There you have it. Steve Jobs’ will + Dow Jones + Apple Park = Google’s buying Apple. I think we finally have algorithmic transparency.
This morning Dow Jones shot some fake news out over the wires announcing that Google was acquiring Apple for $9 billion. For a brief second, the news sent Apple’s stock up about $2 to $158 per share. To the benefit of everyone’s morning, both stock prices quickly returned to normal.
The story went something like this. Larry Page and Steve Jobs started discussing an acquisition back in 2010. Jobs outlined the plans in his will which dictated the sale to close tomorrow. Google would get nine Apple shares for each Google share at a deal value of $9 billion. Insane to a human, logical to a bot
Dow Jones issued a statement to 9to5Mac, who first reported the drama. The company asserted that the calamity was the product of a technical error and all erroneous headlines would be stripped from the newswire.
But the human reaction wasn’t fast enough for the algos. We can only admire the poorly written rules from a distance. It’s irritating, as it always is, when the curtains get pulled back for a brief moment and we all realize that our financial markets are being run by bots with the intelligence of infants. Keyword search, sentiment analysis, trend identification (certainly caused by other bots) and whatever other magic was at play really don’t cut it when long tail events like this happen.
I went ahead and pulled some time series data from the moment the news went live and you can easily see the price getting pushed up. There’s a volume spike near the end when the system realizes what is going on and everything instantly returns back to normal.
Nvidia revealed a new artificial intelligence computer based on its Drive PX platform designed specifically to bring Level 5 (completely self-driving) autonomous vehicles to market. The Drive PX Pegasus builds on its predecessor the Drive PX 2, offering over 10 times as many operations per second in terms of computing capability, and it’s already being used by over 25 companies to develop fully driverless taxi vehicles for eventual deployment.
The self-driving computer is built on Nvidia’s CUDA GPUs, and also increase the practicality of the computing hardware requirements for actually fielding self-driving cars on real roads. Nvidia points out that vehicles today using Nvidia tech to field on demand autonomous taxis include basically entire data centres in the trunk, and Drive PX Pegasus is designed to help put them on track to bring this down to something more manageable for actual production deployment.
Drive PX Pegasus packs in four AI processors, including two of Nvidia’s latest generation Xavier system-on-a-chip models with embedded Nvidia Volta GPUs, with two next-generation discrete GPUs designed specifically to hep accelerate deep learning and computer vision. The overall size of the system is roughly that of a license plate, Nvidia says, and it greatly reduces energy consumption and overall cost as well.
Pegasus is set to be available to Nvidia partners during the second half of 2018, while companies can get started now with Drive PX 2 if they want to chart a path to upgrade later on.
Today breast milk is recognized as a sort of liquid miracle for babies, but history is full of periods where people swapped in other things in its place. In the 15th century, it was cow and goat milk. In the 18th century, it was cereal or flour mixed with broth. More recently, it was baby formula. For reasons of convenience or in search of better nutrition, humans have long sought to one-up a mother’s milk.
Now one Silicon Valley startup wants to disrupt breast milk, not by creating a formula substitute, but by isolating the sugars that make breast milk so unique and turning those sugars into a product for infants and adults alike. Those sugars, the company claims, could be the next big health craze. The science behind breast milk, though, is still too young to tell whether it might really be an immune-boosting superfood supplement or just another soon-to-be-debunked fad.
In recent decades, breast feeding has experienced a resurgence, helped in large part by science that suggests breast milk is a boon to a baby’s immune system. Not only does breast milk contain the vitamins and nutrients that a newborn needs, it also contains sugars that serve as medicine, helping to ward off infection by feeding beneficial bacteria. Scientists have identified more than 200 different sugar molecules, or human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), in humans, far more than the 50 or so found in other mammals. After lactose and fats, those sugars are the third most plentiful ingredient in human milk. But humans of all ages lack the enzymes to process those sugars. Instead, most of those sugars pass through the stomach and into the small intestine, undigested.
Studies suggest why: In 2006, one research team found that, in the lab, the sugars nourish one particular subspecies of bacteria, Bifidobacterium longum infantis,a bacteria which in turn raised the acidity of the substrate as it fed off of the HMOs. In the infant gut, it’s possible the same rise in acidity occurs, which would make the environment more hostile to pathogens like E.Coli. The bacteria B. infantis also encourages the production of proteins that close the gaps between gut cells to keep microbes out of the bloodstream and of anti-inflammatory molecules that boost the immune system. And to get those benefits, it appears that B. infantis needs to feed on the sugars found in breast milk.
