Force Touch entered the spotlight when the Apple Watch was introduced in 2014. By giving their touchscreen-enabled wearable the ability to sense pressure, users were able to deeply press into the screen to reveal hidden actions. Tapping on an object, for example, would choose it while giving the screen a Force Touch would reveal a menu of items or enable a different action to take place. The feature was later added to Apple’s 2014 Macbook and now its the iPhone 6S’s turn to use the force with 3D Touch.
You will hear some carping, in the coming days, about a lack of revolutionary upgrades in the new iPhone. At its media event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Apple added just a handful of features to its latest smartphones, the 6S and 6S Plus, including a pressure-sensitive screen, better cameras and a new color — pink, or “Rose Gold,” in Apple’s marketing argot.
It’s time to ease off from the ritualized annual fretting about the iPhone’s future. After several years of uncertainty about the iPhone’s long-term prospects, it’s clear
MegaBots Inc. — a Boston-based company that builds huge, human-operated, fighting robots — launched a Kickstarter campaign today (Aug. 19) to raise money to develop a huge, gun-toting robot, in preparation for an upcoming “duel” with a similar “battle bot” from Japan.
The campaign has already drawn in nearly $200,000 of the requested $500,000, and robot fans have until Sept. 18 to contribute funds.
In June, the MegaBots team took to YouTube to challenge its one and only competitor, Suidobashi Heavy Industry of Japan, to a robot duel. Suidobashi’s founder, Kogoro Kurata, accepted the challenge a week later, but with one condition: He wanted the duel to be a “melee.” In other words, the bots aren’t just going to stand across a field from each other and shoot paintballs; they’ll go to head-to-head, fist-to-fist, toe-to-toe and all that good stuff.
But why does MegaBots, the proud creator of a very large combat robot, need to raise money for this robot duel? Well, the company’s robot, the Mark II (Mk. II), just isn’t ready for the perils of hand-to-hand
SAN FRANCISCO — As it nears a size and scope never before approached by a technology company, Apple is doing things its executives said it never would.
Apple’s co-founder, Steven P. Jobs, once announced that using a stylus with a computing device was passé. But guess what? The company is now offering a stylus, called Apple Pencil, for $100.
And in a move sure to make Apple old-timers squirm, the newest version of the iPad, which has an optional keyboard that attaches to the tablet, is even imitating some of the features of Microsoft’s competing product, called the Surface.
Together, the tablet, stylus and keyboard make for a combination computing device that Apple executives had long said that they wouldn’t create, perhaps indicating the people running the company today are willing to forget about the past as they try to cater to shifting consumer tastes.
But the center of this ever-expanding Silicon Valley giant is still the iPhone, which accounts for 56 percent of Apple’s profits. And in a presentation that lasted more than two hours on Wednesday at the Bill Graham
Computer scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created an algorithm that crafts interactive fictional stories based on similar stories written by humans, according to a recent study and an article on Motherboard.
Most choose-your-own-adventure stories have a simple branching structure—choose to go right in the path in the woods and your options will be different than if you chose to go left. Many video games are structured this way, too. This type of story can be limiting and demands a lot of work from the author. Coming up with new plot points that fit together into a narrative become increasingly difficult, the study authors write.
The algorithm, called Scheherazade-IF and named after the storyteller in One Thousand And One Nights, works by constructing narratives based on crowdsourced stories. For each type of scenario, like going on a movie date or robbing a bank, the algorithm draws from hundreds of stories on the same topic to pick out important plot points and determine their order. Then it could present each option to the human “reader” who could make the story her own. The resulting story can be much more complex and rich than the simple branching architecture.