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Microsoft will continue to use humans to transcribe Cortana and Skype audio

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The tech giants have recently been accused of passing some of your audio recordings from voice digital assistants to human third parties for analysis, in an effort to improve their services. Most have put these programs on hold – but some are still actively listening.

Like most major tech companies that offer voice assistant or voice chat services, Microsoft has been pinned down to have certain Skype and Cortana records scanned by human employees. Apple, Google and Facebook have all decided to temporarily stop these programs of analysis and Amazon allows users to exclude themselves from the program so that their conversations with Alexa are not listened to by strangers. Microsoft, for its part, decided to continue without changing anything, despite the risks regarding the privacy of its users.

Microsoft will continue to analyze audio recordings by humans

The Redmond giant has preferred to update its terms of use to explicitly state that human employees can listen to voice conversations and commands: “We realized, following the recent queries, that we could do even better by specifying that humans sometimes have access to this content,” said a spokesman for Microsoft to Motherboard, who discovered the textual changes in question. “Our treatment of personal data for this purpose includes automated and manual (human) methods,” they said.

On several pages, the company explains using voice data and recordings to improve voice recognition, translation, understanding of intent and more in Microsoft products and services: “This can include the transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors, subject to procedures put in place to respect the privacy of users. This includes the anonymisation of data, the signing of non-disclosure agreements with our sellers and their employees and the need for them to respect many confidentiality rules, in accordance with European laws in particular.” Although Microsoft allows deleting audio recordings, the giant could have been more transparent from the beginning.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a hydroelectric engineer who often writes for Share Blog News in his spare time. While he has always preferred Android over iOS and has never owned an Apple phone, he is nevertheless more than qualified to report on Apple and tech news in general given his life-long interest in this field. Steven has some Java programming experience, having assisted in writing a number of Android apps.

3391 Counts Lane, West Hartford Connecticut, 06105
860-231-3103
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Steven Wilson
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Apple and Tech News

New keyboards on the next MacBook

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The very problematic Papillon keyboards have apparently been a bad enough experience for Apple to decide to switch to a new mechanism.

For several years now, Apple has had problems with its keyboards called “butterfly” which have a proprietary mechanism. The Cupertino company, however, seems ready to move on.

Finally a panacea?

Inaugurated during the marketing of the 12-inch MacBook in 2015, the keyboard “butterfly” is causing malfunctions. These include a character appearing twice on the screen after a single press and a phenomenon blocking the key in the aluminum body of the computer. The second version of the keyboard appeared in 2016 on the MacBook Pro, but did not correct its mechanical errors. Apple has tried again, in 2018, to review the keyboard, without more success.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that these problematic keyboards will disappear this year in favor of new ones. Apple would retain the backlight enjoyed by users, but is working on a longer activation point – the keyboards “butterfly” being too short and often not appreciated by users. The analyst believes that Apple may have resorted to a fiberglass structure to bring more strength.

According to Kuo, the MacBooks would be the first to enjoy it, and the MacBook Pro would benefit from them from 2020. Still, according to the analyst, Apple could change manufacturers and opt for Sunrex rather than Wistron, which currently produces the Papillon keyboards for the firm.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a hydroelectric engineer who often writes for Share Blog News in his spare time. While he has always preferred Android over iOS and has never owned an Apple phone, he is nevertheless more than qualified to report on Apple and tech news in general given his life-long interest in this field. Steven has some Java programming experience, having assisted in writing a number of Android apps.

3391 Counts Lane, West Hartford Connecticut, 06105
860-231-3103
[email protected]
Steven Wilson
Continue Reading

Apple and Tech News

Apple fixes a GPS bug on old iOS devices

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Bugs are common in our electronics. Most of the time, they can be corrected via a simple software update. Still, it is necessary to take the trouble to do it.

Apple is now deploying a new update for the old iPhone and iPad models released before 2012. This update corrects a GPS bug. If you are concerned, know that the new version should be offered very soon.

Apple fixes GPS bug

These old iPhones and iPads are updated to correct a problem affecting the entire GPS module. This is the bug concerning the week number, which causes problems of operation to the oldest GPS.

The affected systems are automatically reset when they reach the 1024 week number, which is about 20 years. When the meter resets, some devices may behave strangely. Hence, some manufacturers have proposed updates. Apple is doing so by deploying an update for all its iPhone and iPad dating before 2012.

This bug affects many other devices since April 6, but according to Apple, its products will not be affected before November 3. The update being deployed currently, and there is plenty of time to update before the fateful date and not to be bothered when the time comes.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a hydroelectric engineer who often writes for Share Blog News in his spare time. While he has always preferred Android over iOS and has never owned an Apple phone, he is nevertheless more than qualified to report on Apple and tech news in general given his life-long interest in this field. Steven has some Java programming experience, having assisted in writing a number of Android apps.

3391 Counts Lane, West Hartford Connecticut, 06105
860-231-3103
[email protected]
Steven Wilson
Continue Reading

Apple and Tech News

Amazon Music is growing faster than Spotify

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Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music are three big names in the music streaming market. While Spotify ranks first, it turns out that Amazon Music is growing faster.

For the moment, Spotify is the leader in the music streaming market. Apple is catching up fast. The latest news is that the Apple brand platform had 60 million subscribers. However, it seems that a third guy could invite himself to the party: Amazon Music is showing rather insolent growth.

Amazon Music is growing faster than Spotify

Amazon Music reported growth of about 70% in 2018 and today accounts for about 32 million subscribers. While these figures are still far from those of Apple and Spotify, if this growth can be maintained, the giant e-commerce American should be back rather quickly. Spotify, on the other hand, is growing more slowly, “only” 25% a year.

Will Amazon Music manage to worry about Spotify and Apple Music?

Amazon Music is rather late in this market: the service was launched in 2016. In the same way as Apple Music, Amazon has the advantage of being able to count all its Echo customers for which Amazon Music has been optimized. It also seems that Amazon’s music streaming service is particularly attractive to the elderly. The over 55s account for 14% against only 5% at Spotify.

According to Amazon Music director Steve Boom: “We are not necessarily fighting for the same customers as others. In order for the industry to reach its full potential, it is impossible to be confined to the 15 to 22 age group.” According to rumors, Amazon would plan to launch a high-fidelity option for Amazon Music and the giant would work on a new generation of Echo devices offering better audio quality.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a hydroelectric engineer who often writes for Share Blog News in his spare time. While he has always preferred Android over iOS and has never owned an Apple phone, he is nevertheless more than qualified to report on Apple and tech news in general given his life-long interest in this field. Steven has some Java programming experience, having assisted in writing a number of Android apps.

3391 Counts Lane, West Hartford Connecticut, 06105
860-231-3103
[email protected]
Steven Wilson
Continue Reading

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