Headlines 

May Plans Cabinet Shake-Up With Five Ministers Going, Times Says

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to make major changes to her cabinet in the new year, possibly sacking as many as five ministers, according to the Sunday Times. May has decided to bring younger members of Parliament into her government as part of a series of steps aimed at convincing voters she can do more than Brexit, the newspaper reported, without saying how it obtained the information. The ministers who could lose their jobs are: Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative party chairman Justine Greening, education secretary Greg Clark, business secretary…

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Headlines 

Theresa May’s Infrastructure Czar Quits, Lashing Out at Brexit

Andrew Adonis quit as Theresa May’s infrastructure czar, but not before delivering a blistering verdict on the Brexit policy being pursued by the U.K. prime minister and her Conservative Party. The Labour peer and former transport secretary described Brexit as a “populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump” in a unexpectedly quit, depriving her of a key figure in dealing with EU negotiators. And now, days from the end of the year, Adonis is departing with an excoriating verdict on the country’s direction. “Brexit is causing a nervous breakdown across…

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Headlines 

Apple Is Ramping Up Work on AR Headset to Succeed iPhone

With the headset at least two years away, Apple wants to make it easier for developers to bring new AR features to the iPhone. To that end, the company plans to release a new version of ARKit software tools as soon as 2018. They could help developers create software that remembers accurately where a digital object was placed in a virtual space, using a technology called persistent tracking; you look away, and the object is still there. The tools will also make it easier to create AR games for multiple…

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Odds and Ends 

Its Your First Day At A New High School. Can You Become Popular?

This feature requires JavaScript to function. Take a deep breath and march boldly through the front door. Go lie down on the grass instead. Wow, school. The place where knowledge happens. How exciting it is to be in your new stomping grounds. You’ve been told to go to the atrium, where your orientation buddy will be waiting to show you around the school. Go inside high school. “Are you Kevin? It is me, Ormul, your orientation buddy!” he says. “The school has chosen me to be your new best friend….

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Headlines 

Imagine if every school played this Kid President ‘pep talk’ before class.

Wisdom comes with age, huh? Don’t try telling that to Kid President. The kid’s on fire in this insightful and funny pep talk that we can all most definitely take something from. Kid President doesn’t claim to know it all, but he does know a few things. And I tell you what, if you wake up in the morning with at least one of these five things on your mind, I bet you’ll conquer your day. Kid President tested. Kid President approved. 1. You matter. Don’t let anyone make you…

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Odds and Ends 

Amazons chat fiction app Rapids ties up with Amazon Studios with launch of Signature Stories

Todays kids arent just reading books. Theyre also tapping and playing with interactive stories on tablets as preschoolers, then delving into instant messaging-like chat fiction apps as teens. Amazons entry in this space, Amazon Rapids, was announced late last year as a way to bring this style of interactive fiction to readers in the 5 to 12 age range. The company more recently introduced a new program called Signature Stories that aims to make its stories more appealing by integrating characters from TV shows kids already know and love. The…

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Odds and Ends 

YC-backed Vidcode raises $1.5M to teach teens to code using Snapchat filters, videos, memes and more

Vidcode, a Y Combinator-backed startup focused on teaching teens how to code, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for its curriculum. While there are a number of learn-to-code platforms out there today, Vidcodes approach is to make coding more interesting to teens by connecting it to their existing interests like Snapchat filters and memes while also allowing young coders to leverage their own photos, videos and audio in their projects. Last summer, for example, the company launched a Snapchat geofilter contest which saw over 10,000 entries, and the winner…

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Odds and Ends 

CMU researchers create a huge dome that can read body language

The Panoptic Studio is a new body scanner created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that will be used to understand body language in real situations. The scanner, which looks like something Doc Brown would stick Marty in to prevent him from committing fratricide, creates hundreds of videos of participants inside the massive dome interacting, talking, and arguing. The team has even released code to help programmers understand body positions in real time. The dome contains 480 VGA cameras and 31 HD cameras as well as 10 Kinect sensors. It…

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Headlines 

‘Going global’: China exports soft power with first large-scale university in Malaysia

Beijings push for overseas influence extends to the education sector, with the opening of Xiamen University outside Kuala Lumpur Near the classrooms at the original Xiamen University in China, there is a pleasant hill and lake. So, when the government-owned institution set out to build the first ever large-scale international branch of a Chinese university, an hour outside of Kuala Lumpur, they found a hill and built a lake. We would like to keep some aspects of our parent university, because it is part of the tradition and culture, said…

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Odds and Ends 

Udacitys latest Nanodegree will teach React

In its quest to reduce persistent skills gaps, Udacity has been designing condensed courses to get students up to speed on trendy topics to improve employment outcomes. The startups Nanodegrees, as they call them, span VR, robotics, deep learning and other key technical and non-technical skills. Today Udacity is announcing its latest addition to the lineup React. React, a JavaScript library for front-end development, has become insanely popular in recent months. Its frequently used by companies like Airbnb, Netflix and Facebook and is a great contemporary skill to have if…

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