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Google Assistant's abilities dominate Siri and Alexa, research shows

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:39

Alexa and Siri aren't nearly as capable as Google Assistant, according to new research. 

Research firm Loup Ventures recently published its semi-annual report on smartphone-based digital assistants, and the results once again show that Google is significantly ahead of Amazon and Apple. 

To find out which assistant was best, analysts Gene Munster and Will Thompson asked each one the same 800 questions across five different categories and graded them on understanding and accuracy. 

According to their findings, Google Assistant understood every single query they asked and answered correctly 92.9 percent of the time. Siri understood 99.8 percent of questions and answered 83.1 percent correctly, while Alexa understood 99.9 percent and answered correctly 79.8 percent of the time. To put that in perspective, that means Alexa answered approximately 162 questions incorrectly while Google got just 57 wrong.  Read more...

More about Tech, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Tech

Stunning Hubble photo catches an aging star's giant ring of space gas

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:33

Just like people, stars get old. Also like people, aging stars release a lot of gas.

This newly captured image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows us NGC 2022, a planetary nebula in the Orion constellation. Yes, it's a star and not a planet; it's called that because of the rounded shaped produced by the star's expanding ring of gas.

As stars get older, they get larger and take on more of a reddish glow. As that process plays out, the star sheds its outer layers into the surrounding space. As its mass shrinks the star's core gets hotter, which in turn releases more ultraviolet light.

Those UV rays create a distinctive glow in the surrounding space as they interact with the gases that have been released. That's how we end up with this picturesque scene. Read more...

More about Nasa, Hubble Space Telescope, Science, and Space

Nintendo isn't officially upgrading recently bought Switch consoles

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:11

The slightly refreshed Nintendo Switch is now officially available, but reports that Nintendo is handing out free hardware upgrades aren't accurate. 

The newly released Switch is the same device that launched back in 2017, only this one sports an updated CPU that's more efficient, resulting in improved battery life. Both versions of the console are on shelves now, and a Friday report from Polygon had suggested that Nintendo was giving people who recently purchased the older version a free upgrade to the new one.

Nintendo says that's not the case — not officially, at least — in a statement provided to Mashable on Saturday. Read more...

More about Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Entertainment, and Gaming

French soccer match halted after crowd starts homophobic chant

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:54

A Ligue 2 soccer match between AS Nancy Lorraine and Le Mans FC was temporarily halted Friday night after some Nancy fans began a homophobic chant, NBC Sports reported.

Referee Mehdi Mokhtari stopped the match and players pleaded with fans to stop. The game was put on hold for about a minute and resumed after fans stopped their problematic singing.

This is the first time a professional soccer match has been stopped in France for this reason, and the decision to temporarily halt play fell in line with one of France's new rules against discrimination, FIFA employee Alex Stone said on Twitter.

Both Roxana Mărăcineanu, the French sport minister, and Marlène Schiappa, France's secretary of state for gender equality, commended the referee on Twitter for taking a stand against the offending fans. Read more...

More about Soccer, France, Lgbtq, Entertainment, and Identities

The next Apple Watch could come in two new finishes

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 17:38

We're still a few weeks away from Apple's next big product launch, but more clues about the new lineup of gadgets are starting to emerge — including the Apple Watch.

The forthcoming Apple Watch will be available in two new finishes, according to images uncovered in the latest watchOS beta, spotted by iHelpBR. The blog published photos from the watchOS startup screen, which indicate the next Apple Watch will be available in titanium and ceramic cases.

Apple has used a ceramic finish in the past, the last time being the Apple Watch Series 3, but this would be the first time the company has made it in titanium. Both options are likely to be higher-priced Apple Watch Edition models, which use more premium materials than the regular-priced, aluminum Apple Watch.  Read more...

More about Tech, Gadgets, Apple, Apple Watch, and Tech

Tesla is testing a low-priced 'Rent Solar' program for homes, but read the fine print

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 17:21

Tesla has struggled so far to make residential solar power a reality, and company executives are no doubt hoping that a new "Rent Solar" program will change that.

It's a pretty straightforward deal: for as little as $50 monthly, you get all the necessary panels and other hardware, plus installation, support, and ongoing maintenance. There's no up front cost for the installation and no long-term contract commitment.

There's one big catch, however: if you decide to end your commitment and want the solar panels and hardware removed, you're paying Tesla $1,500 to get that done. You're also going to pay the same amount if you start with an option that's too large for your needs and decide to downsize. Read more...

