2016 claims another victim: Your privacy In a blow to privacy on par with the Patriot Act, changes to the rules around warrants grant the US government unprecedented hacking powersin any jurisdiction, and on as many devices as it wants. The changes to a measure known as Rule 41 were made earlier this year but went into effect Thursday after lots of opposition. Basically, they let any judge issue a warrant to remotely access an unlimited number of computers and devices located in any jurisdiction. Engadget (also, Intro to cryptography)

This AI boom will also bust Imagine an innovation in pipes. If this innovation were general, something that made all kinds of pipes cheaper to build and maintain, the total benefits could be large, perhaps even comparable to the total amount we spend on pipes today. (Or even much larger.) And if most of the value of pipe use were in many small uses, then that is where most of these economic gains would be found. OvercomingBias

China is censoring people's chats without them even knowing about it China's WeChat originated as a WhatsApp clone, but later evolved into the single-most important tool for connecting people in China. Yet it's never been clear exactly how China’s internet censors have attempted to control information that spreads in the app. That's partly because you likely wouldn’t know if you got censored in the first place. Quartz

Sirius approaches Pandora's board with takeover interest Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Chairman Greg Maffei recently approached Pandora Media Inc.'s board to express renewed interest in a takeover of the Internet radio provider, according to people familiar with the matter, following up on its offer from earlier this year. Sirius's latest approach didn’t include a price for Pandora, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Bloomberg

I made my dumb appliances smarter with the Internet of Things Sometimes I forget things. In particular, I forget to transfer my clean but wet laundry from the washing machine to the dryer. When this happens, I have to waste time, detergent, electricity, and water to re-wash the clothes. My wife's sister has an expensive race-car-red washing machine that plays a few cheerful musical notes when the cycle is finished. The Tech Report

Eight minutes of Prey gameplay Take a tour of Talos I and discover more secrets in the newest gameplay video and when Prey releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017. 
Powers. Tools. Weapons. Aliens. And a massive space station. In signature style, Arkane Studios' sci-fi thriller blends simulation and narration, dropping you into a carefully crafted world, then setting you free to play as you want. Bethesda

How the brain recognizes faces: Machine-learning system spontaneously reproduces aspects of human neurology MIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain's face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed. The researchers designed a machine-learning system that implemented their model, and they trained it to recognize particular faces by feeding it a battery of sample images. Phys.org

Can you VR on a budget PC? When I set up my VR system I was on a budget and when you add in the price of the Vive it’s not a cheap setup for something to play games on! But for me, VR is more than just games it’s an experience. It’s something I just had to have. I have worked in tech all my life. I have built some of the fastest gaming PCs in the world over the years, so tech like the HTC Vive is just something I could not miss out on. VR Jive

Why the zero-ohm resistor? Passive components – resistors, capacitors, inductors, and connectors – usually don't get a lot of consideration until late in the design, but they are vital elements of a functioning circuit, especially in the analog and sensor world. Despite all the attention we give to ICs or discrete semiconductors, passive-component vendors still see interesting opportunities for new products and introduce new ones at a fast pace. EE Times

C++ confessions of a C developer A confession: I went to Meeting C++ 2016 as something of a C++ sceptic. I think my distrust of the language stems from a combination of my lack of bandwidth set aside to properly learn how to use it, and exposure to too many examples of abuse of its power. Many of those abuses were perpetrated by perfectly intelligent, well-meaning software engineers. They understood the need for maintainable code, yet still ended up at times producing fragments that seemed nearly impenetrable. Undo

What it's like to become a YouTube gaming celebrity at 80 years old One morning in September of last year, Shirley Curry woke up to a terrible surprise. Her email inbox had been flooded with 11,000 emails from strangers commenting on the first episode of her Skyrim let's play. While millions might dream of one day becoming an overnight celebrity on YouTube, Shirley found it terrifying. "I just sat there and cried," she tells me. "It scared the puddin' out of me. I didn't know what to do." PC Gamer

Forgotten audio formats: Wire recording It's bizarre but true: wire recording is the longest-lasting capture format in audio history, one that paved the way for reel-to-reel tapes and a host of others -- even though most people today, and some techies included, have barely heard of it. Invented way back in 1898 and patented two years later, wire recording was somehow still getting some limited use as late as the early 1970s, while rockets took man to the moon on an annual basis. Ars Technica

20-Way Nvidia/AMD GPU Darktable OpenCL photography performance With the holiday season in full swing, whether you are just a casual photographer or professional, Darktable is easily one of the best photography workflow applications and it's free software! Darktable has offered OpenCL acceleration for providing faster performance on GPUs and with the imminent Darktable 2.2 release there is even better OpenCL results. Phoronix

Uber now tracks passengers' locations even after they're dropped off Uber's latest update allows the ride-hailing app to track user location data even when the application is running in the background. The change in location data gathering is quite apparent -- after the update is completed, Uber prompts users to accept the new policy by enabling their phones to make the change. NPR

State of the game: 07/11/2016 to 13/11/2016 A weekly retrospective looking at what games were released, how they're played and what was hot! The Refined Geek