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Huawei didn’t need American customers to become a smartphone giant

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:01:00 -0400

(image) On October 16th, Huawei announced its latest smartphone, the Mate 10, alongside a Porsche Design-ed version of the same device. In previous years, the phone might have been seen as little more than a me-too clone of Samsung's Galaxy Note. But these d...

Google and Microsoft troll each other over software vulnerabilities

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:45:00 -0400

(image) Google has a history of not playing nicely with Microsoft. The company has previously posted publicly about their competitor's software vulnerabilities, and understandably, Microsoft hasn't been very happy about it. But now, the company has turned th...

What it takes to be a drone racer

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:30:00 -0400

(image) One cold, dreary afternoon in 2014, Jordan Temkin took his drone to Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. He put on a pair of goggles that filled his view with the live video feed from the drone's tiny camera. He'd built the drone frame from scratch...

When VR meets human emotions (and sometimes, hallucinations)

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:15:00 -0400

(image) By its very nature, virtual reality is an immersive medium. But for Rama Allen, that bar is higher. The interactive artist and Executive Creative Director at The Mill has made a name for himself leading inter-disciplinary teams of designers, filmmake...

‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ turns the Empire into an unlikely protagonist

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

(image) Star Wars: Battlefront did a lot of things right, but it was criticized for not having a lot of depth, primarily due to the utter lack of a story-driven single player campaign. That's a shame, because the Star Wars universe is rich enough that fans a...

Gene therapy for advanced lymphoma gets FDA approval

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:46:00 -0400

(image) People with advanced lymphoma now have another type of treatment to consider. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Yescarta, a cell-based gene therapy designed to treat large B-cell lymphoma created by Kite Pharma. It's the second time the F...

Alphabet invests $1 billion in Lyft

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:37:00 -0400

(image) Last month, we reported on rumors that Alphabet, Google's parent company, was considering investing in Lyft. Now, Lyft has announced that CapitalG, which is Alphabet's growth investment fund, is leading a $1 billion financing round in the car-sharing...

Verizon aims for spring 2018 to debut its streaming TV service

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:21:00 -0400

(image) We first heard that Verizon was interested in launching a streaming TV service back in March, but getting it off the ground has been a real struggle. It was originally scheduled to debut this past summer, though rumors had it slipping to the fall. No...

The best phones under $250

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0400

(image) The iPhone X: $999. The Galaxy Note 8: $930. Even the more affordable Google Pixel 2 commands a significant investment of $650. Today's flagship phones are expensive enough that spending a significant chunk of your rent on a handset is seemingly the...

Adobe's 'Cloak' experiment is a content-aware eraser for video

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0400

(image) Glamorous show-reels from shows like Game of Thrones get all the fame, but a lot of VFX work is mundane stuff like removing cars, power lines and people from shots. Adobe's research team is working on making all of that easier for anyone, regardless...

The Surface Book 2's secret weapon is ceramic, says Panos Panay

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:45:00 -0400

(image) With the Surface Book, Microsoft delivered yet another way to rethink traditional computers. It resembled a laptop more than the earlier Surface devices, which were basically tablets with keyboard covers. But it also packed in one new trick: a large...

GoPro Hero 6 review: Slow-mo, stabilization and subtle refinements

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:30:00 -0400

(image) If you look at the GoPro Hero 6, it's nearly impossible to tell it apart from the Hero 5, even on close inspection. The older, silver GoPros used to have the model number marked in black text on the front. The only way to tell the most recent cameras...

Octopus-like rubber skin could lead to shape-shifting robots

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:00:00 -0400

(image) Octopuses are awe-inspiring creatures. They're smart, and they can camouflage themselves by changing colors and changing the texture of their skin to mimic the environment's. A group of scientists from Cornell University in New York and the Marine Bi...

Chelsea Handler's Netflix talk show will end after two seasons

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:41:00 -0400

(image) More than three years after Chelsea Handler and Netflix teamed up to "revolutionize the talk show" their quest is coming to an end. Handler tweeted that she has decided not to return after the second season of Chelsea wraps up (later this year), inst...

Scoot is adding battery-swapping cars to its San Francisco lineup

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:20:00 -0400

(image) If you spend any time in San Francisco you'll see them. The red electric scooters with a white lighting bolt and the word "Scoot" plastered on the side of the cargo box. Scoot, the company behind these ubiquitous two-wheeled vehicles has been able to...

Twitter took a year to close a fake GOP account run by Russians

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:01:00 -0400

(image) The Russian troll farm that bought ads pointing to fake news sites on Facebook also ran a fake Twitter account impersonating the Tennessee Republican Party. While it has now been permanently suspended, Buzzfeed says the platform refused to take the a...

Google's AlphaGo AI no longer requires human input to master Go

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:29:00 -0400

(image) Google's AlphaGo already beat us puny humans to become the best at the Chinese board game of Go. Now, it's done with humans altogether. DeepMind, the Alphabet subsidiary behind the artificial intelligence, just announced AlphaGo Zero. The latest iter...

The way scientific units are calculated is changing

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:03:00 -0400

(image) Scientific units are set to receive their biggest shake-up since the inception of the modern metric system in 1960. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) -- one of three committees that oversees this type of stuff -- is presently lo...

The BBC is turning to AI to improve its programming

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:12:00 -0400

(image) The BBC wants to leverage machine learning to improve its online services and the programmes it commissions every year. Today, the broadcaster announced a five-year research partnership with eight universities from across the UK. Data scientists will...

Google honors the man who discovered the fate of dead stars

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:46:00 -0400

(image) There's a constant battle between gravity and nuclear physics going on inside a star that's only resolved when it dies. American, Indian-born scientist Subrahmanyan "Chandra" Chandrasekhar figured out how that would end -- supernova and black hole or...

The Morning After: Thursday, October 19th 2017

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:00:00 -0400

(image) Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Are you ready for the WWE of giant robot fighting? Don't worry, we weren't either. Anyway, it's Thursday, which means it's time to make a plan for cleaning up dead satellites.

UK government could force petrol stations to install EV chargers

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 05:30:00 -0400

(image) The UK's network of motorway services and petrol stations will be required to install chargers for electric cars, under plans announced by Transport Minister John Hayes. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which was first announced during the Q...

NFL's new digital ticket system tries to cut out scalpers

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 04:29:00 -0400

(image) While there has been a fair amount of technical progress in concert and show tickets, sports tickets haven't quite made that leap yet: they're still either partly analog (read: old-school paper) or tend to be limited to a narrow group of sellers. NFL...

UE's Blast and Megablast join the Alexa smart speaker family

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 03:01:00 -0400

(image) These days, the launch of yet more speakers with Alexa onboard isn't the most exciting announcement. However, these aren't stout smart home speakers or a mere software update, but an entirely new line for Ultimate Ears -- a long-standing favorite for...

Nissan's Rogue is its first US car with semi-autonomous driving

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 01:02:00 -0400

(image) You won't have to wait long to try Nissan's semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist on American streets. The automotive giant has announced that the 2018 Rogue crossover will be the first car in the US to have the feature as an option. Not surprisingly, it...