As technology continues to rapidly advance, the state of our privacy is a concern. Going beyond tracking your web browsing, facial recognition algorithms and social surveillance in public places also give privacy advocates pause. Polish designer Ewa Nowak has created a solution for this type of Big Brother-esque monitoring—an elegant and minimalist metal mask called Incognito. it’s an elegant and minimalist metal mask that affixes to the front of your face to make you unrecognizable to a camera and its accompanying smart software.

Made of brass, Incognito features three shapes that fit your face. An elongated polygon rests between your eyebrows and spans the height of your forehead while two circles cover either cheekbone. Each shape is connected by a strand of wire that also secures the mask—it fits over your ears like a pair of glasses.

When worn, Incognito really works. “This project was preceded by a long-term study on the shape, size, and location of mask elements so that it actually fulfills its task,” Nowak writes. “When testing solutions, I used the DeepFace algorithm, which is used by Facebook.” The polished pieces on the face deflect the software used to track you while in public as well as through social media.

Designer Ewa Nowak has created a way for you to avoid facial recognition.





















Called Incognitio, it is a minimalist mask whose polished pieces deflect the software used to detect who you are.
























Ewa Nowak: Website | Instagram
Image credits: Nick and Dana Blizzard

Fear me, non-vegans, for I am the mighty tofu gatekeeper, and no meat-lovers shall feast on this delicious food! This is what one internet user nearly sounded like when they started having a go at an omnivore, who’d complimented their tofu recipe. Talk about being rude to someone acting nice.

“Tofu is strictly for vegans.” That’s what the self-proclaimed guardian of tofu declared after receiving praise from a beef-eater, who adored the tofu-lovers ‘tofurkey’ (tofu turkey) recipe. What followed was a back-and-forwards exchange that showed just how condescending and arrogant this particular vegan is.

The text messages were uploaded to the ‘Gatekeeping’ subreddit, which has over 654,000 members. According to this online community, gatekeeping is “when someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity. /r/gatekeeping is a subreddit for screenshots and stories of gatekeepers in the wild.”


What started as a friendly chat quickly devolved into accusations
Image credits: Arachnica
Image credits: Arachnica
Image credits: Arachnica

The vegan was angry that the meat-eater was eating all of their tofu. Good heavens, the horror

Image credits: Arachnica

Medical News Today writes that tofu, which is made from soybean curds, is “naturally gluten-free and low in calories. It contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of iron and calcium.” So it’s clear why vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores are all angling for a bite.

What’s more, tofu is said to improve kidney function and cardiovascular health and may help fight prostate and breast cancer. This makes it a health-goldmine that ought to be shared with everyone, not jealously guarded by just a few.

I’m personally a big fan of meat — give me a steak any day of the week. But I know I should eat more veggies, greens, and other healthy foods. Whether or not you eat or avoid meat, there are numerous benefits of an all-vegan diet.

Healthline argues that vegan diets are richer in certain nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and “beneficial plant compounds”, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C and E. Furthermore, going vegan can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. But whatever your dietary preferences, the most important thing is acting like an adult, not an angsty teenager with something to prove and a holier-than-thou attitude.

Internet users reacted to the tofu gatekeeper with scorn












Craig Stevens has been a photographer for more than 20 years and said last night's Aurora Australis was one of the best he had seen.

"It was amazing. You could feel the light on your arms and face, it was so strong," he said.

Mr Stevens said the clouds started to clear at Hope Beach in South Arm at about 9:30pm, with orange and red colours visible shortly after.
"To see those colours is very rare," he said.
"After that it smoothed out to be a green glow which was just exceptional. My son and his girlfriend came with us last night and they were blown away by the colours.

"It was amazing to see the carpark so full, so many photographers came out to see it and capture it."


















PHOTO: Craig Stevens said the aurora was one of the best he had seen in 20 years. (via: Craig Stephens)


















PHOTO: Mr Stevens captured the display at Hope Beach in South Arm. (via: Craig Stevens)

It was the first time photographer Paul Marion had seen an aurora in Tasmania.

"I've been professionally taking photos for nearly 15 years but last night was the first time I've seen it with my naked eye in Tasmania, it was incredible," he said.


















PHOTO: Paul Marion was "pretty stoked" with how his Aurora Australis pictures turned out. (via: Paul Marion)

"It's so often cloudy but last night it was just perfect, I could see it from my balcony so I quickly set up my camera and got some shots. I'm pretty stoked with how the photos turned out."


















PHOTO: The southern lights were seen clearly in Tasmania's Midlands before cloud cover rolled in. (via: Steve Robinson)

The Bureau of Meteorology said auroral displays were created by events on the sun millions of kilometres away.

Massive solar flares often blast streams of charged particles into the solar wind and outwards towards the Earth.

These particles are directed by the magnetic field of the Earth where they collide with atoms in the atmosphere.


















PHOTO: Many aurora chasers use long exposure times to display the best of the lights' spectrum. (via: Alan Weller)

It is these collisions which generate the beautiful lights which are observed as the aurora.

BOM said the aurora might have been visible again on Saturday night from Tasmania, southern Victoria and Perth.

















It’s not deliveries that keep the ladies of Soho waiting with bated breath for their man in brown: It’s UPS driver Anthony Lupi himself.

