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Classic Games (Games)

Computer Beats Go Champion 149

Koreantoast writes: Go (weiqi), the ancient Chinese board game, has long been held up as one of the more difficult, unconquered challenges facing AI scientists... until now. Google DeepMind researchers, led by David Silver and Demis Hassabis, developed a new algorithm called AlphaGo, enabling the computer to soundly defeat European Go champion Fan Hui in back-to-back games, five to zero. Played on a 19x19 board, Go players have more than 300 possible moves per turn to consider, creating a huge number of potential scenarios and a tremendous computational challenge. All is not lost for humanity yet: DeepMind is scheduled to face off in March with Lee Sedol, considered one of the best Go players in recent history, in a match compared to the Kasparov-Deep Blue duels of previous decades.

Microsoft Asks Node.js To Allow ChakraCore (Edge) Alongside Google's V8 Engine ( 146

campuscodi writes: Microsoft has submitted an official pull request to the Node.js project, through which it's asking the project's maintainers to enable support for ChakraCore, the JavaScript engine packed inside Microsoft's Edge browser, as an alternative to Node's built-in V8 engine, developed by Google. Earlier in December 2015, Microsoft open-sourced ChakraCore. Microsoft has also been one of the biggest companies to adopt Node.js early on, and is also part of the Node.js Foundation's Board o Directors. The main reason to add ChakraCore support in Node.js will help the IoT version of Windows 10 to run JS apps on IoT devices, just like Samsung is also thinking about.

Google Fixes Zero-Day Kernel Flaw, Says Effect on Android Not Really That Bad ( 132

itwbennett writes: Google has developed a patch for Android in response to a flaw in the Linux kernel and has shared it with device manufacturers. That doesn't mean the patch will hit users' phones right away, though. It might take weeks. But that's ok, says Google, because most Android devices are unlikely to run vulnerable kernel versions, and those that do are protected by SELinux.
The Internet

Google Exec Says Isis Must Be Locked Out of the Open Web ( 208

An anonymous reader writes with this story about Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen and his talk with the Royal Institute of International Affairs about stopping terrorists online. Cohen contends that the best way to fight them online is to keep them confined to the dark web. The Guardian reports: "Google's head of ideas, tasked with building tools to fight oppression, has said that to stop Isis being able to publicize itself on the internet requires forcing Isis from the open web. During a talk with the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, Jared Cohen said that it will not be possible to stop terrorists such as Isis from using Tor and the dark web. The key to stopping the terrorist group from propagating online is therefore to hound them from the traditional web – that which can be indexed by search engines. Cohen said: 'What is new is that they're operating without being pushed back in the same internet we all enjoy. So success looks like Isis being contained to the dark web.'"

Google Has Toughest Interview Process For Developers, But Not the Worst ( 227

An anonymous reader writes: A casual survey of candidates' reactions to the interview processes of the biggest tech companies in the world shows Google as having one of the most grueling hiring gauntlets in the sector — but Twitter's is perceived as the worst. The survey measured the amount of time candidature took, as well as the number of stages and the methods involved at each stage, and additionally estimated whether the job-seekers felt positive or negative about the procedure.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo Balk At UK's Investigatory Powers ( 55

Mark Wilson writes: The Investigatory Powers Bill may only be in draft form at the moment, but the UK government has already received criticism for its plans. Today, scores of pieces of written evidence, both for and against the proposals, have been published, including input from the Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition. Five key members of the coalition are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. In their written evidence, the quintet of tech companies express their concerns about the draft bill, seek clarification from the UK government, and issue warnings about the implications of such a bill. The evidence (document IPB0116) says that any surveillance undertaken by the government need to be 'targeted, lawful, proportionate, necessary, jurisdictionally bounded, and transparent'. The coalition notes that many other countries are watching to see what the UK does.

Publisher Is Pretty Sure Google Could End Piracy ( 216

An anonymous reader writes: Techdirt is running a story about Square One Publishers Rudy Shur, and his confusion over the DMCA process, and exactly what Google has control over. The story goes: "After being contacted by Google Play with an offer to join the team, Shur took it upon himself to fire off an angry email in response. That would have been fine, but he somehow convinced Publisher's Weekly to print both the letter and some additional commentary. Presumably, his position at a publishing house outweighed Publisher Weekly's better judgment, because everything about his email/commentary is not just wrong, but breathtakingly so.

After turning down the offer to join Google Play (Shur's previous participation hadn't really shown it to be an advantageous relationship), Shur decided to play internet detective. Starting with this paragraph, Shur's arguments head downhill then off a cliff then burst into flames then the flaming wreckage slides down another hill and off another cliff. (h/t The Digital Reader) '[W]e did discover, however, was that Google has no problem allowing other e-book websites to illegally offer a number of our e-book titles, either free or at reduced rates, to anyone on the Internet.'

