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Flexport, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others launch a fund to get supplies to frontline responders

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There’s a global shortage of available protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies for use by frontline responders working to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the Frontline Responders Fund wants to channel donations to help address that shortage. The fund, which is seeking public donations via GoFundMe, will use all proceeds to cover the costs of transportation of these crucial supplies to the hospitals, clinics and public agencies that need them most.

Flexport is facilitating the deliveries via their supply chain management platform and services, and are receiving donations via their grant making partner Charities Add Foundation of America (CAF), which facilitates the acceptance of charitable donations for Flexport.org, Flexport’s NGO for social good projects.

Already, Flexport has been taking steps to get equipment where it’s needed most: last week, it got 60,000 surgical masks, 34,000 gloves, 2,000 surgical gowns and 50 thermometers from MedShare to San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. But the organization wants to do more, both for SF and for other cites in that are looking for ways to shore up their own supplies.

“My neighbor is on the board of supervisors and she told me the city really needed help,” Petersen said via email earlier this week. “Naturally our team stepped in and applied our knowledge of supply chains and logistics plus a long standing partnership with MedShare.org to get them PPE quickly. Now we’re scaling that effort to get more supplies for SF as well as other cities and hospitals that are also in desperate need.”

The funds made available through this fundraising effort will go to securing not only PPE, but also “testing kits, thermometers, ventilators and medicines,” according to the project’s GoFundMe page, based on what medical service providers deem to be highest priority in terms of need.

Petersen says that effectively all of his time now is focused on logistics to support these ongoing efforts, and it looks like it’ll remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Other organizations, including Apple, and now SoftBank, have been donating large volumes of N95 respirators, a key piece of frontline protective equipment. Flexport’s work could facilitate continued supply, leveraging their supply chain relationships, to ensure that equipment makes its way to frontline staff as fast as it’s able to be produced.

Donations can be made directly through the fund’s GoFundMe page, and the total raised is sitting at just under $3 million as of this writing – helped in large part by sizeable donations from Silicon Valley leaders including Paul Graham, Jack Dorsey and Ron Conway, as well as celebrities including Edward Norton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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What is a supermoon and when can you see tonight’s ‘Pink Moon’?

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supermoon against st paul's cathedral
Supermoons don’t come around all that often (Picture: AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivias)

The UK may be stuck in coronavirus lockdown, but at least the view will be good tonight, as we’ll be treated to a specular supermoon, also known as the ‘Pink Moon.’

They don’t come around all that often, and let’s face it – what else will you be doing tonight?

But what exactly is a supermoon and how can you catch this one?

Find out here.

What is a supermoon?

When the moon’s orbit brings it to its closest proximity to Earth – called its perigee – what we get is a super moon.

From this evening through until tomorrow morning, the moon will get as close as 356,907km (221,772 miles) to Earth.

A supermoon appears brighter and larger than normal, and is anything from 14% to 30% brighter than the average moon.

supermoon over london
Who doesn’t love a good sunrise? (Picture: Getty Images)A

This particular supermoon is known as a ‘Pink Moon’ as it is the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere.

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The name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America.

Disappointingly, it won’t actually be pink.

What time will the supermoon be tonight?

Tonight’s moon will be visible from sunet, from 8:15pm, but will peak at 3:35am.

All you need to do is stick your head out of the window.

The moon will be most visible when there is dark sky and a clear horizon, which is bad news for city folk.

To get the best view, head to the highest point in your house or flat, switch the lights off and gaze east.

Don’t worry if you miss it – there’s another one coming on 7 May. ​

MORE: Supermoon 2020: Why is it called the pink moon?

MORE: Nasa to colonise the moon with astronaut base ready for trip to Mars

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Source: Metro News

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Reddit jokers use the Queen’s outfit as a green screen

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Reddit has fun with the queen's outfit
Reddit users had some fun with the Queen’s outfit (Reddit)

The Queen’s address to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic will likely go down in history as a collective moment for the nation.

And, as 23 million people tuned in to hear the monarch offer words of encouragement, a few internet jokers realised the potential of her green outfit.

Thanks to some digital trickery, they were able to replace her outfit with various other options – such as an Iron Maiden T-shirt and a Star Trek uniform.

The results were posted on Reddit and swiftly gained over 118,000 upvotes.

Over 1,600 comments were posted in response to the pictures – with many being good humoured about the changes to Her Majesty’s outfit.

Reddit has fun with the queen's outfit
One user joked that the Queen would be able to join Starfleet (Reddit)

Meanwhile, the Queen’s address has been widely praised for what is only her fifth special address to the nation.

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Comparing the ‘challenging’ pandemic to the Second World War, the monarch, 93, said she hoped that everyone would be able to ‘take pride’ in their present actions in the ‘years to come’.

She continued: ‘Those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.’

The Queen’s address was seen by 23 million people around the world (AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen then went on to say she was reminded of the first broadcast she had ever made, in 1940, with the assistance of her sister Princess Margaret.

The Queen has only ever made four previous special addresses. These marked the first Gulf War in 1991, Princess Diana’s death in 1997, the death of the Queen Mother in 2002, and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Coronavirus latest news and updates

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Source: Metro News

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Celebrity deepfake videos made easy with new iPhone app

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A few years ago it took a lot of effort to create convincing deepfake videos but now anyone can do it with just a few clicks.

Impressions is a new app for the iPhone that launched around the world last week lets users turn themselves into celebrities and the results are spooky.

The way it works is incredibly straightforward: start up the app, pick a celebrity (the likes of Keanu Reeves and Matthew McConaughey are available) and film a small video. The footage is then uploaded and you get a deepfake of yourself as the celeb that you can then share online.

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We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume the celebs haven’t agreed to have their likenesses used in the app.

According to Impressions CEO Murat Deligoz, the clips have to be uploaded to the company’s servers because mapping the celeb faces over a moving clip is a graphically intensive task.

‘We built the architecture in this manner because phone hardware is not yet capable of doing this type of intensive processing,’ he told the Daily Dot.

Impressions is available for iOS at the moment with Android coming in the future (App Store)
Impressions is available for iOS at the moment with Android coming in the future (App Store)

The company behind the app is based in San Francisco and uses algorithms to create the deepfake videos as quickly as possible – returning them to your iPhone in just a matter of minutes.

Deligoz says the company is constantly feeding its artificial intelligence thousands of pictures of celebrity faces in order for it to learn even more detail to create better videos.

Deepfake is a portmanteau combining the words ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’, referring to simulated videos of human beings.

The tech uses machine learning or artificial intelligence to combine digital images with audio files to make convincing-looking fake footage of people uttering words they’ve actually said in real life.

We’ve already seen the Mona Lisa spring to life. but this is likely to be only the beginning of the avalanche of deepfakes which could make it impossible to work out if a video is genuine or simulated.

And now if anyone with an iPhone can do it, the struggle is about to get a lot more difficult.

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Source: Metro News

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