AMC, Humans

Early on in AMC's newest sci-fi show, Humans, a teenager wonders aloud if there's any point in going to college and spending years training to be a neurosurgeon. After all, why invest all that time and work when an advanced android, which are commonplace in the show's world, can be programmed with those skills almost instantly. Call it the death of human expertise. Meanwhile, her mother is worried that her family's new "synth" (the show's term for androids) might replace her; her father hopes it can bring her family back together; and her teenaged brother is having sexually confused feelings about their attractive new robot helper. In Humans, the problems of the near future are practically indistinguishable from the issues we're facing today. And that's a big part of why the show works so well.

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'Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson' is a collaboration between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Once a week, as part of an ongoing series, we'll be preparing one recipe from the book until we've made all of them. Wish us luck.

So this is how I knew I was in trouble the first time I saw Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson (which, by the way, only happened after I agreed to cook my way through the book): there's a specific section for home cooks and it's only seven recipes long. This particular section of the book is a bit different from the rest. For it IBM partnered with Bon Appétit and trimmed the reservoir of recipes that Watson was riffing off of to just the 9,000 or so already in the publication's database. The results are much more friendly for those that don't have access to an commercial kitchen, but they're no less interesting from a flavor profile and serve as evidence that even mortal humans can benefit from Watson's creative kick in the pants.

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Photography reached the mainstream early on; Kodak's Brownie made daily snapshots accessible and Polaroid's pioneering cameras provided instant gratification. Now we can capture and share moments on a whim with smartphones packing high-resolution optics. Over the years, though, we've been treated to some incredible imaging hacks that've allowed our eyes to travel into the exotic -- far beyond what you had for dinner last night. Technological leaps in the field have been spurred by bets, accidents and imagination, providing both scientific insight and artistic experimentation. Our eyes have been opened wider than ever before and we've collected just a few moments in imaging's history to help grasp the bigger picture.

[Image: Google Research]

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Dirk Ahlborn is two hours behind schedule, and it's no surprise, since the project that he represents has the potential to change the world. He's the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the firms that's dedicated to building those high-speed tubes people of the future are always traveling in. It's got so much potential that you can even see hope in the eyes of the people standing in his presence, waiting for their turn to speak to the German. You might have heard that Elon Musk dreamed up this idea, but it's Ahlborn who's most likely to make it a reality. Say hello to Mr. Hyperloop.

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Supercomputers are dreaming up crazy new ways to cook the food that we have today, but will we eat the same things in the future? For instance, when news of California's drought began to hit, people wondered if switching to a diet rich in insects would be the only way to survive. A variety of factors, most notably the face you pulled when someone suggests insects in place of a McCheeseburger, was why that idea crashed and burned. So what sort of food will we be eating in our resource constrained, population-heavy future, aside from, you know, people? Here's two companies exhibiting at Hello Tomorrow in Paris that have very different ideas on the snacks of 2020.

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Despite Facebook's insistence that its "real names" policy keeps its users safe, a new report reveals that Facebook is the least safe place for women online. And things are turning more explosive, as stories emerge that Facebook has been changing its users' names without their consent -- and the company isn't allowing them to remove their real names from their accounts. Meanwhile, a furious LGBT coalition has rallied around the safety threats posed to its communities by the policy. Though, it was unsuccessful in blocking the company from marching in America's largest gay pride parade.

Facebook's ongoing war on pseudonyms became well-documented in 2011 when a blogger risking her life to report on crime in Honduras was suspended by the company, under its rule requiring everyone to use their real name on the social network. The problem re-emerged in September 2014 when Facebook's policy locked an eye-opening number of LGBT accounts in violation of the "real names" rule. Facebook met with Bay Area LGBT community representatives, offered an apology, then suggested a policy change was in the works. Surprise: It never came. Nine months later, Facebook has failed to solidify or clarify this policy, and one organization has bad news for Facebook's years of "real name" policy implementation.

