Skip to comments.Activate This ‘Bracelet of Silence,’ and Alexa Can’t Eavesdrop
Posted on 02/19/2020 9:37:23 AM PST by nickcarraway
Microphones and cameras lurk everywhere. You may want to slip on some privacy armor.
Last year, Ben Zhao decided to buy an Alexa-enabled Echo speaker for his Chicago home. Mr. Zhao just wanted a digital assistant to play music, but his wife, Heather Zheng, was not enthused. She freaked out, he said.
Ms. Zheng characterized her reaction differently. First she objected to having the device in their house, she said. Then, when Mr. Zhao put the Echo in a work space they shared, she made her position perfectly clear:I said, I dont want that in the office. Please unplug it. I know the microphone is constantly on.
Mr. Zhao and Ms. Zheng are computer science professors at the University of Chicago, and they decided to channel their disagreement into something productive. With the help of an assistant professor, Pedro Lopes, they designed a piece of digital armor: a bracelet of silence that will jam the Echo or any other microphones in the vicinity from listening in on the wearers conversations.
The bracelet is like an anti-smartwatch, both in its cyberpunk aesthetic and in its purpose of defeating technology. A large, somewhat ungainly white cuff with spiky transducers, the bracelet has 24 speakers that emit ultrasonic signals when the wearer turns it on. The sound is imperceptible to most ears, with the possible exception of young people and dogs, but nearby microphones will detect the high-frequency sound instead of other noises.
Its so easy to record these days, Mr. Lopes said. This is a useful defense. When you have something private to say, you can activate it in real time. When they play back the recording, the sound is going to be gone.
During a phone interview, Mr. Lopes turned on the bracelet, resulting in static-like white noise
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Also is white noise racist?
Just don’t pay for spy devices.
Just curious - does everyone here have subscriptions to the NYT and WSJ? Because I do like to “read the link” but after the few freebies I’m blocked by the paywall.
So do you guys who post them all the time actually subscribe to those rags?
ah, the portable cone of silence...
and it is KAOS.
but thanks for the fond memories. one of the only two things mel brooks did that i liked... i bet there was more buck henry influence than brooks.
Clean out your cookies.................
Gee....what could go wrong???
Oops, you are right, how could I be so dumb.
What was the other Mel Brooks one that you liked?
I found a workaround. Click on the link, and then the instant it loads, hit the “stop loading” icon on your browser. If you are too late, the paywall will come up. If you do it fast enough, you get the full content uninhindered.
Sometimes you have to hit the button just before the page appears. Sometimes I get it on the first try, and sometimes I have to give it two or three tries. It helps to move the link as close to the button as possible because sometimes you have to be quick.
I just tried it and it worked. :)
This will work with any site that uses this paradigm.
...with an deep, eerie, intermittent voice that appeared to be saying "I am Epstein... I did not kill myself..."
KAOS is an evil organization bent on world domination, registered as a Delaware corporation for tax purposes.
I contend that the Daily Kos was originally suposed to be KOS pronounced Kay-oss, homonym for chaos but once the dems made them mainstream they pretended it was pronounced the nonsensical "coz".
In addition, all the dogs in the neighborhood will start howling, and nobody will know why.
i enjoyed the producers and i should have said three... with young frankenstein being one also...
spring time for hitler and germany.
goose steps the new step in town.
” Because I do like to read the link “
You can be banned for expressing such.
How many congresscritters will carry such watches to avoid wiretaps?
This is like the “get a VPN to protect your identity” thing.
And who owns those VPNs?
China, for instance, has been quietly buying up a whole lot of them.
It’s like the cops set up a billboard saying “go to warehouse number 18 on Stumpy Street and no one can catch you doing crimes!”
So yeah. Here’s a bracelet. It’ll protect you. You can talk freely and without risk! honest. :)
Or you can just unplug the thing when you don’t want it to listen.
I have an idea to make the Alexa not evesdrop.
Have a separate device to which the Alexa’s microphone inputs (2 wires) are plugged. This separate device is programmed to recognize a user-chosen password. When that is heard the microphone is enabled and you use the Alexa as normal.
After a user-chosen period of time the separate device would shut off the microphone.
With all the leakers around, maybe Trump needs one in his office.
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