Amazon has a way to prevent Echo units from responding to its Alexa ad during the Super Bowl

Amazon’s Alexa-based commercial for the Super Bowl is all about the company finding replacements when Alexa loses her voice. Somehow, we can’t see Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson or Anthony Hopkins becoming the voice of Amazon’s personal virtual assistant. But there is something that Amazon had to concern itself with related to the ad. According to one count, the name Alexa is said ten times during the 90 second commercial, and Amazon was worried that the spot would accidentally set off Echo units positioned near television sets worldwide during this Sunday’s global Super Bowl broadcast.

There …


Here's how you can prevent your friends and family from seeing when you were on Instagram last

This past week, Instagram added a new feature that allows users to find out when their friends or family last signed on to the app. This will allow you to keep tabs on people you follow or have sent messages to in the past. Word to the wise, this new service is activated by default. And this means that all of the Instagram users who follow you are able to keep tabs on how long it has been since you last opened the Instagram app.

If you think that this is giving away too much information, you can decide to disable the feature. All you have to do is follow these directions. Click on your profile …

WhatsApp may soon implement a new tool to prevent fake news from spreading

It appears that WhatsApp is trying to take the necessary steps to stop fake news from spreading on its platform, as well as making it as free-spam as possible.

Reports about a new notification system that warns WhatsApp users they are at risk forwarding spam messages have just popped up online from various sources. Whenever the system detects that a message “has been forwarded many times,” it will start warning WhatsApp users that the message could be spam.

Unfortunately, the issue of fake news has become the norm these days and WhatsApp isn’t yet a platform not to be affected by …

US bill plans to prevent government from working with firms that use Huawei and ZTE technology

It looks like Chinese smartphones makers will have a hard time selling their products in the United States. After the failed partnership between Huawei and major carrier AT&T, it appears that another Chinese giant, ZTE, will have problems signing agreements with certain firms in the US.

A Republican lawmaker announced earlier this week that it has introduced legislation aimed specifically at Huawei and ZTE. The bill that was made public this Friday is supposed to prevent the federal government from working with companies that use equipment made by Huawei and …

New Google guidelines prevent apps from collecting unnecessary data

Seeking to provide more protection to Android users, Google is preventing apps from collecting unnecessary data that isn’t required for the app to work. Apps that save and disseminate such personal data that doesn’t need to be collected must explain to the user how the data is going to be used. In addition, the user must give permission to the developer to collect the information.

Even apps installed from outside the Google Play Store have to follow Google’s new requirements, or else a warning will pop up to remind users that an app is trying to collect data from them without permission. …

Google is trying to prevent Pixel 2 display burn-in with a light navigation bar

image source: 9to5Google

Screen burn-in is one of the unfortunate realities of OLED. Manufacturers are well-aware of this shortcoming, and yet, at this point at least, there is not much that can be done to completely prevent it hardware-wise. However, there’s always the option of mitigating the issue through software, and that’s exactly what Google is trying to do for its Pixel lineup of smartphones.

One of the biggest culprits for screen burn-in on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, as well as last year’s models, is the persistent navigation bar …

Google adds new Rescue Party feature in Android Oreo to prevent bootloops

One of the nifty feature integrated into the new Android 8.0 Oreo is meant to help users avoid having their smartphones bootloop after trying to update to a new version of the OS. The new feature is called Rescue Party should be enabled by Oreo automatically when it detects that core system components are stuck in crash loops.

After the bootloop issue is noticed by Rescue Party, it will start a series of actions meant to recover the device. If none of these work, it will try rebooting the smartphone into recovery mode and prompt the user to perform a factory reset.

Unfortunately, …

Group in Colorado wants to prevent kids under 13 from owning a purchased cellphone

Children under 13 would not be allowed to be the recipient of a purchased cellphone in Colorado under a proposed ballot measure backed by a group called Parents Against Underage Smartphones. To make the 2018 ballot, the group will need to get 300,000 voter signatures. Dr. Tim Farnum, an anesthesiologist in Denver, is leading the group. He says that he saw his own kids having to deal with the effects of always needing to have a device held in their hands. The Doctor said that his kids would take their mobile devices, lock themselves in their rooms, and it ended up changing their personalities. …

A new Apple invention could prevent us from overeating using RFID tags

The health-tracking capabilities are some of the most appealing features of the increasingly popular smart wearable devices, so no wonder that many of the mobile device vendors and manufacturers are also interested in this technology. Apple is also among them, and the HealthKit and the bio-metric solutions on both Apple Watches are good indicators for the company’s interest. Besides, Apple has been rumored to work on a full-fledged health-tracking device due to launch in 2017, and a new patent may pour more water in this rumor mill.

In general, this U.S. Patent No. 9,640,088 for “Electronic …

Samsung sends out update to prevent users from remapping Bixby button

Earlier this month, we told you about an app in the Google Play Store called All in One Gestures that allows you to take the dedicated Bixby button and reconfigure it to work with another application. But Samsung isn’t exactly pleased with this. After all, they spent a ton of money developing Bixby, and gosh darn it, the AI assistant is going to have a dedicated button that activates it whether you like it or not.

So what the manufacturer did was send out an OTA update to versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ headed to Canadian carrier Telus. The update removes the ability …