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Weekly Recap: Tons of Nintendo Switch Details, PS4 Outsells Xbox One - GameSpot

It was a big, big week for the Nintendo Switch, the next home console from storied and iconic gaming company Nintendo. We learned the console's price, release date, initial launch lineup, and more. Go to GameSpot's Nintendo Switch page to see a rundown of all of our coverage so far.

The NPD Group announced this week that the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the United States for December 2016. The Xbox One was no slouch, however, as it was the best-selling system overall for the second half of 2016, Microsoft said. You can read our full December NPD report here.


Nintendo’s Switch already gets right what the Wii U got wrong - The Verge

There are still a lot of questions about Nintendo’s Switch, and the Kyoto gaming giant has everything to prove. But after spending a few hours in the hybrid console’s company this afternoon in Tokyo, I think Nintendo might be onto something. At the very least, there’s evidence that the Switch is a more credible effort than its predecessor, the Wii U, which was Nintendo’s biggest home console failure to date.

I say that because of product decisions that cut to the core of how each system is used. With the Wii U and its tablet-style GamePad controller, developers essentially had two options — beam the same image from the TV to the portable screen, or display different content on each. Few found much use for the latter scenario, so the vast majority of games ended up employing the former, relegating the GamePad to a clunky, low-res portable that couldn’t even be taken outside of the house. Most of the Wii U’s best games ended up being perfectly playable without the GamePad at all.


Google’s new self-driving minivans will be hitting the road at the end of January 2017 - The Verge

Waymo, the self-driving car startup spun-off from Google late last year, will be deploying its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans onto public roads for the first time later this month, the company announced at the North American International Auto Show today.

The minivans will be hitting the roads in Mountain View, California and Phoenix, Arizona, where the company’s self-driving Lexus SUVs have already driven thousands of miles over the past few years. Also today, Waymo gave the public its first look at the self-driving Pacificas, which have been under wraps since the deal between Google and Fiat Chrysler was first announced back in May 2016.


New Galaxy S8 Leak Suggests Surprising Design Choice

For a long time the expectation has been that Samsung would switch to a single model as the Galaxy S8, and this model would echo the S6 Edge and S7 Edge with the two long edges curving into the edge of the device. The curved screen is seen as Samsung's 'key physical attribute' by many and helps the Galaxy devices stand out in the crowded retail market.

The two previous generations of flagships have also provided 'vanilla' handset options with flat screens - the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 - although the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in Q3 last year (fiery issues notwithstanding) saw a single model with only curved edges. Putting the focus on a single design emphasises the message of innovation that Samsung always loves to push, it reduces the complexity of shipping multiple SKUs, and it removes the dangers of overestimating demand of one design over the other.


Ford expands Alexa use, heating up auto personal assistant battle - Business Insider

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co is expanding the use of Inc's Alexa personal assistant in its vehicles to allow drivers to talk to their cars - demanding anything from a nearby cheeseburger to a weather forecast - marking a leap by the Detroit automaker to incorporate a technology initially targeted for home use.


How Google embarrassed Apple

This week didn't look good for Apple.

Google's new Pixel phone launched to positive reviews, largely because of the phone's new digital helper called Google Assistant.

As I wrote in my review of the new Google Pixel, it’s relatively easy to make a high-end smartphone these days. The real challenge is lighting it up with unique software that helps you do more.


Samsung faces lawsuit from Note7 owners who couldn’t use their phones | Computerworld

Samsung’s problems with lawsuits from alleged victims of overheating batteries in the Galaxy Note7 smartphone could get compounded by consumers suing for compensation of carrier charges.

The three plaintiffs in a proposed class action lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court are not suing for compensation for personal or property damage from the at times overheating and even exploding Note7 smartphones.

In an effort to boost collaboration and attract millennials, even old-school organizations are tearing

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Instead, the plaintiffs are asking the South Korean phone maker to compensate users for the time it took Samsung to replace and eventually discontinue the Note7s, which resulted in users having to pay for device and plan charges to cellular operators “for phones they could not safely use.”



Google Launches ‘Fact Check’ Feature to News Stories - SFGate

Google, which ranks articles by relevance — and can make or break digital media companies — is now fact-checking stories on Google News by adding links to unbiased, explanatory stories in search results.

Google’s new “Fact check” tag — which joins other categories the search giant uses to distinguish certain posts within the endless sea of internet content such as “Highly Cited” and “Opinion” — aims “to help readers find fact checking in large news stories,” according to a blog post.

In the post, Google Head of News Richard Gingras explained some of the logic in determining which stories get the “Fact check” tag.