Microsoft to hold HoloLens 2 press event next month

Microsoft is holding a press event at Mobile World Congress next month, and it looks like we’ll get some details on HoloLens 2. The software giant will hold its event on Sunday February 24th at 5PM CET (11AM ET), and CEO Satya Nadella, Technical Fellow Alex Kipman, and CVP Julia White will all be in attendance. Kipman’s name indicates this will likely be a HoloLens 2 event, given his close involvement with this project.

Microsoft has typically avoided Mobile World Congress in recent years, after killing off Windows Phone. The company used to hold annual press events for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone updates at Mobile World Congress, alongside mobile device announcements. This is an unusual return to Barcelona for Microsoft.

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In season 2, The Punisher feels like he’s trapped in the past

Spoiler warning: This review reveals major plot points from The Punisher’s first season, and it lays out storylines from season 2.

In the first episode of season 2 of Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe series The Punisher, a character asks revenge-driven vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) when he lost his family. He responds, “There are times where it feels like yesterday. Sometimes it feels like a million years ago.” That’s a telling answer from a character weighing whether he can finally move past the tragedy that transformed him into the antihero The Punisher. Unfortunately, showrunner Steve Lightfoot also seems conflicted about how much The Punisher’s past should define his future, and that indecision produces a season that can’t…

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Alexa’s news-reading voice just got a lot more professional

Starting today in the US, Alexa will now read out the news in a much more natural, human-like way by selectively emphasizing certain words in a sentence in the same way a real newscaster would. The new voice, which Amazon first announced last November, can be heard when you ask Alexa for your daily news briefing using the query, “Alexa, what’s the latest?”

Amazon created the new voice by using machine learning to analyze audio clips from actual news channels to identify patterns in the way newscasters speak. This “neural text-to-speech” method means that Alexa knows which syllables to emphasize and which to skim past, rather than pronouncing them all equally as it previously did. You can hear the difference in the sample audio clips…

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