Publishers Like the New Yorker Rethink Those ‘Around the Web’ Clickbait Ads

Article URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/business/media/publishers-rethink-outbrain-taboola-ads.html

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12839862

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MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more

The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

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How Microsoft plans to find you the best bots

microsoft-bot-framework-edit


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella may be the most publicly vocal tech giant CEO in his belief that conversation will be as impactful to computing as the graphic user interface.

So maybe it makes sense that the company has made conversation-computing breakthroughs.

Last week, Microsoft researchers announced that they made neural networks with speech recognition on par with humans. This week, Microsoft is widely expected to launch its Slack competitor Skype Teams

VentureBeat sat down with Lili Cheng, general manager of FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research, and David Forstrom, director of conversational computing at Microsoft.

Microsoft Research has created some of the most famous bots in the world and the group is one of the most influential players in this era of chat platforms, bots, and artificial intelligence.

The research group created the Microsoft Bot Framework – a toolkit to make bots for half a dozen chat apps released in April and as of last month is being used by 45,000 developers. Microsoft Research also made Xiaoice, Rinna, and Tay, bots that have attracted the attention of tens of millions of people.

Cheng and Forstrom talked about an idea to create a common bot search engine with some of the biggest platforms in the world, an expanded Microsoft bot directory on the way, new Microsoft enterprise bots, and if the talented but deeply offensive Tay – a bot with the potential to become an intelligent assistant much like Google Assistant – will ever return?

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

VentureBeat: We were told earlier this month that you plan to soon roll out your first enterprise bots. Can you tell me more about that?

Forstrom: If you look at some of the research right now and like categorically what are people focusing on say in Slack, for the enterprise focused, it’s a handful of things: It’s productivity stuff so you’ll have it connected to services with a calendar, a lot of calendar and schedule stuff, and customer service. Then I think the other one is our Genie acquisition back in August. They were on to something relative to calendaring and scheduling.

VentureBeat: Steve Ickman, a developer who makes bots at Microsoft, said last week that you intend to expand your bot directory beyond the offering of the 50 odd bots there today, and that you want to work with the broader bot community to get it done. What’s that going to look like?

Cheng: We’re still trying to figure out how that would actually work in practice. I think there’s some startups doing, not authenticated directories but here’s a list of bots that you can use that can have been trusted in these disparate networks. Anyway my hope is that we can do something more like search does with web pages than like a very closed directory that just Microsoft owns, and we kind of lean that way anyway because we support all these channels.

VentureBeat: I was pretty excited to hear the idea of a more open Microsoft bot directory, because you incorporate so many different channels, and it seems like if something like that was really done it could grow to become one of the best ways to discover bots. That said, it’s not as if we use telephone books anymore do we? So is that even the best route for bot discovery?

Cheng: I mean I even like that Product Hunt and some of these other things companies are doing. It would be great to have a bot directory, and it shouldn’t just be bots built using Microsoft. Like if I want to discover bots, how do I find them?

When Botness did its survey, one of the top issues people have is like hey I made this bot, how am I going to get it promoted? How are people going to know? Is there some directory or categorization? So keep pushing us, because I think that’s an opportunity for us that we could really make something we all… it might even better as sort of a neutral thing.

VentureBeat: Microsoft might be the largest tech giant to continually seek collaboration. Is there a launch date planned for a new or updated bot directory?

Cheng: We don’t have a date, I think we need to probably focus a little more on that topic and I think we would definitely want to do it with other companies, we just need to get together and push that topic I think.

VentureBeat: Why does Microsoft like a cross-channel strategy?

Cheng: I think we kind of have this vision that bots and conversational experiences work across platforms better.

Bots are fairly experimental, and to have to say like ok I’ve got like five developers, one doing each channel?

It reduces your willingness to experiment, and so we thought hey we already made these tools ourselves to be able to converse, to create a bot and kind of publish it across these channels. We are very much in the camp of like let’s share learnings and technologies, try to make these things interoperate. That’s what we need to do, otherwise we’ll end up with a very siloed design like we had with social software.

VentureBeat: So it’s like a mistake in social software that you don’t want to repeat in bots?

Cheng: I don’t know if it was a mistake but that’s just how it played out, and I think we weren’t as intentional about making things interoperate.

