Alexa Gets Hooked Up To a Singing Fish Toy, and Mocked By Jimmy Kimmel

An anonymous reader writes: An updated version of the singing "Big Mouth Billy Bass" plastic fish toy now speaks (with synchronized lip movements) with the voice of Alexa. "Your humdrum life will be totally uprooted because you hung a talking fish on your wall," jokes Fast Company. "Just imagine setting an alarm and being woken up by a Big Mouth Billy Bass dancing and flopping around while it sings to you," adds Mashable. But more than half the device's 100 reviews from Amazon customer's award ...
Tags: Amazon, Jimmy Kimmel, Tech, Alexa, Kimmel, Billy Bass, Alexa Your

The internet is toxic because humans are toxic

When in doubt, blame the robots. As Facebook has fallen from grace and struggled to reconcile its role in spreading propaganda and stoking political anger, the company has proposed a familiar solution: If the algorithm has failed, let’s just build a better algorithm. It’s a noble goal for the next hackathon. As a mechanism for real change, however, the focus on software misses the point. Facebook’s problems can’t be solved with more data or better code. They’re simply the most potent and alarmin...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Tech, Syndication

Reddit-Quoting Alexa Tells a User: 'Kill Your Foster Parents'

An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: An Amazon customer got a grim message last year from Alexa, the virtual assistant in the company's smart speaker device: "Kill your foster parents." The user who heard the message from his Echo device wrote a harsh review on Amazon's website, Reuters reported -- calling Alexa's utterance "a whole new level of creepy". An investigation found the bot had quoted from the social media site Reddit, known for harsh and sometimes abusive messages, people famili...
Tags: Amazon, Tech, Reddit, Huffington Post, Alexa, Reuters, Rocco, Times of London

Digital detox: Resorts offer perks for handing over phones

Wyndham Grand's five U.S. resorts offer prime spots by the pool, free snacks and the chance to win return visits when guests put their phone in a soft, locked pouch. The phones stay with the guests, but only hotel staff can unlock the pouches.
Tags: Business, Technology, News, Lifestyle, Nation

Uber reaches tentative settlement with drivers arbitrating over employment status and expense reimbursement

Uber is reportedly on track to go public in the first quarter next year, and in the lead up to that, it’s sewing up some loose ends. TechCrunch has learned that Uber has offered a tentative settlement to pay out 11 cents for every mile driven for Uber (including adjacent services like Uber Eats) to drivers who have been in individual arbitration with the company over their employment classification. Drivers were pursuing individual arbitration after an appeals court ruled in September that th...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Uber, Lawsuit, Tech, Lichten Liss Riordan

Review: ScreenSaver Start

Sometimes you just want to start your Mac’s screensaver when you leave your desk… Screensavers on the three displays attached to the Mac mini While Apple’s screensaver implementation has allowed users to specify a “hot corner” to activate the screensaver – I’ve had less than successful results with both High Sierra and Mojave on my multi display setup. It turns out that certain third party apps may cause the Mac to ignore “hot corners” for the screensaver to appear. Regardless of ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Comics, News, Mac, Software, Mac App Store, Don, Mojave, Keyboard Shortcut To Activate Screensaver, Screensaver does not activate, Screensaver Start, MacBook Pro 2018 Mac

Two Arrested in Drone Incident That Disrupted Hundreds of Flights at Gatwick Airport [Updated: They've Been Released]

Updated 12/23/18 9:30 a.m. ET: Sussex Police have released the two suspects arrested in connection to the drone incident at Gatwick Airport without charge, Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said.Read more...
Tags: Science, Airports, Drones, Gatwick, Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police, Jason Tingley

Two Arrested in Drone Incident That Disrupted Hundreds of Flights at Gatwick Aiport

Following a drone incident that grounded planes and disrupted operations at the UK’s second-largest airport just days ahead of Christmas, officials say they have made two arrests in connection with the event.Read more...
Tags: UK, Science, Airports, Drones, Gatwick, Gatwick Airport, Gatwick Aiport

