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Continued conversation is arriving for Google Home users today

Jun 22, 2018 - 12:48 PM - by Reverend
Google is making good on the promise it made at its I/O conference in May by introducing what a feature called continued conversation for Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max today. Continued conversation allows you to ask Assistant a question and then add a follow-up, a reminder, or an item to a shopping list without having to say, “OK Google,” each time.

An example of a conversation with the new feature could go something like: “Hey Google, what’s the weather like? ... and what about tomorrow? ... how is my commute? ... remind me to get coffee ... Thanks!” It’s a step in the right direction for having a truly seamless back-and-forth conversation between you and Google Assistant.

There are a few prerequisites you need to know before being able to use continued conversation with your Google Home. First, the feature is launching only in the US for now. Second, it works by keeping Assistant active after an initial request. (Google clarified that Assistant will stay active for eight seconds if no speech is detected and the LEDs will stay illuminated if it’s active to let you know.)

The new feature won’t work unless you enable it by going to the Google Assistant app, followed by Settings > Preferences > Continued conversations and hitting the toggle. It’s rolling out to Google Home users across the US starting today.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 87 Views


Facebook entices content creators with new community-centered video platform

Jun 20, 2018 - 7:10 AM - by Reverend
Facebook announced several new live video features today that will allow creators to make their live streams more like games with polls and quizzes. The features are similar to those that creators on YouTube have had access to for months through the recent addition of the Community tab. These new features could entice established creators to migrate to Facebook’s video platform.

Facebook says these features will reinvent traditional entertainment formats as more “community-centric,” and it noted a trend in more collaborative video consumption that relies on audience participation. YouTube integrated polling and collaboration with audiences when the company announced its Community tab last November. With this feature, creators are able to ask their audiences what they should broadcast next and build anticipation for upcoming video series, for example.

New ways to profit from video content will arrive on Facebook soon as well. The company will allow more creators to add commercial breaks and monthly subscriptions. It will also introduce a new way of finding paid partnerships with a feature known as Brand Collabs Manager.

The company announced several creators who are launching live game shows on Facebook, including BuzzFeed’s “Outside Your Bubble,” “Confetti” from Insider, and Fresno’s “What’s in The Box.” These will all be live interactive game shows that will air regularly on Facebook Watch.

In a report from TechCrunch, Facebook dodged questions about whether the new features were inspired by the success of HQ Trivia, a live mobile game show that has been holding on to audiences of at least 1 million people per game in recent months.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 190 Views


Mozilla Firefox 60.0.2

Jun 15, 2018 - 2:05 PM - by Reverend
Firefox is a free, open-source and cross-platform web browser.

English (US): Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit | Linux | Mac OS X

Release notes

Firefox homepage
  0 Replies | 456 Views


Microsoft to tidy up 'ribbon' interface and icons in Office 2019

Jun 15, 2018 - 1:56 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is introducing an interface overhaul for Office 2019, intended to simplify the ‘ribbon' interface.

The removal of clutter will pare back it back to the essentials, with the option of reverting to the more familiar, full featured interface for power users.

The interface redesign is already being introduced to Word on Office.com, and will be progressively rolled out across the Office and Office 365 estate throughout the year. At the same time, Microsoft is also introducing updated icons, intended to make them clearer.

And on top of that, Microsoft claims that it will be injecting the search tool with some artificial intelligence magic that, it says, can make suggestions based on what it has learnt about your habits as a user. This will be coming first to Microsoft Graph, but should reach Outlook users by August.

As part of the ‘forced march' to Windows 10, the packaged software version of Office 2019 will only be available on Windows 10, out of all Microsoft's client operating systems, as well as MacOS and Windows Server 2016. Furthermore, support has been slashed from 10 years to five years, with only two years of ‘extended support'.

The interface changes will no doubt surprise users when it arrives, but not nearly as much as they did when it was introduced just over ten years ago.

The Fluent User Interface, as Microsoft called the ribbon interface, was introduced with Microsoft Office 2007, appearing first on Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. The ribbon interface aesthetic was rolled out to further Office applications with Office 2010, and also progressively implemented across Microsoft's software estate.

Microsoft claimed that the purpose was to make its applications' features many features more visible to users.

