After Twitter bot makes death threat, its owner gets questioned by police


Robots are starting to break the law, the law is trying to figure out what to do about it, and it all seems to be happening in Europe. Last month, Swiss authorities seized the Random Darknet Shopper art exhibit which included weekly purchases made by an automated bot given Bitcoin to surf a Dark Web marketplace. (It mainly bought drugs.) This week, police in the Netherlands are dealing with a robot miscreant. Amsterdam-based developer Jeffry van der Goot reports on Twitter that he was questioned by police because a Twitter bot he owned made a death threat.

Van der Goot’s bot used his own tweets as fodder, taking random chunks of them and trying to recombine them into new sentences that made sense. According to van der Goot, the bot tweeted something that sounded like a threat which mentioned an upcoming event in Amsterdam. Best of all, the bot was responding to another bot, according to van der…

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IoT Developer Survey – What are developers doing with IoT?

Ian Skerrett

For the last 3 years, we have been working to create an IoT open source community at Eclipse. Like most open source communities, our community members are developers and in this case who are building IoT solutions. One common question I get asked is ‘What are developers doing with IoT’. Unfortunately, my answer varies between ‘everything’ and ‘I don’t know’. Not a very helpful response.

To help answer the question ‘What are developers doing with IoT?’ we have launched the IoT Developer Survey. Our hope is to get a cross-section of developers working in IoT to provide input into their plans for IoT solutions, the technology they use and their perceptions of the industry players. The survey is 18 questions and should take 5-10 minutes to complete. As a thank you we will draw 3 names who will win $100 gift cards at your favorite electronics distributor so you can build…

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Here’s more evidence that sports is a goldmine for machine learning


If you really like sports and you’re really skilled at data analysis or machine learning, you might want to make that your profession.

On Thursday, private equity firm Vista announced it has acquired a natural-language processing startup called Automated Insights and will make it a subsidiary of STATS, a sports data company that Vista also owns. It’s just the latest example of how much money there is to be made when you combine sports, data and algorithms.

The most-popular story about Automated Insights is that its machine-learning algorithms are behind the Associated Press’s remarkably successful automated corporate-earnings stories, but there’s much more to the business than that. The company claims its algorithms have a place in all sorts of areas where users might want to interact with information in natural language — fitness apps, health care, business intelligence and, of course, sports.

In fact, someone from Automated Insights recently told me that fantasy sports is…

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A War Photographer Embeds Himself Inside a Video Game


The Last of Us Remastered is a post-apocalyptic video game released earlier this year on PlayStation 4 with an in-game Photo Mode, which freezes the game and lets players shoot, edit and share photographs of their achievements.

TIME assigned conflict photographer Ashley Gilbertson to use the Photo Mode to document the game’s protagonists as they fight to survive in a zombie-infested world. Gilbertson writes about his experience.

I’ve spent a few days inside the body of an angry Hugh Jackman-lookalike.

TIME asked me to work as a photographer within the video game called The Last of Us Remastered, a hyper violent game in which a player must kill people that are infected with some type of brain and flesh condition. The game, which is very carefully rendered to look as real as possible, gives the player access to a wide variety of weapons, but it also provides players with…

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Benchmarking The Raspberry Pi 2


The Raspberry Pi has only been available for a few days, but already those boards are heading through the post office and onto workbenches around the world. From the initial impressions, we already know this quad-core ARMv7 system boots in about half the time, but other than that, there aren’t many real benchmarks that compare the new Raspberry Pi 2 to the older Raspi 1 or other similar tiny Linux dev boards. This is the post that fixes that.

A word of warning, though: these are benchmarks, and benchmarks aren’t real-world use cases. However, we can glean a little bit of information about the true performance of the Raspberry Pi 2 with a few simple tools.

For these tests, I’ve used Roy Longbottom’s Raspberry Pi benchmarking tools, nbench, and a few custom tools to determine how fast both hardware versions of the Raspberry are in real-world use…

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Are You a Dish-Washing Robot?

Math with Bad Drawings

or, How to Avoid Thinking in Math Class #3
(See Also Parts 1, 2, and 4)

On Friday I realized—yet again—that my too-clever-for-their-own-good students were finding ways to answer questions without understanding the ideas.

Rather than reckon with the concept of slope, they were memorizing a complex rule:


That’s all true, so far as it goes, but it’s as opaque and sinister as the tax code.

“Math is supposed to make sense!” I told them, and in my flailing to explain why, I found myself reaching for my favorite rhetorical tool: the overly-detailed analogy.

So, to see what math class is like for memorization-driven students, imagine that you’re a household robot.


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