John Lister's picture

Google Responds to Device 'Eavesdropping' Claims

Google is making several changes to the way it handles audio collected from phones and smart gadgets such as the Google Home speaker. It follows revelations that humans listened to recordings collected by several tech giants. Amazon, Apple and ... Google were all hit by claims that they'd not done enough to make clear that staff or contractors listened to recordings to check the accuracy of automatic speech recognition. In several cases, human engineers heard sensitive material which appeared to have been collected unintentionally, rather than the user meaning to make a spoken query or request. ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Google Admits Staff Listen to Google Home Recordings

Google has admitted that staff listen to some recordings from the Google Home smart speaker. It says it's only for quality control purposes. It made the comments after a contractor in the Netherlands went to local media to talk about his work, in ... which he was paid a "few cents" to transcribe comments and questions made by people using the voice controlled device or phone app. According to the worker, some of the clips he heard did not appear to be people intentionally using the device. This included one case of a mother scolding a child and another clip which the worker suspected ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

'Smart' Toy Database Exposes Child Voice Recordings

Voice messages from parents to children through a 'smart' cuddly toy could be compromised. The security risk is a combination of a flaw by the designers and poor security practices by users. The issue involves CloudPets, a range of $40 toys designed ... to help working parents stay in touch with their kids. The parent can leave a voice message via a phone app at any time and it will then be sent over the Internet and Bluetooth and played back through a speaker in the toy. The child can then press the toy's paw to record and send a reply. The problem is that while delivering messages ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Converting Records and Cassettes to CD

To me, Christmas time means reminiscing with great holiday songs from the past. Each year I visit my folks, it's customary to hear the sweet melodies of Bing Crosby played on the record player. For some, the static and the pops heard while a record ... plays are part of the nostalgia. However, the truth is that over time, records and cassette tapes deteriorate and the quality of sound diminishes. Dealing with Digital Media on a regular basis, quite often I'm asked how to convert records and cassettes to a more versatile format. Converting old records and cassettes to digital formats is a labor of ... (view more)

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