Technology

milky way
New data from researchers at Durham University in the UK and Harvard in the US suggests ancient galaxies could be in our own backyard. The post Some of the Oldest Galaxies in the Universe Orbit the Milky Way appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
ET Jackbox
Anyone looking for party games will most definitely enjoy this week's Humble Bundle from Jackbox Games. For as little as a dollar, you can enjoy a selection of games focused on multiplayer creativity, humor, and trivia. All the better, some of your money will go to charity. The post ET Deals: Entertain Your Friends with Humble Jackbox Party Bundle appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Huawei-Mate20-Feature
Huawei is claiming it'll bring the first 7nm handset to market, with significant performance uplift. The post Huawei Claims Kirin 980 Will Be First 7nm SoC, Power Mate 20 Family appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
587182-oneplus-6
The appearance of the OnePlus 6T in carrier stores would mark the first time the Chinese startup has inked a deal with a carrier in the US, which could get its phones in the hands of many more consumers. The post T-Mobile to Sell the OnePlus 6T in the US This Fall appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Android P
It's mostly Google devices that have the update so far, but OEMs are being surprisingly forthcoming with update plans this time around. The post These Are the Phones That Will Get Android 9 Pie appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
NAND flash
NAND prices could be poised to crater over the next twelve months, slashing the cost of new SSDs. The post Flash Memory Prices Could Be Headed for Collapse appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Android money
We're shocked. Shocked. The post Google Confirms It Still Tracks Users Who Disable Location Tracking appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
8th Gen Intel Core S-series Die
Intel will reportedly switch from thermal paste to solder in at least some of its upcoming processors. The move should help keep the CPUs cool and could help enthusiasts hit new overclocking records. The post Report Claims Intel Core i9-9900K Will Finally Use Solder appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
445873-nintendo-switch
The Switch has a hidden VR mode that seems to functionally work, but will Nintendo ever use it? The post The Nintendo Switch Has a Hidden VR Mode appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
After a leaked announcement yesterday, Blizzard has now confirmed that Diablo III is coming to the Switch. The post Diablo III Launches on Nintendo Switch This Fall With Exclusive Content appeared first on ExtremeTech. [...]
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, Continue reading at the source

The action you take within the next 48 hours could change your life. That's how much time you have left to apply to TechCrunch Startup Battlefield, our world-renowned pitch competition, which takes place at Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30. The application deadline expires on August 20th at 9 p.m. PST. Don't waste another minute — apply right here, right now. TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. Some of today's biggest names in tech launched their early-stage startup in our premier pitch competition. Companies like Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, TripIt and more. Since 2007, more than 750 companies have competed (and now form our alumni community), collectively raised $8 billion in funding and generated 102 exits. Not. Too. Shabby. This is your opportunity to join that august alumni group — can you just imagine the networking possibilities? But hold on, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here's what you need to know about applying and competing. TechCrunch editors, who clearly have a sharp eye for choosing successful startups, scrutinize every application. They'll pick the founders of roughly 15 early-stage startups to go head-to-head in the Startup Battlefield competition. This is a highly competitive vetting process, and our acceptance rate typically hovers around three percent. The founders of each team receive free pitch coaching (from our expert editors), and they'll be rehearsed and ready to step onto the TechCrunch Main Stage in front of a live crowd numbering in the thousands. Not to make you sweat, but that audience is filled with investors, the very people who can make your dreams come true. Teams have just six minutes to present a live demo to a distinguished panel of investors and entrepreneurs. Following each pitch, the judges get six minutes to put each team through their paces by asking a series of tough questions. Next comes round two, and only five teams will make the cut to pitch again — to a fresh set of judges — and endure another round of probing questions. Remember that live audience? It's also filled with media outlets looking to write up the next big thing. Plus, we live-stream the entire Startup Battlefield competition to a global audience on TechCrunch.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (and make it available later, on-demand). It's awesome exposure — for all participating teams — that travels across Europe and around the world. Of course, the winners do get a bit more reward — namely the [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
If you're a certain age, it's likely that you've never given a second thought to buying a municipal bond or the process of bond buying, even if you've intuited, rightly, that's it's an intentionally opaque business. Yet there could be a big opportunity for startups, and for people looking for places to invest, and for cities with crumbling infrastructures, in disrupting the status quo — if only everyone starts playing closer attention. First, there's a strong case for buying bonds. Earlier this year, the Trump administration capped at $10,000 the amount that taxpayers can deduct in property tax and local and state income tax. Most people with hefty tax bills are benefiting in other ways from that same new tax bill, but this aspect of it isn't so great for them, and municipal bonds can help. The reason: interest income paid on muni bonds is exempt from federal tax. (Bonds issued within one's state can also be free of state tax.) What about people without hefty tax bills? For one thing, bonds are a very safe investment. They're not sexy, it's true ( they typically deliver interest in the single digits), but they also feature low default rates. Whether debts from states, cities, or counties, they're typically government guaranteed and paid back in full at the end of their term. In fact, muni bond default rates have been as low as below .03 percent over