Tech News

Alcatraz AI is Building Face ID for Corporate Badges

Ever experience the frustration of heading out of work for lunch and getting back to the office just in time to only realize that you left your badge upstairs on your desk? Now, you’re late and stuck waiting downstairs for one of your co-workers to be gracious enough to bring your badge down to you so that you can get back in.

Meanwhile, your boss is none too happy with you. And perhaps this is your third or fourth strike!

Well, it’s time you met Alcatraz AI, a start-up that wants to replace all the badge readers in your office with a Face ID-like camera system. With Alcatraz, any of the multiple sensors have the capability to identify faces and unlock doors effortlessly.

High-security buildings have made fingerprints and iris scanners a regular commodity, but your everyday business would end up with traffic jams at the door if they started using a fingerprint system. On top of all that, every time a new employee is hired, their biometric information would have to be added to the system.

This process would be tedious, especially for large companies with lots of employees.

Facial Authentication

However, with Alcatraz AI, facial authentication guarantees a quick, painless process. You begin with a badge, like the one you have now, but after you’ve used it a few times, Alcatraz Al has scanned your face enough to form a model. From then on, you can always leave your badge on your desk – or at home, for that matter –, and simple facial recognition will get you in the door.

Alcatraz Al has built custom hardware with three different sensors that include both traditional RGB sensors and infrared sensors for 3D mapping which they would install. Once everything is set and running, companies only need to pay an annual fee to continue using the platform.

Alcatraz AI can even detect tailgating – that is, someone trying to get in somewhere secure by following in an authorized person. It gives customers analytics and real-time notifications.

Overall, the process is much simpler and easier, and the ongoing license cost should be the same as what your company previously used to pay guards. The start-up has raised nearly $6 million already from Hardware Club, Ray Stata, JCI Ventures, Ruvento Ventures, and Hemi Ventures.

Ever experience the frustration of heading out of work for lunch and getting back to the office just in time to only realize that you left your badge...

Tech News

Apple Introduces Its Own Credit Card

Apple Inc. is driven to do more and more to create more users and to make its users happier. The company is continually advancing and introducing newer technology, and now they’ve announced they’ll be releasing their very own credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.

Integrating the Apple Card will be especially useful for those who have already made it a habit to use the Wallet app and Apple Pay. According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, Apple Pay will reach 10 billion transactions this year and will be available in over 40 countries by the year’s end.

Over 70 percent of American businesses accept Apple Pay, and more are being added to that number daily while countries like Australia are already at 99 percent acceptance.

Signing up for the Apple Card is simple; all you have to do is sign up from your iPhone, and within a few minutes, you’ll be able to use it with Apple Pay. You’ll have complete control over the card from your Wallet app.

If you want to see you credit card bill, your recent transactions, or keep track of your spending, you just tap the card, and all the information is at your fingertips. You can even see where you spent the money. When you tap a transaction, the location shows up in a miniature Apple Map.

Go Titanium

You’ll also get a hard, titanium card along with the virtual one with a laser-etched name, but there’s no card number, no CVV code, no expiration date, and no signature on the card. All of that information can only be found on the Wallet app, and each device will have a different credit card number.

Every transaction gives you an instant 2 percent cash back, and with Apple purchases, it’s 3 percent! Physical transactions, however, are only eligible for 1 percent cash back. The cash back is credited to your account daily instead of at the end of the month.

All of your private information is guaranteed to be secure; in fact, Apple won’t even be able to see what you bought, where you bought it, or what you paid for it. Goldman Sachs agrees not to sell your data for advertising or marketing.

What makes this card even more unique than it already is is that you will have no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over-limit fees. You can easily set up a monthly plan to pay off your balance if you aren’t able to, and customer support is always at your fingertips via text messages through the Messages app.

Apple says the card will be available to customers in the U.S. this summer.

Apple Inc. is driven to do more and more to create more users and to make its users happier. The company is continually advancing and introducing...

Tech News

AI Google Doodle Lets Users Make Bach-Music

Google’s innovation and creativity never ceaseto amaze, and one of our favorite features is its goal of honoring different men, women, and key holidays through the Google doodle on their search engine homepage. In honor of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday, Google created and released its first artificial intelligence-powered doodle.

