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The Morning After: Robots running free

And a date for the end of Net Neutrality.
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Boston Dynamics

Welcome to Friday! We're wrapping up our Google I/O coverage today, but we've also taken a behind-the-scenes look at how the Guardians of the Galaxy got a redesigned ship, a possible due date on the end of Net Neutrality and a robot frolicking in a field.


I didn't sign up to take a Turing Test today.
Google: Duplex phone calling AI will identify itself

While the Duplex AI demo Google showed during I/O was impressive, it creeped many of us out by pretending to be human. On a phone call with apparently unaware restaurant and salon workers, the system peppered its conversation with "umms" and "ahhs" while setting up appointments. That tech might make it more comfortable to talk to, but now Google has confirmed that when it starts testing the feature in Google Assistant this summer, it will let people know they're talking to an automated system.


How long does the battery last at full sprint? Asking for a human friend.
Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot shows off its agility for the scouts

The humanoid robot took an untethered jog and showed off its vertical ability by leaping over a log. Atlas isn't ready for a free agent NFL contract just yet, but comparing the robot's smooth moves now to demos from 2009 shows just how far the technology has come.


Marvel's most unorthodox heroes have a new home in 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
Designing a spaceship for the Guardians of the Galaxy

Avengers: Infinity War is a jam-packed movie, flipping between superheroes young and old as they try to defend against Thanos. Almost every scene required a tremendous amount of computer-generated visual effects, meaning Marvel had to tap a small army of external partners to complete the project, including a company based in London and San Francisco called Territory Studio. The independent team worked on over a hundred 130 animated "screens" of make-believe software, with a lot of this work focused on the Guardians of the Galaxy's spaceship. These exotic control panels are the tip of Territory's contributions, which spanned tables, door air locks and a spherical escape pod. The company's mission was to reinvent the UI -- and by extension, the larger look and feel -- of the Guardians' moving home. It was a small piece of the movie but an important one to quickly convey how the group had been living since the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.


There's a slim chance the House and Senate could repeal, though.
Net Neutrality dies June 11th

Net Neutrality officially dies June 11th, almost three years to the day after it was put into law. In a press release from Ajit Pai's office, he repeated his rhetoric that the internet was never broken and bemoaned Title II rules (more rigorous regulation which touches on throttling, blocking and paid prioritization of data) as being "heavy handed" and "outdated."

The US Senate has forced a vote, scheduled for next week, to overturn Pai's decision. If the Senate is successful, the House of Representatives will have to take similar measures before Pai's framework is overruled. For now, a handful of states have passed their own bills upholding Title II provisions.


Ditch the dock.
Nintendo is making a $20 charging stand for the Switch

You can game on the Switch in various ways, but if you want to charge while playing in Tabletop mode, you'd have to be creative in finding ways to prop it up. Even if you do find a way, you're at risk of ruining its cord, considering its charging port is at the bottom. Nintendo's thankfully fixing that problem by releasing a $20 accessory, which serves as a charger and an adjustable stand. It'll arrive next month, ready for that summer vacation / staycation.

But wait, there's more...


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