Apple’s Phil Schiller thinks those AI home hubs are missing something important

Siri to get some screen time?

Apple marketing maestro Phil Schiller thinks he knows what’s missing from all those fancy “smart home hubs” like the Amazon Echo, Google home and so on: a screen. According to an interview with Gadgets 360, Schiller said while the voice tech-alone approach is fine, he thinks some kind of visual component would be more helpful, especially when asking about things like direction and so on.

Schiller was asked about the quickly growing smart home trend – and why Apple hasn’t jumped into the space already. Of course, Schiller didn’t spill any juicy details per Apple’s legendary privacy protocols, but analysts think Apple could debut a Siri-powered home hub as soon as next month at its WWDC developer’s conference. And we’ll bet it has a screen on it.

To xfininty, your wifi router, and beyond

Hey Comcast customers – and we know that’s a lot of you out there – the giant cable/internet/media conglomerate just rolled out xfinity Xfi, its enhanced wifi control system that lets you control more than just what channel you’re watching. Xfi give users more control over their home wi-fi network with a snazzy new app interface and online dashboard, including voice control through the TV.

Xfi will allow users to work with Luma routers, Circle with Disney and others. You can cut off the kid’s internet at preset times, put the ‘net on pause for dinner, and screen for content as well.

Oh, right, we’ll get that fixed…. eventually

Here’s an important computer security update, brought to you by a security flaw in Intel firmware going back as far as seven years.

To be clear, this does not affect consumer PCs produced with consumer firmware, but it’s a big problem for business PCs with Intel’s Small Business Technology and Standard Manageability programs. Basically, there’s a vulnerability that can allow hacker access, and since the problem dates back for the better part of a decade, there’s a chance that PC you picked up at that office gear close-out or garage sale may be affected.

Intel is expected to push a fix out for the problem soon, although no exact date has been specified. In the meantime, you should find out if your machine is vulnerable, so hit this link to get started on tracking down the gremlin.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.


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