TIME - Tech


The 8 Video Games We Can't Wait to Play in 2020

TIME - Tech

This year marks the start of a new decade, and the end of a generation of video games. Sony and Microsoft are set to launch new systems during the holidays, marking the beginning of a new phase in gaming. But that's good news: Traditionally, the games launched at the end of a generation are among that generation's best. Here are the video games we're most looking forward to playing in 2020: Computers, synt-wave, betrayal, and Keanu Reeves -- Cyberpunk 2077 is the most hyped game of the year. Fresh from the success of The Witcher 3, developer CD Projekt Red has gone from medieval fantasy to the dark and gritty world Night City in the year 2077.


If You Love Netflix's The Witcher, Try the Video Game it's Based On

TIME - Tech

Netflix's fantasy epic The Witcher is an enchanting mix of European folktales, Xena-era action/adventure, and courtly intrigue. The show is coming back for a second season in October, but that's a long wait. If you've tossed a coin to your witcher, finished the show, and long for more adventures with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer, you should play The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Yes, The Witcher is based on a series of novels from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, and you can absolutely read those. But Netflix's The Witcher shares its tone, aesthetics, and story beats with the video game series more than the books.


How AI (and Mushrooms) Are Helping Fight Poverty in China's Most Remote Villages

TIME - Tech

The last thing on Geru Drolma's mind was becoming an internet celebrity. All she wanted was to make rent. But the steamed buns Drolma rose at 5 a.m. each morning to make in her village in western China's Sichuan province just weren't selling fast enough. So with the bills mounting up, Drolma set off to hunt for wild fungi she hoped to sell at the local market, following the same azalea-strewn mountain paths carved by generations of her fellow ethnic Tibetans before her. Finding the best fungi varieties--like the sought-after matsutake, or pine mushroom--is not easy.


Ivanka Trump's Appearance at CES Tech Show Draws Criticism

TIME - Tech

It's a lazy attempt to emulate diversity, but like all emulation it's not quite the real thing." Ivanka Trump spoke with CTA President Gary Shapiro for nearly 40 minutes, highlighting work the administration has done with tech companies to retrain their workers for new skills. She has worked on skills-training initiatives at the White House. Companies including Google have joined that effort. There was no mention of the pushback about her appearance at the show. The hall was full, and she was met with applause. Organizers declined to say how many people were in the audience. Shapiro told The Associated Press that Ivanka Trump is fighting for workers at a time when robots are filling warehouses and factories and self-driving vehicles are worrying truck drivers. "We've had politicians speak before, cabinet secretaries and others who've come in," Shapiro said ahead of the talk. Ivanka Trump said the event offered a chance to talk "about the way jobs are evolving and changing." "People need to be thinking about investing in their workforce so that they can enable those people to do their same job using different equipment tomorrow," she said. Many people who tweeted the hashtag #BoycottCES on Tuesday in protest of Trump's appearance also took issue with the administration's border detention policies and various actions of the president himself. The technology industry has especially important issues pending with the U.S. government, including antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google, the trade war with China, immigration, election security and misinformation on social media. Government officials have long made regular appearances at CES. This year, for instance, the speaker roster includes both Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Energy Dan Bouillette. Other female speakers include Meg Whitman of video streaming startup Quibi and Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal. Ivanka Trump is "taking this slot at this conference where women have been saying for so long, 'Hey, we are being overlooked,'" said Rachel Sklar, a tech commentator and founder of a professional network for women. "The whole category of women being overlooked are still being overlooked." "Clearly they are not putting much effort into finding women in tech who can speak," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies, who is at CES. Last year, CES caused an uproar when it revoked an innovation award presented to a female-led sex device company. CES reversed its decision and has allowed sex tech into the show for a one-year trial. Conference organizers also brought in an official "equality partner," The Female Quotient, to help ensure gender diversity. "Was there nobody else available?


The 25 Best Products of CES 2020

TIME - Tech

There truly is something for everyone, from new and improved products and services announced by major corporations to truly innovative ideas made real by entrepreneurial spirits. Still, it's difficult to figure out what's worth one's time and what products and services are simply a flash in the pan, never to be seen again. So we did the hard work for you to find the most intriguing and exciting gadgets of CES, from accessories you can buy right now to concept devices charting the future of the industry. Without further ado, here is TIME's Best of CES 2020. Samsung's Ballie is an interesting combination between smart home device and robotic companion.


Sex Tech Might Just Be the Biggest New Thing at CES 2020

TIME - Tech

Sex tech will grace the CES gadget show in Las Vegas this week after organizers endured scorn for revoking an innovation award to a sex device company led by a female founder. CES will allow space for sex tech companies as a one-year trial. The companies will be grouped in the health and wellness section of the Sands Expo, an official, but secondary CES location, one geared toward startups. Lora DiCarlo, a startup that pushed for changes after organizers revoked its award, will showcase its Osé robotic "personal massager." It's one of a dozen companies at the show focused on vibrators, lube dispensers and other sex tech products.


The U.S. Is Restricting Exports of AI for Analyzing Satellite Images

TIME - Tech

U.S. technology companies that build artificial intelligence software for analyzing satellite imagery will face new restrictions on exporting their products to China and elsewhere. The Commerce Department said new export rules take effect Monday that target emerging technology that could give the U.S. a significant military or intelligence advantage. A special license would be required to sell software outside the U.S. that can automatically scan aerial images to identify objects of interest, such as vehicles or houses. The rules could affect a growing sector of the tech industry using algorithms to analyze satellite images of crops, trade patterns and other changes affecting the economy or environment. The new export rules are the result of Congress passing a law in 2018 that updated national security-related export controls to protect "emerging and foundational" technology that could end up in the hands of foreign governments.


Sharon Stone Back on Bumble After Dating App Thought Her Profile Was Fake and Blocked Her

TIME - Tech

Hollywood actress Sharon Stone is back on Bumble's dating platform after the matchmaking app reinstated the "Basic Instinct" star's access that was suspended for hours after several users complained her profile was fake. Bumble's editorial director Clare O'Connor reached out to the celebrity on Twitter to notify that her account was unblocked, and signed off with the message- "hope you find your honey." AHA! @sharonstone, we at @bumble found your account, unblocked you, and ensured this won't happen again. You can get back to Bumbling! Thanks for bearing with us and hope you find your honey.


How Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Identify Thousands of Unknown Civil War Soldiers

TIME - Tech

Samuel Holmes Doten of Plymouth, Mass., was born June 5, 1812, so after the Civil War ended in 1865, he would joke that he "served in the infantry in the war of that date." William Kendall Crossfield, a Peterborough, N.H. native, was having a rest during the battle of Fredericksburg when he was shot in the neck while turning over. The blanket he had pulled up to his chin miraculously cushioned the bullet, but he passed out from the shock of the blow. Vermonter Almeron C. Inman was recommended for the Medal of Honor of Feb. 9, 1887, "for intelligent coolness and bravery" in two 1864 engagements. After going missing for three months in 1895, he was found dead, thought to have killed himself.


The 10 Best Gadgets of the 2010s

TIME - Tech

Making a list of the decade's most important and influential gadgets is, in a word, illuminating -- and that's before you factor in all the LEDs. Over the last 10 years, thousands of products have been released, and while some are definitely "cooler" than others, their impact on the past decade, and the decade to come, is by no means identical. Each gadget tells the story of a new way of thinking, a slow-moving paradigm shift set to change the way we approach the personal technology we interact with on a daily basis. Sure, you might not know what a Raspberry Pi is, but its impact on industries like robotics and home automation has been massive. But the elegantly executed idea has opened up a world of delight for gamers with disabilities.