A Smart Speaker Could Save You From Cardiac ArrestParrot ‘Falls in Love’ With Amazon Alexa, Uses It to Order T… Stay on target If you’re an avid Google Home or Amazon Echo user, you should know or already are aware that both of the home assistants can and do record your voice. They’re listening, and they’re definitely keeping track of what’s been said. This isn’t a new concept or anything like that. Your internet history and activity online is recorded every time you visit a site, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the ‘always-listening’ devices in your home are retaining some of that data.That means each time you make a request with your voice the snippets of your request are processed and sent to a server to analyze what you’re asking for and to return results in a manner that’s useful for you. Obviously, the innards of Google Home and Amazon Echo aren’t the end all be all of what’s required to make the devices work, so they’ve got to relay the information to be quick and snappy. Anything you say, however, before commanding Alexa or Google Home is not recorded.But the reason why either device would even listen in the first place has to do with “wake words,” as explained in this Wired article. The process has much to do with buffering data and ensuring the products don’t miss out on a request by being too slow. So by keeping an “ear” out so to speak ensures the machines can do what you need them to as soon as you ask instead of there being a delay. There are security measures in place to keep the information that could be heard in your home out of the hands of hackers, but with any information shared on the internet, there’s the potential that someone could get a hold of your communications.In short, yeah — the assistants do record you, but it’s for a good reason, and you don’t have to worry what’s being done with this communication. It’s all in the name of making these products more helpful. If you’re worried about sharing confidential information they may not be for you.
Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower Meet Int-Ball, the newest, and most adorable, member of the International Space Station.The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Friday published early photos and videos captured by the JEM International Ball Camera (or Int-Ball, as it is affectionately known).The 3D-printed drone—first of its galactic kind—navigates autonomously in zero gravity, and records still and moving images under remote control by folks at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center.Delivered to the ISS last month by the US Dragon spacecraft, Int-Ball’s recordings are monitored in real time by flight controllers and researchers on the ground, then fed back to the onboard crew.The flying camera is currently undergoing “initial verification,” according to the agency.Int-Ball, equipped with miniaturized attitude control sensors and actuators in an all-in-one module, is more than an interstellar pet: It (He? She?) is on a mission.First and foremost, the soaring sphere must be able to move anywhere, at any time, via autonomous flight, and record images from any angle. (Judging by JAXA’s video (above), Int-Ball seems to have that down pat.)Int-Ball (top center) with astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer (via JAXA/NASA)Still in its infancy, the drone will eventually take over on-board photography duties, freeing up about 10 percent of the crew’s time to work on other tasks—like experimenting on artificial organs.Five projects using organs-on-chips research tackle five different issues, all of which should shine some light on the effects of microgravity on the human body, and hopefully lead to a medical breakthrough.JAXA, meanwhile, is “striving to further improve Int-Ball’s performance, enhance its functions, and promote the automation and autonomy of extra- and intra-vehicular experiments,” Friday’s announcement said, “while seeking to acquire the robotics technology available for future exploration missions.”Keep up with all the exciting newfangled science aboard NASA’s orbiting laboratory on Twitter via @ISS_Research.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target
The Cinematic Sex of Marvel’s Netflix UniverseMarvel’s Axed Netflix Shows Could Be Revived by Disney Stay on target The first season of Iron Fist was almost universally panned, and for good reason. It was a slow-paced, rambling show where a white dude patronized an Asian woman about the proper way to run a dojo. It was a show about kung fu where the fight choreography lethargic, poorly lit, and so awkwardly cut the editing would make you dizzy if the shaky-cam hadn’t already. But because it was Marvel, and maybe required viewing ahead of The Defenders, we all watched it. That was enough to get it a second season no matter what us surly critics on the internet said.That’s why it’s such good news to hear all the positivity coming out of the show’s panel at San Diego Comic Con. It’s too early to say at this point as the show won’t be out for another month and a half, but attendees are reporting that season two looks to be a huge step up. It sounds like the new showrunner took the criticism of Season One to heart and the show could end up a lot better for it. (Remember the original showrunner, Scott Buck, left to go work on Inhumans. Yep.) Of the footage shown at the panel, only one small clip made it out into the wild. It doesn’t tell us much, but it does give us a release date.So it appears we won’t have long to wait to see if the rumors of Iron Fist being good now are actually true. More than that though, even this very brief look at the new season already looks better than the last. First of all, Danny is acting like a superhero. I don’t think that happened once in all of Season One. We had to wait for the end of Defenders to start seeing that. Also, the fight’s looking better. The camera, for one, isn’t being shaken like it owes the cameraman money. Second, though there are cuts, they’re clearly made for the trailer. And they come in between punches, not awkwardly placed in the middle of them. You can tell what’s going on, and what’s going is a decent fight in its own right.We should be able to expect much better fight choreography from this season overall. Clayton Barber joined the show as the new stunt coordinator. He previously worked on both Black Panther and Creed. Yeah, the guy knows his way around a fight scene. No wonder the action looks better, even in these short clips. Danny will also wear his iconic yellow mask a lot more, allowing the show to use stunt doubles for the harder stuff, Mashable reports. Though Jeph Loeb said during the panel that the actors were, in fact, doing most of their own stunts. Hey, with a stunt coordinator as good as Barber, those fight scenes should look great regardless.Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing. (Photo via Netflix)They’ve also seemed to take notice of how much everyone loved Colleen Wing. Danny Rand is still the main character, but per Mashable, the clips shown at Thursday night’s panel were very much Wing-focused. One featured her fighting alongside her boy Danny in a restaurant. She takes out multiple henchmen in the kitchen, while Danny clears out the dining room. The other two paired her up with Misty Knight. The first of those had Colleen and Misty fighting off three women in a warehouse. The other had them facing off against Alice Eve’s Typhoid Mary in Joy Meachum’s house. Their fight scene was an early highlight of Season Two of Luke Cage. I’m so happy Iron Fist is giving us more Colleen-Misty action. Is Iron Fist turning into a Daughters of the Dragon TV show? Because I’d have no complaints about that.Danny is reportedly a lot better too. In the clips shown during the panel, Finn Jones feels like a much more accomplished martial artist, like he should have been in Season One. He still doesn’t quite hold up to Jessica Henwick, but maybe it won’t sound quite so ridiculous when he tells people he’s “the Immortal Iron Fist.” Nah, that’s always going to sound silly.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.