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Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling, Echo eavesdropping

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Amazon Alexa made a black and blue this week. In a home in Portland, Alexa heard what she thought was a set of commands – to record a conversation and send it to a contact – and she did that. As Amazon explains it, it’s likely Alexa was doing exactly what she was meant to do. If you own a smart speaker, there’s a more than half chance that it’s an Echo. Amazon has tried and gained more trust from their customers over these few years. Google is making undoubtedly better performances and adding better features.

Families prefer knowing someone before letting them into their houses. With more people putting an Echo every day in their bedrooms and kitchens Amazon has to do a shit load of work. But then, it is made by us humans too, it made a mistake. Put simply, they’re just too dumb.

ALSO READ: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium: Google taking on Spotify and Netflix

Overview

With the emergence of IoT and AI in home automation, Amazon has an upper-hand in the smart speaker sector. Google is making steady progress in launching more devices and even making the devices better in every way. Still, Amazon has a pretty distinctive market share and with great powers comes great responsibilities. There’s a nagging feeling that Alexa, the virtual personal assistant, is listening always. It always wants to hear the wake-word “Alexa” or “Echo” or be it “Amazon”. Because of this, Amazon trains the AI every day with different datasets from all across the world. The worst part being, it makes mistakes.

Amazon Alexa, which lives inside Echo devices and several other smart speakers has a feature to simply text or call. This is one of the most used tasks after playing songs and asking for the news. In India people mostly never text but they do take advantage of the behemoth speaker for a fun-filled talk. Hence, you can call and send texts to your contacts.

Echoes are not as super AI-powered like Google smart speakers. Amazon Alexa’s brain for answering and attempting to answer depends solely on Amazon cloud servers. On the contrary, Google has gone way past that with TensorFlow and Scikit’s voice recognition platform. When the device’s rings are not glowing, it’s as if your brain only knew one thing: the way “Alexa” sounded. No family, no birthdays, nothing more. And due to overtraining of the AI, now Alexa wakes to similar sounding words to the wake word.

ALSO READ: Google Assistant is coming up with new Smart Display devices

Alexa listens very closely

According to the behemoth e-commerce website, the situation that occurred in Portland was uncommon and pretty rare. This is because the conversation involved 2-3 questions from Amazon Alexa regarding the task and all of which ended up being heard by the smart speaker. Each Echo is trained to listen to four separate wake words. Once we set the word, a specific algorithm is activated that will truly only understand the one word. And then after the device is activated and the audio is recorded and sent to Amazon servers.

“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa,’ ” said an Amazon representative. “Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contac name], right?’ Amazon Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’”

This not only sounds impossible but feels just like a rare coincidence. “As unlike as this string of events is,” said the Amazon representative, “we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely,” Amazon promises to make their AI better by collecting an exponential more number of datasets. This will train Alexa to ask “Did you ask for me?” when it hears something like ‘Alexa’. Now that’s better. Mike had a talk with many industry leaders and they all state the fact that this is an AI-powered device and this mistake is part of the process. Well, it is at least better than killing people with self-driving cars.

Mike, VP Alexa, Echo

source: CNBC

ALSO READ: Google Duplex – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Stop Alexa Calling and Messaging

Amazon prefers making precautions than making a whole cure for this mistake. They suggest us to either stop the feature or remove a few contacts that will be a problem to text to. You can just remove a contact if your Alexa ends up calling the same person due to unavoidable voices heard in your house. That was funny. You CAN actually remove individual contacts from your communications list, but it’s not an intuitive process. You’ll need to head over to Amazon’s Customer Help Page and log in.

  1. Select Amazon Devices and Kindle Apps.
  2. Select your Echo device (or whichever device you use with Alexa).
  3. Choose “Something Else” for “Issue Details.”
  4. You’ll be brought to “Section 3”
  5. Select Phone, and a representative will call you.
  6. Tell them you’d like to Disable Alexa Calling and Messaging.

