You may have heard of Mancala, the brain-tickling strategy board game that’s older than the first recorded map of the world, but you may not have heard of its Indian variant, Ali Guli Mane. Originating in Karnataka in South India, the name “Ali Guli Mane” is a literal description of the board, which has a series of divots that the player can use to store their tokens.
Mystic Pillars, the first Nintendo Switch game from Bangalore-based studio, Holy Cow Productions, is a reimagining of the traditional board game set in Ancient India. A hundred Mancala-like logic puzzles lie between you, a mysterious traveller, and the answer about what happened to the fallen kingdom of Zampi. By destroying the magical pillars that are blocking the water, you can restore the land to life.
But the team didn’t just want to make a game — they wanted to represent their homeland, their culture, and lesser-known languages. Mystic Pillars has voiceovers in both English and Kannada, the local language in Bangalore, and the game itself is supported in over twenty languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Catalan.
The iconic five star hotel in central London has reopened for the first time since lockdown. In the show, the managing director showed the £25,000 suite and revealed the secret ingredient for their new afternoon tea: a 25p custard biscuit.
All the staff gets ready to go back to work at the Langham, after more than six months being closed.
The hotel is seeking to impress the exclusive guests that get to stay in the expensive property, trying to innovate things a bit.
That includes the kitchen, where chef Andrew Gravett has decided to give the afternoon tea a twist.
The Langham was the birthplace of afternoon tea, being the first hotel to serve it back in 1865.
Chef Andrew Gravett explained he wanted to innovate the classic afternoon tea and tried a new concept, adding afternoon tea biscuits.
“The classic British biscuit, the custard cream, is my favourite childhood snack,” he explained.
He said that he took the concept of the custard cream biscuit, which can be found in any supermarket for 23p the pack, and make it 5 stars.
“It will cost more than 23p here,” he admitted.
“I guess the idea of a biscuit that we can buy a pack for 50p in the shop, putting them in a 5 star afternoon tea… Maybe the concept is a bit crazy.”
When showing his new invention to chef Michael Roux junior, who had to try and approve the idea before being released, he explained: “The afternoon tea will have chocolate digestive, iced gem, figure roll and custard cream biscuits, which is my favourite biscuit.
“You can buy a packet for 23p, and you can eat them in less than half an hour if you’re in the mood. I’ve never done it but I could!
“We’ve poshed up the custard cream, though. It will be more expensive than 23p.”
On their first day, TV presenter Gloria Hunniford attended the reopening of the Palm Court to try the brand new afternoon tea with some friends.
All the staff, and especially Andrew Gravett in the kitchen, were anxious about what her reaction could be.
“There can’t be any mistakes. It’s very important, it’s the first day, we don’t want anything to go wrong,” he kept saying frenetically.
Gloria Hunniford though, seemed to be enjoying herself in the middle of the bustle. “I’m a good guinea pig, I promise,” said jokingly to the waiter. “Yum! That is nice. You can’t beat a custard cream!” said after trying the biscuit.
In recent years, researchers have used artificial intelligence to improve translation between programming languages or automatically fix problems. The AI system DrRepair, for example, has been shown to solve most issues that spawn error messages. But some researchers dream of the day when AI can write programs based on simple descriptions from non-experts.
On Tuesday, Microsoft and OpenAI shared plans to bring GPT-3, one of the world’s most advanced models for generating text, to programming based on natural language descriptions. This is the first commercial application of GPT-3 undertaken since Microsoft invested $ 1 billion in OpenAI last year and gained exclusive licensing rights to GPT-3.
“If you can describe what you want to do in natural language, GPT-3 will generate a list of the most relevant formulas for you to choose from,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a keynote address at the company’s Build developer conference. “The code writes itself.”
Microsoft VP Charles Lamanna told WIRED the sophistication offered by GPT-3 can help people tackle complex challenges and empower people with little coding experience. GPT-3 will translate natural language into PowerFx, a fairly simple programming language similar to Excel commands that Microsoft introduced in March.
This is the latest demonstration of applying AI to coding. Last year at Microsoft’s Build, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman demoed a language model fine-tuned with code from GitHub that automatically generates lines of Python code. As WIRED detailed last month, startups like SourceAI are also using GPT-3 to generate code. IBM last month showed how its Project CodeNet, with 14 million code samples from more than 50 programming languages, could reduce the time needed to update a program with millions of lines of Java code for an automotive company from one year to one month.
