Nintendo Switch sales have surpassed the Wii U
Nintendo had a stellar holiday quarter, shifting 7.23 million Switch consoles and bringing lifetime sales to 14.86 million already. In short, the company almost doubled its user-base in a single three-month period. The Wii U, for comparison, sold 13.56 million total — a paltry sum in comparison to the Wii’s 101.63 million units.
In light of these results, Nintendo has revised its forecast for the financial year: It expects to make 160 billion yen ($1.47 billion). That’s a 33.3 percent increase on its previous profit forecast — and it seems pretty viable. The company just has to keep the hit games coming.
Fake porn is the new fake news, and the internet isn’t ready
Ever since Facebook finally admitted to having a fake news problem, it’s been trying to fix it. It hired thousands of people to help block fake ads, pledged to work with third-party fact-checking organizations and is busy building algorithms to detect fake news. But even as it attempts to fight back against fraudulent ads and made-up facts, another potential fake-news threat looms on the horizon: artificially generated fake video.
Motherboard recently uncovered a disturbing new trend on Reddit, where users create AI-generated pornographic clips by transferring other people’s faces on to porn stars. The outlet first reported on the phenomenon a month ago when Reddit user deepfakes posted a video of Gal Gadot’s face swapped on to a porn star’s body (he’s since created more fake porn with other celebrities). The video was created with machine learning algorithms, easily accessible open-source libraries and images from Google, stock photos and YouTube videos. It’s a worrying new development.
Azio’s Retro Classic keyboard is luxurious, but imperfect
Senior editor Daniel Cooper has an unusual love for ostentatious mechanical keyboards. The madder the design and the louder its keys, the more he wants it. So here’s Azio’s latest offering: The Retro Classic is a USB or Bluetooth-equipped input device styled to make a steampunk faint in admiration. So he had to have it.
FCC: Officer behind Hawaii false missile alert thought it was real
The FCC has published the preliminary findings of its investigation into Hawaii’s false missile alert, and it suggests the story didn’t play out as you might have heard. The FCC said the officer fully intended to send the alert — after misinterpreting a mangled message. The midnight shift supervisor had apparently played a standard recording that included both the usual “exercise, exercise, exercise” language and the text from a real Emergency Alert System message, which includes “this is not a drill.” Although other officers saw this was a drill, the one who clicked the alert was convinced it was real.
The state of solar installers after Trump’s tariff
Two days after President Donald Trump signed hefty tariffs on imported solar panels, a five-man team was hauling slabs of them up the outside of a brownstone in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. The team from Brooklyn SolarWorks, an installation company with 21 full-time employees, finished the job around sunset. The contract cost about $27,000. But James Luria, a media consultant who has only owned the house for six months, expects to pay around $3,000 for the installation. “It was the obvious thing to do,” Luria said.
Among the reasons for the cut price: a 30 percent federal tax credit, 25 percent New York state credit, 20 percent off property tax in New York City and a net-metering policy that allows homes to sell their excess solar power back to the grid.
Samsung sets record Q4 profits ahead of Galaxy S9 launch
Samsung’s head honcho was found guilty of bribery last year, and its vice-chairman stepped down due to an “unprecedented crisis,” but that didn’t affect the Korean conglomerate’s cashflow at all. In fact, the company did very well in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the year as a whole: It posted a $14 billion operating profit for the quarter and $50 billion for 2017, thanks mostly to its strong chip and display business. That dwarfs its $8 billion operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2016, though that year’s earnings were admittedly tainted by the Note 7 fiasco.
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