Amazon now has Echo Auto for your car. Right now we see it listed for half price.
What you need for it to work:
Bluetooth or AUX input
Smartphone with data plan
Alexa app on your phone
Compatible apps for music streaming, maps
Since this is made for your car, it is designed to attach to your vents and comes with a vent mount. There are 8 microphones which can be switched off for privacy. Voice control the Echo Auto through the Alexa app to stream audiobooks, podcasts, or music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, other radio stations.
Use Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze to get directions. Find gas stations, check the news.
Amazon Echo Auto
If you car is older, you might try to add Bluetooth through an adapter. There are several out there you can look at to see what will work for you. Some require an AUX input and/or USB port. Some even come with USB ports if you don’t have them.
But why add Bluetooth to an older car? You might want to stream music. You may even want to use it for hands-free phone calls. There are a few available that will allow you to stream through your car stereo speakers or you can get a Bluetooth speaker that will cost a bit more.
You probably already know from the Apple announcement event last week that they have already announced the upcoming iPhone series 11. There is the 11 and the 11 Pro.
So what makes the new phone different? Let’s delve into the new features.
iPhone 11: The iPhone 11 has a new dual-camera system – this gives you the option of wide or ultra-wide shots. The iPhone 11 will handle up to 17 hours of video playback. The iPhone 11 has the same 6.1″ Liquid Retina HD display as previous models. It is made from aerospace-grade aluminum. It comes in light purple, yellow, mint green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.
iPhone 11 Pro: The iPhone 11 Pro will have a third camera for telephoto shots in addition to the wide and ultra-wide cameras. The Pro version will handle up to 20 hours of video playback. The iPhone 11 Pro comes in two sizes featuring 5.8″ or 6.5″ Super Retina XDR display. It is made from stainless steel. The colors are midnight green, silver, space gray, or gold.
Find out more here: https://www.apple.com/iphone/
Here is a video from The Verge highlighting the event:
Here is a video of a walk through the years of Microsoft. In Microsoft the Musical, where they say “It’s all happening here!,” 150 interns spent their free time outside work hours (mornings, evenings, weekends) making this video in eight weeks from start to finish.
It brings you on a journey of Bill Gates and what he achieved. They acknowledge the problem with Vista, as well as the Windows Phone. Their mission is to empower every person to achieve more.
We’ve been seeing this word a lot lately. Let’s delve into what it is and what it means.
According to whatis.techtarget.com, it is an AI-based technology. It is used to alter videos to show something that didn’t happen. It comes from a Reddit user who changed clips of celebrities and used regular people in these clips.
So this is not just pasting your face over a celebrity image but rather using AI technology to create the clips making it even more polished.
This article from CNN has a lot of information that shows how this technology is made. It also sounds the warning of what may happen regarding the political atmosphere in our country concerning deepfakes.
Many celebrities are concerned about deepfakes because people have swapped their image onto porn films, thus invading their privacy and making something that didn’t happen go on social or other media.
Here is a video from Nova/PBS
Here is a TedTalk by Supasorn Suwajanakorn
How do noise-canceling headphones work? How did they come about. In the 1970s, Dr. Amar Bose was on a flight and was frustrated with the noise he was hearing and worked on making a way to cancel out the noise. Several years and millions of dollars later, he was able to create noise-canceling headphones.
Sometimes noise will leak through because they works better where there is consistent noise, like on an airplane, subway, or train.
Find out more in this video from TechInsider:
The Victor crew found this article about passwords. There have been so many breaches in recent history. There have been 13 big data breaches this year alone (so far).
This article breaks down why passwords really don’t matter in light of the way hackers are performing their breaches. It is from a Microsoft tech using stats collected from Azure Active Directory connected accounts. The data is broken down by type of attack and how they are performed.
Once you cut through all the techese, the bottom line is to choose passwords with at least 8 characters, use a password manager and let it generate the password for you, try using multi-factor authentication for that extra step.
Canadian bitcoin expert Ben Perrin was recently approached by a bitcoin scammer. He promised he could double his money every 24 hours. They didn’t know they were dealing with a YouTuber that actually teaches about bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
He decided to play along and see what they were claiming. In a turnaround, Perrin got the scammer to deposit $50 dollars into his wallet as he was pretending not to know what to do. Bitcoin deposits are irreversible so he was surprised the scammer sent the money. Perrin then donated the money to charity.
See the full video along with CBC’s interview with Perrin.
MIT researchers have created an AI that can do your knitting for you! Create your own design and have it made for you. Even if you have never knitted a stitch before, with this system you can create hats, gloves, or whatever you want. Even patterned designs. You can create a template for the computer to follow.
The only missing ingredient is the joy you can get from making each stitch by hand…
Do you remember the cartoon show called “The Jetsons”? The people rode in a car in the air. Now there are some more personal drones almost ready for us to take flight. There will still need to be a lot of rules and regulations put in place before that can become a reality…
The company eHang in China has developed a personal drone. Watch as the CEO takes flight brought by Digital Trends:
AIs are supposed to be ever learning. However computer vision can be a different story. The Verge has an interesting article that shows some pictures and what AI sees it as.
