• Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana gets a revamp on Android and iOS

    Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana gets a revamp on Android and iOS

    In the battle of the virtual assistants, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, the latter hasn’t had much success off the Windows 10 platform — its iOS app is ranked No. 1,295 on the top charts, for example. In an effort to give its assistant broader appeal, Microsoft is today announcing a redesign of its smartphone application, which is now focused on… Read More

  • HBO NOW opens up shop in VR on Google Daydream, Netflix coming soon

    HBO NOW opens up shop in VR on Google Daydream, Netflix coming soon

    If you’re the owner of a Google Daydream View headset, there’s about to be a lot more content to watch in your little headset. Today, Google announced that HBO’s standalone subscription app, HBO NOW, is arriving on the company’s Daydream mobile VR platform. The company also announced that Netflix will soon be arriving on the Daydream platform as well, though they… Read More

  • Google’s Daydream VR just got some new games: Here’s how they rank

    Google’s Daydream VR just got some new games: Here’s how they rank

    The primary weakness of Google’s Daydream VR is still a lack of content, but the young platform got a bunch of new software today, including a sizeable list of new games. I tried out a bunch, and here’s a look at what I thought of a few and which ones might help further popularize Android’s built-in VR environment. 1. Gunjack: End of Shift This sci-fi shooter is a follow-up… Read More

  • Prosper’s chief product officer just joined Norwest as a partner

    Prosper’s chief product officer just joined Norwest as a partner

    Norwest Venture Partners, the 56-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm that counts banking giant Wells Fargo as its single institutional investor, has just brought aboard Parker Barrile as a partner. Barrile most recently was chief product officer at the fintech marketplace Prosper; before that, he spent five years at LinkedIn, where he was a VP of product. Because Norwest… Read More

  • Bluetooth 5 will bring higher speeds, better range and a focus on IoT

    Bluetooth 5 will bring higher speeds, better range and a focus on IoT

    The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) gave the green light to Bluetooth 5 this week, a new spec that promises some pretty radicular performance enhancements over its predecessor, according to the organization. The latest version of the ubiquitous wireless technology is said to offer twice the speed, four times the range and eight times the capacity for broadcast messages. All of those… Read More

  • HTC debuts Vive Studios, building VR games that highlight the strengths of its platform

    HTC debuts Vive Studios, building VR games that highlight the strengths of its platform

    More than a little bit of drama has emerged in the VR community in response to the trend toward exclusives among hardware manufacturers. Oculus and Sony have devoted significant resources to ensuring its systems have titles either launch first on their platforms or only on them. Meanwhile HTC and its Vive system, which is built upon Valve’s OpenVR platform, have stayed in the good graces… Read More

  • Backing up the history of the internet in Canada to save it from Trump

    Backing up the history of the internet in Canada to save it from Trump

    When the Library of Alexandria burned, the world lost a significant portion of its cultural knowledge and history. That’s the fate that Brewster Kahle fears might await the Internet Archive under Donald Trump’s regime — and so he’s creating a backup of his renowned digital library in Canada. Every election cycle, voters disappointed by the outcome joke about moving… Read More

  • Secret founder returns to anonymous publishing with launch of IO

    Secret founder returns to anonymous publishing with launch of IO

    Secret co-founder David Byttow said his shuttered startup would make a return of sorts, tweeting as much in November. Byttow launched the revived anonymous publishing app as IO on Thursday morning, with a different approach that has more in common with Medium than mobile social apps like Twitter (and with Bold, the startup he launched as a long-form content publishing platform for enterprise… Read More

  • Pokémon GO is officially teaming with Starbucks for 7,800 new Gyms and PokéStops

    Pokémon GO is officially teaming with Starbucks for 7,800 new Gyms and PokéStops

    Pokémon GO’s next big sponsor partner in the U.S. is Starbucks, which is going to host new gyms and PokéStops at 7,800 company-run Starbucks stores in the U.S. In addition to the new in-game locales, Starbucks is also making a Pokémon GO edition Frappuccino to celebrate the tie-up. What does Pokémon GO taste like in sugared coffee drink form? I have no idea, but I will definitely… Read More

  • The Surgeon General calls youth e-cigarette smoking ‘unsafe’

    The Surgeon General calls youth e-cigarette smoking ‘unsafe’

    A statement issued by the Surgeon General of the United States on youth e-cigarette use this morning, while not quite definitive, is fairly damning nonetheless. While Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy stated that more research needs to be done on the issue, he believes enough evidence exists to consider the phenomenon “a major public health concern.” Murthy spoke to The Washington… Read More

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