Deepfakes Are Getting Better, But They’re Still Easy to Spot

Last week, Mona Lisa smiled. A big, wide smile, followed by what appeared to be a laugh and the silent mouthing of words that could only be an answer to the mystery that had beguiled her viewers for centuries. A great many people were unnerved. Mona’s “living portrait,” along with likenesses of Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali, and others, demonstrated the latest technology in deepfakes—seemingly realistic media generated using machine learning. Developed by researchers at Samsung’s AI lab in Moscow, the portraits display a new method to create credible videos from a single image. With just a few photographs of real faces, the results improve dramatically, producing what the authors describe as “photorealistic talking heads.” The researchers (creepily) call the result …

Deepfakes Are Getting Better. But They’re Still Easy to Spot

Last week, Mona Lisa smiled. A big, wide smile, followed by what appeared to be a laugh and the silent mouthing of words that could only be an answer to the mystery that had beguiled her viewers for centuries. A great many people were unnerved. Mona’s “living portrait,” along with likenesses of Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali, and others, demonstrated the latest technology in deepfakes—seemingly realistic video or audio generated using machine learning. Developed by researchers at Samsung’s AI lab in Moscow, the portraits display a new method to create credible videos from a single image. With just a few photographs of real faces, the results improve dramatically, producing what the authors describe as “photorealistic talking heads.” The researchers (creepily) call …

Is an influencer promoting your business? Sign an agreement or risk getting burned | Gene Marks

Social media celebrities can help create buzz but as an Australian cafe owner learned, you may end up paying more without a written deal These days many a small business may be thinking about hiring a social media influencer to help create buzz about their business. It may be worthwhile. But for one owner of a small cafe in Melbourne, it turned into a disaster. Con Katsiogiannis, in an effort to draw a cool crowd to his business, last year hired reportedly charges anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000 an Instagram post, if you believe that) but shes no Instagram slouch either. As of this writing, she has about 128,000 followers who like to keep up on what shes doing, where …

Shell’s stand on LGBT rights under scrutiny over Brunei’s anti-gay laws

London (CNN Business)Royal Dutch Shell’s stand on LGBT rights has come under scrutiny following the introduction of laws that punish gay sex with death in Brunei. The move was first reported by the Financial Times. Shell operates a joint venture with Brunei’s government that generates 90% of the country’s oil and gas revenue. It’s the most important company in a country where 61% of GDP comes from the oil and gas sector. The new laws run counter to corporate policies at Shell that are strongly protective of the rights of LGBT employees. The company has robust diversity and inclusion programs. It sponsors gay pride events in cities around the world, has long-standing LGBT employee support networks and regularly flies rainbow …

National Enquirer sale: newsstand mogul James Cohen to buy tabloid

CEO of Hudson News will reportedly pay $100m for supermarket tabloid known for salacious stories and cozy relationship with Trump The National Enquirers owners have made a deal to sell the tabloid, after sparking scandal with the controversial tactics they have used to suppress stories damaging to Donald Trump. American Media led by CEO David Pecker, a longtime friend of Trumps will sell the Enquirer and its two other tabloids to James Cohen, the owner of the Hudson News chain of airport newsstands, the companies said in a admitted it paid $150,000 to a former Playboy model to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. The company paid off Karen McDougal for rights to her story and then never …

15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook

Frank J. Guzzone CEO Mark Zuckerberg had recently pledged to spend 2018 trying to fix Facebook. But even the company’s nascent attempts to reform itself were being scrutinized as a possible declaration of war on the institutions of democracy. Earlier that month Facebook had unveiled a major change to its News Feed rankings to favor what the company called “meaningful social interactions.” News Feed is the core of Facebook—the central stream through which flow baby pictures, press reports, New Age koans, and Russian-­made memes showing Satan endorsing Hillary Clinton. The changes would favor interactions between friends, which meant, among other things, that they would disfavor stories published by media companies. The company promised, though, that the blow would be softened …

Late ‘grand dame’ of Aldi clan sparks family feud with her will

Ccilie Albrecht excludes late sons wife and children from future roles in the company The late wife of one of the founders of the discount supermarket chain Aldi has plunged the family into a bitter row after declaring in her will that her grandchildren and their mother are excluded from future business decisions. Ccilie Albrecht, known as the grande dame of the Aldi clan, vented her anger towards the five offspring of her late son, as well as his widow, Babette, accusing them of lavish spending not in keeping with the firms frugal philosophy, and of siphoning millions from company funds to finance their luxury lifestyles. Ccilie Albrecht was married to Aldis co-founder Theo and died aged 92 in November …

