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Google launches ARCore SDK in preview: AR on Android phones, no extra hardware required

Google today launched a preview of ARCore, an Android software development kit (SDK) that brings augmented reality to existing and future Android phones without requiring additional sensors or hardware. Developers can download the SDK now and start creating new AR experiences on Android.

6 ways you can help Hurricane Harvey victims

Even if you're far away from Texas, you can still make a difference.

The trailer for Miley Cyrus' 'Carpool Karaoke' looks like total chaos

The biggest 'Carpool Karaoke' so far?

Inside an Epic Hotel Room Hacking Spree

A vulnerability in hotel keycard locks was a security disaster—and the opportunity of a lifetime for one burglar.

MIT’s new Ford-funded robot can deftly navigate pedestrian traffic

Robots have a lot of challenges remaining before they become commonplace in our lives, and many of those are likely not even something you'd think about when..

Augmented reality Walking Dead game brings zombies into our world | Cult of Mac

AR has a bunch of real-world uses that will help make our lives easier. Sometimes, though, you just want to use cutting edge technology to blow away a few

PSVR’s crazy ‘Headmaster’ soccer heading game is on PC

Headmaster, the crazy soccer heading game that launched on PSVR, comes to the PC.

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Uber has officially named Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO:

Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant

The statement disappeared from New America’s website, only to be reposted without explanation a few hours later. But word of Mr. Schmidt’s displeasure rippled through New America, which employs more than 200 people, including dozens of researchers, writers and scholars, most of whom work in sleek Washington offices where the main conference room is called the “Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.” The episode left some people concerned that Google intended to discontinue funding, while others worried whether the think tank could truly be independent if it had to worry about offending its donors.

Google Assistant is coming to more speakers and appliances

"Ok Google, is the laundry done?" may soon become your favorite thing to ask, too. Google has also announced partnerships with companies like LG for smarter, voice-controlled washers, dryers and vacuums. You'll make your request via an Assistant-enabled speaker or mobile phone (including an iPhone) and your smart appliance will take it from there. There are also a bunch of home automation systems connecting up with Assistant, including Honeywell, Netatmo and TP-Link. Schedule your sprinklers, turn on your slow cooker on a schedule or dim the lights when you want, all with a simple "Ok Google" command.

Microsoft and Amazon partner to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants

Amazon and Microsoft are partnering together to better integrate their Alexa and Cortana digital assistants. The New York Times reports that Alexa users will be able to access Cortana, and vice versa on a range of devices, but that the integration will be a little awkward initially. Someone using an Alexa device will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to get access to Microsoft’s own digital assistant, and someone using Cortana will have to say “Cortana, open Alexa.” It appears that both companies have simply created skills on each others platforms to enable the basic integration.

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Starting later this year, owners of Amazon Echos and other Alexa-powered devices will be able to say: "Alexa, open Cortana" to start querying Microsoft's voice assistant . Owners of devices running Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system will be able to summon Alexa via Cortana in a similar manner. Why would customers want that -- especially with the relatively clunky nature of the necessary voice command? The companies say that each voice assistant has its strengths -- features like Microsoft Outlook and Exchange email integration for Cortana and smart-home controls or shopping for Alexa -- and that customers of both companies would benefit from an integration. It's not clear if the two assistants will share voice data in an effort to make each digital assistant smarter. But there is the hope that someday these artificial agents are intelligent enough to route requests to the best virtual assistant for the task without a specific "Alexa" or "Cortana" command.

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Tinder now reveals who already likes you for $5 a month

Acer's Switch 7 hybrid tablet has dedicated graphics without a fan

This isn't Acer's only portable PC on deck. It's also launching the Nitro 5 Spin, a 15.6-inch convertible laptop whose GeForce GTX 1050 makes it well-suited to "casual gaming." Those who don't need gaming-grade hardware can spring for the Spin 5 in 13- and 15-inch flavors (though the larger model has a GTX 1050 option). And if you just want an ultraportable laptop, the Swift 5's combination of 8th-gen Core chips and a sub-2.2lb weight might do the trick. The regular Spin 5 arrives first, shipping in September with a $799/€899 starting price, but it'll be quickly followed up in October by the Nitro 5 Spin ($999/€1,199). The Swift 5 arrives last, hitting shelves in December for $999 in the US and €1,099 in Europe.