the last decade. What's also compelling — perhaps even more so — is that bonds can give residents an opportunity to help out the community where they live. For example, Oakland, Ca. voters in 2016 overwhelmingly approved a $600 million bond to fix old city streets and build affordable housing. You might be wondering at this point where the new opportunity lies and what role tech can play. Let's start with the moolah, which there happens to be a lot of sloshing around the municipal bond market. Last year, Morningstar Direct reported $34 billion in net inflows to municipal bond funds and exchange-traded funds, and there's a lot of action happening outside these kinds of products, which package up a bunch of bonds to create a diversified portfolio for investors. Like any financial services disruptor, the idea here is to offer what the big financial institutions are offering but to do it at less cost. There's also room to create many more bonds than are currently available. As the New York [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It's been a while since I defragged — years, probably, because these days for a number of reasons computers don't really need to. But perhaps it is we who need to defrag. And what better way to defrag your brain after a long week than by watching the strangely satisfying defragmentation process taking place on a simulated DOS machine, complete with fan and HDD noise? That's what you can do with this Twitch stream, which has defrag.exe running 24/7 for your enjoyment. I didn't realize how much I missed the sights and sounds of this particular process. I've always found ASCII visuals soothing, and there was something satisfying about watching all those little blocks get moved around to form a uniform whole. What were they doing down there on the lower right hand side of the hard drive anyway? That's what I'd like to know. Afterwards I'd launch a state of the art game like Quake 2 just to convince myself it was loading faster. There's also that nice purring noise that a hard drive would make (and which is recreated here). At least, I thought of it as purring. For the drive, it's probably like being waterboarded. But I did always enjoy having the program running while keeping everything else quiet, perhaps as I was going to bed, so I could listen to its little clicks and whirrs. Sometimes it would hit a particularly snarled sector and really go to town, grinding like crazy. That's how you knew it was working. The typo is, no doubt, deliberate. The whole thing is simulated, of course. There isn't really just an endless pile of hard drives waiting to be defragged on decades-old hardware for our enjoyment (except in my box of old computer things). But the simulation is wonderfully complete, although if you think about it you probably never used DOS on a 16:9 monitor, and probably not at 1080p. It's okay. We can sacrifice authenticity so we don't have to windowbox it. The defragging will never stop at TwitchDefrags, and that's comforting to me. It means I don't have to build a 98SE rig and spend forever copying things around so I have a nicely fragmented volume. Honestly they should include this sound on those little white noise machines. For me this is definitely better than whale noises. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
According to a report by the American Cancer Society, an estimated 266,120 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year and (according to a 2016 estimate) can expect to pay between $60,000 and $134,000 on average for treatment and care. But, after hundreds of thousands of dollars and non-quantifiable emotional stress for them and their families, the American Cancer Society still estimates 40,920 women will lose their battle to the disease this year. Worldwide, roughly 1.7 million women will be diagnosed with the disease yearly, according to a 2012 estimate by The World Cancer Research Fund International. While these numbers are stark, they do little to fully capture just how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis is for women and their loved ones. This is a feeling that Higia Technologies‘ co-founder and CEO Julián Ríos Cantú is unfortunately very familiar with. “My mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor,” Cantú told TechCrunch. “The first time she was diagnosed I was eight years old.” Cantú says that his mother's second diagnosis was originally missed through standard screenings because her high breast density obscured the tumors from the X-ray. As a result, she lost both of her breasts, but has since fully recovered. “At that moment I realized that if that was the case for a woman with private insurance and a prevention mindset, then for most women in developing countries, like Mexico where we're from, the outcome could've not been a mastectomy but death,” said Cantú. Following his mother's experience, Cantú resolved to develop a way to improve the value of women's lives and support them in identifying breast abnormalities and cancers early in order to ensure the highest likelihood of survival. To do this, at the age of 18 Cantú designed EVA — a bio-sensing bra insert that uses thermal sensing and artificial intelligence to identify abnormal temperatures in the breast that can correlate to tumor growth. Cantú says that EVA is not only an easy tool for self-screening but also fills in gaps in current screening technology. Today, women have fairly limited options when it comes to breast cancer screening. They can opt for a breast ultrasound (which has lower specificity than other options), or a breast MRI (which has higher associated costs), but the standard option is a yearly or bi-yearly mammogram for women 45 and older. This method requires a visit to a doctor, manual manipulation of the breasts by [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Over the last five days, Tesla shareholders watched the value of their stock decline by roughly 16 percent and saw nearly $8 billion in value erased, as the company's celebrity chief executive, Elon Musk, had what amounts to a very public breakdown. However, Musk is not the only person responsible for the collapse of Tesla's stock price. As The New York Times article which precipitated the latest slide in Tesla's value on the public markets makes clear, the company's board is also to blame. For months, Musk has been showing signs of strain (generously speaking), and has been accused of making questionable decisions to drive growth and stifle criticism or dissent at the revolutionary electric vehicle company he founded. During that time, as Shira Ovide notes in her piece from Bloomberg, Tesla's board (primarily composed of Musk's friends, relatives and initial investors) took no public steps to control or manage the situation. Some Tesla board