Google I/O kicks off, earbuds that translate languages for you

Google’s big annual hangout, known as Google I/O, gets underway today in Mountain View. In the fast-moving world of tech, Google is certainly one of the top innovators, so expect more details on a personal assistant system, possibly named Chirp, the upcoming Android N update, and maybe a new dedicated VR headset. CEO Sundar Pichai kicks things off with a two-hour keynote, which you can watch online of course.

We’ll have a complete roundup of all the goings-on at I/O, and we’ve got a link here to the full schedule of events for the three-day tech fest.


After a post blew up recently regarding what appears to be some somewhat nefarious file deletion by Apple Music, blogger James Pinkstone says he was recently paid a visit by two Apple engineers looking to track down what happened to the 122 gigs worth of music he claims suddenly disappeared.

Pinkstone says that the engineers, whom he called Tom and Ezra, spent the better part of a recent Saturday unsuccessfully trying to recreate the events that led to the deletion of his music library, which Pinkstone was able to restore from a backup. Pinkstone detailed a contentious conversation with an Apple customer service rep who told him the software was essentially working as designed, which of course, didn’t help him get his music back.

The original post on Vellum hit a nerve with many readers who also claimed Apple Music and its cousin, iTunes Match, was deleting or changing songs in user’s libraries in order to bias the libraries towards streaming the content. Apple says that the most recent update to iTunes includes improved safeguards against “accidental” deletion of user-added files, and we’re checking our libraries to see if anything comes up missing.


In Star Trek, exactly how did all those aliens learn to speak perfect English? Easy: they had access to a universal translator, a mythical device that could translate any language to any other language in real time. Well, it’s not so mythical now.  The Waverly Pilot is a set of wireless earbuds that connects to an app on your phone and translates several languages in near-real time.

A video from Waverly shows creator Andrew Ochoa talking with a friend across the English/French divide, and the makers say the initial commercial version of the Pilot will translate German and Euro romance languages – Spanish, French, Italian, etc. – with more languages coming via app updates in the future. The translating all takes place in the phone, so if you don’t have any internet access, it’s no problem. The earbuds also play music, of course.

The Pilot system is expected to retail for between $250 and $300, but buying one will not guarantee you a guest spot in any future Star Trek episodes, unless you agree to wear a red uniform.


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