/Technology/ Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13th, 2018 @ 6:50pm EST

The Verge

Chaim Gartenberg

Tumblr is back in Apple’s App Store following adult content ban

Back in November, Apple banned the official Tumblr app from the App Store over child pornography issues, and today — following an announcement from Tumblr two weeks ago that it would be banning all adult content from the website — the app has been restored and is once again available to download, via TechCrunch.

Tumblr is back, right before the ban

Tumblr has been trending toward more aggressive content moderation over the months that it’s been under the stewardship of Verizon’s...

The Verge

Dami Lee

Starbucks expands delivery to 2,000 stores via UberEats

There’s good news for people who can’t be bothered to leave their apartments for their morning coffee, and terrible news for baristas everywhere. Starbucks announced today that it’s expanding its delivery partnership with Uber Eats to 2,000 more US stores, which makes up about a quarter of all Starbucks locations in the country. The service, called Starbucks Delivers, has been operating as a pilot program since September in Miami, Tokyo, and a handful of cities in China. Starbucks says...

The Verge

Chris Welch

Apple is shutting down Apple Music’s rarely-used Connect feature

Apple is giving up on its second attempt to create something of a social network within its music app. The company has informed artists that effective today, they can no longer post content to the Connect section of Apple Music. This page on Apple.com confirms the change, saying that “Connect posts from artists are no longer supported.” Credit to 9to5Mac for reporting the development.

When it introduced Apple Music at WWDC 2015, Apple pitched Connect as a unique avenue for linking...

The Verge

Andrew Marino

Vergecast: Sundar testifies, a hole-punch display, and Verizon’s future

This week on The Vergecast, Nilay, Paul, and Dieter devote half the show to discussing what happened when CEO of Google Sundar Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Congress thinks Google has a bias problem — does it?

The second half of the show is dedicated to gadgets! Both Samsung and Huawei revealed a phone with a “hole-punch” display so the crew theorize what’s coming in 2019 for the smartphone world.

There’s a whole lot more in between that — like Elizabeth...

The Verge

Sean Hollister

IMAX is shutting down its virtual reality arcade business for good

Virtual reality arcades were supposed to be one of the first, most convenient ways that expensive VR headgear would reach the masses — but IMAX, the highest-profile provider of VR arcades, has decided to throw in the towel. The large-format cinema company has officially announced that it will be shutting down its last three locations in Los Angeles, Bangkok and Toronto early next year, and is writing off its VR business as well.

That’s according to Variety, which spotted the news in a...

The Verge

Shannon Liao

Facebook is expanding its video platform while reportedly slashing news show funding

Facebook Watch is expanding, even as it’s failing to gain much traction amongst younger, digital-native audiences. Today, the platform announced it was expanding its 15-sec ads to more than a dozen new countries, as well as launching Watch on desktop globally and on Facebook Lite. The move comes just as Facebook slashed funding for some of its original news shows made in partnership with CNN, Buzzfeed, and ABC News, The Information reported today.

While Facebook’s budget for news content...

TechCrunch

Devin Coldewey

These face-generating systems are getting rather too creepily good for my liking

Machine learning models are getting quite good at generating realistic human faces — so good that I may never trust a machine, or human, to be real ever again. The new approach, from researchers at Nvidia, leapfrogs others by separating levels of detail in the faces and allowing them to be tweaked separately. The results are eerily realistic.

The paper, published on preprint repository Arxiv (PDF), describes a new architecture for generating and blending images, particularly human faces,...

TechCrunch

Lucas Matney

IMAX pulls the plug on its dream of VR arcades

The company behind the biggest screens in cinema is giving up on bringing VR screens within a few inches of users’ faces. The company announced today in a SEC filing that it will be shutting down its three remaining virtual reality centers including its flagship location in Los Angeles.

Via the filing:

In connection with the Company’s previously-announced strategic review of its virtual reality pilot initiative, the Company has decided to close its remaining VR locations and write-off...

TechCrunch

Brian Heater

Anki’s Vector is getting Alexa access next week

Vector’s already got the adorable bit down, courtesy of a team staffed by former Pixar and Dreamworks animators. But Anki’s grownup version of Cozmo can use a bit of help when it comes to smarts. Starting next week, the desktop robot will be able to tap into Amazon Alexa’s deep base of answers.

