Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is creating a technology-startup incubator in Silicon Valley to identify changes that will reshape the retail experience, including virtual reality, autonomous vehicle and drone delivery and personalized shopping.
The incubator will be called Store No. 8, a reference to a Wal-Mart location where the company experimented with new store layouts. Marc Lore, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations, announced the incubator Monday at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America's heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that's cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.
Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform "unauthorized" repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.
"When crunch time comes and we break down, chances are we don't have time to wait for a dealership employee to show up and fix it," Danny Kluthe, a hog farmer in Nebraska, told his state legislature earlier this month. "Most all the new equipment [requires] a download [to fix]."
The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Fireside Fiction owner and editor Brian White outlined a systematic structure of racial biases that have been built into the larger sci-fi publishing community.
"The advice to write 'what the market wants' is code for white characters and white stories," he wrote in his editorial, also arguing that black authors leave the field due to the lack of opportunities, while "subtle biases" continue to proliferate on a wide scale.
Fiction, we have a problem.Racism.Structural, institutional, personal, universal.We all know this. We do. We don't need numbers to see that, like everywhere in our society, marginalization of black people is still a huge problem in publishing. Specifically, as outlined here in Fireside's special report, we see that marginalization in short fiction magazines and their online equivalents. These same problems persist across publishing, but our study is focused on the world Fireside lives and breathes in: the speculative short fiction market.We don't need the numbers to know that racism is a problem in our field. But we have them.
My explanation for it is:
A) I'm nobody in the industry, with zero track record. Who's going to take a risk on that? Only a publishing house that has money set aside for test-flying new talent. With the industry in a downturn, the new talent is going to have to be pretty damn special.
We strive to be honest, open, up-front and straightforward, which is why when we received an odd email last week, we declined to engage with it beyond what we posted publicly.
Tonight, the author of that email made good on their promise and published their report, albeit still pseudonymously. After just a few hours of getting some pretty valid critique on twitter, citing "receiving threats," they decided to take it down.
Well, we think that's a shame—now that they've published it, their work should be available for the rest of our community to refer to and to engage with. So we've taken the liberty of copying their original Medium post, and pasting it in here.
Somebody posted a rebuttal to the bad study? Then they had to take it down, because they got threats? Now I'm interested.
A final note: We know that some usual suspects will attempt to invalidate what we've captured by claiming that our analysis lacks rigor, or our methodology was faulty. This is a smokescreen that these individuals use to hide the fact that they are against making the speculative fiction publishing space inclusive and respectful to black writers–all writers, really–and their work. Using assumed (and faulty) scientific expertise to attack the experiences of marginalized people is not a new tactic, and one that is frequently used by these groups in an attempt to maintain the oppressive systems that they believe should solely benefit them. They will never admit that fact so we are making it plain here.
This report is not for those people.
Again, this was a terrible study. This one the authors come right out and tell us all we better shut up if we don't agree 100%. To be fair to the first study, they only heavily imply doubters are racist, they don't come out and say so.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
What Amazon AMZN, -0.06% won't tell us is that every job created at Amazon destroys one or two or three others. What Jeff Bezos doesn't want you to know is that Amazon is going to destroy more American jobs than China ever did.
For the consumer, Amazon has brought lower prices and unimaginable convenience. I can buy almost any consumer product I want just by clicking on my phone or computer — or even easier, by just saying: "Alexa: buy me one" — and it will be shipped to my door within days or even hours for free. I can buy books for my Kindle, or music for my phone instantly. I can watch movies or TV shows on demand.
But for retail workers, Amazon is a grave threat. Just ask the 10,100 workers who are losing their jobs at Macy's. M, -0.76% Or the 4,000 at The Limited. Or the thousands of workers at Sears SHLD, -0.45% and Kmart, which just announced 150 stores will be closing. Or the 125,000 retail workers who've been laid off over the past two years.
Could Amazon actually kill more American jobs than China did? It's quite likely. Economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson have estimated China's manufacturing exports to the U.S. may have cost as many as 2 million jobs.
If Amazon can capture 40% of the GAFO market within five years (as seems likely), about 1.5 million jobs at brick-and-mortar stores could be lost. Add in the jobs Amazon will kill at grocery stores, drugstores, warehouses and delivery services, and the total would be well over 2 million.
And unlike the manufacturing jobs lost to China, which were clustered in a comparatively few counties, those retail jobs are located in every city, town and hamlet in America.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
No word if this new tool will find -official- CIA rootkits. However, if those heinous Russian hackers have invaded your PC, you are all set.
