Tag Archives: Amazon

Some Amazon Echo speakers can be hacked to spy on you

Some of Amazon’s Echo speakers, designed to listen and record conversations if so commanded, can be hacked to record everything and transmit those recordings remotely.

First of all, you have to have actual access to the device to mess with its hardware. Then, you have to make sure it’s either a 2015 or 2016 model, as brand new Echo versions can’t be hacked similarly.

But if these conditions are met, then a hacker can quickly take the Echo’s base apart and load on it custom firmware that will instruct it to record everything spoken around it. That data can then be sent out to a remote server. That’s what Barnes did in his security tests. Hacking a home speaker may be the best way to spy on certain targets, even if this implies infiltrating their homes to actually mess with the hardware.

This is why I want nothing to do with smart machines. The dumber the machine, the better. I see no reason for my speakers, my washing machine, my car, or my stove, to be connected the internet. All such capability provides is a way to cause problems.

Share

Amazon’s 3D printshop opens

The competition heats up: Amazon has opened its first 3D-print shop, where customers can buy 3D printed products.

The store has launched with more than 200 print-on-demand designs. Users can customize items like earrings, pendants, rings and bobble head dolls using a special widget, before having the item 3D-printed and delivered. …

Although users of the store cannot upload and print their own designs, it is, as mentioned, possible to customize some of the available designs. Amazon has built a customization engine into the store, allowing for very simple changes to an item’s design, or more wholesale changes. Interactive 3D preview functionality is also provided, with which users can rotate an object and view it from any angle.

What does this story have to do with space exploration? Well, it marks the beginning of a major revolution in manufacturing that will change everything. And since 3D printing is going to be an essential need for future space explorers, having this new industry prosper and grow can only speed up the exploration and settlement of the solar system.

Share