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Showing posts from February 20, 2018

AT&T announces Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco as first three 5G cities for 2018

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Following AT&T’s pledge last month to build out a true 5G network by the end of the year, the telecom has announced its first three of 12 locations that will get standards-based, mobile 5G by the end of the year. The company says two Texas cities, Dallas and Waco, are on the list, as well as Atlanta, Georgia. An AT&T spokesperson says additional cities will be “announced in the coming months, rounding out the dozen we have committed to hit this year.”AT&T originally announced its intentions to build a 5G network last year. But that technology was essentially a rebranding and deployment of existing LTE capabilities that AT&T cleverly called “5G Evolution,” which it seems was intended to confuse consumers into thinking its network had...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2EGiJtL"

Netflix: 'Stranger Things' directors aren't leaving the show

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We haven't heard much about the next season of Stranger Things, but a rumor on Moviefone.com indicated that its directors, Ross and Matt Duffer, will be less involved after season three wraps up. This evening, Netflix tweeted "Rumors that the Duffer Bros are leaving Stranger Things after season 3 are false," which doesn't exactly refute the report, but hopefully means our Eggos and walkie-talkies are safe. The reported cited a source claiming the two would step back to work on two other projects for Netflix, so this could just mean they're more spread around. Still, we'll be watching carefully to make sure the quality holds up.Don't drop your Eggos. Rumors that the Duffer Bros are leaving Stranger Things after season 3 are false. pic.twitter.com/x4kbL9990e — Netflix US (@netflix) February 20, 2018Source:Netflix (Twitter), MovieFone via Engadget RSS Feed "http://ift.tt/2FfpLGJ"

Cool, weird, and gross stuff we played with at Toy Fair 2018

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Gadgets Robots, coding toys, Marvel stuff, and an odd amount of poop-themed toys.Check out all the new playthings from this massive toy trade show. via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2EWi9ew"

Boston Dynamics' robots won't be held back by puny humans

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Are you looking for the exact moment when the robots decide to turn on their human creators? You might want to mark this day on your calendar. Boston Dynamics has posted video of a SpotMini test where it gauged the bot's ability to adjust to interference -- in this case, from a pesky human. The quadruped managed to open a door despite a human pushing its hand down with a hockey stick, pushing the door closed and even tugging on its 'tail.' It clearly struggled, but its ability to adapt and rebalance left it unfazed.This certainly isn't the first time Boston Dynamics has subjected its robots to abuse, and the company even goes out of its way to address the elephant in the room: no, the robot isn't hurt or irritated by that cruelty. It's not actually going to revolt, and the lessons learned here could be useful for search and rescue or other situations where a robot might have to endure all kinds of resistance. Still, it's hard not to sympathize at least a li…

Here are some of the ways experts think AI might screw with us in the next five years    

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When we talk about the dangers posed by artificial intelligence, the emphasis is usually on the unintended side effects. We worry that we might accidentally create a super-intelligent AI and forget to program it with a conscience; or that we’ll deploy criminal sentencing algorithms that have soaked up the racist biases of their training data.But this is just half the story.What about the people who actively want to use AI for immoral, criminal, or malicious purposes? Aren’t they more likely to cause trouble — and sooner? The answer is yes, according to more than two dozen experts from institutes including the Future of Humanity Institute, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, and the Elon Musk-backed non-profit OpenAI. Very...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2EGyzbM"

Samsung will let people hold the Galaxy S9 in augmented reality — and of course it leaked early

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By the time Samsung’s Unpacked event for the Galaxy S9 rolls around, there will be very little (if anything) left to the imagination. We know what it’ll look like, what the specs are, and even have a good idea of the release date. You’ll probably have to wait a couple weeks before you can feel the phone in your own hands, but according to XDA Developers, Samsung is going to let attendees at its Mobile World Congress presser visualize that part with the help of augmented reality.A capable Reddit user tore down the Unpacked 2018 mobile app and discovered that hidden in the software (for now) is a feature that will let those at the event see the S9 in AR by tapping their phone against their event badge. From there, they can switch between...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2BCPnOd"

Only a fool would dare interrupt Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini from opening a door

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It was only a mere week ago that the world got to see what Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog has been up to. Not only did it make a new friend, it also learned how to open doors for said friend. How sweet.A followup video posted today by the SoftBank-owned company, however, reveals a grave mistake by one of its creators. The video, titled “Testing Robustness,” shows a human attempting to get in the way of SpotMini’s door opening routine. He first halts the robot with a hockey stick, pushing its new arm attachment away from the door. When that didn’t work, he holds the door against the robot to prevent it from successfully pulling it open. SpotMini persists, which results in the man pulling the robot from behind and dragging it...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2ok36RG"

