Tag Archives: smart

Alexa could come to your Smart TV tonight! Update to bring Echo assistant to big screen

Amazon’s chatty AI assistant Alexa will be added to a range of Smart TVs overnight in a software update. When the new software is up-and-running on your telly, you’ll be able to speak into the remote to change channels, search for movies from specific directors, or ask general knowledge questions – exactly like an Amazon Echo.

The latest update comes courtesy of a partnership between Amazon and LG Electronics. Televisions from LG that ship with the LG Magic Remote will be able to use their channel-changer like an Amazon Echo.

According to LG, Alexa will be arriving on televisions powered by its webOS Smart TV platform. The update will start in North America, followed by Europe, including the UK, and Asia in the coming weeks and months. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive timeframe just yet, but hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long before the upgrade lands.

As well as LG TVs, other supported brands include Blaupunkt, Polaroid, Seiki, and Skytech.

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LG Home Entertainment Head of Content Services Jung Sung-hyun said: “The addition of Amazon Alexa to the long list of webOS features will enhance the user experience and boost the value of our growing smart TV ecosystem. Bringing together the capabilities of Alexa with the convenience of webOS to third-party TVs is a win-win-win for TV brands, customers and developers.”

If you don’t already own an Amazon Echo, but have an LG TV in the living room, you’ll be able to test out some of the best-selling smart speakers best features. That means you’ll be able to ask for the latest headlines, check the weather or traffic conditions, switch on smart lights, order takeaways and more with just your voice.

The arrival of Alexa should also be a boost to accessibility. The ability to switch HDMI inputs, find channels in the EPG, and launch streaming apps, like Netflix, with the press of a single button and your voice should help those who are a little less tech-savvie to uncover new features. 

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

In Solo: Gary Kemp stays true to his pop roots with a smart and sometimes moving album

Gary Kemp’s hits include the timeless ballad True, inspired by his unrequited love for Clare Grogan, dancefloor favourite Gold and the band’s first smash, New Romantic anthem To Cut A Long Story Short. It’s one heck of a scoresheet.

Four decades on, Kemp is back with his second solo album, the follow-up to 1995’s Little Bruises, Gary’s way of dealing with his divorce from Sadie Frost.

The poignant opening ballad In Solo is about an urban couple whose lives are exactly that – solo. They’re together but alone. Kemp’s piano gives way to swelling orchestration and a tastefully searing guitar break.

A Rumour Of You moves the mood up a gear. It’s funky with an edge of menace.

Then the creepiness gives way to the reflective Waiting For The Band, Kemp recalling his teenage self at Hammersmith Odeon, with his painted face and “clockwork gang”, waiting for Bowie to play on the night he killed off Ziggy Stardust. Theo Travis’s sax break comes with an echo of archive fan voices.

Ahead Of The Game is more upbeat, with a late 70s’ pop soul vibe and terrific fluid guitar solo from Kemp.

This is smart, mature pop, thoughtful and sometimes moving.

Guest artists sparkle throughout the album, from Lily Carassik’s trumpet on I Remember You to Roger Taylor’s drumming on Too Much – Kemp’s reaction to the bad news that keeps afflicting us of late, making even the most optimistic feel occasionally helpless.

The Rolling Stones’ keyboardist Matt Clifford plays French horn on three songs, while bassists include Richard Jones (The Feeling) and some chap called Martin Kemp.

The result is slick, impressive and welcome.

To cut a long story short, Gary should do this more often.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

Project Dante has Smart dreaming ahead of July Stakes

Leading July Stakes hope Project Dante already has his trainer Bryan Smart dreaming of further glory after finishing an unlucky third at Royal Ascot.

Smart’s exciting two-year-old, a son of Showcasing, won on debut at York in May and met trouble in-running in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting last month, before a strong finish.

He lines up in another Group Two on Thursday as he takes on ten rivals at Newmarket.

“When you go to Royal Ascot with a fighting chance you’ve got to be delighted,” Smart told Sky Sports Racing.

“We were delighted with the horse it was just one of those things that happens in racing but the horse proved his worth.

“He did a nice piece of work on Friday and he’s had a nice little blow this morning. Graham Lee rode him and was delighted, saying he feels as good as ever, if not better than he did before Royal Ascot.

