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Nintendo is releasing a new mobile RPG this summer

Nintendo is partnering with mobile games company Cygames on a new action RPG for phones. The game, Dragalia Lost, will be released in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau this summer, with subsequent launches to follow in North America and Europe. Nintendo says it will “jointly operate” the title with Cygames, “bringing to life the shared vision of a new gaming experience with worldwide appeal.”

Cygames is best known for Granblue Fantasy, one of the most popular mobile games in Japan. Like many other Japanese mobile RPGs, it uses a “gacha” system for randomly unlocking new characters through in-game currency bought with real money, a controversial mechanic that Western games have emulated in the form of “loot boxes.” (Nintendo already...

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Golden State Killer suspect was tracked down through genealogy website

Comparing decades-old crime scene DNA to profiles on genealogy websites led investigators to a relative of the suspected Golden State Killer — and from them, to the suspect himself, the Sacramento Bee reported today.

Also known as the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist, the Golden State Killer is suspected of committing 51 rapes and 12 murders in California between 1974 and 1986. On Tuesday, officers arrested 72-year old Joseph James DeAngelo in Citrus Heights, California in connection with the crimes. The team found him by scouring profiles on genealogy websites, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi told The Sacramento Bee.

While the investigators didn’t find a perfect hit, they did find a close one — the partial...

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Scott Pruitt is even worse at yes-or-no questions than he is at follow

<em>Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment Subcommittee.</em>

Scott Pruitt, the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, just can’t answer yes-or-no questions. That’s one takeaway from one of today’s Congressional hearings, where Pruitt was grilled by lawmakers on his long list of ethical scandals. At one point, Pruitt even refused to answer the very simple question: “Are you the EPA administrator?” (He finally replied with a “yes” the third time he was asked.)

The hearings, one at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the other at House Appropriations Committee, were technically organized to discuss the EPA’s proposed 2019 budget. But many questions, especially those asked by Democratic lawmakers, revolved around the several scandals that have marred Pruitt’s tenure. Those include...

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California air regulators say Scott Pruitt didn’t tell the whole tru

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) says EPA administrator Scott Pruitt mischaracterized the current working relationship between the two agencies during his testimony today on Capitol Hill. The discrepancy comes at a time when the EPA is considering revoking California’s waiver granted under the 1970 Clean Air Act, which gives the state (and CARB) authority to set its own emissions and air quality standards independent from those set by the EPA.

Pruitt announced on April 2nd that the EPA was overturning Obama-era vehicle emissions standards, and was also “reexamining” California’s waiver as the agency works with the Department of Transportation to set new standards. Today, at two Congressional hearings, amidst a barrage of...

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Amazon is increasing the cost of annual Prime memberships from $99 to

Amazon announced today during its quarterly earnings call that the price for its Prime membership is going to increase by about 20 percent for US users. The hike, announced by CFO Brian Olsavsky, will raise a Prime membership from $99 a year to $119, effective May 11th for new members and June 16th for existing ones.

“The value of Prime to customers has never been greater,” Olsavsky said. “And the cost is also high, as we pointed out especially with shipping options and digital benefits, we continue to see rises in costs.” Earlier this year, Amazon hiked the price for monthly Prime subscriptions by about 24 percent, to around $156 per year. This price hike, however, is the first time the company has increased its annual fee since 2014.

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Apple is officially discontinuing its AirPort routers

Apple is officially getting out of the router business, with the company announcing today that it will be discontinuing its AirPort, AirPort Extreme, and Time Capsule routers, via Engadget. Apple will reportedly continue to offer bug fixes and security patches for the devices going forward, but the company is selling off all of its remaining AirPort hardware while supplies last.

The death of Apple’s router business has been a long time coming, with Bloomberg reporting back in November 2016 that Apple had disbanded the hardware division responsible for its routers, which last saw an update for 802.11ac Wi-Fi back in 2013. Since then, the company’s AirPort offerings have been slowly rendered obsolete by the rising popularity of mesh Wi-Fi...

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Congress’ social media censorship hearing was a complete disaster

Nobody expected great things out of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing about social media platforms censoring conservatives. The hearing came on the heels of Congress’ multi-day session with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, where lawmakers exhaustively asked about the issue. Claims about large-scale censorship are basically unfalsifiable, and none of the tech companies invited even showed up. The whole thing looked potentially like a soapbox for vloggers Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, who were invited to the hearing alongside a few policy experts.

But the social media hearing was not just bland or tedious. It was depressingly, almost deliriously bad: full of bad arguments, bizarre tangents, and a lot of...

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Fox is making an interactive film based on the Choose Your Own Adventu

The Choose Your Own Adventure books are a staple for young readers. Unlike normal books, CYOA novels give the reader a series of choices at the bottom of each page, each of which directs you to a different page, allowing you to arrive at a new ending each time you read. At CinemaCon today, 20th Century Fox announced that it wants to do something similar with movies. It’s adapting the series for film, and in doing so, will partner with interactive film company Kino Industries to develop an app that will allow theater-goers to chose how the story plays out while they watch.

TheWrap reports that Fox demonstrated the technology in a trailer, while Variety says that the studio will create an app based on Kino’s CtrlMovie technology. If made,...

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Pinterest now lets you filter search results by skin tone

Pinterest has rolled out new changes that let users filter hair and beauty search results by skin tone ranges, as a way to make it easier to find what you may be looking for. The changes come after the social media platform conducted a survey and found that 70 percent of people used the service to find and save everyday looks and styles.

A Medium post from Pinterest’s engineering account says the process of programming the search filters to detect skin tone in images was difficult, given how lighting, shadows, and other factors were all variables to consider.

To solve the issue, Pinterest used machine learning from a third-party beauty app ModiFace that already had a suitable facial data library for artificial intelligence use....

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Amazon is wildly profitable but it’s still taking huge losses overse

Amazon reported first quarter earnings results today with eye-popping sales of $51 billion, up by nearly 43 percent year over year, and a net profit of $1.6 billion. That means it’s another strong quarter for CEO Jeff Bezos, whose e-commerce juggernaut continues to defy expectations and earn money hand over fist as it expands into markets like food delivery, grocery chains, and smart home gadgets. But one area the company continues to lag in is international online retail sales, where it faces stiff competition from local rivals.

Though Amazon’s international sales grew 34 percent, it recorded another hefty loss to the tune of $622 million, meaning Amazon is still spending far more than it makes in overseas markets. That said, the rest...

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