members are reportedly concerned about Elon Musk's workload and his use of Ambien. If so, here's a solution for directors: Do your jobs. https://t.co/fQaENm9tS7 — Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) August 17, 2018 Privately and on background the board (or certain members) expressed concern over Musk's recent behavior, drug use (both medicinal and recreational) and Twitter habits. Those concerns should have been aired at the board level and the company's directors should have exercised their ability to manage the mercurial Musk as his public actions became increasingly unmoored. Something could have happened after the disastrous earnings call with analysts. It could have happened around the time of the strange active shooter allegations that were made against a Tesla whistleblower. It could have happened after Musk called a diver involved in the rescue of trapped and starving children a “pedo.” At any of those moments the board could have stepped in and demanded that Musk face the consequences for actions that cost his company billions of dollars. They did not, and now Tesla's position is more precarious than ever. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Musk for his public statements around privatization plans for Tesla that may or may not have been real. It's another distraction for the company's chief executive at a time when he is already under tremendous pressure to meet production targets for the company's troubled Model 3 rollout (even as it begins to hit its targets). Tesla hits Model 3 production goal The problem is that Musk's cult of personality is so intertwined with [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Most mornings, after sifting through the night's mail haul and skimming the headlines, I make myself a cup of coffee. I use a simple pour-over cone and paper filters, and (in what is perhaps my most tedious Seattleite affectation), I grind the beans by hand. I like the manual aspect of it all. Which is why this robotic pour-over machine is to me so perverse… and so tempting. Called the Automatica, this gadget, currently raising funds on Kickstarter but seemingly complete as far as development and testing, is basically a way to do pour-over coffee without holding the kettle yourself. You fill the kettle and place your mug and cone on the stand in front of it. The water is brought to a boil and the kettle tips automatically. Then the whole mug-and-cone portion spins slowly, distributing the water around the grounds, stopping after 11 ounces has been distributed over the correct duration. You can use whatever cone and mug you want as long as they're about the right size. Of course, the whole point of pour-over coffee is that it's simple: you can do it at home, while on vacation, while hiking, or indeed at a coffee shop with a bare minimum of apparatus. All you need is the coffee beans, the cone, a paper filter — although some cones omit even that — and of course a receptacle for the product. (It's not the simplest — that'd be Turkish, but that's coffee for werewolves.) Why should anyone want to disturb this simplicity? Well, the same reason we have the other 20 methods for making coffee: convenience. And in truth, pour-over is already automated in the form of drip machines. So the obvious next question is, why this dog and pony show of an open-air coffee bot? Aesthetics! Nothing wrong with that. What goes on in the obscure darkness of a drip machine? No one knows. But this – this you can watch, audit, understand. Even if the machinery is complex, the result is simple: hot water swirls gently through the grounds. And although it's fundamentally a bit absurd, it is a good-looking machine, with wood and brass accents and a tasteful kettle shape. (I do love a tasteful kettle.) The creators say the machine is built to last “generations,” a promise which must of course be taken with a grain of salt. Anything with electronics has the potential to short out, to develop a [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The Movado Group, which sells multiple brands including Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, has purchased MVMT, a small watch company founded by Jacob Kassan and Kramer LaPlante in 2013. The company, which advertised heavily on Facebook, logged $71 million in revenue in 2017. Movado purchased the company for $100 million. The acquisition of MVMT will provide us greater access to millennials and advances our Digital Center of Excellence initiative with the addition of a powerful brand managed by a successful team of highly creative, passionate and talented individuals,” Movado Chief Executive Efraim Grinberg said. MVMT makes simple watches for the Millennial market in the vein of Fossil or Daniel Wellington. However, the company carved out a niche by advertising heavily on social media and being one of the first microbrands with a solid online presence. “It provides an opportunity to Movado Group's portfolio as MVMT continues to cross-sell products within its existing portfolio, expand product offerings within its core categories of watches, sunglasses and accessories, and grow its presence in new markets through its direct-to-consumer and wholesale business,” said Grinberg. MVMT is well-known as a “fashion brand,” namely a brand that sells cheaper quartz watches that are sold on style vs. complexity or cost. Their pieces include standard three-handed models and newer quartz chronographs. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Brex -- personalized with Mutiny
Mutiny, which is part of the current batch of startups at accelerator Y Combinator, helps business-to-business, software-as-a-service companies present a message that's customized to each visitor on their website. Co-founder and CEO Jaleh Rezaei said this concept is alive and well in the analog world: When she was at VMware, sales reps were given materials to help them tailor their pitch for each prospective customer. Then, when she was one of the early employees at HR services startup Gusto, she tried to do something similar online, only to find that existing software wasn't quite up to the task. There are landing page optimization tools, but Rezaei asked, “Who wants to create a thousand versions of your website?” And there are A/B testing tools, but Rezaei argued that they're really designed to test “generic content” and use “very little audience intelligence.” And as for creating your own personalization tools, many companies will find that it requires “way too much engineering effort.” That's where Mutiny comes in. It integrates with existing data sources to allow businesses to divide their customers into segments. Then they can use Mutiny's graphical interface to create personalized elements of the webpage for each segment. For example, when you visit