Amazon Releases New Public Data Set to Help Address “Cocktail Party” Problem
- Maarten Van Segbroeck, an applied scientist in the Alexa International group and first author on the associated paper, cowrote this post with Zaid Ahmed.
- Amazon today announced the public release of a new data set that will help speech scientists address the difficult problem of separating speech signals in reverberant rooms with multiple speakers.
- Each participant was outfitted with a headset microphone, which captured a clear, speaker-specific signal.
- Also dispersed around the room were five devices with seven microphones each, which fed audio signals directly to an administrator’s laptop.
- The data set we are releasing includes both the raw audio from each of the seven microphones in each device and the headset signals.
- The headset signals provide speaker-specific references that can be used to gauge the success of speech separation systems acting on the signals from the microphone arrays.
The 14 Best Wireless Headphones for Everyone (2019)
- We found headphones that sound like a million bucks, even if you're on a budget.
- Whether you're listening to the latest episode of The Gadget Lab Podcast on your commute or hitting the treadmill with your favorite Taylor Swift album in tow, the right pair of wireless headphones can make or break your day.
- Problem is, there are a lot of headphones to choose from.
- WIRED's Gear team is constantly trying out new models, and these are our top picks for the best wireless headphones, and why you might be interested in each pair.
- Be sure to check out our other audio guides for the best wirefree earbuds, best workout earbuds, best smart speakers, and best Bluetooth speakers.
- Updated for Autumn 2019: We've entirely revamped this guide for the holidays, adding new headphones from Bose, Sennheiser, and more.
Microsoft accessibility grants go out to companies aiming to improve tech for the disabled
- That’s why Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility grants are so welcome: equity-free Azure credits and cash for companies looking to adapt AI to the needs of those with disabilities.
- The company is working on an iPad-based elementary school curriculum for blind and low-vision students that’s also accessible to sighted kids and easy for teachers to deploy.
- Speech-to-text accuracy is high enough now that it can be used for a variety of educational and accessibility purposes, so all it will take for a student to get some extra time in on their braille lessons is an iPad and braille display — admittedly more than a thousand dollars worth of hardware, but no ever one said being blind was cheap.
Arlo’s Video Doorbell tall field-of-view shows both faces and packages
- The new Arlo Video Doorbell differentiates itself with a field-of-view that’s both tall and wide (aka, square) in order to show you faces as well as packages dropped in front of the door.
- For example, it starts streaming video to your phone over Wi-Fi just as soon as the doorbell is pressed.
- You then have the option to send pre-recorded messages like “leave the package by the door” or “I’ll be right there” in addition to starting a two-way audio conversation.
- The Arlo Video Doorbell is for wired electrical installations only, and connects to existing mechanical or digital chimes.
- Yes it’s user installable, but it’s not as idiot-proof as a battery-powered doorbell like the August View or Ring Video Doorbell 2.
- The Arlo Video Doorbell is available to preorder now for $149.99, and comes with a free trial of the company’s 30-day recording history service.
WAV audio files used to distribute malicious cryptojacking malware
- A new campaign discovered by security researchers shows that cybercriminals are hiding malware inside WAV audio files.
- This technique of obfuscating malicious code in plain sight — a method called steganography — was uncovered by BlackBerry’s cybersecurity subsidiary Cylance.
- But in reality, the WAV files — delivered via targeted phishing emails — were a vector to distribute malicious payloads that surreptitiously abused the infected host to mine cryptocurrency Monero.
- Although steganogrpahy techniques have been employed via WAV files before, notably by threat group Turla (aka Uroboros), this is the first time audio files have been exploited for injecting cryptomining malware.
- The threat actors’ adoption of sophisticated obfuscation mechanisms underscores the continued evolution of tactics to evade detection and exposure, heightening the need for improved security infrastructure to watch out for such attacks.
'Office Ladies' podcast takes you inside Dunder Mifflin
- That's what they're counting on with "Office Ladies," a podcast launched Wednesday in which Fischer and Kinsey take a stroll down memory lane with the goal of reliving every single episode from the show's nine seasons in a way only they could.
- Only they can talk about the struggle of having audio packs with Velcro straps snagging on pantyhose or when a very-pregnant Kinsey had to get through a scene in the "Dinner Party" episode with her daughter furiously kicking her.
- The idea for "Office Ladies" was born when Kinsey and Fischer came across several plastic bins worth of memorabilia from their time on the show during respective cleaning sprees.
- And Fischer and Kinsey say they want each of their co-stars on as guests, as well as directors, writers and other people whose work behind the scenes crafted the show that's found new generations of fans since signing off in 2013.
The mysterious case of NASA's missing $1.1 billion moon lander
- Narrator: From 1962 to 1970, NASA commissioned Grumman Aircraft to build 15 space-worthy lunar modules for its Apollo program.
- Narrator: Three of those five that never went to space, Lunar Modules-2, 9, and 13, are in museums, which leaves us with LM-14 and 15.
- Narrator: NASA and the Smithsonian didn't have evidence to its whereabouts, the Cradle of Aviation Museum didn't know, and even historians at Northrop Grumman, the original manufacturers of the lunar modules, were stumped.
- So if those guys could find a lost lunar module in the vast expanse of space, why does nobody know where a moon lander on Earth has gone?
- Mosher: The really revealing thing that Paul showed us was this progress chart from Grumman Of the lunar landers that were under construction right before NASA canceled the entire program and it shows that LM-14 was about 1-5% complete based of Fjeld's analysis.
The JBL Link Bar is a quick and easy solution for adding smarts and better sound to a dumb TV
- The latest of these is the JBL Link Bar. The JBL Link Bar ups the audio quality of your home theater while also offering Android TV and even a Google Assistant smart speaker — all in one.
- The best thing about the JBL Link Bar is that it's a streaming device, smart speaker, and soundbar all wrapped into one.
- The JBL Link Bar is a capable soundbar, streaming device, and smart speaker, but it's not really the best at any of those things.
- If you're looking for a great-sounding soundbar and want a smart speaker built into it, then the Sonos Beam is worth considering instead, as it allows you to use either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- That said, if you do want the best Android TV streaming device, it's worth considering the Nvidia Shield TV, while if you want an excellent smart soundbar, then the aforementioned Sonos Beam is the way to go.