Prehistoric lizards could sprint on two legs

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Animals Fossilized footprints provide new insight on ancient lizard behaviorFossilized lizard footprints dating back to the Cretaceous indicate the little scaly beasts could get up and run on two legs. via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2EHpOtZ"

Flixster Video is shutting down for good today

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As of today, Flixster Video is officially gone. Fandango bought the site in 2016, and has been sending users regular emails over the past several months about the shutdown, as reported by Android Police. The website is no longer operational, and now only points people to its mobile app, which can still be used for getting movie reviews and tickets.Flixster first announced it was closing in 2016, after being acquired by Fandango along with subsidiary Rotten Tomatoes. That year, Fandango also bought video streaming service M-Go, later rebranding it under FandangoNow. Flixster Video, which let people access their UltraViolet movie collection, was not a part of that deal.The shutdown began with the service telling customers it would no...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2CzHt4K"

Android P will prevent apps from quietly hijacking your camera

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The threat of someone hijacking your phone's camera to spy on you unawares is sometimes overstated, but it's definitely a possibility. Enough so, in fact, that Google is determined to do something about it. Recently discovered code submissions show that Android P should prevent idle apps from using both the camera and microphone. If an inactive program tries to use the camera, Android should shut it off and give you an error message. With the microphone, it's somewhat different: it'll allow recording but report empty data until the app is active. Malware wouldn't get away with recording in the background, but legitimate apps like a voice chat client (which stays active) shouldn't have an issue.Google hasn't even announced Android P, so it could be a while before you hear about these measures in any formal capacity (provided they make the cut). However, its engineers aren't shy about the goal: this is designed to "protect user privacy." Creeps

Archos' electric scooter taps Android for directions

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It's not just bicycle makers hoping Android will improve your two-wheeled transportation. Archos has unveiled a Citee Connect electric scooter with a 5-inch Android computer in between the handlebars. The hardware won't rival your phone (it an uses unnamed quad-core chip, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage), but it does have 3G built-in for directions and other tasks that might be handy while you commute around town. There's also a dedicated mobile app that can control the scooter's built-in reel lock.As for the scooter itself? The 250W motor is enough for a 15.5-mile range and a 15.5MPH top speed. Neither is particularly mind-blowing, but they're enough for downtown travel. It'll take you 2 to 3 hours to charge between rides.The Citee Connect arrives in the summer for €500 ($617). Archos hasn't said whether or not its scooter will be available outside of Europe, but we wouldn't count on it. The company is relatively new to scooters (it entered the space in …

Robots that pick up and sort objects may improve warehouse efficiency

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Sorting and organizing may not always be the most difficult tasks, but they can certainly get tedious. And while they may seem like prime examples of something we might like robots to do for us, picking up, recognizing and sorting objects is actually a pretty difficult thing to teach a machine. But researchers at MIT and Princeton have developed a robot that can do just that and in the future, it could be used for things like warehouse sorting or cleaning up a disaster area.The team first trained the robot how to determine the best way to grip an object. They showed it bins of various items and then demonstrated which of four main grasping behaviors -- suction onto it vertically, suction onto it from the side, grip vertically and grip vertically while also using a flexible tool to coax objects away from a wall -- was the best option for a particular object. They did this over and over again, labeling which attempts were successes and which were not and eventually they plugged all of t…

Judge rejects AT&T request for White House records on Time Warner merger

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After the Department of Justice filed suit last November to block AT&T's intended $85 billion merger with Time Warner, the telecom giant wanted to find out how much the White House was involved. The company had good reason to wonder how much direction the DOJ may or may not have taken from the Trump Administration given how much the President had publicly opposed the merger during his 2016 campaign. But today, a federal judge denied AT&T's request for any communications records between the DOJ and the White House.AT&T might have wanted the records to see if there was evidence that President Trump discussed the proposed merger with government lawyers, according to a Reuters report. From there, the telecom may have argued that politics played a role in the DOJ's decision to block the merger.The DOJ sued to block the merger out of antitrust concerns. While AT&T planned to dodge regulatory scrutiny by selling off some of Time Warner's FCC licenses, and even…

