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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Nest’s security system can now be a Google Assistant

A bit over a year after its release, Nest’s security alarm system is picking up a new trick: it can now double as a Google Assistant device.

Nest announced the new functionality this afternoon, saying that it’s being “pushed out to all Nest Secure systems both new and old” today.

This update effectively turns the Nest Secure’s keypad hub into a Google Home Mini, allowing you to do things like say “Hey Google, turn off the lights” or “Hey Google, arm the alarm” on the way out the door. It’s worth noting, though, that you can’t turn the alarm off with your voice — they don’t want people shouting through your door to disable your alarm, after all. To turn the alarm off, you’ll still need to use either the Nest app, one of Nest’s key fobs or punch your PIN into the hub.

Wondering how the heck the Nest Secure hears you? The current spec page for the Nest Secure’s control hub (or “Nest Guard” as the hub is known), for example, makes no mention of a microphone. I can’t find any mention of it in the manual, either. And yet…

Turns out the Nest Guard has had a microphone all along, though it “has not been used up to this point.” That’s… a little strange, to say the least. It’s nice to be able to flip on new features when the time comes, but the spec page probably should’ve mentioned the microphone from the beginning (even just to say “There’s a microphone in there, but it’s not used for anything right now.”) There’s no shortage of internet-connected devices with microphones built-in, but said mics are usually made a bit more obvious.

We reached out to Google for confirmation of the microphone hardware and more details on when the feature will go live. A Google spokesperson responded:

The Google Assistant on Nest Guard is an opt-in feature, and as the feature becomes available to our users, they’ll receive an email with instructions on how to enable the feature and turn on the microphone in the Nest app. Nest Guard does have one on-device microphone that is not enabled by default.


Source: TechCrunch

How Facebook Has Changed Computing

To handle its massive amount of data, Facebook built new hardware and software tools, and shared them through open source.
Source: Wired

The EU's approach to tackling hate speech might actually be working – CNET

Social networks now remove 72 percent of content reported as illegal hate speech. That percentage was 28 percent in 2016.
Source: CNET

AutoComplete: BMW's doing the First Edition thing with the M850i video – Roadshow

Plus: Electrify America invests in some Tesla Powerwalls and Shell goes more electric.
Source: CNET

VW reportedly ditches plans for hybrid GTI, resumes old-fashioned hot hatchery – Roadshow

VW’s planned hybrid GTI was killed off by new boss Herbert Diess, Autocar reports.
Source: CNET

NASA Mars lander covered its seismometer like a gourmet meal – CNET

The InSight instrument will listen for marsquakes while snug as a bug in a rug.
Source: CNET

YouTube expands test of its Instagram-like Explore tab to more devices

YouTube is expanding the test of its “Explore” feature, a new discovery tool it first introduced as an experiment within its iPhone app last year. Similar to Instagram’s Explore page, the new YouTube feature aims to introduce users to a diverse set of personalized recommendations so they can more easily find something new to watch. The test is now available across devices, and has been updated to also suggest smaller, up-and-coming YouTube creators, the company says.

The changes to Explore were announced in a recent Creator Insiders video, where the company shares ideas it’s thinking about or testing ahead of a public debut — like a change to the “dislike” button, for example.

Last year, the company published a video to Creator Insiders where it talked about a plan to develop a new place within the YouTube app that would help people broaden their horizons when looking for something different to watch.

Today, YouTube’s recommendation technology relies heavily on past viewing activity and other in-app behavior to make its content suggestions, the company explained. With the Explore tab, however, YouTube aims to widen recommendations to include various topics, videos and channels you may not have otherwise encountered.

For instance, the Explore section might recommend videos about high-end cameras after you watched videos about telescopes. Or it might recommend videos about kittens or puppies because you watched other animal videos.

When YouTube launched Explore last year, the test was only rolled out to 1 percent of YouTube’s iPhone app users.

On testers’ devices, Explore replaces the Trending tab in the app’s navigation at the bottom of the screen. The section of Trending videos then became just another sub-category within Explore, alongside other top-level sections like Gaming, Movies, Music, Originals and more.

While Explore was initially available only to iPhone users, the test has now gone live across devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets and on the desktop, YouTube confirmed to TechCrunch. But it’s still only available to a “small amount” of testers, the company says.

In addition, Explore has been updated to include a new section called “On the Rise,” which will feature up-and-coming YouTube creators.

Here, a shelf is shown showcasing creators with fewer than 10,000 subscribers. These suggestions are personalized to you, too, based on which channels you currently like and regularly watch.

Beneath the “Under 10K” section are other creators YouTube thinks you’ll like, based on your YouTube watch history as well as those whose channels are watched by other fans of your favorite creators.

These recommendations may include those channels with more than 10,000 subscribers, but there will be a cap on how many subscribers a creator can have to be categorized within this “On the Rise” section. (That cap is still TBD, though.)

We understand that while YouTube has expanded the experiment’s reach, it doesn’t yet have a definitive plan for rolling out to the public the Explore tab.

For now, Explore is still considered an experiment and the company is looking to gather more feedback before making a formal decision about the feature’s wider availability.


Source: TechCrunch

Slack files confidential IPO plans with SEC – CNET

The chat platform has more than 10 million daily active users.
Source: CNET

Windows 10 error messages are finally about to become more useful

Solving Windows errors can be painful, but Microsoft has heard the complaints. The company is updating one of the most common Windows 10 upgrade error messages to be much more helpful.

The post Windows 10 error messages are finally about to become more useful appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

VW’s Electrify America will use Tesla battery packs to lower charging costs

Electrify America, the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal, plans to install Tesla Powerpack battery systems at more than 100 of its electric vehicle charging stations this year.

Electrify America aims to use the Tesla Powerpacks to offset the cost of charging for customers. Owners of electric vehicles face high costs if they charge their vehicles during peak demand hours. The Tesla Powerpack battery systems store energy drawn from the grid during off-peak hours. That stored energy can then be used during peak demand hours when charging costs are higher. Each site will consist of a 210 kW battery system with roughly 350 kWh of capacity, according to Electrify America.

“Our stations are offering some of the most technologically advanced charging that is available,” Electrify America CEO Giovanni Palazzo said in a statement. “With our chargers offering high power levels, it makes sense for us to use batteries at our most high demand stations for peak shaving to operate more efficiently. Tesla’s Powerpack system is a natural fit given their global expertise in both battery storage development and EV charging.”

Electrify America has committed to investing $2 billion over 10 years in clean energy infrastructure and education. The VW unit expects to have 484 electric vehicle charging stations with more than 2,000 charging dispensers installed or under construction by July 1.

The company will begin the next phase of installations this summer.

Electrify America’s bet on Tesla battery systems illustrates the deep need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure that is low cost, easy to access and as fast as possible. It’s not enough to simply dot highways and urban areas with public chargers.

The deal also represents a small, yet possibly fruitful area for Tesla as it tries to grow its energy storage business.

Electrify America says it has designed its sites and electrical systems to enable future upgrades. Fast charging is part of that vision. The Electrify America charging system features liquid cooled-cable 350 kW chargers.  These chargers — which currently no EV can actually use — can theoretically charge a vehicle at speeds up to 20 miles per minute – seven times faster than today’s most commonly used 50 kW fast chargers.

Porsche Taycan, the automaker’s first all-electric vehicle, is designed to have an 800-volt battery that can take a 350 kW charge. The Taycan is coming out late this year.

Electrify America’s charging locations will have an average of five charging dispensers, with some having as many as 10. The highway stations will have a minimum of two 350 kW chargers per site, with additional chargers delivering up to 150 kW.


Source: TechCrunch

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