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October 18, 2018 - 12:00pm
By Andrew Liszewski
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This Little Robot Broke My Heart

I know I’m not going to have a robot zipping around my home, working through random chores, anytime soon. But is a simple autonomous companion so much to ask for? Anki’s new Vector bot wants to be your robotic sidekick, but as it looks up at me with confused eyes as I repeatedly try to ask it about the weather, I once again come to the heartbreaking conclusion that the reality of robotics still hasn’t caught up to what science fiction has promised us. Read More >>

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Don’t Blink: Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who Wax Figure Is Watching You

That’s not a picture of Jodie Whittaker, Doctor Who’s new star, up there. Seriously. It’s a wax recreation so good that even the Nestene Consciousness itself would be a bit jealous of the handiwork behind it. Read More >>

The Biggest Organism on Earth Is Dying, and It’s Our Fault

The heaviest organism on Earth isn’t a whale or an elephant. It’s a tree – or rather, a system of over 40,000 clonal trees, all connected by their roots. Pando, a 13 million pound organism in central Utah, is believed to have sprouted toward the end of the last Ice Age. Read More >>

TfL is Working on Tiny, Affordable Homes in London

Transport for London has announced a partnership with 'starter homes for city makers' company Pocket Living, in order to create a swathe of "100% genuinely affordable homes" in London. Read More >>

Major Facebook Shareholders Join Call to Boot Mark Zuckerberg as Chairman

Mark Zuckerberg’s forehead is likely a little more moist than usual at the moment. On Wednesday, several major public funds issued a statement backing a push to remove the Facebook founder from his position as chairman of the board. Amid countless scandals and a steadily dropping stock price, the effort would be all but certain to succeed at any other company. Read More >>

PornHub is Funding Research into the Long-Term Effects of Porn

No one expected a porn website to become the good guy of the internet, but PornHub is well on its way with a fascinating blog of data insights and now a $25,000 grant for academics to study the long-term effects of porn. Read More >>

Twitter Makes it Easier to See When People Break the Rules

To make its policing of bad actors a little more obvious, Twitter is instituting new policies that should help users hide offensive content and see what happens after a tweet gets reported. Read More >>

OnePlus 6T Price, Specs, Colours Revealed in New Leak

It seems to be the way smartphone launches work these days: a trickle of leaks a few weeks out from release, then a flood of them as we approach launch day. That's how it's going with the much-hyped OnePlus 6T, due to be unveiled on the 30th of October and on sale a week later. Read More >>

Apple Finally Lets More Countries Download All Their Data

When the European Union’s GDPR privacy protections went into effect in May, the pressure to give Americans the same tools to view their data was high. On Wednesday, Apple fulfilled its promise to offer a data download service for its users the U.S., and now you can find out what Apple’s got on you with a few simple clicks. Read More >>

Brits Can’t Finish Dinner Without Sneaking a Look at our Phones

New data from YouGov shows we're a nation enslaved by our smartphones, and over half of us can't even clear our plates without a quick look. Read More >>

Advertisers Suing Facebook Allege It May Have Committed Fraud on Video Ad Metrics

A group of advertisers suing social-media giant Facebook in California over bungled video metrics now alleges in court filings that the platform failed to disclose data errors in a manner that could “[rise] to the level of fraud and may warrant punitive damages,” according to Ars Technica. Read More >>

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Someone Used a Deep Learning AI to Perfectly Insert Harrison Ford Into Solo: A Star Wars Story

Casting anyone other than Harrison Ford in the role of Han Solo just feels like sacrilege, but since Ford is now 76 years old, playing a younger version of himself would be all but impossible. Or at least impossible if you rely on the standard Hollywood de-aging tricks like makeup and CG. Artificial intelligence, it turns out, does a pretty amazing job at putting Ford back into the role of Solo. Read More >>

Indonesia Faces Long Road to Recovery After Earthquake and Tsunami Claim 2,000 Lives

Indonesia is reeling from a series of geologically-triggered disasters. While it was still assessing the fallout from August’s deadly Lombok earthquake, a major earthquake on 28 September triggered a tsunami that slammed into Central Sulawesi. According to the latest UN reports, this disaster robbed at least 2,010 people of their lives, with 700 still reported missing. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
How Archivists Could Stop Deepfakes From Rewriting History

History is rife with fakes. In 1983, the German magazine Stern announced that it had acquired previously undocumented diaries written by Hitler, a find British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper initially heralded as “an archive of great historical significance.” In reality, however, an illustrator named Konrad Kujau had penned the volumes himself. Thanks to the scrutiny of historians at the German Federal Archive, they were soon revealed to be forgeries and the so-called “Hitler Diaries” became a cautionary tale about media frenzies. Read More >>

People Still Weird About the Flu Vaccine, Especially in America

While the flu is no picnic for anyone, it can be especially risky and sometimes deadly for young children. But a new survey suggests many people still avoid the flu vaccine because of misconceptions about how it works, including that the vaccine actually can give you the flu. Read More >>

The First Counterpart Season 2 Trailer Reveals New Faces and Old Problems

The Amazon Prime show Counterpart, aired on the streaming platform's Starz Play channel, is about a world that exists next to another, identical world. Well, almost. There’s the dimension we take to be the real one in addition to an alternate version where people look just like us, but have an entirely different agenda. When season two of the show kicks off, the main character, and his counterpart, are in a very confusing circumstance indeed. Read More >>