Google Decides Lively is Dead

Just four and a half months ago, Google launched a new 3D, interactive chat service called Lively, which enabled users to create virtual world avatars and talk with other lively users in 3D spaces. But today, Google announced it will be shutting down Lively at the end of December, saying it wants to focus on its core business activities, including online advertising and search.

“Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it’s the best way to create groundbreaking products that make a difference to people’s lives,” Google wrote in its company blog. “But we’ve also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off.”

At launch, LIvely was seen as as a type of competition for Linden Labs’ Second Life, and a possible a sign that virtual worlds might be going mainstream.

Linden Labs recently debuted a preliminary version its own lightweight instant messaging client, dubbed SLim, that enables Second Life users to chat via text and voice with in-world friends without having to log in to the entire virtual world environment.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Smart Home

Perlick brings a bigger, bolder version of its high-tech fridge to KBIS 2019

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Perlick has been making refrigerators for nearly 50 years. It will be unveiling a bigger, bolder version of its popular column refrigerator at KBIS 2019.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Roomba Robot Vacuums for Presidents’ Day

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and Walmart has already begun dropping prices on Roomba, Shark, and Eufy robot vacuums. For a limited time, you can save as much as $150 on a brand-new iRobot Roomba.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Smart Home

Your office is a mess, and it’s making Marie Kondo cry. Here’s how to tidy it up

Here's how to "Marie Kondo" your office. If you've been inspired to remove clutter and create a minimalistic workspace that makes you happy and helps you focus on what matters, then we have ideas that you'll want to try.
Smart Home

Innit showcases new solutions for LG’s Signature Kitchen Suite at KBIS 2019

LG Electronics has equipped its new Signature Kitchen Suite devices with a host of technologies and guests of KBIS 2019 can check out the company's new innovations from Innit, including new adaptive cook programs.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.