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What we read about deep learning is just the tip of the iceberg

The artificial intelligence technique known as deep learning is white hot right now, as we have noted numerous times before. It’s powering many of the advances in computer vision, voice recognition and text analysis at companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Baidu, and has been the technological foundation of many startups (some of which were…

Top 10 must-play games of 2014

Here are the best console and PC video games of 2014.

The reality of bringing your significant other home for the holidays

Get inside the heads of your parents and your partner when they meet for the first time.

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Top News
1
NASA scientists propose sending humans to the skies of Venus

Venus might be closer to Earth, but that doesn't make it easier to explore than Mars. For starters, the surface of Venus has the pressure of 92 of Earth's atmospheres, to say nothing of the temperatures — which can reach more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees C), heat that can melt lead. But two NASA scientists, Dale Arney and Chris Jones, suggest we skip the surface altogether and stick to Venus's clouds, according to a report in IEEE Spectrum.

2
Cyber Security Resources to Protect You from Hackers

VPN Unlimited lets you browse, shop and transact online securely from any location, while also granting access to location-restricted sites and servers. Your web traffic is encrypted right from your device for total personal protection from spying and hacking, and you can enjoy much more stable and secure connections than with proxies — all without the need for special configuration to work with applications on your desktop or mobile devices.

3
FTC: Data Brokers Can Buy Your Bank Account Number for 50 Cents

LeapLab bought loan applications, which included the prospective debtor’s bank account and social security numbers, from websites that offered to help people find last-minute loans. The company then resold them for 50 cents apiece to payday lenders and marketing companies that purported to amass email lists of people with financial troubles.

4
'The Interview': Where the movie is playing on Christmas Day

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 40 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

5
Ireland wants US to use treaty to access Microsoft held emails

“Ireland respectfully asserts that foreign courts are obliged to respect Irish sovereignty (and that of all other sovereign states) whether or not Ireland is a party or intervener in the proceedings before them,” according to an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

6
Police Can Create Fake Instagram Accounts To Investigate Suspects

According to a recent opinion passed down by district court judge William Martini in New Jersey, it is 100 percent legal for a police officer to create a fake Instagram account, friend you, and use evidence found in your Instagram feed against you, should you get yourself into the kind of mess that requires such an investigation. No search warrant necessary.

7
$1 spent on state government tech saves $3.50, study finds

The federal and state governments, in political contests, are routinely accused of being too big and bloated. But a new study says that IT spending reduces state government expenditures, even as new technologies help expand the role of government.

8
The Verge on Twitter

" @verge : Sony reportedly asked the White House for help getting The Interview on iTunes http://theverge.com/e/7210598  pic.twitter.com/hKv4aU2jIb " What?

9
Local ISP Offers Internet Speeds 10 Times Faster Than Google Fiber

If anything, US Internet's power play illustrates just how screwed up the broadband industry is in this country. While Comcast has been offering 50 megabit per second connections to consumers for $77 a month, US Internet has been offering 1 gigabit per second connections for $65 a month. That's exponentially faster for $12 less per month. Now, building on that infrastructure, they're going to increase speeds ten-fold and continue to offer cheaper speeds, relatively. It's not so much that Comcast can't do the same thing. The cable giant just won't. [ Minneapolis Star Tribune ]

10
James Franco And Seth Rogen Rejoice The Release Of 'The Interview': 'MERICA!!!!!'

Rogen recommends calling a few friends over if you're going to stream it today, or waiting to see it in the theater tomorrow. Franco proclaimed on Instagram, "MERICA!!!!" along with a shirtless photo.

11
Hey, TV Guys! Facebook's NFL Deal Means Facebook Is Getting Serious About Video.

But Facebook’s size — it has five times as many users as Twitter — and mountains of user data mean that the site can do some really interesting things for a lot of people. And it’s interesting to note that the NFL didn’t strike this deal with Google and YouTube, who have the world’s dominant video platform, though the league hasn’t ruled out a deal down the road.

12
Impress Your Friends & Confuse Your Parents With The Hottest Wearable Of The Decade - The Apple Watch

Impress Your Friends & Confuse Your Parents With The Hottest Wearable Of The Decade - The Apple Watch

13
U.S. Prepared to Defend Santa Tracker from Cyberattacks

U.S. defense officials say they are making sure the Christmas Eve Santa Tracker run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command doesn’t become a target for a follow-on cyberattack by hackers.

