What’s the problem with smarthome devices? Are they all stupid?

Gizmodo has an article on a hacked coffee-maker, which was hacked because it had a completely insecure method of getting updates, and when not paired with a Wi-Fi network, broadcasts its own network anyone could join. What went wrong, and how do you protect yourself against such shit?

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Amazon’s FireHD tablet adopts USB-C and Dolby Atmos

Amazon has its hands in a huge number of things these days. They want to do it all, from the Everything Store to creating a huge public surveillance network. Sometimes, it’s as benign as just launching an updated device to read books and listen to music on. Like this Kindle FireHD. Sometimes, they curate the features enough that it kicks ass. This is hard to do, when Kindle Fire sort of lives in the shadow of Android as a whole. (I write this, fully getting the irony that there aren’t any successful Android tablets outside of FireHD.)

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The Echo Loop smart ring is a terrible idea

I’ll admit I’m enamored with wearables. My Oura ring is my constant companion that lets me know when I’ve walked enough and how well I’m sleeping. It tracks me but not in any scary way.

Amazon’s Echo Loop, a smart ring with two tiny microphones and a button to call for Alexa, is a different beast entirely. Billed as a tool to bring Alexa on the go, it seems like an awful use of microelectronics and always-on surveillance.

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Opt of out Amazon listening to your Alexa recordings

As I wrote last week, your own data is something you need to be yours. Many – myself included – willingly trade access to that data in exchange for something, say, access to a platform. Well, some data you may want to keep off-limits. Surprisingly, Amazon is here to help you do exactly that.

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The Kindle Paperwhite now comes in blue

I know what you’re saying: who cares? But given that all recent Kindles have been encased in black/blue plastic and the days of the weird beige Kindles are over, this is kind of big news.

Anyway, the news is pretty basic: the new Kindle Paperwhites now come in “Twilight Blue.” They’re also waterproof and all that jazz and they’re still the best readers out there so go ahead and laugh but they come in blue now and I’m happy. Sorry for the intrusion.

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