#76 CES 2019 Day 1 Recap: Air Taxis, Anthem Trailer, Gaming Monitors

Today we will be looking at the Bell Nexus Air Taxi, the Anthem trailer, new gaming monitors and more on the recap of CES 2019 day one.

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CES 2019 Day 1 Recap: All the Best New Tech

CES 2019 is in full swing, and the Tom’s Guide crew has hit the ground running in order to bring you the latest and greatest advancements in consumer tech this year. From TV screens that double as speakers, to smartwatches that never run out of juice, to gaming laptops that transform into desktop replacements, there’s something to tantalize just about every techie’s palate.

Even KitchenAid is making a Google Smart Display—and it’s water resistant

It’s CES week, and we have a new Google-powered smart display to talk about. A big feature of these smart displays is a visual and audio walkthrough of cooking recipes, and with Google’s platform open to third parties, it only makes sense that traditional kitchen appliance manufacturers would want to get in on the action, right? Enter the KitchenAid Smart Display, which takes all the features and functionality of Google’s smart display platform (reference the Google Home Hub and Lenovo Smart Display) and wraps it up with an appliance name that will feel right at home next to your mixer or refrigerator.

At CES 2019, Apple finally sets iTunes, AirPlay loose

Apple’s never had an official presence at CES, opting instead to host its own flashy events to launch its newest products. While Apple often has executives roaming around the massive electronics trade show floor, it doesn’t have a booth or host a press conference in Las Vegas. And it almost never releases news related to CES products, even though various companies will show off new speakers, cases and other products that work with iPhones and other Apple devices.

Anthem CES 2019 Trailer Released; NVIDIA Announces Support for Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS)

Check out the latest exclusive 4K Anthem gameplay revealed at our CES 2019 keynote! It features never-before seen Javelin, enemies, and environments. The team is happy to announce that DLSS is coming to Anthem thanks to the hard work of Bioware and NVIDIA. Be ready for the PC launch on February 22nd, 2019! For a limited time you can receive a free copy of Anthem with the purchase of select GeForce RTX graphics cards, laptops and PCs as part of our new Game On bundle

Instant Pot and Google Assistant get together at CES 2019

The Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi pressure cooker now works with Google Assistant, the kitchen device maker announced Monday at CES here in Las Vegas. The Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi cooker already lets you monitor and control it from the Instant Pot mobile app. Adding Google Assistant voice command functionality allows you to control and check the status of the cooker totally hands-free.

Samsung’s New TV Tech Is Mind-Bending But Why?

On the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there’s an itching feeling in the air that this year isn’t a big year for Samsung. The company unveiled (literally) a smaller version of last year’s big TV, the Wall, featuring MicroLED technology at an event in a ballroom. More than one person wondered, what’s the difference? The answer, awkwardly, is everything and nothing.

Uber partner reveals air taxi design at CES

Bell, one of Uber’s flying taxi partners, revealed the design of its vertical takeoff and landing air taxi at CES, a five-person hybrid-electric powered vehicle with six tilting ducted fans. The company showed off the cabin of its air taxi at CES last year, and this year, it’s debuting a scale model of the vehicle now dubbed the Bell Nexus.

Best gaming monitors of CES 2019

CES 2019 has been a bumper year for PC gamers, with plenty of new product announcements. It can be tricky to keep track of everything yourself, so we’ve rounded up all of the biggest headlines into dedicated articles – including this one, which looks at the most exciting gaming monitors to have been revealed at this year’s show.


#73 Happy 2019

Happy 2019! We’re back with our daily coverage of tech, gadget and gaming news!

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PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two MUST Be Backward Compatible

With new Xbox and PlayStation consoles on the horizon, backward compatibility with older games seems like not just a hope, but a must-have feature. In earlier console generations, this backward compatibility was common, but by the time Sony released the PlayStation 4 there was simply no built-in support for PlayStation 3 games, and the Xbox One didn’t have backward compatibility at launch either.

Hackers Hijack Twitter Accounts Using A Simple Text Messaging Trick

Security researchers have discovered a new way to hijack a Twitter user’s stream, and they’ve done it using a seemingly old-school method. They did it by sending SMS messages. A team from Insinia Security managed to post tweets (with permission from the account holders, of course) without having to directly access users’ accounts. It was done without logging in and without having to intercept a two-factor authentication code.

This clever AI hid data from its creators to cheat at its appointed task

Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.” Clever girl!

