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MIT and Google researchers have made AI that can link sound, sight, and text to understand the world – Quartz

Saturday, June 24, 2017

If we ever want future robots to do our bidding, they’ll have to understand the world around them in a complete way—if a robot hears a barking noise, what’s making it? What does a dog look like, and what do dogs need? AI research has typically treated the ability to recognize images, identify noises, and understand text as three different problems, and built algorithms suited to each individual task. Imagine…

The surprising GOP holdout on the Senate’s health bill – Politico

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ron Johnson stormed Washington in 2010 by railing against Obamacare, becoming one of the law’s harshest and most persistent critics. Now, with the Senate on the brink of repealing the law, he’s one of the surprise holdouts threatening to block the bill. The Wisconsin Republican says Senate leaders are rushing the vote before he and the public can analyze it and are not doing enough to actually bring down premiums….

Evidence is mounting that Russia took 4 clear paths to meddle in the US election – Business Insider

Saturday, June 24, 2017

US President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider It was September 2015 when the FBI first noticed that Russian hackers had infiltrated a computer system belonging to the Democratic National Committee. It was the first sign that Moscow was attempting to meddle in the presidential election. Nearly a year later, further reporting and testimony from current and former intelligence officials have painted…

The Incredible Shrinking White House Briefing – New York Times

Saturday, June 24, 2017

“It’s great for us to come out here and have a substantive discussion about policies,” Mr. Spicer said at the lectern, when asked why Friday’s briefing had been taken off-camera. “I don’t think that the be-all and end-all is whether it’s on television or not.” Advertisement Continue reading the main story Off-camera briefings have occurred under previous presidents, often parceled out among regular televised sessions with the press secretary. But…

Landslide in China Is Feared to Have Buried Over 140 People – New York Times

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The police and rescue workers arrived at the village and began searching buried ruins for survivors. There were reports that at least a few people had survived. State media outlets said a couple and their baby had been rescued. Still, many people appeared to be trapped in their homes. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Some residents stuck under the mud and rock used cellphones to call emergency lines, according…

White House responds to Comey tape inquiry with Trump tweet – CNN

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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Bigger isn’t always better as music’s boom and bust era of the super festival becomes more niche – Los Angeles Times

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The American live music scene has become a culture of super festivals. Beyond the massively successful Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, the last two decades have seen a tremendous expansion of events that draw thousands of fans and boast multiple stages with city-sized artworks. Now some believe that bigger is no longer better. After years of expansive growth, some promoters are starting to think smaller, tailoring their offerings to specific audiences….

Consumer issues stemming from the GOP health care initiative – Washington Post

Saturday, June 24, 2017

WASHINGTON — Republicans in full control of government are on the brink of history-making changes to the nation’s health care system. The impact for consumers would go well beyond “Obamacare.” Former President Barack Obama’s signature law is usually associated with subsidized insurance markets like HealthCare.gov. But the Affordable Care Act also expanded Medicaid. Not only would the GOP legislation scale back coverage through the insurance markets and phase out the…

Sean Spicer banned TV cameras. Again. So we annotated his briefing. Again. – Washington Post

Saturday, June 24, 2017

White House press secretary Sean Spicer listens during a Jan. 20 news briefing. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) White House press secretary Sean Spicer barred television cameras from a media briefing on Friday and prohibited live audio broadcasts, marking the third time this week that spokesmen for President Trump have imposed such restrictions.  In keeping with a promise we made Monday, The Fix has annotated a transcript of the session, since it could…

London fire: 800 London apartments evacuated over fire safety concerns – Fox News

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Some 800 households from five publicly-owned apartment towers in London were evacuated Friday night after an inspection found them to be unsafe.  Safety concerns in residential buildings are top of mind in London following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire that killed 79 people in a west London high-rise last week. The move comes as residents of thousands of tower blocks around the Britain expressed concern and outrage after…

Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response – The Hill

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Obama administration is under fresh scrutiny for its response to Russian meddling in the election after new details emerged this week about how the White House weighed its actions against the 2016 political environment. Then-President Obama was too cautious in the months leading up to the election, frustrated Democratic lawmakers and strategists say.  “It was inadequate. I think they could have done a better job informing the American people…

Freshman GOP rep calls for Mueller recusal from Russia probe – The Hill

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A member of the House Freedom Caucus on Friday called on the Justice Department’s special counsel, Robert Mueller, to recuse himself in the federal probe into Russian election meddling. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Az) said the “integrity of his appointment” was in question due to Mueller’s friendship with ousted FBI Director James Comey. “His ability to be impartial is doubtful because he has surrounded himself with highly partisan lawyers who make…

Trump joins the effort to pass a health-care bill, but another GOP senator is opposed – Washington Post

Saturday, June 24, 2017

President Trump and his allies are waging their most aggressive effort yet to help Senate GOP leaders pass an expansive health-care bill next week, but the endeavor encountered new resistance Friday when a fifth Republican senator said he does not support the bill as is. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) announced that he could not vote for the legislation without revisions, singling out the measure’s long-term spending cuts to Medicaid as…

Friday Talking Points — Trump Did Not Deny Tapes Exist! – HuffPost

Saturday, June 24, 2017

“Of course, we don’t have public polling on the Senate bill, and we likely won’t before the Senate votes on it. But the public’s view of the House bill is getting worse as time goes by. Only 16 percent of all Americans think the House bill is ‘a good deal.’ A full 48 percent think it is ‘a bad deal.’ Even among Republicans, only 34 percent think the House bill…

Camden flats: Hundreds of homes evacuated over fire risk fears – BBC News

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Media captionCamden residents react to tower block evacuations More than 800 homes in tower blocks on a council estate in Camden, north London, have been evacuated because of fire safety concerns. Camden Council says people in five towers on the Chalcots estate were moved for “urgent fire safety works”. The council said it was booking hotels but 100 residents are spending the night on air beds in a leisure centre….

‘I’m glad he got shot’: Nebraska Democrat caught on tape criticizing Rep. Steve Scalise – Washington Post

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Investigators search for evidence at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and others were shot by a gunman during a Republican baseball practice June 14. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) A Nebraska Democratic official has been removed Thursday from his chairman post after recordings emerged in which he said he was glad that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot and that he wished…

Trump appears to acknowledge Russian election meddling – and blames Obama – Los Angeles Times

Saturday, June 24, 2017

It wasn’t immediately clear exactly what inspired the president’s tweet. It came several hours after the publication of a Washington Post report detailing the Obama administration’s fight to punish Russia for its alleged election interference. That report stated that the CIA informed Obama of Russia’s hacking efforts last August, and that his administration chose to respond by approving a package of sanctions against the country in late December. Obama also authorized…

Tesla reportedly wants to develop its own music service – Washington Post

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk unveils the company’s newest products in Hawthorne, Calif., on April 30, 2015. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP) It may not be enough for the electric-car company Tesla to take on the giants of Detroit, like General Motors and Ford. The Palo Alto-based automaker is said to be exploring its very own music streaming service, too, a move that would pit the company against market leader Spotify, and…

Evolution, revolution, smevolution: The future of classical music – Los Angeles Times

Friday, June 23, 2017

Classical music may be the art of the sublime, liquid architecture and all the rest, but it has nonetheless always been a long-suffering kingdom of kvetching. Born to serve the church, Western music became in the Middle Ages an ideal medium of sacrilege, and the art form has continued over the centuries to bite the hands that have fed it, be they the aristocracy, ruling powers, philanthropists or the public….

The Indomitable Humanism of Darius Milhaud – The New Yorker

Friday, June 23, 2017

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), the great but excessively prolific French composer, wrote hundreds of works, many of which you don’t need to know about. One of the exceptions, however, is the opera “La Mère Coupable” (“The Guilty Mother,” 1965), which the intrepid and amazingly energetic “indie” company On Site Opera is producing this weekend, at the Garage on Manhattan’s far West Side. “La Mère” is still a work lovingly overstuffed with…