More about Tesla, Solar Power, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Dave Grohl and Rick Astley surprise London club with a live Rick-roll

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 16:58

A real-life Rick-roll is 100 times better than an internet Rick-roll.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and YouTube's most-beloved '80s singer Rick Astley performed a surprise set at the Moth Club in London Friday night, including Astley's infamous tune "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Pictures and videos circulated around the internet, and it looks like everyone had a great time. How could you not?

View this post on Instagram

Remember when #ClubNME had #FooFighters #DaveGrohl and #RickAstley play #MothClub? It was alright.

A post shared by Andrew Trendell (@andrewtrendell) on Aug 16, 2019 at 2:12pm PDT Read more...

More about Dave Grohl, Rick Astley, Entertainment, and Music

Android users duped into downloading adware apps 8 million times

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 14:50

Android users need to exercise some caution when downloading apps on the Google Play store.

Cyber security firm Trend Micro recently found 85 different apps for Android phones that are actually adware apps in disguise. These sneaky camera and game apps were downloaded more than 8 million times in total.

The apps, which have been removed from the Google Play store after Trend Micro shared its findings with Google, would push out screen-covering, unskippable ads over the phone's home screen, which is so obnoxious.

Not only that, if you realized the app was serving up these ads and didn't want it on your phone anymore, you'd have a hard time deleting it. After being downloaded, the apps would wait 30 minutes then create a shortcut of the app on the home screen and hide the real icon, so when you tried to delete it, it would just delete the shortcut and not the app itself. Devious. Read more...

More about Android, Google Play, Adware, Tech, and Smartphones

How to choose a wedding website provider without losing your mind

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 13:00

My mother texted me, appalled. 

“Did you know this magazine recommends that your wedding should have branding?”

Unfortunately, I did. I'm in the early stages of planning my own wedding, and have been to a fair amount of friends' nuptials. So at this point, on invitations and wedding signage galore, I’ve seen enough intertwined initials surrounded by curlicues or signals of the couple's interests (suns, bikes, mountains, everyone is outdoorsy???), to know that creating a ~visual identity~ for one’s wedding is par for the course — maybe even a requirement — these days. 

One of the ways that design takes center stage in contemporary weddings is through the wedding website. When people are on the cusp of matrimony, they create a site with all the relevant (and not so relevant) information about their upcoming event, and often, themselves as a couple. The color scheme, fonts, and general look and feel of the site often carries over to the paper invitations and actual wedding. Read more...

More about Weddings, Marriage, The Knot, Zola, and Tech

ClimaCell weather app features better accuracy and alerts—for a price

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:00

Bad weather is one thing technology won't let us escape, no matter how hard we try. The new ClimaCell app will at least help you be prepared. 

ClimaCell launched earlier this week on iOS with the promise of hyper-accurate forecasting, at least relative to the default weather app on your iPhone. In a Washington Post profile this week, the company behind ClimaCell explained how its "weather of things" approach helps it create better forecasts faster.

That's all well and good, but should you make ClimaCell your default weather app? After using it exclusively this week, I can definitively say "maybe." Just ask yourself if you're willing to pay for a weather app. Read more...

More about Ios, Weather, Apps And Software, Dark Sky, and Weather Forecast

Echo Dot, iPad Pro, Avengers: Endgame, Nintendo Switch, and more deals for Aug. 17

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:55

With Labor Day weekend coming up, why not host a party and assemble your buddies and family around. With many ways to keep them entertained, putting on a movie the easiestWalmart is currently offering Avengers: Endgame 4K edition for $24.96, saving you 37% off the listed price.

Don't have a 4K TV? Lucky for you Dell is offering the VIZIO 65-inch 4K HDR smart TV with $350 Dell gift card for $1249.99. When you factor in the gift card, you are getting this TV for $899.99, which is an excellent deal for a TV with 200 local dimming zones and up to 1100 nits brightness.

Check out more of today's best deals from Amazon, Walmart, Dell, Best Buy, B&H Photo-Video, Adorama, and Google Express for Saturday, Aug. 17 Read more...

