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The Morning After: Monday, February 20 2017

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:00:00 -0500

(image) Welcome to the week. The Pacific Ocean might be hiding a whole other continent, Bill Gates wants to tax the robots, and some other robots crash in the midst of a road race. A pretty thrilling Monday morning, we'd say.

BBC nature series 'Blue Planet' will return later this year

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:40:00 -0500

(image) Planet Earth II has only just started airing in North America, but already the BBC is working on its next big-budget nature doc. Blue Planet II, a successor to the original Blue Planet series from 2001, will be broadcast in the UK later this year (a...

Uber reportedly ignored repeated sexual harassment by manager

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:20:00 -0500

(image) A former engineer at Uber wrote that she was sexually harassed and that her complaints were ignored by the human resources department, despite other harassment reports against the same manager. Furthermore, she says she was threatened with firing for...

'Horizon Zero Dawn' made me fall in love with open-world RPGs

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:07:00 -0500

(image) There's something about Aloy. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's an enchanting kind of magic in the way she shoots a bow, speaks her mind and sprints across vast valleys littered with monstrous metal beasts. Aloy is powerful and loyal, an...

Xiaomi to announce its 'Pinecone' mobile chipset this month

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 02:15:00 -0500

(image) Following reports from earlier this month, today Xiaomi confirmed on Weibo that it will be announcing its very own mobile chipset, named after its subsidiary "Pinecone," in Beijing on February 28th. Little else is mentioned, but rumors going as far b...

'Counter-Strike' is facing a chat bot invasion

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:04:00 -0500

(image) The Counter-Strike community has faced numerous challenges in the years since launch, ranging from cheating to gambling, but there's one more to add to the pile: a flood of chat bots. At least one intruder is taking advantage of a Counter-Strike: Gl...

Color-changing hair dye responds to your environment

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:59:00 -0500

(image) Just because you want to color your hair doesn't mean you want the same color all the time. Wouldn't it be nice if it could change with the weather, or whether or not you're inside? You might get your wish. The Unseen has developed a color-changin...

The Pacific Ocean is hiding a whole continent

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:31:00 -0500

(image) Who knew that finding hidden continents was a trend? Researchers now say they've confirmed the existence of Zealandia, a giant land mass (roughly two thirds the size of Australia) hiding in the Pacific Ocean -- as you might guess, New Zealand is its...

Amazon lowers its free shipping threshold to counter Walmart

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:03:00 -0500

(image) When Walmart ditched its Amazon Prime-style subscriptions and offered free two-day shipping for all orders over $35, it was a shot across the bow -- we might not compete directly, but we can still undercut you. Well, Amazon is responding in kind. J...

Event Horizon Telescope will soon take the first black hole photo

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:29:00 -0500

(image) The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is finally ready to take a picture of Sagittarius A*. From April 5th to 14th this year, the virtual telescope that's been in the making for the past two decades will peer into the supermassive black hole in the cente...

Apple reportedly buys an AI-based face recognition startup

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:02:00 -0500

(image) Those rumors of Apple exploring facial recognition for sign-ins might just have some merit. Calcalist reports that Apple has acquired RealFace, an Israeli startup that developed deep learning-based face authentication technology. The terms of the dea...

Spin Master's BB-8 is still cute and you can get one this year

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:30:00 -0500

(image) The cute spherical BB-8 was one of the many highlights of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Spin Master's near life-size replica of him was one of our favorite things about last year's Toy Fair. Unfortunately, 2016 came and went without seeing the ad...

Bill Gates wants a robot tax to compensate for job losses

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:00:00 -0500

(image) How would you deal with the likelihood that robots and automation will likely lead to many people losing their jobs? For Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the answer is straightforward: tax the robots. In an interview with Quartz, Gates argues that t...

The best vacuums

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:30:00 -0500

(image) By Liam McCabe This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Rea...

After Math: Going on 'walk-a-back'

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:00:00 -0500

(image) It was a big week for claiming victories (even if you didn't really win). Just look at Trump's crowing about how his administration is operating like a "well-oiled machine" (it's not). Similarly, McDonald's generated huge public interest in its new s...

SpaceX successfully blasts off from NASA's famous launch pad

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:15:00 -0500

(image) After a last-moment delay, SpaceX has put NASA's legendary Launch Complex 39A back into action. The company successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket from the historic pad (best known for the Apollo 11 mission) Sunday morning, and topped it off by land...

Ben Heck's Portable N64, part 2

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:00:00 -0500

(image) When Ben began his Nintendo 64 build, he knew it wasn't going to be easy. In this episode, he shrinks down the size of the controller, embeds the RAM expansion and begins to construct the case with design cues from the Nintendo Switch. To embed t...

Barbie Hello Hologram is a tiny virtual friend for girls

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Smart home speakers like the Echo and Google Home can tell you the weather, play music and look up stuff for you. However, they stop short of attaching a face to those actions, and certainly don't have any sense of sartorial style. Mattel's latest cr...

Self-driving car race finishes with a crash

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:32:00 -0500

(image) Fans attending Formula E's Buenos Aires ePrix got a nice treat: the first 'race' between self-driving cars on a professional track, courtesy of a test from Roborace. Only... it didn't quite go according to plan. Roborace's two test vehicles (known...

Shia LaBeouf's anti-Trump livestream is reborn in New Mexico

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:57:00 -0500

(image) Shia LaBeouf's anti-Trump livestreaming art piece in New York City was ignominiously shut down just a few weeks into its planned 4-year run, but it's getting a revival... albeit nowhere near its original home. LaBeouf and his artist partners have rel...

Intel made a drone to help an NBA player in the Slam Dunk Contest

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 22:30:00 -0500

(image) Orlando Magic player Aaron Gordon took things to a whole new level in tonight's NBA Slam Dunk Contest, one of the main events during the league's All-Star Weekend. The 21-year-old worked with Intel on a drone to use an assist prop for his first dunk...

Batmobile toy uses augmented reality to show the driver's view

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 21:00:00 -0500

(image) Batman's got plenty of wonderful toys bearing his name, from his trusty Batarangs to his super Batcomputer. However, none are more famous than the Batmobile. And, while diehard fans might be a little down on the design of the latest version as seen i...

TAG Heuer's next smartwatch may include a swappable timepiece

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 19:32:00 -0500

(image) TAG Heuer has dropped a few hints about its plans for a successor to the Connected, but the biggest news may be what it isn't mentioning. Android Central sources claim that TAG is working on the Connected Modular, a "fully customizable" Android Wear...

Robot probe no. 2 dies while exploring a Fukushima reactor

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 17:59:00 -0500

(image) The second robot Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) sent into Fukushima's unit 2 reactor also failed to finish its mission. Earlier this month, the cameras of the first "scorpion" robot that ventured into the reactor malfunctioned after two hours d...

FBI has three probes looking into Russia's election hacking

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:28:00 -0500

(image) It's no secret that the FBI has been investigating Russia's alleged bid to influence US elections through hacking, but it's now clear just how deep that investigation goes. Reuters tipsters understand that there are "at least" three FBI probes into t...