Roku might be making its own smart speaker

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There could be yet another smart speaker to choose from.

The popular streaming device maker Roku may be building its own competitor to the Amazon Echo. Roku already has some voice-command tech, and some publicly available information suggests its leveraging it to branch out into new projects with advanced audio features. 

First noticed by Variety, Roku has listed open positions that are specific to tying audio with software. For example, Sr. Software Engineer, New Products, Audio (Expert) requires candidates with experience taking “new hardware platforms from prototype to mass production.” Other listings were for applicants with experience with “voice user interface design.” Read more…

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Apple Brings ‘The Future of the Smart Phone’ with Three New iPhones

Apple’s three new iPhone models come with significant optical upgrades—and a significant price hike.

Today, ten years after Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, Apple announced its latest product lineup which consists of three new models, including the iPhone 8, the 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. Each model comes with significant hardware and design upgrades, including new HD retina displays and an exciting new processing chip. The cameras are now capable of shooting at faster video frame rates (1080p at 240 fps) with improved image stabilization. Advanced image and motion analysis provide better video encoding. Here’s a closer look at each model:

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People applied to work for Hub, a fake startup whose smart home device doesn’t do anything

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This April Fools’ Day, one joke long in the making about Silicon Valley got kind of out of hand. 

An Indiegogo campaign for “Hub: the ultimate IOT smart device” got the attention of students at Yale University — so much so that some applied to work at the burgeoning campus startup. 

But the entire project was a joke, meant to mock smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home, along with the rest of the ever-proliferating internet of things. 

Hub, as presented in a highly-produced marketing video, doesn’t really do anything. It’s just a hunk of metal that promises to connect to the internet of things. The big tech words and fancy production, though, caused some viewers to miss that lack of purpose.  Read more…

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Qatar Airways launches smart workaround for electronics ban

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Electronics ban be damned, Qatar Airways is going to get its hard-working business travelers typing away on laptops no matter what.

Less than a week after U.S. officials banned electronics larger than a smartphone on certain U.S.-bound flights from certain Middle East and Africa airports, the Doha-based airliner figured out how to get out of the snarly mess that is the ban.

The airline is offering loaner laptops since in-flight entertainment systems just don’t cut it for people traveling for work. Writing up reports or endless work emails on a smartphone is headache — sometimes you just need the real thing. That performance report isn’t going to write itself during your 15-hour flight.  Read more…

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Your smart fridge is about to make our IoT security nightmare so much worse

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LAS VEGAS — Each year, CES plays host to some of the most compelling innovations in the tech industry: self-driving cars, virtual reality, robots, drones and televisions that get bigger and thinner each year. Not to mention Wi-Fi and bluetooth sensors embedded into just about every previously mundane appliance and object imaginable. 

Want Amazon’s Alexa in you refrigerator, washing machine, trash can and light fixtures? You’re in luck. How about a smart hairbrush, a Wi-Fi-connected shower or an app-enabled breast pump? CES has it all. 

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