New dolphin-whale hybrid sea creature is the spawn of an unholy union

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While surveying whales and dolphins off the Hawaiian Islands, scientists spotted a creature they’ve never seen before: a peculiar hybrid between a dolphin and a small whale. 

In 2017, before future naval officers trained on submarines in the waters around Kauai — a place called the Pacific Missile Range Facility — the U.S. Navy hired marine researchers from the Cascadia Research Collective to study the native animals in these seas. After encountering a large pod of melon-headed whales, the researchers tagged two of them, to see where they might go. 

It was then that the researchers noticed something curious about one of the creatures. It wasn’t quite a melon-headed whale. Nor was it exactly a rough-toothed dolphin, which are common to the area. 

They collected some tissue from the animal, and after returning to shore and performing genetic testing, discovered it wasn’t either species, but both.

Melon-headed whales swimming in tropical waters (not hybrids).

Melon-headed whales swimming in tropical waters (not hybrids).

The hybrid was especially rare because of its melon-headed genes: The toothed-whales are rarely seen in these Hawaiian waters, the researchers wrote. Both species belong to the Delphinidae (oceanic dolphin) family, but the report notes that cross-species unions between them are unusual: It’s only the third recorded example in the Delphinidae family, and the first between these two species.

The hybrid, however strange, certainly wasn’t treated as an outcast. The marine scientists tagged the hybrid with satellite tracking GPS, along with a companion, to see where they might go. And it appears they stayed together, travelling some 475 miles over eight days, and diving thousands of feet beneath the surface.

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Government Says Knock It Off With The #KekeChallenge, 3 People Arrested For ‘In My Feelings’ Challenge

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keke challenge fails

Drake’s “In My Feelings” joint has been a ginormous hit song, not just for the music, but also for the viral dance challenge that is associated with the track. Instagram star “The Shiggy Show” ignited the sensation by adding a simple dance to go along with the song and it has blown up. The dance was taken to new heights by Will Smith and the challenges have taken a different turn as of late by adding cars to the dance.

The #InMyFeelingsChallenge has evolved into dancing whilst ghost-riding the whip. People get out of their vehicle while it is still rolling and they do the Shiggy. People are attempting the #KekeChallenge, but some people are getting hurt by doing the stunt. Enough people have gotten hurt that the government has had to issue a warning to not attempt the Keke Challenge.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the government agency that “makes transportation safer by conducting independent accident investigations and advocating safety improvements, has posted a warning about the viral dare. “We have some thoughts about the #InMyFeelings challenge,” the NTSB said in a Facebook post. “#Distraction in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly. Whether you are a #driver, #pilot, or #operator, focus on safely operating your vehicle.”

Authorities in Abu Dhabi took it to another level by arresting three social media stars for performing the #KekeChallenge. They were charged with “endangered lives, offended public morals and violated the traffic law.”

A stern warning from the NTSB probably isn’t going to deter anyone from continuing from carrying out the #KekeChallenge. However, posting fail videos of people mauled while doing the “In My Feelings” Challenge might discourage a few people from attempting the viral dare. So for the sole reason of trying to dissuade people from injuring themselves and totally not to mock people playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes, here are some #KekeChallenge fail videos that ended horribly.

This is the only Keke Challenge video that you need to watch.

[news.com.au]

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The latest internet craze includes dancing alongside moving cars — and, surprise, people are getting badly hurt

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keke challenge drake dance fail inmyfeelings

Just when you think the internet can’t get any weirder, it always does.

A recent internet trend is inspiring drivers all over the world to jump out of moving vehicles and dance in the street while a friend in the passenger seat films, and now transpiration officials and law enforcement are starting to speak out against the dangerous fad.

The viral phenomenon is called the #InMyFeelings Challenge, and is the latest — and possibly most dangerous — of the viral video dares, similar to the Cinnamon Challenge (which led to hundreds of teenagers eating a spoonful of pure cinnamon) or the Mannequin Challenge (in which a room full of people hold perfectly still while a moving camera person pans over each). 

The challenge, sometimes also known as the #Keke, has caught the attention of social media users everywhere, along with cable news outlets like ABC and talk shows like Kelly and Ryan and The View, and is starting to be called out by law enforcement all over the country. 

