Smart Speakers are totally safe and privacy-enhancing (just kidding)

Home Assistant Self-DestructA recent study about smart speakers revealed that they are, in a word, crap.

The study, entitled, WHEN SPEAKERS ARE ALL EARS: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations, revealed that these smart gizmos are very often activated by words and phrases that have little to do with anything.

Of course, that means they are recording and sending audio clips when they really shouldn’t be.

Not to worry, though – we are reassured by the researchers that it’s no big deal!

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All the smartphone features, none of the Google!

No-Google SmartphoneI’ve been using dumbphones for awhile now, but I started to miss some smartphone features.

Then a friend of mine mentioned LineageOS again. I decided to take the plunge… And I’m glad I did!

It IS possible to have a relatively private smartphone without all the Googley madness – even in this day and age.

But it does take a bit of time, patience, and some technical know-how.

Note that I don’t walk through the entire installation process here since it’s particular to your specific phone…

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Surprise! Big Data doesn’t care about your right to Free Speech

Alphabet SoupIn a shocking revelation that simply re-affirmed what everyone already knew, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled that internet platforms have nothing to do with the First Amendment because they’re private corporations.

Well, duh!

In a ruling on February 26th, the court said that, “merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.”

Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming – again…

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EEK! #7 – High Voltage DC is still alive!

HVDC rulez!We all know that AC won the war vs DC back in the day.

But did you know high-voltage DC is still around? What’s more, it’s actually become quite useful!

Some countries have recently installed million-volt DC power lines that span thousands of kilometers!

While HVDC has various benefits over HVAC, naturally there are also a few drawbacks.

Join me for another exciting episode of EEK!

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Mac malware surged in 2019 – true or false?

MacOS MalwareMacs were in the news again this week as Malwarebytes released a report claiming that for the first time ever, malware on Macs outpaced that of Windows-based PCs in 2019.

It sounds like a total nightmare for Apple users!

But hang on a sec… Malwarebytes released the report, and they have been promoting their Mac version of their anti-malware software recently.

So, what’s the real deal here?

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The Power Problem with Electric Vehicles

EV Power ProblemThese days, it’s all about Going Green. And what could be more green than an electric car?

Zero emissions, baby! Well, sort of…

While the acceleration may be awesome, the range leaves something to be desired. And range is directly related to power – specifically, the available power from a battery pack.

What’s more, the power to charge the battery has to come from somewhere, and that “somewhere” is the electric grid. So what happens if all of a sudden, everyone gets an electric car?

Well, in many places, it wouldn’t be pretty. Some regions would need to DOUBLE their current grid capacity. And all that extra juice has to come from somewhere… and it ain’t coming from solar or wind power!

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Can aluminum foil protect you from your phone?

Tin Foil your Phone!There are quite a few smartphone cases, Faraday bags, and other little gizmos out there that claim to protect you from the phones RF waves.

A common method that people use is to line one (or both) sides of their phone case with good old aluminum foil.

So, the question is: Does tin foiling your phone really work? How much? And where exactly should you put the foil?

Watch to find out!

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