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Latest by Eric Brackett

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Tencent wants to bolster China’s chip and semiconductor industry

After the near shutdown of ZTE due to a U.S. import ban, Tencent has said that it wants to help bolster China' domestic semiconductor industry. The gaming and social media company is one of the most valuable in Asia, but has little experience in the area of hardware so it may not directly build chips themselves.

Google awards teenager $36,000 as part of its bug bounty program

Google has awarded Uruguayan teenager Ezequiel Pereira more than $36,000 as part of its bug bounty program. Pereira found an exploit that would have allowed hackers to make changes to Google's internal systems.
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John Bain, better known to gamers as TotalBiscuit, dies at 33

YouTuber and video game commentator John Bain, more famously known as TotalBiscuit, has passed away at the age of 33 after a battle bowel cancer. Bain was known for his outspoken support of indie games and consumer-friendly practices. He is survied by his wife and son.

Google Home speakers outsell Amazon Echo in first quarter of 2018

For the first time since 2017, Google has sold more Home smart speakers than Amazon has sold Echo speakers. Google's success is driven in large part by emerging markets, but Amazon is hardly out of the game.
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U.S. news sites block European readers over GDPR concerns

A number of US-based news websites, most notably those owned by Tronc, have blocked all European traffic over concerns that they are not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.
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‘League of Legends’ tournaments coming to ESPN+ starting in July

ESPN has teamed up with Riot Games in an effort to expand the scope of its esports coverage. ESPN+ will begin streaming League of Legends events in July of this year, with coverage slated to continue throughout the year.
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How much energy does Bitcoin mining require? Experts are unsure

How much energy is required to mine Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? A recent study estimates that Bitcoin mining uses as much energy as Ireland, but some experts disagree with those findings.
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Owners of charged with extortion and other crimes

The owners of have been arrested and charged with money laundering, extortion, and identity theft. Some are hopeful that this will mark the beginning of the end for Mugshots and similar sites.
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If Trump doubles USPS shipping rates for Amazon, will you end up paying?

President Donald Trump is reportedly pushing the USPS to double Amazon's shipping rates. The USPS and Amazon insist that the postal service is making money off the current arrangement, but Trump does not agree.
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Mindy Kaling and Riz Ahmed nominate themselves to write ‘Ms. Marvel’

Kevin Feige has confirmed that Marvel Studios is working on an adaptation of Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. As of right now, it is unclear whether it will be she will be given her own movie or TV series, or will co-star in a feature-length film, but Mindy Kaling and Riz Ahmed are ready to get involved.
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A German bank is using Bitcoin to handle international loans

A German bank, Bitbond, is using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to facilitate international loans. The bank's founder believes that Bitcoin can make for quicker and more affordable loans while lowering the risk of falling victim to cryptocurrency volatility.
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Bill Gates shows how the flu could kill more than 30 million people

Bill Gates and Larry Page are teaming up to bring an end to the flu once and for all. The Microsoft and Google co-founders pledged to give $12 million to researchers working to develop a universal flu vaccine. Gates released a simulation showing the virus' effects.
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NBC picks up Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ a day after its cancellation

After both Hulu and Netflix decided against picking up Brooklyn Nine-Nine many fans began to lose hope for the show's future. However, NBC has officially announced that it has ordered a sixth season of the popular comedy.
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Tesla requires all contractors to have an employee vouch for them

Elon Musk is sick of Tesla's over-reliance on contract labor. The CEO recently sent out a series of emails warning that the company would be firing the majority of its contract workers
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Facebook opens A.I. research labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh

Facebook has opened two new A.I. research labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh. The company has hired professors from local universities which some worry could make it harder to train new researchers. Facebook says that is working to ensure a symbiotic relationship.
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Companies in China are collecting data from their employees’ brains

Worried about Facebook harvesting your personal information and data? Well some Chinese companies are taking things a step farther by using special helmets to monitor employees' brainwaves as a means of increasing productivity.

