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Google Home gets one of its missing key skills, but still ‘months’ away in UK

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Google announced today that its Home smart assistant is getting an update today that brings support for up to six individual people in a household, thereby allowing each person to hear their own schedule, music, reminders and other Home-controllable services.

While that’s rolling out in the US from today, it’s due ‘in the coming months’ for owners in the UK, which leaves anyone without voice range of your Home able to hear your schedule. That’s probably not a huge problem for anyone living with their family, versus a shared apartment, for example, but it’s still a frustrating limitation that will quickly see your Spotify playlists and taste profile ruined by general household use.

If you’re in the US, you should (soon, if not already) be able to see a card within the Home app telling you that the option is available. Once each individual voice is registered – and tied to a different Google account – it’ll be able to recognise the different voices and return the appropriate information specific to that person.

Of course, with Home still not able to do things like adding a calendar entry – it can read one back to you, but not add one – supporting multiple people in the home is a necessary, if not meteoric, milestone towards making the device genuinely useful.

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I’m a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. 10second.tech is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run SexTechGuide.com.

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YouTube is removing its most annoying ads (but not yet)

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YouTube will remove the unskippable 30-second pre-roll ads that accompany many of the videos on its platform, but it’s not all good news as the format isn’t going away entirely.

Google confirmed the move to Campaign, essentially acknowledging that the format doesn’t work well for users and that as of 2018, it’ll no longer be offered to advertisers to improve the overall experience.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the end of unskippable ads altogether, and the shorter 15 and 20 second slots will still be shown before and mid video content, but at least the longest ones will have gone.

In the UK particularly, the ability to avoid ads would be less of an issue if YouTube offered its YouTube Red subscription service, which brings a couple of additional features and removes all the ads from the platform, but it’s currently only available to users in the US.

With Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, both having their own video ambitions, focusing on user experience to retain its dominance in the market is probably a smart move at this point.

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Artists create surrogate SMS hotline to stop you sending those angry messages

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You know the feeling, right? That one where you’re apoplectic with rage and barely restraining yourself from sending that highly-charged, emotional, and frequently inadvisable SMS? Of course you do.

Now, however, rather than torpedoing your career or long-standing friendships, you can text your irate and emotional messages to ‘When I Think About You I Text Myself‘ on 323.498.2368, if you’re in the US. Presumably, adding the international dialling code to that will work for anyone else.

The project is a collaboration between artists Hanny Ahern and Adam Rohksar, and technologist Chris Allick. For the initial project phase, the responses that will be sent out are written by the two artists.

“The message-in-a-bottle approach is an opportunity for an emotional release without concern for social repercussion. It allows the contributor to soothe their impulse, and use texting as a mode of poetic expression to find voice and grace. When I Think About You I Text Myself allows the artist to play the role of intermediary, as if to say, “I’ll receive you until you’re ready to receive yourself,” the trio wrote.

After that, people who sent messages will receive them back at three, six, nine and 12 month intervals, which is why it’s focused on receiving genuine and emotional messages, rather than ‘4got to buy milk’.

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Mishu’s dating app is like Tinder, but with an attempt at fun

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Ask anyone that uses Tinder [way too much] and they’ll tell you that swiping your way through endless profile photos on the gets old pretty quickly. Mishu’s dating app aims to add a little spice into the tried-and-tested swipe format for dating with the introduction of personality cards.

In essence, it’s Tinder (in that you swipe your way through profile pictures) interspersed with the occasional simple question, like ‘House of Cards or Game of Thrones?’. With such soul-searching questions, you’re destined to find your true love, of course. Or, if you don’t spend your whole life sat around watching TV, you can make up your own questions too.

You’ll then be notified if any of your matches also like the same things as you, ie. gave the same response to the questions. 

It’s a fairly minor twist on Tinder, but if you’ve already ‘completed’ that app, you might want to give Mishu a look.

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