14
Best RPG - Best of 2014: Games, By Genre - IGN

Reviewed on March 3 The Stick of Truth makes one thing abundantly clear: I never want to play another South Park video game made without Trey Parker and Matt Stone's direct, intimate involvement. With a controller in your hand, you are almost literally – gloriously – playing a 14-hour episode of South Park. There’s much, much more here for series fans than the uninitiated, but it’s a light but good quality role-playing game in its own right. It is, in a way, Season 18 all by itself. It is funny, shocking, self-effacing, and pretty much everything I could ask for from a South Park game -- even if it’s mostly a one-and-done experience.

15 Fast Company

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16
The battle between your present and future self

Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

17
How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.

18
Your body language shapes who you are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

19
The art of stillness

The place that travel writer Pico Iyer would most like to go? Nowhere. In a counterintuitive and lyrical meditation, Iyer takes a look at the incredible insight that comes with taking time for stillness. In our world of constant movement and distraction, he teases out strategies we all can use to take back a few minutes out of every day, or a few days out of every season. It’s the talk for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the demands for our world.

20
TalkAndroid.com

YouTube Music Key as it’s called, goes for $7.99 a month (for the promotional period where it will then jump up to $9.99 a month) and offers an ad-free music and music video experience. Much like Google Music — and most other music streaming services — the service can be used both on the web and from the mobile app. The service is said to be a YouTube lover’s dream, but is it a streaming service worth your monthly coin? Hit the break to find out.

21
10 questions to ask your family around the table

“If we left, they wouldn’t have nobody.” “In 2013, Maurice Rowland was working as a cook at Valley Springs Manor, an assisted living home for elderly residents in California. He got his friend Miguel Alvarez a job there as a janitor last fall. But in October of that year the company that managed the home suddenly shut it down, leaving many of the elderly residents with nowhere to go. The staff stopped being paid so they all left, except for Maurice and Miguel. At StoryCorps they remembered caring for abandoned residents until the fire department and sheriff took over three days later.” Listen to their story.

22
Are we designed to be sexual omnivores?

An idea permeates our modern view of relationships: that men and women have always paired off in sexually exclusive relationships. But before the dawn of agriculture, humans may actually have been quite promiscuous. Author Christopher Ryan walks us through the controversial evidence that human beings are sexual omnivores by nature, in hopes that a more nuanced understanding may put an end to discrimination, shame and the kind of unrealistic expectations that kill relationships.

23
What's Tylenol Doing to Our Minds?

In this study, Randles' team gave 120 people either two extra-strength Tylenol or a placebo. They then primed them by asking half to write about what happens when we die (meant to invoke or replicate existential anxiety) and the other half to write about a control, non-existential topic (going to the dentist, meant to focus people on concrete things). The rationale was that "thinking about death is incompatible with everyday thoughts ... and that it leads to the same anxiety ... as frustrated social interactions or perceived incongruities."

24
A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

25 List your goals on 43 Things

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

26
Google's Santa tracker can teach kids how to code this Christmas

Every day in December will open a new option on the company's Santa Tracker, an interactive township styled to look like Saint Nick's snowy home. The village offers whimsical videos and games — including a scrolling sled ride in which Santa has to guide his vehicle down an icy track — but is set to include more educational fare. Click on the globe, for example, and you'll be able to learn about Christmas traditions around the world. Google says that as more options unlock further into December, users will also discover how to say Santa in different languages, and will be able to complete a short coding project that teaches basic Javascript.

27
Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN's refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.

28
The power of believing that you can improve

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

29
Trinket Everyday Carry Contest

Trinket Pro is an incredible platform for building tiny projects. Which is exactly why we've picked it for our next contest. We're looking for pocketable projects which you'd carry around with you every day. The projects should be useful, but we're taking a very broad definition of useful here. Anything from tools, to wearables, to jewelry and beyond will be acceptable for the contest.

30
The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death

Philosopher Stephen Cave begins with a dark but compelling question: When did you first realize you were going to die? And even more interesting: Why do we humans so often resist the inevitability of death? Cave explores four narratives — common across civilizations — that we tell ourselves "in order to help us manage the terror of death."

