Human Evolution Came From Multiple Ancestral Populations

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Human evolution is the result of more than one ancestral population. In a new commentary paper, it suggests Homo sapiens emerged from a single ancestral population and a single geographic region in Africa. But other experts think differently.

While ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ was a real person, she wasn’t the only ancestor around, and would not have come from the only population around. She just happened to be the woman from which all people living today inherited their mitochondrial genetic code.

Algorithms Need a Conscience in the Public Sector

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AI Agent

Algorithms need a conscience in the public sector, according to author Virginia Eubanks. She has a book called Automating Inequality, and she argues that the poor are a testing ground for new technology that increases inequality.

To some extent, we’re used to companies making arbitrary decisions about our lives — mortgages, credit card applications, car loans, etc. Yet, these decisions are based almost entirely on straightforward factors of determination — like credit score, employment and income. In the case of algorithmic determination in social services, there is bias in the form of outright surveillance in combination with forced PII share imposed upon recipients.

The DOD Needs AI to Help With Classification

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The Department of Defense is looking for special AI to help with classification. The DOD issued a request for information (ROI) from the tech industry, looking for help.

Defense IT officials are seeking software that “must be able to make real-time decisions about the classification level of the information and an individual’s ability to access, change, delete, receive, or forward the information based on the credentials of the sending and/or receiving individual, facility, and system.”

Jason Momoa Starring in Apple's 'See' Original TV Series

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Jason Momoa at Comic Con

Jason Momoa, well known for his role as Khal in Game of Thrones, has been signed for the lead in Apple’s original TV series See. The show is a futuristic “world building drama” written by Steve Knight and directed by Francis Lawrence. Variety says Momoa’s character is “Baba Voss, a fearless warrior, leader and guardian,” which is pretty much what he’s known for playing. That said, Apple isn’t shying away from big-name talent for the shows in its upcoming television series lineup.

The Complete iOS 11 Developer Course and iOS Mastery Bundle: $29

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The Complete iOS 11 Developer Course + iOS Mastery Bundle

We have a deal for developers called the Complete iOS 11 Developer Course and iOS Mastery Bundle. It’s comprised of five different training courses for learning to code for iOS 10 and iOS 11, as well as beginner courses for tvOS and watchOS, with Swift 3. This bundle is $29, but we coupon code “BUNDLE50” will get you another 50% off.

Nvidia and MIT Created a Photo AI that can Clean up Noisy Photos

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Nvidia and MIT have partnered to create a photo AI that can automatically remove noise from images. The system is called Noise2Noise AI and it was trained using 50,000 photos.

In their paper, the researchers show that their AI can successfully remove enough noise to make the pictures usable again, with detail and clarity that’s remarkably close to the source images. The AI could likely find use in software for cleaning up noisy photos captured in low-light conditions on phones and cameras, as well as improving astronomical imagery and MRI scanning.

Future AirPods Could Become Even More Accessible

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A new feature that Apple is adding to AirPods is called Live Listen. It lets people hear conversations in noisy settings. It will come to future AirPods coming later this year, although it won’t be a replacement for hearing aids.

Nick Dawson—the founder of the Sibley Innovation Hub at Johns Hopkins university, so no stranger to patient-driven care—is documenting experiments with his mother, who is using the beta version of LiveListen with her AirPods, on Twitter.

How Silicon Valley Created a Modern Caste System

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Although Silicon Valley has changed the world through its proliferation of tech companies, it has also created a bunch of problems, says Antonio Martínez from Wired. He says that Silicon Valley has created a modern caste system.

But it is the vision of the future that San Francisco offers: highly stratified, with little social mobility. It’s feudalism with better marketing. Today’s “sharing” economy resembles the “sharecropping” of yesteryear, with the serfs responding to a smartphone prompt rather than an overseer’s command…Inequality rarely decreases, and when it does it’s often as the result of wars, revolutions, pandemics, or state collapse.

SKEYE Nano 2 Camera Drone: $29

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SKEYE Nano 2 Camera Drone

We have a deal on the world’s smallest camera drone, the SKEYE Nano 2 Camera Drone. It features adjustable gyro sensitivity and a 6-axis flight control system designed to be easy for even novices to fly, and it’s controllable from your smartphone. It’s $29 through our deal.

Netflix's Original Content Budget is Bonkers Huge

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Netflix logo in a big pile of cash

Netflix isn’t holding back on its original content and could spend US$13 billion this year on its shows and movies. To put that in perspective, Apple is moving aggressively with its $1 billion investment in original content and still well above more traditional content creators. David Z. Morris writing at Fortune said,

Netflix will spend $12-13 billion on original programming this year. That’s much more than the $8 billion it planned to spend as of October 2017. It would also be vastly more than legacy studios are spending: HBO spent $2.5 billion on content in 2017, and even CBS spent just $4 billion.

