SNK may be making a mini-console stuffed with arcade classics

If you’ve worked through the amazing selection of games provided by the NES and SNES Classic Editions, you may be in luck: SNK, the legendary arcade game creator behind the likes of Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown, is teasing what looks like its own tiny arcade cabinet.

Teased as part of the company’s 40th anniversary, the shrouded gadget definitely doesn’t look like a NEO-GEO, or even a NEO-GEO Pocket. Gizmodo notes that the description mentions a “new game machine,” but no details beyond that. The tall, boxy outline suggests a small arcade cabinet, and the slab in front of it looks a lot like an arcade controller.

It wouldn’t be a particularly original creation — there are dozens of tiny arcade cabinets with built-in games, but the truth is, none of them is particularly good. They’re novelties, perfectly fun for a laugh, but the hardware — compared with the impressive solidity of real arcade controllers and the NEO-GEO’s itself — just isn’t there.

If I had to guess, I’d say this is an arcade cabinet-style console with improved internals, a decent screen to accommodate games newer than 1996 and a separate, perhaps even wireless arcade controller. Price… I’d put it at $200 or $250. Extra controller (and you’ll want it), my guess is $60. I could easily be way off, though. Maybe they’d even let us plug in our old Tanksticks?

An original NEO-GEO controller. You can feel the sturdiness from where you sit.

Inside, you’ll probably find a generous helping of SNK classics, likely limited to arcade and NEO-GEO titles. Even without SNK’s classic games for home consoles like the NES, my eyes were watering as I scrolled down the list of games the company has put out and which may end up on this device.

King of the Monsters 2? Last Resort? Twinkle Star Sprites? King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown and all the other fighters? Not to mention Metal Slug and its sequels. The amount of quarters I’ve sunk into these fantastic, beautiful games is uncountable.

If SNK is smart, they’ll make it possible to add new games to the system, too. There are plenty to choose from, as the company catered to a number of niches. Having them available for a few bucks each would be a dream — and anyway

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Lyft drivers’ lawsuit against Uber over ‘Hell’ program isn’t over

A class-action lawsuit led by a number of Lyft drivers against Uber regarding the alleged “Hell” spying program is moving forward in an amended way. The lawsuit, brought by Lyft driver Michael Gonzales on behalf of other Lyft drivers, alleges Uber wrongfully intercepted the communications and whereabouts of Lyft drivers, and resulted in the loss of revenue.

Uber reportedly used Hell to track Lyft drivers to see how many were available to give rides and what their prices were. Hell could allegedly also determine if people were driving for both Uber and Lyft.

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley dismissed most of the lawsuit yesterday, but is allowing Lyft drivers to file an amended complaint that pertains to monetary losses as a result of unfair competition. In Judge Corley’s ruling, she determined the plaintiff did not sufficiently argue Uber’s violation of the Wiretap Act via interception of communications. Judge Corley also dismissed the plaintiff’s claim that Uber violated the Stored Communications Act and the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

Additionally, Judge Corley dismissed the claim that Uber violated the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act with leave to amend “to the extent Plaintiff can allege facts that plausibly suggest Uber violated a particular subsection of the Act.”

While Judge Corley dismissed the majority of the plaintiff’s claims, Gonzales can file an amended complaint specifically pertaining to unfair competition. From the ruling:

Plaintiff alleges that by encouraging drivers to use the Uber platform exclusively, and not also drive for Lyft, that reduced the supply of Lyft drivers thereby increasing wait times and causing Lyft drivers to experience decreased earnings; in particular, the longer wait time would cause a passenger to cancel the Lyft request and request a new ride from Uber. (FAC ¶ 9, 101, 102.) These factual allegations, which the Court must accept as true, are sufficient to satisfy the lost money or property requirement of UCL standing.

Judge Corley went on to say that Gonzales sufficiently argued he lost revenue as a result of Uber’s attempts to decrease the supply of Lyft drivers.

“Whether Plaintiff will be able to prove that allegation is a question for another day,” Judge Corley wrote.

This comes after Judge Corley dismissed Gonzales’ original comp

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Cheddar’s digital news network is coming to Hulu too

Cheddar isn’t done making deals with the over-the-top streaming TV providers. Only yesterday, news came out that Cheddar was the first digital-only network to launch a channel on YouTube’s streaming TV service, YouTube TV. Today, the company is announcing a similar deal with Hulu, which will bring its programming to Hulu’s href=""> more than 17 million subscribers.

