Tagged With bots

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A lot of games require a big time investment — at least, if you want to have the best gear, the funniest emotes, the most locations unlocked, a shot at completing all the achievements, etc. And while you could play fair and square, you could also be that person and use hacks, exploits, or other creative techniques to achieve whatever it is you’re trying to do in your favourite title, even if that’s “ruin everyone else’s day by using a utility to kill them a lot faster than they can kill you.” That’s fun too, right?

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At the opening of Google's I/O event, the company showed off their new AI tool. In the demonstration, someone told the Google Assistant they wanted to book an appointment. Google found the hairdresser and then phoned them, holding a natural language conversation with a person to make the appointment and add it to a calendar. The party on the other end of the phone didn't know they were talking to a computer (so we're told). This opens up an interesting future.

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Do you ever give an imaginary TV interview in the shower about all your very important opinions? Do you wish more people would tag you in those "ask me anything" memes? Well now a bot will interview you like you're a pop star, using questions from old issues of UK music magazine Smash Hits.

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Millions of Twitter users are actually fraudulent bots, sold to real Twitter users (including many celebrities and media personalities) to inflate their stats and make them look more influential. Last week the New York Times investigated one of the most influential bot sellers and called up their celebrity clients. In the fallout, the Chicago Sun-Times suspended film critic Richard Roeper for a couple of days.

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I like to spend my one wild and precious life arguing with strangers in Twitter reply threads. But I want them to be real strangers, not bots, spammers or fake identities. I don't want to waste any of my overwrought insults and smug dunks on a fake account. And since bots make up 15 per cent of Twitter users, that can take some research.

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Bots tend to get a lot of bad press. And considering that bots tend to be involved in all kinds of malicious internet activity – including devastating DDoS attacks – it isn’t altogether unwarranted. However, the actual story behind bots isn’t quite so one-sided.

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Over the past two decades, the world wide web has massively changed the way we live, communicate and do business. The internet is responsible for trillions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue annually and its importance will only continue to grow. This infographic from Hosting Facts is a fascinating compendium of internet facts and statistics from across the globe; from the country with the highest internet penetration (Bermuda) to the number of active Facebook users in the world (lots).

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The internet-enabled fridge is a concept we've been mocking for decades, but modern homes are filled with appliances and gadgets that are net-connected, from TVs to routers. And just like computers, those device can be hacked and exploited to create spam-sending botnets and launch denial-of-service attacks.