More about Gaming, Headphones, Smart Home, Laptops, and Mashable Shopping IMAGE: AMAZON $29.99 $20.00 OFF (40%) $49.99 Prime Echo Dot 3rd Gen Smart Speaker with Alexa -- See Details
IMAGE: AMAZON $34.99 $5 OFF (13%) $39.99 Prime Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote -- See Details
IMAGE: DELL $449.99 $200 OFF (31%) $649.99 Dell Inspiron 3670 Intel Core i5-8400 12GB RAM 1TB HDD Desktop with code AFF200GMT -- See Details
IMAGE: CASPER $100 off Casper Mattresses Plus 2 Free Original Casper Pillows -- See Details
IMAGE: AMAZON $279.95 $70 OFF (20%) $349.95 Prime Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones -- See Details
IMAGE: AMAZON $849.99 $149.01 OFF (15%) $999 Prime Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch WiFi 64GB Tablet (Latest Model) -- See Details
IMAGE: WALMART $299.99 Nintendo Switch Console (New Gen, Improved Battery Life) -- See Details
IMAGE: AMAZON $149.84 $20.02 OFF (12%) $169.86 Prime TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with clip coupon -- See Details
IMAGE: DELL $1,250 $150 OFF (11%) $1,400 VIZIO 65-inch LED 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with $350 Dell Gift Card (P659-G1) -- See Details
IMAGE: WALMART $249 $150 OFF (38%) $399 ASUS VivoBook F510QA AMD Quad Core A12-9720P 15.6-inch Laptop with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Windows 10 -- See Details
IMAGE: ADORAMA $799 $600.95 OFF (43%) $1,400 Yamaha RX-V2085 4K 9.2-Channel Atmos Receiver -- See Details
IMAGE: DELL $756.79 $413.20 OFF (35%) $1,170 Dell G3 Intel Core i5-9300H 15.6-inch GTX 1660 Ti 512GB M.2 SSD 1080p Gaming Laptop Plus $150 Visa Card with code 50OFF699 -- See Details
IMAGE: WALMART $24.96 $15.03 OFF (38%) $39.99 Avengers: Endgame (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray) -- See Details
IMAGE: AMAZON $19.99 $40 OFF (67%) $59.99 Prime Assassin's Creed Odyssey - PlayStation 4 -- See Details
IMAGE: Amazon $7.99 $52 OFF (87%) $59.99 Prime Prey - PlayStation 4 -- See Details
IMAGE: BEST BUY $119.99 $70.00 OFF (37%) $189.99 Dell 27-inch 1920x1080 75Hz 6ms FreeSync IPS LED Monitor (SE2717HR) -- See Details
IMAGE: GOOGLE EXPRESS $157.90 $22.09 OFF (12%) $179.99 Apple AirPods 2nd Gen Plus Wireless Charging Case with code ZBEDWZ -- See Details
IMAGE: B&H PHOTO-VIDEO $89.99 $110.00 OFF (55%) $199.99 Lenovo 8-inch Smart Display -- See Details

Everything you need to remember from 'Mindhunter' Season 1

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:00
The following contains full spoilers for Mindhunter Season 1 and zero spoilers for Mindhunter Season 2.

After almost two years, Mindhunter is finally making its way back to Netflix this weekend.

Streamers obsessed over the FBI drama when it first premiered in fall 2017, but folks diving back into Season 2 on Friday reported forgetting where exactly this tense saga left off. If you're in that boat or altogether new to the true crime series, then we've got great news.

Out of the goodness of our hearts — and in no way because we also forgot nearly everything that happened in Season 1 — we've thrown together a quick Mindhunter refresher to jump start your weekend binge. Enjoy! Read more...

More about Netflix, Mindhunter, Entertainment, Streaming Services, and Movies Tv Shows

Keep your wires and cords super organized with this $20 hub

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 09:00

TL;DR: The Nomad 3-port charging hub is $19.99 in the Mashable Shop. It's typically $49.95, so you'll save 29.96

We wouldn't last a day without our multiple devices — think wireless headphones, smartphones, and tablets — on hand. The problem with needing so many essential tech products is that they all die, and when they all hit zero percent at once we have to pick and choose which ones deserve to be powered up first. It’s like picking your favorite child. 

While power strips can quickly remedy that situation, they look bulky around the home. Some might even say ugly. That’s where the Nomad 3-port charging hub comes in. This sleek device can power up to three devices as once. But what sets it apart is its discreet design, which hides and houses your cables. Ultimately, it will help prevent all those extra charging wires lying around from making your living space or bedroom feel messy or disorganized.  Read more...

More about Organization, Chargers, Mashable Shopping, Tech, and Work Life

Save $100 on these high fidelity, noise-canceling headphones

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 09:00

TL;DR: Snag the immersive Culture V1 headphones for $99.99 in the Mashable Shop. They're typically $200, so you'll save $100.

You’re in a complicated relationship with Bose and Beats headphones. While you love the idea of high fidelity sound, a cordless listening experience, an ergonomic design, and the ability to block out background noise effectively, you can’t quite commit to the price. 

