Google researchers have developed a deep-learning system designed to help computers better identify and isolate individual voices within a noisy environment. As noted in a post on the company’s Google Research Blog this week, a team within the tech giant attempted to replicate the cocktail party effect, or the human brain’s ability to focus on one source of audio while filtering out others—just as you would while talking to a friend at a party.
Amazon announced a ton of new connected devices today for their Alexa ecosystem, including the first serious revision of the basic Echo (now $99) and the Echo Plus, an Echo with smart home hub built in. Also announced is the Echo Spot, a new form factor for a screen-bearing Echo with camera. The somewhat odd ones are the Echo Connect, a VOIP box that connects a landline to an existing Echo device in the home. The Connect then allows the Echo to act as a smart speakerphone, enabling voice-controlled dialing and the like. Potentially huge for accessibility, it’s an unusual product for the Echo ecosystem.
But not quite as odd as the Echo Buttons, which are 2-for-$20 accessories for playing games with an existing Echo. The idea is to use them like buzz-in buttons on game shows, with the Echo acting as a gamemaster for trivia games and the like.
I suppose the Buttons + Echo might make for a fun library trivia night activity? Let me know if you plan to try it out at your library.
This is a crazy story about custom hardware designed to allow for card game cheating, including not only poker but nearly any other card game. Custom hardware made to look like a cell phone plus IR marked cards equals total knowledge about what’s happening on the table.
Upon ordering the poker cheating device I kinda expected, based on the screenshots I had seen early on, to get a dedicated piece of hardware that kinda looked like a fake phone. However, to my surprise, the device, showcased in the picture above, far exceeded my expectations by being a fully functional phone with extra hardware dedicated to cheating. Also to my surprise, the device not only allows to cheat at Poker but to cheat at almost any kind of card games you can think of.
Get used to this, because here’s the future of computer security….
A giant botnet made up of hijacked internet-connected things like cameras, lightbulbs, and thermostats has launched the largest DDoS attack ever against a top security blogger, an attack so big Akamai had to cancel his account because defending it ate up too many resources.
GoPro’s latest product is a move in a new direction: Up.After a year of rumors and teases, the action camera company finally announced its very first drone, the Karma ($800).
The hackers would provide data proving the medical devices were life-threatening, with Block taking a short position against St. Jude. The hackers’ fee for the information increases as the price of St. Jude’s shares fall, meaning both Muddy Waters and MedSec stand to profit. If the bet doesn’t work, and the shares don’t fall, MedSec could lose money, taking into account their upfront costs, including research.
We have implemented an access platform that can support a wide variety of wireless network standards, from 2G and LTE to Wi-Fi access points. Anyone can customize the platform to meet their connectivity needs and set up the network of their choosing, in both rural and urban areas. For instance, the system, due to its on-board computing and storage capacity, can be configured as network-in-a-box or purely as a cellular access point.
Here’s a presentation by Kevin Carter from DEFCON 2015 about the Piratebox project, but almost everything he points out as a benefit is equally applicable to LibraryBox. I would argue that in a few ways, LibraryBox is even better…mainly in the ease of customization for your own uses. LibraryBox puts all of the files for the web interface on the USB drive, which makes customizing much more straightforward.
He definitely gets the variety of benefits this sort of device can bring, from routing around censorship to providing a secure place to communicate in politically charged areas. These issues are exactly what I’m going to be working on as a Fellow at the Berkman Center this upcoming year.
One last CES 2015 post, collecting the video coverage I did in one place so that you can watch them all at once if you so please. I don’t recommend consumption of video in parallel, though…generally speaking, it’s best consumed serially.
Here’s all five of my CES2015 videos for your viewing pleasure:
CES 2015 Unveiled
CES 2015 Press Day
CES 2015 3D Printers
CES 2015 Best & Worst Wrap Up
Here’s my last video from CES2015, a wrap-up that’s full of the best and worst of the technology that I saw. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my coverage, and I’ll get a chance to head back next year for another run at the largest technology show in the world.
If you want to catch up on all of my coverage, you can see everything I posted via this link. And if you have any questions about technology and libraries, want to pick my brain about anything that I saw, or want to ask me about specific technology recommendations for your library, feel free to drop me a line.