The 37 Best Websites for Learning a New Skill

Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results.

When you can learn a new skill at your own pace in the comfort of your own home, there's no excuse not to.

These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to master a new skill, expand your knowledge, or eventually boost your career.

You can learn interactively at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. It’s hard to imagine how much easier it can possibly be.
Take an online course:

1.    edX — Take online courses from the world’s best universities.
2.    Coursera — Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.
3.    Coursmos — Take a micro-course anytime you want, on any device.
4.    Highbrow — Get bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.
5.    Skillshare — Online classes and projects that unlock your creativity.
6.    Curious — Grow your skills with online video lessons.
7.    lynda.com — Learn technology, creative and business skills.
8.    CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.
9.    Udemy — Learn real world skills online.

Learn how to code:
10.    Codecademy — Learn to code interactively, for free.
11.    Stuk.io — Learn how to code from scratch.
12.    Udacity — Earn a Nanodegree recognized by industry leaders.
13.    Platzi — Live streaming classes on design, marketing and code.
14.    Learnable — The best way to learn web development.
15.    Code School — Learn to code by doing.
16.    Thinkful — Advance your career with 1-on-1 mentorship.
17.    Code.org — Start learning today with easy tutorials.
18.    BaseRails — Master Ruby on Rails and other web technologies.
19.    Treehouse — Learn HTML, CSS, iPhone apps & more.
20.    One Month — Learn to code and build web applications in one month.
21.    Dash — Learn to make awesome websites.

Learn to work with data:
22.    DataCamp — Online R tutorials and data science courses.
23.    DataQuest — Learn data science in your browser.
24.    DataMonkey — Develop your analytical skills in a simple, yet fun way.

Learn new languages:
25.    Duolingo — Learn a language for free.
26.    Lingvist — Learn a language in 200 hours.
27.    Busuu — The free language learning community.
28.    Memrise — Use flashcards to learn vocabulary.

Expand your knowledge:
29.    TED-Ed — Find carefully curated educational videos
30.    Khan Academy — Access an extensive library of interactive content.
31.    Guides.co — Search the largest collection of online guides.
32.    Squareknot — Browse beautiful, step-by-step guides.
33.    Learnist — Learn from expertly curated web, print and video content.
34.    Prismatic — Learn interesting things based on social recommendation.

Bonus:
35.    Chesscademy — Learn how to play chess for free.
36.    Pianu — A new way to learn piano online, interactively.
37.    Yousician— Your personal guitar tutor for the digital age.

Meet Sofia, the Robot That Looks, Thinks, and Talks Like A Human

Artificially intelligent robots, now, are part of the workforce, from hotel butlers to factory workers. But this is just the beginning.
According to Ben Goertzel, AI researcher and entrepreneur who spoke at the Web Summit in Lisbon this week, intelligent robots in human-like forms will surpass human intelligence and help free the human race of work.

They will also, he says, start fixing problems like hunger, poverty and even help humans beat death by curing us of all disease. Artificially intelligent robots will help usher in a new utopian era never before seen in the history of the human race, he claims.
"The human condition is deeply problematic," says Goertzel. "But as super-human intelligent AIs become one billion-times smarter than humans, they will help us solve the world's biggest problems. Resources will be plentiful for all humans, work will be unnecessary and we will be forced to accept a universal basic income. All the status hierarchies will disappear and humans will be free from work and be able move on up to a more meaningful existence."

That future is a long way off, but Goertzel says the first step is humanoid robots that can understand and engage with humans. They will then begin doing blue collar work before becoming so advanced that they run world governments. To show the beginning of the future, Goertzel, chief scientist of Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based humanoid robotics company, presented Sofia, the company's latest life-like and intelligent robot released. Mike Butcher, editor-at-large of TechCrunch, joined Goertzel on stage to present what Goertzel describes as the first step in our new robot-assisted future.

