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The real problem isn’t AI, it is man

The real problem isn’t AI, it is man

This week, two events perfectly demonstrated humanity's almost schizophrenic relationship with artificial intelligence. First, Terminator: Genisys, with threat of Skynet looming over our heads, premiered on the big screen. Second, a consortium of tech companies and AI researchers has just revealed 37 research grants to keep AI from going out of control. But how far or near are we really to the dark future painted by Terminator or any other AI-centric science fiction? Turns out, we're probably nowhere near. But the real danger might not actually come from AI. It might be from mankind after all.

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Microsoft and the undying Android smartphone rumor

Microsoft and the undying Android smartphone rumor

Windows 10 is just around the corner, at least for PCs and tablets. For mobile phones, however, that's not happening until later. Which means that there's a window of opportunity for dreaming about the future. And when it comes to divining Microsoft smartphone future, there is no other favorite than a Microsoft made Android device. It sounds dreamy doesn't it? A smartphone that combines decades of Nokia experience, Microsoft's enterprise and productivity products, and one of the biggest mobile platforms in the world. But youu know what they say about things that sound too good to be true, and here are some reasons why.

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Bubble Wrap will soon lose its pop

Bubble Wrap will soon lose its pop

The one company that makes Bubble Wrap has decided to move forward with a lot less air. They've revealed a new product for shipping that does the same thing for products, but a lot less for those lovers of popping the otherwise-trashed bubbles after the unwrap. Instead of each individual bubble being inflated with air, the new wrap, called iBubble, will come with a row of bubbles connected by tubes. As such, each long tube of bubbles will have one air chamber instead of a bunch. No more popping.

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2016 Scion iM first-drive – Goodbye xB, hello maturity

2016 Scion iM first-drive – Goodbye xB, hello maturity

Scion made its name with a bizarre hatchback, the xB, and is hoping to revive its fortunes with the 2016 iM. Targeting fun-seeking but cash-poor Millennials with a sub-$20k sticker price and lashings of standard kit, the iM not only courts those who might covet a Golf or a Mazda 3, but drivers that might otherwise be looking to a four-year-old used car instead of something new off the forecourt. Times are tough, though, and so rather than cook up a new car from scratch, Scion has followed the same approach that netted the perky FR-S roadster for its range and based the iM on an existing design.

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Must Read Bits & Bytes

See your own photos through the eyes of Google’s AI

See your own photos through the eyes of Google’s AI

Last month the trippy so-called “dream” photos created by Google’s Artificial Neural Networks took the Internet by storm, and the response was split down the middle: some found the photos, which include things like a “pig-snail” and random faces, to be fun and creative while others found them creepy. If you’re skewed toward the former group and want to see what your own photos look like through the eyes of AI, you’re in luck. A new tool gives you a peek.

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3D printed seahorse tails inspire tougher robots

3D printed seahorse tails inspire tougher robots

Seahorses might not seem the ideal animal to inspire tough new robots, but torture-testing of 3D tail models suggests the whimsical creatures may be hardier than we think. Unlike most animal tails, which are circular in cross-section, seahorse tails are formed from square prisms, each surrounded by bony plates and interconnected by joints. Turns out, that unusual structure has some big advantages, which could lead to sturdy yet flexible search-and-rescue robots, or even new types of body-armor.

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Uber nixes UberPOP in France after growing pressure

Uber nixes UberPOP in France after growing pressure

The pressure in France against Uber’s UberPOP service reached explosive levels last month, resulting in violent protests and, among other things, a legal order for police to begin seizing Uber cars that were in violation of the ban. Uber still pushed back, though, and that rolled over into two of its executives being arrested. The protests and legal battles appear to have exceeded Uber's willingness to fight, as it announced today that it has ceased UberPOP in the nation.

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Celebrate the 4th with the world’s largest LEGO American flag

Celebrate the 4th with the world’s largest LEGO American flag

The National Museum of American History opened their new Innovation Wing in Washington DC this week just in time for Independence Day. The LEGO Groups joined in the fun with what is now the world's biggest American Flag made entirely out of LEGO bricks. This flag is a cool nine and a half feet tall and fourteen feet wide, weighing in at 546 pounds in all. That's over 100,000 LEGO bricks in red, white, and blue, with some black for lettering to spell out the name of the new exhibit.

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Popular Reddit forums go private as civil war simmers [Update]

Popular Reddit forums go private as civil war simmers [Update]

All is not well in Reddit land, with the surprise ousting of a moderator prompting some of the most popular forums to disappear themselves from public view. The furore - which has seen subreddits including "funny", "science", "gaming", and "jokes" all set themselves to private and, therefore, be effectively invisible to anybody but moderators and pre-approved members - began as mods hit back at Reddit's administrators, angry at how the person in charge of "Ask Me Anything" (aka AMAs) had been let go from the site.

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OnePlus wants to give you Google Cardboard

OnePlus wants to give you Google Cardboard

This week the folks at OnePlus are doing something right. They're putting their name on some Google Cardboard units they've made themselves - using Google's specifications - and they're sending them out to whoever wants one for just the cost of shipping. While the materials might cost a bit less than five bucks (the cost of shipping) altogether, the fully constructed Google Cardboard - and all the work you'd have to do collecting the right pieces and cutting it all out - evens out nicely. UPDATE: Apparently one massive amount of people wanted to get this unit - they're out of stock!

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