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Tech News Today for October 26, 2016

Tech News for Wednesday October 26, 2016

Google Access announced that it is placing its high-speed fiber rollout of Google Fiber to a number of new regions on hold. Read more at cnet.com.

General Motors and IBM would like to know what you plan to do while you're not driving your autonomous car. The company hopes you'll eventually spend that time buying more stuff. The Wall Street Journal reports that GM’s OnStar is bringing in the smarts from IBM’s Watson to figure out what you’d like to buy and then to help you buy it. Currently OnStar offers turn by turn navigation, access to a human help desk, diagnostics, and more. But the new version will also also allow marketers to offer you location-based products and services while you’re in the car. So based on all the secret stuff it knows about you, it might gently guide you to get gas for your car, diapers for your baby, and booze for you. Read more at wsj.com.

With 25 million registered users, the cloud bookmarking service called Pocket is looking to move beyond its read-it-later roots and into offering recommendations for its users. Pocket hopes its deep knowledge of links and articles shared by its users will set it apart from Twitter and Facebook. It also will know how far into the article those users read through, how long they spend reading, and whether or not they choose to share it with others once they are done. Pocket will offer the best performing links inside topic areas like Technology, Food and Fitness, to make quality content easier to find. Read more at fastcompany.com.

A few quick Apple stories before we get to our Windows Extravaganza: First, Apple says the wireless AirPods will not debut this week as previously promsed. The company told TechCrunch that they neeed "a little more time." They contend that while the early response to the AirPods hs been incredible, they won't ship a product until its finished. Read more at techcrunch.com.

John Gruber posted on Daring Fireball earlier this week that "little birds" have told him that iMessage for Android mock-ups have been circling around Apple. So, while some were ready to dismiss the possibility of Apple's messaging platform on an Android phone, it should not totally be ruled out. I suspect this is still highly unlikely since Apple rarely offers free software on other platforms when its not about them making money. Read more at daringfireball.net.

Microsoft's Windows 10 and Surface announcement

Microsoft put on a two-hour plus theatrical performance today with soaring music, lyrical speeches and the unveiling of its first-ever desktop PC, the $3000 Surface Studio with 28-inch PixelSense display. For $99 extra, you can also get the hockey puck-shaped nob called the Surface Dial that you can use as a mouse or as a dial on the screen of the device. It adjusts everything from your graphics program to the volume on Spotify. The Surface Studio looks a bit like the iMac, but lets be fair here, way better. Learn more at microsoftstore.com.

Microsoft also announced the Surface Book i7, which they claim is pound for pound the most powerful laptop out there. With 16 hours of battery life in laptop mode, the laptop/tablet hybrid contains the Intel core i7 processor and will cost you $2,399. It ships on November 10th. Find out more at microsoftstore.com.

Microsoft also announced an extension of its Windows Holographic platform into virtual reality, unveiling partnerships with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer that will bring a new breed of Virtual Reality headsets to market starting at $299. Not only are they price-competitive with other major VR players, Microsoft claims the headsets will be the first to ship to consumers with “inside out six degrees of freedom sensors”, meaning they won’t require external cameras to track their position within a room. No timetable was given for the release of the hardware. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Microsoft spent a fair bit of time talking about updates to Paint. Coming next Spring, users will be able to work in three axes to create 3D drawings and import scans from cameras and from Minecraft. The "Doodle Sketch" tool will turn all your 2D doodles into 3D. This is all part of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Read more at theverge.com.

Xbox Live Streaming got a few updates with the new Gaming Streaming Service called Beam. Windows People is supposed to help you keep in touch with the closest family and friends in your life, and a new ergonomic keyboard. Also, Microsoft said today that they will pay you $650 if you trade your Macbook in for a Surface. Read more at news.microsoft.com.

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