Google made the doodle available internationally in over seventy countries and set it to run for a full forty-eight in most of those countries. Users had the freedom to create their own melody and allow the Al built into the doodle to form the melody they created into one that matches Bach’s own style.

But that’s not all the doodle was built to do! Users could also hear their melodies in a rock genre, seeing how it transforms the notes to sound like a Bach melody, and exactly how Google did all this is in a behind-the-scenes video they released later on.

Google’s Magenta, Google’s People + AI Research team, and doodle teams collaborated together to create the Bach doodle. Magenta is a mind-blowing project that uses machine-learning to create music – not just a single melody but harmonies and smooth transitions, as well. Then, Google’s PAIR program does the research to creates technologies that shape the approach to work with AI.

The Google team created a model called Coconet through Magenta which was able to pick out Bach’s individual style through a dataset of over 300 of his own harmonies. As a result, Coconet could match the doodle users created to Bach’s works. “Coconet is trained to restore Bach’s music from fragments: we take a piece from Bach, randomly erase some notes, and ask the model to guess the missing notes from context. The result is a versatile model of counterpoint that accepts arbitrarily incomplete scores as input and works out complete scores,” said the blog post from Magenta.

Which Calendar?

According to the Julian Calendar, Bach was born on March 21, which is now March 31 on the Gregorian calendar used today. Google decided to honor him on the original date of March 21, however, and then had the doodle run for forty-eight hours instead of just twenty-four.

What Google wanted was for users to learn more about the composer himself as they created melodies through the doodle, and what a creative and fun way to remember the famous composer! The doodle is still accessible now in the doodle archive online, so if you didn’t get a chance to use it for yourself, you still can.

Google’s innovation and creativity never ceaseto amaze, and one of our favorite features is its goal of honoring different men, women, and key...

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Lobster Inspired Body Armor

As fantastical as it sounds, our next innovation in defensive body armor for our military and law enforcement officer’s may be inspired by a million-year-old sea creature who is not only a tough customer but also happens to be delicious when served with a side of melted butter.

Ming Guo, from the mechanical engineering department of MIT, had a breakthrough when he was enjoying a lobster at dinner. He noticed that lobsters have membranes between their joints that is as strong as tire rubber.

He realized that this naturally growing material was nearly impossible to chew but was also flexible and soft. His thought was that this material would be perfect in the joints of body armor.

A study released in Acta Materialia states: “The knowledge learned from the soft membrane of natural lobsters sheds light on designing synthetic soft, yet strong and tough materials for reliable usage under extreme mechanical conditions, including a flexible armor that can provide full-body protection without sacrificing limb mobility.”

Ming explains, “We think this work could motivate flexible armor design. If you could make armor out of these types of materials, you could freely move your joints, and it would make you feel more comfortable.”

The Flawed Effectiveness of Kevlar

While bulletproof vests are a valuable tool for law enforcement officers and military, they do have a few drawbacks. Kevlar’s effectiveness only spans around five years, at which time they should be replaced. Kevlar is also bulky and unforgiving, not suitable for all body types.

In particular, women frequently need to have Kevlar vests altered.  Because Kevlar is bulky, it interferes with concentration and marksmanship abilities. Making the vests more mobile decreases their effectiveness.

To be truly effective, body armor needs to be flexible and light to allow the wearer to move freely.  It also needs to be tough and made from materials that are abundant for ease and affordability of manufacturing.

As hard as it is to imagine a lobster-inspired bulletproof vest, the body armor of the crustacean fulfills all of these qualities. Researchers from MIT and Harvard are currently exploring how best to harness the benefits of lobster armor for human use.

Learning from Lobsters

Even though lobster armor brings to mind a cartoon character with claws and a bright red suit, it’s not so far-fetched.  As body armor evolves to be stronger and more flexible, chances are that bulky armor, made from cloth and Kevlar, will become a distant memory.

Science fiction films hint at ways that body armor will improve.  In fact, the Robert Rodriguez film, Alita: Battle Angel, hints that in the distant future, humans will sport robotic body parts.

For now, MIT scientists are taking their cues from a million-year-old lobster who has evolved to fit their habitat perfectly.  Their armor protects them from temperature extremes and other intense under-water conditions, and one day, it may protect our LEO’s and military from equally intense conditions on duty and in the battlefield.

