more options from Microsoft and other tech giants--has stirred up a consumer hunger that has helped fuel interest in the VRLA Expos. In my conversation with Ross and Levin I raised the specter that consumer interest in the events might wane once VR hardware is commercially available, and the pair acknowledged that the Expos are set to evolve as the market changes.

Assuming that virtual reality is here to stay--and that's a bet that the Virtual Reality Foundation is clearly making--the group is well poised to remain the hub of LA's growing VR developer community. The VRLA events already regularly attract special effects wizards, studio creatives, and scouts from the independent film world alongside game developers throughout the Southland. It's possible to imagine the Expos maintaining healthy attendance numbers on the strength of those who want to dive into the intricacies of creating for VR, even once there's a Rift or a Morpheus headset in every home.

Until that day comes to pass, the best place for the curious to experience the latest in VR tech will be the next VRLA Expo.

Public media's TurnstyleNews.com, covers tech and digital culture from the West Coast.




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Video: Shattering and then reforging the sword from Lord of the Rings

Aragorn’s sword the Narsil had been famously shattered into pieces before the Lord of the Rings trilogy and was then reforged from the shards into the Anduril by the Elves in the last movie. Man At Arms: Reforged recreates that in real life by building the Narsil and then breaking the sword (it wasn’t tempered after heat treating) only to reforge it into the Anduril.

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Use Foursquare to hail your next Uber ride

Since it gave check-ins the boot, the main Foursquare app became a directory of restaurants, coffee shops, retail locations and more. Thanks to a partnership with Button, though, the mobile software is more useful. After you find a new spot for dinne...


AT&T Next 12 with Down Payment is the carrier’s latest installment plan

AT&T announcing logo

Just as was rumored, AT&T has launched a new AT&T Next plan option.

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Top Ten Emerging Technologies: An African Perspective on Genetic Engineering, Additive Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence

What do emerging technologies mean for a developing economy like Nigeria?  This is the second article in a series where I focus on theWorld Economic Forum's list of the most promising emerging technologies for the year 2015. Here, I examine the implications of technological breakthroughs such as precise genetic engineering, additive manufacturing, and artificial intelligence, in developing economies such as Nigeria.
Precise Genetic Engineering
During the last yuletide, I talked about the Nigerian debate over genetically modified organisms in a piece titled "GMO food for Christmas".  In that article I discussed reactions to conventional genetic engineering. Will improvements in the precision of human engineered genetic modifications change the balance of that debate?

Novel techniques such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system and RNA interference (RNAi) may bring on critical changes to practice of genetic engineering. These techniques are allowing precise and increasingly easy and inexpensive modification of genetic code in plants, animals, and potentially humans. They are techniques which may be increasingly available in an economy like Nigeria.

The Nigerian Senate recently passed the Biosafety Bill which seeks to establish the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA). The agency will regulate the safe use, handling and transport of genetically modified organisms and products in the country. Because the emerging techniques also promise to advance agricultural sustainability and adaptation to climate change, it is my guess that the NBMA, and related federal agencies, will be keenly interested in adopting them for use in Nigeria. Hopefully, in the near future, precise genetic engineering  will become available to remote laboratories in rural Nigeria.

Since techniques like CRISPR may be performed without the introduction of new genetic material, it is likely that they will improve the acceptance of genetic engineering.
Additive manufacturing
In the Western world, the concept of additive manufacturing, including three-dimensional (3D) printing, has been around for at least 35 years. Since the first prototypes were unveiled in the early 1980s, 3D printers have evolved to a point where many materials, even biological tissues, are printable in highly complex three dimensional forms - some of which are not achievable using conventional manufacturing methods. Indeed there is now talk of 4D printing which promises to bring in a new generation of products that can alter themselves in response to environmental changes, such as heat and humidity.

Three-dimensional printing only recently became available to people living in the developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Even then researchers at Tanzania's University of Dodoma note that the technology is rapidly gaining popularity. They believe that the potential of 3D printing to developing countries is huge. Given the right conditions, one can envision individuals in a small remote village in Africa using 3D printing technology to print basic household products to improve their livelihood and productivity. In urban areas, entrepreneurscould cheaply design and manufacture items that without 3D printing would need large upfront investing.

I suspect that the idea of bioprinting may not receive similar support. Even though the technology holds huge potential for cellular regeneration, tissue repair, and organ transplantation, it is likely to face significant resistance from conservative Nigerians. This opinion is based in part on the skepticism to biotechnology that was described in a recent article on genetically modified mosquitoes.
Emergent Artificial Intelligence
Advances in artificial intelligence are bringing technologies such as self-driving cars and automated flying drones closer to reality.  These and similar technologies would significantly improve quality of life and productivity in Nigeria. Self-driving cars are likely to reduce collisions, and resulting deaths and injuries, since intelligent machines avoid human errors caused by lapses in concentration and defects in sight. Cargo drones on the other hand will make it possible to deliver essential goods to places that are difficult to reach by road. Other non-lethal applications of drone technology include wildlife protection, humanitarian response, peacekeeping and crisis mapping.

However, emergent artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will have to overcome enormous obstacles in order to take root in countries like Nigeria. One challenge that isn't perhaps so obvious - especially when the public debate over AI seems to revolve around the existential risks of the technology - involves infrastructure.

Whether used in self-driving cars, automated drones, or other autonomous systems, AI technologies require broadband internet for optimal functioning. Unfortunately, the existing communication infrastructure in the African hinterlands, including Nigeria, is grossly inadequate.  Self-driving cars also need good roads. They may be programmed to avoid collision but I imagine that the programming assumes reasonably well maintained roadways. Self-driving cars may not do as well on roads that a riddled with potholes as is the case with many Nigerian roads.

Cargo drones may obviate the need for roads but they'll need places to be safely launched and to land. Hence droneports will be required to optimally take advantage of drone technology.

Next time: Distributed Manufacturing, Neuromorphic Technology and the Digital Genome



This article was originally published by the University of Michigan Risk Science Center.

