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The Associated Press Now Automates Earnings Stories, No Humans Needed

The Associated Press is shifting its by-the-numbers business reporting to automation with a little helps from ones and zeros. Quarterly corporate earnings reports from the AP will soon be produced through a computer program that is able to take the key numbers from companies’ results to create a story of 150 to 300 words, the media company announced in a blog post. See also: Man vs. Algorithm: When Media Companies Need a Human Touch The move puts the dry—but important—job of relating the dense earnings results of public companies into a readable format. Earnings stories are important for company transparency and accountability. Read more…More about Journalism, Associated Press, Automation, Business, and Media

The People of Earth Need You to Hunt for Asteroids

Humans have difficult relationships with asteroids. Take a cultural study of films like Armageddon, and you can see we’re terrified of one sneaking undetected into a path with Earth. To be more asteroid conscious, a new citizen science project called Asteroid Zoo asks you, the peaceful citizens of planet Earth, to lend your hands in finding in the depths of space. The project pulls night sky photo series from the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., and asks users to identify how many asteroids, if any, are in the frames Its purpose is twofold: One, to help researchers find asteroids that may potentially collide with our planet down the road; and two, to find good mining candidates for future space exploration. Read more…More about Space, Videos, Features, Asteroids, and Tech

Cable Dispute Leaves Dodgers Fans in the Dark: Many Miss Kershaw’s No Hitter

Clayton Kershaw, the ace of the Dodgers pitching staff, threw possibly the best no hitter of all time earlier this month. However, since Dodgers games are carried by a regional sports network that’s available in only 30% of Los Angeles homes, only 55,000 people on average watched Kershaw’s accomplishment on June 18 against the Colorado Rockies, according to local ratings provided by Nielsen. Last season, the Dodgers averaged a much higher 226,000 viewers per game on their previous TV home, Fox Prime Ticket. See also: How Dodgers Fans Work Around the Season-Long TV Blackout The small number of viewers highlights the Dodgers’ challenges to engage fans during the on-going impasse between the team’s new network, SportsNet LA, and pay-TV systems in the Los Angeles regionTime Warner Cable, which agreed to pay the Dodgers $8.35 billion over 25 years to handle distribution and advertising sales for the network, is the only system that currently offers SportsNet LA and, due to the high price of the deal, the company hasn’t been able to convince DirecTV, or any other carriers, to sign on. (The price Time Warner would charge rival providers to carry SportsNetLA would make it the most expensive single-team sports network in the U.S.) Read more…More about Tv Ratings, Entertainment, Sports, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Clayton Kershaw

iPod Touch Gets New Colors, Cheaper Price

Everything old is new again. Two years after Apple released its last iPod touch, the Cupertino tech giant has announced colorful new versions of the next-generation device for up to $100 cheaper. The updated models debut in the U.S. on Thursday The 16GB iPod touch — which previously sold for $229 and is now priced at $199 — features a rear-facing 5 MP iSight camera, 1080p high-definition video capabilities and comes in new colors: red, pink, blue, gray, silver and yellow. Meanwhile, other iPod Touch models get a nice price cut too: the 32GB version is now $249 (down from $299) and the 64GB model is $299 (previously, $399). Read more…More about Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile

You Are Saying GIF Wrong!

Geef! Jiff! Jeef? How do you really pronounce “GIF?” Elliott and good friend, President Barack Obama, settle this great pronunciation debate once and for all. And on Tuesday, Elliott checked out some Vine superstars Read more…More about Gif, Social Media, and Youtube

World Cup Day 12 Recap: It’s All Fun and Games Until You Win the Group

When you think about it, it’s a supremely strange setup. Some 32 nations around the world invest themselves heart and soul into one team of 11 men, fully aware that the odds are stacked against them. Most have a far worse than 1 in 32 chance of winning; for 31 entire nations, destiny can offer nothing but heartache and tears The group stage is where you get to know teams well enough over three games that they’re almost family; then they’re gone. We bid farewell Monday to Australia, Croatia, Cameroon and Spain. Last games of the group stage often have this bittersweet end-of-semester feeling to them, as in Australia v Spain: two plucky and perpetually misunderstood teams, one of which just happened to be the soccer champion of the world, taking their last bow on the 2014 stage Read more…More about Entertainment, 2014 World Cup Brazil, Sports, and 2014 World Cup