9 things Google Assistant can do that you may not know about

So to make sure you’re making the most of your trusty voice-activated partner, we’ve gathered together nine handy but not necessarily obvious Google Assistant features that will help to make it genuinely useful in loads of situations you might not have expected.

Arpanet Designer Larry Roberts Dies at 81

Lawrence G. Roberts, the man whose work would eventually allow us to send each other cat GIFs and get into arguments in comments sections, has died of a heart attack in his California home. Roberts was a major force behind Arpanet, the direct precursor to the internet. He was 81.

Windows 10 finally overtakes Windows 7

It’s been a long time coming. While other analyst firms, such as StatCounter, have shown Windows 10 overtaking Windows 7 sometime ago, NetMarketShare has consistently shown the new OS to be lagging way behind the aging fan favorite. In December though, NetMarketShare finally has Windows 10 taking first position.

Epic Games wants to take on Google and Apple next

Now that Epic has launched its challenger to Steam, it’s apparently gearing up to launch a similar war on mobile. Epic is said to have plans to launch an app store all its own, again with the main selling point being that it takes a smaller cut of each sale than Google and Apple do. Unfortunately, Epic’s plans are rather vague at this point. The company only tells The Wall Street Journal that it will begin selling Android apps at some point in 2019, with the same 12% fee it charges developers and publishers on its PC storefront. Apple and Google, for the record, take keep 30% of each sale, just as Valve does with Steam.

2018 has come and gone. So where is Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat?

During its 2017 announcement of the iPhone X, Apple didn’t just show off its vision of what the future of iPhones would look like, it also announced a new way to charge them. Called AirPower, the charging mat was meant to charge up to three devices at once including a new iPhone, an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods (with a separate, optional wireless charging case). In its announcement, Apple promised that the new charger would be “coming in 2018.”

SouljaGame Console Has Been Removed From Store Due to a Potential Lawsuit

The SouljaBoy game console saga was one of the most confusing to watch in the gaming scene this month. The story began with the rapper selling “a game console” that included pirated ROMs of games. Fast forward until today and it seems like the time of reckoning for the rapper has come as the SouljaGame consoles have been retired from sale.


#1 Introducing IGTV, Pokemon GO Trading & Friends and PUBG Event Pass

Tune in for the latest trending news in tech, gadgets and gaming. We search the web for only the newest and coolest news to share with you, even if you’re on the go!

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*Due to technical difficulties, this episode doesn’t have a video option.

Show Notes:

Instagram just declared war on YouTube with a new longform-video app

Guide: Pokémon GO Trading Update – Release Date, Friends, And Gifts – Everything We Know So Far

Google Assistant no longer needs every ‘hey’ and ‘OK’

PUBG To Debut Event Pass, But Will It Work?

Amazon Fire TV Cube review

Microsoft backpedals on VR promise

Your Favorite PC Games Might Be Watching You Play (Just Like Mobile Games Always Have)

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We’d love to hear from you over on our Facebook Fan Page, via Twitter (@technewsgadget) or our Discord server!


Not Loyal to Cortana: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Are Coming Soon To Xbox One

For the past months, we heard that software giant Microsoft was seriously working on Alexa support for Xbox One. This support has a voice control that is compatible with Amazon Echo speakers. And just this week, we’ve have seen proof that Microsoft has offered more beyond its support for Alexa but for Google Assistant, as well.


Microsoft’s Xbox One will soon support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant


If you could still remember, the company no longer provides its users with a device that could alternately control console using voice commands. This happened when Microsoft killed Kinect. While users could use a headset to speak with Cortana, multi-tasking is really impossible.


Photo courtesy of Windows Central


Now, the forthcoming Microsoft’s Xbox One console would soon be getting an ability to enable Alexa and Google Assistant support through a skill on both platforms. At present, the software giant is only supporting Cortana, its own smart digital assistant via headset or Kinetic accessory.



It is even a common knowledge that Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana has a limited set of skills. Hence, the company’s decision to include Alexa and Google Assistant support is a welcome development, especially for Xbox users. This means that Xbox users could be able to control their console through both of the digital assistants.



However, as of press time, there are no exact features yet as to what Microsoft would support. What is certain, though, is that Xbox One owners would no longer require to use a Kinect or headset to issue voice commands.



