Odds and Ends 

Soooo Atlas the Robot is Doing Parkour Now

So Boston Dynamics’ “Atlas” robot does parkour now. The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace (step height 40 cm). Atlas uses computer vision to locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately. Amazing. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-doing-parkour/

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Anyone can go for a ride in these self-driving cars

Try out a self-driving car for free in Arlington, Texas.Image: drive.ai If you’re visiting Arlington, Texas, and have been itching to try out an autonomous vehicle, you’re in luck.  Starting Friday, three Drive.ai self-driving cars (and eventually five) will be available to ride — for anyone, not just office workers, city officials, or a select group of “early riders.” Back in July, Drive.ai piloted the autonomous Nissan NV200 vans in Frisco, Texas. The Arlington deployment will be around for the next year. “This is a not a quick demonstration,” CEO…

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Facebook’s ‘Ripley’ would stream Watch shows and put a camera in your home

Facebook wants to embed itself deeper into its users homes.Image: Getty Images Facebook wants to push even further into your home. The social media company is building a TV set-top box with a built-in camera, according to a new report in Cheddar.  SEE ALSO: Portal and Portal+ speakers give Facebook a permanent place in your home The device, reportedly referred to internally as “Ripley,” will be optimized for Facebook’s burgeoning TV platform, Watch. The set-top box would let you stream Watch shows to your television, though it’s not clear if…

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How China’s video game crackdown caused a $200 billion stock wipeout for Tencent

New York (CNN Business)China’s crackdown on video games has hammered one of its most valuable companies. And it’s unclear when the situation will improve. Tencent shares in Hong Kong have fallen more than 2% so far this week. It has also suffered recently from the broader sell-off in global tech stocks. But the uncertainty over when the Chinese government will start approving new game licenses again remains a key problem for Tencent shares, analysts at investment bank Daiwa Capital Markets said in a research note Monday. They expect the company…

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Google+ to shut down after security bug

(CNN)For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits almost no one uses much anymore. The same month that the bug was discovered, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal came to light, prompting politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to call for hearings and regulation. According to the Journal, Google’s legal and policy team warned senior executives at the company that disclosing the security flaw could lead to “immediate regulatory interest.” “Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about…

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4 sleek charging stations that hide your phone to keep your family off their tech Optimize That

The Pixel 3 leaks are completely out of control.Image: raymond wong/mashable Google’s big Pixel event is a couple days away and the leaks just reached a new level of ridiculous. Does it even count as a leak if you can just walk into a store and try it out? That’s what Engadget’s Richard Lai apparently did. The Hong Kong-based writer reports that a local mobile phone shop is selling the still unannounced Pixel 3 XL. SEE ALSO: Google’s new Easter egg is a secret text adventure game It’s not clear…

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4 toys to give kids a head start in STEM without screen time

Image: Bob Al-Greene / mashable Welcome to Small Humans, an ongoing series at Mashable that looks at how to take care of – and deal with – the kids in your life. Because Dr. Spock is nice and all, but it’s 2018 and we have the entire internet to contend with. Buzzwords like “STEM” and “STEAM” are everywhere these days. When it comes to educating young minds, learning these skills — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — can help prepare budding minds for the future workforce. More specifically, coding…

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Twitter will update its rules to prohibit ‘dehumanizing language’

We happen to know a certain Twitter user who really enjoys using dehumanizing language.Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images Call it the Alex Jones effect. Twitter announced on Tuesday that it will update its rules to prohibit “dehumanizing language” on the platform. While it is still finalizing what this policy will look like through user feedback and internal review processes, this initiative could add a much-needed layer of clarity to Twitter’s sometimes opaque, yet narrow, rule violation policy. “We want to expand our hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanizes…

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Tech execs in Silicon Valley literally can’t dress themselves

This guy!Image: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock The casual uniform of the millennial techie is a running joke by now, but some are starting to swap in their t-shirts and worn jeans for actual adult clothes. Stylist Victoria Hitchcock told Vox what it’s like to overhaul the lives and styles of Silicon Valley’s emerging employees – who literally can’t dress themselves – as they go “from boys to men.” SEE ALSO: This picture of Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe is hard to believe Hitchcock has been styling members of the tech and business industries for…

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Over half of all Americans who take selfies dislike them, says survey

Image: Getty Images Americans have a love-hate relationship with selfies. A new survey from the research company YouGov shows that over 63 percent of Americans say they take selfies. But that doesn’t mean America is all aboard the selfie train.  While most Americans may take selfies, the majority of selfie-takers also associate at least one negative trait like “annoying” or “narcissistic” with the ubiquitous photos, according to the survey.  SEE ALSO: Ugh, of course ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ is a thing in plastic surgery now Sheesh, what’s with all the self-loathing, America?…

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So a Gyro Stabilizer on a Boat is Pretty Cool

If you’ve ever been on the water in a small boat on a choppy day you know how wobbly it can get. One (expensive) way of addressing this is by installing a gyro stabilizer on your boat. In this demo by Seakeeper, we see how effective a powerful gyroscope can be at eliminating boat roll. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/gyro-stabilizer-on-a-boat/

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Audi’s first all-electric SUV is supposed to blend in

The e-tron is Audi's first all-electric vehicle.Image: audi Audi’s first all-electric car, the e-tron, is ready to plug in. The German company’s mid-sized SUV was revealed in Richmond, California, only about 40 miles from Tesla headquarters in Fremont, where the electric Model X SUV is made. After a boat ride and an Intel Shooting Star mini drone light show, the car was finally unveiled Monday night at a former Ford assembly plant on the waterfront. Diplo manned the DJ booth at the post-reveal party for the car. This car is…

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From unzipped office buildings to melting houses, this artists architectural illusions are mind-bending

Image: Zlata Ivleva/Mashable Logitech MX Vertical $99.99 Logitech is flipping the design of the computer mouse on its side with its MX Vertical Advanced Ergonomic mouse. The idea is to re-invent the mouse, at the same time making in forward-looking and more useful, I guess. It also happens to look like an enlarged garlic clove. SEE ALSO: 50 websites to waste your time on The point of a vertical mouse is to provide an “ergonomic” design (i.e. one that won’t strain your hand). The packaging is says it positions your…

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SF Motors Cold Weather Testing

How does an automotive startup from Silicon Valley continue winter weather development when summer hits? It goes to the Southern Hemisphere, to a beautifully remote mountainous region of New Zealand. Vehicle development for SF Motors is a year-round endeavor as they near the 2019 release of their first intelligent electric vehicle, the sporty SF5 crossover. They’ve given us an exclusive first look into the SF5’s extreme cold weather development at the rarely seen Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds (SHPG) in Wanaka, New Zealand.  Gearheads, this is a bucket list location. During…

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Spotted: Tesla’s electric Semi truck pops up in Utah

The Semi electric Tesla truck has been on the road for weeks.Image: VERONIQUE DUPONT/AFP/Getty Images Where Tesla’s prototype electric Semi — a battery-powered long-haul truck — will go next is anyone’s guess. But in recent days, Elon Musk’s truck was spotted in Salt Lake City, Utah. SEE ALSO: Tesla’s electric semi could be the ‘biggest catalyst for the trucking industry in decades,’ says analyst A woman who said she’s a Tesla employee posted on her Instagram Friday pictures of the truck and an inside view of the big-rig. She wrote…

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