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This beloved video game franchise packs in 90 years worth of Disney history — here are all 32 Disney films represented in the 'Kingdom Hearts' series

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 02:07 PM PST

Kingdom Hearts Steamboat Willie

  • "Kingdom Hearts" is a beloved video game franchise that blends the worlds of Disney's films with characters and gameplay from the "Final Fantasy" universe.
  • Due out on January 25th, "Kingdom Hearts III" is one of the most anticipated games of the decade, and the first true sequel in the series since 2005.
  • From Mickey Mouse to Wreck-It Ralph, memorable characters from more than 30 Disney films appear across the "Kingdom Hearts" games.

"Kingdom Hearts" is a video game franchise born from improbable circumstances: Before the first game was released in 2002, few could have imagined that Disney would be willing to hand their full library of iconic characters over to a Japanese video game developer. 

And yet, developer Square Enix found itself with a hit in the form of "Kingdom Hearts," which marries the gameplay of its own "Final Fantasy" series with the legendary Disney pantheon of heroes and villains. 

Due out on January 25th, "Kingdom Hearts III" is the first series sequel in more than 13 years, making it one of the most anticipated games of 2019. Square Enix has already teased a bunch of new worlds and returning characters for the game, borrowing from films including "Toy Story," Frozen," "Tangled," and"Big Hero 6."

Indeed, in "Kingdom Hearts," players travel between different world's based on Disney films, usually accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy. In the course of battling the villainous Heartless, hero Sora helps classic Disney heroes like Mulan, Aladdin, and Simba face familiar villains from their respective stories. Since the first game was released, "Kingdom Hearts" has incorporated characters from more than 30 Disney films.

Below you can find every Disney movie represented in the "Kingdom Hearts" series— including the forthcoming "Kingdom Hearts III" — in the order they were released.

SEE ALSO: 'Kingdom Hearts 3' has leaked over a month early, and outraged fans are trying to punish the person they think did it

SEE ALSO: The 29 hottest video games you shouldn't miss in 2019

"Steamboat Willy" (1928)

"Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs" (1937)

"Pinocchio" (1940)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

CPR isn't as safe as you may think and that's because TV gets survival rates wrong

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 02:00 PM PST

You're glued to the TV, watching your favorite show … there's a heart-pounding moment where a beloved character needs CPR, and then they're totally fine! But this is TV. It's not real life.

Real survival rates for CPR are much lower than what's shown on TV. For instance, one 2018 study included 18,000 hospitalized CPR cases. Overall, only 28.5% of the adults survived to eventually leave the hospital. Now compare that to TV medical dramas. A team of researchers sat down and watched 91 episodes of Grey's Anatomy and House. And discovered that about 70% of people who received CPR survived.  That's over double the survival rate compared to reality.

And sure, Hollywood is allowed to bend the truth for the sake of suspense. But in this case, this misinformation can be dangerous. Many doctors actually opt out of CPR for themselves. There are even cases of doctors tattooing their chests to make extra sure they don't receive CPR. And it may sound paranoid but doctors know that even if you beat the odds and survive CPR, your quality of life might never be the same.

That's because of how CPR actually works. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When the heart stops, breathing air into the person's lungs and pushing down on their chest, helps keep oxygen flowing to the brain. And may restart their heart. But what they usually don't show on TV dramas, is that CPR can:

  • Fracture the breastbone
  • Crack ribs
  • And bruise the lungs

These types of injuries are common because, your heart is inside your rib cage, and surrounded by other organs. So, in order to make an impact on it, you have to compress the chest by about 5 cm. Our ribs aren't designed to withstand that kind of force. On top of that, brain cells start dying 6 minutes after the heart stops.

So people who don't receive CPR right away, are at risk of permanent brain damage. For example, one study in China found that about a third of CPR survivors had some level of brain damage. Now, just because TV shows get most of this wrong isn't what's dangerous.  It's the fact that we believe a lot more of what we see on TV than we should. When 269 people were asked where they got information about CPR, Almost half said they used TV shows as a source.

One survey found that nearly a quarter of older people believed that 90% of CPR cases survived. Which may lead them to opt for CPR themselves. And that's especially problematic for people over 65, who have lower survival rates than younger patients. So, when it comes to medical advice ask a real doctor.

And let the attractive actors in scrubs do what they do best: Entertain (not teach).

Join the conversation about this story »

The best car we saw at CES 2019

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:59 PM PST

Audi Aicon

  • Though Audi first unveiled its Aicon concept car in 2017, it was my favorite car at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
  • The electric, autonomous concept vehicle's exterior design, interior design, and proposed specs and capabilities made me more excited about the possibility of riding in a production version than those of any other car I saw at CES.
  • Audi has said it intends to make a production vehicle based on the Aicon by 2021.

Though Audi first unveiled its Aicon concept car in 2017, it was my favorite car at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The electric, autonomous concept vehicle's exterior design, interior design, and proposed specs and capabilities made me more excited about the possibility of riding in a production version than those of any other car I saw at CES.

ces 2019 graphicThe Aicon concept has four motors that deliver 405.7 pound-feet of torque, and it has a proposed range of between 435 and 497 miles per charge. It would be able to charge to 80% of its capacity in under 30 minutes, and Audi says it would charge wirelessly without human assistance.

Read more: The 31 coolest concept cars revealed in 2018

Since the Aicon concept has no steering wheel or pedals, it has a spacious interior that would hold four passengers. (I was not able to see inside the concept vehicle at CES, but Audi has released renderings of its interior.)

Two would sit on a bench in the vehicle's rear, and two would sit on seats that would be able to slide nearly 20 inches backward or forward and swivel up to 15 degrees to the left or right.

The Aicon's transparent roof and long windshields would provide a more expansive view to passengers than many of today's production vehicles.