As fantastical as it sounds, our next innovation in defensive body armor for our military and law enforcement officer’s may be inspired by a million-year-old sea creature who is not only a tough customer but also happens to be delicious when served with a...

Tech News

U.S. Senators To Limit Facial Recognition Data

This week, Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced their Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act which is aimed at commercial users of Facial Recognition technology.

Your face can be the most important part of your personal identity. It distinguishes you from everyone else on the planet. It can unlock your smartphone and grant you access to your bank account. It is commonly used by law enforcement to accurately and successfully identify a wanted person in a crowd or even match a simple image with a database of known criminals.

The whole concept kind of conjures up the image of an Orwellian “Big Brother” creeping across the country.

Increasingly, people are becoming concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data that is being collected through facial recognition technology. A message to the press, Senator Blunt said that we need guardrails to ensure that this technology will continue to develop but must implement responsibly.

If this bill passes, it will require companies to notify customers when facial recognition technology is being used. This could manifest in something similar to “CCTB in Operation” signage. This bill would also restrict the redistribution or dissemination of data to third-parties without the express consent from the end user.

Get Consumer Consent

This bill requires that in order for consumers to give consent they must be informed before commercial parties can collect and share all data collected through facial recognition (Blunt). All parties would have to meet data security, minimization, and retention standards set down by the Federal Trade Commission and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Keep in mind, facial recognition is nothing new. It’s been a large part of security and surveillance applications for decades. That said, its use in a commercial application while on the rise, many consumers remain unaware that “Big Brother” technology is often hidden in plain sight!

Both Senators believe their bill will make sure people are given information and, more importantly, control over how their data is used and shared with companies that are using facial recognition technology. This legislation is an important move toward protecting privacy and empowering consumers. Blunt encourages all his colleagues to support this bill.

This week, Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced their Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act which is aimed at commercial users of Facial Recognition technology.

Your face can be the most important part of your personal identity. It...

Tech News

USB-4 – Get Thunderbolt Speeds

What if a USB cable could provide the same smooth, fast data transfer speeds as a Thunderbolt port?  If that excites you, wait until you meet the USB4, the next generation of mobile devices and PCs.

USB4 will deliver data at incredible speeds when it’s connected via USB cables on compatible devices:  up to 40 Gigabits per second.  Intel has created the Thunderbolt 3 for the USB group, and USB4 bases its technology on Intel’s advanced tech.  Thunderbolt 3 will be available to use royalty-free.

USB Implementers Forum released a press release explaining that they’re built in; this next logical step for the Universal Serial Bus tech will mean that Thunderbolt will become a more affordable tech for manufacturers to include in their devices.

5K Support

Android Central  explains that the sky is the limit; devices could include 100 watts of on-demand power, support for up to eight lanes of DisplayPort data, and 40Gbps transfer rates.   Two 4K HDR displays, at 60 HZ each, or a 5K display could be supported fully.

This will mean that two 4K HDR displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display would be fully supported.  If the tech becomes more affordable to include n devices, it will definitely bring down purchasing costs for devices supporting USB4.

As Jason Ziller, Intel’s General Manager of Client Connectivity explains, “Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today’s simplest and most versatile port available to everyone. By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we’re opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers.”

To fully benefit from the max data transfer speed, you will need to have cables that are 40Gbs-certified; these are USBC to USBC only.  The USB4 will be fully compatible to all Thunderbird 3 devices and all USB specifications.

Microsoft, HP, Intel, and Apple are among the 50 tech companies that are going to be taking part in a final review of USB4 tech. They will release the specs around mid-year. The exciting part of these companies taking part in the testing is that it is predicted that they will use these new specifications when they do become available.

The USB4 is expected to be released next year.

What if a USB cable could provide the same smooth, fast data transfer speeds as a Thunderbolt port?  If that excites you, wait until you meet the USB4, the next generation of mobile devices and PCs.

USB4 will deliver data at incredible speeds when it’s...

Tech News

Microsoft Brings An End To Fake News?

Social media feeds are positively choked with fake news sources from all sides, leaving readers and viewers distrustful and confused.  Now, a new app from the Microsoft Edge browser called NewsGuard claims to weed out the false news sources.

