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Google used improv rules to deal with a farting Assistant

Listen, it’s late on day two of Google I/O and we’re all getting a bit punchy here. During a late-afternoon panel on design and Assistant, Google Principal Designer Ryan Germick explained that the company used improv skills to figure out how to build out the AI’s personality &mdash...

Tech

Wear OS is getting a new battery saving mode

Given Google’s recent rebranding mode and a few pieces of news trickling out over the past week, it seemed safe to expect some key updates for the operating system formerly known as Android Wear. But the company only really mentioned Wear OS in passing at yesterday’s keynotes. Google&rsq...

Tech

Explorer is getting a dark theme, and it’s very dark

Enlarge / The dark Explorer theme. (credit: Microsoft) As long-time practitioners of the "dark theme" concept—it's still an option here at Ars for those who prefer light text on dark backgrounds—we're excited to see that Microsoft is extending the reach of its dark theme to include Ex...

Tech

Signal’s “disappearing messages” live on in macOS notifications

Enlarge / You may want to nicely ask your friends who use Signal on the Mac desktop to change their notification settings. Signal, the privacy-focused voice and text messaging application, offers an attractive bit of operational security: ephemeral text messages that "self-delete" after a predet...

Tech

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Enterprise-D is coming to Bridge Crew

Red Storm Entertainment Red Storm Entertainment will soon add the ship and bridge from Star Trek: The Next Generation to the Star Trek: Bridge Crew game, along with several other TNG-themed additions l...

Tech

Supercomputers are driving a revolution in hurricane forecasting

Enlarge / A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Toa Alta, west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 24, 2017 following the passage of Hurricane Maria. (credit: RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images) Back in 1998, the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts housed the 27th mos...

Tech

The Trump administration just forced smartphone maker ZTE to shut down

Enlarge / New ZTE Blade V9 at a ZTE stand during the Mobile World Congress Day 2 on February 27, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (credit: Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images) One of the leading Chinese smartphone makers, ZTE, is shutting down global operations in the face of crippling sanctions levied...

Tech

Hackers find “official,” usable PSP emulator hidden in PS4’s PaRappa

Enlarge / Hack, mod, it's all in the mind / If you look at the code, I'm sure you'll find / The emulator runs now or later / Nevertheless, the PSP we now cater... (credit: Sony) Sometimes it seems that Sony itself is a PS4 hacker's best friend. In January, we wrote about how hackers were taking a...

Hardware

JBL Link Bar

The JBL Link Bar might seem rather basic on paper, but underneath the hood, it’s anything but. This soundbar not only packs a punch (its sound endured even during the busy noise of Google IO 2018), but its built-in Google Assistant and Android TV combo with HDMI passthrough make it a potent co...

Tech

6 Great New Features to Love in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

The arrival of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS means anyone installing it can enjoy five years of long term support (LTS) from Canonical. We’ve already given you reasons to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Now here’s a look at some of the better new features you can enjoy with the latest release of the ult...


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