Ford comes up with a prototype noise-cancelling kennel to shelter dogs from fireworks

Dogs have a much wider range of hearing than humans do and noises that don’t bother us can give them a very ruff time. Fireworks are especially tough on many pups and also hard on owners who have to calm their panicking pets. To potentially help them, Ford has developed a noise-cancelling kennel prototype that it says was inspired by the noise control technology introduced used in its Edge SUV to soften engine and transmission noises.

When microphones inside the kennel detect the sound of fireworks, a built-in audio system sends out opposing frequencies that Ford claims significantly reduces or cancels the cacophony. The kennel is also built with high-density cork to further mute outside noises.

The noise-cancelling kennel is not currently for sale, but Ford says it “is the first in a series of initiatives—called interventions—that applies automotive know-how to help solve everyday problems.”

You might remember, especially if you have a small child, that last year Ford developed a cot called Max Motor Dreams to calm babies who only fall asleep in moving vehicles, a situation many exhausted parents (with high-mileage cars) are familiar with. The cot had small motors underneath that stimulated the feel of a moving vehicle, played actual road noise and even had built-in LED lighting to mimic the glow of streetlights.

At the time, Ford said the cot might be produced for sale if there was enough interest, but even though it went viral, Max Motor Dreams never did make it to the market. That’s not an encouraging sign for people who want to buy the noise-cancelling kennel, but in the meantime, here are some ways you can prepare your dogs for holiday fireworks. There is also a product called the ThunderShirt that is supposed to help alleviate anxiety in dogs, but of course results will vary from canine to canine.

Google will make it easier for people without accounts to collaborate on G Suite documents

Soon it will be easier for people without Google accounts to collaborate on G Suite documents. Currently in beta, a new feature will enable G Suite users to invite people without G Suite subscriptions or Google accounts to work on files by sending them a pin code.

Using the pin code to gain access allows invitees to view, comment on, suggest edits to or directly edit Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. The owners and admins of the G Suite files monitor usage through activity logs and can revoke access at any time. According to the feature’s support article, admins are able to set permissions by department or domain. They also can restrict sharing outside of white-listed G Suite domains or their own organization.

In order to sign up for the beta program, companies need to fill in this form and select a non-G Suite domain they plan to collaborate with frequently.

According to a Reuters article published in February, since intensifying their focus on enterprise customers, Google has doubled the number of organizations with a G Suite subscription to more than 4 million. But despite Google’s efforts to build its enterprise user base, G Suite hasn’t come close to supplanting Office 365 as the cloud-based productivity software of choice for companies.

Office 365 made $13.8 billion in sales in 2016, versus just $1.3 billion for G Suite, according to Gartner. Google has added features to G Suite, however, to make the two competing software suites more interoperable, including an update that enables Google Drive users to comment on Office files, PDFs and images in the Drive preview panel without needing to convert them to Google Docs, Sheets or Slide files first, even if they don’t have Microsoft Office or Acrobat Reader. Before that, Google also released a Drive plugin for Outlook.

This may not convince Microsoft customers to switch, especially if they have been using its software for decades, but at least it will get more workers comfortable with Google’s alternatives, and may convince some companies to subscribe to G Suite for at least some employees or departments.