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Image of article 'Facebook Will Make Donations Towards Australian Bushfires Relief Efforts'

Facebook Will Make Donations Towards Australian Bushfires Relief Efforts

"They're proving to be a remarkable tool for responders to the catastrophic Australian bushfires which so far have destroyed more than 15 million acres, more than seven times the acreage of the shocking California fires of 2018 or last year's Amazon wildfire," Facebook said in a statement late Wednesday.

Currently, Facebook Disaster Maps in Australia are being used by a range of national and international relief, response, and academic organizations.

(Image: AP) Facebook has announced to match up to $1 million (Australian dollars) in donations made to non-profit organisation GlobalGiving and donating $250,000 to the Australian Red Cross towards bushfires relief efforts.

Facebook Will Make Donations Towards Australian Bushfires Relief Efforts The ongoing Australian bushfires have killed more than 25 people and decimated Australia's wildlife, including 30 per cent of the world's koala population.

Facebook said donations made through its Crisis Response pages for the bushfires across New South Wales or the bushfires across Victoria and South Australia will be matched up to AU$1 million.

Image of article 'Oculus Go gets a permanent price cut to $149'

Oculus Go gets a permanent price cut to $149

The Oculus Go offers a very basic VR experience.

It's limited to tracking three degrees of freedom (basically your head movement) rather than the six (effectively body movement) of more advanced headsets like the Oculus Quest.

The Go is still a viable headset for stationary VR experiences, especially 360-degree video.

We'd add that the Go can also serve as a private video viewer for Netflix and other services, even if you don't particularly care for VR -- you can catch up on shows with a big virtual screen instead of sitting in front of a TV.

Buy Oculus Go 32GB on Amazon - $149

Image of article 'NBC's Peacock Arrives in July as Free, Ad-Based Streaming Service'

NBC's Peacock Arrives in July as Free, Ad-Based Streaming Service

On the content front, Peacock's catalog promises to rival Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix by offering some classic TV series and movies no other platform has.

Unfortunately, the tier still comes with ads, but you can watch 15,000+ hours worth of TV shows and movies, including some original content that'll be exclusive to the streaming service.

The first, Peacock Free, will come with ads while offering access to more than 7,500 hours worth of content at no extra cost.

The next big video-streaming service, Peacock from NBCUniversal, will arrive as a free, ad-supported service, available to anyone across the US in July.

"Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service," Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock, said in today's announcement.

Image of article 'You don't need Peloton. Try this affordable service instead.'

You don't need Peloton. Try this affordable service instead.

TL;DR: Work out at home with a lifetime subscription to Live Streaming Fitness for $79, a 84% savings.

How many times have you made a New Year's resolution to hit the gym more?

Live Streaming Fitness, for instance, is a great option that will only cost you $79 for a lifetime pass.

Featuring a one-two punch of on-demand fitness courses led by top industry trainers and meal plan inspiration from certified nutritionists, Live Streaming Fitness is an easy path to living a healthier life.

Live Streaming Fitness ultimately saves you a ton of time and money.

Image of article 'World of Horror' brings MS Paint terror to Steam on February 20th'

World of Horror' brings MS Paint terror to Steam on February 20th

World of Horror was created by Pawel Kozminski, a part-time Polish dentist also known as Panstasz.

Kozminski took inspiration from Junji Ito, the Japanese horror manga artist, and H.P. Lovecraft, the weird fiction and horror fiction author.

VIDEOKozminski collaborated with Ubisoft scriptwriter (and former Engadget contributor) Cassandra Khaw, who's worked on games like Wasteland 3, Sunless Skies and She Remembered Caterpillars, and wrote the horror novel Hammers on Bone.

"Her background and insight into horrific mindsets has helped me flesh out the unsettling nature of the mysteries, characters, and items you'll find in World of Horror," Kozminski says.

More characters, mysteries and events will be added for the 1.0 launch, a date for which has not been revealed.

Image of article 'Wirecutter's best deals: Save $99 on a 55-inch TCL 5 Series 4K TV'

Wirecutter's best deals: Save $99 on a 55-inch TCL 5 Series 4K TV

Street price: $23; deal price: $17 with code ANKERPD18 If you're looking for a USB phone charger with multiple ports, this drop to $17 for our top pick with code ANKERPD18 is a good chance to pick up one that features both a USB-C and USB-A port that charge at full speed, adding to its functionality, versatility, and making it great for travel.

