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An 11-Minute Flight To Space Was Just Auctioned For $28 Million

NPR Technology

Participants sit a Blue Origin space simulator during a conference on robotics and artificial intelligence in Las Vegas on June 5, 2019. On Saturday, Blue Origin announced that an unidentified bidder will pay $28 million for a suborbital flight on the company's New Shepard vehicle. Participants sit a Blue Origin space simulator during a conference on robotics and artificial intelligence in Las Vegas on June 5, 2019. On Saturday, Blue Origin announced that an unidentified bidder will pay $28 million for a suborbital flight on the company's New Shepard vehicle. Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is going into space on July 20 on a reusable rocket made by his space exploration company, Blue Origin.

Artificial Intelligence Develops an Ear for Birdsong


We can learn a lot from nature if we listen to it more--and scientists around the world are trying to do just that. From mountain peaks to ocean depths, biologists are increasingly planting audio recorders to unobtrusively eavesdrop on the groans, shrieks, whistles and songs of whales, elephants, bats and especially birds. This summer, for example, more than 2,000 electronic ears will record the soundscape of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range, generating nearly a million hours of audio. To avoid spending multiple human lifetimes decoding it, researchers are relying on artificial intelligence. Such recordings can create valuable snapshots of animal communities and help conservationists understand, in vivid detail, how policies and management practices affect an entire population.

Trevor Paglen warns about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence in new documentary Unseen Skies


A photograph of the sky by Trevor Paglen can look like a massive abstraction, except for a tiny speck, a surveillance drone, spotted like a malignant dot on a chest x-ray. His images of secluded military sites in Nevada can also ooze with colour from the churning heat and dust. In the new documentary film Unseen Skies, directed by Yaara Bou Melhem, Paglen calls the effect "impressionistic haze". Photographing those places, often from miles away (or farther), is about "seeing and not seeing at the same time," Paglen says. "For me those images were about capturing that paradox."

What Happens When Our Faces Are Tracked Everywhere We Go?


When a secretive start-up scraped the internet to build a facial-recognition tool, it tested a legal and ethical limit -- and blew the future of privacy in America wide open. In May 2019, an agent at the Department of Homeland Security received a trove of unsettling images. Found by Yahoo in a Syrian user's account, the photos seemed to document the sexual abuse of a young girl. One showed a man with his head reclined on a pillow, gazing directly at the camera. The man appeared to be white, with brown hair and a goatee, but it was hard to really make him out; the photo was grainy, the angle a bit oblique. The agent sent the man's face to child-crime investigators around the country in the hope that someone might recognize him. When an investigator in New York saw the request, she ran the face through an unusual new facial-recognition app she had just started using, called Clearview AI. The team behind it had scraped the public web -- social media, employment sites, YouTube, Venmo -- to create a database with three billion images of people, along with links to the webpages from which the photos had come. This dwarfed the databases of other such products for law enforcement, which drew only on official photography like mug shots, driver's licenses and passport pictures; with Clearview, it was effortless to go from a face to a Facebook account. The app turned up an odd hit: an Instagram photo of a heavily muscled Asian man and a female fitness model, posing on a red carpet at a bodybuilding expo in Las Vegas. The suspect was neither Asian nor a woman. But upon closer inspection, you could see a white man in the background, at the edge of the photo's frame, standing behind the counter of a booth for a workout-supplements company. On Instagram, his face would appear about half as big as your fingernail. The federal agent was astounded. The agent contacted the supplements company and obtained the booth worker's name: Andres Rafael Viola, who turned out to be an Argentine citizen living in Las Vegas.

Council Post: Future Focused: The 2021 Cybersecurity Landscape


Paul Lipman has worked in cybersecurity for 10-plus years. The onset of Covid-19 necessitated a work-from-home environment on an unprecedented scale. Large and small companies raced to reframe and reevaluate cybersecurity measures within a massive BYOD environment and amid increased Covid-19-related phishing scams and cyberattacks like the recent ransomware attacks against the Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas and United Health Services. Regulations like GDPR and CCPA helped make the collection of consumer data and privacy a matter of law instead of just good practice. However, consumers remain skeptical of businesses that continue to put profit ahead of privacy after breaches, like Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

Stupid CES gadgets my home doesn't need… but I must have them


Every year, I see people swarm the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- usually held in Las Vegas -- along with tweets, videos, and articles about weird but fascinating gadgets. I've never been to the CES in person, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be virtual this year, and I could'attend' the event for the first time. While CES is all about new gadgets with new standards such as Wi-Fi 6 and mini-LED, it's also about crazy home devices. I got to explore a lot of these devices through pitches in my inbox, a few articles, and tweets going around. So, here's a list of devices, I don't really need, but still want in my home.

Russell Wilson wants to play for Seahawks but would be willing to be dealt to these teams, agent says

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Russell Wilson still wants to play for the Seattle Seahawks, his agent said Thursday amid a new report detailing a potential growing fracture between the two sides. Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN if there was a trade coming down the line Wilson would only want to play for a handful of teams. Rodgers told ESPN that Wilson's trade list would include the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears.

Council Post: How AI Helps Create The Adaptive Customer Service Response 2021 Needs


Now is not the time to rely on grand predictions. That may seem like an incongruous statement coming from the leader of a customer intelligence company, but it's true. And as we find ourselves in the first part of 2021, and more and more yearly predictions come out, that sentiment remains. There is no greater example of risky predictions than Las Vegas. There is a reason the house always wins in the long-term -- gambling on an event before it happens is a losing proposition.

To the list of places testing driverless cars, add Las Vegas

Washington Post - Technology News

Motional did not say how many cars had participated in the Las Vegas tests, but said in its statement that "multiple" autonomous vehicles had been used on routes that included public roads and closed courses. During the tests, the vehicles sensed and responded to human-driven vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, the company said. Some tests were completed with a safety operator in the car; others were completed without one.

AI can grade your skill at piano by watching you play

New Scientist

An artificial intelligence that can grade the skill of a pianist with near-human accuracy could be used in online music tutoring. Brendan Morris at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his colleagues selected almost 1000 short video clips of people playing piano from YouTube and got an expert pianist to manually grade each on a 10-point scale. The researchers used half of these videos and their grades to train a neural network, a form of AI, creating a model that can assess piano playing in unseen videos.