The app will use color coding, with “red” indicating a high probability of being a false news source and “green” being a safe site. The app will come pre-installed in its browser.

Fake news as a recognized term has only been around for a few years, but the concept of fake news predates the term by centuries. It has been known by the term “yellow journalism,” and has always involved spreading propaganda and self-serving information to the masses.  In fact, yellow news has been credited with getting the US involved with the Spanish-American War.

The NewsGuard App

NewsGuard, according to Microsoft, isn’t intended to be a way to censor news or infringe on free speech.  The intention is to give readers the information they need to properly understand the reliability of what they are reading and help them decide if they should share the news source on social media, per Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security and trust, Tom Burt.

The app itself isn’t new, but it was something that had to be manually downloaded and installed by its users.  It allows flexibility for its users to set up their own filters while maintaining its warning color system.  The app currently only works for US and large international news sources and sites.

Wall Street Journalist and publisher Gordon Crovitz is now a CEO of NewsGuard.  He explains, “We’re delighted to be able to reach millions of people through Microsoft Edge for mobile, giving news consumers more information about the sources of news they see online based on basic journalistic criteria of credibility and transparency.”

NewsGuard uses experienced journalists to vet companies and their news articles.  They work with The Information founder, Jessica Lessin, General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and other highly seasoned professionals.  The news sources are broken down and labeled according to their content, credibility, ownership, and sources of financing.

A few examples of how various cites would be labeled include:

RT: This Russian news site is a well-known source of Russian propaganda.  NewsGuard will label this as “proceed with caution.”
The Daily Mail:  This is a British news source, and NewsGuard warns its readers that it has had to pay damages for false reporting on several high-profile stories.
The New York Times:  This is an American news source that is well known for having influence on public debate and will be labeled this way by NewsGuard.

This tool is one of the first of its kind, but with the bombardment of fake news all over social media, it’s likely that NewsGuard will be the prototype for many more.

Social media feeds are positively choked with fake news sources from all sides, leaving readers and viewers distrustful and confused.  Now, a new app from the Microsoft Edge browser called NewsGuard claims to weed out the false news sources.

The app will...

Tech News

New Record: Most Autonomous Cars In A Row

In November of 2018, China’s Changan Automobile manufacturing company set a Guinness World Record for the longest parade of autonomous cars.  The car line featured 55 of the self-driving vehicles, traveling two miles at 30 km/h (or 18.6 mph) with a distance of two car lengths between them. The parade lasted nine minutes and seven seconds.  The record was set on a test track in Chongqing.

Yang Guo, an engineer for the autonomous car lineup at Changan Automobile, explained that while each car had a “driver,” they were not permitted to have any contact with the cars’ autopilot systems.  In fact, the parade was originally intended to feature 56 cars before one driver became disqualified by engaging with the car as it drove.

Better Lane Detection

Engineers were able to make alterations to the vehicle sensors to allow them to have better detection for lanes and increased sensitivity to the positions of the cars in front of them.  By reducing the vehicles’ event and object detection and the automatic response to these factors, the vehicles were able to be programmed to drive much closer together than they would under normal driving conditions.

The test track allowed the dynamic driving tasks to be lowered from five percent to one percent because a controlled driving area, such as the test track, has far fewer variables than are found under normal driving conditions.

Changan Automobiles is hoping that by setting the record, they are showing the world China’s commitment to inventing new technologies.  Changan’s Executive Vice President, Tan Benhong, explains,

“The artificial intelligence and new energy of automobiles is a very important trend in the future development of automobiles. As the world’s first brand to break this record, we will make more efforts in the field of intelligence.”

In November of 2018, China’s Changan Automobile manufacturing company set a Guinness World Record for the longest parade of autonomous cars.  The car line featured 55 of the self-driving vehicles, traveling two miles at 30 km/h (or 18.6 mph) with a...

Tech News

Could Two-Handed Robots Make Ecommerce Faster?

Ever since the rise of the internet as our main source of buying and selling, the speed in which we can get goods has been incredible. Every year, it feels simpler and faster to just do all of your shopping online, as it can often be delivered to you so fast and so easy. eCommerce, then, looks set to change the way in which we shop for at least a generation to come.

However, with the rise of machine learning and AI, we could be about to see another quantum leap: starting with ambidextrous robots (ambidextrous= using both hands equally well).