Police Chief Joseph Solomon of Methuen, Massachusetts told CBS: “It’s only a matter of time before someone gets sucked into the wheels of the car or dragged or the driver who is recording it with their phone hits somebody crossing the street.”

Fads like these always have a few iterations, but the videos all feature a short dance routine accompanied by the song "In my Feelings" from Drake’s latest album, "Scorpion," released July 29th. The dance was pioneered by online personality and comedian Shiggy, who posted this video of himself dancing in the street on Instagram the same night the song was released:

#Mood : KEKE Do You Love Me ? 😂😂😂 @champagnepapi #DoTheShiggy #InMyFeelings

A post shared by Shoker🃏 (@theshiggyshow) on Jun 29, 2018 at 6:15pm PDT on

The clip went viral, and countless fans and viewers — including celebrities like Will Smith, Ciara, and DJ Khaled — decided to imitate the stunt by dancing in increasingly impressive locations and under dangerous circumstances.

At some point, the challenge most commonly began to include people slowing their cars to a crawl, and then encouraging their friends to hop out and dance alongside the vehicle.

Here’s Jung "J-Hope" Ho-seok, a member of the South Korean boy band BTS, doing the challenge in its most commonly seen form:

Things took a turn for the worst when people started upping the ante, as always happens with internet challenges like these. People started doing the dance after hopping out of the driver’s seat, and simply letting the car roll. 

Here’s YouTube Creator Liza Koshy, performing the dangerous stunt, along with some extra theatrics:

It’s easy to imagine how this can go really wrong really fast. As a result of the challenge, there are now many videos of people falling on pavement, causing car accidents, and getting hit by oncoming vehicles on YouTube.

Connecticut State Police called the practice "distracted driving" and said it could lead to a reckless endangerment charge if a driver is caught in the act, according to FOX21.

Even the National Transportation Safety Board posted a warning about the challenge on their official Twitter early this week:

 

SEE ALSO: These $100 Tommy Hilfiger hoodies come equipped with chips that track how often you wear them and give you prizes

Join the conversation about this story »

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Telegram Passport stores your real-world IDs in the cloud

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Telegram

Telegram has rolled out a massive update for mobile, which gives it the ability to store copies of your IDs in the cloud. The new feature, called Passport, can share your identification documents with other apps and services whenever needed. Telegram describes it as a “unified authorization method” financial services and other industries can use to verify your identify, so you won’t need to upload photos of your passport or driver’s license again and again.

While it has the potential to become quite a useful tool, it’s easy to see why the security-conscious would balk at the idea of storing sensitive info in the cloud. Telegram says your documents are protected by end-to-end encryption, though, and it apparently doesn’t see whatever it is you upload. The company also plans to move all Passport data to a decentralized cloud in the future, which means it’ll be distributed across multiple computers to make the system safer.

Services that choose to integrate Passport into their system will offer the option to sign up using Telegram’s new feature. Doing so will give them a way to request for the documents you’ve stored in Passport. The company aims to introduce third-party verification in the near future, though, and when it arrives, the firms that use Passport won’t even need to request for your documents. They’ll allow you to easily sign up for their services knowing that a verification provider already confirmed that your IDs are legit.

The updated app is now available for both Android and Apple devices, further squashing fears that the iOS version will lag behind its Android counterpart. Back in May, Telegram’s founder said Apple blocked the messenger’s updates from rolling out after it was banned in Russia. Cupertino started approving updates again shortly after he aired his grievances. To access the new feature, simply go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Telegram Passport on Android or to Settings > Telegram Passport on iOS.

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How (and how not) to fix AI

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Joshua New
Contributor
Joshua New is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank studying the intersection of data, technology and public policy.

While artificial intelligence was once heralded as the key to unlocking a new era of economic prosperity, policymakers today face a wave of calls to ensure AI is fair, ethical and safe. New York City Mayor de Blasio recently announced the formation of the nation’s first task force to monitor and assess the use of algorithms. Days later, the European Union enacted sweeping new data protection rules that require companies be able to explain to consumers any automated decisions. And high-profile critics, like Elon Musk, have called on policymakers to do more to regulate AI.

