Want to Be Terrified? Watch This University Demo That Fakes a President Speaking

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I know it’s coming. I know it’s unavoidable. But that doesn’t keep me from being terrified of this inevitable future when fake things are indistinguishable from reality. Adobe has its VoCo technology in testing—and that’s scary enough, but now University of Washington researchers have demonstrated the ability to to match speech to a generated video. In the demonstration video, they used real speech from former president Barack Obama and matched it to artificially generated video of him speaking those same words. It’s easy to see this tech being used to match falsified speech to falsified video. And while there are some aspects of UW’s artificially generated video that look fake, this is a demonstration, not a finished product. Within a few years, the ability to perfectly fake video and speech together will be available on our smartphones. The end result will be an ever-greater cynicism towards never believing anything you see. It’s inevitable, scary, and the technology is impressive as all heck. It will also be a huge test of democracy. Not only can someone anyone be made to say something they didn’t, anyone could also deny saying something they really did say, claiming to be the victim of this technology. The Atlantic has a good story with a lot more information on the university project.

Smartduvet Breeze: Dual-Zone Climate Control Duvet THAT MAKES ITSELF UP!

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I don’t use exclamation points in titles, but come on, Smartduvet Breeze MAKES ITSELF UP! I mean, IT MAKES ITSELF UP! I can’t even type it without going all capslock with a bang. OK, it’s also offers dual-zone climate control, but IT MAKES ITSELF UP! Watch the video. You’ll see it. I love a made bed, but being an overgrown boy at heart, I hate making the bed up. And so do a lot of other people, it seems, because Smartduvet has raised $579,533 on Indiegogo out of an original goal of just $20,000 (4 days left as of this writing). The Breeze part of this product is a system of air passages that delivers climate-controlled air through Smartduvet Breeze. Each side can be controlled through a smartphone app. The self-making part is done through a different set of air passages that essentially inflates to its made state when activated. There are funding options starting at $199 that get a Smartduvet Breeze, with shipping estimated for September.

Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

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Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

We have a deal on a pair of active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones for those looking for an alternative to Bose or other high-end offerings. They’re Bluetooth 4.0, feature 12 hours of playtime, and have 40mm drivers. They’re $79.99 through us.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Professor of Computer Science Dr. John Gustafson

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. John Gustafson on Background Mode.

Dr. John Gustafson is a professor of computer science, now at The National University of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied mathematics from Iowa State University and also specializes in high performance (supercomputer) computing. (HPC). He’s worked at Sun Labs, Clearspeed Technology, Massively Parallel Technology, Intel, and AMD. At an early age, he was fascinated by chemistry and also had a good sized electronics lab in his basement (thanks to indulgent parents). But by the time he started his undergraduate degree at Cal Tech, he’d settled on applied mathematics with physics as a second major. It was at Cal Tech where he met and was influenced by the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Richard Feynman. John, describes his career arc, and at the end has some great advice for young scientists just getting started.

Apple Building 2nd Data Center in Denmark, Will Be Powered by Renewable Energy

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Apple is building its second data center in Denmark, according to Reuters, citing Apple itself as the source. Like Apple’s other data centers, this one will also be powered entirely by renewable energy. Apple has committed to having 100% of its global operations powered by renewable energy. This data center will be located in Aabenraa, a town in southern Denmark near the German border, and Apple plans to open it in the second quarter of 2019. It will drive the company’s iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri in Europe.

Apple Building 2nd Data Center in Denmark, Will Be Powered by Renewable Energy