Massive warehouses are needed to help fulfill the incredible orders being taken online, which obviously means trying to get staff to help manage said orders. However, it looks like we’re moving towards trying to automate the whole experience instead, with the use of ambidextrous robots.

This became clear from a UC Berkeley paper which was produced in mid-January, in the Science Robots journal.

Engineers at UC Berkeley have been using decades of progress so far to come up with new algorithms that could help to compute robot pick points, allowing robots to work with a large variety of objects without having to undergo the training that they would need to normally.

The postdoctoral researcher on this project, Jeff Mahler, who is also the lead author, said: “Any single gripper cannot handle all objects,

“For example, a suction cup cannot create a seal on porous objects such as clothing, and parallel-jaw grippers may not be able to reach both sides of some tools and toys. ‘Ambidextrous’ robots offer greater diversity.”

How Might This Change eCommerce?

At the moment, the robots used in the majority of fulfillment centers will be using the standard suction cup session mentioned above. This can limit the range and style of objects that it could actually pick up and work with, which would drastically limit their usage in a warehouse environment.

With ambidextrous robots, though, this would not be quite the case. This would make them compatible with more than one gripper type, allowing for much easier for the robot to decide which gripper is most likely to succeed when picking up any given item.

This would help to ensure that, by using a reward function, ensuring that fulfillment could be much faster and far less rigid in what it can and cannot pick up.

The researchers managed to train functions for using a parallel-jaw gripper and then a suction cup gripper to a two-armed robot. The result was that it could take on 25 objects never seen before with around 300 picks in an hour, with around 95% reliability: that’s incredible.

While this might not be commonplace yet just in every warehouse, it’s definitely something that we can expect to arrive in the next few years – with massive, positive results for the already in-demand eCommerce industry.

Ever since the rise of the internet as our main source of buying and selling, the speed in which we can get goods has been incredible. Every year, it feels simpler and faster to just do all of your shopping online, as it can often be delivered to you so fast...

Tech News

Breakthrough: Sending Sound On Laser

Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to send audio signals directly to someone’s ear at a distance using laser beams. The system uses a photoacoustic effect in which water vapor in the air absorbs light then forms sound waves.

This research could pave the way for allowing audible messages to be sent to agents, spies or possibly law enforcement, warning them of encroaching danger.

How It Works:

Researchers used a laser beam that fired at wavelengths absorbed by water.  By sweeping the beam at the speed of sound, they were able to generate sound that can only be heard at distance from the transmitter.

After many tests, they discovered this would allow a message to be sent to a specific individual instead of just anyone who happened to be passing by the laser path.

The scientists said this system can be used in dry locations because, at any given time, there is moisture in the air, especially around people.  Also, the lasers are very safe to one’s ears, eyes, and skin while localizing an audible signal to an individual at any setting.

They also discovered a method that works by modulating rather than sweeping a beam.  The traditional modulation method offers sound with a much higher fidelity where the laser sweeping offers a sound with louder audio.

To date, the system will work at more than 8 feet or 2.5 meters.  Scientists are currently working to increase the distance and believe they will eventually have a very significant commercial technology for future use.

We look forward to hearing more about this new and exciting technology, so stay tuned!

Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to send audio signals directly to someone’s ear at a distance using laser beams. The system uses a photoacoustic effect in which water vapor in the air absorbs light then forms sound waves.

This research could...

Tech News

Robot Hotel Fires Half Its Robotic Workers

If you are concerned about losing your job in hospitality to artificial intelligence soon, there is no need to worry.

A hotel in Nagasaki, Japan called the Hen-na (“Strange”) Hotel ‘fired’ more than 50% of the 243 robots working there because instead of providing benefits to guests, they turned out to be quite inconvenient.

The hotel used robots to check-in guests, take luggage to rooms and answer queries. There is even a robot in each room called Chu-ri who helps turn off lights, set alarms and provide weather forecasts.

Multi-Lingual Robot

Describing the experience of a guest at the hotel, their website says that you will be greeted at the front desk by multi-lingual robots who will help check you in or out. In the cloakroom, a robotic arm will take your luggage and store it.

These fun moments are a mix of human and robotic, and they will definitely warm your heart.

