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The best computer and mobile accessories to give as gifts

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

(image) Perhaps the person on your list is already quite happy with their laptop or mobile device (slash, you're not up to buying them a new one). There are plenty of accessories that make for affordable, and dare we say, practical gifts. Included in our hol...

Wirecutter's best early deals for Black Friday

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:31:00 -0500

(image) This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated...

Pornhub owner may become the UK's gatekeeper of online porn

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:01:00 -0500

(image) NSFW Warning: This story may contain links to and descriptions or images of explicit sexual acts. Mindgeek may be the most powerful company that you've never heard of, or at least, a company you'll claim never to have heard about in polite company....

How 'Life is Strange' landed in Deck Nine's hands

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:00:00 -0500

(image) Idol Minds had been making video games for 20 years when it rebranded as Deck Nine in May. It's not just the studio's name that changed -- its entire mission refocused. Instead of working on titles like Cool Boarders 2001 and Pain, developers built a...

'Untrained Eyes' explores how computers perceive you

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0500

(image) If you search for "man" on Google, most of the image results you'll get are of white males looking confidently at the camera. "Woman," meanwhile, brings up pictures of women that appear to have been taken from a male gaze -- and yes, you guessed it,...

Tesla completes its giant Australian Powerpack battery on time

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:31:00 -0500

(image) Tesla has completed its 100 megawatt Powerpack battery backup system in South Australia within 100 days (easily), as Elon Musk had promised. That means the company essentially won the "bet," and won't be on the hook for the entire cost of the project...

The UK Autumn Budget gets tough on tech companies and tax

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:05:00 -0500

(image) During yesterday's Autumn statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined positive measures to push the adoption of autonomous and electric cars, develop new 5G networks, treble the number of computer science teachers and further research into AI and r...

UK watchdog tells ISPs to advertise ‘real’ broadband speeds

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:05:00 -0500

(image) Broadband packages are notoriously difficult to untangle. Prices are obscured with introductory discounts and the speeds you get are nothing like what was advertised. It sucks, and the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) knows it. So today, th...

The Morning After: Thursday, November 23rd 2017

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

(image) Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. To go along with the Thanksgiving feast, we have the FCC's plan to kill net neutrality. It's not much of a treat but should provide some reading material if you have the day off. Otherwise, we have an alert abou...

Of course there are Street Fighter-meets-Transformers toys

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 04:29:00 -0500

(image) Listen, I'm sure some of you grew up watching the Transformers cartoon and played Street Fighter years later with a wish in your heart that these two worlds would meet. For those happy few, there are now mash-up toys that let Ryu, villain M. Bison, K...

BMW hopes AI-managed electric bike roads will ease traffic

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:02:00 -0500

(image) In some cities, the most common electric vehicles are likely to be two-wheelers like bikes and motorcycles. But cities aren't really designed for them -- you have to compete with cars on the road and at charging stations. BMW and Tongji University...

Our nights keep getting brighter

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:39:00 -0500

(image) Our nights are getting brighter and they have been every year since 2012, according to a new study published today in Science Advances. Researchers led by Christopher Kyba at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences used satellite imagery to tr...

’League of Legends’ pro suspended 20 months for domestic violence

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:36:00 -0500

(image) Back in October, League of Legends player Li "Vasilii" Wei Jun livestreamed alleged domestic abuse against his then-girlfriend. The Chinese team Newbee immediately terminated his contract and the League Championship Series launched an investigation....

Museum of African American History is freely digitizing home movies

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:14:00 -0500

(image) Humanity has access to more data than ever before, but there's still so much media scattered around the world that might rot away before it can be preserved. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is launching an initiative to sa...

Steam Autumn Sale cuts prices on 'Shadow of War' and 'Evil Within 2'

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:41:00 -0500

(image) It's time for Steam's annual Autumn Sale -- and as is often the case, there are deals on major games you might have missed earlier in the year. Most notably, the promo (which runs until November 28th) cuts the price of the relatively fresh Middle-ea...

Amazon's party-ready Echo Buttons are available to pre-order

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:59:00 -0500

(image) The holidays are almost here, and that means you may end up playing a lot of party games with visiting friends and relatives. Amazon might spare you from having to break out yet another board game, though: it just put its Echo Button accessory up fo...

Tesla opens Model 3 order process to non-employees

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:08:00 -0500

(image) Tesla's Model 3 has technically been on the market since July, but only to employees, their family members or people who are tight with the EV maker. Your pre-order hasn't been very useful if you're one of the hundreds of thousands of regular would-b...

‘CoD: WWII’ Thanksgiving double XP event started early

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:49:00 -0500

(image) It's that time of the year when those of us in the US start thinking about what we're thankful for, and game developers are no exception. Starting today (one day early) at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET), Call of Duty: WWII gamers will receive Double XP for all M...

The Mars InSight lander is on track to launch in May

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:19:00 -0500

(image) The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander has passed its last major environmental test ahead of a planned May 2018 launch to Mars. The thermal vacuum testing, or TVAC, lasted two weeks and simu...

This is what transparency looks like without net neutrality

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:44:00 -0500

(image) The Federal Communications Commission's proposal to dismantle net neutrality deletes the past two years of regulatory progress and essentially thrusts the internet back into the mid-1990s. Under chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC plans to remove the current...

YouTube goes after child-exploiting channels and videos

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:15:00 -0500

(image) There's been a growing trend of content on YouTube that pretends to be kid-friendly, but is anything but. There have also been reports of content creators with incredibly questionable content that some feel borders on child abuse, as reported by Buzz...

Samsung may offer a peek at the Galaxy S9 at CES in January

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:35:00 -0500

(image) You might not have to wait until Samsung's customary spring event to get a look at the next flagship Galaxy phones. A source talking to well-connected leak writer Evan Blass claims that Samsung will preview both the Galaxy S9 and the upsized Galaxy...

Algae-based nanobots could diagnose you from the inside

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:11:00 -0500

(image) Nanobots promise a breakthrough in medicine by letting doctors study and treat you without invasive surgery or relatively ineffective drugs. But they face a couple of key problems: it's not easy to steer them to where they're needed, and getting rid...

Head to Verizon stores to protest the FCC's anti-net neutrality plans

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:45:00 -0500

(image) It's highly unlikely that the FCC's latest plan to gut net neutrality won't go through, thanks to chairman Ajit Pai's record of consumer-unfriendly viewpoints and a Republican majority on the Federal Communications Commission. Still, advocacy groups...

Kids judge R2-D2 droids built by Facebook, Google and Fitbit

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:30:00 -0500

(image) Last Wednesday, a group of 24 children from the ages of 7 to 12 gathered at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco. They laughed and chattered with excitement, had their pictures taken next to the Yoda fountain and squealed at the sight of R2-D2. Th...