Google AI Makes Music

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A Google artificial intelligence project has written a mediocre piano melody. It’s definitely a case of the process being more interesting than the product. The project, Magenta, is part of Google Brain which is the company’s machine learning department. Magenta is an attempt to advance machine learning beyond understanding content to creating art and music. […]

Periscope Users To Become Instant Moderators

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Periscope is to ask users to act as a “flash jury” to decide if comments are abusive. There’s no word on whether parent company Twitter will adopt the idea. The move is designed to deal with the problem of navigating the spectrum between clear-cut cases of abusive content, more debatable cases, and incidents where the […]

Tech Giants Crack Down On Illegal Hate Speech

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Four major tech firms have agreed to remove hate speech from social media and similar services within 24 hours of it being reported. The move, which comes in a European code of conduct, will only apply to content which breaks the law. That limitation means it could be a tricky subject deciding what material comes […]

US Nukes System Uses Floppy Disks

By Qurren (Qurren's file) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

A US government report has revealed that the Pentagon uses floppy disks as part of the communications network used for issuing nuclear strike commands. The revelation is part of an urgent call for the government to update its ageing technology. The disks in question aren’t the 3.5″ ones in a rigid case that many of […]

Facebook & Microsoft Get In The Sea

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Microsoft and Facebook are to build a 4,000 mile transatlantic cable to give themselves a leg-up on data transfers. It follows a similar move by Google. The cable will run from Bilbao on the northern coast of Spain to Virginia. Most such cables run via New York, but Facebook is one of several companies with […]

Google Pressures Android Makers To Update Quicker

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Google reportedly plans to draw public attention to manufacturers that take too long to roll out Android updates. It may publicly release an internal ranking of which companies lag behind. One of the big drawbacks of Android being an open system that can be modified and implemented in many ways (and on varying hardware) is the […]

Electronic Ink Gets More Colorful

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A major electronic ink company says its found a way to produce life-like color displays. The catch is that for now at least it’s more suited to signs than e-readers. The news comes from E Ink, the company that first commercialized electronic ink and created the screens for several early e-reader models including some Kindles. The […]

Juries Could Visit Virtual Crime Scene

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A British university says courts could one day use virtual reality to let jurors “visit” a crime scene. There’s no sign of the technology being adopted any time soon however. Dr Caroline Sturdy Colis will lead a project using chromakey (green screen) displays and VR headsets produced by Valve to recreate a scene. The idea would […]

Google Scales Back Modular Phone Ambitions

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Google says its modular smartphone Project Ara won’t be quite as modular as planned. Several key components will be non-replaceable, including the screen and memory. The original plan for Ara — or at least the concept Google initially explored — was that literally every part of the handset could be replaced, Lego style. Google has […]

Online Banking Tech Firm’s Truly Shocking Idea

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Going into your overdraft could get you an electric shock if one company’s idea takes off. It could also mean coming home to a colder house. Both are suggested uses for a new banking technology platform, though there’s no sign yet of any banks implementing the idea. The suggestion comes from Intelligent Environments, a specialist […]

Metal Gear Solid Bionic Arm Becomes Reality

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An amputee has been given a Metal Gear Solid-style bionic arm. Among other gadgets it includes a USB charger and a launchable drone. James Young, who lost a leg and an arm in a train accident, got the new limb after beating more than 60 applicants who replied to an ad by Konami, which is […]

Optical Memory Could Be Viable For Smartphones

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IBM has found a better way of using an optical memory format with several advantages over conventional formats. It’s worked out how to store 3-bits of data per cell in phase change memory. The format works in a similar way to Blu-Ray discs, namely by manipulating glass. Passing a high current through the glass can […]