Scientists: What if black holes had a safe zone where little planets could live? Let’s call them blanets

Every once in a while the scientific community comes up with a discovery so important that it immediately changes the course of human evolution. I’m talking of course about the invention of the word blanet. I think we can all agree that it is the cutest word science has ever created. However, if you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed to know that a blanet is in fact not a tiny little planet covered in soft comfy blankets – it would have had a pillow moon as well. Blanets are actually a theoretical class of planetary bodies proposed by astrophysicists that… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Watch: Deepfakes Jay-Z raps the Navy SEAL copypasta meme to live jazz music

My editor-in-chief dared me to pull a bunch of random topics out of a hat and write a compelling tech story about them. Here’s what I got: Jay-Z, neural networks, the US Navy SEALs, and jazz music. Luckily for me, I happened across this video featuring a group of talented jazz musicians interpreting a Deepfake AI-generated version of Jay-Z rapping the infamous Navy SEAL copypasta meme. Natch. Adam Neely, a popular music YouTuber with over a million subscribers, released the video as part of a CuriosityStream documentary. It features a very human quest to interpret a computer-generated rap acapella. Jay-Z is… This story continues at The Next Web...
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The kids aren’t alright

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, I took a walk on the beach this morning before work. Everyone has a story about what they were going to do in 2020 if COVID-19 hadn’t shown up. Back in late January, when things started going sour, the year was young and full of potential.  We moved to a bungalow right on the beach at the end of February. For a few brief weeks the entire Pacific Ocean was… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Quantum physicists say time travelers don’t have to worry about the butterfly effect

What if I told you all your favorite time-travel films and books were actually created by big tech in order to wrest control of the time-travel industry from the proletariat? Think about it. Back to the Future, The Terminator, The Time Machine, all of these stories share a central theme where traveling through time is a dangerous proposition that could destroy the very fabric of our reality. It’s called the butterfly effect. The big idea is that you’d step out of your time travel machine and accidentally step on a bug. Because this bug doesn’t exist… maybe a frog goes… This story continues at The Next Web...
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The 6 unholy AI systems thou shalt not develop

Artificial intelligence may be the most powerful tool humans have. When applied properly to a problem suited for it, AI allows humans to do amazing things. We can diagnose cancer at a glance or give a voice to those who cannot speak by simply applying the right algorithm in the correct way. But AI isn’t a panacea or cure-all. In fact, when improperly applied, it’s a dangerous snake oil that should be avoided at all costs. To that end, I present six types of AI that I believe ethical developers should avoid. First though, a brief explanation. I’m not passing… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Early impressions: Amplitude’s Humankind looks like a bold step forward for the 4X genre

Amplitude’s upcoming 4X strategy game Humankind officially launched its Open Development closed beta today and we got our hands on the 45-minute preview scenario. I’ll save you some time: If you’re a 4X fan and you’re ready for an alternative to the Civilization formula you’re going to be very happy. Humankind isn’t trying to hide the fact that it’s here to take on the genre and challenge the top dog. But don’t take that to mean it’s a Civ knockoff or clone. Amplitude understands what makes a 4X game great (hint: it’s making an interface that makes 4X fans forget… This story continues at The Next Web...
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This app uses AI to make your selfies look fabulously ridiculous

Artificial intelligence has emerged in the past decade as a bedrock technology. We use it for important endeavors such as brain surgery, financial forecasting, and… making AI journalists chuckle over silly selfies. You may have heard of Photo Lab. It’s available on Android and iOS and it’s been installed more than 100 million times. It recently saw a surge in installs after India banned apps from China, including several popular photo editors. [Read: India is reportedly looking to ban 275 more Chinese apps — including PUBG] What it does is simple: it uses AI to apply special filters and effects to… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Congress fumbles through antitrust hearing with big tech CEOs

The four horseman of the techpocalypse – the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google – joined the US House of Representatives today for an antitrust hearing. We watched every second of the more than five and a half hours of Congress’ grilling of some of the richest men in the world so you wouldn’t have to. Let’s start with the ending. House Antitrust Committee Chairman David Cicilline closed today’s hearing with the following statement: This hearing has made one fact clear to me: these companies as they exist today have monopoly power. Some need to be broken up, all… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Scientists modified a strain of cannabis to kill cancer cells

It’s well-documented that chemical compounds found in cannabis, especially cannabidiol (CBD), are effective at treating the symptoms of many forms of cancer. But now there’s evidence that it could potentially cure the disease by attacking cancer cells. Cancer researcher Matt Dun, of the University of Newcastle in Australia, recently finished a three-year long study indicating a specific modified strain of cannabis is destructive to certain types of cancer cells while remaining harmless to the human body’s own cells. According to a press release from the University of Newcastle: Laboratory tests conducted at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Blame the neanderthals

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, Sorry we’re late today. My toddler has a stomach bug and we’re out of toilet paper. I had to print out a bunch of copies of Breitbart’s home page to handle the mess. Why the unsolicited jab at Steve Bannon’s propaganda outlet? Because it published a video last night spreading purposely harmful COVID-19 misinformation from a group of medical “experts” called America’s Frontline Doctors composed of several anti-vaxxers and at least one… This story continues at The Next Web...
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