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Apple's New iPhones May Miss Out On Higher-Speed Data Links
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 11:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-always-next-year department:
Due to Apple's complicated way of managing the supply of the components embedded in its flagship devices, the company's upcoming iPhones may miss out on the higher-speed data links that many rival smartphones employ. "One of Apple's suppliers, Qualcomm, sells a modem capable of the 1 gigabit download speeds," reports Bloomberg. "Another supplier, Intel, is working on a modem with the same capability, but it won't be ready for the iPhone's introduction, according to people familiar with Apple's decision." From the report: Apple could in theory just use Qualcomm's chips, but it has an aversion to being dependent on a single supplier, and its relationship with San Diego-based Qualcomm is particularly thorny. Cupertino, California-based Apple is embroiled in a bitter legal fight with the chipmaker, accusing the supplier of maintaining an illegal monopoly, and it's seeking to loosen Qualcomm's grip on the market for high-end smartphone modems. That's why Apple will stick with Qualcomm modems for some of its new iPhones while relying on Intel for others. Until Intel is able to offer its chips with matching features, Apple won't enable some of capabilities of the phones running with Qualcomm modems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn't public. Apple, Qualcomm and Intel declined to comment. Apple's decision clashes with the marketing plans of a cellular industry desperate to show off faster network speeds to grab market share. The top U.S. wireless carriers -- Verizon AT&T, T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. -- have declared 2017 the year of 1 gigabit speeds.

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Pirate Bay Founder: We've Lost the Internet, It's All About Damage Control Now
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 08:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's broom-and-dustpan department:
Mar Masson Maack reports via The Next Web: At its inception, the internet was a beautifully idealistic and equal place. But the world sucks and we've continuously made it more and more centralized, taking power away from users and handing it over to big companies. And the worst thing is that we can't fix it -- we can only make it slightly less awful. That was pretty much the core of Pirate Bay's co-founder, Peter Sunde's talk at tech festival Brain Bar Budapest. TNW sat down with the pessimistic activist and controversial figure to discuss how screwed we actually are when it comes to decentralizing the internet. In Sunde's opinion, people focus too much on what might happen, instead of what is happening. He often gets questions about how a digitally bleak future could look like, but the truth is that we're living it: "Everything has gone wrong. That's the thing, it's not about what will happen in the future it's about what's going on right now. We've centralized all of our data to a guy called Mark Zuckerberg, who's basically the biggest dictator in the world as he wasn't elected by anyone. Trump is basically in control over this data that Zuckerberg has, so I think we're already there. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and I don't think there's a way for us to stop it." One of the most important things to realize is that the problem isn't a technological one. "The internet was made to be decentralized," says Sunde, "but we keep centralizing everything on top of the internet."

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Tesla Plans To Disconnect 'Almost All' Superchargers From the Grid In Favor of Solar and Battery Power
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 07:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's off-the-grid department:
Only half a dozen Supercharger stations or so out of the over 800 stations have solar arrays and batteries, but that may be about to change. Elon Musk said Tesla plans to deploy more battery and solar systems with the upcoming "Version 3" of the Supercharger, adding that "almost all Superchargers will disconnect from the electricity grid." Electrek reports: Previously, Musk said that Tesla's new Powerpack and solar arrays will power some Supercharger stations in sunny regions to go off-grid -- adding that "the grid won't be needed for moderate use Superchargers in non-snowy regions." While it makes sense to add solar arrays and battery packs, it's not clear why there would be a need to completely disconnect from the grid, which is often still useful -- especially if net metering is available. Even in regions where coal dominates electricity generation, electric cars are still more efficient than some of the most efficient gas-powered cars. Therefore, the argument could have ended here, but Musk apparently wants to take Tesla's Supercharger network off-grid as part of the company's mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. Depending on the size and popularity of a Supercharger station, which generally varies from 6 partly used stalls to 20 stalls in almost constant use, Tesla would need some significantly large solar arrays at some stations -- almost football field in size. Unless there are some impressive advancements in efficiency, it's not clear how they would make it happen.

