Alexa, order me a smart lock and camera
Amazon recently said they were working on a way to make sure you got your packages delivered safely by getting access to your home, or even the trunk of your car. Super creepy, right? Sure, but also super needed, especially if you’ve ever had a local arch criminal nab that life-size Sasquatch statue you just ordered. 2500 bucks right down the drain! Well Amazon now has a name for their idea: it’s called Amazon Key.
So, how does it work? Do you just leave a key under the mat for the Amazon delivery person – and every burglar who wants in as well? Heck no! Befitting the high-tech company Amazon is, you’ll need an Amazon Key home delivery kit for $250 to start with, which includes an electronic smart door lock and an Amazon Cloudcam camera system. Once installed, Amazon will keep you informed every step of the way about a delivery – including video footage of the delivery
The system also works for allowing in the growing number of home services now available on Amazon, including housecleaning services, and we can only assume, future grocery deliveries from Whole Foods. Seriously, the system is pretty slick, and of course, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to even get started, so hit the link for the full lowdown on how to get your pug’s new wig safely inside and out of reach of those pug-wig stealing lowlifes.
Face ID massaged to meet a deadline?
So, just how complex is Apple’s new Face ID system in the iPhone X? Apparently so complex Apple has had to dumb it down a bit in order to come anywhere close to meeting production goals. As explained in the iPhone X rollout last month, the Face ID system uses a menagerie of tech including a dot projector, an infrared emitter, an infrared camera, and no small amount of processing power to come up with a system that can’t be fooled by photos of a face.
According to Bloomberg, Apple and the tech companies involved in creating the Face ID system have been hard at work on it for two years, which is an aggressive and compact timeline for such a project. By our count, at least 8 parts suppliers, including LG, are involved in the system, which Apple claims will give users far more security than the old fingerprint system, which was no technical cakewalk either, back when it was new.
Several sources claim Apple actually had to dial back on the precision of the system so it would work more reliably, but Apple has denied that’s the case. We’ll all know exactly how well the Face ID system works when the iPhone X immediately disappears from shelves shortly after Apple Stores open on November 3rd.
Bad Rabbit! No carrots for you!
Quick heads up on what could be a new wave of ransomware attacks that could spread across the interwebs: Multiple sources are saying the latest virus to lock up your computer with encryption and demand payment is called “Bad Rabbit,” and its currently making the rounds in Russia and Eastern European countries. Bad Rabbit follows on the heels of the Petya and WannaCry attacks, and if you get hit, you’ll have to pay .05 Bitcoin – or about $285 – to get free of it.
Also, like other recent ransomware attacks, there’s a time limit for payment, and if you miss the window, the ransom amount goes up, of course. Cyber security firms say Bad Rabbit is mostly based on proven past ransomware code, and is primarily spread by fake Flash update notifications like this one.
They also say it can spread across networks without users having to click on the bait box as it were, so be sure your security software is up to date, and maybe pass on updating Flash for a while. It’ll still work. Most of the time.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.