This App Can Choose Your Best Photos For You

Android: If your phone’s storage is running low, you might want to start deleting some low-quality photos from your phone or backing it up with an app like Google Photos. The photo app EyeEm announced an update on Wednesday that uses artificial intelligence to pick out your best photos.

Though EyeEm is mostly a place where photographers sell their photos, this feature can be helpful for figuring out which photos to post to other social media and for sorting through photos you should delete.

EyeEm Selects is only available to Android users, but the company plans to add the feature to iPhone apps in an upcoming update. EyeEm has already created a similar app, called The Roll, on iOS. The Roll ranks your photos and adds keywords to them so you can search for your photos more easily. The app has since been discontinued in the United States, but many of its features are available on EyeEm Selects.

Picking out your best photos from your photostream isn’t a totally new feature—Google Photos has a similar feature and Gallery Doctor is an app that identifies bad or duplicate photos.

EyeEm has a collection of photos posted with EyeEm Selects. In the album, there are artsy photos of landscapes, but there are also low-quality selfies, and weirdly there’s a photo of eggs with a quote from the Bible inserted above.

It’s not a foolproof feature, but it does let you revisit old photos you’ve forgotten to post, and it’s a helpful tool for when you’re unsure or when you don’t want to sort through all your photos.

from Lifehacker

Google Will Stop Scanning Gmail for Ad Personalization

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Announced today, Google will soon stop scanning your Gmail messages for the use of ad personalization. You see, for the longest time, Google has scanned free Gmail users’ messages to help sell personalized ads. Well, moving forward, Google will stop doing that to ensure trust with businesses paying for G Suite.

“Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change,” Google wrote in a blog post. “G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate.”

Even though this form of ad selling is set to go away, free Gmail users will still see ads inside of Gmail. As announced, a user’s search history and YouTube history will be read to still target ads. But don’t worry, if that bugs you, you can opt-out here.

For the most part, nothing in terms of user experience should change inside of Gmail.

// Google

Google Will Stop Scanning Gmail for Ad Personalization is a post from: Droid Life

from Droid Life: A Droid Community Blog

Low-latency satellite broadband gets approval to serve US residents

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A company seeking to offer low-latency broadband from satellites yesterday received a key approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

“Over a year ago, OneWeb was the first company to seek approval to enter the US market with a system of high-capacity satellites that orbit closer to Earth than any satellite has ever before,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said before yesterday’s vote. “The goal of this non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) technology is to provide global, high-speed broadband service—and its use case is particularly compelling in remote and hard-to-serve areas.”

Today’s satellite ISPs have average latencies of 600ms or more, according to FCC measurements, with satellites orbiting the Earth at about 35,400km. By contrast, OneWeb satellites would orbit at altitudes of about 1,200km. The company says its Internet access would have latencies of around 30ms, just a bit higher than typical cable systems. Speeds would be around 50Mbps.

OneWeb is planning global satellite Internet access and gave Airbus a contract to build the satellites two years ago. OneWeb says it will start launching production satellites in early 2018 and potentially begin offering Internet service the next year.

The proposed network would have “720 low-Earth orbit satellites using the Ka (20/30 GHz) and Ku (11/14 GHz) frequency bands,” the FCC said. It would be able to “provide ubiquitous low-latency broadband connectivity across the United States, including some of the most remote areas in places like Alaska where broadband access has not been possible before.”

Service in Alaska as early as 2019

OneWeb called yesterday’s FCC vote an important milestone and said it “will begin services in Alaska as early as 2019.” OneWeb was founded by Greg Wyler in 2012, and its board of directors includes Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who also invested in the company.

OneWeb isn’t the only company seeking to build a low-Earth satellite broadband network. SpaceX has similar plans, for example.

The FCC received comments from other satellite operators questioning some aspects of the OneWeb application. While approving OneWeb’s application, the FCC said it imposed conditions “to ensure the satellite constellation does not cause interference to other users of the same spectrum and will operate in a way that manages the risk of collisions.” The FCC’s satellite engineering experts are reviewing similar applications from other companies.

“We hope to approve many more constellations because we know that the more companies compete, the more consumers win,” Pai said. “Additionally, the commission also has an ongoing rulemaking proceeding proposing to update the current NGSO Fixed Satellite Service rules to better accommodate this next generation of systems.”

OneWeb’s application was approved unanimously by the commission’s two Republicans and one Democrat. Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said that low-latency satellite services could be a key technology for closing the “digital divide” that leaves many people without fast and reliable Internet access.

Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly pointed out that the FCC still has a lot more work to do to help low-Earth satellite systems launch to US consumers:

There are… multiple conditions on OneWeb’s approval. For example, access to some frequencies could be restricted by future Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) proceedings and our action today is conditioned on the outcome of the larger NGSO rulemaking. This item highlights what needs to be addressed and, with any luck, we will resolve these proceedings as quickly as possible. Hopefully, our action today will provide NGSO applicants some level of certainty, permitting them to obtain investment and make future plans, but this item is more like a first step rather than the middle or final one.

from Ars Technica

SpaceX goes for a launch doubleheader this weekend

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SpaceX successfully test-fired its rocket for the BulgariaSat-1 mission last week.