“He’s a horse that will improve for age as well so we’re quite excited.”

Smart is happy to take a chance on the extra distance of the July Stakes – stepping up from five to six furlongs.

If Project Dante handles the trip, he is then likely to head for the Gimcrack Stakes at York next month and the Middle Park Stakes back at Newmarket in September.

“If you don’t run them, you don’t know,” Smart said. “I think he’ll get [the trip] because he settles and you can put him in most places.

Bryan Smart
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Bryan Smart says Project Dante can be versatile in terms of race tactics at Newmarket

“Graham will just work away and it’ll be in his hands. If they go flat out, we’ll just take our time. If they go steady, we know we’ve got the speed as well.

“Thursday will tell us if we stay at six [furlongs] or come back. We’ve got him in the Nunthorpe [Stakes] off no weight at all and if we have to drop back to five that’s not a problem.

“If he went and won this you’d obviously be thinking of the Middle Park Stakes. [Project] Dante is just an exceptionally good moving horse.

“If he did settle and you could get further then we could really dream.”

‘Bond was rather naughty this morning’

Bond Chairman also put in a hugely promising display to be placed at Royal Ascot, finishing fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

The “naughty” son of Kodiac, who holds an entry in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month, is likely to go for the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury on July 16.

“He did his first little piece this morning and was very fresh, a bit strong early, but he looks grand,” Smart said.

“He’ll probably go to Newbury for the Listed race there, the Rose Bowl.

“He looks really well. In fact, he was rather naughty this morning, he was a bit too fresh.”

Sir Titus, right, wins at Redcar in May
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Sir Titus, right, wins at Redcar in May

Three-year-old Sir Titus heads to York later this month, having won all three of his starts in 2021 and rising to a mark of 82 after an impressive front-running victory at Haydock on Saturday.

“He’ll probably go to York for the five-and-a-half furlong three-year-old race coming up.

“He’s a lovely horse. Not many go and win three on the bounce like him. He’s a big individual, very flashy looking.

“I thought Graham [Lee] was very brave and very classy how he rode it [at Haydock].

“He’s going forward all the time. They’ve stuck him up three [pounds] for the win but he should carry the weight.”

Redcar winner Instinction has some strong form in the book, including in Listed company at York in May, and looks another promising two-year-old from Smart’s stable.

Things did not go to plan when finishing down the field at Beverley last Friday, but the trainer is taking the blame for that one.

“I think the trainer had a rush of blood to the head trying to enter her over five furlongs on a stiff track at Beverley,” Smart said.

“She just didn’t get home going at her pace. I apologised to the owner, I got that one wrong.

“She’s very quick and I think she’s getting quicker.”

Author: Calum Wilson
Read more here >>> SkySports | News

Your smart TV might be hiding a nasty danger that could put your home at risk

However, this figure surged to 12,807 scans or hacking attempts in the busiest week.

While there were 2,435 attempts to maliciously log into devices.

Which? worked with cyber security experts the NCC Group and the Global Cyber Alliance to carry out the study.

Thankfully, security protections that came with the devices managed to block most of these attempts.

The areas that the threats came from were America, Russia, India, China and the Netherlands.

The most common threat was trying to find unsecured devices and then using weak default passwords to access it.

Author: Dion Dassanayake
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Tech

America’s ‘Smart City’ Didn’t Get Much Smarter

In 2016, Columbus, Ohio, beat out 77 other small and midsize US cities for a pot of $ 50 million that was meant to reshape its future. The Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge was the first competition of its kind, conceived as a down payment to jump-start one city’s adaptation to the new technologies that were suddenly everywhere. Ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft were ascendant, car-sharing companies like Car2Go were raising their national profile, and autonomous vehicles seemed to be right around the corner.

“Our proposed approach is revolutionary,” the city wrote in its winning grant proposal, which pledged to focus on projects to help the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. It laid out plans to experiment with Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks to help residents plan trips, apps to pay bus and ride-hail fares and find parking spots, autonomous shuttles, and sensor-connected trucks.

