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How to turn articles into audiobooks on iOS

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Setting aside time to read a good article or two isn't always easy: there's always something else to take care of first. As a result, many of us try to fit our reading into the margins of our lives: on our commutes, waiting in doctor's offices, or in the few minutes before our eyes get heavy enough to fall asleep. That might be enough for the infrequent reader, but it's tough for more ambitious folks to get through that stack of unread articles by slowly chipping away. Audiobooks are great for letting you tune into your favorite books while you're working on something else. Unfortunately, you can't typically get custom-narrated versions of articles for read-it-later apps with text-to-speech like Pocket or Instapaper listen to as you churn through your chores.


Microsoft-Activision deal: What will it mean? Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to Talking Tech. You likely heard me a couple days ago talking about Microsoft's huge deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which is the video game publisher that makes a ton of big titles, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft through Blizzard, and a host of others. The big concern for some video game players, particularly owners of a PlayStation, is whether they should be worried that one of the industry's biggest games and Call of Duty may no longer be on the platform.


Microsoft buying Activision: What it means for PlayStation owners, other Call of Duty fans

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you own a PlayStation, how worried should you be the company behind the rival Xbox could soon own one of the industry's biggest games? Microsoft's announcement Tuesday that it planned to buy Activision Blizzard – the video game publisher behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and other flagship franchises – stirred some concerns on social media over whether Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation platforms if the deal is cleared. The deal, which is expected to close no later than June 2023, would give the tech giant another trove of video game properties to bolster the Xbox as well as its Game Pass subscription service. The announced deal comes two months after reports surfaced Microsoft was evaluating its relationship with Activision Blizzard following allegations its CEO, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual misconduct claims at the company. And as gamers pondered, it could also deliver a significant setback to PlayStation maker Sony if the acquisition is approved. It's a far cry from 2015 when Andrew House, then the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, revealed a deal with Activision to deliver early access to Call of Duty content with the launch of hit title "Call of Duty: Black Ops III." "PlayStation is the new home of Call of Duty," House proclaimed during a press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2015.


Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion: Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to talking tech huge news in the world of video games. And for that matter technology, Microsoft announced it plans to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard in an all cash deal valued at an eye-popping 68.7 billion.


Microsoft to acquire 'Call of Duty' publisher Activision Blizzard in blockbuster video game deal

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Video game giants Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have a new home: Microsoft. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it will acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind Call of Duty, one of the top-selling video games in the U.S., along with several other titles including Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion. "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. "We're investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all."


After decades of planning, NASA's $10 billion space telescope has 'taken its final form'

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

All systems are go for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which deployed its full gold-plated, sunflower-shaped mirror display Saturday. Now, the $10 billion successor to the Hubble telescope has five months of alignment and calibration procedures before it is expected to start sending images back to Earth, the space agency said Saturday. "Two weeks after launch, @NASAWebb has hit its next biggest milestone: the mirrors have completed deployment and the next-generation telescope has taken its final form," NASA announced Saturday. The news marked the completion of a "remarkable feat," said Gregory Robinson, NASA's Webb program director, in a statement. "The successful completion of all of the Webb Space Telescope's deployments is historic," he said.


CES 2022: Rev up with new automotive tech from GM, BMW, Hyundai, Fisker

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Automotive tech has evolved into a significant story at the annual Consumer Electronics Show – and CES 2022 was no exception. Even with the smaller crowds due to pandemic fears and travel restrictions, the future of transport was revealed at this year's show, as well as virtually for those attending virtually, and you need not be a gear head to be blown away at what's coming down the road. Electrification, automation, and personalization proved to be the three biggest automotive tech trends you can expect going forward, including vehicles designed to make transport safer, faster, more comfortable, and less taxing on Mother Earth. In her keynote address, General Motors CEO Mary Barra took the wraps off the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, a next-gen full-size pick-up with battery-powered range of up to 400 miles on a full charge. Prices are expected to start at $39,900.


What is Wordle? How to play the game that's taking over your social media timeline

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

You might have seen those rows of colored blocks on your social media timeline in recent weeks, but what do they mean? They're from a simple but immensely popular word game that has captivated the internet and led many players to share their results with social media followers. As of Sunday, the game had brought in more than 300,000 players. The game is called Wordle, a word guessing game that tasks the player with correctly selecting a random five-letter word. You only get six tries to guess the word, but the game will give you hints along the way.


The coolest health and wellness gear from CES 2022: Hydrow, Bob the Mini Dishwasher

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Someone asked me today if CES 2022 has offered "a fix for Covid,"yet. After all, it is the epicenter of future tech – chock full of all kinds of innovation, inventions, and wild ideas – that just might become one of the top gadgets of its time. Past shows brought us the first home VCR, Tetris, Oculus Rift, and who could ever forget the toilet-paper delivery robot? Alas, there was no new magical device to cure COVID this year – or even help get rapid tests to areas overrun with omicron – which now includes Las Vegas, too. But there was a cute little plushy robot that nibbles on your fingers to "comfort you and brighten up your day," which once again reminds me you can't make this stuff up.


The weirdest stuff we saw at CES 2022: John Deere's self-driving tractor, robot masseuses

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

LAS VEGAS – CES 2022 lacked its usual crowds and some of its headline acts, but the gadget show that returned to this city after the pandemic forced it to go online-only last year retained a certain exuberant weirdness. You can count on the technology industry to supply more possibilities than the market will necessarily demand. And you can expect many of those to surface at the Arlington, Virginia-based Consumer Technology Association's annual gathering, even if they never make it to any store. The big-name vendors that scrapped plans to exhibit in person over fear of the aggressively-spreading omicron variant still had paid-up show-floor space. That led to such minimalist workarounds as LG's "Life's Good Lounge," an expanse of plywood adorned with QR codes for attendees to scan to get more information about products they could not see or touch.