Audi Aicon

The Aicon's exterior styling achieves a difficult balance between the sleek proportions of a traditional luxury vehicle and modest but futuristic flourishes like the elongated windshields and lighting arrays that replace traditional headlights. The Aicon is one of the best-looking concept vehicles I've seen.

What it is: An electric, autonomous passenger car

Who makes it: Audi

Why it's the best: The Aicon features some of the best exterior and interior design I've seen in a concept vehicle, and the prospect of a spacious, long-range, autonomous vehicle that can charge quickly makes me excited about the future of transportation, even if that future is more distant than automakers have indicated.

Where and when you can get it: Audi has said it intends to make a production vehicle based on the Aicon by 2021.

How much it will cost: Audi has not said how much a production version of the Aicon might cost.

SEE ALSO: Here's all the major tech we're expecting at CES 2019, the biggest tech convention of the year

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NOW WATCH: Watch YouTuber Master Milo transform a small Ford into the ultimate stunt machine

IBM unveils the world's first quantum computer that businesses can actually use to solve previously impossible problems (IBM)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:45 PM PST

Ginni Rometty

  • IBM unveiled the IBM Q System One on Tuesday, billed as the world's first quantum computer that businesses will actually be able to buy and use.
  • Previously, quantum computers have only been confined to research labs — Microsoft, Google, IBM, and lots of others have been racing to bring a viable quantum computer to market. 
  • Now IBM will partner with commercial clients to give them access to this technology, which can allow businesses to model complicated data such as investments and risk.
  • Quantum computers have the potential to perform seemingly-impossible computing tasks, but they're still in their very early stages.
  • The computer itself is in a nine-by-nine glass cube that maintains it at the exactly correct temperature and other conditions it needs to do its work — a kind of fragility that means that you can't just order one and have it sent; customers will access it via the IBM Cloud. 

For many years, quantum computers have only been within the confines of the research lab.

On Tuesday, though, IBM unveiled the IBM Q System One, billed as the first-ever quantum computer designed for businesses to put to their own use — though the company is clear that this is only the first step towards a broader revolution. 

Quantum computing is considered one of the most promising early-stage technologies out there today. That's because quantum computers can process exponentially more data and have the potential to completely transform entire industries. For example, they could potentially streamline aerospace and military systems, calculate risk factors to make better investments, or, perhaps, find a cure for cancer and other diseases. 

"Data will be the world's most valuable natural resource," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the IBM Q System One was unveiled. 

Don’t expect to install one in your office any time soon, though. While the computer is open to paying customers, developers will access its power from the comfort of their own homes or offices via the IBM Cloud.1

Computers today store data in binary, as either zeroes or ones — strings of ones and zeroes represent numbers or letters. However, quantum computers are much more powerful. That's because they store data using qubits, which have a special property that allows zeroes and ones to exist simultaneously. This seemingly-small thing gives quantum computers the ability to do exponentially more calculations at once, making them powerful enough for incredibly complicated tasks like drug discovery, intensive data analysis, and even creating unbreakable codes. 

Enclosed in a nine-foot-tall, nine-foot-wide glass case that forms an air-tight environment, this sleek computer is IBM's first effort to bring quantum computing to businesses. The casing is important: Qubits lose their quantum computing properties outside of very specific conditions. A quantum computer has to be kept well below freezing, in a mostly vibration- and electromagnetic radiation-free environment.

IBM's new system aims to address this challenge with an integrated quantum computer that solves all of that on behalf of customers — hence the casing, which keeps everything in ship-shape. However, this relative fragility is why you won't be installing an IBM Q System One in your own office — while it's definitely a major step forward, it's a far ways away from being something you can order and have delivered.

"The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing," Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research said in a statement. "This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science."

Read more: Here’s why we should be really excited about quantum computers

Later this year, IBM will also open its first IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial customers in Poughkeepsie, New York. At this lab, clients can use IBM's cloud-based quantum computing systems, as well as other high performance computing systems. 

IBM isn't the only company that's been working on quantum computing, as the technology is still far from ready for mass deployment.

Google is researching how to make quantum computers more stable and better able to find and fix errors, and it has also created and tested qubit processors as it pursues the technology. Microsoft is working on creating hybrid quantum computers, which combine the new technology with more conventional processors. Intel, too has been working on making big bets on quantum computing chips. 

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NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist reveals exactly how long you need to work out to get in great shape

It took a day for WeWork's CEO to recover from the shock of a $16 billion SoftBank investment falling apart

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:40 PM PST

Adam Neumann wework we company ceo

  • WeWork — the coworking space startup that just changed its name to The We Company — was recently informed it wouldn't receive the full $16 billion investment it was expecting from SoftBank.
  • Plans for the major investment reportedly upset some of SoftBank's government-supported financial backers in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, who questioned putting so much capital into a startup that was losing money.
  • It reportedly only took a day for Adam Neumann, CEO of what was then still called WeWork, to shake off the blow and resume negotiations with SoftBank to hammer out a revised deal for a $1 billion in new capital and another $1 billion that would go to shareholders.

After hearing that SoftBank could no longer invest $16 billion into his startup, We Company CEO Adam Neumann was reportedly able to salvage $1 billion in new capital by refusing to accept the deal was completely dead.

It reportedly took only "a day" for Neumann to recover from the bad news, Fast Company reports. The CEO then quickly hashed out a revised deal with the Japanese investment firm, announced Tuesday, that will provide The We Company with $1 billion in new capital, $1 billion that would go to shareholders, and the promise of an additional $1.5 billion that would arrive in 2020.

SoftBank has previously invested $8 billion into The We Company, the new name for the coworking startup WeWork. The rebranding will allow the company to expand its offerings beyond collaborative workspaces and into new ventures in co-living housing units, education, and banking services, the company said when announcing the name change.