Cynics, however, suggested that the real aim was to get customers hooked on an alternative interface that couldn't... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 413 Views


Microsoft walks away from Windows 7, Office 2013 support forums

Jun 15, 2018 - 1:54 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft has quietly told customers that it will stop participating in the online support forums devoted to consumer questions about Windows 7 and a host of other products.

The announcement, which Microsoft posted over the weekend to several of the affected support forums, said the change would take place next month.

"Effective July 2018, the Microsoft Community forums listed below will shift support scope and Microsoft staff will no longer provide technical support there," the identical messages stated. "There will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions."

Along with Windows 7, the other products covered by the mandate include Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, Office 2010 and Office 2013, the Security Essentials antivirus program and the early Surface and Surface Pro 2-in-1 devices.

In some of the messages, Microsoft asserted that the stoppage impacts "products that reached end of support," even though software such as Windows 7 and 8.1 have years left before they're officially retired.

The discussion forums, which are under umbrella site dubbed "Microsoft Community" located at the URL answers.microsoft.com, primarily consist of peer-to-peer questions and questions. But Microsoft employees do post in the threads, providing clarifications, solutions to problems, and in some cases, mea culpas for screw-ups.

The Microsoft commentary, considered the "official" line from the company on the subject under discussion, is what will be dropped in July.

Other forms of support, including security updates, will continue until the Redmond, Wash. company's schedule - called the support lifecycle - says the affected products end their run. Support lifecycle dates for Microsoft products can be found by searching ... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 418 Views


Microsoft takes aim at Amazon with push for checkout-free retail

Jun 15, 2018 - 1:49 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft Corp is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, in a nascent challenge to Amazon.com Inc’s automated grocery shop, six people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is developing systems that track what shoppers add to their carts, the people say. Microsoft has shown sample technology to retailers from around the world and has had talks with Walmart Inc about a potential collaboration, three of the people said.

Microsoft’s technology aims to help retailers keep pace with Amazon Go, a highly automated store that opened to the public in Seattle in January. Amazon customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter. Cameras and sensors identify what they remove from the shelves. When customers are finished shopping, they simply leave the store and Amazon bills their credit cards on file.

Amazon Go, which will soon open in Chicago and San Francisco, has sent rivals scrambling to prepare for yet another disruption by the world’s biggest online retailer. Some have tested programs where customers scan and bag each item as they shop, with mixed results.

For Microsoft, becoming a strategic ally to retailers has meant big business. In addition to developing retail technologies, it ranks No. 2 behind Amazon in selling cloud services that are key to running e-commerce sites, for instance.

It is not clear how soon Microsoft would bring an automated checkout service to market, if at all, or whether its technology would be the answer retailers are looking for. But some see the technology as the next big innovation in shopping, one that Amazon’s competitors cannot afford to ignore.

“This is the future of checking out for convenience and grocery stores,” said Gene Munster, head of research at Loup Ventures in Minneapolis. The venture capital firm estimates the U.S. market for automated checkout... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 399 Views


Teens are ditching Facebook

Jun 01, 2018 - 10:39 AM - by Reverend
A new study has confirmed what we've long expected: Facebook is no longer the most popular social media site among teens ages 13 to 17.

The Pew Research Center revealed on Thursday that only 51% of US teens use Facebook. That's a 20% drop since 2015, the last time the firm surveyed teens' social media habits.

Now, YouTube is the most popular platform among teens -- about 85% say they use it. Not surprisingly, teens are also active on Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (69%). Meanwhile, Twitter followed at 32%, and Tumblr's popularity (14%) remained the same since the 2015 survey.

When it comes to the platform they access most frequently throughout the day, Snapchat is king.

Although the study was only conducted among nearly 750 teens in a one month period starting this spring, the new numbers might be worrying for Facebook. The company recently rebounded from its first-ever decline in users in the US and Canada. But overall, its global growth has slowed. The two countries account for 185 million daily users.

CNN
  0 Replies | 919 Views


Apple iTunes 12.7.5 (12.7.5.9)

May 31, 2018 - 10:18 AM - by Reverend
You can use iTunes to create your own personal digital music library and easily organize and listen to your collection of digital music files. You can also create your own custom audio CDs and transfer your music to an Apple iPod portable digital music player.

32-bit | 64-bit

iTunes homepage
  0 Replies | 788 Views


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