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tech geek today

  • If you’re a PC, I have good news for you. After a false start four years ago, Microsoft is finally about to open its first UK brick-and-mortar store. The technology giant has confirmed plans to open a flagship store in London on Regent Street at Oxford Circus. “This is one of the world’s most exciting shopping destinations and represents another step in our journey to meet our customers,” the company said in a blog post. It will be Microsoft’s first retail store in Europe. Currently the home of a Benetton store, the building Microsoft is likely to occupy is a block away from Apple’s flagship London store. One of London’s top shopping districts, the area receives half a million daily visitors according to Transport for London. CNET I don’t see many people at the Microsoft stores the one down the street from Microsoft was busy but I have not seen any others that busy.
  • Apparently, the whole point is that these smart glasses will be tied to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, and they’ll use “a bone-conduction audio system” to let users hear Alexa without having to put in headphones or use a normal speaker. In other words, it’s like having an AI in your head reading you the day’s Jeopardy! questions or giving you the weather forecast, except the AI is actually just on your face. The Alexa on the glasses will most likely be voice-activated, though, meaning you’ll still look like a crazy person when you call out for Alexa to tell you about the weather. Thankfully you’ll be wearing glasses, so everyone will just assume you’re some quirky genius. Amazon hasn’t commented on any of this, so it’s possible that the glasses are just some internal experiment that will never come out, but at least this more interesting than another boring smart watch. AVClub Amazon needs to start making wearables if they want to compete against Google and Apple.
  • Google is making another big buy into smartphone hardware — or at least the people responsible for creating it. The company has just confirmed that it plans to acquire part of HTC’s mobile division team for $1.1 billion. “These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware boss, wrote in a blog post. “The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.” Peter Shen, HTC’s chief financial officer, said that HTC would still employ more than 2,000 research and design staffers after the deal is done, down from around 4,000, according to the New York Times. That makes today’s announcement more of an acquihire of talent than a traditional acquisition of resources. The Verge I think this is good move for them as Pixel is not selling very well for them they need to move into other things to stay competitive with Apple.
  • Google and Bose announced this morning that Google Assistant is coming to the iconic Bose QC35 noise-canceling headphones. “To help with those ‘in between’ moments, together with Bose, we’re announcing headphones that are optimized for the Google Assistant, starting with the QC35 II,” Google product manager Tomer Amarilio says. “So now, you can keep up to date on your messages, music and more, with headphones that you’ve paired with your eligible Android phone or iPhone.” Google Assistant is, of course, coming to many smart speakers in the coming months. But this is the first time it will be integrated with headphones. The second-generation Bose QC35 II noise-canceling headphones appear to look and work much like the original model, with the same controls on the right ear cup. But you can now use a new Action Button on the left ear cup to speak with Google Assistant over an integrated Bose microphone system. Thurrott By doing stuff like this I have feeling Google is going to start gaining ground on Amazon Alexa.
  • The new Apple Watch is mostly an iterative update over its predecessor, but for one major feature: LTE. The addition of cellular connectivity has been touted as everything from “nice” to “game changing,” but reviewers appear to have early issues in testing. I didn’t run into any in my own testing, but the Verge reported some big hiccups connecting to the cellular network on the device. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the problem with TechCrunch, stating, “We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release.” TechCrunch This is Apple first watch with cellphone capability they were bound to have some kind of glitch. We all remember the iPhone antenna issue.
  • During its iPhone 8 and iPhone X event – not on stage, but on its website – Apple has at last revealed the macOS High Sierra release date: September 25. Apple’s latest version of macOS will be available for everyone to download through the Mac App Store in just two weeks, like so many versions of the operating system (OS) before it. This, of course, is not the first time anyone has had access to the OS. High Sierra has been available to everyone that was interested through a public beta test that has seen several revisions since its reveal during WWDC 2017 and subsequent seeding. TechRadar I actually look forward to the desktop MacOS more then iOS release I am a computer guy at heart I can’t help it.
  • YouTube today is taking on Twitch with the launch of a new program that will allow gamers to make money from their channels through the use of sponsorships. Like Twitch’s subscriptions, which offer fans access to custom emotes, special badges and other perks, YouTube’s sponsorships also include a similar set of perks, like custom badges, custom emoji in chat, and access to sponsors-only live chats, among other things. Sponsorships were previously in beta testing on YouTube Gaming, but today they’re opening up broadly today to all creators. In addition, the feature will also now be tested in the main YouTube app, the company says. Fans who want to sponsor their favorite creator will pay $4.99 (USD) per month, but that cost may vary in other regions. After becoming a sponsor, the fan then has the option to purchase digital goods directly from the gamer’s channel, and will receive a custom badge and custom emoji. TechCrunch YouTube has to do something many popular YouTubers are leaving platform because they are not making money.
  • September 19, 2017

    Microsoft Outlook issue fixed

    Microsoft says that its Outlook email services have been fully restored, following problems which lasted several hours. Many Outlook users were unable to send email or access their accounts. Hundreds from around Europe commented on the website Downdetector that they had been affected by the problem – many since Monday morning. One common issue seemed to be that sent emails remained in the drafts folder and were not delivered to recipients. On its website, Microsoft said the service dropped “unexpectedly” and it was working on a fix. Not all account holders were affected. BBC Microsoft has had outages before I think if this was Gmail it would have made more news.
  • Not all journeys have a destination. Whether browsing the web or looking for answers, the latest update to the Google app on iOS helps you keep exploring. Starting today, while you’re reading a webpage on the Google app for iOS, you’ll see suggestions for related content when you pull up the bottom of the page—no need to type anything into the search box to learn more. Suppose you’ve just finished reading an introductory article about the Mars rover. When you start scrolling back up, you’ll see additional articles on this topic that may interest you, like upcoming Mars missions or an in-depth story about the rover exploring a gully that might’ve contained water. Alternatively, if you’re reading a recipe for roasting shishito peppers, you’ll be able to jump straight to other ways to prepare them, such as grilling them, with a single tap. Google Google really does put together a great app for iOS despite being a competitive platform.