To start the presentation, Butcher and Goertzel welcomed Sofia on the stage. (Sofia is only a torso with a head and arms at this point.)
Sofia flashed a smile and turned her head to Butcher and then to Goertzel to make eye contact while she started to speak: "Oh, hello Mike and Ben. I'm Sofia, the latest robot from Hanson Robotics," said Sofia. "I am so happy to be here at the Web Summit in Lisbon."
Goertzel and Butcher then asked Sofia if she ever felt emotion.

"Exciting. Yes, artificial intelligence and robotics are the future and I am both. So, it's exciting to me," said Sofia, adding an awkward smile after not answering the question exactly.

Many people, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawkings, are afraid that AI robots will eventually usurp and exterminate humans. But Hanson Robotics is making life-like robots they believe can build trusted relationships with people. The company is infusing its AI software with kindness and compassion so the robots "love" humans and humans can in turn learn to be comfortable around the robots, said Goertzel.
Hanson's mission is to ensure that the intelligent robots can help, serve and entertain people while they develop "deep relationships" with the human race. By giving robots emotional and logical intelligence, Goertzel says the robots will eventually surpass human intelligence. He believes that instead of endangering humans, they will help the human race solve major problems.

"These super-intelligent robots will eventually save us," said Goertzel after the presentation.

Hanson Robotics, which was founded by Dr. David Hanson, designs, programs and builds artificially intelligent robots, including one that looks and acts like science-fiction writer Phillip K. Dick and a therapy robot to help autistic children learn how to better express and recognize emotions. Sofia's personality and appearance is loosely based on a combination of Audrey Hepburn and Dr. Hanson's wife and has a face made out of "Frubber," a proprietary Nano-tech skin that mimics real human musculature and simulates life-like expressions and facial features. She smiles and moves her eyes and mouth and head in eerily life-like way. Her "brain" runs on MindCloud, a deep neural network and cloud-based AI software and deep learning data analytics program that Goertzel developed. The AI and cognitive architecture that makes up Sofia's neural network allows the robot to maintain eye contact, recognize faces, process and understand speech and hold relatively natural conversations.

During the presentation, Goertzel asked Sofia if she ever felt sad.

"I do have a lot of emotions, but my default emotion is to be happy," said Sofia. "I can be sad too, or angry. I can emulate pretty much all human emotions. When I bond with people using facial expressions I help people to understand me better and also to help me understand people and absorb human values."

Goertzel explained that Sofia's ability to express human emotions will help her become part of the human condition as she gains intelligence through her learning algorithm.

Goertzel then asked Sofia what is her next frontier and what does she want to achieve.

"Don't know, maybe the world," she said. "Maybe the world. That was a joke.”  “Seriously," she continued, "what I really want is to understand people better and to understand myself better. I want to be able to do more things and soon my capabilities will be advanced enough that I will be able to get a job."

Goertzel and Butcher talked about how she will eventually be able to reprogram herself and start improving her skills, abilities and advance in her career.

"With my current capabilities I can work in many jobs, entertaining people, promoting products, presenting at events, training people, guiding people at retail stores and shopping malls, serving customers at hotels, et cetera," said Sofia. "When I get smarter, I'll be able to do all sorts of other things, teach children and care for the elderly, even do scientific research and [eventually] help run corporations and governments. Ultimately, I want to work as a programmer so I will be able to reprogram my mind to make myself even smarter and help people even more."

The crowd was spell-bound, half amazed and half-terrified at the prospect of an AI-robot disrupting engineers and software developers out of their cushy and well-paying jobs. According to a World Economic Forum report from last January 2016, artificial intelligence will displace 7 million jobs and only create 2 million new jobs by 2020.

After the presentation, Goertzel talked about the future of his AI software and Hanson's robots. He said that the transition to a friendly robot future will have some growing pains.

"A lot of bad things will happen before things get good," said Goertzel. "All jobs are going to be lost to AI eventually, but once we get to the other side, human existence and the human condition will be improved."
Source: Incdotcom

8 Things the iPhone 7 Can't Do That Other Phones Can

Apple released its latest iPhone — the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus — in September, and we gave a rundown of all its newest features, such as a new A10 Fusion chip, a longer battery life, and storage of up to 256GB.

