How To Stop Kids From Ordering Things On Amazon Echo And Google Home?

Amazon Echo

If you want to stop you kids from ordering stuff with Amazon Echo, you can choose a password.

We all know that kids are little geniuses when they want to. They can find an answer to any question and a solution to every rule. This is why you should be concerned if you have Amazon Echo or Google Home. They might find a way to order things without your permission.

A recent incident involved a 6-year old girl that ordered 4 pounds of cookies and a $170 dollhouse. We are sure that the parents were not as pleased as the little girl was. If you want to avoid this type of situation you should take action.

How To Change Settings On Amazon Echo And Google Home

Both Amazon Echo and Google Home look like they just fell from heaven into your house. You can sit on the couch and let them know what you want. The problem is that your kids might do the same. If you want to be without worries you should disable the voice orders.

First of all, you have to open up Alexa app navigation panel. After selecting Settings you choose Voice Purchasing and turn it off. You have to follow these steps if you want to avoid any kid-ordering-online incidents.

If you have Google Home you can do the same thing. You have to hit the Menu icon in the app, go to More Setting and choose Payments. The final step is to select Pay with Your Assistant. Once you completed these steps, the Voice orders will be disabled.

What You Do When You Still Want to Make Voice Orders?

If you like to benefit from ordering with your voice you can still do so without worrying that your kids will do the same.  For Amazon Echo, you can choose a password.  You have to go to Voice Purchasing and Require confirmation code. After you selected your code, you can continue to order with your voice, but you will have to say the password too. Let’s hope that your kids don’t memorize it too.

Unfortunately, Google Home doesn’t have a password option. There are some roadblocks that can stop your kid from purchasing stuff. At the moment, you can only purchase stuff from some Google Express retailers. Also, the limit for any order is $100 and you can only purchase one thing at a time.

Despite the fact that these smart assistants are great they should offer kid prevent tools. Parents should be able to stop their kids from purchasing things with the help of Alexa or Google. Let’s hope that they figure out a way to restrict kids from ordering stuff.

Image source: Flickr

Twitter Flags Sensitive Accounts

Twitter sensitive accounts

Now, there are sensitive accounts on Twitter instead of just posts.

Twitter is one of the social media platforms that cares about its users. Since it is very popular and a lot of people post there, it is expected to find some inappropriate content. In order to get rid of that content and to make users feel safe, Twitter has been trying to flag anything that is racist or violent.

Until now, the things that were flagged as sensitive were the posts. A few days ago, Twitter’s decided to make a change. Now, there are sensitive accounts instead of just posts. This means that the company is making it hard for those users that have posted inappropriate content.

For instance, once you post something that it is considered as abusive, the whole account is considered sensitive. Normally, in this case, the post would have been flagged as abusive or deleted. Due to the fact that now there are sensitive accounts instead of simple posts, people are not pleased.

Many people think that this is a bit abusive because it can be considered a violation of the freedom of speech. This might be a little over the line for those who believe this. Yes, Twitter decision to flag sensitive accounts is a bit harsh considering that some people only posted abusive content once.

The sensitive accounts are not available for everyone. Since this is only a limited rollout of the feature, only some people have been listed with sensitive accounts. This means that when somebody enters their account they are going to see a message. That warning message states that the account has sensitive content. The users are asked if they want to continue and to see that account.

After the warning message appears people have the option to view the profile or to go back. Another problem is that people who have sensitive accounts were not notified by Twitter. Many of these people mentioned that they did not receive an email or a message stating that they have posted abusive content or that they have been switched to a sensitive account.

When the company was asked about this change they did not say a lot. The only thing the social media platform spokesman said is that this is just a limited feature. They are only trying it out to see if it is better for their users. Seeing the reactions that were tweeted on the platform some may say that it is not the best decision Twitter made.

Image source: Pixabay 

Facebook Developing Technology That Spots Suicidal Users

suicidal users on Facebook

This way, suicidal users will be contacted by an advisor or counselor that can help them.

Facebook is one of the tech giants that wants to support and help its users. It helped people raise money for charity in live videos on Facebook. Now, it is going to use AI technology in order to spot suicidal users.

Due to the fact that people are becoming more and more stressed, suicide is becoming a more common problem. This is why Facebook decided to help people who are feeling down and want to end their life. Many people tend to write messages right before they are planning on ending their lives. Some people even make videos.

Facebook’s technology works with algorithms. They report any data that they think is a warning sign. In order to make sure that they verify everything, the algorithms look at posts, videos, and comments. Once this tech finds something that is considered a warning sign, human reviewers step in. They can contact the suicidal users to find out if everything is ok.

Facebook mentioned that they want to invest more in this project. They mentioned that they want to work with helplines. This way, suicidal users will be contacted by an advisor or counselor that can help them. A collaboration between Facebook and helplines can help people that suffer from depression and what to kill themselves.

