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.
Interplanetary space probes need encouragement, too.The public is invited to send messages of support to the spacecraft on its record-setting flyby.On Jan. 1, 2019, the ship will visit the most remote world ever explored by humankind: “(486958) 2014 MU69,” also known as Ultima Thule.Launched in 2006 as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program, New Horizons completed its objective—perform a flyby of Pluto—in 2015, and has been cruising through the Kuiper Belt, more than 3.7 billion miles from Earth, ever since.Visit the Beyond Pluto website to select a greeting for the mission team to beam (along with your name) to New Horizons, as it speeds past Ultima Thule next month.“Traveling at light speed, the signals carrying these messages will reach the spacecraft about six hours after being beamed from the [Johns Hopkins] Applied Physics Lab’s largest dish antenna, on the very same day that New Horizons flies by Ultima Thule,” according to principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado. “How cool is that?”Entries will be accepted through Dec. 21, 2018.“Like the flyby itself, this is a one-shot chance to become part of deep-space exploration history,” the Applied Physics Lab said in a recent announcement.After the New Year’s Day flyby, scientists will choose a formal name to submit to the International Astronomical Union, based in part on whether MU69 is a single body, binary pair, or system of multiple objects.(Early observations hint at either a binary orbiting pair, or a contact [stuck together] set of nearly like-sized bodies, some 11 and 12 miles in diameter.)The people’s moniker—Ultima Thule—will be used in the meantime.NASA, meanwhile, announced on Monday that its Voyager 2 probe has exited the heliosphere—the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun—and entered interstellar space.More on Geek.com:First Global Maps of Pluto, Charon Available to AllNASA’s OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu‘Christmas Comet’ Will Be Brightest Comet of the Year Stay on target NASA Makes Ultima Thule ‘Pop’ in Artsy 3D ImagesNew Horizons Snaps Sharp Images of Ultima Thule’s Surface
Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Arby’s doesn’t have “the meats” anymore: A startup just unveiled its new lab-grown steak, which it claims is the world’s first ever cell-grown beef product.On Wednesday, Aleph Farms announced that it developed cell-grown minute steak, a new product that’s generated from growing different types of natural beef cells, extracting them painlessly from cows, and nourishing the cells into a full 3D structure that replicates regular meat, according to an Aleph Farms press release.This “meat” innovation isn’t your typical knockoff sirloin: Aleph Farms said the lab-grown steak’s appearance, shape, and texture are similar to conventional beef cuts. The lab-grown steak could be a milestone in cell-cultured meat technology, because it requires less resources than the current beef industry.Aleph Farms’ lab-grown steak is slaughter-free, antibiotic-free, and it doesn’t need land, water, feed, and other factors to raise cattle for meat. Cell-grown meat comes from a few living cow cells, and unlike other beef raising processes, these cells are gently harvested until they grow into a complex that’s similar to beef muscle tissue.However, creating lab-grown steak can be a challenging task. A major barrier with lab-grown steak is getting various cell types to engage with each other and build a complete tissue structure as they would inside a real cow. The right nutrients would also have to be present, because their combination would enable the multicellular matrix to stay strong and not break.Photo Credit: Aleph Farms/YouTubeThankfully though, Aleph Farms is working with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology on a bio-engineering platform to efficiently make lab-grown steak. The company is combining six technologies that allow it to cut down the meat’s production costs, leverage an animal-free growth medium for the cells, and use bioreactors, also known as tanks, to help the cells grow.On a culinary scale, lab-grown steak could be an eco-friendlier cooking option for global eateries. Considering that it has the same look and taste of beef without the negative environmental effects, it could make its way to kitchens worldwide in the future.“For me, it’s a great experience to eat meat that has the look and feel of beef but has been grown without antibiotics and causes no harm to animals or the environment,” Amir Ilan, an Israeli chef, said in the press release. “Aleph Farms meat has high culinary potential – it can be readily incorporated into top-shelf preparations or served in premium-casual restaurants, trendy cafes, bistros, or other eateries.”More on Geek.com:WTF? Wednesday: ‘Yuck’ Becomes ‘Yum’ at the Disgusting Food MuseumScientists Shine Light on Bacteria That Causes Food PoisoningStudy: College Students Choose Smartphones Over Food Stay on target