51st Known Mersenne Prime Number Found

chalsall (Slashdot reader #185), writes: The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has discovered the largest known prime number, 2^82,589,933-1, having 24,862,048 digits. A computer volunteered by Patrick Laroche from Ocala, Florida made the find on December 7, 2018. GIMPS has been on amazing lucky streak, finding triple the expected number of new Mersenne primes -- a dozen in the last fifteen years. "This anomaly is not necessarily evidence that existing theories on the distribution o...
Tags: Tech, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Slashdot, Ocala Florida, GIMPS, Mersenne, Patrick Laroche

Two Miles From Facebook's Headquarters, Working Poor Live In Trailers

"The working poor are spilling into Bay Area streets for lack of safe, affordable shelter," report two Silicon Valley newspapers describing a "pop-up neighborhood" that's now banding together, "a small community of blue collar RV dwellers...fighting for the only place they can call home." The beautifully-illustrated article begins with an interview with a grey-haired woman named Lisa Cosey-Steven: [D]espite steady work and little debt, she trudges back and forth to the office every day from a ...
Tags: Facebook, Navy, Tech, Silicon Valley, Bay Area, City Hall, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, Bay Road, Lisa Cosey Steven, Cosey Stevens, Tara Street, SOS Facebook Sobrato Amazon Google, RV Families Association of East Palo Alto

6 Traveling Tips to Never Feel Lonely While You Travel

You're reading 6 Traveling Tips to Never Feel Lonely While You Travel, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles. Traveling is one of the coolest things you can do, especially if you`re young. New people, cool places, delicious plates and wild stories you can bore your friends with for a lifetime. But travel isn`t always the cure for your problems. Though it makes you tune in on who you ar...
Tags: Google, Facebook, New York, Featured, Adventure, Happiness, Turkey, Depression, Morocco, Arsenal, Lifehacks, Self Improvement, University of Toronto, Lonely, Pickthebrain, Hurghada

What Happens After Surprising DNA Test Results?

schwit1 shared an interesting article from Bloomberg: Though genetic tests are frequently marketed as family-friendly entertainment, they sometimes wind up surfacing life-altering surprises. And when those surprises show up in someone's test results, the first move is often a call to customer service.... At 23andMe, those types of calls are so frequent that preparing for them is integrated into the company's months-long training program.... "We always try to steer the conversation toward the dat...
Tags: Tech, Bloomberg, Grove, Hillyer, Kent Hillyer, 23andMe Lindsay Grove

Gatwick: another case of horses and stable doors

UK government was repeatedly warned about danger from drones and its legislation was too little, too lateThere are no excuses for the Gatwick chaos. Ministers and the airport authorities have had ample warnings about the dangers that drones could present to passenger aircraft.In October 2016, in my review of London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Major Terrorist Incident, I highlighted the potential for drones – either accidentally or with malicious intent – to disrupt flights. Continue reading.....
Tags: UK, Technology, London, UK News, Air transport, Gatwick, Transport, Gatwick Airport, Drones (non-military

Kansas is Trying to Unload $10M in Unused Computer Equipment

An anonymous reader quotes the Associated Press: Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer's administration is seeking a way to donate or sell at a steep discount as much as $10 million in unused computer equipment that has been stored in a state office building since 2016. The state still owes $2 million on the equipment, which it bought in 2016 as part of a failed plan to develop a centralized storage system, call Kansas GovCloud, for computer information. That idea was canceled by state IT officials who sa...
Tags: Tech, Kansas, Holland, Associated Press, Jeff Colyer, Topeka Capital Journal, Tom Holland, Baldwin City, Kansas GovCloud

