Weekend tech reading: 'OK Google' removed from PCs, the future of graphene, Model S gets autopilot

By Matthew · 4 replies
Oct 18, 2015
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  1. You can no longer say 'OK Google' to activate a voice search on your computer Users who like talking to their computers are in for some disappointing news. Google has removed the ability to activate a voice search on a desktop computer by simply saying "OK Google." The removal of the feature comes with the arrival of Chrome v. 46 for Windows, OS X and Linux, which brought a few developer features and refreshed the web browser's security icons. Tech Times

    A material supreme: How graphene will shape the world of tomorrow In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond postulated that civilizations which spread out and conquer others do so as a result of geographic advantages. Access to certain plants and minerals, particular climates, even regional wildlife all -- according to Diamond’s framework -- determine which states thrive and which ones falter. Digital Trends

    Getting lean with digital ad UX We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience. Twenty years ago we saw an explosion of websites, built by developers around the world, providing all forms of content. This was the beginning of an age of enlightenment, the intersection of content and technology. IAB

    Told he couldn't pilot, teen builds full-scale flight sim in his room Grounded? Not for teen inventor Aidan Fay. When the FAA told the La Jolla teen he could not fly an airplane solo because of a pre-existing medical condition, he built one instead. Today, a full-scale Cessna 172 cockpit simulator sits in his bedroom, occupying as much space as his desk and bedside table combined. Makezine (also, Rally driver plays Dirt Rally)

    HEVC video codecs comparison The main goal of this report is the presentation of a comparative evaluation of the quality of new HEVC codecs and codecs of other standards using objective measures of assessment. The comparison was done using settings provided by the developers of each codec. Nevertheless, we required all presets to satisfy minimum speed requirement on the particular use case. The main task of the comparison is to analyze different encoders for the task of transcoding video -- e.g., compressing video for personal use. Compression.ru

    Same design, new insides, better screen: 21.5-inch 4K Retina iMac reviewed It's been over three years since the very first Mac went Retina, and we're still waiting for every model to get the upgrade. But this year, the scales started to tip in Retina's favor. We got an all-new Retina MacBook in the spring, and today Apple is killing the 27-inch non-Retina iMac and introducing a new 4K model at the top of the 21.5-inch lineup. Ars Technica

    I built a botnet that could destroy Spotify with fake listens Did you know you can leave a muted Spotify playlist on repeat all night and generate roughly 72 cents for your favorite band? Or that you could previously leave a browser tab of Eternify open all day and net the band $2.30? Better yet, did you know you can program a botnet on your old laptop to generate $30 a day in fake Spotify listens? Vice

    Microsoft researchers are working on multi-person virtual reality Augmented or mixed reality, which renders virtual images in a view of the real world, can be spectacular to experience. But it may be even more fun when you bring a friend. Researchers in the Microsoft lab of Jaron Lanier are experimenting with multi-person augmented reality, and the results of their work could help shape the way the technology is commercialized and used. Lanier was a pioneer of virtual and augmented, or mixed, reality in the 1980s. MIT

    If you need a paywall, but you also need Google to love you, you have a problem Since I don't speak German, I have no interest in penetrating the paywall that German digital publisher Axel Springer flung around the Bild news website this week, presumably in angry retaliation to its legal defeat in Cologne over the legitimacy of Adblock Plus two weeks earlier. Nonetheless I am always curious as to how paywalls are actually implemented... The Stack

    WiFi jamming attacks more simple and cheaper than ever A security researcher has demonstrated that jamming WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee networks is not difficult to perform but, most importantly, also not as costly as one might think. According to Mathy Vanhoef, a PhD student at KU Leuven (Belgium), it can easily be done by using a Wi-Fi $15 dongle bought off Amazon, a Raspberry Pi board, and an amplifier that will broaden the range of the attack to some 120 meters. Help Net Security

