Patreon Scraps New Service Fee, Apologizes To Users

Patreon Scraps New Service Fee, Apologizes To Users
Published on December 13, 2017 at 11:50PM
Patreon has decided to halt its plans to add a service fee to patrons’ pledges, a proposed update that angered many users. “We’re going to press pause,” CEO Jack Conte tells The Verge. “Folks have been adamant about the problems with the new system, and so basically, we have to solve those problems first.” The company plans to work with creators on a plan that will solve issues with the current payment system, but won’t create major new problems in their stead. From the report: Conte published a blog post laying out the core problems, alongside an apology. “Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry,” it reads. “We recognize that we need to be better at involving you more deeply and earlier in these kinds of decisions read more

Google To Open AI Center In China Despite Search Ban

Google To Open AI Center In China Despite Search Ban
Published on December 13, 2017 at 11:10PM
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: Google is deepening its push into artificial intelligence (AI) by opening a research center in China, even though its search services remain blocked in the country. Google said the facility would be the first its kind in Asia and would aim to employ local talent. In a blog post on the company’s website, Google said the new research center was an important part of its mission as an “AI first company.” “Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, [AI] has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world,” said Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google Cloud AI and Machine Learning. The research center, which joins similar facilities in London, New York, Toronto and Zurich, will be run by a small team from its existing office read more

The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn

The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn
Published on December 13, 2017 at 10:29PM
An anonymous reader shares a report (condensed for space): Online streaming is a win for the environment. Streaming music eliminates all that physical material — CDs, jewel cases, cellophane, shipping boxes, fuel — and can reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 percent or more. Scientists who analyze the environmental impact of the internet tout the benefits of this “dematerialization,” observing that energy use and carbon-dioxide emissions will drop as media increasingly can be delivered over the internet. But this theory might have a major exception: porn. Since the turn of the century, the pornography industry has experienced two intense hikes in popularity. In the early 2000s, broadband enabled higher download speeds. Then, in 2008, the advent of so-called tube sites allowed users to watch clips for free, like people watch videos read more

The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn

The Environmental Cost of Internet Porn
Published on December 13, 2017 at 10:29PM
An anonymous reader shares a report (condensed for space): Online streaming is a win for the environment. Streaming music eliminates all that physical material — CDs, jewel cases, cellophane, shipping boxes, fuel — and can reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 percent or more. Scientists who analyze the environmental impact of the internet tout the benefits of this “dematerialization,” observing that energy use and carbon-dioxide emissions will drop as media increasingly can be delivered over the internet. But this theory might have a major exception: porn. Since the turn of the century, the pornography industry has experienced two intense hikes in popularity. In the early 2000s, broadband enabled higher download speeds. Then, in 2008, the advent of so-called tube sites allowed users to watch clips for free, like people watch videos read more

Microsoft unveils improved AI-powered search features for Bing

First, when answering a question, Bing will now validate its answers by sourcing a number of websites, not just one. And in cases where there are two valid perspectives, like, for example, in response to the question, “Is cholesterol bad,” they’ll be aggregated and Bing will show both at the top of the search page. Additionally, when there’s more than one way to answer a query, Bing will provide a carousel of answers.

The Bing team is also adding relevant analogies or comparisons to search answers that make the provided information easier to understand. For example, rather than just saying Syria is 71,498 square miles in response to a question of how big the country is, it would also say it’s approximately the size of Florida. “We want to reduce the number of times that people read a number and can’t make sense of it. And we want read more

iPhone X is full of lasers – Apple just spent a bunch of money to add more

The iPhone X, even if you can’t see it, can do nifty tricks like Animoji and Face ID all thanks to invisible lasers. Well, look for (or don’t) more of that invisible magic in the future.

Apple just invested in a new, high-tech facility to be located in Sherman Texas and run by Finisar to the ‘iTunes’ of $390 million (about £292m, AU$512m).

This money will allow Finisar to increase R&D and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers already in the iPhone X and AirPods

The iPhone X uses these advanced lasers to power the TrueDepth camera for Aminimoji, Face ID and bokeh-rich Portrait mode selfies.

AirPods take advantage of these lasers for proximity sensors, stopping and starting music every time you take out an AirPod from your ear.

Here’s where Apple’s statement gets interesting

Apple didn’t reveal how its large investment will benefit future iPhones, AirPods or any other devices on the horizon, but it did tease new laser possibilities.

“We’re thrilled to partner with read more