abbernier

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Pro gamer dumps ‘world’s sexiest weathergirl’ for more ‘Call of Duty’

Struggling professional “Call of Duty player” Douglas “FaZe Censor” Martin dumped his weathergirl girlfriend Yanet Garcia to spend more time with …

Call of Duty

How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

It’s a reduction of human evolution to a video game won by finding the escape hatch and bringing BFFs along for the ride<p>The very essence of what it means to be human is treated less as a feature than bug<p>Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I …

Singularity

Senators call on FTC to investigate smart TVs tracking viewers' data

A pair of US senators are concerned that your smart TV might be spying on you.<p>Democratic Sens. Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether internet-connected smart TVs are invading consumer privacy. The request was made in a letter sent to FTC …

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras

ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.<p>In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal …

Artificial Intelligence

Einstein Wins Again! General Relativity Passes Its First Extragalactic Test

In 1915, Albert Einstein put forth a new theory of gravity: General Relativity. Instead of every mass in the Universe instantly reaching across to every other mass and exerting an attractive force, the new concept of a cosmic fabric — spacetime — would curve in response to matter and energy. As the …

Consciousness: How we’re solving a mystery bigger than our minds

TWENTY years ago this week, two young men sat in a smoky bar in Bremen, northern Germany. Neuroscientist Christof Koch and philosopher David Chalmers …

Can We Change The Past?

Who has no regrets about things done in the past? Wouldn't it be nice if, somehow, we could go back to tweak a couple of bad decisions?<p>This sounds (and as we will see, <i>is,</i> to a certain extent) like science fiction.<p>The laws of physics prohibit traveling backwards in time for many reasons. If we did …

Quantum Physics

Bodyhackers: Bold, inspiring and terrifying

<b>Jesika Foxx has permanently purple eyeballs, and an elf-like ear. Her husband, Russ, has a pair of horns under his skin.</b><p>Stelarc, a 72-year-old Australian, has an ear on his arm. Soon he hopes to attach a small microphone to it so people can, via the internet, listen to whatever it hears.<p>Meow-Ludo …

Am I a bad feminist?

<i>Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction and essays, including</i> The Handmaid's Tale<i>.</i><p>It seems that I am a "Bad Feminist." I can add that to the other things I've been accused of since 1972, such as climbing to fame up a pyramid of decapitated men's heads (a leftie …

What Does 'Sexual Misconduct' Actually Mean?

The almost infinite shades of creepy misbehavior on display are challenging the legal and cultural categories used to describe them.<p>“Enough is enough,” proclaimed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a December 6 press conference. Whatever the details of her colleague Al Franken’s sexual misbehavior, said …

Sexual Harassment

A Feminist Dystopia For The #MeToo Moment

Author Naomi Alderman conceived of a world in which women wield all the power. What she really shows is how impossible that would be.<p>This is how the patriarchy dies, not with a whimper but with a cataclysmic bang. One day, women wake up with a new power; their power is unprecedented and …

Feminism

In China, facial recognition is sharp end of a drive for total surveillance

<i>[This story has been optimized for offline reading on our apps. For a richer experience, you can find the full version of this story here. An Internet connection is required.]</i><p>For 40-year-old Mao Ya, the facial recognition camera that allows access to her apartment building is simply a useful …

WikiLeaks shared the full ‘Fire and Fury’ book online. Here’s why that may be a problem.

Not long after “Fire and Fury” reached the bestseller list, WikiLeaks tweeted what appeared to be a full-text copy of Michael Wolff’s explosive book about a tumultuous Trump White House.<p>The hardcover book that costs $18 on Amazon was suddenly free for anyone via WikiLeaks’s Twitter page. The tweet, …

A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted

Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal.<p>Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits …

Public Health

Silicon Valley's Immortalists Will Help Us All Stay Healthy

In early 1954, Pope Pius XII summoned a venerable Swiss quack named Paul Niehans to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo. The pontiff was nauseated …

Silicon Valley

Crime-fighting robot retired after launching alleged 'war on the homeless'

Like so many classic Western anti-heroes before him, he rolled (literally) into town with a singular goal in mind: cleaning up the streets, which had become a gritty hotbed of harassment, vandalism, break-ins and grift.<p>The only difference was that he was a slow-moving, 400-pound robot with a …

We need to talk about genetically modifying animals

<i>Henry T. Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University.</i><p>STANFORD, Calif. — David Ishee, a Mississippi kennel owner, wants to use genome editing to cure a genetic disease in Dalmatians. Kevin Esvelt, an MIT scientist, …

How will humanity react to alien life? Psychologists have some predictions.

Germs stuck to the outside of the International Space Station are not from around here, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov said in an interview last week with Russian state-owned news service Tass. Microbes “have come from outer space and settled along the external surface,” Shkaplerov said. “They are …

Microorganisms on your scalp, ears and elbows can be turned into music

Bodies make great music — but what if you could produce some sick beats without lifting a finger? Forget whistling or snapping: The body's microbiome can make music, too.<p>Everyone is host to billions of microorganisms: tiny bacteria, viruses, even fungi that swarm over and inside every part of the …

If No One Owns the Moon, Can Anyone Make Money Up There?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — From Launch Complex 17 here at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, many of NASA’s robotic planetary missions blasted off. Soon, the two massive towers that once cradled Delta 2 rockets will be torn down. A new tenant — Moon Express, a tiny company with far-out ambitions — …

Will Supreme Court open a ‘dam burst’ of legalized sports betting?

LAS VEGAS — Twelve television screens in Jay Kornegay's office just off the casino floor are filled with NFL action. His cellphone is blowing up. His inbox blinks with new emails. Twitter won't stop chirping.<p>But only one thing can prompt him to stop what he's doing and look up: a loud cheer from …

Woman fired after disabling work app that tracked her movements 24/7

A woman in California claims to have been fired from her job after uninstalling an app on her smartphone that her employer used to track her movements 24 hours a day. Myrna Arias, a former employee of money transfer firm Intermex, says she was told to keep her phone on at all times and was …

Apps

C.S. Lewis predicted Donald Trump

C.S. Lewis isn’t the first person you would think would have predicted Donald Trump.<p>The British novelist and theologian wrote reflections on Christian life that are still widely cited by pastors, and he wrote books about a lion, a witch and a wardrobe that are still beloved by children the world …

Donald Trump

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit …

Stop the rise of the ‘killer robots,’ warn human rights advocates

It is very common in science fiction films for autonomous armed robots to make life-or-death decisions — often to the detriment of the hero. But these days, lethal machines with an ability to pull the trigger are increasingly becoming more science than fiction.<p>The U.N. Convention on Certain …

First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill — a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors whether, and when, patients take their medicine.<p>The approval, announced late on Monday, marks a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices …

How Kurt Vonnegut Found His Voice and His Themes

<b>COMPLETE STORIES</b><br>By Kurt Vonnegut<br>Edited by Jerome Klimkowitz and Dan Wakefield<br>911 pp. Seven Stories Press. $45.<p>Stop me if you’ve heard this one: I once stalked Kurt Vonnegut.<p>There’s a sort of writer — often male, typically born in the mid- to late-20th century — for whom this won’t be a surprise, …

Literature