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Only a small percentage of users buy stuff through Alexa, report claims
Analysts have been aggressively optimistic in their predictions about the growth of consumer shopping via virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa, but a new report claims that only a small fraction of Alexa device owners shop with voice commands. And most of those who do only try it once or stick to a limited range of products.

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Elon Musk sends Tesla stock soaring with tweet about possible buyout
Tesla's CEO roiled the stock market on Tuesday with a tweet suggesting that he might seek to take the company private at a price of $420—almost 20 percent above the company's then-current price of around $355: Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018

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EU taking another look at phone chargers because they’re still not standardized
EU regulators are planning to investigate if there's a need for a legal mandate to force phone manufacturers to use standard chargers. Should they do so, proprietary chargers—including Apple's non-standard Lightning connector on its phones—could wind up being prohibited. For the better part of a decade, the EU has been pushing phone manufacturers to standardize the chargers they use in…

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Overcooked 2 puts some icing on the original’s delicious co-op cake
A couple of years ago, we declared the original "the new couch co-op champion" thanks to its elegant mix of a charming, simple-to-learn concept, clever level design, and chaotic multitasking gameplay. feels more like an expansion pack for that strong basic concept than a full-fledged sequel. Still, it adds a much-needed coat of polish and some important new features—including online…

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“___ Technica” is a clue in today’s NYT crossword
So there I was this morning, wearing my Star Trek "redshirt" bathrobe and Spider-Man slippers as I bent over my eggs and coffee, crossword puzzle splayed out on the breakfast table beside me, when I saw it. 67 across. Right between 66 across ("Muy ____!") and 68 across ("Holy Toledo!"). It read: "____ Technica, website for gadget news.

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To understand population growth, culture matters
Samir KC is on a mission to get people thinking differently about population growth. The basic idea of predicting future population size is so simple a child could do it. The reality of getting an accurate estimate is fiendishly complex, however, requiring intimate knowledge of how factors like education and migration will affect a given region.

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60,000 board gamers, one convention hall: Gen Con 2018 in pictures
This past weekend, we stormed downtown Indianapolis with 60,000 other tabletop gamers to attend the biggest board game party in America. Gen Con—"the best four days in gaming"—is now in its 51st year, and 2018's show was just as entertaining and exhausting as we remember from years past. We brought some pictures home to share the madness with those who…

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Android 9 Pie proves Android’s update situation is actually getting better
Android 9 Pie launch day was yesterday, and while a major new version of Android is always a big deal, today Android hit another big milestone: the first ever day-one update on a non-Google phone. For years, the Android ecosystem has made updating the OS of a device seem like an impossible task.

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Quantum swings sync when they are free to lose and gain energy
Here's something you might be familiar with: a performance ends, the audience begins to applaud, and the sound becomes thunderous and continuous. But in your immediate neighborhood, everyone seems to be clapping at the same moment. This synchronization is common in the classical world. Attach a few grandfather clocks to a wall and over the course of the day, their…