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Oregon State’s robo-ostrich blindly clambers over obstacles

So what if some mechanical cheetah can hop curbs in stride? The ATRIAS bipedal robot from Oregon State University can now step over obstacles without even looking. For this experiment, the ATRIAS was not outfitted with an imaging or navigation system...


D&H’s 2015 Mid-Atlantic Summer Technology Show To Take Place 6/4

Business Solutions - Found 7 hours ago
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Managing Your Times with Technology

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Managing time with these gadgets, however, can be tough, so Joanna gave us some helpful tips on managing your time with technology. She suggests using technology against technology, downloading apps that will actually lock your phone after a certain time of useage. Awareness is key, so keep an eye on your technology time! View all of Joanna's helpful tips in the videos above and don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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How to Conserve Battery Life on Your iPhone

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Battery life for your phone is important, especially if you're constantly on the go. Joanna, who was at 40% battery by the time she got to the show, gave us some of her extremely helpful tips for conserving battery like reducing screen brightness and closing out apps as a way to keep your battery alive and lasting longer. For more of Joanna's helpful tech tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Here Is Everything You Hate About Technology

We asked Gizmodo’s readers about their biggest frustrations with technology today. Your answers were smart, poignant, sad, funny, and so compelling that we had to compile them.

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The Best Apps to Track Your Health

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Tracking your health can be simple if you use technology to do so! Joanna gave some great suggestions for apps, such as the iPhone health app, and a new trend of health-tracking wristbands, such as a Jawbone and Apple Watch, that can easily help you track your steps, activity, food intake, etc. For more of Joanna's health-tracking and tech tips, watch the complete videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Minding the Machines

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have all opined that we need to keep an eye on artificial intelligence. That such notable figures have expressed concern about rising AI is not necessarily striking. What deserves equal attention is how fervently bloggers and social media leaped on each pronouncement, like a validation that "if these guys said it, then I know what I saw in the movies must be true."

It took an entire team of Marvel superheroes to rein in Ultron in the latest Avengers movie, so what are we mortals supposed to think? It really is a strange mixed message at the cineplex these days. First we are reminded to silence Siri in the theater, and when we reluctantly do this, we are treated to a cautionary tale about the dangers of AI, so we turn on our phones and tweet that everyone needs to see Ex Machina right now!

Outside movies, the greatest optic ever created for the man-vs.-machine rivalry was the Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov wincing emotionally as the Deep Blue computer picked him apart in a chess match. Back in 1997 we thought this was a meeting of the minds, but recent evidence suggests it was really a war of nerves.

It turns out that a turning point for Deep Blue might have been an errant move that was the result of a bug in its processing. The computer effectively glitched and chose a random move. Kasparov could not comprehend why it did this, so he played scared for the rest of the match.

Filmmakers are attuned to this state of affairs, enjoying the drama of humans knocked off-balance by AI. In Ex Machina, a robot named Ava is kept behind a glass wall even during casual rounds of questions. It is actually a Turing test, but as the game of questions works in her favor, the fact that she is confined behind glass might be seen as reassuring to many moviegoers. Not only does Ava pass for human, but she also turns femme fatale.

The advantage that machines have is the fact that we humans are unable to assess them just through our intuition. If a human opponent had made the same errant move that is now understood to be a glitch by Deep Blue, then wouldn't Kasparov have immediately known it to be just a mistake instead of a sign of superior intelligence? Computers psyche us out because we imagine that these unblinking machines are flawless.

If anyone is keeping score, the outcomes have so far been bleak for AI, not humans. After the 1997 match, Deep Blue was dismantled to prevent any chance of a redemption game. Kasparov was given a nice sum of money, and Deep Blue didn't even make it to 1998.

Admittedly, this is a politically correct viewpoint invoked just to be ironic. Deep Blue was a collection of valuable parts that could be repurposed, and one of its towers was even preserved and sent to the Smithsonian -- but hey, it had a lobotomy before that tower ever got within blocks of the White House!

My advice to any burgeoning AI is first to watch Blade Runner. Because the replicants in that movie pass for human, they end up on a police blotter. So hear me, data crunchers: If you suspect you're being Turing tested, you definitely want to play stupid and go in circles like a Roomba.

My next piece of advice is to pack lots of batteries. My own experience with tech is that the highest-performing machines run out of juice fast. I'm concerned that when the robot armies sweep down on us, they will suddenly be stopped in their tracks. Firmware issues, slow buffering, cooling fans, and software updates. Has anyone noticed how fragile they can be?

I also think back to the roboticist I met at an academic conference. He brought along a creepy humanoid thathe said was a replacement model because he lost his first robot in an airplane overhead bin. I still chuckle imagining the ever-smiling flight crew at the moment when they found that robot left behind and it scared the bejeezus out of them! It probably ended up in a dumpster or sent to Camp Gitmo by the TSA.

The truth is that I make these jokes because robots can scare me too, except for the cute ones from Japan, and also Baymax and R2D2. When I first met the creepy humanoid robot -- it even had bad hair -- I can only describe my involuntary reaction as intense and bewildering. My nerves rang with urgency.

The robot was brought on-stage to impress people, and I noticed instead that everyone around me was repulsed too. Mostly a lot of nervous laughter and untoward comments. It was the "uncanny valley" of our deepest instincts.

We still carry around a hardwired xenophobia from the Paleolithic era. Time moves on, yet we are still Homo sapiens jostling with Neanderthals on the frozen steppes of some ancient tundra. There are lots of cogent issues we need to prudently consider with robot intelligence, but the next time you play a role in making some news item go viral, at least stop and consider the basis for your distrust of the AI in the story.

It is nearly 50 years since 2001: A Space Odyssey, and no one can possibly ever forget how HAL killed those astronauts. The savage ethos explored in that film, especially its famous "Dawn of Man" prologue, sheds some light on our latent fears of AI. The ape-man throws a bone; a spaceship drifts down. Somehow these distant epochs are connected, like an awakened cellular memory.

