Amazon Alexa

Echo hack makes spy from smart speaker

Echo hack makes spy from smart speaker

Amazon's original Echo smart speaker can be hacked into a 24/7 live microphone, perpetually beaming anything it can hear to a remote server. The flaw was identified by Mark Barnes, a British security researcher who figured out that certain Echo models could be compromised with just a little hands-on time. While the exploit can't be used to remotely modify an Echo, it could nonetheless fuel the privacy complaints of those uncomfortable with putting internet-connected microphones into their home or office.

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Alexa connects to Fire TV: the Echo circle is now complete

Alexa connects to Fire TV: the Echo circle is now complete

Amazon Fire TV can now be controlled by any Amazon Echo device once the two are connected in a home network. This system utilizes the personal assistant Alexa to allow users to initiate a variety of functions on the Fire TV with far-field control with an Echo device. In addition to the features listed below, a future update will allow this connectivity to show compatible smart home camera feeds by saying "Alexa, show my basement camera."

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Alexa is rolling out in Amazon’s shopping app for Android

Alexa is rolling out in Amazon’s shopping app for Android

Alexa is primarily accessed through Amazon's Echo products, but she has also made her way onto other devices over past months. The personal assistant is, for example, available on the Kindle Fire tablets, and it has also made its way onto iPhone via Amazon's iOS shopping app. Those on Android have had access to a standalone Alexa app, but that's just the start: this week Amazon is rolling out its personal assistant in its Android shopping app.

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Kenmore Smart appliances add Alexa support in Sears Amazon deal

Kenmore Smart appliances add Alexa support in Sears Amazon deal

Kenmore's Smart home appliances are getting Amazon Alexa integration, with the Sears-brand home tech also headed to the online retail behemoth's virtual shelves. The deal, announced today, is the biggest shift in availability for Kenmore appliances to-date, Sears said. However, even if you buy an appliance through Amazon rather than at a Sears location, the company will still offer its own delivery and installation services.

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iHome iAVS1 Bedside Stereo Speaker for Echo Dot Review

iHome iAVS1 Bedside Stereo Speaker for Echo Dot Review

Amazon won't be content until Alexa is within earshot of us all, and iHome wants to give her a place on the nightstand. The iHome iAVS1 Bedside Stereo Speaker System for the Echo Dot is effectively a dumb clock-speaker with a bay for Amazon's smart speaker. Pair the two together, and in theory you've got the ideal addition to bedtime. At $69.99, though - and that's before you've bought the Echo Dot itself - does iHome do enough?

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HTC U11 Alexa hands-on: What works and what needs work

HTC U11 Alexa hands-on: What works and what needs work

This past week we've had some time with the HTC U11's newest feature boost: HTC Alexa onboard. That's Amazon's Alexa personal assistant, but placed on the HTC U11 in a way that's unique to this device. While Alexa is available in its app form for other smartphones, here Amazon and HTC have worked together to allow Alexa to act as similar to an Echo or Echo Dot as any smartphone has been before.

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Squeeze for Alexa, coming to the HTC U11 very soon [UPDATE: It’s out!]

Squeeze for Alexa, coming to the HTC U11 very soon [UPDATE: It’s out!]

In the future, we might no longer need to even touch our phones to control them. We can just do it by voice. That is, if Samsung's vision for Bixby ever truly takes off. In the meantime, however, we'll have to content ourselves with less powerful but more useful personal assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa. And we'll still need to have a physical way to trigger those, like, say, squeezing your phone, which is exactly what HTC wants you to do with its U11 phone, possibly starting this week.

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Make your own Echo with pi-topPULSE

Make your own Echo with pi-topPULSE

Smart, virtual assistants are the hot thing in tech these days but getting access to them isn’t that easy yet. You either need a specific device or settle for a less capable smartphone version. Or you could just get the new pi-topPULSE. This module designed for both the Raspberry Pi 3 and the pi-top platform combines lights and sounds to help sink their teeth deeper into tech. And it can also give you your own personal Alexa on a board.

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Amazon Echo successor tipped to take on Apple HomePod

Amazon Echo successor tipped to take on Apple HomePod

Amazon has a successor to its Echo smart speaker in the pipeline and it'll be designed to take on Apple's HomePod, according to a new report. The new not-yet-officially-revealed version of the Amazon Echo will slim down compared to the first one, assuming the source is to be believed, and it'll also be shorter. Despite the shrunken size, the updated model will see many improvements, not the least of which is better microphone tech, more tweeters, and a new chassis material.

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With new TV and AV controls, Alexa inches closer to ruling the Internet of Things

With new TV and AV controls, Alexa inches closer to ruling the Internet of Things

Alexa's abilities when it comes to controlling the devices in your living room just keep on expanding. A few weeks ago, Amazon expanded access to Alexa's Video Skills API, allowing developers to integrate Alexa into their services and let users find video content though voice commands. Today, Amazon is bolstering the Smart Home API, adding functionality to control devices like TVs, AV receivers, and IR hubs with Alexa.

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Amazon Prime Day Echo deals give Alexa big cuts

Amazon Prime Day Echo deals give Alexa big cuts

Amazon really, really wants you to have an Echo smart speaker, and it's using Prime Day to coax your credit card out of your wallet. The retailer's annual promotion doesn't kick off until this evening - before running through Tuesday for a total 30 hours of deals, albeit with some better than others - but Amazon is already teasing a price cut on Echo hardware. That includes an Echo at half price.

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Alexa’s newest ability: telling you when Amazon orders are out for delivery

Alexa’s newest ability: telling you when Amazon orders are out for delivery

Amazon may be keeping busy lately by expanding its Echo line of devices, along with Alexa, the voice assistant that powers the devices, but the connected speaker has received a small but useful new feature this week. Simply put, Alexa can now notify users when their packages from Amazon are out for delivery, something frequent shoppers can expect to get some use out of with next week's Prime Day sales event.

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