Unfortunately, the two most popular ideas — requiring companies to disclose the source code to their algorithms and explain how they make decisions — would cause more harm than good by regulating the business models and the inner workings of the algorithms of companies using AI, rather than holding these companies accountable for outcomes.

The first idea — “algorithmic transparency” — would require companies to disclose the source code and data used in their AI systems. Beyond its simplicity, this idea lacks any real merits as a wide-scale solution. Many AI systems are too complex to fully understand by looking at source code alone. Some AI systems rely on millions of data points and thousands of lines of code, and decision models can change over time as they encounter new data. It is unrealistic to expect even the most motivated, resource-flush regulators or concerned citizens to be able to spot all potential malfeasance when that system’s developers may be unable to do so either.

Additionally, not all companies have an open-source business model. Requiring them to disclose their source code reduces their incentive to invest in developing new algorithms, because it invites competitors to copy them. Bad actors in China, which is fiercely competing with the United States for AI dominance but routinely flouts intellectual property rights, would likely use transparency requirements to steal source code.

The other idea — “algorithmic explainability” — would require companies to explain to consumers how their algorithms make decisions. The problem with this proposal is that there is often an inescapable trade-off between explainability and accuracy in AI systems. An algorithm’s accuracy typically scales with its complexity, so the more complex an algorithm is, the more difficult it is to explain. While this could change in the future as research into explainable AI matures — DARPA devoted $75 million in 2017 to this problem — for now, requirements for explainability would come at the cost of accuracy. This is enormously dangerous. With autonomous vehicles, for example, is it more important to be able to explain an accident or avoid one? The cases where explanations are more important than accuracy are rare.

The debate about how to make AI safe has ignored the need for a nuanced, targeted approach to regulation.

Rather than demanding companies reveal their source code or limiting the types of algorithms they can use, policymakers should instead insist on algorithmic accountability — the principle that an algorithmic system should employ a variety of controls to ensure the operator (i.e. the party responsible for deploying the algorithm) can verify it acts as intended, and identify and rectify harmful outcomes should they occur.

A policy framework built around algorithmic accountability would have several important benefits. First, it would make operators responsible for any harms their algorithms might cause, not developers. Not only do operators have the most influence over how algorithms impact society, but they already have to comply with a variety of laws designed to make sure their decisions don’t cause harm. For example, employers must comply with anti-discrimination laws in hiring, regardless of whether they use algorithms to make those decisions.

Second, holding operators accountable for outcomes rather than the inner workings of algorithms would free them to focus on the best methods to ensure their algorithms do not cause harm, such as confidence measures, impact assessments or procedural regularity, where appropriate. For example, a university could conduct an impact assessment before deploying an AI system designed to predict which students are likely to drop out to ensure it is effective and equitable. Unlike transparency or explainability requirements, this would enable the university to effectively identify any potential flaws without prohibiting the use of complex, proprietary algorithms.

This is not to say that transparency and explanations do not have their place. Transparency requirements, for example, make sense for risk-assessment algorithms in the criminal justice system. After all, there is a long-standing public interest in requiring the judicial system be exposed to the highest degree of scrutiny possible, even if this transparency may not shed much light on how advanced machine-learning systems work.

Similarly, laws like the Equal Credit Opportunity Act require companies to provide consumers an adequate explanation for denying them credit. Consumers will still have a right to these explanations regardless of whether a company uses AI to make its decisions.

The debate about how to make AI safe has ignored the need for a nuanced, targeted approach to regulation, treating algorithmic transparency and explainability like silver bullets without considering their many downsides. There is nothing wrong with wanting to mitigate the potential harms AI poses, but the oversimplified, overbroad solutions put forth so far would be largely ineffective and likely do more harm than good. Algorithmic accountability offers a better path toward ensuring organizations use AI responsibly so that it can truly be a boon to society.

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Tom Cruise and James Corden’s skydiving trip is 11 minutes of hilarious tension

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Tom Cruise and James Corden always seem to have fairly energetic meet-ups. First they acted out Cruise’s entire film career in 9 minutes, then they went on a boat trip, and now they’re going on their most ambitious day out yet — an actual skydive.

