Tag Archives: Samsung

Samsung Warns Customers To Think Twice About What They Say Near Smart TVs

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(ANTIMEDIA)  In a troubling new development in the domestic consumer surveillance debate, an investigation into Samsung Smart TVs has revealed that user voice commands are recorded, stored, and transmitted to a third party. The company evenwarns customers not to discusspersonal or sensitive information within earshot of the device.

This is in stark contrast to previous claims by tech manufacturers, like Playstation, who vehemently deny their devices record personal information, despite evidence to the contrary, including news that hackers can gain access to unencrypted streams of credit card information.

The new Samsung controversy stems from the discovery of a single haunting statement in the company’s “privacy policy,” which states:

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

This sparked a back and forth between the Daily Beast and Samsung regarding not only consumer privacy but also security concerns. If our conversations are “captured and transmitted,” eavesdropping hackers may be able to use our “personal or other sensitive information” for identity theft or any number of nefarious purposes.

There is also the concern that such information could be turned over to law enforcement or government agencies. With the revelation of the PRISMprogram  by which the NSA collected data from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — and other such NSA spying programs, neither the government nor the private sector has the benefit of the doubt in claiming tech companies are not conscripted into divulging sensitive consumer info under the auspices of national security.

Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, stated:

“I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.”

Responding to the controversy, Samsung updated its privacy policy, named its third party partner, and issued the following statement:

“Voice recognition, which allows the user to control the TV using voice commands, is a Samsung Smart TV feature, which can be activated or deactivated by the user. The TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network.”

Under still more pressure,Samsung named its third party affiliate, Nuance Communications. In a statement to Anti-Media, Nuance said:

“Samsung is a Nuance customer. The data that Nuance collects is speech data. Nuance respects the privacy of its users in its use of speech data. Our use of such data is for the development and improvement of our voice recognition and natural language understanding technologies. As outlined in our privacy policy, third parties work under contract with Nuance, pursuant to confidentiality agreements, to help Nuance tailor and deliver the speech recognition and natural language service, and to help Nuance develop, tune, enhance, and improve its products and services.

“We do not sell that speech data for marketing or advertising. Nuance does not have a relationship with government agencies to turn over consumer data…..There is no intention to trace these samples to specific people or users.”

Nuance’s Wikipedia pagementions that the company maintains a small division for government and military system development, but that is not confirmed at this time.

Despite protestations from these companies that our voice command data is not being traced to specific users or, worse, stored for use by government or law enforcement agencies, it seems that when it comes to constitutional civil liberties, the end zone keeps getting pushed further and further down the field.

For years, technologists and smart device enthusiasts claimed webcam and voice recording devices did not store our information. While Samsung may be telling the truth about the use of that data, there are countless companies integrating smart technology who may not be using proper encryption methods and may have varying contractual obligations to government or law enforcement.

Is it really safe for us to assume that the now exceedingly evident symbiotic relationship between multinational corporations and government agencies does not still include a revolving door for the sharing of sensitive consumer data?

This article (Samsung Warns Customers To Think Twice About What They Say Near Smart TVs) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commonslicense with attribution to Jake Anderson and theAntiMedia.org.Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, emailedits@theantimedia.org.

IKEA releases its line of wireless charging furniture

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The IKEA Wireless Charging furniture collection, includes bedside tables, floor-and table lamps, desks and simple charging pads. Credit: IKEA

IKEA has launched its Wireless Charging collection of furniture, which has built-in Qi-enabled wireless chargers for compatible mobile phones.

In addition to offering bedside tables, floor- and table lamps, desks and simple charging pads, IKEA is also selling a DIY kit that lets users embed wireless chargers into furniture of their choice.

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The furniture, and other items in IKEA’s wireless charging collection, ranges in price from $9.99 to $119.

The Wireless Charging collection will be rolled out globally, with U.S. stores seeing availability beginning in late spring, IKEA said today in a statement.

“With smartphones becoming such a natural part of our lives, we wanted the charging part to become a natural part of our homes,” Holly Harraway, IKEA’s lighting sales leader, said.

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The furniture uses the most popular wireless charging specification, Qi, which is supported by brands such as Samsung and Energizer and has gotten an extension to its specification allowing it to charge devices at short distances

Users can check whether their mobile phone is compatible with the Qi standard at the Wireless Power Consortium’s this website.

