Google Pixel 2: Price, Specs, and Release Date

The first Google Pixel was a remarkable device. Nobody ever gets their first phone right, but Google did. Thanks to a spectacular camera, a pure take on Android, and the brand-new Google Assistant, the first true Google Phone immediately claimed a place at the top of the smartphone pile.

Now Google’s back with Pixel. Actually two: the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch screen, the XL is an inch larger. Otherwise, the two models match in virtually every way. They’re refined, improved versions of last year’s models, adding a few features and removing a few as well. (Bye bye, headphone jack.) The selling points remain the same, though: Google’s betting that the latest and greatest in Android, an even better Assistant, and the best phone camera Mountain View can muster are enough to take on the best of 2017’s smartphone bunch.

It Takes Some Guts

First the vital stats. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both run Qualcomm’s  [...]  read more

Pixel Buds: Specs, Price, Release Date

Google’s single-minded quest right now is to make Google Assistant absolutely unavoidable. From your phone to your living room to your TV to your laptop to your car, the company wants to make sure its virtual helper stays readily available no matter where you are. That, more than a desire for great sound quality or terrific connectivity, explains the new Pixel Buds headphones.

At Google’s second annual fall hardware gala today, the company announced its first-ever set of headphones. They’re wireless earbuds, connected by a rope-like cable that goes behind your head or around your neck. They’ll cost $159 when they go on sale in November.

Using a touch-sensitive control on the right bud, you can tap to play or pause your music, swipe forward and back to change volume, or long-press to talk to Google Assistant. Their battery lasts five hours, and the charging case holds four charges. And yet even with all those electronics, the Pixel Buds sit remarkably [...]  read more

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Cryo-Electron Microscopy

One of the many perks of being human (upright walking, big brains, we can win awards) is our ability to transcend the limits of our senses. Take vision, for instance. Just because something is too small to see with the naked eye doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We may be un-microscopic animals, but we can still peer into the microscopic world.

That’s thanks in large part to a technique called cryo-electron microscopy, which today earned three scientists—Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson—the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Their work has helped reveal the shape of biological molecules like proteins by combining beams of electrons with very, very cold temperatures, in the process revolutionizing the field of biochemistry.

Your traditional microscope is great and all, but an electron microscope blows it out of the water as far as resolution is concerned. It works by firing electrons at an object in a vacuum. Because the wavelength of electrons is [...]  read more

Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now

For the moment, it looks like the American people won’t be be able to see Russian-linked social-media ads that were used to influence the 2016 election.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said it is important that that the American public sees the ads submitted to the Senate intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. But Warner and committee Chair Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, say the panel will not release the ads—or any documents provided by witnesses or companies.

Burr said the companies are free to release the ads themselves. But Facebook, Twitter, and Google do not seem likely to offer that level of transparency. Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment from WIRED, but Business Insider reported [...]  read more

Here’s the Leaked Anti-Leak Training Email That Just Went Out to the Department of Energy

After the Trump administration’s announcement mandating government-wide training sessions on “the importance of protecting classified and controlled unclassified information” leaked just under a month ago, the courses themselves have started making their way around to various federal agencies. And according to an inter-department announcement leaked to WIRED, the Department of Energy (DOE) is now the latest agency to undergo the one-hour course.

Employees at both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services have already held the anti-leak classes. In the case of HHS, at least part of the video used in the training session was made publicly available on the department’s YouTube account.

These agency-specific courses exist entirely to comply with national security adviser H.R. McMaster’s September 8 memo, which was first reported  [...]  read more

Uber Self-Driving Case: Google’s Waymo May Not Need a Smoking Gun

On the face of it, Uber has had a terrible week in its legal brawl with Waymo, Google parent company Alphabet’s self-driving car effort. First it suffered the public reveal of a long-awaited report that appeared to confirm Uber knew its former superstar engineer, Anthony Levandowski, took intellectual property from Google, his former employer, before it hired him. Then, over Uber’s protest, the judge pushed the trial date back from this month to December, giving Waymo more time to prepare its case. (Uber wanted the gavel to drop ASAP.)

To quickly sum up the case: Waymo alleges that when former star engineer Levandowski left the company in January 2016, he made off with thousands of documents containing its proprietary information, then used that intellectual property to jumpstart his own company, Otto. Uber acquired Otto [...]  read more

That Flag-Burning Seattle Seahawks Photo Isn’t Fake News. It’s a Meme

Last Thursday, a member of the Facebook page “Vets for Trump” posted a photo of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. In it, Bennett—one of several professional football players who has remained seated during the national anthem at games—dances in a locker room, gleefully holding a tattered American flag. The caption read, “#Seattleseahawks – no more NFL.” The photo was fake, but that didn’t seem to matter; within a day, it had racked up more than 10,000 shares, likes, and comments from furious people all over the country. “Maybe he’ll burn his damn leg off,” one woman wrote, “for sure he’ll burn in hell.”

