Subpoenas issued to five Houston pastors demanding all sermons and correspondence dealing with homosexuality, gender identity and the city’s Equal Rights ordinance have been withdrawn, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor announced at a Wednesday press conference.
“After much contemplation and discussion, I am directing the city legal department to withdraw the subpoenas issued to the five Houston pastors who delivered the petitions, the anti-HERO petitions, to the city of Houston and who indicated that they were responsible for the overall petition effort,” said Mayor Annise Parker in remarks covered by television station KPRC.
The subpoenas were issued in response to a lawsuit filed related to the so-called bathroom bill. An overwhelming number of religious groups were opposed to a provision of the law that would allow men who identify as women to use the restrooms of their choice.
Critics gathered 50,000 signatures to petition the city to put the issue on the ballot. But the city attorney threw out the petitions – alleging there were not enough legitimate signatures.
Erik Stanley, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, represented the five pastors. He said he was gratified the mayor withdrew the subpoenas.
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
Today’s news brings us to the Neural Turing Machine, a computer that will combine the way ordinary computers work with the way the human brain learns, enabling it to actually program itself. Perhaps my CS friends should reevaluate their position?
The computer is currently being developed by the London-based DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence firm that was acquired by Google earlier this year. Neural networks — which will enable the computer to invent programs for situations it has not seen before — will make up half of the computer’s architecture. Experts at the firm hope this will equip the machine with the means to create like a human, but still with the number-crunching power of a computer, New Scientist reports.
In two different tests, the NTM was asked to 1) learn to copy blocks of binary data and 2) learn to remember and sort lists of data. The results were compared with a more basic neural network, and it was found that the computer learned faster and produced longer blocks of data with fewer errors. Additionally, the computer’s methods were found to be very similar to the code a human programmer would’ve written to make the computer complete such a task.
These are extremely simple tasks for a computer to accomplish when being told to do so, but computers’ abilities to learn them on their own could mean a lot for the future of AI.
Read the full article at BetaBeat.com.
With Ebola, terror threats and scandals dominating the news — and Wall Street continuing its record climb — it might be somewhat surprising that as House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates head into the final weekend of campaigning before next Tuesday’s elections, pocketbook issues still resonate most with voters.
The latest Fox News poll shows 43 percent of voters believing the economy is the most important issue facing the country, far outpacing health care and foreign policy. And while Americans view the economy more positively than they used to, just one-in-five would give it good marks.
“The economy is important and it’s always a main driver,” Lara Brown, associate professor at the Graduate School of Political management at George Washington University, said. And despite upticks in financial data, “Americans just don’t feel like the economy is getting better and until there are many evidences of it in their own lives, they don’t see it,” she said.
The economy is a tricky topic for both parties. While Democrats can point to a steady drop in the unemployment rate — the percentage of Americans reported to be out of work — Republicans point to the number of Americans who have stopped looking for work or are under-employed, and other less-rosy news, like modest economic growth.
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.