Siri, Alexa Susceptible to Ultrasonic Voice Commands

· Jeff Gamet · News

iPhone and bug

Apparently Siri, Alexa, and other voice assistants are susceptible to hacks from bats and dolphins—or maybe just hackers that know how to use ultrasonic frequencies.

Tim Cook’s Political Junket and Amazon’s Master Plan for Alexa - ACM 426

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Is Tim Cook running for President? Bryan and Jeff take a look at his recent higher public profile and the political junket he seemed to take through the midwest. They also talk about Amazon’s recent improvements to Alexa and how they fit in with the company’s master plan for the platform.

Could Alexa and Siri Prevent or Report Child Abuse?

· Jeff Butts · Analysis

Alexa or Siri might have to report child abuse

With connected devices and voice assistants becoming more common in our households, children are seeing them as friends. Sometimes, they might even see the device as a trusted confidant. Could that encourage legislators to make the devices report child abuse? Jeff Butts has been thinking hard about that, and suggests it might not be a terrible idea.

Amazon's Alexa Calling Feature Works From Your iPhone, too

· Jeff Butts · Quick Tip

An Echo Dot and various Alexa app screens showing Alexa Calling on the iPhone

Amazon’s Alexa Calling feature works great on the Echo and Echo Dot, from the testing TMO staff have done so far. Jeff Butts and Jeff Gamet also took the time to check out how the feature works from the Alexa app on the iPhone. Here’s what they found out, and how you can use it, too.

The Dangers of Voice Assistants in Our Homes - TMO Daily Observations 2017-05-12

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple, Amazon, and Google want voice assistants to be a bigger part of our lives. Jeff Butts and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the social and privacy implications as voice assistant appliances become more deeply intertwined in our lives.

Alexa, Siri, You're Not a Trusted Family Member

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Amazon Echo

The conceit of AI agents like Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and Siri is that they are to be always listening, invited to be treated as trusted family members. Or the loyal computer of our family’s starship. John Martellaro doesn’t like these analogies at all.

Imagining a Siri Smarthome, Apple and Sleep Tracking, and the Real iPhone 8 - ACM 410

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

With Alexa Show and Microsoft Invoke, Bryan and Jeff envision the Siri smarthome of the future to make the case for an Apple Siri device. They also talk about what Apple might do with sleep tracking technology from Beddit, as well some sexy new renders of Apple’s unannounced iPhone 8.

Siri's No Amazon Alexa yet, but Give Her Time

· Jeff Butts · Editorial

Siri, an evolving service

With Amazon Alexa being joined in our living rooms by Google Assistant and now Microsoft Cortana, it’s clear that Apple needs to step up to the plate and take back the home. Jeff Butts makes the case for why Cupertino needs to develop an Echo-like device for Siri.

Amazon Unveils Echo Show with Display and Video Camera

· Jeff Gamet · News

Amazon Echo Show with display and video camera

The biggest un-surprise of the day comes from Amazon and its just announced Echo Show. The well-leaked new Echo model includes a built-in display and camera so you can get visual responses to your Alexa queries and make video calls, too.

Phil Schiller Says Siri-like Voice Assistants Need Displays

· Jeff Gamet · News

Siri voice assistant counter top appliance may include a display

If Apple really is making an Amazon Echo competitor, what does their Siri speaker appliance really need? According to Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, it needs a screen.

Dr. Mac on Procrastinating, Touch-Screen Macs, and Siri at Home - ACM 409

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus joins Bryan and Jeff to talk about his new book, Working Smarter for Mac Users. It’s all about beating procrastination. They also talk about Apple, toasterfridges, and touch-screen Macs, and whether Apple would compete with Amazon’s Alexa in the home.