Also, as soon as you register your face with their facial recognition system, the struggle of carrying a room key around and worrying about losing it is completely gone.

Human Touch

This type of Android paradise sounds blissful on paper. But the experience of the guests staying at the hotel is quite the opposite. Most of the time, they still need receptionists to answer questions at the front desk and the Chu-ri robots break down regularly.

The Wall Street Journal says that Yoshihisa Ishikawa’s robot regularly talked to him in the middle of the night because it was triggered by his snoring.

This hotel received attention worldwide in 2015 when it was first opened. It was a glimpse of what the future could possibly look like. Now, technology has advanced to a point where the hotel ‘staff’ are outdated and cost too much to repair when they are broken.

For now, it is unclear whether the hotel plans to restock its robotic population, but at least the guests can sleep through the night without malfunctioning robots in their rooms.

If you are concerned about losing your job in hospitality to artificial intelligence soon, there is no need to worry.

A hotel in Nagasaki, Japan called the Hen-na (“Strange”) Hotel ‘fired’ more than 50% of the 243 robots working there...

Tech News

LG Smartphone With Detachable Second Screen

Next month at the Mobile World Conference, LG is revealing a new type of smartphone that promises to change the game entirely. The electronics company based in South Korea is said to be revealing a phone that brings in the option of attaching a second screen.

If you’ve thought one screen to be enough for a mobile phone, think again.

An anonymous source tells CNET that the smartphone would have a case with a built-in screen. This foreign and unnamed contraption will multiply the size of the device’s screen.

This new smartphone is only one of the numerous devices LG is predicted to launch at this event. The second screen phone is not expected to be named as part of the G8 flagship series, but we can’t wait to see what LG has in store for this huge event in Barcelona.

It isn’t clear yet how many devices LG will be announcing, but will definitely be something to look out for when MWC opens on February 25th. The new advancement may help LG compete with companies like Apple, and Samsung as these companies are suspected to be launching devices that will be able to fold over the course of the year.

Rolling TV

BUSINESSTECH reports that sales of LG smartphones dropped by 23% in 2018. This put them behind companies like Vivo, Xiaomi and Oppo as the 7th most popular smartphone makers in the world.

LG didn’t put a lot of emphasis on smartphones at CES earlier this month. People believe that this is because smartphones only make up a small part of their business. What they mostly talked about was their reliable OLED TV, which is made to roll into a stand when it isn’t in use.

If the company can generate as much talk about the phone as they did with the TV, it may turn out to be quite a successful review.

Next month at the Mobile World Conference, LG is revealing a new type of smartphone that promises to change the game entirely. The electronics company based in South Korea is said to be revealing a phone that brings in the option of attaching a second...

Tech News

Top Google Searches of 2018

With the year now coming to the end of its timespan, it’s time to start looking back on 2018. It has been quite the interesting year, with a hell of a lot of change. The world, though, feels very much on the precipice of massive, lasting change. If you ever look around the world that you live in and wonder why it’s changing so much, it all comes down to the way that we manage our search and pursuit of knowledge. For example, more people are online than ever – and more people are inputting Google searches than ever.

What, then, were some of the most significant and commonly searched topics of the last year?

Meghan Markle

One of the most commonly searched terms in 2018 was that of the newest addition to the Royal Family of Britain in Meghan Markle. The American married Prince Harry on May 19th, and it produced a huge amount of commentary – good and bad –across the world.

She’s a very interesting person, and the searches showed everyone wanted to know more about the newest member of the Royals – and Google seen many questions asked on her behalf.

Kate Spade

The fashion designer was one of the most commonly searched for names in 2018. Sadly, much of the searching into her came through her tragic suicide on June 5th. People wanted to read into her story and to find out why such an amazing and talented person had found themselves in such a situation.

Spade was a massive loss to the world for many reasons, but she was easily among the most commonly searched names on 2018 alongside.

Brett Kavanaugh

The world has watched the United States turn into a massive version of The Jeremy Kyle show. It’s a shame to see a nation with so much rich potential essentially turning into car crash TV, but the name of Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh has become very much a common search on the web with good reason

He was confirmed in September, amid massive controversy that he seemingly sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when he was in High School. Naturally, searches exploded to find out the truth – or at least one version of it.

