VICE News Posts a Glimpse of What It’s Like to Be a Part of Train Jam 2018

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As anyone who is a regular reader of TouchArcade probably knows, we took part in Train Jam 2018 leading up to our week at GDC 2018 last month. If you’re unfamiliar, Train Jam began five years ago and is the brainchild of developer and all around game industry bright spot Adriel Wallick and it tasks developers traveling to GDC to create a game in the 50+ hours it takes to ride an Amtrak train from Chicago to San Francisco where GDC takes place. The jam has only grown each year since it began, and this year’s Train Jam sold out an entire train’s worth of people, which equals roughly 340 riders. The folks from VICE caught wind of Train Jam and decided to tag along for the ride too. The result is this 6-minute video which captures some of the people jamming on the train and their stories, some of the gorgeous scenery, and the all-around great vibes of the entire event.

While the above video is a really cool snippet of Train Jam 2018, it definitely doesn’t encompass everything, and in all honestly you could easily make a 90-minute documentary about the event and still not be able to touch on everything. Eli attended Train Jam last year and gushed so much about it he convinced me to give it a shot this year. I was hesitant, as I live near San Francisco and so I’d be flying all the way to Chicago just to ride back on a train to where I came from, which seems a bit absurd. Also, GDC by itself is such an exhausting event to cover that tacking on an extra 5 days to allow for Train Jam wasn’t something I was overly thrilled about. However, boy am I glad I listened to Eli. Train Jam is one of the best things I’ve done in my life, and I’m going to try my best to be able to go each and every year. If the above video looks like fun to you then keep an eye out for tickets going on sale for next year’s Train Jam likely in early 2019.

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Skyscanner now lets you book train tickets in the UK

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Edinburgh-based travel search engine Skyscanner has introduced the ability to find and compare train tickets in the UK. The feature is currently available the UK-based users of the iOS app, with the feature due to land on Android shortly. The feature is powered by Trip.com, which is owned by the Chinese travel service Ctrip, which acquired Skyscanner in 2016 for $ 1.7 billion. Tickets are sold without any booking fees (unlike its biggest rival, The Trainline). According to TechCrunch, this feature will also come with 24-hour customer service. There are some limitations, however. Firstly, train journeys are limited to the UK.…

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Train Jam and GDC Debrief – The TouchArcade Show #348

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Ahhhhh it’s good to be home, at least for a couple days. On this week’s episode, we do a GDC debrief, focusing majorly on what an incredible time Train Jam and the … super busy and simultaneously scary time we had at GDC in San Francisco. From there, we hit on a few of our favorite games we saw at GDC but this GDC was fairly amazing as there was no clear answer for “What’s the best thing you saw at GDC?” Everything was fantastic. If you missed any of our GDC coverage, be sure to check all that out here.

Don’t forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read ’em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below… And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we’re talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you’re logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-348.mp3, 66MB

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Xiaomi to join the notch hype train with the Mi 7, leak reveals

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Apple introduced a notch, many more followed, including Huawei with the upcoming P20 series, Oppo and its R15 duo, and vivo with the X21 UD or the V9. Xiaomi has so far kept away from this trend, but according to a leaked photo of the Mi 7 front panel, the Chinese company might soon be joining the notch team. The alleged glass panel of the Xiaomi Mi 7 is compared to the vivo X21 screen. It appears to have a thinner bottom bezel, 2.5D glass and a wide bezel that is hiding at least one camera, one earpiece and a proximity sensor. Pulling out the measuring tools, it appears that the…

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Japan reveals a ‘Supreme’ version of its bullet train

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Japan has unveiled a ‘Supreme’ prototype version of its 186 mph Shinkansen bullet train which features a sharper nose profile, power sockets for every seat, and light-up luggage racks. According to Japanese publication Asahi, Central Japan Railway’s N700S series trains are due to debut in 2020, on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, which runs between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. The trains are embellished with a large gold ‘S’ that stands for Supreme, and test runs are due to begin this month.

The seats have also been upgraded with a new fabric and the ability to recline even further with 15 percent more legroom (at least for those who purchase first class tickets). Seats now contain power sockets for every passenger, rather than just those lucky…

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All Aboard the Train with Carter and Shaun – The TouchArcade Show #346

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Eli and Jared are currently aboard Train Jam on their way out to GDC, but fret not: instead of a classic episode, Carter and Shaun are here to discuss this week’s big games and news. Fortnite obviously takes up a lot of the discussion, as it is a potentially groundbreaking mobile release. We also discuss the upcoming beta for dinosaur survival game ARK: Survival Evolved, another similarly-surprising mobile port from console/PC. Shaun gets to discuss something a bit more familiar to him as we talk about Fighting Fantasy Classics [Free], and the ridiculous sale for Darkest Dungeon: Tablet Edition [$ 0.99 (HD)] over on iPad, before wrapping things up with some Armello [Free] discussion.

