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The grandfather kings of nerdcore

Engadget

In terms of popularity, nerdcore occupies a space somewhere between underground hip hop and the end of the universe, according to rapper and educator Mega Ran. Nerdcore is a brand of hip hop characterized by a focus on geeky things, which means its subject matter is as vast and varied as Tolkien's Encircling Sea. It's niche but limitless; visible but not known. It's big enough to support the musical careers of artists like MC Lars, MC Frontalot, Beefy and MC Chris, yet it's small enough that even the most fervent Star Wars fan may have never heard of it. Even in an age where geek chic is hot and "nerd" is no longer a vicious insult, nerdcore remains underground -- but its influence on popular culture is showing.


James Bridle on Known Unknowns - Nerdcore

#artificialintelligence

In 2016 a pair of researchers at Google Brain decided to see whether neural networks could develop cryptography. Their experiment was modeled on the use of an adversary, an increasingly common component of neural network designs wherein two competing elements attempt to outperform and outguess each other, driving further improvement. The researchers set up three networks called, in the tradition of cryptographic experiments, Alice, Bob, and Eve. Their task was to learn how to encrypt information. Alice and Bob both knew a number--a key, in cryptographic terms--that was unknown to Eve.


Nerdcore artist Mega Ran takes us on a Gameboy nostalgia trip

Engadget

Nerdcore artist Mega Ran has a new video out today and it's full of Nintendo nostalgia. KadeshFlow is a fun homage to the 8-bit visual style popularized by the GameBoy in the late 1980s. In the video, Mega Ran and KadeshFlow make their way through a green dot-matrix world full of retro gaming references to battle ghosts at Alex Trebek's house (Trebek has been a favored target of the nerdcore community ever since he called them "losers" on an episode of Jeopardy!). For the uninitiated, nerdcore is a sub-genre of hip-hop obsessed (unsurprisingly) with all things nerdy. Its songs typically focus on pop culture topics like video games, Star Wars, Stranger Things and Harry Potter.


Beyond music, Prince's legacy includes black activism

Associated Press

"Like books and black lives, albums still matter. Prince said he hadn't been offered nearly as much, and when someone asked whether he thought he was being lowballed because he was black, Carter wrote, "He shot us all a'what-do-you-think?' Activist Van Jones said that after Martin's death, Prince was influential in establishing #YesWeCode, an initiative to get more minorities into tech jobs. Ballads is black music," Hill told the AP.


Beyond music, Prince's legacy includes black activism

U.S. News

Prince accepted a standing ovation as he strolled out carrying a cane and rocking an Afro to present the 2015 Grammy for album of the year. Then he stole the show with a line that reminded everyone he was more than just a pop superstar; he was a black activist. "Albums still matter," he said. "Like books and black lives, albums still matter. In the wake of his death Thursday at 57, radio stations played his biggest hits and fans came together to grieve.