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Latest by Lulu Chang

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Microsoft coughs up a lot of cash to acquire software developer Github

Microsoft has agreed to purchase software development platform GitHub for $7.5 billion. Although the move will need to be approved by regulators and will take several months to finalize, both companies are expecting negotiations to conclude before the end of the year. GitHub will remain independent, though Microsoft will appoint a new CEO.
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Mark your calendars — more than 150 new emojis are coming on June 5

Come Tuesday, June 5, we'll be blessed with the arrival of more than 150 new emojis, which will come as part of Unicode Version 11.0. These new emojis will help you express yourself via text in new ways, and will feature a wide range of new faces, as well as animals, objects, and symbols. 
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Instagram isn’t going chronological, and is now telling us why

Instagram is not going chronological, but is changing how feeds work to give users more control over when and how their feeds refresh. Recently, the social media app gave users a bit more insight into just why it's chosen to steer clear of reverse chronological ordering. While you may not like it, it makes sense.

Apple has finally allowed a Telegram update to go through, CEO says

Ever since the Russia-wide ban on Telegram, Apple has allegedly blocked the app from making updates to its services. Until now. Apparently, Apple has finally given in and allowed the app to push through updates that make it compliant with the new  GDPR privacy laws. Telegram's CEO thanked Apple in a tweet.
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Google reportedly plans to end involvement with Project Maven

More than 4,000 Google employees signed a letter requesting CEO cancel Pentagon A.I.-related Project Maven and issue a policy statement against building warfare technology. And after a wave of resignations, Google may be canning the project.
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Smarterware ensures your fridge never reeks of spoiled food again

Your food may not be smart (yet), but that doesn't mean that your containers can't be. In the continuing quest to ensure that every aspect of our home is somehow connected, we've now been introduced to Smarterware, a new food storage line from Ovie that claims to be the world's first smart food container.

Nectar’s adjustable bed frame comes with a NASA-inspired Zero Gravity setting

Who says you have to be horizontal to sleep? Certainly not Nectar. But it's not just about the mattress for this bed in a box brand -- rather, the company is taking a holistic look at your entire sleeping experience, and to that end, the company has unveiled the new adjustable bed frame.

Amazon takes on the grocery store with Prime Pantry

Rather than a flat rate, Amazon is turning Prime Pantry into yet another monthly service subscription. If you want to take advantage of Prime Pantry, you'll pay $5 each month for unlimited deliveries and free shipping on orders over $40. If you don't hit that $40 minimum, you'll have to pay $2 extra.

Boost your iPhone’s security just by tapping it against this gadget

YubiKey is set to bring peace of mind to Apple smartphone users. The formerly USB-exclusive security key now works with iPhones with NFC chips embedded (7s and newer) that are running iOS 11. The device is currently only compatible with LastPass, but more apps are likely to be added in the near future.
Nokia Go Review

Nokia sells back the digital health business it bought two years ago

The Finnish gear company Nokia began "a strategic review of its digital health business" a couple months ago, which includes recently acquired Withings. Now, the Finnish gear company has made things official, and has complete the sale of its health tech business back to whence it came. 
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Say goodbye to Trending stories on Facebook

It may be harder yet to get your news from Facebook. The social media company is continuing its efforts to cut down on the potential for fake news and the possibility of bias and is removing its Trending Topics section next week. But don't worry, they're replacing the section with other news tools.
Alexa-Mayo Clinic

The Amazon Echo Dot is the single best-selling smart speaker of them all

A new report now suggests that the best-selling smart speaker remains within the Amazon Echo ecosystem. The less-than-$50 Echo Dot is definitively the most popular smart home speaker around. The report comes from Thinknum, who tracked "sales raking data since 2016 at Best Buy for the category."

“OK, Google, activate gun” may be the most terrifying command ever

Your friendly living room smart speaker may not be quite as innocent as it seems. At least, not if there's a malevolent owner pulling the strings. That's now been proven by Alexander Reben, who created a system that causes a Google Home to command a separate device to fire a gun.
PicoBrew Pico U

Update: PicoBrew postpones its Kickstarter campaign for the Pico U

PicoBrew set out to revolutionize homebrewing beer, but then realized its technology could also make amazing pour-over coffee. Its new machine, the Pico U, makes coffee, beer, and more, including kombucha, chai, and other beverages you might not have heard of, all for under $200.
20 minute meals

With the new Dinner 2 Lunch from HelloFresh, you’ll get two meals in one

Introduced as part of HelloFresh's response to customer feedback, 20-minute meals promise minimal prep and cleanup time. And now, the company has introduced Dinner 2 Lunch, a new offering that lets you cook once but eat twice, with as little work in the kitchen as possible.

Move over, Amazon Echo. Google Home now sits upon the smart speaker throne

Google Home has been coming for Amazon Echo's crown ever since it launched the competitive smart speaker in 2016, and now, it looks like we have a new champ. As per a new report from Canalys, Google beat Amazon for the first time in terms of smart speaker shipments, sending 3.2 million units in Q1 2018.
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Following battery backlash, Apple offers a $50 refund to some customers

Have you had any issues trying to get Apple to replace your iPhone battery in the wake of the handset-throttling debacle? The company is offering discounted replacements, but an investigation by the BBC suggests Apple is making it difficult for some customers to obtain a new battery. Now, Apple is offering refunds.
Amazon Echo Alexa

Having trouble keeping up with your meetings? Amazon Alexa can help

Who needs a calendar when you have Alexa? The personal assistant is not only the smartest member of your household, but she's also now the most organized, too. Beginning this week, if you say, "Alexa, rearrange my meeting," she'll ask which event you need edited, and what new time slot you'd like to occupy. 

