Gadgets

How real people help Cortana, Siri, and other virtual assistants feel alive

When users first try virtual assistants (like Siri, Google Now, Cortana, M or Alexa), they’re struck by the idea that they’re talking to a computer, rather than a person. That much sounds obvious. In reality, however, the responses from virtual assistants are far more human than most people assume. In fact, every response is carefully crafted by a person or ... Read More »

Harvard study refutes ‘going dark’ argument against encryption

A study from Harvard released Monday largely refutes claims that wider use of encryption in software products will hamper investigations into terrorism and crime. It predicts that the continued expansion of Internet-connected devices — such as smart TVs and vehicles, IP video cameras and more — will offer fresh opportunities for tracking targets. “Law enforcement or intelligence agencies may start ... Read More »

5 ways to troubleshoot Windows 10 update problems

Jeffrey Hahner upgraded to Windows 10. But the new version isn’t updating itself as it should. Operating systems need to update regularly to fix bugs and close security holes. So if Windows 10 isn’t successfully updating, you’ve got a serious problem. Even worse, the failure to update itself might be a symptom of a malware infection. A quick note: I ... Read More »

We’ve officially reached peak smartphone, but real innovation is still within reach

Samsung’s smartphone problem can be summed up by a single phrase slipped into last year’s fourth quarter earnings statement: “softening demand.” People just aren’t buying as many smartphones as they used to, and in 2016 they’ll be less inclined to immediately upgrade once a new model is announced. This isn’t just a Samsung problem. Apple is also feeling the pressure—in his earnings call ... Read More »

Oppo F1 goes official, Vietnam gets it on January 13

Oppo F1 is the first member of the new F-series, which will be focusing on luxurious design and premium camera experience. It is now available on pre-order in Vietnam, but more markets will be getting it soon. The Oppo F1 houses within a thin 7.25mm aluminum unibody and packs a 5″ IPS display of 720p resolution protected by a curved ... Read More »

CES 2016 wrap-up – see what you might have missed

Like it or not, even the best of events have to come to an end, which was also the natural faith of CES 2016. It was a reasonably eventful show and while we didn’t get much in terms of new flagships there was plenty of new hardware in Las Vegas. Below is an extensive table of all the things we ... Read More »

TP-Link outs three Android smartphones – Neffos C5L, C5, and C5 Max

Neffos is the new brand established by TP-Link for its first entries in the smartphone market. The Neffos C5L, Neffos C5, and Neffos C5 Max by TP-Link are the first three smartphones aiming to carry the flag for the brand. All three Neffos smartphones run on Android 5.1 Lollipop, skinned with lightweight-looking proprietary launcher. The Neffos C5L is the smallest ... Read More »

Turn a barebones PC into a graphics powerhouse with AMD’s new FirePro server GPUs

If you have an under-powered PC but need the horsepower to see high-definition video or edit intense graphics, AMD has your back. AMD’s new FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 GPUs, which sit in servers, can deliver “virtualized GPUs” to client devices and remote desktops. A virtual GPU mimics the functionality of a GPU on local hardware, and users can run ... Read More »

‘Big bets’ cost Google parent Alphabet $3.6 billion in losses last year

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, racked up $3.6 billion in losses last year through investments in “big bets” such as self-driving cars and Internet balloons. The company was known to be spending heavily on these items but revealed actual figures for the first time Monday when it broke out results separately for its core Google business and for big-bet ... Read More »

Google may be ready to seize full control of Nexus devices

It was bound to happen sooner or later: Google is reportedly ready to take the reins back on Android, and it’s starting by cracking down on its Nexus smartphone program. The Information reports that Google plans to “effectively reduce the level of involvement of hardware partners that make the phones with Google” and that it will go directly to its ... Read More »