GlobalFoundries on track to deliver leading-performance 7nm FinFET technology GlobalFoundries today announced the availability of its 7nm Leading-Performance (7LP) FinFET semiconductor technology, delivering a 40 percent generational performance boost to meet the needs of applications such as premium mobile processors, cloud servers and networking infrastructure. Design kits are available now, and the first customer products based on 7LP are expected to launch in the first half of 2018, with volume production ramping in the second half of 2018. Global Foundries

Amazon wants to become Walmart before Walmart can become Amazon The future of retail will be a combination of both online e-commerce and a brick-and-mortar retail presence – as recent moves from both Walmart and Amazon have shown, including today’s back-to-back announcements from the two rivals, which sees Amazon buying a chain of popular grocery stores with a Whole Foods deal for $13.7 billion, and Walmart picking up yet another online apparel vendor with Bonobos for $310 million. TechCrunch (also, Amazon has a patent to keep you from comparison shopping while you’re in its stores)

This artist used a computer model of his face to get a French national ID In America, your driver's license photo will be hideous. Just accept it, because it will be. Bad lighting plus the general awfulness of the DMV equals you looking dumpy. But in Europe, French artist Raphaël Fabre just proved that if you're clever enough, you too can achieve the perfect ID photo. Like, say, an immaculate 3D rendering of your face. Fabre successfully applied for a French national ID card on April 7, 2017 using a computer generated 3D photo of himself. Motherboard.Vice

Games have too many words: A case study I recently wrote an article about how video games have too many words. We designers don't properly edit our writing to make sure our words are worth a player’s time reading them. I want to do a case study where I go through a wordy game, step-by-step, and show what it's doing right and wrong and how it could be doing better. Most game criticism frustrates me. It tends to deal with generalities and floaty ideas, instead of dirtying its hands with specifics that could actually help make for better games. Jeff Vogel

Xbox One X PC Build: Can you do it for $500? Microsoft’s Xbox One X presents an interesting challenge for PC builders. Sure, if you want raw power, nothing beats the PC. But can you put together an Xbox One X equivalent for $500? At that price point (and outside of that golden window of Black Friday sales and stellar combo/bundle deals on PC components), you're pushing the limits of what’s possible, particularly if you want to completely replicate the same experience Microsoft is promising hardcore console fans. PC World

We could have had cellphones four decades earlier The basic idea of the cellphone was introduced to the public in 1945—not in Popular Mechanics or Science, but in the down-home Saturday Evening Post. Millions of citizens would soon be using "handie-talkies," declared J.K. Jett, the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Licenses would have to be issued, but that process "won't be difficult." The revolutionary technology, Jett promised in the story, would be formulated within months. Reason.com

Paper circuit does binary math with compressed air Most of us can do simple math in our heads, but some people just can’t seem to add two numbers between 0 and 3 without using paper, like [Aliaksei Zholner] does with his fluidic adder circuit built completely of paper. There’s some good detail in [Aliaksei]’s translated post on the “Only Paper” forum, a Russian site devoted to incredibly detailed models created entirely from paper. [Aliaksei] starts with the basic building blocks of logic circuits, the AND and OR gates. Hackaday

New law clears the way for driverless cars on Texas roads Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday that signals to Google, Uber and carmakers that they are welcome to test self-driving cars on the state's roads and highways without a driver behind the wheel. There was nothing in existing law that banned autonomous vehicles from Texas roads. After all, Google has been testing them since 2015 in Austin, and Arlington is rolling them out. The Texas Tribune

Why Hunt: Showdown, Crytek’s gothic survival shooter, was our favorite game of E3 Hunt: Showdown is our sleeper hit of E3. When Crytek announced it in 2014, it looked like a pretty bog-standard Left 4 Dead clone. But at E3 it reemerged as one of the most visually stunning and conceptually engrossing games we’ve seen for a long time. Gone is the Left 4 Dead inspiration, instead Hunt: Showdown is like if Evolve, Stalker, and Resident Evil 7 had a big, demonic baby. PC Gamer

The pitfalls and potential of inexpensive 3D scanning solutions The odd documentary, feature article, or typical marketing hype may make you think that today's 3D scanning can perfectly capture the real world, but that's only true with expensive, professional equipment (not to mention considerable editing and post-processing). Generally, current consumer versions of 3D scanners produce decidedly modest results. Ars Technica

Harvard team constructs insect-inspired robots from drinking straws Rigid steel-and-plastic robots have their place, but some applications require a softer touch. Already in development are light-powered tiny caterpillars, chemical-powered squishy octopi, and a robot with a firm body and soft legs that can tackle tricky terrain. Now, a Harvard team has created a similar semi-soft robot inspired by insects that is made using drinking straws and moves by inflating bladders. New Atlas