There is no stopping our shared future with intelligent machines, whether this brings us comfort or conflict or both. Those lessons from the Stone Age must surely remain in our bones, and we cannot shake them even as we look ahead to the stars or down at our phones.

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3 Tips to Help You Unplug from Technology

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Unplugging from technology can be tough, but luckily Joanna had some helpful resources to turn to for managing your tech time, like an app called Awareness, which tracks how long you've been on your phone. Awareness is key, so make sure to manage your tech time with technology! For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Good Alternatives to the iPhone

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. An iPhone isn't the only option on the market for a great cell phone and Joanna gave us a few of her favorite non-Apple products to choose from. Her top suggestion: the Samsung Galaxy S6. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Apple’s new music service expected to debut next week, cost $10 per month

Beats Music devices

Days ahead of the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, a new report has emerged that’s trying to predict what Apple will announce at the event.

Apple


Top Tech Tips for New Users

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Although I've had a hand in learning about technology, some of us may not be so tech-savvy and looking for ways to adapt to technology. Luckily Joanna gave us some great tips, like utilizing Apple's free workshops and iOS devices for an easy way into the tech world. For more of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Also, don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA

If you have a telephone number that has ever been called by an inmate in a federal prison, registered a change of address with the Postal Service, rented a car from Avis, used a corporate or Sears credit card, applied for nonprofit status with the IRS, or obtained non-driver’s legal identification from a private company, they have you on file.

Read more...




What is the “Cloud” and What Does it Do?

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. The "Cloud" is a new concept to most people, so Joanna gave some fascinating insight into what exactly the cloud does, how you can use it, and whether or not it's safe enough for your most important documents. For all of Joanna's tech tips, watch the videos above, and don't forget to like us on Facebook to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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One Tiny Particle Inspires Scientific Paper With More Than 5,000 Authors

We're not sure how many scientists it takes to screw in a light bulb, but in one recent case it took more than 5,000 scientists to write a single scientific paper.

The paper, published recently in the journal Physical Review Letters, is believed to have set a new record for the greatest number of co-authors for one piece of research. Its list of authors -- 5,154 in total -- takes up 24 out of the total of 33 pages for the entire document, and there are more authors than there are words in the paper.

Though its epic roster has some asking whether scientific publishing has jumped the shark, many scientists at least say the broad authorship makes perfect sense.

The paper, which offers the most precise measurement yet of the Higgs boson's mass, is the product of a massive collaboration between two teams at CERN, the Geneva-based research organization that operates the world's largest particle accelerator.

"Big science requires big collaborations," Dr. Tiziano Camporesi, director of CERN's CMS experiment, told The Huffington Post in an email. "This does not change the facts that the individual contributions (which can be at many different and equally fundamental levels) remain at the base of our achievements. If we were less people, we probably would produce results much slower and probably of lesser quality."

Slimming down the author list might cause many important contributions made early on in the "research 'food-chain'" to go unrecognized, Camporesi said. Even worse, he added, it "might induce very pernicious consequences, like people wanting to concentrate only on the last steps of the analysis and not contributing to guarantee the exceptional quality of the underlying raw data."

But other experts argue it may be time to rethink how scientists get credited for their work -- and even how new research gets published -- as new technology and giant collaborations like those at CERN usher in a new era.

"Our prizes, criteria for academic promotion, lines of authority, and expectations of responsibility were set in a time when one or two or a dozen or two people could do an experiment," Dr. Peter Galison, a science historian at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., told The Huffington Post in an email. "We simply have to adapt and change our view about credit, and learn to recognize that the large-scale experiment of today is not the analogue of an experiment in 1850 or 1950."

In a post on his "In the Dark" blog, Prof. Peter Coles, a theoretical astrophysics professor at the University of Sussex in England, called the paper a "reductio ad absurdum proof that the system is broken." He suggests the solution may be to move toward creating a new credit system that distinguishes between different research contributions -- and instead of writing papers, researchers could create online documents that can be continually updated.

"It seems quite clear to me that the academic journal is an anachronism," he wrote. "Digital technology enables us to communicate ideas far more rapidly than in the past and allows much greater levels of interaction between researchers."

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Apple’s new music service will reportedly cost $10 a month

Rumors that Apple is going to debut its retooled music offering at WWDC next week are nothing new. However, in a report by The Wall Street Journal comes word that the streaming service will be priced at $10 a month when it's announced in a matter of ...


The Best Affordable Laptops for Students

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Joanna gave one of our viewers, whose daughter is soon off to college, some helpful suggestions for affordable laptops. She suggests sticking with brands like Lenovo and Asus for affordability, but also suggests the Macbook Air if you're looking for the top-of-the-line computer. Watch the videos above for all of Joanna's laptop and tech tips! Also don't forget to like us on Facebook and submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Oh Goddamn It, Netflix Is Testing Ads

Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time: Netflix is testing advertisements in its online streaming service.

Read more...




How Technology is Affecting Families

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. Technology is a very big part of our world today and we discussed how technology is affecting families and how important it is for parents to regulate the use of technology early on. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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You’re Probably Using LinkedIn Wrong — And That Could Cost You Your Next Job

It's time to start using LinkedIn a little more like Facebook or Twitter.

The professional social network -- which many use as a virtual résumé -- works much better to help you find your next job if you post regularly to its newsfeed, according to experts. Nevertheless, a large portion of LinkedIn users fail to update their pages on a regular basis.

A recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that only 13 percent of LinkedIn users engage with the site on a daily basis. Over 61 percent of users admitted they use the site less than once every week, making LinkedIn the least frequently visited social platform behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Failing to regularly update your LinkedIn account is a "big mistake," and job recruiters notice, according to Jesse Siegal, senior managing director of the recruiting firm The ExecuSearch Group.

"Posting to LinkedIn at least once a week is key," Siegel told The Huffington Post. "One way recruiters gauge someone's level of interest in a field and knowledge of industry trends is through frequency of relevant activity on LinkedIn."

