Here’s our first look at Acer’s upcoming Iconia One 10 tablet

Why it matters to you

The 2017 Acer Iconia One 10 is shaping up to be quite a device, and now we’ve got our first look at the tablet.

It looks like Acer is planning a follow-up to last year’s Acer Iconia One 10 — with a new tablet of the same name. Now, we have our first look at what the new tablet might look like thanks to a leak from Slashleaks.

The leak doesn’t just offer a look at the tablet’s design — it also shows off some of the specs we can expect from the phone. For example, the device will reportedly come with a quad-core MediaTek MT8167 processor, along with 2GB of RAM, which should help make it relatively powerful for most consumer uses. Sure, those in need of a ton of power for multitasking and high-performance apps might need something a little more intense — but the tablet should be fine for things like web-browsing and social media.

Apart from the processor and RAM, according to the leak the tablet offers a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, coupled with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It’ll also boast 16GB or 32GB of RAM, along with a pretty hefty 6,100mAh battery, which should keep the tablet going for a solid day or two of use.

The display on the tablet sits in at 10.1-inches with a Full HD resolution, so the tablet will be a great choice for things like watching movies and videos. The specs represent a very minor change over last year’s Acer Iconia One 10 tablet, with the only real change being the display. While the new device has a Full HD, or 1920 x 1080, display, last year’s offered a 1280 x 800-resolution tablet.

We also have a leaked image of the tablet, and while it’s not an overly stunning device, it’s not bad-looking either. The leak shows a black tablet, but we assume that — like last year — the tablet will also be available in white, if you so choose.

We’ll update this article as we hear more about the 2017 Acer Iconia One 10.

Protect your privacy with a lifetime subscription to Disconnect Premium

In today’s age of mass surveillance, online privacy has become a major concern. Increasing numbers of people are turning to security and encryption software, which were once solely within the purview of tech experts and government agencies. Award-winning software like Disconnect has now made it easy for average users to protect themselves from cybercriminals, nosy ISPs, and annoying advertising trackers.

The internet is full of threats to your privacy, with a myriad of hidden trackers designed to collect your personal information. Many of these exist for purposes such as targeted advertisements, Disconnect Premiumwhich, while annoying, are relatively harmless. Others pose a more serious danger, using these security holes as an avenue for hacking and theft.

Disconnect totally blocks these tracking requests, keeping your personal info and browsing habits free from prying eyes. Disconnect Premium takes security to another level: Along with completely blocking trackers, a Premium subscription gives you a full-featured virtual private network.

This VPN totally encrypts your internet connection and routs it through a secure network of private servers. Along with blocking trackers, Disconnect PremiumDisconnect Premium locks down your devices so that nobody – not even your internet service provider – can see the data being transmitted on your local network. Tunneling your connection through foreign servers also makes it appear as if you are accessing websites from a different country, further enhancing your privacy and allowing you to bypass regional access restrictions.

Disconnect has made a huge splash in recent years as one of the top providers of online privacy and anti-tracking software. The company has earned numerous accolades as well, including the 2015 Innovation Award for Privacy and Security from SXSW.

A Premium subscription to Disconnect normally costs $50 per year, but you can enjoy lifetime access for just $49 from the DT Shop. You can use Disconnect Premium on up to three of your devices simultaneously, and the app is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows operating systems. If you aren’t sure you need a lifetime membership, you can also get a discounted one-year subscription for $19, or three years for just $29.

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We now have our best look at the budget-friendly Meizu M5c smartphone

Why it matters to you

Meizu is helping push the boundaries when it comes to value for money, meaning our budget phones should be getting better and better.

Meizu is at it again. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer is prepping another device in the M5 series to join the previously launched Meizu M5s. This time around, the company will launch a more budget-focused M5c.

But what will the Meizu M5c look like? We’ve finally got our first look at the phone through a leak posted on Android Central, showing quite a classy look to the phone. The website shows that the phone will be available in a range of different colors, including black, blue, red, pink, and gold.

The best look we have is at the red version of the phone, and you might notice that the phone doesn’t look all that different from the Meizu M5 — although that makes sense considering the fact that the two phones are in the same family.

We don’t yet know exactly when we’ll see the phone, but considering the fact that this leak appears to have come from a non-live version of Meizu’s website, it’s likely it’ll show up pretty soon.