Wirecutter Senior Staff Writer Chris Heinonen wrote, "The TCL 5-Series is the best budget 4K TV, combining good performance and a strong list of features in an affordable, easy-to-use package.

The TCL 5 Series is the top pick in our guide to the best 4K TV on a budget.

Street price: $380; deal price: $281 with code TCLDOLBY15 Down to $281 when you use code TCLDOLBY15, this is a great deal on our top budget 4K TV pick.

The Anker PowerPort PD 2 USB Phone Wall Charger is the top pick in our guide to the best USB phone charger.

Image of article 'Runners And Fitness Junkies Take Note! The Best Marathon Gear You Must Buy, Right Now'

Runners And Fitness Junkies Take Note! The Best Marathon Gear You Must Buy, Right Now

Versatile Smartwatch: Fitbit Versa 2 Rs 20,999 onwards; There is no better alternative to the Apple Watch than the Fitbit Versa 2, if that is what you need.

Runners would love the exercise modes and the data the watch generates which the Fitbit app (free for Android and iOS) does a great job of making sense of.

The Soundtrack: Apple AirPods Pro Rs 24,990; The biggest update the AirPods wireless earbuds have received in years is also the newest addition to the AirPods line-up.

The HOVR Sonic 2, when we reviewed them last year, proved very competent as shoes that could also track your fitness routine and put all that data on your phone via the companion app.

The TicPods Free last about 4.5 hours on a single charge, which is great for earbuds across price points, and the charging case adds another 18 hours or so of additional charge with regular top-ups.

Turkey targets Kurdish rebels in Iraq, killing 4 Yazidis

Turkey has repeatedly struck the Yazidi militia positions in Sinjar in efforts to cut supply routes of the PKK.

The Yazidi militia was formed in 2014, after the Islamic State group overran much of northern Iraq in August of that year and took over security in Sinjar after IS was pushed out of town in November 2015.

Kurdish television channels in northern Iraq reported that Yazidi commander Zardasht Shingali was among the dead and that another five fighters were wounded in the strikes.

The pickup was carrying members of the Iraqi Yazidi militia known as the Shingal Resistance Units, affiliated with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, which is fighting an insurgency in Turkey and has been outlawed by Ankara.

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - Turkish airstrikes inside Iraq targeting members of an outlawed Kurdish rebel group have killed at least four minority Yazidi fighters allied with the rebels, an Iraqi army official said Thursday.

Image of article 'Reformer: The Efficient Transformer'

Reformer: The Efficient Transformer

Locality-sensitive-hashing: Reformer takes in an input sequence of keys, where each key is a vector representing individual words (or pixels, in the case of images) in the first layer and larger contexts in subsequent layers.

LSH is applied to the sequence, after which the keys are sorted by their hash and chunked.

Help with TF-IDF Vectorizer matching implied indices in resulting DataFrame

I'm working on building a tool that will scrape content on a webpage and run TF-IDF scores on it to understand the value of the top keywords for SEO content optimization.

I've got the scraping down to extract the webpage content.

From there I'm able to produce IDF scores for each feature word in a desired Pandas DataFrame.

When I go to calculate the TF-IDF scores, I'm met with an error in passing along the final TFIDFVectorizer.

Then I try to create a Pandas DataFrame out of it This is the resulting error Can anyone provide a solution to getting the shape of the DataFrame to match the implies indices?

Image of article 'After Pensacola shooting, Pentagon steps up foreign student checks'

After Pensacola shooting, Pentagon steps up foreign student checks

Following a shooting last month at a naval base in Florida that left three people dead and at least eight injured, the Department of Defense said it was take a bigger role in determining whether foreign military officers attending specialized training in the U.S. pose a security risk.

In the past, vetting foreign officers in the U.S. had been the responsibility of the student’s home country, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.

At any one time, about 5,000 foreign military officers are assigned to bases in the United States for training that ranges from English-language classes to learning to fly fighter jets.

In addition to taking a larger role in vetting foreign military students, Pentagon officials will be looking for additional methods to increase physical security there.

Saudi government officials withdrew more than a dozen other military officers from the U.S. after investigators raised questions about possible links to extremist ideologies.

Image of article 'Star Wars fan gets R2-D2 arm after losing limbs to meningitis aged just eight'

Star Wars fan gets R2-D2 arm after losing limbs to meningitis aged just eight

It also offers limbs themed to the hit Disney film Frozen and Marvel characters like Iron Man, but Kye only had eyes for something inspired by Star Wars.

