announcement

Google Hangouts overhaul splits service into ‘Meet’ and ‘Chat’ products

Google Hangouts overhaul splits service into ‘Meet’ and ‘Chat’ products

Google has introduced its overhauled Hangouts product, announcing that it now functions with two main experiences: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. According to Google, Hangouts Meet is a video experience in which people can talk face-to-face with little effort. This is joined by Hangouts Chat, which is exactly what it sounds like: the service’s chatting product for people to talk via text.

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Boomerang is an upcoming streaming service for classic cartoons

Boomerang is an upcoming streaming service for classic cartoons

The classic cartoons from many Internet-goers’ pasts will be available on-demand soon via an upcoming streaming service from Warner Bros and Turner. Called Boomerang (just like the classic cartoon channel), the service will give streamers ad-free access to thousands of classic cartoon episodes for $4.99/month, including ones from notable series like The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

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E.ON is building two 9.9MW battery storage facilities near Texas wind farms

E.ON is building two 9.9MW battery storage facilities near Texas wind farms

E.ON North America has announced that it will be building a pair of 9.9MW battery storage facilities in Texas, with one in the Pyron wind farm in Hermleigh, TX and another in the Inadale wind farm near Roscoe. These wind farms have been in place for several years now, and are in possession of 249MW and 197MWs of battery storage at the present, numbers that will both grow when these new facilities go live later on this year.

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VIZIO SmartCast E-Series TVs bring HDR, 4K, Chromecast, and XXL sizes

VIZIO SmartCast E-Series TVs bring HDR, 4K, Chromecast, and XXL sizes

Vizio has taken the wraps off its new 2017 line of SmartCast E-Series televisions. This product line contains several models in sizes ranging from 32-inches to a massive 80-inches, and also packs in some notable features like Ultra HD 4K resolution, a built-in Chromecast, and HDR, depending on model. The new lineup has a little bit of something for everyone, including for every budget, with prices ranging from $209.99 to $3,399.99 USD.

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Takata pleads guilty in airbag debacle, will pay $1 billion fine

Takata pleads guilty in airbag debacle, will pay $1 billion fine

As the latest update in the company’s long-running airbag scandal, Takata Corp has pleaded guilty to hiding the problems affecting its airbag inflators. As a result, it is confirmed that Takata will pay $1 billion as a fine, of which $850 million will go to automakers affected by the recalls, another $125 million will go toward victims affected by the defect, as well as their families, while the remaining $25 million will cover the criminal charge itself.

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Verizon launches new 2GB prepaid plan

Verizon launches new 2GB prepaid plan

We’ve seen some shakeups in the wireless service market, with three of the biggest carriers rolling out new/modified unlimited plans in a sort of battle-for-the-consumer. Now Verizon has just announced a new offering for its prepaid customers: a 2GB prepaid plan priced at $40/month. That 2GB allotment is for high-speed data, after which point the speeds are throttled down to a paltry 128kbps.

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Bacterial DNA reveals salmonella may have wiped out the Aztecs

Bacterial DNA reveals salmonella may have wiped out the Aztecs

A couple of new studies reveal that salmonella may have been the cause of mass devastation to the Aztec civilization, at least according to the DNA of bacterium pulled from burial locations in Mexico. The nation’s native inhabitants were hit with a severe pestilence of some sort, one powerful enough to have wiped out as much as 80-percent of the population. The exact cause of that devastation has been a source of mystery.

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New AT&T Unlimited plan arrives tomorrow for postpaid customers

New AT&T Unlimited plan arrives tomorrow for postpaid customers

AT&T has announced that it will launch a new Unlimited plan starting tomorrow, offering it to all postpaid business and consumer customers. The news comes only a few days after Verizon brought back its unlimited plan, one that promises to give subscribers unlimited access to the carrier’s 4G LTE network. T-Mobile was quick to respond to the Verizon plan by upgrading its own ONE plan, and now four days later this appears to be AT&T’s response.

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Late Bronze Age sword and golden spear found in Scotland

Late Bronze Age sword and golden spear found in Scotland

A sword and spear dating back to the late Bronze Age have been discovered in Scotland, where they were unearthed by construction workers during a project. Both items are made of bronze, while the spearhead in particular is also adorned in gold. Joining the metal items is a pin and scabbard for the sword. According to GUARD Archaeology, this is an ‘exceptional group’ that greatly contributes to archaeological findings in the nation.

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Land snail species named after Dungeons & Dragons character ‘Shar’

Land snail species named after Dungeons & Dragons character ‘Shar’

Shar, the Mistress of the Night, has a namesake: a small newly discovered land snail found in a cave in Brazil. Researchers have dubbed the small critter Gastrocopta sharae, with those who made the discovery explaining, “It’s a fitting name for a tiny snail that lives hidden in the dark recesses of a cavern … Usually biologists tend to honor Greek and Roman deities when naming species, but the goddess Shar has a more colorful background.”

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Sony EXTRA BASS Wireless Speakers hit shelves next month

Sony EXTRA BASS Wireless Speakers hit shelves next month

Sony has finally revealed the pricing and availability info for its previously unveiled EXTRA BASS Wireless Speakers, as well as some EXTRA BASS Wireless Headphones. The company took the wraps off its new speaker last month during CES 2017, giving us a look at the features but without the pertinent availability details. As it turns out, both the headphones and the speakers will be hitting shelves in March.

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The ‘Met’ Museum of Art adds 375k images to the public domain

The ‘Met’ Museum of Art adds 375k images to the public domain

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has once again made a massive batch of images public domain, marking its latest release since the 400,000 images it made available back in 2014. This time around, the Met has made more than 375,000 images available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, doing so under the new Open Access policy. The images are all public domain artwork in the Met’s collection.

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