Tech — July 11, 2017 at 11:22 am

The Morning After: Tuesday. July 11th 2017


Hey, good morning!

AI is learning parkour, Amazon’s huge sale is upon us and we see how technology is replacing painkillers.

These look familiar.
What happens when AI teaches itself parkour?

Come for the reinforcement learning, stay for the GIFs.

Happy holidays.

Amazon Prime Day is upon us, have you bought your Echo?

It’s hard to say what counts as a ‘real’ holiday these days, but discounts are discounts. Our friends from The Wirecutter have some advice on the best discounts, which just happen to include a couple of Amazon’s own products.

Wait, what?
Ubuntu Linux is available in the Windows Store

The year of the Linux desktop has arrived, but in an unexpected way. Microsoft has welcomed Ubuntu Linux into its app store, making it easier than ever to try out the OS. For now, support is limited to Windows Insider beta testers, but everyone will have access once the Fall Creator’s Update for Windows 10 arrives.

Stylish but flawed.
HP Spectre X2 (2017) review

The HP Spectre X2 is a better Surface Pro competitor than before, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It’s a cheaper alternative to Microsoft’s convertible, with a gorgeous design and comfortable keyboard, but the 2017 version still has touchpad issues and subpar battery life.

Improving AI accessibility.
Google’s ‘PAIR’ project wants AI and humans to get along

A Google initiative called PAIR, or People + AI Research initiative, aims to make sure AI technology is beneficial and empowering for everyone, and it will focus on tools for AI developers and how to make sure AI systems are inclusive. "PAIR is devoted to advancing the research and design of people-centric AI systems. We’re interested in the full spectrum of human interaction with machine intelligence, from supporting engineers to understanding everyday experiences with AI."

It’s like a G6 mini.

LG’s Q6 lineup fits FullVision screens on midrange phones

If you like the look of LG’s G6 but decided it’s too expensive, relax. Soon you’ll be able to get it in a cheaper version. The Q6+, Q6 and Q6 Alpha have varying amounts of built-in storage and RAM, but share the big screen, metal frame and features like facial recognition cribbed from their bigger brother. We don’t have pricetags yet, but they will start rolling out next month in Asia.

Looking for a drug-free answer to pain management.
Can tech replace painkillers?

While Jennifer was on a series of medications for her pain relief — off-label antidepressants, muscle relaxers and lesser opioids like tramadol — she found what she calls an unexpected alternative to heavy opioids. It’s a small wearable called Quell, a band she wears around her calf that disperses pain relief using low-intensity electrical signals throughout her body’s nervous system. It’s one of several technological solutions that might offer a different way of dealing with pain. Brian Mastroianni reports on what’s happening.

But wait, there’s more…

  • The endangered Great Barrier Reef is not in danger, says UNESCO
  • Microsoft 365 is yet another stab at attracting IT love
  • An excess of ‘failed’ stars is a bad sign for alien life
  • What’s on TV this week: ‘Game of Thrones’
  • People won’t stop stealing this company’s rentable umbrellas

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