Read more: WeWork is changing its name to 'The We Company' as SoftBank invests $2 billion

It was initially reported back in October that SoftBank planned to invest $16 billion in The We Company, which would give the Japanese firm a majority stake in the startup. However, SoftBank's backers — which notably include government-backed funders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reportedly balked at such a hefty investment in a company that saw a net loss of more than a billion in 2018.

The last straw that broke the $16 billion deal was the poor debut for SoftBank's telecom unit when it went public on the Japanese stock market in December, Fast Company says. Neumann said that not long after the tumultuous IPO showing, he received a call from SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son to cancel the multi-million dollar investment.

Here's how Neumann reacted to hearing SoftBank would no longer invest $16 billion, according to Fast Company:

[Softbank CEO Masayoshi] Son “called me,” Neumann recalls, in an interview on Monday with Fast Company. “He said, ‘We’re partners. What should we do?'” Son told him that the deal SoftBank and WeWork had spent months negotiating was no longer viable.

It was a blow, but those inside WeWork who worked closely with Neumann on the deal say that, almost immediately, he returned to the negotiating table. “It took a day for Adam to recover,” says one source who was close to the negotiations.

Working around the clock, through the holidays into early January, WeWork and SoftBank hammered out a revised deal, announced this week, for $2 billion of new capital at a $47 billion valuation. WeWork now has more than $10 billion of funding from SoftBank and close to $7 billion on its balance sheet.

You can read more about SoftBank's latest investment and the thinking behind WeWork's name over at Fast Company.

SEE ALSO: WeWork is changing its name to 'The We Company' as SoftBank invests $2 billion

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NOW WATCH: We put the 7 best smartphones of 2018 head-to-head and there was a clear winner for the best value

Former Facebook employees reportedly say the corporate culture is like a cult where you have to be happy all the time (FB)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:24 PM PST

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Former Facebook employees say they felt pressure to remain positive and were discouraged from speaking up while working for the social-media giant, according to a CNBC report on Tuesday.
  • Some even characterized the internal culture at Facebook as "cult-like."
  • The former employees put much of the blame on Facebook's twice-yearly peer-review system, where employees are "stack-ranked" and assigned a grade by management.

Former Facebook employees reportedly say they felt pressure to remain positive and were discouraged from speaking up while working for the social-media giant, according to a CNBC report on Tuesday.

Some even characterized the internal culture at Facebook as "cult-like," according to the report.

“There’s a real culture of ‘Even if you are f---ing miserable, you need to act like you love this place,’” one former employee who left in October told CNBC. “It is not OK to act like this is not the best place to work.”

Read more: Zuckerberg's new year's resolution is to host public debates about the effects of tech on society

The former employees put much of the blame on Facebook's twice-yearly peer-review system, in which each employee was typically given feedback by five of their colleagues.

The system made employees feel the need to participate in after-hours social events, grab lunch with teammates, and remain a positive advocate for the company to remain in good standing with colleagues, according to the report.

“It’s a little bit of a popularity contest,” one of the former employees said. “You can cherry-pick the people who like you — maybe throw in one bad apple to equalize it.”

Once peer feedback is collected, employees are "stack-ranked" and assigned a grade by management. Only a certain percentage of employees can receive each grade, so managers must advocate for their direct reports to receive the highest honors, according to the report.

“There’s a saying at Facebook that once you have one bad half, you’re destined for bad halves the rest of your time there. That stigma will follow you,” one former manager told CNBC.

The stack-rank system was introduced by management guru and General Electric CEO Jack Welch in the 1990s and adopted by Microsoft until 2013 when the company stopped the practice amid a declining employee morale.

Read the full CNBC report here.

SEE ALSO: Google is running a Disneyland-style ride from its massive booth at the world's largest tech show

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NOW WATCH: How Apple went from a $1 trillion company to losing over 20% of its share price in 3 months

'Fortnite' made nearly half a billion dollars on just Apple devices in 2018, according to a new report (AAPL)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:12 PM PST

Fortnite championship

  • "Fortnite" is a money-making behemoth.
  • The game reportedly generated just shy of $500 million in revenue in 2018 — and that's only on Apple's devices.
  • In December 2018 alone, the game reportedly made just under $70 million on Apple devices.

"Fortnite" continues to dominate the attention of tens of millions of players around the world.

Despite the fact that it's a free game, "Fortnite" brings in hundreds of millions of dollars through sales of virtual items, sales of virtual money, and the ever-important seasonal Battle Pass.

The game is available on seven different gaming platforms, but it's perhaps most popular on Apple's ubiquitous iPhone and iPad.

It's no surprise, then, that "Fortnite" is estimated to have grossed over $455 million in iOS revenue in 2018.

Fortnite (battle pass)

That's according to analytics firm Sensor Tower, which says 82.6 million people worldwide have downloaded the game on iOS devices since the game's mobile launch in April 2018. 

To be all the way clear, that means "Fortnite" reportedly grossed nearly half a billion dollars on only Apple devices, and it did so in just eight months of availability. Not too shabby!

Of course, these are only estimates. "Fortnite" maker Epic Games hasn't released any official revenue figures and remains a private company. But the latest figures appear to be in line with previous reports about the direction and momentum of "Fortnite's" revenue.

Keeping its own cut

Broken down further, "Fortnite" is said to have made $1.6 million each day on Apple's devices; if Apple is pulling in its standard cut of 30%, Apple made somewhere in the realm of $136.5 million on "Fortnite" in 2018.

With that kind of money at stake, it's no wonder Epic Games launched "Fortnite" on Android without Google's help — you simply download the game directly from Epic's website. That lets Epic sidestep the Google Play store cut and keep all the revenue to itself when Android users download the game on their phones. 

