Friday Morning Report

By Craig Cmehil | a different view before the weekend

Intel and Amazon are making it easier for anyone to build an Alexa-enabled speaker

Just what you wanted<p>Amazon wants Alexa in as many products as possible, so it’s partnering with Intel to make it easier for manufacturers to incorporate the voice assistant into their devices. The two companies announced plans yesterday to release reference designs for a connected speaker within …

Amazon

10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.<p><b>1. Uber is going to court in Europe, in a case that could have huge implications for the app-based economy across the continent.</b> It will seek to convince Europe's top court that it is a digital service, not a transport company.<p><b>2.</b> …

Amazon Web Services

Artificial intelligence has learned how to pick out criminals by their faces

With the advent of photography, a tiny fraction of 19th-century scientists believed they could develop methods of accurately identifying criminals by their facial features. While their hypotheses were eventually discredited, new artificial intelligence technology suggests their claims might’ve been …

Computer Science

10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here's the technology news you need to know this Wednesday.<p><b>1. Several Facebook employees reportedly quit over a tool that would censor posts in China.</b> Facebook has created a censorship tool to automatically suppress certain posts in specific geographic areas.<p><b>2. Hewlett Packard</b> …

J. K. Rowling

Facebook's solar-powered drone under investigation after 'accident'

Social network’s plan to bring 1 billion people online suffers blow as American National Transportation Safety Board examines ‘structural failure’ of Aquila drone<p>Facebook has hit a hitch in its plans to use a solar-powered unmanned drone to provide internet access to developing nations, after it …

Facebook

ZapBox: Experience “Mixed Reality” for just $30

What is ZapBox?<p>ZapBox is an affordable way to experience <b>Mixed Reality</b> and <b>Room-Scale Virtual Reality</b> using the power of your smartphone.<p>ZapBox …

White House honors two of tech's female pioneers

When Margaret Hamilton was writing the code that would become the onboard flight software for NASA's Apollo project, her target was the moon, not the White House.<p>But now, four decades after the Apollo moon landings, the NASA computer scientist has a rendezvous in Washington to receive the …

Grace Hopper

New Satellite Provides Weather Forecasts For The Final Frontier

Every morning in a government office building in Boulder, Colo., about a dozen people type a code into a door and line up against a wall on the other side. There are a couple of guys in military uniform, and some scientists in Hawaiian shirts. They work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric …

Weather

Swift Playgrounds Updated With New Coding Lessons, Hour of Code Challenge

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app received its first update today, introducing a new set of coding lessons and a few new features to enhance the coding experience.<p>Included in the update is the "Learn to Code 3" module, which features a fresh guided learning experience designed to walk children and …

Programming

Three Mobile breached, millions of UK customers' data at risk

The Telegraph reports that carrier Three Mobile’s systems in the UK have been breached and that its sources say roughly 6 million customers’ personal data could be at risk.<p>The company noted that the attackers used an employee login to gain entry into its database of customers eligible for a phone …

Mobile

Nest 'Instaclips' capture highlights with a single click

TIme-lapse photography is hard, but these look pretty simple.<p>Time-lapse photography is super cool, but doing it yourself is a pretty involved undertaking. The folks at Nest want to take the work out of it though. With a new feature for Nest Aware subscribers you can make a short "instaclip" of the …

Time-lapse Photography

Coke made a selfie bottle because the world surely needed one

The world can thank Coca-Cola Israel for this.<p>Coca-Cola Israel has developed a gizmo that makes selfie sticks look tame and <i>normal</i> in comparison. The company attached a camera-equipped base to a 500 ml Coke to create what it calls the "world's first selfie bottle." It automatically takes photos when …

Selfies

Amazon Uses Voice Assistant Alexa To Tease More Holiday Deals

Alexa users will access exclusive discounts when they order items through Echo.<p>Amazon will offer exclusive shopping deals during the holiday shopping season for users of its voice assistant Alexa.<p>Starting today through Nov. 21, shoppers will get exclusive deals on TVs, cooking sets, Legos, and more …

Amazon

AT&T customers can use Amazon Echo speakers to send messages on Nov. 18

Texting is sometimes a drag because, well, you have put some effort to use your fingers on a keypad after all. How about sending text messages with your voice? That’s what AT&T wants to offer its users who also own an Amazon Echo or Echo Doc connected speaker.<p>The wireless carrier announced today …

