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Mashable is a leading source for news, information & resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's 25 million monthly unique visitors



Published: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:03:21 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000

 



AI in 2017 can't nearly match the smarts of 'Star Wars' droids — it barely understands us

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000

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At the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Hollywood premiere this week, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke sat down cross-legged on the red carpet to speak with BB-8, an intelligent robotic character from the Star Wars galaxy. He looked intently at the robot and pointed his finger as he spoke, as if in animated conversation with the famous space droid.

This was, of course, a light mockery of modern robots. Machines — while capable of extremely impressive automated feats — lack true intellectual and emotional development. Still, in the past year, we were inundated with reports of artificial intelligence seeping into our homes and cars. But while smarter machines may have entered our lives in 2017, humanity's AI is still in its elementary stages. Read more...

More about Tech, Siri, Artificial Intelligence, Star Wars, and Bb 8



'Dark' is the best new Netflix crime show you're not watching

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000

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If you like crime, time travel, and head burstingly-complex (but also incredibly well thought-out) plots, you're probably going to like Dark.

Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese's rainy, 10-part mystery thriller is Netflix's first foray into German-language originals. It's moody, it's ambitious, and even though I was constantly struggling to remember who people were or understand what the sweet hell I was watching, it immediately had me hooked.

So what's it all about?

Dark is the sort of show that will have you spending hours trying to figure out what exactly you've just watched, then even more hours theorising about why it happened, what it meant, and what's going to happen next. It's the type of TV that lengthy, Reddit-based dissection was made for, in other words — and the sort of show that's very hard to summarise in just a few sentences. Read more...

More about Netflix, Dark, Germany, Baran Bo Odar, and Entertainment



The city where Jesus grew up canceled Christmas because of Trump

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:52:19 +0000

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The mayor of Nazareth is canceling Christmas, and he's blaming Donald Trump.

Ali Salam, who is Muslim in the Muslim-majority city, shut down all Christmas festivities in the city in protest of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate,” Salam said, according to the Times of Israel. “The decision (by Trump) has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”

The city council was the bearer of the bad news Thursday after the mayor made the economically risky decision. Religious tourists flock to the city where Jesus grew up, especially for the Christmas holiday. Read more...

More about Christmas, Israel, Donald Trump, Diplomacy, and Jesus



Y Combinator's Sam Altman wishes San Francisco was more open-minded, like China

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:15:18 +0000

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Sam Altman is a Silicon Valley kingmaker. Sam Altman is rich. Sam Altman wears cargo shorts. Sam Altman is awful. 

As president of Y Combinator, an internationally renowned startup accelerator based in Mountain View, California, the 32-year-old has an outsized influence on the world of tech. The seed money his company doles out has both life-changing effects on its recipients and the potential to reshape entire industries

And if Altman's latest blog post is any indication, this has all very much gone to his head. 

Titled "E Pur Si Muove" in a transparent attempt to position himself as a righteous contrarian speaking truth to power à la Galileo Galilei, Altman explains in the post how toxic censorship has supposedly crushed intellectual dissent in San Francisco. You see, according to the 2015 Forbes 30-under-30 luminary, daring to disagree even in the slightest with the politically correct monsters that run this town is now enough to get you driven out of it.  Read more...

More about Silicon Valley, Donald Trump, Peter Thiel, Homophobia, and Y Combinator



Tobacco company makes a hard pivot to cryptocurrency mining

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 01:50:15 +0000

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Rich Cigars just made the ultimate pivot: from high-end cigars and tobacco products to cryptocurrency.

The Miami-based company announced Thursday it had become Intercontinental Technology, Inc., and was phasing out the cigar part of the business — aka its entire premise.

Instead the company is jumping into two very not tobacco-related industries: patents and "aggressive cryptocurrency mining." And it initially seems to be paying off.

With Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin and other cryptocurrencies rallying like crazy in the past few days this seems like a smart move. Who needs a fancy cigar when there's Bitcoin to be mined at nearly $17,000 per coin? Read more...

