Category: Home Products & Services
Tobacco companies won’t admit that smoking is an addiction but everyone knows it is so. And it is an addiction that’s powerful enough to keep millions smoking tobacco and jeopardizing their health. The tar in cigarette smoke is a carcinogen and tobacco contains many other harmful substances. That’s why no matter how pleasant smoking may be, almost every smoker has thought about quitting. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. But there is an alternative now – in electronic smoking cigarettes. With just about everything else benefiting from the rapid advances in technology, electronic cigarettes should come as no surprise. Let me explain the idea behind it. If you’re a smoker who has tried to quit, you know that it’s not just the rush from the nicotine that makes it hard to kick the habit. It’s also a psychological thing. Holding the cigarette or pipe, lighting up after dinner or during a break, tasting and twirling the smoke. So what if you could have all that, but without the tar and other carcinogens of tobacco smoke? This is where electronic smoking comes in. It doesn’t do away with nicotine, so there are no withdrawal symptoms. Unlike patches or gum, it also doesn’t take away the physical aspect of a cigarette, a cigar, a pipe or a cigarillo; it does replace them with an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe and e-cigarillo. These smoking products use sophisticated, patented technology to vaporize special liquids, not surprisingly called an e-liquid, to produce smoke and deliver nicotine just as if you were smoking a real cigarette. For those who like the comforting glow of burning tobacco when they inhale, those e-smoking products even have a little light that simulates the glow when you inhale. Not necessary as far as I am concerned, but the makers apparently thought it added a nice touch. So the idea here is to simulate smoking, down to getting that nice nicotine rush and the smoke, without actually burning tobacco with all its associated negative health aspects. But if there is still smoke, isn’t that bad for you anyway? Well, it’d probably be better not to smoke at all, but if tar from smoking is the primary concern, there is none. How does one use electronic smoking products? Do you just flip out an e-pack, smoke and then discard the cigarette butt? Nope; it’s all different. Since the e-cigarette has a rechargeable battery and a liquid container for the smoking liquid, you use it over and over again. In that sense it is more like a pipe where you don’t discard the pipe but simply put in more tobacco. Likewise, you don’t discard electronic smoking products; you simply put in a new e-cartridge and occasionally recharge the battery (there’s even a USB-eCig that doesn’t need a battery; you just plug it into a USB port on your computer). Do all e-cigarettes (there are also “e-MiniCig” tiny cigarettes) taste the same? They don’t. There are a couple of dozen tastes to select from, including those of some leading cigarette brands, and there are also different nicotine levels, from none at all to extra-high. There is no doubt that electronic smoking cigarettes require getting used to, and the technology is probably still in its infancy, but smokers who are really concerned about tar may want to take a look at e-cigs.
The Internet of Things is something came out at this age. Intelligence is integrated into everything around us. Automation may come up from somewhere you never know. Cloud-powered artificial intelligence seems to transform almost every aspect of our lives.
All of these sound great, but it raises several red flags for those who care about privacy issues. We have already seen that many cheap IoT devices have weak safety and can serve as a precondition or spy on your devices and your home. IP camera hacking is only an example of malicious hackers that can meet IoT products with lax safety standards.
The Smart Speaker is currently the largest device of IoT. All devices that provide a speech connection to their websites have been developed by Amazon, Apple and Google. You will talk to these speakers and ask for news, details and, of course, to buy stuff. We also act as intelligent systems for home power. So you can also monitor and communicate with other IoT gadgets by way of your smart speaker. It’s very simple and nice, but it might be a significant issue regarding privacy.
You will see, when you say a trigger word or sentence, these speakers are started. In case of Amazon bid it would be something such as “Hello, Siri,” “Okay, Google,” or simply “Alexa.” To do this, the system-built microphones must always listen and record everything they have said around them.
The main concern of privacy is that people have wiretaps in their own homes voluntarily. Governments would definitely like to see any documents that these speakers may have.
The good part
Such speakers don’t actually send cloud-based voice recognition data unless you utter their so‐called wake word. What that means is that everything that is said is not kept anywhere in your house. If the wake word is spoken, however, the cloud service will keep a list of what has been said. You will usually check and edit or erase this log as needed, but you need to be sure that you have full power over how to deal with it.
Maybe you would say that there is no reason for Google to track you, but it doesn’t mean that hackers or government agencies will not take advantage of this technology!
The threats might be brought
The threat here is much like the one with IP-cameras and webcams that we use. Hackers see an advantage to take control of the system and then observe the unsuspecting victims. What can you do to prevent this from happening?
Okay, the main difference is that these intelligent speakers act as nodes of a massive AI cloud service. An IP camera is a single computer connected to the Internet that’s vulnerable to many forms of attack.
You do not power a smart speaker, but a sophisticated technology giant. I don’t know whether that will make you feel better, but the job is not easy to hack such a smart speaker. Therefore, Google or Apple could very easily introduce a patch if a vulnerability had been found. It might affect the speakers not installed as well. In general, the likelihood of a hacker hacking these speakers seem slim. But it it still necessary be cautious.
Does it work the same way for smartphones?
I would like to say yes. Nowadays, all these voice aids began to live and continue to live on mobile devices. Where do Siri on an iPhone or iPad vary and what is the difference on a homepod?
The wake word has to be heard by the phone all the time. In fact, the CIA will reportedly connect your phone remotely, even without an intelligent assistant. The best thing about privacy is not using a mobile because it records your place and can gain much more details on you.
The general privacy concerns of an articulate speaker must then be addressed to smartphones as well, which are the ability of many of us to use. If you want a mobile, why don’t you want to have an articulate speaker? The answer to the question tells you a great deal about your privacy mindset.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
The most worrying fighting source is not the present host, nor Google, Apple or Amazon’s cloud service. Hackers can also view the archives of stuff you said after your wake word if they have access to your account. Practice good protection when using the following service: Switch on two-factor authentication using a unique password. Since your data is stored on the web, nothing can be changed unless the passwords of your account are compromised.
What about the details when it goes to the cloud? Can it not be abducted? Yes. These main players are all used to defend against this type of thing in secure encryption. Nonetheless, you really should take VPN privacy seriously to avoid this path. A good VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions and unblock websites, morevoer, VPNs can encrypt your data, disguise your IP address and keep your data in as safer status.
At the end of the day it is difficult to say no to easy devices like AI smart speakers, but the buying decision has to be focused on a practical risk perception.
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