The new distribution agreement will see Hulu adding Cheddar’s live linear network, plus exclusive morning and afternoon news briefs, key highlights and a selection of Cheddar Originals.

This combination of live and on-demand programming will be available to Hulu’s Live TV subscribers, while the daily news briefs and select other content will be made available to Hulu’s on-demand viewers.

The on-air channel will launch to Live TV viewers later this month.

This is a slightly different deal than the one Cheddar cut with YouTube TV, which was focused more on making Cheddar’s linear programming available to the service’s users. In addition, YouTube TV didn’t only add Cheddar’s flagship business news network, it also added Cheddar’s new general news channel, Cheddar Big News.

However, YouTube TV is catering to a younger demographic who may be more familiar with the Cheddar brand, and more attracted to digital networks in general, rather than their cable TV counterparts. That fits well with Cheddar’s own viewership demographics — 1 in 5 millennials (ages 18 through 24) know of Cheddar, and they’re “decades” younger than those who watch traditional news networks, the company notes.

For Hulu, the new addition means it’s gaining a network that could make its service more appealing to “cord nevers” — the (often young) group of consumers who are choosing never to sign up for a pay TV subscription in the first place. These users still want access to TV news, though, says Hulu.

“Our live TV viewers watched more than 24 million hours of news in the first quarter of 2018, so clearly they are hungry for news content,” said Tim Connolly, SVP, Head of Partnerships and Distribution at Hulu, in a statement about the deal with Cheddar. “We’re h

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Apple has a new iPhone recycling robot named ‘Daisy’

Meet Daisy. Apple’s latest recycling robot was revealed, not coincidentally, a few days before Earth Day, in a press announcement summing up the company’s recent environmental accomplishments. The new ‘bot is an update to Liam, the recycling robot the company announced back in 2016.

Daisy was developed in-house by Apple engineers, using some of Liam’s parts — a recycling of sorts. The industrial robot is able to disassemble nine different versions of the iPhone, sorting all of their reusable components in the process. In all, Daisy is capable of taking apart a full 200 iPhones in a given hour, proving a solid alternative to traditional methods that can destroy valuable components in the process. Any connection to HAL 3000, however, is surely coincidental. 

Along with Daisy, Apple’s also using the occasion to announce GiveBack, an addition to its recycling program. For every device customers turn in or trade from now until April 30, the company will make a donation to Conservation International, a Virginia-based environmental nonprofit. Eligible devices will still qualify for an in-store or gift card credit. 

For good measure, there’s also a new Apple Watch challenge coming for Earth Day, encouraging people to get outside on Sunday and enjoy the planet. The announcements come a week after Apple announced that it had achieved its goal of powering its global facilities with 100 percent renewable energy.

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Laura Tyson will be speaking at TC Sessions Robotics May 11 at UC Berkeley

We’re less than a month out from TC Sessions: Robotics, and we’ve still got some key names to share with you for the big event. We’ve already announced some of the top names in robotics, including Playground’s Andy Rubin, Boston Dynamics’ Marc Raibert, Ayanna Howard of Zyrobotics, Chris Urmson of Google and UC Berkeley professor and SuitX founder, Homayoon Kazerooni.

Today we’re excited to add Laura Tyson to the list. Tyson is the faculty director, Institute for Business & Social Impact at Berkeley’s Haas Business and Public Policy Group. She has previously served as the director of the National Economic Council and the chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton.

Tyson will be joining us to discuss the impact of AI and automation on economics and the human workforce, along with Fetch Robotics CEO, Melonee Wise and more, in a panel moderated by Ars Technica editor-at-large and author of Autonomous, Annalee Newitz.

In addition to all of our great human speakers, we’ve also got some really exciting robotic demos. UC Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg will be bringing along Dex-Net. The system utilizes an off-the-shelf industrial robotic gripper designed by ABB. Trained using a deep neural network and 6.7 million data points, the system is able to perform extremely dexterous pick and place functions — a major hurdle in the world of industrial robotics.

Dex-Net will be joined by the some of the industry’s most cutting-edge robots, including Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini and Agility Robotics’ bipedal Cassie.

Click here to see the full agenda, workshop schedule and to check out more speakers.

Buy your ticket today.

Student tickets are just $45 — you can book those here.

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