Covid 19

If you want to launch a computer science career, this training can get you started for just $40

TLDR: The 2021 Complete Computer Science Training Bundle includes more than 210 hours of instruction in today’s hottest data science fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

If you ever stared at lines of computer code and felt like you were trying to decipher a foreign language, the state of Arkansas apparently agrees with you.

Under a bill currently being considered by Arkansas lawmakers, courses like programming, AP Computer Science Principles, and Computer Science Standard Level could soon be counted as a foreign language for state high school students. 

It’s easy to laugh at that idea, but when you think about it, they aren’t entirely wrong. Computer science practically is another language. And if it’s a language you know and understand, you can rest assured your professional future is set long term.

With the instruction in The 2021 Complete Computer Science Training Bundle ($39.99 from TNW Deals), learners can pick up the necessary tools and techniques for understanding programming, data analysis, and other key elements of cutting edge tech advancements like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This collection isn’t something you’ll knock out in a weekend either. It’s massive, featuring over 210 hours of learning and nine courses covering foundational pieces in learning data science principles and how to extrapolate critical conclusions from those findings.

The Python programming language and its powerful, yet adaptable structure is at the center of much of today’s key tech developments, so Learn to Code with Python and Python Data Science lay that foundation, getting novice coders used to Python syntax and structure, while also explaining key first steps in using Python to organize, analyze, and hypothesize based solely off that data.

From there, the training expands to include courses in using the R programming language for statistical modeling, the impact of discrete mathematics, and even how to build 15 different coding projects to showcase your web development skills.

And since there’s no tech development arena hotter than teaching computers and apps to understand information and make decisions based on those findings, this package also includes training in using Tensorflow and Keras. By learning those two Python offshoots, you can learn how to create artificial neural networks and deep learning structures to apply machine learning to your own projects.

The 2021 Complete Computer Science Training Bundle includes $1,800 worth of coursework for just $39.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Covid 19

Should the US government force Facebook to host speech?

Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

Covid 19

Facebook Oversight Board upholds ban on Donald Trump’s accounts, for now

Facebook’s Oversight Board has upheld the platform’s decision to ban Donald Trump‘s accounts, but says the company broke its own rules by imposing an indefinite suspension.

Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended indefinitely in the wake of the US Capitol riots over fears that he would use the platforms to encourage further violence.

The social network had already blocked Trump from posting for 24 hours, but then extended the ban until at least Joe Biden replaced him as president on January 20.

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post at the time.”

The Oversight Board upheld the decision, but added that the “indeterminate and standardless penalty” of indefinite suspension was inappropriate.

Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account,” the board said in a blogpost.

“The board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform. Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision.”

[Read: 3 new technologies ecommerce brands can use to connect better with customers]

Often called “Facebook’s Supreme Court”, the board was designed to provide independent judgments on Facebook’s policies and decisions, but the restrictions on its powers have led critics to call it toothless.

A group of academics, lawmakers, and activists known as the Real Facebook Oversight Board said the new Trump ruling was a “PR smokescreen” that “kicked the decision back to Facebook.”

The decision will prove decisive. Campaigners have called for a permanent ban over concerns that Trump’s return would make the platform unsafe, while free speech advocates argued that unelected tech giants shouldn’t unilaterally determine who can speak on their platforms. But the verdict leaves the door ajar for Trump’s return.

Covid 19

Learn to master Linux with this $20 training bundle

TLDR: The Mastering Linux Development Bundle features 7 courses and over 30 hours of training in using and creating with the Linux operating system to run your own systems safely.

If you only looked at the current market share for computer operating systems, it would be easy to completely overlook Linux. Windows is at 75.55 percent, OS stands at 16.5 percent, all while Linux only holds a small 1.97 percent. So Linux really isn’t all that important, right?

Well, while its impact on operating systems has always been small, but influential, the true power of the open-sourced Linux is rooted in its versatility and ability to adapt without conforming to the guidelines of its proprietarily-owned competitors. And that’s why business still trusts heavily in Linux, which currently runs 90 percent of the public cloud workload; and 99 percent of all the world’s supercomputers. Everything someone uses Google, they’re touching the Linux kernel.

With that kind of reach, Linux remains a vital programming ability for any creator — and with The Mastering Linux Development Bundle ($19.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals), even first timers will learn to use Linux and all its abilities like a star.

Filled with 7 courses containing more than 34 hours of training, this coursework looks at Linux from every angle, with a sharp eye on explaining its wide-ranging role as a fully customizable system structure for companies regulating their business operations in the cloud.