In fact, the strapping 28-year-old former model is so beloved that customers along his five-block route throw a fit every time he’s temporarily transferred, ­going so far as to complain to his manager.

“We want Anthony and no one else,” said one of the complainants, who owns a prominent gallery on West Broadway but wished to stay anonymous. “Not only is he super cute and charming, but he always goes the extra mile.”

“Oh yeah, he’s a good asset for UPS,” said Christine Smith, a saleswoman at Dsquared2 on Spring Street.

Lupi, who delivers an average of 250 to 300 packages a day, admits he typically gets asked out about 10 times a week by clients and passersby on his route.

“Once, a 98-year-old woman asked me out on a date,” he said. “She said ‘You’re such a handsome young man, I wish there were more like you when I was young.’ ”

Another time, a group of bachelorettes begged him to go dancing with them after his shift.

“People love the uniform,” said the driver, who’s been with UPS for five years. “I also get a lot of ‘package’ innuendos.”

The problems come any time UPS hires a new courier for downtown Manhattan — Lupi’s route, which stretches north to south from West Houston to Spring Street and east to west Greene Street to West Broadway, is often used as a training ground.

When that happens, the 6-foot-2 Long Islander can be reassigned for as long as 40 days at a time.


















Anthony Lupi delivers a package in Soho.Stephen Yang

And that’s when the phone starts ringing.

“I get many calls every year exactly like this,” said UPS spokesman Dan McMackin of the Lupi fans.

“One time I saw [Lupi] working another route and it felt like he was cheating on us,” said the gallery owner, who has called UPS “countless” times to demand his return. “We were not happy.”

Another customer was so desperate for Lupi to personally handle a valuable package that the man walked seven blocks to give his favorite courier the box — while Lupi was on another route.

“We certainly don’t mind when he comes by,” said Zita Bettig, 60, a salesperson at Eileen Fisher at West Broadway and Spring Street, with a flirty grin. “He’s the total guy-next-door.”


























She added that while Lupi is “so handsome and good-looking,” it’s his upbeat demeanor that really seals the deal.

“It’s like he’s having the best day of his life every day,” she said. “I don’t know how he does it, but he really is charismatic.”

Huntington, LI, resident Lupi — who previously worked at Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale’s doing clothing alterations — is praised for “turning a mid-level job into a profession,” said the gallery owner.

He always introduces himself by name and hands out his number to customers. And they’re not shy about using it.

“I’ve gotten calls in the middle of the night asking if a package has arrived,” said Lupi. “But I don’t mind, it’s important that people can depend on me.”

When they ask Lupi out, however, his reply is always the same: “I’m very flattered, but I have to keep it moving.” Besides, he has a serious girlfriend of eight years.

The most common catcall he gets is “bend and snap,” a reference to a scene in “Legally Blonde” when a female character learns an alluring move to help her woo a UPS guy.

But Lupi doesn’t really get it.

“All I think is, ‘That’s not a good way to lift a package.’ ”
 Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Thursday it will begin selling parts, tools and repair guides to independent shops to fix broken iPhones, a major change after years of lobbying against laws in some U.S. states that would have compelled it to do just that.


FILE PHOTO: The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Paris, France, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Apple said the program, which should help ease heavy demand on Apple and its authorized partners to fix millions of cracked screens and fried charging ports, will launch in the United States before being rolled out to other countries.

The back flip means that independent repair shops will be offered official parts for out-of-warranty repairs at the same price offered to authorized service providers, such as Best Buy Inc (BBY.N), which perform warranty work.

Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said the move could create more opportunities for Apple to sell services or accessories if it encourages iPhone owners to hand down used phones to friends and family.

“That helps them get the product more affordably into the hands of more customers and increases the base,” Bajarin said. “Every data point seems to say, if you get someone into the Apple ecosystem, they generally don’t leave.”

Apple’s iPhone sales have declined in the past two fiscal quarters, but sales of accessories such as its AirPods wireless headphones and the Apple Watch, along with paid services like Apple Music, have helped make up for some of the revenue falls.

Independent shops have long complained that the high purchase volumes required by Apple to become an authorized service provider priced them out of the repair market.

The tech giant had previously lobbied against “right-to-repair” bills to supply independent businesses in several U.S. states, including New York and California, citing concerns about maintaining a high service standard. It earlier this year allowed all U.S. Best Buy stores to handle warranty work.

However, the unofficial repair industry that sprang up, using mostly aftermarket parts supplied by third parties, was often unreliable.

Apple said it trialled the new repair program for a year with 20 businesses across North America, Europe and Asia. It did not give a timetable for the international launches.

The program will allow independent stores to set their own prices for repairs and also offer cheaper aftermarket parts. They will be required to return any collected broken Apple parts to the company for refurbishment or recycling.

The program will be free for shops to join, but they will be required to have an Apple-certified technician who has taken a free 40-hour training course and test provided by the company.


A Florida man was just trying to help his girlfriend out. Coty Lee Havens, 26, thought Chastity Bodnar, 23, drank too much and out of his concern for her well-being he told her as much. Well… maybe that’s what happened. Considering how Chastity responded to Coty’s lifestyle critique it might be just as likely that Coty was tired of Chastity passing out on the couch covered in Doritos and Papa John’s garlic butter sauce and then peeing herself.

