The Echo is a voice-activated 9-inch-high cylinder that connects to your Wi-Fi and will answer spoken questions, play music, and generally hang out in your home listening to everything you say. And processing it in the cloud. All day.
Amazon's promotional page describes the device's array of microphones:
Far-field voice recognition
Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music.
Spring 2015 will see the release of Bondara's SexFit, a wearable device which claims to be able to measure and track your sexual performance.
Fitting onto the penis like a standard cock ring, the WiFi-enabled SexFit provides a number of straightforward functions like vibration and restriction of blood flow. LED lights will pulse in rhythm acting like a metronome.
The device will track key metrics such as calories burned, time spent and thrusts per minute. This data can be stored and uploaded to the internet for Social media sharing.
Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool to monitor the accessibility of Web pages around the world that can be installed by adding a single line of code to a web page. The tool, Encore, runs when a user visits a website where the code is
installed and then discreetly collects data from potentially censored sites.
The researchers hope the data they collect will allow them to determine the wheres, whens and hows of what's blocked, as well as identify ways to get around restricted access. Sam Burnett, the Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate who leads the project
Web censorship is a growing problem affecting users in an increasing number of countries. Collecting accurate data about what sites and services are censored will help educate users about its effects and shape future Internet policy discussions
surrounding Internet regulation and control.
The measurement tool that Burnett and his adviser Nick Feamster, professor at the Georgia Tech School of Computer Science, developed -- known as Encore -- works by collecting information about a users' Web access and censorship of various sites
across other countries.
These measurements happen automatically in the background after a page has loaded and do not affect a site's performance or a user's experience. Most users won't ever notice them or realize they are helping to measure Web accessibility, although
the tool provides ways to inform users that their browsers are conducting the measurements. Burnett said:
Encore doesn't track users' browsing behaviors or the content they visit, only whether or not a potentially censored website is reachable from where they are
People who work on Internet freedom --- ranging from policymakers to the developers of tools for improving access to information --- need accurate information about what information is inaccessible and when it becomes blocked. Encore is the
first tool that makes it possible to provide this kind of information continuously, on a global scale.
The latest innovations in the world of sexy consumer tech add-ons arrive at my desk on an almost daily basis. This week, a new set of headphones from Lovepalz caught my eye.
Lovepalz' latest release, the Ladobi, is a six-way earphone set providing 360-surround sound, optimised to accompany porn, steamy webcam sessions, or even good old-fashion Skype phone sex. The materials used in this particular adult video
audio accessory were specially selected so that the high frequencies of speech ring out gin-clear, whilst the intense bass feels heavy and atmospheric.
So what is next for consumer sex tech? Google Glass would appear on the surface to be of limited use to the adult industry, however, it's fairly safe to presume that the innovations behind the much more immersive Oculus Rift will be deployed in a
delightfully deviant manner. A motion-sensing headset that tracks your movements and projects stereo images that adapt to match your changing gaze, OR's developers believe that that it's the transformation gaming has been waiting for (and, I
think, porn too...).
An enterprising German website provides an online tool that lets people design sex toys from scratch. Users create different shapes and adjust the height, curviness, colour and angle of the toys to make a 3D model This model can then be
printed on public or private 3D printers
Users of the website are greeted with an outline of a basic sex toy and can manipulate different points on the 2D drawing to change its shape to suit their preferences.
The height, width, curviness, angle and the colour can be altered by selecting various options to create strange shapes, the likes of which may not be on offer at places such as Ann Summers.
A design immediately appears as a colourful rendered 3D model to reflect the changes made to the initial basic shape.
A small box on the right-hand side of the generator displays information about the design, such as the toy's height, weight and volume, so that the amount of silicon to make it can be calculated.
The tool in theory, allows anyone to print out a sex toy of their own design. The cost of 3D printers is falling all the time, but many affordable consumer offerings only allow people to print objects made from crude strings of molten
plastic, meaning the result is not smooth or professional looking, but high-end printers are currently are able to make high quality objects.
Pirate Bay is developing a new tool that doesn't rely on domain names. Instead, users will serve as the P2P hosts of the sites, with the system running its own alternative DNS. The new tool will create its own P2P network through which sites
can be accessed without restrictions. A Pirate Bay insider explained:
The goal is to create a browser-like client to circumvent censorship, including domain blocking, domain confiscation, IP-blocking. This will be accomplished by sharing all of a site's indexed data as P2P downloadable packages, that are then
It's basically a browser-like app that uses webkit to render pages, BitTorrent to download the content while storing everything locally.
All further site updates are incremental, so people don't end up downloading the entire site day after day.
The new software will be released as a standalone application as well as Firefox and Chrome plugins.
Since the site data comes from other peers, there is no central IP-address that can be blocked by Internet providers. Site owners will still offer webseeds to speed up loading, but sites are fully accessible when these are blocked.
Another important change is that the new software will not use standard domain names. Instead, it will use its own fake DNS system that will link the site's name to a unique and verified public key. The system will also establish a registry of
website names with payment being via Bitcoin.