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There are plenty of signs the image is Photoshopped. For one, the pixelated flames look like Bennett actually is burning his [...]  read more

Google’s Gadget Vision: Same Stuff, Different Screens

First thing in the morning, the second your head pops off the pillow, you reach over and grab your Pixel off the nightstand. You check Twitter, thumb through email, poke at the New York Times app to make sure we’re not at nuclear war. You stand, stretch, and say, “Hey Google, good morning.” Your Google Home Max (because you wanted the best-sounding one, price be damned) reads out the weather and traffic conditions, lists off the day’s events, and starts playing your Discover Weekly playlist as you turn on the shower. While you’re toweling off, you remember your kid’s soccer game tonight. “Hey Google, remind me to get orange slices.” This time your Pixel perks up, taking the memo.

Eventually, you make it to the office, and plop down in front of your Pixelbook. “Keep playing Discover Weekly,” you type into your laptop, and the tunes pick up on your laptop where your phone left off in the car. You spend the next few [...]  read more

Amazon Prime Members Save $30 on a Kindle Right Now

There are plenty of reasons to love Amazon Prime, and the perks don’t just end with 2-day shipping. Right now, Amazon is giving its Prime people an opportunity to further embrace the ecosystem with $30 off all its new Kindle e-readers.

Whether you have your eyes set on the primo Kindle Oasis, or prefer the reasonably-priced Kindle Paperwhite (which, for our money, is the best of the bunch) you’ll get a discount. Now to shop for some ebooks with the $30 you just saved!

Click here to get $30 off a Kindle e-reader (Amazon Prime subscribers only)

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit from https://www.wired.com/story/amazon-prime-kindle-discount-right-now

Pixel 2, Google Home Mini, and Everything Else Google Announced at Its 2017 Event

Google has big dreams for the future. “In an AI first world, computers should adapt to help people live their lives,” said CEO Sundar Pichai at the company’s big hardware event today. No one wants to think about the technology that lets them move from screen to screen, or which phrases Google Assistant can or can’t understand. People just want it to work. That’s the big theme that extends across everything Google announced today, from the brains behind its new generation of Pixel phones to the newly miniaturized and maximized Google Home devices. With a smart combination of hardware, software, and artificial intelligence, it all just works. Missed all of the announcements? You can catch up with our live coverage of the event, or read all of the highlights right here.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Looking for 2017’s hottest smartphone? You’ve found it. The Pixel 2 and larger Pixel 2 XL offer the same high-end, bleeding-edge tech as the original Pixel phone. Google added a few features (like waterproofing) and removed a few (adios, headphone jack), but mostly, these are refined, improved versions of last year’s models. If you’re going to get this phone, though, it’s for the camera. This generation of Pixels is built for the AR and VR future, and the camera scores a 98 from DXO Mark, the leading independent camera rating group. That’s the highest rating for a smartphone camera ever. All those features will cost you, though: The Pixel 2 starts at $649; the XL, at $849. Read our story here.

Credit: Google

Looking for 2017’s hottest smartphone? You’ve found it. The Pixel 2 and larger Pixel 2 XL offer the same high-end, bleeding-edge tech as the original Pixel phone. Google added a few features (like waterproofing) and removed a few (adios, headphone jack), but mostly, these are refined, improved versions of last year’s models. If you’re going to get this phone, though, it’s for the camera. This generation of Pixels is built for the AR and VR future, and the camera scores a 98 from DXO Mark, the leading independent camera rating group. That’s the highest rating for a smartphone camera ever. All those features will cost you, though: The Pixel 2 starts at $649; the XL, at $849. Read our story here.

Google Home Mini

The new Google Home Mini looks just like the Google Home, but teeny tiny. The donut-sized device can do everything the original Google Home can do—set timers and reminders, check the weather, convert tablespoons to cups—but takes up no more space than a candle. The smart speaker, which you can pre-order today, comes in three colors: coral, chalk, and charcoal. Oh, and it’s just $49. Read our story here.

Credit: Google

The new Google Home Mini looks just like the Google Home, but teeny tiny. The donut-sized device can do everything the original Google Home can do—set timers and reminders, check the weather, convert tablespoons to cups—but takes up no more space than a candle. The smart speaker, which you can pre-order today, comes in three colors: coral, chalk, and charcoal. Oh, and it’s just $49. Read our story here.

Google Home Max

Google Home isn’t just getting tinier. The company also introduced the Google Home Max, a giant tabletop speaker that tunes automatically to your space. It pumps out sound with more than 20 times more power than Google Home (which is to say: it’s really, really loud). It also comes with Smart Sound, a system that uses Google’s AI to configure sound to your space. And of course, Assistant’s built in, ready to act as your own personal DJ. It’ll be available this December for $399, in chalk or charcoal.

Credit: Google

Google Home isn’t just getting tinier. The company also introduced the Google Home Max, a giant tabletop speaker that tunes automatically to your space. It pumps out sound with more than 20 times more power than Google Home (which is to say: it’s really, really loud). It also comes with Smart Sound, a system that uses Google’s AI to configure sound to your space. And of course, Assistant’s built in, ready to act as your own personal DJ. It’ll be available this December for $399, in chalk or charcoal.