Why is that generally possible? Because upon hearing that she may have a drinking problem Chastity (who was drinking at the time) became furious and responded to Coty by throwing her phone and hitting him in the throat. Then she followed him out to the garage of their Fort Pierce, Florida home, took two cans of beer, slammed them together and chugged them, and proceeded to physically assault Coty.

Coty later told police that Chastity had proceeded to “Stone Cold Steve Austin my ass.” Which yes, yes she did.


Police later confirmed that there were indeed two crushed beer cans in the garage.

Eventually, Coty was able to pin Chastity down and call the police. Chastity was arrested for misdemeanor battery. She was booked into the county jail Saturday night and released Sunday morning, free again to go full rattlesnake on anyone who dared question the way she lives her life.

Coty too, however, was arrested after police arrived because for some reason he tried to fight the cops when they got there. (There’s a good chance he was also drunk.)

[Photo: Glen Noble/Unsplash]

In New York City’s Long Island City neighborhood, down the road from where Amazon tried (and failed) to build a “second headquarters,” a bookstore owner is claiming that, despite solid business, he’ll have to close unless the local government steps in to help.

In his open letter to New York’s politicians, Book Culture owner Chris Doeblin says his four stores (there are three in Manhattan, in addition to the one in Long Island City) face annihilation “soon” unless the government intervenes. His argument for assistance is simple: The stores generate $650,000 in annual tax revenue for the city and state, and his 75 staffers (on a payroll of $1.7 million in 2018) spend “virtually all” their income in the city. In addition to its status as a small-but-mighty economic engine, he adds, “Book Culture contributes simply by being what we are, storefront businesses active in a community.”

If those arguments sound familiar, perhaps it’s because Amazon made similar claims about the benefits it would bring to New York City, albeit on a much larger scale.

Reached for comment via email, Doeblin tells Fast Company that the ideal long-term solution would be “either a private investment or a line of credit/load that is underwritten or provided by the city or state.” He also suggests that the challenges facing his business have accelerated recently, in particular the boosted minimum wage: “In January we hit a new level of payroll expense when $15/hour became NYC law.”


[Photo: Flickr user Joe Mabel]

Of course, New York’s state and city governments have a history of offering incentives and other goodies to companies. When Amazon indicated interest in Long Island City as the home of its second headquarters, for instance, government incentives included $1.2 billion in refundable tax credits if the company created 25,000 net new jobs by a certain deadline; the state also offered grants that would ease Amazon’s construction costs. At the time, supporters claimed that the headquarters’ employees would spend lots of money with the community, more than justifying the tax breaks and other sweeteners.

It was a great deal for a huge company—or at least it was before Amazon decided to abandon its plans in the face of messy politics. But what’s on offer for small businesses that generate only a handful of jobs? What’s a company like Book Culture supposed to do in the face of considerable pressure from rising rents and e-commerce?

Will Baskin-Gerwitz, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, declined to discuss any specific incentives or financial help the city might offer a company in Book Culture’s situation, but he told Fast Company that he hopes the store will take advantage of existing programs for small businesses.

“Every worker in New York City deserves to be paid fairly for their work, but companies like Book Culture shouldn’t be driven out of business for doing so,” Baskin-Gerwitz wrote in an email. “The City has several programs that can keep small businesses thriving, and we hope businesses across the city take advantage of them.”

New York City’s Small Business Services provide free legal services so that commercial tenants can renegotiate leases, along with business courses (in multiple languages) and some local grant funding. It also oversees Business Improvement Districts, meant to boost small-business ecosystems with programs such as holiday markets that “activate” vacant storefronts.

Then there is the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would bring sweeping change to the city’s retail spaces. It would compel small businesses and landlords to negotiate over the rent, with the ability of a third-party arbiter to step in; a recent version of the bill also included the option of 10-year renewals. Organizations that represent property owners, such as the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), hate the proposal for the same reason they loathed the rent-regulation laws that just passed New York’s legislature; in their view, it curbs their ability to earn from their property. The bill has so far failed to pass the City Council.

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, who represents parts of Queens including Long Island City, plans on meeting with Doeblin this week to discuss possible solutions. “I work with small businesses every day to ensure they have an environment in which to thrive,” he said. “The best investments we can make involve ensuring good infrastructure and workers who are ready for the new economy. Book Culture is an integral part of the Long Island City community and I will do whatever I can to support its success.”

In the meantime, it seems unlikely that free legal advice or business courses will help Book Culture. Doeblin claims that while developers were “extremely supportive materially” when he moved into the space, the city offered nothing like tax breaks for his nascent business; now that he’s facing an existential crunch, he just wants the government to do for him what it’s done for big businesses in the past. Will it?


TIME magazine once described the Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — as the “me me me generation.” But new research that examined charitable behavior has failed to find convincing evidence that Millennials are less giving than previous generations.

The findings have been published in American Behavioral Scientist.

“My colleague and I are both interested in the economics of altruism,” said study author Harvey S. Rosen, the John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy Emeritus at Princeton University.

