TEH 037: Listening Devices *Everywhere*

In This Episode: Routers are in the news again: how to ensure your router is as safe as possible. Do Netflix and other streaming services want you to stop sharing your password? And maybe user reviews are coming to an end: they’re being gamed. Plus: Universities are starting to put Amazon Echo devices everywhere. Creepy, or useful?

This Week’s Hosts

  • Randy Cassingham, founder of the Internet’s oldest entertainment newsletter, This is True.
  • Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • Kevin and Leo are traveling, so Gary and Randy held down the fort this week. In the warmup, we talked a bit about the trials of moving to a new house, and updating Gary’s iOS book.
  • Randy talked about avoiding security problems with your home router. Is your router updated with the latest patches? Just like any other computer, it needs them. Tech Radar notes there’s a new vulnerability that is affecting NetGear, D-Link and ZTE brands — and maybe others. If your router is from your ISP (e.g., cable provider), ask them.
  • Gary brought up an article at CNBC that showed how millennials share Netflix and other streaming service passwords more than older generations. We talked about whether they really want to stop password sharing.
  • In another Netflix-related story, Gary says Netflix has deleted all of their user reviews. Reviews were computer-based only (so TV box and app users didn’t really notice them). Plus Netflix had some issues with review trolls. Gary and Randy discussed how this could be the beginning of the end for all user reviews as there are well-known issues with the reviews at Amazon, Yelp and so on.
  • Randy says St. Louis University is putting Alexa “Echo” devices in all living areas (dorms and student apartments) — 2,300 of them in all, to help students with questions they may have, including custom-designed ones specific to the university. Is it creepy to have thousands of microphones listening to everything, or helpful — and what neat things might students do with them? (Tech Crunch) This isn’t the first university to try the devices: Arizona State did it last year, but only for engineering students (The Verge).

1 Comment on “TEH 037: Listening Devices *Everywhere*

  1. I empathized with Gary’s frustration when he talked about his wife recieving a negative review as an Amazon book seller because the customer didn’t like the book. I’ve seen the opposite side of this problem: sometimes when I’m researching a product, I’ll come across a few reviews in which the user is rating the purchasing experience instead of the product itself. I’ve unfortunately seen several one star reviews in which the main gripe is that the item arrived damaged or later than expected.


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