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"I know that we can't change people's behavior," says Irina Rymshina, "but in later life they may want children and they certainly don't want cancer. I think that we can help them." She's talking about Hoope, a wearable device that, it's hoped, will be able to put an STD clinic on your thumb. If successful, then you can say goodbye to the idea of having to pee in a cup to make sure that you can go out this weekend.

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Tent? Check. Sleeping bag? Check. Spare battery packs to stave off the fear of being disconnected from the grid? Double check. Earlier this month, I loaded up the aforementioned gear for a quick weekend camping trip. It was honestly more glamp than camp, since we drove right up to our spot in Tolland State Park, which had showers and bathrooms nearby. Still, we'd be without power on-site for a couple days if not for a few backups. On top of that, someone in our crew had developed a serious Candy Crush addiction that could potentially drag our power ration down to zero. Luckily, we also packed BioLite's BaseCamp and NanoGrid system. The BaseCamp is a (relatively) portable, wood-powered grill with a thermoelectric generator, while the NanoGrid is a combination flashlight, lamp, battery and environmental lighting setup. Did these additions help us make it through the weekend alive, well and connected? Yes on all counts, but there's more to the story.

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The rise of smartphones and tablets has forced entertainment firms, such as Disney, to design themed toys that can come to life and build a story around them. That's the case for Playmation, a platform of smart toys that combines Disney's popular movie franchises with sensors and kids' imagination. The first set, scheduled to launch in October, will be based on none other than Marvel's Avengers, while Star Wars and Frozen are expected to arrive in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Starter Pack we tried features an Iron Man glove, which lets young ones hear and feel what it's like to have the superhero's powers -- like his signature repulsor blast. There are also two figures included (Captain America, Iron Skull), as well as a pair of base stations that communicate with Tony Stark's wearable via IR, and can be used for interactive missions.

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I'm pretty vocal about my love for Bang and Olufsen's BeoPlay H6 headphones. To me, they're the best wired set I've used in the last three years and they still hold their own against newer rivals, even though they've been on sale for two years now. That being said, you can imagine my feelings when B&O announced the wireless H8 back at CES. The best set of cans I've used in ages are now wireless? I couldn't wait to get my hands on a pair. By now, I've spent several weeks getting to know the new headphones, and I have to say, I'm not quite ready to ditch the old model just yet.

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If there was one game I wish I could be good at, it's Street Fighter V. Maybe it's because I've played the series, in some form or another, for around two decades, maybe it's because most of the other games I play aren't really multiplayer. Sure, I love playing games, but I wouldn't say I was good at them. I get bested in FIFA, destroyed in Halo, but with Street Fighter, I'm not that bad. However, I'm not a high-level player good either -- something that was clearly demonstrated than when I played the latest iteration, the PS4- and PC-only Street Fighter V, here in LA, where I was beaten, occasionally thrashed. But I kept lining up for another go -- or pushing the limits of my briefing time with Capcom. The latest iteration carries over the literal jaw-smashing, eye-popping visuals of the 3D reimagining of the series, but adds some next-gen graphical glamour. The game adds a new layer of strategy and difficulty with the V-System. The characters announced so far have been changed in a lot of important ways.

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'Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson' is a collaboration between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Once a week, as part of an ongoing series, we'll be preparing one recipe from the book until we've made all of them. Wish us luck.

So far we've just been working from the front of Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson, towards the back. But we're going to start jumping around a bit now. Partially for convenience sake (it's just easier to make all three poutine recipes in a row), but mostly because I want to avoid using my oven as much as possible. It's hot and humid in New York and I live in a small one bedroom apartment. Basically just looking at my oven makes the temperature rise about 20 degrees in here. So we're jumping a few recipes ahead to take on the Peruvian Potato Poutine, a South American twist on a Canadian classic. This is one of the recipes that Watson inspired the chefs from the Institute for Culinary Education to whip up at SXSW in 2014 at their cognitive computing food truck. So, you can sort of think of this as a Chef Watson 1.0 dish.

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