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Google Home Now Recognizes Specific Users' Voices, Gains Support For Multiple Accounts

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 3:20pm
Google has issued a long-awaited feature for Google Home: support for multiple users. In an update rolling out today, up to six people will be able to connect their Google account to a Google Home, and the unit will try to distinguish each person's voice from the other users connected to the device. Therefore, each person will be able to get access to their schedule, playlists, and more. PhoneDog reports: Support for multiple users is rolling out in the U.S. now and will be available in the U.K. in the coming months. To know if the feature is available to you, launch the Google Home app and look for a card that says "Multi-user is available." You can also click the icon in the upper right corner, find your Google Home, and select "Link your account." From there, you'll train the Google Assistant to recognize your voice so that it knows it's you when you're talking and not the other people with connected accounts. You'll say "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" twice each.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Unity devs can now sell actual hats (and other merch) in-game via new Shopify SDK

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 3:11pm

Digital commerce platform Shopify is betting that game devs want more ways to sell real, physical goods from inside their games as the company rolls out a Unity plugin for doing just that: Unity Buy. ...

Categories: Gaming News

How do you end a game well?

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 2:47pm

What makes for a great game ending? We dug into the question a bit today on the Gamasutra Twitch channel as we wrapped up our abbreviated look back at Deus Ex. ...

Categories: Gaming News

FCC Takes First Step Toward Allowing More Broadcast TV Mergers

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 2:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a divided vote today, the Federal Communications Commission took steps that could lead to more consolidation among TV broadcasters, reducing the number of sources of local news. Today's changes revolve around the media ownership cap -- a limit on how many households a TV or radio broadcaster is allowed to reach. The rules are meant to promote diversity of media ownership, giving consumers access to different content and viewpoints. The cap currently prevents a company from reaching no more than 39 percent of U.S. households with broadcast TV. Large broadcasters hate the cap because it prevents them from getting even bigger. And since Trump took office and Ajit Pai was named chairman of the FCC, they've been lobbying to have it revised. The FCC's vote today starts to do that. First, it reinstates a rule known as the "UHF discount," which lets broadcasters have a bigger reach in areas where they use a certain type of technology. And second, it starts plans to revisit and raise the media ownership cap.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Nintendo Switch drives March games sales to $1.36B in US - NPD

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 2:30pm
The hardware category nearly doubled year-over-year thanks to Nintendo's record-breaking Switch launch
Categories: Gaming News

Airbnb Fires Back, Accuses Hotel Industry Of Punishing the Middle-Class

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 2:00pm
According to a legal documents, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (lobbying group for hotels in the U.S.) kicked off a plan last year to fight back Airbnb and other home-sharing services with a $5.6 million annual budget. Airbnb has responded to the revelation. From a report: The company's head of policy, Christopher Lehane, accused hoteliers of price-gouging customers and called their fight against Airbnb a "campaign to punish the middle-class" in a letter. It's only the latest salvo in a long fight between Airbnb and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), which believes the startup is cutting into its business. [...] In a letter to the AHLA, Airbnb accused the group of trying to hurt middle-class property owners. The Airbnb head of policy argued that "we ought to be able to agree that the middle-class family that shares their home while traveling is not a commercial operator running a business." In its minutes, the AHLA alleged that many of the listings on Airbnb are operated by commercial entities. Lehane also accused the AHLA of being inconsistent on homesharing. He said the group's board meeting showed support for "the rights of property owners to occasionally rent out a room or their home."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

CC'ing the Boss on Email Makes Employees Feel Less Trusted, Study Finds

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 1:20pm
Do you ever loop your boss when having a conversation with a colleague when his or her presence in the thread wasn't really necessary? Turns out, many people do this, and your colleague doesn't find it helpful at all. From an article: My collaborators and I conducted a series of six studies (a combination of experiments and surveys) to see how cc'ing influences organizational trust. While our findings are preliminary and our academic paper is still under review, a first important finding was that the more often you include a supervisor on emails to coworkers, the less trusted those coworkers feel (alternative link). In our experimental studies, in which 594 working adults participated, people read a scenario where they had to imagine that their coworker always, sometimes, or almost never copied the supervisor when emailing them. Participants were then required to respond to items assessing how trusted they would feel by their colleague. ("In this work situation, I would feel that my colleague would trust my 'competence,' 'integrity,' and 'benevolence.'") It was consistently shown that the condition in which the supervisor was "always" included by cc made the recipient of the email feel trusted significantly less than recipients who were randomly allocated to the "sometimes" or "almost never" condition. Organizational surveys of 345 employees replicated this effect by demonstrating that the more often employees perceived that a coworker copied their supervisor, the less they felt trusted by that coworker. To make matters worse, my findings indicated that when the supervisor was copied in often, employees felt less trusted, and this feeling automatically led them to infer that the organizational culture must be low in trust overall, fostering a culture of fear and low psychological safety.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Video: A postmortem look at the making of Spelunky HD

