Babysitter vetting and voice-analysis: Have we reached peak AI snakeoil?

The ever-useful Gartner Hype Cycle identified an inflection point in the life of any new technology: the "Peak of Inflated Expectations," attained just before the sharp dropoff into the "Trough of Disillusionment"; I've lived through the hype-cycles of several kinds of technology and one iron-clad correlate of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" is the "Peak of Huckster Snakeoil Salesmen": the moment at which con-artists just add a tech buzzword to some crooked scam and head out into the market to net a fortune before everyone gets wise to the idea that the shiny new hypefodder isn't a magic bullet. Read the rest

Trump spent $200,000,000 on the election stunt of sending 6,000 troops to the border, then withdrew them before the caravan arrived

Trump's "Operation Faithful Patriot" was a $200,000,000 exercise in which 6,000 US troops were deployed within the USA, to the US/Mexico border, nominally to repel the migrant caravan of desperate, poor, terrified asylum seekers. Read the rest

Trump's US-Mexico border troop deployment could go as high as 15,000.

President Donald Trump said today he may issue an order to deploy more troops, possibly up to 15,000, to the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Read the rest

Fear and Trembling: Prion diseases on Twitter

Even if you don't immediately recognize the words "prion" or "Kuru", the history of these pathologies has seeped into popular culture like a horrifying fairy tale. But it's true: a tribe in New Guinea ate the dead, not as Hollywood-style savages but to respect the dead. Upon death, you took a part of them into yourself. And that included the brain.