Google has taken the wraps off Google Home, its push to bring the Google Assistant into the heart of the family, and push back at Amazon's Alexa in the process.The same is true for video, with the ability to request clips and movies to stream via a Chromecast plugged into a TV.Text messages can be sent by voice, restaurant bookings made or adjusted,However, there'll be support for various smart home products, including Nest and a variety of the "most popular" lights and more.In the future, Google says, it expects Google Home to support things like ordering a car, sending flowers, making purchases, and more by voice.As for the services Google Home offers, it sounds a lot like what we saw Viv demonstrate earlier this month.That, developed by the team responsible for the original Siri, does a similar sort of contextual linking of services.
Today Google revealed that it s developing a powerful chatbot that will be able to answer people s questions and carry out certain tasks.The Google Assistant will be able to respond to voice queries, not just text input, making it more accessible than the M virtual assistant in Facebook s Messenger app.That s great, and I m excited about using it across many devices, including the Google Home speaker that was announced today.But the overall Google Assistant strategy is missing something.See, in today s keynote, Google executives showed how the Google Assistant could do things while relying on many third-party tools, and not just Google s own existing capabilities: buying movie tickets, purchasing and delivering food, getting updates on travel plans, displaying restaurants to visit, making and changing dinner reservations, sending text messages, offering miniature games to play, and providing status updates on deliveries.But when you re using the Google Assistant, the interaction is nearly always with Google — when you tell it to buy movie tickets, for example, you re not talking to a Fandango bot.There are already Messenger bots for 1-800-Flowers and online retail Spring, and there are Skype bots for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Domino s Pizza.In Google s bot world, there is one lone bot, and that is Google — interactions with other services are brief.You could defend this model by saying that it will be simpler for users — you don t have to jump from bot to bot, and instead you use just one.Never mind that chatbots can be used for sales or marketing or customer support — many companies already have plenty other things to implement and maintain, and the fact that their services won t be prominently displayed could be a turnoff.
The Master Builders at LEGO have been hard at work producing one of their most incredible designs to date - the Houses of Parliament.LEGO The LEGO build consists of 4163 intricate pieces.The completed LEGO set stands over 60cm high and is an incredible tribute to the engineering and architecture of the real Elizabeth Tower and the Houses of Parliament.LEGO The set included rare elements such as ski poles, flowers and corner plates.The LEGO build features a detailed façade with statues, shields and windows and a clock tower with four adjustable clock dials.The tower even houses the iconic bell, Big Ben itself and will be available in July.
And it seemed fitting, Nimoy tells BGR, to include along with a host of remembrances, show clips and more an interview in his film with a Star Trek-loving character on one of the most popular TV shows today.DON T MISS: Bionic eye restores man s vision after being blind for 40 yearsSome of what Nimoy is shown filming during that Big Bang episode will be seen in his documentary, which he says will be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of series in September.Thanks to contributions from Trekkies with an abiding appreciation of the series, the Spock doc is being made with the help of more than $662,000 from upwards of 9,400 backers.For the director, it s surreal on a number of fronts.He mentions, as an example, a scene showing the relationship between Spock and the character Leila Kalomi in the episode titled This Side of Paradise.In it, strange flowers weaken Spock s inhibitions and he falls in love with Leila, played by actress Jill Ireland.
For three years now Google has been working on its Project Tango augmented-reality AR technology for mobile devices.And today at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, there were more demos that made the system look even more promising.There was an improved measurement app that recognizes edges and can then be used to measure the dimensions of windows, tables, and other objects.The app can retain the corresponding images but also present schematics, which can then be used for other purposes, like identifying the right size of tablecloth or curtain set to purchase.There was an app that let you put a dinosaur in the middle of the room and then tap the plus button a fe times to make it look huge in the middle of the real-life environment in the background.There was an app in which you could select furniture and have models of it unboxed and placed right next to you, so you could see if it would be a good fit.There was an app that made little flowers sprout in the middle of the floor.Yes.People who prefer iOS may have to wait before something like this gets baked into the operating system — it was not very long ago that Apple bought AR startup Flyby Media.Today Johnny Lee, who works on Project Tango at Google and previously worked on Kinect at Microsoft, played a video that demonstrates the latest research projects.There is no guarantee that any of these experiences will ever become available for consumers to try out.