The streaming media company has plans for 82 feature films this year, and could be spending $22.5 billion a year on content by 2022. That moves the bar for Amazon, HBO, Hulu, and now Apple.

What the iPhone 8 Costs in Other Countries Will Surprise You

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iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus top selling smartphones

An iPhone 8 Plus, in the U.S., with 256 GB of storage goes for US$949. But the that’s the lowest price you’ll pay. Here’s an interesting chart that show how much it’ll cost in many other countries, in equivalent U.S. dollar.s. For example, those in Brazil will pay the equivalent of $1377.  Why? Import taxes.

How Plane Bae Revealed the Dark Side of Social Media

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EU Privacy Waves

Actress Rosey Blair and her husband were on a plane recently, and they live tweeted a “love story” between passengers sitting in front of them. It was rife with photos and details to her followers, and many saw it as an invasion of privacy where the people didn’t consent.

Of course, the sexual implication is something [the man is] praised for, while the woman is attacked…There’s another unfortunate dimension to this whole saga that mimics the coercive effect of public marriage proposals: everyone innocently cheers on the romance because it tells a good story, but it places the woman in the invidious position of being the “bad guy” if she says no.

How the App Store Changed our Lives

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Leif Johnson writes how the App Store changed his life.

All the recent talk about the App Store’s 10th anniversary makes me wonder if I’d have finished it if I had access to the same apps I now enjoy on my iPhone and my iPad. That sometimes makes the frustrations feels almost fun. Discussions of the App Store’s impact tend to focus on how it gave thousands of small-time developers a good way to make money or how it changed our social lives; we give relatively little attention to how it simplified our routines. I don’t think I’d be the same person I am today without it. Heck, I’ll bet the same could be said about you.

Apple, It's Time to Paint With Your Six Colors

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Writing for Macworld, Dan Moren wants Apple products to be colorful again. Apple products like the iPhone and IPad come in metallic colors like silver, gray, and gold, but they aren’t as colorful as the products of old with the six colors of the old Apple logo.

The recent chromatic identity of Apple has clearly been one of simplicity and elegance. From the featureless white room in which Jony Ive seems to give all his product spiels to the non-illuminating Apple logo on the latest notebook computers, the company’s design over the past decade and change has often seemed to treat colors as frivolous and silly. Even that six-color Apple logo, long the distinctive badge of the company, was retired in 1998; for the last 15 years or so, it’s merely been a monochromatic silhouette.

ATECH 18,000mAh Power Bank with Smart Charge: $39.99

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ATECH 18,000mAh Power Bank with Smart Charge

We have a deal on the ATECH 18,000mAh Power Bank with Smart Charge, a portable battery with a really large capacity. It includes smart charging features, too, that detect how much power your device needs and can take, and supplying it. It’s $39.99 through our deal.

China is Becoming the King of Facial Recognition Surveillance

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Surveillance facial recognition cameras tracking people

China is running headstrong in to surveillance with facial recognition and is already using the technology to identify and arrest criminal suspects. Right now the country is experimenting with facial recognition glasses police can wear to look for potential arrest targets. It’s pretty creepy and growing by leaps and bounds with China expected to have some 300 million cameras installed by 2020. Philip Elmer-DeWitt says on his Apple 3.0 blog that the iPhone and iPad maker is getting in on the game, too. He says:

I’m told by an analyst who tracks headgear technology that Apple is three to five years away from a marketable product. It sounds like the Chinese, unhampered by any privacy concerns—in fact, incentivized to surveil—may get there first.

Samsung Smartphone Sales Growth Slows

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Samsung's Totally Original Profit Storing Machine

It couldn’t happen to a nicer, serial intellectual property thief, but Samsung’s smartphone sales growth is slowing. This, from Reuters:

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd estimated on Friday earnings grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the second quarter, as analysts said weak smartphone sales likely offset record high chip earnings. Samsung shares fell 2 percent as the guidance gave investors insight into how badly the decline in smartphone profitability is hurting the company’s bottom line, after it warned in April of an earnings slowdown amid tougher competition.

Today, the Earth is Farthest From The Sun. Why So Hot?

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Earth and Sun seen from space.

In the northern hemisphere, at least. Yes, the Earth is farthest from the Sun, in its slightly elliptical orbit, in the northern hemisphere summer. And so it’s natural to ask why summer gets so warm. That’s a classic astronomy 101 question, and it’s nicely explained in this link at Gizmodo. (Image credit: NASA.) For more, see: “Aphelion Day 2018: Earth Is Farthest from the Sun Today.”