We don't know how much revenue "Fortnite" has generated on Android devices. Sensor Tower's estimates are only for iOS. 

As a general rule, Apple iPhone users tend to spend more money than Android users on mobile apps and in-app purchases. But outside of the US, Android is the dominant mobile platform, with a roughly 80% market share. That means "Fortnite's" global Android revenue, which Epic keeps 100% of, may add up to a nice chunk of change. 

Not a bad first year for a game.

SEE ALSO: The CEO behind 'Fortnite' is now worth over $7 billion

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NOW WATCH: I cut Google out of my life for 2 weeks, but the alternatives prove why Google is so much better

35 Big tech predictions for 2018

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 01:04 PM PST

35 big tech predictions for 2018Technology is increasingly disrupting every part of our daily lives.

Smart speakers and voice assistants let us interact with our homes and with retailers in new and seamless ways.

Smartphones are taking over as the dominant shopping device.

Viewers continue to move away from traditional TV toward digital platforms.

And the list is growing.

Nearly every industry has been disrupted by digital technologies over the past 10 years. And in 2018, we expect to see more transformative developments affect our businesses, careers, and lives.

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a list of 35 Big Tech Predictions for 2018 across Apps and Platforms, Digital Media, Payments, Internet of Things, E-Commerce, Fintech, and Transportation & Logistics. Some of these major predictions include:

  • Cryptocurrencies will become more widely accepted
  • Google and Apple will challenge Amazon in the smart speaker space
  • The resurgence of the VR market
  • The real self-driving car race will begin
  • Drone regulations will relax
  • Alibaba’s international expansion
  • Gen Z will become a major focal point for media companies and advertisers
  • Payment security will become paramount
  • Smart home devices will take off

This comprehensive list of 35 predictions can be yours for free today. As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive free newsletter, Business Insider Intelligence Daily.

To get your copy of this FREE report, simply click here.

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Trump officials cancelled public appearances at the biggest tech show of the year over the 'optics' of attending during government shutdown, Fox Business reports

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 12:50 PM PST

elaine chao

  • High-powered officials in Trump's administration have pulled out of public appearances at major events thanks to the government shutdown.
  • Business Insider has confirmed that Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has cancelled her CES appearances, including her attendance at a big, invitational Leaders in Technology Dinner.
  • These cancellations are reportedly due to "optics," meaning Trump officials are concerned that traveling with their staffs for speaking gigs is not a good look while the government isn't fully operational and 800,000 non-essential employees are furloughed without pay.


As 180,000 people swarm Las Vegas to discover the latest and greatest in consumer and automotive technology, there's a crop of people who are noticeably not there: high-powered officials in Trump's administration.

Trump officials have cancelled their attendance at CES across the board due to the "optics" of appearing at the show during the government shutdown, reports Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman from the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). 

Claman is on tap to do a fireside chat interview with Waymo CEO John Krafcik at an invitation-only dinner for 600 technologists and government official policy makers. Waymo is the self-driving car company spun off from Google.

One of the most prominent policy makers scheduled to attend that dinner was Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. But, like other Trump officials, Chao has also cancelled her CES attendance, Claman reports, and a source close to Waymo confirmed the cancellation to Business Insider.

Read more: Leaked Uber employee survey shows what it's really like to work at the company ahead of its massive IPO: Read the full survey results here

CES is a major show for Chao. She had planned speaking engagements, meetings, and visits to the show floor and certain booths. Her cancelation was so last minute that her secret service detail had already secured the area for her, Claman reports. 

Chao (who is married to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell) has been a staunch advocate of autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars and drones along with other new transportation technologies. She's been working on regulations that support these nascent industries. CES is a hub where the leaders in these industries congregate and new technologies are displayed.

Chao was even slated to give a keynote talk on Wednesday at CES, where she was expected to announce a new rule that allowed drones to fly over people, Politico reported.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai also cancelled his CES appearances for the second year in a row, and Commissioner Brendan Carr bailed, too. Last year, Pai cancelled over death threats after he reversed net neutrality regulations. This year, he cited the government shutdown as his reason for cancelling.

The government shutdown is now in its 17th day and Trump officials who have not been furloughed themselves are increasingly bowing out of public appearances. Beyond the CES cancellations, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb was supposed to deliver the keynote address at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference today in San Francisco and announce a new office to speed up drug approvals. 

But he instead scheduled an appearance over webcast instead, telling Stat News he canceled the trip because the FDA was operating with limited staff and he needed to stay at the office.

SEE ALSO: Uber employees describe a stressful and 'ridiculous' culture at the self-driving-car unit under its current leader, Eric Meyhofer

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NOW WATCH: We tested out $30 tiny spy cameras from Amazon by spying on our co-workers

You can save up to $50 on Google's smart-home hubs right now

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 12:30 PM PST

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Google Home

  • Three of Google’s smart-home hubs are on sale at prices that nearly match those from Cyber Monday. The Google Home Mini is $30 (originally $50), the Google Home is $90 (originally $130), and the Google Home Hub is $150 (originally $200).
  • These hubs have similar features to the Amazon Echo, but also let you access Google-owned services like Google Calendar, YouTube, and Google Maps.
  • The Google Home Mini and Google Home also come with a three-month free trial to YouTube Music Premium, Google's music streaming service, if you're a new subscriber. The service usually costs $9.99 per month. 
  • At these sale prices, all three Google Home devices are as cheap or cheaper than comparable Amazon Echos, so if you're looking for a hub to start your smart home, don't miss out on these deals.

If 2019 is the year you're planning on making your home "smart," you're in luck. Three of Google's smart-home devices, the Google Home Mini, Google Home, and Google Home Hub, are all on sale at several stores, and you can save up to $50.