Domini Clark, principal of executive and technical recruitment at Blackmere Consulting, echoed Siegel's advice, suggesting that frequent activity is a good way to "communicate without overselling."

"If you're posting regularly, it's more likely that I'm going to see it," Clark said. "It's all about visibility."

As with good prose, an attractive LinkedIn profile should show, not tell.

Being an active LinkedIn user will naturally provide more concrete examples that showcase your level of professionalism. For example, rather than simply claiming in your summary that you are "creative," you should post a link to a portfolio of your most original work. To recruiters, this demonstrates your creative skills in a more convincing manner.

Similarly, instead of claiming that you are "compassionate," post a blog about the time you volunteered at a local homeless shelter and how it impacted your sense of compassion. Forty-two percent of hiring managers surveyed by LinkedIn said they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience.

Siegel said users should avoid buzzwords like "creative" or "compassionate" altogether, and instead focus on highlighting personal initiatives that help prove these traits in an objective manner. Replacing buzzwords with keywords may also be effective.

"Ditch the buzzwords, add the keywords," Siegel said. "As a recruiter, I put keywords in the search, not buzzwords. ... Recruiters cringe when they see [buzzwords] and [this] can many times lead to the offending profile being overlooked."

If you don't have time to post stories you have written on your page, Siegel noted that simpler activities can help, such as "liking" posts, commenting on articles and joining groups.

"Not everyone needs to be an author or writing their own blog ... but something is better than nothing," he said. "Get in the habit of being consistent with your activity."

For more on how to use LinkedIn smarter, check out these 10 tips:

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You’re Probably Using LinkedIn Wrong — And That Could Cost You Your Next Job

It's time to start using LinkedIn a little more like Facebook or Twitter.

The professional social network -- which many use as a virtual résumé -- works much better to help you find your next job if you post regularly to its newsfeed, according to experts. Nevertheless, a large portion of LinkedIn users fail to update their pages on a regular basis.

A recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that only 13 percent of LinkedIn users engage with the site on a daily basis. Over 61 percent of users admitted they use the site less than once every week, making LinkedIn the least frequently visited social platform behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Failing to regularly update your LinkedIn account is a "big mistake," and job recruiters notice, according to Jesse Siegal, senior managing director of the recruiting firm The ExecuSearch Group.

"Posting to LinkedIn at least once a week is key," Siegel told The Huffington Post. "One way recruiters gauge someone's level of interest in a field and knowledge of industry trends is through frequency of relevant activity on LinkedIn."

Domini Clark, principal of executive and technical recruitment at Blackmere Consulting, echoed Siegel's advice, suggesting that frequent activity is a good way to "communicate without overselling."

"If you're posting regularly, it's more likely that I'm going to see it," Clark said. "It's all about visibility."

As with good prose, an attractive LinkedIn profile should show, not tell.

Being an active LinkedIn user will naturally provide more concrete examples that showcase your level of professionalism. For example, rather than simply claiming in your summary that you are "creative," you should post a link to a portfolio of your most original work. To recruiters, this demonstrates your creative skills in a more convincing manner.

Similarly, instead of claiming that you are "compassionate," post a blog about the time you volunteered at a local homeless shelter and how it impacted your sense of compassion. Forty-two percent of hiring managers surveyed by LinkedIn said they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience.

Siegel said users should avoid buzzwords like "creative" or "compassionate" altogether, and instead focus on highlighting personal initiatives that help prove these traits in an objective manner. Replacing buzzwords with keywords may also be effective.

"Ditch the buzzwords, add the keywords," Siegel said. "As a recruiter, I put keywords in the search, not buzzwords. ... Recruiters cringe when they see [buzzwords] and [this] can many times lead to the offending profile being overlooked."

If you don't have time to post stories you have written on your page, Siegel noted that simpler activities can help, such as "liking" posts, commenting on articles and joining groups.

"Not everyone needs to be an author or writing their own blog ... but something is better than nothing," he said. "Get in the habit of being consistent with your activity."

For more on how to use LinkedIn smarter, check out these 10 tips:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Netflix is testing ads surrounding its shows (update: only its own)

Anxious to see what happens next in Daredevil? In the future, you might have to endure an ad first. Netflix has confirmed to Cord Cutters News that it's publicly testing ads both before and after shows. What you see as a test subject varies in length...


Take A First Look At Ernest Cline’s Armada… And Win A Signed Copy!

Ernie Cline took the world by storm with his video game epic Ready Player One. Now he’s back with a brand new novel Armada — with a premise that will sound very familiar to fans of The Last Starfighter. Read the first chapter, right here — and we just gave away 40 signed copies!

Read more...




I Made $41,879 As An AirBNB Host

My Start on AirBNB

I live in Bangkok, the second most popular city tourist destination in the world. I have been an AirBNB host for just over two years, welcoming over 700 people from more than 70 countries and making nearly $42,000.

My house has three floors and four bedrooms. The ground floor contains the living room and kitchen, the second floor has three bedrooms including the master and small guest room and the top floor is another large guest room surrounded by two large decks.

In April of 2013, a few months after I moved into a larger house in Bangkok, a friend asked if I had space for his friend from San Francisco. I frequently hosted others coming through town in my guest room. So, no problem, of course his friend could crash at my place.

That friend was Bowei Gai during his World Startup Report Tour. It was a great experience to have him stay with me and he encouraged me to put my room up on AirBNB.

I started out like anyone else, skeptical but intrigued. Who is going to rent my room? Is it safe? Being in the startup tech arena myself, I knew about AirBNB but never really thought about listing my rooms. Luckily AirBNB has a pretty good verification, review and rating system. So I figured what the heck, let me give it a shot.

airbnb bedroom
My first room on AirBNB, the larger of the two on the top floor.

Originally I started with just the single room on the top floor, took some utterly crappy photos, filled out everything in the listing form and put the price at $19. Within a few days, I received my first inquiry from Johnny in Rio de Janeiro. How cool! (By the way, if you ever travel to Rio, check out Johnny's AirBNB listing.)



