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Google unveils Pixel 5, Chromecast and Nest Audio smart speaker

The Guardian

Google has announced four new additions to its own-brand hardware line including two new Pixel smartphones, a new Chromecast and Nest Audio smart speaker. The Pixel 5 is Google's new top phone, which slots in above the well received but heavily delayed Pixel 4a and the new Pixel 4a 5G, which also launches today. Announced during a live-streamed event, the new Pixel 5 replaces the Pixel 4 with a cheaper, simplified design, ditching its face recognition system for the older fingerprint scanner mounted in the back of the device. The new phone has a 6in 90Hz OLED screen with a selfie camera poking through a hole in the top left and a dual-camera setup with wide and ultra-wide lenses on the back, but no optical telephoto zoom camera. Differing from top-spec rivals, the Pixel 5 has Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G mid-range processor, rather than the Snapdragon 865 used in the latest Samsung and OnePlus phones.


Video streaming device leader Roku debuts new soundbar, player and Roku Channel app

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The newest Roku products include a streaming device promising improved video delivery throughout the home, a smaller soundbar that also streams, and an updated mobile app for viewing on the go. The nation's leading streaming platform, Roku said it had about 43 million monthly active accounts at the end of June 2020. Research firm eMarketer estimates Roku captures about 33% of U.S. internet users and 47% of connected TV users. Roku's lineup of devices includes the Roku Express ($29.99) and Roku Streaming Stick ($49.99). But its marquee standalone player – it also markets Roku TVs with built-in streaming capability – is the Roku Ultra ($99.99).


Amazon announces new video game streaming service, partnership with Ubisoft

Washington Post - Technology News

Engadget, which had an opportunity to demo Luna, wrote that the technology worked "just fine," playing across a Fire TV, Mac and iPhone over the span of 45 minutes. "I started on Fire TV and was able to boot up the beefiest game in the store, Control, in a matter of seconds. It stuttered a bit throughout the opening scenes, but not enough to interrupt the cinematic flow," wrote Jessica Conditt of Engadget. "More often than not, gameplay was smooth, and none of the network interruptions that did appear were significant enough to break my experience."


Google Assistant can control Disney on Google smart displays

Engadget

You can now use Google Assistant voice controls to navigate Disney content on smart displays like Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. To use the feature, you'll have to link your Disney subscription to your Google Home or Assistant app. Then, just say something like "Hey Google, play The Mandalorian," to stream content. From the start, Disney has been available on Google Assistant smart displays like Nest Hub. You can already use Assistant to play Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and HBO content, so it only makes sense that the same feature would be available for Disney .



WIRED25: Netflix's Reed Hastings on Broadening Your Horizons

WIRED

Thanks to Covid-19, the mantra for 2020 has got to be "quarantine and chill." Good thing Netflix is here to "entertain people all over the world," as the company's cofounder Reed Hastings explained at this year's WIRED25. Sating the global entertainment palate, though, requires an undying spirit of invention as well as narratives that span both the US and abroad. Netflix's secret, according to Hasting's new book No Rules Rules, is that it values its workers over its work process. It's this employee-centric attitude that allows a startup to maintain a culture of innovation as it grows from, say, a 30-person rent-by-mail DVD provider into the world's largest streaming service, with a film production arm that rivals Hollywood's Big Six.


Jeannie Mai can't wait to 'reconnect' with fans on 'Dancing with the Stars'

FOX News

The 41-year-old host and TV personality recently told Fox News, she's ready for a new challenge and the ABC reality competition series was the perfect fit. EXCLUSIVE: Jeannie Mai is ready to twirl across the ballroom floor on the upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars." The 41-year-old host and TV personality recently told Fox News she's ready for a new challenge and the ABC reality competition series was the perfect fit. "I'm being thrown across the dance floor, which was my request, by the way," she joked. "And I also want to twirl underneath legs!" Mai said joining the cast for Season 29 was like crossing something off her wish list but, more importantly: "I want to just reconnect with people," she said.


Everything we know about 'Fall Guys' Season 2 and the roadmap beyond

Washington Post - Technology News

Other levels include a spin on Hoopsy Daisy, a mini-game that involves jumping through hoops to win points quicker than other teams. In this new level, you move ramps and platforms to reach the hoops, and there will be moving draw bridges as well. In the third, it's an obstacle course with spiked logs that rotate, swinging axes and more. Mediatonic is keeping the remaining level under wraps for now, but it did recently announce Big Yeetus, a randomly-appearing swinging hammer that brings more chaos to rounds.


AI/ML in Broadband Networks: the Role of Standards

#artificialintelligence

Earlier this year a new initiative to create standards for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the cable telecommunications industry was launched. The working group, which draws members from both inside and outside of cable including giants like IBM, is exploring how AI and ML can be leveraged to make the network more efficient. Using machine learning to solve this challenge, an algorithm considers multiple variables including service load and cost to provide an actionable and prioritized report for the cable operator to act on. By applying ML to automate node splits, the network will run more efficiently, and customers will continue to receive their high-speed services without interruption as the network grows. The working group is also looking at creating standards to control video piracy by applying artificial intelligence on the network that detects signatures of bad actors.


An open letter to the most disappointing algorithms in my life

Mashable

Mashable's series Algorithms explores the mysterious lines of code that increasingly control our lives -- and our futures. In the digital age, personalized algorithms are our constant companions. We see them, or rather, they decide what we see, more than we see our families. Loathe them or don't know much about them, they're steering your brain -- from your morning "quick glance at Facebook" to your afternoon YouTube break to your evening Netflix to your "quick glance at Facebook" before bed. When algorithms work for us, they're invisible.