Google’s DeepMind Defeats Legendary Go player Lee Se-dol in Historic Victory

Defeating a professional Go player with an AI was one of the holy grails of AI a decade ago. What progress we have made since…


Documentarian wipes out Warner’s $2M “Happy Birthday” copyright

Joe Mullin, reporting for Ars Technica on a glimpse of sanity across the pond:

More than two years after a documentary filmmaker challenged the copyright to the simple lyrics of the song “Happy Birthday,” a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the copyright is invalid.

Don’t hold your breath just yet, as it will likely end up in an appeals court — there’s 2M per year at stake after all. But hey, hat to District Judge George King for giving it the opportunity to do so.


Apple Made a Stylus!

Rene Richie, for iMore:

The Apple Pencil felt like a pencil: The weight and size is just right, and it doesn’t glide too fast over glass like current plastic-tipped third party styluses. It had a little drag, just like you experience with paper. No texture, obviously, but something smooth without being unnatural.

Apple has drastically increased the sensitivity of the iPad display to make this interactivity work, but they didnt add Force Touch to the display itself: Instead, the company added pressure awareness to the tip of the Apple Pencil. Apple also added a ton of smarts so the stylus, together with the iPad Pro, can measure position, force, and tilt.

I’m going to spending a lot of time sketching, drawing, and painting with the iPad Pro. A lot.

He won’t be the only one. And John Gruber was wrong on Apple never making a Stylus. I never got myself to drawing with a finger – or worse, a clumsy mouse. It might be just me. But a pencil strikes me as the right tool when you’re working on sketches or what have you.


“Don’t Take Advice” and More Startup Advice

Jolijt Tamanaha:

Time is King. Investors love saying “cash is King” but cash is only King because cash buys you time.

Via Oliver Binkhorst.


Twitter Drops 140-Character Limit on Direct Messages


If you’ve checked your Direct Messages today, you may have noticed that something’s missing: the limitation of 140 characters. You can now chat on (and on) in a single Direct Message, and likely still have some characters left over.

While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news, movements, and events that unfold on Twitter. Each of the hundreds of millions of Tweets sent across Twitter every day is an opportunity for you to spark a conversation about what’s happening in your world. That’s why we’ve made a number of changes to Direct Messages over the last few months. Today’s change is another big step towards making the private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun.

That’s a pretty significant change if you’re using tools like TweetDrip or if you like to your inundate your followers with direct messages. So it’s useful for marketers. For everyone else, I’ve my doubts.


Stuff in Space

A real-time visualization of objects in orbit around Earth. You can zoom in and out, rotate, and click on items to know more about them. Neat stuff.



Greek Crisis: European Leaders Scramble for Response to Referendum No Vote

Previously. Yanis Varoufakis’ take on it.

This comment by a Greek citizen nails it (translated from French):

In what country would people sheepishly accept that Martin Schulz tell them that it’s a done deal two days before the vote, that Yes will win, and that their government will resign and give way to technocrats?


Scientists Have Broken One of the Biggest Limits in Fibre Optic Networks

Mark Jackson for ISPreview:

The team were able to boost the power of their transmission some 20 fold and push data over a “record-breaking” 12,000km (7,400 miles) long fibre optic cable. Amazingly the data was still intact at the other end and that was achieved without using repeaters and only needing standard amplifiers (the cost of repeaters plays a big part in the overall expense of such networks).

That’s a pretty cool development. In practical terms, it means financial centers on each side of the pond will be able to exchange information with a much shorter round trip delay. It also makes serving your content as close as you can from your users (using a CDN) less useful.


Humans Need Not Apply

CGP Grey:

This video isn’t about how automation is bad — rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort. We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most jobs, humans need not apply.


The ROI of Side Projects

Mikael Cho, for crew.co:

Marketing today is defined by how useful it is to your customers. And the bar for useful has risen substantially. Where blog posts, infographics, and webinars were once marketing gold, websites, apps, and tools are taking over.

It’s a good post but I don’t agree with the above conclusion. I can’t recollect a time when apps and tools were less efficient than blog posts, infographics, and webinars. At one point in the past, a great way to launch a new site was to produce a few themes or plugins and give them away for free. My previous blog grew to 40k/month overnight using that trick. The main difference nowadays is that you’ve repositories for just about everything, so one of the only high impact things left is building custom web apps and tools.

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