“The altruistic behavior of the Millennials (or lack thereof) has received a lot of attention, and we were struck by how little careful statistical work has been done to back up various assertions by pundits and others. We knew of a dataset that might be useful in investigating this question, so we decided to see what we could learn from it.”

For their study, the researchers analyzed data from the Philanthropy Panel Study, which included information about the charitable behavior of nearly 15,000 U.S. households for every other year from 2001 to 2015.

“There is no simple way to characterize the donative behavior of the Millennials relative to their generational predecessors. On the one hand, they are less likely to make any donations at all, other things held constant. On the other hand, those that do make a donation give more, again, holding other things being the same,” Rosen told PsyPost.

Complicating things further is the fact that it is unclear how Millennials will behave in later life stages.

“Our results need to be viewed as preliminary, because the Millennials are still rather young — in our data, the oldest Millennials are only in their 30s. Hence, more time is needed to see how Millennials in their peak earnings years compare to Baby Boomers and members of Gen X in their peak earnings years,” Rosen explained.

“That said, we think that, at least for the moment, our results place the burden of proof on those who assert that the Millennials are uniquely selfish compared to their generational predecessors.”

The study, “Are Millennials Really Particularly Selfish? Preliminary Evidence From a Cross-Sectional Sample in the Philanthropy Panel Study“, was authored by Peter Koczanski and Harvey S. Rosen.


A man who turned up to court in Adelaide on charges of illegally using a motor vehicle has been arrested for allegedly driving there in another stolen car.

Police noticed the blue Holden sedan in a fast food car park opposite the Christies Beach Police Station, south of Adelaide.

They soon discovered it has been stolen from the suburb of Blakeview, north of Adelaide, last week.

The alleged driver, a 34-year-old Whyalla Norrie man, had just attended the nearby Christies Beach Magistrates Court on charges of illegally using a motor vehicle.

He and his passenger, a 23-year-old Whyalla Stuart woman, were both arrested and charged with another count of illegally using a motor vehicle.

"He'd actually stolen a car and turned up to court to face charges of car theft," Senior Constable Rebecca Stokes said.

The driver was also charged with driving while disqualified.

He did not apply for bail and will reappear in court this afternoon.

The woman was granted bail to attend the Christies Beach Magistrates Court next month.

"We're hoping that when his partner attends court next month she catches the bus and we just break this vicious cycle," Senior Constable Stokes said.

She also does not have a drivers licence, Senior Constable Stokes said.

Alleged car thieves ran out of petrol

In a separate incident, two men were arrested after the stolen car they were travelling in ran out of petrol yesterday morning.

Just after 5:00am, a police patrol spotted a Holden wagon at the intersection of Cross Road and Marion Road at South Plympton.

A check on the car revealed it had been reported stolen from Woodville South.

The driver, attempted to speed away from the patrol on Anzac Highway, but the car quickly came to a spluttering stop just past Marion Road, when it ran out of petrol.

The driver remained with the vehicle, but the passenger made a run for it.

The male passenger was located by a police dog and his handler a short time later.

The passenger, a 29-year-old man from Kidman Park, was arrested and charged with illegal use of a motor vehicle and going equipped to commit an offence, after he was allegedly found in possession of a mask.

The driver, a 33-year-old man of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with illegal use of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified.

Both men are expected to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court at later date.
Findings are important step in better understanding what's creating these powerful signals, where they're from


Astronomers using the CHIME telescope in British Columbia, seen here, have detected eight repeating fast radio bursts that they hope will help them better understand these mysterious signals from space. (CHIME)

They're called fast radio bursts, or FRBs, and these odd, fleeting signals from space are shrouded in mystery. But thanks to Canada's largest radio telescope, astrophysicists are discovering more of them in their search to learn what makes these objects tick.

The first FRB was discovered in 2007 by an astrophysicist and his student while going through 2001 data collected from the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia. Since then, dozens more have been detected. As to what is causing these signals, scientists have yet to learn.

But these brief signals that are crossing the universe — and last only a millisecond or so — had another surprise: some of them repeated.

The first of these repeaters was discovered by McGill PhD student Paul Scholz in 2015. A second one was discovered last January. And the list is getting longer.

In a new study, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters and pre-printed on arXiv.org, a group of Canadian scientists reveal that the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope detected eight more repeating FRBs.

The findings are an important step in better understanding what is creating these powerful signals and where exactly they're coming from.

"The first biggest conclusion [from the paper] is that this is not an anomalous phenomenon. This is for real," said Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysicist at McGill University and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). "It just takes time and patience to find them. And two, it offers the opportunity to localize them, and that's huge in the FRB field."

The CHIME instrument cannot be both sensitive and precise in its detections, which means it cannot localize the signal. Instead, its job is to find as many as it can. Determining their exact location is up to other telescopes.


"Discovering eight sources like this is so important because it says we have a lot more repeating FRBs and can figure out the environments and the galaxies these FRBs are located in if we follow them up with other telescopes," said Pragya Chawla, co-author of the paper and a PhD student at the McGill Space Institute.

Of the 10 repeating FRBs, only two have been traced back to their point of origin: one is in a dwarf galaxy and the other, in a spiral galaxy.