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App Store Now Requires Developers To Use Official API To Request App Ratings, Disallows Custom Prompts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 05:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's mandatory-requirements department:
One of the new App Store policy changes made this week is the addition of section 1.1.7, which requires developers to use the official in-app rating UI added in iOS 10.3 and states that they "will disallow custom review prompts" going forward. 9to5Mac reports: When the new App Store rating API was introduced in the iOS 10.3 beta period at the start of the year, adoption was optional but Apple warned that it would eventually become mandatory. It seems that time has come. Here's the relevant addition to the App Store Review guidelines: "Use the provided API to prompt users to review your app; this functionality allows customers to provide an App Store rating and review without the inconvenience of leaving your app, and we will disallow custom review prompts." The language is pretty clear-cut, use the Apple API and stop using custom implementations. The change to the Apple API has some advantages and drawbacks for developers and users.

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DARPA Funds Development of New Type of Processor
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 05:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's non-von-Neumann department:
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is funding a completely new kind of non-von-Neumann processor called a HIVE -- Hierarchical Identify Verify Exploit. According to EE Times, the funding is to the tune of $80 million over four-and-a-half years, and Intel and Qualcomm are participating in the project, along with a national laboratory, a university and defense contractor North Grumman. From the report: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington) and Georgia Tech are involved in creating software tools for the processor while Northrup Grumman will build a Baltimore center that uncovers and transfers the Defense Departments graph analytic needs for the what is being called the world's first graph analytic processor (GAP). Graph analytic processors do not exist today, but they theoretically differ from CPUs and GPUs in key ways. First of all, they are optimized for processing sparse graph primitives. Because the items they process are sparsely located in global memory, they also involve a new memory architecture that can access randomly placed memory locations at ultra-high speeds (up to terabytes per second). Together, the new arithmetic-processing-unit (APU) optimized for graph analytics plus the new memory architecture chips are specified by DARPA to use 1,000-times less power than using today's supercomputers. The participants, especially Intel and Qualcomm, will also have the rights to commercialize the processor and memory architectures they invent to create a HIVE. The graph analytics processor is needed, according to DARPA, for Big Data problems, which typically involve many-to-many rather than many-to-one or one-to-one relationships for which today's processors are optimized. A military example, according to DARPA, might be the the first digital missives of a cyberattack.

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Japan To Launch Self-Navigating Cargo Ships 'By 2025'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 04:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's self-piloting department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: Japanese shipping companies are working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. The "smart ships" will use artificial intelligence to plot the safest, shortest, most fuel-efficient routes, and could be in service by 2025. The AI will also be used to predict malfunctions and other problems, which could help reduce the number of maritime incidents. The companies plan to build about 250 self-navigating ships. Shipping firms Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen are working with shipbuilders including Japan Marine United to share both costs and expertise, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The first ships will retain a small crew to oversee certain operations, but there are plans to develop completely autonomous vessels in the future.

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Microsoft To Shut Down Its Docs.com File-Sharing Site December 15
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 04:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's killing-things department:
Microsoft will close its file storage and sharing service Docs.com Dec. 15, it said today. As a result of its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft also got SlideShare, a more popular place for sharing presentations infographics and other materials with an audience of 70 million. SlideShare represents a better platform for storing and publishing Microsoft documents, the company said. From a report: Microsoft is advising users to migrate and/or delete content they shared on Docs.com as soon as possible. As of today, June 9, creating new Docs.com accounts is no longer supported. Those with existing accounts can still view, edit, publish, download, and delete their existing content. As of August 1, publishing and editing content on Docs.com will no longer be supported.

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Ask Slashdot: What Types of Jobs Are Opening Up In the New Field of AI?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's question-and-answer department:
Qbertino writes: I'm about to move on in my career after having a "short rethink and regroup break" and was for quite some time now thinking about getting into perhaps a new programming language and technology, like NodeJS or Java/Kotlin or something. But I have the seriously growing suspicion that artificial intelligence is coming for us programmers and IT experts faster than we might want to admit. Just last weekend I heard myself saying to a friend who was a pioneer on the web, "AI is today what the web was in 1993" -- I think that to be very true. So just 20 minutes ago I started thinking and wondering about what types of jobs there are in AI. Is anything popping up in the industry from the AI hype and what are these positions called, what do they precisely do and what are the skills needed to do them? I suspect something like an "AI Architect" for planning AI setups and clearly defining the boundaries of what the AI is supposed to do and explore. Then I presume the requirements for something like an "AI Maintainer" and/or "AI Trainer," which would probably resemble something like an admin of a big data storage, looking at statistics and making educated decisions on which "AI Training Paths" the AI should continue to explore to gain the skill required and deciding when the "AI" is ready to be let go on to the task. You're seeing we -- AFAIK -- don't even have names for these positions yet, but I suspect, just as in the internet/web boom 20 years ago, that is about to change *very* fast. And what about Tensor Flow? Should I toy around with it or are we past that stage already and will others do AI setup and installation better than me before I know how this thing really works? Because I also suspect most of the AI work for humans will closely be tied to services and providers such as Google. You know, renting "AI" as you rent webspace or subscribe to bandwidth today. Any services and industry vendors I should look into -- besides the obvious Google that is? In a nutshell, what work is there in the field of AI that can be done and how do I move into that? Like now. And what should I maybe get a degree in if I want to be on top of this AI thing? And how would you go about gaining skill and knowledge on AI today, and I mean literally, today. I know, tons of questions but insightful advice is requested from an educated slashdot crowd. And I bet I'm not the only one interested in this topic. Thanks.