Pixelbook

The Pixelbook goes both ways: Open it up and use it as a laptop; then flip it over and prop it up like a tablet. The 12.3-inch screen rotates a full 360 degrees, and the whole thing weighs just two pounds. In a welcome update, the device supports Google Play, so you can open the same apps on your Pixelbook—even Snapchat—as you can on your smartphone. It’s also the first laptop with Google Assistant baked in. You can summon the Assistant by using its wake word, or press the dedicated Assistant button on the keyboard’s bottom row when you don’t feel like talking to your computer. Read our story here.

Credit: Google

The Pixelbook goes both ways: Open it up and use it as a laptop; then flip it over and prop it up like a tablet. The 12.3-inch screen rotates a full 360 degrees, and the whole thing weighs just two pounds. In a welcome update, the device supports Google Play, so you can open the same apps on your Pixelbook—even Snapchat—as you can on your smartphone. It’s also the first laptop with Google Assistant baked in. You can summon the Assistant by using its wake word, or press the dedicated Assistant button on the keyboard’s bottom row when you don’t feel like talking to your computer. Read our story here.

Pixel Buds

Google wants its Assistant to be everywhere—including in your head. That’s the idea behind Google’s new wireless earbuds, which give you a direct line to Google Assistant. Think of the $159 buds as Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. You can tap the side to play or pause your music, swipe forward and back to change volume, or long-press to talk to Assistant. They also have Google Translate built-in, with the capability to translate languages in real time—so you can pretend you understand French without knowing a single word, thanks to the helpful AI inside your ears. Read our story here.

Credit: Google

Google wants its Assistant to be everywhere—including in your head. That’s the idea behind Google’s new wireless earbuds, which give you a direct line to Google Assistant. Think of the $159 buds as Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. You can tap the side to play or pause your music, swipe forward and back to change volume, or long-press to talk to Assistant. They also have Google Translate built-in, with the capability to translate languages in real time—so you can pretend you understand French without knowing a single word, thanks to the helpful AI inside your ears. Read our story here.

Google Clips

Sure, your new Pixel 2 will shoot stunning photos, but the camera’s only as good as the shots you manage to take. For all the rest, Google introduced a different kind of camera called Google Clips. The palm-sized device takes photos for you, using AI to find the candid moments you might want to capture—like that shot of your dog balancing a treat on his nose, or your toddler taking her first steps. Capture those moments as stills, videos, or GIFs, then export them to your phone over Wi-Fi.

Credit: Google

Sure, your new Pixel 2 will shoot stunning photos, but the camera’s only as good as the shots you manage to take. For all the rest, Google introduced a different kind of camera called Google Clips. The palm-sized device takes photos for you, using AI to find the candid moments you might want to capture—like that shot of your dog balancing a treat on his nose, or your toddler taking her first steps. Capture those moments as stills, videos, or GIFs, then export them to your phone over Wi-Fi.

Daydream View

When Google introduced its Daydream View VR headset last year, it only worked with the Pixel and you could use it to launch only 25 apps. Now, with a second-generation headset, Google’s setting its sights a little wider. The new hardware comes with a wider field of view and a better overall viewing experience, and the face mask that feels more secure. (Also, you can now buy it in coral!) There’s new content coming to Daydream, too, including a new original YouTube series in VR, adding to the 250 VR titles Google already offers. You can pre-order it now, starting at $99.

Credit: Google

When Google introduced its Daydream View VR headset last year, it only worked with the Pixel and you could use it to launch only 25 apps. Now, with a second-generation headset, Google’s setting its sights a little wider. The new hardware comes with a wider field of view and a better overall viewing experience, and the face mask that feels more secure. (Also, you can now buy it in coral!) There’s new content coming to Daydream, too, including a new original YouTube series in VR, adding to the 250 VR titles Google already offers. You can pre-order it now, starting at $99.

Augmented Reality

Google’s been inching closer and closer to the augmented reality future—especially after announcing AR Core, its AR software development kit, earlier this year. Those high-end cameras on the new Pixel phones? Those were built specifically to handle augmented reality. Google showed off some of that future today with a collection of AR stickers that will be available on the Pixel, which let you bring characters from shows like Stranger Things to life right before your eyes. OK, so it’s not a mind-blowing use of augmented reality. But the Upside Down looks a lot freakier when it’s right there in your living room.

Credit: Google

Google’s been inching closer and closer to the augmented reality future—especially after announcing AR Core, its AR software development kit, earlier this year. Those high-end cameras on the new Pixel phones? Those were built specifically to handle augmented reality. Google showed off some of that future today with a collection of AR stickers that will be available on the Pixel, which let you bring characters from shows like Stranger Things to life right before your eyes. OK, so it’s not a mind-blowing use of augmented reality. But the Upside Down looks a lot freakier when it’s right there in your living room.

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social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit from https://www.wired.com/2017/10/everything-google-announced-2017-pixel-event