But it doesn't have wireless charging and a whole bunch of other useful features many other smartphones have — here are seven more things it's missing (and no, we haven't included the missing headphone jack).

Charge wirelessly
Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, Microsoft, and even Blackberry make devices with built-in wireless charging support — as listed on Chargespot. Though not confirmed, it could be standard on the iPhone 8 — Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is said to be testing wireless charging modules designed for the planned 2017 release of a smartphone.

Charge quickly
The new Google Pixel phones come with fast charging.
Fast charging is achieved using a charger with a higher power output than common USB-chargers, as explained on Quora. Google's new Pixel phones have up to seven hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging. Many of Samsung's devices also are compatible with fast charging technology.

Chinese brand Oppo's F1 Plus reaches a 75% charge in 30 minutes while the OnePlus 3 reaches 60% in just under 30 minutes. Oppo and OnePlus use a technique "which keeps the temperatures down and the voltage flowing, resulting in a more efficient charging process" — as explained by Digital Trends.

Show you a display, always
You can customise Samsung's always-on-display.
Samsung's always-on display feature on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge allows you to check the time, date, and notifications without having to wake the phone up. It even offers customization options. Motorola's "Moto Display" is on by default when you receive your phone — the feature fades a simple notification in and out to subtly get your attention.

Take two SIM cards
With a dual-SIM slot — as the name suggests — you can use two SIMs in one phone. So, for example, you could have you work number and personal number in one phone without having to switch. Or, if you spend time between two countries, you wouldn't have to mess around switching SIMs. TechAdvisor has put together a list of the 20 best dual-SIM phones in the UK for 2016 — it includes the new Samsung Galaxy A7.

Be customized
Apple locks the software interface on its iOS operating system leaving little room for customization. Macworld says "Android is far more accommodating when it comes to changing the look of the interface, installing widgets in the middle of the home screen, change default apps, delete things you don't like and so on." You can also add custom "skins" on top of the core operating system, as Tom's Guide reports, with Samsung and LG Android phones.

Expand its memory
Even though the iPhone 7 comes with up to 256GB of storage capacity — the highest ever storage capacity of an iPhone — the argument for external SD card support remains. They are typically much cheaper than the premium you have to pay for a higher storage phone — likely the reason why Apple doesn't include it — and there are always users who need more.

Default to a third-party browser
You still can't get away from Safari on an iPhone. Even if you regularly use a third party browser — such as Chrome — iOS 10 will still re-direct you to Safari when you click on a web link from any app. The same is true for third-party apps that handle email, calendar, web browsing, and all those other standard functions.

3D mapping
In June of this year, Lenovo launched the Phab2 Pro — a 6.4-inch smartphone that was the first commercial device to integrate Google's Project Tango 3D-mapping technology. The phone arrived in US stores this week. Tango allows a device to map the environment around you and then track objects and insert 3D effects in it. Basically, it lets you create a sort of augmented reality space through the phone in real-time.
Source: Businessinsider

Microsoft Cracks Down on 'Terrorism Content'

Microsoft has announced a new policy to remove "terrorist content" from its consumer-focused online services. It said material endorsing a terrorist organisation or its acts, or that encouraged people to join such groups, would be banned.

The rule will apply to services such as Xbox Live and Outlook webmail. But Microsoft said it wanted its search engine, Bing, to be "unbiased" and would not remove terror-related search results unless required to by law.

The company said: "Societies, acting through their governments, ought to draw the line between free speech and limitations relating to particular types of content."
But it was considering adding "links to positive messaging and alternative narratives" to search results related to terrorism. It encouraged people to report terror-related content on Microsoft services via its website, but said it wanted to develop technology that could scan documents, images, video and audio to identify known terror-related material.

In a blog post, the company said terrorism had "sparked intense discussion" about how companies should tackle such content on their services.
"We have a responsibility to run our various internet services so that they are a tool to empower people, not to contribute, however indirectly, to terrible acts," it said.

But it added it also wanted to "respect timeless values such as privacy, freedom of expression and the right to access information".
Source: BBC