Linux Basics for Beginners sets the stage, offering a complete look at the commands and tools any Linux user needs to know — even if they’ve never had any experience handling an operating system before. This course offers hands-on training in building a brand new Linux system as it embeds all that foundational information in Linux fundamentals.

The training continues to expand a student,s Linux learning from there, featuring courses covering the Linux command line, how it can be used to write script for automating tedious, repetitive functions, and even how to use VirtualBox to partition and build a completely functioning, testable Linux OS on a Windows machine.

Finally, there’s also a close look at Kali Linux, where penetration testers, security analysts, admins, ethical hackers and others improve their security skills while they recreate their own unique set of pentesting tools to make sure their systems are secure and fully protected.

With a formidable $1,400 worth of training, The Mastering Linux Development Bundle is now available for an astronomically low cost of only $19.99 with this deal.

Prices are subject to change.

Covid 19

Carnegie Mellon researchers trained AI to simulate our universe on a GPU

Simulating the universe is difficult. There are, after all, potentially infinite variables to consider.

Scientists typically use supercomputers to crunch data at the cosmological level, but a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon recently figured out a way to use the same machine learning technology used to teach AI to paint or create music like a human to run advanced simulations on graphics processing units (GPUs).

Yes, the same hardware and neural networking technology that powers “This Person Does Not Exist” can now simulate our universe at high resolution. This is huge. It could very well change the way we perceive the universe and understand the laws of physics.

Background:According to the research team, it would take about 23 days to run a cosmological simulation on a single processing core using traditional methods.

For this reason, researchers tend to use supercomputers for these types of simulations. This is because physics is still an open problem. We don’t have a set of rules that govern the universe which we can apply across its entirety – scientists haven’t figure out how to reconcile the laws of classical physics with what they’ve observed in the quantum realm.

And that means we have to make crap up as we go along. Scientists have to experiment with different values when it comes to, for example, predicting how much dark matter there is in the universe. In this way it’s a massive feat of trial-and-error. They run the simulations, check them against what we can observe locally with space telescopes and other data-collection sources, and then repeat.

The problem

Running a supercomputer is expensive. Just renting one costs upwards of thousands of dollars an hour. And the carbon footprint of a supercomputer is sasquatch-sized compared to the relatively diminutive power consumption of a single GPU.

Supercomputers aren’t especially good solutions for processing problems that intentionally require trial-and-error.

The solution

The researchers distilled the problem down to this: we can currently make high-resolution images of small patches of simulated universes and we can make low-resolution images of large simulated areas, but it takes too much time, energy, and power to make high-resolution images of large simulated areas.

This is a work-stopper when it comes to attempting to simulate the entire cosmos. The solution, of course, is AI.

Instead of teaching an AI to simulate a universe by generating it procedurally (again, something that could hypothetically involve an infinite amount of variables), the CMU team taught it hallucinate entire areas in high-resolution. 

And this makes things faster. How much? According to a press release written by Jocelyn Duffy of Carnegie Mellon University:

The trained code can take full-scale, low-resolution models and generate super-resolution simulations that contain up to 512 times as many particles. For a region in the universe roughly 500 million light-years across containing 134 million particles, existing methods would require 560 hours to churn out a high-resolution simulation using a single processing core. With the new approach, the researchers need only 36 minutes.

The results were even more dramatic when more particles were added to the simulation. For a universe 1,000 times as large with 134 billion particles, the researchers’ new method took 16 hours on a single graphics processing unit. Using current methods, a simulation of this size and resolution would take a dedicated supercomputer months to complete.

This doesn’t mean the AI “knows” what the universe beyond our reach looks like. It means it can convincingly update low-resolution simulation images to high-resolution, thus making it possible for scientists to generate these large high-resolution images using much, much less time, energy, and power.

In essence, it’s like giving an AI a rough sketch of a movie and having it spit out what it thinks the completed work would look like without actually having to film the movie.

Quick take: It’s a lot more complicated than that, and, in the case of simulating our universe, we do know what the final product looks like – you can verify by walking outside on a clear night and looking up. What we don’t know is exactly how it got this way.

The fact that we can take cosmology simulations off of supercomputers and run them on glorified gaming PCs will democratize the ability for researchers to test new ideas quickly and efficiently.

This work is a rising tide to lift all vessels, it has the potential to change our view of the cosmos and, with any luck, help us come up with a better origin story for dark matter, gravity, and the universe as a whole.

You can read the whole study here.

