The idea of creating robots that can understand, compute and respond to human emotions has been explored in movies for decades. However, a common misconception is that the challenge of creating emotionally intelligent computing systems is too great to be met any time soon. In reality, computers are already demonstrating they can augment — or even replace — human emotional intelligence. Read More

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 About two months ago the NFL implemented a new social media policy that effectively banned teams from posting any video-based content during games. The backlash was tremendous, with fans and teams criticizing the NFL for negatively impacting fan’s social media experiences, especially during a TV ratings slump. But now it seems the NFL has decided to relax these restrictions. In a memo… Read More

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 Phantom limb pain is a mysterious ailment: people with amputations experience aches and acute pains in an arm or leg that isn’t there — making the problem notoriously difficult to treat. But a new type of therapy using augmented reality is surprisingly effective at reducing even the most intractable phantom pain. Read More

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 From woefully underpaid internships to legendary hiring bonuses at huge Silicon Valley companies, it’s hard for job seekers to know what they’re worth in tech. It’s even harder when they’re new to the rat race. One undergraduate computer science student at Purdue University, Jesse Collins, has taken it upon himself to gather data from undergrads and recent grads to… Read More

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 The European Space Agency is doubling down on Mars, dedicating nearly half a billion dollars to its follow-up mission to the planet’s surface — even though the first one quite literally cratered. But an ambitious joint plan to redirect an asteroid’s moon has been scuttled in order to find the funds. Read More

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 Last year’s breakout Star Wars toy was, without question, Sphero’s BB-8. It was the perfect synergy of technology and intellectual property, which brilliantly captured The Force Awakens’ breakout star droid. In the lead up to Rogue One, there isn’t a single toy running away with the title, but Propel’s drones are a pretty strong contender. Unveiled via a teaser… Read More

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 When rumors first surfaced about a FitBit acquisition of Kickstarter king Pebble, concerned backers were understandable concerned about what the news would mean for the status of their unreleased devices. While its hard to know how such a move might ultimately impact support for the company’s existing line of products, at the very least, Pebble 2 buyers can breathe a relative sigh… Read More

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 If you were to write a history of Silicon Valley, you could do it by looking at a series of major diaspora. Companies like Google, Yahoo, Oracle and PayPal attract top talent for years; when they reach maturity or a major liquidity event, their talent disperses and germinates into the next generation of companies. It’s quite possible that Snapchat could do the same for L.A. Read More

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 This week, AT&T unveiled its new TV streaming service for cord cutters, who aren’t ready to subsist entirely on Netflix, YouTube and whatever else they can watch for free around the web. Launched on Tuesday, DirecTV Now offers access to over 120 live TV channels, in addition to on-demand programming, and the option to add on premium networks like HBO and Cinemax for just $5 more… Read More

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 Lost and stolen iOS devices could be at risk if ne’er-do-wells learn of this blunt-force method of getting past Activation Lock. No special equipment or technical know-how is required, which means any geek off the streets can do it. Fortunately, it’s easily fixed — but until that happens, you might want to be a little extra careful about leaving your phone unattended. Read More

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 Across the Bay Area, affordable housing remains hard to come by. In a climate where many displaced residents point their blame at the techies, Facebook has decided to invest $20 million in what it calls “A partnership to strengthen our local community.” In just the last six years, San Mateo County has added 54,000 new jobs while only building 2,148 new housing units to support… Read More

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 Jolted into existence with a $500,000 Indiegogo campaign back in 2013, followed by a version 2 that was sold in Apple Stores all over the world, Beddit is back with a third generation of its popular addition to the Quantified Self movement: sleep tracking. The product went on sale in September and immediately sold out, and the company is still selling Beddit 3 faster than it can make them. Read More

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 Africa’s two leading e-commerce startups, Jumia and Konga, topped their 2015 Black Friday merchandise sales in Nigeria—even as the country weathers currency volatility and recession. The shopping spree of the continent’s most populous nation has become a de facto test event for each venture’s business model. Collectively backed by over $400 million in VC funding, both… Read More

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 Internet radio pioneer Pandora, saw its shares jump over 11% on Friday to $12.77, amid renewed acquisition speculation. A report from CNBC indicated that Pandora and SiriusXM are expected to discuss a possible purchase. The story cautions that there is “no assurance” that Pandora will reach a deal with SiriusXM or any other prospective buyers. This isn’t the first time… Read More

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 Not only is Facebook not providing little red warnings along with links to potentially specious news—it’s now blocking links to the plugin that did. Over the past week, some Facebook users reported seeing content warnings next to links from established fake news domains, apparently without realizing a third party was responsible. We reported this phenomenon, later clarifying that B.S. Read More

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 AWS held its annual re:Invent customer conference this week — and as it revealed one new service after another, one thing became clear: the company with a marketshare lead that is by Gartner’s estimate 10 times bigger than its 14 closest competitors combined, has no plans to slow down or rest on its laurels. If that market lead isn’t enough to shake up the competition… Read More

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 Emotional intelligence is a hard thing to achieve, even in humans. But it’s especially difficult in robots, and maybe even more so in chatbots, whose available tools for picking up on emotional cues are quite limited. Emotibot is a Chinese startup focused on making sure personal assistants, chatbots and virtual customer service agents can accurately understand the emotional state of… Read More

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 CBS this week announced a significant deal with the NFL that could bring more subscribers to its over-the-top streaming service aimed at cord cutters, CBS All Access. Starting this Sunday, viewers will be able to watch all NFL games on CBS via the service, including regular, preseason, and postseason games. CBS All Access, in case you’re unfamiliar, is the network’s attempt at… Read More

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 Media server software Plex, which helps you organize your own library of movies, TV shows, photos, and music, is now making it easier to access the content you’ve saved on other cloud storage services with an expansion of its Plex Cloud service. The company has added support for online services Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft’s OneDrive – meaning you can stream your… Read More

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 Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine and Oganesson are officially official. This week, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry added numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 to the Period table of elements (114 and 116 – Livermorium and Flerovium – were added in 2012). While all of the above were initially synthesized between 2002 and 2010 and officially recognized by the IUPAC in… Read More

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