Learning Photoshop from scratch? This online course shows you the ins and outs

Learning Photoshop from scratch? This online course shows you the ins and outs

The Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle will help you master photo editingIt includes over 100 lectures and eight distinct coursesAs part of an ongoing series, the CNN Underscored team showcases outstanding deals you can shop right now in the CNN Store. With the bundle, you'll have access to over 20 hours of video instruction, over 100 lectures, and eight distinct courses that range from mastering Photoshop light effects to a portrait photography master class. The goal is that by the end of the course, you'll be able to retouch, adjust, manipulate and clean up your photos like a pro. As an added bonus, all of the courses feature lifetime access, so you can keep them around as a resource for when you forget a thing or two. Thanks to software like Photoshop, there's so much more you can do by editing your images digitally, whether it's adding sunlight effects to your subject or creating retro black-and-white imagery. These simple effects will take your photos to the next level, helping to improve the overall quality of your snapshots. That makes understanding Photoshop pretty crucial to beefing up your photography portfolio and making you a more modern photographer. If you're starting from scratch, there are a number of online courses that can help you master the platform.

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Distinctive Selection of Exotic Cars for Sale by BJ Motors

Distinctive Selection of Exotic Cars for Sale by BJ Motors

BJ Motors is one of the largest providers of performance and exotic vehicles in all of Texas. They are used to providing customers with the interesting, the unique, the crazy, and the crazy fast. If you need a vehicle that will never fail to impress even you, then you need to come to BJ Motors in Tomball.Below are seven distinct exotic cars that are currently for sale by BJ Motors. View them below and click on their buttons to see and learn more about each one.2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Renntech AMG GT“BJ Motors is proud to offer this 2017 Mercedes Benz AMG GT outfitted with full Renntech modifications from top to bottom, no expense spared. The package added was over $44K and was installed by Renntech personally in Florida.” View Price and Listing 2015 Lamborghini Huracan“BJ Motors is proud to offer this 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 finished in Blu Caelum Ad Personam Metallic.” View Price and Listing 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren“BJ Motors is proud to offer this investment grade 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Coupe finished in Crystal Galaxite Black over Silver Arrow Red Leather Interior. This SLR is 1 of 483 Coupes built for the U.S.” View Price and Listing 1964 Lincoln Continental Low Rider Lincoln“This is one of the most sinister low riders we have had the opportunity to purchase and sell to the public. Designed and created by BJ Motors with the collaboration from American Wheel and Tire.” View Price and Listing 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale (Only 466 Miles)“BJ Motors is proud to offer this beautiful 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale finished in Bianco Avus over Nero (Black) with white stitching and only 466 miles form brand new. This incredible investment quality 458 Speciale has had Xpel Paint protection installed on the entire vehicle.” View Price and Listing 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta“BJ Motors is proud to offer this immaculate 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. The Entire front clip and roof of the car has been clear bra’d with Xpel Ultimate.” View Price and Listing 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB“BJ Motors is proud to offer this 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB finished in Yellow over Black with a massive $371,225.00 MSRP.” View Price and Listing Buy or sell your exotic car at duPontREGISTRY.com and check back with Autofluence.com for more supercar news. BJ Motors believes in providing you race track quality cars even if you only intend to take them out on the streets.Customers of BJ Motors love working with them and always come back. Racing is in their blood and if you are looking for a Viper that can tear up a track, then they can point you in the right direction.

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Annecy 2018: 23 Animated Feature Films In Official Selection