For anyone unfamiliar with Google's line of smart-home hubs, they're basically the search giant's take on the Amazon Echo.

Instead of Alexa, Google's hubs have the Google Assistant, which you can use to play music from popular streaming services like Spotify, control smart-home accessories like a Nest thermostat, and get answers to your burning questions like "What's 82 degrees Farenheit in Celsius?"

The big advantage Google's hubs have over the Echo is that they work with Google-owned services like YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Calendar. Using these services, you can ask your Google Home to give you directions, manage your calendar events, or play popular videos. If your Google Home doesn't have a screen, you can wirelessly stream the YouTube video you want onto a TV that has a Chromecast media streamer attached. 

Because these services are owned by Google, they're exclusively available on its Google Home devices. 

The sale prices on these devices are already great, but Google has sweetened the pot by including a free three-month trial to its music streaming service YouTube Music Premium with both the Google Home Mini and Google Home. This trial only applies to new subscribers, but the service costs $9.99 per month, so it basically pays for the price of the Google Home Mini on its own.

If you've been curious about starting a smart home, a hub is the right place to start, and at these prices, the Google Home is a no-brainer — especially if you regularly use Google's services. They're as cheap or cheaper than the equivalent option from Amazon, which makes them the best value in smart-home hubs right now.

Google Home Mini, $29.99 (originally $49.99), available at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target [You save $20]

Google Home, $89.99 (originally $129.99), available at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target [You save $30]

Google Home Hub, $99.99 (originally $149.99), available at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target [You save $50]

SEE ALSO: The 12 best smart home devices you need to live like the Jetsons

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Intel's Mobileye is taking its ready-to-go self-driving technology to China to solve public-transit problems (ITC)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 12:15 PM PST

FILE PHOTO: A logo and stock price information for automotive industry supplier Mobileye NV is displayed on a screen where the stock is traded on the floor of the NYSE, August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

  • Intel's Mobileye will partner with the Beijing Public Transport Corporation to bring autonomous mobility to that city's residents.
  • "The new solution is expected to be initially deployed in 2022," Mobileye said at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas.
  • Mobileye is pursuing a unique role as an autonomy consultant in the self-driving race, providing solutions based on hardware, software, and safety.

Unlike Tesla and General Motors' Cruise division, Intel's Mobileye self-driving unit isn't trying to build vehicles. Instead, Israel-based Mobileye is offering customers, clients, and partners a one-stop solution for autonomous mobility.

The company, acquired by Intel in 2017, is now pushing the envelope on its flexible business model. At the Consumer Electronics Show — CES — in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Mobileye announced a deal with the Beijing Public Transport Corporation to bring autonomous mobility to Beijing's residents. 

"The partnership aims to promote the development of autonomous driving technology in public transportation, establish a new industry standard and improve overall quality of public transportation services," Mobileye said in a statement.

Increasingly, Mobileye is operating sort of like the IBM of autonomous transportation. While Alphabet's Waymo is focused on developing a high-tech "driver" made of hardware and software that can be dropped into any vehicle, cyborg-style, and Cruise is building AV systems into GM vehicles, Mobileye is functioning as a self-driving consultant that can also provide multilayered hardware and software solutions.

Read more: Intel's Mobileye and the British government have found an unexpected way for self-driving data to improve infrastructure

In fact, Mobileye's approach goes beyond nuts-and-bolts and bits-and-bytes, as the deal with BPTC shows. The collaboration joins Mobileye's "AV Kit" — which the company calls a "turn-key" Level 4 self-driving system, meaning that it can all but eliminate human input — with a "Responsibility Sensitive Safety" model.

RSS is basically an open-source guidebook for how AVs should behave in real life. Mobileye designed it to provide a standardized way for its technologies to be safely applied.

Safety is the most important feature

Chairman of Israeli driving assistant software maker Mobileye NV, Amnon Shashua, poses for a photograph at his office in Jerusalem September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

"Safety has always been our North Star," Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua said in a statement to accompany the BPTC announcement. "We view it as a moral imperative to pursue a future with autonomous vehicles, but to not wait for it when we have the technology to help save more lives today."

According to Jack Weast, a Mobileye vice-president, the deal represents a vital proof-point for AV Kit and RSS.

"AV Kit isn't a one-off," he told Business Insider. "We can retrofit existing vehicles."

The RSS aspect, he added, can help a government determine if an AV will operate safely. 

"We need an industry standard," he said. "RSS is open, not proprietary. It formally and mathematically defines safety."

Weast also noted that RSS can play a role even before fully driverless vehicles arrive on roadways in major numbers.

"Why wait?" he asked. "RSS can be active while humans are still doing the driving."

As the autonomous space evolves over the next few years, Mobileye has carved out a unique space. Like Ford, it's stressing safety. Cruise and Waymo are equally safety-focused, but they're closer to commercial applications — Waymo with a rollout in the Phoenix area, and Cruise with plans to hit the streets officially in 2019. 

But Mobileye is also trying to negotiate the gray area between the assorted driver-assist features now available (some of which it powers) and the far-off world of full autonomy. This is a foggy realm at the moment, full of questions. Mobileye's goal is to provide sensible answers.

SEE ALSO: I drove a $42,000 Chevy Colorado Z71 to see if the pickup truck could live up to its aggressive looks — here's the verdict

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Mark Zuckerberg's new year's resolution is to host public debates about the effects of tech on society (FB)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 12:14 PM PST

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that his new year's resolution is to host public debates about the effects of tech on society.
  • Every year Zuckerberg poses himself a challenge; they've varied from wacky to serious.
  • His challenge for 2018 was to fix Facebook's woes after the social network came under fire for its role in spreading misinformation.
  • But 2018 saw Facebook take a beating after it was embroiled in a string of scandals and security incidents.
  • Now Zuckerberg is positioning himself as part of the solution.

