How to Turn Off Alexa’s Creepy ‘Whisper Mode’

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I love my smart speaker—as much as one can ever love a piece of privacy-stealing technology that only exists to gather information about you, I suppose—but that doesn’t mean I don’t find many things about it creepy, in a dystopian sort of way. And one of the things I find creepiest about Alexa is the fact that if you…

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BrandPost: Home Network Security Is a Family Affair

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If you often worry about what the kids are accessing over the internet, you’re not alone. But you may also be wary of trying to monitor activity of increasingly independent-minded teens.  

Now you can establish boundaries without necessarily having to monitor actual activity using the Trend Micro Home Network Security (HNS) solution. It has tools you can use not only for monitoring and managing access to the internet and devices, but also to help kids build up healthy digital habits.

Parenting has never been easy, and technology brings with it many new complications. Parents want to protect their kids from scary stuff that may be lurking on the internet. But, as Common Sense Media’s parenting editor points out, while there is bad stuff your kids can be exposed to, there’s also a lot of good from which they can benefit.

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BrandPost: Why Can’t Smart Home Device Security be Smarter?

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More than 83 million U.S. households have at least one smart device, and most of us have more than one. In fact, in the U.S., on average we have 11 devices connected to our home networks, according to one study.

Take a quick tally of your own devices. Smartphones? Check. Smart TV(s), Roku, or similar devices? Check. Tablets, laptops, and/or desktops? Check. E-book readers? Smart speakers? Other devices with Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri? Google Nest thermostat? The list goes on and is only going to grow.

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Best cheap monitor for back-to-school, distance learning? Here’s my answer

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Ever since the pandemic lockdown, I’ve been fielding questions from friends and family about technology buys. Recently, it was a relative asking what monitor she should buy for her daughters who are going back to school—but doing distance learning at home.

“It’s the first day of school and we’re now realizing we should get monitors and keyboards for the girls,” she said. “It’s too hard to be on a tiny laptop or Chromebook all day. What do you think of these?” All three monitors, sold by Office Depot, ranged from $70 to $80, and to the casual shopper would look the same. 

  • ViewSonic VA1903H
  • Acer V196HQL
  • ViewSonic VA2055SA

Spoiler: None of these would be my top picks. Instead I’d go with an Aopen model. But let’s delve into my relative’s queries nonetheless, and learn a bit about monitor specs.

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The Full Nerd ep. 148: GeForce RTX 3090 rumors, Intel Xe info, GeForce Now on Chromebooks

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In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Willis Lai dig into an episode all about real-time ray tracing in gaming. Well, not really—but it’s worth noting that everything discussed today supports the cutting-edge lighting technology. Has the time finally arrived?

First, Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming service started streaming to Chromebooks this week, just in time to add a touch of distance playing to your kid’s distance learning experience. Gordon shares some hands-on impressions, then Brad dives into rumors whirling around a GeForce RTX 3090 that could be be revealed at Nvidia’s September 1 event. Finally, we explain what you need to know about Intel’s recent Xe graphics card disclosures. The first desktop models will come next year with GDDR6 memory and yes, real-time ray tracing in tow.

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Protect Yourself Before Your Federal Student Loan Servicer Changes

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Earlier this month, the Department of Education released new details about its upcoming student loan servicer overhaul. The department first announced these sweeping changes in a June press release—including its contracts with five new student loan servicers.

The department—which has struggled with servicer…

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Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake vs. Ryzen 4000: Which chip will win?

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Now that Intel’s finally announced its new Tiger Lake CPU for laptops Thursday morning, we can finally start making the odds on which chip will win: 11th-gen Tiger Lake or AMD Ryzen 4000.

Sure, we know laptops based on the Tiger Lake CPU aren’t even out yet (wait for a rollout on September 2), and there are far more Ryzen 4000 laptops coming too, but that’s never stopped the media from speculating. In our case, we’ll make the best educated guesses we can based on what we know. Here’s how the competition seems to be shaking out: 

Raja Koduri Intel

The challenger: Tiger Lake

Intel is playing its Tiger Lake cards pretty close to its chest, so there still isn’t a lot on the table. What we know officially is that the 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU is built on a 10nm process, using SuperFin technology that primarily addresses one of the shortcomings of the original 10th-gen Ice Lake chip: relatively limited clock speeds. 

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