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Robots Will Steal Our Jobs, But They'll Give Us New Ones
by Cade Metz
Wired

With all the advances in automation and robotic technology, should we be worried that robots will replace us? Well, while they might take some of our jobs, they'll also give us new ones. This piece from Wired offers a look at the future as we learn to live with AI, presenting a strong case that it may not be as dire as the critics predict.

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ICYMI: Laser Cannons, Robotic Tackling Dummies, and Fungus Furniture

Today on In Case You Missed It, Boeing unveils a drone-destroying laser cannon the size of a travel trunk. Also up, North Korea shows us all how calisthenics are done, a guy makes an ottoman out of mushrooms, and Dartmouth College unleashed a robotic tackling dummy upon its football team.

If you come across any interesting videos, we'd love to see them. Just tweet us with the #ICYMI hashtag @engadget or @mskerryd. And if you just want to heap praise on your handsome guest host, feel free to hit him up @mr_trout.

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washington   october 26 ...

The National Security Agency can keep on keeping on with the bulk collection of phone call metadata for a bit longer, sadly. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia killed an injunction that would've ended the previously-ruled-unconstitutional homegrown spying, according to The New York Times. The law won't fully end until November 29th, when the so-called transition period for the agency to swap over to a new style of data collection is over. The latest method? Telcos will hang onto the data and the government snoops will need court orders if they want to get their hands on it. We still have a ways to go before PRISM's effects are fully overturned, it'd seem.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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Communication / productivity tool Slack is starting to blend in with Windows 10 after its latest update. In version 1.2.0, notifications show up in the desktop OS' Action Center, and clicking them links directly to the appropriate conversation in the app. Many Windows applications never updated to take advantage of new features in Windows 8, or even to become fully compatible with how it worked with hardware like touchscreens, so it's encouraging to see some support.

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No, Peter Chou isn't leaving HTC. As the company is gearing up to launch its virtual reality platform (and another flagship phone) later this year, the co-founder has decided to pick up a second role at renowned visual effects company, Digital Domain, to strengthen his company's VR know-how. That's according to a statement from HTC, anyway. For those who don't know, Digital Domain is the digital production house behind movies like Iron Man 3 (seems like HTC just can't get enough of Robert Downey Jr.), Her and Tron: Legacy. It also made animated clips in games including Assassin's Creed Unity, Destiny and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Chou will officially join the Hong Kong-owned company as an executive director on August 31st, but it'll obviously be a while before we see what this will bring to the HTC Vive.

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Cameras that keep an eye on construction sites aren't anything new, but the folks in charge of building the new Sacramento Kings stadium in California are using something a bit more high-tech than usual. Several camera-equipped drones operated by a company called ImageInFlight patrol the site to collect footage, which are then converted into 3D images. These images are run through software developed by a team from the University of Illinois, which compares them to architectural plans and previous images to measure progress. The method makes it easy to see if anything's behind schedule and which group of workers need to be more efficient.

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Plumber working under sink in kitchen

Amazon launched a home services directory in 41 cities a few months ago, and now Google is dipping its toe in the water. According to the Wall Street Journal, for those "in and around" San Francisco, searching for terms like lock repair or clogged toilet will bring you a list of prescreened professionals in the area prepared to take care of those problems. As you can see in the screenshot (after the break), we gave it a try with "clean house" and got not only the list with contact info, but a way to send a few interesting parties a request quickly. The key here, is that you never have to leave Google.com for any of that, and the people listed pay for the privilege (plus screening for licenses and background checks) through Google's AdWords Express.

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It's been over a month since the New Horizons spacecraft flew as near as possible to Pluto and took the closest photos of the dwarf planet we've ever seen. Now, NASA has decided on its next destination: a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) called 2014 MU69. Since the probe was always meant to go beyond the once-ninth planet from the start, it was loaded with more fuel than needed and equipped with a communications system that works even in the Kuiper region. However, it still took a while for NASA to find an object near enough to explore. It was only when the Hubble telescope discovered KBOs in the probe's flight path in 2014 that the agency found the perfect target.

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The Xbox One already has an expensive controller tailor-made for competitive gamers, but Razer believes there's room for another one. Today at PAX, the company announced its new $150 Wildcat controller for Microsoft's latest console. Razer says that it built the controller under the direction of competitive gamers, something that led to a 25 percent weight reduction over the standard Xbox One controller. The controller also has four additional buttons that can be remapped in any way you see fit and a "quick control" panel along the bottom of the controller to let you quickly switch profiles, adjust chat volume or muting audio.

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Cartography is as much an art as it is a science. For its part, Google Maps has been extensively designed to be as easily readable as possible -- I mean, nobody wants to decipher directions while zipping along at freeway speeds. But with a new color scheme, many of these maps can become beautiful works of modern art, as evidenced by these images by designer and coder Shaun Utter. Head over to Shaunutter.com for a continous stream of them.

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