USATODAY - Tech Top Stories


The best Roomba on the market is down to its lowest price ever

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Right now you can get an $150 discount on the Roomba i7 . If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. If you say that vacuuming is your favorite chore, I respect your wrong opinion. It is in fact the most tedious and tiresome part of cleaning the house: prove me wrong.


'A burger, a coffee, whatever': Food delivery robots may soon roll up to Purdue's campus

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

These autonomous robots put the special in special delivery and you might see them on a college campus near you! WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-- How do delivery robots operate in winter? What if no one picks up the delivery? A board in West Lafayette, Indiana, has unanimously approved a pilot program bringing robotic delivery services to Purdue University, as well as a suspension of city code allowing small, cooler-sized robots to operate on city sidewalks. But first, the board members had several questions about the program from San Francisco-based Starship Technologies before it could debut in September.


The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. Cool, we're on the same page then. When it comes to shopping for stuff you maybe kind of need (but definitely want), Amazon is the best retailer for a reason: they literally have everything. But combing through all those countless pages, scrolling and searching for what feels like hours to find that stuff that's actually good and not just a hunk of junk from China?


This top-rated robot vacuum is at its lowest price ever—for now

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Keep your floors clean without lifting a finger. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. By this time every summer, my floors look like a hot mess. All those times when I should have been inside doing maintenance cleaning, I was too busy running around the beach and having a blast.


As MLB's 'robo-ump' experiment unfolds, Atlantic League feeling the benefit – and downside – of an automated strike zone

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

USA TODAY Sports' Gabe Lacques breaks down how MLB is trying computer generated strike zones in the Atlantic League. An automated strike zone that converts the home-plate umpire from arbiter to mere messenger is right far more often than it is wrong. A ban on mound visits and relief specialists undeniably speeds the game's pace. And rules changes aimed to encourage balls in play and runners in motion – Thou shalt not shift defensively, but you may "steal" first base – gives hitters options beyond launching balls over a vexing alignment of fielders. Yet as its experiment with a "robotic" strike zone and other nuances enters its second month, the formal partnership between MLB and the Atlantic League illustrates the upsides and consequences of optimization.


Facial recognition scanners are already at some US airports. Here's what to know

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Many airports hope to start using biometric scanners in lieu of passports to identify travelers. Buzz60's Tony Spitz has the details. The next time you go to the airport you might notice something different as part of the security process: A machine scanning your face to verify your identity. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working with airlines to implement biometric face scanners in domestic airports to better streamline security. But how does the process work?


Hey, Siri, how about some shortcuts to help save me some time. Siri says, 'Sure'

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Who wouldn't like to get more done in less time? That's the idea behind Siri Shortcuts, a popular Apple app for iPhone and iPad, and built into the upcoming iOS 13 operating system, out in beta release now with a full upgrade due this fall soon after new iPhones hit in September. As the name suggests, Siri Shortcuts link the voice-controlled personal assistant you already know with time-saving shortcuts for tasks you want to perform. By simply asking for it – or tapping the screen if you're not in a place to freely use your voice – your iPhone or iPad can quickly heed your request. In other words, Siri Shortcuts – previously known as Workflow – fuses small actions to yield big results.


what-is-alexa-and-what-does-she-do

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

You've seen the TV ads for Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices, and you know you can ask her to do, well, just about anything. What really is Alexa, though, and how can she make your life easier? Alexa is Amazon's own smart assistant and can be found on any Alexa-enabled device. This can be a smart speaker, like the Echo Dot, the Echo Plus, or the Echo; or a smart display device, such as the Echo Show or the Echo Spot. There are a handful of other Amazon devices that use Alexa, such as the Amazon Fire Stick.


what-is-apple-homekit-and-how-does-it-work

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

For iPhone users who don't want to venture far to control their smart homes, look no further than Apple HomeKit. Like Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, you can use HomeKit to control and command your favorite HomeKit-compatible smart devices. Apple HomeKit isn't compatible with quite as many devices as the aforementioned digital assistants, but unlike smart home systems such as Samsung SmartThings, it doesn't require a specific hub to configure. All you need to get started is to scope out the compatible hardware--door locks, smart bulbs, and so on--and once these gadgets are synced up, you can walk through the door and ask Siri to turn on the lights! The Apple Home app lets you control connected devices.


Hundreds of Google employees call for company to avoid work with ICE and CBP

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

After 9/11, the U.S. enforced stricter control on immigration. This enforcement led to the birth of Homeland Security and ICE, but what is ICE exactly? SAN FRANCISCO – Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. Bids for the contract were due Aug. 1.