• An American artist and coder decided to test an image recognition system, known as a neural network, to annotate a walk through Amsterdam in real time. Naturally, he launched the results online.

    Using a tweaked program built by researchers from Stanford and Google, Kyle McDonald set out for a meander, which he filmed live from the webcam of his laptop. His computer analyzed the footage it captured in real time, using a text scroll on the upper left hand side of the screen.

    McDonald used an open source program called NeuralTalk, which was introduced last year.

    While much of the footage is accurate (a boat is sitting on the water near a dock), it often makes mistakes. It quickly corrects itself, though.

    Neural networks are a new a technology and their use is rapidly expanding, with many companies and institutions investing in them. Facebook recently released a prototype neural network, which is meant to help blind people by annotating pictures.

    “I consider the pixel data in images and

    Read More »from Neural network takes a stroll, describes what it sees in real time
  • There’s sure more than one way to be remembered as a contestant on “Jeopardy!”

    Meet the latest, Laura Ashby and her unique voice. 

    The law associate from Marietta, Georgia, first appeared on the show earlier this month but returned this week, prompting lots of noise on Twitter, FOX News reports.  

    Shortly after becoming a two-day champ, she also became the talk on social media for her “upspeak.”

    Ashby’s voice not only has a southern accent, but it inflects up at the end of her sentences.

    Read More »from Jeopardy! Contestant’s voice has taken Twitter by storm
  • (Photo: Facebook / Rose Sheep)(Photo: Facebook / Rose Sheep)
    As the days become shorter and the nights colder, it is only natural that we crave a little more warmth come bed time. One Tokyo company has come up with the solution to those chilly nights in – an attractive (and warm bodied) cuddle buddy.

    Rose Sheep was founded two years ago, reports Rocket News 24, and refers to itself as a soineya, meaning an “accompanied sleep provider.” The company dispatches a young male “sheep” to the client, charging anywhere from 20,000 yen for a short two-hour nap to 100,000 yen for a 16-hour session. As for the services offered, they are, of course, completely chaste: cuddling, venting about work, and even a shared meal are allowed (with all costs being paid for by the client).

    (Photo: Facebook / Rose Sheep)(Photo: Facebook / Rose Sheep)

    According to Rocket News 24, the target demographic for the service is career women between the ages of 30 and 50.  

    Not quite convinced on whether you could benefit from one of the sheep’s company? Rose Sheep’s tagline, as translated by Rocket News 24, may just convince you:


    Read More »from Tokyo company will send hot guys to warm up residents at night
  • Your news feed may be filled with reasons not to rake fallen autumn leaves, but one Youtuber decided to take matters into his own hands on a sunny, dry November day.

    Brian Shreves found a large piece of plastic sheeting in his garage and had the brilliant idea to simply push all the leaves to the edge of his yard. Easy, effective, and downright smart – thank you for the new life hack, Mr. Inventor!

    Shreves is not the only one trying to find a way around the annual autumn chore. Youtube user CrazyRussianHacker posted his own way to tackle a mess of leaves, using a few more materials. Is anyone raking the leaves? This video has amassed over one million views.

    Read More »from Leaf-clearing hack may just change your opinion on raking
  • We have all been there – an anticipated package arrives only for you to miss it by mere minutes.  But while you can usually pick it up at the post office the next day, one Birmingham, England resident was left empty-handed when their own expected package was a bit more out of reach.

    The Birmingham Mail reports a parcel was thrown on to the roof of a house and an apologetic note was thrust through the mail box: “Sorry top off (sic) your roof." 

    Ajmal Aziz, a friend of the resident, tweeted a photo soon after the parcel was found, calling out British delivery company Yodel.

    The post went viral and quickly received an apology from Yodel.

    “One of our drivers was overly enthusiastic in his attempt to deliver a parcel for a customer who was out,” said a Yodel spokesperson, according to The Birmingham Mail. “Aiming for

    Read More »from Delivery man drops package in worst spot ever
  • Imagine stepping out your door one morning and finding that the world you thought you knew had completely changed. That’s what happened to one man when he was released from prison after 44 years.

    Otis Johnson went to jail in 1970 for assaulting a police officer. He was 25 years old, and he would spend the next 44 years in prison. Upon his release, a team from Al Jazeera English accompanied him as he adjusted, and made a moving six-minute documentary about Johnson’s re-entry into a world that at times he struggles to understand.

    “My re-entry was a little bit hard at first, because things had changed,” says Johnson. We see him marvel at the lights and screens of New York’s Times Square.

    “I saw that everybody, the majority of people was talking to themselves,” says Johnson. “Then I looked closer and they seemed to have things in their ears.”

    Though he’s simply observing people talking on cellphones with earbuds, to him it looks like they must be CIA agents. 

