If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
When the cheapest Kindle e-reader drops to $50, it's difficult to resist snagging one on an impulse buy. Appealing to our most reptilian consumer instincts is just how Amazon rolls, and--right on schedule--the retail behemoth-cum-hardware manufacturer is dropping prices across its product lines. Here are all the Black Friday deals for the Amazon Echo, Kindle, and Fire tablet lines. We're also including links to our own coverage of the price-dropped devices (many of which are best in their categories, the Amazon pedigree notwithstanding). Amazon says these deals will end at the stroke of midnight on Monday, Nov. 27.
Learning the fundamentals behind computer programming and robotics doesn't have to be a mind-numbing slog through dense lines of code--or at least that's the philosophy behind the Raspberry Pi microcomputer and its suite of educational tools. Whether you're a programming savant or a complete novice, you can master the essentials behind building robust programs and robots with the Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle, and it's on sale for over 90 percent off. Boasting 8 comprehensive courses, this collection utilizes project-based training to help you develop a working knowledge of robotics and computer programming. Starting with the essentials, you'll learn how to use Raspberry Pi as a computer and code with Python to create a simple number guessing game. Then, once you're comfortable with the basics, you'll use your coding know-how to create your own hardware projects, like a walkie talkie that runs off Linux and a light detector mechanism powered via Python.
Home security cameras have a couple of ways of maximizing the amount of room real estate they can cover. Ultra-wide angle lenses are the most common solution, but they often cause distortion as they squeeze the image to fit. Cameras with motorized pan-and-tilt features let you sweep the room, but this leaves you turning your back on one part of a room to see what's happening in another. The Guardzilla 360, as its name suggests, pulls off the neat trick of monitoring an entire room all at once. The Guardzilla 360 uses the same pyramid design as the original Guardzilla All-In-One HD Security Camera, but this model is equipped with 1712p HD camera on the top pointing up.
Just in time for the impending release of its higerh-fidelity Google Home Max smart speaker, Google has given its Home app a makeover, bringing advanced audio settings, smarter search, and better navigation. Anyone who owns an Assistant or Chromecast device knows how easy it is to set it up using the Home app, but now Google is giving us a reason to open more often. The entire app has been redesigned, with a clean aesthetic and more intuitive navigation. For example, when you want to find a movie or song, the search bar is at the bottom of the screen, just like it is on the new Pixel phones. It's a small change for sure, but it's much kinder on your fingers.
I'm a big fan of Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers when it comes to smart home control, and the second-generation Echo is a big improvement over the first. But the Alexa-powered Fabriq Chorus delivers more bang for the buck and it sounds better, too. Where the Echo requires an AC outlet to operate, the Chorus features a 2200mAh rechargeable battery that Fabriq says can deliver up to 6 hours of performance, so you can take the speaker with you. The Chorus also comes with a contact-based charging cradle, so you don't need to bother with plugging and unplugging a USB cable to run the speaker--or charge its battery. The 6.3-inch tall cylindrical speaker is wrapped in wooly fabric (you can choose from four designs), with a thin LED ring around its base.
The Apple TV 4K probably shouldn't cost $179. That's $110 more than several other 4K HDR streaming devices, including the Roku Streaming Stick, Fire TV, and Chromecast Ultra, all of which do a decent job of playing much of the same content. But just like the regular Apple TV, which remains available for $149, the Apple TV 4K nails the little details in ways its competitors often don't. Its apps are universally best-in-breed, its voice search is speedy and sophisticated, and its home screen is refreshingly free of advertisements. The fact that Apple's streaming box is the only one to support Dolby Vision--a proprietary enhancement over the HDR-10 standard--is just icing.
You'll also get an angled 3.5mm female-to-male adapter for connecting external speakers, and a 10-foot braided USB cable. Mount Genie suggests using power-over-ethernet (PoE) to supply electricity to the Echo Dot. No power supply is included, and you'll need to purchase either a power injector or a PoE switch plus a PoE splitter that you'll install at the Dot end of the ethernet cable (Mount Genie recommends a WiFi Texas model, which Amazon sells for about $21) if you decide to go that route.
Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Insider build for the "Redstone 4" update cycle tries to do away with the "sneakernet" with an feature called "Near Share," as well as a phone-like auto-suggest feature for text typing. Microsoft launched Windows 10 Insider build 17035 for the Fast Ring on Wednesday, one of the first code releases for what's been referred to as "Redstone 4," or the update cycle following the Fall Creators Update. If Microsoft holds to its current schedule, Redstone 4 should be due in the spring, perhaps in February or March. Until then, however, Windows Insiders are part of the testing team trying out new features: Near Share, better tab muting in Edge, a new Audio settings menu, the ability to configure update bandwidth, and a few more. Windows 10 Near Share makes it easy to share files or URLs locally, but make sure you have the right person in mind.
If you're a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user, you're nearing a big deadline: on Dec. 31, 2017, the last free major upgrade loophole to Windows 10 will expire: assistive technologies. If you intend to upgrade to Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update but haven't actually completed the process, we can help. For consumers, the choice is a simple one: You'll be upgraded to either one of two versions of Windows 10: Windows 10 Home, or Windows 10 Professional. Microsoft has also released the official retail pricing for Windows 10, in case you're building a PC. During the update process, plan to invest some time in prep work and at least an hour or two in the upgrade process itself.
Wi-Fi-enabled smart lights are rapidly becoming commodities, and it's exciting to see prices plummeting to the point where they make sense for just about everyone. The latest: Eufy, a sub-brand of everything-goes electronics manufacturer Anker, just hit the market with two new affordable Edison-style smart bulbs: a $30 tunable-white bulb and a $20 fixed-white bulb. Eufy ticks off nearly all the specs one could ask for in a smart lighting system. Both the tunable and white-only bulbs operate at a solid 800 lumens while drawing 11 watts of power, work without a hub, and can be controlled with voice commands via Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. The bulbs even support external dimmers (though you may encounter trouble with the wireless radio working while they're dimmed).