Microsoft’s new feature is based on a neural network architecture known as Transformer, used by big tech companies including Baidu, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Salesforce to create large language models using text training data scraped from the web. These language models continually grow larger. The largest version of Google’s BERT, a language model released in 2018, had 340 million parameters, a building block of neural networks. GPT-3, which was released one year ago, has 175 billion parameters.
Such efforts have a long way to go, however. In one recent test, the best model succeeded only 14 percent of the time on introductory programming challenges compiled by a group of AI researchers.
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The Supreme Court issued an unanimous ruling Thursday siding with Facebook over the platform’s notification system to alert users of suspicious logins. Meanwhile, Google, Apple and Amazon received letters from two Republicans questioning the companies’ actions taken against the social media platform Parler. Top tech platforms were also the target of a Texas Senate bill that passed Thursday that aims to block social media platforms from banning residents based on political views.
SIDING WITH FACEBOOK:The Supreme Court on Thursday sided unanimously with Facebook, ruling that a notification system the social media giant employs to alert users to suspicious logins does not run afoul of a federal law aimed at curbing robocalls and automated text messages.
The decision derailed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to hold Facebook liable under a 1991 law that imposed a general ban on automated calls.
The justices found that Facebook’s opt-in security notification feature fell outside the law, even though the program was found to have transmitted unwanted text messages.
The court rejected an argument from a recipient of unwanted Facebook texts, who claimed that the company’s messaging program amounted to an “autodialer,” which generally involves the use of a random or sequential number generator.
The Republicans questioned whether the companies followed “procedural fairness” in pulling Parler, and framed the actions as “three of the largest technology companies in the world” targeting “one small business.”
Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores just days after the deadly riot at the Capitol, after the platform was found to be rife with posts about storming the building. The companies cited Parler’s lack of content moderation policies and public safety concerns in making the decision.
Shortly afterward, Amazon Web Services suspended Parler’s platform, citing concerns the platform could not adequately screen out potential incendiary content, including material that incites violence.
TEXAS TARGETS TECH:The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a bill blocking social media platforms from banning residents based on their political views.
TheTexas Tribune reportedthat Senate Bill 12 passed shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday. The measure now heads to the state House, where there are two identical bills that have not moved out of their committee, according to the Tribune.
The bill bans platforms from censoring a “user, a user’s expression, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person” based on their viewpoints or geographical location,according to its text.The measure also requires social media companies to publicly disclose information regarding their practices around how they target content for users, promote content and services and moderate content.
GOOGLE’S LATEST EFFORT TO FIGHT MISINFO:Google on Wednesday announced that it will be spending nearly $ 30 million in Europe to combat misinformation and fake news.
“Google is contributing €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund to strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking,” Matt Brittin, the president of Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,said in a blog post.
The money is coupled with a commitment over the next five years to work with the European University Institute, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European Digital Media Observatory.
The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a bill blocking social media platforms from banning residents based on their political views.
The Texas Tribune reported that Senate Bill 12 passed shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday. The measure now heads to the State House, where there are two identical bills that have not moved out of their committee, according to the Tribune.
Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), the Senate bill’s sponsor, said in a video posted to Twitter that the bill will “get Texans back online.”
“I think we all have to acknowledge that social media companies are the new town square. A small group of people in San Francisco can’t dictate free speech for the rest of us,” Hugues said. “It needs to be an open exchange of ideas and Senate Bill 12 is going to get Texans back online.”
SB 12 bans platforms from censoring a “user, a user’s expression, or user’s ability to receive the expression of another person” based on their viewpoints or geographical location, according to its text.The measure also requires social media companies to publicly disclose information regarding their practices around how they target content for users, promote content and services, and moderate content.
The bill would also allow the state Attorney General to bring action against platforms that violate the law, and recover costs incurred in bringing the action if successful.
The measure applies to any platforms and services that “functionally has more than 100 million active users in a calendar month.”
The measure comes as conservatives complain that “Big Tech” companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, target their content over their political views.
He was then flown to Guantanamo Bay in August 2002, where he claims to have received further torture including being forced to drink saltwater, not allowed to sleep, being forced to stand for long periods and threats against his family.
Defense Attorney Nancy Hollander heard about his case and began work on it, telling the Irish Independent: “Someone had said if we don’t do it, they’re going to get bad lawyers so it’s up to us to defend the client and make sure that the government plays fair.
“That was reason enough for me. I didn’t know what he was being accused of, except that he was being connected with 9/11.
“I didn’t really get a sense of how bad it was until I got there. You are searched going in, you put your bags in a metal detector.
Did Mary Anning have an affair with Charlotte Murchison?
