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Amazon patents a real-time accent translator

Amazon has applied for a patent for an audio system that detects the accent of a speaker and changes it to the accent of the listener, perhaps helping eliminate communication barriers in many situations and industries. The patent doesn’t mean the company has made it (or necessarily that it wi...

Tech

Google Maps’ location sharing will now share your phone’s battery status, too

Early in 2017, Google added a feature to Google Maps that lets you opt to share your location in (near) real time with your close friends and family. Now they’re fleshing out that info with another important little detail: your phone’s remaining battery charge. It looks like this: Wond...

Tech

Amazon Rapids, the chat fiction for kids, is now free

Amazon Rapids, the chat fiction that encourages kids to read by presenting stories in the form of text message conversations, is now going free. Previously, Amazon had been charging $2.99 per month for a subscription that allows unlimited access to its story collection, which now numbers in the hun...

Tech

Arm acquires data management service Treasure Data to bolster its IoT platform

Arm, the semiconductor firm you probably still remember as ARM, today announced that it has acquired Treasure Data, a data management platform for large enterprise customers. The companies didn’t announce the financial details of the transaction, but earlier reporting by Bloomberg pegged the...

Tech

FCC sides with Google Fiber over Comcast with new pro-competition rule

Enlarge / Boxes of equipment needed to install Google Fiber broadband network sit on a couch at the home of customer Becki Sherwood in Kansas City, Kansas. (credit: Julie Denesha/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The Federal Communications Commission today approved new rules that could let Google...

Tech

Square now lets developers use its Reader to build custom checkout experiences

Square, the company you know from your favorite coffee shop’s checkout counter, is opening to developers its Reader hardware. Using the new Square Reader SDK, developers will be able to build their own custom checkout and point of sale experiences, no matter whether that’s a self-orderin...

Tech

How can NASA return to the Moon? By making everything reusable, chief says

Enlarge / On Thursday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, was shown the Orion test crew capsule that will be used for the Ascent Abort-2 test. NASA's Jon Olansen, second from left, speaks as Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich looks on. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls) One thing new NASA Admini...

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The Surface Go reviews are in, and… they’re a bit all over the place

Enlarge / Surface Go. (credit: Microsoft) Surface Go—Microsoft's 10-inch, $399 tablet—launches today in 25 markets. Many publications around the Web have had a couple of days to review Microsoft's latest attempt at a cheap(ish) computer, and opinions are surprisingly varied. Surface G...

Tech

That’s trillion with a T—Apple hits market value of $1 trillion

The trillion-dollar ceiling has been broken. So who's going to pay for it? (credit: Ars Technica) Apple, the company Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded in 1976 in possibly not a garage, became the most valuable company in the world in 2012, passing Microsoft as iPhone sales pushed the company i...

Tech

The modern pygmies of Flores are not related to Homo floresiensis

Liang Bua, the limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores where the H. floresiensis remains were found. (credit: Liang Bua Team) On the Indonesian island of Flores, less than a mile from the cave where archaeologists discovered the fossil remains of the small-statured hominin Homo floresie...


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