Sprint customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City will be among the first to test the company's 5G wireless network when it launches in May, executives said Monday. Expect an additional five markets -- Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. -- to come online by the first half of the year, said Sprint chief executive Michel Combes. The impending launch could make Sprint the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer a mass-market 5G service for smartphones in a global race to provide faster download speeds and support for new applications such as self-driving cars. Customers of Google Fi, the wireless service run by Google on Sprint's network, will be able to connect to Sprint's 5G capabilities, as well, Combes said -- though it is unclear when Google Fi customers will gain access to 5G smartphones that can take advantage of the new technology. Company officials declined to say how Sprint's 5G plans will be sold to consumers, or at what price.
From virtual reality to a new smart-home speaker, Google is showing off just how pervasive it has become even as it's squeezed by its biggest competitors -- Facebook, Apple and Amazon. Google showed off a VR system called Daydream, along with plans for headsets that will compete with Facebook's Oculus Rift. In a jab at Amazon, the company announced Google Home, an Internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to play music or control lights and thermostats in the home. It is reminiscent of Amazon's Echo and will be available later this year for a yet-unannounced price. In an attempt to outshine Apple, Google is also adding features to its Android operating system, including the ability to run apps without actually installing apps.
Google showed off a VR system called Daydream, along with plans for headsets that will compete with Facebook's Oculus Rift. In a jab at Amazon, the company announced Google Home, an Internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to play music or control lights and thermostats in the home. It is reminiscent of Amazon's Echo and will be available later this year for a yet-unannounced price. In an attempt to outshine Apple, Google is also adding features to its Android operating system, including the ability to run apps without actually installing apps. That's perhaps the one truly new thing Google announced Wednesday.
When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.
A specialized division of the business software powerhouse SAP (System Application Products) is building tools to harness machine learning and artificial intelligence for antiterrorist intelligence missions and cybersecurity--though details of how exactly the software has been used are shrouded in secrecy. SAP National Security Services, which describes itself as an independent subsidiary of the German-based software giant that's operated by U.S. citizens on American soil, works with homeland government agencies to find ways to track potential terrorists across social media. "One [use] is the identification of bad actors: People that may be threats to us--people and organizations," says Mark Testoni, president and CEO of SAP NS2, as the company is known. "Secondarily, once we've identified those kinds of players and actors, we can then track their behaviors and organizations." SAP NS2 is also working with cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect to use some of the same underlying technology to track intruders and menaces in computer networks in real time, the companies announced this week.