Oreo offers $50,000 to anyone who can guess its brand new ‘Mystery’ flavor

Oreo Cookies

If you’ve got a sophisticated or discerning palette, you may want to get in on this new Oreo promotion Nabisco is running. While Nabisco is certainly no stranger to releasing mysterious Oreo flavors, the company is upping the ante considerably this year. Specifically, folks who can identify the flavor of a new type of Oreo will be eligible for a chance to win $50,000.

The new mystery flavored Oreos will start hitting store shelves on Monday, September 16 and will remain in-stock until November 10. The cookies themselves will look exactly like the current classic black-and-white Oreos, but the flavored creme on the inside could be anything. Interestingly enough, Nabisco notes that the Mystery Oreo could be a completely new flavor or even a “combination of two current Oreo flavors.”

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Oreo offers $50,000 to anyone who can guess its brand new ‘Mystery’ flavor originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 15 Sep 2019 at 09:01:46 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This prosthetic arm combines manual control with machine learning

Prosthetic limbs are getting better every year, but the strength and precision they gain doesn’t always translate to easier or more effective use, as amputees have only a basic level of control over them. One promising avenue being investigated by Swiss researchers is having an AI take over where manual control leaves off.

To visualize the problem, imagine a person with their arm amputated above the elbow controlling a smart prosthetic limb. With sensors placed on their remaining muscles and other signals, they may fairly easily be able to lift their arm and direct it to a position where they can grab an object on a table.

But what happens next? The many muscles and tendons that would have controlled the fingers are gone, and with them the ability to sense exactly how the user wants to flex or extend their artificial digits. If all the user can do is signal a generic “grip” or “release,” that loses a huge amount of what a hand is actually good for.

Here’s where researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) take over. Being limited to telling the hand to grip or release isn’t a problem if the hand knows what to do next — sort of like how our natural hands “automatically” find the best grip for an object without our needing to think about it. Robotics researchers have been working on automatic detection of grip methods for a long time, and it’s a perfect match for this situation.

epfl roboarm

Prosthesis users train a machine learning model by having it observe their muscle signals while attempting various motions and grips as best they can without the actual hand to do it with. With that basic information the robotic hand knows what type of grasp it should be attempting, and by monitoring and maximizing the area of contact with the target object, the hand improvises the best grip for it in real time. It also provides drop resistance, being able to adjust its grip in less than half a second should it start to slip.

The result is that the object is grasped strongly but gently for as long as the user continues gripping it with, essentially, their will. When they’re done with the object, having taken a sip of coffee or moved a piece of fruit from a bowl to a plate, they “release” the object and the system senses this change in their muscles’ signals and does the same.

It’s reminiscent of another approach, by students in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, in which the arm is equipped with a camera in the palm that gives it feedback on the object and how it ought to grip it.

It’s all still very experimental, and done with a third-party robotic arm and not particularly optimized software. But this “shared control” technique is promising and could very well be foundational to the next generation of smart prostheses. The team’s paper is published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence.

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Andrew Yang’s pledge to protect voters from automation is hitting home

Democratic presidential candidate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Andrew Yang wants to address the impact of automation-related job loss, a strategy likely to define mainstream politics in the future.Read More

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AI researchers translate language into physical movement

Carnegie Mellon University researchers created AI that turns words into human-like movement, intelligence that may instruct robotic movement in the future.Read More

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Red Dead Online gets Frontier Pursuits update with roles for bounty hunters, traders, and collectors

Red Dead Online is getting the Frontier Pursuits update.

Red Dead Online is introducing three new roles, dubbed Frontier Pursuits, with the latest update of Rockstar Games’ MMO role-playing gameRead More

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6 Assumptions That Can Kill Your Relationship With Your Employees

You may think you know your tight-knit team like the back of your hand, but they’re not cut from the same cloth.

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Pick Stick

You know those annoying moments when you can’t reach something on the top shelf? Or when you find your storage options limited by your reach? If you’d prefer not to drag out the step-stool all the time, this is the tool you need: the Pick Stick ($26).

