Google is letting celebrities answer questions about themselves in search results

Google today is launching a new search feature that will have celebrities answering commonly searched questions about themselves in the form of selfie videos that show up at the top of mobile search results. Now, if you’re curious how many languages does Priyanka Chopra speaks or if Will Ferrell can really play the drums, you can watch a pre-recorded video from the Chopra or Ferrell answering the question, offering a “uniquely personal, authentic and delightful touch straight from the source.”

Other celebrities who have recorded videos for the launch include Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, and Gina Rodriguez. From the sound of it, Google may been inspired by Wired’s new video series that asks celebrities to answer commonly…

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Microsoft’s Whiteboard Preview app is all about collaboration

In the quest to release better collaboration tools, Microsoft released its Whiteboard Preview app in a private beta. The software lets teams mark up multiple boards with cute skeumorphic details to ease users into working on a shared digital canvas….
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Android to iPhone, part two: What I’ve liked about switching to the iPhone X

I can already tell I’ll have a hard time going back to Android’s software navigation keys.

One of the most pleasantly surprising features of the iPhone X – and something that’s going to read like it’s straight out of Phil Schiller’s marketing playbook – comes in the form of what Apple removed from the phone: the home button. By forcing the issue of gesture navigation instead of going half-in with soft keys, Apple’s made a convert of me.

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Android to iPhone, part two: What I’ve liked about switching to the iPhone X was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Recode Daily: Drugstore chain CVS will buy health insurer Aetna; Disney is talking again about buying 21st Century Fox assets

Plus: Lyft wants all its corporate employees to experience life as a driver, meet the man who will take over for Meg Whitman, and a secret Nintendo bar in Japan.

Drugstore giant CVS will buy Aetna, one of the biggest U.S. health insurers, for about $ 69 billion — one of the largest M&A transactions of the year. One of the biggest drivers of the deal is Amazon, which has been rumored to be preparing for an entry into the U.S. pharmacy business. The merger could transform CVS’s 9,700 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs for primary care and basic procedures. [The New York Times]

Disney is back in talks about buying some of 21st Century Fox’s assets, and Comcast is looking at the same stuff. The negotiations center on the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio, international assets such as Fox’s 39 percent holding in U.K. satellite TV provider Sky PLC and India’s Star TV, along with some U.S. cable networks; Fox News and the Fox broadcast network are not included. [The Wall Street Journal]

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson warns of a slump in early-stage investing, which he says has slowed down substantially in the past few years. There are going to be fewer deals, Wilson says, but those are going to be bigger deals. [Fred Wilson / A VC]

Meet the man who is about to take the reins as CEO of HPE when Meg Whitman resigns in January. Antonio Neri, who has been with HP for 22 years, brings tech chops to a company in need of hit products. [Rachael King / The Wall Street Journal]

Top stories from Recode

Video will make up 75 percent of mobile traffic in five years.

That’s up from just over half of all traffic now.

Cristiano Ronaldo had nine out of the 10 most-liked sports-related Instagrams in 2017.

Beyonce took the No. 1 spot for the most liked-photo overall.

Saturday Night Livesexual harassment song showcases women’s daily nightmare.

“Welcome to Hell.”

Indian ride-hail player Ola just launched its own dockless bike-sharing service.

Using the same app as they would to hail a ride, Ola users can find the nearest dockless bike.

Learning about Silicon Valley in the 1970s is “like watching the Big Bang,” historian Leslie Berlin says.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Berlin talks about her book “Troublemakers,” which tells the stories of seven men and women who made the tech industry what it is today.

This is cool

Inside a secret, members-only Nintendo bar in an undisclosed location in Japan.


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Barbary Station is a thrilling sci-fi adventure about space pirates and a homicidal AI

In the opening of her debut novel Barbary Station, R.E. Stearns drops her readers into the midst of a thrilling heist of a colonial spaceship traveling through the solar system — and that’s just the first chapter. What follows is a fantastic, lightning-fast space opera that serves as both a fantastic thriller with a cast of well-drawn characters, and a wonderful sandbox of a world that I can’t wait to revisit over and over again.

A couple of centuries from now, humanity has colonized the solar system, scattering colonies across moons, asteroids, and planets. Humanity fought a devastating interplanetary war that’s left behind refugees across the solar system, as well as rogue mercenary and pirate crews preying on ships owned by the…

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