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Lyrebird Claims It Can Recreate Anyone's Voice Based On Just a 1 Minute Sample

Slashdot - 28 min 56 sec ago
Artem Tashkinov writes: Today, a Canadian artificial intelligence startup named Lyrebird unveiled its voice imitation deep learning algorithm that can mimic a person's voice and have it read any text with a given emotion, based on the analysis of just a few dozen seconds of audio recording. The website features samples using the recreated voices of Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A similar technology was created by Adobe around a year ago but it requires over 20 minutes of recorded speech. The company sets to open its APIs to the public, while the computing for the task will be performed in the cloud.

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Categories: Misc

How White is "Rural America"?

Kevin Drum - 35 min 53 sec ago

Over at Vox, Sean Illing writes about how we think of rural America:

The media often conflates rurality and whiteness in this country. But this is a false — and misleading — narrative.

Roughly one-fifth of rural residents in this country are people of color, and their interests and political views are as diverse as they are. When coverage of rural areas dismisses or otherwise ignores this fact, actual political consequences follow: The specific concerns of certain communities simply fall out of view.

Illing talks about this with Mara Casey Tieken, as professor at Bates College, who says this:

I think policymakers that represent white communities have disproportionately more power than policymakers representing rural communities of color....I think the problem also becomes self-perpetuating because what gets covered is rural white America, so that shapes how people think about rural America, and those are the stories that get told over and over again.

I want to offer up a guess about one reason why "rural" is so associated with whiteness. Here it is:

When the media reports on rural America, the stories are usually about Ohio or Missouri or Indiana or Pennsylvania or Nebraska. When we talk about "rural" we usually mean the Midwest and the Rust Belt. And as you can see on the map, those places really are mostly white.

As Tieken says, this becomes self-perpetuating. The Midwest and the Rust Belt are politically interesting, so rural areas there get lots of coverage. That means we largely see rural America as white, and that in turn means that news items about non-white areas usually end up getting coded as something else: In the Deep South they become "race and the lingering effects of slavery" stories, and in the Southwest they become "Hispanic immigration and the changing demographics of America" stories.

Does this happen because of implicit bias among reporters and the rest of us? Or because the Midwest and the Rust Belt really are the interesting areas when it comes to politics (big populations, loud voices, plenty of swing voters)? Maybe both.

Categories: Politics

The State Department Is Now Hyping Trump's Private Club Mar-a-Lago as the "Winter White House"

Little Green Footballs - 59 min ago

In today's episode of "Donald Trump's America - the Banana Republic Edition," the UK State Department website is now promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago castle, calling it: Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House.

Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Florida estate, has become well known as the president frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders.


Read the full story at ShareAmerica !

I don't even know what to say any more. This just keeps more and more nightmarish.

Categories: Politics

Where are the images and videos from the Photos app saved on my Mac?

iDownloadBlog - 1 hour 5 min ago

Not unlike iTunes, Photos for Mac defaults to copying every single imported photograph or video to its own library. You can change that behavior if you like, but most people prefer to not bother themselves with running managed photo libraries so they’ll keep the setting as is. In this post, we’ll explain where the images and videos from the Photos app are stored on your Mac and more.... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Verizon's $70 Gigabit Internet Is Half the Price of Older 750Mbps Tier

Slashdot - 1 hour 8 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Verizon is now selling what it calls "FiOS Gigabit Connection" for $69.99 a month in a change that boosts top broadband speeds and makes lower prices available to many Internet subscribers. Actual bandwidth will be a bit lower than a gigabit per second, with "downloads as fast as 940Mbps and uploads as fast as 880Mbps," Verizon's announcement today said. The gigabit service is available in most of Verizon's FiOS territory, specifically to "over 8 million homes in parts of the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., Hampton Roads, Va., Boston, Providence and Washington, D.C. areas," Verizon said. Just three months ago, Verizon boosted its top speeds from 500Mbps to 750Mbps. The standalone 750Mbps Internet service cost $150 a month, more than twice the price of the new gigabit tier. Existing customers who bought that 750Mbps plan "will automatically receive FiOS Gigabit Connection and will see their bills lowered," Verizon said. It's not clear whether they will get their price lowered all the way to $70. It's important to note that the $70 price is only available to new customers, and it's a promotional rate that will "increase after promo period." Additionally, Verizon will charge you a $10 per month router charge unless you pay $150 for the Verizon router, plus other taxes and fees.