The US Department of Justice is investigating Uber for possible bribery law violations

A spokesman for the company confirmed the existence of a "preliminary investigation" following a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the Justice Department had started probing whether managers at Uber violated US laws against bribery of foreign officials, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Logitech launches wireless gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard

Logitech has unveiled two new products for fans of wireless gaming, the Logitech G603 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse and the Logitech G613 Lightspeed wireless mechanical gaming keyboard. The new products address the demand among gamers to get rid of wires without compromising gaming performance.

How Apple Plans to Change the Way You Use the Next iPhone

Apple has opted to not hide the notch area at the top of the screen, showing a definitive cutout at the top of apps with non-black backgrounds. The cutout is noticeable during app usage in the middle of the very top of the screen, where the status bar (the area that shows cellular reception, the time, and battery life) would normally be placed, according to the images. Instead, the status bar will be split into left and right sides, which some Apple employees call “ears” internally. In images of recent test devices, the left side shows the time while the area on the right side of the notch displays cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity and remaining battery life. Because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand, according to a person familiar with the testing.

The Virtual Reality Game Gathering Data for Dementia Researchers

Among Holscher’s discoveries so far is that the relationship between age and navigation skill is even stronger than scientists had previously thought: in the Sea Hero Quest mobile game data, navigation ability peaks at 19 years old and declines subtly but steadily after that, with much more marked deterioration happening when people are in their forties. But Holscher allows that it is possible that this finding is not the result of an actual age-related decline in navigational ability, but due to  teenagers being much more adept at operating the controls of mobile phone-based video games than older adults who did not grow up using the technology. That’s why Holscher said he’s hoping the new virtual reality game – where a person can look around just by turning their head as they would in the real world  – will help validate this research.

Amazon and Microsoft team up: Alexa and Cortana will soon be able to talk to each other

"The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience," Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in the release. "It's great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana."

Five small but impactful ways to future-proof your smart city

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and connectivity through the Internet of Things won’t happen overnight, either. A few cities are leading the pack with IoT implementation, but its widespread application may be easier than you think. Even small installments of IoT technology throughout a smart city can create improvements for all citizens to enjoy.

Acer Predator Orion 9000 heats up with Core i9 and looks cool

There's also a new gaming headset  called the Predator Galea 500, with supposedly better sound and surround directionality. I hope so for $300 (€300 or roughly £230, AU$370). The big draw is something Acer calls 3D sound, which means the headset recognises when you move your head and seamlessly adjusts the sound accordingly. So for example if you hear a noise in the right channel, a conventional headset will play that noise in your right ear no matter which way you're facing. But with the Galea's 3D sound, you can turn towards the source of the sound and hear it differently.

16 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming review

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming looks like a solid laptop for new gamers as well as hardcore ones looking for an affordable machine. We’ve been told the $999 (about £770, AU$1,250) will be decently specced with an Nvidia GTX 1060 and at least an 128GB SSD, that would make this one of the best deals for a capable gaming machine.

Giant spambot scooped up 711 million email addresses - BBC News

Benkow acknowledged that it was "difficult to know where [the] credentials had come from", but suggested that they might have been gathered from previous leaks, a Facebook phishing campaign and illegal sales of hacking victims' details.

Did Alexa and Cortana just become best friends?

Voice computing is catching on as a significant new way to interact with devices. But the potential for this trend is so broad that even major tech firms are realizing they can't develop everything for this new world. That's a big reason why this deal came together between the two rival Seattle-area giants. Failure to get voice assistants to work together could end up holding them back, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview with The New York Times about the announcement.