And it’s that easy! It is either that or completely pulling the cord out of your Amazon Alexa device when not in use. You can always hit the mute button to not make further conversations and staying away from these type of uncommon circumstances.

last measures

If you’re still suspicious, you can also check to see what Alexa has heard overtime from the beginning with latest in the beginning by opening the Alexa app. This contains a complete history of every utterance the associated device has ever stored. Hail AI. Over and Out.

ALSO READ: HTC is launching a blockchain-powered phone: HTC Exodus

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HTC Exodus 1: Blockchain phone specs, price and release date

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Smartphone manufacturer HTC is taking a major leap into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. They are stepping into the wider blockchain industry. With HTC U12 and U12+ about to be unveiled in a couple of days, HTC has a lot of surprises for its users in its pocket. On 15th of this month, HTC unveiled a website that showcases the HTC Exodus. And HTC unveiled the Exodus today at web3summit.

Furthermore, there is only one company that has completely succeeded in making a fully blockchain powered device. Swiss company Sirin-Labs unveiled there first phone Finney and HTC is joining the race with Exodus. Finney has a 12-megapixel rear camera with low-light f/1.8 aperture and an 8-megapixel 85-degree wide angle front facing the camera. It is powered by a 3,280mAh battery with fast charging support. Connectivity features include Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and LTE, among others. Specs wise the phone packs pretty much enough but what’s worth mentioning is what happens over the internet. The blockchain phone comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It has a 6-inch display at 18:9 aspect ratio, 402ppi and 1500:1 contrast ratio. The phone features 128GB built-in storage and 6GB RAM.

The HTC Exodus 1, aka the ‘blockchain phone’, is nearly ready to enter the wild, with the company has now confirmed the specs of its forthcoming cryptocurrency handset. Check out the TEASER.

Overview

Blockchain phones are the new Virtual Reality. Every smartphone manufacturer is going to add something or the other that gets their hands-on in this domain. Huawei is rumored to be working on a secret Blockchain powered device which will have layers of decentralized apps and much more. Samsung has also created a blockchain network but we have no sources claiming a blockchain phone in the making.

The Taiwanese firm unveiled the World’s first native blockchain phone. The tailor-made Android-powered phone will provide support for decentralized applications(DApps). Apps like CryptoKitties, and will feature a secure hardware enclave for users. Now the users will have access to a Universal Cryptocurrency wallet that is native to the device itself.
With over two decades of experience manufacturing the world’s leading smartphones and shipping over 100 million phones, they believe they can help reshape the internet with the HTC Exodus.

HTC Exodus www.htcexodus.com/

source: HTC

Working with multiple protocols with the intent of interoperability between blockchains. increasing DApp user base. Bringing a streamlined mobile user experience to the DApp community. Providing more nodes on the path to true decentralization. We want to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin. To have your identity and data on the phone rather in a centralized cloud and open-mindedness towards the collective wisdom of the crowd.
This is what HTC claims the Exodus can stand up to. The performance will be incomparable with any device of any brand as there aren’t any competitors in this domain of phones.

  • Exodus will have Hardware support for Cryptocurrencies

  • Will support Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherum

  • Advanced security features and claims of virtually “tamper proof”

The phone will be compatible with multiple protocols and will exchange and make use of information vividly. Phil Chen who creates HTC’s virtual reality headset Vive is the leader of the Exodus project. HTC is rumored to be working on a VR specific device. HTC has a lot of gaming genre users and this will help them enhance their users’ experience. Still, it is good enough to witness a new and revolutionary phone.

The company wants customers to be able to pay for the phone with cryptocurrencies, but we haven’t received any distinctive details. “We think that the phone can be an agent in the future for decentralization,” said Chen. “We want you to hold your own key [through] a secure management method in our phones.” This is official early access release to the EXODUS 1. They are inviting a community of developers and enthusiasts to work with us to keep building security. Join them in rebuilding trust together, one phone at a time. Get your early access now! Go to www.htcexodus.com now!

 

What exactly HTC wants Exodus to do

Chen, who now holds the title of CDO (Chief Decentralized Officers), is the head of the firm’s crypto and blockchain related initiatives. “Through the Exodus, we are also excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Etherum, Dfinity and more,” Chen wrote in a blog post accompanying the announcement. Still, a vast majority of HTC fans want something new and innovative from them in a long time.

