All posts in “Events”

Black Friday’s best tech bets

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and gratefulness. The following day, on the other hand, is dedicated to rampant consumerism and generally attempting to not get trampled by a stampede of fellow deal seekers — the reason for the season, as the saying goes.

Writing about tech for a living means our inboxes have been bombarded by Black Friday deals over the past few weeks. Digging through all of the seasonal sales can be every bit as overwhelming as the shopping experience itself, so in honor of making your Thanksgiving weekend slightly less stressful than it has to be, here’s a roundup of some of the best tech deals you’ll find a week from today.

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Disrupt SF 2018

Facebook’s testing a new method to prevent revenge porn that requires uploading your nudes

2 hours ago by Megan Rose Dickey

Smart trucking startup CargoX raises $20M

4 hours ago by Anthony Ha

What happens when you sell your startup?

4 hours ago by Jason Rowley

Spiegel hopes to save Snapchat with an algorithmic feed

4 hours ago by Josh Constine

Snap is having a bad day

4 hours ago by Matthew Lynley

Snapchat share price craters on weak revenue and user growth in Q3 2017

5 hours ago by Josh Constine

Twitter officially expands its character count to 280 starting today

5 hours ago by Sarah Perez

Vidrovr raises $1.25M to bring smarter video search to publishers

5 hours ago by Anthony Ha

UK bulk spying challenge in European Court of Human Rights

6 hours ago by Natasha Lomas

The Parrot Bebop 2 Power lets you boldly go where no drone has gone before

6 hours ago by John Biggs

Dispatches from the cutting edge of computer vision

Creating photorealistic images from scratch on demand

Imagine a house, but it’s upside-down, and made of meat, and someone’s pouring mustard all over it. Not the most pleasant image, but you didn’t have any trouble picturing it in your mind, right? Having computers do the same thing would be a powerful tool and also is just an interesting challenge on its own.

It’s actually been done before, but the results aren’t pretty. In this paper, however, the researchers essentially have the computer make first attempt based on its knowledge of words and images, then a separate algorithm evaluates the resulting picture and makes suggestions, and the picture is refined. It’s a bit like making a rough sketch of what you’re thinking of, then looking at it and fixing it for the next iteration. The pictures are still pretty crude, but they’re recognizable and that’s what matters.

Here are the Russian ads that deceived users on Facebook and Instagram

It’s clear from the testimony of internet companies that Russian interests were attempting to influence public opinion via social media to an extent no one expected. The content itself, however, has largely been a mystery — the ads and fake accounts have long been taken down. But Facebook delivered them to Congress as part of an ongoing inquiry into the effect of Russia’s meddling, and the House’s Intelligence Committee has posted a handful ahead of its hearing tomorrow.

The striking thing about these ads is how banal they are; “election interference” sounds very cloak-and-dagger, but the effort here is very clearly more subtle than that. Click through for examples of how the effort aimed not just to discredit a candidate (though Clinton was reliably the target), but to hammer in wedges and foment division on existing issues.