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New wristband could predict aggressive outbursts in people with autism

Matthew Goodwin, a Northeastern University behavioral scientist, created the wearable. While the initial tests show promise, Goodwin and his team of researchers only observed 20 children with autism over a period of 87 hours. They tracked each aggressive episode and corresponding physiological changes and then fed that data into their model. Next, Goodwin hopes to test the device with 240 individuals -- thanks in part to funding from the Department of Defense.

"As our data set grows and we use more sophisticated machine learning models, I think we might get more than 60 seconds," Goodwin said. While the technology is still deep in development, it could make a difference in the lives of people with autism, as well as their families and caretakers. It would join other tech like Google Glass, AI and educational apps that have all been used to help individuals with autism.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/wristband-predicts-autism-outbursts/

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Tesla delays price hike for self-driving upgrade

The feature has Tesla's cars automatically navigate toward you in the parking lot. You wouldn't have to park toward the front of a store just to avoid a lengthy walk.

Whether or not Tesla makes that target window isn't clear. Remember, Musk said in November 2018 that Enhanced Summon was coming in six weeks. Release estimates aren't Tesla's strong suit, to put it mildly. If this does arrive as promised, though, it could help buyers feel better about a package thatso far hasn't lived up to its name.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/tesla-delays-price-hike-for-full-self-driving/

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Microsoft contractors listened to what people told their Xbox consoles

According to the contractors Motherboard spoke to, this has been going on since before Cortana arrived on the scene. Motherboard's sources said they listened to audio when Xbox could be controlled via voice commands with the Kinect system. Microsoft removed Cortana from the Xbox in July, but the voice assistant can control the console via the Cortana Android and iOS apps.

Like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google -- which have all been charged with listening to voice assistant queries -- Microsoft listened in on audio in an attempt to improve products and services. In a statement (which can be read below), a Microsoft spokesperson told Engadget, "We've long been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors."

After recent news coverage and public outcry, Apple, Facebook and Google temporarily halted those practices. Amazon will let users opt out of having Alexa conversations reviewed by humans. Microsoft previously said it would continue listening to users but amended its privacy policies. It's unclear if that will change now that we know contractors have listened to Xbox audio too.

The full statement from Microsoft is below:

"We've long been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors. We've recently updated our privacy statement to add greater clarity that people sometimes review this data as part of the product improvement process. We always get customer permission before collecting voice data, we take steps to de-identify voice snippets being reviewed to protect people's privacy, and we require that handling of this data be held to the highest privacy standards in the law. At the same time, we're actively working on additional steps we can take to give customers more transparency and more control over how their data is used to improve products." – a Microsoft spokesperson

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/microsoft-contractors-heard-xbox-audio/

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Google Play Store redesign makes it easier to find games

The Play Store now distinguishes between apps and games, a likely response to the increased prominence of mobile gaming. Mobile games account for 33 percent of app installs, according to a report released this summer by App Annie. But while users may not install mobile games as frequently other apps (or spend as much time on them), mobile games are where they're throwing their dollars. Due to in-app purchases, mobile games account for 74 percent of consumer spending on apps.

Google Play has made other recent changes to accommodate gamers. It recently launched a new landing page for game developers, filled with guides, tools and other resources. Last year, it opened up Instant App tech to mobile games, which allowed Android users to play games before purchasing them.

Along with apps and games, there are also separate categories for movies as well as books. This change will make it easier for users to find top-grossing titles by type of entertainment. Users who access the Play Store using a mobile device will also notice a new navigation bar at the bottom. There's also a new left navigation on tablets and the Chrome OS.

The possibility of a redesign for the Google Play Store has been in the works for a while, but now it's official. "To improve the overall store experience, we're excited to roll out a complete visual redesign. Aligning with Material design language, we're introducing several user-facing updates to deliver a cleaner, more premium store that improves app discovery and accessibility for our diverse set of users," wrote Google Play's Boris Valusek in a blog post.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/google-play-store-redesign-makes-it-easier-to-find-games/

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Terminator T-800 and The Joker are coming to ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

In fact, franchise stalwart Shang Tsung was one of the previously announced combatants for the DLC pack, along with fellow series regulars Nightwolf and Sindel, and Todd McFarlane's iconic comic book character Spawn. Nightwolf and Shang Tsung have already joined the lineup. Terminator T-800 will be available October 8th, while Sindel arrives November 26th.

You'll have to wait until January 28th until you can play as The Joker, and March 17th to wreak havoc with Spawn. They'll be available separately, though the $40 Kombat Pack (which is included with the Mortal Kombat 11 premium edition) also includes an array of character skins and gear sets, along with one-week-early access to the new fighters.

