Weekly Wins June 28, 2019

AI for Good

Five more work days in the books. Here’s a roundup of some of the fun you missed. 

Climate change AI, Tom Hanks, and more in this edition. 

1. AI For Good

AI for good? Of course, AI applications have been steadily making our lives better for years now but usually they only grab headlines when they seem nefarious. 

Well, here’s a nice bit of cheerful news: AI is set to be employed in combating climate change. 

A group of world’s top scientists have authored a paper that was released this week, detailing the numerous ways that AI could be used to help mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Though millions of humans focus their efforts on taking steps to scale back climate change, the problem is too broad for us to handle alone. AI recommendations include monitoring agricultural emissions and deforestation, creating new low-carbon materials and predicting extreme weather events. 

So, that’s good news for our species, right??

2.Hanks for the Kind Words 

In the lead up to CES, AKA the nerd-dream of a product launch showcase, a ten year old video of Tom Hanks’ keynote for a Sony presentation has surfaced and gone viral. 

Hanks may be America’s sweetheart but he was apparently none-too-stoked at a contractual obligation that found him introducing the Sony CEO and he wanted everyone to know it. 

He ad-libbed throughout the presentation, made it clear that he was reading prepared copy off of a teleprompter, and generally did his best to never get invited back. 

The result is a ton of fun. It feels like Hanks is thumbing his nose at his corporate masters and you can’t help rooting for him in the process.

3.Pic Copyright Fight 

Who owns an image of you? The person that took the photo or you? In the world of celebrities, where images can mean the exchange of a lot of money, it’s the source of some debate. 

This week, a model, Gigi Hadid, made news for attempting to set a copyright precedent. She maintains that paparazzi pics of her are hers after she posted one to Instagram and was ordered to pull it down.

If she wins she’ll disrupt an entire industry. Her claims certainly make sense but with so many stakeholders in the mix it’s anyone’s bet how it will turn out. Of course, we’re eagerly waiting to see the outcome of this one. 

4.More Tools for Music Makin’

Fans of Pound & Grain’s podcast, Version Control, know that we like to keep abreast of the latest recording techniques and industry updates. One big, interesting change that is that music production services are turning increasingly to subscription models as opposed to expensive software purchases. 

This week, one such company, Slate Media, announced that along with the DAW (digital audio workspace) that it offers, it will include a comprehensive learning suite along with the purchase. 

Makes sense. If a potential user wants to get into production but doesn’t know where to begin, adding this feature will eliminate one more barrier to entry. With services such as Masterclass and Lynda Learning already in the game, it seems like a good move. 

For the next wave of Producers out there, the keys to the kingdom are your to take, for cheaper than ever before. 

5.Tiny Computer  

How much are you willing to pay for a desktop computer that you just need for light work? Thirty-five bones, perhaps? 

That’s all it’ll run you for with the Rasberry Pi 4, a sweet little pocket of computing gold that’ll get the job done, provided that you don’t have too big of a job. 

This week, The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a registered charity whose goal is to make sure that people the world over have digital capabilities and skills, announced that the tiny computer that they had produced in the past was getting an upgrade. 

The tiny machine now runs with up to 4GB of RAM (four times that of any previous Pi), a faster CPU and GPU, faster Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, twice the amount of HDMI outputs, and two USB 3 ports.

Not bad for thirty-five bucks. And the proceeds support a charity. Seems like an all-around win. 

These words are by Nick Kewin

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