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

Apps

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram coming to Huawei AppGallery soon

At least, their CEO believes so

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At a press briefing following the launch of the Huawei Mate Xs, Huawei CEO Richard Yu told GadgetMatch that our most used social media apps like Facebook and Twitter should be arriving on the AppGallery soon.

Huawei has been on the unfortunate receiving end of the US government’s ire following accusations of spying for the Chinese government. In 2019, tech news headlines were dominated by the rift between the US and Huawei — the biggest of which happened when the US banned companies like Google from working with Huawei.

It was a huge hit as the company relied on Google’s mobile operating system Android for its smartphones.

The company has started rebounding since. Over the last six months, they’ve announced their own HarmonyOS. It’s not only meant for their smartphones but it’s more of a single OS that connects all of their products.

They have also heavily invested in getting more apps on the AppGallery. This is why Yu strongly believes that all the apps we usually use like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will soon be able to easily make their way to all new Huawei phones.

Ban affected their first foldable

Yu also noted that the ban heavily affected the global release of the Huawei Mate X — the predecessor of the Huawei Mate Xs.

The Huawei Mate X never made it out of China specifically because of the lack of Google Mobile Services. This wasn’t an issue in China since the company’s HongMengOS had already gotten a wide adoption in the country.

Now, Huawei hopes to make the same wide adoption through the AppGallery. In the meantime, Huawei is also pushing HTML5 based Quick Apps as an alternative to apps that are not available in AppGallery.

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Laptops

Lenovo unveils new ThinkPad L-T-X series laptops

Power and portability for the business-savvy

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From L-R: Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga, ThinkPad T15, ThinkPad X13 Yoga, ThinkPad L13

Lenovo likes to keep the businessman at the heart of its ThinkPad lineup of laptops. This time around, the company continues to bring the latest technology to further improve productivity in the workplace. Not only do these new laptops provide the power, but also provide the portability for the on-the-go professional.

First up on the list are the new Lenovo ThinkPad T series laptops, headlined by the Lenovo ThinkPad T15. The Lenovo ThinkPad T series provides a more premium take on the business laptop. These laptops sport either the latest Intel vPro processors or the new AMD Ryzen PRO 4000 Mobile processors. Apart from these, the T series also offers up to a 4K UHD display and an option for an NVIDIA MX330 discrete graphics card inside. The Lenovo ThinkPad T15 comes with up to 48GB of RAM and 2TB or SSD storage, built for high performance

Up next is the Lenovo ThinkPad X series, which almost mirrors that of the T series. The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga serves as the frontrunner for the lineup, thanks to its portability and multifunctionality. The Lenovo ThinkPad X series laptops come with up to a FHD display (touchscreen for the ThinkPad X13) and up to 32GB of RAM. It also comes with a wide array of ports for connectivity and data transfer.

Finally, there’s the Lenovo ThinkPad L series spearheaded by the Lenovo ThinkPad L13 and L13 Yoga. The ThinkPad L series puts a premium in great value, while having access to high-end specs for an efficient work flow. These laptops come with a wide array of ports  at your disposal, up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The Lenovo ThinkPad L series, T series, and X series laptops will available in Q2 2020. The L series laptops will start at US$ 649, while both the T series and X series will start at US$849.

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News

Huawei Mate Xs with updated hinge, tougher screen launches

Huawei sticking with the phone to tablet form-factor

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The Huawei Mate X barely made it out of China but Huawei decided to globally launch its successor anyway — the Huawei Mate Xs.

The Huawei Mate Xs takes pretty much the same design cues from its predecessor with of course a few improvements. The company says there’s a new hinge mechanism as well as a tougher dual layer screen.

It’s now powered by Huawei’s latest chipset — the Kirin 990 that has 5G support. The Mate Xs also has a 4500 mAh battery with Ultra Fast 55W SuperCharge that can reach 85% in 30 mins. It also has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.

The device, like Huawei’s other flagships, are still equipped with Leica cameras. The MateXs in particular has a quad-camera setup: 40MP f/1.8 SuperSensing Wide, 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto, 16MP f/2.2 Ultra-wide and a ToF depth sensing camera. Some of the features are: ISO 204800, 45x zooming range, 2.5cm macro photography, and OIS and AIS image stabilization.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Mate Xs will retail for EUR 2499 and will be available in global markets starting March 2020.

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