The Next Web
How a French 16-year-old is teaching the world to build VR headsets for $100
February 21st, 2018, 04:28 AM

Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus and the inventor of arguably the most successful commercial virtual reality headset, was only 17 when he completed his first prototype for the device. Fast-forward to the present day, and Luckey is now worth roughly $750 million at the age of 25, having sold his company to Facebook. 16-year-old Maxime Coutté’s story has something in common with Luckey’s beginnings, in that he set out at an early age to build the hardware needed to enjoy VR experiences, and appears to have the same sort of tenacity and passion for technology as the inventor whose…

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Baking mischief and delight into your products will make people love them
February 21st, 2018, 04:28 AM

One boozy night in 2010, two developers and an illustrator were sitting in a bar discussing how utterly annoying they found the game FarmVille. As you probably remember, FarmVille was that horribly addictive social network game that let you grow crops and raise livestock, polluting your Facebook newsfeed with endless notifications about how to tend to your farm. After a few more drinks, the group decided to figure out a way to mess with the game. They sketched up an app which let you post updates identical to those of Farmville’s, but instead, the messages were much more… savage. From…

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Google’s Reply app is shaping up to be the messaging assistant of my dreams
February 21st, 2018, 04:28 AM

Last week, we heard that Google was working on Reply, an AI-powered app that lets you reply to texts from various messaging apps by tapping on contextually meaningful replies right in your notifications. I just sideloaded a beta version of it earlier today, and it already looks pretty promising as an assistant that helps you text faster. Once you’ve installed Reply on your Android device and granted it the necessary permissions, the app will take over notifications from services like WhatsApp, Twitter DM, Hangouts, and Slack, and add buttons labeled with responses; tap one and it’ll send it out instantly.…

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A $42 million ‘10,000 year clock’ is being installed on Jeff Bezos’ property
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to announce that construction of the 10,000 year clock has begun on his property in Texas, with a view to encourage thinking about humanity in the long term. Conceived back in 1986 by American computer scientist Daniel Hills, the clock’s mechanism is designed to advance far more slowly than your average timekeeping device: it’ll tick once a year, its century hand will move once every 100 years, and its cuckoo will emerge every millenium. Installation has begun—500 ft tall, all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles, synchronized at solar noon, a symbol for…

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Burnout Paradise celebrates its 10th anniversary with 4K console remaster
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

When open-world games were becoming all the rage in the 2000s, Burnout Paradise stitched the concept beautifully into a city-wide racing title that featured a wide range of tracks, game modes, and vehicles, and delivered more fun per mile than competing arcade driving games at the time. 10 years on, it’s making a comeback in the form of a 4K 60fps remaster for PS 4 Pro and Xbox One X – along with 1080p revamps for older versions. The multiplayer action, original soundtrack, eight DLC packs, and all 150 vehicles are along for the ride. From the comparison images showing…

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Deepfakes algorithm nails Donald Trump in most convincing fake yet
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

A YouTuber this week created a convincing fake video of Donald Trump using the deepfakes algorithm. We’ve written previously about the algorithm, specifically about its use in creating fake pornographic videos featuring the face of your favorite celebrities and the body of a passable porn actress. Now that popular platforms like Reddit, Imgur, and Pornhub are cracking down on the practice, AI enthusiasts are turning their attention to newer, SFW applications. This is good. But also not. Take this example, which features Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live doing his famous impersonation of President Trump. YouTuber ‘derpfakes‘ trained the AI…

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Spotify ‘on its way’ to creating first hardware product
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

A trio of job listings on Spotify’s website are again getting the rumor mill swirling about new hardware. First spotted by MusicAlly, one of the jobs details the company is “on its way to creating its first physical products,” and that it was seeking someone to work in its Stockholm office to handle “manufacturing, supply chain, sales, and marketing.” Products, plural, is perhaps what’s most interesting. While it’s easy to envision an iPod-like device that steals fractional marketshare from competitors like Apple, it’s difficult to wrap your head around what appears to be Spotify’s big picture idea for the hardware…

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Samsung announces a whopping 30TB SSD
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

Samsung today announced it has begun mass production of the world’s largest solid state drive (SSD). While unassuming in its 2.5 inch form factor, this drive packs a whopping 30.72 terabytes and leverages Samsung’s latest V-NAND technology. Called the PM1643, the drive combines 32 new 1TB NAND flash sticks, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512Gb V-NAND chips. Nerd speak aside, these 1TB packages allow for super speedy transfer — about three to four times that of an average SSD — and incredible capacity to boot. Each drive is reportedly capable of storing 5,700 full HD movies. With our…

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Historians battle publishers for the right to resurrect dead MMOs
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

Fans of abandoned online games are close to bringing back certain “dead” titles — if the US Copyright Office doesn’t side with the studios, who this week began pushing back against their efforts. The US Copyright Office, which oversees the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), renews its provisions every three years. These provisions include the specific rules which criminalize any attempts to circumvent copyright protection, and the exemptions to those rules. During the renewal, it takes public comment and petitions on whether any new exemptions should be made. A new comment, submitted last October by the Museum of Art and…

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The Stanford gaydar AI is hogwash
February 20th, 2018, 04:28 AM

Last year a couple of Stanford researchers created an algorithm to determine whether Caucasians are gay or not with better accuracy than humans. The algorithm, trained with human bias, is better at determining whether or not other humans will think a face is gay. Unfortunately the researchers don’t present their work that way. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology recently published the final version of the white paper that details the work, essentially giving it full credence as a peer-reviewed piece of science. That makes sense; there’s nothing wrong with the paper and all the science (that can actually…

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