After a year of unprecedented scandals and scrutiny, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his new year's resolution for 2019 is to host a series of debates about tech's influence on society.

The 34-year-old billionaire chief exec is famous for his sometimes wacky resolutions, from coding his own virtual AI assistant to eating only meat from animals he killed himself. On Tuesday, he announced that this time around, he resolves "to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society — the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties."

"Every few weeks I'll talk with leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields and I'll try different formats to keep it interesting. These will all be public, either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

His resolution last year was to fix Facebook's woes after scrutiny came over the social network's role in spreading misinformation and Russian propaganda. "This will be a serious year of self-improvement and I'm looking forward to learning from working to fix our issues together," he wrote in early 2018.

Instead Facebook ended up taking a beating in 2018. The company was buffeted by scandals, from Cambridge Analytica to massive hacks and its role spreading hate speech amid genocide in Myanmar. The CEO faced mounting calls to resign, and the spectre of regulatory and legislative scrutiny now hangs over the company's head.

Zuckerberg's 2019 resolution tries to position the CEO as part of finding the solutions to the issues tech has caused, rather than a key factor in their creation. Debate topics will include the role of central authorities in gatekeeping online debate, the impact of the internet on "our social fabric," and the effects of AI on human labor.

"There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology's place in it," he wrote.

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Here's the full text of his post:

Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn something new. I've built an AI for my home, run 365 miles, visited every US state, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.

Last year, I focused almost all my time on addressing important issues around elections, speech, privacy, and well-being. Facebook is a different company now than it was a couple of years ago because of a much greater focus on these questions. These issues are complex and we will continue focusing on them for years to come.

There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology's place in it. Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? Should we decentralize authority through encryption or other means to put more power in people's hands? In a world where many physical communities are weakening, what role can the internet play in strengthening our social fabric? How do we build an internet that helps people come together to address the world's biggest problems that require global-scale collaboration? How do we build technology that creates more jobs rather than just building AI to automate things people do? What form will this all take now that the smartphone is mature? And how do we keep up the pace of scientific and technological progress across fields?

My challenge for 2019 is to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society -- the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties. Every few weeks I'll talk with leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields and I'll try different formats to keep it interesting. These will all be public, either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media.

This will be intellectually interesting, but there's a personal challenge for me here too. I'm an engineer, and I used to just build out my ideas and hope they'd mostly speak for themselves. But given the importance of what we do, that doesn't cut it anymore. So I'm going to put myself out there more than I've been comfortable with and engage more in some of these debates about the future, the tradeoffs we face, and where we want to go.

I'm looking forward to another year of learning and personal improvement, and to discussing a lot important questions with all of you!

SEE ALSO: Facebook endured a staggering number of scandals and controversies in 2018 — here they all are

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Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the stylish new CLA coupe to take on BMW and Audi

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:30 AM PST

Mercedes Benz CLA 2020

  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new, second-generation CLA four-door coupe at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday. 

  • The new CLA will be powered by a 221-horsepower, turbocharged engine, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
  • The CLA will take on the BMW 2 Series and the Audi A3.
  • Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, which will go on sale in the United States in late 2019, is not yet available. 

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new, second-generation CLA four-door coupe at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday. 

The CLA is Mercedes' second new entry-level model, following the introduction of the 2019 A-Class sedan. The duo will take on the BMW 2 Series, as well as the A3, S3, and RS3 models from Audi. 

Even though both the A-Class and CLA boast four doors and are similar in size, the CLA is distinguished by its sloping, fastback roofline, which allows Mercedes to classify it as a coupe.  

Mercedes Benz CLA"With the first CLA we celebrated a huge success by selling some 750,000 vehicles and created a totally new segment with a four-door coupe," Britta Seeger, the marketing and sales boss for Mercedes-Benz cars, said in a statement. "The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor."

Read more: 40 hot cars we can't wait to see in 2019.

Power for the new CLA will come from a 221-horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Unlike the rest of the Mercedes lineup, the CLA's engine drives the front wheels, instead of the traditional rear-wheel-drive setup. However, the company's "4Matic" all-wheel-drive system is available as an option. 

Mercedes Benz CLAMercedes has not revealed its 0 to 60 mph time, but the company did tell Business Insider that the CLA will have a top speed of 130 mph.

The CLA will boast the latest in Mercedes' in-car and safety technology led by the company's new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which deploys artificial intelligence to learn about the driver's needs and likes. On the CLA, MBUX is run through a standard 7-inch touchscreen or an optional 10.25-inch screen.

Mercedes Benz CLAThe CLA is also equipped with a full-color head-up display, adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, and active brake assist.

The first-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA debuted in 2013 to positive reviews but suffered from some initial quality issues. The model recovered and was a popular seller for the automaker.

Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, which will go on sale in the US in late 2019, is not yet available. 

SEE ALSO: We drove a $23,000 Volkswagen Jetta to see if it's ready to battle Honda and Toyota. Here's the verdict.

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Google is moving in to a former Los Angeles shopping mall to open a massive new 584,000-square-foot office (GOOGL, GOOG)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:18 AM PST

los angeles westside pavilion

  • Google is growing its presence in Los Angeles, the company says.
  • Google has leased a new 584,000-square-foot office in West Los Angeles that is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
  • Dubbed “One Westside," the offices will take up part of what is today the Westside Pavilion mall.
  • The expansion is Google's latest since announcing its new $1 billion New York City campus in December.

Google is growing its presence in Los Angeles, the company said on Tuesday.

