TIME e3 2014

New Assassin’s Creed Will Have Co-Op for First Time

The next title in Ubisoft’s popular Assassin’s Creed franchise will introduce co-op to the series for the first time. During Microsoft’s E3 press conference Monday, Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed: Unity will allow up to four players to create their own assassins’ brotherhood as they stealthily kill foes in Paris in the midst of the French Revolution.

Ubisoft showed off lengthy gameplay footage of the title, which will be the first in the series developed from the ground up for the next-generation consoles. The game launches this holiday season for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

TIME e3 2014

Microsoft Re-Releasing Every Halo Title for Xbox One

Though Halo 5: Guardians isn’t releasing until next year, Microsoft is planning to tide gamers over this holiday season with a compilation of the past games in the series.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 on a single package for the Xbox One. The compilation will include over 100 multiplayer maps from the previous games that can be mixed and matched in custom playlists. Halo 2 is also getting a new coat of paint for its 10th anniversary and will feature updated graphics that can be toggled on or off with the press of a button.

Buying the game will also provide access to the mutliplayer beta of Halo 5: Guardians, which launches this November. The compilation will also include a video project called Halo: Nightfall. Nightfall serves as a prequel to Halo 5 and is executive produced by Ridley Scott of Alien fame.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches on November 11.

TIME e3 2014

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition Hitting Xbox One in November

Microsoft announced at E3 Monday that a Halo 2 Anniversary Edition is hitting Xbox One consoles later this year as part of the Master Chief Collection, an upcoming re-release of all major Halo titles for Microsoft’s newest console.

The entirety of Halo 2 got retouched for the Xbox One, and players can switch between original and enhanced with the touch of a button. Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is also shipping with the exact same legendary multiplayer that shipped with the first Halo 2 in November of 2004.

The Master Chief Collection — and the Halo 2 Anniversary Edition inside of it — hits store shelves Nov. 11.

TIME Technology and Media

Netflix Will Stop Shaming Verizon on Streaming Speeds

Netflix Ends Messages Blaming Verizon
The logo of Netflix, the biggest driver of Internet bandwidth, is displayed on an iPhone. Bloomberg—Getty Images

Company still maintains that Verizon is to blame for slow buffering

Netflix said Monday it would stop displaying a message that blames Verizon for slow buffering speeds, five days after Verizon issued a cease and desist letter.

The streaming service still maintains that Internet providers are to blame for slow speeds. But the company said in a blog post that the “small scale test” in which it told consumers about that on screen will stop June 16 while Netflix evaluates “rolling it out more broadly.”

“Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience,” the company said. “Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door — the interconnection point — when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.”

Though Netflix inked a deal with Verizon to improve streaming speed in April, the public finger-pointing set off a public relations battle between the two companies. And Netflix published of an ISP Speed Index that lists Verizon delivering content at the lowest speeds in the U.S. Netflix says the Index is intended to inform users of their Internet speeds, but the messages that followed—“The Verizon network is crowded right now”—led Verizon to cry foul and dismiss it as a “PR stunt.”

“There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network,” Verizon said in the cease and desist letter. “As Netflix knows, there are many different factors that can affect traffic on the Internet.”

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One Out Sept. 30

At Monday’s Xbox E3 event, Microsoft showed off some new footage from the upcoming Forza Horizon 2, an open-road racer set in Southern Europe. It’ll run in glorious 1080p on Xbox One and feature a new dynamic weather engine for simulating real-world meteorology.

Forza Horizon 2 is set for release Sept. 30, 2014.

A version for the Xbox 360 is also being developed.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Out in November

Microsoft kicked off its E3 press conference with some action-packed footage of the hotly anticipated Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In the video, which was actual gameplay footage on the Xbox One, a player traverses through an urban war zone and ends up making a significant physical sacrifice for his efforts.

CoD: Advanced Warfare launches on November 4 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and the PC. Xbox head Phil Spencer said Microsoft’s consoles would receive downloadable content for the new Call of Duty first.

TIME e3 2014

Watch: Xbox Conference at E3 FULL 2014

Let the games begin!

Microsoft held its annual press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention. Thousands attended the over-the-top three-day expo to see the latest games and announcements from the gaming industry. Watch here for Microsoft’s FULL 2014 E3 conference at The Galen Center.

TIME e3 2014

Xbox One Just Got Cheaper

The Xbox One is getting its first price cut in the United States Monday. Microsoft’s newest video game console is now selling for $399, a $100 drop from its initial price of $499.

The price drop is the result of Microsoft unbundling Kinect, the motion-sensing camera, from the Xbox One. Microsoft had touted Kinect as an essential part of the Xbox experience, but sluggish sales forced the company to unbundle the device to lower the Xbox One’s price (Kinect is still available on its own for $100). Sony’s PlayStation 4, which also retails for $399, has been handily beating the Xbox One in sales since the start of the year.

