A closed-door unveiling of the forthcoming Google Home smart speaker platform included the nakedly anticompetitive news that vendors whose products support Amazon's Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google's own, rival platform.
These platforms are typically designed to allow their vendors to invoke Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a felony to change their configurations in unauthorized ways, meaning that Google could convert its commercial preference ("devices either support Google Home or Amazon Echo, but not both") into a legal right ("we can use the courts and the police to punish people who make products that let you expand your device's range of features to support whichever platform you choose to use").
Of course, having a live, networked, corporate-controlled mic in your bedroom, living room and toilet is an idea that is so unbelievably terrible on its face that you could use it as the introduction to a term paper in 2040 explaining how human civilization nearly collapsed in the early 21st century.
The device is powered by Google Assistant: A smart, personalized assistant in the cloud that can respond to questions and commands, making use of the data Google has about its users.
Google Home also integrates with Google Cast, the same technology that powers Google’s popular Chromecast streaming adapter. Consumers will be able to launch audio from their favorite Cast-compatible streaming apps on Google Home, including Spotify, Tunein, Pandora, NPR One, SoundCloud and more.
At the same time, Google Home also works as a Cast sender, which means that it can launch media playback on other Cast-compatible devices. Consumers will, for example, be able to launch YouTube video playback on their TVs by telling Google Home what they want to watch. What’s more, Google Home can play music in sync with other Google Cast-capable speakers or Chromecast Audio-equipped stereo systems.
How Google Plans to Take Down Amazon’s Echo (EXCLUSIVE)
At this week's B-Sides Manchester security conference, James Williams gave a talk called "Next-gen AV vs my shitty code," in which he systematically revealed the dramatic shortcomings of anti-virus products that people pay good money for and trust to keep them safe -- making a strong case that these companies were selling defective goods.
Disney is being sued by the Michael Jackson estate for using fair-use clips in a biopic called "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" -- in its brief, the company decries "overzealous copyright holders" whose unwillingness to consider fair use harms "the right of free speech under the First Amendment."
This week, I sat down for an hour-long interview with the Yale Privacy Lab's Sean O'Brien (MP3); Sean is a frequent Boing Boing contributor and I was honored that he invited me to be his guest on the very first episode of the Lab's new podcast.
Drones are undeniably cool, but not all of us have the Top Gun-level piloting skills required to fly them—unless you’re using TRNDlabs’ new Spectre Drone. Designed new and expert pilots alike, this drone is loaded with fly assist features to make piloting easy, all the while you explore using its built-in HD camera. It’s available in the […]
Whether you’re set to give the toast at your best friend’s wedding or a presentation at work, you’ll be relying on those public speaking lessons you slept through during high school. Scary thought, right? Thankfully, the Public Speaking Bundle is loaded with hacks, tips, and techniques that will get you speaking more naturally and with confidence, […]
The Adobe Creative Cloud suite is the foundation on which many creatives build their careers, but some of its programs, like Photoshop and InDesign, are notoriously complex, making it difficult for aspiring designers, photographers, and the like to break into their field. But, don’t get discouraged. The Pay What You Want: Adobe CC A-Z Lifetime Bundle […]