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Tencent created AI agents that can beat StarCraft 2‘s Cheater AI

Researchers from Chinese tech giant Tencent recently developed a pair of AI agents capable of defeating StarCraft II‘s (SC2) ‘AI‘ on the highest difficulty levels in full matches - making them the first to do so. In a recently published white paper the researchers explain the development of the two agents, dubbed TSTARBOT1 and TSTARBOT2. The first is a macro-level controller agent that oversees several specific algorithms design

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Fitbit-based life insurance is a potential privacy and security nightmare

John Hancock is one of the oldest and most established insurance companies in the United States. According to Reuters, it‘s also the first US insurance company to ditch traditional life insurance policies entirely in favor of ‘interactive life insurance.‘ What does this mean? Essentially, John Hancock is encouraging (but not mandating) that policyholders to share health and lifestyle data with the company. This data typically co

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Instagram now lets you send Giphy GIFs in Direct

Giphy and Instagram today announced they‘d be teaming up again to let users insert GIFs into their Instagram Direct messages. Now you can spam your friends with reaction gifs instead of actually formulating your own thoughts - the natural endpoint for all app-based social interactions, at least as far as I‘m concerned. Starting today, Instagram Direct will have a GIF button on the composition bar. When you click on it, you‘ll be

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South Korea‘s largest telecom could bring blockchain to 38M people

SK Planet, one of Korea‘s largest telecommunications firms, is looking to step up its blockchain game with a nationwide collaboration. The telecom giant has signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICON Foundation. The cooperation will see SK planet integrate blockchain into a number of existing products, such as OK Cashbag. The collaboration aims to make ‘a real-life blockchain use case.‘ OK Cashbag is already one of the c

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PAX stablecoin has backdoor for freezing and seizing cryptocurrency

The Ethereum community has found some rather unnerving facts about a new stablecoin known as PAX.It turns out the cryptocurrency backed by the US dollar contains backdoors that give unrestricted access to law enforcement (or anyone else, for that matter). PAX has a function called ‘setLawEnforcementRole‘ which creates a new Ethereum address with administrative permissions over the circulating PAX supply. This practically means any

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Learn to master Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and more for less than 5 per course

Creating for the web demands a team approach as well. Individual tools can do amazing things, but it almost always requires an assortment of disciplines for the best results. You can learn how to use all the premium tools for generating dazzling web content with the Complete Learn to Design Bundle. Right now, you can get it for over 90 percent off its regular price -- just 39 -- from TNW Deals.

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Sony will stop making the PS Vita in Japan next year

Sony has announced it intends to discontinue production of the PS Vita in Japan next year. The console was first launched in 2011, and Sony has no plans to launch a successor. The revelation comes from Sony Interactive Entertainment Senior VP Hiroyuki Oda. Speaking to Japanese publication Famitsu, and translated by Gematsu, Oda said: Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device. In Japan, we will manufacture PlayStation Vit

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Apple introduces a glorious Bitcoin glyph in iOS 12

It might not be the cryptocurrency emoji everyone has been asking for, but Apple has rolled not one, but two, dedicated Bitcoin glyphs in the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 12. Not And dare I say the aroma of mainstream adoption is in the air. Behold the Apple Bitcoin glyphs: The glyphs are available as part of Apple‘s new Shortcuts app (not to be mistaken with the Shortcut menu in settings) which allows Siri to compl

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New Instagram feature could make captions #hashtag-free

One of the most annoying things about Instagram is to see hundreds of hashtags stuffed into photo captions. Thankfully, it looks likeInstagram is working on a better way to present them. In a tweet, app researcher Jane Manchun Wong noted that the company is testing the ability to add hashtags without including them in the caption. Screenshots suggest that hashtags might appear as blocks beneath a post with separate the caption. Instagram is testi

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Instagram might let you add hashtags without including them in captions

One of the most annoying things about Instagram is to see hundreds of hashtags stuffed into photo captions. Thankfully, it looks likeInstagram is working on a better way to present them. In a tweet, app researcher Jane Manchun Wong noted that the company is testing the ability to add hashtags without including them in the caption. Screenshots suggest that hashtags might appear as blocks beneath a post with separate the caption. Instagram is testi

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This startup wants to become the Facebook of death

Social media has changed how we live, and surprisingly, how we die. Mortality used to be an intimate affair shared between families and close groups of friends, but that‘s no longer the case. People now broadcast the passing of their loved ones across the internet to an audience of potentially billions. This raises an interesting question: aresocial media platforms, which are rife with trolls and aggressive advertising, appropriate vessels

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Coinbase and Kraken hit back at NY Attorney General‘s scathing criticism

Cryptocurrency exchanges are hitting back at New York Attorney General‘s scathing criticism, suggesting the industry lacks fairness, integrity, and security. Earlier this week, the office of the NY Attorney General office published a report which highlighted a number of risks cryptocurrency exchanges expose their users to, including the possibility of market manipulation. Yesterday, Coinbase‘s Chief Policy Officer, Mike Lempres, publi

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PokerStars Deals Winning Hand to Social VR