Google will take over 584,000 square feet of space at One Westside — an office space that will take up part of what is today the Westside Pavilion mall in West Los Angeles. A portion of the mall will continue to operate once Google moves in, but the tech giant will fill the rest of the space.

"Google's been a proud member of the Los Angeles community since 2003. We're excited to continue investing in the community as part of Hudson Pacific and Macerich's adaptive reuse project at One Westside," said RG Kahoe, Google's real-estate project executive for the Southwest.

One Westside is scheduled to be completed by 2022. The company's 14-year lease will begin upon completion of the project.

One Westside will be Google's third office space in the Los Angeles area. The company opened a major headquarters in the region in Venice Beach — equipped with a giant binocular entrance and climbing wall — back in 2011. It also leased a 319,000-square-foot hangar in Playa Vista in 2016.

Read more: Check out these photos of Google's monstrous new Venice Beach office

The expansion is Google's latest since announcing its new $1 billion New York City campus in December.

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Verizon is blasting AT&T for its 5GE branding strategy — but it could be a savvy move that topples Verizon's dominance

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:09 AM PST

Former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg

  • Verizon is blasting AT&T for displaying a 5GE logo on its phones.
  • 5GE stands for 5G Evolution and is not equivalent to the 5G standard.
  • The strategy could unseat Verizon’s network dominance this year, according to analyst Walter Piecyk.

Verizon is blasting AT&T for marketing its LTE Advanced network by displaying '5GE' logos on its devices.

5GE stands for 5G Evolution and AT&T says this service will offer faster speeds, with actual speeds of 40 megabits per second that could peak at 400 mbps. That's double the speed of its LTE network. Still, it's not the peak of 1.2 gigabits per second that AT&T has said its 5G network will be able to access.

In a note posted online Monday titled "When we say '5G,' we mean 5G," Verizon chief technology officer Kyle Malady urged the industry to avoid such behavior. Verizon also made the same point with full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today on Tuesday. AT&T isn't mentioned by name, but the Verizon ads are a clear shot at their wireless competitor.

"If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behavior designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology," Malady wrote in the note.

The indicator on 5GE-capable smart phones lets customers know when they are receiving that enhanced wireless experience, a spokesperson for AT&T told Business Insider.

It's more than just industry altruism that's behind Verizon's call for precision in branding 5G products.

AT&T's marking strategy could unseat Verizon’s network dominance this year, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk wrote on Monday. The media and telco giant is adding 60 MHz of new spectrum to its network this year that could result in noticeable speed and performance improvements for customers, according to Piecyk.

"The broad availability of real 5G' could be years away, providing AT&T with a window of opportunity to surpass Verizon’s historical dominance as the wireless network leader in the United States," he wrote.

Read more: The CEO of Charter is on the lookout for cable deals, and he just took a swing at Verizon's plan to disrupt his business

There seems to be no shortage of mobile competitors in 2019.

Along with AT&T, T-Mobile is also making improvements to its network, and Piecyk predicts it could take share from Verizon in the coming year. Cable is also a relatively new entrant in the space. Both Charter and Comcast have mobile offering for consumers.

"If AT&T can outperform in its wireless business ... we believe this could drive a tightening of AT&T’s dividend yield relative to Verizon, particularly if AT&T’s success was a result of taking Verizon wireless subscribers," Piecyk wrote.

So far, that share stealing doesn't appear to have occurred.

At an investor conference on Tuesday, Ronan Dunne, head of Verizon Wireless, shared early fourth quarter figures for postpaid additions. Dunne said Verizon added 1.2 million retail postpaid net additions, of which about 650,000 were phone net additions.

SEE ALSO: Channel blackouts have exploded over the last decade — and Verizon could be the big winner as pay TV customers look for other options

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I drove a $42,000 Chevy Colorado Z71 to see if the pickup truck could live up to its aggressive looks — here's the verdict (GM)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:09 AM PST

2019 Chevy Colorado Z71

  • The 2019 Chevy Colorado Z71 is a bold and aggressive midsize pickup truck.
  • At $42,000, the Chevy Colorado Z71 is not exactly cheap.
  • But the pickup is every bit as good as its siblings, the base Colorado and the off-road-optimized ZR2.

With its Colorado midsize pickup, Chevy basically revived the small-truck segment in the US. I first sampled the pickup when it was rolled out in 2015 and have since enjoyed the ZR2 top trim level and, more recently, a $42,000 Chevy Colorado Z71.

Of all the pickups, big and small, on the road today, the Colorado arguably does the best job of serving the needs of most nonprofessional pickup owners. I'm talking about the weekend warriors who need to haul mountain bikes to trails, or home-improvement obsessives who have VIP status at Home Depot. These people need a truck bed and a back seat, but not the scale of a full-size truck.

The Colorado fulfills their needs while adding an excellent, modern infotainment system and a compliant ride that isn't too carlike.

The Z71 "Midnight Edition" package I tested brings edge and aggression to this vibe. The base Colorado is a versatile contemporary midsize pickup, and the ZR2 is at-home off-road. But the Z71 gets you noticed.

And noticed I was in the New Jersey suburbs while putting the Colorado Z71 through its paces. Read on to see how it went.

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The Chevy Colorado landed at our suburban New Jersey test center sporting a menacing all-black exterior.

This pickup was the Z71 trim level. The "Midnight Edition" special package added roughly $5,000 to the base price of $37,000.

Last winter, we checked out a Chevy Silverado Z71, the Colorado Z71's big brother.

Read the review »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

BIG TECH IN HEALTHCARE: How Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are shaking up healthcare — and what it means for the future of the industry (GOOGL, AAPL, AMZN, MSFT)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:01 AM PST

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

bii big tech in healthcare ALL Four

The healthcare industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Costs are skyrocketing, consumer demand for more accessible care is growing rapidly, and healthcare companies are unable to keep up. 

