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Microsoft Brainwave aims to accelerate deep learning with FPGAs

 This afternoon Microsoft announced Brainwave, an FPGA-based system for ultra-low latency deep learning in the cloud. Early benchmarking indicates that when using Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs, Brainwave can sustain 39.5 Teraflops on a large gated recurrent unit without any batching. Microsoft has been pouring resources into FPGAs for a while now, deploying large clusters of the field-programmable… Read More


Sorry, But I Refuse to Participate in the Marriage Olympics

I realized that the “Marriage is something you must achieve in life, otherwise you live a failure” belief was so deeply ingrained in me until I confronted it in college, thanks to a genders philosophy class. It’s easy to grow up thinking this way since my fairy tale books contained dreams of Prince Charming, and […]

The post Sorry, But I Refuse to Participate in the Marriage Olympics appeared first on Preen.


Different strokes: a wild mountain swim in the Lake District

Remote Bowscale Tarn – a setting rich in myth and literary references – proves an inspiring spot for a dip in the northern lakes, even in the rain. All photographs by Vivienne Rickman-Poole

Swimming in the Lake District requires full commitment. There’s no point tentatively dipping a toe, waiting until the water warms or the weather clears. You just need to get in. But it took me a while at Bowscale Tarn, getting wetter and colder as the rain fell, to reach that conclusion. I needed to stop dithering and immerse myself.

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Emmanuel Macron wants to re-shape Europe

FILE PHOTO French President Emmanuel Macron waits for a guest at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File PhotoThomson Reuters

PARIS/WARSAW (Reuters) – While Britain toils over its messy divorce with the European Union, France’s president Emmanuel Macron is embarking on a drive to deepen the economic integration of a bloc he says needs to be more protective of its citizens.

The French leader this week embarks on a three-day tour of central and eastern Europe, where he will seek to win backers for his push to tighten labor rules over ‘posted’ workers, a sensitive issue that has exacerbated an east-west rift.

Days later, euro zone reforms, defense cooperation and immigration will be in focus when Macron hosts the leaders of Germany, Spain and Italy for talks, as he seeks to enhance France’s leadership in Europe.

Paris has long complained that central and eastern Europe gains an unfair advantage from the “social dumping” of cheap labor, arguing the posting of low-paid workers hurts local jobs and erodes labor protections in higher-wage member states.

Although posted workers make up less than 1 percent of the EU workforce, with many employed in the haulage and construction sectors, the issue has deepened a divide between the poor east and rich west.

Macron will visit Romania, Bulgaria and Austria, where he will also meet the leaders of Czech Republic and Slovakia, but is skipping Hungary and Poland, whose right-wing governments he has accused of spurning the bloc’s values.

An Elysee Palace source said Macron was visiting countries who were “the most attached to their European anchoring”.

The source dismissed suggestions that Macron is seeking to drive a wedge between central and eastern European countries staunchly opposed to reform and those that see scope for compromise.

“This is not about dividing in order to better rule,” the source said in a briefing to reporters earlier this month.


g20 emmanuel macron angela merkelReuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Macron’s election win has re-energized the EU’s Franco-German axis but in Poland and Hungary it has fanned fears of a “multi-speed” Europe that could mean reduced influence, financial support and economic competitiveness.

The 39-year-old leader will find a sympathetic ear in Austria, which borders four eastern European countries and where the ruling Social Democrats say an influx of workers from the east is weighing on wages.

The posted workers directive permits European companies to send employees to other EU states on contracts under which they only have to guarantee the minimum wage of the host country.

Macron has said a European Commission proposal that posted workers’ pay packets should include benefits in line with host country regulations and that their contracts be limited to two years does not go far enough.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — known together as the Visegrad four — say the proposals go too far. They argue they should be allowed to compete on lower prices to catch up after decades of communist stagnation.

Estonia, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is due to table a new proposal in September.

Emmanuel Macron Vladamir Putin and Angela Murkel at G20 in GermanyREUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Poland has accused Macron of double standards by advocating a closer Europe while seeking to erode competition in the single market. Two sources in the Polish government said it had tried to invite Macron to Warsaw as part of his trip.

“But we didn’t see much willingness,” said one of the sources.

