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Google Assistant shortcuts can make your Home say anything

Back in May, Google Assistant added support for shortcuts, allowing you to say one thing and have Assistant perform another command. For example, I set "night" as a shortcut for starting ambient noise on my Google Home. But you can just as easily have fun with it, when combined with Assistant's 'repeat after me' command.

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Today's XKCD comic takes a dig at self-driving cars and AI

Google has been using CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA for years now to crowdsource information from images it has found online. On the one side, you prove to Google you're a human, on the other, Google gets humans to see small images of text from a book, numbers on a house, or various objects and animals and provide OCR for the text and numbers plus logical grouping and categorization for the objects/animals.

That's the main dig that XKCD's comic today is based on. It's a CAPTCHA but it's asking the user to say if there's a stop sign, just so it can properly use that data to control its self-driving vehicle.

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Doogee's Mix 2 phone has 'minimal bezels, maximal views'

Just a week ago, Spain-based phone manufacturer Doogee announced the S60, a mostly-unremarkable durable phone. The best part about the device was the accompanying press release, which was filled to the brim with hilarious spelling errors. Doogee just unveiled the 'Mix 2,' and the announcement is almost as entertaining as the S60's.

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[The Android Police Files #15] AVAST INSTALLATION ERROR , AVAST TECHNICAL HELP , AVAST SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

Welcome back to the Android Police Files, your #1 source for the brilliant stuff that the AP staff receives in our mailboxes. Since we last convened, a lot has happened. The latest version of Android shares a name with a branded product for the first time since 4.4 KitKat. The Galaxy Note8 was released, and it doesn't catch fire. And most recently, a Canadian 17-year old and his "youth leadership coach" tried to pass a Chinese ODM's phone off as their own and crowdsource it on Indiegogo.

There will always be new things going on in the world, but there's one thing that we know will never change: crazy people sending us crazy messages.

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Sprint mocks Verizon's prices with hilarious 'Twice the Price' ad campaign

With most commercials in the US, companies compare their products to "the leading brand" or "competing product." But not so in the telecom industry. Carriers often go after their competitors with satirical ads and CEO rants, calling out each other on their claims and figures. Sprint is no stranger to this behavior, and has started a series of ads directly targeting Verizon.

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[The Android Police Files #14] Artemisia u don't get out of my phone u r going to fail and I am not play with ya'll

It's been over half a year since the last installment of the AP Files was published, and the world has undergone some drastic changes. There's a squeezable phoneBezel-less phones now dominate the world. And the newest LG phones haven't had any major reports of bootlooping. I'm sorry, I had to.

Six months is indeed quite a long time, and it's definitely enough time for us to have received some more... let's call them interesting letters in our mailboxes.

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Funny video: 8 accents are tested on Google Home, Alexa, and Siri with 4 different questions

 

Google's speech recognition error rate is getting lower and lower - yesterday, the company said it's now under 5% and has dropped from 8.5% this time last year. And I find that to be more and more the case in my own use: Google seems to recognize almost everything I throw at it now, even when I add Lebanese/Arabic names from my contacts list that I wouldn't expect it to get right.

But if you're wondering how Google's speech recognition fares in comparison to other voice assistants, Wired has made a video in conjunction with Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen (from Probably Science) to show you just that.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver creates fake (and hilarious) Samsung ad

Samsung has had a rough couple of months. It seems like every time the Korean electronics giant is in the news it's because something is catching fire, getting hacked, or its chairman is being arrested. The recent revelation that the CIA has hacked Samsung's smart TVs got the company on John Oliver's radar. Naturally, he roasted the company on the most recent Last Week Tonight.

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Amazon's Alexa has a dirty mind [Video]

Every now and then, we all can't quite make out what somebody just said. Sometimes, you fill in the blanks with whatever it is you've been thinking about. If Amazon's Alexa works the same way, this video will really make you wonder what's been on her mind.

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Google Assistant can track Santa, tell holiday jokes, and spin the dreidel

Google has added a few entertaining Easter eggs to Google Assistant since its release, including fully interactive quiz games. In the spirit of the season, a few new holiday-related commands have made their way to Google Assistant.

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