Amazon

Why you shouldn’t talk to your chatbot about everything

At the Privacy Week conference in Vienna I gave a talk called “Privacy and Data Security of Chatbots.” I wanted to point out that you should consider what data to share with a bot and in which steps the data is processed when talking to a bot: How secure are the messenger apps themselves, the …

Privacy

Apple Stores to Host Free 'Hour of Code' Workshops in Early December

Apple today announced it has opened registration for free one-hour "Hour of Code" workshops between December 5 and December 11 at all 487 of its retail stores worldwide. This year's workshops will include an introduction to Apple's new educational Swift Playgrounds coding app for iPad.<p>“Hour of Code …

Apple News

TOMS reveals line of Apple Watch bands, each purchase gives 1yr of solar light to a person in need

Popular charitable shoe and clothing company TOMS has today announced its own lineup of Apple Watch bands. While the company has yet to formally reveal the effort, the bands are live on TOMS.com, as is the new One-to-One initiative to go alongside the accessories…<p>TOMS says that every time an Apple …

Apple News

The cameras are coming

The danger with toys is that too often they’re not taken seriously.<p>This is the case with Snap’s new Spectacles. Buried deep in the excess of the plastic and PR lies a camera system that tells us a lot about the future of commerce, security and communication.<p>With rumors that Apple could design …

Machine Learning

Apple may be jumping on the smart glasses bandwagon, report says

Snapchat just made a pair of smart glasses people are genuinely into, and it appears Apple might want in on the smart glasses action, too.<p>According to a report in <i>Bloomberg</i>, the company is considering making a foray into wearables by way of a pair of digital glasses.<p>People "familiar with the …

Augmented Reality

Microsoft announces Visual Studio for Mac will launch in November

Fans of cross-platform coding will be happy to know that Visual Studio, “a true mobile-first, cloud-first development tool for .NET and C#,” will arrive for Mac during the Connect() conference in November. The move places Microsoft’s IDE on Macs. The IDE follows Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s code …

Microsoft Visual Studio

Antarctic quest to find 'oldest ice'

<b>Scientists set out this week to try to find the oldest ice in Antarctica.</b><p>They are seeking a location where they can drill a frozen core that contains a continuous record of climate change stretching back 1.5 million years.<p>The chemistry of this ice can be used to deduce past temperatures on …

Antarctica

IBM and Nvidia team up to create deep learning hardware

Deep learning continues to gather steam in corporate computing, and IBM and Nvidia are teaming up to help accelerate the foundation behind artificial intelligence breakthroughs. The two companies are collaborating on a deep learning solution that melds technology from both companies in a bid to …

IBM

Here’s Facebook’s Plan To Get You Chatting With Messenger Business Bots

“We now have the ability to drive massive traffic to bots through News Feed.”<p>Since Facebook debuted its bot platform for Messenger in April of this year, the messaging app has been flooded with some 33,000 chat bots. But after six months at market, they’re still largely unproven. Many Messenger …

Facebook

Echo And Alexa Are Two Years Old. Here's What Amazon Has Learned So Far

With its smart speaker and voice service, Amazon has gained new areas of expertise—and, in some cases, been surprised by its own customers.<p>On November 6 2014, Amazon announced Echo, a smart speaker featuring a voice-controlled assistant service called Alexa. The company didn't exactly go out of its …

Amazon

Scotland generates enough wind energy to power every household for an entire month

Wind turbines in Scotland provided enough electricity to supply the average needs of almost all Scotland's homes last month, according to a …

How Apple’s stock apps will use the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro

The Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro replaces the physical function keys on the keyboard with a touchscreen panel, allowing apps to display custom, unique and contextual interfaces like buttons, sliders, tabs and other controls. We’ve already covered some general details about how the Touch Bar …

Facebook’s plan to break into the workplace is already used by 1,000 businesses

While the tech world was fascinated and freaking out over Microsoft's new Slack-killer product Teams, Facebook subtly reminded the world that it had some game in this market, too.<p>During Facebook's earnings on Wednesday, it had warned the Street that revenue growth would likely slow in 2017, and …

Facebook

The Huawei Fit feels cheaper than its $130 price

Drop the price below $100 and then we’ll talk.<p>It's almost gift-giving season, and companies are scrambling to release products that will fill your loved ones' stockings later this year. And plenty of people are considering options for the fitness fiends in their lives. Huawei threw its name in the …