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Robotic soccer during RoboCup Asia-Pacific 2017

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More than 1,000 students from 25 countries with more than 130 team will participate in the four-day contest of the region's first robot competition. The event is held to encourage global robotics research and development.



Google Home Max: Google's max effort pays off in powerful smart speaker

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If you care more about your smart speaker's sound than which digital assistant it employs, the new Google Home Max speaker should be on your holiday short list. After days of pumping an eclectic range of music through Google's $399 speaker -- from AC/DC to the Three Tenors -- it's clear the Google Home Max is in a class by itself when it comes to filling a home or apartment with sounds even an audiophile could appreciate. The downsides: It's big, heavy, cord-powered and not particularly portable. Admittedly, for many people the decision to purchase this or that voice-activated smart speaker has often boiled down to which AI-infused digital assistant you're most comfortable engaging with in your home, most likely Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant. But when music is the priority, different features come into play.


What happens when you use Amazon's Alexa for holiday shopping

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Amazon Alexa has never sounded or looked better. NEW YORK – It was a few weeks before Christmas and time to put my voice assistant to the test: Could I just shout out the gifts I needed to buy without having to get on a smartphone or computer? Alexa, the virtual assistant inside my Echo Dot from Amazon, is really good at reordering stuff I already bought on the online shopping site. But asking it to order new items was trickier: I had to be precise and know exactly what I wanted to buy. There were times I had to rephrase orders until it could understand me.


Botnet hackers that caused huge Internet blackout did it for money, revenge

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A USA TODAY motion graphic explaining the steps hackers use to take down servers. A graphic representation of the dangers posed by botnets, stealth robotic computer networks that place malicious hardware on the computers of unsuspecting users. SAN FRANCISCO -- A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to computer crimes charges for an online attack that caused a massive Internet outage last year, according to federal court documents unsealed Tuesday. The Justice Department says Paras Jha built the Mirai botnet, which operated hundreds of thousands of infected household devices to flood websites with traffic, knocking out services such as Netflix and PayPal. The plea agreement was filed Dec. 5 in federal court in Alaska.


Toyota, Panasonic strike battery deal in threat to Tesla

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Japanese car maker Toyota unveils a new humanoid robot that mirrors the movements of its remote operator, as Stuart McDill reports. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda spoke at the company's earnings press conference in Tokyo on May 10. (Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation) Toyota reached a deal to explore a new battery partnership with Panasonic in a move that threatens to encroach on Tesla's territory, heightening the ongoing rivalry between the two automakers. Toyota and Panasonic said Wednesday that they are launching a "feasibility study" to investigate the technological potential of batteries that use prismatic cells, which are grouped together in pouches to power electric cars. The deal places Panasonic in the unusual position of straddling the technological and strategic divide between Toyota and Tesla. Panasonic already has a major partnership with Tesla to jointly manufacture a competing battery technology that relies on different batteries relying on cylindrical cells.


20 gift ideas that are perfect for stylish techies

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If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. There are gifts that are practical, gifts that are functional, and then there are gifts that are just… wowsers, that's beautiful. If you're looking to impress someone with a show-stopping present, this list of gadgets has been imbued with great design, and they're all really useful to boot. Good news: Beautiful does not always mean budget-breaking (though there are a few splurge-worthy items here too).


Eufy RoboVac 11 Robot Vacuum Review

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The Eufy RoboVac 11 replaces the popular RoboVac 11, but do the updates actually make the new Eufy a better vacuum? A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. The Eufy RoboVac 11 replaces the popular RoboVac 11, but do the updates actually make the new Eufy a better vacuum?


How to choose the best smart speaker for you: shopper's guide

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Amazon's Echo devices are powered by its Alexa artificial intelligence. LOS ANGELES -- Hey, Alexa, which of the seven Echo speakers should I buy, and what's the difference between them? And OK Google, the new Home Mini is so affordable at $29 for the holidays. How does it stack up to the entry level Echo, Amazon's Dot? If you're shopping for a smart speaker, here's how to decide which model and brand fits your needs and some advice on what to do once you own one.


Apple supplier Foxconn wants self-driving worker shuttles

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See how self-driving cars prepare for the real world inside a private testing facility owned by Google's autonomous car company, Waymo. The Navya passenger shuttle is among myriad autonomous vehicles worldwide in various stages of development. And at an event Nov. 17 and 18 on the University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering campus, visitors will have the opportunity to check it out. The Taiwan-based electronic manufacturer's plans to use driverless vehicles to move thousands of workers a day at its 22 million-square-foot campus about 30 miles south of Milwaukee could pave new ground for the technology, which promises to reshape transportation in this country. More than a dozen states are scrambling to get ready for self-driving cars, and while major companies from Google to General Motors are testing such cars, few are in use yet.