Sam Ragnarsson

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You Can Now Buy an Exact Lego Replica of Your Home

Home sweet (Lego) home. With prices from $1,500, these custom Lego model homes are certainly a splurge, but the kids— and design-lovers —inside of us …

AlphaZero AI beats champion chess program after teaching itself in four hours

Google’s artificial intelligence sibling DeepMind repurposes Go-playing AI to conquer chess and shogi without aid of human knowledge<p>AlphaZero, the game-playing AI created by Google sibling DeepMind, has beaten the world’s best chess-playing computer program, having taught itself how to play in …

Artificial Intelligence

Three history buffs build China's Old Summer Palace from Lego

It sure looks epic.

'Eve Online' Massively Multiplayer Spinoff Coming to iPhones and iPads Next Year

Developer CCP Games has revealed that a mobile spinoff of its massively multiplayer game <i>Eve Online</i> it coming to iOS next year. Launched back in 2003, <i>Eve</i> became famous for its vast sandbox universe and spectacular space battles involving thousands of players, even going on to spawn its own history, …

Typeform, a platform for ‘conversational’ data collection, raises $35M

Filling out forms online and on mobile can be a tedious and bug-ridden — yet annoyingly necessary — experience. Today, a startup called Typeform has raised a significant round of capital to help fund its mission to change all that, with a platform that the startup claims gets its customers much …

Startups

GM buys Cruise Automation for autonomous car efforts

GM has announced it will acquire a 40-person startup based in San Francisco named Cruise Automation, which makes autonomous vehicle technology.<p>Terms were not disclosed, though sources claim the deal closed for over $1 billion. Talks began as Cruise was looking for investors, but GM quickly saw the …

Improbable's SpatialOS is an operating system for simulated cities

Improbable, a much-hyped London startup that has raised $20m (£13m) from Andreesen Horowitz, has unveiled its first product: Spatial OS, an operating …

Game Development

Self-driving cars may already be obsolete before they get here

In 10 years, there's no question that driverless systems will be ubiquitous, but self-driving cars will not be, Ian Pearson, a futurologist, told …

Turn Your iPhone Camera Into A Lousy VHS Camcorder

This app is extremely cheesy, but it’s so charming, and so well executed, that we can love it without burying our affinity under some ironic detachment. VHSCam, by Rarevision, is a $4 app that turns the pristine HD videos of your iPhone into the murky, glitching tape reels that define home videos …

Camcorders

Elon Musk responds to question on Uber tie-up with six-second silence

"I don't think I should, uh, answer it."<p>When asked about a potential tie-up with ride-sharing service Uber on an earnings call this week, Telsa's …

World’s first commercial launch pad to open in New Zealand

Rocket Lab will use the spaceport to launch one satellite a week<p>The first ever commercially-run orbital launch pad is about to open for business. The pad is currently being constructed on the Kaitorete Spit — a long finger of land located along the Canterbury region of southern New Zealand. Known …

Office 2016 for Mac brings the first overhaul of Microsoft’s tools on OS X in 5 years

Microsoft’s plan to broaden the appeal of its subscription-based Office 365 service took another step forward today with the official launch of Office 2016 for Mac.<p>Already available across Windows, Android and iOS devices, the introduction of a new version for OS X – the first in five years – …

This 26-Story High-Rise Will Be The Biggest Passive Building In The World

A lot of building, a tiny bit of energy.<p>Most buildings that meet the rigorous passive house standards are single-family homes. But a new passive house apartment building in New York City will be 26 stories high–the tallest and largest in the world.<p>Passive homes are ultra-low energy buildings that …

This Bricklaying Robot Can Build A House In Two Days

Replacing ancient human art with mechanical precision<p>An engineer in Perth wants to mechanize one of humanity’s oldest jobs. His robot is named “Hadrian,” after the Roman Emperor who built a wall in Northern Britain, and it can lay 1,000 bricks an hour. With a building plan programmed in, it …

How A Team Of Accomplished Entrepreneurs Plan To Revolutionize Your Television Experience

The company’s logo on the doorbell was so tiny that I wasn’t sure I was at the right door. After 18 months of hard work, I was the first journalist to see Molotov in action, a brand new way to watch TV. Behind the scene, AlloCiné co-founder Jean-David Blanc, Canal+ co-founder Pierre Lescure, former …