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Did You Hear John Legend? Oh, It’s Just Google Assistant

Hear John Legend Through Google Assistant

You may hear John Legend in your homes and offices via Google Assistant.  He will be one of the six options rolling out this year for Google Assistant Voice.  The company announced that John Legend will lend his voice  to Google Assistant.

Google Assistant’s Make-over

Google Assistant is getting a make-over to make it sound more human in both responses and speech patterns.  It will even simplify how you connect to things around you at home.

John Legend And Google Assistant

John Legend will be among the six male and female voice options for Google Assistant this year.  The company has been working on engineering artificial intelligence voices to sound less robotic, and more human.  This is according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Since John Legend is a human being,  his voice responses will be limited to what he has recorded in the studio.  Hear the calm voice of John Legend address your questions and commands to Google Assistant.  His video was played at the I/O conference, also showing him singing Happy Birthday “to the person whose birthday it is.”

So if you had wished for John Legend to sing “Happy Birthday” for you on your birthday, Google Assistant will grant your wish.

The New Version Of Google Assistant

The new version of the assistant will feature both male and female voices.  Google Assistant is built on a tech machine learning technology called Wavenet.  Google started building this out eighteen months ago. The company is working on rolling out more customized version of the artificial intelligence with custom dialects across the globe.

Enjoy a relaxing experience when you use the new version of the Google Assistant.  Relaxing indeed, as you will hear John Legend’s calm and melodious voice whenever you ask for the day’s weather forecast, and more.

Google Duplex: Incredibly Human-like and Smart Enough to Take Your Job

Google is a master conjurer of what’s innovative and in the recent developer’s conference, it showed its mettle with Google Duplex, a new technology that can conduct “natural” conversation over the phone through Google Assistant. It is designed to conduct mundane tasks like setting up appointments and inquiring about prices – something that it did too well causing an uncomfortable stir since it sounded so human. According to the Verge, this personal assistant will now have a built-in disclosure identifying itself as AI before engaging in a conversation with a human. Using WaveNet, an audio-generating technology from DeepMind, Duplex also uses advances in language processing to understand and generate natural speech. In contrast to what we have gotten accustomed to, the conversation is not stilted and it does need adjusting to.

But before we jump the gun on Google and declare that Duplex will grab all Front desk jobs in the future, note that its expertise is limited to small real-world tasks that it needs to be deeply trained on. For now, Duplex can carry on limited talks convincingly but is not suitable for lengthy conversations. Duplex, a fully automated system can initiate calls and receive them in a variety of voices. Incredible as it sounds, the voice you hear is computer generated even if the accent, context, syntax, and pauses are humanlike. The audio files below where an appointment to a hair salon and restaurant are made are from the Google Blog. To hear is to believe:

“Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real-World Tasks Over the Phone” — Yaniv Leviathan, Principal Engineer & Yossi Matias, Vice President, Engineering, Google

Longer conversations between someone who is not too familiar with the booking system in the salon or the menu in the restaurant are challenging, if at all feasible. Natural sounding syntax, intonation, and meaningful pauses are extremely difficult if the level of familiarity is low. These are deemed complex conversations and while it may sound “human-like”, the contextual responses or nuances are not up to par.

According to Google Blog, they have yet to fully master interruptions, elaborations, synchs, and pauses but it is relying on advances in Google’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, the recurrent neural network (RNN) and TensorFlow Extended (TFX) to improve “understanding, interacting, timing, and speaking”. Meaningful conversation is a result of a sequence of processes:

  1. The ASR processes incoming sound.
  2. The text that is produced is run against the context and other inputs.
  3. The response text is created.
  4. The TTS (text to speech) system reads the response aloud.

According to Google, this will greatly help businesses because information and the appropriate reply is available 24/7. There will also be “downtime”, something that can be considerable and expensive when training and nesting Frontliners. From the user-end, you can book, search and get information asynchronously, effortlessly, and in the background. How soon can Google’s deep-learning and AI get this mainstreamed and threaten customer service jobs globally? Hopefully, it can make life easier but not smarter than humans.

LG WK9 ThinQ Smart Display Pre-order Is Now Available

LG has announced this week that the company’s new device, the ThinQ WK9 is now available for pre-order. The company’s ThinQ WK9 is joining Lenovo, JBL, and Sony’s devices that Google Assistant is expected to launch come summer. LG announced such information during this year’s CES.


