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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – June 17

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a Google gets a Siri, a brain surgery is shown online, and Microsoft launches the new Xbox One console. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Brain Surgery Procedure Broadcast Over Twitter, Instagram and Vine

Brain surgery streamed online

UCLA Health recently allowed the world to tune in as surgeons implanted a brain pacemaker in a patient. Tweets were sent out explaining what was being done and how the procedure was going. Also, a six-second video was posted on Vine and featured the patient playing guitar and singing during the process (something he was asked to do to keep him engaged). Amanda Kooser of CNET reports that allowing the public to follow along with the procedure it would bring more publicity to the implantable deep brain stimulation devices that can have a profound positive effect on the lives of people with Parkinson’s, chronic headaches, and dystonia. As of this writing, it is unknown if brain pacemakers will have any effect on addictions to Instagram or Vine.

Twitter Ramps Up Security with Two-Step Verification Process

Having seen a fair share of major accounts hacked over the last few months (including the one for the Associated Press, which falsely reported explosions at the White House), Twitter has decided to make it’s platform more secure. NBC News reports that Twitter users will now be asked to register a verified phone number and a confirmed email address. They will then receive a text message with a six-digit code each time they log into Twitter. In short, users will now need two proofs of identity when logging in—their normal password and a temporary code sent to a cellphone or generated by an app. So if a password is hacked it won’t be enough for someone to access the account.

Xbox’s New Console to Offer Much More than Gaming

Microsoft Xbox One

With it’s new console “One,” Microsoft’s Xbox is looking to change the dynamic of the gaming industry. Xbox one plans to not only allow users to play video games, but it will also serve as an intersection between gaming, television, and other entertainment, according to Chelsea Stark of Mashable. The Xbox One will box run on a 8-core AMD processor with x86 architecture, 8 gigs of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, three USB 3.0 ports, and a Blu-ray drive. It features 802.11 n/g/b wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, as well as Bluetooth. It can hook to cable boxes and recommend programs to users based on interests. There’s also a revamp of the Kinect feature, which will be able to transmit video at 1080p. Users will also be able to control the console with voice activation–for example saying “Xbox on” will turn the device on without having to press any buttons.

Google’s New Search Will Feature Voice Commands and Verbal Answers

Google has introduced a new feature that will allow users to speak questions to its search engine and receive an answer–verbally. According to The Huffington Post, a new mobile application, coming to both smartphones and desktops, will give users the ability to speak directly to a search engine using a huge variety of commands, and Google will understand and respond. While it’s a similar idea to Siri, Apple’s voice-answering technology, Google says it’s main difference is that it can answer questions in full detail. According to the company the new feature will be available “soon” on iOS, Android, and Chrome.

 

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