Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Microsoft forms AI group with 5,000 engineers and computer scientists

Microsoft forms AI group with 5,000 engineers and computer scientists

Microsoft has announced the formation of a new group that will further its artificial intelligence goals. This group will involve more than 5,000 engineers and computer scientists, and it’ll include the company’s Microsoft Research, Information Platform Group, Cortana product group, Bing product group, and both the Ambient Computing and Robotics teams. By having professionals from all of these groups and teams come together, Microsoft anticipates its rate of AI innovation will jump substantially.

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PlayStation VR will be sold early at 350 Best Buy stores

PlayStation VR will be sold early at 350 Best Buy stores

The PlayStation VR’s launch is nearly upon us, and for those who can hardly contain their excitement, Best Buy has some good news: 350 of its physical retail stores will be opening early to sell the headsets, giving you a chance to grab the unit before they start shipping. If you’re near one of those stores, you’ll be able to get in at 12:01AM ET on October 13, meaning those on the West Coast can start buying the PS VR at 9:01PM on October 12.

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PlayStation Vue adds HBO, Cinemax and new ‘Ultra’ plan

PlayStation Vue adds HBO, Cinemax and new ‘Ultra’ plan

As promised, PlayStation Vue, Sony's over-the-Internet live television service -- has added both HBO and Cinemax to its channel roster. In addition to adding those two services, PlayStation Vue has also added a fourth channel plan called 'Ultra.' This makes four plans total, with prices starting at $30/month and ranging up to $65/month for Ultra (which in some cities will be ten dollars more at $75/month). You don't need the Ultra plan in order to subscribe to the HBO and Cinemax offerings.

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Qualcomm tipped in acquisition talks with NXP Semiconductors

Qualcomm tipped in acquisition talks with NXP Semiconductors

Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors NV may be purchased by Qualcomm, according to sources, who say the deal may go through in the next 2 to 3 months. The acquisition, if it happens, would be the largest semiconductor industry merger; NXP Semiconductors is valued at $28 billion or so, a substantial number, but one not as substantial as Qualcomm’s $93 billion valuation.

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FCC set top box vote delayed as hope dwindles

FCC set top box vote delayed as hope dwindles

At the start of the year, the FCC announced plans to overhaul the set-top-box market, putting cable providers on guard and earning praise from many consumers. Summer has passed, though, and winter is right on the horizon, with it coming the start of a new year, a new presidential administration, and a quickly dwindling timeframe to get several regulations pushed through. In light of all that, it’s no big surprise that the FCC has delayed its set-top-box vote.

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Google Pixel XL phone shown in realistic detail

Google Pixel XL phone shown in realistic detail

Rumor has it Google will be launching two new smartphones in the near future, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel is codenamed Sailfish, while the Pixel XL is codenamed Marlin; both have been the subject of numerous leaks, including visual ones that portend to show what the handsets will look like. Newest among those visual leaks is a new 3D render of the Pixel XL in particular, supposedly showing what the phone will look like based on a leaked factory CAD.

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Nazi time capsule with historical ‘treasures’ found in Poland

Nazi time capsule with historical ‘treasures’ found in Poland

Last week, a small town in Poland unearthed an old time capsule in hopes of finding historical footage about their town concealed within. Instead, they discovered a bunch of well preserved items from the Nazi era, including a couple copies of ‘Mein Kampf’ and some coins. According to officials from Zlocieniec, the Polish town, the copper cylinder container (a time capsule, essentially) didn’t contain the film they were hoping for, but did turn up a bunch of historically significant items instead.

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iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus land at Cricket stores tomorrow

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus land at Cricket stores tomorrow

Cricket Wireless will be making the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus available in some of its physical stores starting tomorrow, the carrier has announced. The in-store availability follows the carrier’s online iPhone 7 launch, of which it sold out all of its inventory over the weekend. If you're already a Cricket subscriber -- or you're on the lookout for a no-contract iPhone 7 option -- you better move quickly before the in-store stock disappears, too.

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‘Partnership on AI’ tech alliance will tackle thorny research issues

‘Partnership on AI’ tech alliance will tackle thorny research issues

A tech alliance composed of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and Amazon has formed ‘Partnership on AI,’ a collective effort ‘to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.' The team states big goals for the partnership, not the least of which is helping the general public understand artificial intelligence and addressing concerns they may have about it.

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Spotify tipped in SoundCloud acquisition talks

Spotify tipped in SoundCloud acquisition talks

Spotify, the music streaming service that just announced yet another big milestone, is in talks to acquire SoundCloud, the persistent but occasionally troubled audio platform, sources claim. Spotify's efforts to boost its paying subscribers number have largely been effective, with the company announcing earlier this month that it reached the 40 million paying subscribers milestone. Still, Apple Music and others represent a growing threat for the company, something this potential SoundCloud acquisition could help mitigate.

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Samsung washing machine advisory issued over explosion reports

Samsung washing machine advisory issued over explosion reports

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers about possible safety issues involving some Samsung top-loading washing machines. The advisory follows recent reports from owners who claim their washers exploded during usage, in some cases doing so severely enough to damage surrounding structures. Samsung has issued its own statement about the matter, saying it is in talks with the CPSC about ‘potential safety issues’ involving washers made between March 2011 and April 2016.

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Uber’s getting into the long-haul trucking business

Uber’s getting into the long-haul trucking business

Uber is getting into the long-haul trucking business, expanding its focus beyond mere consumer ridesharing (and possible future VTOL flights). The company recently acquired Otto, a trucking startup with self-driving ambitions, and now it is working on establishing partnerships with truck drivers and more. Per statements made recently by Otto co-founder Lior Ron, the Otto fleet is being expanded from six trucks to 15 or so, with the trucks being slated to hit the road starting next year.

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