Mattel and Tynker will use Barbie to teach kids to code

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A couple of years back, Mattel and Tynker partnered up to produce programming lessons based on Hot Wheels and Monster High. Now the two companies are expanding their partnership to launch seven new Barbie-themed coding lessons this coming summer. The curriculum, aimed at teaching girls about computer programming, will also expose them to them potential careers like becoming a veterinarian, astronaut or robotics engineer. The larger goal is to introduce coding to 10 million kids by 2020.The Barbie programming curriculum has been designed for beginners grades K and up. It puts learners in career roles alongside Barbie as it introduces concepts gradually. It's not all just Barbie, of course, with a few different initiatives coming in 2018, including a Mattel code-a-thon and teacher outreach program as well as involvement in the Hour of Code in December. "For close to 75 years, Mattel has taken a visionary approach to advancing play for kids around the world, most recently promot…

Microsoft Mixer lets viewers buy games straight from livestreams

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A few weeks ago, Microsoft outlined new plans for its Mixer streaming service, including Direct Purchases. The feature would enable viewers to buy whatever game (or DLC) they're watching direct from the company's store, which would then give streamers a cut of the revenue. Today, that goes live, making it easier for players to get content -- and ensure they're buying straight from Microsoft.Direct Purchases should indeed make it easier to acquire the content users are watching -- just click on the stream and a window will pop up to buy the matching game or DLC, no switching to a separate storefront necessary. Nor do you need to fiddle with codes or tokens; Once bought, content sits in a user's Windows 10 or Xbox library, waiting to be downloaded.Buying directly from a streamer gives them a 5 percent cut of the purchase price, which is a nice feedback loop for viewers to give back to their favorite channels. And it makes things easier on the broadcaster's end: Aside…

Samsung will reportedly cut OLED panel production due to lower-than-expected iPhone X sales

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Samsung is reportedly planning to cut OLED panel production, following Apple’s decision to start making fewer iPhone X phones, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Instead of supplying panels for 45 to 50 million iPhones, Samsung will now only make organic light-emitting diode panels for 20 million or fewer iPhones this quarter.The company hasn’t decided its April to June quarter production target, but Nikkei reports that “a further cutback may be in store,” without citing sources. Apple reportedly cutproduction of the iPhone X by half in response to supposed lower consumer demand.Nikkeireported last week that Samsung had extra production capacity and was scouring around for new customers besides Apple to manufacture its OLED...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2oeaoXR"

Dota 2 Update - February 20th, 2018

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* Fixed a bug where purchasing items with a dead courier selected would put the items onto the courier instead of into your stash
* Adjusted various old Windranger sets to fit the updated WindRunner model
* Adjusted how Bristleback's Quill Spray is hidden by the fog of war; each quill now checks fog of war individually, rather than using one check for the whole effect. via Steam RSS News Feed "http://ift.tt/2Grltvp"

'Santa Clarita Diet' returns to Netflix on March 23rd

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Netflix's show about managing suburban life with a zombie wife, Santa Clarita Diet, proved popular enough to secure a second season last spring. A year from that renewal, fans will finally get to watch when it arrives on March 23rd.We're fine! pic.twitter.com/MKKvaATZIC — Santa Clarita Diet (@SCDiet) February 20, 2018The second season sees husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and wife Sheila (Drew Barrymore) Hammond trying to keep things seeming normal while she slakes her zombie hunger on hapless neighbors. They're joined by rival couple Chris (Joel McHale, Community) and Christa (Maggie Lawson, Psych), along with retired army colonel Ed (Gerald McRaney, This Is Us) and an amateur zombie sleuth (Zachary Knighton, Happy Endings).Via:Entertainment WeeklySource:Santa Clarita Diet (Twitter) via Engadget RSS Feed "http://ift.tt/2Cb6R5t"

Judge rules AT&T can’t see Trump White House communications about the Time Warner merger

Athletes with asthma tend to do better at the Winter Olympics

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Health But it's not really clear where the advantage comes from.Up to one in four winter Olympians have asthma—and they actually tend to do better than competitors without the condition. via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2odOu7e"

ASUS' Windows Mixed Reality headset is now on sale for $429

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We liked what we saw of the ASUS' foray into Windows Mixed Reality hardware at IFA 2017, but we always figured it would likely be pricey. That's been proven true now as the HC102 headset and two controllers are finally on sale in the US for $429.While this might be the best mixed reality headset so far, it's a little late to the party, too. Both Samsung and Acer released their take on the tech last year. They're also both less expensive, with the former coming in near $300 and the latter for $400 with two controllers. HP has its own model, as well, which retails for $450.Via:The VergeSource:B&H Photo via Engadget RSS Feed "http://ift.tt/2Hx315N"

