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Google previews an AI-powered future at I/O 2023

Google’s annual I/O developer’s conference highlights all the innovative work the tech giant is doing to improve its large family of products and services. This year, the company emphasized that it is going big on artificial intelligence, especially generative AI. Expect to see more AI powered features coming your way across a range of key services in Google’s Workspace, apps, and Cloud.  “As an AI-first company, we’re at an exciting inflection point…We’ve been applying AI to our products to make…


Why you barely see electric vehicles at car dealerships

In the news, it seems like electric vehicles are everywhere—from new tech developments to changing policies to increasingly interesting designs. And while the road to electric vehicles may be bumpy, reports show that it’s absolutely crucial to electrify our transportation sector in order to reach critical climate change goals. But unfortunately, the feeling of EV omnipresence doesn’t currently extend to the dealership. According to a new study released this week by the Sierra Club, 66 percent of car dealerships nationwide…


Ditch your Google password and set up a passkey instead

Password haters across the land—rejoice. Following the efforts of Apple and Microsoft, Google is now a step closer to being password-free after making passkeys available to all individual account users.  Of course, having the option doesn’t matter if you’re not sure what to do with it. Google’s new feature allows you to sign into your account from your devices with only a PIN or a biometric, like your face or fingerprint, so you can forget your ever-inconvenient password once and…


Tech giants have a plan to fight dangerous AirTag stalking

Apple and Google have jointly proposed a new industry specification aimed at preventing the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices like AirTags. The new proposal outlines a number of best practices for makers of Bluetooth trackers and, if adopted, would enable anyone with an iOS or Android smartphone to get a notification if they were the target of unauthorized tracking. Since launching in 2021, Apple’s AirTags have been controversial. The coin-sized Bluetooth devices work using Apple’s Find My network, which is…


Facebook’s Smart Glasses, and What They Mean for Us

As wearables increasingly become the preferred immersive tech, corporations everywhere are jumping onto the trend. Recently, Facebook announced exciting plans for the road ahead. Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company plans to launch its first pair of smart glasses in partnership with Essilor Luxottica under the Ray-Ban brand. The company hasn’t revealed much apart from how the glasses “let you do some pretty neat things.” What these neat things mean remains ambiguous at best, but here are a few things…


Inside Microsoft’s surprising push for a right to repair law—and why it matters

This article originally appeared in Grist. In March, Irene Plenefisch, a senior director of government affairs at Microsoft, sent an email to the eight members of the Washington state Senate’s Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee, which was about to hold a hearing to discuss a bill intended to facilitate the repair of consumer electronics.  Typically, when consumer tech companies reach out to lawmakers concerning right-to-repair bills — which seek to make it easier for people to fix their devices, thus…


4 ways to protect your Google search history

Google has become so synonymous with search that the company’s name has found its way into the dictionary as a verb—and that means your Google search history can reveal a lot about your life. If someone manages to gain access to that treasure trove of information, they could learn about everything from the medical conditions you’ve been worried about to where you’ve been on your vacations. With so much sensitive data involved, you should make sure that your search history…


The Opt Out: Read this before sharing another photo of a kid online

You are more than a data point. The Opt Out is here to help you take your privacy back. WITH A FEW infamous exceptions, it’s safe to say most of the content we see about children on social media has a positive spirit behind it. Your friend’s photo of their first sonogram and your cousin’s lengthy ramble about their toddler’s temper tantrums each come from a good place: the desire to mark a milestone, seek support, share happiness, or build community. But…


New AI-based tsunami warning software could help save lives

To mitigate the death and disaster brought by tsunamis, people on the coasts need the most time possible to evacuate. Hundred-foot waves traveling as fast as a car are forces of nature that cannot be stopped—the only approach is to get out of the way. To tackle this problem, researchers at Cardiff University in Wales have developed new software that can analyze real-time data from hydrophones, ocean buoys, and seismographs in seconds. The researchers hope that their system can be…


Watchdog sounds alarm on the Navy’s fire preparedness

On July 12, 2020, the USS Bonhomme Richard caught fire. The vessel is officially described as an “amphibious assault ship,” a name that doesn’t truly capture the Bonhomme Richard’s role as troop and vehicle transport; its flat top also lets it launch helicopters, V-22 tiltrotor aircraft, and special fighter jets. It was a complex, powerful machine—one that would be considered an aircraft carrier in any other nation’s navy—which makes the fact that a single fire was able to do over…


Japan’s ispace lunar lander appears to have crashed into the moon

A commercial lunar rover, developed by the private Japanese company ispace in partnership with the United Arab Emirates, appears to have failed to achieve a soft lunar landing, and is presumed to have crashed on the moon’s surface. The mission’s apparent conclusion comes after four-month, 239,000 mile sojourn, and if successful, could have signaled a new era of lunar exploration. “We have to assume that we could not complete the landing on the lunar surface,” ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada said during…


A 1967 foot-powered tool you could build today—if you wanted to

FROM ANCIENT treadwheel cranes to modern guitar effects pedals, the creative energy of our feet has come a long way. Roman aqueducts, medieval castles, and Gothic cathedrals were raised, mega-stone by mega-stone, by machines powered by human-size hamster wheels. Treadles, or foot levers, made their debut in the Middle Ages to power looms and spinning wheels. The stair climber got its start in 1818 as a prison treadmill—not to intentionally torment England’s inmates (as sometimes alleged), but to put their…