Annecy 2018: 23 Animated Feature Films In Official Selection

The Annecy International Animation Festival has revealed its official selections for feature films that’ll be screened in competition and out of competition at its 2018 edition. The festival selected 10 features in competition, which will compete for the Annecy feature film Cristal Award, as well as 13 features that will screen out of competition. The Breadwinner by Nora Twomey – Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg Tito and the Birds by Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Matioli Yazbek Bitar, and André Catoto Dias – Brazil Captain Morten and the Spider Queen by Kaspar Jancis – Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, United Kingdom Cats and Peachtopia by Gary Wang – China Chris the Swiss by Anja Kofmel – Switzerland It would appear to be the most diverse year ever in terms of the geographic origins of the selected films films. The Tower by Mats Grorud – France, Norway, Sweden Liz and the Blue Bird by Naoko Yamada – Japan The Last Fiction by Ashkan Rahgozar – Iran Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms by Mari Okada – Japan Marnie’s World by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein – Germany North of Blue by Joanna Priestley – USA The Angel in the Clock by Miguel Ángel Uriegas – Mexico The 23 features were made in 23 different countries: Belgium, Cambodia, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Chile, Canada, Japan, U.S., Estonia, Ireland, U.K., Brazil, Colombia, China, Switzerland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Iran, Germany, Taiwan, and Mexico. The films in competition tackle a range of subjects uncommon in commercial animation, including the Cambodian genocide (Funan), the wall separating Israel and Palestine (Wall), a retelling of Exodus with new twists (Seder-Masochism), and an experimental nightmarish stop-mo fairytale (The Wolf House). Considering the dearth of woman animation directors of American features, it’s worth pointing out that the two U.S. features selected are both films directed by women: Seder-Masochism by Nina Paley and North of Blue by Joanna Priestley. Overall, seven of the 23 selections were directed by women. Cinderella the Cat by Ivan Cappiello, Alessandro Rak, Marino Guarnieri, and Dario Sansone – Italy The Wolf House by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña – Chile

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Nvidia’s AI reconstructs partially erased images with jaw-dropping accuracy

Nvidia’s AI reconstructs partially erased images with jaw-dropping accuracy

Nvidia this week unveiled its newest AI breakthrough in the form of a mind-blowing computer vision technique that can ‘inpaint’ parts of an image that have been deleted or modified. This isn’t the first time we’ve had our minds blown by the amazing results of one of Nvidia’s AI projects. Last year we were awestruck by the company’s ability to create realistic photographs of people who don’t exist, and even more impressed with its AI that can change the weather or time of day in a video. There’s a pretty good chance that, within a couple of years, the only way to tell the difference between AI-generated imagery and ‘real’ pictures will be checking the digital signature or having individual pixels evaluated by a computer. The goal of this work is to propose a model for image inpainting that operates robustly on irregular hole patterns, and produces semantically meaningful predictions that incorporate smoothly with the rest of the image without the need for any additional post-processing or blending operation. As you can see in the above video, Nvidia’s technology doesn’t suffer from the same problem as current market techniques for filling in missing spaces in images. According to the researchers, they’re the first to successfully train a neural network to process irregular shaped holes in images. The way it works uses a deep neural network to create masks and partial convolutional predictions – in essence it creates an invisible layer that it manipulates until it ‘feels’ as though the image is complete.

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The 8 most in-demand job skills for 2018 and the online courses you can take to learn them

The 8 most in-demand job skills for 2018 and the online courses you can take to learn them

Excel is the most desired software skill in today’s workplace, so whether you’re looking to make charts and graphs, keep track of expenditures, or make your boss think you’re doing something productive, Excel should be on your resume. Compelling content is the key to engaging readers and driving traffic, and it all starts with clear, concise copywriting. Work tasks are getting more complicated, and teams are growing larger, so it’s hard to get a sense of how well a project is going. Project managers fill that void by ensuring that everyone is working in sync and completing projects on budget and in a timely fashion. It’s never been more important to connect with your audience, and speaking without a visual aid is the way to go. Social media can feel like the Wild West, and it can be hard to tell what’s working and what’s not. But Google Analytics solves this problem by giving you definitive statistics about how well your posts are performing so you can track your KPIs and grow your business. It takes a big picture view of all the aforementioned skills and smartly deploys them to engage with businesses and customers. So if you want to be like catnip to a tech recruiter, become a skilled digital marketer. You don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg for technical skills to be important in your career. We’re in the middle of another tech boom, and there aren’t enough coders to meet the demand. Coders are hot commodities inside and out of the tech industry, and the pay is quite lucrative. Get ahead of the curve and start coding before it's as common as knowing how to type (and your grandkids start rolling their eyes at your lack of JavaScript know-how).