Most people think of these as a way to pick up park litter, or as a “geezer tweezer” — which they are — but overlook the options they open up for the able bodied. You can store things waaay up high in your garage, kitchen, or closet and still be able to nip them off the shelf easily. Suddenly, shelves 8 feet off the ground are easy to access, peaches on the high branches are easy to pick, those socks that fell behind the dryer are simple to retrieve, that blinkety-blank bolt that skittered into the farthest corner beneath the workbench cannot escape you… and because high shelves are no longer inaccessible, your storage options just doubled.

I’ve installed a number of shallow, high shelves in my garage for light items that can be retrieved with the Pick Stick, and high hooks and nails to hold light Pick-Stickable items like rolls of wire. I’ve had this “EZ Reacher” Pick Stick for more years than I can remember; the tips are getting a bit worn but can be cheaply replaced when required. I prefer these rubber sucker-like tips because they conform and grab irregular or heavier items (like soup cans) better. There are foldable versions (which I avoid because they tend to fold at inopportune moments) and versions that grab and lock; unless you have limited grasp strength I’d avoid those as well, since they tend to lock up when you don’t want them to.

One-and-a-half pounds is about the most weight I can comfortably lift using a Pick Stick, and items over 3.5 inches wide are difficult to firmly grasp. I’m lazy enough that I have one in my closet, one in the garage, and another in the kitchen—any place I have high storage. There’s a hole in the handle so you can hang it on a nail. You can often find them at thrift stores, if you keep an eye peeled.
There are plenty of different manufacturers of similar items, but some of the cheap ones tend to seize up; this one has never failed me. If you could use more storage space, you might try thinking more vertically…and picking up a Pick Stick!

— Barbara Dace

32″ EZ Reacher and Grabber ($26)

Available from Amazon

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Susie Bright, Bestselling Author

Our guest this week is bestselling author Susie Bright. Susie is a pioneering preeminent feminist sex writer and legendary audio producer. She’s also reached peak satisfaction as a guest editor of Boing Boing, and early member of The Well. Susie is one of the world’s most respected voices on sexual politics, as well as an award-winning author and editor who’s produced and published thousands of the finest writers and journalists working in American literature and progressive activism today. You can find her on Twitter @susiebright.

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Show notes:

Gingher Craft Scissors
One of the most important tools that I use every single day of my life is the Gingher craft scissors. Having good scissors is priceless. Really priceless. It’s like having a decent knife on your belt. But this particular scissors are not as big as a scissors that you would imagine — usually like eight, ten inches long with the long sheers. These are short and one of the things that is remarkable about it is that the points — the very tip of the scissors — are vicious. When you need to get to the very end of something and have a perfect complete cut and you cannot have one scintilla out of place, this is the scissors. I’ve had these scissors for 15 years and I thought I would eventually take them to one of those knife sharpening places and get them spruced up, but they’re magic, they never get dull. They feel good in your hands. They’re so small and they have this little leather pouch that the tips go in so you don’t accidentally hurt somebody. Even the leather pouch feels like supple, lovely leather. They have never gone cheap on these scissors. This is one of these companies where I made the effort to write them a fan letter and say, “I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’ve kept the quality of this going even though everything in capitalism tells you not to, that you insist on your craftsmanship.”

Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencils
This pencil is simply the creamiest, smoothest, most perfect texture on texture experience I’ve ever had in my life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making a mark on some shitty little receipt that you got out of a parking machine or whether you’re using linen paper, this lead is just the right smoothness and composition that it makes writing a whole new thing. Since the advent of keyboards, my handwriting has really gone down the toilet. I went to Catholic school, I used to get As in handwriting and now I can’t even write, “I love you,” without some screw up as I’m using my hand. This pencil brought me back. The moment you place it on anything and you start to move, you have this effortless charcoal experience that is just heaven. People are fanatics about Blackwings. You meet someone who’s using Blackwings, you’re in the cult. There are people who will tell you about the 1990s when these things went out of business and people were paying $40 per pencil on eBay to get one of these. That’s how crazy it was.

