Westworld’s hosts just took over HBO to reveal a new trailer is coming tomorrow

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The second season of HBO’s Westworld will premiere on April 22nd, which means it’s time for a new trailer — and this afternoon, the network announced one was coming in an unorthodox fashion. At 8PM ET / 5PM PT, the feeds for all HBO and Cinemax channels “glitched out” simultaneously, airing a brief teaser clip with footage from the upcoming episodes, while promising that the full trailer will arrive on Thursday, March 29th, at 11AM ET / 8AM PT.

The clip is short, interspersed with digital noise and lines of computer code that will undoubtedly soon be analyzed by the show’s rabid Reddit fanbase. But the footage itself is intriguing. There are glimpses of heavily armed security forces, presumably from Delos, Inc., landing on a mysterious…

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Apple took us to school with iPad at special event demonstration

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Though Apple’s event appeared to end with the conclusion of the keynote, there was still much more in store for those in attendance. We got an inside look at Apple’s hands-on experience labs where they demoed how to integrate iPads, Garageband, and Clips into a teaching curriculum.
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Stormy Daniels Took a Polygraph. What Do We Do With the Results?

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A porn star has an affair with a man who would later become the president. She gets paid to keep quiet, but still takes a polygraph test in an effort to prove the affair was real, knowing that someday her story would come out.

No, it’s not the plot of some political novel, or even that of some X-rated film. It’s our current political climate, thanks to a flurry of claims form adult film star Stephanie Clifford, AKA Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with President Donald Trump.

In 2011, five years after their alleged affair, Daniels took a polygraph test that indicated that the “probability of deception was measured to be less than 1 percent,” according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Let’s not get into whether this revelation has any bearing on our democracy. Instead, let’s ask another question: does a polygraph test prove anything at all?

In short: not really.

A black-and-white photo of a polygraph test being administered by an older man to a young woman in a checkered dress in an office, circa 1945.
A polygraph test being administered for a security screening at the Clinton Engineer Works, 1945. (Image credit: Ed Westcott/Wikimedia Commons)

A polygraph test measures a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and skin conductivity (whether they’re sweating). The test administrator watches to see if any of these factors change compared to a control when a person answers a question. If the metrics are way off, the logic goes, the test-taker is lying.

The problem with all this, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), is that the polygraph hinges on several (dubious) assumptions: that there is any sort of physiological response when a person lies, and secondly, that all people share that same response. In reality, a guilty person may be able to keep themselves calm, while an innocent person might be more anxious. A person can also use countermeasures, such as sedatives or psychological manipulation, to keep their response neutral.

In a scientific sense, we also can’t say whether the results of a polygraph are because of the placebo effect. A person who believes a polygraph works, and that they will be caught, may naturally feel more anxious when lying, or feel pressured to tell the truth. If this is the case, we risk that a polygraph will only work for people who believe in them  as the APA points out, this would actually make this test a “fear detector” rather than a lie detector, leading to false positives from terrified witnesses.

There’s so much mushiness about what a polygraph shows, so it’s not surprising lie detector results aren’t usually admissible in court — in fact, several states prohibit them. Even if a judge allows polygraph results as evidence, a prosecutor can still force its exclusion. Yet as recent headlines show, polygraphs are still used elsewhere to intimidate witnesses, monitor criminal suspects, even screen job candidates — and, in this most recent case, to back up a juicy scoop on a celebrity.

So if we’re going to keep using lie detectors, can we at least come up with a more accurate replacement? Some scientists have tried to use brain waves to detect deception, focusing on the parts of the brain that help people make conscious decisions about their responses. While some research has shown brain scans to be a bit more accurate than polygraphs, they’re still not accurate enough to be admitted in court, as a 2012 murder trial showed. There’s some promise that artificial intelligence could spot lying better than humans can, but there are also risks that either of these high-tech options could be fooled by some of the same countermeasures used against polygraphs.

No matter whether Daniels is telling the truth, media reports don’t exactly explain much of the test’s nuance. Daniels’ polygraph doesn’t actually mean anything, scientifically, but we crave hard evidence for these sorts of allegations that we are willing to believe it.

That proof doesn’t make them anything more than what they really are: a side show, and a distraction from the real issues.

The post Stormy Daniels Took a Polygraph. What Do We Do With the Results? appeared first on Futurism.

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How PUBG, Fortnite, and the battle royale genre took over the world

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Fortnite screenshot - How the battle royale genre took over the world

The history of the battle royale genre isn’t a long one. While the nascent parts of the experience have existed ever since players first started killing one another online, it’s really only in the past six years that the genre has coalesced into something specific, with distinct parts that define whether a game does or doesn’t fit into the specific pigeonhole.

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‘Alto’s Odyssey’ took three years to make, and that’s all right

It's been three years since Snowman, a tiny independent studio based in Toronto, launched Alto's Adventure on iOS devices. Back then, the Alto crew was three people — Ryan Cash, Harry Nesbitt and Jordan Rosenberg — and Alto's Adventure was their fi…
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The iPhone took in 51% of global smartphone revenue over Christmas

Apple iPhone

New research data compiled by Strategy Analytics reveals that Apple’s iPhone lineup accounted for a whopping 51% of global smartphone revenues during the 2017 holiday quarter. Specifically, the iPhone generated approximately $ 61.4 billion in revenue during the December quarter, with the global smartphone market raking in $ 120 billion during the same time period.

Year over year, the iPhone’s share of global smartphone revenue increased slightly, jumping from 48% to 51%. With Apple occupying the top spot, second and third place went to Samsung and Huawei which posted quarterly revenues of $ 18.9 billion and $ 8.4 billion, respectively.

“Apple iPhone generated a huge US$ 61 billion in the quarter, helped by solid demand for its premium X model,” the company noted in a press release, “and Apple now accounts for more revenue than the rest of the entire global smartphone industry combined.

“Apple generated three times more smartphone revenue than nearest rival Samsung and 7 times more than Huawei,” the press release adds. “Apple iPhone’s average selling price is approaching US$ 800 and almost three times higher than the overall industry average. Apple iPhone is an incredible money-making machine.”

All told, Apple’s ability to dramatically increase iPhone revenue during the holiday quarter is all the more impressive given how late into the quarter the iPhone X was released.

Looking ahead, Apple’s revenue dominance is poised to increase in the months ahead. Though the iPhone X did not usher in an upgrade super cycle as some anticipated, there’s a strong chance that Apple’s rumored 6.1-inch iPhone X variant with an LCD display — and a much more affordable price point — will spur an avalanche of upgrades later this year. With carriers no longer offering friendly subsidies as in years past, the reality is that the iPhone X’s $ 1,000 sticker price likely dissuaded otherwise interested iPhone owners from actually upgrading.

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Officials confirm that a cyberattack took place during the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies

Olympic officials have confirmed that a cyber attack took place during the event’s opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang, according to Reuters. The organizers say that while television and internet access was affected, it “it had not compromised any critical part of their operations.”

According to reports, internet access and Wi-Fi shut down on Friday during the game’s opening ceremonies. The website for the games also went down, preventing attendees from printing out tickets. Pyeongchang organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you confirmed that an attack took place, but that the issues have since been resolved. He also said that investigators wouldn’t reveal the source of the attack.

The games have already come under attack from hackers:…

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