Poland’s Deputy Infrastructure Minister Justyna Skrzydlo told Reuters the Warsaw government trusted in the “continued unity and solidarity of the Central Europe countries”.

“We believe that Central European states highlight competitiveness in the European economy,” she said. “We are utterly confident that it will endure in the future.”

Other countries have shown signs of being open to compromise and aligning themselves with an eventual new EU proposal.

“I am very much interested in regional cooperation within the Visegrad four, but Slovakia’s vital interest is the EU,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Beyond the issue of posted workers, Macron is likely to be on a charm offensive to drum up support for proposed wider reforms to the European Union that include deeper defense cooperation, fiscal harmonization and a common budget for the euro zone.

His advisors say French diplomacy has long neglected central Europe.

“He wants to get started on Europe. The sooner he starts building these relationships, the more political capital he will accumulate to use at a later stage,” said Teneo Intelligence analyst Antonio Barroso.

NOW WATCH: We may have been wrong about ‘good’ cholesterol all this time


Yes, a former Trump campaign spokesperson really said that on Fox News


About a week after President Donald Trump defended people who marched with neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, former Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson called slavery “good history” during a Monday appearance on Fox News.

I’m not quite sure what to type from here. Pierson was on Fox along with John Hopkins University professor Wendy Osefo, who often appears on Fox News as a liberal counterweight. They debated whether Confederate statues should be taken down from the U.S. capitol. 

Pierson, in her typically truculent I-will-keep-shouting-my-words-even-as-the-earth-around-me-crumbles style, said the Confederate monuments deserve “a place because bad history is still good history for this country.” Read more…

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The Cost of Wedding Banquets Is Soaring in Singapore

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin If you are planning to get married soon, there’s an uncomfortable fact that you need to be aware of: the cost of a wedding in Singapore is rising extremely quickly. What’s even more interesting is that this is occurring amidst trouble in the overall food and beverage sector in the country and the economy is expected to be “sluggish” in the months ahead. Below, we discuss our findings of collecting and analyzing prices of 47 most well-known wedding banquet venues in Singapore. The Cost of Wedding Banquets Has Risen by Almost 50% Since 2011 By comparing the average price of 47 different banquet venues in 2011, 2015 and 2017, our team at ValuePenguin found that the average price of these 47 locations has risen by 49% from S$1,033 (for a weekend dinner) in 2011 to S$1,536 in 2017. This growth was more than 2x higher than the 22% increase in median income excluding CPF contribution, and almost 6x higher than rate of inflation of 8.6% since 2011. To put that in perspective, that represents around S$46,100 of cost for a banquet with 300 people. Given that the median income excluding CPF contribution was around S$3,600 in 2016, this means that

The post The Cost of Wedding Banquets Is Soaring in Singapore appeared first on The New Savvy.


Space station photobombs the eclipse like a pesky ant

TwitterFacebook b005 167a%2fthumb%2f00001 Read more…

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More about Eclipse, Eclipse 2017, Science, and Space


Google might take on Amazon with its own version of the Echo Dot


Google might be gearing up to launch a new “mini” version of its Google Home.

The company is working on a new, smaller version of its Google Home speaker that will launch later this year, alongside two new Pixel phones and a new Pixel-branded Chromebook, Android Police reports

The smaller device will reportedly be cheaper than the $129 full-sized Google Home. Though the report didn’t specify details about the new speaker, it seems that it would likely to be comparable to Amazon’s popular Echo Dot, which allows you to convert your existing speakers into Alexa-enabled devices.  Read more…

More about Tech, Google, Amazon, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot


The girl losing her mind over the eclipse is the new double rainbow


Everyone reacted differently to Monday’s total solar eclipse— some people cheered, some clapped, and some (including one Chicago meteorologist) wept. 

However, this Salem, Oregon girl’s utter shock at the celestial phenomenon takes the cake:

“What’s happening!!!” Listen to this little girl my camera caught losing her mind during #SolarEclipse2017 — plus some

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 21, 2017

As the sky starts to get dark, you can hear the girl start to scream, and question how the once in a lifetime event is even possible. Which, same, honestly.  Read more…

More about Video, Reactions, Eclipse, Reaction, and Eclipse 2017