Before the Android Central leak, we were treated to what appears to be a spec leak from PinoyScreenCast. According to the leak, the phone will feature a 1.5GHz MediaTek processor, along with a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720. It’ll also come with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, as well as an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The battery on the phone is 3,020mAh, which should be plenty for a day’s use. If the 16GB of storage isn’t enough, the phone does offer a MicroSD card slot

All-in-all, the phone is shaping up to be pretty decent, although that will largely depend on the price that the phone comes at. The PinoyScreenCast leak suggests the phone will come at “around 5,000” Philippine pesos, which equates to around $100 — which is not a bad price to pay for this device.

Anderson Cooper DGAF, literally talks about Trump taking a dump on his desk

We’ve all marveled at Anderson Cooper’s brutal eye roll. But now he’s slinging some serious … well, you’ll see. 

On Friday, the Coop was talking with conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord. The topic, naturally, was the news that Donald Trump told Russian officials at the Oval Office that firing that “nut job” James Comey took pressure off the FBI’s investigation. 

“I don’t care what he says to the Russians. I mean, he’s the president of the United States,” Lord said. 

Then Cooper responded with this:

Yes, he said, “If he took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.”

First, cleanse the image of Donald Trump doing that from your mind. Go on, we’ll give you a minute. OK, now … hold on, cleanse it from your mind again. 

Anyway, the Anderson diss seemed to resonate with some people, despite the scenario being (please God) far-fetched.

Not that everyone was pleased.  

Politics in 2017. It smells great. 

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AI is absolutely horrible at naming paint colors

Is that purple or "stanky bean?"
Is that purple or “stanky bean?”

Image: Shutterstock / MvanCaspel

Tired of your boring eggshell walls? A new AI experiment recommends colors like “Sink” or “Bank Butt.”

Researcher Janelle Shane trained a neural network to come up with paint names, and it resulted in gems like “Stoner Blue” and “Turdly,” she wrote in a blog post.

She conducted an experiment by using a training data set of about 7,700 paint names from Sherwin-Williams along with the RGB (red, green, and blue color values). 

She then had the network generate new colors and names for those colors. The results were hugely varied, including colors with Gray or Blue in the name that had nothing to do with those colors, or completely abstract and awesome names like “Stanky Bean.”

Image: janelle shane

Shane found that her network was especially fond of brown, beige, and gray. She has conducted a number of similar experiments with neural nets — from naming metal bands to generating recipes — with hilarious results. You can check out more of her work here.

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Watch millions of people use Google’s quirky sketch game in these addictive GIFs

Google introduced Quick, Draw! last November at our productivity’s great expense. We spent hours in the office toying around with the image maker, resulting in some next-level sketches and a firm lecture from our bosses about “proper time management,” whatever that means. 

The tool wasn’t just meant to help us waste time, though — Quick, Draw! was actually a clever crowdsourcing effort from Google’s A.I. Experiments team to train its neural network. As people played the game, the system learned how to identify exactly what they were sketching more accurately.  

Google did us all a solid and released the data gathered from the program to give us all a look at how 15 million people have used Quick, Draw! since November. The cache has over 50 million drawings spread out over 345 different categories, so there’s clearly been plenty of time spent doodling away online — which is great for the AI, as we saw at the company’s recent I/O developers conference. By releasing the dataset, Google hopes to give everyone a chance to use the crowdfunded sketches, especially developers trying to train neural networks of their own.

The data might be for aimed at developers — but that doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy it. With all the drawings released, the real fun is in scrolling through the endless rows of user-drawn sketches as they pop up in real-time. 

Here’s a few animal sketches in GIF form — but you should totally check out the full set, too.

Image: google quick, draw!

Image: google quick, draw!

Nothing is better than the line. It might surprise you, but there more than just one way to drag your finger (or mouse) from point A to B. 

Image: google quick, draw!

If you’re a developer, researcher, or anyone else with more than just a casual interest in the work, you can check out the full dataset on Github. That way, you can actually help make all of that time we wasted worthwhile.

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The 2017 version of Acer’s Iconia One 10 tablet was just leaked online

Why it matters to you

The 2017 Acer Iconia One 10 is shaping up to be quite a device, and now we’ve got our first look at the tablet.

It looks like Acer is planning a follow-up to last year’s Acer Iconia One 10 — with a new tablet of the same name. Now, we have our first look at what the new tablet might look like thanks to a leak from Slashleaks.

