As a welcome step forward in the struggle to end permanent robocalls, AT & T announced that the Call Protect service should be enabled by default for all customers. Even better, the service is free.
Everyone hates robocalls, but there were few solutions to the problem. We've said in the past that it's best not to answer the phone, but for companies and hospitals, this is not a viable option. Even if you can ignore calls, you'll often be confronted with annoying voicemail alerts and the ringing of your phone. We have even praised iOS 1
AT & T takes a bold step forward and offers something that none of the other major vendors have promised: Free robocall protection for all customers by default. The company's Call Protect service consists of three steps. It completely detects and blocks fraudulent calls, marks telemarketer calls as spam and gives you a blacklist that you can manage.
Some apps like TrueCaller and Robokiller offer the latter two features, but are limited in their effectiveness and frequency come with premium features. In fact, Hiya supports AT & T's Call Protect service.
Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all provide similar tools, but none enable them by default. And Spring does not currently offer free robocall blocking features. Hopefully they follow in the footsteps of AT & T. [The Verge]
RELATED: Tired of Robocalls? Stop accepting your phone
In other news:
- IBM now owns Red Hat: We knew it would come, but now all sales are final. IBM bought Red Hat, the popular Linux distribution in the corporate world, for 34 billion dollars. IBM promises that we should not notice any difference as there is no change of leadership at Red Hat. At least not yet. [TechCrunch]
- Instant Pot wants Instant Fry: The company behind Instant Pot, the pressure cooker you probably own or want to own, has a new product for your kitchen – an air fryer. The Instant Vortex Plus, called, fries, bakes, warms, drains and rotates for a rotisserie-style chicken. It will not break. Wal-Mart already stocks it for $ 120. [Engadget]
- Nintendo announces a new version of the Switch: Nintendo's latest console, the
Light SwitchSwitch Light, retains most of what you've loved about the switch. It's smaller and lighter, does not connect to your TV and the controllers are permanently connected. The console is for portable use only and costs $ 199.99, about $ 100 less than the original switch. Nintendo intends to sell both models side by side. [VentureBeat]
- Wyze cameras can detect people for free: So far, Wyze has used pixel-based motion detection to notify you about movement. This means that you will receive a notification when something changes, eg. Eg an error on the screen or the sunrise. Now, Wyze adds the detection of people (but not face recognition) as an option, which should reduce the additional notifications. Best of all, it's a free upgrade. [ReviewGeek]
- Zoom backtracks, promises to close webcam vulnerability: Yesterday we reported that Zoom's software allows websites to launch their webcams without your permission. Zoom initially called this a feature, but now they give in and promise to fix the problem – at least on the Mac, not a word under Windows. [Digital Trends]
- Logitech Unifying Receivers Prone to Injection Attacks: Logitech's Unifying Receivers are practical. You can connect six different mice, keyboards etc. to a computer with a dongle. Unfortunately, the dongle also seems to be vulnerable to injection attacks. The good news is that the attackers need physical access to your computer, making it difficult to peel off. The better news is that Logitech promises to fix two of the vulnerabilities. However, Logitech says there will be two more vulnerabilities for the time being. [Bleeping Computer]
- Manual copyright claims on YouTube now require a timestamp: YouTube has announced that manually submitted copyright claims must include a timestamp for that material. The hope is that by referring directly to the video or audio in question, the problem can be resolved more quickly. That makes sense to us. [Android Central]
- Alexa now offers verified medical advice in the UK: When you ask Alexa for medical information, she usually provides information from a variety of unverified sources, such as WebMD. Now in the UK, Alexa will receive medical responses from the country's National Health Service (NHS). This should lead to accurate medical advice while burdening NHS systems. [TechRadar]
Archaeologists found two rare boat burials in Sweden. While ship burials are found throughout Europe, they were rare and usually reserved for people of importance. You can think of it as something similar to the pyramid and less so. For ship burials, status objects and even animals were often included.
However, water is unfriendly to archeology, and the remains of ships and their contents are usually unsuitable for study, if anything is found. That's what makes the latest find so exciting. In one of the water diggers not only two ships were found, but also the skeletons of an adult man, a horse and a dog discovered.
Dredging a sunken boat is not an easy task under the best of circumstances, the more difficult it is to keep the contents intact. It took a month for the ships to launch, and now scientists are beginning to study the skeletons, hoping to determine how old the adult was when he died, and what the death method was. The discovery is a small window into a past that we normally can not see. [ScienceAlert]