His mother, Cheryl Vincent, said that when doctors revealed they had little chance of saving his limbs the family started crowdfunding so that Kye could fulfil his wish of becoming a "bionic boy".

Kye is said to be delighted with his new limb, which uses sensors to detect muscle movements and is controlled by tensing as you would to open and close your own biological hand.

Star Wars heroes are no strangers to bionic hands, and a young fan who lost all four limbs to meningitis now has his own artificial arm that would look right at home in a galaxy far, far away.

Open Bionics has provided other bionic arms to children in the UK and the US, including its Iron Man variant for a teenager in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Image of article 'The MediaTek Helio P70-powered OPPO F15 is launched in India'

The MediaTek Helio P70-powered OPPO F15 is launched in India

Its MediaTek Helio P70 processor has featured in many phones from the previous year, however.

OPPO's first Indian-market phone for 2020 is the F15.

It is technically a new device, although it ships with an older chipset: the MediaTek Helio P70.

OPPO has released the F15 to the Indian market.

The F15 does have a quad rear camera, at least, which has a 48MP main sensor.

Image of article 'Videogame subtitles could learn a lot from comic book lettering'

Videogame subtitles could learn a lot from comic book lettering

In Abstraction, a simple comic page gets turned like a 3D object, revealing its grotesque interiors: giant busts cut to fit the space of a panel, giant hands poking from other panels, speech balloons taped over the scenes like signs.

In videogames, all text is considered part of the UI — a level of menus and abstraction imposed over the game, not part of it.

In comics, dialogue is an integral part of the picture, as text and drawings work together or melt into each other for different effects.

When, in later Sandman comics, other characters’ fonts were digitised, Klein still hand lettered each of Delirium’s balloons to make them look properly messy.

It’s highly unusual for a video game team to put so much care into the way text and images blend into each other.

Image of article '2020 Challenge: Unlearn to Change Your Frame'

2020 Challenge: Unlearn to Change Your Frame

As the new Chief Innovation Officer at Hitachi Vantara (yes, I have a new, more relevant, very exciting role), leveraging ideation and innovation to derive and drive new sources of customer, product and operational value is more important than ever.

So, Hitachi Vantara employees and customers, be prepared to change your frames; to challenge conventional thinking with respect to how we blend new concepts – AI / ML, Big Data, IOT – with tried and true ideas – Economics, Design Thinking – to create new sources of value.

Crossing the Analytics Chasm requires an understanding of economics and how the organization can leverage digital economics to identify and capture the new sources of customer and market value creation.

Crossing the AI Chasm not only requires gaining organizational buy-in, but more importantly, it necessitates creating a culture of continuous learning at the front-lines of customer and/or operational engagement.

It just requires senior management to loosen the reins a bit and let the learnings fueled by AI flourish at the front-lines of customer and operational engagement.

Image of article '2019 Enters the Record Books as Second Warmest Year'

2019 Enters the Record Books as Second Warmest Year

Their analysis shows that in 2019, Earth's oceans were warmer than they've been since the 1950s, which is as far back as reliable records currently go.

Another unequivocal indication of the global warming trend is that "2019 marks the 43rd consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's analysis.

Over the long term, 2019 "continued the planet's long-term warming trend: the past five years have been the warmest of the last 140 years," according to NASA.

With temperatures 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, the year just finished was second only to 2016 in terms of global warming, according to the analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The researchers also found that the problem has worsened significantly: Between 1987 and last year, the annual rate of ocean warming was 450 percent greater than during 1955 to 1986.

Image of article 'Brazil's tribes stride into digital age to defend their culture, forests'

Brazil's tribes stride into digital age to defend their culture, forests

Bolsonaro has said his plan to develop the Amazon will lift indigenous people from poverty.

Erik Terena, one of its organizers, said this has become a more urgent task than ever since the election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said indigenous people should not be kept “like animals in a zoo” and plans to open up their reservations to commercial mining and agriculture.

Midia India, a network that calls itself the Voice of Indigenous People, posts news and images on Instagram and podcasts on Spotify, to help keep Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous people informed.

At a meeting this week of hundreds of Amazon tribal leaders on the Xingu reservation to discuss ways to resist government plans to assimilate indigenous people, every speech and ritual dance is being recorded and posted on the Internet.

One of Midia’s recent posts showed British rock singer Sting’s friend, Kayapo chief Raoni Metuktire, wearing a headdress of cornbird feathers and calling on the Bolsonaro government to leave indigenous communities in peace as he opened the Xingu meeting.

