Consumer Electronics & Product Reviews

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The Deepest Deepfake of All

The interviewer asked, "Is that image real"? There's no way to tell. "What about this video?" It's hard to say. "You can't tell if that's real or fake either." No. Not without analyzing it. "Well, what about the prose? Did a human write this sentence?" It's possible, but it would not surprise me to learn that it was machine generated. "What about the voice in the video?" It's sonically perfect. I'd say 60/40 it's a machine, but I'd need to hear a few more sentences to be sure. "So, what you're saying is that I can't trust my eyes or my ears?" Yes. That's what I'm saying. "Is this the end of truth?" Continue Reading →
CES 2022 West Hall LVCC
CES will return to Las Vegas in January 2022, and we've got big plans (in-person and online) for the show. “We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas – home to CES for more than 40 years – and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “The pace of innovation has accelerated over the last 18 months, and attendees will see these advancements at CES.” Continue Reading →
Amazon Sidewalk
If you have an Alexa-enabled device or any Amazon device that is Amazon Sidewalk-capable, you are automatically opted in to sharing up to 80Kbps (capped at 500MB per month) of your WiFi network with Amazon and your neighbors. After I tell you how to opt-out, I'll tell you what it is and why Amazon thinks it's a good idea. If you want to use the service and lend part of your WiFi network to Jeff Bezos, you don't need to do anything. You are opted-in unless you do the following. Continue Reading →

Encrypting Your Crypto

Ledger Nano S
The moment comes when you realize there's real money in your crypto wallet and you start wondering about hackers and ransomware and all kinds of bad stuff. If you've set up a digital wallet, bought some crypto, and collected a few NFTs and you're starting to trade across a range of marketplaces and exchanges, you are starting to experience the exceptional financial freedom the world of DeFi has to offer. Of course, there's a catch… Now, you're also in charge of guarding the treasury. Continue Reading →
Merkle Tree
As she approached the entrance to the club, she gave the frame of her new prescription AR glasses a gentle squeeze. When she got to the door, it appeared to turn green, indicating recognition that she was over 21 years of age. Then, a message appeared along with a friendly voice asking for the 5 ADA cover charge. She shook her head yes. A moment later, the door opened, which indicated that the transaction had cleared. And so begins a story about life in a trustless, decentralized world − a tale from under the Merkle tree. Continue Reading →
ETH
We’re in the middle of a cryptocurrency bubble and an NFT (non-fungible token) craze. For context, the price of a Bitcoin (BTC) is bubbling around $56,000. The price of an Ether (ETH) is just over $1,700. That sounds bubbly, but this column is not about financial advice. I’m going to teach you, step by step, how to build a very small cryptocurrency mining operation so you can get a deeper understanding of the process. Continue Reading →
There's a reason you're getting more robocalls now: due to the pandemic, many international call centers were shut down. At the same time, the government did its best to reduce COVID-19-related phone scams. All that's over now. Robocall volume is back to pre-pandemic levels, and about 60 percent of these calls are scams or unsolicited telemarketing. Continue Reading →

Net Neutrality in 3 minutes

Hierarchy of Needs Revised
Net Neutrality is a nickname for a set of rules designed to govern your access to the Internet. In the next three minutes I'm going to prove to you why Net Neutrality is important and give you enough facts to argue your own case for or against it. Continue Reading →

Safe and Unsafe

safe and unsafe people
As the pandemic enters its second year, we're approaching an inevitable bifurcation of our society: "Presumed Safe" (those who have been vaccinated or exposed to the virus), and "Presumed Unsafe" (those who have not been vaccinated or have not been exposed to the virus). Two distinct groups that are going to test us in ways we've only read about in history books. Continue Reading →
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
I've had my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for a couple of weeks now, and I can tell you without hesitation that "Ultra" is a fitting name for this smartphone. While the S21 line follows the recent industry trend of making affordable flagship phones, the S21 Ultra isn't for people looking for a bargain. It is the very definition of a premium experience and it is priced to match. If you are looking for the very best Android phone available today, look no further. Here's why. Continue Reading →

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