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ASU research is a ‘Catalyst’ for journalists

asunow.asu.edu ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact April 24, 2018 Cronkite School students produce new primetime science series for Arizona PBS A new generation of science journalists and storytellers from Arizona State University?s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is producing a�high-quality science series for Arizona PBS that is smart and relatable and shows the university?s impact on the world. And it’s about to go prime time. The show is ? Catalyst ,? a…

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Facial Recognition Deep Learning Software is Surprisingly Good at Identifying Galaxies Too

Facial Recognition Deep Learning Software is Surprisingly Good at Identifying Galaxies Too

A lot of attention has been dedicated to the machine learning technique known as “deep learning”, where computers are capable of discerning patterns in data without being specifically programmed to do so. In recent years, this technique has been applied to a number of applications, which include voice and facial recognition for social media platforms like Facebook. For the sake of their study, the researchers used computer simulations to generate mock images of galaxies as they would look in observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. The mock images were used to train the deep learning neural network to recognize three key phases of galaxy evolution that had been previously identified in the simulations. As with previous images anaylzed by Huertas-Company, these images part of Hubble’s Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) project – the largest project in the history of the Hubble Space Telescope. A spiral galaxy ablaze in the blue light of young stars from ongoing star formation (left) and an elliptical galaxy bathed in the red light of old stars (right). In a new study, a team of international researchers used a deep learning algorithm to analyze images of galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope. These regions occur early in the evolution of gas-rich galaxies, when big flows of gas into the center of a galaxy cause the formation of young stars that emit blue light. To simulate these and other types of galaxies, the team relied on state-of-the-art VELA simulations developed by Primack and an international team of collaborators. In both the simulated and observational data, the computer program found that the “blue nugget” phase occurs only in galaxies with masses within a certain range. This was followed by star formation ending in the central region, leading to the compact “red nugget” phase, where the stars in the central region exit their main sequence phase and become red giants. “The VELA simulations have had a lot of success in terms of helping us understand the CANDELS observations. However, observations of distant, younger galaxies have shown evidence of the phenomenon observed in the team’s simulations, where gas-rich cores lead to the blue nugget phase. According to Koo, using deep learning to study galactic evolution has the potential to reveal previously undetected aspects of observational data. In the future, astronomers will have more observation data to analyze thanks to the deployment of next-generation telescopes like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). The study, titled “Deep Learning Identifies High-z Galaxies in a Central Blue Nugget Phase in a Characteristic Mass Range“, recently appeared online and has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. The study was led by Marc Huertes-Company of the University Paris Diderot and included members from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), the Hebrew University, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, MINES ParisTech and Shanghai Normal University (SNHU). In the past, Marc Huertas-Company has already applied deep learning methods to Hubble data for the sake of galaxy classification. “This project was just one of several ideas we had,” said Koo in a recent USCS press release. “We wanted to pick a process that theorists can define clearly based on the simulations, and that has something to do with how a galaxy looks, then have the deep learning algorithm look for it in the observations.

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U.S. Spy Agencies Seek Tech to Identify Deadly Chemicals From 30 Meters Away

U.S. Spy Agencies Seek Tech to Identify Deadly Chemicals From 30 Meters Away

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who became a double agent for the United Kingdom, and his daughter, Yulia, weren’t the only people affected by a nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, in March. The systems that SILMARILS is exploring instead use lasers that span a wide swath of the infrared (IR) spectrum and look for spectroscopic signatures in the few photons that reflect back. Using a broad range of IR wavelengths means you can use a less-powerful light source—something no more dangerous than a grocery store scanner, DeWitt says. Specifically, some light pumped into the fiber stimulates the production of a continuous spectrum of wavelengths. Using a series of differently doped fibers, Leidos and researchers at the University of Michigan recently managed to produce a supercontinuum laser with wavelengths that span from 2 micrometers all the way to 11 µm. Block MEMS’s twist on this technology is a laser that rapidly sweeps through a range of infrared wavelengths, by adjusting optical components outside of the semiconductor, explains CEO Petros Kotidis. Spectrum Photonics president Ed Knobbe says the company is developing an imaging spectrometry system for SILMARILS that can detect light with wavelengths of 1.2 µm (short-wavelength IR) to­ ­13.5 µm (long-wavelength IR). “Most of the primary spectral information is in long-wave infrared,” explains Knobbe. “But there is a tremendous amount of complementary information in midwave and shortwave IR bands.” Much of the work now lies in interpreting the returned signal—the brains of the system rather than its beams, says DeWitt. “One of the hardest problems is dealing with the fact that the signature on a surface is not the same absolute bar code you’d get from a chemical floating in the air. When you have small quantities of chemicals on a surface, the spectrum changes considerably according to the substrate and the particle size.” If any of these teams can solve the remaining problems, the applications will extend well beyond intelligence agencies’ needs. “It changes the whole idea of standoff detection,” predicts Block MEMS CEO Kotidis. For Leidos’s principal investigator, Augie Ifarraguerri, it’s kind of a dream come true. “There was always this sense that out there, somewhere, was the ability to make the ultimate sensor—the ‘Star Trek’ tricorder,” he says. A swarm of hazmat-suited chemical warfare experts inspected every place the Skripals had been recently in the hope of finding out what happened and whether there was still a danger to the public. U.S. intelligence agencies have been on the hunt for a technology that would make such investigations faster and safer and perhaps even prevent this kind of attack altogether. The Standoff ILluminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures (SILMARILS) program at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity should conclude, by mid-⁠2021, with a possible solution: a portable scanner that can identify a fingerprint’s worth of a library of some 500 chemicals—spanning the dangerous (the explosive PETN) to the mundane (caffeine)—on surfaces like car doors from a distance of 5 to 30 meters. That technology uses a laser, made up of a single wavelength of light, that produces a minuscule fraction of photons of a variety of wavelengths when the beam scatters off the scanned material. The problem is that the fraction of new photons is so small that you need a strong—potentially burn-your-eyes-out strong—laser behind it. And that’s no good if you’re planning to surreptitiously scan everyone who walks into an airport.