More FRBs may be detected

FRBs are a hot topic in the astronomical world, mostly because they're a fairly new discovery and the mechanism responsible isn't understood.

"We think we understand what's in the cosmos," Kaspi said. "But fast radio bursts were a total surprise. Nobody expected them. Nobody predicted them. Really, it was technological advancements that allowed us to see this. And I think it's really interesting that we're still learning very basic things about what's going on in the universe."

Because they release such intense energy, some theories suggest that the source is a neutron star, a small dense star left over after a supernova. Another theory suggests it could be a magnetar, a star similar to a neutron star, but with an extremely powerful magnetic field.

While the known FRBs — both the repeaters and apparent non-repeaters — are believed to originate in other galaxies, one of the newly detected ones seems to be closer than the others, perhaps even within our own galaxy. However, Chawla said that if it were to be found within our galaxy that "it would be very surprising.

"Because we know a lot of neutron stars within our own galaxy that emit such pulses, but none of them have been seen to be found that far at the edge of our galaxy."

CHIME has been quite successful in its search for these puzzling objects, but the even better news is that the telescope isn't running on full power: there's still the need to better calibrate it. Once that's done, it's expected that even more FRBs will be detected on a daily basis. And that means more data to provide other astrophysicists with the tools of unravelling their mystery.

"I think the upcoming year will be a really good one for FRBs," Kaspi said. "Are we going to know the answer in a year's time? I don't know. I don't know. Maybe. But I think we will have made significant progress in a year."


In hindsight, the Nintendo 64 was a pretty weird system. The controller was weird, the decision to go with expensive cartridges was weird, and the internal hardware was in a weird place where early texture filtering was possible even though storing and displaying detailed textures was not. It hasn’t aged well, exactly, but it’s aged interestingly — you can recognize an N64 game a mile away.

Out of all of Nintendo’s home consoles, then, the N64 is arguably the one where it makes most sense to play on original hardware, particularly as many of its best games aren’t available on modern platforms (GoldenEye 007) or just don’t feel the same without the original controller (Super Mario 64). And while you could hook up four knockoff joypads to a PC to run an emulated version of Mario Kart 64, it wouldn’t be quite the same experience as the real console.

The problem is how to play one on a modern TV. The N64’s notoriously poor video output exacerbated the characteristically blurry graphics even at a time when you could easily hook one up to a TV, which isn’t the case today. The system outputs S-Video, which is found on barely any contemporary TVs and looks pretty bad, or composite, which is found on a few more TVs but looks even worse. (I’m not even going to get into RF.)

This is the problem purportedly solved by a new third-party adapter called the Eon Super 64. I’ve been testing it for a while, and although it’s an expensive solution, it works well and is much easier to use than other options out there.



The Super 64 plugs right into the N64’s video-out port, replacing it with HDMI. It feels well-built and generally matches the N64’s aesthetic, with a chunky red Eon logo LED that lights up when the system is switched on. All you need to do is hook up an HDMI cable from the Super 64 to your TV and you’re away. (One caveat: it doesn’t work with PAL consoles, so N64 owners in Europe, Australia, and certain other regions are out of luck.)

The Super 64 takes the N64’s 240p or 480i S-Video signal and uses hardware to upscale it to 480p while tuning the colors and brightness. There’s also a dedicated button on the top of the unit to activate “Slick Mode,” which smoothes out the final image.

YOU CAN MAKE OUT ACTUAL PIXEL EDGES

While I wouldn’t call the Super 64’s 480p video output pin-sharp, when viewed on my 4K TV from couch range it’s surprisingly clear. There’s only so much you can do with upscaled S-Video, and I was happy enough to be able to make out actual pixel edges rather than the blurred mess I’ve seen every other time I’ve played an N64 on a flat screen. Colors look great, there’s no discernible lag, and games benefit from crunchy, authentic output.

If actual pixel edges and crunchy output aren’t your thing, then Slick Mode does a pretty good job of approximating anti-aliasing. It works well with text in particular, making things a little more readable, but overall I preferred to leave it switched off. The one thing the N64 doesn’t need is blurrier graphics — the sharpness of the Super 64’s rendering is, to me, its main selling point.

Here’s a press image from Eon that I would say does an accurate job of demonstrating the Super 64’s output:



The Super 64 isn’t the only way to get your N64 working on a modern TV. You could pick up a Nintendo S-Video cable, though you’d likely also have to get an S-Video-to-HDMI converter depending on your TV, and the results probably wouldn’t be as good — you’d be likely to run into input lag and dimmer colors.

There are more effective options, but they mostly involve modding the system itself. RetroRGB is a great resource for this kind of thing, as well as retro hardware information in general. Basically, if you crack the console open you can unlock RGB output with a little bit of soldering, which allows you to get better-than-S-Video image quality through a SCART cable (and again, probably a SCART-to-HDMI adapter.) The next level of hardcore is a full-on upgrade board called the UltraHDMI that captures a digital video signal up to 1080p before it’s converted to analog, resulting in the sharpest image possible.

None of these options are particularly easy or cheap, but while the Super 64 is easy, it definitely isn’t cheap at $149.99. That’s about five times as much as I recently paid for an N64 itself along with three games. It’s a lot to swallow for something that isn’t necessarily the highest quality option.