In the article are a lot of pictures labeled with what the AI says it is vs. what it really is. In one group they are showing 4 different pictures of a dragonfly but the AI doesn’t identify any of them as a dragonfly.
It is important to get computers to see what is really there especially in the realm of self-driving cars. We don’t want them to see stop signs where there aren’t any or vice-versa. In another article on The Verge, it was reported that Google’s AI saw a rifle and not a turtle. If this had been something where they were looking for adversarial attacks, this could be a problem.
Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first human to step foot on the moon. When the Apollo 11’s lunar module the Eagle landed in Lake Tranquility, the famous words “The eagle has landed” was uttered by Neil Armstrong. Later on, after he stepped out onto the moon’s surface, he said “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The 50th anniversary of this momentous occasion is this Saturday. Here is a grainy video of the event that you might be able to see.
Read more about it
Yes, technology is great. But it can sometimes let us down. In the worst ways.
A woman in Colorado was on her way to the airport in Denver to pick up her husband. She came across an accident along the way. Traffic was tied up indefinitely. She wanted to be on time for her husband’s flight. What did she do? She relied on Google Maps to help with a detour around the accident to get to the airport. Something many of us have done.
Unfortunately, this time didn’t pan out for this woman. She was led to a dirt road. A dirt road that had gotten pretty muddy from recent rain storms. She wasn’t the only one. She found there were about a hundred people who also took the same detour. Some people got stuck and she ended up with 2 other people in her car.
Last week we talked about changes coming to iOS 13. This week we will talk about the new iPadOS.
The new Safari browser will be more like a full Mac version but with touch. You can use a download manager, take a screenshot that will copy a whole page. There are new options in Photos to change a photo, how you want to group them, you can edit videos.
Files app works with USB drive and you will see all your cloud drives. You can use Sidecar mode on your Mac and use your iPad as a second screen.
In the Notes app, you can squeeze the keyboard when it shows up and it shrinks. You will be able to swipe to type by moving from letter to letter.
You can have widgets on your home screen.
They are still working out some bugs but it is due to come out this fall.
iOS 13 is coming out in the fall. But it is made for your iPhone. The iPad will be getting its own OS. So what will be different?
There will be “light mode” and “dark mode”. You can time when you want to use dark or light mode as well.
They are updating their “Apple Maps” app in hopes people will start using it. They hope the map is actually fixed. Also they are adding a street view. You can set favorites and collections so easily get to them in a list.
iOS will have more privacy by allowing you to grant access to apps just one time. You can even have the app ask each time so they can’t track you.
Reminders will have more sort features. You can tag people to your reminders so you can easily remember if someone else needs to be contacted.
More integration with health app to your Apple Watch.
You can Find My … device or… friend.
More photo editing options.
Apps should launch faster, and other speed improvements.
Better volume control.
Swipe on the keyboard – type one-handed without taking your finger off keyboard.
More emojis that are customizeable.
You can download the beta now but it is recommended to wait until the final version comes out.
Did you know there are other search engines besides Google? It seems with Google being all over the place, we forget that there are others. There are others we may have forgotten or didn’t even know such as bing.com, yahoo.com, dogpile.com, yippy.com, webopedia.com (focusing on technical terms), ask.com (may have previously been known as askjeeves.com), wolframalpha.com (computational intelligence), to name a few.
We are currently trying out DuckDuckGo.com. I’ve switched over to using it for a couple weeks now. The one lure is they are “… setting the new standard of trust online, empowering people to take control of their information.” They say your searches are always private. So what does that matter?
Have you ever searched for something just out of curiosity and then received all sorts of spammy email all about that subject? Just look at your spam mailbox and you may see many spam emails about your search phrase. This would happen especially when you aren’t using private browsing mode in your browser. And it’s not just emails. You will start to see what you searched for on websites and in apps as well.
DuckDuckGo has been around since 2008. You can even download their browser with privacy from your app store.
As you may have heard last week, Apple will be discontinuing iTunes. When they release macOS Catalina, they will have three new apps to take the place of iTunes: music, TV, podcasts. No longer will you be able to use all three in one app. You will still be able to access everything you have in iTunes via these apps. iCloud will still sync everything across devices as well.
Apple music will also be able stream music on your Mac through the music app. The TV app will have movies, shows, and premium channels. They also say Apple TV+ is coming soon. You will be able to listen to your podcasts with the podcast app. Since it can sync across your devices, you can start on one device and finish on another.
Other things new that will be coming with the new OS is a rebuilt Reminders app. You will be able to add attachments to reminders. The start page will have an update and will add Siri Suggestions. There will something called Sidecar that allows you to use your iPad as an extended screen. You can work on one and display on the other or mirror the screens. Also with Sidecar, you will able to use the Apple Pencil to work on supported apps. Screen Time is also going to be available on Mac. There will also be enhanced security on the Mac. There are accessibility enhancements such as Voice Control, omm the second display, Hover Text to make some text larger and more readable.
