Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse

Maureen Dowd, writing for Vanity Fair:

You’d think that anytime Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates are all raising the same warning about A.I.—as all of them are—it would be a 10-alarm fire. But, for a long time, the fog of fatalism over the Bay Area was thick. Musk’s crusade was viewed as Sisyphean at best and Luddite at worst. The paradox is this: Many tech oligarchs see everything they are doing to help us, and all their benevolent manifestos, as streetlamps on the road to a future where, as Steve Wozniak says, humans are the family pets.

But Musk is not going gently.

The New Emoji Hotness

Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia has an in-depth look at the latest batch of emoji that have been approved:

These include smileys, people, food, drink, flags, and for the first time: new fantasy characters such as a mermaid, genie, and vampire.

We are today releasing the final version of our sample images for this update. These have been designed in the “Apple style” to picture how these emojis may look when hitting phones later in the year.

And Paul Hunt looks at the role of gender in emoji:

Filling out the middle of the spectrum, we have a set of three new people emoji with inclusive gender, characters that were conceived to represent all people regardless of gender.

These emoji are intended to depict a child, an adult, and an older person. I proposed the addition of the gender inclusive emoji characters in order to provide better representation for people who want to express themselves in emoji as exactly that: just people.

Not everyone identifies as male or female. Some of us identify as a bit of both, or neither, or something else altogether. Regardless of your gender identity, I hope we can all find adequate ways to express ourselves in emoji.

Jonathan Bautts Says Goodbye to Yellowcard

Jonathan Bautts says goodbye to Yellowcard over at Behind the Setlist:

It’S 2001. A young band called Yellowcard, fresh transplants to California by way of Jacksonville, Florida, is playing its first ever sold-out show. The city is Anaheim, California and the venue is Chain Reaction, a cramped but legendary punk rock club that has become a rite of passage for all up-and-comers.

The five members onstage aren’t the most polished live performers, but they have bounds of energy and display a promising potential. The drummer is a stickmaster with some of the quickest hands you’ve ever seen and the lead singer displays a surefire ear for melodies. But what stands out most is the presence of a violinist, which you think is an odd novelty for a rock band at first yet surprisingly fits in well.

I’ve loved reading all the Yellowcard retrospectives over the past few days and all of the memories shared by fans in our forums. This band was a staple for so many people and a true testament to the impact music can have on a listener.

‘Arrested Development’ Leaving Netflix in April

Arrested Development, Buffy, X-Files, and more will be leaving Netflix in April. I guess it’s time to get your binge on.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Arrested Development, Firefly, Ally McBeal, The X-Files, Roswell and House are the bigger, more notable shows being tossed aside in April. Every single season from each show will no longer be available to stream, with the exception of Arrested Development’s fourth season, which will remain due to it being a Netflix exclusive.

I still watch random episodes of Arrested Development from time-to-time (I don’t visit that fourth season very often), and I realized today I haven’t cracked open my DVD collection in probably years. I guess it’s time to get this into Plex.

Barry Jenkins to Adapt ‘The Underground Railroad’ for Amazon Series

The director of the fantastic Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, will next adapt Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Underground Railroad, as an Amazon series.

“Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking,” Mr. Jenkins said in a statement. “In Amazon we’ve found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision.”

Drake Tops Billboard Charts

Drake has the number one album in the country this week:

The Beauty and the Beast soundtrack is pushed down one spot to No. 4, despite a 74 percent gain in units. The set earned 99,000 units in the week (up from its debut of 57,000 units), as the album profits from publicity generated by its parent film’s blockbuster opening in theaters on March 17.

Playing for Tips

Hannah Karp, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

Young music fans today don’t buy many CDs or downloads, but the rise of virtual tip jars is evidence some fans are still willing to spend money on novel kinds of interactions with their favorite acts.

Zach Clayton, who is also 16 and a resident of Austin, Texas, said he earned more than $100,000 last year performing on a live-streaming app called YouNow. He is one of a growing number of performers who live on tips and gifts from online fans.

And:

Live-streaming for tips isn’t exactly glamorous work. Brent Morgan, a 29-year-old musician in Huntsville, Ala., broadcasts twice a day on YouNow for a total of three hours a day, playing guitar and other instruments while writing custom jingles on the spot for big tippers. He said he nets between $15,000 and $20,000 a month and plans to release his first album in the next few months.