- Trump praised China for refusing N. Korean coal this week, saying it was a “big step”
- A spokesman for Chinese Customs said all coal imports were banned from February 18
Washington (CNN)US President Donald Trump says China has turned a fleet of coal-carrying cargo ships back to North Korea this week, describing it as a “big step” towards cracking down on the rogue state.
Trump, Xi call ‘very productive’
China proving it follows sanctions
19-year-old Ke Jie takes on AlphaGo in a best of three matches in May
It’s been a busy year for Google Deepmind. You might remember AlphaGo resoundingly beating Go grandmaster Lee Sedol by four games to one and secretly schooling some of the world’s best Go players online, but the team has also found time to help Britain’s national health service treat patients and arm its computer with new tricks to help it learn faster and “remember” previous knowledge.
AlphaGo can now justifiably be considered one of the world’s best Go players, but the Deepmind team can’t make a bonafide claim until its AI has beaten the world number one: 19-year-old Chinese player Ke Jie. Deepmind co-founder and CEO Demis Hassabis has now confirmed that after months of speculation, the match is on.
At the Future of Go Summit between May 23rd to May 27th, Google and the China Go Association (with help from the Chinese government) will bring together AlphaGo and some of the world’s best Go players and AI experts to “explore the mysteries” of the ancient board game.
There will be a variety of games on offer including Pair Go, where Chinese professionals will face off against each other but alternate moves with an AlphaGo teammate. The Team Go match, on the other hand, will see AlphaGo battle a five-player team of Chinese pros in a bid to test “creativity and adaptability.” Ke Jie vs AlphaGo will, of course, be the main focus. It’ll be a best of three match that Deepmind hopes will push AlphaGo to its absolute limit.
The event makes for an interesting spectacle, especially considering Ke once said he didn’t want to sit down with AlphaGo because it would learn his playing style. However, when Deepmind convincingly beat Lee Sedol, the 9th dan professional quickly changed his tune.
“Instead of diminishing the game, as some feared, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has actually made human players stronger and more creative,” said Hassabis. “It’s humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo’s innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history.”
Baton Rouge – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officially released the $1.6 billion in flood recovery funds appropriated in 2016. In an email to the Office of Community Development, HUD indicated that the state can immediately begin to withdraw funds for flood recovery. The state will immediately begin to use the funds to conduct environmental reviews based on survey responses that began from flood victims. As of today, more than 4,200 homeowners had completed the survey.
The process for drawing down the flood recovery funds is long and sometimes overly burdensome,” said Gov. Edwards. “While it is often frustrating that we can’t get assistance to homeowners quicker, we are able to immediately move forward with our recovery plans. The fact that these funds were secured at such a record pace is a testament to what we can accomplish when we all – the Louisiana congressional delegation and myself – work together for the people of our state. I look forward to continuing that effort as we seek an additional $2 billion to provide assistance to even more homeowners across the state.”
In October, Gov. Edwards requested that HUD work with the state to reduce or eliminate the need for costly individual environmental reviews on single family homes eligible for federal repair grants – a request that could save Louisiana more than $105 million dollars in disaster assistance and expedite the rebuilding process for homeowners. While that waiver has not been granted, and until legislation is proposed to solve this problem, the state will immediately begin conducting these reviews.
(CNN)On its face, a special House election in Kansas should be a walkover for Republicans.
Reports suggest the arrest may have been carried out on an international warrant issued by the US government.
The US is pointing fingers at Russia in connection with hacking the presidential election that put Donald Trump in office.
Spanish police arrested a Russian citizen on Friday for allegedly playing a part in hacking the US presidential election last year.
The Russian embassy in Madrid on Sunday confirmed to Reuters the arrest of computer programmer Pyotr Levashov, who has been remanded in custody, although it did not say on what grounds.
Russian television station RT said that Levashov was subject to an international arrest warrant issued by the US government, while a “legal source” told AFP that he was subject to a US extradition order.
