Pebble has announced that Amazon Alexa is integrating with Pebble Core, which means Amazon’s voice services will go to a fully independent, 3G-connected wearable device for the first time. Pebble Core backers on Kickstarter will get to experience Alexa first on Pebble’s wearable device, which will start to ship in early 2017.
“Experiencing Amazon Alexa on the go right from Pebble Core is game-changing for wearable technology,” said Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky. “We’re longtime fans of the powerful voice services Alexa delivers, and it only gets smarter and more useful over time. It’s an approach we embrace with our own products.”
Using Amazon Alexa, Pebble Core will be able to play songs, artists and playlists from Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and others. Using the wearable device, users can also hear the day’s news read from news sites like Huffington Post or USA Today.
The wearable will also be able to receive weather and traffic updates, order food, and shop for gifts using Amazon. The integration of Amazon Alexa to Pebble Core will also allow users to ask Alexa questions. Developers and other creators will be able to use this integration to create new abilities for Alexa and Pebble, according to Pebble.
Y Combinator backs Women Who Code
This year’s Y Combinator’s Summer 2016 Accelerator Program will feature Women Who Code, a nonprofit devoted to helping women excel in their technology careers around the world. Y Combinator will give funding to the organization, along with guidance and counseling from top technology influencers over the course of Y Combinator’s three-month program.
For big startups and companies like Airbnb, Heroku and Stripe, being accepted into Y Combinator is a big milestone, according to Women Who Code.
Over the years, Women Who Code has launched networks in more than 60 cities and 20 countries. It is responsible for more than 3,000 free technical events each year, and in 2015 alone it gave US$500,000 in educational scholarships and technical event tickets to their members.
Alaina Percival, CEO of Women Who Code, said that being a part of the Y Combinator program is “a chance to further expand [Women Who Code’s] impact by connecting with some of the top institutions and players in the industry.”
EFF opposes new CFAA bill
Two U.S. Senators are proposing a dangerous bill that will make the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) worse, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which opposes the bill. The EFF’s argument is that the bill fails to address CFAA’s problems, and it only adds more confusion to the bill.
EFF wrote that senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Lindsey Graham’s proposal is almost identical to the one they proposed last year. It also wrote that Congress needs to reform the CFAA so it’s not outdated. The bill that the two senators are proposing would expand the CFAA’s existing prohibition against selling passwords to trafficking in any means of access, which the EFF said is “unnecessary and misguided.” The EFF also said the bill allows government officials to obtain court orders to force companies to hack users’ computers in cases completely unrelated to botnets, and the bill would create a new felony offense of damaging critical infrastructure.
These changes to the bill would increase CFAA’s “harshness, overbreadth, and confusion,” wrote the EFF.
Since it disagrees with the proposed bill, the EFF has joined other opponents in a joint letter that urged lawmakers to oppose the Botnet Prevention Act of 2016 in any form.
Linux Foundation invites applications for 2016 LiFT scholarship
Developers, system administrators, students, and anyone else who has a passion for Linux or open-source software as a whole have the opportunity to apply for the 2016 LiFT scholarship program, which offers 14 scholarships across seven categories.
This is the sixth year for the LiFT scholarship program, and over the years it has awarded 34 scholarships worth more than US$100,000 to individuals who might not have the chance to receive the training or certification opportunities elsewhere.
As part of the scholarship, recipients will have the option to select a Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or Linux Foundation Certified Engineer exam, which allows them to demonstrate their skills to a potential employer.
The following categories for the scholarship program are:
- Linux Newbies
- Academic Aces
- Women in Open Source
- SysAdmin Super Stars
- Developer Do-Gooder
- Linux Kernel Guru
Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 30, and then will be reviewed by a panel at the Linux Foundation. Recipients will know if they have received a scholarship by mid-July, and announcements will be made in August. Those interested in applying can visit the training page of the Linux Foundation.