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TC

What the FDA’s restriction of e-cig flavors means for Juul

By | fda, Gadgets, Government, Health, juul, juul labs, Startups, TC

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed his plans to combat underage use of e-cigs and nicotine, which has grown 78 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018. The commissioner today announced a plan that would remove all flavored electronic nicotine delivery system products — with the exception of tobacco, mint, menthol or non-flavored […]

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The Da Vinci Drawmaton is a blast from the Renaissance

By | Artificial Intelligence, Da Vinci Surgical System, engineer, Gadgets, robot, Robotics, TC, The New York Times

Robert Sabuda makes mechanical books – pop up books with mechanical features that make them move and change while you read them – and he’s made it to the top of the New York Times best seller list multiple times. Now he’s taking on a new challenge: rebuilding and selling a version of Leonardo da […]

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How machine learning systems sometimes surprise us

By | cognitive science, energy, Gadgets, learning, machine learning, neuroscience, simulation, spreadsheet, TC

This simple spreadsheet of machine learning foibles may not look like much but it’s a fascinating exploration of how machines “think.” The list, compiled by researcher Victoria Krakovna, describes various situations in which robots followed the spirit and the letter of the law at the same time. For example, in the video below a machine […]

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These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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Sony filed a patent for a touchscreen-equipped PlayStation controller

By | Gadgets, Gaming, playstation, Sony, TC

According to a patent application continuation filed in 2017 and published recently, Sony may have tentative plans to build out a touchscreen-equipped PlayStation controller. Whether the value added from having a touchscreen right on the controller will be worth the added cost is not yet clear. Right now, PlayStation controllers have a touch-enabled center button […]

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Facebook Portal needs more. At least it just added YouTube

By | Amazon, Amazon Echo Show, Apps, Facebook, Facebook Portal, Gadgets, Google, Google Assistant, Google Home Hub, Hardware, Media, Social, TC, YouTube

To offset the creepiness of having Facebook’s camera and microphone in your house, its new Portal video chat gadget needs best-in-class software.  Its hardware is remarkably well done, plus Messenger and the photo frame feature work great. But its third-party app platform was pretty skimpy when the device launched this week. Facebook is increasingly relying […]

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