ASUS' latest 2-in-1 has NVIDIA graphics and weighs 3 pounds

Zenbook also has a very thin, light and powerful laptop for your consideration, the VivoBook S14. It has the same specs as the ZenBook Flip 14, ie, an 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U chip, up 16GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics. This one tips the scale at 1.3 kg or 2.87 pounds, with an 18.8mm profile and 7.8mm bezels.

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Essential Phone customers are being blasted with phishing emails

How to control your Android device from Chrome with Vysor

If you're looking for one of the easiest ways to work between your desktop and your Android device, look no further than Vysor. With this amazing tool you can work seamlessly and efficiently all day without having to switch your focus from desktop to mobile device.

Google expands its price-tracking tools for travelers

Google is doubling down on its price-tracking-for-travel features. The search giant said Tuesday that it's expanding the information it gives travelers looking to book airline flights and hotels. The idea is to help people find the cheapest price.

ASUS' new ROG Strix gaming laptop is built for FPS players

ASUS' IFA welcome mat is scattered with laptops, and it's not just more slender ZenBooks. The company's gaming arm, ROG , has recast its Strix gaming laptop in two different editions, each dedicated to a different type of game. First up, the SCAR edition, which was built for first-person shooter gamers "looking for a competitive edge". That edge involves the newest eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processors, and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 10 in the way of graphical might. You'll be staring into either a 15-inch or 17-inch screen, with a 5ms response time and smooth 120Hz refresh rates. ROG says this will eliminate motion blur, while also contradicting itself and teasing an even smoother 144Hz, 7ms display option also in the works.

3 VMware products that use AI to power their feature set

At a breakout session during the 2017 VMworld conference, VMware's Joel Leichnetz and Michael Gandy spoke on what AI is and how it is being used today. The pair started by defining AI, which they said is: "The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence..."

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Female founders invent male co-founder to skirt sexism

Video: The business reality of "everything as a service"

Software as a Service has given way to Everything as a Service: platforms, infrastructure, and more. While vendors are touting cloud-first strategy, what's the reality?

Without a Home button, here's how the new iPhone 8 UI will work | Cult of Mac

It’s no secret that Apple is planning to ditch its Home button for the next-gen iPhone 8, but with the exception of how Touch ID will be replaced by facial recognition , very few details have been circulated about how the move will impact the iPhone UI.

How to point your Wi-Fi router antennas for the best reception

If you have a Wi-Fi router that has antennas, here’s how to orient them in the best way to maximise reception in your house.

Asus’ ZenBook Flip laptops updated with Intel’s latest quad-core processors

Asus is also introducing two bigger laptops in its Flip range at IFA today. The Flip 14 is a thin 2-in-1 laptop that includes the usual 360-degree flipping screen and Asus’ own pen support. Asus is using Intel’s latest quad-core Core i7 processor on the Flip 14, alongside 16GB of RAM, discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics, and 512GB of SSD storage. The 14-inch display has tiny bezels that make the overall laptop feel more like a 13-inch notebook. Asus is promising up to 13 hours of battery life for the Flip 14, and it will be available for 799 euros.

Why blockchain may hold the key to next-gen endpoint security solutions

A security researcher warns we should be more concerned about securing digital endpoints than the future of end-to-end encryption. Find out why she is excited about blockchain technology.

Uber says it will no longer track you once your ride ends

The ride-hailing company typically tracks rides while they're in progress to collect data and theoretically use that data to create a better experience. But last year, it was revealed that it continued to track passengers for five extra minutes after their ride ended.

Scientists are using VR to help diagnose dimentia

Sea Hero Quest is a mobile game that helps scientists gather data on dementia -- and the new VR version is expected to give them 15 times the information.

Pawbo Munch makes pets work for their treats

Two other new products include a typical collar-attached activity tracker (iPuppyGo) -- typical except for an app that offers a human-pet Treasure Hunt game -- and the WagTag wireless pet tracker which can geofence your dog -- as long it's huge, because no one has managed to make these things small enough for apartment dogs.

