It's easy not to think about just how much thought and computing goes into everything that Google does, but one of YouTube's latest changes reminds us of precisely that.
Every video on the site has a thumbnail that's supposed to offer you a glimpse into what you're about to watch. A bad image will discourage you from clicking. Good ones lead to more views and greater revenue. So naturally both content creators and Google would prefer to have better thumbnails.
Using deep neural networks, the YouTube team has launched an improved "thumbnailer." Every frame in a video gets evaluated by a quality model and is assigned a quality score. Read More
The OnePlus 2 has been sort of available for a few months now, but it's still not something you can just purchase. The Shenzhen-based company is moving forward with a second phone, which has been mentioned in passing a few times. Now, it's shown up at the FCC. Most of the details of the device have been kept confidential, but there is one good image of it from the back and another not so good from the front.
A little more than a year ago, Amazon launched its first set-top box, Fire TV. That was followed by the weaker, but far more wallet-friendly littler brother, Fire TV Stick. Now that the company has been in the streaming market for a little while, a refreshed version of its flagship box makes sense, right? I mean, there's technically nothing wrong with the first Fire TV, but more horsepower and support for more modern resolutions are always better, right?
Actually, no. There are definitely some quirks that you should be aware of before jumping into a new Fire TV — especially if you're just upgrading from the old one. Read More
Looking for some cheap games? Then Electronic Arts and its mobile subsidiary Chillingo would like to offer you a selection for just a dime a piece (assuming you live in the US, Canada, Mexico, and a few other places). None of the games are particularly new with the exception of Power Ping Pong (which is pretty great) and the horror adventure game In Fear I Trust (which was just published), but most of them cost $4-5 at their regular prices. Read More
A new version of Google's cloud storage app is making its way to the Play Store. According to a post on the company's blog, the latest Drive release lets people request access to content links that they've received via email, an instant message, or some other method. Read More
The thing about Marshmallow is that it added a lot of granular control over your apps, but it did so in such a confusing and redundant way that it kind of made things worse in my opinon. Apps now have their individual properties page where you can control their notifications (despite that being also available in Sound & notification), permissions (despite that being accessible in one list under Settings -> Apps -> cog icon -> App permissions), and defaults and supported links (despite that also being accessible in that same cog setting). It's this last part that we'll talk a little bit about today, but brace yourself, this will be baffling, inconsistent, and unnecessarily convoluted. Read More
Heroes fans had something to smile about when NBC announced that it would air a 13 episode mini-series following up the original four seasons. Not only that, creator Tim Kring returned as executive producer. But the fan service doesn't stop there. Phosphor Game Studio has released an immersive mobile game that hooks in to what's happening on TV.
The game, Hereos Reborn: Enigma, stars Dahlia, a young woman whose special powers are needed to solve various puzzles in first-person. Think Portal. You will use telekinesis and time shifting to make it through over 30 levels, all designed using Unreal Engine 4. Read More
Google hasn't said much about how its new OnHub router works—it's a mysterious black box (blue cylinder, technically) with inactive radios and updatable firmware. The modders from Exploitee.rs have gotten their hands on an OnHub, and it didn't take long for them to root it. Interestingly, they rooted it like a Chromebook because that's sort of what the OnHub is—a Chromebook with no screen acting like a router. Read More
LastPass is one of the more well-known password managers out there. Now it's one that's joining LogMeIn. Both companies announced the acquisition earlier today. The buyer paid $110 million upfront with up to another $15 million payable in contingent installments dependent on retention and other markers over the next two years.
LogMeIn, despite having a name that already sounds like a password manager in its own right, is primarily known for its remote access software. From a corporate perspective, this sounds like a good match, but some LastPass users have already filled the announcement post with negative comments expressing their disappointment. Several have complained of LogMeIn's bad customer service and price hikes. Read More