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Prosectors Say the Kansas Shooting of Garmin Engineers Was a Hate Crime
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hate-crime department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Federal prosecutors have filed a hate crime charge against 51-year-old Kansas resident Adam Purinton, according to the Department of Justice. Purinton, who is accused of shooting three people in an Olathe bar, reportedly told a local Garmin engineer to "get out of my country" before opening fire. Purinton is currently being held on first-degree murder charges filed by local prosecutors. Today's indictment accuses Purinton of committing murder "because of Kuchibhotla's actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin," with additional charges for the attempted murder of Madasani and violations of federal firearm statutes. The Justice Department declined to say whether it will pursue the death penalty, although it is authorized by the hate crime statute.

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Home Blood Pressure Monitors Are Wrong 70 Percent of the Time, Says Study
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 01:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of-the-other department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In a study out this week, about 70 percent of home blood-pressure devices tested were off by 5 mmHg or more. That's enough to throw off clinical decisions, such as stopping or starting medication. Nearly 30 percent were off by 10 mmHg or more, including many devices that had been validated by regulatory agencies. The findings, published in The American Journal of Hypertension, suggest that consumers should be cautious about picking out and using such devices -- and device manufacturers need to step up their game. Lead author Raj Padwal and his colleagues set out to test the accuracy of the devices themselves. Funded by the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, they compared the home blood-pressure monitors of 85 patients with a gold-standard blood-pressure measurement technique. The patients' monitors varied by type, age, and validation-status. But they all used an automated oscillometric method, which measures oscillations in the brachial artery and uses an algorithm to calculate blood pressure. The gold-standard method was the old-school auscultatory method, which involves the arm-squeezing sphygmomanometer and a clinician listening for thumps with a stethoscope. Of the 85 home devices, 59 were inaccurate by 5 mmHg or more in either their systolic (the top number that's the maximum pressure of a heart beat) or diastolic (the bottom number that's the minimum between-beat pressure). That's 69 percent inaccurate. Of those, 25 (or 29 percent) were off by 10 mmHg or more. And six devices (seven percent) were off by 15 mmHg or more.

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Why Does Microsoft Still Offer a 32-bit OS?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 01:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's interesting-questions department:
Brian Wilson, a founder of cloud storage service BackBlaze, writes in a blog post: Moving over to a 64-bit OS allows your laptop to run BOTH the old compatible 32-bit processes and also the new 64-bit processes. In other words, there is zero downside (and there are gigantic upsides). Because there is zero downside, the first time it could, Apple shipped with 64-bit OS support. Apple did not give customers the option of "turning off all 64-bit programs." Apple first shipped 64-bit support in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in 2009. This was so successful that Apple shipped all future Operating Systems configured to support both 64-bit and 32-bit processes. All of them. But let's contrast the Apple approach with that of Microsoft. Microsoft offers a 64-bit OS in Windows 10 that runs all 64-bit and all 32-bit programs. This is a valid choice of an Operating System. The problem is Microsoft ALSO gives customers the option to install 32-bit Windows 10 which will not run 64-bit programs. That's crazy. Another advantage of the 64-bit version of Windows is security. There are a variety of security features such as ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) that work best in 64-bits. The 32-bit version is inherently less secure. By choosing 32-bit Windows 10 a customer is literally choosing a lower performance, LOWER SECURITY, Operating System that is artificially hobbled to not run all software. My problem is this: Backblaze, like any good technology vendor, wants to be easy to use and friendly. In this case, that means we need to quietly, invisibly, continue to support BOTH the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of every Microsoft OS they release. And we'll probably need to do this for at least 5 years AFTER Microsoft officially retires the 32-bit only version of their operating system.