Cheng: Things will be different just because systems are different, but you know there are way more chat apps than there are like web browsers or mobile platforms, so you know should you be writing a bot for Kik or Telegram or Slack or Facebook or Skype or Skype for Business or web chat or your mobile app, like there’s so many channels.

You want the innovation to be in the bot you’re creating, not in figuring out how to make it work across all these different systems, so my dream would be that we could work with a lot of the other people and say let’s standardize on the way we do cards or the way we’re understanding buttons or the way we’re thinking about authentication mechanisms or identification, just so people don’t have to worry so much about that.

VentureBeat: So I understand how Tay happened, how Microsoft believes trolls and Trump supporters mare Tay talk that way, but Tay being shelved in April almost rewrites history, because Tay seemed to have the potential to become a very popular bot like Xiaoice who grew an audience of 40 million users.

Will Tay ever return? Maybe under another name or so the crowd doesn’t have as much control of the language it uses?

Cheng: Yeah we’re really inspired by and even more committed after what happened with Xiaoice and actually the interest was amazing, how mainstream that whole thing went.

We definitely have a lot of advantages being a big company, but sometimes it’s harder to let things grow naturally. I think the bigger the company, the more they’re going to have to figure out ways to be experimental. You should assume we’re doing other experiments and things like that but we kind of want to just test it out first in a more private way.

So I think part of the trick is when you first do a bot like that, it’s not very good, it’s not as good as it can grow to be over time, and so it’s tricky.

Just like any social network or social software, I think if you push it too hard, it works it in a kind of unnatural way, and most good social software grows over time, and probably a lot of companies are going to face this too with their chatbots like you might want to be able to roll it out a little more experimentally, get usage, make mistakes, learn where your kinks are, and develop a good following.

Folstrom: We won’t back down. We’re bullish on it, like you look at the success that we’ve had with Xiaoice and Rinna (a Xiaoice spinoff for a Japanese audience), Tay was a learning experience for us but you should expect to see us continue to push sort of the conversational model limits.

Cheng: I would say we learned a ton but I also felt like that was a moment when I was inspired by Microsoft and my company, because it could have been a moment

VentureBeat: It was quite a moment.

 

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How Technology Swiped All The Fun Out Of Dating

2016-09-14-1473871087-5805846-datingillustrationpaulamangin.jpg

Right now, my right hip, lower back and left shoulder hurt. My crow’s feet have grown arms and legs. I am the oldest person in the Snowbird Café. I have fewer years ahead of me than behind. I forgot your name.

Mid-life rules!

Recent conversations with Millennials and 30-somethings have made me feel even better about my age and lucky to have spent my Millennial dating years pre-internet, well before the current awfulness of online “hooking-up”.

While technology has made dating easier, it’s actually made it harder.

I work and play tennis with loads of adorable, amazing younger women, most of them single. I ask why. Not that there is anything wrong with being single. I am just curious. To a smart, successful Google girl with a wicked slice I ask, “I would think you could walk into a bar, raise your hand, and walk out with any guy in there” to which she replies, “ha, hardly, everyone in bars these days is either coupled up or glued to their phone, scrolling through dating apps. It sucks.”

I hear versions of this story all the time. Another young woman who works in advertising groaned: “I miss the days before everyone was on Tinder, where you could meet a guy and have a drunken make-out session in a dark corner of the Kozy Kar. Never happens anymore.”

She went on to explain that even when she has had decent Tinder or Match dates, instead of the intoxicating flurry of post-date texts, there often is silence, because he’s home swiping to see who else is out there. And there is always someone else out there. There are millions.

I probably know more single women of “a certain age” than I do married, and I get that this issue is not confined to millennials alone. But at least we know what the pre-Tinder days were like and got to experience dating in the real world in all of it’s gory glory. Got to wait by the phone. Got to rejoice at the red blinking answering machine light that signaled a message – hopefully from that guy from the Oasis. Got to dance and talk and make-out and be present without checking Facebook or messenger or our Instagram feed. Got to really feel live music dodging arms armed with phones blocking the view. And got to break-up or get dumped with a bit of dignity, instead of being forced to relive it all on our social accounts, taking a stroll through digital memory lane, only to find him sharing selfies with the new girlfriend, hiking on Mt. Tam far too soon after we ended.

