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Robot uses machine-learning to grab objects on the first try

May 25 2017
Training robots how to grasp various objects without dropping them usually requires a lot of practice. But a new robot, designed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Siemens and described in an upcoming paper, can learn how to grip new objects just by s...

Instagram Direct doesn't care about your photo orientation

May 25 2017
Instagram Direct debuted in 2013 as a way to send photos and videos, well, directly to your friends on the photo sharing service. The Facebook-owned company has added more features to the system over the intervening years, like threaded messaging, di...

Your mall will basically have to be psychic to survive

May 25 2017
Repeat after me: Shopping is therapy. Whether you believe it or not, the rush some of us get from buying a new dress or gadget can be cathartic. And in the not-too-distant future, real-world shopping will get so seamless that it could feel like the s...

Texas legislature overrules Austin, allows Uber and Lyft to return

May 25 2017
When Austin citizens voted in May 2016 to require fingerprint-based background checks from ride-sharing drivers and ban passenger pickup in traffic lanes, Uber and Lyft promptly pulled out of the city. But both are scheduled to restart operations in...

HTC Link promises a high-end VR experience with a smartphone

May 25 2017
Consumers with an interest in VR currently have two options: The high-end systems, such as the Oculus Rift, have their own displays and are powered by a computer. The more portable systems, like the Samsung Gear VR, are powered by your smartphone and...

Class-action suit alleges GM cheated emissions test

May 25 2017
Yet another automaker has potentially been caught trying to cheat on its EPA emissions tests. Following VW's "diesel-gate" SNAFU in 2015 and the Justice Department going after Fiat-Chrysler just last week, GM on Thursday found itself the defendant in...

Draft bill gives the government power to control your drone

May 25 2017
Drones have been the focus of many security initiatives, like the "sky fence" in the Channel Islands that jams pilot signals to stop drones from bringing contraband into the prison. Remotely piloted aircraft can also be a force for good, like in Afri...

Everyone's favorite useless Pokemon gets its own game

May 25 2017
It's pretty obvious that Pokémon Go wouldn't have been the worldwide success without, well, Pokemon. Niantic and Nintendo tapped a phenomenally rich vein of wish fulfillment when they sent people scurrying around the real world catching monste...

Lyft challenges Uber Black with its own luxury cars

May 25 2017
Lyft passengers who prefer a black Audi or Lexus to the ubiquitous Toyota Camry can rest easy. On Thursday, Lyft launched their Lux service in New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Chicago, bringing premium black cars with drivers r...

T-Mobile launching its flexible 'Digits' plan on May 31st

May 25 2017
T-Mobile has been working on a new type of multi-number, multi-device phone service. Digits, one of the company's UnCarrier moves, is now through beta testing and ready to launch at the end of the month.

Microsoft’s Twitch competitor gets a new name and co-op streaming

May 25 2017
While Twitch has been busy expanding the breadth of what you can watch on its platform, Microsoft has been quietly improving how you watch and broadcast with its Beam service. Just to get it out of the way, Beam will henceforth be known as "Mixer." T...

Binge-watching will be as easy as breathing

May 25 2017
It's never been a better time to be a media addict. We're in the midst of a television renaissance, where writers are pushing the medium to new heights. It's easier than ever to get access to foreign and independent films. And the rise of streaming s...

B&O hides high-end speakers in hexagonal wall art

May 25 2017
When buying a new piece of tech that's going to live with you for years, your primary concern is balancing price, features and future-proofing. But some products don't wave spec sheets around, instead focusing on design that complements minimalist sp...

You’re more rational on a smartphone than on a PC

May 25 2017
Could the device you're using -- smartphone versus PC -- affect the moral decisions you make when using the device? A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests that it's possible. The results reveal that people are more like...

IFTTT's free 'maker' tier lets anyone create and share recipes

May 25 2017
We thought the combined might of Domino's Pizza and IFTTT shortcuts was as good as it might get, but that may just be the start. IFTTT is opening up its recipe/ applet creating platform to everyone, with a free 'maker' tier that offers deeper (read:...

Alto uses your emails to clean up your calendar

May 25 2017
Smartphones are an absolute godsend for organizing... well, pretty much everything. Yet despite all they do for us, it can still be hugely frustrating when your various calendar apps don't play nicely with each other. AOL (Engadget's parent company,...

Imzy, the nice Reddit, is shutting down

May 25 2017
Imzy, an online community that billed itself as Reddit, but for nice people, has announced that it will be closing down. In a statement, CEO Dan McComas admitted that after two years, the site was unable to find its "place in the market." Imzy's last...

Rocket Lab nails first orbital rocket launch from a private pad

May 25 2017
Rocket Lab has successfully launched its 56-foot-tall Electron rocket for the first time. The relatively tiny vehicle, designed to ferry small payloads to orbit, reached outer space around 20 minutes past midnight (Eastern time) on May 25th. Rocket L...

Listening to starlight: Our ongoing search for alien intelligence

May 25 2017
Six hours a day, seven days a week, for four straight months. That's how long radio astronomer Frank D. Drake pointed the 26-meter telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) research facility in Green Bank, West Virginia, towards th...

A major investment company is taking bitcoin very seriously

May 25 2017
Many predicted that the world would soon lose interest in bitcoin. Yet, eight years after its inception, its surprisingly robust Blockchain tech and prominence on the darkweb has led to the cryptocurrency trading at an all time high. This success has...

BBC Store to close because people prefer streaming

May 25 2017
The BBC has confirmed it will close its digital download store less than 18 months after it launched following poor sales and tough competition from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video. The corporation has begun emailing customers about...

SpaceX begins test-firing parts of its biggest rocket

May 25 2017
Sorry folks, things are about to get heavy, by which we mean that SpaceX has begun test-firing the boosters for the Falcon Heavy. The company posted a clip of the event from last week, showing a side booster being put through its paces. Elon Musk sub...

Siri will soon control Belkin's WeMo smart switches

May 25 2017
WeMo, Belkin's line of smart light switches and plugs, will soon be compatible with Apple's HomeKit. Its products already give you a way to control the electronics in your home wherever you are, but HomeKit support means you'll be able to ask Siri to...

Netflix cancels Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Get Down’

May 25 2017
Netflix won't be renewing The Get Down after just one season. With filmmaker Baz Luhrmann at the helm, the show cost $120 million to produce, making it one of the most expensive TV productions in Hollywood history. There wasn't enough bang for all th...

The Morning After: Thursday, May 25th 2017

May 25 2017
Hey, good morning! Welcome to hump day, and the Nokia 3310 is back for another round. Meanwhile, we explain why the legal system is ill-prepared for the future intersection of sex and technology, and take a look at a foundation planning for a future...
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