privacy
‘Private Post’ Means Something Slightly Different to Facebook

When you privately share something to a specific group of friends on Facebook, there’s a chance other people will read it. Reuters reports that Facebook employs a couple hundred contractors to read all Facebook posts, including the private ones, in order to train the company’s software. There’s no way to opt out of this. Read More >>

watch this
Does Asking Alexa Actually Save Time? An Investigation

Digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are easier to use than ever. Not only are they built into smart speakers, these days you can access them via your phone, TVs, and even your smartwatch. Read More >>

amazon
In-Skill Purchasing Comes to Amazon’s Alexa in the UK

In-skill purchasing released last year in the US, allowing developers to monetise custom-made skills, sell microtransactions and suggest products for users to buy, all through Alexa. Now, the service is headed to the UK. Read More >>

privacy
The Terrible Truth About Alexa

This week, I read through a history of everything I’ve said to Alexa, and it felt a little bit like reading an old diary. Until I remembered that the things I’ve told Alexa in private are stored on an Amazon server and have possibly been read by an Amazon employee. This is all to make Alexa better, the company keeps saying. However, to many people, it’s not immediately obvious how humans interacting with your seemingly private voice commands is anything other than surveillance. Alexa, these people say, is a spy hiding in a wiretapping device. Read More >>

privacy
If You Care About Privacy, Throw Your Amazon Alexa Devices Into the Sea

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we learned that humans were monitoring Amazon Alexa commands, essentially spying on users in the name of product improvement? Well, we’ve got some more bad news about the always-on microphone that we’ve all invited into our homes. Employees at Amazon can “easily” discover any user’s home address. Read More >>

alexa
The Government’s Added 12,000 Pieces of Data to Your Smart Speaker

Talking out loud to the government usually involves yelling "NO, I SAID SELF ASSESSMENT" down the phone to HRMC's robots, which then declare that the queue is too long and hang up on you. Read More >>

amazon
5 Times Jeff Bezos Tried to Warn Us Amazon Is Listening

Last week, Bloomberg published an alarming report about the “thousands” of Amazon workers paid to listen to Alexa recordings captured in customers’ homes and offices. But users of the company’s digital assistant shouldn’t be too shocked. After all, CEO Jeff Bezos has been trying to tell us for years. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon’s Human Helpers Are Quietly Listening in on Some Alexa Recordings

There’s been a number of incidents where Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant has done things like misinterpret something it overheard and started sending random people recordings of private conversations, or audio files kept by the company wound up in the wrong hands. But a real-life stranger could potentially be listening to anything you tell Alexa by design, per a report in Bloomberg on Wednesday. Read More >>

apple
Yes, Apple. Siri Is Extremely Terrible

Apple is hiring an analyst, but not just any old analyst. It’s hiring someone to sift through the social media hellscape and parse just how customers really feel about its voice assistant Siri. Read More >>

alexa
Here’s an Alexa Idea I Actually Like

While it’s hard not to roll your eyes at voice assistants getting added to every single thing in the smart home, a hospital in the US city of Los Angeles is actually putting Amazon Alexa to good use. About 100 patient rooms at Cedars-Sinai will now be equipped with Amazon Echos to help patients and caregivers interact more efficiently. Read More >>

NHS
The NHS Will Use Alexa To Find At-Risk Patients

We've already heard that smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo might soon be able to call 999 for you (but in the meantime, please don't rely on Alexa to contact the authorities), and now it seems they'll perform another vital role in the UK. Read More >>

alexa
Smart Assistants Could Soon Call 999 For You

This time last year, Lancashire Police said they'd like to see smart assistants like the Amazon Echo add functionality to call the authorities for you. Well, it seems they were ahead of their time, because Scotland Yard has just announced it's working on exactly that. Read More >>

google
Google Capitalises On Lack Of Echo Dots With Discounts

The Echo Dot speaker, officially Amazon's best-selling item of 2018, is out of stock. It's been out for a while, in fact, and it's not coming back until the 8th of March. Read More >>

cortana
We Didn’t Want Cortana Smart Speakers Anyway, Says Microsoft

As smart assistants go, there are the favourites: Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and then there are the also-rans: Bixby and Cortana. Read More >>