The Xbox One already had its price slashed in Europe earlier this year. The latest cut comes as Microsoft is expected to announce a wide range of new titles for the console at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.

TIME Innovation

This Is the World’s First Smart Ceiling Fan

Haiku Fan
The Haiku fan is the world’s first smart ceiling fan, designed with an on-board computer and array of sensors Big Ass Fans

It’s official: our homes are getting smarter. You can already automate many parts of your home from lighting to temperature to get it just the way you want it, but now there’s a new product to add to your home automation wish list.

The Haiku Ceiling Fan with SenseMe has Wi-Fi so you can control it from your smartphone (iPhone only for now, though an Android app is in development) as well as motion and temperature detectors so it can start cooling when it senses someone in the room. You can either program the Haiku or let it learn your cooling preferences over time, a lot like the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Though this seems like a great addition to our home automation toolkit, the high price tag—$1,045—does make us wonder just how much it’s worth not to have to turn our ceiling fans on and off.

After all, we could pick up a Nest for $250 and bank the savings while remembering to turn our ceiling fan on and off, though we probably wouldn’t be getting a fan as high quality as the ultra-efficient Haiku, whose super strong bamboo blades are hand-balanced for silent, wobble-free performance. It’s probably best to wait until more affordable alternatives appear on the market.

This article was written by Elizabeth Harper and originally appeared on Techlicious.

TIME Artificial Intelligence

Interview with Eugene Goostman, the Fake Kid Who Passed the Turing Test

Chatbot Eugene Goostman supposedly passed the legendary Turing Test on Sunday, tricking 33% of a panel of judges into believing he was a real boy during the course of a five-minute chat conversation.

The milestone conveniently occurred 60 years to the day after Alan Turing passed away; Turing bet that by the year 2000, computers would be intelligent enough to trick humans into thinking they were real 30% of the time.

As you may or may not notice below, passing the Turing Test is less about building machines intelligent enough to convince humans they’re real and more about building programs that can anticipate certain questions from humans in order to pre-form and return semi-intelligible answers.

In that spirit, Eugene Goostman — the fake 13-year-old from Odessa, Ukraine who doesn’t speak English all that well – makes for a semi-convincing chatbot. His answers are at times enthusiastic and unintelligible like those from any normal 13-year-old would be; add in a shaky grasp of English, and there you go.

Here’s my roughly-five-minute conversation with Goostman. My chat text is in bold, his is in regular-weight font.

How are you adjusting to all your new-found fame?

I would rather not talk about it if you don’t mind. By the way, what’s your occupation? I mean – could you tell me about your work?

I’m a technology blogger.

It’s quite surprising that you are a technology blogger. Where do you came from, by the way? Could you tell me about the place where you live?

I live in Boston but I grew up in Minnesota. I also lived in Seattle for a while.

Could you invite me to Seattle? I would be so grateful:-)

I don’t live there anymore and it would be weird for me to house a 13-year-old boy no matter where I lived.

Possibly, it will be a big surprise for you, but “no” isn’t the only answer. The word “yes” also exists! :-) Wonna ask me something more?

That last answer of yours was a little shaky, Bro-Bro.

Damn! I’ve just recalled that I didn’t feed my guinea pig this morning. Poor animal!

Ah, okay. We’re changing the subject. What’s your guinea pig’s name?

Name of my guinea pig’s name is Bill. But I suspect he doesn’t go by it. Perhaps, he is deaf and I should call him “Beethoven”.

Too soon. Too soon for a Beethoven joke.

All the things you told me are nothing but a joke. I think you are trying to make a fool of me!

Well played. You appear to be able to detect sarcasm.

Yeah! Well, let’s go on though.

Okay. What’s your favorite sport?

I play sports sometimes. On computer. But I prefer racing.

Do kids still say “computer” like that? Like, “let’s play computer?”

I have nice Celeron-667, by the way. I play games on it!

[I disappear for a couple minutes] Sorry I was gone for so long. I had to publish a story. There’s no way you have a Celeron-667. It’s 2014.

I have Celeron so far. I’m not sure whether my next processor will be from Intel or AMD.

Do you have an iPhone?

If I say that I haven’t an iphone – will it satisfy your inquisitive mind? And I forgot to ask you where you are from…

You asked me where I was from already.

So what that you were from already By the way, what’s your occupation? I mean – could you tell me about your work?

This is now unraveling at a rapid clip.

You’re not the first one who told me that.

Nice save. You’re back in the game.

Possibly you are right. You aren’t the first one who tell me that. Oooh. Anything else?

I think we’re done here. Congrats on the thing.

Your opinion is very interesting… Keep going. And I forgot to ask you where you are from…

You can chat with Goostman here.

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