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Google’s DeepMind AI VS. the Go World Champion

It’s over 2500 years old and the rules are deceptively simple, but Go is an incredibly complex game. The rules are simpler than those of chess, but a player typically has a much more vast choice of moves. The game is played with white and black stones and the aim is to capture territory as well as your opponent’s pieces. Stones can be captured by surrounding them but the control of the board is a much more complicated matter which is why a true competitive AI has been rather difficult to create. In a landmark victory against the European champion in October it was proven that the efforts of the DeepMind team and subsequently Google’s efforts on the AlphaGo project had found success in what had been thought impossible since the early years of computing.

GW20160130985-1024x768

By first studying the patterns repeated in various games, AlphaGo will play different versions of itself millions of times during a single match and learn incrementally. Learning from its mistakes is what makes the AI truly remarkable and what led its developers to take their months of improvements since beating the European champion, to the next level. As of today, AlphaGo has secured its second win against world champion Go master Lee Sedol in a 5-game match worth 1 million US dollars. The games are being played with a 2 hour set time limit for each player followed by three 60 second overtime periods as well as the standard Chinese ruleset.

The magnitude of this achievement opens many doors to advanced functionality of artificial intelligence. The emerging truth is machines can learn real world tasks in much the same way they learn to make moves in a game. This opens new paths of scientific research while augmenting existing industries where machines can learn to identify promising areas of research and help humans in the right direction. Whether it’s fields with a sheer overload of data needing to be sifted through such as biology or security, or more subjective fields such as arts and language. As stated many times in AlphaGo’s 7 matches thus far, regardless of which player wins, it is a victory for humanity.

Game 3 between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo is set to take place tonight, March 11th, at 8:00 PST Watch Here

Source: Deep Mind

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GameStick – USB Gaming Console Soon to be…

Gamestick is creating a set-top gaming console for the Android space.  The GameStick is true to it’s name where the data sits on a USB flash drive and the flash drive fits inside the hand held console. The GameStick is targeted at $79 and plays the same games as other Android platforms.  Of the 700,000 Android games about 200 have been targeted by GameStick to be developed and fully supported for the GameStick environment. The console sports an Amlogic 8726-MX processor, with 8GB of flash memory and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. It supports Bluetooth 4.0, and also comes with the standard 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. The console ships with Jelly Bean. PlayJam, the developers, state they have a working prototype, and is 90% of the way toward getting the final pre-production sample. If you Continue Reading

PS Jailbreak Sales Solution Held Up In Red Tape

PS3 jailbreakingOver the past several weeks we’ve read reports about the PS3 Jail breaking solution via USB whereby the jailbreak tricks the console into thinking it’s in debug mode and thus gives you access to the device like never before. The PS3 jailbreak would allow the use of illegal games as well as homebrew games to be played on the console.  In addition, the hack also blocked mandatory updates from Sony which could overwrite the hack and secure the device once again. Jail breaking like this is nothing new, in fact we’ve heard about it with the iPhone for [literally] years.  However, with the PS3 it was a bit different.  It was different because the PS3 has been a platform which has remained unbroken or un-hacked [if that’s a word] for nearly a decade.  That is a feat no other gaming company has Continue Reading

USB Finger Skateboard Makes Any Parent Smile

Interactive motion control games are definitely at the top of most kid’s lists.   The Wii was so popular we’ve got blogs about it, and last Christmas it was THE gift to give.  This year, another motion control game piece might be the hot ticket.  Actiga is announcing a full line of mini-motion controllers for gaming this fall.  Below is a picture of those hard-to-get finger skateboards, mounted on a pivot ball and connects via USB.

usb finger skateboard

USB controllers will be available for both Mac and PC systems in versions that look like realistic skateboards, RC Cars, baseball, and a futuristic racing vehicle. Each of the controllers will connect via USB and will sell for $19.99. It’s not clear if the controller has games built-in like the plug-and-play devices for TV or if they are simply controllers to be used with other PC games already on the market.
The USB finger skateboard would be an ideal controller stick for your kids favorite skateboard game. Source:  EverythingUSB. Continue Reading

Bridge Rock Band and Guitar Hero With USB Adapter

If you’ve got Guitar Hero and recently acquired Rock Band from say…Christmas then you’ve probably wanted to bridge the two together for a complete bi-gaming experience.  Since Activision and Harmonix will never come to minds on hardware connectivity and interface you’ll have to resort to the Ant Commandos converter to make the two play nice.

ps2 ps3 connector

The converter has a USB connector on one end and PS2 connector on the other. Simply plug the converter into PS3, connect the PS2 controller, and set the switch to either Guitar Hero, Rock Band or Gamepad and you are  ready  to go. TAC’s Universal PS2-to-PS3 Converter is compatible with PS3 Rock Band and PS2 / PS3 GHIII, and it works with basically every PS2 axe you can think of, wired and wireless. The PS2 to PS3 converter product page. Source: Engadget. Continue Reading

Attention Gamers: Iomega Media Xporter Is For You

Iomega is shifting it’s focus to the consumers with more disposable income, the gamers. Well at least in theory. The Iomega Media Xporter is a portable 160GB hard drive designed to seamlessly integrate with cross-platform applications to PlayStation 3 consoles and Xbox 360 console.

