Find of the Day: 05 July 2016

This build’s a great project for those of you with access to a 3d printer. It’s a teeny-weeny wearable camera which you can program to take a continuous stream or (more fun) use to take a time-lapse recording of your day.

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Meet Samantha. She’s your friendly assistant from 2025. She sorts your mail, sets up your meetings, and orders groceries. She paints and writes poetry. She’s your best friend. She’s also an artificial intelligence from the movie Her, which imagines how a juiced-up Siri will change our lives.

Now, tech companies large and small are racing to make this a reality. You’ve read the news. You’ve heard the jargon: AI, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, natural language processing.

Maybe it’s all a little confusing. So here’s a primer on these concepts and how they’re interrelated.

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When Pixar’s Wall-E came out in 2008, we were introduced to a robot very different than any other previously depicted in pop culture. Not the titular Wall-E, who was similar enough to Short Circuit’s Number 5 to be familiar; no, we’re talking about Eve, the gleaming, smooth-surface ‘bot whose design Jony Ive was famously consulted on.

Eve looked like she came straight out of Cupertino and shared DNA with the earlier generations of iPods. But presented with her physical design, consider the challenge Pixar’s animators faced: How do you make a smooth white blob like that relatable?

The answer is: With the eyes. Not robotic, mechanical eyes, not organic-looking eyes that mimic those of a human, but with simple graphic elements produced with a marvelous economy of pixels.

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While companies like ABC Home and Design Within Reach tout the idea of bringing high design to the masses, their items are still out of reach for most of us. That’s especially true for frequent movers, for whom it’s hard to justify shelling out big money for furniture that might get left behind.

The obvious solution? The increasingly popular flat-pack furniture model. It’s generally affordable, you can buy it immediately, assemble and dissemble it at will, and you can furniture shop without leaving your couch (or floor, as the case may be). IKEA led the way, we’ll give it that. But other companies have taken flat-pack furniture and made it better: sturdier, sleeker, customizable, and able to survive multiple moves. Lately, these new flat-pack purveyors been coming out of the woodwork. Check out the top five in the link.

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You are looking at what may yet prove to be possibly the fastest and more certainly the quickest motor car that will ever be built. Allow me to explain; it is not unreasonable to imagine that environmental pressures and the race to perfect vehicle autonomy will signal a truce in the arms race that’s raged among super car manufacturers for the last 20 years or so. A race that has seen Ferrari, McLaren and Bugatti competing for records for the fastest and quickest accelerating cars. It’s a largely fatuous war if you ask me. If I’m right however and a ceasefire will soon be enforced – and don’t discount it – that would leave Aston Martin winners with this new car, the AM-RB 001.

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