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Facebook is going back to college

Ryan Craig Contributor More posts by this contributor Broadening education investments to full-stack solutions College for the 21st century Kids these days take a greater interest in practical things than we give them credit for. For example, this summer my 12-year-old son Leo was at sleepaway camp in Canada. When we received his first letter home, among camp platitudes, the two notable items reported were that one of his counselors was discharged from the Israeli Army a week before camp, while another was recently “mugged by three guys (one had a gun!) and got stabbed in the arm.” Leo reported the cabin was mesmerized when, as a reward, the counselor showed campers his sweater with a knife hole in it. America’s colleges and universities could learn a thing or two from Leo, because they co...

How Airbnb went from renting air beds for $10 to a $30 billion hospitality behemoth

Happy 10th anniversary Airbnb. When we first wrote about the company a decade ago, it was a spare website cobbled together by its founders for the low low price of $20,000. In the years since, the marketplace Airbnb created has radically transformed the rental landscape in cities, created an entirely new hospitality market and surged to a valuation of roughly $31 billion. We researched the number of airbeds sold every year because that’s how big we thought Airbnb could become. — Brian Chesky (@bchesky) August 12, 2018 As it prepares for an initial public offering in 2019, it’s worth a look back on how far the company has come, and how its founders’ vision for a new type of way to monetize unused apartment space for budget travelers has become the engine driving a new kind of travel and new...

Grand Seiko is an homage to watchmaking’s past

The 1960s were a beautiful time for watches. Horology was in its prime and the great names we know and love today – Rolex, Omega, Cartier – were just one of many watchmakers churning out commodity products to a world that needed to tell the time. Their watches – simple, elegant, and mechanically complex – were the ultimate in mechanical efficiency and design and no one did it quite as well as Seiko. This mechanical golden age ended in the late 1970s with the rise of the quartz watch but Seiko is resurrecting it with their Grand Seiko line of luxury pieces. Grand Seiko is special for a few reasons. First, it’s Seiko’s haute horlogerie skunkworks, allowing the company to experiment with all the fancy materials and techniques that Swiss watchmakers have worked with for years. The watches are ...

Your vegetables are going to be picked by robots sooner than you think

In the very near future, robots are going to be picking the vegetables that appear on grocery store shelves across America. The automation revolution that’s arrived on the factory floor will make its way to the ag industry in the U.S. and its first stop will likely be the indoor farms that are now dotting the U.S. Leading the charge in this robot revolution will be companies like Root AI, a young startup which has just raised $2.3 million to bring its first line of robotic harvesting and farm optimization technologies to market. Root AI is focused on the 2.3 million square feet of indoor farms that currently exist in the world and is hoping to expand as the number of farms cultivating crops indoors increases. Some estimates from analysis firms like Agrilyst put the planned expansions in in...

Corbyn Says Sorry for Labour’s `Real’ Antisemitism Problem

LISTEN TO ARTICLE SHARE THIS ARTICLE U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn apologized to Britain’s Jewish community for the “real” problem of antisemitism in the nation’s main opposition as he sought to contain a row that threatens to undermine support for his party. “I acknowledge there is a real problem of antisemitism that Labour is working to overcome,” Corbyn said on Sunday in a video message on his official YouTube channel. “I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to many Jewish people.” Jeremy Corbyn Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg It’s Corbyn’s second attempt in three days to allay concerns of British Jews, after an opinion piece he wrote for the Guardian last Friday — just before the start of the Jewish holy day — fell flat. A steady stream of negative press threa...

Europe’s Dark Past Makes a Comeback

SHARE THIS ARTICLE After shooting and wounding six Africans in the picturesque hilltop town of Macerata, Luca Traini draped himself in the Italian flag, gave a stiff-arm salute and waited for police. “Italy for the Italians!” he exclaimed. The incident involving the 28-year-old gunman with a neo-Nazi tattoo on his forehead dominated the final month of Italy’s election campaign locally. For all the outrage, Traini’s message resonated at the ballot box. In the vote on March 4, support for the anti-immigrant League surged massively in Macerata, helping to propel the party into government this month. “We’re famous for the wrong reasons,” said schoolteacher Maria Letizia Renzi, 56, as she walked her Labrador past the Fascist-era memorial to war victims where Traini gave himself up on Feb. 3. “I...