Find out more: https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina-preview/
Watch the WWDC 2019 Keynote from Apple:
The Rubik’s Cube has been around since the 70s. Invented by a Hungarian professor named Erno Rubik, his first prototype was made in 1974. When he had built his first cube, it took him a month to solve it. He got his patent in 1975 for his “Magic Cube”. In 1979, it was presented to toy fairs in various countries.
Tom Kremer, a toy specialist with a passion, convinced the Ideal Toy Company to pick this up as a product. The first thing they did was change the name from Magic Cube to Rubik’s Cube and launched it in 1980. By 1981 it was a world-wide craze. Through the years it has been reworked and made even faster. In 2017 they released the Rubik’s Speedcube.
They have a step-by-step guide on solving the Rubik’s cube.
Here is Business Insider’s Guide:
If you had a chance to log onto Google yesterday, Memorial Day 2019, you will have noticed something different about Google. Instead of the primary color logo, Google went gray for the day. They even had a light gray background at 3:00 pm. They asked for you to join them at 3:00 pm wherever you were to observe a National Moment of Remembrance. You could play taps with the link they provided.
Clicking on the folded flag under the search input would take you to this blog post.
Remember Microsoft Paint? Usually it is disparaged by people, especially those who have access to something more powerful like Photoshop.
Microsoft has added some new features to MS Paint that are to be included in the Windows 10 May 2019 update. The most key new feature is that the keyboard will be used as the primary input. This will give users the added ability to draw only with their keyboard.
In keeping with the accessibility features, they have also improved the way Paint interacts with screen readers like Windows Narrator.
See more information along with the keyboard shortcuts illustrated.
If you run Windows 10, you can have her! More powerful than Windows’ Cortana, you can have her run on your PC now. Just say “Alexa” and start speaking.
You will have to give permissions to your microphone. You will also have to sign in with your Amazon account. Alexa will listen in the background and you can access it just like Amazon Echo.
So what happens if you have the Alexa app on a Kindle, an Amazon Echo, and you put this on your PC? Well, we wondered too and found this on Amazon.com Basically it says the closest one will respond. Some content and settings are shared but not all. While it may not work the way you intend or is different than the Echo device, it may be helpful.
The Victor crew came across this cute little mini-bot. It is a Minitaur™ by Ghost Robotics. It is a small, agile, lightweight robot used as an unmanned ground vehicle.
It can bounce, run, flip, climb, go up and down stairs, and even open doors!
The Victor crew has written about car hacking before. It seems to have escalated to apps being used to hack some cars now. Breaking into certain GPS Tracking apps, the hacker claims to have the ability to even stop engines, as reported by MotherBoard.
The apps he has hacked, called iTrack and ProTrack, are two apps where companies can monitor and manage their fleet vehicles. The hacker found that the apps have default password of 123456 when they sign up. The hacker said he was trying to target the companies, not the users.
Both apps are made in China.
First of all – what does zero-day mean? It is the day a vulnerability was found. If a bug was around for 10 days it would be a 10-day vulnerability. Usually a fix will be developed in the form of a patch or workaround.
A zero-day exploit means an attack takes place the day a vulnerability is discovered.
On March 30, 2019, two zero-day vulnerabilities were discovered in Microsoft EDGE and Internet Explorer. Without getting too technical, the behind the scenes code of the browser can occur when you visit a malicious site and some of the same origin policy code allows other sites to intervene. When working correctly, it would prevent other sites from accessing your information.
Another vulnerability is related to MHT files. Internet Explorer can still read MHT files. If you are using Outlook, you may see this above an email: “If there are problems with how this message is displayed, click here to view it in a web browser.” It will then open in IE even if you are using Windows 10 with Edge. If the MHT file is infected you will have problems.
To prevent programs from opening IE, you can go into “Programs and Features” in Control Panel and then to “Turn Windows features on or off” and uncheck Internet Explorer 11. Restart your computer.
Trend Micro Blog
Once upon a time back in the beginning of HTML and website coding, there was blinking code and marquee code and a lot of other things that have gone by the wayside and become obsolete.
At one time you would just put
around the code you wanted to show blinking and blink away it would.
There is a little “easter egg” in google search that can bring a little bit of it back in the search results. Just type in “blink html” in the search box and you will see all result words “html” and “blink” actually blinking.
We were curious of what other “easter eggs” we could find. One said to type “askew” in the search box. We found a link to https://elgoog.im/tilt/ which showed a tilted google page. When we entered a search term, it showed a mirror image of google results with it going from right to left.
Another said to type in “recursion” and the only thing we found is “Did you mean: recursion” which I guess in itself is a recursion. If you type “anagram” it will say “Did you mean nag a ram”.
This link shows the Google page backwards: https://elgoog.im/
This one does a barrel roll: https://elgoog.im/doabarrelroll/
This is a zerg rush that shows little circles erasing the page and then shaping two G’s. You are supposed to click on the little circles before it destroys the whole page. https://elgoog.im/zergrush/
Zip apart the Google page: https://elgoog.im/zipper/