Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Mini can make life easier, but they also present some privacy concerns. Doesn’t a device that responds to voice commands need to be listening all the time ? Let’s talk about that. If you think about how a smart speaker or smart display works, logic would tell you that they need to be constantly listening. After all, how can your device hear your “Alexa” or “Hey Google” command if it’s not listening? Well, you’re right. These devices are always listening, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Listening vs. Recording When people hear that smart speakers are always listening, what they’re really afraid of is the possibility that the smart speaker is always recording them. That’s how humans listen, but that’s not what’s happening with smart speakers. This is an important distinction to make. When you listen to someone talk, you are essentially making a recording of the information in your brain. You remember what the … [Read more...] about Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening to Me?
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It’s pretty easy to read the contents of a Linux text file line by line in a shell script—as long as you deal with some subtle gotchas. Here’s how to do it the safe way. Files, Text, and Idioms Each programming language has a set of idioms. These are the standard, no-frills ways to accomplish a set of common tasks. They’re the elementary or default way to use one of the features of the language the programmer is working with. They become part of a programmer’s toolkit of mental blueprints. Actions like reading data from files, working with loops, and swapping the values of two variables are good examples. The programmer will know at least one way to achieve their ends in a generic or vanilla fashion. Perhaps that will suffice for the requirement at hand. Or maybe they’ll embellish the code to make it more efficient or applicable to the specific solution they are developing. But having the building-block idiom at their fingertips is a great starting point. Knowing and … [Read more...] about How to Process a File Line by Line in a Linux Bash Script
We’ve all been trained to archive every email we get. After all, we have basically infinite storage, and we can just find all the emails we need with a quick search, right? Makes sense. But that’s a trap. Gmail Promised Endless Storage but Hasn’t Kept up Whether or not you use Gmail, it’s important to understand that the idea of never deleting emails was widely popularized by Gmail. Before that, people generally deleted their emails regularly. You had to delete them to free up space so that you could get more emails. Gmail was earth-shattering when it was launched back in 2004. Google’s email service delivered a whopping 1 GB of free email storage. That put its competitors to shame—the free version of Microsoft Hotmail offered a tiny 2 MB at the time. Yes, Gmail launched with five hundred times as much free storage as Microsoft’s email service. It’s no wonder that Gmail became so popular. Its competitors struggled to keep up , but even they added much more storage space. … [Read more...] about Why You Should Delete Emails Instead of Archiving Them
Apple Fitness+ is Apple’s new exercise subscription service “powered by the Apple Watch.” It offers fitness classes for everyone—beginners and enthusiasts, alike. Here’s everything you need to know to get started. What Do You Need for Apple Fitness+? Apple Fitness Plus requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer and an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. The watch tracks your activity, while you follow along with the class playing on the other device. Some Apple Fitness+ classes are all bodyweight exercises. Others, like most of the strength training classes, require two small dumbbells. There are also indoor running, rowing, and cycling classes, that require a treadmill, rowing machine, or static bike, respectively. For yoga classes, a mat and blocks are useful, but not essential. Generally, you’ll also need some space to move around. A lot of the classes are high energy and involve jumping, swinging your arms, and other activities that could easily take out a nearby light fixture. … [Read more...] about How to Get Started With Apple Fitness+