Boasting its 8-inch screen camera, LG’s ThinQ WK9 has a camera and power speakers called “Tuned by Meridian Audio.” The LG’s smart display is powered by Qualcomm’s SD624 Home Hub Platform. Tech enthusiasts described the ThinQ WK9 as a device with two speakers with a touch screen display.


Its form can be likened to a miniature TV with what appears to be a over-sized speakers on both sides. Now, what’s amazing about this device is that it’s powered by Google Assistant. In fact, you can actually see an output using an 8-inch screen.


Regarding price, LG is planning to sell the device for $296.99 based on the online reports surfaced across the web. Another interesting note is that the device retailer branded LG KW9 as “Google Assistant Smart Speaker With Touchscreen.”


LG KW9, a powerful smart display


The company’s smart display receives verbal cues from Google Assistant. One of the features of a smart display is having a touch screen display. Users can interact with LG’s KW9, for instance, seeing recipes, videos, directions, among others.


Meanwhile, Lenovo has announced early on that its two smart displays presented at CES 2018 would be sold with prices ranging from $199 to $249, respectively. Also, JBL’s Link View is very similar to LG’s KW9 smart display because of its sizable front-facing speakers.


Apart from Lenovo, Sony has also hinted that it would also join other companies to produce smart displays. Sony, however, has yet to show a model of its smart display.

Google Assistant Updated, Now Supports Bigger Screen In Ipad

Search giant Google has recently launched Google Assistant on Apple’s iPad. This means that customers would now be able to control the Google Assistant using their Apple tablet. It would also allow users to set reminders, make voice calls and send text messages, among others.


It can be recalled that the Google Assistant was launched on iOS back in 2017 during the Google I/O. After which, Google has introduced Google Assistant on various Android devices, especially in Google’s smartphone, the Pixel device.


Google Assistant is now on iPad


But when it was launched, Google Assistant was only available in English. Now, Google Assistant on iOS is in various languages already like in Japanese, Italian, German, French, and Spanish, among others.


Also, tech users claim that Google app’s arrival on iPad may offer a similar experience like in iPhones. However, the big difference is that the app offers a wide and larger screen. This is a welcome development since users could actually do multitasking using a split screen.


Reports also suggest that Google new app should support various platforms to be functional and could work with several smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod, among others.


By doing so, Google’s new app would actually be useful in doing multitasking on iPad powered with iOS 11. Apple users could chat with the assistant while doing series of tasks in another window.


These tasks are not limited to plan a trip or perhaps to set an appointment in a calendar app. What’s amazing also is that the app supports landscape or in portrait mode.


Apple users can now download the app via Apple’s App Store.

Google Assistant: The Newest Smartphone Companion for Android

Let’s welcome the newest member of the family of smartphone assistants: The Google Assistant.

Android users may now have the convenience of having their own assistant in their smartphones. Google is proud to introduce an additional feature which is the Google Assistant.

Apple has Siri and Amazon has Alexa. Now, android phones have this. It recognizes voice commands so it’s going to be a big help if you’re multi-tasking.

The feature is now available on a number of smartphones. Restricted to only Marshmallow and Nougat users, the app can only be used by a small percent of Android users since most of them are supporting Android Lollipop.

Google Android  has the ability to set reminders, create a shopping list, give alerts on maps, ask about the weather, and numerous other things. The Google Assistant can also search for pictures in the Google Photos apps and can understand language as well.

This is a great addition to a phone’s feature because it makes mobile activities easier and more convenient.


Google Assistant to take on Siri later this year

“Siri” has been a wonderful companion for preoccupied individuals who can’t seem to jot down a few entries on their planner or smartphone. Apple’s digital assistant has been making waves and has seen a few rivals for the Android, though it’s not made by Google.

But Google has been trying to vault in the digital assistant wars as early as last year. And things are starting to look bright since the Siri launch can be launched by the end of this year. Though this is not yet certain and can still be moved, the possibility of it coming out is still good news.

Reports have it that the company is working on Artificial Intelligent technology named ‘Google Assistant’.

The developing team is trying to create a voice powered ‘do-engine’. This will be powered by Google’s own search engine, Google+ and Google +1. But rumors have it that this Assistant will not be a standalone app.

“Siri” has had millions of minions and the number is still growing. With a lot of individuals deciding on purchasing the iPhone due to “Siri”, Android is trying to push the pace to release their own version of the app.

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. This is a make or break for Google.

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