News

Apple’s Siri listens to private conversations, sexual adventures

Knows your sensitive and confidential information

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If you frequently use Siri or if you own a Siri-enabled device, you better watch what you say in front of it. A whistleblower came forward in a report by The Guardian stating that Apple contractors hear confidential information like medical details, drug deals, and even sexual acts between couples through Siri.

The Guardian has learned that the tech giant has contractors around the world that help in “grading” Siri. These contractors provide quality control by identifying if the activation of the voice assistant was accidental, or if Siri was asked with a query that was answered appropriately.


Apple came into their defense and told The Guardian that “Siri responses are analyzed in secure facilities adhering to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.”

“Overheard” vs Intentional listening

However, there’s more to the story uncovered. The anonymous whistleblower expressed concerns about accidental activations. This means that these recordings aren’t meant to be heard, as people activate Siri indirectly in several instances.

For example, raising your Apple watch while speaking can activate Siri. Even the sound of a zip acts as a trigger. This leads to contractors accidentally hearing conversations containing sensitive information. Additionally, these Siri recordings are accompanied by user data which shows privy information such as location, contact details, and app data.

Furthermore, it seems that Apple Watch and HomePod smart speaker are the suspects for frequently mistaken recordings. On the other hand, Apple’s solution is to encourage the staff to report these accidental activations “as a technical problem”, with no other procedures to deal with the recordings.

Apple doesn’t seem to be the only one using humans to review recordings since Amazon and Google revealed to be doing the exact same thing on their respective AI assistants. However, we can wish for these tech giants to teach their assistants to listen to someone only when they’re spoken to.

Source: The Guardian

India

A government portal will let you find lost phones

Have you ever lost a phone?

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India is a very happening market for mobile phones right now. Every week we’ve seen a new phone launch in the country and every brand has flooded the markets with options. So far, there are no signs of a cooldown and a vast chunk of the population still hasn’t moved to a smartphone.

With hundreds of millions of phones around us, imagine how many phones would be lost every day. The government of India wants to make it easier for you to find a lost phone and is working on a new project.


Since 2017, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has been working on the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), a database for storing IMEI numbers. International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a 15-digit unique number that identifies mobile devices. India has over a billion wireless subscribers.

Every device with a SIM slot has an IMEI number. In case of a dual SIM phone, each tray has a separate number. These are used to establish a unique identity and help to trace phones via a wireless connection.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch the web portal to report a theft in Maharashtra on Friday. If your mobile phone is stolen or lost, you will have to file a police report and inform DoT via helpline number 14422.

After the police complaint, DoT will blacklist the IMEI number which would result in the handset being blocked from accessing any mobile network in the future. For now, the project is having a pilot run in the state of Maharashtra and will be opened up to the rest of the country soon.

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Entertainment

OnePlus Music Festival: Everything you need to know

Featuring Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, and more

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OnePlus has a significant fan-following in India and the brand has successfully developed a devoted community. While launch events are usually reserved for the media to interact and cover the company’s offerings, OnePlus always lets its followers experience the unveiling live and passes are sold out within minutes.

The company has slowly forayed into the premium segment and intends to establish a brand name. OnePlus is hosting a music festival on November 16 in Mumbai and it’ll be headlined by pop stars Katy Perry and Dua Lipa.


Apart from Katy Perry and Dua Lipa, fans will be able to groove to the rhythm of diverse musical minds like Amit Trivedi, Ritviz, The Local Train and Aswekeepsearching.

More acts part of the music festival

Amit Trivedi has composed numerous hits for movies like Dev.D, Udta Punjab, and Queen. He is a familiar draw for those aware of mainstream Bollywood music. The Local Train is a rock band popularly known for their singles like “Aaoge tum kabhi” and “Choo lo”.

This is the first time OnePlus is hosting a music festival in the country. Previously at the OnePlus 6T launch event in Mumbai, the brand had artists like Brodha V and DJ Ishani performing live.

“We are super excited that Katy Perry will be starring in our first-ever OnePlus Music Festival in India! We decided to host this festival to share our passion for music with our community, who are at the heart of everything we do. With Katy on board, this is sure to be a one of a kind experience,” said Carl Pei, Co-Founder, OnePlus.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now via Paytm Insider. The price starts at INR 2,000 and OnePlus users can avail 10 percent cashback after authenticating their phone’s IMEI number.

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India

Samsung Galaxy M30s launches with a 6000mAh battery

Forget your charger for days

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After a successful launch of the Galaxy M10 and M30 in the beginning of 2019, the brand has unveiled their successor. Dubbed the Galaxy M10s and M30s, the phones are meant to take on the recently unveiled Xiaomi Mi A3 and Realme XT.

Samsung completely revamped its strategy for the affordable and midrange segments this year. Xiaomi has been leading the race for quite some time and Samsung decided to follow a similar pattern to protect its market share.


The Galaxy M30s continues the same design language with a fingerprint scanner located on the rear and a small water-drop notch on the front. Though, it has considerable upgrades from within.

On the front is a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display and the water-drop notch houses a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. The rear has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel portrait sensor.

Samsung says the camera is equipped with AI-backed Scene Optimizer and intelligent Flaw Detector features for perfect shots. It also gets automatic scene recognition and a dedicated Night Mode for low-light shots.

Powering the phone is an Exynos 9611 octa-core processor that supports the recording of 4K as well as Super Slo-Mo videos. Lastly, backing these internals is a humongous 6000mAh battery that can fast-charge up to 15W.

Pricing and availability

The 4GB+64GB option costs INR 13,999 (US$ 196) and the 6GB+128GB variant costs INR 16,999 (US$ 238). Sales start from September 29 via Amazon.in and Samsung.com. Color options include Opal Black, Sapphire Blue, and Pearl White.

The M10s, on the other hand, gets a 6.4-inch HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by an Exynos 7884B processor. On the rear is a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel wide-angle lens, while the front gets an 8-megapixel selfie snapper.

The 3GB+32GB configuration costs INR 8,999 (US$ 126) and will go on sale alongside the M30s.

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