Popular Mechanics: Facebook Admits Its New Gadget Might Use Your Data for Ads After All. “The debut of Portal, Facebook’s video chatting device, sparked an obvious question: Does this camera-enabled home assistant manufactured by a company attached to numerous privacy scandals keep your private data private? Facebook was quick to note that Portal wouldn’t feed your data to advertisers — ‘Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling,’ last week’s announcement said — but that reassurance has already proven false: Facebook might use your calls and Portal app usage as queues for its advertising network, a company spokesperson told Recode.”
CNET: Facebook Portal vs. Google Home Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show. “That’s three, count ’em, three titans of tech battling it out to get you to buy in on their smart displays this holiday season (not to mention ones from Lenovo and JBL that already made their debut earlier this year, or ones from Sony and LG that are yet to arrive). So, how do these new displays stack up against one another? Let’s start the best way I know how: With a sizable, borderline unwieldy chart that’s chock full of specs.”
In the New York Times, from Bruce Schneier: Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse. “It’s no secret that computers are insecure. Stories like the recent Facebook hack, the Equifax hack and the hacking of government agencies are remarkable for how unremarkable they really are. They might make headlines for a few days, but they’re just the newsworthy tip of a very large iceberg.”
TechCrunch: Google’s smart home sell looks cluttered and incoherent . “The company’s presenters attempted to sketch a vision of gadget-enabled domestic bliss but the effect was rather closer to described clutter-bordering-on-chaos, with existing connected devices being blamed (by Google) for causing homeowners’ device usability and control headaches — which thus necessitated another new type of ‘hub’ device which was now being unveiled, slated and priced to fix problems of the smart home’s own making.”
The Next Web: Here’s everything Google revealed at its Pixel 3 event. “Google today held its annual Made By Google event, where it showed off its newest toys. While it’s true we got a glimpse of most of them ahead of time thanks to copious leaks (which Google themselves lightly poked fun at during the opening segment), it was still fun to see them in action. Here’s what it announced.”
Ars Technica: Liveblog: Google’s annual hardware launch event. “Join us October 9, at 11am ET, when Google will take the wraps off its 2018 hardware lineup. We’ll have boots on the ground in New York City to bring you the latest from Google’s big event.” If you read this on the Firehose or on Twitter, you’ll get it before the event. If not, you’ll have a nice wrap-up to read.
BetaNews: Facebook unveils its new smart video calling hardware: Portal and Portal+. “Still reeling from a security breach that affected up to 90 million users, Facebook has announced two new pieces of hardware designed to make video chat easier and more immersive than ever. Portal and Portal+ are 10- and 15-inch smart displays complete with integrated cameras and packed with AI. But even Facebook acknowledges there are privacy concerns.”