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Categories: Misc

Apple releases fourth iOS 10.3.2 and macOS 10.12.5 public betas

9to5Mac - 1 hour 16 min ago

Earlier today, Apple released the fourth betas of macOS 10.12.5 and iOS 10.3.2 to developers. Now, the company has released the betas to public beta testers too, as it usually does following the initial release to developers…


Categories: Misc

Latest ‘bug’ causes iOS to crash when certain Control Center options selected

9to5Mac - 1 hour 30 min ago

Every so often, weird bugs emerge in iOS that cause the operating to crash or restart when a certain string of actions are performed. Now, a new “bug” has emerged that causes iOS to freeze and re-spring, but don’t expect it to become a major problem or for Apple to even address it…


Categories: Misc

Microsoft's Nadella Banks On LinkedIn Data To Challenge Salesforce

Slashdot - 1 hour 48 min ago
Microsoft is rolling out upgrades to its sales software that integrates data from LinkedIn, an initiative that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Reuters was central to the company's long-term strategy for building specialized business software. From the report: The improvements to Dynamics 365, as Microsoft's sales software is called, are a challenge to market leader and represent the first major product initiative to spring from Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, the business-focused social network. The new features will comb through a salesperson's email, calendar and LinkedIn relationships to help gauge how warm their relationship is with a potential customer. The system will recommend ways to save an at-risk deal, like calling in a co-worker who is connected to the potential customer on LinkedIn. [...] The artificial intelligence, or AI, capabilities of the software would be central, Nadella said. "I want to be able to democratize AI so that any customer using these products is able to, in fact, take their own data and load it into AI for themselves," he said. On Monday, LinkedIn said it has surpassed 500 million members globally, one of the first big milestones for the business social network since its acquisition.

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Categories: Misc

Alex Jones May Finally Get His Comeuppance, Thanks To Chobani!

Crooks and Liars - 1 hour 58 min ago
Alex Jones May Finally Get His Comeuppance, Thanks To Chobani!

Well, well, well. Looks like Alex Jones of Info Wars fame might finally be held responsible for the lies that he spews.

Bloomberg News is reporting that Chobani Yogurt is suing Jones in Idaho District Court for at least $10,000 in damages for defamation.

Jones published a video on his website on April 11th in which he stated that Chobani had been "importing migrant rapists" to work in its yogurt factory. Although there was never any proof to the ridiculous allegations, Jones refused to remove the video even though Chobani had asked him to do so.

According to Bloomberg, Chobani owns and operates the world's largest yogurt factory in Twin Falls, Idaho where the lawsuit was filed today.

This is likely to lead to other victims of Alex Jones right-wing nut job rhetoric to come forward with suits of their own.

What goes around comes around.

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Categories: Politics

US State Department pimping Trump-branded property

Balloon Juice - 2 hours 5 min ago

I would have taken this for an “Airbnb for the Affluent Asshole” listing, except it’s published on the official US Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom page:

The US Ambassador to the Court of St. James didn’t develop this promotional content; it’s from ShareAmerica:

ShareAmerica is the U.S. Department of State’s platform for sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.

The ShareAmerica team is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs, which works with U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries to engage with people around the globe on U.S. foreign policy and American society.

So, to recap, the US State Department is disseminating content worldwide on behalf of Trump’s for-profit private club, which doubled its annual membership fee to $200K after the election.

These Trump assholes are absolutely shameless. It’ll be a miracle if they don’t cart off the silverware and rip the copper wiring out of the White House walls when compelled to vacate government housing.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Apple Cuts Affiliate Commissions on Apps and In-App Purchases

Slashdot - 2 hours 8 min ago
From a report on Mac Stories: Today, Apple announced that it is reducing the commissions it pays on apps and In-App Purchases from 7 percent to 2.5 percent effective May 1st. The iTunes Affiliate Program pays a commission from Apple's portion of the sale of apps and other media when a purchase is made with a link that contains the affiliate credentials of a member of the program. Anyone can join, but the Affiliate Program is used heavily by websites that cover media sold by Apple and app developers.