To be clear, I'm just talking about Google, not its parent company Alphabet, which is working on crazy projects ranging from internet-spewing drones to ways to cheat death.It's the same stuff we're seeing in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and the slew of other messaging apps out there clinging to the idea that people want to send texts to a virtual helper to buy flowers and book tickets.Its interface and overall concept is almost a direct copy of Samsung and Oculus' Gear VR.Here's Gear VR's main menu:And here's Daydream's:Everything Google showed us this week is an iteration on something one of its competitors has already done, but with the promise it can do it better.All of those appeared to be pretty cool when they were first unveiled... until people actually tried to use them.Two CNET writers got to talk to Google CEO Sundar Pichai ahead of I/O and asked why Google's new products appear to be following the competition, not leading it.His answer was the one we often hear from tech executives: From the outside, it may appear like Google is chasing its competitors' ideas, but it's all fueled by the belief that Google has a superior product.Copyright 2016.More from Tech Insider:The inventor of this solar-powered water filtration system wants to win the Nobel Peace PrizeThis is the 'Genius Grove' that will replace Genius Bars in Apple Stores AAPL Abandoned Dutch prisons are now being used to house refugeesWatch these giant, 42-foot doors open at the crazy new Apple StoreThis man captures aerial photos of the most exquisite vacation spots in the worldNOW WATCH: Google just launched a video calling app that does something FaceTime can'tLoading video...
When wind flows across a long object, like a daffodil stem, it sheds little eddies of wind along each side, with a small vortex of low pressure forming in the wake.Perhaps you ve heard it had to do with a phenomenon known as forced resonance: the wind matched the bridge s natural resonant frequency, gaining energy with every undulation until it broke apart.The vortex shedding is what caused the bridge to gallop, undulating up and down in response to high winds—hence its nickname, Galloping Gertie.For anyone interested in all the gory engineering details, Pasternack s lengthy examination is a must-read.This doesn t detract from the Korean scientists paper s main takeaway: that you can eliminate vortex shedding and significantly reduce drag by employing a twisty, helical shape when designing an object.And co-author Haecheon Choi said he and his colleagues already have a patent for a daffodil-inspired golf club.
The Role first go through all the pictures in the camera album messy. Then they are neatly sorted with different labels. The images are compared with others and labels for their content and where they were taken. The best pictures are at the top in an album, then you can find pictures of people, pictures of animals, pictures of flowers, pictures with very red, images from Partille or whatever you take pictures. The fancy sunrise image that many liked on Facebook were among the month's best pictures. The cutest dog got cute label.
View's spring, which means the flowers are blooming, we've got our light jackets on or no jackets , and most importantly: iPhone 7 rumors are leaking — pretty much every day.Apple's next flagship iPhone s aren't expected to be unveiled until September, but the Internet is already awash with lots and lots of purported specs and leaked photos of the devices.Hard to tell, but we've gathered together the most prominent ones and put on our detective hats to suss out the likely ones.Physically, the iPhone 7 is expected to look more or less like the iPhone 6S.The most interesting camera rumor is for the larger iPhone 7; it's believed it'll come with two rear cameras.As for colors, it's a safe bet the iPhone 7 will come in silver, gold, space gray and rose gold.
The snow is gone, the flowers have bloomed, and your lawn is probably looking pretty open and bare right about now.What better way to fill the void than with a tasteful monochromatic R2-D2 lawn ornament?ThinkGeek has a new one in its catalog, joining the seemingly endless array of other R2-D2 and Star Wars products.Of course, you could place it inside if you wanted — despite how it looks, the lawn ornament only weighs 6.5lbs.This is one of a few Star Wars products the company has introduced recently — there s a new BB-8 blueprint scarf, for example, and a Stormtrooper Infinity scarf.Also new are a pair of black ceramic travel mugs with the Star Wars logo on one side and the Galactic Empire logo on the other side.
Let s take a look at some popular bots and see how they hold up against these heuristics.Up to this point, I forgot I was conversing with a bot; now my innocence is lost.Anyways, let s keep going and say Yea.I get the weather along with the next CTA; I don t want to set any notifications for now, but thanks for asking, Poncho.This is just a fantastic job of providing inline documentation, and Poncho even prompted me to ask for this help.However, this already feels less like a conversation and more like a command line.While the CNN bot is definitely not something I d want to have a beer with, that works in its favor when it comes to guiding my actions; I m more inclined to treat it like a command line and less like a pal.Other than having it give me stories, it s unclear what I can do with this bot.It seems to rely too much on accepting interactions via structured message, and Ask cnn doesn t really do much.This bot gets the job done, but it s a tad underwhelming.These go a long way toward grounding the user in the experience.Crafting a compelling, delightful bot experience is going to be a key differentiator between the bots that see adoption and those that don t. Nielsen s heuristics continue to provide a great benchmark to point us in the right direction.A version of this post appeared on Scott is a desingineer, half human/half bot.