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More Than 40 Percent of Companies Now Offer a 'Summer Friday' Perk
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 12:20 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-call department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Leaving early on a Friday afternoon in June? There's a growing chance your boss has endorsed it. The percentage of companies that offer some kind of "summer Friday" arrangement -- in which companies officially permit workers, almost entirely office ones, to leave early on Friday afternoons in the summer -- is on the rise. According to a new survey of Fortune 1000 companies by CEB, the Arlington, Va.-based research and consulting firm, 42 percent of companies now officially sanction starting the weekend early (press release), a doubling of the percentage who offered the benefit in 2015, when 21 percent of companies said they did so. That big jump, says Brian Kropp, who heads the firm's human resources practice, is because the benefit is such a no-brainer for companies to offer. As flexible work arrangements have grown and the average office worker is just a text or phone call away, many people already duck out early on Friday afternoons, especially before long holiday weekends. Making it official gives the company a way to plug their generosity without spending much at all.

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The Hidden Ways That Architecture Affects How You Feel
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 12:20 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-we-live department:
"We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us," mused Winston Churchill in 1943 while considering the repair of the bomb-ravaged House of Commons. From a report: More than 70 years on, he would doubtless be pleased to learn that neuroscientists and psychologists have found plenty of evidence to back him up. We now know, for example, that buildings and cities can affect our mood and well-being, and that specialised cells in the hippocampal region of our brains are attuned to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we inhabit. Yet urban architects have often paid scant attention to the potential cognitive effects of their creations on a city's inhabitants. The imperative to design something unique and individual tends to override considerations of how it might shape the behaviours of those who will live with it. That could be about to change. "There are some really good [evidence-based] guidelines out there" on how to design user-friendly buildings, says Ruth Dalton, who studies both architecture and cognitive science at Northumbria University in Newcastle. "A lot of architects choose to ignore them. Why is that?"

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Pepe Is Banned From the Apple App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 11:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's setback-for-pepe-the-frog department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: The rarest pepe is one found on the iOS App Store, and now we know why: Apple has categorized the meme frog as "objectionable content" and has rejected an app called Pepe Scream, Motherboard confirmed. "Your app contains images and references of Pepe the Frog, which are considered objectionable content," an Apple App Review Board employee named Nicole wrote in a rejection notice to Spirit Realm Games, the developer of Pepe Scream. "It would be appropriate to remove the references and revise the images in your app." MrSnrhms, a developer for Spirit Realm Games, gave Motherboard temporary access to the team's iOS developer account, which showed that Apple did indeed reject the app because it contains Pepe, a cartoon frog that has been increasingly associated with the alt-right. Also read: Pepe the Frog Is Dead.

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'Quit Your Day Job Is Garbage Advice'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 11:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's do-the-smart-thing department:
An anonymous reader shares an article: While Daymond John was building his clothing line FUBU, which would evolve into a $6 billion brand, the entrepreneur was living on the tips he made waiting tables at Red Lobster. "I was working at Red Lobster for five years as a waiter as I was running this business," the Shark Tank star said at the iConic conference in New York City on Wednesday. At first "it was 40 hours at Red Lobster and six hours at FUBU. Then it was 30 hours at Red Lobster and 20 hours at FUBU, because money started to come in." Even after FUBU started to take off, John continued waiting tables. He wouldn't do things any differently if he could, he told the audience on Wednesday: "Don't quit your day job. [...] Let's say I was making an average of $40,000 a year," he continued. "After five years, that's $200,000 of salary. I would have had to sell $1 million more worth of FUBU product to bring home the $200,000, but I didn't have to do that. I just had to sacrifice time."

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Tim Cook Takes Swipe at Windows During MIT Commencement
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 09:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's forced-habits department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Friday, and he couldn't help taking a swipe at a rival. In a section of his speech describing his search for answers and tough decisions in college and beyond, he admitted turning to a Microsoft computer. "I went to grad school at Duke, looking for the answer," Cook said. "I tried meditation. I sought guidance and religion. I read great philosophers and authors. In a moment of youthful indiscretion, I might even have experimented with a Windows PC. And obviously that didn't work." The line got a hearty laugh from the crowd.