31
Engage the gingerbread U.S.S. Enterprise - CNET

Need a geeky gingerbread treat? Make it so with this tasty "Star Trek" tribute to the U.S.S. Enterprise made by Trekkie bakers.

32
The power of introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

33
The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you

A very unsexy-sounding piece of technology could mean that the police know where you go, with whom, and when: the automatic license plate reader. These cameras are innocuously placed all across small-town America to catch known criminals, but as lawyer and TED Fellow Catherine Crump shows, the data they collect in aggregate could have disastrous consequences for everyone the world over.

34
Reading On A Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You

If you don't want to feel like a zombie during the day, the findings are clear: Read an actual, printed book if you must stimulate your mind before bed, and avoid screens like your life depends on it, because it actually might. Chang said that sleep deficiency -- not getting enough sleep or obtaining poor quality sleep -- has been linked to other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Chronic suppression of melatonin has also been associated with increased risk of certain cancers, she said.

35
Sweden's Bizarre Tradition of Watching Donald Duck (Kalle Anka) Cartoons on Christmas Eve

Nothing says Christmas like Donald Duck … if you’re Swedish. Every culture has its own holiday customs, and Jeremy Stahl, a non-Swede and a “partially lapsed Jew,” stumbled upon an odd one during a trip to Sweden. In the article reprinted below, Stahl explains the Christmas cartoon tradition.

36
12 TED Talks to restore your faith in humanity

In the wake of school killings and cases of police brutality, it’s easy to think the worst of human beings. But these inspiring talks can help you remember: altruism, kindness and helping hands are all around.

37
How to grow a tiny forest anywhere

A forest planted by humans, then left to nature’s own devices, typically takes at least 100 years to mature. But what if we could make the process happen ten times faster? In this short talk, eco-entrepreneur (and TED Fellow) Shubhendu Sharma explains how to create a mini-forest ecosystem anywhere.

38
36 coolest gadgets of 2014

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39
25 sweet hot chocolate recipes to keep your holidays cozy

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 40 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

40
Here Lets You Inform People You’ve Arrived With A Selfie

Interestingly, however, despite the app originally being targeted at existing Lowdown users, and with typical business face-to-face-meetings in mind, Lowdown co-founder David Senior says Here is also being used for things other than scheduled meetings. These include a “baby arriving, airport arrival, and gap-year students announcing to their parents they’ve arrived in Thailand.”

41
25 DIY wrapping paper ideas for gifts too beautiful to tear open

Buying and storing tons of wrapping paper every year can be a hassle. Plus, once you have your gifts ready to give, they all look exactly the same when your wrapping paper is cut from the same tube.

42
Facebook Challenges YouTube Channels With New Features For Pages

All businesses will soon be able to choose a featured video to be displayed extra-large with a live comment feed atop their Page, and cobble together playlists of more of their videos. This makes the Videos tabs of Pages look and feel a lot like YouTube Channels. TechCrunch spotted the new design and features on ABC News’ Page , and the company confirms it testing the format with a handful of Pages, and plans to roll it out to them all in the coming weeks.

43
Elon Musk says Tesla is revealing the 'exciting' Roadster update this week

In a busy year for Elon Musk, in which he  designed rockets , unveiled  supercars , and got into  the satellite business , the billionaire inventor could almost be forgiven for overlooking a promise he made back in June, to reveal a new update to the Tesla Roadster before the end of 2014. But it now looks like Musk will make good on his plan — the Tesla CEO said in a tweet that he'd outline  the "fairly exciting update" to the car company's first electric car this week.

44
7 things people hate about your website

Anything from a site that takes to long to load to an ill-placed advertisement can leave a sour taste in your mouth. Here's a list of the seven things people hate most about a bad website. Read on, and tell us in the comments what you think takes the cake for worst website offense.

45
In an All-Digital Future, It’s the New Movies That Will Be in Trouble

The fate of Toy Story highlights a sad irony of the digital revolution: It’s the newer movies that are in trouble. For a long time, it was assumed that the real loser in our rapidly approaching all-digital future would be older films shot on celluloid, as they would have to be digitized at great cost in a world where movie theaters had forsaken film prints. (Horak estimates that only about 2 percent of UCLA’s 350,000-plus print archive has been digitized.) “My museum has preserved over 28,000 films, representing the history of cinema,” says Usai. “And it’s all largely photochemical. We try to make them available in digital form. But as long as the film itself is taken good care of as an object, I’m not worried, because if I lose the digital file, I can create a new one. But when we deal with something that was born in digital form, all we can do is migrate the digital files as often as possible.” And when you consider the sheer number of films that are out there, that requires technology and resources that go beyond what nonprofit organizations like film archives are able to handle.