Back in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg made a 3 billion dollar bet through the acquisition of Oculus Rift that virtual reality (VR) would soon become one of the most social platforms that ever existed. Fast forward to 2018 and very few VR companies have been successful (including Facebook) at building social communities that can bring users together into virtual worlds with real meaning and purpose. AltspaceVR and Rec Room are two noteable social VR expe

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Crippling DDoS vulnerability put the entire Bitcoin market at risk

The entire Bitcoin infrastructure has been issued with a stern warning: update Bitcoin Core software or risk having the whole thing collapse. Until now, anyone could have brought down the entire Bitcoin blockchain by flooding full node operators with traffic, via a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack. ‘A denial-of-service vulnerability (CVE-2018-17144) exploitable by miners has been discovered in Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 up to 0

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Japan lost over 540M in cryptocurrency hacks in first half of 2018

Hackers have swiped over 540 million (60 billion Yen) worth of cryptocurrency from Japanese netizens over the first six months of 2018. On September 20, Japan‘s National Police Agency revealed the number of cryptocurrency-related reported incidents rose to 158 triple the amount of incidents over the same period last year, local outlet The Asahi Shimbun reports. For the record, most of the stolen funds can be traced back to the breach of cr

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Instagram is testing geo-restriction for stories and posts

Instagramis testing a geofencing feature for stories and posts. This will allow the creators to post their content to selected countries, instead of being universally available. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong pointed out on Twitter that while creating posts, users will be able to choosespecific countries where they want to show their content. It seems that this feature will also be available for stories. Instagram is testing geofencing posts an

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Xiaomi admits to showing ‘unobtrusive‘ ads on its Android phones

Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has admitted that it shows ‘unobtrusive‘ ads in its MIUI skin for Android, which is present on almost all its phones. It said in a statement to The Verge: Advertising has been and will continue to be an integral part of Xiaomi‘s Internet services, a key component of the company‘s business model. At the same time, we will uphold user experience by offering options to turn off the ads and by

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3D-printed gun advocate Cody Wilson charged with child sexual assault

Cody Wilson, an active proponent of 3D-printed guns, has been accused of having sex with an underage girl in Austin, Texas which amounts to child sexual assault, as the victim is under 17. And now, a judge has signed an arrest warrant with Wilson‘s name on it. According to this affidavit shared by Austin-based reported Tony Plohetski, Wilson is accused of meeting a 16-year-old girl through a site called SugarDaddyMeet.com, and paying her 5

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Amazon reportedly plans to open 3,000 cashier-less stores by 2021

Amazon is said to be interested in beating grocery stores at their own game by opening 3,000 more of its cashier-less Amazon Go shops over the next three years, reports Bloomberg. That could see it go up against major chains like 7-Eleven, Subway, and Pret a Manger with the added advantage of zero checkout lines. To recap, shoppers at Amazon Go simply scan their phones loaded with the necessary companion app when they enter, and then grab the it

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Leak: Amazon‘s Echo Sub will turn Alexa into a 2.1 stereo system

The sound output on Amazon‘s Echo is fine for casual background music, but it‘s not worth much for any critical listening. But now that both Google and Apple have speakers that can pump out some serious tunes, it seems Amazon is starting to take sound seriously. Pocket-Lint caught an Amazon UK listing showing off an unannounced Echo Sub it seems someone posted it too early listed at 75 (~ 99 USD, but gadget prices don‘t usuall

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Elephant tusk DNA may hold the key to stiffer penalties for poachers

A study published Wednesday in Science Advancesdetailed a creative approach to stopping the illegal ivory trade. While our awareness of the problem has grown in recent years, it hasn‘t slowed demand. In Africa alone, some 100 elephants are killed each day due to the insatiable lust brought on by the illicit ivory trade. Journalist Jeffrey Gettlemen described the carnage in harrowing detail in a 2012 report, saying 2011 broke the record for

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Teaching robots to predict the future

Future-predicting robots are all the rage this year in machine learning circles, but today‘s deep learning techniques can only take the research so far. That‘s why some ambitious AI developers are turning to an already established prediction engine for inspiration: The human brain. Researchers around the world are closing in on the development of a truly autonomous robot. Sure, there‘s plenty of robotics that can do amazing thin

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PlayStation One Classic won‘t fix the biggest problem with retro consoles

Sony today announced it was releasing the PlayStation One Classic later this year - the sixty millionth retro console so far (I‘m guesstimating). You‘d think, now that we‘re so deep into this trend, we‘d see a little innovation, or at least something other than a tiny hunk of plastic with a couple of emulated games on it. But no, we‘re not going to get much beside yet another NES Classic. The PS One Classic was first

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New physics AI could be the key to a quantum computing revolution

Quantum computing is one of the most exciting technologies there is, but its basis in quantum physics makes it a pain in the ass to understand and even harder to do anything with. A recent breakthrough in physics research, however, might change all of that and start a computing revolution. It wouldn‘t be the first time this has happened. IBM‘s Thomas J Watson (the person the Watson AI was named after) famously said ‘I think ther

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