    The staggering impact of IT systems gone wrong The world has relied on large-scale IT systems for decades, but we still haven't learned how to prevent and avoid major glitches and failures. Here at IEEE Spectrum, we've been writing about such failures for 10 years (first in the oft-cited article "Why Software Fails," and later in the Risk Factor blog). Now we're taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. IEEE Spectrum

    The Tesla Model S now has an autopilot mode ​In a monumental step toward self-driving cars, Tesla Motors has just released an autopilot software upgrade for its line of Model S sedans -- both new ones and already purchased. With the new software, the Model S electric vehicles will be the first commercial cars on the road with autonomous driving capabilities. Popular Mechanics

    The most disruptive technology of the last century is in your house When people talk about "disruptive technologies," they're usually thinking of the latest thing out of Silicon Valley. Technologies like the smartphone, the computer and the Internet have, of course, dramatically changed the ways we live and work. But Max Roser, the researcher who runs the site Our World in Data, offered a great reminder yesterday that some of the most historically disruptive technologies aren't exactly what you would expect. The Washington Post

    Placebo effect works in video games too Even in virtual worlds, life is what you make of it. A study has found that gamers have more fun when they think a video game has been updated with fancy new features -- even when that's not true. Paul Cairns, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of York, UK, wondered if the placebo effect translates into the world of video games after watching a TV programme about how a sugar pill had improved cyclists’ performance. New Scientist

    'Nintendo has its own way' - How it makes games and works with external devs Nintendo doesn't just develop games in-house. It also works with external developers to make games -- like Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash, a new platformer for the 3DS. But how does that work? Gamasutra had a chance to sit down with producer Risa Tabata and Kensuke Tanabe, who work with external teams. Gamasutra (also, Nintendo NX reportedly has 'industry-leading' tech and 2016 release date)

    Getting over Uber My tribe  -- the technophiles, the Internet enthusiasts, the conference-speakers  -- is thrilled about Uber. I'm not. I know I’m swimming against the tide here, but I'm going to say it: I don’t think Uber is a good idea for American cities. Before I drown under a flood of angry responses from around the Internets, hear me out: This fight is about public values. Medium

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  2. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    I hate to agree with sony, but the most disruptive technology is the internet. Every possible way to make money has been done away with except for a handful of ceos. It's an infrastructure that really doesn't support itself, and just condones criminal activity. There were no viruses in the days I worked on mainframes, and the hackers at school just hacked the security system itself. They didn't change grades or rob banks like nowadays. To think of the large scale of stealing all those credit card numbers now and all the songs people stole. Real compromise of the monetary system and the entertainment industry.
  3. thewind

    thewind TS Enthusiast Posts: 77

    In response to "Getting over Uber"

    I hate when people bash other companies!!!!! 1st I know my buddy who works for Uber makes $1300/week which is really really good for where I live. Also who cares what a company pays! I’m serious if you as a employee or contract worker don’t like what your getting paid then go find another job!!!!!! Come to North Dakota where there’s 3 jobs for every 1 person! If a job was only paying $2/hr no one would work there and it would be forced to pay more or go out of business! This is basic economics! 2nd Who cares what a company charges?! if people don’t like what Uber charges then get a cab/taxi! No one forces you to work or to be a customer. My biggest problem is electric companies who charge such a huge amount for a need that you can’t switch cuz the said company is the only way you can get electricity from! Heat is a need for everyone especially up here in the north and there are no other options. Uber is a option that is not a need! Do buses complain about taxi's cuz they make more money? Do taxi drivers complain about buses cuz they are cheaper? NO!!!!! Its just different options for people to get from point A to point B! There is NO harm here other than competition which is good for the economy!
  4. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    What we need is not a right to drive since it is a privledge but a right to transportation.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I'm gonna miss the Ok Google feature in Chrome terribly considering the next time I use it will be the 1st time. They can get rid of it on mobile devices as well as far as I'm concerned but there's a lot of people who use it, I'm just not one of them.
    Matthew likes this.

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