Facebook makes it easier to share detailed 3D objects

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Facebook has had the option to post 3D objects for a while, and now you'll have some better reasons to use it. The social site has introduced support for a standard 3D file format (gITF 2.0) that not only allows for richer objects with more realistic rendering like textures and lighting, but easier ways to share those objects. New developer hooks in Graph let any app share 3D content, including things you've created on your phone. Xperia XZ1 owners can capture an item in 3D Creator and send it directly to their Facebook feed, for instance. You can also share objects directly from libraries like Oculus Medium or (eventually) Google Poly.The company has also hinted at "higher quality" 3D models, animations and more augmented reality.Facebook isn't shy about why it's pushing these improvements. It has a vested interest in fostering as much VR-friendly material as it can, and that means encouraging people to share in 3D on a regular basis. The more you see in you…

Archos debuts the first Android-powered scooter

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French company Archos has made everything from tablets to drones, and now it’s adding another product to its roster: the world’s first Android-powered scooter. Named Citee Connect, the scooter has a multimedia dashboard that embeds all the functions of a phone in a housing that protects against shocks and bad weather.Citee Connect’s screen is a 5-inch display that sits between the handlebars. It’s powered by a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash memory, runs Android Oreo, and has 3G support. Archos doesn’t explicitly say what the screen can be used for, but it does show it running Google Maps, so there’s that. Like other Archos scooters, there’s the option to download a companion app, which can remotely control a reel lock...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2BHWGEq"

Jessica Jones confronts her anger in new season two trailer

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The long-awaited second season of Jessica Jones will finally debut next month and today Netflix gave us another look at what we can expect from it. In the first trailer, released earlier this month, we saw Jones grappling with her past and trying to get some answers to the many questions she has about her powers and the car crash that killed her entire family. In the second trailer we see how her anger affects, and often complicates, the life she has now.The trailer opens with Jones in an anger management session, throwing a ball at a wall with increasing force as she runs down all of the reasons she has to be angry -- the death of her family, being experimented on, and the abduction, rape and mind control perpetrated against her by Kilgrave. Throughout the trailer we see Jones trying to resist a life she didn't ask for while also acknowledging a growing threat that could affect the people she cares about. And ultimately we see her doing what she does best -- harnessing that anger…

AT&T expands ‘sponsored data’ to prepaid plans

Purported Xperia XZ2 Compact prototype leaks ahead of MWC

'Rocket League' DLC adds DC superhero flair on March 5th

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When car-soccer game Rocket League arrived last November, it included two DC Comics-inspired customization options like The Flash wheels and player banner. On March 5th, the game will get an entire roster of Justice League cars from Warner Bros., including two different Batmobiles -- one from the 1989 film and the other from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.This isn't the first time we've seen the '89 version of Batman's sweet ride in a video game. Both it and the Batsuit from the film appeared in Batman: Arkham Knight a few years ago. Still, this is the whole group of top tier DC heroes. In addition to the custom Batman cars, Rocket League players will be able to kit out their soccer cars with decals and player banners representing Aquaman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman. The Flash and Wonder Woman get their own set of wheels, while the former also receives a special Speed Force Boost for getting to the soccer ball fa…

Fox News is creating its own streaming service called Fox Nation

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Fox News is planning to launch a paid video streaming service later this year, the company announced today. Actually, Fox News describes it as an “over-the-top opinion platform” called Fox Nation. The popular network is being careful not to advertise this as a live stream of Fox News Channel — because it’s very much not that.Fox Nation won’t feature current FNC programming. It won’t even have reruns, according to The New York Times. The platform “will take a deep dive into the big issues of the day with live exclusive daily streaming content and long-form programming available only to subscribers,” says the company. Users will also be able to stream “exclusive events” and over 20 years worth of archival Fox News Channel content “not...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2ooDseK"

If NBC can’t improve its VR Olympics coverage, it should just stop

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If you're watching the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics on TV like a normal person, you may not realize there's another option. I viewed the opening ceremonies, skiing, curling, figure skating and other events in virtual reality on my Samsung Gear VR (2017) headset via NBC's app. I didn't expect the coverage to be as smooth as TV, but I thought it would be a cool way to watch the events as if I were a live spectator. Sadly, with one exception, the experience was spotty and disappointing.During the Rio Games in 2016, NBC broadcast the Olympic opening ceremonies in virtual reality for the first time, so I tuned in to have a look. It was a solid start: Despite problems like poor resolution, I felt like I was there, not watching on TV. Two years is a long time for tech like VR, so when NBC and Intel announced they'd cover the opening ceremonies and several live events once again in 2018, my expectations were higher.Accessing the Games in VR in the US is relatively smoo…