5 cheap online courses that could help you land a job in AI

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Become a fully functioning robo-professional with the help of these online courses.
Become a fully functioning robo-professional with the help of these online courses.
Image: pexels

These days, pundits galore are proselytizing about the Future of Work. Depending on who you ask, the robots may or may not be taking over, leaving us mere humans pondering how work fits into our lives and whether we’re going to be eventually rendered obsolete.

Just look at the stark contrast in tone between these two headlines: the Wall Street Journal’s White-Collar Robots Are Coming For Jobs versus Wired’s Chill: Robots Won’t Take All Our Jobs. Who should we *really* believe?!

The truth is there isn’t one easy answer. What we can do is prepare ourselves to move into technical careers required to create and manage the robot revolution. Case in point: AI is one of the fastest growing tech sectors, and companies are hiring.

If you’re itching to stay ahead of the curve in this Brave New World of work, here are five ways to get started. You’ll get an extra 15% off the already discounted prices with use of code MADNESS15 at checkout:

This bundle contains five e-books jam-packed full of essential robotics knowledge, including the Robot Operating System — the popular framework used by hobbyists to design and build real, working robots. Plus, this e-book package is seriously hands-on with tons of ROS projects (like building a self-driving car) that will have you putting theory into practice in no time.

Normally $199.95, it’s now on sale for $15. With the code applied, you can grab it for just $12.75.

Image: Pexels

This huge bundle covers all things AI across over 80 hours of training. You’ll get a deep dive in essential AI concepts such as machine learning and data science, and more. Uncover the technical knowledge that powers everything from Apple’s Siri to Tesla’s self-driving cars, and add a kick to your résumé with some sweet new skills.

This bundle was once $1,599, but it’s on sale for $59. With the code applied, you can grab it now for just $50.15.

Image: Pixabay

This premium course collection covers all things machine learning, spanning ten courses comprising 63.5 hours of training. You’ll get courses like Quant Trading Using Machine Learning, and Learn By Example: Hadoop & MapReduce for Big Data Problems — tons of essential machine learning fundamentals that will help you build and execute programs to tackle complex Big Data puzzles.

This collection was originally $780, and it’s on sale for $29. With the code applied, you can grab it for just $24.65.

Image: Pixabay

In this training, you’ll get detailed machine learning and data science certification prep. Across eight courses spanning nearly 50 hours of content, you’ll get the lowdown on key machine learning essentials such as how to utilize Tensorflow (Google’s deep learning-oriented framework), use the statistical computing language R, and master Python for data science purposes.

This training bundle was originally $1,600, and is now on sale for $35. With the code applied, you can grab it for just $29.75.

Image: Pixabay

MATLAB is a seriously powerful data science tool, and this five-course collection will help you master it. From diving into machine learning classification algorithms to supplementing Excel with thousands of advanced functions using MATLAB, you’ll learn to slice and dice data like a pro. Plus, get access to hands-on projects, and learn to use the Simulink MATLAB add-on to create virtual prototypes and models.

Originally priced at $549.96, this bundle is now on sale for $35. With the code applied, you can grab it for just $29.75.

Image: Pixabay

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Pinterest throws subtle shade at Facebook in IPO filing

Those creeps out here making it hard for everyone else.
Those creeps out here making it hard for everyone else.
Image: Kim Kulish / getty

Pinterest is not happy with Facebook. 

The forgotten middle child of the social media family filed for an IPO on March 22, and in doing so the San Francisco-based company made a very public argument that its future is bright. That is, if Facebook doesn’t screw things up for it first. 

Buried deep in the pages and pages of IPO-related disclosures resides a friendly little section called “RISK FACTORS.” The section contains a lot of standard, boilerplate stuff about how things might not work out how the company hopes, and that investors should be warned that nothing in life is a sure bet. Which, totally. It also, however, has a lot of what look to be pretty Facebook-specific digs.

“[The] increase in news about online privacy may motivate Pinners to take more aggressive steps to protect their privacy,” reads the filing. “Pinners may elect not to allow data sharing for a number of reasons, such as data privacy concerns. This could impact our ability to deliver relevant content aligned with Pinners’ personal taste and interests.”

Gee, we wonder why news about online privacy has increased in the recent past. If only there was something specific at which we could point our fingers. Oh, yeah

“Additionally,” continues the Pinterest filing, “the impact of these developments may disproportionately affect our business in comparison to certain peers in the technology sector that, by virtue of the scope and breadth of their operations or user base, have greater access to user data.”

In other words, companies like Facebook are so big that they’re more or less insulated from the consequences of their actions. Pinterest, on the other hand, argues it may not be. 

But Pinterest isn’t just worried that Facebook’s repeated privacy-violating debacles have spoiled social media users’ trust for everyone else. The company also appears to be nervous about another favorite Mark Zuckerberg pastime: ripping off other companies’ core features. 

“There are many factors that could negatively affect user growth, retention and engagement,” continues the filing, “including if: our competitors mimic our products or product features, causing Pinners to utilize their products instead of, or more frequently than, our products, harming Pinner engagement and growth.”

This is not a baseless fear. It was just last month that we learned of Facebook-owned Instagram’s likely plan to steal a key Pinterest feature. And then there’s what happened to Snapchat

Obviously, Pinterest is paying close attention to its older sibling and wants you to know that it saw the big blue jerk coming. 

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Save $300 on a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar at Amazon

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The Touch Bar acts as a mini touchscreen and allows you to control your computer.
The Touch Bar acts as a mini touchscreen and allows you to control your computer.
Image: apple

If you’ve been dying to get your hands on an Apple MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, but haven’t wanted to fork over cash for the full price, you’re in luck — the 15-inch MacBook Pro is on sale for $2,499, a savings of $300.