Saudis Dismiss Piracy Claim as Soccer Rights’ Spat Escalates

LISTEN TO ARTICLE SHARE THIS ARTICLE Saudi Arabia has strongly denied accusations it was behind a television service pirating multi-billion-dollar content, with a senior official saying that authorities have confiscated thousands of pieces of equipment being used to illegally watch premium soccer events like the World Cup. Saud al-Qahtani, a Saudi minister and a royal court adviser, said the nation’s football association has filed a complaint to FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, detailing what he described as “transgressions against the kingdom and its leadership” by Qatar’s beIn Sports network. He called for an end to beIn Sports’ monopoly over the broadcasting rights for major competitions in the Middle East. “The ball is in the court of FIFA, international federations and organiz...

Netanyahu’s Wife Charged With Misuse of Public Funds

LISTEN TO ARTICLE SHARE THIS ARTICLE Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife has been charged with misusing public funds, compounding the first family’s legal problems as the attorney general weighs whether to indict the premier himself on suspicion of corruption. Sara Netanyahu has been charged with using nearly $100,000 of state money to cover unauthorized spending on high-end meals between September 2010 and March 2013. She has denied wrongdoing, and the prime minister has said the family is the victim of a political witch hunt by leftists and journalists seeking to depose his government. The Netanyahu family’s legal problems have gripped Israel for more than three years, and in the prime minister’s case threaten his political survival. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is re...

Migrants From Aquarius Flotilla Arrive in Spain

Boats in a flotilla of vessels carrying 629 migrants docked in the Spanish port of Valencia, ending a perilous crossing of the Mediterranean that has focused attention on Europe’s response to their plight. The Dattilo, an Italian vessel, arrived at Valencia before 7 a.m. and passengers began disembarking, according to images shown by Spanish state broadcaster TVE. The Aquarius and the Orione, another Italian ship, berthed later on Sunday. Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agreed to receive the migrants from the Aquarius after Italy and then Malta refused permission for the vessel to dock. The insistence of the new Italian government, led by the League and the Five Star Movement, to curb the arrival of migrants and asylum-seekers has already rocked relations with France, which on Sat...

Dank learning system autogenerates memes

We all know that in the near future humanity will come to a crossroads. With 99% of the world’s population currently tasked with creating memes and/or dank memes, what will happen when computers get better at it than humans? Researchers may have just found out. Using machine learning, a pair of Stanford researchers, Abel L. Peirson V and E. Meltem Tolunay, have created a system that automatically generates memes including the ones visible above. Their system, they’ve discovered “produces original memes that cannot on the whole be differentiated from real ones.” You can read the report here. The system uses a pre-trained Inception-v3 network using the long short-term memory model to produce captions that are applicable to a particular picture. Humans then assess the humor of the meme, rewar...

New technology can see your body through walls

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has created a system that can see your body through walls, recreating your poses when you walk, sit, or simply stand still. It uses RF waves to sense where you are and then recreates your body as a simple stick figure. It’s called RF-Pose. From the release: The researchers use a neural network to analyze radio signals that bounce off people’s bodies, and can then create a dynamic stick figure that walks, stops, sits and moves its limbs as the person performs those actions. The team says that the system could be used to monitor diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a better understanding of disease progression and allowing doctors to adjust medications accordingly. It could also help elderly people live...

Baseball Keeps Antitrust Exemption as U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeals

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider rulings that give Major League Baseball a broad exemption from federal antitrust laws, turning away two appeals. The justices rejected arguments from two major league scouts who claimed the 30 teams were colluding to suppress wages. The court also declined to hear from property owners who say their rights were violated when the Chicago Cubs and owner Tom Ricketts blocked some rooftop views of Wrigley Field. The dual rebuffs leave intact a line of Supreme Court rulings, dating from 1922 to 1972, that largely insulate the business side of baseball from antitrust lawsuits. Congress overturned the rulings with regard to players and their salaries, but left the exemption in place in other contexts. Scouts Jordan Wyckoff and Darwin Cox argued that it’...