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Researchers are wirelessly charging devices by blasting them with lasers


Even the most futuristic of devices start to feel dated when you plug them into charge. Sure, there’s wireless charging, but it’s just plugging in your device without actually plugging it in, right? I mean, you’re still plugging in the mat that it sits on to charge. You know what sounds futuristic? Lasers. Researchers think so too. A team of scientists recently discovered a way to charge our favorite devices using laser beams. Using a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter, the researchers discovered they could successfully charge a smartphone from across the room — and potentially just as…

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Samsung’s HMD Odyssey is the best way to experience Microsoft’s Mixed Reality


When Microsoft announced its entrance into the VR headset market, its partner products were attractive and relatively inexpensive, but didn’t live up to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in terms of pure image quality and specs. Enter Samsung’s HMD Odyssey, a $499 headset that can compete with the best of them. I’ve been living with the Odyssey for the past couple of months, spending many an hour immersed in Microsoft’s mixed reality world. The Odyssey’s combination of some of the highest resolutions around and OLED technology makes it one of the more pleasant VR experiences I’ve tried. For comparison, the…

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Kylie Jenner’s tweet hurt Snapchat. Its users are destroying it.


Kylie Jenner yesterday tweeted that she wasn’t using Snapchat anymore, and today the company’s stock took a major hit. But it wasn’t just Kylie who’s falling out of love with the app — users are already on their way out due to a very unpopular new update. The tweet, by itself, doesn’t sound too damning: sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad. — Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018 Considering Kylie recently gave birth to her daughter Stormi, I initially took this to mean that she wasn’t able to…

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Or just read more coverage about: Snapchat

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Who needs Half-Life 3 when you have Final-Half-Fantasy-Life XV?


Square Enix will soon release a new version of Final Fantasy XV for PC — because when a game takes ten years to come out, they’d better milk it for all its worth. But the promotional extras for the game seem more like a cruel joke on the PC faithful. The Steam version of FFXV comes with the Half-Life Pack, a cosmetic add-on that lets the player dress up as Gordon Freeman, complete with crowbar, both in single-player and multi-player. Given how long players have been waiting for the mythical third installment in the Half-Life series, a beautiful HD version of Gordon’s suit is…

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Will AI enslave the human race? Probably not, but it might jack you at the ATM.


AI is changing everything. The healthcare industry is in the middle of a revolution, social media is getting smarter, and the era of drone-wielding super villains is right around the corner. Earlier this week seven of the world’s most prominent organizations in the field of futurism published a report predicting the dangers posed by AI. The document is called “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.” You can read the full version here. It’s 100 pages long and utterly terrifying. The only thing that could make it scarier is if Samuel L. Jackson were holding you at…

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Nightfall in Bellevue: Destiny 2 update will bring scoring changes to popular online game

Bungie Image

Bellevue, Wash.-based game developer Bungie has made a reputation for itself over the last couple of decades by, well, taking over the known universe once every couple of years. Its current bid for world domination is Destiny 2, the Activision-published massively-multiplayer-online first-person shooter, and it’s preparing for the imminent release of patch 1.1.3 on Feb. 27.

In the regular This Week at Bungie blog, Bungie’s community manager “dmg04” disclosed the current development roadmap for Destiny 2 and discussed the biggest new feature coming in next Tuesday’s patch: Nightfall Challenge Cards, several changes to how players score points in Nightfall raids, and a series of tweaks to how the Emblem system works.

Nightfall strikes are a weekly event that must be played solo or with a premade team, meant to be one of the most difficult challenges in Destiny 2. In patch 1.1.3, the scoring rules will change in a variety of ways meant to encourage smart, fast runs. Your points will now be team-based and determined mostly by scoring kills, and your score will bleed off slowly over time. You’re now more rewarded for actually engaging with enemies, rather than avoiding them.

Bungie Image. (Click for full version.)

You will also receive a Challenge Card for clearing a Nightfall strike in 1.1.3, which adds an additional score multiplier to a run in exchange for several drawbacks, such as increased damage taken from certain sources.

A bigger possible change is in the removal of auras. Previously, an aura in Destiny 2 was essentially a cosmetic buff, which advertised to others what you’d been up to lately, and which disappeared on each weekly server reset. As of this patch, however, auras are going away as a separate feature on your character, and their effects will be rolled into Emblems.

Emblems, in turn, are gaining additional features. In Destiny 2, Emblems are special graphics for your character card, earned in-game and equipped to customize your displays. In 1.1.3, Emblems will have more available, visible stats for players that want to advertise them, such as a new Emblem that proudly shows off your lifetime kill counts in the player-vs.-player Crucible mode.

Patch 1.1.3 will be available to download and install, as of this writing, at 9 a.m. PST on Feb. 26, though the game will be down for server maintenance until 10 AM that morning.

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Airbus’ Vahana venture shows off video of its flying car’s first test flight in Oregon

News brief: Vahana, the Airbus-backed venture that’s developing a fleet of electric-powered air taxis, shared the results of its first flight test amid the prairies of eastern Oregon three weeks ago. But now there’s video showing the Alpha One octocopter landing on its airstrip at the Pendleton UAS Test Range. “During our minute-long flight, the primary battery system used about 8 percent of its total energy, demonstrating that the vehicle is capable of much more,” Vahana CEO Zach Lovering said today in a blog posting. Lovering said that the flight test campaign is continuing, and he promises further updates. Watch Wired’s extended-play version of the video, and stay tuned for more via Twitter.