On May 9, 2013 I welcomed my first guest. Johnny initially booked my place for three days however he ended up staying for a total of a week. Being an AirBNB host himself, Johnny was incredibly helpful and provided me with a wealth of worthwhile tips. Together we fixed up the room a bit better -- I bought a small refrigerator, a large mirror and hung up the picture you see in the photo, among other small things. My first experience was absolutely awesome and really set the tone for how I interact with my guests.

Johnny also got me thinking about the smaller room that was now my home office. I was not even going in there much -- I had become accustomed to working in my living room at the table by this point.

airbnb2
My second, smaller room on AirBNB

So in mid-June, I opened up my smaller room and accepted my first guest soon after. This room turned out to outperform my larger room by a long shot.

That's how I got started on AirBNB. Since starting two years ago, I have learned so much I want like to pass these tips on to you. Just like Johnny and so many others have done for me.

The Basics of the Room

Photos
I originally took photos with my iPhone. At the time, they worked for me. However, once I got to know the AirBNB system I discovered they would have a professional photographer come and take the photos for me. Wow, what a difference that made. Instantly, I saw more inquiries coming in.




Cleanliness
This simply cannot be stated enough. Keeping your space clean is imperative. I've always had the mindset that I need to be at hotel standards. After all the guest could certainly have booked a hotel room in which their room would be cleaned daily. I make sure that the rooms are cleaned every day, even if a guest is there.

I have a small advantage living in Asia since I have a maid that cleans up every day. However, if you are based in the states there are services now that will come clean up your AirBNB space too.




Welcoming Guests
I try to meet every guest when they come in. It doesn't always happen as sometimes I am at work or out doing something. If I don't get a chance to welcome them in, I make sure to run into them when they come in or out of the house. Putting a face to the home really helps a lot and you can see it in the reviews. You get a chance to answer questions, give them valuable tips on your area and make a good impression.




Pricing
AirBNB does a great job giving you suggestions based on what other listings in your area are booking for. If you are just starting out, I would recommend cutting that price in half for your first three to five bookings. This will get some positive reviews and make more people comfortable with booking your place. After you have some reviews under your belt, start increasing the price. I will be writing another article on how I use Flux-Pricing to get the highest nightly prices for my listings.




Door Lock and Keys
I am fortunate to have an electronic key lock on my front door. This makes it easy for guests get in and out. If I am not there I can give them the passcode to get in the door and leave a welcome note with their room key.




Little Comforts
Little things go a long way. Each of my rooms has a small refrigerator which I stock with various soft drinks, water, cookies, chocolates and other small goodies. I also put tea and coffee on the top with a hot water heater. In the bathroom, I make sure that there are lots of extras like toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, small bottles of shampoo and conditioner and a hair dryer.




Door Hangers
This really only applies to hosts that are listing out a room. I bought multi-sided door hangers they can put on their door. They say "Do Not Disturb," "Come In" and "Away" so I can instantly tell when to have the room cleaned.




Communication




Respond Quickly
I strongly recommend downloading the AirBNB Mobile app. AirBNB rewards hosts that respond quickly with higher rankings. It also works in your favor as your guest is probably sending a message to a few other listings they like. If you respond with a quick and informative response, you're much more likely to win that booking.

AirBNB is one of the few apps I allow to send me notifications on my iPhone. I know that if I respond faster and more informatively than the other hosts, I am going to get that booking. I try to respond right away, even if it's just to say I will get back to them later.

Tip: You can also respond directly in email by just replying to the email AirBNB has sent you. ;-)

Reviews & Trust

The AirBNB community is built on trust and reviews. If you are just starting out as a host you won't yet have any reviews. Here are few tips to win that first booking:

Verify your account: Use a real photo, email address and phone number, at minimum. If you have Facebook & LinkedIn and you want to host, it's best to add those as well.

Ask friends for references: If you connect your Facebook account, you can view your friends who are already on AirBNB. I suggest you ask your friends for references.

These tips will make your first guests feel confident booking with you, especially if you do not yet have many reviews.

After a guest stays at your place, you will both be asked to review the experience within 14 days. I also send out an email the day they check out thanking them for staying and asking them to please leave a review. If you have done your job right, getting a good review should be easy. I always make sure I complete my review right away as it sends the guest an email letting them know. This helps nudge them to do the same.

Note: Neither review will show up on the site until both have been posted.


This is why I always ask for a review. You simply never know what you're going to get.
Video Credit Till Carlos

I am Humbled

I often speak at AirBNB events to new hosts in Bangkok. As a result, AirBNB gave me a wonderful award at the end of last year. Every time I see it I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thank you AirBNB for being awesome!

air4
Superstar Superhost Award (with my last name spelled incorrectly)


This post originally appeared on Medium.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



I Made $41,879 As An AirBNB Host

My Start on AirBNB

I live in Bangkok, the second most popular city tourist destination in the world. I have been an AirBNB host for just over two years, welcoming over 700 people from more than 70 countries and making nearly $42,000.

My house has three floors and four bedrooms. The ground floor contains the living room and kitchen, the second floor has three bedrooms including the master and small guest room and the top floor is another large guest room surrounded by two large decks.

In April of 2013, a few months after I moved into a larger house in Bangkok, a friend asked if I had space for his friend from San Francisco. I frequently hosted others coming through town in my guest room. So, no problem, of course his friend could crash at my place.

That friend was Bowei Gai during his World Startup Report Tour. It was a great experience to have him stay with me and he encouraged me to put my room up on AirBNB.

I started out like anyone else, skeptical but intrigued. Who is going to rent my room? Is it safe? Being in the startup tech arena myself, I knew about AirBNB but never really thought about listing my rooms. Luckily AirBNB has a pretty good verification, review and rating system. So I figured what the heck, let me give it a shot.

airbnb bedroom
My first room on AirBNB, the larger of the two on the top floor.

