What Are Executive Orders Anyway? | JSTOR Daily


An executive order is a “presidential directive that requires or authorizes some action within the executive branch.” These orders have the force of law. Every president has signed such orders except for William Henry Harrison, who only served for 32 days. President Obama, much criticized by his opponents for the practice, issued 279, compared with George W. Bush’s 291, Bill Clinton’s 308, and Ronald Reagan’s 381.

A Computer Just Clobbered Four Pros At Poker | FiveThirtyEight


And, indeed, some robot can now etch heads-up no-limit Texas Hold ‘em (2017) alongside checkers (1995), chess (1997), Othello (1997), Scrabble (c. 2006), limit Hold ‘em (2008), Jeopardy! (2011) and Go (2016) into the marble cenotaph of human-dominated intellectual pursuits.

Why UPS drivers don’t turn left and you probably shouldn’t either


UPS have designed their vehicle routing software to eliminate as many left-hand turns as possible (in countries with right-hand traffic). Typically, only 10% of the turns are left turns. As a result, the company claims it uses 10m gallons less fuel, emits 20,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide and delivers 350,000 more packages every year. The efficiency of planning routes with its navigation software this way has even helped the firm cut the number of trucks it uses by 1,100, bringing down the company’s total distance travelled by 28.5m miles – despite the longer routes.

The Machines Are Coming For Poker | FiveThirtyEight


For the past few decades, humans have ceded thrones to artificial intelligence in games of all kinds. In 1995, a program called Chinook won a man vs. machine world checkers championship. In 1997, Garry Kasparov, probably the best (human) chess player of all time, lost a match to an IBM computer called Deep Blue. In 2007, checkers was “solved,” mathematically ensuring that no human would ever again beat the best machine.1 In 2011, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter were routed on “Jeopardy!” by another IBM creation, Watson. And last March, a human champion of Go, Lee Sedol, fell to a Google program in devastating and bewildering fashion.

Poker may be close to all we have left. Computers have yet to beat humans in a major no-limit competition like this. “I think of it as the last frontier within the visible horizon,” an eager Tuomas Sandholm said as we sat at an empty poker table.