Researchers create app that detects COVID-19 by listening to you talk


The COVID Voice Detector has the potential to be a real lifesaver.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created an app that can detect COVID-19 simply by listening to you cough and talk.

The COVID Voice Detector analyzes voice recordings to detect signs of infection and is open to anyone who wants to use it. It’s the cheapest, most accessible method of testing so far — but it’s still “experimental” for now.

Apple eyes Pittsburgh office expansion


These could become Apple's new offices in Pittsburgh.
Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania might be the next U.S. city that Apple plans to expand its footprint in.

According to a new report from local newspaper, Apple is reportedly in talks with real estate developers to move into the free 90,000 square-feet at the historic Pittsburgh Athletic Association building on Fifth Avenue in Oakland.

iPhone app helps fight foul smells in cities


Smell MyCity
Don't just hold your nose. The Smell MyCity app could help clear the air.
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Smartphone apps are powerful tools — especially one that eliminates foul smells in your city.

OK, the Smell MyCity app is not that powerful. But it does give users a reliable way to report offensive stank. And in some cases, their complaints go directly to air-quality authorities.

Incredible hack could give Apple Watch ability to detect objects you touch


This hack uses electromagnetic signals to detect objects.
This hack uses electromagnetic signals to detect objects.
Photo: DisneyResearchHub

Apple Watch is great at interacting with other smart devices, but a cheap hack allows it to recognize everyday (dumb) objects based on their invisible electromagnetic signals.

All it takes is a $10 chip that can be installed on any smartwatch. Check out the demo below:

Your location has been shared more than 5,000 times in the last two weeks


How much is your smartphone spying on you? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
How much is your smartphone spying on you? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Smartphone users know that sharing personal data with apps can be part of the price of free apps, but when it comes to how frequently those apps give that data to third parties, the numbers will shock you.

A new study by Carnegie Mellon found that some smartphone users’ data is shared more than 5,000 times with third parties in a two-week period. Most people are totally clueless this is happening, but the study found that when people learn how much frequently data is being shared, they act rapidly to shut down the spread of personal info.