Hopefully, single men in our age range also remember the magic of romance out in the wild, versus in a phone. And yet, I do know many recently 50-something men who now have access to thousands of women, and unfortunately won’t swipe on anybody over thirty. As if.

We talk about Millennials being the entitled generation (and many are). I really think they should be entitled to an old-school romance, warts and all. That’s something we had, and for which I feel grateful.

For more of our musings about how we give Father Time the finger, please visit us at Blankstareblink.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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Enigmail 2.0 to automatically encrypt e-mails

It’s four days ago the pEp-Development branch was merged into the master source code repository of Enigmail, meaning the pretty Easy privacy (p≡p) technology is now at Enigmail’s core to encrypt e-mails:

https://sourceforge.net/p/enigmail/source/ci/382c7dc3cc84a0fa9648ad5f7054e725d32eda22/log/?path=

In fact, for novice users (or such without OpenPGP setup), the new p≡p scheme will be used (as “junior mode”) to automatically create keys and distribute them to the communication partners: https://twitter.com/pEpCouncil/status/792233350463447040

p≡p has a broad, cross-platform approach as how to automatically encrypt all “written digital communications”.

Furtherly, its technologic core (p≡p engine) underwent a code audit: https://pep.foundation/blog/press-release–pep-releases-first-code-audit-of-the-pep-engine/index.html

A beta of Enigmail/p≡p will be launched at Mozilla Festival in London, this Sun: https://twitter.com/pEpCouncil/status/791575091343687680

Good video talks explaining what p≡p actually is, were given at the GNU Hacker Meeting (GHM) in Rennes, France:

https://gnunet.org/ghm2016

Funny Or Die Spoofs Apple’s New Halloween Product Line

Funny Or Die pokes fun at Apple’s famous product launches in its new Halloween-themed video.

CEO “Tim Cook” introduces the world to the company’s brand new “Ghost Costume” in the clip. “What I’m about to show you is the next chapter in Apple’s story, and we hope it’s a spooky one,” he says.

”We all know that classic ghost costume, right? It’s iconic, it’s comforting, but now it’s obsolete,” he adds, before introducing the new device ― which he claims is the “greatest advancement in costume technology in the history of the world.”

Check out the spoof line’s specifications and scary price in the clip above.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=580493b9e4b06e0475959a40,58060e89e4b0b994d4c1394d,580a2f29e4b099c4343194b6

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Mark Zuckerberg wishes his friend Bill Gates a happy 61st birthday

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates


Today is Bill Gates’ 61st birthday, and in true sharing fashion Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to wish Gates a happy birthday and thank him for his friendship.

This comes a few days after Gates, cofounder and former chief executive of Microsoft, said that he and the Facebook cofounder and chief executive are “good friends.” Gates gushed about how he and Zuck are “good friends” in a conversation on October 20 with Robert Perkins, a content and media strategist from the office of strategic communications at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, after a question-and-answer session with the dean of undergraduate students at the school. Perkins told VentureBeat that he duly transcribed the conversation before publishing it on Caltech’s website.

The bond between Zuckerberg and Gates is not a hard thing to imagine. In a 2013 interview, Zuckerberg said that Gates was his “hero” when he was growing up and that he saw Gates as “one of the greatest visionaries that our industry has ever had,” even thought Microsoft itself had “lost some of the focus” it had had earlier.

Plus, in 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook. Over the years the two companies have integrated their products in various ways – Bing Maps came to Facebook, for instance, and more recently Facebook has released native Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps for Windows 10.

On top of that, Gates and Zuckerberg both have an interest in philanthropy, among other things. Gates – who with his wife started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 – was on hand at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative event last month where the organization announced that it would spend $3 billion to cure diseases.

Here’s exactly what Gates said about his connection with Zuckerberg on October 20:

Well, there is an irony that I went back to Harvard and gave a speech and Mark Zuckerberg was in the audience [laughs]. Now, I don’t claim it had an influence on him, and he and I are good friends, but it was kind of a funny thing.

See the rest of Perkins’ conversation with Gates here.

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