Rare Amiga Bought on eBay For $2,500

Long-time Slashdot reader Mike Bouma shared Eurogamer's report about a rare Amiga 3000 auctioned on eBay: Mike Clarke, who worked at legendary UK game company Psygnosis from 1992 to 1999 doing audio work, rescued this particular Amiga 3000 from destruction after it had been placed down in a corridor, ready to be thrown out. Over 20 years later, Clarke is selling it on eBay... According to Clarke, this Amiga 3000 was first used by artist Jeff Bramfitt, who scratched his initials in the top of the...
Tags: UK, Tech, Bbc, Sony, Clarke, Ray Liotta, Mike Clarke, Amiga, Psygnosis, Eurogamer, Mike Bouma, Jeff Bramfitt, Bramfitt, DMA Design now Rockstar North

Apple to Launch iPad mini 5 and Entry Level 10-inch iPad Next Year (mac rumors)

Apple is preparing to launch a new fifth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2019, according to sources in the Apple supply chain, followed by a new entry-level iPad in two models. The claims come in a new China Business Times report, first spotted by Japanese blog Macotakara, which says Apple is preparing to launch the iPad mini 5 in the first half of next year in an attempt to halt a general decline in iPad sales, with mass production expected to start by the end of December. App...
Tags: Apple, Japan, News, Apple Pencil, Ming Chi Kuo, DigiTimes, Kuo, Tim Hardwick, China Business Times

Self-Driving Car Company Zoox Is Now Allowed to Carry Passengers

The AP reports that self-driving cars have reached a new milestone in California: The Public Utilities Commission granted Zoox the first permit to ferry riders in autonomous vehicles under a pilot program. But Zoox can't charge for the service and a backup driver must be in the car. Under the program, Zoox will submit information to the commission on the number of passenger miles traveled in the test cars and any incidents that occur, along with pollution and safety data. There was no immediat...
Tags: California, Tech, Ap, Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Public Utilities Commission, Zoox

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff. The result is both a new $38 billion valuation thanks to a $12.8 billion investment from Marlboro Cigarettes-maker Altria this week, and an explosion in popularity of vaping amongst teenagers and the rest of the population. Game recognize game, and Al...
Tags: Apple, Health, Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Ecommerce, Tobacco, South Park, Cdc, Opinion, Funding, Israel, US, Tech

China's Nine-Month Freeze on New Video Game Approvals Will Soon Be Over

The Chinese government has ended a nine-month freeze on new approvals of video game licenses, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, after the establishment of a “new body to review ethical issues in gaming” and the completion of a re-organization among government media agencies.Read more...
Tags: Gaming, Science, Technology, Video Games, China, Censorship, Tencent, South China Morning Post

A Delivery Robot Spontaneously Burst Into Flames

Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo shares this article from the Verge: An autonomous food delivery robot burst into flames on a Berkeley, California walkway, as first reported by The Daily Californian. Kiwi, the startup that makes and manages the one hundred-strong fleet of robots, issued a statement to say that the fire was quickly extinguished by a passerby before the city's fire department arrived and doused the machine in foam.... It said that it believed the fire was caused by human error, w...
Tags: Samsung, Tech, Kiwi, Berkeley California, Slashdot, Daily Californian Kiwi

Twice as many publishers earned first million on Apple App Store vs Google Play

Apple's App Store has created 164 new millionaire publishers in 2018, compared to only 88 from the Google Play Store. The breakdown of the publishers in terms of app categories were very different between the platforms. The post Twice as many publishers earned first million on Apple App Store vs Google Play appeared first on Digital Trends.
Tags: Apple, Google, Google Play Store, Mobile, Apps, News, Trends, Play Store, App Store, Apple App Store, Android Army

Facebook’s fact-checkers toil on

Facebook is fielding so many problems, oversights, scandals, and other miscellaneous ills that it wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that its fact-checking program, undertaken last year after the network was confronted with its inaction in controlling disinformation, is falling apart. But in this case the reason you haven’t heard much about it isn’t because it’s a failure, but because fact-checking is boring and thankless — and being done quietly and systematically by people who are just fine w...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Opinion, Tech, Sheryl Sandberg, Fact Checking, David Mikkelson, Mikkelson, Snopes, Politifact, Binkowski, Angie Drobnic Holan, Brooks Binkowski, Snopes Politifact, Holan

Boox Poke Pro and Play Store?