Health organizations are increasingly turning to tech companies to facilitate this transformation in care delivery and lower health expenditures. The potential for tech-led digital health initiatives to help healthcare providers and insurers deliver safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care is significant. For healthcare organizations of all types, the collection, analyses, and application of patient data can minimize avoidable service use, improve health outcomes, and promote patient independence, which can assuage swelling costs.

For their part, the "Big Four" tech companies — Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — see an opportunity to tap into the lucrative health market. These same players are accelerating their efforts to reshape healthcare by developing and collaborating on new tools for consumers, medical professionals, and insurers.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the key strengths and offerings the Big Four will bring to the healthcare industry, as well as their approaches into the market. We'll then explore how these services and solutions are creating opportunities for health systems and insurers. Finally, the report will outline the barriers that are inhibiting the adoption and usage of the Big Four tech companies' offerings and how these barriers can be circumvented.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Tech companies' expertise in data management and analysis, along with their significant compute power, can help support healthcare payers, health systems, and consumers by providing a broader overview of how health is accessed and delivered.
  • Each of the Big Four tech companies — vying for a piece of the lucrative healthcare market — is leaning on their specific field of expertise to develop tools and solutions for consumers, providers, and payers.
    • Alphabet is focused on leveraging its dominance in data storage and analytics to become the leader in population health.
    • Amazon is leaning on its experience as a distribution platform for medical supplies, and developing its AI-assistant Alexa as an in-home health concierge.
    • Apple is actively turning its consumer products into patient health hubs.
    • Microsoft is focusing on cloud storage and analytics to tap into precision medicine.
  • Health organizations can further tap into the opportunity presented by tech's entry into healthcare by collaborating with tech giants to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines. But understanding how each tech giant is approaching healthcare is crucial.

 In full, the report:

  • Pinpoints the key themes and industry-wide shifts that are driving the transformation of healthcare in the US.
  • Defines the main healthcare businesses and strategies of the Big Four tech companies.
  • Highlights the biggest potential impacts of each of the Big Four's healthcare strategies for health systems and insurers.
  • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of the Big Four tech companies' initiatives and how these hurdles can be overcome.

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Google and Lenovo have teamed up to make an $80 smart alarm clock that will wake you up gently every morning

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:00 AM PST

Lenovo Google smart alarm clock

  • Google and Lenovo teamed up to create an $80 smart alarm clock. 
  • The Lenovo Smart Clock can tell the time and weather, play podcasts and the news, and wake you up gently with brightness and animations. 
  • The clock will go on sale this spring. 

LAS VEGAS — Google and Lenovo have teamed up once again. 

At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Google unveiled the Lenovo Smart Clock, a touchscreen alarm clock with Google Assistant built in.

The clock, which will cost $80 when it goes on sale this spring, can tell the time and weather, play podcasts and the news, and control your smart home devices. Over time, the clock will offer alarm suggestions based on your routine each day, and it will have the ability to wake you up "gently" using brightness and animations rather than sound. 

Notably, the clock can't play YouTube videos and it does not have a camera. 

Lenovo Google Assistant smart alarm clock

The clock is covered in a soft, gray cloth and has a 4-inch display. It looks a lot like the Google Home Hub, the smart display Google announced in October, as well as Google and Lenovo's first smart display, which was announced last year.

The clock joins almost a billion other devices now running Google Assistant, a figure Google announced ahead of CES 2019's official opening on Tuesday.

It's worth noting that while the Lenovo Smart Clock is the first smart alarm clock with Google Assistant, it's not the first on the market: Amazon introduced the Echo Spot, a $129 softball-sized smart clock, more than a year ago. 

It's early days at this year's CES, but Business Insider will continue covering all the major developments at the show throughout the week — you can follow all of our coverage right here.

SEE ALSO: Google is running a Disneyland-style ride from its massive booth at the world's largest tech show

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Google Assistant now helps you check-in to airline flights so you can stop frantically searching for your confirmation number (GOOG, GOOGL)

Posted: 08 Jan 2019 11:00 AM PST

Google Assistant check-in

  • Google announced a number of Google Assistant updates on Tuesday, during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
  • One of our favorite updates helps users check in to their flights and retrieve their boarding passes by simply saying, "Hey Google, check-in to my flight." 
  • For now, the travel assistance is only available on United Airline's domestic flights. 
  • Other useful updates to Google Assistant include, interpreter mode, Google Maps integration, and auto-punctuation for messages. 

Tired of never being able to find your confirmation number right when you need to check-in to your flight? Well, now Google can find it for you — on United flights, at least. 

On Tuesday, Google announced that its AI-based virtual assistant, Google Assistant, can automatically check you into your flight and help retrieve boarding passes when you say: "Hey Google, check-in to my flight." 

The feature — which will launch publicly within the next few days — will be available on both Android and iOS devices, and will initially work for domestic flights on United Airlines. A Google spokesperson declined to comment on when the feature would be available more broadly. 

The travel aid is among several updates to Google Assistant announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that's taking place in Las Vegas this week. 

Other useful Google Assistant updates include: 

  • Interpreter mode, which helps users conduct a conversation in "dozens of languages." 
  • Google Maps integration, so you can start your route without having to type in your destination. 
  • Auto-punctuation for messages, so you can stop saying "exclamation mark" at the end of every sentence. 
  • Integration with more messaging services, like SMS, WhatsApp, and Messenger. 
  • And of course, more hardware integrations like with Samsung TVs. 

On Monday, Google said that it expects its Assistant software will be available on one billion devices by the end of January, which is up from 500 million last May.

SEE ALSO: Samsung's absurd 219-inch TV takes up an entire wall — thus its name, 'The Wall'

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