Image of article 'You can stream NBC Universal's Peacock service for free'

You can stream NBC Universal's Peacock service for free

[Read: The battle between streaming platforms is getting nasty — here’s how much it’ll cost you] The second option is Peacock Premium, which will be offered in a bundle to Comcast and Cox users.

You have Peacock Free (which sounds like the name of a romance novel heroine), which as the name suggests is a free option.

Peacock will be a tiered service.

NBCUniversal today revealed details about its streaming service, Peacock.

I’ll be curious to see how Peacock competes, given how it’s probably the only name out there where you can get almost all of the service for nothing.

Image of article 'Importance of Hyper-parameters in Model development'

Importance of Hyper-parameters in Model development

In ML, hyper-parameter optimization or tuning is the problem of choosing a set of optimal hyper-parameters for a learning algorithm.

When a machine learning algorithm is tuned for specific problems by changing the higher level APIs for optimization, we need to tune the hyper-parameters also to discover the parameters that results in a model with higher accuracy in prediction.

The common Hyper-parameters are: Model optimization using hyper-parameter tuning is a search problem to identify the ideal combination of these parameters.

The commonly used methods for optimization using hyper-parameters are; Grid search, Random search and Beyesian optimization.

In Grid search, a list of all possible values for each hyper-parameter in a specified range is constructed and all possible combinations of these values are tried sequentially.

Apple Announces App Store Price Changes in Two Countries, Reminds Developers About New Tax in Singapore

Apple today announced that, in the next few days, prices of App Store apps and in-app purchases, excluding auto-renewable subscriptions, will decrease in Thailand and increase in Pakistan due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations.Additionally, on January 1, 2020, a 7% sales tax for overseas digital services was introduced in Singapore.

App Store developers based in Singapore who provide their GST number in App Store Connect will not have their proceeds affected, according to Apple.

Otherwise, proceeds will be adjusted accordingly.

Organized cybercrime -- not your average mafia

The research, published in International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, also debunks common misconceptions that sophisticated organized criminal networks -- such as the Russian mafia -- are the ones creating cybercrime.

Holt and lead author E. R. Leukfeldt, researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, reviewed 18 cases from the Netherlands in which individuals were prosecuted for cases related to phishing.

Holt explained that organized cybercrime networks are made up of hackers coming together because of functional skills that allow them to collaborate to commit the specific crime.

Research from Michigan State University is one of the first to identify common attributes of cybercrime networks, revealing how these groups function and work together to cause an estimated $445-600 billion of harm globally per year.

"As things move to the dark web and use cryptocurrencies and other avenues for payment, hacker behaviors change and become harder to fully identify, it's going to become harder to understand some of these relational networks," Holt said.

Daily Briefing, Jan. 17

For more items and links, subscribe to the Tech Chronicle newsletter at @techchronicle That was the market cap hit Thursday by Mountain View’s Alphabet, making it the fourth technology company — after Apple, Amazon and Microsoft over the past two years — to pass this once unimaginable valuation.

Number of the day $1 trillion More Information Daily Briefing is compiled from San Francisco Chronicle staff and news services.

The effort will bring to 100 the number of “community stores” Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015, including one in Phoenix, right.

The Seattle company plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. Each store will hire local staff, including construction crews and artists, and will have community event spaces.

Daily Briefing, Jan. 17 Chronicle Staff and News Services Published 4:46 pm PST, Thursday, January 16, 2020 Starbucks’ push in poorer areas Starbucks said Thursday it is expanding its effort to put more coffee shops — and create more jobs — in poor neighborhoods.

Image of article 'The FBI Can Unlock Florida Terrorist's iPhones Without Apple'

The FBI Can Unlock Florida Terrorist's iPhones Without Apple

Indeed, Strafach and other security experts said Apple wouldn't need to create a backdoor for the FBI to access the iPhones that belonged to Alshamrani.

The comments add to pressure on Apple to create special ways for the authorities to access iPhones.

Attorney General William Barr slammed Apple on Monday, saying the company hasn't done enough to help the FBI break into the iPhones.

The FBI is pressing Apple to help it break into a terrorist's iPhones, but the government can hack into the devices without the technology giant, according to experts in cybersecurity and digital forensics.

Further reading: The FBI Got Data From A Locked iPhone 11 Pro Max -- So Why Is It Demanding Apple Unlock Older Phones?