Google creates 13 emoji to represent working women



Spend any time tapping out emoji and you’ve probably noticed that women are confined to three principal roles: bride, princess and dancer. 

While these are lovely things to be, the limited selection grows tiresome quickly, especially in contrast to emojis that show men as a police officer, cyclist and weight lifter. 

The disparity was recently the subject of a new Always advertising campaign and a New York Times op-ed. Inspired by the controversy, four Google employees have suggested a plan to rectify the imbalance. A proposal released by the company this week suggests adding 13 new female emoji to “better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world.”  Read more…

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Apple won't end music downloads in 2 years, but it will someday



Apple, which recently launched a music streaming service, will continue to offer music downloads — an industry it helped legitimize — for a long time. The question now is how long is long?

A report surfaced on Wednesday saying plans to terminate iTunes music downloads in two years is “actively being considered and gaining favor” within the company. However, Apple representative Tom Neumayr denied the report to Mashable and other publications.

While the two-year timeline is very unlikely, music industry analyst Mark Mulligan predicts it will happen.  Read more…

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Nissan buys controlling share in Mitsubishi for $2.1 billion



Mitsubishi, days after admitting it had falsified fuel-efficiency ratings, just got snapped up by Nissan.

Nissan Motors announced Thursday that it will be purchasing a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors for $2.1 billion. The buying up of Mitsubishi shares will give Nissan a controlling stake in the carmaker.

The move comes just days after Mitsubishi admitted it had knowingly manipulated fuel economy tests on some of its global subcompact models. Intriguingly, the fraudulent efficiency figures affect Nissan, too, as the two had a technical partnership for several years. This meant Nissan sold rebadged Mitsubishi models as its own. Read more…

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Google has big plans for Project Tango this year, report says



The company is ramping up Project Tango, its technology for 3D-sensing smartphones and tablets, and hopes to eventually make the technology “ubiquitous,” according to a new report in Bloomberg.

That plan is primarily centered around indoor mapping and virtual reality, according to the report, which is on line with what we’ve previously heard about Tango. Project Tango, if you remember, uses a combination of computer vision and motion sensors to create 3D experiences on smartphones and tablets. In addition to the accelerometer, gyroscope and camera that most smartphones are equipped with, Project Tango devices come with additional sensors that enable them to better track depth and motion. Read more…

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Google's Parsey McParseface helps machines understand English almost as well as humans


Understanding human language is easy for humans. Not so for machines; making them understand human sentences is one of the biggest challenges in today’s field of artificial intelligence (AI). 

Now, Google has open sourced its new English language parsing model, called Parsey McParseface (yes, really), which helps a computer understand human language with an amazing degree of accuracy. 

The process of parsing is analyzing a sentence according to grammar rules, and figuring out what it really means. Parsey McParseface is just the parser (Google tells us it had a problem figuring a good name, and then someone came up with that. We see a worrying trend here), a part of an open-source neural network framework called SyntaxNet.  Read more…

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LAPD finds Tesla impractical as a police cruiser


After a year of patrolling the streets of Los Angeles with a pair of Tesla Model S police cruisers, the LAPD just isn’t ready to convert to electric… yet.

LAPD Police Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC, “Tesla definitely stepped up and gave us the Model S to do some evaluation with them,” but added, “Is it practical now? No.”

There are many reasons the LAPD isn’t ready to patrol with a fleet of EVs — specifically Teslas. The two biggest concerns, however, are price and charging infrastructure.

Although the police-outfitted Ford Explorers that are beginning to dominate police departments around the U.S. aren’t cheap, running $40,000 to $50,000, they’re a sight cheaper than the $100,000 Model S. Read more…

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