Use your Amazon Echo to crank the AC before you get home

10th June 2019

Smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee were made for remote control so you can set the temperature of your home from afar. Amazon Echo ($65 at Amazon) voice control with Alexa takes these devices a step further by letting you control your thermostat remotely with just your voice. For example, if you have a lake house that’s two hours away (because, who doesn’t?), or you’re feeling comfy on the couch…

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HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

8th June 2019

HBO fans have it great these days. Subscribers can watch their favorite shows and movies whether seated in front of their TV or on a device while riding the bus to work. This freedom comes from the company’s twin streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now, which allow subscribers to experience the wonders of Westworld and Westeros using their PlayStation 4, iPhone, or other HBO-compatible device. With two different ways…

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Verizon lab’s 5G robots, medical tools show speed is just the start

3rd June 2019

When 5G arrives in force, it won’t just be for you. It’ll be for the robots, too. Or maybe more precisely, for you and the robots working together. That was the point of one of the demonstrations Thursday at Verizon’s 5G lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a knee-high humanoid robot trundled up and down several steps and along the length of a wooden platform. It’s a scale model of a…

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US now requires social media info for visa applications

3rd June 2019

If you want to stay in the US, you’ll likely have to share your internet presence. As proposed in March 2018 (and to some extent in 2015), the country now requires virtually all visa applicants to provide their social media account names for the past five years. The mandate only covers a list of selected services, although potential visitors and residents can volunteer info if they belong to social sites…

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42 Million Dating App Records Exposed Online, Leaking User IP Addresses and Location Data

30th May 2019

A database containing records of tens of millions of users of various dating apps has been found publicly accessible, according to a researcher who says it remains unclear who amassed the data. In a blog Wednesday, security researcher Jeremiah Fowler said he discovered the database and that it was not protected by so much as a password. The 42.5 million records, which appeared to belong to multiple apps, were stored…

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Amazon brings voice announcements to all Alexa devices

25th May 2019

Amazon today said voice announcements that turn smart speakers into something like a home intercom system can now be made with third-party devices that use Alexa Voice Service. The move makes announcements available for a number of devices like Facebook’s Portal and smart speakers and soundbars from companies like Bose and Sonos. Announcements are one-way voice messages that can be sent to Echo speakers so you can say things like…

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How Hackers Can Steal Your Data at Airports

24th May 2019

Ever wonder if it’s a bad idea to surf the web using a heavily trafficked public wifi network at an airport? For the most part, it’s safe; your information probably isn’t at risk as long as you connect to the right network. On the other hand, you might want to rethink plugging in your phone to one of those USB power charging stations at the gate. It’s possible that cybercriminals…

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Score a free iPhone 6s when you add a line at Verizon right now

22nd May 2019

We know the iPhone 6s may not be the latest and greatest that Apple is offering right now, but hear us out on this deal. For a limited time, Verizon is offering a free iPhone 6s or an iPhone 6s Plus for $5 a month when you add a new smartphone line of service. Apple has been known to support devices for many years after the company stops selling it,…

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You’re about to start seeing ads for the first time on Google’s mobile homepage

20th May 2019

During Google’s Marketing Live conference for advertisers on Tuesday, the search giant announced a first for the company: Ads are coming soon to Google’s iconic homepage. The ads will be confined to the version of its homepage accessible via the mobile web as well as its smartphone app later this year, which will provide the company a fresh source of advertising revenue and prominent new screen real estate it can…

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Spotify’s first piece of hardware is a voice assistant for your car

20th May 2019

That’s the name of Spotify’s first voice-controlled plug-in smart device: Car Thing. In a blog post Friday, the music streaming company said the device would play music and podcasts for a “small group” of invited Spotify Premium users in the U.S. Spotify said it could also be joined by devices called Voice Thing and Home Thing. A company spokesperson wouldn’t elaborate beyond the blog post. But The Verge found that…

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Google’s prototype AI translator translates your tone as well as your words

18th May 2019

We all know that communication depends on more than just what you say. How you say it is often just as important. That’s why Google’s latest prototype AI translator doesn’t just translate the words coming out of your mouth, but also the tone and cadence of your voice. The system is called Translatotron, and Google’s researchers go into detail on how it works in a recent blog post. They don’t…

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