Idaho State University loses gram of weapons-grade plutonium, faces fine

Idaho State has reportedly lost or misplaced one gram of weapons-grade plutonium. The United States agency responsible for regulating nuclear materials has levied an $8,500 fine against the school.
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Elon Musk hung up on NTSB chairman during a call regarding deadly Model X crash

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk reportedly grew frustrated with the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NSB) and hung up on him. This decision reportedly resulted in Tesla's representatives being kicked off the investigation.
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Blockchain-based GLN hopes to challenge Steam and Apple gaming platforms

Over the years, there have been many challenges seeking to take Steam's throne as the leader in PC gaming distribution. Now, a blockchain-based startup is hoping it can use the new technology to provide an alternative to Steam.
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Foxconn to divert 7 million gallons per day from Lake Michigan for LCDs

Against the protests of numerous environmental and conservationist organizations, Foxconn has been approved to divert seven million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan in order to make LCD screens at a new factory in Wisconsin.
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Is Apple poised to make a push into content production?

The world's most valuable tech brand may be seeking to expand its reach into the realm of original content production. Industry insiders believe that Apple may be preparing to make some major investments in the realms of video and music production.
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Google co-founder’s letter focuses on the dangers and promises of A.I.

In this year's annual founders' letter, Google co-founder and current Alphabet president Sergey Brin discussed the promises and dangers of artificial intelligence. Brin discussed his view that the technology has the potential to change the world for the better if used responsibly.

Twitter will now highlight news stories shared by your network

Over the past couple of years, Twitter has made a strong push into the news market. The social network's newest feature is based on that goal and will make it easier to see news stories shared by your friends.
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Shrinking demand forces Apple to slow down iPhone X production

The iPhone X was a major hit when it launched last holiday season, but demand has slowed since then. Industry analysts report that slow demand has forced Apple to slash production of the iPhone X and consider more affordable alternatives.

Study shows Google Assistant is smarter than its rivals

Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana saw strong improvement over last year, but Google Assistant still leads the pack when it comes to A.I. Siri, on the other hand, did not fare so well.
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The new version of YouTube Kids lets parents pick videos for their children

YouTube is updating YouTube Kids. Soon, parents will be able to hand-pick specific videos, collections of channels, and more, for their kids to watch. On top of that, parents will also be able to limit the search bar to content that they approve, meaning kids won't stumble across something they shouldn't.
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Microsoft is working to cut the file size of the basic Windows 10 install

Microsoft is working on a trimmed down version of Windows 10 which lacks many of the basic features of the OS.One user noted several issues with this version of Windows 10. When he tried to install Microsoft Office, he received an error, but was given no details regarding the cause of the error.
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In blow to coal industry, tech firms push for renewable energy

In a blow to the struggling coal industry, tech firms such as Google and Amazon are pushing for increased usage of clean energy. And many of their suppliers have made the move to renewable energy. Nearly two dozen of Apple's suppliers have announced that they will move to 100-percent renewable energy.
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Coinbase bans Wikileaks from its currency exchange platform

Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has banned Wikileaks from the use of its platform. Wikileaks will still be able to accept payments via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but it will have to find a new way, including other exchanges, to convert those tokens into hard currencies.
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Twitter bans Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform

Citing alleged ties to the Russian government, Twitter has banned Kaspersky Lab advertising on the website. Twitter cited a Homeland Security notice that warned that the U.S. government was concerned about ties between "certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence." Kaspersky denies the charge.
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Some Gmail users woke up to find spam sent from their accounts

Something weird is happening with Gmail. On Sunday morning, some users work up to find spam sent from their accounts.
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He-Man and the ‘Masters of the Universe’ have found their directors

The long-awaited reboot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has finally found its directors in the Nee Brothers.The live-action film is set for release by Sony Entertainment in 2019.

AT&T brings ‘5G Evolution’ to more than 100 new markets

AT&T is laying the foundations for its new 5G network by expanding its "5G Evolution" service to more than a 100 new markets.

SEC files fraud charges against co-founder of Centra Tech

The third co-found of Centra Tech has been arrested after the SEC filed charges against him alleging his company defrauded investors.