Facebook has been spotting suicidal users for more than 10 years. Until now, they relied on other users to report anything unusual. Now that they have the AI technology, it can be a lot easier for the social platform to find and help suicidal users.

The tech giant stated that this is the first time they are using AI tech for reporting posts for troubling content. Facebook also mentioned that they might continue to use AI tech in order to find abusive people or even terrorists.

The social platform decided to roll out the suicide measures for Facebook Live too. This means that the AI tech is going to flag videos that contain suicidal content. This action was taken by Facebook due to the fact that many people killed themselves while broadcasting on Facebook.

What is your opinion about the measures that Facebook is taking to spot suicidal users?

Image source: Pexels

Google Launches the Meet App for Enterprise Communication

Meet app interface

Google launched its new Meet app for video calls.

Most major tech companies in the market of communication apps usually have two types of services. One involves an app meant to be used by normal users in their everyday life, while the other one is meant to facilitate communication between workers in an enterprise.

Google’s main communication app for video calls was Hangouts. However, it did not really meet the standards required by enterprises, nor it did it have the features required to increase their productivity. With this in mind, Google has decided to launch a new app called Meet.

The Meet app has been designed with the needs and preferences of enterprises in mind. As the name implies, the main function of the app is to easily allow users to hold HD video meetings. Meet comes in the form of either an app or mobile application and it is part of Google’s G Suite line of business products.

While the app may not be yet live to all users in the App store or the Google Play Store, the web application is up and running. However, it is only available on Google’s Chrome browser. The site may feel familiar if you previously used Hangouts, as it includes a simplistic interface without the option of starting a phone call or a text chat.

Instead, the Meet app requires users to easily enter a code in order to join a specific meeting, and even see the meetings you scheduled. Similar to Hangouts, Meet is able to perform group video calls, However, unlike Hangouts, it is not limited to just 10 people, instead, it will offer HD video group calls with up to 30 participants.

Furthermore, the app also includes several other features meant to facilitate communication between members of a team while being on the go. These features include dial-in numbers, easily accessible meeting links, and integration with other Google products like Gmail and Calendar.

The main interface of the app includes a list of your scheduled meetings alongside specific details like the time, subject, location, attendees and more. Joining a specific meeting from your phone will launch the video chat interface. The in-call interface has buttons for mute and switching-off the video.

What do you think about Google’s new Meet app?

Image credit: Meet

Mozilla Buys Pocket, a Mobile Bookmarking Tool

Mozilla features

Mozilla has acquired Pcket, a mobile bookmarking tool.

Mozilla, most commonly known as the developer of the Firefox browser, has recently acquired Pocket, a bookmarking mobile app. Pocket initially started as Firefox extension called Read It Later, which was used to allow users to save online articles so that they can be read offline later.

This is an interesting turn of events for both companies considering their previous history and the fact that this is Mozilla’s first ever acquisition, as it seeks to expand its services to mobile users. A few years ago, the team behind Pocket was gradually expanded in order to develop a suite of new apps for all major mobile platforms. The two services joined forces once more in 2015 when Pocket became the browser’s main bookmarking tool.

After the acquisition deal is finalized, Pocket will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Mozilla as it attempts to establish a foothold on mobile devices, an area with which the company has previously struggled. Mozilla had lost much of its steam in the smartphone era as it was focused on developing its own Firefox OS, which the company recently abandoned and finally decided to release an iOS version of their once-popular browser.

However, the company seems ready and willing to establish a foothold in that market with a different approach. The recent acquisition of the bookmarking tools also comes with the 10 million pre-existing Pocket users, alongside new ad revenue opportunities, a premium service with a subscription model as well as analytic tools for publishers.

Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s chief business and legal officer stated that the two companies share a user-first mentality, which is the main driving force behind their products. More than six years ago, when Pocket was still known as Read It Later, Evernote volunteered to purchase it. However, the deal was rejected as the soon to be Pocket app would become a feature of Evernote and not separate product.

According to Nate Weiner, the CEO of Pocket, the recent acquisition by Mozilla won’t involve an immediate change into their business model or their products. He revealed that Pocket will help Mozilla with the development of its “context graph” project. It consists in a recommendation online engine which can be integrated into a browser.

What do you think about Mozilla’s acquisition of Pocket, the mobile bookmarking tool?

Image source: Mozilla

Blizzard Announces Journey to Un’Goro Hearthstone Expansion

heatrhstone card packs

Journey to Un’Goro is the latest Hearthstone expansion.

After rumors circulated that the upcoming Hearthstone expansion would involve Un’Goro for several weeks, Blizzard has decided to finally unveil it. The new expansion will break the established pattern of releases for Hearthstone, which saw a simple card expansion with the Gadgetzan update, and many believed an adventure type of expansion would follow.

