FACEBOOK is developing a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Alphabet Inc’s Google Assistant. The AI assistant could reportedly be used on the tech giant's Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects. “We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products,” a Facebook spokesperson said. CNBC reported that the tech company has been developing the new assistant since early 2018. A Washington-based team from Facebook’s augmented reality and virtual reality group has been spearheading the effort. The Facebook assistant faces stiff competition.STIFF COMPETITION Amazon and Google are the leaders in the smart speaker market with 67 per cent and 30 per cent shares in the US in 2018, respectively, according to eMarketer. Amazon’s Echo is expected to capture 63.3 per cent of smart speaker users in 2019, … [Read more...] about Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri
Amazon banned account
APPLE Music subscribers can now listen to songs on Amazon's range of Fire TV and Echo devices. It means Apple fans with an Alexa speaker won't be forced to pay for a different service on their Echo – like Spotify or Amazon Music. Starting today, Apple Music will become available for all users across the UK and Ireland. To choose tracks using voice controls, simply say commands like "Alexa, player today's hits on Apple Music" or "Alexa, play Beats 1 on Apple Music". You can also choose specific songs, artists, playlists and albums. But you'll need to end every request with "on Apple Music" – or alternatively set Apple Music as your default service. To get started, you'll first need to make sure you have an active Apple Music subscription. If you're a first-timer then you can get a three-month trial completely free of charge – just click here: Apple Music free three-month trial (new customers only) – sign up now After that, you'll have to pay £9.99 a month. … [Read more...] about Apple Music now works on Amazon Echo speakers – how to get three month trial
AMAZON has banned sales of racist gear featuring Nazi swastikas for children and adults amid pressure from US lawmakers and non-profit groups. Just weeks prior, the online shopping titan owned by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, was blasted by a Democrat from Minnesota for profiting from Nazi items sold by hate groups. They included a cross-burning onesie for kids (a practice associated with the Ku Klux Klan), stickers featuring nooses and lynching imagery, a "noosed costume"and Nazi swastika jewellery. In a letter addressed to Bezos, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota said he was shocked that hate groups identified by non-profits were openly selling their wares on Amazon – with the site taking a cut of sales. “I am disturbed that such a powerful corporation is materially fueling the rise of hate groups in our country,” wrote Ellison in the message last month. In its response, Amazon said it had removed products that violated its policy against product … [Read more...] about Amazon bans sale of Nazi gear after white nationalist ‘grey market’ exposed
AMAZON is coming after your kids with a brand new smart speaker aimed at children. The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition is a voice-controlled pod powered by the Alexa digital assistant – now rejigged to be child-friendly. The new model features bright and colourful cases, new parental controls, and a two-year "no questions asked" warranty for accident-prone youngsters. The protective rubber cases are available in red, green or blue paintjobs. But otherwise, the hardware looks identical to the existing Echo Dot – Amazon's smallest and cheapest (£49.99) smart speaker. Amazon is giving parents a new service called FreeTime with all Echo Dot Kids Edition speakers as standard. The free version of FreeTime gets you parental controls, allowing you to block out certain Alexa features. This means concerned parents can shut off news and shopping. But you'll also be able to deny access to third-party skills that connect to non-Amazon accounts – like Domino's Pizza or Uber. … [Read more...] about Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition revealed – will the smart speaker land in the UK soon?
FROM 50 million to 2.2 billion in a matter of weeks, Facebook has finally revealed the true extent of shady data gathering on its platform - and it affects all users. The embattled social network is blaming the sorry mess on its search feature, which lets you look up others by phone number or email address. As it's been doing since the start of its data crisis, the company claims some shady folk took advantage of Facebook search to hoover up your public profile data, and (as usual) there was nothing it could do about it. The excuses began with Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, who detailed the abuses of the feature and what Facebook is doing to restrict the user info app makers can access. "Malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery," he said. "Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook … [Read more...] about Facebook admits ‘most’ of its 2BILLION users had their personal info taken