Google has officially announced that it is opening an AI center in Beijing, China. The confirmation comes after months of speculation fueled by a major push to hire AI talent inside the country. Google’s search engine is blocked in China, but the company still has hundreds of staff in China which work on its international services. In reference to that workforce, Alphabet chairman… Read More

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 New York City may soon gain a task force dedicated to monitoring the fairness of algorithms used by municipal agencies. Formed from experts in automated systems and representatives of groups affected by those systems, it would be responsible for closely examining algorithms in use by the city and making recommendations on how to improve accountability and avoid bias. Read More

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 Coinbase is growing up fast — or at least trying to. As an emblem of its current effort to accommodate the massive demand on its platform, the mainstream U.S. cryptocurrency exchange just added Facebook Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus to its board of directors. Read More

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 Capping off months of controversy, espionage claims and international intrigue, the U.S. government ban on Kaspersky Lab software has been signed into law. The ban, wedged into the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would preclude all federal computers and connected networks from using antivirus software made by the Russian cybersecurity firm. “Considering the… Read More

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 If you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you’re probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech. Fortunately there’s Hatreon, a hate speech crowdfunding site that, despite having been booted from the web by a couple hosts, is back online and eager to let you back your favorite xenophobe. Read More

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 Lyft has officially opened for business in Toronto, its first market outside the U.S. The Canadian expansion was announced last month, and December 12 is the first day of official operations with ride-hailing services available in the city. Lyft service in Toronto includes standard Lyft service, Lyft Plus, Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV rides. Read More

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 The Trump administration had previously signaled its intentions to send astronauts back to the Moon, but now that renewed space exploration objective is official. On Monday, the president signed Space Policy Directive 1, a document detailing a shift in U.S. policy that would reprioritize a mission to put American boots on the Moon for the first time in 45 years. Read More

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 Following an eleventh-hour order instructing voting officials in Alabama to keep the digital ballots generated in Tuesday’s Senate election, the state’s Supreme Court has issued a stay to block that decision. The order to preserve the records was issued by the Montgomery County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon and the stay that will effectively nullify that order was issued… Read More

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 Startups die by suicide, not competition. It wasn’t that anyone was stealing SoundCloud’s underground rappers, bedroom remixers and garage bands. SoundCloud stumbled because it neglected these hardcore loyalists as it wrongly strove to usurp Spotify as the streaming home of music’s superstars. Read More

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 2017 has been a year of bitter partisanship, but it’s nice to see that with some issues, politicians can put aside their differences to oppose something that’s harmful — and more importantly, unpopular. That’s increasingly the case with net neutrality: a handful of Republican representatives have joined their voices to those asking the FCC to delay the vote that… Read More

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 Target today unveiled a new e-gifting feature designed for those who think gift cards are too impersonal, but who are just too busy (or too lazy) to actually shop for and mail gifts themselves. The retailer is announcing the launch of a feature called “GiftNow” which lets you browse its site, then pick out an item to be sent via email to your gift recipient. The recipient can choose… Read More

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 Back in late-2015, the FAA introduced new rules requiring owners of  small drones to submit their devices to a database and attach a registration code to the side of the product. In May of this year, a judge in the D.C. Circuit shot down the rule, and the FAA began the process of returning the registration fee. Now the registry is back on, courtesy of a bill signed into law by President Trump. Read More

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 Last year HotelTonight launched HT Perks, their own twist on a hotel loyalty program. The program is level-based, meaning user “level up” as they meet certain tiers of lifetime spend in the app. It was generally well received but maybe a little under ambitious – it maxed out at level 4 – which granted a user as much as 20% off in extra savings after spending a… Read More

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 A who’s-who of celebrities, investors and celebrity investors have come together to invest $47 million into Aspiration, the company launched by a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton to challenge the traditional banking industry. Read More

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 Hulu today is rolling out a handful of new features to the beta version of its Live TV service on the web, including a picture-in-picture mode, improved search, and, most notably the addition of the user-controlled watchlist, dubbed “My Stuff.” The updates arrive at a time when Hulu is still dealing with a surge of complaints about its new interface. To say that not everyone has… Read More

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