More about Business, Mining, Cryptocurrency, Business, and Consumer Tech



People are asking Tommy Wiseau for life advice and his answers are actually awesome

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 01:12:56 +0000

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Despite all the press surrounding The Disaster Artist, there's still plenty of unanswered questions about Tommy Wiseau.

Where did he get all the money to finance The Room? Where is he really from? How old is he? Is Tommy Wiseau even his real name? And so on and so forth.

One thing that's not under question is Wiseau's unrelenting drive and energy. That's something plainly obvious in his spectacular Twitter account, which was created around two weeks ago. 

There's been plenty of excellent, if disconcerting content.

May the Good Spirt be with you ! pic.twitter.com/2kv04qrYOM

— Tommy Wiseau (@TommyWiseau) December 14, 2017 Read more...

More about Entertainment, Twitter, Movies, Tommy Wiseau, and The Room



Dude who ruined the internet with ‘Harlem Shake’ goes after the FCC for making it worse

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:51:38 +0000

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Baauer's "Harlem Shake" may have obliterated the internet in 2012, but now the producer is taking on the FCC for using it in a (very dumb) net neutrality repeal video without permission.

The creator of the viral track, which became a 2013 meme thanks to thousands of dancing challenge YouTube videos, has vowed revenge on the FCC and its chairman Ajit Pai. 

"Harlem Shake" was used by Pai and conservative outlet The Daily Caller in a video entitled "7 Things You Can Still Do on the Internet After Net Neutrality," released after the Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to repeal protections for net neutrality. Read more...

More about Video, Fcc, Copyright, Net Neutrality, and Harlem Shake



That interstellar asteroid probably isn't aliens, but the hunt continues

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:06:28 +0000

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Well, it should come as no surprise, but the interstellar asteroid astronomers discovered in October doesn't appear to be a piece of alien technology. 

According to initial observations made by a radio telescope on Wednesday, the asteroid, named ‘Oumuamua, doesn't appear to have any obvious "artificial signals" coming from it. 

But the hunt isn't over yet.

Researchers still have to comb through a fair bit of the data gathered by the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to see if there might be some sign of alien technology to be found. However, it's not exactly looking promising. Read more...

More about Space, Science, Astronomy, Space Exploration, and Interstellar Asteroid



Net Neutrality is dead and your privacy is at risk. Here are 5 VPNs that can help.

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:49:33 +0000

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The FCC has spoken and it's official: Net Neutrality is dead.

Mashable's been closely covering this story — you can read everything here — but we'll give you the TL;DR version. The FCC has decided that large internet service providers (ISPs) like Xfinity, Verizon, RCN, and any other company in the game can charge customers premium rates for faster internet access. This decision was also significant in that it set ISPs significantly free from the confines of government oversight, and it is sparking justifiable privacy concerns as deregulation could empower ISPs to peek into our browsing behavior even more than they already do, or worse, sell that data. Read more...

More about Cybersecurity, Fcc, Net Neutrality, Vpn, and Mashable Shopping



This state senator wants to revive net neutrality in California

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:37:42 +0000

The Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, which prohibited powerful telecoms from charging more for faster internet access.  But 3,000 miles away, in California, State Senator Scott Wiener announced plans to buck the FCC's decision by introducing California's own net neutrality rulesIn a Medium post, Wiener said he will spend the next 60 days considering the best regulatory options and then introduce a law early next year.  SEE ALSO: The net neutrality vote, explained Like the FCC's two dissenting commissioners, protesters in every corner of the nation, rock stars, Pornhub, and legendary internet pioneers, Wiener believes net neutrality is essential for maintaining an open internet where internet service providers "treat websites equally" and don't "play favorites based on who pays more." Read more...More about Internet, Net Neutrality, Federal Communications Commission, Tech, and Big Tech Companies [...]



The HyperCharger PRO can handle three devices at once

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:29:10 +0000

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

These days, you wouldn't want to be caught dead on a long flight without a portable charger — yet, you still likely forget to purchase and pack one, time after time. And there you are, once again stuck on a plane with no Netflix, a dead phone, and a snoring old man leaning on your shoulder. For the love of it all, buy a portable battery pack.

