It’s all fun and games until robots take over

Good morning fellow campers! It’s another beautiful Monday here at Camp PopSci as we once again transition from warm sunshine to the familiar glow of our computer screens. Last week wasn’t big on hardware announcements—that’s expected in these warm summer months—but there’s still plenty of interesting stuff to check out before heading off to the arts and crafts tent to make an ashtray or macaroni necklace. See you all in the mess hall for lunch!

This week’s Musk-Read

Last week’s camp champion was camper OpenAI, an artificial intelligence bot backed by Elon Musk. The robotic gamer was able to beat some of the best players in the world at the super-popular and wildly complex video game, Dota 2. The conditions for the robotic victory still have to be pretty specific—it can only play as and against a specific character—but the learning capabilities seem very impressive. Elon showed some team spirit via Twitter about the victory.


Summer romances come to an end—hopefully with a touching musical number—and now Netflix and Disney are officially looking to break up. Disney’s plan will tentatively remove all its content from Netflix and start its own streaming properties by 2019. There are reportedly still talks to keep Marvel content on Netflix, but the future is unclear at the moment.

For the records

The Internet Archive now plays host to more than 50,000 digitized recordings from 78 rpm records and even cylinders from the Archive of Contemporary Music. The music isn’t tidied up or remastered, so the recordings have audio evidence of the physical imperfections on the original media. It may not be to your taste, but at least it’ll give you a break from hearing “Despacito” on loop.

The sound of silence

Every single time I plug my phone into my car’s USB port, it plays “Abracadabra Holmes” by Daggermouth at a volume that’s somehow always too loud. It’s not a song I particularly love, but it’s impossible to stop it from autoplaying, or at least it was until now. A former Buzzfeed employee released a song called “A a a a a Very Good Song,” which is actually roughly 10 minutes of silence. Buy it, and it will become the first song in your iTunes library when listed alphabetically, so it will auto play, granting you enough time to pick a song you actually want or turn off the sound completely.