46
gift guide 2014 | TechCrunch

The life of a blogger can be nauseating. You’re a rolling stone and wherever you lay your laptop is your home. Your laptop bag is essentially your corner office and must contain everything needed for a day’s work. What follows is a gift guide for your favorite blogger, but can easily apply to college students, city dwellers and anyone else living out of a messenger bag. Brunton… Read More

47
A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot

An aerial view of the city of Dauphin, Man. Forty years ago, a groundbreaking experiment provided cheques to Dauphin’s poorest to raise their incomes to a liveable wage. (Photo: Dauphin Economic Development/ Facebook )

48
The TheTechNewsBlog Daily

The TheTechNewsBlog Daily, by TheTechNewsBlog: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.

49
Once-Majestic Cities That Sank Beneath The Ocean

No great metropolis stands forever. Eventually, every city falls. Some due to war, others to disaster. But the saddest and most poignant ruined cities might be the ones which have been swept under the ocean. Here are some of the most beautiful submerged cities.

50
11 DIY ornaments inspired by memes of 2014

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 40 million unique visitors worldwide and 20 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

51 Why Stoicism is one of the best mind-hacks ever – Lary Wallace – Aeon
52 25 Books on Persuasion, Influence and Human Behavior
53 Console Madness: Free Smash Bros 3DS XL, the rarest PS4 game, and much more
54 Dr. Ruth's tips for jolly sex during the holiday season
55 Startup Brain Power Uses Google Glass To Develop Apps For Kids With Autism
56 Instagram has a drug problem
57 5 Chrome extensions that make charity effortless
58 Under $25 | Holiday gift guide 2014
59 Star Trek 3 is coming July 8, 2016
60 How to track Santa's route on Christmas Eve
61 Coca-Cola Disconnects Voice Mail at Headquarters
62 21 DIY holiday gifts that anyone would love
63 Sufjan Stevens' 100 Christmas songs ranked from worst to best
64 Texas Instruments builds an alternative energy for the Internet of Things
65 It's been a great year! Thanks to these Facebook scams...
66 Four Beautiful Python, R, MATLAB, and Mathematica plots with LaTeX
67 Vizio Lampoons Curved TVs For Being Dumb
68 How to Maximize Your Company's Press Coverage
69 Tech-Savvy Tots Talk to Cyber Santa
70 Mobile Is Revolutionizing The Way Merchants Accept Payments And Manage Their Businesses
71 GTA Online Festive Surprise - GTA 5 Wiki Guide - IGN
72 What happens when a software bot goes on a darknet shopping spree?
73 Spending On Native Advertising Is Soaring As Marketers And Digital Media Publishers Realize The Benefits
74 4 lessons in creativity
75 Amazon is giving away $220 worth of free apps for Christmas
76 Silicon Valley Looks for Billion Dollar Ideas in India
77 Uber Adds A $2 Booking Fee To UberT Rides In NYC
78 Reg Saddler on Twitter
79 The Greasy Underpan Of Restaurant Tech
80 11 must-see TED Talks
81 Older people are happier
82 Editors' top holiday picks - CNET
83 Answers for the 9 worst questions you'll get asked over the holiday
84 Zoo animals love getting presents as much as you do
85 'Star Trek 3' warps into theatres on the show's 50th anniversary - CNET
86 Before Bed, Switch Off The E-Reader And Pick Up A Paperback
87 39 Blogging Tools to Help You Work Faster
88 The year in media: 12 reasons why we should be optimistic
89 The 10 games we can't wait to play in 2015
90 Crows Understand a Fundamental Part of Logical Reasoning
91 Optical Illusions That Fool Google-Style Image Recognition Algorithms | MIT Technology Review
92 Welcoming Brad Feld to the Mattermark Team — Announcing our $6.5M Series A
93 How to Wrap Any Gift
94 Now Tinder Is Being Used To ID Suspected Thieves
95 'Blood Sports': America's dog fighting industry is still as strong as ever
96 Grandpa’s Snapchat Christmas: A Story Of A Modern Spread Out Family