Q, the First Gender-neutral Assistant

Siri, Cortana, Alexa; each is markedly female. And, despite settings that allow you to modify your voice-activated assistant, the voices have been decidedly binary.

Until now; Meet Q

Created by a group of linguists, technologists, and sound designers, Q hopes to “end gender bias” and encourage “more inclusivity in voice technology.” They recorded the voices of two dozen people who identify as male, female, transgender, or non-binary in search for a voice that typically “does not fit within male or female binaries.” To find this voice, the Q team conducted a test involving over 4,600 people, who were asked to rate the voice on a scale of 1 (male) to 5 (female).

For more on the research and technology behind Q, visit TheNextWeb

Cheers!

quincy

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Tesla: ‘Nice Try’ easter egg

March 14 will see the big reveal of the Tesla Model Y. The teaser invite they sent out doesn’t reveal much. Those who apply their photoshop skills, to glean a sneak peek, will only get an early ‘easter egg’ for their troubles.

Tesla_NiceTry.gif

And if that wasn’t cheeky enough, they also hid a nod to a popular videogame on their site:

  1. Go to the https://www.tesla.com/modely.
  2. Click Notify Me. A registration form for the Livestream will appear.
  3. Press F12 (Developer Tools) and click Console.
  4. In the todo: reveal video area, click the link.

Fans of the Skyrim will recognize the scene.

With special thanks to Lady Di 

Cheers!

quincy

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Bug Bounty🐜💰: Apple compensates teen that discovered FaceTime bug

The bug was initially reported to Apple by 14-year-old Grant Thompson and his mother, but the family struggled getting in contact with the company before the bug was discovered elsewhere and went viral on social media.

The payout will fall under Apple’s bug bounty, which incentivizes security researchers to claim a reward for privately submitting security bugs and vulnerabilities to the company. Apple will also offer an unspecified additional gift to Thompson’s education.

via Apple to compensate teenager who found Group FaceTime eavesdrop bug — TechCrunch

Cheers!

quincy

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iOS 12.1.4 update corrects FaceTime Listen-in bug

Apple reports FacePalm🤦‍♂️, the FaceTime bug that allowed people to listen in before accepting a call, is fixed in the iOS 12.1.4 update.  So you can download, update, and re-enable Group FaceTime without fear of eavesdrop.

More via Update to iOS 12.1.4 to re-enable FaceTime-TC

Cheers,

quincy

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SKYPE new feature: Blur my background

 

  •  

    Animated image of a background being blurred in Skype.

    Ah, the foibles of working from home.

    That Skype call is about to start and you’ve got wet laundry and dirty dishes all over the place.

    Worried about what your VC attendees are going to see? Worry no more:

    Skype now offers a BLUR MY BACKGROUND. This option, similar to one present in MS Teams, uses heuristics (aka, technomagic) to discern foreground from background then applies a flattering blur similar to the one that Cybil Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes character was often filmed with.

    Next up on the R&D drawing boards:

    • Add Pants Filter (for those moments when you prematurely stand up)
    • Hide my wife and kids, for this guy

    Cheers!

    quincy

    Additional reading:

Hallo Google, hilf mir Englisch zu sprechen – Google Home’s Interpreter mode

yosoinocente

With Google‘s  “Interpreter mode”  your Home devices can act as an on-the-fly translator. One person speaks one language, the other person speaks another, and Google Assistant tries to be the middle man between the two.

google-interpreter

To get started, you just say something like “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter.”

via Google Home can now translate conversations on-the-fly — TechCrunch

Google+ D-Day Advanced Directive (act now to download your data)

As I reported earlier, Google is pulling the plug on the consumer version of Google+. Well now the date has been set: April 2.

For those fledgling users who want to pay their last respects, and, more importantly, offload their data prior to D-Day, here’s a  hot to guide:

Download all your Google+ data

You can download an archive of all your Google+ data at once, including your Circles, Communities, Streams, and +1’s. Your archive includes your photos and videos from Google+.

  1. Go to the Download your data page. You might have to sign in. Your available Google+ data will be preselected.
  2. Click Next.
  3. Choose a file type.
  4. Choose how you want your data delivered.
  5. Click Create archive.

Download specific Google+ data

Instead of downloading all of your data, you can download specific Google+ data, like your photos, posts, communities, or events.

Important: If you want to download your photos and videos from Google+, make sure to select Photos under “Google+ Stream.”

  1. Go to the Download your data page. You might have to sign in.
  2. Next to the type of content you want to download (e.g., Google+ Stream), click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Click Select specific data.
  4. Select the specific data you want to download.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Choose a file type.
  8. Choose how you want your data delivered.
  9. Click Create archive.

Cheers!

quincy

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