The Deeper Education Issue Under the College Bribery Scandal

The college admissions bribery scandal has all the components of a made for TV movie, including suspense, celebrities, and unexpected twists and turns. Behind the broken admissions process and the drama, however, a different educational crisis is looming. According to a 2018 Korn Ferry study, by 2030, there could be a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people, costing an estimated $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenue. In the US alone, the study forecasts $1.7 trillion in lost revenue due to labor shortages—roughly 6 percent of the entire economy. The scandal du jour makes it easy to wag fingers and focus on the foibles of prominent helicopter parents, but perhaps we should be having a different discussion about …

Mario Batali sells stake in his restaurant group

New York (CNN Business)Embattled celebrity chef Mario Batali has sold his stake in the chain of restaurants that helped to make him famous, more than a year after he was accused of sexual misconduct. In a statement to CNN Business, Batali said he has reached an agreement with Joe Bastianich and no longer has any stake in the restaurants. “I wish him the best of luck in the future,” Batali said. Batali stepped away from the restaurant business in December 2017, when the restaurant news website Eater published an investigation that included allegations of misconduct. Eater’s report included accounts of four women who claimed that Batali “touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least …

Starbucks’ newest drink is made with egg-white powder

New York (CNN Business)Starbucks just unveiled its latest coffee drink: The cloud macchiato, made with egg-white powder. The cloud macchiato comes in caramel and cinnamon flavors. The coffee company first teased the cloud macchiato during its investor day in December as an example of how the company is innovating its iced beverages. Cold drinks “have contributed to more than 80% of our beverage growth over the last two years,” Starbucks Chief Operations Officer Rosalind Brewer said at the event. Starbucks’ new cloud macchiato also may have a celebrity tie-in. Rumors swirled that pop singer Ariana Grande may be involved in the product launch after Grande and Starbucks posted matching tweets. “We’ve long been fans of Ariana Grande’s and were excited …

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles

Exclusive: investigation reveals how Troika Dialog channelled $4.6bn to Europe and US A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal. Money flowing through the network included cash that can be linked to some of the most notorious frauds committed during Vladimir Putins presidency. In all, it is estimated that $4.6bn (3.5bn) was sent to Europe and the US from a Russian-operated network of 70 offshore companies with accounts in Lithuania. The details have emerged from 1.3m banking transactions obtained by the ed Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Lithuanian website Bill …

Gap and Old Navy are splitting up

New York (CNN Business)Gap and Old Navy have been trending in opposite directions for years. So they’re finally splitting up. Wall Street cheered the decision:Gap (GPS) stock was up 25% in after-hours trading. The separation is a tale of two vastly different businesses: Old Navy has thrived in recent years, and sales at stores open at least a year grew 3% in 2018. Meanwhile, the Gap has struggled — its sales fell 5% last year. Banana Republic has been closing stores, which has helped the company improve sales. “Old Navy continues to outpace Gap brand and Banana Republic, and is one the fastest-growing major apparel brands,” said Christina Boni, analyst at Moody’s. The Gap, which was founded in 1969, used …

Turn Traffic into SALES (with Smart Chat Automation) use 3D Chat Agents

A new shift is happening and you must get on this “new” trend now before your competitors! You can now leverage the latest advancements in “3D Animation” and “Artificial Intelligence” to 10x your leads, sales and results! A new groundbreaking called “ChatterPal” comes loaded with industry-leading features like: UNLIMITED smart chat automation, talking 3D avatars, text-to-speech, instant-lip sync, one-click translation, logo mapping, done-for-you chat templates, intelligent list building engine and a lot more! … to deliver REAL results like no other app can! Check out a “reveal-all” demo of this NEW technology here…   Nothing like this available at the market for any price!   With ChatterPal you can…   – Boost conversions, sales and results on any website. – …

How Target is trying to woo mom and dads

New York (CNN Business)Moms and dads are some of the best shoppers for retailers. Target has a plan to win them over: Focus on the kids. A combination of factors has buoyed growth. Many parents today are having children later in life and are further along in their careers. That means they have more disposable income to spend and room to trade up for flashy clothes for their little ones, according to Ayako Homma, an analyst who covers the children’s clothing market at Euromonitor International. Target has taken aggressive steps to woo parents and capitalize on an opening in the market. Former heavyweights Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us are gone, Gymboree has filed for bankruptcy a second time …