Technology

An AI crushed two human pros at StarCraft—but it wasn’t a fair fight

Enlarge / Two groups of Stalkers controlled by AI AlphaStar approach the army of Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz in the decisive battle of the pair’s fourth game. (credit: DeepMind) DeepMind, the AI startup Google acquired in 2014, is probably best known for creating the first AI to beat a world champion at Go. So what do you …

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Netflix, Amazon, and Hollywood studios shut down maker of “free TV” box

Enlarge (credit: The Dragon Box) The entertainment industry has scored a big victory over the maker of a “free TV” box that helped users watch pirated video. Dragon Media Inc., whose “Dragon Box” device connects to TVs and lets users watch video without a cable TV or streaming service subscription, has agreed to shut down …

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Terabyte smartphones are coming, thanks to new Samsung storage chip

Enlarge (credit: Samsung) Smartphones hold most of our lives now in photos, videos, music, and more, and Samsung’s latest tech will make it so they can store even more. The Korean manufacturer announced that it has created the first 1TB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) chip for smartphones, which will allow future handsets to have …

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Facebook just hired a handful of its toughest privacy critics

Enlarge / Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch) At a time when Facebook has been under increased public scrutiny like never before, the company is now hiring at …

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It is so cold in Chicago they’re lighting railroad tracks on fire

Enlarge / Ice floats on Lake Michigan at dawn in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images) It is extremely cold in the Midwestern United States, where forecasters are warning of “life-threatening extreme cold.” During the early Wednesday morning hours, much of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois are …

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Lawyer sues Apple, claims FaceTime bug “allowed” recording of deposition

Enlarge / A person uses an iPad for a FaceTime conversation, on January 29, 2019 in Rome. (credit: VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images) A Houston attorney has sued Apple over the recently disclosed FaceTime bug, which can allow third parties to surreptitiously listen to FaceTime calls via an iPhone microphone. In a lawsuit filed Monday evening in Harris County …

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The all-new 2019 Mazda 3 punches far above its weight for under $30,000

This is the all-new Mazda 3, which uses the company’s new Skyactiv-Vehicle architecture. [credit: Mazda ] LOS ANGELES—I’ll admit it, I always look forward to the launch of a new Mazda. Other brands might give you ten minutes of Cliff’s Notes on the car before throwing you the keys and pointing you at the nearest …

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How to display the severed heads of your enemies, the Iron Age way

Enlarge (credit: Roure et al. 2019) Archaeologists found microscopic traces of conifer resin and plant oils on bone fragments from skulls scattered just inside the walls of Le Cailar, a 2,500-year-old walled settlement near the Rhone River in southern France. That suggests that the heads had been embalmed with resin and plant oil before being …

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