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Inspired by his belief that human beings are essentially terrified of robots, Ben Russell set about charting the evolution of automatons for an exhibition he hopes will force people to think about how androids and other robotic forms can enhance their lives.


• Howard Webb, the retired English referee who worked the 2010 World Cup and Champions League finals, will move to New York and manage Major League Soccer’s development of video technology for on-field officials.

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Skiing aims to catch up fast with new TV graphics at worlds

When Lindsey Vonn competes in the opening event at next week’s world skiing championships, television viewers will get their first look at some new on-screen technology.

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French candidate uses hologram on campaign trail

French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon can’t be in two places at once.

Tech Talk

• Slack Technologies, a fast-growing startup trying to wean businesses off email by hooking employees on its more informal messaging service, is now hoping to snare the world’s biggest companies as customers.

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‘Father of Pac-Man’ has died age 91

Masaya Nakamura, the “Father of Pac-Man” who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game, has died. He was 91.

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Entrepreneurs race to develop flying car

Even before George Jetson entranced kids with his cartoon flying car, people dreamed of soaring above traffic congestion. Inventors and entrepreneurs have long tried and failed to make the dream a reality, but that may be changing.

Francis Ford Coppola develops ‘Apocalypse Now’ video game

Francis Ford Coppola wants to make an “Apocalypse Now” video game and he’s hoping fans will help pay for it.

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Samsung details the causes of Note 7 fires

Samsung says a thorough investigation into the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone has confirmed widely held suspicions that its batteries were to blame, marking a first but important step toward restoring consumer confidence.


• The tiny Baltic nation of Estonia is experimenting with the idea of cyberconscription, a move that gives draftees with tech skills the chance to work shoring up their military’s electronic infrastructure, an Estonian defence official said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia warns destructive computer virus has returned

Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread.

Six scientists simulate Mars in dome

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods — with a rare treat of Spam — and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

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Cuba sees explosion in internet access

Two days before Christmas, Luis Gonzalez received a little Chinese modem from Cuba’s state-owned telecommunications company.


• Baidu Inc., which operates China’s most popular Internet search engine, said Tuesday it has hired a former Microsoft executive and artificial intelligence specialist to improve its competitiveness in the field.

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Nintendo Switch console unveiled

Nintendo is trying to Switch it up. The Japanese video-game company revealed details Friday about its hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch, a video game console that also serves as a hand-held gaming device, during a global rollout on Friday.