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It’s a big weekend for SpaceX, the California rocket company that has already had a big year. On Friday, the company will attempt to launch BulgariaSat-1, a commercial communications satellite, to a geostationary orbit. On Sunday, the company will attempt to launch a second batch of Iridium satellites into low Earth orbit. If successful, this weekend would put the company on pace for a record-smashing number of missions this year.

Big weekend

The BulgariaSat-1 launch was delayed from earlier this week due to a payload fairing issue, but that appears to have been resolved. The flight is notable because it marks only the second time the company has flown a “used” rocket back into space. The five-month turnaround on this booster has been much shorter than SpaceX’s first reflight in March—this first stage was last used during a January 14th launch from California.

Friday’s launch will occur at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where weather conditions appear to be nearly ideal for a rocket launch. The launch window opens at 2:10pm ET (7:10pm BST), and will remain open for two hours. Following stage separation, and about eight minutes after today’s launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship.

Then, on Sunday, SpaceX will attempt to launch a new Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California. This is the company’s second launch of a new constellation of communications satellites for Iridium. This launch will lift 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit. Liftoff is presently scheduled for 4:24pm ET on Sunday (9:24pm BST). If successful, it would be SpaceX’s ninth Falcon 9 launch this year.

Big year

SpaceX’s successes are starting to stack up this year. Already, the company has reached major milestones by reflying a first stage booster, and in early June it also flew a used Dragon spacecraft. Both NASA and the US military have begun to notice, as leaders with both have indicated a willingness to consider flying some of their missions on “flight proven” rockets.

This weekend presents SpaceX with a major opportunity to make good on another one of its promises, to increase its flight rate. The company’s previous record for successful launches in a calendar year is eight, set last year before a Sept. 1 accident prevented the company from flying the rest of the year. By the end of this weekend, SpaceX could have run its total flights for 2017 to nine flights in just the first half of the year.

Such a first half would bring SpaceX close to a pace that might allow the company to achieve its ambitious goal of more than two dozen launches this year. This is significant because launch competitors in the United States, Europe, Russia, and elsewhere that struggle to compete with SpaceX on price will often counter that the company can’t meet its launch commitments. A SpaceX that meets its flight rate goals is warily referred to as a “steamroller” by some French rocket officials.

from Ars Technica

Could The Best Memory System Be One That Forgets?

Our brains can store huge amounts of information, but forgetting some of that information may actually make us smarter.

Jedrzej Kaminski / EyeEm/Getty Images

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Jedrzej Kaminski / EyeEm/Getty Images

Our brains can store huge amounts of information, but forgetting some of that information may actually make us smarter.

Jedrzej Kaminski / EyeEm/Getty Images

Intuitively, we tend to think of forgetting as failure, as something gone wrong in our ability to remember.

Now, Canadian neuroscientists with the University of Toronto are challenging that notion. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, they review the current research into the neurobiology of forgetting and hypothesize that our brains purposefully work to forget information in order to help us live our lives.

I spoke with Blake Richards, one of the co-authors of the paper, who applies artificial intelligence theories to his study of how the brain learns. He says in the AI world, there’s something called over-fitting – a phenomenon in which a machine stores too much information, hindering its ability to behave intelligently. He hopes that greater understanding of how our brains decide what to keep and what to forget will lead to better AI systems that are able to interact with the world and make decisions in the way that we do.

Interview Highlights

We hear a lot about the study of memory. Is the study of forgetting a relatively new thing?

Within psychology, there’s a long history of work examining forgetting. So that’s not a new field of study. But the neuroscientists – those of us who work with the biology of how the brain works – have not really examined forgetting much in the past. Generally, the focus for the last few decades in neuroscience has been the question of how do the cells in our brains change themselves in order to store information and remember things. It’s only been in the last few years that there’s been an upswing in scientific studies looking at what’s happening inside our brains at the cellular level that might actually produce forgetting.

We’ve all heard of people who have encyclopedic memories, and a lot of us probably assume that’d be a great thing to have. But you argue that it’s actually not, because a lot of memories contain details that are irrelevant to living our daily lives.

In fact, I would argue they’re not just irrelevant, but they can be detrimental to living our daily lives.

An interesting case comes from this old study by a Russian clinical neuropsychologist [A.R.] Luria, who had this patient, Patient S., who he reported was able to memorize basically everything from his life. But Patient S. was actually at a disadvantage, because he had trouble identifying the commonalities, the patterns in the world. And those commonalities, those patterns are what actually allow us to make intelligent decisions.