"The worst problem is, in all of this, if we both die I will get zero press," says a nervous pre-dive Corden. "I will be a footnote."

Well, he needn’t have worried. Terrified swearing aside, they ended up having a lovely time. Read more…

More about Uk, James Corden, Tom Cruise, The Late Late Show With James Corden, and Culture

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Burger Genius Chris Kronner’s Tips for Making Your Best Burger

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Photo: KronerBurger Facebook, Graphic: Sam Woolley

If anyone could start a burger-centric cult, it would be Chef Chris Kronner of KronnerBurger. His obsession is our reward, and he’s poured years of experimentation and professional experience into A Burger to Believe In—a veritable opus of burger-focused recipes and tips.

Welcome to Burger Week! Grilling season is in full swing, and we’re flipping out over burgers. Whether it’s picking the perfect patty, stuffing those patties with molten cheese, or making a veggie offering that doesn’t suck, we’ve got the tips, recipes, and recommendations you need to build your best burger.

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Burger enthusiasts should definitely scoop up the book, but Chef Kronner was generous enough to hop on the phone and share some very tasty tips on how to make better burgers at home:

  • Grind your own beef: For the best burger possible, upgrade your meat, and avoid pre-ground, pre-packaged stuff. “With most industrial-made ground beef, they add water to prevent weight reduction through moisture loss,” Kronner explained. This means you’re paying for water, not meat. You can grind your own—if you don’t have a grinder, Kronner’s book has a recipe for a hand-cut patty, but it must be cooked in a pan—or you can ask a butcher to grind it for you. Ask for “a meat with 20-30% fat, such as fatty chuck,” but you can also use aged rib eye, rib meat, brisket, or New York steak. “Ask them to leave the fat cap on,” and to grind it with a medium-sized grinder plate (sometimes referred to as a 3/16ths plate).
  • Use more salt: “We season pretty heavily, and we only season the exterior of the patty with salt.” Use more than you think you’ll need; a scant teaspoon per patty is what you need to form a glorious salty crust.
  • Steam your buns: Kronner paints his buns with whole butter, and toasts them either on a griddle or in a hot pan. “The residual moisture will steam the buns.” If you’re working with less than fresh bread, add a splash of water to the pan or griddle, cover the buns with a cloche, and let the steam soften and revitalize them for a texture that’s close to fresh baked.
  • Don’t sleep on cheese mayo: The Kronnenburger is all about optimizing each aspect of the burger—from buns to pickles—but my favorite detail has to be the white cheddar cheese mayo (which you can learn to make here). If you don’t have time to—or simply don’t want to—make your own mayonnaise, you can emulsify cheese into store-bought mayo with a food processor. “Store-bought mayo is shelf stable enough that you can add cheese without breaking it.”

Employ these tips, and you might be able to start your own burger cult, just make sure hang a pic of Kronner in your compound; it’s important to give credit where it’s due.

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The Japanese ensemble making music from old tape reels

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Credit: Mao Yamamoto

Open Reel Ensemble doesn’t play conventional instruments, like guitars, drums and keyboards. Instead, the Japanese band uses reel-to-reel tape recorders built by Pioneer and TEAC in the 1970s and ’80s. They weren’t designed, of course, with musical creation and manipulation in mind. Ei Wada, the leader of Open Reel Ensemble, discovered their performative qualities by accident. More than 15 years ago, he was given a couple of tape recorders by a friend of his father who worked at a radio station. He tripped over them one day and, in a mixture of panic and sadness, tried to rotate the broken reels with his hands. To his surprise, the sound changed.

“I felt exoticism,” Wada said through a translator. “And [realized] this was a kind of musical instrument.” The technically-minded musician started modifying reel-to-reel recorders and, later, founded Open Reel Ensemble at university with a small group of friends. Today, the band is a trio. They learned to perform by recording a mixture of sounds and then, in real-time, stopping and turning the reels by hand. It creates a DJ-like scratching effect that’s hard to replicate with digital tools alone. “Depending on what you record and how you touch and rotate the reels,” Wada explained, “the playback sound will vary in many ways with different expressions.”