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What VC legend Peter Thiel thinks of Edward Snowden, net neutrality and bitcoin

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Even in a technology landscape that features Mark Zuckerberg and the founders of Google, venture capitalist Peter Thiel stands out — not just because he was the first investor in Facebook and made close to $1 billion from that investment alone, but because he is also an avowed libertarian who advocates building autonomous countries that float on the ocean, among other things. The Founders Fund partner did one of Reddit’s trademark “Ask Me Anything” interviews on Thursday and in his usual fashion didn’t hold back from sharing his opinions:

On Edward Snowden and his revelations about the NSA: “I think Snowden revealed something that looks more like the Keystone Kops and very little like James Bond… more generally: the NSA has been hovering up all the data in the world, because it has no clue what it is doing. ‘Big data’ really means ‘dumb data.'”

On whether he considers

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Hands On With The Apple Watch

markephillips:

Flashbacks! SPOT!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Apple’s wearable strategy is out there, and the way they’re looking to distance themselves from the crowd is by introducing a smooth, highly usable interface with unique control mechanisms, and creating a device that embraces apps and features beyond notifications, but in a way that makes sense for a small-screened device. The Apple Watch also cozies up to mobile payments, with NFC and Apple’s new ‘Secure Element’ for storing payment information embedded within.

That means the Apple Watch can enable Apple Pay on any device it works with, which includes the iPhone 5 and later. But with this pre-release version, we were only able to check out basic features, including a demo reel while we wore the watch on our own wrists, and functioning devices operated by Apple employees to show us more advanced functionality.

Features will require more time to assess – the notifications and quick replies seem very…

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Toronto: ‘The Theory of Everything’ Made Stephen Hawking Cry

markephillips:

I can’t wait to cry myself.

Originally posted on Variety:

Focus Features’ much-awaited “The Theory of Everything” world premiered at Toronto on Sunday night to the most rapturous standing ovation of the festival so far. The Stephen Hawking biopic starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (as wife Jane Hawking) left not a dry eye in the house.

Director James Marsh introduced the film and joined his stars onstage for an audience Q&A later. Redmayne, who wore a dapper turquoise suit, described the project “one of the most extraordinary, terrifying and brilliantly inspiring experiences of my life. ”

He said he spent six months researching Hawking’s life, watching every scrap of interview footage he could find, and only got to meet the real man five days before filming began.

He was so nervous, he kept blurting out biographical details about Hawking to the Hawking, which didn’t exactly impress the world-renowned physicist. As a an ice-breaker, Redmayne even told Hawking them were…

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New Breed of Online Stars Rewrite the Rules of Fame

markephillips:

So interesting a new channel to emerge into the entertainment scene, and from the looks of it, they are not doing too shabby with their YouTube channels. A far cry from the struggling waiters.

Originally posted on Variety:

He may be huge on YouTube, but few in Hollywood know who Shane Dawson is. Not yet, anyway.

The 26-year-old is best known to 12 million-plus subscribers across three differentYouTubechannels, but he’s about to make a name for himself in film and TV, too. Dawson is directing a movie commissioned by Starz for upcoming docuseries “The Chair,” which follows two filmmakers who are given the same script to shoot. And NBC ordered a script for “Losin’ It,” a sitcom based on Dawson’s life working at a Jenny Craig weight-loss center, which he is developing with Sony Pictures Television.

“YouTube opened up a lot of doors,” said Dawson, who is repped by UTA. “It’s the best place to be discovered, because it’s something that you personally have done, rather than (you) reading someone else’s words.”

But Chris Moore, (“American Reunion,” “Project Greenlight 3”) executive producer of “The Chair,”…

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Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers to also lead iTunes Radio at Apple, according to report

markephillips:

Exciting!

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

apple-beats-music-1100x1100

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ian Rogers, the head of Beats Music, will now also lead iTunes Radio following the Apple acquisition. Apple wants to increase collaboration between both Beats Music and iTunes Radio by having both streaming services led by Rogers. Up to now, iTunes Radio has been headed by Jeff Robin’s team, best known for creating the software that became iTunes.

The Journal says that Rogers’ leadership will increase ‘cohesion’ between the services, which currently offer a lot of app in their end-user experiences. It is still unclear whether Apple has plans to consolidate the brands.

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Hexapod then and now.

spider robot

My hexapod from 2000 had a PIC 16C84F and the servo leg positions for its gaits were precomputed,  the data filled the entire micro-controller.  Linear interpolated gait look-up tables were the way to go. It seems that the approach is still a sound one.  http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/31/watch-this-robot-learn-to-walk-off-an-injury/