The WPC with its Qi specification is up against two other industry organizations with their own wireless charging protocols: the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP).

To see more information and more photos follow this link to Computerworld for the full story.

Which Smartwatch are you most looking forward to?

Samsung Gear S
Samsung Gear S

Are you going to be one that jumps in on the Smartwatch craze? If so choice one of the below watches you are most looking forward to as they are all soon to release. Or if you already have a Smartwatch go ahead and put it down.

Asus Zenwatch
Asus Zenwatch
LG G Watch R
LG G Watch R
Apple Watch
Apple Watch

ANZ to Launch NFC Payments Service in 2013

Australian banking group ANZ has begun an NFC payments trial and announced plans to launch a commercial service in 2013.

ANZ is using the Samsung Galaxy S III Android phones to conduct it’s payment trial. Last year the bank tested a microSD-based NFC solution.

According to the bank, “ANZ has selected Android based on customer feedback that their preference is for built-in NFC support rather than requiring an additional component such as an NFC-enabled cover or memory card”.

“Customers who use multiple payment cards and who would prefer to live in a cashless world will enjoy the benefits of the ANZ mobile wallet,”, according to ANZ.

“No PIN code will be required for transactions under A$100 (US$101.80), payments will be charged directly to customers’ accounts, and customers will see an electronic receipt on their mobile phone screen immediately following their transactions.”

US Air Force Selects Samsung Series 7 Slate to be Used at USAF Bases Worldwide

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Intelligent Decisions, Inc. (ID), a recognized leader in federal IT solutions, announced that the Samsung Series 7 Slate has been awarded the network slate tablet category contract under the U.S. Air Force Client Computing and Servers blanket purchase agreement (BPA).  ID and Samsung are partnering to deliver the Samsung Series 7 Slate, which is the first device selected under the new network tablet category, available for deployment at USAF bases worldwide. The USAF has added the Samsung Series 7 Slate to the BPA effective immediately.

The Samsung Series 7 Slate provides the standard desktop configuration implementation of Windows 7 Professional and supports all the same programs as a full-size PC, in a slim and light weight tablet form-factor. It is a half-inch thick and features a responsive 11.6-inch touch screen, the Series 7 Slate allows for convenient use on the move but can also be docked or connected to an optional Bluetooth keyboard so no PC functionality is sacrificed.

“The Samsung Series 7 Slate combines high-end design and graphics with the strength and capabilities of a full-size PC,” said ID President and CEO Harry Martin. “Productivity will never be easier for all levels of U.S. Air Force employees who want the convenience of a tablet without having to compromise when it comes to programs, power and capabilities.”

“Highly mobile government agencies such as the U.S. Air Force are increasingly looking for mobile PC alternatives that can meet their stringent purchasing requirements and give their personnel the computing power they need for maximum productivity anywhere they go,” said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung’s Enterprise Business Division.  “Samsung engineered the Series 7 Slate with the needs of government in mind, from meeting strict security and network compatibility requirements to durability, quality and TAA-compliance.” 

The Series 7 Slate meets the Air Force’s Gold Master standards for computing performance. The Samsung Series 7 Slate is fully compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), a requirement for government agencies and educational institutions purchasing products with government funds. The basic input/output system (BIOS) of the Series 7 Slate is NIST SP800-147-compliant and fully supports secure BIOS integrity measurement mechanisms.

Tablet Comparison Chart 2012 (Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung)

This is a chart that Research In Motion has made and they call it their “Sales Battle Card”. It is a comparison chart between the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple’s New iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

As you can see the BlackBerry PlayBook definitely blows the competition away. But sadly most people won’t see this chart or they won’t take time to look and compare for themselves. The PlayBook really is an amazing device, I just don’t think people are going to give it the notice and credit it deserves, not trying to be too bias here, but mainly people won’t except the PlayBook for what it is because it isn’t an Apple product and it’s not called the iPad.

BlackBerry phones do have there fair share of problems, I am definitely a hardcore BlackBerry user and my Bold 9900 is constantly giving me problems. So I can understand peoples frustrations with BlackBerry devices. But honestly if BlackBerry 10 is anything like what is promised and since it is built with QNX software like the PlayBook is and it will have similar functionality as the PlayBook, I think BlackBerry 10 is really going to be a smartphone worth trying even if you dislike BlackBerry.