Archive for the ‘amazon alexa’ Category

In flashpoint for the rebellion against big tech, Sonos sues Google for patent infringement

January 8th, 2020
Photograph of cylindrical smart speaker.

Enlarge / The Sonos One SL. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

In a move that has become the top talking point of CES and a flash point for an industry's pent-up frustrations, smart audio company Sonos has sued Google for infringement of five of its patents, The New York Times reports.

The publicly traded, Santa Barbara, California-based audio company sued Google in a federal court and the US International Trade Commission. The goal is to block sales of some of Google's products (including smart speakers and smartphones, among other things) and to collect financial damages.

According to the article, Sonos "handed over the effective blueprints to its speakers" to Google in 2013 during an effort to make Google's services work on said speakers. Sonos didn't anticipate it then, but Google later launched smart speakers that competed directly with Sonos' offerings. After Google's speakers hit the market, Sonos employees purchased some and used packet sniffing to analyze how the Google speakers worked with each other. They say they discovered that the speakers used technological solutions that Sonos has previously developed and patented. (They claim to have found the same when testing Amazon's Echo speakers, too.)

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Posted in amazon, amazon alexa, google, Google Assistant, lawsuit, patents, Sonos, Tech | Comments (0)

Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

November 5th, 2019
A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered a clever technique to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice-controlled devices — all just by shining a laser at the targeted device instead of using spoken words. Dubbed 'Light Commands,' the hack relies on a vulnerability in MEMS microphones embedded in widely-used popular voice-controllable systems that unintentionally

Posted in amazon alexa, amazon echo, Apple Siri, Google Home, hacking news, hacking smart device, microphone, smart home, voice assistant, voice command | Comments (0)

Amazon confirms it keeps your Alexa recordings basically forever

July 3rd, 2019
"Alexa, does my voice really sound like that?"

Enlarge / "Alexa, does my voice really sound like that?" (credit: Amazon)

If you (like so many of us) hate listening to recordings of your own voice, you may be in for an unpleasant future, as Amazon has confirmed it hangs on to every conversation you've ever had with an Alexa-enabled device until or unless you specifically delete them.

That confirmation comes as a response to a list of questions Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in May expressing "concerns" seeking about how Amazon uses and retains customers' Alexa voice assistant data.

Amazon's response to Coons, as first reported by CNET, confirms that the company keeps your data as long as it wants unless you deliberately specify otherwise.

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Posted in alexa, amazon, amazon alexa, congress, Policy | Comments (0)

Here’s what an Apple TV and Alexa look like on an old TV and record player cabinet

June 13th, 2019
Apple TV on a vintage TV cabinet.

Enlarge / Apple TV on a vintage TV cabinet. (credit: Thomas Martin Lewins V)

Consumer and household tech obviously looks quite different today than it did years ago—there's a significant analog and digital divide, for one thing. Among other things, bridging that gap makes integrating the latest tech with tech from a few decades back a real challenge. But it's not impossible.

Facebook user Thomas Martin Lewins V proved that last point by getting a modern Apple TV box to work with his gigantic, archaic console television and by integrating analog speakers, radios, and record players throughout his house with Amazon Alexa. He posted a couple of videos online as proof, which Boing Boing picked up recently.

First up: the Apple TV setup. This allows him to view Netflix and Hulu shows on that old TV. Here's what he wrote to introduce the clip:

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Posted in amazon alexa, Apple TV, retro, Speakers, Tech, TV, vintage, vinyl | Comments (0)

Razer announces a gaming monitor, haptic feedback PC gaming peripherals

January 8th, 2019
A graphic showing Razer's HyperSense concept.

Enlarge / A graphic showing Razer's HyperSense concept. (credit: Razer)

At this year's CES, it sometimes seems like consumer electronics announcements are dominated by two trends: gaming gear and digital voice assistants. Gaming brand Razer made announcements related to both this week.

Arguably the most notable are HyperSense—a haptic feedback platform that makes PC peripherals like headphones, gaming chairs, and mice provide gaming controller-like feedback along with the audio in games—and the Raptor, Razer's first gaming monitor designed in-house.

Razer HyperSense

Razer Chroma, an RGB lighting solution that syncs multi-colored lights across all your peripherals to match gameplay in certain games, is one of Razer's key product offerings. HyperSense builds on that by applying the same sort of concept to haptic feedback—that is, a more sophisticated successor to the "rumble" technology from various game console controllers across the gaming ages.

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Posted in amazon alexa, Gaming & Culture, Razer, Razer Chroma, Razer HyperSense, Razer Turret, Tech, Xbox One | Comments (0)