However, the announcement of the Journey to the Un’Goro reveals that this expansion will simply add more cards into the mix as well as new card mechanics and features. If you’re not familiar with the World of Warcraft region, you should know that Un’Goro is basically a massive crater filled with various primordial beasts such as dinosaurs and different types of elementals as well as all sorts of dangerous flora. These elements are quite well portrayed in the reveal trailer.

According to Blizzard’s announcement, the expansion will feature 135 new cards, and it will also add a new board to the game, which will feature a volcano, overgrown vines, and lush forests. The announcement trailer only revealed a few cards tied to the new mechanics such as Adapt, specific to dinosaurs. When you play such a card you will be able to choose one of three out of a total of 10 possible enhancements for that card.

One of the most interesting new mechanics involves the addition of quest cards, such as Awaken the Makers which will show up in your first hand. When the card is played, it will all add a quest to your hero, requiring you to play seven deathrattle minions, for example. Once the quest is completed, it will summon Amara, Warden of Hope, a 5-cost 8/8 taunt legendary minion which will also set your hero’s health to 40.

The expansion is set to be released in the coming months, with no precise date being available at this moment. However, until that moment, you can expect to see more cards in the coming weeks. As with all other previous expansions, anyone who pre-orders 50 packs from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion will also receive a new card back titled Fossil.

Furthermore, all Hearthstone players who will log in during the launch period will very likely receive a few free card packs after completing some short quests.

What do you think about the new Hearthstone expansion?

Image sourceBlizzard

Lenovo Unveils Miix 320 Detachable Laptop

Lenovo Miix 320

This the new Lenovo Miix 320 detachable laptop priced at only $199.

Lenovo has just unveiled a new budget detachable laptop priced at $199, the Miix 320. In the last few years, cheap laptops have seen a major increase as more and more school and other types of organizations bought them in bulk to increase the productivity of all their employees.

The Miix 320 convertible laptop has been announced at the 2017 Mobile World Congress and will be launching in April. Lenovo will also sell a pen version of the laptop, which will ship in July. With this new product, Lenovo hopes to make a dent into market dominance of the Google Chromebooks. Thanks to its features and functions, its future prospects are looking quite bright.

The main feature of the Miix 320 is that it is a detachable laptop, meaning that its screen can be removed from the keyboard and used a tablet, something that the Chromebooks don’t currently have, without accounting for the convertible version.

The Miix 320 features a 10.1-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, which is superior to that of current Chromebooks despite the fact that the Lenovo has a smaller screen. Any interested customers shouldn’t expect much of the quality of the keyboard, but the Microsoft Precision Trackpad does come with a few touching and swiping gestures to facilitate navigation in Windows 10.

The Miix 320 emphasizes portability, allowing you to use it in most situations thanks to its connectivity features such as one USB-C port and two USB-A ports. It also comes with an LTE option for added versatility.

However, with a price tag of only $200, Lenovo had to compromise somewhere. The hardware of the Miix 320 is entirely lackluster. It comes with an Intel Atom X5 which is meant only for browsing and the use of some basic applications. However, the CPU allows for a greater battery life, giving users 10 hours of autonomy on a full charge.

The laptop also comes with 4GB of RAM, and 128 GB of eMMC storage, with 20 GB being already occupied by Windows 10 64-bit. Overall, the Miix 320 seems to be a decent laptop for a great price, but it remains to be seen if will manage to challenge the market share of Chromebooks.

What do you think about Lenovo’s latest product?

Image source: Lenovo

Sonos PlayBase Wireless Speaker Has Leaked

White Sonos PlayBase

The Sonos PlayBase wireless speaker has leaked online.

Sonos seems keen on expanding into the home theater market in the recent period with products which are easy to set-up and use, but they are not as compact. However, one of the music streaming company’s upcoming products, the Sonos PlayBase has been leaked online.

The Sonos PlayBase consists of a wireless speaker meant to sit under your TV. While rumors regarding this product have been swirling around for some time now, this is the first time that interested customers can get their first look of the upcoming product. The company initially filed the name of the product with the USPTO in 2014.

The new information about the Sonos PlayBase comes courtesy of both a BH photo listing, which has been removed and a few Twitter leaks. The initial listing showcased the product in both white and black colors, with a price tag of $699. The retailer revealed that the wireless speaker is expected to launch in the early day of March.

Overall, the leaked images show a very simple yet stylish and compact design with a matte finish. Many peopled likened the Sonos PlayBase with the PLAY:5 speaker, and it is expected to feature the same touch controls as that speaker. However, unlike other sound bars, the PlayBase only includes an optical digital audio input instead of HDMI.

The other two connection are for power and the Ethernet one, in case you like cables more than wireless connectivity.  The speaker also comes with a button on its side, which is meant to facilitate pairing with other Sonos products. Furthermore, the PlayBase may even include a microphone for voice-controlled activation and use, but nothing has been confirmed at this point.

