With a recent change to Alexa, you can now opt-out of having your voice recordings reviewed by Amazon’s employees.
Why the change? Is it the reports of Google and Apple employees listening in on personal exchanges recorded by the voice-activated assistants? Or perhaps it’s a response to European courts rulings limiting what companies (like Amazon) can do with the data collected by said voice-activated assistants.
To Opt-Out of Human Review
- Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet.
- Select Settings, Alexa Privacy, then Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa.
- Locate the setting “With this setting on, your voice recordings may be used … manually reviewed.” and tap OFF.
Your Amazon orders, Square purchases, and Seamless lunches. Pretty much everything you buy online as well as in-store purchases where you opt to have your receipt emailed; all of this is collated in your Purchases history; saved and mined by Google.
The company says this is done to help you track your purchases, and not to help them to produce those targetted ads you receive. Still, the level of detail being culled will surprise you.
This unheralded (read: sneaky) feature can’t be turned off and there is no method to erase your entire purchase history. You can, however, selectively delete items from it.
(like that ‘Best of David Hasselhoff ‘ album you thought you had to get)
To see and delete items from your Purchases history
- Navigate to your Purchases Page: https://myaccount.google.com/purchases
- Click an item to display more Details on that purchase
- To delete, click Remove Item
with special thanks to Di, recipient of said album
Recently, a hole in Whatsapp’s security allowed hackers to install malware on unprotected phones. To see if your Android apps are secure, enable Protect on Google Play.
To Review or Enable Play Protect:
On your Android, access Settings , Security.
If enabled, you are able to see the time and status of your last scan.
To modify your settings, tap Google Play Protect
For today’s U.S. movie debut, Google drops an Avengers Endgame easter egg.
To snap half your search results out of existence
- In Chrome, enter ‘thanos’ in your search window
- Click the Gauntlet
5/1 Addendum: To reverse time (and restore your searches) click the Gauntlet again.
Earlier this year, Google made a few small but value-added updates to Gmail. Now, in addition to Strikethrough, and Undo/Redo Gmail is rolling out Scheduled send.
To help take some of the edge off tax season, today, the internet unleashes its own bevy of fake (but fun) news. Enjoy this sampling of some of the day’s April foolery
Play Snakes in Google Maps
Google Files Screen Cleaner option: “Using haptic vibration, it keeps your device clean inside and out”
Google Tulip: “More Water!” Because what better way to know what tulips need than to ask them.
Uncovering a Super Volcano beneath Sidney Australia
With these push notifications, the elephant… or, owl is in the room.:
Watch this space for more…
And for a look back at previous First of April Fun:
We know the current drill: you get an email from a site with a call to action and a hyperlink. One click and you’re tossed into to a web browser, dropped onto the aforementioned requestor’s site, left to eventually navigate your way back to Gmail.
AMP for email is a markup language that enables developers to code interactivity into the body of the email.
For instance, a Bed-n-Breakfast site could send you offerings that you could filter and browse right from the body of the email message…
Or a coworker could sign and comment on a Google Doc, without leaving Gmail…
For more read the TechCrunch article, or visit the Amp for Email developer site.