Pepper the robot can perform funerary rites, but it shouldn’t

 It’s not really clear just what “humanoid” robots are actually for. I’ve seen them do all kinds of things, but almost none of them well; at our recent Robotics event in Boston, several leading experts in the field questioned their necessity. But we grew up with Data and Robby and Cylons, and so now we ...

DOJ backs down from request for IP addresses that visited Trump protest website

 The Department of Justice has dropped its request for the IP addresses of visitors to an anti-Trump inauguration protest website. The news is a win for DreamHost, which went public with the situation last week, riling privacy advocates who decried the DOJ request for IP addresses that had visited disruptj20.org as dangerously broad. Read More Source: ...

Microsoft Brainwave aims to accelerate deep learning with FPGAs

 This afternoon Microsoft announced Brainwave, an FPGA-based system for ultra-low latency deep learning in the cloud. Early benchmarking indicates that when using Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs, Brainwave can sustain 39.5 Teraflops on a large gated recurrent unit without any batching. Read More Source: TechCrunch

MIT’s Robogami lets you build custom 3D-printable robots from standard, folding parts

 Flat-pack furniture made IKEA a global powerhouse, and the same principles may help create a new generation of robots. Interactive Robogami is a project from MIT that lets users create ambulatory robots from a library of pieces that fold and fit together like origami. Read More Source: TechCrunch

Blue Apron implements a partial hiring freeze and lays off 14 recruiters

 Blue Apron is chugging along on its post-IPO bumpy road: the meal-kit company’s VP of HR and talent has left; Blue Apron has put into effect a hiring freeze on some salaried positions, but is still hiring for certain corporate roles and hourly fulfillment center positions; and the company let go 14 members of its ...

This 23-year-old just closed her second fund — which is focused on aging — with $22 million

 Laura Deming is not your typical venture capitalist. Then again, she isn’t typical in many ways. For starters, the 23-year-old, New Zealand native was home schooled, developing along the way a love of math and physics and, perhaps most interestingly, the biology of aging. We caught up with Deming to learn more about her path ...

Salesforce slides past its $10B annual run rate target

 Salesforce reported its second-quarter earnings today, saying it brought in $2.56 billion in revenue on earnings of 33 cents per share. This is a beat on both fronts, but the stock dipped slightly in extended trading after seeing a rather stunning run-up over the course of the year. Read More Source: TechCrunch

Users dump AccuWeather iPhone app after learning it sends location data to a third party

 AccuWeather’s iOS app may be up to something fishy. Security researcher Will Strafach published a warning about the popular weather app’s behavior on Medium and users appear to be paying attention. I would find this less concerning if the AccuWeather's permission dialog mentioned tracking your home/work location, where you travel, etc. — Will Strafach (@chronic) ...

HP caters to gaming enthusiasts with new overclockable OMEN X laptops

 HP has been producing some solid gaming hardware as of late — the OMEN 17 laptop I reviewed and the cube desktop built by Maingear are good examples. However, HP has yet to go all out with their OMEN X brand — the “X” denoting the upper echelon of its high-performance brand — until now, with ...

Industrial hack can turn powerful machines into killer robots

 When we imagine the existential threat to humanity posed by automation, we usually think of the negative impact on the workforce, not robots literally bludgeoning us to death. In a post titled “Exploiting Industrial Collaborative Robots,” security researchers at IOActive detail how popular models of consumer and industrial robots have already been compromised in such ...