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Sponge makes robotic device a soft touch


This easy-to-make sponge-jamming device can help stiff robots handle delicate items carefully by mimicking the nuanced touch, or variable stiffness, of a human. Robots can skip, jump and do somersaults, but they're too rigid to hold an egg easily. Variable-stiffness devices are potential solutions for contact compliance on hard robots to reduce damage, or for improving the load capacity of soft robots. This study, published at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2023, shows that variable stiffness can be achieved by a silicone sponge. Lead author Tianqi Yue from Bristol's Department of Engineering Mathematics explained: "Stiffness, also known as softness, is important in contact scenarios. "Robotic arms are too rigid so they cannot make such a soft human-like grasp on delicate objects, for example, an egg.

Where do YOU think the North of England begins? Scientists create a controversial new map

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It is a debate sure to ruffle feathers, but anything beyond the Watford Gap really should be classed as the north of England, a study suggests. This is the critical line at which high street bakery Greggs, the beacon of northernness, becomes more popular than the southerners' sandwich shop of choice, Pret A Manger, an academic study has worked out using artificial intelligence. If the national consumption of steak bakes versus houmous-filled wraps and smashed avocado on toast were not convincing enough, the researchers also looked at the distribution of Morrisons and Waitrose supermarkets across England. This too put the north-south divide within two miles of the Watford Gap. Both calculations agree that Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester are technically in the north of England. But bizarrely, the Pret and Greggs dividing line shows that Cornwall is northern.

Communist party accessed TikTok data of Hong Kong protesters, former executive alleges

The Guardian

A former executive at TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, has alleged that the Chinese Communist party accessed user data from the social video app belonging to Hong Kong protesters and civil rights activists. Yintao Yu, a former head of engineering at ByteDance's US operation, claimed in a legal filing that a committee of Communist party members accessed TikTok data that included the users' network information, Sim card identifications and IP addresses in a bid to identify the individuals and their locations. The claims, in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit brought by Yu in a California court and reported by the Wall Street Journal, also allege the party accessed TikTok users' communications, monitored Hong Kong users who uploaded protest-related content and that Beijing-based ByteDance maintained a "backdoor channel" for the party to access US user data. Yu alleges in the filing that members of a Communist party committee inside ByteDance had access to a "superuser" credential which was also called a "God credential" and allowed them to view all data collected by ByteDance. The filing adds that when Yu was at ByteDance, between August 2017 and November 2018, TikTok stored all users' direct messages, search histories and content viewed by users.

The Morning After: iOS 17 offers better protection for unsolicited images


Receiving an unsolicited image is an unpleasant experience at the best of times, and one that technology has made all too common. At WWDC, Apple announced iOS 17 will use an on-device machine learning model to scan both images and videos for nudity. When detected, you'll get a pop-up, telling you the system thinks the file may be inappropriate. I wonder how much of this is a response to the practice of AirDropping inappropriate images to an unsuspecting person's phone. One notable incident from 2022 saw a person removed from a flight after they had shared an image of themselves with other passengers.

Two new cancer pills show 'unprecedented' results in boosting survival rates and preventing recurrence

FOX News

Ezra founder and CEO Emi Gal explains on'Fox & Friends Weekend' how artificial intelligence can'enhance' MRI scans, image quality, analysis, and comprehension. Potentially "practice-changing" results from two new cancer drug studies were introduced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)'s annual meeting this week in Chicago. For lung cancer patients, a drug called osimertinib -- taken by pill once daily -- was shown to reduce the risk of deaths by more than 50% in a long-running international study. For breast cancer patients, a new drug called ribociclib significantly increased survival rates and prevented recurring disease in a separate study. "Targeted therapies have been a major advance in treating deadly cancers," Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News Digital.

Genomics Are a Lifesaver for Patients With Rare Diseases


In 2016, Jessica Wright became one of the first children to be diagnosed by the 100,000 Genomes Project, a program that provides whole-genome sequencing services for patients. She suffered from an unknown disease that caused epilepsy and affected her motor control. No treatment seemed to work. After years of numerous medical tests--from MRI scans to lumbar punctures--and failed treatments, her parents decided to enroll the 4-year-old in the 100,000 Genomes Project. The researchers found that Jessica's genome contained 67 rare genetic variants not present in her parents' genome.

Create beautiful photos with AI photo editor Luminar Neo, now $120


TL;DR: As of June 7, you can grab a lifetime license to Luminar Neo (as well as six add-ons)(opens in a new tab) for only $119.99 (reg. Do you love snapping photos of your friends and loved ones? Are you constantly styling your food for the'gram or capturing concerts with your phone? You might want to edit your photos to bring out certain details or highlight vibrant colors, but learning Photoshop can take ages. Instead, you may want to check out Luminar Neo, a user-friendly photo editor(opens in a new tab) that uses AI to help you create beautiful images.

Pence takes swipe at Trump as he launches campaign, two killed at graduation shooting and more top headlines

FOX News

ENTERING THE ARENA - Pence takes shot at Trump as he enters increasingly crowded Republican primary field. CAMPUS CHAOS - Two killed, several injured as gunfire breaks out after high school graduation, suspect in custody. TOP TARGETS - SPLC adds parents' rights groups to'Hate and Extremism' annual report. FAMILY MEN - America's men are poised to transform this nation for the better -- if we let them, writes Sen. Josh Hawley. BANKING ON IT - Industry responds to CFPB's warning on AI chatbots.

Companies want to use AI tracking to make you better at your job

Washington Post - Technology News

Ramirez, the vice president at Glue, says the tech uses large language models including ChatGPT to help determine workers' individual signals and what they mean. Then Glue can generate scores based on connectivity to a team, across teams, with leadership and an overall sense of belonging. Glue, which also specializes in AI-powered virtual events, automated employee introductions and off-site planning, also offers personalized suggestions for disconnected workers, including a coffee meeting between two people based on openings on both parties' calendar. Unhappy "people start not showing up … and their connection changes from talking to manager to [talking to] lateral groups," Ramirez said. "It could mean trouble is brewing or a concern to look into."

My Family's Entire Life Is Based Around Video Games. I Can't Take It Anymore.


Care and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Submit it here or post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group. My husband is very involved with the kids. He's a good father--he does the hard parts of parenting, happily.