Five years later, the Smart City Challenge is over, but the revolution never arrived. According to the project’s final report, issued this month by the city’s Smart Columbus Program, the pandemic hit just as some projects were getting off the ground. Six kiosks placed around the city were used to plan just eight trips between July 2020 and March 2021. The company EasyMile launched autonomous shuttles in February 2020, carrying passengers at an average speed of 4 miles per hour. Fifteen days later, a sudden brake sent a rider to the hospital, pausing service. The truck project was canceled. Only 1,100 people downloaded an app, called Pivot, to plan and reserve trips on ride-hail vehicles, shared bikes and scooters, and public transit.

The discrepancy between the promise of whiz-bang technology and the reality in Columbus points to a shift away from tech as a silver bullet, and a newer wariness of the troubles that web-based applications can bring to IRL streets. The “smart city” was a hard-to-pin-down marketing term associated with urban optimism. Today, as citizens think more carefully about tech-enabled surveillance, the concept of a sensor in every home doesn’t look as shiny as it once did.

Still, Columbus officials insist the Smart City project was not a failure. In fact, the final report labeled the project a success. Now Columbus wants to rethink the slippery term.

“It’s not supposed to be a competition for who has more sensors, or anything like that, and I think we got a little distracted at a certain point,” says Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus, the organization charged with continuing the challenge’s work. Some of the challenge’s projects will continue. Davis says the focus will be, “How do we use technology to improve quality of life, to solve community issues of equity, to mitigate climate change, to achieve prospects in the region?”

Think back to 2015, and the challenge’s techno-solutionist goals made sense. The future was coming quick, and the DOT hoped its seed money would help a midsize city like Columbus work with companies to plan ahead, with equity in mind. When it selected the city, the department said it was impressed by the number of local companies that had pledged additional support for the project. The challenge is “about using … advanced tools to make life better for all people, especially those living in underserved communities,” then secretary Anthony Foxx said. (He is now the chief policy officer for Lyft.)

Now it’s clear that private firms can’t predict the future of cities and may not have their best interests in mind. Davis says Columbus’ selection led to a flood of proposals from companies that ultimately proved difficult to manage, and “at times distracting.” Meanwhile, Uber (and Lyft) have pulled out of autonomous vehicles, notably after an Uber testing vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Google sibling Sidewalk Labs promised in 2017 to construct a sensored-up neighborhood of the future in Toronto. But it killed the project last year amid the pandemic and a bitter political battle with privacy advocates and local groups and developers.

Still, smart-city projects continue around the world. Toyota is building a self-driving-car-friendly community outside of Tokyo. Sidewalk Labs just announced it’s advising real estate developers in a handful of US cities on “innovation plans.” And Alibaba-led “smart traffic” projects continue in China, Malaysia, and Macau.

In the end, a smart-city revolution in Columbus may have been overly ambitious from the start. “A lot of people were expecting a lot from this project, and perhaps too much,” says Harvey Miller, a geography professor and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Ohio State University, who helped plan and evaluate the challenge. He points out that $ 50 million ($ 40 million from the federal government, $ 10 million from the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc.) isn’t much money, especially spread out over five years. It’s not Columbus’ fault that industry promises about the imminent arrival of self-driving cars were way overblown.

Author: Aarian Marshall
This post originally appeared on Business Latest

Ahead of Prime Day, Amazon just slashed Echo smart speaker prices

Other deals that have already been confirmed include four months free access to Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime members can also get 50% off movies and TV shows purchased or rented through Prime Video.

“This Prime Day, we’re offering Prime members millions of deals from great brands which we know our customers love. We’re also continuing our support for the small businesses selling on Amazon by running our ‘spend £10 get £10 offer’, which will help thousands of smaller companies in the run up to Prime Day,” said John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Manager.

“As a Prime Day first, we’re also delighted to be increasing our donations to charity when customers shop through AmazonSmile, so there is plenty for everyone this year.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Roku launches free Euro 2020 update, and it's already available on your Smart TV

Roku is celebrating the Euros 2020 football tournament with a limited edition theme for your telly. Roku is available in a number of popular set-top boxes, streaming HDMI dongles, and Smart TVs and offers access to a wide range of video on-demand services, games and audio streaming services.

Anyone with a set-top box or telly powered by Roku’s software will already have a limited edition Euro 2020 theme downloaded and available right now. To find it, you’ll need to hit the Home button on your Roku remote to get back to the main menu, scroll down the list of options to find Settings. Inside the Settings menu, open up the Themes menu and select My Themes.

