Apple promises it won’t store or sell your HomePod data

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Phil Schiller gives the world a sneak peek at the HomePod during WWDC 2017.
Apple will continue to protect your privacy with HomePod.
Photo: Apple

Apple has confirmed that it won’t store or sell any data collected by its HomePod smart speaker.

HomePod won’t send anything to Apple’s servers until a user activates it with the “Hey Siri” command. Apple encrypts any information received after that point. The data gets encrypted and sent using an anonymous ID.

Aircraft Pilot Max robovac is a dirt-busting dream machine [Review]

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AirCraft Pilot Max review
Mixing tech and housework should always be this easy.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Housework is by far my least favorite thing to do. So when I was recently asked to do a bit more around the house, I started thinking: Could I mix my love of tech with housework?

Thankfully there are tons of products, but the one that caught my eye was the Aircraft Pilot Max — a robot vacuum to take the effort out of my most hated chore. Its features, build quality and convenience make it a dirt-busting dream machine. Check out my video review, along with a full write-up below.

Robot vacuum tries to suck up sleeping woman

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Paramedics work to free a woman from the grips of her robot vacuum. Photo: Changwon Fire Service
Paramedics work to free a woman from the grips of her robot vacuum. Photo: Changwon Fire Service

Robot vacuums might be having a moment.

Should sales suddenly spike, it may be because of the unintentional endorsement from a South Korean woman, who made news when her hair got sucked up by her robot vacuum.

The woman had to make a “desperate” call to her local fire department and paramedics spent about a half-hour trying to free her hair, according to the newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun.

While such a device allows you to nap while your floors get cleaned, its seems like a bad idea to sleep in its path.

Best List: We guarantee these things will make your life better

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I love big glass and I cannot lie. I loved the manual-focus Nikkor 180 f2.8 of my youth. A Canon f1.2 II mounted to any box is a true delight. And I have lusted after a Leica Noctulux for as long as I can remember. Now Sigma is doing some amazing things with fast glass, including the new 50mm f1.4 DG HSM, which is big on heft but comparatively light on the wallet ($949 list). Being able to mount this extraordinary picture-making machine to your digital camera for less than a grand is a real treat.

The Sigma and my black lab Cody get along better than just about any dog/lens combination I have ever used. Cody is notoriously difficult to photograph, but the whippy-fast f1.4 lens I was able to capture the little bugger in the best and worst lighting situations I could put him in, with the autofocus working near silently and grabbing about as well as can be expected, considering the subject matter.

The 50mm lens is sometimes referred to as a portrait lens, but I find using a 50mm like a “normal” lens for street photography, product photography and as a general all-arounder is much more satisfying. The Sigma lens is a delight to stalk subjects in near darkness, which is what you really should be doing with this lens. It is most satisfying when you find yourself on the edge, wondering if anything is going to work out at all. Sure, the percentage of useable frames decreases, but the frames you land are worth the risk. Long live the big glass. – Jim Merithew


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Tired Of Cleaning Fingerprints Off Your Tablet? Let This Tiny Robot Do It For You

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It takes no more than about 30 seconds to run a cloth over your smartphone or tablet display and free it from greasy fingerprints. But if you’re just too darn lazy to do that, check out this tiny little autonomous robot that does it for you. From Takara Tomy, the Automee-S is a 2.75-inch Roomba-like device that (slowly) makes its way around your smartphone or tablet display and gives it a good clean.