He also wrote that “I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data (browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging, etc) without the need for central authorities. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe the mobile hardware layer can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.” With Facebook’s Data Leak controversies, HTC might end up taking the lead in the smartphone race with this.

HTC Exodus Blockchain powered phone

Source: HTC

I suppose we have to wait for a month or two to get more info on these type of devices. This revolutionary product might change the way we use the internet today. I don’t know exactly if I wanna buy one. It’ll be fun to use DApps and to hover over the decentralized web tbh. If anything does happen to your device, you can breathe easy, as HTC has imbued the Exodus with a social-themed security protocol that sees users nominate several contacts to hold a piece of a unique security key – and only bringing all of these pieces together will unlock the device.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow ZO3.tech on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.
Till next time. Over and Out.

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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 675 with new Kryo 460 CPU

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Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is continuing to bring together global manufacturers and operators, along with software and hardware technology vendors, to strategize and discuss industry trends and technology developments with their Snapdragon chipsets. Mark your calendars for this 3-day event highlighting 5G, connectivity, AI, IoT and so much more. This year’s summit promises to be one of the best ever, featuring wireless leader keynotes, breakout sessions, multiple exhibits and networking events, all showcasing the latest technology, and much more. Qualcomm made a lot of advancements in the last few months. And the tech giant made steady announcements at their 4G/5G Summit at Hong Kong.

Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit at Hong Kong

In the Keynote, Qualcomm’s President Mr. Cristiano Amon talks about how 5G is nearing deployment, with global trials underway and deployments planned in the coming months. He continues about how the next generation of wireless will allow virtually every industry to deliver advanced connectivity and increased intelligence across the rapidly evolving wireless edge. It is essential that the broader ecosystem pursues the wireless and computing technologies that will provide the foundation for the coming transformation. To just have an overview read to it, focus on the key points as per Qualcomm:

  • Qualcomm optimized the Snapdragon 675 for mainstream use.

  • The first smartphones using the Snapdragon 675 will ship in Q1 2019.

  • The Snapdragon 675 is Qualcomm’s third mid-range processor announced within the past six months.

Overview

Qualcomm makes one of the finest processors in the industry and as it turns out they also focus on the mid-range consumers. It comes out on the top with the 710 followed by the 670 in the mid-range category. Now that it is history, Qualcomm announced a new processor in the 600 range. The Snapdragon 675 is a really interesting processor but not for all the reasons you are thinking. In terms of where it fits in the overall Qualcomm’s mid-range processor, is somewhat between the 670 and the 710. And for a little humor, the Snapdragon 675 has got a slightly worse Adreno 612 GPU in it compared to the 615. The Snapdragon 675 has got the same modem as the 670, the exact DSPs and the image processors, but with a bit of enhancement.

Qualcomm 675 chipset launched

So, why is the Snapdragon 675 so interesting? Well, it is using the 4th Generation Kryo 460 CPU Design. And as per our research and Qualcomm’s announcement, no other processor in its lineup uses the 4th Gen CPU. Well, the Kryo core 1st Gen design is found in-house in the Snapdragon 820 and 821. Then the 2nd Gen Kryo which was built with the Cortex technology is found in the Snapdragon 835 and finally, the 3rd Gen is found in Snapdragon 845.

Snapdragon 675 + 4th Gen Kryo Core

Snapdragon 675 is basically a Cortex A76 coupled together with a Cortex A55. This new Architecture built on ARM Cortex offers a 20% overall performance improvement, optimized across 2 performance and 6 efficiency cores. So Qualcomm is using the 4th Gen with this 6+2 configuration. So it still is an Octa-core chipset but with 2 cores dedicated for higher stability and results and 6 for better power efficiency. So, more interestingly,  what this tells us is that the next 800 series will be using the 4th Gen Kryo.