The leak doesn’t just offer a look at the tablet’s design — it also shows off some of the specs we can expect from the phone. For example, the device will reportedly come with a quad-core MediaTek MT8167 processor, along with 2GB of RAM, which should help make it relatively powerful for most consumer uses. Sure, those in need of a ton of power for multitasking and high-performance apps might need something a little more intense — but the tablet should be fine for things like web-browsing and social media.

Apart from the processor and RAM, according to the leak the tablet offers a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, coupled with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It’ll also boast 16GB or 32GB of RAM, along with a pretty hefty 6,100mAh battery, which should keep the tablet going for a solid day or two of use.

The display on the tablet sits in at 10.1-inches with a Full HD resolution, so the tablet will be a great choice for things like watching movies and videos. The specs represent a very minor change over last year’s Acer Iconia One 10 tablet, with the only real change being the display. While the new device has a Full HD, or 1920 x 1080, display, last year’s offered a 1280 x 800-resolution tablet.

We also have a leaked image of the tablet, and while it’s not an overly stunning device, it’s not bad-looking either. The leak shows a black tablet, but we assume that — like last year — the tablet will also be available in white, if you so choose.

We’ll update this article as we hear more about the 2017 Acer Iconia One 10.

Virtual reality helps people empathize with women visiting Planned Parenthood

It’s hard to understand what it feels like to be confronted or bullied outside a women’s health center — until it happens to you. 

I’d never had that experience until last year, while reporting on the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Before visiting the Whole Woman’s Health clinic in San Antonio, I expected some type of encounter. 

What I couldn’t anticipate was the surge of adrenaline and mild panic I felt when, after I opened my car door, a middle-aged man wearing sunglasses thrust pamphlets at me and said, “There’s a lot of killing that goes on in there.” 

I wasn’t there for an abortion or any of the routine gynecological services offered by Whole Woman’s Health, but I felt threatened and intimidated. I can only guess how the exchange might have affected me had I been a patient who lived nearby.

We don’t know how many people have this experience, but a 2013 survey of abortion clinic providers found that 92 percent were concerned about the safety of patients when they approached their facilities. And Planned Parenthood wants more of the public to understand it in a way it never has before.

That’s why the nonprofit organization — whose clinics see their share of anti-abortion rights protesters — created a virtual reality film called Across the Line last year to simulate a trip to a women’s health clinic punctuated by painful encounters with protesters. Now, new research suggests it’s having a positive impact.

A still image from 'Across the Line.'

A still image from ‘Across the Line.’

Image: Planned Parenthood / ACROSS THE LINE

Across the Line uses 360-degree video and computer-generated imaging to place the viewer in the body of someone entering a clinic to receive abortion care. The experience draws on real audio of people shouting, documentary footage, and scripted scenes. 

Seeing the experience unfold in virtual reality was jarring for some.

“In the early viewings [of the film] you’d have to counsel people … to stay with it for a minute and imagine this is someone you love going through this,” says Molly Eagan, vice president of Planned Parenthood Experience and an executive producer of Across the Line.

“Who is going to walk through a group of protestors and subject themselves to that?”

Planned Parenthood hoped that the film, which it showed last year to film festival participants and to dozens of people with moderate-to-conservative views on abortion, would increase empathy for people who have abortions, reduce tolerance for bullying, and even prompt people to act supportively by, for example, becoming a clinic escort or advocating for certain types of legislation. 

Virtual reality is generally thought to cultivate empathy, but Planned Parenthood now has preliminary research to suggest that it can achieve that and more.

The researchers, commissioned by the nonprofit, randomly split up viewers into two groups. In one group, people were surveyed about their views on clinic harassment before they watched the film; in the other, people were surveyed after. 

The results showed that the group that had seen the film before they were surveyed expressed more disapproval of clinic harassment than those who hadn’t yet watched it. They were also more inclined to dislike certain types of behavior, including individuals photographing patients, and protesters who demonstrated outside clinics.

A scene from 'Across the Line.'

A scene from ‘Across the Line.’

Image: Planned Parenthood / Across the Line

The people who saw the film at festivals last year were predominantly highly educated white men who identified as somewhat or very liberal.

When the researchers conducted comprehensive interviews in Kansas City and Atlanta, however, they largely spoke to women between the ages of 20 and 45 who never had an abortion and held moderate political beliefs. 