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TPG, Carlyle Lead Over $1.9 Billion Round in Baidu’s Finance Arm

TPG, Carlyle Lead Over $1.9 Billion Round in Baidu’s Finance Arm

Baidu Inc. has raised more than $1.9 billion for its newly spun-off financial services division from TPG, Carlyle Group and other investors, creating one of China’s best-funded fintech companies.Taikang Group and other backers also joined the funding round for the newly formed company, which will be called “Du Xiaoman Financial” and use artificial intelligence to provide short-term loans and investment services. Baidu Senior Vice President Zhu Guang will run the business as an independent entity, according to a statement Saturday. The news comes a day after Baidu said it planned to sell a majority stake in the business, without providing a timetable.Baidu announced plans to spin off the unit in July, to help it obtain domestic financial services licenses and reduce drag on the parent, China’s most popular search engine. “I am very pleased to see that the financial unit has graduated,” Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said in the statement. “This is another milestone for Baidu’s AI ecosystem after the listing of iQiyi.”Read more: Baidu’s Sales Outlook Beats as News and Video Draw UsersIn its earnings release, Baidu said the financial services unit had assets of $7.5 billion and liabilities of $6.6 billion but added that there was no assurance of a sale.Baidu has spent the past year selling or spinning off a series of costly business units to refocus on its core services. Its loss-making food delivery service Waimai was sold to a rival now controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. called Ele.me, while the Netflix-like streaming video service iQiyi Inc. listed this year.The moves are designed to help sustain the business until big bets on artificial intelligence pay off.

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Bank To The Tech Stars Rockets Through Buy Point On Accelerating Earnings

Bank To The Tech Stars Rockets Through Buy Point On Accelerating Earnings

SVB Financial Group (SIVB) rocketed through its buy point Friday as the Silicon Valley Bank parent gapped up as earnings and revenue growth accelerated yet again. Easily Friday's top performer on the S&P 500 index on Friday, SVB Financial handily outperformed banking behemoths such as Bank of America (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Because SVB Financial opened at 300, more than 5% past the standard entry, that is a breakaway gap, making the open price an alternative entry point. SVB Financial also serves venture capital and private equity firms investing in the tech and biotech fields. It has an excellent IBD Composite Rating of 98, putting it in the top 2% of stocks, and ranks first in the Banks-Super Regional Group. The superregional bank, up 0.6% Friday, rallied 7.6% for the week, closing in on a 34.67 cup-base buy point. It also drove the Banks-Super Regional Industry Group higher, despite the relatively static performance of its peers Friday. Zions Bancorp (ZION), which is part of the Banks-West/Southwest group, nearly hit a buy point Tuesday on its own strong earnings. The RS lines for JPMorgan and BofA have been declining modestly over the past two months, reflecting their mild underperformance vs. the S&P 500 index. Silicon Valley Bank's parent also raised its full-year guidance for the year. It expects average loan balances to increase at a high-teens percentage rate instead of its prior outlook for the midteens, while deposit balances increase in the low double digits vs. earlier guidance for the mid-single digits. Net interest income was also increased to a percentage rate in the low thirties, up from the high teens, while net interest margin was also upwardly revised. Santa Clara, California-based SVB Financial, known as the bank to the tech stars, shot up 18.7% to 305.61, gapping beyond a seven-week cup base entry of 271.89, MarketSmith analysis shows.

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