But not every woman can easily produce breast milk. So naturally, all this research into the potential benefits of breast milk has spurred a rush of companies hoping to synthesize the ingredients in breast milk in order to one day perfectly mimic in formula the stuff from mom.
One of those companies is Sugarlogix, a Berkeley biotech startup that recently graduated from the Indiebio startup accelerator. Sugarlogix is working to synthesize the sugars found in breast milk.
“We were interested in prebiotics and we realized that the best type of prebiotics exist in nature, and that’s in human breast milk,” Kulika Chomvong, CEO of Sugarlogix, told Gizmodo. Like probiotics, prebiotics are foods that cannot be digested by the human body. But while probiotics contain live bacterial cultures, prebiotics are the stuff that cultivates and feeds that bacteria.
Sugarlogix is working on developing sugars for babies that are not breast-fed—they say they have a deal in the works to start supplying one infant formula company with its sugars when Sugarlogix scales up production next year.
But babies are just the logical starting point for a vision that’s much grander: the benefits of breast milk, for grownups.
Chomvong said that Sugarlogix plans to turn its powder-form sugars into a pill, a prebiotic you might take every day the same way you do a multi-vitamin.
“This is the very first time adults can really harness the power of breast milk,” Chomvong said. “We wanted to find the very first food for the gut that we ever received as babies, and that’s breastmilk.”
Our bodies, including, perhaps most notably, our gut, are home to an entire community of microorganisms, which science increasingly suggests plays a major role in human health. Evidence suggest that gut bacteria can affect disease, mental health and even athletic ability. In one significant study earlier this year, researchers traced the origin of a brain disorder to a particular type of bacteria living in the gut.
The question, though, is whether that superfood would do any good in the grownup microbiome. Infants are born with a sterile, bacteria-free gut. It’s only in the first weeks of life that their guts become seeded with the myriad bacterial species that will flourish there throughout their lives. So while HMOs might be the key to jumpstarting bacterial colonies in the pristine environment of an infant’s gut, it’s unclear whether the process would work exactly the same way in adults, who already have thriving bacterial colonies.
Michael Miller, a microbiologist at the University of Illinois who has studied human breast milk, said that the benefit of synthesizing sugars for infants is still not even clear, let alone for adults.
“Different mom’s milks will have different compositions. It’s too complex to fully replicate,” he told Gizmodo. “Some of the more simple sugars that are most common in mom’s milks we can now make somewhat economically. But it’s not yet clear whether these more simple sugars will give you some of the benefit of breast milk sugars, or whether the real benefit is having the full complexity that exists in a mom’s milk.”
Miller said that part of what makes studying human milk so interesting is that the findings could provide insight into the adult microbiome, too.
“There is evidence suggesting that breast milks provides resistance to infections to infants. Maybe an adult could benefit from that,” he said.
Miller said, though, that at this point that idea is mostly conjecture. And, if a person did benefit, it would likely come in the form of taking a pill for a specific purpose, rather than like a daily vitamin.
And while the volume of research into human breast milk is growing, it’s still exceptionally small compared to almost any other human biological function. There’s a lot we don’t know about how breast milk nourishes infants, much less how isolated HMOs might impact adults.
“Based on emerging research, human milk oligosaccharides seem to be main drivers in shaping the developing infant gut microbiome, with potential short- and long-term consequences for human health and disease,” said Lars Bode, whose UC San Diego lab is dedicated to the study of human milk sugars and has probably published more than any other researcher on the subject.
Bode said HMOs could also be beneficial for adults by helping to re-shape the gut microbiome to guard against pathogens or treat disease. But like Miller, he stressed that all this is still little more than hypothetical.
“Overall, [there is] a lot of potential in both infants and adults, but a lot more work is needed to substantiate and confirm claims,” he told Gizmodo.
Sugarlogix does cite a 2016 study (funded by another company synthesizing human milk sugars) that found that the sugarsdid not have negative side effects and led to an increase of another gut bacteria in the same genus as B. infantis.
And B. infantis, the bacteria that HMOs promotes in infants, has been found to be low in quantity in patients with conditions such as type II diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome. The research is still in early days, but some researchers have suggested increasing the quantities of that bacteria could help mitigate symptoms in people with diabetes. And if a synthetic blend of HMOs could help increase this bacteria in an adult’s gut, then it’s possible it could help alleviate symptoms.
Though current research only suggests narrow potential indications, Chomveng believes the sugars could someday gain traction with a broad swath of adult consumers. She told me that the company hopes to eventually sell its sugars to food producers, too, fighting disease one over-priced Greek yogurt at a time. But that’s a long-shot dream in a field where research is still mostly preliminary.
Of course, breast milk pills could go the way of breast milk cheese—yet another weird health fad no one will want to remember.