How much of your data is Apple collecting? Not much, and here’s how to see it

A New York Times journalist took a look at just how much Facebook knew about him, and was horrified by the answer. How much do other popular tech companies know about their users? Jefferson Graham of USA Today looked into how much data Apple collected from him. You can do the same with new Apple tools.
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Need a house cleaner or plumber? Find one on Facebook.

Sketched out by Craigslist? Overwhelmed by eBay? Try Facebook Marketplace instead for your ecommerce, automobile, and now, even home services needs. You can hire a plumber, a cleaner, an electrician, or anything else you need for home improvement straight from the social network. 
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Twitter kills some TV apps, but updates Windows and other support

Twitter seems to be in the midst of an evolution which involves both some deaths and rebirths. Beginning May 24, the social media company will no longer support its TV apps on Roku, Android TV, or Xbox. But if you're a Twitter Lite or Twitter for Windows user, you're in for some snazzy new updates.
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Mobileye tries to show off self-driving car, runs a red light instead

Mobileye recently announced debuted a new fleet of prototype vehicles that would be able to make their way through cities and across streets without using lasers or radars. Unfortunately, at a press event in Jerusalem meant to show off the capabilities, a test car drove straight through a red light.
made for google

Google and ‘Google, You Owe Us’ begin $4.3 billion court battle

In a landmark case for the British courts, a campaign group is pushing forward with a lawsuit against Google's data gathering in 2011/2. And now, this privacy case has ballooned, and threatens to cost Google a whopping $4.3 billion should the tech firm lose. The privacy group and Google met in court this week.
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Augmented reality’s latest trick? Simplifying directions on Google Maps

At Google I/O, the company gave us a sneak peek at what's yet to come from Google Maps, and no matter how nonexistent your sense of direction might be, Google can help. Plus, there are a slew of new features for discovering new local restaurants, as well as party planning tools newly at your disposal.
ooma butterfleye security camera

The Ooma Butterfleye security camera keeps recording even in a power outage

A power outage won't mean a security outage. At least, not if you have Ooma on your side. The smart home company has introduced a new video security camera that boasts facial recognition, offline recording, and a host of other features to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Meet the Ooma Butterfleye.
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Google eliminated that ‘don’t be evil’ motto

Google is no longer telling its employees not to be evil. In a rather surprising move (or perhaps a sign that the world's most seemingly perk-filled, laid-back workplace is going corporate), Google has removed its unofficial motto from its code of conduct. The change happened sometime in the last month.
DPT-CP1 Sony

Sony’s smaller version of its E Ink tablet available for pre-order in the U.S.

If you're in the market for a tablet, Sony has another offering that may catch your eye. The Japanese electronics company recently released its new DPT-CP1 "Digital Paper" tablet, an E Ink tablet that is really meant for folks who still want to pretend that they're writing on actual paper.
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Qualcomm joins Facebook’s Terragraph Project to bring fast Wi-Fi to U.S. cities

Facebook and Qualcomm are teaming up to bring fast Wi-Fi to cities around the U.S. For at least two years, the social media giant has been attempting to create a multinode wireless system focused on bringing high-speed internet connectivity to dense urban areas. It's called the Terragraph Project.

Ossic X 3D headphones won’t ship, as company shuts its doors

The Ossic X were touted as the world’s first 3D headphones, and its crowdfunding campaigns raised more than $5 million. Unfortunately, this proved to be entirely insufficient, as Ossic has now shuttered, and will be unable to deliver tens of thousands of headphones it promised to early backers.

Microsoft acquires conversational A.I. tech firm Semantic Machines

Microsoft is betting big on A.I. The Redmond, Washington-based technology giant announced the acquisition of Semantic Machines, which focuses on conversational AI. "Their work uses the power of machine learning to enable users to discover, access and interact with information" more naturally.
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The Fairy drone is an aerial photographer with nearly magical powers

It's been years since you believed in the tooth fairy, your fairy godmother, or the best known fairy of all -- Tinkerbell. But that doesn't mean fairies don't exist. In fact, the Fairy drone is very real indeed. It's a pocket-sized drone that is able to fly and take photos just about anywhere.

Wherever the road takes you, the Pivt app will make you feel at home

Home may be where the heart is, but a new app can make it such that home is where you are. Meet Pivt, intended specifically for expats, travelers, and other folks abroad just looking for a community to call their own -- even if only for a short while. It's available on both Android and iOS.

Google Duo should let you share your screen, but it doesn’t work right now

Android users have been looking forward to the possibility of screen sharing with Google Duo for several months now, and while the feature has rolled out, it hasn't been quite what users were hoping for. In fact, it's totally broken. Theoretically, the functionality should be quite straightforward.
Apple Homepod

Apple’s already considering a cheaper HomePod

Reports suggest Apple could releas another version of the HomePod in 2018 at a significantly lower price point. The most recent gossip suggests that Apple is looking to release a $199 version of the HomePod under its Beats brand.