Hashtag Podcast Trending, June 30, 2022 – Launch of Artemis in VR, imitations of Alexa, DuckDuckGo in hot water and use of the smartphone in Canada.
Welcome to Hashtag Trends, your weekly roundup of the hottest tech topics on social media. Today is Thursday 30 June 2022.
The launch of Artemis in virtual reality
Les Studios Félix & Paul, an immersive entertainment studio in Montreal, announced this week a collaboration with Meta Quest and other partners for the immersive live broadcast of the launch of NASA’s Artemis I mission next August. The broadcast aims to offer attendees an out-of-the-ordinary experience and bring them closer than ever to the launch pad.
Artemis I is the maiden unmanned flight of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. It will cross the moon several thousand kilometers to validate the performance of its systems. The goal of the Artemis Project is to once again send astronauts (including the first woman and the first black person) to the moon by 2024.
Alexa does impersonations
Amazon is experimenting with a new feature that will allow its Alexa voice assistant to mimic other people’s voices, including the voices of deceased people. The announcement was made by Rohit Prasad, vice president and chief scientist of Alexa Artificial intelligence at Amazon’s MARS conference. He talked about the relationship that exists between consumers and their virtual assistants.
He said his team found a way to get Alexa to simulate another person’s voice using less than a minute of voice recording. She also showed a demo of the feature where Alexa reads a story to a child using her grandmother’s voice.
DuckDuckGo in hot water
DuckDuckGo is in the water after Zach Edwards, a cybersecurity researcher, found that its search engine, which has a reputation for better protecting its users’ personal data than the competition, wasn’t blocking all trackers. It appears that those of Microsoft have been accepted under a partnership agreement.
The search engine would then send the IP address and the browser used to this “partner”. After initially denying this overwhelming discovery for the company, its CEO finally admitted it was justified, specifying that its programmers were working to correct the situation.
Using your smartphone in Canada
The HelloSafe company recently presented a study on the use of smartphones in Canada. We learn that it is in Alberta that the penetration rate is the highest, 94% of the Albertans who have such a device. Plus, it’s the Quebecers who love them least and only 79% of the population uses them.
Unsurprisingly, Bell remains the most popular service provider in nearly every province. Only Saskatchewan stands out and SaskTel holds the top spot. Furthermore, the market share of small operators such as Freedom Mobile or Videotron grew slowly but surely between 2015 and 2020, rising from 9.6 to 12.2%.
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Tags: Amazon Alexa, Artemis, DuckDuckGo, HelloSafe, Félix & Paul Studios, smartphone