Original Magic Wand
The tool that I am the most associated with is the very one that I have probably sold more of myself than anyone on earth and that is the Hitachi Magic Wand. This simply is the magic machine that has turned more women onto the experience of a real live screaming orgasm than anything. It’s remarkable. The first time I encountered it, I was in San Francisco, it was I guess 1980 and a friend of mine said, “Yeah, there’s this therapist who has a feminist vibrator store down the street in the Mission.” She wanted to have a place where women could get a vibrator where you didn’t have to go to a dirty bookstore and you could get something that worked, so I toddled on down there, I met Joani Blank, the owner of Good Vibrations, she was this philanthropist who started working in her therapy practice with a lot of women who, like everyone who read the usual propaganda, were naive. Well, after I met Joani Blank, I start working at Good Vibrations and I remember women would come in and they would be feeling so sad. Some of them would say they were there because their doctor had told them to. It really is a consciousness raising experience when you feel like sexual satisfaction is elusive to you. You feel like everyone else understands something about themselves and that you don’t. I sold thousands of these and to this day, I’ll be somewhere talking about completely different subject, I’ll be talking about immigration reform and somebody will come up to me and say, “You sold me my first magic wand. You changed my life. I’m so grateful to you. I feel like you should be up there with my first lover or something.” And I know what they’re saying. I felt the same way. I felt that grateful.

Heavy Duty Commercial Potato Ricer
I am an Irish Catholic socialist, right? So nobody expects me to make classic Eastern European latkes. Unless you’re already my friend, who would think to call Susie Bright and say it’s Hanukkah, where are the latkes? But in fact, all of my friends, no matter how they were raised, bow down before me and say, “It’s sad but true, Susie makes the best potato pancakes in the whole world and we do not know her secret.” Well, now they know my secret because I have told on myself. Potato pancakes are just the best. I mean, they’re so good. They’re so salty. It’s right up there with the potato chip except it’s warm and it’s crisp and soft inside and it’s got a little bit of onion and then you put lots of salt and pepper and then you put on the sour cream and your head just explodes. It’s so good. When I first made potato pancakes, I was really disappointed with the results. I was like, these are watery and weak, they aren’t flavorful. What am I doing wrong? And it took me some experimentation but I realized that potatoes are watery and usually in a recipe book, they’ll say something like, you should let them sit for a half an hour or you should salt them and let the water seep out. Well that doesn’t work. Maybe if you have 14 days to let the water drain out, but no, it’s time to make Laktes. So what you do is, you get the industrial ricer. There’s a lot of crap ricers. The only ricer I want you to get is the one that I gave you the link to. It’s great because you can put it on the edge of your sink and just use torque to press all the water out. You grate your potatoes, stuff a bunch of them in the ricer, a couple of handfuls and then you press down and kaboom all the brown water expresses itself. You then take your nice expressed fresh crispy dried potato leavings, put them in a bowl, add the matzo meal and the onion and the egg and all of a sudden you are the most popular person in town because your pancakes are the best.

Also mentioned:

Santa Cruz Noir (Akashic Noir Series)
I live in Santa Cruz, California which I think has a bit of a mythic status in the rest of the world. We’re known for our surfing and the redwoods and the beauty of the surroundings. When you live in a town that is known for being beautiful and perfect and everyone, millions of people come here as tourists to fall in love and have an experience. What you don’t hear about is the working class life of this town. I showed the galleys to cops and DAs and cab drivers and bartenders and I’d say, what do you think of this? And at first they didn’t believe it because they’re the invisible people. Then they would look at one of the stories and they would go, Holy shit, this is the real thing. The ugly side of surfing. I also could’ve done a whole book called gentrification noir, I mean, the ugly side of the working class being forced out of our area, because you’ve got tech executives and then people to wait on them for minimum wage and everybody else can go fuck themselves. We have all that. Of course we have colorful crimes. We’re one of the birthplaces of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I got the whole town involved, the local museum had a mystery scavenger hunt, the libraries put on a show. I got to meet people I never would have met otherwise and I certainly got to hang out with the best writers in this town and we have some incredible writers. Santa Cruz noir is my latest book and I think anybody who’s listening, if you enjoy reading mysteries or you have a pension for noir, you’re going to like this book.


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