This standalone app promises to deliver recommendations on places you can go to eat or drink by text before you think to ask for it.The service is available for those on iOS and based in New York City and San Francisco, although when we tried to download it just now, the App Store said it wasn t accessible in our market.Although it s a bot, Foursquare said that Marsbot isn t a chatbot like what you d see with Poncho, 1-800 Flowers, and others that you access within Facebook Messenger.It s less conversational and more predictive.The company said that it uses your location and travel patterns to provide suggestions on where you can go next.When you first begin, you ll be able to establish your preferences, such as whether you re a vegetarian or if you have any special things that Marsbot should know about, such as top tastes, frequently visited places, and more.Right now Marsbot only focuses on places to eat and drink, but it s likely that its location intelligence could expand to other areas such as shopping, places to see, and accommodations.This isn t a service to help you get your laundry done or summon an Uber.It s to help make decisions about finding sustenance so you ll perhaps explore new places or find the perfect spot for noms.Foursquare product manager Marissa Chacko cautioned that it s a work in progress, and not everyone will have immediate access.
Cameras with a one-inch type sensor are popular right now, with Sony, Nikon, Panasonic including them in their compact cameras along with Canon, whose G7 X Mk II is its latest camera to feature one.Battery life is also improved, up to 265 shots per charge, a 25% increase on the G7 X.While it's not as sleek as the G9 X, there are compensations: the G7 X II's tilting screen and longer focal length range.At its widest setting of 24mm equivalent , the G7 X II gives you plenty of flexibility for landscape shots The G7 X II is capable of some beautiful shallow depth of field effects, but it's struggled with the fine detail of the flowers in this shot The G7 X II's auto white balance setting copes well with artificial lighting to produce accurate coloursIn general the G7 X II produces accurate exposures, coping well with a range of conditions; I found I barely needed to touch the exposure compensation dial at all.These four shots illustrate the zoom range of the G7 X II, showing the 24mm-equivalent wide-angle setting, the 100m-equivalent telephoto setting and the two digital zoom optionsWhile the 'creative shot' mode has gone, you can still find a few filter effects under Scene mode.If you have the original G7 X you may not be tempted a great deal by this upgrade; but if you're looking for a solid back-up camera, or replacing an older compact, the G7 X II is an even more attractive proposition than its predecessor.
At the other end of the scale, Commonplace has been used by another Local Authority to consult with thousands of people on how best to improve quality of life by investing in cycling and walking.Mike, our CEO and founder, was designing applications for children to explore plants and flowers around where they live.With 50 customers, 61,000 users, and over 1M beneficiaries, Commonplace is having a major impact in the United Kingdom, and has recently launched in the US, in the city of Boulder Colorado.Our vision is of creating better places through collective open insight.All Commonplace consultations take place in open websites - anyone can see what others are saying though comments are always anonymised .People near and far can participate when they want using a web app to register their views; but equally, Commonplace supports more intimate discussions - face-to-face interviews; public meetings and even paper forms.
Flight search engine giant Skyscanner is the latest company to embrace automated customer support with the launch of a new Facebook Messenger bot that lets users search for flights through conversational question and answers.Available globally in English only for now, users can enter destinations and receive live flight prices, though Skyscanner also recommends destinations if the user isn t quite sure where they wish to go.For example, they can type anywhere and Skyscanner serves up some suggestions.These suggestions are based on real-time search trends and the current cheapest pricing, and mimics the existing everywhere feature in Skyscanner s mobile and Web apps.The bot then displays scheduled flights and prices, and provides a link to Skyscanner s website to complete the booking.Founded out of Scotland in 2003, Skyscanner is Europe s most popular travel search engine by traffic, and the world s second largest after Kayak.Though Skyscanner is better known for flight-search, it has long branched out into other verticals, including hotel search and car hire.Following its gargantuan $192 million funding round back in January, the company reportedly gained the much-hyped unicorn status — a private company with a $1 billion valuation, elevating it one of Britain s biggest consumer tech companies.Skyscanner isn t the first travel company to embrace Messenger as a platform — earlier this year Facebook and KLM airlines announced a partnership enabling KLM customers to receive flight confirmations, boarding cards, reminders, flight status updates, and customer service directly through the Facebook Messenger app.Moreover, Skyscanner is one of many tech companies to embrace the bot revolution, with the likes of Poncho, 1-800-Flowers, CNN, and Foursquare launching bots in recent months.It s almost like if you don t have a bot, then you re lagging behind a hot emerging trend.The messaging economy and conversational search are areas which we believe are incredibly important evolutionary features for the travel industry, said Skyscanner director Filip Filipov.
