Digital Trends Live: Deepak Chopra, record Alexa sales, and data security

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending topics from gadget rumors coming out of CES to Alexa servers crashing after a record-breaking holiday season. We also welcomed acclaimed writer Deepak Chopra to talk about finding balance in the digital age and his latest Alexa skill, and Giri Sreenivas of Helm and Dominique Courbin from Limbitless Solutions also joined the show.

Record Amazon Echo sales in Europe forced Alexa offline for a brief time on Christmas Day, no doubt due to new devices trying to connect with the server. While Amazon declined to comment on the hiccup (which isn’t surprising), the servers are operating normally again. The Echo remains one of Amazon’s most popular devices.

Our first guest of the day was author Deepak Chopra, who has written over 80 books like You are the Universe and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. In a new partnership with LivePerson Studios, Chopra now has an Alexa skill to bring the world his daily reflections, which encourage listeners to be more mindful and visualize how they would like to see their days going.

“[Technology is] part of our human evolution,” Chopra said in his interview. “It can’t be stopped anymore. If anyone thinks they can stop the evolution of technology, then they are going to become irrelevant.” Chopra also utilizes the internet with Jiyo, a wellness website curated by Copra and Poonacha Machaiah.

We were also joined by Dominique Courbin of Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit that makes cool 3D-printed prosthetics for children. In a partnership with 343, the studio behind Halo, Limbitless is also creating gaming-inspired prosthetics as the organization continues to improve the original model. It is also working with the University of Central Florida and its School of Visual Arts and Design to create video games that help children learn to use their new limbs in a friendly and accessible way.

And last but not least, the show presented Giri Sreenivas, CEO of startup Helm, which is creating easy-to-use private servers. In an age where it seems impossible to keep track of all the data breaches that are occurring, it’s easy to give in to what Sreenivas calls “privacy nihilism” and assume that there is nothing you can do about protecting your data. That’s where Helm comes in.

While installing a personal server in your home might seem daunting, Sreenivas offers assurance that if you can set up any new basic appliance, you can use Helm. Using an app through your smartphone to control the device, you can now take back control of your personal data privacy. Helm plans to add VPN and password management services in the future.

Digital Trends Live airs at 9 a.m. PT from Monday through Friday, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

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