Hashtag Trending – Alexa spies; iPhones get greener; first Canadian 5G auction ends

Alexa is spying on you; iPhone’s to be more environmentally friendly; Canada concludes first 5G auction.

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It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, April 12th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Are your beloved voice assistants listening to your conversation? According to Bloomberg, the answer is yes, and by thousands of people. In its hotly trending article, Bloomberg interviewed seven works dedicated to transcribing keywords in conversations recorded from Amazon Alexa. They’re supposed to help Alexa more accurately respond to these keywords, but as you’d imagine, these conversations can often be extremely personal private. Audio details include embarrassing shower singing, to what could even be sexual assault. The workers also say that many recorded conversations start before the “Hey Alexa” prompt, hinting that Alexa devices could be listening all the time. There’s too much to cover in one paragraph, so I urge you to read the full article linked in our transcription.

A bunch of smartphone component suppliers has announced their plans to use 100 per cent clean energy for Apple devices. Big names like Corning, Finisar, TSMC, Quanta Computer, and Foxconn have all pledged their commitment to reducing environmental footprint when producing iPhones. In addition, Apple has completely allocated its 2.5 billion in green bonds across 40 environmental initiatives around the world.

Canada has concluded the first round of 5G spectrum auctions. All in all, 12 companies bid for 104 licenses in the 600MHz low-frequency band. Rogers was the big winner, grabbing 52 licenses. Runner up was Telus with 12 licenses, followed by Freedom at 11. Interestingly, Bell seems to be completely disinterested in 600MHz, winning a grand total of zero licenses. This isn’t a complete surprise, however, as 600MHz is a low-frequency band, with its primary strength being coverage and not throughput. In total, the auction raised over $3.47 billion.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Tom Li, thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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