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Amazon is reportedly planning a wall-mounted Echo with a 15-inch display


Amazon is working on a number of new devices including an Echo with a 15-inch wall-mounted display, a soundbar, new Echo Auto technology and wearables. Some may appear fairly soon at the company's September 28th hardware event, according to a Bloomberg report. The splashiest-looking product would be an Alexa-enabled Echo with a display size around 15-inches. Codenamed Hoya, it could not only be placed on a stand like a regular Echo device, but mounted on a wall as well. It would serve as a smart-home center to control lights, cameras, locks and other devices, while showing weather, timers, appointments, photos and more.

The Morning After: The EU's grand USB-C plan


Like a band with too few hit singles, the European Union is resorting to playing the classics over and over again. The bloc has, like clockwork, tabled a proposal for legislators to think about maybe possibly having a debate about if it's worth creating a common charging standard. This has happened more than a few times before, as it pushed micro-USB as a voluntary standard in 2009 and tried to pass it into law in 2014. And it started this process again in January 2020, although some world-shattering event got in the way of that process. The new proposal would require that "all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles" would use USB-C for charging.

Keystroke tracking, screenshots, and facial recognition: The boss may be watching long after the pandemic ends

Washington Post - Technology News

David, who spoke on the condition that his last name remain anonymous, was working as a customer service agent for a financial tech company in Utah when the pandemic started, and he was sent to work from home. Last fall, after his company switched the software it asked employees to use on their work-issued computers, he was randomly clicking around the system trying to figure out how to get where he needed to be. Suddenly, his boss started speaking to him through his headset, instructing him on how to log in. David said he couldn't recall exactly what software the company used, but he was surprised to find that his boss could see what he was doing, a seemingly new capability at the company.

AI in Telecom -- Ripe for Innovation


From 2021 to 2028, the worldwide telecom services industry will increase at a compound growth rate of 5.4%. By 2025, the market for Telecom Equipment is expected to develop at a rate of 11.23%. One of the main aspects fuelling this market is an increased investment in 5G infrastructure deployment due to a shift in customer preference for next-generation technologies and smartphone devices. Increased need for value-added managed services, a growing number of mobile users, and surging demand for high-speed data connectivity are all major market drivers. Over the last few decades, the global communication network has clearly been one of the most important areas for continuing technical advancement.

Disabled people can now use Android phones with face gestures

The Japan Times

Using a raised eyebrow or smile, people with speech or physical disabilities can now operate their Android-powered smartphones hands-free, Google said Thursday. Two new tools put machine learning and front-facing cameras on smartphones to work detecting face and eye movements. Users can scan their phone screen and select a task by smiling, raising eyebrows, opening their mouth or looking to the left, right or up. "To make Android more accessible for everyone, we're launching new tools that make it easier to control your phone and communicate using facial gestures," Google said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 61 million adults in the United States live with disabilities, which has pushed Google and rivals Apple and Microsoft to make products and services more accessible to them.

'Privacy is at stake': what would you do if you controlled your own data?

The Guardian

The trick of Refik Anadol's Machine Hallucinations, a three-day public art installation at The Shed in New York City, is to transform the processing of data into surreal hypnosis. The immersive audiovisual exhibit towers over a cavernous 17,000 sq ft gallery in Hudson Yards, an outer ring of screens features a shimmering and chameleonic display of what looks like pixelated sand. But each square is a narrative of data: a familiar image – tree, building, lamppost, over 130m publicly available images of New York City searched and collected by Anadol and his team's algorithms – morphed into a single-colored square and then silenced by a single question: what would you do if you owned your data? The free exhibit, part of a $250m project to shift data ownership from private mega-corporations to individual users called Project Liberty, makes a tactile, sensory, emotional argument for data dignity and decentralization of internet power – concepts often so bogged down in technicality, abstraction and vagueness as to be inaccessible. The overarching aim of Project Liberty is to imagine an internet future not governed by tech CEOs, the forfeit of your data for participation, surveillance capitalism and the whims of social media companies aiming for infinite scale.

New Android accessibility features let users control phones with facial movements


The imperative to improve smartphone use for people with limited motor capabilities has resulted in some truly cool -- and hopefully helpful -- new features. Thursday, Google announced an expansion of its accessibility settings as well as a new app that will let people navigate their phones with facial gestures. The feature within the Android Accessibility Suite is called Camera Switches. Previously, Google let users who could not navigate phones with the touchscreens connect a manual switch device that let them scroll and select. Now, the new "switch" is an Android phone's camera and a person's face.

Google rolls out new ways to control Android devices with facial gestures


Google on Thursday began rolling out new Android capabilities designed to help users with speech and motor impairments navigate their devices and communicate with others. The new features were among about a dozen updates to the mobile operating system just announced. The new tools, called Camera Switches and Project Activate, use an Android phone's front-facing camera and machine learning to detect face and eye gestures. They effectively turn a front-facing camera into a switch -- an adaptive tool that replaces a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen functions. Camera Switches is a feature within the Android Accessibility suite that lets users navigate their phone with eye movements and facial gestures.

5 iPhone apps for enhancing your old blurry photos with AI


If your pics aren't quite as sharp or clear as you'd like them to be, you probably wish something existed that could fix that via artificial intelligence (AI). After all, not everybody is a top-tier photo editor with access to top-tier photo editing software. Thankfully, it's the 2020s, and you have access to plenty of easy photo editing applications not named Adobe Photoshop, if you know where to look. And even better: you don't even have to look, because we did that for you. Here are five apps that can enhance your photos with AI.