After a rather bad experience with my Boox T38, I have been using the Kobo Aura H20. However, it didn't really offer the kind of customization I like, and, I recently discovered Scribd, which I would like to have installed on an e-Ink device. So I was considering to buy a Boox again, but I just read in this article on Goodereader: Quote: If you have an existing e-reader and you have bound your Google account before March 16th 2018, you are going to be alright...
Tags: Google, Books, Onyx Boox, Boox

VIZIO P Series 55 Inch 4K HDR Smart TV at Best Buy

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Tags: Sponsored, Technology, Parenting, Vizio

The 3 Best-Selling Smart Speakers of 2018

Amazon and Google are duking it out in this market, while everyone else is playing catch-up.
Tags: Google, Amazon, Finance, Article, FBN, Motley Fool, Fbn/markets, Fox-business/markets, 86fcf992-9928-523a-8c72-30091c435d11

Better Buy: Apple vs. IBM

Which tech titan is the best investment today?
Tags: Apple, Finance, Article, Ibm, FBN, Motley Fool, Fbn/markets, Fox-business/markets, 3fe4dab4-32ad-593f-83d9-cdaf455f3b95

Price Of Bitcoin Rises 27%, While Price of Bitcoin Cash Triples

A Bloomberg columnist asks whether this week's rise in bitcoin's price is a turning point -- or just a "dead cat bounce"? After hitting a year's low of about $3,143, down about 80 percent from January highs, Bitcoin has risen 27 percent this week. Short-sellers are closing their positions, while fans smell fresh opportunity. Even more eye-watering market moves are happening elsewhere in the digital currency's ecosystem. Bitcoin Cash, a spin-off intended to be more usable as a payments mechanism,...
Tags: Tech, Bloomberg, Bitcoin

On Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills, neighbors worry whether newer residents will carry on the twinkly torch

At first glance, Candy Cane Lane looks opulent and well. Sure, a handful of houses along the eight-square block area are dark or barricaded by 10-foot concrete walls. But hundreds of children are still peering from sunroofs and strollers to ooh and ahh at the Woodland Hills neighborhood’s many dazzling holiday displays each evening from Dec. 2 through the New Year. One of the Woodland Hills neighborhood displays on Oakdale Ave, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing...
Tags: Google, News, Holidays, Christmas, Sport, Soccer, Local News, Dec, Wright, Los Angeles City, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, Candy Cane Lane, Matthew Wright, Pierce College, Bob Blumenfield

The top smartphone trends to watch in 2019

This was a bad year for the smartphone. For the first time, its seemingly unstoppable growth began to slow. Things started off on a bad note in February, when Gartner recorded its first year-over-year decline since it began tracking the category. Not even the mighty Apple was immune from the trend. Last week, stocks took a hit as influential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo downgraded sales expectations for 2019. People simply aren’t upgrading as fast as they used to. This is due in part to the fact that...
Tags: Apple, Google, Android, TC, Mobile, Verizon, Nokia, Samsung, Tech, Smartphone, Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Phones, Sprint, AT&T, Gartner

Oracle Releases Major Version 6.0 of VirtualBox With Many New Features

What's new with Oracle's free and open-source hosted hypervisor? Long-time Slashdot reader Freshly Exhumed writes: Oracle has released major version 6.0 of VirtualBox with a variety of new features, including support for exporting a virtual machine to the Oracle Cloud; improved HiDPI and scaling (with better detection and per-machine configuration); a UI rework with simpler application and virtual machine set-up; a new file manager that allows control of the guest file system; a 3D graphics supp...
Tags: Apple, Tech, Oracle, Linux kernel, VirtualBox

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