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Google has announced a bunch of new updates coming to Assistant today that should make it possible for developers to make more functional applications that better integrate with your Google Assistant devices.

One of the biggest additions is support for new languages. Developers will now be able to write apps in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Indian English.

Another major update is the ability for developers to create applications that take advantage of having both a Google Home and a phone with Assistant, allowing Home devices to hand off requests to smartphones for completion of actions (like, say, paying for a sandwich you ordered on your Home).

Google will also allow apps to recognize implicit requests, so that you don’t have to specifically call them out by name. It’s the difference between saying “turn off the lights” and “have the Philips Hue app turn off the lights.” theverge.com
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Everybody loves kittens. We were delighted by the recent 'Neko Atsume' app, in which our virtual yard is visited by cats - some of them are rare.. Ever wondered which one of them was most similar to you? .
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Uber, claiming that the company hasn’t done enough to inform the public about alleged harassment and assault by drivers.

The legal complaint, filed by Wigdor LLP on behalf of two plaintiffs, alleges that “thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers including rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment.”

The document suggests that Uber has taken shortcuts in its driver screening.

“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired.”

The lawsuit claims that by labeling itself as a “technology” company instead of a “transportation” company, Uber has been able to avoid costlier background checks.

A spokesperson for Uber responded to the lawsuit, telling us, “Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it, these allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously.” techcrunch.com
Now that the iPhone X has been out for a week, it’s time to get started on rumors for next year’s iPhones.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose iPhone predictions have been fairly reliable over the last several years, says that he expects to see two new full-screen iPhones next year: one will have a 6.5-inch OLED display, essentially making it a Plus version of the iPhone X; and the other will have a 6.1-inch LCD display, likely making it more like a full-screen version of the current Plus-sized iPhone.

And yes, both will have the notch.

In his research note, which was reported byMacRumors, Kuo writes that Apple is hoping to “satisfy various needs of the high-end market” by expanding its full-screen product line.

At the high end will be the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone; beneath that will be an updated version of the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X; and finally, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will sit below both of them.

Kuo predicts that the 6.1-inch phone will be priced somewhere between $649 to $749 and be set apart by having a less dense screen resolution, offering a (slightly) worse picture. theverge.com
The big new thing in smartphones lately is one of those buzz phrases you’ll have heard tossed around: machine learning.

Like augmented and virtual reality, machine learning is often thought of as a distant promise. 

A machine learning advantage can’t be easily replicated, cloned, or reverse-engineered: to compete with the likes of Apple and Google at this game, you need to have as much computing power and user data as they do (which you probably lack) and as much time as they’ve invested (which you probably don’t have).

In simple terms, machine learning promises to be the holy grail for giant tech companies that want to scale peaks that smaller rivals can’t reach.

It capitalizes on vast resources and user bases, and it keeps getting better with time, so competitors have to keep moving just to stay within reach. theverge.com
The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying – since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water.

The RoboBee weighs just 175 milligrams, and at this size, surface tension is like extra strong gravity: it’s 10 times the robot’s weight, and three times its lifting power.

To solve this problem, researchers from Harvard’s outfitted the RoboBee with a tiny combustible rocket, giving it the oomph needed to break the water’s surface tension – gas fills a chamber in the RoboBee’s interior, it’s lit by an internal spark, and woosh, it shoots out of the water.

What’s cleverest about this system is that it actually uses the water itself as fuel – a pair of tiny electrolytic plates convert the liquid into oxyhydrogen, a violently explosive gas.

To fit in all this extra gear, the RoboBee had to be redesigned, with a central gas chamber added, along with four buoyant outriggers – robot floaties, basically.

Still, there’s no space on board for sensors or a sophisticated guidance system – so although the new RoboBee can fly, land in water, paddle about, then burst out again, it can’t be remotely controlled, and it isn’t yet capable of doing useful bee tasks like pollinating the crops we all depend upon to live. theverge.com