The new feature will arrive as a software update on December 17. As evidenced by the below preview video, it’s not a direct integration into Vector’s AI personality. “Hey Vector” will...

Mashable

Heather Dockray

This year, foster a Christmas tree instead of throwing one away

The weeks after Christmas always involve a brutal massacre — of trees.

New York City is already a hideous, odiferous noxious cesspool of waste. The city is magically even more toxic in the days following December 25. All along along our broken streets you'll see the bodies of the Christmas dead: Balsam, Douglas Fir, Frasier Fir.

It doesn't have to be this way. People can make a different choice: they can foster a lil' Christmas tree and help it grow into a beautiful adult tree. 

SEE ALSO:...

Mashable

Jess Joho

New 'Game of Thrones' calendar teases a mysterious beast of legend

The World of Ice and Fire books are filled with so much that never makes it onto Game of Thrones. But newly released art for the 2020 calendar has renewed hope that we'll see a fan-favorite beast mentioned only once on the show.

Giant. Goddamn. Ice. Spiders.

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the 'Game of Thrones' prequel series

In Season 1, Old Nan (a true prophet ahead of her time) tells Bran of all the horrors living beyond the Wall. She describes how long ago White Walkers...

Mashable

Miriam Kramer

Virgin Galactic's most recent test flight looks pretty dang impressive in a new video

Read more...

More about Space, Science, Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, and Science

Gizmodo

Jennings Brown

Google Claims It Wont Sell Face Recognition Tech—For Now

Google seems to be trying to distinguishing itself from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon with a recent statement claiming it will not sell its facial recognition technology until it figures out certain policy issues.

Read more...

Gizmodo

Ryan F. Mandelbaum

It's Time to Plan for How Quantum Computing Could Go Wrong, Say Entrepreneurs and Physicists

Quantum computers that can crack our strongest encryption methods might be decades away—but a group of entrepreneurs and researchers think we better start talking ethics now.

Read more...

Engadget

AJ Dellinger

Konami launches free-to-play version of soccer sim 'PES 2019'

Looking for some football action without forking out full price for FIFA? Konami announced today that it is releasing PES 2019 Lite, a stripped down and free-to-play version of its soccer simulator, for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The focus of the "Lite" t...

Engadget

Kris Holt

Google opens virtual version of fire-ravaged Brazil museum

A couple of years before a fire devastated the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in September, Google's Arts and Culture team started working with the museum to digitize the collection. Just a few months after the inferno, Google has reopen...

The Verge

Shannon Liao

After a decade, MapleStory players finally get to fight their biggest villain

For 15 years, the massively multiplayer game MapleStory has foretold of a great evil at the heart of its story. Everything was great until the Black Mage arrived in town, tainting everything with his dark magic.

During that time, players have never actually been able to fight the guy. For years, MapleStory fans have leveled up their characters through long, complex quest lines, coming to the rescue of non-playable characters, fetching them important quest items, all without ever actually...

The Verge

Dani Deahl

SoundCloud’s new integration with Serato is a missed opportunity

SoundCloud is now integrated with the newest versions of Serato DJ, allowing DJs to search, play, and mix any song uploaded to SoundCloud natively within Serato. It’s an immensely convenient integration that’ll give DJs access to SoundCloud’s unique library of music, but it also falls flat for one major reason: there’s no offline support, making it a nonstarter for live performances.

Several DJ softwares have had streaming services integrated for some time — djay, for example, lets...

TechCrunch

Zack Whittaker

US intelligence community says quantum computing and artificial intelligence pose an ’emerging threat’ to national security

It’s not often you can put nuclear weapons, terrorism and climate change on the same list as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, but the U.S. government believes all pose an “emerging threat” to its national security.

Several key agencies in the U.S. intelligence community were asked what they saw as long-term threats faced by the country in the next decade and beyond, and the future of “dual-use technologies” took center stage.

Agnostic...

TechCrunch

David Riggs

Powering customer journeys in the age of AI

Anirudh Pandit Contributor Anirudh Pandit is head of Solution Engineering, NA-West, office of the CTO, MuleSoft.

Technology has been the cornerstone of economic growth around the world for hundreds of years. It has underpinned the last three industrial revolutions and is now the driving factor in today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution — marked by emerging technologies in a variety of fields.

Unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence is one of the key technologies...

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