Suspicions have floated for months that Russia attempted to sway the 2016 presidential race. In January, US intelligence and security agencies said in a declassified report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered hacking attacks and propaganda campaigns in the run-up to the November election. The breaches included hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta.
Meanwhile, both houses of the US Congress are conducting their own investigations into potential influence peddling by Russia.
Security blogger Brian Krebs identified Levashov as an alleged spam king and distributor of malware.
The US Department of Justice and the Russian Embassy in Madrid did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Both Vint Cerf, known as a “father of the Internet,” and his wife have hearing disabilities.
This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community.
Vint Cerf is often called the “father of the internet.” Consider him a pretty stern papa.
Cerf, who is hearing-impaired, played an integral part in the invention of some of the most crucial technologies of the last half century, including the internet and email. But as quickly as he’ll extol how tech can advance society, he won’t mince words about its track record accommodating people with disabilities.
Accessibility shouldn’t be a “pixie dust” designers sprinkle on as an afterthought, he said.
“It’s a crime that the most versatile device on the planet, the computer, has not adapted well to people who need help, who need assistive technology,” he said in an interview last month. “It’s almost criminal that programmers have not had their feet held to the fire to build interfaces that are accommodating for people with vision problems or hearing problems or motor problems.”
Cerf is best known as one of the designers of the architecture for the internet in the early 1970s, helping to shape the rules that dictate where internet traffic goes and, about a decade later, helping to deliver the first commercial email system. Today he is Google‘s “chief internet evangelist” and contributes to the People Centered Internet, a group he cofounded to advance connectivity worldwide. His own disability, and the disabilities of people close to him, shaped his approach to tech, he said.
Email, for one, brought Cerf more than the typical benefit of posting and interacting on your own timeline.
“Because I’m hearing-impaired, emails are a tremendously valuable tool because of the precision that you get,” he said, sitting on a hotel couch in his trademark three-piece suit before a SXSW keynote organized by engineering trade organization IEEE. (On this occasion it was grey pinstripe with a blue shirt.) “I can read what’s typed as opposed to straining to hear what’s being said.”
He’s not alone in needing an assist from technology. About 360 million people worldwide have a hearing disability, roughly 5 percent of all the people on Earth, according to the World Health Organization. Then factor in those with vision, motor or other impairments. In the US alone, more than one in three households has a member who identifies as having a disability, according to panel research by Nielsen last year.
Email and the internet were also crucial to his wife’s adaptation to her own disability, even though Cerf teases her for being uninterested in email for more than two decades after he began playing with network mail in the early ’70s.
Sigrid Cerf, who became deaf as a 3-year-old because of spinal meningitis, finally took the plunge onto the net in the mid ’90s to learn about cochlear implants: surgically embedded devices that bypass the ear and send the brain signals it interprets as sound.
She learned about the technology — and the doctors specializing in it at Johns Hopkins Hospital — by surfing the web. “She couldn’t get anybody’s attention at Johns Hopkins until somebody in Israel put her in touch by an email exchange,” he said. Even as an inventor of the internet, Cerf said he was amazed by the role email and the net played in so fundamentally changing his wife’s relationship with her disability.
Cerf’s awareness of disability also sharpens his criticism of tech’s shortcomings.
“It can’t be a pixie dust that you sprinkle on top of the program and suddenly make it accessible, which is the behavior pattern in the past,” he said. Accessibility should be a design choice that is rewarded, “something a lot of companies have not stepped up to,” he added.
But he believes awareness among engineers and designers is improving. For people with hearing impairments, speech-to-text products are growing more sophisticated, like automatic closed captioning on YouTube. Voice-command technologies, like those in Amazon’s Alexa, Apple‘s Siri and Google Assistant, are more commonplace. And most recently, neural networks — a programming technique based loosely on how the human brain learns — are advancing speech synthesis, to make it more natural for people with vision or physical disabilities to interact with technology.
Perhaps most encouraging, he said, is a growing recognition in the tech community that accessibility is important.
“We need to build in these things from the beginning,” he said. “That’s very powerful stuff.”