If you see a dog off leash, barking at you, and previously you’ve been bitten by a dog barking at you off leash, you probably want to avoid that dog, even if it doesn’t look exactly like a previous dog you’ve seen. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have brown spots or a white tail. What matters is that it has those features that indicate it’s one of those broad categories of aggressive dogs.

Our memories ultimately are there to help us make decisions, to act in the world in an intelligent manner. Even though we all get a big kick out of people who can smash a trivia game, evolution doesn’t care if you can remember who hit the home run in the 1968 World Series. Evolution cares about whether or not you are an individual who’s making appropriate decisions in the environment to maximize your chances of survival. And reproduction, of course.

Actually, a lot of people become more forgetful after having a kid. How does this work into your hypotheses?

I actually love the example of after you’ve had a kid. This is another fascinating piece of forgetting that people have speculated on. And let me just clarify that this is me speculating – I don’t know if there’s scientific evidence for this or not – but if everyone remembered very accurately what childbirth was like, and we all remembered very accurately what having an infant or toddler is like – and I say this as someone who has a toddler – most of us would probably not have more than one kid. So it’s actually probably beneficial for us, in terms of making the decisions evolution wants us to make, to forget those parts of our lives.

Would you go so far as to say forgetting is a function of memory?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’d say, and what we’re trying to argue in this paper. When the goal of memory is to win Jeopardy!, then you should try to remember everything you can. But when the goal of memory is to help you make intelligent decisions in a complex, changing world, then the best memory system will be a memory system that forgets some stuff. So a healthy, properly functioning memory system is one that does engage in some degree of forgetting.

from NPR Topics: News

South Korea Tests Missile As President Speaks Of Need To ‘Dominate’ North

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watches a test-firing of an indigenously developed ballistic missile at the state-run Agency for Defense Development in Taean, South Korea.

The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Reuters

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The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watches a test-firing of an indigenously developed ballistic missile at the state-run Agency for Defense Development in Taean, South Korea.

The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched his military test-fire a ballistic missile on Friday, after a string of North Korean missile tests were blamed for raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The military said the missile, a Hyunmoo-2 with a range of up to 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), hit its target accurately.

When Moon won South Korea’s presidency last month, he was seen as likely to return to the “Sunshine Policy” of engaging with North Korea through dialogue and economic aid. But today he said “dialogue is only possible when we have a strong military, and engagement policies are only possible when we have the security capability to dominate North Korea,” according to the Associated Press. The president’s remarks were relayed by Blue House spokesperson Park Soo-hyun.

Saying that he wanted to evaluate South Korea’s missile capability for himself, Moon added that he is now reassured. Friday’s missile test is the fourth of six evaluations that will take place “before official weaponization” of the Hyunmoo-2, according to The Korea Herald.

Moon watched the test during a visit to the Agency for Defense Development’s facility in Taean County, along South Korea’s western coast in Chungcheongnam-do province.

In addition to developing its own missiles, South Korea is currently protected from a North Korean missile strike by a U.S. THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile battery, which was brought into the country in March and deployed in the southeast. It was declared operational one week before Moon was elected.

Moon will travel to Washington, D.C., next week; he’s planning to meet with President Trump for a two-day summit, from June 29-30.

from NPR Topics: News

Whirlpool: London fire disaster fridge was discontinued in 2009

08 london fire The Grenfell Tower blaze is thought to have killed at least 79 people.

Over 60,000 units of the refrigerator identified as the source of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire were produced before the model was discontinued in 2009, according to Whirlpool.

London’s Metropolitan Police announced Friday that last week’s massive blaze originated with a Hotpoint fridge freezer manufactured by Whirlpool subsidiary Indesit. The U.K. government subsequently ordered an “immediate examination” of the unit by technical experts.

The government said the model had never been recalled in the country.

Whirlpool, which acquired Italy-based Indesit in 2014, said that 64,000 units carrying the model numbers FF175BP and FF175BG were produced between March 2006 and July 2009. It said the number of appliances in use today would be lower because of normal obsolescence.

Whirlpool said it would work with authorities as they investigate the fire that left at least 79 people dead or presumed dead.

“We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved-ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families,” Whirlpool said in a statement. “We are addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency.”

Whirlpool (WHR) said that owners of the model should contact its customer hotline.

The government said that there was “no specific reason for consumers to switch off their fridge freezer pending further investigation.”

Related: Police considering manslaughter charges

The Metropolitan Police said they are considering manslaughter charges among the criminal offenses that may have been committed in relation to the fire. Police said they are focused on how the blaze started, how it spread and whether any person or organizations should be held responsible.

Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire, which appeared to spread quickly up the exterior of the tower in the early hours of June 14.

The government said Thursday it was carrying out tests on 600 high-rise buildings across England that are covered in cladding, with at least 11 high-rise buildings so far identified as having combustible panels.

— Katie Polglase and Simon Cullen contributed reporting.

from Business and financial news –

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