Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Google makes Cloud Speech API generally available to devs

Google makes Cloud Speech API generally available to devs

Google has made its Cloud Speech API generally available to developers following its successful open beta last year. This Automatic Speech Recognition service is built upon the same foundation that powers Google Assistant and Google Now's speech recognition abilities, and it aims to solve the speech-to-text needs of Google Cloud customers, the company says. Joining its general availability are a couple improvements and expanded support.

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Facebook Messenger is bringing Spotify and Apple Music directly to chats

Facebook Messenger is bringing Spotify and Apple Music directly to chats

Facebook has announced a bunch of new and upcoming features for Messenger, arguably chief among them being the ability to share bots directly within group chats via 'Chat Extensions.' Several brands are already available under this feature, including Spotify, which enables users to share a particular thing (a song, in Spotify's case) with an entire chat stream of people. Facebook's messaging app is also getting a new Discover tab, 'Messenger Codes,' and more.

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Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 910 Review: a big, beautiful (and pricey) all-in-one PC

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 910 Review: a big, beautiful (and pricey) all-in-one PC

Lenovo is back with a new all-in-one desktop computer, the IdeaCentre AIO 910. This model is aimed at consumers who want a simple but powerful desktop experience, and it follows in the footsteps of things like the A740. As we'd expect from an all-in-one desktop, this system brings everything someone needs for a proper computing experience: a large monitor, all the desktop hardware built into the monitor/base, plus a wireless keyboard and mouse. With a starting price of $1,799 USD, though, consumers largely have one big question about this AIO: is it worth it? Read our review to find out!

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Onvocal OV wireless headset with Alexa and smart audio control now available

Onvocal OV wireless headset with Alexa and smart audio control now available

Onvocal's OV wireless headset unveiled back in December is now available to purchase, the company has announced. Unlike similar earbuds and headsets, the OV brings Alexa directly to the user, enabling them to ask Amazon's personal assistant for help in various tasks. According to Onvocal, these are the first-ever 'smart headphones' featuring Intelligent Sound Control, enabling the user to control chat, ambient, and voice directly.

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U.S. Navy bans e-cigarettes from all of its ships and aircraft

U.S. Navy bans e-cigarettes from all of its ships and aircraft

We've seen enough incidents involving e-cigarette batteries to know they can be dangerous. The issues tend to revolve around either poorly constructed 'vaping' devices or users improperly storing the batteries and shorting them out via loose change and key rings. While we've seen these incidents happen at home, in courtrooms, and at convenience stores, the U.S. Navy has seen them elsewhere: on its own ships, where the vaping devices are now banned.

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Galaxy S8 Bixby button remapping blocked by Samsung

Galaxy S8 Bixby button remapping blocked by Samsung

Samsung has blocked users from remapping the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 handset, upsetting early buyers who weren't planning on using the Korean company's personal assistant. Bixby, for those unfamiliar, is Samsung's new alternative to Siri and Google Assistant, though users shouldn't expect it to be fully functional upon the handset's launch. Industrious early users figured out how to remap this physical button, and Samsung apparently didn't like that.

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You can now find all of NASA’s photos on a single, searchable site

You can now find all of NASA’s photos on a single, searchable site

NASA, as wonderful as it is, has never made finding content on its website simple. The space agency, which is spread across many centers and entities like the JPL and Johnson Space Center, has made its public photos and videos available across many different parts of its overall website. If you didn't have a list of all the possible places in which the photo may be published, it could be very difficult to find a particular bit of content. All of that, thankfully, has just changed.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 won’t include Season Pass and may nix DLCs

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 won’t include Season Pass and may nix DLCs

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was officially unveiled this weekend following a major leak of the entire teaser trailer. Now that the first round of details have been made official, the smaller, more pertinent info is becoming available, and among it are details about the Season Pass. Namely, the game won't include one. Whether that means the game won't offer DLCs is unclear, but DICE's creative director Bernd Diemer indicates there may be something better in the pipeline.

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Verizon Wear24 4G LTE smartwatch launches on May 11

Verizon Wear24 4G LTE smartwatch launches on May 11

The Wear24, a Verizon-exclusive smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0, will be available from the carrier starting on May 11. The Wear24 features 4G LTE support, enabling users to use the wearable in a connected fashion without using their smartphone as a tether. This includes streaming music directly with the smartwatch, says Verizon, as well as searching Google using voice commands, downloading apps, and more.

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Top 4 inexpensive data-only smartphone plans in the U.S. (2017)

Top 4 inexpensive data-only smartphone plans in the U.S. (2017)

While many people still use their phone plan's voice minutes and texts, an increasing number of people are leaving behind these two seemingly archaic communication options in favor of Internet-based communications. Most of the major messaging apps support free voice and video calls between users, for example, and those times you have to call someone you're not connected to via a messaging app can be done with something like Skype. It seems few people realize that data-only phone plans are an option, though, so we've performed the hard work and picked out the top four budget-friendly options.

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Sennheiser MKE 2 elements is a waterproof microphone for GoPro

Sennheiser MKE 2 elements is a waterproof microphone for GoPro

GoPro action cameras can capture great footage, but audio has traditionally been lacking. Sennheiser aims to change that reality with the launch of its new MKE 2 elements, a waterproof microphone designed specifically for GoPro action cameras. This microphone has received 'Works with GoPro' verification and was made under the GoPro Developer Program, meaning it should work seamlessly with the latter company's products.

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Galaxy S8 orders are shipping early at T-Mobile

Galaxy S8 orders are shipping early at T-Mobile

T-Mobile customers who preordered the Samsung Galaxy S8 have been on the receiving end of a nice surprise: the carrier is shipping out the phones a handful of days earlier than it said it would. That's great news for those who can't wait to get ahold of the handset, and it's likely not an accident: the Uncarrier did the same thing with the Galaxy S7. It seems like a calculated -- and very welcomed -- move.

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