But hey, time is money. The Super 64 is unabashedly a premium product that does exactly what it claims to do, and it’ll save a ton of hassle for anyone who just wants their Nintendo 64 to display anything on their modern TV with minimal fuss. If you’re in that niche, I can recommend it.


When it comes to passing the torch, Harrison Ford will not go quietly into that good night. The 76-year-old actor is due to reprise his iconic role as Indiana Jones in a fifth movie directed by Steven Spielberg (after Spielberg finishes West Side Story, of course), but rumors have persisted over the last few years that a reboot of sorts is also in the works, potentially starring Chris Pratt.

So when Ford was asked on The Today Show who should replace him as Indiana Jones when he hangs up the hat for good, instead of offering up a diplomatic answer or evading the question, Ford bluntly—and hilariously—noted that he’s irreplaceable:
“Nobody else is gonna be Indiana Jones! Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy… This is a hell of a way to tell Chris Pine this.”
Ford delivered all of this with a knowing smile, and he probably meant Chris Pratt when he said “Chris Pine,” but you know what? He’s not wrong. Indiana Jones isn’t like James Bond. So much of that character is Harrison Ford, and not only has Ford filled the role for four movies over three decades, but the same storytelling team—Ford, Spielberg, and George Lucas—has remained intact though it all, to the point that it’s hard to see anyone else making an Indiana Jones movie. Or at least one that feels like Indiana Jones. Like sure, Chris Pine probably would make a solid lead for an action-adventure movie. But Indiana Jones? There can only be one.

So kudos to Ford for his honesty. Check out the video below.
Machines can now look for visual inconsistencies to identify AI-generated dupes, a lot like humans do.


IMAGE: FLICKR/GAGE SKIDMORE

Here's a scenario that's becoming increasingly common: you see that a friend has shared a video of a celebrity doing or saying something on social media. You watch it, because you're only human, and something about it strikes you as deeply odd. Not only is Jon Snow from Game of Thrones apologizing for the writing on the show's last season, but the way his mouth is moving just looks off.

This is a deepfake, an AI-generated dupe designed to deceive or entertain. Now, researchers have trained AI to look for visual inconsistencies similar to humans in order to detect AI-generated fake videos.

It's become relatively easy for amateurs to create these videos with the spread of open source AI models and datasets online, and researchers are working on ways to automatically detect them. One way that humans detect deepfakes is by identifying the way that something moves—say, a person's mouth—as being odd and uncomfortably inhuman. We might call this entering the uncanny valley.

According to recent research from computer scientists at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute, popular AI models for generating deepfakes (and other approaches, such as 2016's graphical Face2Face program) manipulate video on a frame-by-frame basis and don't enforce temporal coherence. This can make the movement in the resulting videos look pretty janky, which humans often pick up on.

To automate the process, the researchers first fed a neural network—the type of AI program at the root of deepfakes—tons of videos of a person so it could "learn" important features about how a human's face moves while speaking. Then, the researchers fed stacked frames from faked videos to an AI model using these parameters to detect inconsistencies over time. According to the paper, this approach identified deepfakes with more than 90 percent accuracy.

Study co-author Wael Abd-Almageed says this model could be used by a social network to identify deepfakes at scale, since it doesn't depend on "learning" the key features of a specific individual but rather the qualities of motion in general.

"Our model is general for any person since we are not focusing on the identity of the person, but rather the consistency of facial motion," Abd-Almageed said in an email.

"Social networks do not have to train new models since we will release our own model. What social networks could do is just include the detection software in their platforms to examine videos being uploaded to the platforms."

While there are many approaches to detecting deepfakes in development—like generating noisy watermarks in photos when they're taken—our future may very well include AIs duking it out over our perception of reality. 


Niantic’s blockbuster Pokémon GO turned three over the weekend, having launched in the United States on July 6, 2016. Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that, since then, the game has grossed an estimated $2.65 billion worldwide across the App Store and Google Play.

This sum places the title among the most successful mobile games from Western developers (Japanese hits Monster Strike and Puzzle & Dragons are in a league of their own). As the chart below shows, Pokémon GO has surpassed the massively popular Candy Crush Saga and Clash Royale, which generated $1.86 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, in their first three years (not including revenue from China, where Pokémon GO has yet to launch).



Pokémon GO was out-earned by Supercell’s Clash of Clans, which grossed an estimated $3.15 billion outside China in its first three years.

The U.S. has led player spending in Pokémon GO to date, accounting for about 35 percent of gross revenue or close to $928 million. Japan has been a close second with approximately $779 million or about 29 percent of all in-game spending. Germany, a distant third, has contributed 6 percent, or $159 million, of the game’s gross revenue.

Approximately 54 percent of spending in the game, or $1.43 billion, has come from Google Play. The remaining $1.22 billion was generated primarily by iPhone users, with only about 1.6 percent of iOS revenue coming from iPad users.

Pokémon GO continues to be a top earner across the app stores, ranking No. 8 among all apps for worldwide revenue in June and No. 9 in Q2. The game has grossed $395 million globally so far in 2019, which is up 19 percent over the first half of last year. All told, players have spent an average of $2.4 million in the game each day since launch and an average of $5 for each of its 521 million downloads. We expect the title to have generated more than $3 billion in player spending by the end of this year.