Covid 19

Work comfortably with this $100 energy-efficient personal air conditioner

TLDR: The EvaChill EV-500 Personal Air Conditioner cools, humidifies, and purifies your room in a hurry, all without incurring one of those huge summer utility bills.

If last year’s summer work from home routine did a real number on your utility bill, you weren’t alone. In addition to the containment being rough on everybody’s psyches, it put a serious hit on our bank accounts as well. Average electrical usage was up more than 9 percent between April and August 2020 compared to 2019, an average increase of about $85 over what residents paid the year before.

Since there’s a decent chance many will be in the same situation for summer 2021, it might be time to start seriously looking at some alternatives to staying cool without firing up the AC across the whole house. 

The EvaChill Personal Air Conditioner is a solid answer to that problem, a tiny unit capable of producing enough big cool to help make your home office feel a whole lot more comfortable in the teeth of summer heat. Right now, it’s on sale at just $99, over 20 percent off its regular price, from TNW Deals.

The look of the EvaChill is sleek and minimalist, and at just over 8 inches square, this 2019 Red Dot Design Award winner can definitely fit in on just about any desktop. 

But you aren’t buying it for its looks, so the EvaChill is also packing enough cool and comfortable atmosphere to make it a formidable air conditioner, humidifier and purifier all in one to quickly circulate air and lower the temperature in any room.

Ultra-portable and leak-proof, users fill the EvaChill’s water tank, then let the cartridge made from rock-solid volcanic lava basalt start doing its thing. With its expanded area for water evaporation, the cartridge fills the cooling pads quickly as the air jets push that evaporated water back into the surrounding air. In as little as 10 minutes, the unit covers a lot of ground, dropping the air temperatures as much as 59 degrees over an area of up to 45 sq. ft.

Since the filter is made of inorganic fibers, it also doesn’t generate the mold or bacteria found in other personal air conditioners, which not only moistens the air, but purifies it as well as it filters dust particles and stops bacterial growth in its tracks.

You can also set the EvaChill to run for up to nine hours, ensuring you’ll be able to sleep through the night in comfort — and all without clicking on central AC.

Regularly $128, the EvaChill EV-500 Personal Air Conditioner is now available at 22 percent off, down to just $99

Prices are subject to change.

Covid 19

Keynote Interview: Watch Melinda Gates at The Global Boardroom

The Global Boardroom returns for its third edition to examine the most impactful strategies for a world transformed by crisis. Attend carefully curated, in-depth discussions with leading policy-makers, CEOs, and investors from across the world.

In collaboration with TNW, the Financial Times brings you curated, in-depth discussions, like this interview with Melinda Gates,  Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Register now for a free ticket, and join the conversation.

Check out the full list of speakers at The Global Boardroom website.

Covid 19

Macron’s climate law banning domestic flights isn’t enough, say green groups

On Tuesday, the French parliament will vote for a new climate law aiming to support President Emmanuel Macron’s green policies, France 24 reports. 

The measure includes bans on domestic flights under two and half hours that can be done by train, restrictions on renting badly insulated properties, and the designation of “ecocide” as a punishable crime.

While the draft legislation will most likely pass by the parliament’s lower house, where the French president holds the majority of seats, it has left environmental groups rather dissatisfied.

Campaigners have criticized it as unambitious and inadequate to keep up with the rapidly changing climate. They have also blamed Macron for poorly committing to a cause which he had promised to whole-heartedly support.

In fact, by 2030 France’s climate law aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels. On the contrary, the EU agreed to set a more ambitious goal of reducing emissions by 55%.

What’s more, this law was meant to put Macron’s pledge for a more inclusive government into practice. A move that was spurred on by the 2018 “yellow vest” anti government riots (Mouvement des gilets jaunes).

Members of the public were selected at random to form a “Citizen’s Convention on Climate” to recommend climate measures, but after seeing the draft legislation a number of them expressed disappointment as their original ideas weren’t really adopted. 

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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Covid 19

Uber still pretends not to be a taxi firm, but is going to make a taxicab anyway

Ride-hailing mega-platform Uber, and Arrival, a British electric van and bus manufacturer, are teaming up to make an electric car specifically for gig-working drivers.

On the one hand it sounds great, on the other… it takes Uber even further down the path of becoming like an old-school taxi firm.

The deal

Announced earlier today, the pair are working together to develop the “Arrival car” an “affordable, purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing,” Reuters reports.

The car will go into production at the end of next year.

It all comes as part of Uber’s plan to become a fully electric mobility platform in London by 2025, and North America and Europe by 2030.

