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Google Action Blocks for People with Cognitive Disabilities: Report

According to the tech giant, Action Blocks is the first of its efforts to empower people with cognitive disabilities, help them gain independence, connect with loved ones and engage in the world as they are

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Aimed especially at helping people with cognitive disabilities, Google has announced a new accessibility tool named Action Blocks which would allow users to pre-write Google Assistant commands and place shortcuts to them on their home screen.

Action Blocks are an expansion of ‘DIVA’, the accessibility initiative announced by the tech giant back at the I/O 2019 conference.

‘DIVA’ aims to make smart speakers more usable for anyone who finds it hard to use spoken commands, by hooking them up to physical controls that are programmed to activate pre-configured actions.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“Think about the last time you did something seemingly simple on your phone, like booking a rideshare. To do this, you had to unlock your phone, find the right app and type in your pickup location. The process required you to read and write, remember your selections and focus for several minutes at a time.

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“For the 630 million people in the world with some form of cognitive disability, it’s not that easy. So we’ve been experimenting with how the Assistant and Android can work together to reduce the complexity of these tasks for people with cognitive disabilities,” Ajit Narayanan, Staff Software Engineer, Accessibility, Google, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

According to the tech giant, Action Blocks is the first of its efforts to empower people with cognitive disabilities, help them gain independence, connect with loved ones and engage in the world as they are. (IANS)

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Stadia Pro Members to Get Six Bonus Games in June, Reveals Google

The game is supposed to be launched on June 16

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Google reveals that Stadia Pro members will get 6 new free games in June. Pixabay

Google has revealed that Stadia Pro members will get six bonus games in June, or twice as many as usual.

Six new games for free with Stadia Pro are Get Packed, Little Nightmares, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, SUPERHOT, Panzer Dragoon Remake, and The Elder Scrolls Online,

The game will be launched on June 16 and will be available on the subscription-based game service Stadia immediately, Google said on Friday.

Stadia also brought some big updates to users who use the service via Google’s Chrome browser. The platform added support for wireless Stadia Controller play and 1440p resolution — exclusively for Stadia Pro subscribers.

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The game will be available on the subscription-based game service Stadia immediately, Google said. (Representative Image). Pixabay

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The company also announced 12 existing games that are still available to add to Stadia Pro collection.

Earlier, Google revealed that it will add more than 120 games to its subscription-based game service this year. (IANS)

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Scam Spotter: Google Launches Programme to Stop Scammers Exploiting Covid-19

Google has launched a new programme to stop COVID-19 scammers

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Google launches a new programme to spot stop Covid-19 scammers. Pixabay

Google on Thursday launched a new programme called Scam Spotter to spot and stop scammers who are exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic with alarming speed, taking advantage of fear and uncertainty.

The programme simplifies expert advice with three rules when you receive a suspicious phone call or message to figure out if it’s a scam.

The three rules are: “Slow it down, spot check and stop! Don’t send.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people reported $1.9 billion lost to scams in 2019.

Every minute, more than $3,600 disappeared from wallets and bank accounts in response to made-up stories of urgently overdue tax payments, bogus contest winnings, or a smooth-talking online suitor who suddenly needs some gift cards.

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According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people reported $1.9 billion lost to scams in 2019. Pixabay

“A high-pressure phone call or exciting message can overcome many people’s judgment, especially if they are caught at a vulnerable moment,” said Google.

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While people ages 25-40 are most likely to be scammed, research shows it’s seniors who stand to lose the most, with their median losses more than double the average.

The company also unveiled a new website ScamSpotter.org.

“If we learn how to spot the bad actors, we can spend our time focusing on those moments that matter,” said the company. (IANS)

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Google Brings YouTube Kids App on Apple TV

Now you can get YouTube Kids from App Store for your Apple TV

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YouTube Kids app is now available on Apple TV. Wikimedia Commons

Google has announced that its YouTube Kids app is now available on Apple TV and families can now download the app from the App Store.

The Kids app works on both the 4K and the HD versions of the streaming media player.

Once downloaded, to open the app, one can say “Hey Siri, open YouTube Kids.” One can also sign-in with their YouTube account for parent controls and settings.

“Once you have downloaded the app on your Apple TV (4K or HD), you can choose whether or not you want to sign in. If you choose to sign in, simply follow the prompts on your TV and enjoy. To open the app, you can use the Siri Remote and say “Hey Siri, open YouTube Kids,” Google said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Download YouTube Kids on your Apple TV and say “Hey Siri, open YouTube Kids.”. Wikimedia Commons

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“If you choose to sign into the app on your TV, your parent controls and settings will transfer to the YouTube Kids experience on Apple TV. If you want to change any of your settings, you can do so in the app on a tablet or phone,” the company added.

YouTube Kids was first unveiled in 2015 as part of an effort to provide age-appropriate video content to children.

In the succeeding years, the app was introduced to various smart TVs such as LG’s webOS TVs and Samsung Smart TVs. (IANS)