The brand calls it ‘The Tank,’ and for good reason.
Based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Rezvani Motors built The Tank as a “Tactical Urban Vehicle.” And while the upgrades might seem excessive, it looks stunning.
Rezvani Motors specializes in luxury supercars. The Tank is the latest custom build from the Irvine, Calif., company, and is notably more off-road. The goal is a military-looking vehicle for civilian use.
And while this beefed up wrangler has some military vehicle features, it is definitely more civilian in its design.
The Tank offers a baseline vehicle starting at $178,500 with options that raise the price even higher. From the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Chassis, Rezvani gives it a luxurious and tactical customization.
At the base price, The Tank has a 3.6L V6 with on-demand 4×4. From there, the Tank upgrades with add-ons like the Leather Package, Tow Package, Off-Road Extreme Package, and a Ballistic Armor upgrade. That’s right, you can take the kiddos to soccer practice knowing Kevlar armor and bulletproof glass will help you arrive safely.
While it looks like a beast, The Tank’s add-ons help make what should be a very competent off-roader. With the Off-Road extreme Package, you get a 6-in. lift and 37 in. x 13.5 in. tires, Dynatrac ProRock XD60/80 Axle Set with air lockers and compressor, FOX 2.5-in. internal bypass shocks with DSC, and more.
There’s even a “night vision” upgrade. Or, if power is your thing, you can boost the engine to a 6.4L V8 with 500horsepower.
And the full Ballistic upgrade also has run-flat tires, and a Kevlar-protected fuel tank, floor pan, and radiator.
The tow package includes a tow hitch and front-mounted winch. You can also get a heads up display with the convenience package.
Rezvani Tank, Available Now
Naturally, Rezvani steers customers toward the full optimized build.
Reservations are available now, and the brand estimates a 12-week build time. If you’ve got a couple hundred grand burning a hole in your non-Kevlar pocket, this is an eye-catching way to spend it.
Shooting guns can trigger a fight-or-flight response, especially in novices.
This makes the heart race, palms sweat, and sometimes even leads to nausea.
However, feel-good chemicals can also flood the brains of thrill seekers and marksmen.
You look down the sight of a gun, take aim, slowly exhale, and pull the trigger.
What happens next is an explosion of sensations, from a bright muzzle flash and body-jolting recoil to an ear-splitting bang and acrid smell of burnt gunpowder.
About 72% of US adults have fired a gun, according to a June 2017 Pew Research Center survey that reached nearly 4,000 respondents. This means most of America is familiar with the experience — including the mental and emotional head-rush that often comes with it.
"The whole idea of training is to get people over these sensations, whether they’re a police officer-in-training or military personnel," Kevin Fleming, a neuroscientist at Norwich University (a military college) who’s researched gun violence and the psychology of shooting firearms for more than 25 years, told Business Insider.
Although everyone’s experience is different — especially when it comes to a firing range versus a real-life threat (perceived or otherwise) — here are a few effects that shooting a firearm can have on the brain and body.
The urge to fight or flee may overcome you
Firing a gun can be startling. In response, first-timers can experience a fight-or-flight response — the body’s way of automatically responding to what it perceives could be mortal danger.
The brain rapidly releases cortisol, adrenaline (aka epinephrine), and other hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This can lead novice shooters to feel intense fear, anxiety, or aggression after shooting.
"In order to pull that trigger, you’re standing your ground, and you’re going to use this weapon to help you. There is that ‘fight’ part of it," Fleming said. "I know it’s just a paper target, but some people are seeing that as the enemy. … Pulling the trigger is an act of aggression."
Just seeing a gun can prime aggressive thoughts, according to one recent study, and even experienced shooters have to manage their body’s responses after firing thousands of rounds in countless training scenarios.
"The training is primarily designed to … bypass all of the emotional baggage of the experience," Fleming said. "But I don’t think it ever fully goes away."
Heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing go up
The fight-or-flight response evolved to keep us alive in sticky situations, and spiking hormone levels also triggers a grab-bag of autonomic (i.e. uncontrollable) bodily reactions.
"It’s based on our primate heritage," Fleming said. "If you’re going to run away from or fight something, you’d better start breathing faster to get enough oxygen in your blood, and pumping that oxygen around."
As a result, the heart begins to race, blood vessels constrict, and blood pressure skyrockets, in turn rapidly delivering oxygen and sugar to muscles.
The mind goes into overdrive
The rush of blood and fight-or-flight levels of neurochemicals also affects the brain’s function.
Mental focus increases, and so does the ability to recognize patterns, while time seems to slow down (though it doesn’t actually do so) with an increased flow of conscious and subconscious information.