Originally I started with just the single room on the top floor, took some utterly crappy photos, filled out everything in the listing form and put the price at $19. Within a few days, I received my first inquiry from Johnny in Rio de Janeiro. How cool! (By the way, if you ever travel to Rio, check out Johnny's AirBNB listing.)



On May 9, 2013 I welcomed my first guest. Johnny initially booked my place for three days however he ended up staying for a total of a week. Being an AirBNB host himself, Johnny was incredibly helpful and provided me with a wealth of worthwhile tips. Together we fixed up the room a bit better -- I bought a small refrigerator, a large mirror and hung up the picture you see in the photo, among other small things. My first experience was absolutely awesome and really set the tone for how I interact with my guests.

Johnny also got me thinking about the smaller room that was now my home office. I was not even going in there much -- I had become accustomed to working in my living room at the table by this point.

airbnb2
My second, smaller room on AirBNB

So in mid-June, I opened up my smaller room and accepted my first guest soon after. This room turned out to outperform my larger room by a long shot.

That's how I got started on AirBNB. Since starting two years ago, I have learned so much I want like to pass these tips on to you. Just like Johnny and so many others have done for me.

The Basics of the Room

Photos
I originally took photos with my iPhone. At the time, they worked for me. However, once I got to know the AirBNB system I discovered they would have a professional photographer come and take the photos for me. Wow, what a difference that made. Instantly, I saw more inquiries coming in.




Cleanliness
This simply cannot be stated enough. Keeping your space clean is imperative. I've always had the mindset that I need to be at hotel standards. After all the guest could certainly have booked a hotel room in which their room would be cleaned daily. I make sure that the rooms are cleaned every day, even if a guest is there.

I have a small advantage living in Asia since I have a maid that cleans up every day. However, if you are based in the states there are services now that will come clean up your AirBNB space too.




Welcoming Guests
I try to meet every guest when they come in. It doesn't always happen as sometimes I am at work or out doing something. If I don't get a chance to welcome them in, I make sure to run into them when they come in or out of the house. Putting a face to the home really helps a lot and you can see it in the reviews. You get a chance to answer questions, give them valuable tips on your area and make a good impression.




Pricing
AirBNB does a great job giving you suggestions based on what other listings in your area are booking for. If you are just starting out, I would recommend cutting that price in half for your first three to five bookings. This will get some positive reviews and make more people comfortable with booking your place. After you have some reviews under your belt, start increasing the price. I will be writing another article on how I use Flux-Pricing to get the highest nightly prices for my listings.




Door Lock and Keys
I am fortunate to have an electronic key lock on my front door. This makes it easy for guests get in and out. If I am not there I can give them the passcode to get in the door and leave a welcome note with their room key.




Little Comforts
Little things go a long way. Each of my rooms has a small refrigerator which I stock with various soft drinks, water, cookies, chocolates and other small goodies. I also put tea and coffee on the top with a hot water heater. In the bathroom, I make sure that there are lots of extras like toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, small bottles of shampoo and conditioner and a hair dryer.




Door Hangers
This really only applies to hosts that are listing out a room. I bought multi-sided door hangers they can put on their door. They say "Do Not Disturb," "Come In" and "Away" so I can instantly tell when to have the room cleaned.




Communication




Respond Quickly
I strongly recommend downloading the AirBNB Mobile app. AirBNB rewards hosts that respond quickly with higher rankings. It also works in your favor as your guest is probably sending a message to a few other listings they like. If you respond with a quick and informative response, you're much more likely to win that booking.

AirBNB is one of the few apps I allow to send me notifications on my iPhone. I know that if I respond faster and more informatively than the other hosts, I am going to get that booking. I try to respond right away, even if it's just to say I will get back to them later.

Tip: You can also respond directly in email by just replying to the email AirBNB has sent you. ;-)

Reviews & Trust

The AirBNB community is built on trust and reviews. If you are just starting out as a host you won't yet have any reviews. Here are few tips to win that first booking:

Verify your account: Use a real photo, email address and phone number, at minimum. If you have Facebook & LinkedIn and you want to host, it's best to add those as well.

Ask friends for references: If you connect your Facebook account, you can view your friends who are already on AirBNB. I suggest you ask your friends for references.

These tips will make your first guests feel confident booking with you, especially if you do not yet have many reviews.

After a guest stays at your place, you will both be asked to review the experience within 14 days. I also send out an email the day they check out thanking them for staying and asking them to please leave a review. If you have done your job right, getting a good review should be easy. I always make sure I complete my review right away as it sends the guest an email letting them know. This helps nudge them to do the same.

Note: Neither review will show up on the site until both have been posted.


This is why I always ask for a review. You simply never know what you're going to get.
Video Credit Till Carlos

I am Humbled

I often speak at AirBNB events to new hosts in Bangkok. As a result, AirBNB gave me a wonderful award at the end of last year. Every time I see it I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thank you AirBNB for being awesome!

air4
Superstar Superhost Award (with my last name spelled incorrectly)


This post originally appeared on Medium.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Tech Columnist Joanna Stern joins Mondays with Marlo

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. We discussed how technology is affecting families, some great apps to help you track and monitor your health, as well as ways to manage the amount of time you spend with your phones and computers. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Tech Columnist Joanna Stern joins Mondays with Marlo

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. We discussed how technology is affecting families, some great apps to help you track and monitor your health, as well as ways to manage the amount of time you spend with your phones and computers. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Tech Columnist Joanna Stern joins Mondays with Marlo

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. We discussed how technology is affecting families, some great apps to help you track and monitor your health, as well as ways to manage the amount of time you spend with your phones and computers. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

See more clips




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Tech Columnist Joanna Stern joins Mondays with Marlo

It was a pleasure to have Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern stop by Mondays with Marlo to talk about all the latest technology and gadgets. We discussed how technology is affecting families, some great apps to help you track and monitor your health, as well as ways to manage the amount of time you spend with your phones and computers. For all of Joanna's helpful tips, view the videos above. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and to submit all of your questions to Mondays with Marlo for our future guests!