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:59pm

At GDC 2011, Derek Yu and programmer Andy Hull talk about the process of revamping Spelunky for consoles, in the process shedding some light on how the procedurally-generated game is built. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Get a job: Schell Games is hiring a Game Producer

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:53pm

Schell Games is looking for an experienced producer who is passionate about game production and leadership to join its development team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...

Categories: Gaming News

How can a bad localization detract from an otherwise great game?

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:47pm

'This isn't how people speak, it's how people write dialogue.' Freelance translator Molly Lee explains how sloppy localization can do more than just mess up a few lines of in-game dialogue. ...

Categories: Gaming News

China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:40pm
Earlier today, China launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. Chinese state media Xinhua described the event as a "crucial step for China's plan to have an operational space station by 2020." From a report: The Tianzhou-1 took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China's southern Hainan province, on track to dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-2. The launch was the latest in a series of major announcements by the Chinese space program, which celebrated its longest-ever space mission in November.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Mobile games booming as global games market hits $108.9B in 2017 - Newzoo

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:04pm
Research firm estimates that smartphone and tablet game revenues will account for 42% of worldwide sales this year
Categories: Gaming News

File System Improvements To the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:00pm
An anonymous reader shares a new article published on MSDN: In the latest Windows Insider build, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) now allows you to manually mount Windows drives using the DrvFs file system. Previously, WSL would automatically mount all fixed NTFS drives when you launch Bash, but there was no support for mounting additional storage like removable drives or network locations. Now, not only can you manually mount any drives on your system, we've also added support for other file systems such as FAT, as well as mounting network locations. This enables you to access any drive, including removable USB sticks or CDs, and any network location you can reach in Windows all from within WSL.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:20am
It's no secret that Amazon and Oracle don't see eye to eye. But things are far from improving, it appears. From a report: On Wednesday, two months after Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon's cloud infrastructure "old" and claimed his company was gaining share, Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts. "People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they've had the last 10 to 15 years," Jassy said on Wednesday on stage at Amazon's AWS Summit in San Francisco. "When you look at cloud, it's nothing like being locked into Oracle." Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it's about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they're not working.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

DomiNations surpasses $100 million in revenue

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:14am

Nexon has revealed that the mobile strategy game DomiNations has earned over $100 million in revenue since it first released in 2015 and has been downloaded over 35 million times in that two-year span. ...

Categories: Gaming News

The incredible naked mole rat can survive with hardly any oxygen

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:00am
These animal superheroes get on fine in conditions that would kill us and can go into a kind of suspended animation if oxygen levels drop too low
Categories: Science & Tech News

Mastercard is Building Fingerprint Scanners Directly Into Its Cards

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:40am
Mastercard said on Thursday it's beginning trials of its "next-generation biometric card" in South Africa. In addition to the standard chip and pin, the new cards have a built-in fingerprint reader that the user can use to authenticate every purchase. From a report: Impressively, the new card is no thicker or larger than your current credit and debit cards.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

How pregnancy could affect an elite athlete like Serena Williams

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:11am
Williams was 8 weeks pregnant at the Australian Open. Some theories suggest early pregnancy boosts athletic performance, but there isn’t much evidence
Categories: Science & Tech News

Microsoft Says It Will Release Two Feature Updates Per Year For Windows 10, Office

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:00am
Microsoft is making a few changes to how it will service Windows, Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager. From a report: Announced today, Microsoft will be releasing two feature updates a year for Windows 10 in March in September and with each release, System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making both easier to deploy and keep up to date. This is a big change for Microsoft as Windows will now be on a more predictable pattern for major updates and by aligning it with Office 365 Pro Plus, this should make these two platforms easier to service from an IT Pro perspective. The big news here is also that Microsoft is announcing when Redstone 3 is targeted for release. The company is looking at a September release window but it is worth pointing out that they traditionally release the month after the code is completed.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Don't Miss: Designing for mystery in Kentucky Route Zero

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 9:57am

Take a look back at this talk from Cardboard Computer's Jake Elliot about how and why the studio's development approach evolved to focus on creating mystery, rather than puzzles. ...

Categories: Gaming News
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