Google begins advertising home services in search results

Google is starting to make it easier to find plumbers, locksmiths, cleaners, and other home service workers. It’s rolling out a new type of search ad today that’ll place listings for these services at the top of relevant search result pages, although only around the San Francisco Bay Area for now. The listings include a phone number for the business, customer ratings, basic details on their services, and a photo of someone who represents the company. The idea is that you can now just search for “lock repair” and immediately get a locksmith’s number, rather than having to look through search results — or, you know, turn to another competitor like Amazon.

But keep in mind that these aren’t people working for Google, nor are they…

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Author: Jacob Kastrenakes

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Google's self-driving cars might be too good at braking for cyclists

Google’s self-driving cars are cautious by design, but in at least one instance, it may be a bit too much. A cyclist posting on a road bike forum says that an encounter between themself and a self-driving car ended up with neither moving more than a few inches for a good two minutes. The cyclist apparently came to a stop at a four-way intersection moments after a Google car did, but the cyclist remained standing on their bike. As the car began to move forward, the cyclist also rolled forward slightly, causing the car to come to a halt. While trying to maintain balance on the bike, this back and forth keep going:

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Author: Jacob Kastrenakes

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Netflix on Wii U finally catches up to every other box in your living room

The Wii U is home to some truly amazing games. But as a set-top box, Nintendo’s console lags far behind the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Most owners would probably tell you they don’t even care; again, it’s all about those first-party games. But if you’re a frequent Netflix user, you’ll be pretty glad to hear that the Wii U Netflix app now offers the same experience you’ll find on other home theater boxes.

Wii U users can now create and sign into individual profiles — something other Netflix devices have had for a long, long time. The entire user interface has been refreshed and is far more responsive, according to reports at the NeoGAF forums, and Netflix on Wii U also now supports autoplay. So if you’re binging on a show, the next…

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Author: Chris Welch

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The best thing about this wearable is its hypothetical-zombie-apocalypse video

If you’ve been holding out for a new activity tracker that lets you share contact information by bumping your wrist to another and is made by a company known for more for its gaming devices than anything else, well, this is your lucky day.

Razer is rolling out the new Nabu smartband, a $100 activity tracker with an OLED display. The “Nabu” name might not sound familiar to you — it doesn’t have nearly the brand awareness that Fitbit or Jawbone do. If you do recognize it, you might be thinking, “I thought the Nabu came out last year.” And you would be right: Razer announced the first Nabu band at CES 2014, and then later shipped the Nabu X, which we reviewed here.

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Author: Lauren Goode

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Netflix’s 4K video reportedly cracked, Breaking Bad episode posted online

Pirates might have managed to break the copy protection on Netflix’s Ultra HD video. TorrentFreak reports that a 4K copy of the first episode of Breaking Bad has been posted to a private torrent tracker site. The Verge hasn’t verified the existence of the file, which is supposed to be nearly 18GB, and TorrentFreak doesn’t report testing it firsthand. But if the episode is real, it would be the first known case of someone cracking Netflix’s 4K anti-piracy measures.

Netflix started offering 4K, or Ultra HD, content in April of 2014, starting with its political drama House of Cards. It’s added a handful of other shows since then, including Breaking Bad, which was added in June of 2014 through a partnership with Sony Pictures. Along with…

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Author: Adi Robertson

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