NetherRealm has a bit of a history of including fun, unexpected fighters in the series. DLC characters for Mortal Kombat 10 included Jason Voorhees, Predator, the Xenomorph from Alien and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/mortal-kombat-11-terminator-the-joker-dlc/

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Microsoft tests more control for apps that restart with Windows 10

As part of the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (build 18965, if you're counting), Microsoft is testing a new setting that gives Windows users more explicit control over whether their apps automatically launch when they restart their PC. Outside of the latest Preview Build, the option that controls app restart behaviour is bundled together with a menu item related to setting up a new device. Understandably, if you're unaware that the two settings are tied together, it can seem like Windows isn't capable of launching some apps automatically. By default, Microsoft says the new setting is disabled. Insiders can activate it by navigating to the "Sign-in options" section of the Accounts settings menu. Alternatively, it's possible to access the toggle by typing "restart apps" into either Windows 10's Start menu or settings search bar.

As usual, not all the features Microsoft showcases in a Preview Build will make their way to a final release of Windows 10. However, should the company decide to include this one, it'll be available when Microsoft launches its "20H1" update at the start of next year. That's the same update where Microsoft plans to add a built-in Linux kernel to Windows 10.

Like any new update, Build 18965 includes its share of bug fixes and stability improvements. One bug Microsoft says it has addressed involved an instance in which some apps weren't able to execute background tasks. The company has also fixed a bug that caused the taskbar to sometimes hide when launching Windows' touch keyboard. Build 18965 is currently available to Windows Insiders in the fast ring, a classification Microsoft uses to describe individuals who have volunteered to test the company's newest features first, regardless of potential bugs.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/windows-10-insider-build-restart-setting/

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Google’s next Nest Mini speaker could be wall-mountable

There's also talk of proximity awareness similar to what you find in devices like the Nest Hub Max, although this would unsurprisingly be limited to showing the current volume as you got closer. And yes, there are supposedly new colors in the works.

We've asked Google for comment, although it typically doesn't address rumors. If the rumor is accurate, though, there's a good possibility Google will unveil this Nest Mini alongside the Pixel 4 at its customary fall hardware event. There's certainly pressure to update the entry-level speaker. Amazon's third-generation Echo Dot has been a go-to device in part because included the audio quality and headphone jack the Home Mini has been missing -- this would help Google catch up in a big way.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/google-nest-mini-leak/

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Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather

Accordingly, the same guide advises against putting it in direct contact with other credit cards or loose items lest you scratch that pristine titanium surface. And if there's a stain you can clean off, you'll want to wipe it down using a microfiber cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol.

This isn't functional issue on the level of Antennagate. It's not like your card will stop working just because it's a bit dirty, and you'll have an incentive to use Apple Pay more often regardless. With that said, the titanium card is as much about flaunting your status as it is making purchases. It's hard to do that when your card looks like it went through hell, isn't it?

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/apple-card-titanium-discolors-in-leather/

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Via shares its ride-pooling technology with NYC public schools

Via is currently working on an app that will be exclusively used by NYC public schools. The app distributes mobile tickets to riders, which they can scan in order to access the bus. A spokesperson from Via said rollout of the app will be phased out during the coming school year.

Many "Uber for kids" ride-hailing companies such as Kango and Sheprd have cropped up in recent years, giving parents a much-needed option for transporting children to school and other activities. Most are still restricted to major metropolitan areas, and for lower-income parents, their cost likely makes them inaccessible. A partnership between a free public school bus system and a ride-hailing app, on the other hand, would be the first of its kind.

New York City's school bus system has faced criticism in recent years for its delays and corruption. Buses were often late or would not show up at all. Back in January, the NYC Council passed legislation that mandated the use of GPS tracking on school bus routes.

Given that New York City is the largest school district in the nation, its partnership with Via should be a valuable case study for the future. If the technology is a success, it's likely it will spread to other cities. Given how ubiquitous GPS tracking has become for everything from packages to taxis, it makes sense that it will spread to school buses.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/via-shares-its-ride-pooling-technology-with-nyc-public-schools/

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Google, Intel and Microsoft form data protection consortium

Some of the early contributions include a Microsoft framework that helps you write code to run inside Trusted Execution Environments, an Intel framework for protecting code at the hardware level and a Red Hat tool that abstracts secure environments to the point where you can create and run private "serverless" apps.

Appropriately, the Linux Foundation will host the Consortium.

There's a lot of work to be done before the CCC bears fruit. It's easy to make a public commitment to the notion of confidential computing, but it's another matter to follow through. It's the first time an open source project like this has gotten underway, though, and it could lead to a day when you can assume your data is reasonably secure at every stage -- even if some governments are likely to complain.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/confidential-computing-consortium/

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