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Event technology startup eventcore raises $4.1M to fuel national expansion

The Zillow Premier Agent Forum, an event that eventcore worked on.
(Kevin Lisota Photo)

Eventcore, a Seattle startup focused on event planning and management, has raised $4.1 million to grow on a national level.

Alan Frazier’s East Seattle Partners led the funding round. Nick Zabriskie, a partner at East Seattle Partners, will join eventcore’s Board of Directors.

Mark Johnson, eventcore CEO. (eventcore Photo)

The cash infusion allows the 46-person company to a national sales and marketing presence speed up product development. Up until now, eventcore primarily focused on the West Coast, but it aims to gain a national foothold with these moves.

Eventcore has been around since the 1980s, focusing purely on technology solutions at events to begin with. Over the years, the company has grown to cover every part of an event, from registering guests and finding lodging, to managing on-site issues and scheduling sessions.

“Our customers want more from event technology,” Mark Johnson, eventcore CEO, said in a statement. “more real-time information, more attendee and presenter tech tools, and more third-party integrations. This partnership with our new investor group will allow us to expedite the release of these items, improving the customer experience overall.”

Eventcore manages events as small as 35 people, to as large as more than 35,000. The company said on its website it has worked on events like the Microsoft Tech Summit, Zillow Premier Agent Forum, AT&T Shape and Red Hat Summit, among others.

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GeekWork Picks: AI2 seeks engineer to manage machine learning annotation pipelines

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is doing some of the most interesting AI and machine learning work in the world, right here in Seattle, and it’s looking to add several engineers to its team.

One open position is a crowdsourcing engineer, who will be in charge of AI2’s natural language processing application datasets. The datasets are instrumental to AI projects like Aristo, which is working to build systems with a deep understanding of the world, demonstrated through the system’s ability to ask and answer questions and provide explanations.

The crowdsourcing engineer will design and write code to build annotation pipelines for AI2’s natural language processing and Aristo efforts. The person will oversee all elements of collecting, managing and maintaining the datasets so that engineers across the organization can draw upon them.

The position involves deep work on crowdsourcing tasks and pipelines and working closely with researchers to develop new approaches for crowdsourcing linguistic data.

Learn more about this position and apply on GeekWork, where you can also see more openings at AI2, including a senior frontend engineering position on the Aristo team.

That’s one of the current highlights from GeekWork, GeekWire’s job site. Continue reading for more of this week’s top openings, hand-picked from GeekWork’s featured listings, and search for more open positions here.

Wave Broadband

Position: NOC Supervisor

Summary: “Wave is a leading provider of high-speed internet, video and phone services on the West Coast, serving customers in communities in Washington, Oregon, and California. As a NOC Supervisor, you will oversee 24/7 trouble isolation and remote restoration for NOC delivered mission critical services that support elements of the Wave Broadband Enterprise.”

Learn more and apply on GeekWork.

Point B

Position: Collaboration Analyst – SharePoint, Office 365

Summary: “The Collaboration Analyst is responsible for the support, enhancement and effective utilization of our internal collaboration platform (SharePoint and Office 365). Responsibilities include coordination with business owners for content migration and creation, assistance in establishing and promoting best practices, acting as a conduit for user feedback and assisting in the design and implementation of solutions with other team members.”

Learn more and apply on GeekWork.

FLEXE

Position: Sales Development Representative

Summary: “FLEXE is a network of more than 800 warehouses connected by a powerful software platform. We make warehousing available on-demand and use software to streamline the entire process. We are looking for a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to help us grow our customer base.”

Learn more and apply on GeekWork.

Nesterly

Position: Senior Software Engineer

Summary: “Nesterly is looking for an experienced web developer who is excited about leveraging elegant code to make the world a better place and who is bursting with ideas to take our platform to the next level. As an early-stage company, this role also comes with the opportunity to make a big impact both organizationally and societally from day one.”

Learn more and apply on GeekWork. Note: This position is based in New York City.

Glowforge

Position: Software Development Manager

Summary: “One of the unusual things about the Glowforge architecture is that we moved many of the hard engineering problems from hardware to software. We’ve also moved much of the software from device to the cloud… Our team is composed of software generalists and we know that you’re one too, but we particularly want your passion and thoughtfulness around software quality, automation, and people management.”

Learn more and apply on GeekWork.

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Geared Up: Rumors hint at mysterious new phones from Sony and Samsung

The Samsung S9 is rumored to be largely similar to last year’s S8, pictured here. (Samsung Photo)

Sony and Samsung both hinted at — or had leaks about — upcoming smartphone releases this week. What are they up to? We have some ideas, but we won’t know for sure until the Mobile World Congress gets going this weekend. It’s the biggest place in the world for smartphone news.

Also on this week’s show, Geared Up co-host Todd Bishop says a fond farewell to Swype, the keyboard that pioneered swipe-to-type technology, and co-host Andru Edwards gives us his thoughts on the Apple HomePod after his initial usage of the high-end speaker. In a bizarre twist, we also have news about Dyson — the vacuum cleaner company wants to get into electric vehicles.

This week’s stories:

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