smart home

Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling

Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling

If Alexa's "butt dialing" this week has made you paranoid about your Echo, you're not alone, but luckily there's a way to prevent inadvertent eavesdropping by the smart speaker. As one family of Echo owners discovered, to their horror, Alexa can mis-hear commands and accidentally share a private conversation with a random contact. There's a way to prevent that completely, but there are a few steps you need to know first.

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Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Alexa isn't eavesdropping on your every conversation, secretly sharing them with whoever it likes, but even if it was there's an easy way to avoid that. The latest controversy over smart speakers and the Internet of Things comes down to privacy, as is so often the way, with Amazon's Echo accused of playing impromptu postwoman with a private chat recorded and shared.

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Google Home just scored a huge victory over Alexa

Google Home just scored a huge victory over Alexa

Google Home has overtaken Amazon's Echo in smart speaker shipments for the first time, it's claimed, with the Google Assistant edging out Alexa in sales. Although there have been several contenders in the smart speaker wars, two rival platforms currently lead the market.

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Andy Rubin’s Essential explanation is hardly reassuring

Andy Rubin’s Essential explanation is hardly reassuring

With the fate of Essential uncertain and the Essential Phone 2 reportedly dead, company founder Andy Rubin has spoken out on the speculation he's trying to sell off the struggling business. Still, as reassuring statements go, the comments by the "Father of Android" aren't exactly going to settle many concerns.

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Amazon admits Echo eavesdropping as Alexa shares private chat [Updated]

Amazon admits Echo eavesdropping as Alexa shares private chat [Updated]

Amazon is investigating how an Echo recorded a conversation and sent that to another person, after one Portland couple claims the smart speaker eavesdropped on their discussion. The incident, which Amazon has described as "an extremely rare occurrence," is likely to reignite concerns around privacy, the Internet of Things, and increasingly connected devices.

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Bixby 2.0 coming to Galaxy Note 9, smart appliances

Bixby 2.0 coming to Galaxy Note 9, smart appliances

Every tech company is jumping on AI and machine learning these days and it's no surprise that Samsung is as well. And in typical Samsung fashion, it has decided to strike off on its own with its (acquired) SmartThings IoT platform and its own Bixby assistant. Unfazed by the lukewarm, almost negative, reception of the latter, Samsung is forging ahead with an improved Bixby experience, Bixby 2.0, coming soon to a Samsung flagship and Samsung smart home appliance near you.

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Nest’s big outage shows the IoT has a downside

Nest’s big outage shows the IoT has a downside

Nest's security and smart home platform unexpectedly went offline for around an hour last night, again highlighting some of the unexpected frustrations those heavily invested in the Internet of Things can find themselves facing. The problem saw Nest's app on iOS and Android, and the Nest web interface, go offline completely, affecting a variety of hardware.

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Logitech’s Circle 2 Magnetic Mount makes renters an easier camera

Logitech’s Circle 2 Magnetic Mount makes renters an easier camera

Connected security cameras are a mainstay of the modern smart home, but if you rent and can't get busy with your drill then installing them can be a pain. Logitech is adding a new, easier way to fix up its Circle 2 camera line-up, a Magnetic Mount that promises to cling tenaciously to most metal.

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TiVo Alexa control goes live this week

TiVo Alexa control goes live this week

TiVo is getting Amazon Alexa integration, allowing voice control of changing channels, skipping commercials, and more. The support for Amazon's assistant is rolling out to boxes this week, TiVo says, allowing anybody with a TiVo BOLT, Roamio, or Premiere to link their DVR with a supported Echo device.

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This Philips Hue promo makes for a cheaper smart home

This Philips Hue promo makes for a cheaper smart home

When it comes to getting started in the smart home, connected lights are where most people start, and one of the more popular platforms is Philips' Hue. If you're looking to get some more connected color in your IoT life, Amazon is running a sale on a number of Hue products today, from starter kits to individual bulbs.

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Xiaomi Smart Home products coming with Google Assistant support

Xiaomi Smart Home products coming with Google Assistant support

Xiaomi isn't in a rush to bring its crazy cheap smartphones to the US market. It never has been and, given the political atmosphere, it will probably be taking its sweet time. It has, however, made a few products available, most of them accessories and fan merchandise. Soon, it will be making another big step towards embracing the US market with a small expansion of its Smart Home product lineup. And all of them will have Google Assistant support.

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Philips’ Hue app is getting a huge – and much-needed – overhaul

Philips’ Hue app is getting a huge – and much-needed – overhaul

Philips' Hue connected lighting has done a good job bedding itself into the average smart home, but for a long time its smartphone app has been the weakest link. Now, Philips is changing that with an all-new Hue app which, the company promises, will address some of the lingering complaints about the old interface.

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