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Image credit: 'Star Wars Episode V: - The Empire Strikes Back' - Disney/Lucasfilm

The Morning After: Wednesday, May 24th 2017

The new Surface Pro + Google's $5,000 whiteboard.
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'Star Wars Episode V: - The Empire Strikes Back' - Disney/Lucasfilm

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Microsoft stripped the numbers from its new Surface Pro hybrid, and we talk the future of fashion, as well as why the perfect prosthetic hand is still many years way. Meanwhile, Google's AI-powered Go player beat the world's best human Go master. There are, however, still two matches left.


The refreshed Surface Pen also adds tilt sensitivity.Microsoft made the Surface Pro both lighter and quieter

Microsoft has left the Surface Pro line untouched since late 2015, but the company finally gave it a subtle refresh today. Announced at an event in Shanghai yesterday, the new Surface Pro has updated 7th-gen Intel Core processors and enhanced 12.3-inch PixelSense display, plus an LTE option due later this year. Microsoft calls this "the lightest, the best sounding, the fastest and the quietest Surface Pro ever," and the company was keen to stress that its machine is 1.7 times faster than the iPad Pro. But is it more a laptop, or a tablet?


Smart fabrics and power laces are just the beginning.Fashion and technology will inevitably become one

There's no denying that the technology world is obsessed with fashion. Amazon, Apple and Google, three of the biggest names in tech, are all trying to carve their path into the fashion space. And the interest is mutual, with mainstream and high-end labels testing out 3D-printed, embedded sensors and more. Now more than ever, it feels like high-tech fashion is on the verge of being more than just a gimmick. In the not-too-distant future, you could even be 3D printing your own shoes or clothes at home. Instead of going to a store, you'll buy designs straight from the designer. And we're quickly heading toward a world in which "wearable" will be more than a fancy word for a smartphone accessory.


A lightsaber might have better odds.We're not getting Luke Skywalker's prosthetics anytime soon

As robots and machines get increasingly more efficient, smarter and faster, they still can't hold a candle (literally) to the dexterity, sensitivity and graspability of the human hand. What if we could design a robotic hand that's just as good as a biological one? It turns out there's a lot of hurdles when it comes to replicating their dexterity, sensitivity and reactionary strength.


It was close.Google's AlphaGo AI defeats the world's best human Go player

Google's AI star, AlphaGo, wins again. It bested Ke Jie, the world's best Go player, by just half a point -- the closest margin possible. After the match, Google's DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis explained that this was how AlphaGo was programmed: to maximize its winning chances, rather than the winning margin. This latest iteration of the AI player, nicknamed Master, apparently uses ten times less computational power than its predecessor that beat Lee Sedol, working from a single PC connected to Google's cloud server. The next match kicks off tomorrow, and AlphaGo will also go up against five Go pros (not the cameras) at once in a special match later this week.


For $1,299, the Galaxy Book needs to be just about perfect.Samsung's pricey Galaxy Book is a flawed powerhouse

Samsung's Galaxy Book isn't the company's first attempt at taking the Surface Pro head-on: Last year's TabPro S clearly drew inspiration from Microsoft's convertible. But sluggish performance and a cramped keyboard made the whole experience a bit painful. This time around, the Galaxy Book features a Core i5 processor rather than the weaker Core M in the TabPro S. The keyboard is larger, too. But the things that we liked about the TabPro S, including its stunning, pressure-sensitive display, are also still intact. That said, after a couple of days with the Galaxy Book, Nathan Ingraham is at once impressed and infuriated with the experience.


And a free play weekend'Overwatch' celebrates its first year with new maps, skins and an Anniversary event

The Anniversary Overwatch event has begun, with three new Arena maps available for 3v3 play in the game's Arcade mode. Blizzard has also released a new GOTY version with some special skins and loot boxes (existing owners can upgrade to it for $10). Players who want the new items will have to move fast to get all those new rewards -- the Anniversary loot boxes disappear after June 12th.

But wait, there's more...

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