Source: sensortower


As even some of the wealthiest Americans have begun to call for major reforms to the U.S. economic system to narrow the wealth gap, a new study released Wednesday revealed that over the past four decades, salaries for the top executives in the U.S. have gone up by more than 1,000 percent.

CEOs at the 350 largest companies now take home salaries that are 278 times higher than those of the average worker, according to the new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis.

With an average compensation of $17.2 million per year, report co-author Lawrence Mishel said Wednesday, today's CEOs would barely notice a change in their quality of life if their salaries were slashed.

"You could cut CEO pay in half and the economy would not be any different," Mishel, a distinguished fellow at EPI, told The Guardian.

EPI's findings about CEO compensation were denounced as "obscene" by critics of the current economic system, under which 40 percent of American workers struggle to find $400 in their budget to cover an emergency expense while the heads of powerful companies are given huge tax breaks on top of their salaries.

The study represents "an obscene concentration of profit at the top levels of companies," tweeted journalist Heidi Moore. "Workers should be able to share in the value."

"Corporate greed is eviscerating the working class," tweeted the consumer advocacy watchdog Public Citizen.
While CEO pay has gone up exponentially since 1978, the average worker makes only about 11 percent more than they would have in the same job 40 years ago, when adjusting for inflation.

EPI pointed out that CEOs frequently attempt to justify their exorbitant salaries and bonuses by pointing to their companies' growing stock market performance. The country's biggest firms saw their stock prices going up by more than 700 percent in the last four decades—but workers who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of those same companies see little benefit from the growth that they contribute to each day.

"The generally tight link between stock prices and CEO compensation indicates that CEO pay is not being established by a 'market for talent,' as pay surged with the overall rise in profits and stocks, not with the better performance of a CEO’s particular firm relative to that firm's competitors," wrote Mishel and co-author Julia Wolfe. "As profits and stock market prices have reached record highs, the wages of most workers have grown very little."

CEO pay did not slow down after the recession of 2009, with executives' salaries growing by more than 52 percent during the recovery from the economic crash brought on largely by powerful, unregulated banks. But workers' salaries have gone up by just 5.3 percent over the same period, with average wages sometimes falling from year to year.

Mishel and Wolfe note in their study that concern over the high salaries of CEOs is rooted in the knowledge of how the rest of the country is struggling to pay for medical care, housing, and falling deep into debt while the wealthiest Americans reap the rewards of workers' labor.

"Some observers argue that exorbitant CEO compensation is merely a symbolic issue, with no consequences for the vast majority of workers," the report reads. "However, the escalation of CEO compensation, and of executive compensation more generally, has fueled the growth of top 1.0 percent and top 0.1 percent incomes, generating widespread inequality."

To narrow the wealth gap, EPI recommends implementing far higher income tax rates for the richest Americans and greater representation for workers on company boards.


Six in ten Canadians want the government to take action to address climate change, even if the economy suffers, new results from a Mainstreet poll for iPolitics suggests.

The fourth release of results from the pollster’s phone survey of 2,651 Canadians — conducted between June 27 and July 2 — shows that 61 per cent of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that it’s more important for the government to solve the issue of climate change even if that means that the economy suffers. That number was even higher in Quebec (76.8 per cent), Atlantic Canada (67.3) and B.C. (62), and among women (66.1), 18-35 year olds (64.4) and those aged 65 or older (64).

Conversely, residents of Ontario (59 per cent), men (56), and those aged between 35-49 (59.6) and 50-64 (57.1) were less willing to agree with the statement, though the statement was still approved by a majority in these demographic bands. More residents of the Prairies (46.5 per cent) agreed with the statement than disagreed (43.6), though it wasn’t quite a majority, with the not sure option chosen by 9.8 per cent of respondents.

Only in Alberta did more respondents disagree (59 per cent) with the statement than agree (36.5).

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

In an earlier release of results from the same poll, around 47 per cent of respondents said the carbon tax was not helpful to the economy.

But the release of these new results show respondents were largely supportive about the need to take action to curb climate change.

Over 85 per cent of respondents agreed that private companies should have to pay to pollute, including 69.1 per cent who strongly agreed. Support was highest in Quebec (89.1 per cent) and lowest in Alberta, though at 75.2 per cent agreeing, opposition to the concept is still rather marginal.

In Ontario (87.2 per cent), Atlantic Canada (86.8) and B.C. (86.3), support was higher than the national average, while women (86.6) were more likely to back the concept than men (84.3).

Of course, the governing Liberals have imposed a national minimum price on carbon emissions, which the opposition Tories have vowed to scrap if they form government after this October’s election.

Also, just under 68 per cent of respondents agreed that theres’s a collective moral duty to future generations to not destroy the environment further, even if it means paying more taxes in the short term. As with the other responses, support was highest in Quebec (70.2 per cent), above the national average in B.C. (71.5) and Ontario (69.9), and lowest in Alberta (53).

Finally, 76.5 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that scientific evidence “clearly shows” climate change is real and caused by human activity, including 62.7 per cent of Alberta residents and 86.4 per cent of Quebecers.

Nationally, 18 per cent disagreed with the statement, while 5.6 were not sure.


