TechHive: EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

TechHive: EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri . “Are voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant stifling competition when they only let you stream music from a single service, or when then send you to a specific shopping site by default? It’s a fair question, and one that European Union regulators are looking to answer as part of a ‘sweeping’ antitrust probe, Bloomberg reports.”

Make Tech Easier: Here’s a Bunch of Funny Things to Ask Siri

For a given value of useful, but it’s Saturday, so.. Make Tech Easier: Here’s a Bunch of Funny Things to Ask Siri. “Siri is an extremely useful AI assistant, helping you in day-to-day tasks like making a calendar appointment or finding your iPhone. But there are plenty of other more whimsical uses for Siri too. This is especially true when it comes to kids, though adults will also enjoy the pile of nonsense questions you can throw at Siri. So we’ve gathered together a whole bunch of funny things to ask Siri when you’re bored and looking for a quick fix of fun. Some are kid-friendly, others aren’t. We’ll let you be the judge!”

Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. “As Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and other voice assistants have become fixtures in millions of homes, privacy advocates have grown concerned that their near-constant listening to nearby conversations could pose more risk than benefit to users. New research suggests the privacy threat may be greater than previously thought.”

MakeTechEasier: Virtual Assistants for Linux You Can Use on Your Desktop

MakeTechEasier: Virtual Assistants for Linux You Can Use on Your Desktop . “You have most likely heard about virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and even Google Assistant. It isn’t common, however, to hear about virtual assistants for Linux. That doesn’t mean Linux doesn’t have anything to offer, however. Here, we’ll take a look at two virtual assistants that are available for Linux.”

The Verge: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police

The Verge: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police. “As protests against racial police violence have spread across the US, we’ve seen how video captured on mobile devices can help identify misconduct by law enforcement. But such evidence isn’t just useful at a protest, but during all sorts of routine interactions with the police, including traffic stops. That’s why the Siri shortcut ‘I’m getting pulled over’ exists.”

CNBC: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant have been updated to express support for Black Lives Matter

CNBC: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant have been updated to express support for Black Lives Matter. “Apple, Amazon and Google recently updated their smart voice assistants. They now explain the Black Lives Matter movement when asked ‘Do black lives matter?’ and also provide updated responses to ‘Do all lives matter?’ “

Tom’s Guide: Google Home is about to get this huge upgrade

Tom’s Guide: Google Home is about to get this huge upgrade. “After Alexa, Google Home is the largest smart home platform, enabling you to control any number of lights, locks, and plugs just by saying ‘Hey Google.’ However, navigating the Google Home app isn’t the most intuitive. That could change with the newest version of the Google Home app, which promises a streamlined interface that will make it easier to connect to and control smart speakers and other smart home devices.”

EurekAlert: Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds

EurekAlert: Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds. “Giving users of smart assistants the option to adjust settings for privacy or content delivery, or both, doesn’t necessarily increase their trust in the platform, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In fact, for some users, it could have an unfavorable effect.”

Electronics Weekly: Build a Google Home with Raspberry Pi

Electronics Weekly: Build a Google Home with Raspberry Pi. “With a minimal amount of hardware and setup, you can create a functioning home assistant linked to your Google account and controlled by voice commands. Follow the steps below to install the Google Assistant SDK on your Raspberry Pi and set it up to listen for voice commands.”

Epicurious: Okay Google, I Love You

Epicurious: Okay Google, I Love You. “At the start of my isolation, I began by giving my Google Home the usual pre-apocalyptic demands while I cooked: Hey Google, play NPR. Hey Google, play Kacey Musgraves. Hey Google, play Who? Weekly podcast. Slowly, delicately, I began to ask for more. I asked Google to remind me of the proper internal temperature for a chicken thigh. I asked Google how to tell if your commercial yeast was still active. I needlessly made the robot tell me the differences between the types of cinnamon just to hear her speak.”

CNET: Alexa and Google Assistant are developing personalities

CNET: Alexa and Google Assistant are developing personalities. “Google Assistant may be the most naturalistic voice assistant yet, but neither it nor Alexa and Siri are close to achieving the sentience you see in movies like Her. They won’t be your friend, your significant other or (if 2001: A Space Odyssey is more your bag) your mortal enemy. But your relationships with them could have further reaching consequences than you think.”

Wirecutter: How I Use Alexa to Dunk on My Kids

Wirecutter: How I Use Alexa to Dunk on My Kids. “I will stoop as low as it takes to fool and delight them, and Alexa has all the built-in tools I need. Should you want to fight back and own your kids like a boss, you need to check out Alexa Routines—little customizable commands you can create that tell Alexa to say or do pretty much whatever you want.”

Tom’s Guide: Google Assistant just gained a feature Alexa can’t match

Tom’s Guide: Google Assistant just gained a feature Alexa can’t match. “Google Assistant is constantly growing its accessibility features, whether it improves its real-time interpreter skills or expands its hand-free capabilities. And starting today, users can ask Google to read web pages aloud to them.”

Northeastern University: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations

Northeastern University: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations. “Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, OK Google, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are becoming increasingly pervasive in our homes, offices, and public spaces. While convenient, these systems also raise important privacy concerns—namely, what exactly are these systems recording from their surroundings, and does that include sensitive and personal conversations that were never meant to be shared with companies or their contractors? These aren’t just hypothetical concerns from paranoid users: there have been a slew of recent reports about devices constantly recording audio and cloud providers outsourcing to contractors transcription of audio recordings of private and intimate interactions.”

TechCrunch: Siri will now answer your election questions

TechCrunch: Siri will now answer your election questions. SIRI, WHEN WILL THIS ENDLESS NIGHTMARE BE OVER? “Apple’s built-in voice assistant won’t help you figure out who to vote for, but it will be able to update you on different races around the U.S. during election season as well as deliver live results as votes are counted. The new feature, announced today, is part of Apple News’ 2020 election coverage, which also includes a series of curated news, resources, and data from a variety of sources, with the goal of serving users on both sides of the political spectrum.”