technology

Why Alphabet keeps betting on Other Bets

Why Alphabet keeps betting on Other Bets

Alphabet's Q1 2017 earnings report showed that their "Other Bets" category was doing better than this same time last year in revenue. The same chart also showed that Other Bets was doing worse than this time last year - in operating loss. It might seem on the surface like a losing strategy to push more money into parts of the company that could be considered "bets". But Alphabet isn't the sort of company that drops and runs at the first sign of failure.

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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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Samsung could begin shipping foldable displays in 2019

Samsung could begin shipping foldable displays in 2019

The promise of smartphones and tablets with foldable displays is one that's been around for a while, but so far, we haven't really seen these displays take center stage. That could all change relatively soon, with Samsung Display signaling today that it might be ready to roll out foldable displays on a large scale by 2019.

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Richard Browning becomes Iron Man with jet-powered suit

Richard Browning becomes Iron Man with jet-powered suit

Of all the "fictional" technologies that enable personal flight, Iron Man's suit is the hardest, and most dangerous, to pull off. Flying with a jetpack is no longer science fiction, and even a hoverboard has made substantial progress. But a jet-powered suit? Hardly. That never discouraged British inventor Richard Browning from trying. And his dedication, and perhaps insanity, has finally paid off. He has become the real-world equivalent of Iron Man by donning a suit that, in practice, puts mini airplane engines on his arms and legs.

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Consumer tech plane ban was triggered by iPad bomb threat

Consumer tech plane ban was triggered by iPad bomb threat

Both the U.S. and the U.K. recently banned most consumer gadgets from flights originating from several countries, a move that Canada is also considering implementing. The move is unusual given that the bans went into effect only hours apart, leading to speculation about possible security threats that had been discovered. Now, according to a new report, we have more info on that -- sources say the threat of a bomb disguised as an iPad had spurred the restriction.

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Elon Musk’s tipped Neuralink wants to put chips in the human brain

Elon Musk’s tipped Neuralink wants to put chips in the human brain

Elon Musk has launched a new company called Neuralink, according to sources, and it aims to develop a technology that could connect human brains with computers. This connection would allegedly be facilitated via small electrodes implanted in the brain, enabling the individual to download and upload thoughts. Though the existence of the company has been confirmed, Musk's precise role within it is unclear.

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Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Although popularized as deadly weapons in science fiction, real-world applications of lasers have been mostly benign. Almost coming full circle, however, lasers are about to make those fictional scenarios real. Lockheed Martin has just announced that it has successfully designed and tested a 60 kW-class laser weapon, breaking records as far as lasers are concerned. And, of course, this technology will be delivered to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command for “defensive applications”.

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Sony patent lets devices leech power off others wirelessly

Sony patent lets devices leech power off others wirelessly

Despite years of promises, wireless charging has yet to really took root in the consumer’s mind. It is still not an in-demand feature in smartphones the way waterproofing or, to some degree, microSD card slots, have become. In a chicken or egg situation, wireless charging pads, especially in public places, aren’t as common as well, making it inconvenient to rely on wireless technology? But what if topping off your smartphone means simply just placing it nearby another? That is the interesting, and partly scary, scenario that Sony’s latest patent paints, where one device can recharge itself by sucking out power from another. Wirelessly, of course.

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Pizza Hut smart shoes mean ordering pizza is just a button away

Pizza Hut smart shoes mean ordering pizza is just a button away

It’s one of the stranger wearables we’ve seen, and one that is entirely advertisement-focused, if not amusing: Pizza Hut smart shoes. These shoes are exactly what they sound like — a pair of shoes with embedded technology that, in this case, enables wearers to order a pizza by pressing a button on the shoe. The shoes are high tops, but Pizza Hut refers to them as Pie Tops, and Grant Hill is onboard to show them off.

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Hoversurf hoverbike rides on a powerful Scorpion 3 drone

Hoversurf hoverbike rides on a powerful Scorpion 3 drone

Move over hoverboards. This is the year of vehicles that, true to their name, actually do fly. PAL-V just opened up sales for what is the world’s first commercial flying car and now another personal flying vehicle of the future might be closer to the present. The world’s first fully-functional, fully-manned hoverbike has just been revealed. Unsurprisingly, it’s built upon the same foundations as a drone. A Scorpion 3, to be exact, made by Hoversurf. While commercial availability is probably still a ways off, you can probably start dreaming of real-life Star Wars Speeder Bike chases soon.

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FM radio on smartphones? The FCC wants to see it happen

FM radio on smartphones? The FCC wants to see it happen

There's no lack of streaming radio apps available for your smartphone, but one thing that is still mysteriously in short supply is access to FM radio. Most smartphones today have FM radio antennas built into them, but those antennas are only active in about half of smartphones here in the US. The FCC's new commissioner, Ajit Pai, would like to see that change.

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Metallic hydrogen finally created, could change life as we know it

Metallic hydrogen finally created, could change life as we know it

You might soon have to change what you think you know about hydrogen. The simplest and lightest element and commonly regarded as a gas, hydrogen can actually take on liquid form when cooled. And now it can also take on a metal form as well. Yes, atomic metallic hydrogen has just been made real, delivering one of the holy grails of physics. And before you brush it off as just some geeky achievement, metallic hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize technology and life forever.

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