Brain-Stimulating Helmet May Help Parkinson’s Patients

A non-invasive alternative to brain surgery could be as effective<p>When Michelle Lane was incapacitated by Parkinson's disease, her best option was brain surgery. Electrical leads were surgically implanted into her skull, and a pacemaker-like device installed to deliver electrical signals to the …

The Brain

As CEO steps down, Twitter's problem is that it's just too public

Dick Costolo never managed to tame Twitter's eccentric product or Wall Street's expectations<p>I told my wife last night that Twitter's CEO had stepped down. What had he done wrong, she asked? Too many people were trying Twitter, then quitting, I explained. "That's me," she affirmed. The account I …

Ray Kurzweil: Humans will be hybrids by 2030

In the future, humans are going to be artificially intelligent.<p>That's the prediction of Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google (GOOGL), who spoke Wednesday at the Exponential Finance conference in New York.<p>Kurzweil predicts that humans will become hybrids in the 2030s. That means our …

Singularity

10 ingenious apps and sites for tech-savvy makers

It's time for you to hack into your creativity.<p>A DIY project is a fulfilling way to unplug from the technology-driven world and work with your hands. …

Flickr redesigns web and mobile apps to create a powerhouse in online photo storage

A major renovation for the once-neglected photo-sharing service<p>When Marissa Mayer became Yahoo’s CEO in 2012, she was greeted with a viral internet campaign from one of the company’s most loved — and neglected — properties. "Dear Marissa Mayer," began the website created by entrepreneur Sean …

Zenefits Just Raised $500 Million At A $4.5 Billion Valuation

Zenefits today said it has raised $500 million in a round led by Fidelity and TPG at a whopping $4.5 billion valuation.<p>The company, which allows small- and medium-sized businesses to manage human resources services in a much simpler fashion, is one of the fastest-growing SaaS businesses ever, and …

Startups

Stop Calling. Schedule Local Biz Appointments With MyTime, Which Just Scored $9.25M

“I don’t know anyone who likes calling businesses. It’s not fast or convenient, and it definitely doesn’t feel like the future.” Mark Zuckerberg may as well have been explaining the need for MyTime when he said that last month about Messenger’s upcoming business chat feature. But while Facebook’s …

mytime

Hello Alfred Raises $10.5M To Automate Your Chores

Hello Alfred, a startup that taps into existing on-demand services to automate your weekly chores, has raised $10.5 million in Series A funding.<p>The round was led by NEA and Spark Capital, with participation from Sherpa Ventures and CrunchFund. (CrunchFund is backed by TechCrunch-owner AOL, and like …

chores

LinkedIn To Buy Online Education Site Lynda.com For $1.5 Billion

Professional network LinkedIn is getting into the professional skills education market in a big way: The social company purchased Lynda.com, the online learning company founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com has long been …

Uber cars now outnumber yellow cabs in New York City

You may see yellow taxis as virtually synonymous with New York City transportation, but you might have to reconsider that image before too long. New Taxi and Limousine Commission data shows that Uber cars now outnumber cabs on NYC streets, with 14,088 black and luxury vehicles versus 13,587 taxis. …

Flashgap Hides Photos From Your Night Out Until the Next Day

Are you in fear of waking up a little blurry on the events of your St Patrick’s Day celebrations tomorrow? Flashgap is an app that can help refresh your memory.<p>In essence, it’s a time-delayed photo sharing app that allows you to create a shared album with friends during any event or night out, but …

What comes after the flying car? A self-flying car

AUSTIN, Texas -- AeroMobil, a startup from Slovakia, is already making sci-fi lore a reality: the company has made a prototype of a flying car. But that's not enough for the company. The next thing it has on its roadmap for the coming decade? A self-flying car.<p>AeroMobil has built a hybrid car and …

Pictures of the Week 3.12.15

Haven Streamlines The Process Of Ocean Freight Shipping

Getting stuff from point A to point B should be straightforward. For companies that need international cargo shipping, however, the process often turns into a labyrinthine tangle of phone calls, faxes, and emails to third-party service providers with different pricing models and ways of sharing …

San Francisco