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CES 2019 This is what its like to go on Googles Assistantthemed

first_img Now playing: Watch this: 31 Photos Tech Industry Take a ride with Google at CES 4:29 1 Join us on Google’s small world-style theme park ride… Google set up an Assistant-themed ride at CES. James Martin/CNET Google brought its own version of “It’s a Small World” to CES.The ride, which opened Tuesday at Google’s massive booth outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, is part of a big promotional blitz the search giant is making around the Assistant, the company’s digital helper software, like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.So yeah, a ride about software. To Google’s credit, the company is self-aware about the absurdity. Before riders get into their seats, a voice over the PA system welcomes them to an experience that’s “part ride, part marketing stunt, let’s be honest with ourselves.”Here’s how the whole thing plays out. Riders wait in line where they meet Grandma, who talks to the crowd. Then they are ushered into a room where they hear the story for the ride. You’re with Dad as he tries to rush through his errands and buy a cake for Grandma’s 91st birthday. Share your voice Tags Comment google-assistant-booth-ride-abuelaHere’s Grandma. James Martin/CNET The slow-moving ride takes you through Dad’s day: His rambunctious kids run through the house, he gets stalled in traffic, then gets caught in a downpour. Through it all, he gets help from none other than… the Google Assistant. Dad says things like “Hey Google, navigate to bakery,” and “Send Jane my ETA.”Then he goes to a French bakery where the baker only speaks French. Which is a good time to use the new Assistant interpreter mode, literally announced today. As the ride moves along, you can see the Google Assistant jumping into action on a screen on the dash of the ride cart. At the end of the ride, you get your picture taken.google-booth-google-ride-ces-2019-7968Traffic, amirite? James Martin/CNET The attraction punctuates Google’s elaborate showing at CES. The world’s largest tech conference is more important to the search giant than ever as it pushes devices to consumers that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Samsung. Google said its presence at this year’s show is triple the size it was last year. Google declined to disclose how much it cost to produce and build the ride. Elsewhere at the conference, the company plastered the words “Hey Google” — one of the trigger phrases for the Assistant — over one of the main entrances of the Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as on the city’s monorail. Google also has an army of human “Google Assistants,” dressed like a cross between painters and snowboarders in all white, roaming the show floor. At the show, Google made a slew of announcements, including a new smart clock manufactured by Lenovo and a new platform that aims to make it easier for device makers to add the Assistant to their gadgets. CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. CES 2019 Google Assistant Google Alphabet Inc.last_img read more

US warns of action after Syria chemical attack

first_imgA man breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib. Reuters file photoThe United States and Russia were on a collision course over Syria on Wednesday after a horrific chemical attack so shocked President Donald Trump that Washington threatened unilateral US action.At least 86 people were killed early on Tuesday in rebel-held Khan Sheikhun in northern Syria and dozens more were being treated after they were found convulsing and foaming at the mouth.After previous major chemical attacks in Syria in 2013, Trump strongly urged then-president Barack Obama not to order military intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.And he came to office promising both to improve ties with Assad’s ally President Vladimir Putin of Russia and to focus US efforts in Syria solely on the defeat of the Islamic State group.But on Wednesday—as footage emerged of Syrian children choking to death in agony—he declared that his view of the conflict had been changed by an attack that “cannot be tolerated.”“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah, alluding to Obama’s failure to enforce his own 2013 “red line.”“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies… that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines,” he warned.“I will tell you, it’s already happened, that my attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much… You’re now talking about a whole different level.”Trump did not go into detail about what any US response to the atrocity would be—and he has previously opposed deeper US military involvement in Syria’s civil war.Rethink supportThe US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned of unilateral action and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Russia to rethink its support for Assad.“There is no doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad is responsible for this horrific attack,” Tillerson told reporters.“And we think it is time for the Russians to really think carefully about their continuing support for the Assad regime.”Tillerson is due in Moscow next week for talks that will now be clouded by the Khan Sheikhun controversy.At the United Nations, Haley was equally forthright.“When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” she said.The warning came during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called by France and Britain after the attack.Haley, lashing out at Russia for failing to rein in its ally Syria, showed photographs of lifeless children choked in the attack.“How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she demanded. “If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it.”‘Categorically unacceptable’Britain, France and the United States have presented a draft resolution demanding a full investigation of the attack.Russia—along with Iran—is Syria’s main diplomatic and military partner. And Moscow, true to form, said the draft text was “categorically unacceptable.”Failure to agree on a compromise text could prompt Russia to use its veto to block the draft resolution. Moscow has used its veto seven times to shield Syria from UN action.The Western-backed draft text backs a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and demands Syria provide information on its operations.Russia’s deputy ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the UN council that the proposed resolution was hastily prepared and unnecessary, but voiced support for an inquiry.“The main task now is to have an objective inquiry into what happened,” he said.Russia turned up at negotiations with a rival draft resolution that made no reference to specific demands that Damascus cooperate with an inquiry, diplomats said.Negotiations were continuing on the draft text and diplomats said there would not be a vote before Thursday at the earliest.“We are talking about war crimes here, war crimes on a large scale, war crimes with chemical weapons,” said French Ambassador Francois Delattre.The British ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, told reporters he hoped council members would agree on a draft resolution by Thursday, but vowed to press for a vote regardless.Moscow, which launched a military intervention in 2015 in support of Assad’s forces, defended the government against accusations of responsibility for the attack.It claimed the deaths were caused when a Syrian strike hit a “terrorist warehouse” for bombs containing “toxic substances” and pledged to maintain its military support for Assad.Western experts have dismissed this claim as implausible, given the scale and nature of the casualties.And a senior State Department official said: “Anyone with common sense and the ability to look at pictures knows that what the Russians are saying about the depot is not true.”‘A gas so lethal’Doctors said victims showed symptoms consistent with the use of a nerve agent such as sarin—suspected to have been used by government forces in deadly attacks outside Damascus in 2013.US officials have not said what kind of agent they think was used, but Trump said it was “a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was.”If confirmed, the attack would be among the worst incidents of chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war, which has killed over 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.Syria officially relinquished its chemical arsenal and signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 to avert military action after it was accused of an attack outside Damascus that killed hundreds.But there have been repeated allegations of chemical weapons use since.last_img read more