How VMware on AWS compares to Microsoft Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure Stack solves the inverse problem to VMware on AWS. Building cloud-native applications in the private data center is a massive challenge. Look no further than Pivotal Labs and OpenStack—both solutions have struggled to gain the critical mass of public cloud. Private cloud is difficult for enterprises to manage alongside traditional infrastructure. Also, developers prefer the vast services and frictionless experience of public cloud over other offerings.

Salesforce attempts to replace SQL with natural language | ZDNet

The CRM giant's Seq2SQL system -- laid out in an academic paper [PDF] -- is a deep neural network that translates natural language questions to corresponding SQL queries. Users type in a question such as "which accounts have the lowest customer satisfaction score", and have the system query the appropriate database and return with results.

Alienware's 34-inch curved monitor supports NVIDIA G-Sync

The screens have tiny bezels, support NVIDIA's G-Sync for smoother graphics, and feature 4 millisecond refresh rates for maximum gaming snap. The curved model with a (1900 Radius) supports a 120Hz refresh rate, while the lower res model goes up to 160Hz. Both of those rates are overclocked, because apparently you can overclock monitors now. Each also feature LEDs on the back that glow to match your gaming system tastes.

How Apple Plans to Change the Way You Use the Next iPhone

Apple has opted to not hide the notch area at the top of the screen, showing a definitive cutout at the top of apps with non-black backgrounds. The cutout is noticeable during app usage in the middle of the very top of the screen, where the status bar (the area that shows cellular reception, the time, and battery life) would normally be placed, according to the images. Instead, the status bar will be split into left and right sides, which some Apple employees call “ears” internally. In images of recent test devices, the left side shows the time while the area on the right side of the notch displays cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity and remaining battery life. Because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand, according to a person familiar with the testing.

Houston Best Buy accused of hurricane price-gouging on water

Commentary: The retailer says several employees made "a big mistake" in offering packs of water for $42.96.

Vocus confirms subsea cable outage | ZDNet

Vocus has confirmed that the SMW3 subsea cable between Perth and Singapore is experiencing an outage thanks to a cable break, with an expected repair date of mid October.

How to stream 'Star Trek: Discovery'

A new Star Trek crew takes to space on Sept. 24 when the premiere episode of " Star Trek: Discovery " launches. For the first time, a Star Trek show won't make its home on broadcast television, but rather through subscription streaming video services, including CBS All Access in the US and Netflix internationally. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.)

41 Terry Pratchett's unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller

On Friday, Rob Wilkins, who manages the Pratchett estate, tweeted from an official Twitter account that he was “about to fulfil my obligation to Terry” along with a picture of an intact computer hard drive – following up with a tweet that showed the hard drive in pieces.

7 Hillary Clinton quotes on the Internet that are complete fakes

"Well, it's the same answer I've been giving all day. Chris Stevens had an opportunity to reach me directly any time he thought there was something of importance. The people with whom he worked -- the people who were around him and with him -- they very well understood the dangers that they were confronting, and they did the best they could under the circumstances and many of the security requests, as I just detailed, were agreed to. Others weren't."

​Skype adds real-time code editor to test candidates' tech skills in video interviews | ZDNet

The feature, called Skype Interviews, will allow recruiters to run a video call on top of a real-time code editor to support technical interviews that involve testing a candidate's programming abilities.

Staying connected when travelling abroad: How I deal with roaming annoyances | ZDNet

The SIM is pre-cut in all three sizes from nano to standard, so you just press out the size you need. When you put it in your phone, you just send a text message with your current US zip code to the shortcode in the instructions. The welcome message provisions your device and, helpfully, tells you what you phone number is. I didn't have to do any manual setup at all to get data working; if you do, you can text the word APN to get details of the Access Point Name to put in your phone settings.

Uber officially welcomes as CEO Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] officially welcomed its new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who has led online travel business Expedia Inc for 12 years, in a note sent to employees of the world's biggest ride-services company late on Tuesday.

