Month: March 2020

An entrepreneur’s guide to startups battling COVID-19

Around the world, communities, organizations, and governments, are waging the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, hoping to turn the tide and help the public cope in the interim. Solidarity and mutually shared responsibility have proved critical in the very slow return to normalcy, as both private and public organizations look to each other for advice on how to best mitigate the effects of the pandemic.  The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released its COVID Action Platform, with an aim to mobilize collective support from all stakeholders for the COVID-19 response. Meanwhile, the US government signed a $2.2 trillion rescue package…

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Claims that AI detects coronavirus in X-rays aren’t convincing medical experts

X-rays reveal the horrific damage the coronavirus does to the lungs. Images released by the Radiological Society of North America show how the virus fills the lungs with sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe as there’s little space remaining for fresh air to enter. These effects have led a host of tech firms to release AI systems that can detect signs of the infection in the lungs. Their rationale is straightforward: AI, and in particular deep learning, has had some of its biggest successes in classifying features in images. If it can pick out details from high-resolution photos,…

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The night is always darkest before the dawn

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola quarantine buddies, In dark, uncertain times I’m often comforted by the words of wise people. No, I’m not talking about scholars and philosophers. I take my solace from my Hollywood heroes. Brandon Lee, as The Crow, famously once said “It can’t rain all the time,” a quote that tends to bubble to my brain when things seem grim. Here’s another, from Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight: “The night…

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Meet the quarantined street photographers documenting life in ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

Since the 19th century, photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Joel Meyerowitz have been tirelessly roaming around to photograph life on the streets. Camera strapped in hand, these artists devoted thousands of hours seeking for beauty and meaning in the banalities of daily life. Although the proliferation of camera tech has drastically changed the landscape of street photography in the digital age, the tradition is continued by thousands of enthusiasts photographers who are still pushing the envelope on what the genre should be about — and what it means to be a street photographer in the 21st century. [Read: I hated street photography with the…

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This tool erases web page text to reveal hidden poetry

Since TNW is a news site, we produce a lot of written text. For the most part that’s all valuable and relevant, but since I look at these walls of text for 40 hours a week, there are moments where they become overwhelming and stifling. I mean, just how much can you read about the exhilarating tech world every day? Luckily enough, I found the antidote to this textual stuffiness in a piece of computational art.  While looking into Nick Montfort’s portfolio of work, I discovered an excellent tool/art piece that uses javascript to erase parts of the text displayed…

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Animal Crossing’s Tom Nook is a patriarchal tyrant in raccoon form

Like what seems like the rest of the world is doing right now, I’ve been playing the new Animal Crossing: New Horizons game on Nintendo Switch, and it didn’t disappoint. The game remains innocently filled with charm, but beneath the beautiful spring weather and soothing music is a thirsty raccoon puppeteering your every move — and his name is Tom Nook. Since downloading, I’ve religiously watered my flowers, donated countless fish and bugs to my local museum, and undergone a horrendous amount of free (slave) labor for this raccoon. If you didn’t know, Tom Nook is the face of the…

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Daily Distraction: How to get fit within your four walls

Over the weekend, I saw a ton of people on my Twitter timeline talking about Dalgona coffee. If you don’t know about this trend, it’s fine. Dalgona coffee is a frothy and creamy coffee that’s made by vigorously whipping coffee, sugar, and a little bit of water. Now, if you own a blender or electric whisker, it’s easy for you to enjoy this Instagram worthy delight. However, if you don’t own any of these gadgets, you need to use your hand and whip this mixture for a long time to get the right texture and flavor — and that’s quite…

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Holy sheet: Here’s how to grab a web page’s data with Google Sheets

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Scraping data is all the rage nowadays. But what many don’t know is that you don’t need to be a fancy hacker to be able to collect data from websites. In fact, you don’t even need any coding skills. A multitude of tools such as browser extensions exist to alleviate the required technical knowledge. But even if that’s one hurdle too far for you, do not worry. Google will come to the rescue. Google…

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The debut electric vehicle from former Tesla engineer faces delay

The first EV from Lucid Motors Inc., the car company setup by former Tesla chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, won’t be going ahead exactly as planned. Due to uncertainty spurred on by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Lucid Air EV is not entering production on schedule and is being put on hold until later in the year, Silicon Valley Business Journal reports. [Read: Grab makes e-scooter and cab rides free for frontline coronavirus workers in the Philippines] The company had planned to publicly unveil the vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show. However, the show was canceled late last week, as…

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Coronavirus hype leads New York’s top lawyer to probe Zoom over security

Zoom, the free conference calling app that’s found booming popularity amongst both users and stock traders during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, has now drawn the attention of New York attorney general, Laetitia James. James’ office sent the company a letter on Monday that requested the startup provide details of additional steps its taken to protect new users, which are especially important considering Zoom’s rough history with security flaws, the New York Times reports. [Read: SEC halts $ZOOM after coronavirus traders confuse it for Zoom app] “[Our office] is concerned that Zoom’s existing security practices might not be sufficient to adapt to…

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Or just read more coverage about: Security