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Categories: Misc

Linux 4.11 Delayed For a Week

Slashdot - 2 hours 28 min ago
Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds said over the weekend that v4.11 version of Linux has hit a speed bump in the form of "NVMe power management that apparently causes problems on some machines." The Register adds: "It's not entirely clear what caused the [NVMe] issue (it wasn't just limited to some NVMe hardware, but also particular platforms), but let's test it." Which sounds like a good idea, given that flash memory on the PCIe bus is increasingly mainstream. That problem and "a couple of really annoying" bugs mean that Torvalds has decided to do an eighth release candidate for Linux 4.11. "I did get fixes for the issues that popped up, so I could have released 4.11 as-is," Torvalds wrote, "but it just doesn't feel right."

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Categories: Misc

Mistrial Declared For Bundy Defendants, Even Sniper On Highway Bridge!

Crooks and Liars - 2 hours 36 min ago
Mistrial Declared For Bundy Defendants, Even Sniper On Highway Bridge!

A Nevada jury just deadlocked on all counts for six Bundy defendants brought in the wake of the Bunkerville standoff in 2014.

The sniper pictured above, Eric Parker, was one of the defendants jurors deadlocked on. Apparently a photo of him aiming a rifle from a sniper position was not enough evidence to convict him on any charges. That, to me, is infuriating and can only be viewed as jury nullification.

They did reach a verdict on two defendants, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

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Categories: Politics

Spicer channels Trump's fierce urgency of whenever on vote timing

Daily Kos - 2 hours 39 min ago

A week after Donald Trump told reporters he hoped to "get both" a spending bill and a Trumpcare 2.0 vote—and then pledged an all-caps “TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION" roll out to punctuate his first 100 days in office, press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday was a lot more like, yeah, whenever.


Of course, this is exactly what Paul Ryan told his GOP colleagues about the health care measure during a weekend conference call: When we have the votes (i.e. who the hell knows).

Trump is so desperate for a legislative win right now, he's taken to downplaying expectations and declaring victory in a single tweet:


Frankly, we think Trump's tweet volume alone should be counted as a Trump accomplishment. Why not add “most tweets ever” to signing the most executive orders ever (not really, but close enough for Trump’s purposes), dropping the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever, and breaking the biggest Senate rule ever (i.e. the filibuster) to advance a Supreme Court nominee and finally, finally put a “win” on the score board—phew!—by cheating.

Categories: Politics

Trump's 'big, beautiful' wall gets downsized to a couple of 'high priority' areas

Daily Kos - 2 hours 52 min ago

Donald Trump is desperate to get the ball rolling on his precious border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for—but in reality could lead to a government shutdown. So maybe that’s why he wants “to start with a much less ambitious footprint” for that “big, beautiful” wall and focus “only on the most highly trafficked corridors” to start with. The price tag? More than $3 billion:

Identified as “high priority” in the document are the border sectors of the Rio Grande Valley in the southern tip of Texas -- encompassing Rio Grande City, McAllen and Weslaco -- as well as El Paso, Tucson and San Diego.

The areas were selected because of their proximity to urban centers and roads, allowing those who cross to vanish quickly, according to the document, which was made public by congressional committee staffers.

The preliminary plan anticipates adding more than 100 new miles of wall over the next two years, on top of the 700 miles of fencing that already exists, at an initial cost of more than $3.6 billion.

The wall, even on a smaller scope than billed during the campaign, is a sticking point in high-stakes budget negotiations to avert a government shutdown this week.  

Trump himself weighed in Monday, tweeting: "The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!"

Except most southwest border residents think otherwise, with a poll last year finding that 72 percent of Americans who live in the region opposed building a wall. “The wall might make mid-America feel safer,” one expert said at the time, “but for those of us that live on the border, it’s not making us feel any safer when we know that people can go over it, around it, under it and through it.” Says Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal: “Donald Trump sold a seamless wall as the solution to our immigration problems, but a wall is more symbolic. I don’t believe it’s going to produce statistically significant results.”

Categories: Politics

Four out of five outcomes ain’t bad

Balloon Juice - 2 hours 58 min ago

Last week, Tim Jost raised a very interesting point in comments regarding auto-enrollment. I’ve been wrestling with it for a bit and I’m still trying to organize my thoughts:

I would add yet another group that I am not sure is captured in the four categories listed–people who just don’t want health insurance. They rarely need health care and when they do go to the local community health center or free clinic or work out some arrangement with a local doctor or local hospital. They would be quite upset if they found out that someone had enrolled them in coverage even if they could opt out of it There are a lot of people here in rural Virginia whom I think would fit in this category..

