Weekly Rewind: Japanese ‘bots writing books, gene editing, Sony photo awards

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In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from the second week of March. Everything from the new iPhone and iPad to a real life invisibility cloak — it’s all here.

Stories: 1-5

The standard iPad finally goes Pro, with full keyboard and Pencil support

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Apple introduced a new 9.7-inch version of the iPad Pro that sports most of the same specs in a smaller package. It’s powered by the A9X chip, sports a 12-megapixel camera, and boasts a special True Tone display tech that shifts color temperature based on the lighting you’re in. The new feature works in conjunction with Night Shift mode, which removes blue light to help you sleep better at night. Apple also offers the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil as accessories for the tablet. You can order one now, but it’ll hit stores on March 31.

Read the full story here.

Shots fired! Audi taunts Mercedes and BMW with hilarious Wi-Fi IDs in New York

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To teach the masses about the all-new A4, Audi has set up a handful of Wi-Fi networks around NYC’s Javits Center, each with its own SSID that pokes fun at the A4’s competitive set. Mercedes and BMW are the targets this time around, but if the marketing campaign goes well, we could see all-out Wi-Fi wars breaking out between brands at auto shows to come. The news comes from our friends over at SlashGear.


Read the full story here.

This double barreled handgun folds up to look like a smartphone

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Created by a Minnesota company called Ideal Conceal, the first product created by the startup is a handgun that can be disguised as a smartphone inside a case. Built into a single frame, the grip of the double barreled, .380 caliber pistol folds down and locks into place when opened. When closed, the trigger and trigger guard are completed covered by the grip, thus offering up the appearance of a standard smartphone case. There’s also a clip to attach the handgun to a belt, but in the disguised smartphone form.

Read the full story here.

Smaller iPhone SE packs the same power as a 6S, for less

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The 4-inch iPhone made its triumphant return at the March event, and although it may look like an iPhone 5S, it has all the power of the iPhone 6S. It has the A9 processor, the same 12-megapixel camera as the 6S, and Touch ID support for Apple Pay. In terms of looks, it’s chunkier and edgier than the iPhone 6S, giving the device a retro vibe. You can order it now, but it’ll hit stores on March 31.

Read the full story here.

A giant of the tech world passed away last night

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Bill Gates called him “one of the great business leaders.” Tim Cook called him “a giant of the tech world.” Yet to many ordinary PC users, he was more or less unknown — even though he helped build the PC industry as we know it today. Andrew Grove, Intel’s former CEO and board chairman, passed away Monday at the age of 79. Grove was the first hire at Intel and helped steer the company from making memory chips to its current position as the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors.

Read the full story here.

Stories: 6-10

Here’s what Daredevil’s intro would look like as an old-school video game

At this point, many fans of Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix have already binged their way through all 13 episodes of the recently released second season, and are desperately craving another fix of the gritty superhero drama. Fortunately, the Internet has a way of providing when it comes to these kind of things … in its own, special way, of course.

Read the full story here.

A Japanese AI program just wrote a short novel, and it almost won a literary prize

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While many people in the world are worrying that robots will take over human jobs once artificial intelligence (AI) is fully developed, it’s a safe bet that no one put “author” at the top of the robot job list. Yet, now that a Japanese AI program has co-authored a short-form novel that passed the first round of screening for a national literary prize, it seems that no occupation is safe. The robot-written novel didn’t win the competition’s final prize, but who’s to say it won’t improve in its next attempt?

Read the full story here.

MIT is plotting to kill the traffic light with autonomous cars and intelligent intersections

Say goodbye to the logjam of cars that snarl intersections during rush hour. New research from MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich shows how traffic light-free intersections and a connected network of sensor-laden, self-driving cars can reduce road congestion. The proposed system is so efficient that twice as many cars can drive on the road without any slow-down.

Read the full story here.

Scientists just successfully used gene editing to remove HIV from infected immune cells

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Researchers from Temple University have developed a breakthrough technique that may change the course of treatment for HIV/AIDS and other retrovirus infections. The method uses the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool, which allowed the team to splice the HIV viral DNA out of the patient’s infected immune cells.

Read the full story here.

See the brilliant winning images of the 2016 Sony World Photo Awards

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“Falling Kickboxer,” by Mark Fulinara, first-place, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Sixty photographers from around the world were recently named National Awards winners of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, in partnership with the World Photography Organization. The judges will later whittle this shortlist down to one photographer of the year, to be announce on April 21, in London.

Read the full story here.

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