iomega media xporter

With the gaming console become more of a home entertainment center, it’s Iomega’s goal to provide the tools to enjoy photo’s, video, music and games without hassle. The Media Xporter allows users to experience all the above without a PC. Once more, the photo’s and video will look stunning on a hi-def TV since the PlayStation and Xbox support HDMI as well as HDTV connectivity. I don’t know about you, but a family function or get together would be a lot more fun sharing photo’s on a sweet flat screen then huttled up over a computer monitor. The Media Xporter makes this a simple and easy process. The 160GB Iomega Media Xporter drive is power via USB 2.0 and will retail for $120. Although I do have some concerns about a bus powered USB hard drive. Source: Coolest-Gadgets. Media Xporter product page. Continue Reading

Review: BFG 9800 GTX Video Card

Review: BFG 9800 GTX Video Card

Luigi had some of his clan review the BFG 9800 GTX Video Card over at i4u gadgets and I wanted to pass along their findings:

BFG 9800 GTX video card

The BFG 9800 GTX runs on the NVIDIA 9800 GTX GPU. The core clock of the card runs at 675 MHz, the shader clock is 1688 MHz and the memory clock is 2200 MHz. the card has a 256-bit memory interface and a memory bandwidth of 70.4GB/sec. the BFG 9800 GTX has 128 stream processors. The card features 512MB of GDDR3 RAM and the card is PCI Express 2.0 compliant. Other features include HDMI capable with adapter and HDCP capable for protected HD content. Read the entire review: Continue Reading

AVerMedia Launches Volar USB TV Tuner Stick

AVerTV Hybrid Volar MAX is a long name to describe the multitude of functions the USB TV tuner does. The USB based TV tuner stick has the ability to receive HDTV, Analog TV and FM radio on any Windows XP or Vista computer or laptop.

avermedia usb tv

Unless you need specific subscription channels, you no longer have to put up with cable or satellite costs to get the High Definition TV everyone is craving for. The AverTV Hybrid Volar MAX does it all. For video quality, playback and speed consider this:
“The AVer MeidaCenter provides users more joy from Clear QAM digital cable TV. Advanced real-time H.264 recording compression significantly reduces CPU loading and the amount of hard disk space needed for recording. The optional 320×240 resolution enables users to save and playback video on an iPod.”
Don’t hold doubt either, the AVerTV Hybrid Volar MAX can truly present the details of HDTV in 720p/1080i resolution. With an exclusive Vista MCE Video Gaming Plug-in, the AverTV Hybrid Volar MAX resolves the Continue Reading

Wii Title JoySound Is A Karaoke Singalong Perfect for American Idol

It’s been said for a while now that WiiWare was expecting Karaoke ability under a software program called Joysound. It appears this is finally coming to fruition. The Joysound Karaoke program has some ambitious plans with over 20,000 title by it’s release in mid summer with an additional 1,000 songs added each month.

wii joysound, karaoke

“Although it’s being referred to as a WiiWare title, Joysound is a bit different from the rest of the WiiWare lineup. Users download the Joysound program from a server that’s being exclusively set up for it. This server will also house the songs for downloading. Hudson is currently considering a billing system based not on a per song rate, but on a subscription rate. Users will presumably be able to download as much as they want over a set period of time.”
As previously mentioned the Karaoke Joysound will be available in two packages. You can either download the software to run Karaoke but you’ll need to have your own USB microphone. Or a bundled package will be available which includes the software along with USB microphone. There are even talks about including Continue Reading

The Virtual Sphere is Ultimate Gaming Peripheral

The VirtuSphere could be the ultimate gaming peripheral.  The oversized ball allows a person to immerse themselves into a 3D world without obstacles or obstructions. A person would use a motion-tracking headset to project the visuals while the ball serves as your virtual terrain.  The ball allows the user to jump, roll, run, crawl for an unlimited distance without encountering real world obstacles.

virtual gaming sphere

At over $23,000 for the VirtuSphere I doubt you’ll see this in your local Dave & Busters or arcade, but I could see a less expensive version coming out to satisfy the masses. I could also see the VirtuSphere being used in other applications besides games, such as unique exercise or simulation experience for the military, government or law enforcement. Although this news might be new to you, Continue Reading

Tiny Wii Remote Isn’t a Wii Remote At All

Before you Wii addicts get too excited, it’s not a Wii remote at all, but a well disguised USB stick. This design uses the Wii A button to pop out the USB connector. The spring loaded mechanism looks a little stiff (see video). What’s great about this product, is it looks just like the Wii remote – but far from it and for the Wii fan – it stores between 1 & 8GBs of whatever you want.

usb wii remote

So what do you call a Wii remote look-a-like USB stick? The Wedisk of course. For those interested in a gift giving idea, the company will also custom label the remote with your logo. Source: Techeblog. Continue Reading

Whack It Is Classic Now Whack It With USB

whack it arcade game
To digress back to middle school days has never been easier than with the USB Whack It arcade game. Or maybe Halo and Doom3 are just over done with technology and some good-old-fashion mole banging is required. As with future cell phones the Whack It is powered via USB so don’t expect any download-able high scores or on-line gaming forum for stiff competition…just power. Gadget Box didn’t reveal the mallet used for mole bashing, but if you’re the competitive type I’m sure an open hand and some good force will get you the high score every time. I’d say a perfect Christmas gadget gift. Source: SciFi.com Continue Reading

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