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A new (computer) chess champion is crowned, and the continued demise of human Grandmasters

It’s almost 18 years since IBM’s Deep Blue famously beat Garry Kasparov at chess, becoming the first computer to defeat a human world champion. Since then, as you can probably imagine, computers have firmly cemented their lead over puny,...

Nvidia will reportedly release a mid-range Maxwell GPU – the GTX 960 – in January

New rumors today imply that Nvidia is preparing to release a mainstream version of its Maxwell GPU in late January. Nvidia debuted Maxwell in three desktop GPUs in 2014 — the lower-end GTX 750 Ti in February, and the high-end...

Microsoft is building a new web browser for Windows 10, may kill off Internet Explorer

According to a few sources from within Microsoft, it appears that the company is working on a new web browser — codenamed Spartan — that will debut with Windows 10. Spartan will reportedly look like a mix of Firefox...

Hacker clones a politician’s fingerprint using normal, long-distance public photos

A member of the Chaos Computer Club — a European hacker association, perhaps a bit like the Cult of the Dead Cow in the US — has shown that it’s possible to reproduce someone’s fingerprint, and thus break into systems protected...

The best, worst, and most innovative PCs and components of 2014

1 of 7 Next For the past few years, conventional wisdom has predicted that innovation in the PC market was essentially moribund. That’s not the same as declaring the market dead, but tablets, two-in-ones, and smartphones were all seen...

The Interview breaks online movie sales records: A case for simultaneous releases

It is exceedingly hard to find an angle that presents The Interview in a positive light — and yet, of course, Sony Pictures’ marketing department has managed to do just that. Yesterday, four days after the film’s release on YouTube, Google...

Retinal jiggles: Why your eyes and brain strongly prefer games at 60 fps

One of the issues that comes up frequently in technical discussions of both gaming and video is what frame rate should be considered “good enough.” On the one hand, you have people who argue for what I’ll politely call...

Microsoft, Apple withdraw from Android patent trolling: Is the patent war drawing to a close?

After years of relentless litigation, it seems the mobile/smartphone patent war might be drawing to a close. Rockstar, a patent trolling company owned by Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, and BlackBerry, has agreed to cancel the lawsuits it had filed...

The beautiful, transparent Fx0: This is what happens if you put lipstick on Firefox OS

What has a beautiful transparent-gold chassis, a fairly big screen, decent innards, and almost no chance of getting you to switch from your Apple or Android smartphone? The new Fx0, made by LG, which runs Firefox OS. The phone itself, which...

Apple pushes its first ever silent, automatic security update to Mac OS X to fix NTP bug

Apple has pushed out its first ever automatic, silent security update to Mac OS X users, fixing a vulnerability in NTP that would’ve allowed hackers to turn Macs into DDoS zombies. In some ways, this finally brings Apple up...

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