This MacBook Pro model is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and has a 512GB capacity. Models with different capacity and processing levels are also available, though if you want the most bang for your buck, you should opt for the 512GB Intel Core i7 version.

The stunning Retina display provides you with high quality visuals while the Touch Bar lets you work more productively. Access function keys, finder, Siri, and more from the Touch Bar on your keyboard. Plus, you’re able to customize the bar and use it to log in to your laptop — it’s basically a tiny touchscreen computer.

In addition to beautiful display, this MacBook is quick, with faster performance than previous models when working with large files or running multiple programs.

With this 15-inch MacBook Pro you have the option to choose from Intel Core i7 or i9 processing and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacity. Though we suggest going with the Silver model equipped with Intel Core i7 and 512GB as you get the best deal, saving $300.

Image: apple

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Video ad fraud has been draining phone batteries

Image: Getty Images/EyeEm

PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.

When is a banner ad not a banner ad? When it’s a hidden video ad generating fraudulent advertising revenue while draining your phone battery and using your valuable data allowance.

As BuzzFeed reports, it’s been discovered that in-app banner ads have been hijacked on a massive scale to generate revenue for fraudsters working within the digital advertising industry. The people who suffer are consumers and their devices, but also the app developers who receive complaints regarding how quickly their apps are draining phone and tablet batteries.

The fraud was discovered by two ad fraud labs, Protected Media and DoubleVerify. Fraudsters purchase cheap in-app banner display space, but then hide auto-playing videos behind the banner image users see. The video is never seen by anyone, but because it plays it’s registered as viewed and therefore generates revenue for the fraudsters, and much more so than the banner ad does. It’s the big brands that are paying, but unbeknown to them, they’re paying for zero exposure of their products.

The video below demonstrates how the fraudulent video ads are hidden out of sight behind image banners:

As to the scale of this fraud, DoubleVerify gauged it at 60 million fraudulent video ads per month. The ad hijacking occurred on Twitter’s MoPub ad platform, and Israeli company Aniview, which specializes in video advertising solutions, was highlighted as being one of the sources of those ads. The company’s subsidiary OutStream Media was also identified by Protect Media as playing a part.

Aniview denies any direct involvement and has blamed “a malicious, unnamed third party” who took advantage of banner ads and code created by one of Aniview’s subsidiaries. Aniview CEO Alon Carmel, told BuzzFeed that the company, “does not knowingly engage in any fraudulent activity” and that immediate action was taken, “we stopped this activity and started and continue an internal incident review.”

Aniview isn’t saying who the malicious third party is, but has since removed a number of employees from the company’s website. They include Aniview co-founder Tal Melenboim and two employees who had leadership roles at OutStream Media. Melenboim has since denied being part of any illegal activity while at Aniview.

As Twitter’s MoPub ad platform was used, Twitter has also triggered its own investigation after verifying the activity Protected Media reported. If Twitter traces this back to Aniview, then there will surely be consequences for the advertising company.

It’s important to point out that this type of fraud isn’t new, but a spike in activity back in October sparked the ad fraud companies to look more closely. Aniview also isn’t the only company identified as taking part, with several others continuing to filter these hidden video ads into the digital advertising market. One of the companies Protected Media contacted responded with a complaint that everybody does it and it felt like they were being picked on.

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Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Mixed Reality headset on sale at Amazon

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Explore the worlds of
Explore the worlds of “Minecraft,” “Halo,” and more.
Image: Samsung

Gaming is always a relatively expensive hobby, but most of us were hoping that the newest Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch was as pricey as things were gonna get.

But then virtual reality entered the picture and $500 became the new $300.

While the HTC Vive may literally never have a decent sale (it has yet to drop below $480 on Amazon), your time to hop into the premium VR market is now: The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Mixed Reality headset is on sale for $394.99 today, a whopping $105 less than the retail price on Samsung’s site.

Instead of suspending you completely in a virtual world like competitors, mixed reality headsets utilize both VR and AR. Your movement is tracked via built-in cameras and sensors with six degrees of freedom — meaning no external sensors in the room are required. Just plug the USB and ethernet cables into any PC running the latest version of Windows 10, and you can play just about anywhere. 

Image: samsung

Dual 3K AMOLED displays and a 110-degree field of view hope to fluidly blend your physical world and the one in your game together without lagging. Samsung also partnered with AKG to bring you 360-degree spacial sound in the built-in headphones.

Even more experiences (like over 2,500 more) are waiting for you with Windows Mixed Reality, ready to stream through the Steam VR App. Fan favorites include Minecraft, Halo Recruit, and Holo Tour.

Samsung customer Deathsdoorman writes:

“As an avid gamer (over 200+ titles in library), an electronics field technician, and a fan of all VR products, this experience is the best overall in my opinion. With the mixed VR, I am not tethered to satellites and am capable of taking my experience wherever I go. I am currently in O’hare Airport and getting tons of questions about this headset. The video quality is top notch! No screen door effect. With the higher resolutions, I am capable of reading items much easier and if you pull in close enough the clarity for letters is far superior to most products. The AKG ear phones are a great addition however without being able to remove them or swing them out of the way, I cannot use a more immersive set of full cup earphones. The controllers are a nice combination of Vive / Oculous type where you have both snap to center thumb sticks as well as the touch sliders. If you plan on getting a first HMD, I would highly recommend going with this product as it allows for excellent quality, portability, and a superb immersion experience.”

The Oculus Rift has the Odyssey+ beat in a few areas, controllers and tracking accuracy being two of the biggest ones. Nonetheless, if you’ve ever wanted to compare the two, this is a rare chance to get the Odyssey+ for nearly the same price as the Oculus Rift.

Regularly $499.99, you can save $105 and transform your living room for $394.99.

Image: samsung

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