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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TikTok is one of the world’s largest social media platforms, and its userbase is still growing. Here’s why so many people are still addicted to TikTok and why they won’t stop using it anytime soon. A Brief Recap of TikTok TikTok has over one billion active users across the world, and that number continues to grow. If you’re currently out of the loop, this amount of use seems staggering, but there are very good reasons why so many teens are still addicted to the app. In early 2020, we explored why TikTok had so many devoted users . However, in light of its rapid and sustained growth, we wanted to explore what the app does that causes users to spend hours or even days scrolling through the TikTok feed. RELATED: What Is TikTok, and Why Are Teens Obsessed with It? The “For You” Page and the Algorithm The biggest reason that so many teenagers, and people of all ages, are still addicted to TikTok is the app’s content discovery feed, better known as the “For You” … [Read more...] about Why Is TikTok So Popular? Why the Social Network Is Unique
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) ensures that your data is encrypted (kept secret) until it reaches an intended recipient. Whether you’re talking about end-to-end encrypted messaging, email, file storage, or anything else, this ensures that no one in the middle can see your private data. In other words: If a chat app offers end-to-end encryption, for example, only you and the person you’re chatting with will be able to read the contents of your messages. In this scenario, not even the company operating the chat app can see what you’re saying. Encryption Basics First, let’s start with the basics of encryption. Encryption is a way of scrambling (encrypting) data so that it can’t be read by everyone. Only the people who can unscramble (decrypt) the information can see its contents. If someone doesn’t have the decryption key, they won’t be able to unscramble the data and view the information. (This is how it’s supposed to work, of course. Some encryption systems have security flaws … [Read more...] about What Is End-to-End Encryption, and Why Does It Matter?
If you fancy creating a one-time-only playlist of some of your favorite songs on Spotify, you can add them to your playing queue. If you don’t like your choices, however, you can clear your queue in seconds. Here’s how. Table of Contents Clearing Your Queue on Windows 10 or Mac Removing Individual Songs Clearing All Songs Clearing Your Queue on Android, iPhone, and iPad Removing Individual Songs Clearing All Songs Clearing Your Queue on Windows 10 or Mac Just as clearing your recently played list can remove any trace of your questionable music choices, clearing your queue on Spotify is a good way to ensure that any songs you’ve accidentally added to your queue to play later are removed. These steps will work for you whether you use the Spotify desktop client or web player on a Windows 10 PC or Mac . You’ll need to open the Spotify client or website and sign in to begin. Once you’ve signed in, click the queue icon in the … [Read more...] about How to Clear Your Queue on Spotify
You’ve probably been annoyed at one time or another when visiting a website that requires a specific browser. Luckily, you can fool a website into thinking you’re using a different browser and you can do this with most, including Safari. User agent “spoofing” is not a new thing. It was sometimes necessary when there was a so-called browser war. Website designers would often design pages to render and deliver different content depending on the user’s browser. The solution to this was often to send a false “user agent string,” which would fool the web server into delivering you the preferred content. Today, users are less likely to have a problem since websites and browsers are better at adhering to web standards. That’s not to say you won’t still encounter one every now and then. If you use Apple OS X’s Safari, here’s how you change the user agent, and even create custom ones as well. What is a User Agent Anyway? When Safari visits a website, it will send a string of text such … [Read more...] about How to Change Safari’s User Agent on OS X
Is there a topic you don’t understand and would like explained in the simplest way? You might want to use the acronym ELI5. Here’s what it means, and how to use it to get a helpful explanation. “Explain Like I’m 5” ELI5 stands for “explain like I’m 5.” When people use it online, they’re asking others to explain a complex or obscure topic in the simplest of terms. So, if taken literally, they would explain something in a way that a 5-year-old would understand. However, this acronym is rarely used literally. ELI5 means breaking down a topic into reader-friendly layman’s terms. Some popular ELI5 topics might include science, technology, law, and economics. Questions about astrophysics or global affairs might not have any easy answers readily available online. So, an answer in response to “ELI5” might be the best way for the average person to grasp a concept. The standard format is to just type the acronym followed by the question you want to ask: “ELI5: Why does a day last … [Read more...] about What Does “ELI5” Mean, and How Do You Use It?