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Tech

The world’s best player of what might be humankind’s most complicated board game was defeated on Tuesday by a Google computer program.

Adding insult to potentially deep existential injury, he was defeated at Go — a game that claims centuries of play by humans — in China, where the game was invented.

The human contender, a 19-year-old Chinese national named Ke Jie, and the computer are only a third of the way through their three-game match this week.

The victory by software called AlphaGo showed yet another way that computers could be developed to perform better than humans in highly complex tasks, and it offered a glimpse of the promise of new technologies that mimic the way the brain functions.

AlphaGo’s success comes at a time when researchers are exploring the potential of artificial intelligence to do everything from drive cars to draft legal documents — a trend that has some serious thinkers pondering what to do when computers routinely replace humans in the workplace. nytimes.com
Longtime Apple employee Denise Young Smith has taken on a new role as vice president of inclusion and diversity.

The company hasn't had someone heading up those efforts since Jeffrey Siminoff left the company to join Twitter in 2015.

He had been director of inclusion and diversity since 2013. 

Smith, who has been at Apple since 1997, will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, a source familiar with the company told CNNTech. 

The news of Smith's new position was first reported by 9 to 5 Mac. Smith, who started in her new role on Monday, had already updated her LinkedIn page with her new title. 

Smith has held prominent positions at Apple. Most recently, she was vice president of global talent and human resources; she was also part of the leadership team that built out Apple's retail business. cnn.com
China has announced that the largest floating photovoltaic (PV) facility on earth has finally been completed and connected to the local power grid.

Located in the city of Huainan in the Anhui province, the 40-megawatt facility was created by PV inverter manufacturer Sungrow Power Supply Co.

Ironically, the floating grid itself was constructed over a flooded former coal-mining region.

Floating solar farms are becoming increasingly popular around the world because their unique design addresses multiple efficiency and city planning issues.

The cooler air at the surface also helps to minimize the risk of solar cell performance atrophy, which is often related to long-term exposure to warmer temperatures. digitaltrends.com
Terrorists have always sought attention, and the age of social media has enabled them to find it with unprecedented breadth.

They use social networks to recruit, to inspire, and to connect, but they also rely on social media bystanders—everyday, regular people—to spread the impacts of their terror further than they could themselves, and to confuse authorities with misinformation.

That amplification encourages more terrorism, inspires copycats, and turns the perpetrators into martyrs. It also traumatizes the families of the murdered victims, as well as the public at large. 

“In the last few years, this problem has become more acute and more complicated technically, practically, and ethically, with the acceleration of the news cycle and the advent of social media,” London School of Economics professor Charlie Beckett wrote for the Columbia Journalism Reviewlast year, analyzing how social media and journalism amplify terrorist messaging. 

The moment a bomb explodes anywhere in the world, the blast is heard around the internet. wired.com
Having already taken a significant chunk of the international money transfer market away from the major banks, London-headquartered TransferWise has its sights set on the bank account itself.

Moving beyond simply sending money from one country to another, the company is launching its “Borderless” account, a new online banking account aimed at businesses, sole traders and freelancers who need to conduct business across borders and in multiple currencies, and who want to take advantage of TransferWise’s low exchange rate when doing so.

The new service is rolling out first in the U.K. and Europe, with a “global rollout” planned for later in 2017.

There are also plans to launch a version for consumers later this year, and, unsurprisingly, a TransferWise debit card.

The latter is a notable omission for any product that wants to provide the functionality of a business or consumer bank account, and even potentially replace it. techcrunch.com
The MateBook was Huawei’s first shot at building a Windows 10 laptop, but it largely missed the mark on several aspects.

But Huawei is back with a trio of new laptops that look to build out the company’s computer offerings while addressing the issues from its first attempt.

First up is the MateBook X, a 13-inch Windows 10 ultraportable that fixes a lot of the problems users had with the original MateBook.

It features a traditional aluminum clamshell design instead of a 2-in-1 configuration, has Intel Core i5 and i7 processors instead of the less powerful Core m series, and can allegedly last up to 10 hours while watching 1080p video on a single charge.

The rest of the MateBook X’s hardware is similarly impressive — the 13-inch display offers a 3:2 aspect ratio at 2K resolution with a 4.4mm bezel (it is not a touchscreen, however), storage comes in either 256GB or 512GB SSD options, while the power button doubles as a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader.

The only qualm I have is RAM, which will come in 4GB or 8GB options, but given the portable-focused nature of the MateBook X, 8GB should be enough for the average user. theverge.com
Apple and Nokia have reached a deal after a testy legal dispute over the Finnish company’s patents.

The two sides announced the agreement in a joint statement yesterday, five months after they had sued each other over royalty payments.

The deal will see Apple make a sizeable one-off payment, as well as future fees, for the use of Nokia’s technology.

Analysts estimated the deal was worth hundreds of millions of pounds to Nokia, sending shares up by 7pc.

The company suffered immensely at the hands of the iPhone, and no longer makes handsets after selling its mobile business to Microsoft in 2013.

While most of its revenue comes from telecoms infrastructure, it is seeking to bolster income from the valuable patents it still retains from its days as the world’s dominant mobile phone company. telegraph.co.uk
PayPal sued Pandora on Friday, claiming that the struggling music streaming service ripped off its distinctive blue logo in the hopes of piggybacking on PayPal’s popularity.

PayPal savagely disses Pandora’s business model in its complaint, basically claiming that Pandora’s user base is faltering so much that it has to trick PayPal’s customers into accidentally clicking on the streaming app.

In the suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, lawyers for Paypal noted that Pandora is facing serious commercial challenges from Spotify and Apple Music, and has “no obvious path to profitability,” which, wow, burn. 

“Pandora deserted its longstanding logo and latched itself on to the increasingly popular PayPal Logo as part of its efforts to catch up to its competition,” they wrote.

PayPal is asking the court to prevent Pandora from continuing to use the similar-looking logo. gizmodo.com