Don’t forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read ’em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below… And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we’re talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you’re logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-346.mp3, 70MB

TouchArcade

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Train your dog like an expert with Pupster

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Is your fur-child misbehaving? Just want to teach an old dog some new tricks? Check out Pupster, the world’s first personalized dog training app.

Let’s get one thing straight: all animals are a gift, and definitely better than people. I realize that maybe that’s a hot take, but I’m just livin’ my truth. However, pure as they are, some of our fur-covered buds out there aren’t the most well-behaved and considerate creatures in the world — especially if they’re young. Enter Pupster, the world’s first expert-guided, completely personalized dog training app. Whether you’ve got an unruly puppy or a longtime doggy BFF that’s looking for a little enrichment, Pupster wants to help.

According to Pupster founder Matt Saucedo, the idea for the app came to him when he was looking for ways to better interact with his two senior dogs, Sophie and Meika:

They were less active, less interested in their food, and tug of war just wasn’t cutting it anymore. After connecting with Nicole Ellis, a CPDT-KA and celebrity dog trainer and learning how the right training can help dogs live healthier, happier, and longer lives, I knew I had to create a centralized resource to help other dog owners better care for their dogs as well.

With Pupster, pet parents can access expert training, behavior help, and trick tips for their dogs in easy to understand short video “training sessions” led by aforementioned pro and celebrity dog trainer, Nicole Ellis. Users can customize their lessons based on what they’d like to accomplish with their dog and their dog’s age, giving them a tailored experience that they can both enjoy.

One of the coolest parts about the app is that it’s game-like and very goal-oriented. Much like an exercise tracker or certain language-learning apps, each individual owner has a profile where they can track their daily streaks, earn fun achievements, and see which skills their pup has mastered. It makes each challenge feel like something the owner and dog conquer as a team. Cooler still, more challenges are added all the time, so even if you’re basically the dog whisperer you and your dog will never get bored. And if you’re definitely not the dog whisperer and get stuck on a trick or skill, Pupster also offers one-on-ones with expert trainers who will listen to your issue and give you seasoned advice.

Finally, if you want to add a little more to your doggo’s playtime, Pupster will recommend toys and other products based on their individual needs that you can then shop for right within the app.

Now, go forth and be the best human/doggie duo there ever was!

Questions?

What do you think of Pupster? If you have a dog, are you going to give it a try? Share in the comments!

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California’s Bullet Train Is Going to Be Way, Way More Expensive

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California has been trying to construct a high-speed rail system in the state since at least 1981, yet the project’s most recent business plan has even the most enthusiastic proponents of the bullet train wincing over its estimated cost. The plan suggests that the price of connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco could be at least $ 77.3 billion, and could rise to $ 98.1 billion.

The LA Times reports that projections from two years ago had previously pegged the railway’s cost at around $ 13 billion cheaper.

The plan also estimates that the first trains won’t begin running along a partial stretch of rail, between San Francisco and Bakersfield (a little under 480 km [300 miles] south), until 2029, with the final system operating by 2033. Previous projections said rails would be complete four years earlier.

The reality is that the rail has a $ 40-billion gap in funding, which the rail authority was hoping to fill through passenger revenue and private investments after an initial operating system was set up. There are also significant construction challenges ahead, including building 58 km (36 miles) of tunnels through Southern California’s mountainous terrain — which the report suggests will make up a $ 26-billion to $ 45-billion chunk of the final cost. However, the rail section that would run through Central Valley saw the biggest price increase.

There’s no word yet on whether the rising costs could potentially kill the project, but an oversight hearing on the plan is scheduled for April. Politicians have been less than pleased with the continually rising price tag; the LA Times reports that Republican senator Andy Vidak called the project a “never-ending scam.” He added, “Initially a rathole, now a sinkhole, soon it will be an abyss in which more and more tax dollars are forever lost.”

If California doesn’t complete its bullet train soon, the state may watch as the private sector builds right past it. Elon Musk and The Boring Company have been in talks with authorities in Southern California about building a mass-transit system off of his Hyperloop concept. The Boring Company is already working on a two-mile tunnel to Los Angeles International Airport, the beginning of the end for the area’s “soul-destroying traffic,” as Musk put it during a TED talk.

The post California’s Bullet Train Is Going to Be Way, Way More Expensive appeared first on Futurism.

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Google is helping US military train AI to study drone footage

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The US military's Project Maven is getting some help using AI to interpret drone footage from a not-entirely-unexpected source: Google. The company has confirmed a Gizmodo report that it's offering TensorFlow programming kits to the Defense Departm…
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How you can train AI to convert design mockups into HTML and CSS


Within three years, deep learning will change front-end development. It will increase prototyping speed and lower the barrier for building software. The field took off last year when Tony Beltramelli introduced the pix2code paper and Airbnb launched sketch2code. Currently, the largest barrier to automating front-end development is computing power. However, we can use current deep learning algorithms, along with synthesized training data, to start exploring artificial front-end automation right now. In this post, we’ll teach a neural network how to code a basic HTML and CSS website based on a picture of a design mockup using deep-learning platform FloydHub. Here’s a quick overview of the process: 1)…

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