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Controversial deepfake app DeepNude shuts down hours after being exposed

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Less than a day after receiving widespread attention, the deepfake app that used AI to create fake nude photos of women is shutting down. In a tweet, the team behind DeepNude said they “greatly underestimated” interest in the project and that “the probability that people will misuse it is too high.”

DeepNude will no longer be offered for sale and further versions won’t be released. The team also warned against sharing the software online, saying it would be against the app’s terms of service. They acknowledge that “surely some copies” will get out, though.

Motherboard first drew attention to DeepNude yesterday afternoon. The app, available for Windows and Linux, used AI to alter photos to make a person appear nude and was only designed to work on women. A free version of the app would place a large watermark across the images noting that they were fake, while a paid version placed a smaller watermark in a corner, which Motherboard said could easily be removed or cropped out. The app has been on sale for a few months, and the DeepNude team says that “honestly, the app is not that great” at what it does.

But it still worked well enough to draw widespread concern around its usage. While people have long been able to digitally manipulate photos, DeepNude made that ability instantaneous and available to anyone. Those photos could then be used to harass women: deepfake software has already been used to edit women into porn videos without their consent, with little they can do afterward to protect themselves as those videos are spread around.

The creator of the app, who just goes by Alberto, told The Verge earlier today that he believed someone else would soon make an app like DeepNude if he didn’t do it first. “The technology is ready (within everyone’s reach),” he said. Alberto said that the DeepNude team “will quit it for sure” if they see the app being misused.

DeepNude’s team ends their message announcing the shutdown by saying “the world is not yet ready for DeepNude,” as though there will be some time in the future when the software can be used appropriately. But deepfakes will only become easier to make and harder to detect, and ultimately, knowing whether something is real or fake isn’t the problem. These apps allow people’s images to be quickly and easily misused, and for the time being, there are few if any protections in place to prevent that from happening.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/27/18761496/deepnude-shuts-down-deepfake-nude-ai-app-women

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Apple, Google continue inclusive push with new emojis

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Apple and Google are rolling out dozens of new emojis that of course include cute critters, but the tech giants also continue to push the boundaries of inclusion and diversity.

The announcement coincides with Wednesday’s World Emoji Day.

Apple Inc. is releasing new variants of its holding hands emoji that allow people to pick any combination of skin tone and gender, 75 possible combinations in all. There are also wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs, as well as a new guide dog and an ear with a hearing aid.

And then there’s the sloth, the flamingo, the skunk, the orangutan, as well as a new yawning emoji.

Apple said its new emojis will be available in the fall with a free software update for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Source: https://tucson.com/entertainment/apple-google-continue-inclusive-push-with-new-emojis/article_196a025f-e23a-569c-ac71-828a1491f1ce.html

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Facebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air Force

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Fun and games on Facebook may have serious consequences for the foolish. That was the message delivered by the US Air Force, who have responded to a Facebook’s group’s efforts to have 450,000 people storm a top secret military base.

Conspiracy theorists have always believed that Area 51 in Nevada holds information about extra-terrestrial activities on our planet, possibly including actual alien remains and aircraft. That belief spawned a Facebook group suggesting that a wave of humanity could overwhelm the defenses at the base and discover the truth.

More than 400,000 people have joined a Facebook event page calling for storming Area 51, with many more indicating interest. The proposed event is scheduled for Sept. 20.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the event description reads. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”

Naruto Run refers to the unique running style of the protagonist Naruto Uzumaki in the Japanese anime series Naruto, where he is often depicted sprinting with his hands behind him to decrease wind resistance.
The Washington Post on Friday asked how officials will deal with anyone showing up for the event. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews declined to elaborate on specific details of the military’s plans.
However, she did issue a warning.

“[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

Source: https://deadline.com/2019/07/area-51-storming-may-be-countered-with-force-says-us-air-force-1202646103/

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Amazon Prime Day 2019: The Best Deals So Far

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Did you think Amazon Prime Day 2019 started on Monday, July 15? Think again. While Monday marks the official start of the sales, just like last year, Amazon has jumped the gun and some of the best deals you’ll find on Prime Day are already live. These are the deals you need to move on now.
Amazon Prime Day 2019 – Early Live Deals

All these “early access deals” are available right now but they come with one catch: you must be an Amazon Prime subscriber. If you aren’t one, don’t worry because there’s an easy hack. Sign-up for Amazon’s free 30-day trial membership and you can cancel the moment Prime Day is over at no cost.

  • Echo Dot: $22 (saving $27.99) – easily the show-stopping deal right now for this hugely popular product – product link
  • Echo (2nd Generation): $49.99 ($50 saving) – at under half price, this very hard to ignore – product link
  • Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote: $14.99 ($25 saving) – a very popular item which is almost an impulse buy at this price point – product link
  • Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote: $24.99 ($25 saving) – another 50% off bargain product link
  • Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet: $79.99 ($50 saving) – one of Amazon’s most popular tablets – product link
  • All new Fire Tablet (7-inch Display, 16GB) – $29.99 ($20 saving) – product link
  • Fire HD 10 – 10-inch, 1080p edition – $99.99 ($50 saving) – product link
  • All-new Kindle (built-in display light) – $59.99 ($30 saving) – a bargain now it matches the best fature of the Kindle Paperwhite – product link
  • Kindle Paperwhite – $84.99 ($45 saving) – product link
  • Kindle Oasis – $199.99 ($50 saving) – product link
  • All-new Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet: $59.99 ($40 saving) – product link
  • Echo Show (2nd gen) – $159.99 ($70 saving) – a new edition with a strong early reduction – product link

You’ll notice a clear theme here: Amazon is pushing its products early. That’s understandable, but given Amazon devices are typically among the biggest selling devices on the site anyway, it doesn’t make them any less desirable. I also know that these prices will also not be lowered any further when Prime Day officially launches, so grab yourself a bargain now and beat the rush.

Note: Prime Day starts on July 15 at 12am through July 16. It will be Amazon’s biggest ever Prime Day sale and the best deals will go quickly.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/07/14/amazon-prime-day-2019-best-deals-echo-dot-fire-tv-kindle-paperwhite/#313d418f76a7

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