Great active noise cancellation tends to come at a steep markup, so add all the other bells and whistles, and it’s hard to find a budget-friendly option that can give household name brands a run for their money. But that’s not to say they aren’t out there.  Read more...

More about Headphones, Wireless Headphones, Noise Canceling Headphones, Mashable Shopping, and Tech

If you're a procrastinator, you need this to-do list app

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 09:00

TL; DR: Get a lifetime subscription to the the multitasking Toodledo Plus Online Task Manager for $39.99. It's usually priced at $299.40, you'll be saving an impressive 86% off. 

Everyone procrastinates. Yes, even the most productive people amongst us have those days where, no matter what, they just can't focus. Sadly, there's no magical switch you can flip to turn on your productivity, but there are tools that can help you say "toodle-loo" to procrastination — like Toodledo Online Task Manager.

Aside from being fun to say, Toodledo is a powerful task manager that helps you get more stuff done. Practically everything about the app is customizable, meaning you can make it fit your needs, whatever they may be. It's more than just a to-do list; it provides a place for long notes, custom lists, structured outlines, and habit-tracking. Read more...

More about Productivity, Organization, Work Life, Mashable Shopping, and Tech

Flip flops made of grass, live hermit crabs, and more weird stuff on Amazon this week

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 06:00

As your friendly neighborhood shopping writers, we spend our days scouring the internet and of course, Amazon, to bring you the best deals on the gadgets and gizmos you need the most. But there’s something we need to get off our chests: beneath Amazon’s calm surface of MacBooks, KitchenAid mixers, and eco-friendly air conditioners there lurks a strange — yet wonderful — underbelly. 

One where you find one hyperrealistic steak pillow and before you know it, you’ve been sucked further into the head-scratching vortex until you’re decorating your apartment with a life size Celine Dion cardboard cutout. It happens.  Read more...

More about Amazon, Weird, Culture, Mashable Shopping, and Culture

Cybersecurity conference attendees possibly exposed to IRL virus

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 22:59

They, perhaps more than any other gathered group of industry professionals, know how to defend against viruses. Just, maybe, not this kind. 

Hackers and cybersecurity researchers who attended this year's annual Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas found themselves on the receiving end of the wrong kind of security notification. On Thursday, the Southern Nevada Health District issued a warning stating that individuals in Vegas over the course of the conference may have been exposed to measles. 

Yes, as in literal measles

"The Southern Nevada Health District is informing individuals and the public who were at different locations listed below that they might have been exposed to a person who was confirmed to have a case of measles," reads the statementRead more...

More about Measles, Black Hat, Tech, and Cybersecurity

VW’s adorable buggy is part of an electric master plan

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 22:09

The Volkswagen ID. Buggy is cute, doorless (and roofless!), and gives off strong beach vibes. But the dune buggy-inspired concept car is more than its looks. It's about the possibilities of an electric vehicle. See, it's not just SUVs and sedans that can get the electric treatment.

After making its debut earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the ID. Buggy was just at Monterey Car Week to show what it can do off the showroom floor. The car kept busy hitting the beach and sand dunes of the California coast this week, not just sitting pretty with fancy design ideas on display. This is a driveable car. Even if it isn't likely to ever be produced — at least for the masses — it shows "the versatility of the electric platform," as VW spokesperson Jochen Tekotte said at the beach before a test drive. Read more...

More about Electric Vehicles, Volkswagen, Concept Car, Tech, and Transportation

Instagram to Crack Down on Fake Stories Views via @MattGSouthern

Search Engine Journal - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 22:00

Instagram is reportedly working on a solution for the wave of inauthentic story views that has spread throughout the network.

The post Instagram to Crack Down on Fake Stories Views via @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

'Silicon Valley' heads to Washington in new trailer

Mashable - Social Media Marketing tips - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 20:36

It shouldn't be news to any of us now that some parts of the internet...are bad. Even a lot of the good parts are being used by bad people, or for bad purposes like datamining and invasions of privacy without user consent.

That's the kind of hard-hitting ethical quandary you probably wouldn't expect from Silicon Valley, but the teaser for the forthcoming season of HBO's tech startup satire promises to at least touch upon big names like Google and Amazon, even if it's just for a scathing joke (what is Amazon, anyway?). 

The final season of Silicon Valley begins Oct. 27 on HBO. Read more...

More about Tech, Entertainment, Television, Silicon Valley, and Entertainment

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