Blog Archive

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In the Future, Propaganda Will Be Computer-Generated

The ideal scenario for the modern propagandist, of course, is to have convincing personas produce original content. Generative text is the next frontier. Released in a beta version in June by the artificial-intelligence research lab OpenAI, a tool called GPT-3 generates long-form articles as effortlessly as it composes tweets, and its output is often difficult to distinguish from the work of human beings. In fact, it wrote parts of this article. Tools like this won’t just supercharge global propaganda operations; they will force internet platforms and average users alike to find new ways of deciding what and whom to trust.

When I prompted GPT-3 to opine on these issues, it captured the problem succinctly:

For the moment, at least, it seems unlikely that generative media will be effective in the same way as traditional media at promoting political messages. However, that’s not to say that it couldn’t be. What

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You’ve Heard Of Computer-Aided Design. What About Computer-Aided Biology?

In the early days of the semiconductor industry, integrated circuits were designed by one or two engineers with slide-rules, hand-drawn on paper, and then given to a lithographer to print onto silicon wafers. As circuits became more complex, blueprints gave way to software. These digitally represented designs were much more than a reproduction of a pencil sketch: productivity, design quality, and communication all improved rapidly thanks to software’s ability to codify desired behaviors into actionable layouts, while also allowing for easy, iterative design improvements.

Today, large teams of engineers design circuits using high-level languages that automate the process, and chip layouts more detailed than a street map of the entire U.S. can be generated automatically. The result has been a revolution in engineering and design, manifesting itself as Moore’s Law and the Information Age itself.

Today, a similar revolution is happening in biology, most notably in the field

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How to schedule tweets on your computer or phone

You know, not everything on Twitter has to be right now. Maybe you want to time a witty, wonderful tweet you think of at 3 a.m. for a more human-like hour when people are more likely to see it. Or you want to plan in advance to promote a blog post by queuing up a tweet that goes live when it does.

If you’ve never scheduled a tweet, fear not: It’s relatively straightforward once you know where to find the feature. You can do it right within Twitter, which is a nice change from the days when you needed a third-party service to do the trick. But it’s probably not where you might expect to find it if you’re using your phone.

First, the desktop way

I, a long-suffering Minnesota Twins fan, am so sure they’re going to win the World Series this year that I want to schedule

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Why Computer Literacy Matters During The Covid-19 Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the nation, more and more school districts are continuing remote learning into the fall. Even those that are reopening are also planning for the need to close again if an outbreak occurs. As a result, districts are racing to

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Elon Musk’s brain-computer startup is getting ready to blow your mind

Elon Musk couldn’t resist a small joke when he gave the world a first look at Neuralink, the brain-computer interface (BCI) project that he’s been working on for the past two years. “I think it’s going to blow your minds,” he said.

The aim of his startup is to develop technology to tackle neurological problems, from damage caused by brain or spine trauma to the type of memory problems that can become more common in people as they age. The idea is to solve these problems with an implantable digital device that can interpret, and possibly alter, the electrical signals made by neurons in the brain.

“If you can correct these signals you can solve everything from memory loss, hearing loss, blindness, paralysis depression, insomnia, extreme pain, seizures, anxiety, addiction, strokes, brain damage; these can all be solved with an implantable neural link,” Musk said at the demonstration of the

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Taiwan’s computer war games simulate invasion by People’s Liberation Army



The computer-aided drills are part of Taiwan’s Han Kuang exercises, the island’s largest annual war games, an earlier phase of which was held in July. Photo: Handout


The computer-aided drills are part of Taiwan’s Han Kuang exercises, the island’s largest annual war games, an earlier phase of which was held in July. Photo: Handout

Taiwan began five days of computer-aided war games on Monday, simulating an attack on the island by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The drills are part of the Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan’s largest annual war games. An earlier phase of the exercises in July included live-fire drills.

The war games were designed to test Taiwanese commanders’ ability to adopt the right defence strategy and coordinate different forces while under attack, the defence ministry said.

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Officials from the American Institute in Taiwan, the United States’ de facto embassy on the island, were invited to observe the drills, a military insider said.

“Previously, the US Indo-Pacific Command

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This giant scorpion is really a zero-gravity gaming chair and computer workstation

cluvens-iw-sk-scorpion-king-computer-gaming-office-reclining-chair-for-3-monitors

Behold the Cluvens scorpion chair and computer workstation.


Cluvens

If you’re looking for the ultimate computer workstation or esports gaming chair, and you want to pretend you’re trapped inside a giant scorpion, your dreams are about to come true. 

Behold the Cluvens IW-SK zero-gravity esports gaming chair and workstation. The elaborate chair and desk support one ultra-wide 49-inch monitor or three curved monitors measuring 27 inches each. The unusual contraption also has prebuilt HDMI/DP cables to connect to monitors.

“This is our new model of the year 2020 that’s in the shape of a scorpion. Comfortable recline up to 170 degrees,” the website states. The chair and desk are electrically controlled with one touch. 

The scorpion desk/chair setup retails on Alibaba for $1,900 (about £1,485, AU$2,608).

If this

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Computer says zero Covid tests available in Birmingham

The shambles of the national NHS Test and Trace system has been laid bare in Birmingham.

For while frustrated, anxious and ill Brummies were being directed more than 50 miles away for Covid tests, some of the city’s own testing centres, opened specially to deal with rising cases, are standing virtually EMPTY.

When we popped along to a new walk in test centre at the University of Birmingham to check out what was happening there, we expected to find a busy site.

Instead, we found around ten staff, including security, waiting for people to turn up – and just two people getting tests.

Both had just walked up and asked for one – including a single mum desperate to find out if her young son had the virus so she could get him back to school, freeing her up to get on with her vital work as a child therapist.

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How to Shop for a Used Computer

When it comes to buying used PCs, it’s best to avoid sites like Craigslist, eBay, or Reddit—it’s possible to find good deals there, but if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you can easily get tripped up by fake or misleading listings or even a PC preloaded with malware. If you’re buying your first used computer, you can avoid scams and heartbreak by sticking to major retailers. Computers from these sellers are also more likely to be professionally cleaned and restored.

Best Buy has a wide selection of preowned, refurbished, and open-box laptops and desktops. The site’s filters make it fairly easy to narrow down the specs by our recommendations above, and the desktops in particular are good deals if you’re able to upgrade the memory or install an SSD yourself.

When buying from Amazon, stick to models with the Amazon Renewed tag, which Amazon says “have been

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For My Kid’s First Computer, I Couldn’t Beat an Old Desktop

My son has been asking my husband and me for a Nintendo Switch for the past three years. But three months into quarantine and a week before his ninth birthday, he asked to be gifted a desktop computer instead.

With camps and sports cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, he spent much of this summer rekindling his obsession with Minecraft. The more invested he was in the game, the more limited he felt by his tiny iPhone 7 screen. Further, many of the group educational classes he wanted us to enroll him in, such as this game-design camp on Outschool, required students to use the PC or Mac version. Unbeknownst to us and, according to myriad Chromebook reviews, many other befuddled parents, it hasn’t been possible to play Minecraft on a Chromebook, even a “nice” one. (Well, not without a complicated Linux workaround—or nowadays, an Office 365 Education account.)1

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