World Cup Fans Snub Pricey Rio Hotels for the Beach

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Unwilling or unable to pay exorbitant hotel prices, hundreds of soccer fans in Brazil for the World Cup have opted to camp out on the beach during the tournament. Fans arriving in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro are sleeping on Copacabana Beach, and are also filling the Rodoviria Novo Rio intercity bus terminal and other public locations. See also: How FIFA Gives World Cup Fans Their Digital Soccer Fix An official survey of hotel rates ahead of the World Cup showed daily prices soared by up to 600% for the monthlong tournament in some of the 12 host cities, The Guardian reported. The study also found that the average hotel room in Rio for June costed $461 a night. Read more…More about World Cup, Entertainment, World, Sports, and 2014 World Cup

Wachowskis’ Netflix Sci-Fi Series ‘Sense8’: Cast Revealed

Sense8, the long-anticipated Netflix sci-fi drama from Larry and Lana Wachowski of The Matrix fame, finally has a cast. And it’s massive. Daryl Hannah, Lost vet Naveen Andrews, former Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman and Brian J. Smith, who played Lt. Matthew Scott on Stargate Universe, are the best-known members of the 14-person cast, revealed Friday by Deadline, and confirmed by Mashable SEE ALSO: The Edward Snowden Movie: Our Dream Cast However, they are not the series’ only recognizable names. British actors Tuppence Middleton (Jupiter Ascending) and Aml Ameen (Harry’s Law), Indian actress Tena Desae, South Korean actress Doona Bae, German actor Max Riemelt, and Mexican actors Alfonso Herrera and Erendira Ibarra round out the cast of Sense8, which followseight people from around the world who suddenly find themselves telepathically linked. Jamie Clayton (Hung), Miguel Silvestri and Terrence Mann will also star. Read more…More about Netflix, Tv, Television, Matrix, and Entertainment

‘Banned’ Grey Poupon Ad Asks ‘What Do You Poupon?’

Toilet humor never gets old. Or does it? Apparently not in the case of a “banned” ad for Grey Poupon mustard that takes the low road for its laughs. The parody commercial, closing in on 2 million views on YouTube, poses the question, “What do you Poupon?” That’s a setup any grade-school kid in the world could love. The answers, delivered by sketch comedians with perfect head tilts and Pepsodent smiles, run the range from, “I Poupon my kids’ lunches,” to “I Poupon my husband’s chest.” See also: Kmart Ad Is ‘Ship-Your-Pants’ Funny Go ahead and chuckle. No judgment here. The parody comes from a comedy group called Online Broadcast Virtual Station, or OBVS for short, and it has no actual link to the Kraft brand or its storied ad agency, Crispin Porter + BoguskyReal advertising for the mustard in the recent past has drawn on its camp classic, much copied, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” tagline and added car chases (in luxury sedans) and hand-to-hand combat (with golf clubs). New slogan: “Spread good taste.” Read more…More about Advertising, Parodies, Business, and Grey Poupon

Amazon’s Fire Phone Is More Than Meets the Eye

Amazon unveiled its first smartphone on Wednesday at an event in Seattle near its headquarters, four years after the company started working on the project On the surface — and even under the hood — the 4.7-inch Fire phone looks like any other Android phone on the market, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and team have baked both big and small touches into the Fire phone to make it stand out in such a crowded market. See also: Amazon’s Fire Phone: 5 Cameras, 3D Display, a Built-In Shopping Cart The Fire phone boasts a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, an Adreno 330 graphics processor, 2GB of RAM and runs on Amazon’s custom version of Android, called Fire OSWhile none of the specs are true differentiators, Amazon is taking some risks to get noticed. Read more…More about Amazon, Mobile Apps, Tech, Mobile, and Fire Phone