The Graphene Series HyperCharger PRO is a welcome solution, with two built-in charging cables and an additional USB port. With a whopping 8,000mAh capacity (in layman's terms: a lot of battery power), Graphene enables you to charge three devices simultaneously. Or you can opt to charge your phone over and over again. Either way, you won't have to worry about awkwardly situating yourself near an airport outlet anytime soon.  Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone, Android, Smartphones, and Galaxy



Caught between Mac and Windows? This crossover program could help.

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:21:14 +0000

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

As Mick Jagger once moaned into a microphone, you can't always get what you want — and computers are no exception.

Windows-powered computers are still some of the most popular models money can buy. But with their razor-sharp aesthetics and user-friendly edge, Apple's slew of MacBooks are climbing their way to the top.

Switching from Windows to Mac may be a logical decision, but there's just one problem: You bought a bunch of Windows-only programs. So what are you supposed to do, start from scratch?  And waste plenty of resources and money? Um, no thank you. Fortunately, a program called CrossOver 17 offers a way for you to run all your favorite apps and games on your new computer. Read more...

More about Apple, Gaming, Mac, Pc, and Windows 10



What's next for 'The Simpsons' after years of mocking their new owner Disney?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:02:46 +0000

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As I'm sure you heard, Disney bought 20th Century Fox for $52 billion today. And I'm sure your first thought was, what does this mean for The Simpsons?

While we don't know exactly, we will gladly speculate while ruminating on the fact that, for 28 years, the longest-running animated show has dunked on the Big Mouse company over and over again. 

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While we don't know about how the show's new overlords will treat the beloved show, it could very well mean good things for fans.

Another huge thing that Disney bought — besides the right to include X-Men in their Avengers movies — is a hefty share of control over streaming platform Hulu. As we wrote, one of Disney's main goals for buying the media company would be to compete with Netflix's and Amazon's growing influence with its own enormous back catalog. That includes The Simpsons.  Read more...

More about Disney, Disneyland, Fox, The Simpsons, and 20th Century Fox



Give Omarosa credit for this: she made General Kelly's life hell

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:33:15 +0000

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The reign of Omarosa Manigault Newman is officially over, and everyone has the same question: What the hell did she do every day?

On Wednesday, former White House Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault officially "resigned" — or was fired, depending on your source. What is evident is that she appears to have left on explosively antagonistic terms, according to America's top Omarosa Manigault reporter, April Ryan.

Before we get into the details of her departure, it's important that we record her history for internet posterity. With Manigault gone and the Mooch fired, it might be a long time before we get this kind of trashy Beltway drama again.   Read more...

More about Watercooler, Omarosa Manigault, Culture, and Politics



Matt Damon attempts to speak about sexual harassment and shows he STILL doesn't get it

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:21:58 +0000

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Here's a pro-tip if you're trying to shut up and listen to women: Shut up. 

Matt Damon, who has been speaking out following the avalanche of sexual assault and misconduct allegations in Hollywood, has stepped up to the mic for a third attempt at advocating for women in Hollywood, and once again falls flat.

In an interview with Peter Travers for ABC News, Damon repeatedly emphasized that the current reckoning in Hollywood right now is good and that women should be listened to, but seems to face a near-constant internal struggle to reconcile that idea with everything he knows about business and entertainment. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Movies, Hollywood, Matt Damon, and Harvey Weinstein



You've heard of cronuts, but have you heard of 'crossushi'?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:18:38 +0000

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Invented at Mr. Holmes Bake House in Los Angeles, this kooky Japanese-French creation could be the next big food trend. Read more...

More about Mashable Video, California, Los Angeles, French, and Sushi



If you've never seen 'Star Wars' before, you're not alone

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:12:59 +0000

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Believe it or not, a few Mashable employees have never seen Star Wars before. With all this talk about porgs and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we thought it'd be interesting to ask people what they thought Star Wars is about and if they could identify characters.

Their responses were hilarious. Read more...

More about Space, Movies, Robots, Galaxy, and Star Wars