Tag: lets

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

PS4 update lets parents decide which games kids can and can’t chat in

Sony is giving the PlayStation 4 one more big update before the PS5 arrives, and it’s particularly good news for parents. A version 8.00 update releasing today makes multiple additions, including simpler and more adaptable parental controls. Limits on communication and viewing user-made content are now lumped together to make it “easier for parents to understand.” Crucially, kids can now ask for permission to use communications in specific games — you can make an exception if you know a young one will be talking to friends.

Not everything is positive. The 8.00 update removes user-made events and the creation of private communities. You can still use private communities that already exist, but they’ll clearly dwindle without the option to make more. Sony hasn’t explained the move, but we’ve asked for comment.

There are more additions that might offset that decision. Party and Messages are now more closely connected, with a new interface that uses the same groups for party voice chats and messages. Two-factor authentication finally supports third-party authenticator apps during activation as well as sign-ins across PS4, mobile apps and the web. And you can finally mute all mics from the Quick Menu — you don’t have to wade through menus (if your headset doesn’t have a mute switch) just to take a quick break from the action.

Sony is also updating its Remote Play apps for phones and computers to enable PS5 connections, although that clearly won’t be useful until the new console’s November 12th debut.

You might not want to rush to update to 8.00 when there are reports (albeit a handful) of party and friend issues. We’ve asked Sony about those as well. Even so, it’s hard not to be at least a bit sentimental about this update. While there will likely be other revisions, this

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Bytebase App Lets You Catalog Your Thoughts Like an Engineer

Illustration for article titled A New App Lets You Catalog Your Thoughts Like an Engineer

Screenshot: ByteBase

Bytebase, a new app by two Columbia University software engineers, promises to let you store your snippets, thoughts, and notes in a way that is instantly searchable and automatically organized.

Created by ex-Twilio engineer Cara Borenstein and ex-Nextdoor engineer Theo Marin, the barebones web app is sort of like Evernote amped up on the drug from Limitless.

Explaining how the app works is actually kind of difficult. Like any other note-taking system, you enter data and paste in code, text, or whatever you want to save. You can share it with others and create separate notebooks for each project. More important, each note can act as a link to another note, allowing you to nest information within other pieces of information. To use it, you simply paste in code snippets and text into the “No Man’s Land” area and then move it into separate projects later. You can also make outlines and to-do lists in the app.

Each one of those lines can act as another separate note.

Each one of those lines can act as another separate note.
Screenshot: ByteBase

A feed lets you send notes, called bytes, to co-workers within Bytebase. Because the co-founders are coders, they’ve also added clever keyboard shortcuts that will be familiar to Vim and Emacs users. You can also add large text chunks called BigBytes.

“As a software engineer, it was challenging to get the information I needed to do my job. The information was supposed to be on the wiki, but it wasn’t,” said Borenstein. “So we went back to the drawing board and invested in more user research. We knew that people weren’t really using wikis to their potential, but they were collaborating. We wanted to figure out what it was that they were already doing and see if

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Free Pikmin 3 Deluxe Demo Now Live On Switch eShop, Lets You Transfer Progress To Full Game

Pikmin 3 Deluxe launches on Nintendo Switch later this month, but players will have a chance to sample it before then. During today’s Treehouse Live stream, Nintendo announced that a free Pikmin 3 Deluxe demo is coming to the eShop tonight. The demo is now live, and you’ll unlock some things in the full game for playing it.

If you can defeat the final boss at the end of the demo, you’ll unlock the Ultra-Spicy difficulty in the full version of Pikmin 3 Deluxe right from the outset. Ultra-Spicy is a brand-new difficulty option for Pikmin veterans that caps your Pikmin field limit at 60, making the experience more challenging.

Additionally, Nintendo has confirmed that the Pikmin 3 Deluxe demo allows you to carry over your save data to the full game, so you’ll be able to pick up where you left off when it launches.

We learned a few other new details about Pikmin 3 Deluxe during the Treehouse Live stream. Nintendo confirmed that motion controls and pointer functionality will return as optional control methods. The company also showed off some new features being introduced in this Switch version, including the Piklopedia–which catalogues all the enemies you’ve defeated–and the new side story missions starring Olimar and Louie.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe launches on October 30. You can learn more about the game in our Pikmin 3 Deluxe preorder guide.

That wasn’t all that we saw during the Treehouse Live stream. As advertised, the company also showcased more of

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google research lets sign language switch ‘active speaker’ in video calls

An aspect of video calls that many of us take for granted is the way they can switch between feeds to highlight whoever’s speaking. Great — if speaking is how you communicate. Silent speech like sign language doesn’t trigger those algorithms, unfortunately, but this research from Google might change that.

It’s a real-time sign language detection engine that can tell when someone is signing (as opposed to just moving around) and when they’re done. Of course it’s trivial for humans to tell this sort of thing, but it’s harder for a video call system that’s used to just pushing pixels.

A new paper from Google researchers, presented (virtually, of course) at ECCV, shows how it can be done efficiency and with very little latency. It would defeat the point if the sign language detection worked but it resulted in delayed or degraded video, so their goal was to make sure the model was both lightweight and reliable.

The system first runs the video through a model called PoseNet, which estimates the positions of the body and limbs in each frame. This simplified visual information (essentially a stick figure) is sent to a model trained on pose data from video of people using German Sign Language, and it compares the live image to what it thinks signing looks like.

Image showing automatic detection of a person signing.
Image showing automatic detection of a person signing.

Image Credits: Google

This simple process already produces 80 percent accuracy in predicting whether a person is signing or not, and with some additional optimizing gets up to 91.5 percent accuracy. Considering how the “active speaker” detection on most calls is only so-so at telling whether a person is talking or coughing, those numbers are pretty respectable.

In order to work without adding some new “a person is signing” signal to existing calls, the

01
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Gmail mistakenly removed the button that lets you triage loads of emails at once, but it’s coming back

If you’re not the inbox zero type — and I’m definitely not — you might sometimes rely on Gmail’s “Select all conversations that match this search” option to read, archive, or delete hundreds or thousands of messages at once.

Except we can’t do that anymore, and neither can a number of angry Gmail users we’ve spotted. The option has up and disappeared. Google accidentally removed it, the company confirms to The Verge.

Instead of the option, we’re seeing a nav bar with a handful of shortcut buttons when we search, like this:

Thankfully, Google tells The Verge it’s coming back “as soon as possible,” adding:

We are working to bring back the feature in Gmail that allows you to ‘select all conversations that match this search’ as soon as possible. This feature was removed unintentionally. We apologize to our users who may have been affected.

That’ll be good news to those who posted in this Gmail help thread from six days ago, which had gone unanswered until now, and it explains why Google’s own Gmail support team was unaware of a change; on at least a couple occasions, they’d been giving readers instructions that no