Is your phone listening in on you? (iStock) The scene plays out like a thriller: you pull out your phone, and you see an ad for AirPods. Wait a minute, you think. Didn’t I just have a conversation about AirPods with my friend? Like, a real conversation, spoken aloud? Is my phone… listening to me? Why, yes, it probably is. When you use your default settings, everything you say may be recorded through your device’s onboard microphone. Our phones routinely collect our voice data, store it in a distant server, and use it for marketing purposes. This fact was kept quiet for some time, but this kind of targeted ad is gradually becoming common knowledge. As a “prime” example, tap or click here to see what Amazon does with the voice data it harvests and how you can stop Alexa from listening. Your phone isn't the only device that's watching and listening to you. The FBI warns hackers can take over your smart TV if you don't secure it. Tap or click to learn how … [Read more...] about You’re not paranoid. Your phone really is listening in.
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Have you moved up to the wonderful world of wireless charging? The Mophie Wireless Charging Pad is a smart entry-point, especially since there are rumors Apple will release a wireless-only iPhone at some point. No charge ports no problem, because the Mophie model I tested works just as well as any charging cable, with way more convenience. That’s because the small pad, about as big as your palm, charges at 7.5 watts and does a lickety-split job without having to deal with cables. You set your iPhone down and it starts charging. Done and done. The pad also works fine for Android models that support Qi charging, and after testing a few had no problems. The Mophie pad is available in white or black, but I tested the white model just to go against the norm. I already own a few Mophie wireless pads, including a black dual-charging pad and a second single pad. At only $41, this single charge pad is a wise stocking stuffer, or you could buy a few extras for the bedroom, your … [Read more...] about I Charged My Apple iPhone Easier and Faster in Every Room of My House Using a Mophie Wireless Charging Pad
SANTA PAULA, CALIFORNIA - It’s ironic, but momentarily forgetting some of my safety gear ended up saving my life. It happened as I drove late Thursday into the heart of a wildfire that had erupted near the city of Santa Paula, a two-hour drive west of Los Angeles. This was one of the dozens of blazes that have been springing up daily in Northern and Southern California the last couple weeks, an indication that we are now in the middle of wildfire season. Dressed in flame-resistant clothes, heavy boots and carrying my two cameras, I spent a few minutes walking around and surveying the scene before starting to shoot photos. To get the best shots, you first need to fully understand a situation, everything from where firefighters are working to the winds. After a few minutes, I realized I had forgotten my helmet and fire shelter, essentially a tarp that can be deployed to cover and protect your body if you can’t escape flames. So I began walking back to my car, and a few … [Read more...] about Flames, Gear and Risks of Photographing California Wildfires
Summer is nigh and everyone else is out romping with their puppies, swimming with the dolphins or traveling to places where they've got the best chances of seeing one of nature's most spectacular shows, the northern lights. You're stuck in the office. But here's some good news: You can have your pooches, your fishies, the aurora borealis and your paycheck, too. Just don't let your boss catch you losing time at explore.com, which operates the largest live nature camera network on the planet. What you'll see is raw, unscripted and unedited, and you'll be transported from your cubicle or phone bank to "Kenya, Africa, to the riverbanks of Katmai, Alaska, and everywhere in between," the site promises. And it delivers. Did we mention you'll lose time? It's all so wonderful and inspiring and in some cases, surprising. You might even catch a live birth. You just never know. Let's take a virtual trip, shall we? (Get Across America Patch's daily newsletter and real-time news alerts. Or, find … [Read more...] about Puppies, Pandas And More Videos That’ll Make You Squeal With Joy