There's a huge difference between "allowing" and "things that happen concurrently with Google's existence." Shur cannot recognize this difference, which is why he's so shocked Google won't immediately fix it. 'When we alerted Google, all we got back was an email telling us that Google has no responsibility and that it is up to us to contact these sites to tell them to stop giving away or selling our titles.'"


Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs 215

An anonymous reader writes: Google is ditching the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android and moving to only OpenJDK. The news first came by a "mysterious Android codebase commit" from last month submitted to Hacker News. Google confirmed to VentureBeat that Android N will rely solely on OpenJDK. “As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”

Google Glass For Work Is Sleeker, Tougher and Foldable ( 71

An anonymous reader writes: FCC filings published today are offering a glimpse of the "Enterprise Edition" of Google Glass. According to Engadget: "...The work-focused eyepiece touts a much slicker (and likely more durable) design with both a larger display prism and a hinge that lets you fold it up for travel. The test photos also reveal a spot for a magnetic battery attachment and what looks to be a speedier Atom processor. There's still no word on when Google will announce this headset, although the FCC presence hints that it might not take long."

Before Google There Was the Chemical Rubber Company ( 143

szczys writes: The CRC Handbook is one great example of how access to information has changed over the years. Now, you open up Google and find your answers. In decades past, hard data needed to solve engineering problems was embodied in volumes of text known as Databooks. One of the best known was the Chemical Rubber Company Handbook. Don't let the name fool you, the CRC Handbook contained traits, properties, equations, and much more on all kinds of materials and techniques for using them. It's still around today and has one big advantage over our searchable digital lives: you know you can trust the accuracy of the information in those books at face value while online information requires validation.

Google Joins Mozilla, Microsoft In Pushing For Early SHA-1 Crypto Cutoff ( 115

itwbennett writes: Due to recent research showing that SHA-1 is weaker than previously believed, Mozilla, Microsoft and now Google are all considering bringing the deadline forward by six months to July 1, 2016. Websites like Facebook and those protected by CloudFlare have implemented a SHA-1 fallback mechanism. Both companies have argued that there are millions of people in developing countries that still use browsers and operating systems that do not support SHA-2, the replacement function for SHA-1, and will therefore be cut off from encrypted websites that move to SHA-2 certificates.

Facebook, Google Top Year-End App List 30

Nerval's Lobster writes: New data from research firm Nielsen shows that — surprise, surprise — Facebook, Google, and Apple dominated the list of most-used mobile apps. Facebook's core app took the top spot on Nielsen's list with 126 million unique users per month, followed by YouTube with 97 million, Facebook Messenger with 96 million, and Google Search with 95 million. This is partially a consequence of the mobile world essentially becoming a duopoly between Google Android and Apple's iOS, meaning that the core apps produced by those companies are always front-and-center (and thus always in use) for the majority of mobile users. But not every app launched by these companies succeeds: While Facebook dominates, for example, the company is notable for some app misfires, including Paper and Facebook Home. That might be cold consolation to indie app developers trying to build up a significant audience.

Airbnb Dethrones Google As the Best Tech Company To Work For In the US 89

An anonymous reader writes: Career website Glassdoor today released its eighth annual Employees' Choice Awards, a list of the 50 best companies to work for in the coming year. Airbnb was picked as the number one tech company to work for in 2016, displacing Google. Airbnb didn't even make the list last year. Google, meanwhile, placed sixth in 2013 and 2014, and first in 2015. As with Google last year, it's worth noting that Airbnb hasn't just taken the top tech company spot: It is the top company overall.

Google Santa Tracker Is Back 68

theodp writes: Google Santa Tracker is back, notes the Official Google Blog, and kids can brush up on their computer skills there with new coding games throughout the month. If they want to explore more Google coding projects, Santa Tracker advises kids to visit Made With Code, where they can learn how to "design a ZAC Zac Posen dress that turns heads and lights up a room." Made with Code, Google explains in its FAQS, is part of the company's $90M mission to creatively engage girls with code. Last year, Made With Code teamed with the National Park Service to make the lighting of the White House Christmas trees a girls-only coding project.

Google 360 VR Patriots Experience Puts You In the Pocket With Brady ( 36

MojoKid writes: There's little question that VR and AR technologies have the potential to make a major impact across a seemingly endless number of applications and industries. Google has teamed up with VISA and Bank of America to sponsor a 360 degree virtual reality tour to give football fans a behind the scenes look at a New England Patriots practice. From burly linemen squaring up, to wide receivers running their routes, and of course the terrific one himself, Tom Brady; in this 360 VR video demo you can take control of the camera and pan around from any angle to see how the Pats put it all together. You can view this video in a standard web browser but if you have a Google Cardboard VR viewer, pop in your Android or iOS device and get in on the pigskin party just looking around naturally.

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