It is also unclear if the Sonos PlayBase is meant to completely replace the company’s current soundbar, the PlayBar. The new product will surely appeal to new customers, which only have a standalone TV and want a speaker that is compact and stylish under their screen.

However, it is very likely that both products will remain for sale, despite the fact that the PlayBase inherit most of the PlayBar’s functionalities, minus the ability to be mounted on the wall and the ability to switch its speaker configuration automatically.

Image source: BH

Microsoft’s HoloLens Headset May Launch in 2019

Microsoft's HoloLens Headset

The HoloLens headset V3 may launch in 2019.

Ever since Microsoft has unveiled its augmented reality headset, many people were eager to get their hands on it. However, despite the fact that Microsoft decided to release the developer version of the HoloLens headset back in March 2016, the price tag of $3,000, meant that it wasn’t readily available for the vast majority of interested customers.

The latest report involving Microsoft’s AR device involves its plans to skip the second version and go straight into the development of the third, which may be the final consumer version and may be launched in 2019.

The news involving Microsoft’s plan for the HoloLens headset were revealed by a report from Thurrott, citing reliable sources close to the company’s project. This news fits well with other previous reports which claimed that Microsoft has decided to change its initial planned roadmap for the release of the AR headset. This means that the company has canceled the second version of the headset, and instead focusing on the development of the HoloLens headset V3, which may very well be the consumer-ready version.

Skipping the second version of the headset means that Microsoft can accelerate the process behind the V3, as the company comes closer to a generational leap as a way to stay ahead of its competitors. The fact that the HoloLens headset may launch in 2019 at the earliest is sure to disappoint some fans, who were eagerly waiting for the device but either could not afford the developer version or they saw no point in buying it without any adequate content.

However, Microsoft now has enough time to make sure that the HoloLens will meet the expectation of the fans. Furthermore, the V3 headset means that Microsoft has vastly improved the experience provided by the first generation of the device.

When Microsoft decided to sell the developer version of the HoloLens headset back in 2016, they only managed to sell several thousand. However, considering the price and the fact that it wasn’t a device meant for the mass market, Microsoft is not too disappointed about the sales number.

What do you think about the HoloLens headset? Do you prefer full virtual reality over augmented reality?

Image sourceWikipedia

Telenor Is Google’s Latest RCS Messaging Partner

telenor rcs messaging building

Google has big plans for RCS Messaging as it is trying to spread the system throughout the world.

Google has big plans for RCS Messaging. As it is trying to spread the system throughout the world, it recently gained a new partner. The Telenor Group is joining its mission.

Rich Communication Services or RCS is a communication protocol between mobile phones and the carriers. Its aim? To replace the standard SMS messages. A new text-message system could come in their place, a richer variant. One capable of transmitting in-call multimedia. And of providing phonebook polling. This latter enables service discovery.

RCS messaging started being used in 2012. And is already being offered by a number of service carriers. Google has been trying to increase the RCS network. And just recently, it managed to add a new carrier to its list.

The Telenor Group will now start providing RCS messaging. It will do so with help from Google, but only in a number of countries. This will mostly target European states.

For example, the Nordic countries, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro. But it will also be released in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Telenor will be helping roll out the feature for Android users. The two will do so as RCS messaging is considered a marked improvement. Especially when compared to MMS and also SMS messages.

The RCS messaging comes with the same ubiquity potential as the common SMS. But it also offers features currently available only on specialized messaging apps. For example, it sports some of the Facebook Messenger and Hangouts properties. As such, it is capable of ensuring group chats and also high-resolution images transmissions.

RCS messaging is already compatible with the Universal Profile, a globally accepted GSMA variant. This means that both supporting devices and carriers will benefit from a guide. This should help them clarify some aspects. For example, how to support RCS customers. And also how to maintain a constant service.

Google’s RCS messaging option is easy to come by. Interested users will only have to download an app from the Play Store. More exactly, the Google Messenger one. There are several other available RCS messaging apps. In some cases, even the default messaging app could support it.

But the Google Messenger currently offers the highest accessibility. It can be downloaded on most phones. And it offers both RCS, SMS, and MMS messaging and support, all in one place.

Following the Telenor partnership, some of their phones will come with the Google Messenger pre-installed. The company subscribers from the aforementioned countries should soon be able to access the service. This will be backed and supported by a Google platform, Jibe.

The RCS messaging system offers more advanced features as it relies more heavily on data networks. Instead of using the traditional 2G network, it will mostly use the data ones.

RCS offers a quite universal compatibility and ease of access. It also supports a wide, varied range of data features, which are not usual on standard messaging. Nonetheless, it does have some minuses.

One would be the fact desktop clients that support RCS messaging won’t be able to sync user messages. And they will also be unable to receive or send messages in sync with the phone.

Image Source: Wikimedia