While Amazon's Alexa successfully infiltrated homes via Echo devices over the past few years, the company reportedly continues to look for new ways that it can make homes smarter. According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon is secretly developing a "domestic robot" that may be a portable home for its virtual assistant.
The project is codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family. According to people familiar with the plans, Vesta is being led by Gregg Zehr, the head of Amazon's Lab126 hardware research and development division. That same group developed devices, including the popular Echo smart speakers, Fire TV set-top boxes, and Fire tablets.
While the project has reportedly been in the works for years, Amazon appears to be hiring more employees for Lab126 to focus on robotics. There are a number of new robotics-related job listings on the Lab126 website, including one for an Applied Robotics Scientist position. However, most other listings now produce a 404 error page when clicked.
Ars Technica is looking for an experienced writer who loves to help readers understand new technology and innovative ideas—and why they matter. The ideal candidate will be deeply conversant with science and technology and can independently research complex technical issues.
With this position, we're not trying to fill a pre-defined "beat"—we're trying to find a rock star of a writer, whether they cover drones or biotech, CPU design or operating systems, Linux or robots, AI or bitcoin.
We're looking for someone senior (at least 3-5 years of quality experience in sci-tech writing) and someone who already knows what we mean by an "Ars story." Can you craft stories that will become "can't miss" additions to a site reaching 15 million unique worldwide readers? Do you have serious writing skills, technical depth, and reporting chops? Would you call yourself a "subject matter expert" in at least a few areas you regularly cover?
It's part of Electrify America's first major investment in American EV infrastructure.
Trying to give you a reason to return to your headset with indie films.
Social engineering attacks such as fake tech support calls are easy, effective and occur across all platforms.
We're off the team and everything is awful
A letter to UK science minister Sam Gyimah has outlined the impact of Brexit on Britain's space sector, and it doesn't make for happy reading.…
One interesting design choice will remain hidden until its debut, though.
A secret Amazon project called Vesta is reportedly developing a new product, which may be released as soon as next year.
No surprise really
Silicon Valley has historically been at war with Hollywood, so Amazon and Netflix's membership of a studio-dominated anti-piracy alliance may raise eyebrows. But it shouldn't: Amazon and Netflix are big studios now in their own right, and Apple is expected to join them.…
It'll hit 60 mph in 2.25 seconds, which is mighty impressive.
Tell the Canary app whether you want your security cameras to record just people or everything -- or nothing.
Everything's fine, says NVMe-over-fabrics array startup
NVMe-over-fabrics array startup Pavilion Data Systems has laid off more engineers just a month after a previous cull during which co-founder Kiran Malwankar departed.…
Aleksandr Kogan tells 60 Minutes that tech companies assume users know their data is being sold and shared.
Mark Meechan was fined £800 after teaching a dog to give a Nazi salute.
Plans to hook up 500k Londoners to 1Gbps speeds in 4 years
Community Fibre has won £18m from the UK government's broadband fund – the first outfit to do so since the cash pot was announced back in 2016.…
Apple quietly launched a new battery replacement program to help a "limited number" of MacBook Pro users. According to the program's webpage, some 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bars may experience component failure that causes the built-in battery to swell. It's not a safety issue, but Apple will replace batteries on the affected laptops for free.
The company didn't provide details about which component inside these MacBook Pros could fail and cause the battery to expand. Affected laptops were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017, and users can check to see if their device is eligible by inputting the device's serial number into the program's webpage. Older MacBook Pros and MacBook Pro models with Touch Bars shouldn't be affected.
If your device is eligible for the battery replacement program, you can either take your laptop to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple retail store to have it serviced. Authorized personnel may need to send the laptop to Apple's Repair Center for a few days, and you have the option to immediately send the device into the repair center yourself rather than going to a store first. Apple advises users to back up all data on their MacBook Pros and repair any other problems with the device before getting it serviced.
The BBB claims the company doesn't respond satisfactorily to customer complaints.
Google and Amazon have been caught up in Russian attempts to block the Telegram messaging app.
Earlier this month, executives at Eventbrite—the popular Internet event-ticketing platform used by thousands of event organizers, including many information security conferences—made a change in the company's "Merchant Agreement" that many missed until this past week. That change added a section to the agreement entitled "Permission You Grant Us to Film and Record Your Events," asserted broad rights over the content of events that use Eventbrite for ticketing. As word spread this past weekend about the changes, many event organizers reacted with shock to the terms and began scrambling to find alternatives to the Eventbrite platform. Facing a backlash to the new language, Eventbrite pulled the section from the Agreement's text on Sunday afternoon.
The new terms asserted that Eventbrite staff had the right to "enter and remain" at any event organized with the platform, record the entirety of the event with video and photography—including setup and break-down of the event—and retain copyright over everything recorded. The language would have required event organizers to assure Eventbrite was afforded copyright over all the content of the event "for any purpose."
"You are responsible for obtaining, at your own cost, all third party permissions, clearances, and licenses necessary to secure Eventbrite the permissions and rights described above," the terms stated.
As many councils struggle with budget issues to deliver services such as social care, new technology is being used in one trial area.