This is the part of the upcoming film which seems to be an example of artistic licence.
Mary never married and spent much of her life living with her ailing mother, Molly.
However, the visit of Charlotte Murchison and her husband, geologist Roderick Murchison, did take place.
It is not clear when the visit occurred, but Mary returned the favour and visited the couple in London in 1829.
Some have suggested Charlotte was the one who made her husband interested in geology, and contributed a great deal to his work, though this was never recognised.
Martina Kölbl-Ebert wrote in a 1997 article for Earth Sciences History: “She not only introduced him into the world of minerals, rocks and fossils but took an active part in the scientific pursuits which she had initiated, which leads us to conclude that her views are intimately connected with Roderick Murchison’s work.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is working to restore public trust after the February winter storm that many Central Texans are still recovering from.
Repairs and renovations to homes across Central Texas haven’t stopped for the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN). It’s been about 41 days since the blackouts from the winter storm, and the organization still has more than 100 requests from people who still need help recovering.
While ADRN restores lives, the state’s electric grid operator is working to restore public trust.
In an hour-long phone call with reporters Thursday, ERCOT laid out a preliminary assessment for summer demand. Based on information provided by generator owners, the grid operator anticipates there will be sufficient generation to meet the summer 2021 peak demand based on expected system conditions.
“ERCOT will benefit from growth in generation resources, but forecasts are also showing another record-breaking summer on the demand side,” said ERCOT’s Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “Overall, power reserves are in a better position heading into this summer compared to the past few years.”
ERCOT says generators in Texas are typically built to maximize performance during hot weather conditions. With continued economic growth across the state, ERCOT says it anticipates a summer 2021 peak demand of 77,144 MW, which would be a new system-wide peak demand record for the region.
New extreme scenarios
In response to the unprecedented winter weather event in February that forced half of the generation in ERCOT to go offline, the grid operator is including more extreme scenarios that could lead to energy emergencies and the possibility of controlled outages.
“We recently experienced a terrible tragedy, and ERCOT is committed to working with legislators, regulators and stakeholders on how to prepare for more extreme outcomes moving forward,” said Rickerson. “We must strike a balance between communicating the possibility of these types of conditions and providing realistic seasonal expectations.”
Prior to summer, ERCOT says the council and its market participants take additional steps to ensure system reliability. Steps include:
Coordination with Transmission Service Providers (TSPs) to limit planned outages during the summer months
Request generators to contact gas suppliers to identify any pipeline activities that would affect the availability of gas for their generators during the summer season
Communications coordination with Market Participants
The final summer SARA report will be released in early May and will reflect ERCOT’s expected summer weather conditions.
ERCOT says that public messaging and statewide safety alerts are now a top priority to help customers during an energy emergency.
Provocative tweets posted by Elon Musk that focus on cryptocurrencies have turned into a real call to arms for Americans taking their first steps in trading. An online poll reveals 37 percent of those surveyed follow his messages.
The survey, conducted by online platform Piplsay last month, shows that 37 percent of respondents made personal investments based on the tweets of Tesla’s CEO at least once. Sixteen percent reportedly invested many times following vague advice tweeted by Musk.
According to the poll, which sounded 30,400 people out, nearly half of respondents find Musk’s market-moving tweets ‘quite amusing.’ A quarter say that they are mostly uncertain, and 29 percent were not amused by the posts.
At the same time, 48 percent of the Americans polled say Elon Musk is a ‘genius,’ while seven percent think he is a ‘jerk.’ Nearly half of respondents reportedly admit they admire his ‘passion and commitment,’ while 35 percent noted they hate Musk ’s ‘arrogance.’ Also on rt.comElon Musk discloses his bitcoin kink and messes with crypto-enthusiasts via cheeky tweets
Elon Musk has been persistently vocal on Twitter, posting his opinions on such hot topics as GameStop or turning minor digital assets like Dogecoin into another hot issue. The first tweets devoted to the meme-based cryptocurrency sent it surging 20 percent.
Three years ago, the tweeting habit got Musk into trouble, after US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a civil probe over statements made by the billionaire on Twitter regarding the stock price of Tesla. As a result, the company was placed under investigation by the US Justice Department. Also on rt.comOne-word tweet from Elon Musk launches crypto dogecoin into the stratosphere
Eventually, Musk managed to reach an agreement with the government that required the CEO not to post controversial tweets about his company that could influence investors’ attitudes, without pre-approval by Tesla’s management. Moreover, Elon Musk had to step down as chairman of the firm.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section