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Scientists, we're told, need to be very good at record keeping in order to make sure that others can follow their logic. It's just a shame that whoever was running the photography archive at CERN wasn't paying attention during that lesson. The European research outfit is digitizing its archive of around 120,000 photos taken between 1955 and 1985. Unfortunately, some of the images aren't labelled, which makes it hard to identify the scientists in the pictures, or the equipment that they're using. That's why CERN is asking that if anyone does know the people or hardware, that they email in and help get the database up to date. In order to help, we've had a go ourselves, although we're sure that you out there can do a much better job.

[Image Credit: CERN]

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Viewed through the idea that it's a standalone expansion to Sid Meier's Civilization 5, Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth streamlines gameplay in the long-running strategy series to enhance the pace of the historically-strapped franchise. As a spiritual successor to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, however, it's a cut-rate disappointment.

Beyond Earth is best described as an epilogue to the events of Civilization 5. Humanity has ruined the planet and must commit itself to starting all over again on another rock and potentially making the same mistakes. And so, various nations make conglomerate factions and shoot for another spherical mass to explore, expand, exploit and exterminate (4X) on in the strategy game.

Why I wish Firaxis had never mentioned Beyond Earth as a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri is that this game doesn't look like it was given the financial resources to kick off a new franchise. It feels like it had the budget of a Civ 5 expansion, where asset creation went into making a visually interesting game world, but not its overall presentation. The characters are painfully dull and inarticulate. The tech and wonder voiceovers are all done by one person, but in many cases are attributed to faction leaders within the game (who do have their own voices). The experience doesn't feel luxe. Firaxis has been the benchmark in accessible strategy games and it's owned by triple-A publisher Take-Two Interactive, but I've seen stronger production values from independent European competitors.

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The folks in Microsoft's Xbox One update preview program are a pretty privileged bunch. Hot on the heels of this week's announcement that the next patch for its new console will bring custom backgrounds, Redmond's giving that access to the testers starting today. This is in addition to the ability to use a custom color or achievement image for your backdrop, and comes as an update to the system's media player app. Sounds pretty simple to use, too: just open the JPEG or PNG file of choice from a USB drive, hit the controller's menu button and choose to set the image as a background. What's more, the outfit has even posted a Photoshop template for calculating just what in your picture will and won't be obscured by the Xbox One's tile-filled dashboard. Voila, now you'll have something other than the infinite blackness of eternal night to occupy the system's UI.

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oxford university

Google is assembling a team comprising some of the world's most renowned artificial intelligence researchers to create... something? Back in January, Google bought A.I. company DeepMind for a reported $400 million, and no one really knew why. Now, it's announcing a partnership with the Oxford University to further its research into image and language recognition. As part of the partnership, Google has acqui-hired two companies born from the renowned university. They are Dark Blue Labs, a startup focused on natural language understanding, and Vision Factory, which describes itself as offering "world-class, scientifically-proven object recognition and text recognition systems." All seven founders of the two companies will be joining Google, which is hoping the move will accelerate efforts to improve speech and image recognition through "deep learning," a type of artificial intelligence that mirrors biological neural networks.

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Ordinarily, people talking during a movie is our idea of hell, but in Mystery Science Theater 3000's case, we're more than happy to allow it. The thing is, unless you've got a pop culture brain that'd make Tarantino blush, you're not going to know enough to get the joke. That's why a group calling themselves The Annotated MST have been painstakingly researching and explaining every single gag from the show so you don't feel left out. Thankfully, the group has teamed up with Shout! Factory, MST3k's DVD label, to release a fully-amended and legitimate copy of Mitchell onto YouTube (after the break) that you can switch on and off depending on if you need a joke explained. Just be glad they don't have this sort of thing in real life, or else no-one would go to the cinema ever again.

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Partial solar eclipse at sunset moment

Google Now has just added more cards to its ever-increasing arsenal, and this time, they'll help you prepare for eclipses and possibly dangerous situations. The new eclipse card lists almost everything you need to know about the phenomenon, including what it is, how to make a pinhole projector to view it and how to photograph it safely. If you can see the card right now, then you're most likely somewhere in North America, and the partial solar eclipse tomorrow will be visible where you live, weather permitting. The second card, on the other hand, shows you any police activity happening in your area and nearby places, though an Android Police commenter suggests the card isn't exactly new, just rare. Sure, getting one of these cards might be a bit stressful, since nobody wants to hear that there are bad guys prowling around their neighborhood. But at least it can let you know when to be extra careful or to avoid places where there's trouble.

[Image credit: Zhan Tian/Getty]

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Budapest Parliament

It's probably a good thing that Google got its Street View surveil of Hungary in when it did, because a new tax being proposed could make internet traffic in the country more expensive. A tax bill draft sent to parliament could impose a 150 forints fee (about $0.62) per each gigabyte transferred. Hungarian politicians are defending this move by saying that because of the way telecommunications have changed, so does how they need to be taxed. Estimates for the proposed income? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 billion forints, according to Reuters.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview

There are plenty of online services that use two-factor authentication to reduce the chances of someone hijacking your account after a data breach, but what about the operating system on your PC or phone? You'll get that safeguard if you use Windows 10, according to a Microsoft security brief. The new OS will optionally treat a device (including something nearby, like your phone) as one authentication factor when signing into a local or internet account, and a PIN code or biometric reader as the second. If hackers find your login data sitting on a server, they won't get to use it unless they also have your gear -- and in some cases, they may need a fake fingerprint as well.

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It's the last press day at German trade show IFA, and I should be hauling ass across the show floor. Instead, I'm waiting outside by the taxi rank, sucking down secondhand smoke of the booth attendants on their breaks and hoping that my ride hasn't forgotten me. Soon after, a pitch-black Audi S8 glides to a halt by my feet, and I know that either the CIA is about to tackle me, or this is my ride to Bang & Olufsen's top-secret, off-site testing area.

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While Canada is the brunt of countless jokes, it seems like our friendly neighbors to the north have the last laugh this time. At least when it comes to playing SimCity on the go, that is. The folks at EA have recently soft-launched SimCity BuildIt on Android, and like so many other mobile games it won't cost a dime to download. Of course, once you start shelling out for in-app purchases that'll change in an instant. Why the lack of fanfare? Well, the last game in the series didn't fare so well at the outset or for awhile afterward, so that might have something to do with it. Android Community says that despite expectations, however, it isn't a mobile port of the PC title. Instead, it's apparently more along the lines of a typical Android city builder, just with a SimCity coat of paint. We've embedded a gameplay video after the break so you can judge for yourself.

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