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Why “Intelligent” Computers Are Dumber Than Your Ten-Year-Old

A mounting fear that science fiction may turn into reality came to light recently. Three brilliant physicists (Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, and Frank Wilczek) joined with a noted computer scientist (Stuart Russell) to worry in public about what they termed "superintelligent machines." In an April 19 Huffington Post article, they take a familiar sci-fi theme, machines that turn on their masters to destroy humankind, and tell us that computers are coming dangerously close to acquiring such a capacity.

I found myself smiling through most of the article -- the gap between fiction and reality seems pretty wide right now -- but that's just the kind of complacency the authors are worried about. What if weapons of war are completely automated and turned loose to name their own targets? What if the current trend toward high-speed computer trading on Wall St. is perfected to the point that machines can manipulate the world's economy?

Those two possibilities pose dangers that do, in fact, seem to loom as real possibilities. But I wonder if the term "superintelligent machine" doesn't beg the question. Is any machine intelligent to begin with? Despite the vogue for Artificial Intelligence (AI), I think no machine is intelligent or ever will be. The four authors rest their case on a sentence that strikes me as wrong-headed: "There is no physical law precluding particles from being organized in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains."

A lot of assumptions are packed into this sentence:

Our brain is what makes humans intelligent.
Thinking is the same as computation.
Thoughts can be broken down into bits of information.
If a computer has as many bits of information as the human brain, it can compete on an equal footing with the human mind.


These assumptions are bywords in the AI field, but that doesn't mean they hold water. At the very least, each statement meets with serious push back when examined carefully.

1. Our brain is what makes humans intelligent.

Right now there's a worldwide discussion of how the mind is related to the brain. This, the so-called "hard problem," hasn't been solved. It's been a perplexing problem for at least 2,000 years, challenging the most brilliant philosophers since Aristotle and Plato. You can't solve it by cutting the Gordian knot and saying that "of course" the brain is the same as the mind. So the first assumption has no basis in science. We can only say that mental processes have a parallel in neural activity. That's like saying every note in a Mozart symphony can be played on a piano. Yes, the piano has all the notes, but it took a mind to dream up the symphony.

2. Thinking is the same as computation.

This is a favorite assumption of computer scientists, as it has to be since otherwise the whole field of AI collapses. Computers compute. They do nothing else. But it has never been shown that the human mind only computes. When a ten-year-old says things like, "I don't want to go to bed," "I won't eat that sandwich until you cut the crusts off," or "That video game is for little babies," he's expressing human traits known as will, desire, opinion, and capriciousness. These aren't the products of computation. Neither is wishing, hoping, dreaming, persisting, refusing, rebelling--the list is endless.

3. Thoughts can be broken down into bits of information.

This is another assumption that must be true if AI is to exist--but it's not true. One only needs to look at linguistics, which tells us that any sentence communicates not just its literal meaning (i.e., its information) but tone of voice, mood, implicit bonding with another person, cultural contest, and past associations. "I love you" can be sincere, ironic, sarcastic, deeply emotional, superficial, or code for the next act of espionage. Connotations count just as much as literal information.

It won't do to say that a computer can tweak all of these connotations into other bits of information, because that's not how language works. We grab the whole meaning all at once (as a gestalt, to use a technical psychological term), which is how we need only a glimpse of a friend's face to bring up an entire relationship--our minds don't break the relationship down into computational bits of information.

4. If a computer has as many bits of information as the human brain, it can compete on an equal footing with the human mind.

This assumption is the source of worry from the four scientists, but it depends on the three preceding assumptions being true, and they aren't. A computer, no matter how large its storage capacity and how swift its speed, will never think a single thought. It's dumber than our ten-year-old in countless ways, because every child is the product, not of computations, but of experience, and experiences are created and processed by the mind.

I'm not claiming that questioning these assumptions means that super computers can't be put to evil uses. They certainly can be, from hacking into the power grid to stealing identities, to setting off nuclear weapons for all anyone knows. These evil deeds are extensions of evil human intentions, just as a gun is an extension of the intention to kill someone.

As for the most common sci-fi speculation, that computers will learn to become independent of their programmers, taking on a will of their own and driving their own agendas, all I can say is "hmm." Bad intentions and sloppy controls may be enough, one day, to make super computers act as if they are independent. But that "as if" covers a lot of possibilities one side or the other. One thing is certain: the human mind will always be ahead of computers when it comes to thinking, because no computer has ever had a thought or will have in the future, no matter how much good or bad they wind up doing.

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. He serves as the founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. His latest book is The 13th Disciple: A Spiritual Adventure.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Why “Intelligent” Computers Are Dumber Than Your Ten-Year-Old

A mounting fear that science fiction may turn into reality came to light recently. Three brilliant physicists (Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, and Frank Wilczek) joined with a noted computer scientist (Stuart Russell) to worry in public about what they termed "superintelligent machines." In an April 19 Huffington Post article, they take a familiar sci-fi theme, machines that turn on their masters to destroy humankind, and tell us that computers are coming dangerously close to acquiring such a capacity.

I found myself smiling through most of the article -- the gap between fiction and reality seems pretty wide right now -- but that's just the kind of complacency the authors are worried about. What if weapons of war are completely automated and turned loose to name their own targets? What if the current trend toward high-speed computer trading on Wall St. is perfected to the point that machines can manipulate the world's economy?

Those two possibilities pose dangers that do, in fact, seem to loom as real possibilities. But I wonder if the term "superintelligent machine" doesn't beg the question. Is any machine intelligent to begin with? Despite the vogue for Artificial Intelligence (AI), I think no machine is intelligent or ever will be. The four authors rest their case on a sentence that strikes me as wrong-headed: "There is no physical law precluding particles from being organized in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains."

A lot of assumptions are packed into this sentence:

Our brain is what makes humans intelligent.
Thinking is the same as computation.
Thoughts can be broken down into bits of information.
If a computer has as many bits of information as the human brain, it can compete on an equal footing with the human mind.


