The following are the gadgets, computing devices, and wearables announced or shown at CES that most impressed the Ars team. Some were selected because they promise to bring fresh ideas to users, while others were selected because they appear at first glance to be impressively engineered and designed for quality. Unfortunately, some of the world's most innovative tech companies don't make a big showing at CES. Instead, they choose to announce or show their products elsewhere—or they don't make an appearance at all. For that reason, Ars can't claim that this is a comprehensive list of the most promising devices of the year. But, if nothing else, CES gives us a glimpse of what the consumer electronics industry is prioritizing right now. Sometimes those priorities become cornerstones of consumer and enterprise technology for years to come, while other years yield experiments that go out of focus in short order. The emphases on convertibles over tablets and the prevalence of voice … [Read more...] about The best PCs, gadgets, and wearables of CES 2018
Google is bringing gadget maker Nest back under its control as the search giant battles rivals Amazon and Apple in the rapidly expanding smart home market. A big part of the change: Making it easier to add Google's artificial intelligence technology and Assistant -- a digital helper that competes against Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri -- into new Nest products.The world's largest search engine has staked its future on building Google smarts into devices beyond smartphones. On Wednesday, Google said Nest was part of its plans and would no longer operate as a separate division that lived in the outer orbit of parent company Alphabet's "Other Bets" group of projects. Now Playing: Watch this: Nest goes back to Google 1:54 Instead, Nest rejoins the Google mothership -- the part of Alphabet that houses search, YouTube, Android mobile software and other moneymakers. Nest, acquired by Google in 2014, had been operating outside of Google, the only profitable division of Alphabet, for … [Read more...] about Google and Nest reunite in push to add AI to every gadget
Everything changed for Facebook two years ago. The company was accused of making politically biased choices about which news stories showed up as trending topics in users’ news feeds. The adjustments Facebook made in response to those criticisms not only changed Facebook’s platform in fundamental ways, but it also significantly altered the landscape of politics in America and elsewhere. WIREDs editor in chief Nick Thompson has just published—along with his coauthor, contributing editor Fred Vogelstein—a lengthy cover story about Facebook’s “two years of hell.” The gripping saga shows how the social network’s power to affect how its users see the world and its inaction in combatting bad actors have had disastrous consequences. This episode isn’t about gadgets, but it’s an important listen nonetheless. Some notes: Read the Facebook story, which is also WIRED magazine’s March cover story. The launch of Instant Articles. … [Read more...] about Gadget Lab Podcast: Nick Thompson Discusses the Facebook Cover Story
You may find it hard to close Facebook and get on with your day, and you may flick open Twitter as soon as you wake up, or browse your feeds for an hour every night before you fall asleep. But are you addicted to social media? Are your app usage habits detrimental to your greater sense of wellbeing? Are the technologies we’ve been praising for a decade really bad for you? The science of app addiction has so far been inconclusive, but that hasn’t stopped a chorus of prominent voices in tech from urging Silicon Valley to reverse its trend of making extra-sticky apps that soak up our attention. We welcome WIRED’s senior science writer Robbie Gonzalez to the show to discuss this call for reversal, where the science of technology addiction stands, and ways we can cope when we’re feeling overwhelmed by our feeds. Some notes: Read Robbie’s story about the science of app addiction and his interview with Catherine Price. Read Simone Stolzhoff’s piece … [Read more...] about Gadget Lab Podcast: Are You Addicted to Your Phone?
January has so far proven to be one of the busiest months for the transportation industry. CES in early January was flooded with car news, including the debut of a new $45,000 electric SUV by a Chinese Tesla competitor called Byton. Then, just days after CES wrapped, we had the Detroit auto show, where America’s largest car-makers trot out their designs for the next year. WIRED transportation editor Alex Davies pays close attention to all of these announcements and developments. He joins us this week to discuss the latest in autonomous car tech, electric driving, and why China is the future of the auto industry. Some notes: What we’ve already learned about the future of cars in 2018. Jack Stewart on Byton’s launch at CES. How automakers getting into self-driving tech are turning to a new breed of manufacturing partners. Recommendations this week: Wormwood on Netflix, Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich, and Electric Dreams on Amazon. Send the hosts … [Read more...] about Gadget Lab Podcast: The State of the Auto Industry in 2018