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A Fight Over GameStop's Soaring Stock Turns Ugly

WIRED

Today, a war over the value of video game retailer GameStop's stock has caused what market guru Jim Cramer called "the squeeze of a lifetime." Howling with glee along the way, traders on the chaotic and obscene subreddit Wall Street Bets helped push GameStop's stock price up from $20 on January 11 to $73 after traditional analysts deemed the stock a clunker. While this isn't the first time Wall Street Bets has contributed to a surprising market shake-up, GameStop's unlikely trip to the moon is unique in both its velocity and allegations of harassment and hacking that accompanied it. Like other physical retailers, GameStop's business has suffered throughout the last year. Few gamers would rather hit the mall than Amazon's significantly safer "Buy Now" button.


Harvard researchers created a robotic school of fish – Strictly Robots

Mashable

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but there's only one robotic school. Harvard researchers created a robotic school of fish that can coordinate their movements without any kind of controls from the researchers.


Netflix's 'Sir' is essential Indian cinema

Mashable

In the first month of coronavirus lockdowns in the United States, when everyone began constantly screaming "WHAT SHOULD I WATCH" -- and Mashable began our exhaustive and ongoing streaming guides -- someone asked for Bollywood movie recommendations in one of my group chats. "Objective" was a tough enough requirement -- as someone whose job it is to recommend entertainment to people, I know that it makes no difference how critically acclaimed or carefully crafted something is if it doesn't ultimately fit someone's personal preferences. But "wow" absolutely stumped me, so much that I couldn't endorse the rest of the chat's ample suggestions. I never caught the Bahubali hype, I thought Kapoor & Sons was good but not great, and Dangal's climax was too melodramatic. The only suggestion I gave was 2018's Raazi, about a woman undercover during war between India and Pakistan -- a film that stayed with me long after I left the theater.


Democrats ask Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to rework their suggestion algorithms

Engadget

A group of more than 30 democratic lawmakers led by Representatives Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) are calling on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to make substantive changes to their recommendation algorithms. In three separate letters addressed to the CEOs of those companies, the group makes a direct link to the January 6th US Capitol attack and the part those platforms played in radicalizing the individuals who took part in the uprising. "On Wednesday, January 6th the United States Capitol was attacked by a violent, insurrectionist mob radicalized in part in a digital echo chamber that your company designed, built and maintained," the letter addressed to Google and YouTube CEOs Sundar Pichai and Susan Wojcicki says. A letter from some Congress members to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki flexes research on how YouTube's algorithms have promoted conspiracy theories and political extremism. Citing the Capitol attacks, they request changes to its recommendations systems.


Google is threatening to pull its search engine out of Australia

Washington Post - Technology News

Google and Facebook have been in a long-running fight with Australian politicians, regulators and media companies over whether they should pay news organizations for showing their stories in search results. The battle reached a new level of intensity when a Google executive threatened to pull out of the country during testimony at the Australian Senate.


What's coming for the channel in 2021

ZDNet

For the channel, 2020 was a tale of two cities. On one hand, customers and governments recognized partners as an essential service and central to their ability to rapidly respond to a worsening pandemic. On the other, customer demand shifted to automation, cloud acceleration, customer/employee experience, and e-commerce/marketplaces, where many technology channel parts were left in the cold. The industry experienced a "K-shaped" recovery where partners who had skills, resources, and prebuilt practices around the business needs of their customers excelled with double- (and sometime triple-) digit growth. Yet many smaller VARs and MSPs were down by double digits, relying on government, vendor, and distributor funding to survive.


The best deals we found this week: $40 off Google's Pixel 4a 5G and more

Engadget

This week brought a return of some holiday sale prices, plus a few deals that are even better than those we saw late last year. Google's Pixel 4a 5G fell to a new record-low price, while the 8th-generation iPad remains on sale for $299. If you want to up your smart-home game, August's WiFi smart lock is more than $65 off and some Beats headphones are 50 percent off, too. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today. One of Google's newest smartphones, the Pixel 4a 5G is down to $459, or $40 off its normal price.


#NeurIPS2020 invited talks round-up: part two – the real AI revolution, and the future for the invisible workers in AI

AIHub

In this post we continue our summaries of the NeurIPS invited talks from the 2020 meeting. Here, we cover the talks by Chris Bishop (Microsoft Research) and Saiph Savage (Carnegie Mellon University). Chris began his talk by suggesting that now is a particularly exciting time to be involved in AI. What he termed "the real AI revolution" has nothing to do with artificial general intelligence (AGI), but is driven by the way we create software, and hence new technology. Machine learning is becoming ubiquitous and can be used to solve many problems that cannot, yet, be solved using other methods.


Go completely hands-free with Amazon's Alexa-enabled Echo Buds

Mashable

If you're still using an old pair of wired earbuds in 2021, it's time to trade them in for a pair that will actually make your life more convenient. Wireless earbuds are less hassle, perfect for workouts (achieve those fitness resolutions you set), and many of them are voice assistant enabled, meaning you'll be able to ask your headphones to set timers, respond to text messages, choose your music, and more. Amazon's Echo Buds check all the boxes of high-quality sound with helpful features that'll keep you hands-free, and as of Jan. 22, you can grab them for a 31% discount -- just $89.99. The Echo Buds boast high-quality sound and top-tier Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology to reduce any background noise that might be in your environment. Get some work done even if your kids are screaming, or listen to your favorite podcast on a busy street without all the interruption, thanks to the in-ear design.


Growing up in bilingual home 'provides lasting cognitive benefits'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Growing up in a bilingual home can provide unexpected cognitive benefits later in life – especially if exposed to two or more languages from birth. UK experts found that adults who were exposed earlier to two languages in their lives were the highest performers in cognitive tests. 'Early bilinguals' – those who learn a second language as an infant or young child – have cognitive advantages over those who learn a second language later, suggesting the earlier we're exposed to two languages, the better for our brains. In the experiments, early bilinguals were found to be quicker at shifting attention and detecting visual changes compared to adults who learnt their second language later in life (late bilinguals). Both early and late bilinguals performed better than those people who spent their early lives in single-language homes.