In today’s Bulldog wrapup of tech and related news:

  • Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient board game of go
  • Nokia and Apple settle long-running legal disputes
  • Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown
  • NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station
  • Clariant, Huntsman, latest chemical makers seeking to merge

The details:

  • Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient board game of go

A computer defeated China’s top player of the ancient board game go on Tuesday, earning praise that it might have finally surpassed human abilities in one of the last games machines have yet to dominate.

Google’s AlphaGo won the first of three planned games this week against Ke Jie, a 19-year-old prodigy, in this town west of Shanghai. The computer will also face other top-ranked Chinese players during the five-day event.

AlphaGo beat Ke by a half-point, “the closest margin possible,” according to Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind, the Google-owned company in London that developed AlphaGo.

AlphaGo has improved markedly since it defeated South Korea’s top competitor last year and is a “completely different player,” Ke told reporters.

“For the first time, AlphaGo was quite human-like,” Ke said. “In the past it had some weaknesses. But now I feel its understanding of go and the judgment of the game is beyond our ability.”

Go players take turns putting white or black stones on a rectangular grid with 361 intersections, trying to capture territory and each other’s pieces by surrounding them. Competitors play until both agree there are no more places to put stones or one quits.

The game, which originated in China more than 25 centuries ago, has avoided mastery by computers even as they surpassed humans in most other games. They conquered chess in 1997 when IBM Corp.’s Deep Blue system defeated champion Garry Kasparov.

  • Nokia and Apple settle long-running legal disputes

Nokia and Apple have settled their numerous legal disputes after signing an agreement to work together.

Nokia, once the world’s No. 1 cellphone maker and now a networks provider after selling its ailing mobile phone sector to Microsoft in 2014, described the pact as “meaningful.”

Maria Varsellona, Nokia’s chief legal officer said the agreement “moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”

The two companies have been involved in a number of patent infringement claims over the years.

Nokia, which owns a huge portfolio of patents, said it will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement.

Nokia did not reveal the terms of the deal as it’s confidential.

  • Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown

Hong Kong police launched a fresh crackdown Tuesday on Uber, arresting 21 drivers suspected of working for the ride-hailing giant in the Asian financial center.

It’s the latest regulatory headache for Uber, which already is fighting a similar case in Hong Kong.

The drivers were arrested in an undercover operation on suspicion of carrying passengers for hire and not having third-party insurance for their cars, said Chief Inspector Lau Tat-fai.

Lau said the 20 men and one woman aged 21 to 59 were taken into custody and their vehicles impounded.

“I would like to emphasize that police are still continuing their enforcement action and I can’t rule out the possibility of more drivers being arrested,” he told reporters.

Lau, who did not specifically mention Uber, said anybody who “assisted or instigated” drivers might also be legally responsible. He called on people using smartphones to arrange rides to make sure that drivers have the proper vehicle hire permits.

“We are extremely disappointed by the police enforcement today. We stand together with the 21 driver partners,” Uber said in a statement, adding that it would help them and provide legal support.

  • NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

NASA has ordered up urgent spacewalking repairs at the International Space Station.

On Tuesday, two astronauts will venture out to replace a data relay box that broke over the weekend. The job falls to the two Americans on board: commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer.

The failed unit was installed not quite two months ago. It is one of two that control the station’s radiators and solar panels, among other critical systems. NASA said everything is still safe in orbit because one relay box is still working, and no operations have been affected. But officials want the bad one quickly replaced, in case the good one also goes down.

Astronauts performed a similar spacewalk in 2014.

This so-called multiplexer-demultiplexer unit, or MDM, failed Saturday for unknown reasons. It was a refurbished device — containing upgraded software — and was installed at the end of March by Whitson and another astronaut. Station managers decided Sunday to do a spacewalk Tuesday morning to replace it with an on-board spare. The spacewalk should last just two hours.

Whitson and Fischer went spacewalking 1½ weeks ago. That excursion was cut short because of a leaky umbilical hose inside the space station. If Tuesday’s replacement work goes well, Fischer also will hook up wireless communications antennas outside the orbiting lab, a job left undone during the May 12 spacewalk.

  • Clariant, Huntsman latest chemical makers seeking to merge

Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant and Texas’ Huntsman Corp. will attempt to join and create a company with a market value of $13.8 billion, the latest proposed deal in a chemicals industry that is seeking to consolidate rapidly.

The companies said Monday they plan to combine in through an all-stock transaction. The resulting company would be named HuntsmanClariant, with stock exchange listings in both Zurich and New York.

If approved, Clariant shareholders would own 52 percent of the company and Huntsman shareholders would own 48 percent.

The new firm will have global headquarters in Pratteln, Switzerland and operational headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, where Huntsman is based. Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann is to become HuntsmanClariant’s board chairman while Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman would hold that position in the combined company.

The companies hope to complete the deal by the year’s end.

The industrial gas and chemical sector has been rife with mergers the past couple of years as companies seek to streamline operations and increase profits.

In December of 2015, chemical giants DuPont and Dow agreed on a proposed $62 billion merger, but have postponed the deal several times due to regulatory scrutiny both in the U.S. and abroad.