After watching the film, those participants were more empathetic toward women seeking an abortion and were open to talking about clinic bullying with friends. They were also willing to sign a petition against harassment on social media, though they were less interested to share it with their networks. Few said they would volunteer to escort women through crowds of protesters. 

“They were very upset because they didn’t realize this was the level of harassment their loved ones may have endured.” 

Eagan says the encouraging results give Planned Parenthood useful information on how to shape public opinion of clinic protests. In the past year, the film has been distributed to college campuses across the country. Planned Parenthood affiliates also have discussion guides complete with a Google Cardboard VR set, which can be used to view the film. 

Planned Parenthood is in the early stages of showing the film to legislatures and law enforcement groups so that policymakers and police officers, who often regulate clinic protests, better understand the effects of harassment. 

The stigma surrounding abortion, Eagan says, typically keeps people from talking about their experiences at clinics, which in turn means their family and friends don’t fully grasp what it’s like to encounter protesters. 

Even liberal viewers often had little knowledge of the kinds of harassment that can occur at a women’s health clinic. 

“They were very upset,” Eagan says, “because they didn’t realize this was the level of harassment their loved ones may have endured.” 

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Apple may face backlash in China over demanding App Store cut on tips

Chinese app makers are reportedly upset with Apple after it issued a new policy that recognizes tips as in-app purchases, according to The Wall Street Journal. This means small donations made from inside popular social networks in China will soon be made eligible for Apple’s 30 percent revenue cut.

Unlike in the US and other Western markets, in-app tipping is a more common display of gratitude in China toward writers, developers, and other content creators who give out stuff for free. However, Apple last month demanded app makers disable the tipping function per the new App Store rules, which will now recognize any donation as an official in-app purchase. Those who don’t comply risk being kicked out of the App Store, the WSJ reports.

Tipping is typically done through apps like the massively popular WeChat, which acts much like a mobile operating system with other services bundled inside of it. This results in Chinese consumers making use of services like food delivery and reading the news all from within WeChat’s ecosystem, which encourages users to tip. Apple, until now, hasn’t seen any of that revenue in the same way it does with app downloads and other more traditional in-app purchases.

This debate over tipping is yet another sign that Apple’s relationship with China has become increasingly more fragile. The contention is now a source of concern for the iPhone maker, which has seen the country’s fast-growing population become its largest global software market, with in-app revenues of more than $2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, according to the WSJ. And yet Apple’s revenues are falling in China and its market share has fallen behind by local Chinese brands, putting the company on the defensive in what is effectively the most important and lucrative market on the planet.

Project recreates cities in rich 3D from images harvested online


People are taking photos and videos all over major cities, all the time, from every angle. Theoretically, with enough of them, you could map every street and building — wait, did I say theoretically? I meant in practice, as the VarCity project has demonstrated with Zurich, Switzerland.

This multi-year effort has taken images from numerous online sources — social media, public webcams, transit cameras, aerial shots — and analyzed them to create a 3D map of the city. It’s kind of like the inverse of Google Street View: the photos aren’t illustrating the map, they’re the source of the map itself.

Because that’s the case, the VarCity data is extra rich. Over time, webcams pointed down streets show which direction traffic flows, when people walk on it, and when lights tend to go out. Pictures taken from different angles of the same building provide dimensional data like how big windows are and the surface area of walls.

The algorithms created and tuned over years by the team at ETH Zurich can also tell the difference between sidewalk and road, pavement and grass, and so on. It looks rough, but those blobby edges and shaggy cars can easily be interpreted and refit with more precision.

The idea is that you could set these algorithms free on other large piles of data and automatically create a similarly rich set of data without having to collect it on your own.

[embedded content]

“The more images and videos the platform can evaluate, the more precise the model becomes,” said a postdoc working on the project, Kenneth Vanhoey, in an ETH Zurich news release. “The aim of our project was to develop the algorithms for such 3D city models, assuming that the volume of available images and videos will also increase dramatically in the years ahead.”

Several startups have already emerged from the project: Spectando and Casalva offer virtual building inspections and damage analysis. Parquery monitors parking spaces in real time through its 3D knowledge of the city. UniqFEED (on a different note) monitors broadcasted games to tell advertisers and players how long they’re featured in the feed.

The video above summarizes the research, but a longer one going deeper into the data and showing off the resulting model will be appearing next week.