The upside and challenge

Turning to an entirely electric fleet is an undeniably good thing. In cities, where most Uber rides occur, it will help reduce emissions and noise pollution.

It still doesn’t address the fact that ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have been found to create congestion, but it’s a start.

An announcement from Arrival, says that the car will be designed in collaboration with drivers, to best meet their needs. The vehicle is also supposed to be “affordable,” but until we have an on-the-road price, it’s impossible to say how this will stack up.

No details on how Uber is going to support drivers in making the switch to electric power have been shared either.

The company has raised $188 million (£135 million) to help its drivers make the switch, but it’s not clear how this will be used when the Arrival Car, um, arrives.

uber, arrival, ev, car,
Credit: Arrival
Arrival and Uber vehicle renderings show a clean cabin, presumably all the Uber app functionality will be built directly into the head unit of the car.

At present, Uber gives drivers a number of kickbacks for driving an electric vehicle in the UK.

There are preferential finance deals with a number of electric carmakers such as Kia, Nissan, and Hyundai.

For drivers in London, an extra 3 pence per mile is added to fares, to boost earnings.

Until the end of 2021, drivers of EVs will pay a reduced service fee of 15%, typically this fee varies from journey to journey. However, some industry folk suggest Uber takes around 25% of the cost of the fare as a service fee.

Now, there’s one important thing to keep in mind. Uber uses these kinds of financial benefits as incentives, and they don’t last forever.

By the time Uber is fully electric in the UK, or perhaps even by the time the majority of its workers are in EVs, you can be sure these incentives will be pulled. The service fee will no doubt return to normal.

What about choice?

While Uber and Arrival are designing the car specifically for ride-hailing drivers, it’s not an exclusive deal.

This means that any ride-hailing worker could use this vehicle. Perhaps the companies might even make it available to conventional taxi firms too.

It seems Uber is done with reinventing the taxi business, and now the two companies are aiming to reinvent the taxi cab itself.

arrival, ev, future, electric, car, uber
Credit: Arrival
Like London’s Black cabs, it looks like the front passenger seat can be removed to provide luggage space or leg room.

How Uber offers this vehicle to drivers though will be crucial to its success.

At present, Uber drivers use their own vehicles, so long as they meet the ride-hailing company’s standards. Despite having to meet specific requirements, drivers have plenty of opportunity to use a vehicle that works for Uber and their personal life.

Now, if Uber makes it a requirement that workers use its Arrival vehicle to offer EV trips — after all it would be an additional revenue stream for the company — drivers will likely turn their noses up.

It would also be yet another contradiction of Uber’s own belief that drivers should remain independent contractors. It seems fair that contractors should be allowed to choose the tools they use for their job, and not have this dictated to them by an employer, which constantly claims that it isn’t one.

What’s more, I’m not sure how much interest there will be in such a specialist vehicle when most (68%) of Uber drivers leave the platform after just six months.

It seems keeping the EV open to other buyers is a strategic decision, more than one that’s designed to make us think Uber is playing nice to help “fix the environment.”

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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Covid 19

Apple snaps up ex-Google AI leader who quit in the wake of Timnit Gebru’s firing

Apple has hired former Google AI scientist Samy Bengio, who resigned from the Big G following the controversial firing of ethics researcher Timnit Gebru.

Bengio will lead a new AI research unit and report to fellow ex-Googler John Giannandrea, Reuters reports.

In his role at Google, Bengio oversaw hundreds of workers and was a strong supporter of Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, who co-led the ethical AI teams before their terminations.

Gebru was fired in December after a fallout with management over a research paper she co-authored on the risks of large-scale language models, which are used in many Google products. Mitchell was sacked in February for using automated scripts to find messages showing mistreatment of Gebru.

[Read: 3 new technologies ecommerce brands can use to connect better with customers]

Their sudden departures sent shockwaves across the AI community and sparked an internal backlash about ethics and diversity.

Bengio was among their most prominent defenders at Google. In a Facebook post published in the wake of Gebru’s firing, he said he was “stunned by what just happened.”

His own responsibilities were cut in the aftermath, when Google reorganized its responsible AI unit and appointed Marian Croak to lead it.

Bengio resigned from Google in March after around 14 years at the company. While he didn’t mention the firings in his farewell letter to staff, sources told Reuters that they influenced his decision to quit.

The distinguished computer scientist, who helped build Google Brain, will now join another tech giant that’s investing heavily in machine learning.

Apple acquired more AI companies than anyone else between 2016 and 2020, according to a recent study by GlobalData. The market research firm said many of the deals were focused on improving Siri.

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