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Intel: Steer Clear Of Our Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 09:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's making-clear department:
An anonymous reader writes: Intel posted a long blog post yesterday touting the success and evolution of its 40-year-old x86 microprocessor -- the one that powered the first IBM personal computer in 1978 and still powers the majority of PCs and laptops. But it wasn't just a stroll down memory lane. Intel ended the post with a reminder that it won't tolerate infringement on its portfolio of patents, including those surrounding x86. The company wrote, "Intel invests enormous resources to advance its dynamic x86 ISA, and therefore Intel must protect these investments with a strong patent portfolio and other intellectual property rights. [...] Intel carefully protects its x86 innovations, and we do not widely license others to use them. Over the past 30 years, Intel has vigilantly enforced its intellectual property rights against infringement by third-party microprocessors. [...] Only time will tell if new attempts to emulate Intel's x86 ISA will meet a different fate. Intel welcomes lawful competition, and we are confident that Intel's microprocessors, which have been specifically optimized to implement Intel's x86 ISA for almost four decades, will deliver amazing experiences, consistency across applications, and a full breadth of consumer offerings, full manageability and IT integration for the enterprise. However, we do not welcome unlawful infringement of our patents, and we fully expect other companies to continue to respect Intel's intellectual property rights. Also read: Intel Fires Warning Shot At Qualcomm and Microsoft Over Windows 10 ARM Emulation.

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For the First Time, a Video Game Trailer Is Eligible To Be Nominated For an Academy Award
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 08:20 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's about-time department:
For the first time in 90-year Oscar history, a video game is eligible for an Academy Award, specifically the recently-released game Everything. From a report: The 11-minute trailer for philosophical pontificating simulator Everything is eligible for an Academy Award -- a first for a video game promotion, boasted game developer David OReilly. The marketing material in question is included under the Academy's category "[best] animated short film," which it became eligible for after winning the Jury Prize for animation at the VIS Vienna Shorts film festival. Everything's lengthy trailer focuses on the correlation between the universe's smallest, biggest, and most remote entities, all while being narrated by the late British philosopher Alan Watts.

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CEO of Defunct Silicon Valley Startup Indicted For Allegedly Tricking Employees Into Working For Free
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 08:20 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's payback-time department:
The founder and CEO of a shuttered Silicon Valley startup has been indicted for tricking employees into working without pay and for lying about his credentials and financing. From a report: In an indictment unsealed this week, Isaac Choi, founder and CEO of failed Silicon Valley job search startup WrkRiot, was charged with five counts of wire fraud for allegedly defrauding former employees. Problems at the upstart surfaced in August when Penny Kim, former head of marketing for the company, published an account of her experience at an unnamed biz. She said the unspecified outfit failed to pay her and forged wire transfer confirmations to make it appear it had transferred owed funds. After it emerged that Kim was talking about WrkRiot, the company threatened legal action. By the end of August, when former CTO Al Brown acknowledged being the person referred to as "Charlie" in Kim's post and corroborated her claims, WrkRiot had shut down its website and Facebook page.

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Google Has Finally Found a Buyer For Its Scary Robot Companies Boston Dynamics and Schaft: SoftBank
Posted by News Fetcher on June 09 '17 at 07:00 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's new-home department:
Japan's SoftBank is buying robotics group Boston Dynamics -- the makers of the bipedal Atlas, the jumping Sand Flea and the animal-like BigDog, Spot and Wildcat robots -- from Alphabet, more than a year after Google's parent put the unit up for sale. From a report: Google acquired Boston Dynamics in 2013 under the leadership of Andy Rubin, the co-inventor of Android, who was leading a wave of acquisitions of robotics companies under the search giant. Boston Dynamics' robots routinely make headlines, including a high-profile demo at this year's TED conference. The company, led by CEO Marc Raibert, has made a robotic cheetah that can run 28 miles per hour, a robotic dog that it recently used to deliver packages to doorsteps in Boston, and most recently a massive legged and wheeled robot that can clear hurdles and walk down stairs. The firm has been hailed by other roboticists for its ability to blend hardware and artificial intelligence to make machines capable of dynamic, agile movements. Its most recent wheeled robot, Handle, can manipulate objects that are comparable to its own weight, and its four-legged, animal-like robots can maneuver over different types of terrain.

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