Hurricane Florence

Natural disasters often bring up a lot of discussion, and with good reason. When the massive Hurricane Florence – alongside Hurricane Michael – hit, there was a lot of Google searches. People looking for information about how to stay safe and how to avoid any kind of danger. It’s not something that you want to see trending, but it was a major part of disaster relief efforts for many.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup

Sporting events often draw attention from across the globe, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was no different. From team profiles to match-ups and predictions, the internet was alight with people reading into the teams, players, managers, stadiums and cities that held one of the most exciting sporting events in years. 

We want to be better…So if you found a mistake in this article, please let us know

With the year now coming to the end of its timespan, it’s time to start looking back on 2018. It has been quite the interesting year, with a hell of a lot of change. The world, though, feels very much on the precipice of massive, lasting change. If you ever...

Science Tech News

NASA Voyager 2 Crosses Into Interstellar Space

NASA’s Voyager 2 probe is the second man-made object to have crossed into interstellar space. The probe achieved the feat on November 5, and is aimed to study the outer reaches of the solar system and more.

In April 2011, NASA had declared that Voyager 2 had reached the edge of the solar system, known as heliosheath. This is the region where the planetary forces of interaction cease to exist, but matter would still be bound by the effects of solar wind, that also contains low-frequency radio signals and magnetic disturbances.

Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages, which aims to serve as evidence of Earth’s civilization.

In September last year, the US space agency celebrated the 40th anniversary of both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which have been declared as our ‘eyes’ in outer space. In the case of Voyager 2, each signal take an average of 16 hours and 40 minutes to be received from Voyager 2, as well as from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, that is monitoring both Voyager missions.

Now, NASA has recently confirmed that Voyager 2 has also crossed into interstellar space. This is not the first spacecraft to have registered this accomplishment, as Voyager 1 is also deep into outer space.

We want to be better…So if you found a mistake in this article, please let us know

NASA’s Voyager 2 probe is the second man-made object to have crossed into interstellar space. The probe achieved the feat on November 5, and is aimed to study the outer reaches of the solar system and more.

In April 2011, NASA had declared that Voyager...

Tech News

Google Assistant Undergoes Comprehensive Update

For some people, they are the most wonderful additions to an ever-more modern style of life. For others, they are the symbols of a dystopian future warned by writers like George Orwell. Whatever the truth of their invention, it’s fair to say that tools such as Google Assistant have made quite the impact over the years.

Indeed, the Google Assistant tool has undergone a host of new updates and functional changes recently. Each new add-on adds some interesting new features, and this latest refreshing of the Google Assistant platform adds some very cool new tricks. For example, it now makes use of the ‘Pretty Please’ functionality that so many of us asked for.

With Amazon Alexa now giving children some kudos for being nice to it, it would appear that Google is doing the same here. Is it weird to talk to a computer and say thanks to it? Yes, a little. However, it’s definitely happening and now, if you say ‘pretty please’ to your Google Assistant, it will be much nicer in return.

You will be given a host of “delightful responses” if you are nice to the AI, saying things like “thank you!” to it will elicit a positive response. Its’ just a small change, but it’s more about what this says about where this tech is headed. Already, we are seeing a significant shift towards creating a rather different kind of interaction – treating the AI like it is part of the family.

The humanization of our AI tools is obviously going to divide some. The reason for its inclusion, though, is that children are often rude and course with their AI, so this is supposed to help to teach them the value of good manners.

What else is new?

Don’t worry, the new updates add more than a desire for politeness and human friendliness to the AI. Now, you will be able to enjoy easy management of lists using your Google Assistant. From named and themed lists to easy reading out of your list this will make it much easier for you to keep access to all of your most important lists.

It’s also got some awesome stuff for parents with not enough time on their hands. For example, it could now read a series of popular Disney stories to your kids, with many classics to come in the future such as Cinderella and Lion King.

Just in time for Christmas, too, is a host of new and improved interactive games – just say “Hey Google, call Santa!” and it will do just that. It’s all about helping Santa to learn some new festive tunes for the big day, and is great fun.

From responsive shouts to new photo storage and sharing options, this tool is going to make the day-to-day challenges for the average Google Assistant user far less irritating. It’s a much-needed update, and improves the quality of the hardware whilst making sure we don’t take our festive frustrations out on our newest member of the home: Google!

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