As you scroll through the installed themes on your device, Roku will offer a real-time preview of what that theme will look like. Themes not only change the background image behind the icons of your installed streaming apps, but also core components of the operating system – changing the style of the menus, for example.

Roku has already pushed out the Euro 2020 theme to all devices worldwide, so you should find the theme ready and waiting for you in that list. Hover over the item to see a preview, and then click the OK button on your remote to go ahead and install it on your set-top box.

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For those who want to tune-in to the Euro 2020 fixture …but might be living in a household that’s not quite as football-made as you are, the Private Listening feature on your Roku TV or streaming player should come in handy. This nifty function is perfect for when the crowds are roaring, but the kids are asleep, or your flatmate is working late. With Roku, you will be able to enjoy a game at home without disturbing anyone!

To use Private Listening, you’ll need to download the Roku companion app to your iPhone or Android smartphone. Once paired with your streaming set-top box, you’ll be able to listen on any wired headphones as well as any wireless earbuds paired with your handset.

Since it leverages the iOS and Android app, you won’t have to worry about pairing anything with the Roku box itself. Instead, AirPods, Galaxy Buds, or any ‘buds or over-ear Bluetooth headphones paired with your phone will work beam the audio from the movie, sporting fixture, quiz show, or radio show you’re streaming on the Roku gadget.

Since Roku already supports all of the streaming services you’ll need to tune-in to the Euros 2020 matches, here’s an easy list of where all Roku viewers can find all England, Scotland and Wales games, up until round 16.

  • The Scots take on the Czech Republic; watch on BBC iPlayer
  • Wednesday, 16th June at 17:00 BST
  • Check out Wales up against Turkey on BBC iPlayer
  • Friday, 18th June at 20:00 BST
  • The UK contest is here watch England vs Scotland on ITV Hub
  • Sunday, 20th June at 17:00 BST
  • Don’t miss Italy vs Wales on ITV Hub
  • Tuesday, 22nd June at 20:00 BST
  • A double whammy! Watch England battle it out against the Czech Republic, and Croatia vs Scotland on ITV Hub
  • Sunday, 11th July at 20:00 BST

The long-awaited final, and one of the biggest football games of the year, stream live on BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub on all Roku streaming devices.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Exclusive: Huawei to expand smart car partnership with Changan to chips – sources

Exclusive: Huawei to expand smart car partnership with Changan to chips - sources© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People check a display near a Huawei logo during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

By Yilei Sun and Julie Zhu

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies is expanding its smart car partnership with state-owned Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd to include the design and development of auto-use semiconductors, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The two companies, which unveiled their smart car tie-up in November, have been working together informally on chips for the last few months, two of the sources said. A third source said they might soon form a joint venture for chip development.

With its global smartphone business hammered by U.S. sanctions, Huawei has pivoted to electric vehicles. In addition to the deal with Changan to develop smart cars under a joint as-yet-unnamed brand, the tech giant is also planning EVs under its own marque.

Huawei’s new chip partnership with Changan would come amidst a global semiconductor shortage that has hit automakers particularly hard.

It would also represent a significant expansion for Huawei’s chip business after U.S. sanctions meant it lost access to the underlying chip design software needed for more advanced chips used in smartphones.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media.

Changan did not respond to a request to comment. Huawei said it defers to automakers in public announcements regarding their tie-ups.

Their current smart car partnership calls for Huawei to be in charge of the vehicle’s operating system and cabin technologies while Changan would be in charge of vehicle design and engineering.

X: Therefore doesn`t .

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Fire TV fans now have more choice, thanks to these new Smart TVs from Toshiba

Toshiba has taken the lid off a new range of Fire TV-equipped Smart TVs. If you weren’t already aware, Amazon allows manufacturers to ship tellies with its Fire TV system pre-installed as the operating system on their TVs – so switching between HDMI inputs, launching Netflix, tuning in to live television channels, and more, is all handled by the Fire TV interface.
For those who are already sold on the Fire TV software, which is also used in all of Amazon’s streaming set-top boxes, including the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube, these televisions are a great way to free-up one of the HDMI ports on the back of your set (as you won’t need a dedicated Fire TV Stick streamer anymore). Amazon has already partnered with a number of telly brands – and even released one Fire TV set under its own Amazon brand name (although not in the UK) – across the globe.