I’m still trying to figure out how meaningful this group would be if we had a fully functional auto-enroll with a straightforward opt-out. I’m hand-waving operational challenges away to think this through. As I see it, most people in this group would not see anything different.

Four out of the five  pathways lead to a status quo outcome.  People with an insurance card in their wallet and no utilization don’t care about that insurance card all that much especially if their premiums are effectively zero as the policy is paid for by non-transferable tax credits.

The one pathway where there is a departure from current status quo is when someone does not opt-out and has utilization.  Here they can either present or not present their insurance card.  If they don’t present, they are back to status quo.  If they do present, they’ll probably be better off if the service is for cancer treatment but they may or may not be better off if the service is for something low level that they could afford to pay for with cash.  Odds are they will stay be paying for that service with cash as there is a large deductible that they need to satisfy.

And yes, I am using a material well being analysis to try to understand psychological anchoring so that might be my problem, but I am struggling with this right now to see how big of an issue it could actually be.




Finally, the appropriate musical response to future conditional reactions to gut-check hypothetical questions is below the fold:

Categories: Politics

Ontario Launches Universal Basic Income Pilot

Slashdot - 3 hours 8 min ago
Reader epiphani writes: The Ontario Government will pilot universal basic income in a $50M program supporting 4,000 households over a 3 year period. While Slashdot has vigorously debated universal basic income in the past, and even Elon Musk has predicted it's necessity, experts continue to debate and gather data on the approach in the face of increasing automation. Ontario's plan will study three communities over three years, with participants receiving up to $17,000 annually if single, and $24,000 for families.

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Categories: Misc

Daily Deals: $80 wireless earbuds, $30 gaming keyboard, and more

iDownloadBlog - 3 hours 10 min ago

iDB’s Daily Deal post is a roundup of our favorite deals on tech and tech-related products from around the web. This includes everything from smartphones, tablets and accessories, to connected devices and even video games.

Every deal you see below has been hand-picked based on a variety of factors including personal experience, online reviews from customers and experts, and discount percentage. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!... Read the rest of this post here

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Categories: Misc

Pass The Emoluments, Please: Trump Promotes Mar-a-Lago On Official State Dept. Websites

Crooks and Liars - 3 hours 11 min ago
 Trump Promotes Mar-a-Lago On Official State Dept. Websites

Let's all sing the emoluments song (again) today! We can all sing along with the State Department, who now promotes Mar-a-Lago here and abroad as Trump's Winter White House while conveniently omitting the part where he owns it and runs it as a for-profit concern.

Over on, a website intended to be forward-facing to foreign countries about issues of mutual concern, there's a big fat promo for Mar-a-Lago. This promo not only appears on the ShareAmerica United States website, but also the sites for other countries.

The text of the promo reads in part, "Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer."

Fulfilling the dream.

But Post had even bigger plans for her Palm Beach home. Upon her death in 1973, she willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.

Her plan didn’t work, however. Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter never used the property. And in 1981 the government returned the estate to the Post Foundation because it was costing too much money to maintain.

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Categories: Politics

CNN Reporter: Claim Mexico Would Pay For Wall 'Burned On My Brain' During Campaign

Crooks and Liars - 3 hours 18 min ago

CNN's Jim Acosta sparred with Sean Spicer over a possible government shutdown if Democrats don't give Trump money to build his border wall since Trump repeatedly pledged Mexico would pay for it.

Spicer replied by saying Trump wants to get "the ball rolling" with funds from the U.S., which is the opposite of what he promised during the campaign.

Afterwards, Acosta reminded us why that is such a betrayal of Trump to his avid followers.

CNN Live played his segment with Spicer from the press briefing and host Brooke Baldwin asked Acosta, "It's a great question. Mexico is supposed to pay for it and it is a talking point from the White House about border crossings being down. What did you make of his answer?"

Acosta replied, "As you know Brooke, I covered a great number of those Trump campaign rallies so a few of those moments were burned on my brain and the moment that might be burned the most on my brain is that Mexico is going to pay for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border."

Jim, you're not alone. Trump not only said it at every campaign and televised rally that he made for months on end, he often tweeted about it as well.

Categories: Politics