    (Photo: YouTube / Al Jazeera English)(Photo: YouTube / Al Jazeera English)
    “That’s the only thing I can

    Read More »from Man released after 44 years in jail marvels at a changed world
  • This may be a dream for a lot of people, but it's become a real headache for one lott0 winner. (Thinkstock)This may be a dream for a lot of people, but it's become a real headache for one lott0 winner. (Thinkstock)

    If you won the lottery today, say $15 million for instance, how much money would you give to your parents and family members? What if you didn’t get along with them or you felt they weren’t supportive of who you are? That’s one question a 29-year-old man is asking himself after recently winning the lottery.

    The man goes by the name of Idontwanttogiveitup on social sharing site Reddit and he’s openly gay. He explained in a post that his homophobic parents discovered his orientation while he was still a student in high school and he says they didn’t talk to him for five full years because of it.

    Screenshot of Idontwanttogiveitup's original post on Reddit, which has since been updated.Screenshot of Idontwanttogiveitup's original post on Reddit, which has since been updated.

    "So!" writes Idontwanttogiveitup on Reddit. "I'm a 29yr old guy and I won the lottery. And it's enough that I don't have to work ever again if I don't want too (over 15m)...My problem? My family, mainly my parents, feel they are entitled to 1/4 of the amount. I offered to pay off their mortgages and give them a little sum but that's not good enough once they found the total amount. My family

    Read More »from Gay lottery winner asks Internet how much he should give to homophobic parents
  • image

    (Facebook: Bishop Octavio Cisneros)

    Imagine the surprise of the custodian who happened to stumble upon the cries of a real life baby boy laying in the manger of the Holy Child Jesus Church’s nativity scene on Monday.

    After returning from lunch, a custodian for the church found the newborn wrapped in towels laying in the manger, which prompted him to notify the police.

    “A MIRACLE OF LIFE at Holy Child Jesus!” Bishop Octavio Cisneros posted on Facebook on Monday, “At noon time today our sacristan heard a baby crying in the empty manger that is being readied for Christmas, when he went to investigate he found a newborn baby, umbilical cord still attached.”

    Cisneros posted that the baby is well and at a healthy 5.2 pounds, while extending his prayers for both the newborn and the mother who left the child.


    (Facebook: Bishop Octavio Cisneros)

    The identity of the mother is still unknown by authorities, though detectives were in the process of speaking with who they believe may be the woman Tuesday

    Read More »from Newborn baby found in nativity manger of New York church
  • An Auckland car dealer has been fined $42,000 for shill bidding on Trade Me.An Auckland car dealer has been fined $42,000 for shill bidding on Trade Me.

    Seventeen years after first going online, New Zealand-based auction website ‘Trade Me’ will soon post its billionth listing.

    “We’ve seen our fair share of quirky, crazy and wonderful listings that have brought us this far, and we marvel every day at the eclectic range of things our members put up for sale,” Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald told Computerworld.

    In honour of the upcoming milestone, the company has made public a number of interesting facts.

    For example, the most viewed item ever, with more than one million views, is a handbag and broken cell phone belonging to retired All Blacks captain Tana Umaga, according to Computerworld.

    The company has also listed its millionth bid, millionth question and millionth member – who they say joined in April 2005 and has never logged in since.

    More interestingly though, according to Stuff, are the quirkier items to have ever been sold on the site including a cob of corn bitten into by British soccer star David Beckham.

    If sports aren’t really

    Read More »from ‘Trade Me’ releases list of wackiest celeb postings from past two decades
  • Did your heart just stop? McDonald's in Japan offers up 48 piece buckets.Did your heart just stop? McDonald's in Japan offers up 48 piece buckets.

    Ever had a craving for McDonald’s chicken nuggets but felt unsatisfied that there just weren’t enough in your order? Restaurants in Japan have a solution: they are now offering a 48-piece meal.

    This isn’t a case of dietary overkill, however. The massive meal is part of a promotional campaign for national pop group NGT48, according to UPI.

    Whereas Americans can already indulge on a 40-piece bucket of nuggets, Canadians are typically used to seeing the menu max out at 20 pieces.

    Each gigantic order comes with one of 25 commemorative cards with a photo of one of the members of NGT48. According to Rocketnews24 that means someone would have to eat a minimum of 1,200 chicken nuggets before, potentially, collecting the entire set.

    When they hit the market, the buckets will cost 1,800 yen (just under $20 CAD), according to Kotaku.

    The Japanese bucket meal isn’t the fast food giant’s largest on offer. That title is held by the reported 50-piece meal offered to Americans during the Super Bowl.

    Read More »from Did your heart just stop? McDonald’s to sell 48 piece nugget meals


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