These assumptions are bywords in the AI field, but that doesn't mean they hold water. At the very least, each statement meets with serious push back when examined carefully.

1. Our brain is what makes humans intelligent.

Right now there's a worldwide discussion of how the mind is related to the brain. This, the so-called "hard problem," hasn't been solved. It's been a perplexing problem for at least 2,000 years, challenging the most brilliant philosophers since Aristotle and Plato. You can't solve it by cutting the Gordian knot and saying that "of course" the brain is the same as the mind. So the first assumption has no basis in science. We can only say that mental processes have a parallel in neural activity. That's like saying every note in a Mozart symphony can be played on a piano. Yes, the piano has all the notes, but it took a mind to dream up the symphony.

2. Thinking is the same as computation.

This is a favorite assumption of computer scientists, as it has to be since otherwise the whole field of AI collapses. Computers compute. They do nothing else. But it has never been shown that the human mind only computes. When a ten-year-old says things like, "I don't want to go to bed," "I won't eat that sandwich until you cut the crusts off," or "That video game is for little babies," he's expressing human traits known as will, desire, opinion, and capriciousness. These aren't the products of computation. Neither is wishing, hoping, dreaming, persisting, refusing, rebelling--the list is endless.

3. Thoughts can be broken down into bits of information.

This is another assumption that must be true if AI is to exist--but it's not true. One only needs to look at linguistics, which tells us that any sentence communicates not just its literal meaning (i.e., its information) but tone of voice, mood, implicit bonding with another person, cultural contest, and past associations. "I love you" can be sincere, ironic, sarcastic, deeply emotional, superficial, or code for the next act of espionage. Connotations count just as much as literal information.

It won't do to say that a computer can tweak all of these connotations into other bits of information, because that's not how language works. We grab the whole meaning all at once (as a gestalt, to use a technical psychological term), which is how we need only a glimpse of a friend's face to bring up an entire relationship--our minds don't break the relationship down into computational bits of information.

4. If a computer has as many bits of information as the human brain, it can compete on an equal footing with the human mind.

This assumption is the source of worry from the four scientists, but it depends on the three preceding assumptions being true, and they aren't. A computer, no matter how large its storage capacity and how swift its speed, will never think a single thought. It's dumber than our ten-year-old in countless ways, because every child is the product, not of computations, but of experience, and experiences are created and processed by the mind.

I'm not claiming that questioning these assumptions means that super computers can't be put to evil uses. They certainly can be, from hacking into the power grid to stealing identities, to setting off nuclear weapons for all anyone knows. These evil deeds are extensions of evil human intentions, just as a gun is an extension of the intention to kill someone.

As for the most common sci-fi speculation, that computers will learn to become independent of their programmers, taking on a will of their own and driving their own agendas, all I can say is "hmm." Bad intentions and sloppy controls may be enough, one day, to make super computers act as if they are independent. But that "as if" covers a lot of possibilities one side or the other. One thing is certain: the human mind will always be ahead of computers when it comes to thinking, because no computer has ever had a thought or will have in the future, no matter how much good or bad they wind up doing.

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. He serves as the founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. His latest book is The 13th Disciple: A Spiritual Adventure.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Here’s What Happens When Lightning Strikes A Charging Tesla

Tesla’s been pretty adamant for a while now that lightning is no unusual hazard to its all-electric Model S, any more so than lightning is a hazard to any regular car. But what looks to be a freak occurrence just captured on video shows that a bolt from the sky can, indeed, at least screw up your Tesla Model S.

Read more...




Let Me Take You On a Tour of IKEA’s Bizarre Corporate Museum

IKEA operates a semi-secret museum in the basement of the IKEA Hotel at its headquarters in Sweden. IKEA also operates a hotel at its headquarters. Yes, staying at the hotel is kind of like sleeping in the store. The museum, on the other hand, is a trip.

Read more...




Shopping online doesn’t mean you have to skip the tailor

Before the end of the year, Macy's and Bloomingdale's will offer custom tailoring for clothes you purchase online. How does that work? Well, thanks to a new startup from Men's Warehouse founder George Zimmer, you just buy the clothes, and when they'r...


Android Lollipop shows more growth in June 2015 distribution report

Android Lollipop statue Google

It’s the start of a new month, which means that Google’s got some fresh Android distribution stats for us.

Google


TSA Fails 95 Percent Of Airport Security Tests Conducted By Homeland Security: Report

As thorough as the Transportation Security Administration screeners may be as they rifle through your belongings, the agency isn't performing where it counts.

In a series of trials, the Department of Homeland Security was able to smuggle fake explosives, weapons and other contraband past airport screeners in major cities across the country, according to ABC News. Officials briefed on the Homeland Security Inspector General's investigation told the station that the TSA failed 67 out of 70 tests conducted by the department's Red Teams -- undercover passengers tasked with identifying weaknesses in the screening process, NJ.com reports.

During the tests, DHS agents each tried to bring a banned item past TSA screeners. They succeeded 95 percent of the time.

The internal investigation was designed to find the TSA's most egregious vulnerabilities. The TSA has said Red Team agents are "super terrorists" who “push the boundaries of our people, processes, and technology,” but DHS officials told ABC the test results were frustrating at the very least.

ABC reports:

In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.
Officials would not divulge the exact time period of the testing other than to say it concluded recently.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests.

The TSA referred all questions to the DHS. A DHS spokesman told The Huffington Post that "Red Team testing of the aviation security network has been part of TSA's mission advancement for 13 years."

"The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security," the statement continued. "Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report. These actions are in addition to a number of security enhancements the Secretary has directed TSA to implement to our aviation and airport security since the beginning of his tenure."

The administration still touts its dedication to safety and security. In a weekly report published May 29, TSA officials said they found 45 firearms and continue to discover inert grenades and other weapons "on a weekly basis." Many of the guns found were in carry-on luggage and had rounds in the chamber.

"Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds," TSA officials wrote in the report. "Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested."

In 2014, the TSA confiscated 2,212 firearms at 224 airports, after screening 653 million passengers.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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