the homepage of Mutiny customer Amplitude, things like the customer testimonials and the call to action will change depending on the size of the company. Or when Brex customers click through from an email marketing campaign, they'll see a credit card offer tailored to their name and company. These kinds of changes might not seem all that significant, but Rezaei said that when someone visits a B2B website, they're probably interested in the product or service already. If they're not converting, it's probably because “they didn't find what they wanted right away.” Mutiny can help surface the right content or the right message for the right customer. The startup will also compare the personalized results to the generic webpage to help determine what does and doesn't improve the bottom line. Rezaei said some of Mutiny's early customers (who include Gusto, Infusionsoft and Brex) have seen conversion rates improve by 20 to 180 percent. “That's not to say that every test performs better, but the nice thing here is that you immediately see how something is performing,” she added. Eventually, Rezaei is hoping to expand Mutiny's technology so that it can personalize every aspect of the B2B purchase experience, including email and ad retargeting. “Our passion as a [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Twitter tried to downplay the impact deactivating its legacy APIs would have on its community and the third-party Twitter clients preferred by many power users by saying that “less than 1%” of Twitter developers were using these old APIs. Twitter is correct in its characterization of the size of this developer base, but it's overlooking millions of third-party app users in the process. According to data from Sensor Tower, six million App Store and Google Play users installed the top five third-party Twitter clients between January 2014 and July 2018. Over the past year, these top third-party apps were downloaded 500,000 times. This data is largely free of reinstalls, the firm also said. The top third-party Twitter apps users installed over the past three-and-a-half years have included: Twitterrific, Echofon, TweetCaster, Tweetbot and Ubersocial. Of course, some portion of those users may have since switched to Twitter's native app for iOS or Android, or they may run both a third-party app and Twitter's own app in parallel. Even if only some of these six million users remain, they represent a small, vocal and — in some cases, prominent — user base. It's one that is very upset right now, too. And for a company that just posted a loss of one million users during its last earnings, it seems odd that Twitter would not figure out a way to accommodate this crowd, or even bring them on board its new API platform to make money from them. Twitter, apparently, was weighing data and facts, not user sentiment and public perception, when it made this decision. But some things have more value than numbers on a spreadsheet. They are part of a company's history and culture. Of course, Twitter has every right to blow all that up and move on, but that doesn't make it the right decision. To be fair, Twitter is not lying when it says this is a small group. The third-party user base is tiny compared with Twitter's native app user base. During the same time that six million people were downloading third-party apps, the official Twitter app was installed a whopping 560 million times across iOS and Android. That puts the third-party apps' share of installs at about 1.1 percent of the total. That user base may have been shrinking over the years, too. During the past year, while the top third-party apps were installed half a million times, Twitter's app was installed 117 [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
As government regulation for commercial drone usage seems to be trending in a very positive direction for the companies involved, there is an ever-growing opportunity for drone startups to utilize artificial intelligence to deliver insights without requiring much human effort. Sterblue, a French drone software startup that is launching out of Y Combinator's latest class of companies, is aiming to get off-the-shelf drones inspecting large outdoor structures up close with automated insights that identify anomalies that need a second look. The startup's software is specifically focused on enabling drones to easily inspect large power lines or wind turbines with simple automated trajectories that can get a job done much quicker and with less room for human error. The software also allows the drones to get much closer to the large structures they are scanning so the scanned images are as high-quality as possible. Compared to navigating a tight urban environment, Sterblue has the benefit of there being very few airborne anomalies around these structures, so autonomously flying along certain flight paths is as easy as having a CAD structure available and enough wiggle room to correct for things like wind condition. Operators basically just have to connect their drones to the Sterblue cloud platform where they can upload photos and view 3D models of the structures they have scanned while letting the startup's neural net identify any issues that need further attention. All and all, Sterblue says their software can let drones get within three meters of power lines and wind turbines, which allows their AI systems to easily detect anomalies from the photos being taken. Sterblue says their system can detect defects as small as one millimeter in size. The startup was initially working on their own custom drone hardware but decided that their efforts were best spent supporting off-the-shelf devices from companies like DJI, with their software solution sitting on top. The founding team is composed of former Airbus employees that are focusing early efforts on utility companies, with some of the first customers based in Europe, Africa and Asia. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Google's data centers hold thousands of servers and they power everything from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube. But those data centers need to be kept cool in order for those servers to run reliably. A couple of years ago, Google began applying AI to its data center cooling systems and it offered system controllers recommendations about how to boost energy efficiency while maintaining optimal temperatures. Now, Google says its AI is running the show. When the company developed its AI-powered recommendation system, it said the thinking behind the move was simple. "Even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change," DeepMind said in a blog post today. After implementing the system, the company's data center operators reported that it was uncovering some improved techniques, but vetting and manually implementing they system's recommendations was requiring a fair amount of time and effort. That's when Google began to explore an automated system. Now, the AI system is implementing actions on its own, though human operators are always there to supervise and take over if need be. Every five minutes, the system takes a snapshot of the cooling system and that information is fed into DeepMind's neural networks. The AI then assesses which actions should be taken to maintain temperature but minimize energy consumption, and after those actions are run through a number of safety checks, they're implemented. Google says that the system has been in place for a few months and it's producing energy savings of around 30 percent. It's also continuing to find new techniques to satisfy energy saving goals. The company adds that data centers might not be the only places that could benefit from such a system. "In the long term, we think there's potential to apply this technology in other industrial settings, and help tackle climate change on an even grander scale," it said. Source: DeepMind [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Valve seems to have unveiled a Twitch competitor with nary a peep of fanfare. A few hours after Steam Database founder Pavel Djundik discovered that the company registered the domain steam.tv, the website started live streaming The International 2018, Valve's Dota 2 esports tournament. The stream is no longer available, but CNET was able to try it out before it went offline. Based on what the publication saw, its features are still quite limited: it was able to stream the tournament, but it had no option to broadcast your own gameplay. https://t.co/wMnLOaiL9Z 🤔 (yes, it's real) — Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) August 17, 2018 While you don't need to log into your Steam account to watch, you'll be able to access your Steam Chat friends list and group chats if you do -- you'll even be able to invite friends to watch with you. CNET has also discovered that it has built-in voice chat you can use in-browser. [Image credit: CNET] Considering the website is now offline, Valve was probably just testing it out. We'll likely see more features in the future after the company officially launches it. We've reached out to Valve to ask what it plans to do with the domain and the platform, and we'll let you know when we hear back. Source: Kotaku, CNET, Steam TV, VentureBeat [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Google's big Gmail redesign was revealed this past April (with G Suite customers getting the first look). It became default for everyone starting in July. One of the key features, Confidential Mode, is now available for mobile devices, though not everyone is as confident in its ability to keep your data private. Confidential mode is now available on mobile devices and can help you protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. Learn more about this feature https://t.co/lmQNElH6C1 pic.twitter.com/Nxtx2yU0pG — Gmail (@gmail) August 16, 2018 Once you've turned on confidential mode for a specific email, you can set an expiration date and passcode so that you can restrict access to the email either in the web interface or via SMS. Recipients of these confidential emails won't be able to copy, paste, download, print or forward the message, and attachments will be disabled. That doesn't stop anyone from taking a screenshot of your message, however. As Google notes, "Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing your email, it doesn't prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments. This feature isn't available for G Suite customers at this time." The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) digital privacy advocacy group thinks that this new mode isn't secure at all, and might even lend users a false sense of security. Confidential mode is not encrypted end-to-end, so Google could in fact read your messages in transit. In addition, the EFF points out that expiring messages do not, in fact, disappear from your Sent mail, which means they are retrievable. Also, if you use an SMS passcode, you might need to give Google your recipient's phone number (if the company doesn't already have it). That means that Google now has another bit of personal data — an email connected to a phone number. Via: CNET Source: Google/Twitter [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
If you're looking for a new supernatural television series, you're in luck (if you don't mind waiting a while). Fox 21 Television Studios will produce a new show based on the video game Vampyr by the developer of Life is Strange, Dontnod. The title came out for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on June 5th. The RPG game explores 1918 London through a dual lens. The male protagonist is a doctor who believes in science, but also a supernatural being who must feed on the living to survive. Most combat can be avoided in Vampyr, and you don't have to kill innocents to finish the game. The title won a Best of E3 award in 2017, and reached the number one spot on the Steam charts. The deep, dark world of Vampyr could make for some compelling entertainment. "We believe it is a fantastic premise for a television show, said Dontnd CEO Oskar Guilbert in a statement. "This is a new and exciting way for fans of the game, as well as the uninitiated, to enter and engage with Vampyr's rich, deep story." [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It's rather important to secure cloud-based AI systems, especially when they they use sensitive data like photos or medical records. To date, though, that hasn't been very practical -- encrypting the data can render machine learning systems so slow as to be virtually unusable. MIT thankfully has a solution in the form of GAZELLE, a technology that promises to encrypt convolutional neural networks without a dramatic slowdown. The key was to meld two existing techniques in a way that avoids the usual bottlenecks those methods create. To start, users uploading data to the AI rely on a "garbled circuits" approach that takes their input and sends two distinct inputs to each side of the conversation, hiding data for both the user and the neural network while making the relevant output accessible. That approach would normally be too intensive if it was used for the entire system, though, so MIT uses homomorphic encryption (which both takes and produces encrypted data) for the more demanding computation layers before sending it back to the user. The homomorphic method has to introduce noise in order to work, though, so it's limited to crunching one layer at a time before transmitting info. In short: MIT is splitting the workload based on what each side does best. The result leads to performance up