The Advanced Threat team at Intel Security has created a new module for its existing CHIPSEC open-source framework to detect rogue EFI binaries. CHIPSEC consists of a set of command-line tools that use low-level interfaces to analyze a system's hardware, firmware, and platform components. It can be run from Windows, Linux, macOS, and even from an EFI shell.
The new CHIPSEC module allows the user to take a clean EFI image from the computer manufacturer, extract its contents and build a whitelist of the binary inside. It can then compare that list against the system's current EFI or against an EFI image previously extracted from a system.
If the tool finds any binary that don't match the clean EFI list, it's possible that the firmware has been infected. The rogue files are listed and can then be further analyzed.
Shia LaBeouf launched Version 3.0 of his plagued He Will Not Divide Us exhibit, originally intended as a four-year-long running protest of President Trump, but it barely lasted a day before Internet detectives conquered it using an astonishingly skillful scientific approach.Spoiler, they found it.
LaBeouf and his co-creators erected a white flag emblazoned with the words "He Will Not Divide Us" in an undisclosed location and trained a webcam on it, which he planned to stream continually at the website dedicated to the project.
Users deployed to the location, lowered the flag, and replaced it with a bright red "Make American Great Again" hat and t-shirt depicting Donald Trump and Pepe the Frog.
Update: Welcome to Kate's flying monkeys from Small Dead Animals! Woo hoo!
Thursday, March 09, 2017
The link between playing violent video games and antisocial behavior, such as increased aggression and decreased empathy, is hotly debated. Researchers in Germany used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on long-term players of violent video games and found that they had the same neural response to emotionally provocative images as non-gamers. This finding suggests that empathy is not blunted by playing such games long-term.
A burger-flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at a restaurant in California, replacing humans at the grill.
Flippy has mastered the art of cooking the perfect burger and has just started work at CaliBurger, a fast-food chain.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of 'Year Zero', the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said that 'Year Zero' revealed details of the CIA's "global covert hacking program," including "weaponized exploits" used against company products including "Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones."
Sunday, March 05, 2017
Snopes is a well-known fact-checking site that looks at "rumors, urban legends, myths and misinformation." That includes stories that involve politics. Yesterday the top story on the site was a fact check of claims that Democratic Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Keith Ellison refused to give a standing ovation to widow Carryn Owens during a joint session of Congress.Initially, the site listed that claim as unproven but then changed it's rating to false. There was a problem, though. The claim wasn't false, at least not if you noted the caveats made by the people making the claim.
Saturday, March 04, 2017
Shortly after that, Tula Arms Plant (TOZ – Tulskiy Oruzheyniy Zavod) started the development of a revolver, which they called TOZ-81 "Mars". The design idea of this revolver was offered by a famous Soviet gun writer and firearms historian Alexander Zhuk. You may have seen the "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Handguns" written by A.B. Zhuk, which almost entirely consists of firearm drawings with short descriptions. There is an English translation of this book. So the Tula factory formed a designing team, which would work on this gun. A. Zhuk and several firearms designers and engineers were the main members of that team. Zhuk drew the initial sketch of his idea of space revolver. Interestingly, the team first made a plastic mockup of the gun and submitted for final approval of the concept. Only after getting the design approved, they started to make the actual gun.
The work with laser cooling has really been perking along it seems.
MIT physicists have created a new form of matter, a supersolid, which combines the properties of solids with those of superfluids.
By using lasers to manipulate a superfluid gas known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, the team was able to coax the condensate into a quantum phase of matter that has a rigid structure—like a solid—and can flow without viscosity—a key characteristic of a superfluid. Studies into this apparently contradictory phase of matter could yield deeper insights into superfluids and superconductors, which are important for improvements in technologies such as superconducting magnets and sensors, as well as efficient energy transport. The researchers report their results this week in the journal Nature.
Here are pictures of a preliminary setup for creating rifling grooves in a piece of steel tubing by using a 3D printed spiral insert, lots of salt water and a battery charger. Electrochemical Machining is a process whereby metal is removed by passing an electrical current through a solution, the insert in this case exposing the specific areas to be 'cut' during the process. The results are quite interesting and certainly open up some possibilities for homebuilders.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Matt Cain, editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine, said: "It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney.
"By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural - and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it's still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.
"It's only a first step towards creating a cinematic world that reflects the world in which many of us are now proud to live. But it's a step in the right direction and I applaud Disney for being brave enough to make it - and in doing so hopefully helping to change attitudes and bring about real social progress."
It remains to be seen if audiences will agree with Mr. Cain, and pay money to bring their kids to see "this short but explicitly gay scene."
|Hey, big boy.|
The Deplorable Phantom