The 675 is not only filled with upgrades. For example, the 675 is constructed with an 11nm process whereas the Snapdragon 670 had a 10nm process. The GPU has been downgraded from an Adreno 615 to an Adreno 612, too. With that said, Qualcomm assured us that the Snapdragon 675 performs considerably better than the Snapdragon 670. With built-in game enhancements, for example, reduce “janks” or stutters by over 90 percent during gameplay.

The Comparison of Snapdragon(s)

So let’s look at the rest of the Snapdragon 675 and detail out how it differentiates from the 670 and the 710 chipsets. So as you can see all the 3 processors use the 6+2 setup. The performance core gets a boost with the A76 instead of the A75. When it comes to GPU the 675 lags behind and as it turns out the 710 has got the best GPU. But as per Qualcomm, they have been tweaking it for a better gaming performance. The differences which can only be pointed out when we will receive a device. It supports the LPDDR4X where the X stands for even more power efficient than the standard LPDDR4.

Now that they all showcase the same DSPs across is a good thing. With the 250L, it gets the 480fps HD Slo-Mo that will pump-up any camera. The modem is exactly the same as the rest. It’s like Qualcomm didn’t even bother making an upgrade to it. Focusing on the important part, the 675 uses Samsung’s fabrication process. So, this will be built by the looks of it exclusively on Samsung’s fabrication plans.

Snapdragon 675 Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 710
CPU 2x 2.0GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A76)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.0GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.2GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
GPU Adreno 612 Adreno 615 Adreno 616
RAM LPDDR4X @ 1866MHz LPDDR4X @ 1866MHz LPDDR4X @ 1886MHz
DSP Hexagon 685 Hexagon 685 Hexagon 685
ISP Spectra 250L
25MP single or 16MP dual
48MP snapshots
480fps HD Slo-Mo
Spectra 250
25MP single or 16MP dual
Spectra 250
32MP single or 20MP dual
Modem X12 LTE
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
X12 LTE
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
X15 LTE
800Mbps down
150Mbps up
Quick Charge 4+ 4+ 4+
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 5.0
Process 11nm LPP FinFET 10nm LPP FinFET 10nm LPP FinFET

 

Qualcomm’s Worse is actually Better

So coming back to the GPU here, the 675 boasts an Adreno 612 instead of a 615 or a 616 on its brothers. Qualcomm is actually saying that they have heavily optimized the gaming performance. This does mean that the overall performance will be better as compared to the rest. Qualcomm also suggests that on a list of particular games that they tried, this performs much better. They get 90% less ‘JANKS’, whatever that means.

gaming on snapdragon 675 chipset, qualcomm

It might get a better user experience while gaming. Qualcomm is known to make certain tweaks for a better gaming performance and experience. The list of games does suggest that it focuses on a great diversity of games. This is actually good stuff from Qualcomm. Qualcomm also states that it works closely with both mobile game and game engine developers to improve the gaming UX on Android, though this isn’t unexpected given how they’ve collaborated with game studios such as NetMarble for Snapdragon flagship chip releases in recent years.

Gaming enhancement on snapdragon 675

Although that the 600 range continues to be very strong with support for 6 cameras, 3 on the front and 3 on the back. So everything from super-res zoom to telephoto capture to specialized Bokeh mode is now available on the 675. So there’s a bunch of things that Qualcomm has put into their processors that make them very useful. They did a great deal of work for the mid-range smartphones. Expecting really strong developments from the manufacturers now. That’s it for now.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow ZO3.tech on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. Till next time, Peace Out.

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Top 6 printer that really save your cost

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As we have moved towards younger generation, everything becoming or moving towards digital world.

Maximum of things can be moved in phone storage / hard disk that we use in computer desktop,  Laptop that makes it easy to access from anywhere.

But maximum of data still needed to be printed because there are very fewer people who are fully digitalized.

If we take the education sector many things like books, notes, and question paper are still in paper form or hard copy so there is great demand for the printer as well.

As our technology is growing we expect low-cost printing and many of low-cost printer will be introduced.