to 30 times speedier than what you'd get from conventional methods, and promises to shrink the needed network bandwidth by "an order of magnitude," according to MIT. That could lead to more uses of internet-based neural networks for handling vital info, rather than forcing companies and institutions to either build expensive local equivalents or forget AI-based systems altogether. Hospitals could teach AI to spot medical issues in MRI scans, for example, and share that technology with others without exposing patient data. Source: MIT News [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Star Wars' latest animated series, Rebels, ended its four-season run this spring -- but fans didn't have to wait long to get a tease of details for the next show. While the last was set between the prequels and original trilogy, Star Wars Resistance explores what happened before The Force Awakens as General Leia Organa rallies her rebels to oppose The First Order. We knew it would have an "anime-inspired look," but today, the first trailer dropped, showing off a rad cel-shaded look and fun, kid-friendly adventure. Take to the skies with #StarWarsResistance. Premiering Sunday, October 7 at 10pm ET/PT on @DisneyChannel. pic.twitter.com/h0mTL4Vcl7 — Disney (@Disney) August 17, 2018 Resistance follows new recruit Kazuda Xiono as he joins Leia's growing forces alongside a squad of ace pilots -- including Poe Dameron, voiced by Oscar Isaac (Gwendoline Christie is also slated to appear as Captain Phasma). The series has plenty of DNA from previous Star Wars animated shows, with Lucasfilm Animation lead Dave Filoni (who supervised and produced The Clone Wars and Rebels) and other veterans executive producing Resistance. It looks to be a breezy adventure show, with more high-flying action: "The idea for Star Wars Resistance came out of my interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots. My grandfather was a pilot and my uncle flew and restored planes, so that's been a big influence on me," Filoni said, per iO9. "There's a long history of high-speed racing in Star Wars, and I think we've captured that sense of excitement in an anime-inspired style, which is something the entire team has been wanting to do for a long time." Resistance debuts on October 7th on the Disney Channel at 10PM EST before coming to Disney XD sometime later. Via: io9 Source: Star Wars Resistance trailer (YouTube) [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
With Alexa's latest skill, users can now ask the digital assistant to show them recorded security camera footage on their Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV or Fire tablet. Currently, the skill is supported by Alexa-enabled cameras from Ring, Arlo, Cloud Cam and August and all you have to do is say, "Alexa, show the event that just happened at the front door," for example. You'll then be able to view the last recorded event from that particular camera. Amazon had already introduced the ability to see live security camera feeds on its devices, but pulling up recorded video wasn't an option. While that's now possible with certain cameras, users still won't be able to request a video from a certain date or time. Amazon says the new capability is available now in the US and should expand to other countries soon. Via: CNET Source: Amazon [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Google may soon release a Chromecast with full Bluetooth support and sturdier WiFi connectivity, an FCC filing indicates. It seems likely the dongle will have the same design as the current version, with Google only making internal changes. The addition of Bluetooth support was somewhat expected, as Google told the FCC earlier this year that it planned such an update, Variety notes. The current version of Chromecast does include a Bluetooth chip, which is used during the setup process, but future iterations of the device may offer full support for the standard and open up the streaming dongle to more flexible connectivity with other devices. Meanwhile, Google is altering an antenna to bolster 5GHz WiFi connections. We could see the next version of Chromecast arrive at Google's usual fall product event, where it seems likely the company will unveil the Pixel 3 and possibly a smart display. Via: Variety Source: FCC [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The US government wants Facebook to help break Messenger's encryption to get access to a suspect's voice conversations in a criminal case, sources told Reuters. The case, an investigation of the MS-13 gang, is under seal so filings aren't publicly available. But the sources stated that Facebook has contested the DOJ's demand, and may be held in contempt of court for refusing. This is in keeping with the tech industry's consistent resistance to government requests for access to encrypted data. Apple has been subject to many of these in the last few years, and its CEO Tim Cook has criticized Facebook for its lax privacy standards. Nevertheless, the social network finally introduced optional end-to-end encryption for Messenger conversations in October 2016, and that seems to be what the DOJ wants Facebook's help breaking in to. The DOJ has been pushing harder for tech giants to grant access to their consumer devices, but it's just as happy to ask companies running messenger apps for the same. While governments around the world have frequently demanded Facebook's help breaking in to WhatsApp in the past, now that Messenger is encrypted, it may get more of those requests -- assuming users remember to turn on encryption before starting a conversation they want to keep private. Source: Reuters [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
By Greg Rasa You look like a circus bear." That's the kind of snarky assessment only one's own teenager can deliver, but it summed up my last time on an electric "mobility device," commuting to work on Autoblog's Urb-E scooter: Big guy, tiny vehicle, cue the circus music. Now, after loading a more-substantial Mylo electric scooter into my car for a week of testing, I've gotten stuck in traffic on the surface streets of Seattle, where things are backed up on a sunny summer Saturday because, hey, why should Saturday be different than every other day? Going nowhere fast, it's hard to resist the urge to unfold the Mylo, abandon the car where it sits, and make my escape from the circus we call modern life. The frustration with urban traffic, or rather the need for alternatives, is one reason why a wave of battery-electric conveyances are already on the market or headed our way, from the Bird and Lime scooters that are cluttering the streets of Southern California, to dozens of models of electric bicycles, to Vespas, right on up to electric Harleys. Mylo first caught our eye a couple of