Palms sweat and pupils dilate
"The sweaty palm helps you get a better grip," Fleming said, and wider-open eyes help you see more of your surroundings, especially in the dark.
The digestive system pauses
The body may also stop processing food.
"You can get sick to your stomach if you’ve have a big meal," Fleming said. Though it’s rare, he added, "you might even get diarrhea. If you’re an animal, you are not going to carry that extra weight if they don’t have to. The same thing with urine."
All of these responses happen more or less at once, Fleming said, and often before the brain has consciously processed that a gun has fired.
…But shooting can feel really good, especially after the fact
After the danger has passed, the nervous system responds by releasing all sorts of chemicals to calm the body back to normal, while others that spiked linger for some time.
The initial response and come-down that follows can lead to a strong sense of pleasure in some people.
"That rush of serotonin feels good," Fleming said. "A lot of people don’t like being scared, but there are people who like to jump out of airplanes or bungee jump."
Knowing that you’ve exercised enough skill to hit a target precisely where you aimed can also be a powerful and rewarding sensation.
However, Fleming noted that most professional shooters he’s met — primarily police officers and military personnel — aren’t adrenaline junkies and espouse a "healthy respect for guns."
"There may be some people who get a thrill out of going to the range," he said. "But most professionals I’ve met are not that interested. They don’t want to bring that home at the end of the day."
Windows Phone is dead, but Microsoft isn’t getting out of mobile—in fact it’s redoubling its efforts. With plenty of apps for iOS and Android out now and improving fast, you can recreate much of the feel of a Windows Phone on your existing handset, as long as you can live without those rotating tiles. Here’s how to go all-in with Microsoft on mobile.
We’re going to focus on Android here because it’s inherently more skinnable and customizable than Apple’s mobile platform, and Microsoft is taking full advantage. You can get a similar suite of Redmond apps for iOS, but you’re still left with an experience that’s mostly Apple. Grab yourself an Android phone and we’ll get started.
Install the Microsoft launcher
Android launchers, for the uninitiated, appear when you hit the Home button—they control the icons, the wallpaper, the home screen layouts, the app drawer and more. It’s not quite the same as installing a whole new version of Android, but it can feel like it.
Microsoft has been making its own launcher called Arrow Launcher since 2015, but it’s recently been given a revamp and a rebrand to Microsoft Launcher. The new version isn’t publicly available at the time of writing, but you can get the beta installed on your Android device by following the download link from here.
Launch the launcher, and you get to choose some aspects of the interface, and get the option of having the Bing daily wallpaper show up on your phone too. You’ll then have to give the app some permissions so it can control everything on your phone, and sign in using your Microsoft account, if you want to easily sync all your Microsoft stuff to your newly modified Android phone.
As with Google’s stock launcher, you can swipe right from the home screen to get at a feed of weather, appointments, and news. Widgets show your frequently used apps, recent messages and photos, and favorite contacts, and all of this can be customized. You’ve also got handy widgets for jotting down notes and seeing documents on your device and in OneDrive.
You don’t have to go all-in with Microsoft services—you can show Google calendars instead of Outlook ones for example—but as you would expect everything works best with Microsoft’s own services. Any of the widgets can be pinned to one of your home screens for a better look.
Elsewhere your home screen icons and app drawer get a visual overhaul, and the persistent Google search box at the top of the screen is replaced with a persistent Bing search box—you can actually switch this to Google or Yahoo if you prefer, or disable it altogether. Tap the Launcher Settings button on the home screen to customize pretty much every aspect of the launcher, from the direction apps scroll in, to which gestures are supported across the system.
Install Microsoft’s apps
So you’ve changed the look and feel of your Android device and given it a distinctive Microsoft tinge—you then need to install all of the mobile apps Microsoft makes available for Android, which run to more than you might think.
There’s Outlook, Skype, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Xbox for example, as well as a basic To Do app, and a lock screen manager called Next: This last one isn’t particularly Microsoft-heavy, except for pulling in Bing wallpapers, but it is developed by Microsoft and may well become more tightly integrated with the Microsoft Launcher over time.
If you’re wanting to Windows-ify your phone though, some apps are more important than others. Cortana can replace Google Now, Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby or whatever flavor of smart AI buddy you’ve already got, and nowadays can actually be launched with a long press of the Home button—follow the instructions inside the app to set this up.
OneDrive, meanwhile, brings everything in your Microsoft cloud storage locker over to your Android phone. If you like, it will also automatically upload your photos and videos to the cloud as well, though you’ll need to pay for more room if you start running out. Again this can be set up from inside the app when you install it.