IBM will derive highlights for U.S. Open tennis matches using Watson AI

IBM will help broadcast the event live to television and its mobile app, using IBM Watson Media to watch for match highlights as they happen. It will take into account crowd noises, emotional player reactions, and other factors to determine the best highlight of a match. IBM has been a partner with the United States Tennis Association for 28 years, and it is renewing that partnership in a new five-year deal.

Queenslander pays AU$200k for NBN fibre | ZDNet

NBN's technology choice program has seen one person pay more than AU$200,000 to have their fixed-wireless connection replaced with full fibre.

Asus’ Windows Mixed Reality headset is priced on the steep side

Asus has joined the likes of Dell and HP with the launch of its own mixed reality headset. Priced on the steep side at €449 (which is ~$535, but official US and UK prices TBA), the Asus Windows Mixed Reality headset takes Microsoft's reference design and wraps it up in a "3D Polygon" shell, complete with PlayStation VR -like headband design that distributes its 400g weight across the forehead.

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The Morning After: Wednesday, August 30th 2017

Old and tired: AI. New and wired: augmented reality. After a few months of Apple developers wowing us with augmented reality demos using iOS 11's new ARKit features, Google is striking back. It revealed a new augmented reality SDK for Android phones called ARCore, which helps developers blend real and virtual worlds using just a device's sensors and camera. There are three key features available now: motion tracking (it uses the phone's camera to detect your position in the room), environmental understanding (so it can find horizontal surfaces) and light estimation (so the lighting and shadow of virtual objects match your surroundings).

51 How Students Built the World's Fastest Hyperloop
52 The Verge on Twitter
53 Chris Foxx on Twitter
54 How ‘Doxxing’ Became a Mainstream Tool in the Culture Wars
55 Citrix: The Definitive Guide to Selecting the Right ADC for the Digital Transformation Era
56 TechRadar on Twitter
57 Google has submitted plans to comply with an EU antitrust order after a €2.4 billion fine
58 Asus shows off 35-inch gaming monitor and Republic of Gamers Chimera laptop
59 WhatsApp tests out verified business accounts | ZDNet
60 Windows Mixed Reality: Now Dell's $350 Visor arrives at Microsoft's VR party | ZDNet
61 Customer data stolen at games store CEX - BBC News
62 A team from Munich just won the Hyperloop Pod Competition
63 Chat app Kik to raise $125M through an ICO in September
64 Christina Wolbrecht on Twitter
65 The Hill on Twitter
66 Jason O. Gilbert on Twitter
67 Bryan Behar on Twitter
68 Penguin Random House on Twitter
69 Former DeVry official hired to run Education Dept. enforcement unit: report
70 Thal ❤ on Twitter
71 BMW just unveiled an electric Mini concept — and a production model is coming in 2019
72 America's Young Strivers Could Use Another Gold Rush
73 Intel Unveils its Xeon-W Family of Processors Featuring 18-Cores For Workstations
74 Before and After Photos Capture Devastating Flooding in Houston
75 Pushing school start times to 8:30 a.m. could add billions to the US economy
76 Trevor Noah defends Melania Trump for traveling to Harvey disaster area in heels
77 Telecoms should pay attention to network speeds
78 This Is Why Being A Morning Person Will Make You Better At Your Job
79 Acer Shows Off Flashy Predator Orion 9000 Gaming Desktop
80 4 critical points to consider when receiving cybersecurity and privacy advice
81 A mini-space shuttle is being test-flown over the Mojave Desert — watch the live video
82 B&O and LG made a TV you can move with a remote control
83 Digital Trends on Twitter
84 Montmartre Paris photo by Faula Thierry
85 Today is the last day to tell the FCC what you think about net neutrality
86 luke oneil 🚽 on Twitter
87 Exiles on Pennsylvania Avenue: How Jared and Ivanka Were Repelled by Washington’s Elite
88 TNW on Twitter
89 Africa is teaching the world how to use drones for commercial and delivery purposes
90 13 keyboard shortcuts for Twitter addicts
91 PCMag on Twitter
92 Apple Wins an Emmy Award for Integrating Siri with Apple TV
93 Uber is broken. Can the new CEO fix it?