months ago when its maker, PIM Bicycles in Seattle, was running an Indiegogo campaign. And it's eye-catching because of its unusual design, with two wheels in front, one in back. Though let's make this clear at the outset: Three wheels do not a trike make. The configuration does not eliminate the need to balance Mylo like a bicycle — the front wheels are just too close-set. PIM brand manager Justin Hopkins says a lot of potential buyers, perhaps people who are older or disabled, have inquired about Mylo because they have trouble balancing a two-wheeler. Hopkins wants to be clear that's one problem Mylo can't solve. Instead, the strength of the three-wheel design comes, not when you're riding Mylo, but when you've gotten off it. First, flick a switch that locks the front fork, and the two wheels up front eliminate the need for a kickstand. Then pull a small release lever behind the seat, and in one second, Mylo folds like a piece of origami. The 14-inch front and rear wheels nestle together. The seat tucks between the handlebars, and the whole folded affair stands on its own, stable and upright. And with a gentle push, you can wheel it away. When folded, Mylo could fit just about anywhere, at [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

On Thursday afternoon, a critical meeting at Google was derailed by a handful of tweets. Employees who had been pressing top executives for answers about the company's plans to build a censored search engine and news app for the Chinese market appeared to have finally gotten their wish. Google cofounder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai had taken the stage to address employees' concerns. “We'll definitely be transparent as we get closer to actually having a plan of record,” Pichai said, according to a report from The Intercept's Ryan Gallagher. Then employees noticed that executives' words were being transcribed in real time by the New York Times' Kate Conger, who had a source inside. Upon which an unidentified employee at the meeting... Continue reading… [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It's been a hell of a week for Tesla CEO Elon Musk: federal investigations, allegations of drug trafficking, and a tearful interview with the biggest newspaper in the world. So why not cap the week with an interview with popular You Tuber and avowed Tesla fan (and Model S owner) Marques Brownlee to talk Model 3 production, technology, science, and basically everything not having to do with this off-the-rails news cycle. The interview, which MKBHD promoted as “the most important video probably ever on my channel,” took place August 15th, a week after Musk's fateful “funding secured” tweet about taking Tesla private. But that tweet, which has since spawned a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, never comes up in the course of... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Valve has created its own Twitch competitor, and it's launching it today just in time for The International tournament. Steam.tv is Valve's new streaming site, and it's currently dedicated to the company's Dota 2 game. Valve's launch of Steam TV comes just as The International, an annual Dota 2 e-sports tournament, is about to begin on August 20th. The International is the biggest e-sports tournament in the world, thanks to its massive prize fund of over $24 million. It makes it an ideal time for Valve to launch its own streaming service. Steam TV is rather basic right now though. It's limited to Dota 2, and signing in with a Steam account only gives you access to a friends list and group chats. CNET notes that you can watch a stream... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It looks like Lexar is back on its feet. Back in 2017, the staple company in the world of digital storage threw in the towel and announced that it'd be ceasing retail operations that year. But according to an announcement spotted by CameraJabber earlier this week, the company is back in business, and will be ready to return to producing and globally shipping flash storage as of this fall. “I'm extremely excited to re-introduce the Lexar brand to our worldwide customers,” Lexar CEO Huabo Cai said in a statement. “Lexar is dynamic, has superior research and development capabilities, and has a deep understanding of our customer's needs. At the same time, we are confident that we can expand the Lexar business successfully in different... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The US Department of Justice is reportedly trying to have Facebook break the end-to-end encryption of its popular Messenger chat app so that the government can spy on a suspect's “ongoing voice conversations” in a criminal investigation related to the notorious MS-13 gang. Facebook has so far pushed back against the DoJ's request, according to a new Reuters scoop on the situation. End-to-end encryption makes it so that only the participants of a conversation can see the messages and content that it contains. Facebook does not have access to the data. Reuters says that the surveillance case is under seal in California, so no documents or information about it are publicly accessible. And it seems like tensions are rising fast: earlier... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
If you believe the headlines that have been circulating over the past few weeks, staring at screens is ruining our eyes. “Blue light from phones, tablets could accelerate blindness and hurt vision, study finds,” USA Today declared. Only, that particular study didn't actually test the blue light that comes out of screens — and it didn't look at the light's effects on actual eyeballs. We've been through this before: there is some evidence that blue light can disrupt your sleep schedule. And some research suggests blue light might damage rat retinas. But that doesn't mean that the blue light from screens does the same thing to people — and ophthalmologist Rebecca Taylor told The Verge earlier this year that “the devices that we use do not... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Bloomberg reports today that Amazon is reportedly working on a new device that'll record live TV with the goal of letting users play content back on their phones later. The device, which is internally called “Frank,” would have physical storage and connect to Fire TV boxes. It'd rely on the same wireless technology that allows Amazon's Echo speakers to pair with those boxes. Bloomberg's source says the product isn't official yet and might not roll out. Additionally, the company reportedly plans to update its Fire TV stick with new software and is also exploring the possibility of expanding its Fire TV software and video content to outside TV makers, beyond its current manufacturing partners. This would be similar to Roku's efforts that... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Netflix's latest test feature is a video promo that plays in between episodes of a series you're watching. The test is only appearing for select users globally and it's a full-screen video of content Netflix's algorithms are recommending to a viewer, as spotted by TechCrunch. Users who have spotted the test feature have taken to (since deleted) Reddit and Twitter to voice their annoyance at having their show-binging interrupted by an ad for other shows. A bug appeared for some users where they were unable to skip the promo and had to watch a certain amount — like with ads on YouTube — before they were able to get to the next episode of their show. Netflix told The Verge that the video promos are supposed to be skippable and that the... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
