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Blizzard's making 'Overwatch' competitive seasons short and sweet

published on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:15:00 -0400

By now, Overwatch gamers are accustomed to getting updates. Blizzard keeps spoiling us with new characters, modes, and events. They in turn keep the game fresh for returning players 14 months down the line. Judging by its latest announcement, the dev...

Royal Mail is going greener with all-electric vans

published on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0400

As you can probably imagine, Royal Mail isn't the most environmentally friendly of businesses due to the sheer number of vehicles it has on the road. The logistical behemoth is getting greener by the day, however, today beginning a new trial of cute,...

Amazon's latest Twitch Prime giveaway eyes 'Madden 18' fans

published on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0400

Amazon's well and truly got football fever. It seems securing the rights to select NFL games for Prime Video wasn't enough, it's now also got the hook-up for Madden 18. The latest instalment in the long-running sports franchise just dropped. And, Twi...

DOJ gives up on getting all 1.3M IPs from anti-Trump website

published on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:45:00 -0400

The Department of Justice has given up on getting the IPs of 1.3 million visitors to disruptj20.org, a website that helped organize protests of the president's inauguration. it originally asked the website's host, Dreamhost, for all visitors' persona...

Walmart uses Google's AI shopping assistant to fight Amazon

published on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:01:00 -0400

Google's Express delivery service has just gained another big player in addition to Target and Costco: Walmart. Soon, you'll be able to buy items from the major retailer with your voice through Google Home or via the Google Express website or app and...

Sony owes Xperia owners a refund over faulty water resistance

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 23:09:00 -0400

When you buy a phone billed as water-resistant, you generally expect it to survive accidental dunks. Some Sony phone owners have a very different story, though -- their supposedly resistant phones took water damage that required an expensive fix. If...

What's on TV: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Uncharted: The Lost Legacy'

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:16:00 -0400

We're back! This week the big event doesn't occur until Sunday night (unless it leaks early), when Game of Thrones wraps up its penultimate season with another super-sized episode clocking in at 79 minutes, 43 seconds. Until then we can check out Mad...

Hulu will soon merge its two iOS apps into one

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:57:00 -0400

Say goodbye to confusing one Hulu app on your iOS device for another. Soon, the streaming service will condense both of them into a single one and phase out the Hulu Live TV app introduced earlier this year when the livestreaming service debuted.

Microsoft built a hardware platform for real-time AI

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:06:00 -0400

In many cases, you want AI to work with info as it happens. That virtual assistant needs to respond within a few seconds at most, and a smart security camera needs to send an alert while intruders are still within sight. Microsoft knows this very wel...

Super-powered bacteria can harness light for fuels and plastics

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:33:00 -0400

Researchers have been working on improving the photosynthetic process for some time -- trying to use light to create energy but doing so in a way that's much more efficient than chlorophyll. For plants, chlorophyll works well, but to use photosynthes...

Ubisoft's next ‘Anno’ game relives the age of trade and empire

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:04:00 -0400

The Anno RTS series focuses more on civilization-building than straight-up combat, and its later editions explored that premise centuries into the future. But the franchise's next entry casts back a couple hundred years to the past when mankind's map...

LG will build electric car parts in Detroit

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:43:00 -0400

LG Electronics is building a 250,000 square foot EV parts plant in Detroit suburb Hazel Park, it said in a press release. LG might not build its own cars, but its vehicle components division supplies many key pieces for GM's critically acclaimed Chev...

Suppliers and retailers will use blockchain to keep food fresh

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:19:00 -0400

IBM has joined with a group of food supply companies and retailers to use the computing company's blockchain tech to keep food fresh. Currently, it can take up to two weeks to track down the source of contaminated foodstuffs. But just like tracking c...

Nope, 'Alto's Odyssey' isn't coming out this summer

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:55:00 -0400

It's going to be a bit before we can play Alto's Odyssey. The followup to the ridiculously relaxing snowboarding game Alto's Adventure won't be out any time soon, developer Built By Snowman writes. "The endless desert still awaits and it's even vaste...

Crashplan drops its cloud backup service for home users

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:33:00 -0400

If you rely on Crashplan as a remote backup for your computer, you're going to have to find an alternative in short order. Code42 is phasing out its Crashplan for Home service as it switches its focus to business users. The company has stopped offe...

Sony Music taps Dubset to monetize samples in remixed songs

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:10:00 -0400

It's tough enough for artists to make sure they're paid for every stream of their songs, but what about remixes? There is a system in place from Dubset called the MixBank Rights Management Platform, and it helps rights holders identify samples in son...

Thanks to Google, Shutterstock can stop automated watermark removal

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:47:00 -0400

Stock photos have watermarks to make sure that you don't use them without paying for them. Removing them used to take some Photoshop know-how, but Google found a way to remove them automatically. The team also explained how to counteract the strategy...

Delta tests customer service video chats to field your complaints

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:24:00 -0400

Delta is certainly trying to update its tech to join the 21st century. This summer, it's tested replacing boarding passes with fingerprints and checking baggage by scanning passengers' faces. But the airline's next advance is kind of an old-school dr...

Sony 'won't allow' cross-platform dino survival in 'Ark' either

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:02:00 -0400

Stop me if you've heard this before: The makers of a huge multi-platform game want to unite their disparate users so everyone can play together, regardless of whether they're playing on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, and Sony is blocking that. This t...

Seinfeld’s first Netflix stand-up special premieres September 19th

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:41:00 -0400

Earlier this year, Netflix announced that Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee series would be moving to it over from Crackle and that Seinfeld would have two stand-up specials appear on the streaming service as well. The first of those...

Hulu's live TV service is now available on Xbox 360

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:21:00 -0400

If you're still watching Hulu on your Xbox 360, here's some great news for you. The on-demand streaming service has just expanded its new "Hulu Experience" interface to the almost 12-year-old Microsoft console. The best part is that you won't have to...

I didn't see the eclipse in totality, but it was still pretty great

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:00:00 -0400

Like more than a few stories in my life, this is one of procrastination and regret. Yesterday's total solar eclipse was the first to be viewable from the US in my lifetime, and my hometown of Lincolnville, South Carolina, was right in the path of tot...

Verizon's always-on throttling is an affront to customers and net neutrality

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:45:00 -0400

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Today Verizon (the biggest carrier in the US) announced it was doing away with its simple and fair unlimited wireless-data plan and complicating things by instead offering three plans. Two of those cost more, and al...

Uber's more flexible driver policies promise fewer cancelled rides

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:34:00 -0400

If you've used Uber long enough, you've probably encountered drivers who've canceled trips simply because they weren't convenient. They didn't want to travel far or had an appointment to make, for instance. You might not have to put up with those sur...

Home and factory robots can be hacked to harm humans

published on Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:19:00 -0400

Last month, cybersecurity firm IOActive let everyone know that Segway MiniPro hoverboards were vulnerable to hacks and outside control via their Bluetooth connections. Now it has revealed that industrial robots from Universal Robots and consumer...