Finally there’s Microsoft Edge for Android—at the time we’re writing this, the browser is only available with an invitation from Microsoft, but it should be out for everyone before too long. The big benefit for Microsoft loyalists, irrespective of the various ins and outs of the Edge vs Chrome debate, is that you can sync everything over from the desktop version of Edge, including bookmarks and browsing history.
With Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft’s apps all installed, and Cortana ready to go at the press of a button or the shout of a voice command, your Android phone is suddenly looking a lot more like a Windows Phone. Squint your eyes and paste a Nokia sticker on the back and it could almost be the real thing.
Connect Android to Windows 10
Since its launch, Windows 10 has made connecting to Android pretty straightforward, thanks in part to the versatility of Android and thanks in part to Microsoft making its big-name apps more cloud-focused and readily available on mobile. Using Android with a Windows PC is already simple no matter what your make or model of phone.
On any version of Windows 10, install Windows Phone Companion and you can swap files, photos, music, and more between your computer and your mobile—for the most part this is done by installing the apps we’ve mentioned above, but the Companion makes the process a little more straightforward.
With the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 is getting even friendlier with Android phones (and iPhones), allowing you to continue your mobile web browsing on your desktop, and (eventually) pull off tricks like editing documents seamlessly across both platforms. The Fall Creators Update drops on October 17 but you can test the feature now if you’re part of the Windows Insider program.
First open up Settings on your PC, head into the Phone section, and pick Add a phone: Enter your mobile number and you’ll get a text sent to your device. Next open up Cortana on your phone, and opt to try the Continue on PC feature (it should appear as an option on the Upcoming panel). Work through the steps and not only can you continue browsing on your PC, you can see missed calls and texts on your desktop or laptop too.
It’s still in its early stage but here’s something to try now: Tap any news story in the Upcoming panel in the Cortana app, then tap the Continue on PC button, which is down in the bottom right corner. Choose Continue now and as if by magic the same browser tab should appear in Microsoft Edge on your Windows 10 machine.
All of this is expected to get slicker over time. It might not exactly be a complete Windows Phone experience on your Android device, but you can get so close to it, it’s not hard to understand why Microsoft decided to pull the plug on developing an entire mobile OS of its own when it can just build on what Google and Apple are doing instead.
It appears that "fake news" has finally made it to the news wires.
Shortly after the market open, Dow Jones blasted a story that "in a surprise to everyone who is alive" Google was buying Apple for $9 billion. It said that Google CEO Larry Page had "secret talks with the now-deceased Steve Jobs in 2010 to firm up the deal" which was announced when Jobs’ will was read in Cupertino. As a result, each Google shareholder would get 9 shares of Apple stocks, and the report added that "obviously Google will move into Apple’s fancy shareholders. Google employees said, "Yay."
The release was accompanied by a flurry of machine-readible headlines on Bloomberg and other news services:
DJ Tech Giant Apple Buys Google
DJ Story, No Flash Heds, With A Different Wires Hed
DJ Now I’m Sending the Fill
DJ And Here Is a Third One
DJ Here Is a Second Flash Hed to Check Chaining
DJ Here Is the First Flash to Check Chaining
DJ This Is a Test Flash Headline
DJ Fourth headline, worth a try
DJ Fourth headline, try two
DJ Fourth headline, try one
DJ Second Try Headline, Gets Orphan Status For Acute Myeloid Leukemia
DJ Second try headline, second one
DJ Second try headline, first one
DJ Here Is Another Hed to Be Published a Day Later to See if Chaining Wor
DJ Here is a Second Update Hed
DJ Now I am Testing Out the Update Hed
DJ This Is My Fill Hed
DJ And Here Is a Third
DJ This Is a Second Hed of the Chaining Test
DJ This Is a Test of the Chaining Mechanism
DJ UPDATE: Apple Says Google Buy Will Be Difficult
DJ Apple CEO: Google Is Really Awesome
DJ UPDATE: Apple Says Google Buy Will Be Difficult
Well, apparently the algos ignored the ridiculous details and the laughable purchase price and promptly sent the price of Apple surging to $158, if only for a few seconds…
We can only imagine the avalanche of furious phone calls into Dow JOnes, because moments ago a Dow Jones spokesman announced to "Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34 a.m. ET and 9:36 a.m. ET." He said that "due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologize for the error."
Of course, by the time it was retracted, the initial momentum had pushed the world’s most valuable stock higher, and dragged the Nasdaq higher with it.
That said, it begs the question: how could such a glaring, and hugely market moving error have made it to the production platform, where it impacted thousands of headline scanning algos.
Finally, was this "fake news" also Vladimir Putin’s fault?