The latest batch from Toshiba are only available in the United States right now, although we’ve got our fingers crossed that availability in the UK will be announced pretty soon. Those who want a Fire TV set from Toshiba will have a choice of five screen sizes, ranging from 43-inch to 75-inches. The release of these models will be staggered, with orders for the 43-inch and the 50-inch variants available in the US right now, while the 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch models are expected later this year.

Compared to its previous Fire TV efforts, Toshiba has slimmed down the bezels around the screen, so the set will occupy less room on your media unit – despite having the same expansive screen size for movies. There’s also an extra HDMI and USB port compared to its previous Fire TV foray, which is perfect for anyone who has kitted themselves out with a new games console, Blu-Ray player, or HDMI ARC-compatible sounder in the last few months. All sets are compatible with 4K resolution, Dolby Vision, and HDR10.

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Since these televisions are running Fire TV, Toshiba viewers will benefit from a number of the clever recent software additions from Amazon. That means you’ll be able to tune-in to a live feed from your Ring doorbell from the comfort of your sofa. Best of all, this won’t interrupt what you’re watching – it appears as an overlay. So, you’ll be able to judge whether it’s worth interrupting your latest boxset binge to answer the door, or whether you can afford to ignore the campaigners ringing the bell.

Naturally, Amazon’s chatty voice assistant Alexa is present and correct too. Changing channels, searching for shows with your favourite actors, and getting the latest weather and traffic information can all be handled with a quick voice command. For instance, saying “Alexa, set bass to 3” will change the audio preferences – without the need to pick up the remote and start digging through elaborate menus.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Freeview unleashes new design and features to thousands of Smart TVs today

Viewers with Freeview Play built into their Smart TVs should see a major update rolling out in the coming weeks. According to the team behind Freeview, the new interface, which will be available on any Smart TVs powered by the Android TV software, is designed to make it easier for viewers to explore “the full range of content available and discover new favourites”.
One of the best additions to the Android TV homescreen is the new Discover tab. This brings together suggestions of new shows and movies based on your viewing history alongside what is trending on Google. In other words, if you’re stuck for something to watch, head to the Discover tab.

With the latest update, boxsets and films available from Freeview Play with now populate the Discover tab.

Freeview Play recently hit a new milestone with over 30,000 hours of on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player, POP Player and BBC Sounds.  Some of these boxsets will appear in the Discover tab over time based on your tastes, but all will be available from the Search feature.

And since this is Android TV, you’ll be able to connect your Smart TV to any Google Nest smart speakers in your home. That means you’ll be able to use voice commands to the Google Assistant to pause playback on-screen or rewind if you missed a detail. Some Android TV-powered sets include microphones, so you can use the “OK, Google” voice commands without the need for a Google Nest or Android smartphone nearby.

Freeview Play is included on Android TVs from Philips, Sharp, TCL, Toshiba, Humax, and more.

Following the update, which is rolling out now, viewers will have access to the following features with Freeview Play on Android TV –

On Now: Freeview Play viewers can easily access the live TV guide, via a new tile on the ‘On Now’ row. The ‘On Now’ row has also been updated to give clearer programme information for each piece of content, to make it simpler for viewers to see what’s on at a glance.

On-Demand: To make it simpler for viewers to explore the full range of on-demand Freeview Play content, content rows on the new UI have been updated with new player tiles, linking viewers straight to the player they are interested in. 

Simon Hunt, Director of Strategy and Business Development, for Freeview Play, told Express.co.uk: “It’s so important that British viewers can easily find the content they love, whether it’s catching up on Line of Duty, or bingeing the Friday Night Dinner box set. Working closely with Android TV, we have been able to ensure that the customer journey continues to deliver for UK viewers, and ensures Android TV remains competitive in the British market.”

Ed Corn, Head of Android TV Partnerships, EMEA at Android TV commented “People in Britain cherish a helpful and smart TV experience. We are glad that through our work with Freeview Play more UK viewers will profit from an updated Android TV experience that makes it easy for them to find and watch their favourite shows.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed