Tech Digest daily roundup: Amazon Echo speakers to work with Siri, Google Assistant


Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are about to get a lot smarter. An upgrade to Matter – an open-source standard platform – should make Amazon’s smart speakers work with more voice assistants, not just Alexa. Matter is the new name for Project Connected Home over IP (or CHIP for short). It’s a coalition of big-name companies including Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, the Zigbee Alliance, Philips and dozens more. Its aim? To make smart home devices like smart speakers work with all voice assistants, including Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Matter will run on Ethernet Wi-Fi, Thread, and Bluetooth Low Energy. What HiFi

The maker of Football Manager has announced that it will be adding women’s leagues to the simulation video game. Sports Interactive, which launched the Football Manager series in 2004, said the move would “cost millions” for “minimal” short-term return but that it was “the right thing to do”. “There’s no hiding that there’s currently a glass ceiling for women’s football and we want to do what we can to help smash through it,” wrote Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive’s studio director. “We believe in equality for all and we want to be part of the solution. We want to be a part of the process that puts women’s football on an equal footing with the men’s game.” Guardian 

Apple plans to announce a redesigned MacBook Air with a 13.3-inch Mini LED display in the middle of 2022, according to a new investor note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by 9to5Mac and MacRumors. The prediction is in line with Kuo’s previous reports, but offers a more specific timeframe. It also suggests the new Air will have a slightly smaller display than the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros that are said to be on the way this year. Mini LED is a relatively new display technology that’s designed to offer some of the benefits of OLED — such as better contrast levels and improved dynamic range — without the risks of burn-in. It made its Apple debut on this year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The Verge 

Artificial intelligence has been used to predict the structures of almost every protein made by the human body. The development could help supercharge the discovery of new drugs to treat disease, alongside other applications. Proteins are essential building blocks of living organisms; every cell we have in us is packed with them. Understanding the shapes of proteins is critical for advancing medicine, but until now, only a fraction of these have been worked out. Researchers used a program called AlphaFold to predict the structures of 350,000 proteins belonging to humans and other organisms. BBC 

A couple who were subjected to a campaign of stalking and harassment by eBay employees have sued the company for damages over the emotional stress caused by the tech giant. The Massachusetts couple, who ran a blog critical of the online auction site, were sent threatening emails and Twitter messages, subjected to covert surveillance and had bizarre and disturbing packages delivered to their home, including live cockroaches and a bloody Halloween pig mask. David and Ina Steiner said eBay’s security staff and contractors launched a campaign in August 2019 to “intimidate, threaten to kill, torture, terrorise, stalk and silence” them for their newsletter coverage. Telegraph 

Chris Price
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