We're seeing a lot more households that choose to stream their favorite shows instead of watching them on cable. According to newly released analytics from the media pros at Comscore, that number has spiked by 58 percent in the past year. The total number — 4.9 million — is a whole 5 percent of US households that choose to stream over Wi-Fi-based services, without the bells and whistles of traditional paid TV. Comscore specifically looked at “pure play” systems: streamers that don't offer their own original shows the same way that other services, like Netflix , Hulu, and Amazon Prime do. Right now, these pure players include Sling, along with DirectTV Now, Playstation Vue, YouTube TV, and others. A full 10 percent of streaming time... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Waluigi might not be in the upcoming Super Smash Brothers game, but he's still in the hearts of gamers across the internet who like their anti-heroes tall, dark, and pointily mustachioed. One of these fans, who simply goes by “Asher,” has gone so far as to pen a dark, Lynchian reboot starring none other than that other purple prince, Waluigi. The plot — if you can call it that — involves shadowy figures, a closeted romance between Waluigi and Wario, and hundreds of empty wallets. Other characters from across the Mario universe make their own cameos across the script's nearly 90 pages of insanity. We were originally tipped off about the script by a friend of The Verge, who saw this mysterious poster stuck to a local mailbox. Scanning... Continue reading… [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

No, this isn't a flux capacitor. It's Maingear's F131, an amazingly engineered PC packed with a custom APEX liquid-cooling block. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The Land Rover Discovery has some serious off-road chops, but not at the expense of on-road suburban street civility. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The Note 9 is a terrific phone, but Samsung is clearly holding back for 2019. [...]
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Could this be the 21st-century clock radio you were looking for? [...]
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, Continue reading at the source

PK's grill-and-smoker combo is solidly constructed and has excellent temperature control. [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Sometimes the big guys, with their massive storms and fun-for-kids-to-draw rings, get all the attention. [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The absolute best Android and iOS phones you can buy for under $550. [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The CEO's increasingly erratic behavior is putting Tesla at risk. And there's blame to go around. [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A neurological “functional fingerprint” allows scientists to explore the influence of genetics, environment and aging on brain connectivity. [...]
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
When Trump strips a former CIA director's security clearance, the impact is more than just symbolic. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Elon Musk's public and sometimes-controversial tweets have triggered a cascade of events in recent weeks. We discuss on the Gadget Lab podcast. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Whether you're hunting for Monster Hunter or looking to play Star Wars: Battlefront II, these are the PlayStations to buy. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Concerned social scientists turned their analytical skills onto one of their most widely used research tools this week: Amazon's Mechanical Turk. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The notch. The biometrics. The animoji. Apple's flagship smartphone is the one everyone's trying to copy this year. [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Poor TiVo. The pioneer of live TV recording was just minding its own business, muddling along in a world it doesn't recognize when news broke that Amazon is looking to start a fight. That's all it takes to send investors fleeing. But why does reportedly Amazon want in on this antiquated market?... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The U.S. government is demanding for Facebook to “wiretap” its Messenger app so agents can hear a suspect's spoken conversation, as a part of an investigation into the MS-13 gang, according a report from Reuters.... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
“Our sex lives are about to get very interesting!” Maxine Lynn, an intellectual property attorney in the sex-tech space, tells me. The reason for her enthusiasm? A patent—or, rather, the absence of a patent, one that many say has stifled innovation in the sex toy industry for two decades.... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The Spotify logo is tilted. It took me entirely too long to know this for sure.... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Up to this point, Nintendo Switch console bundle savings haven't really been a thing. Right now though, Walmart's taking preorders for ... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
OnePlus is well known among smartphone and tech enthusiasts, but more than four years after ... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Nearly all of Mars has been under the assault of a planet-wide dust storm since June. The nerve-wracking question: Is the Opportunity rover okay?... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The mere fact that we live in a universe boggles my mind every once in a while. But thankfully, our cosmic home is a place that follows rules; the laws of physics seem to agree everywhere, and galaxies are uniformly distributed throughout. Except for in this 300-million-light-year-long region, which seems to be…... [...]
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source