Archive For The “Technology” Category

Could Microsoft be readying a touch cover for the iPad?

Could Microsoft be readying a touch cover for the iPad?
Stephen Brashear, Getty Images

Could Microsoft have built — or still be planning to make — a touch cover for the iPad?

That rumor is based on a Microsoft document unearthed by WinFuture.de. The document, which dates back to April 2017. The downloadable document is a list of devices incorporating lithium batteries which Microsoft declares to be in compliance with battery transportation requirements.

lithiumbatterydocipadtouchcover.jpglithiumbatterydocipadtouchcover.jpg
Credit: Microsoft

Among the items incorporating Lithium batteries that are listed are various Lumia phones, the HoloLens, Band 2, various Surface devices, a couple of Microsoft keyboards and “iPad Touch Cover (Model 1719).” read more

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Overwatch’s Summer Games Return Next Week, Adding Ranked Lucioball

Overwatch’s Summer Games Return Next Week, Adding Ranked Lucioball

Lucioball, aka Rocket League minus cars, but plus Lucio, is coming back to Overwatch on August 8. This time around, though, it’s a little different.

The most unexpected change? Competitive Lucioball. There’ll be placement matches, rankings, and all the other trappings you’ve come to associate with hell— I mean, competitive Overwatch. Players will be able to unlock special sprays for their efforts. The season will last three weeks, and Blizzard is apparently considering special three-week ranked seasons for other modes, as well. Total Mayhem top 500, here I come. read more

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Evades Questions on Alleged Plans to Build Three ‘Big’ US Factories

Apple CEO Tim Cook Evades Questions on Alleged Plans to Build Three ‘Big’ US Factories

Last week, United States President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that Apple had plans to build three “big, big, big” manufacturing plants in the United States, a statement that allegedly came from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Unsurprisingly, Cook was questioned about the president’s statement during the question and answer portion of today’s earnings call, and he deftly dodged it by highlighting Apple’s overall efforts to increase jobs in the United States.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Executive Tech Summit at Trump Tower in December of 2016
Cook said Apple has created two million jobs in the United States, across three separate categories. The first, responsible for about 2/3rds of those jobs, is the App Store and the Apple developer community. read more

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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Dev Addresses Controversial Paid DLC

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Dev Addresses Controversial Paid DLC

Last week, developer Bluehole announced that it is adding a “crate-and-key” cosmetic DLC system to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Although two crates will be free to open, one will require you to purchase a special key. This announcement drew a lot of controversy among fans, many of whom objected to an Early Access game getting paid cosmetic DLC. Today, Bluehole responded, explaining that it needs to test the system ahead of PUBG’s official launch.

In a post on Steam, Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene addressed the criticisms directly, saying that he understands fans’ concerns about such a system of microtransactions. However, he also stated that this early test of a paid crate-and-key model is necessary for developing a stable in-game economy in the future. read more

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Microsoft offers new ways to buy Surfaces, cheapo VR headsets, and more

Microsoft offers new ways to buy Surfaces, cheapo VR headsets, and more
Enlarge / Surface Laptop
Justin Wolfson

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The ‘creepy Facebook AI’ story that captivated the media

The ‘creepy Facebook AI’ story that captivated the media
Mark ZuckerbergImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Facebook has been experimenting with AIs that negotiate with each other

The newspapers have a scoop today – it seems that artificial intelligence (AI) could be out to get us.

“‘Robot intelligence is dangerous’: Expert’s warning after Facebook AI ‘develop their own language'”, says the Mirror.

Similar stories have appeared in the Sun, the Independent, the Telegraph and in other online publications.

It sounds like something from a science fiction film – the Sun even included a few pictures of scary-looking androids.

So, is it time to panic and start preparing for apocalypse at the hands of machines? read more

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No, Facebook Did Not Panic and Shut Down an AI Program That Was Getting Dangerously Smart

No, Facebook Did Not Panic and Shut Down an AI Program That Was Getting Dangerously Smart
Photo: AP

In recent weeks, a story about experimental Facebook machine learning research has been circulating with increasingly panicky, Skynet-esque headlines.

“Facebook engineers panic, pull plug on AI after bots develop their own language,” one site wrote. “Facebook shuts down down AI after it invents its own creepy language,” another added. “Did we humans just create Frankenstein?” asked yet another. One British tabloid quoted a robotics professor saying the incident showed “the dangers of deferring to artificial intelligence” and “could be lethal” if similar tech was injected into military robots. read more

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Privacy group files flawed complaint against Google Store Sales Measurement

Privacy group files flawed complaint against Google Store Sales Measurement

At a time when companies have growing access to consumer data from an increasing number of sources, privacy is more important than ever. But it’s also important for privacy advocates to understand what’s going on before they formally complain to regulatory bodies.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the FTC over Google’s Store Sales Measurement program. The group is arguing that:

Google has collected billions of credit card transactions, containing personal customer information, from credit card companies, data brokers, and others and has linked those records with the activities of Internet users, including product searches and location searches. This data reveals sensitive information about consumer purchases, health, and private lives. read more

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Apple Denied Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Related to Disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 and Earlier

Apple Denied Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Related to Disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 and Earlier

United States district judge Lucy Koh has denied Apple’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit related to disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier software versions three years ago, allowing the case to proceed as a class action lawsuit. MacRumors obtained court documents of the opinion filed electronically.


The lawsuit was filed in February by California resident and iPhone 4 owner Christina Grace, who claims Apple intentionally broke FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier by disabling a digital certificate that caused the service to cease functioning. California resident Ken Patter was later named as a second plaintiff. read more

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The biggest video game of 2017 just passed another major milestone

The biggest video game of 2017 just passed another major milestone

Having sold over 6 million copies in just four months — making over $150 million in the process — “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is a bona fide blockbuster hit.

playerunknown's battlegrounds parachutingBluehole Studios via SideArms4Reason/YouTube

What’s even more impressive is that the game technically isn’t finished — it’s only available through Steam, the world’s largest digital game store, as an “Early Access” title. That means you can buy it, and play it, but it’s not considered a finished product. And even in that state, millions of people have bought “Battlegrounds.” read more

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