Brief:

  • Four lawsuits have been filed against Fairlife, the high-protein milk producer, with one naming Coca-Cola as a defendant, Food Navigator reported. The lawsuits, filed in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia, accuse the companies of consumer fraud and deceptive marketing after undercover videos of animal abuse taken at a Fairlife supplier dairy in Indiana were released by an animal welfare group.
  • Fairlife CEO Mike Saint John said the company has discontinued milk deliveries from Fair Oaks Farms. Four dairy workers were fired and three charged with animal cruelty, according to the Chicago Tribune. 
  • Coca-Cola, which owns Fairlife in a joint venture with Select Milk Producers, said in a statement it was conducting independent investigations of all Fairlife dairy suppliers. A number of retailers, including Jewel-Osco, Tony's Fresh Market and Pete's Fresh Market, took Fairlife products off the shelves, Food Navigator reported. 

Insight:

These lawsuits could push more companies to think about animal welfare in their practices to avoid the potential fallout Fairlife currently faces.

While some of the lawsuits might settle before trial to avoid additional damage, the negative attention from the filings will likely hurt the brand. Although this whole situation could cast a negative light on Fairlife, Coca-Cola, the dairy farm and the dairy industry by extension, the companies were quick to respond with commitments to change how they do business.

"We realize we've got to make a change," Tim Doelman, Fairlife's COO, told NBC Chicago. "Even though we had good practices and training, and we had good practices in documentation and all those things for the employees, it didn't work."

The effort at damage control was fast and comprehensive. All three companies issued statements, posted special web pages updating the public and committed to cleaning up internal operations and adopting new standards to avoid further instances of animal abuse at supplying dairies.

Fairlife plans to audit all 30 of its supplying farms within a month, perform 24 unannounced farm audits annually and require suppliers' employees to annually recertify in animal welfare training. The company also said it will sign updated contracts with suppliers requiring them to fire employees caught abusing an animal and cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.

The dairy industry has been trying to get a handle on animal abuse problems by ramping up standards and providing assistance. Nearly all the U.S. milk supply is represented through the National Dairy Farms Assuring Responsible Management program, which sets animal care standards for participating farms. The program makes certified second-party evaluators available to work with dairy producers "to identify strengths and outline areas for improvement related to animal care."

Farms can be more susceptible to animal abuse when there are too many hens and cows, according to some industry observers. While the majority of U.S. dairy farms have 500 cows or less, thousands of smaller farms have gone out of business, consolidating milk production in the hands of ever-larger operations. Fair Oaks Farms is the largest dairy farm in Indiana with 37,000 cows, TODAY reported.

Critics of dairy operations, such as Mercy for Animals, PETA and The Humane Society of the U.S., maintain animal abuse is common in the industry. But dairy groups say such instances aren't the norm and that they're just as horrified as anyone else by seeing videos of animal abuse.

The verdict of these lawsuits will likely have an impact on future animal abuse cases, but for now Fairlife will be focusing on its reputation. If a company does the right thing from the start and updates consumers on changes, it may be able to recover its reputation. So far, these companies' first steps are moving them in the right direction, but plenty of consumers will be watching to see what happens. 
An Iowa carpenter is responsible for sending dozens of people to college. People he never had a chance to meet.

Dale Schroeder lived simply for his entire life. He grew up poor, never married or had kids, and worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He owned just two pair of jeans and drove a rusty old Chevrolet truck.

Shortly before his death in 2005, Schroeder told his attorney, Steve Nielsen, that he wanted to use his savings to help poor students in Iowa go to college.


In his will, Iowa carpenter Dale Schroeder stipulated that his nearly $3 million in savings be used to send underprivileged youth to college.
DALE SCHROEDER

"I said, 'How much are we talking about, Dale?'" Nielsen told KCCI. "And he said, 'Oh, just shy of $3 million.' I nearly fell out of my chair."

Over the past 14 years, Schroeder's money has sent 33 young Iowans to college. Last weekend, they gathered around his old lunch box to talk about a man they never met and how his generosity changed their lives. "He wanted to help kids that were like him," Nielsen said, "that probably wouldn't have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift."

One of those kids was Kira Conrad.

"I grew up in a single parent household and I had three older sisters, so paying for all four of us was never an option," Conrad told KCCI. "[It] almost made me feel powerless, like, 'I want to do this, I have this goal but I can't get there just because of the financial part.'"


Dale Schroeder never got to go to college, so he wanted to send Iowans who grew up poor to do what he couldn't afford to do.
LIGHT FIELD STUDIOS/GETTY

Conrad remembers getting the call from Nielsen that her $80,000 tuition bill would be covered by Schroeder's scholarship. "I broke down into tears immediately," she recalls. "For a man that would never meet me, to give me basically a full ride to college, that's incredible. That doesn't happen."

Schroeder's account has just finally run dry but "Dale's Kids," as the recipients call themselves, will remember that shy carpenter for the rest of their lives. And they've gone on to benefit a variety of fields: Conrad is a therapist. Other have become doctors and educators.

There is one small catch, though.

"All we ask is that you pay it forward," Nielsen says. "You can't pay it back, because Dale's gone. But you can remember him and you can emulate him."