Good news for game developers around the world — the .game domain extension has officially launched for anyone to register.The Internet has seen a flurry of new top-level domains TLD beyond the likes of .com, .net, or .org, a movement that was spurred when ICANN first revealed plans to extend things back in 2011.This has meant that companies can buy their very own unique closed TLD, such as what a certain Internet giant did with .Google, but it has also led to a bunch of industry-specific domains, such as .florist and .game.Five registrars had applied to operate the new .game domain extension, including the likes of Google and Amazon, but Cayman Islands-based Uniregistry won out last year, with the company s general counsel Bret Fausett announcing it in a tweet.Uniregistry also owns other notable domain extensions including .audio, .auto, .car, .christmas, .flowers, .help, .hiphop, and .photo.Before the new .game extension was opened to the public, there were several earlier pre-registration phases allowing brands and trademark-holders to get a head start, and according to Uniregistry, virtually all of the high-profile gaming brands had snapped up relevant names.We are especially pleased to see the early adoption of the name by the world s leading gaming companies, said Frank Schilling, the managing director of Uniregistry, in a press release.And although a quick search confirms that many of the popular gaming brands are no longer available, many can still be bought — for example is yours for a mere $1,430 per year.At any rate, the new public offering should serve as a boon for software companies and app developers who have found memorable .com domains harder to come by..Game domain names are where the art of marketing intersects with computer science and the technology of the web.
A new emoticon, to honor the day. When Mother's Day was celebrated in the US a while ago, users had where an extra emoticon to choose from. Now, on May 29, when Mother's Day is celebrated in Sweden, has the flower come here too. If you select it, it becomes not only one but a shower of animated flowers, much like the hearts flowing across the screen when you like something in the Periscope. If you click it when you write your message will be flowers in the corners of the message. Do you want to give Mom something more than a digital symbol?
The Lorenz teleprinter that was purchased by the National Museum of Computing and confirmed as one of the machines used to send coded messages between Adolf Hitler and his generals.Less than 80 years later, for a thrifty saleswoman in Essex, the telegram machine was little more than a dusty antique languishing in the garden shed that could fetch just £9.50 on eBay.After finding the component on the online auction site, and receiving a long-term loan of the Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine from the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum in Oslo, the museum is now looking for the final parts to restore the encoder back to working order.I think it was described as a telegram machine, but we recognised it as a Lorenz teleprinter, Whetter said.Together with the Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine from Norway, the teleprinter almost completes the museum s set of encryption, interception and decryption equipment, which will allow them to tell from beginning to end the tale of how the allies broke Germany s secret codes.Solving the problem also led to the creation of Colossus, the world s first programmable computer, which Tommy Flowers, a Post Office engineer, invented to work out the wheel positions on the Lorenz encryption machine and speed up the process of decrypting messages from weeks to hours.
Prices for single flower bouquets start at 98 RMB US$14.88 and 168RMB for mixed ones.Like fresh groceries, the speed of delivery and freshness of the flowers are the top priorities for the flower business.According to Wang Ke, the founder of FlowerPlus, the company will invest its latest round of funding into these two aspects.The Shanghai-based startup currently cooperates with over 500 flower farms, most of them in China s Yunnan Province, and provides services in major cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.The floral business is a new opportunity for startups targeting China s rising middle class.Compared to western countries, there are fewer brick-and-mortar flower stores in China.In addition, in a country where people were struggling for basic necessities like food and clothing just a few years ago, buying flowers on a regular basis is not very common.However, China s rapid economic transformation has raised incomes, allowing people to spend more on consumer discretionary products and services.Since physical stores cannot meet the rising demand from customers, online flower delivery has become the preferred option.Chinese startups are tapping the market from different perspectives: RoseOnly is a high-tier online flower store targeting the gift market; EasyFlower is B2B platform that bridges flower farmers and stores; Floral & Life is an e-commence platform for flowers.
There's one thing that literally makes bees' hairs stand up and quiver, say boffins: small electric fields emitted by flowers looking to get it on.According to research from Bristol University, flowers encourage pollination by transmitting electric signals that cause bees' hair to rapidly vibrate."A lot of insects have similar body hairs, which leads to the possibility that many members the insect world may be equally sensitive to small electric fields."Scientists are particularly interested in understanding how floral signals are perceived, received and acted upon by bees as critical pollinators of crops, noted the research.Electroreception is common in aquatic mammals.For example, sharks are equipped with sensitive, jelly-filled receptors that detect fluctuations in electric fields in seawater which helps them to home in on their prey.