I am listing some printer that had a boom in the market

1.HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 4535

Features1-20

  • Multifunction printer and comes with an option of print, copy, and scan.
  • Hp Deskjet is wireless printer means that print can be taken from any corner of a house if you prefer it for home purpose.
  • Comes with a print speed of 9.5 page per minute in black ink and 6.5 page per minute with color ink.
  • Generally comes with a function of automatic two-sided copying and printing that is duplex printing.
  • It comes with 5.5-inch touchscreen display function that makes printing easy.
  • A cartridge has a capacity of printing 150-180 pages with color ink and 480-500 pages with color ink and becomes economical because of low cost per page.
  • It is available eCommerce store at price of 9000.

2.HP DeskJet 3835 All-in-One Ink Advantage Wireless

Features-

  • It comes with a feature that is mobile friendly printing. Smartphone & tablet can  easily connected.
  • Comes with features that are copy, print, scan and extra feature is a fax.2-12
  • It comes with wifi feature making printing easy and convenient.
  • Printing speed is 8.5 page per minute in a black cartridge and 6 ppm in color cartridges.
  • It can print up to 1000 pages at one-time refilling.
  • Comes with a 2.2-inch touchscreen panel for convenience in printing.
  • It comes with a feature of HP e-print.
  • Color fax is available with a limit of 100 pages in single use.
  • HP 680 ink cartridge is compatible with a capacity of up to 400 pages with black ink and 150 pages with a color ink cartridge.
  • Can be availed at any physical & online store at price of 6000 rs.

3.Epson L380 Multi-Function InkTank Colour Printer 

Features-

  • First, an important feature is that it is an ink tank printer.3-10
  • It comes with three features that are print, copy and scan.
  • Print speed is 35 page per minute in black and 18 page per minute in color.
  • Bundled with a feature of one-touch copy and scanning.
  • It gives the lowest cost of printing that is 8 paise for black ink and 20 paise for color ink cartridge per page and hence very economical.
  • Can be availed in market & online store under 11000 rs.

4.HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer with ADF

Features-

  • It comes with a feature of print, copy and scan and fax and inkjet technology.
  • It has a printing speed of up to 35 pages per minute.
  • Usually preferred for small business.4-10
  • It comes with HP epr.int capability.
  • Comes with a feature of wifi connectivity and auto wireless connectivity for easy and convenient printing.
  • Comes with touchscreen display of 2.7 inches for easy printing.
  • Has a duty cycle of 18000-20000 pages on a monthly basis.
  • Comes with feature that is USB slot in front side, automatic document feeder, easy printing from mobile device, duplex printing is well supported.
  • It is easily available at the price of 7000-8000 Rs.
5.Canon E560 Multifunction Wireless Ink

Features-

  • It comes with a feature of print, copy and scan and fax.
  • It comes with wifi and USB for connectivity to a device.
  • Comes with a print volume of up to 400 pages.
  • Printing cost becomes economical, has a low-cost operation that is 800 pages and 400 pages from black and color cartridge.
  • Android & Apple device can be easily connected with printer for printing preferred document or picture directly from device.
  • Also comes with wireless connectivity through wifi and auto power on/off feature.
  • It supports easy and automatic 2 sided(duplex) printing.
  • Can be availed price under 7000rs from any physical or online store.
  • 6-2
6.Epson L455

Features-

  • Comes with high-performance output capacity and economical printing solution.
  • Ultra low-cost printing with cartridges is offered by Epson L455 printer.
  • It comes with package containing 3 ink bottle of color ink and 1 ink bottle of black ink.
  • Efficiency of printing is up to 8500 pages from black ink and 4500-5000 from color ink bottle.
  • Easy printing through wifi is supported that can be accessed through phones and tablets.
  • Large display with touchscreen features and memory card supported that enables to print even without PC.
  • Comes with Eco tank with Large capacity of ink bottle.
  • Prints high-quality print and comes with easy duplex printing features that enable two-sided printing and saves paper.
  • Copy speed is 33 page per minute for black ink and 18 page per minute for color ink.
  • Can purchase from market at price of 9000 rs, be ready for economical printing.

Thank you very much for reading the post, if you have any suggestion and question feel free to ask.

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