Category

Hardware

Mozilla ranks dozens of popular ‘smart’ gift ideas on creepiness and security

By | Gadgets, Hardware, Mozilla, Security

If you’re planning on picking up some cool new smart device for a loved one this holiday season, it might be worth your while to check whether it’s one of the good ones or not. Not just in the quality of the camera or step tracking, but the security and privacy practices of the companies that will collect (and sell) the data it produces. Mozilla has produced a handy resource ranking 70 of the latest items, from Amazon Echos to smart teddy bears.

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These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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Facebook Portal needs more. At least it just added YouTube

By | Amazon, Amazon Echo Show, Apps, Facebook, Facebook Portal, Gadgets, Google, Google Assistant, Google Home Hub, Hardware, Media, Social, TC, YouTube

To offset the creepiness of having Facebook’s camera and microphone in your house, its new Portal video chat gadget needs best-in-class software.  Its hardware is remarkably well done, plus Messenger and the photo frame feature work great. But its third-party app platform was pretty skimpy when the device launched this week. Facebook is increasingly relying […]

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SpaceX’s Starlink aims to put over a thousand of its communications satellites in super-low orbit

By | Gadgets, Hardware, Satellites, Space, SpaceX

SpaceX’s planned communication satellite constellation, known as Starlink, will now be targeting a much lower orbit than originally planned, at least for over a thousand of the satellites, the company revealed in an FCC filing. The move should help mitigate orbital debris and provide better signal for the company’s terrestrial users as well.

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So I sent my mom that newfangled Facebook Portal

By | Apps, Facebook, facebook messenger, Facebook Portal, facebook privacy, Gadgets, Hardware, Social, TC, video chat

“Who am I going to be worried about? Oh Facebook seeing? No, I’m not worried about Facebook seeing. They’re going to look at my great art collection and say they want to come steal it? No, I never really thought about it.” That’s my 72-year-old mother Sally Constine’s response to whether she’s worried about her […]

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