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16 Great Deals on Video Games, Outdoor Gear, and Tech

WIRED

The weekend means it's time to relax, however you see fit. We've found plenty of deals to aid in your quest for some quality downtime. Want to spend 12 hours with a new video game? REI's Anniversary Sale is going on right now, and we've rounded up our favorite deals right here. Earlier this week, we also collected a few discounts on robot vacuums we've tested and liked, and they're still on sale.


'Diablo: Immortal' is coming to mobile and (surprise!) PC on June 2nd

Engadget

All the way back at BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard revealed Diablo: Immortal, which would fill in the gaps of the story between Diablo II and Diablo III. However, the fact it was announced as a mobile-only game didn't exactly go over well with the publisher's hardcore fans (to put it mildly). Fast forward nearly three and a half years and not only does the game have a release date, but Blizzard announced it'll be available on PC after all. Diablo: Immortal will arrive on PC, iOS and Android in most parts of the world on June 2nd. Folks in some Asia-Pacific regions will need to wait a few extra weeks. The PC version will initially be in open beta, but will have all content and features.


The Machine Ethics Podcast: Ethics of digital worlds with Richard Bartle

AIHub

Hosted by Ben Byford, The Machine Ethics Podcast brings together interviews with academics, authors, business leaders, designers and engineers on the subject of autonomous algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technology's impact on society. Richard Bartle joins us again after his appearance on episode 65 to chat about the metaverse, different ways to design AI controlled NPC, the lack of progress of AI in games, ethical considerations of games designers, ethics of AI life, virtualism, 'smart' AI, robot rights and more… Dr Richard A. Bartle is Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK. He is best known for having co-written in 1978 the first virtual world, MUD, the progenitor of the £30bn Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game industry. His 1996 Player Types model has seen widespread adoption by MMO developers and the games industry in general. His 2003 book, Designing Virtual Worlds, is the standard text on the subject, and he is an influential writer on all aspects of MMO design and development.


The Morning After: Our verdict on Apple's Mac Studio

Engadget

Capping off a week of Apple reviews (iPhone SE here, iPad Air right here), we've got the verdict on the company's impressive new desktop PC. It looks like a big Mac mini but houses some incredibly powerful components, centered around Apple's newest M1 chips. According to Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar, the Mac Studio delivers the power and ports creative professionals need. Even though it's not upgradable, it's a Mac that can finally compete with high-end PC workstations. The Mac Studio starts at $1,999 with the M1 Max chip and jumps to $3,999 if you want to tame the M1 Ultra.


Microsoft-Activision deal: What will it mean? Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to Talking Tech. You likely heard me a couple days ago talking about Microsoft's huge deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which is the video game publisher that makes a ton of big titles, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft through Blizzard, and a host of others. The big concern for some video game players, particularly owners of a PlayStation, is whether they should be worried that one of the industry's biggest games and Call of Duty may no longer be on the platform.


Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion: Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to talking tech huge news in the world of video games. And for that matter technology, Microsoft announced it plans to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard in an all cash deal valued at an eye-popping 68.7 billion.


Best Tech of CES 2022 Awards: Our Top Products

#artificialintelligence

Despite a last-minute surge of omicron that sent many companies scurrying from the physical show floor, the annual gadget bacchanal largely proceeded as planned: We got our goliath (and diminutive) TVs, futuristic vehicles, and bizarre robots. Many of them just arrived via livestreams, instead of bombastic live events that rip a page from Cirque Du Soleil. Big themes this year include a slew of EVs, a major upgrade to laptop webcams, and – you guessed it – NFTs shoehorned into random gadgets without reason. While we largely covered it from afar, a few intrepid DT reporters ventured, masked and vaxxed, to Las Vegas to play with the real deal. Naturally, we had to round up the best of the best. Here are the products that dominated the headlines this year, and will shape the way we play, communicate, and live in the year to come.


Which games are useful to put artificial intelligence to the test?

#artificialintelligence

The artificial intelligence (AI) that is already all around us cannot safely drive a car by himself, nor can they write compelling scripts. Still, every day the research to make them more capable gets new results, and in some cases, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can help teach them something. Both Google and Microsoft have put online some experiments (interpretable as "games") with which to try to understand how to teach a computer to learn, or simply to get an idea of how smart some AI systems that already exist are. Google's can be found on the A.I. Experiments platform, while Microsoft's were mostly created by the Microsoft Garage research community. They are, of course, not the first such experiments.


These are the products from CES 2022 that I'd actually buy: Smart faucet, 93-inch OLED TV

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Granted, it wasn't a regular Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the annual mecca to Las Vegas every January to kick the tires on new tech – as several exhibitors and journalists (including yours truly) decided to cover the show remotely because of the surge of omicron cases and related travel challenges. But the 55th CES still managed to impress with several hundred new products that debuted this past week – both in person (albeit to a significantly reduced turnout) and virtually, for those not in Sin City (like last year's online-only CES). CES, of course, serves as a glimpse into the near future of consumer electronics trends. The following are a few CES 2022 announcements that caught my eye. Here I'll focus on gadgets and gear, to be fast-followed with an article on automotive tech coming down the road.


The Machine Ethics podcast DeepDive: AI and games

AIHub

Hosted by Ben Byford, The Machine Ethics Podcast brings together interviews with academics, authors, business leaders, designers and engineers on the subject of autonomous algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technology's impact on society. This first Deepdive episode we talk to Amandine Flachs, Tommy Thompson and Richard Bartle about AI in games, its history, its uses and where it's going. After supporting startups founders for more than 10 years, she is now looking to help game developers create smarter and more human-like game AIs using machine learning. Amandine is still involved in the startup ecosystem as a mentor, venture scout and through her series of live AMAs with early-stage entrepreneurs. She can be found on Twitter @AmandineFlachs.