Tags: voice

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A Simple Design Flaw Makes It Astoundingly Easy To Hack Siri And Alexa

This article about a specific security flaw in voice-activated assistants raises a bigger issue:

User-friendliness is increasingly at odds with security.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. “Don’t make me think” is a great mantra for user experience, but a terrible mantra for security.

Our web browsers easily and invisibly collect cookies, allowing marketers to follow us across the web. Our phones back up our photos and contacts to the cloud, tempting any focused hacker with a complete repository of our private lives. It’s as if every tacit deal we’ve made with easy-to-use technology has come with a hidden cost: our own personal vulnerability. This new voice command exploit is just the latest in a growing list of security holes caused by design, but it is, perhaps, the best example of Silicon Valley’s widespread disregard for security in the face of the new and shiny.

Design in the Era of the Algorithm | Big Medium

The transcript of Josh’s fantastic talk on machine learning, voice, data, APIs, and all the other tools of algorithmic design:

The design and presentation of data is just as important as the underlying algorithm. Algorithmic interfaces are a huge part of our future, and getting their design right is critical—and very, very hard to do.

Josh put together ten design principles for conceiving, designing, and managing data-driven products. I’ve added them to my collection.

  1. Favor accuracy over speed
  2. Allow for ambiguity
  3. Add human judgment
  4. Advocate sunshine
  5. Embrace multiple systems
  6. Make it easy to contribute (accurate) data
  7. Root out bias and bad assumptions
  8. Give people control over their data
  9. Be loyal to the user
  10. Take responsibility

Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide

A style guide for voice interfaces.

Take a closer look at the patterns in our language. | Clearleft

Ellen goes through the principles behind the tone of voice on the new Clearleft site:

  1. Our clients are the heroes and heroines, we facilitate their journey.
  2. Speak as an individual doing whatever it is you love. Expose lovable details.
  3. Use the imperative, kill the “-ing”.
  4. Be evocative and paint the picture. Show don’t tell.
  5. Be a practical friend.
  6. Be inquisitive. Ask smart questions that need solving.

Day 14: Posting to my Website from Alexa #100DaysOfIndieWeb • Aaron Parecki

Aaron documents how he posts to his website through his Amazon Echo. No interface left behind.

Adapting to Input · An A List Apart Article

Jason breaks down the myths of inputs being tied to device form factors. Instead, given the inherent uncertainty around input, the only sensible approach is progressive enhancement.

Now is the time to experiment with new forms of web input. The key is to build a baseline input experience that works everywhere and then progressively enhance to take advantage of new capabilities of devices if they are available.

Research with blind users on mobile devices | Accessibility

Some interesting outcomes from testing gov.uk with blind users of touchscreen devices:

Rather than reading out the hierarchy of the page, some of the users navigated by moving their finger around to ‘discover’ content.

This was really interesting - traditionally good structure for screen readers is about order and hierarchy. But for these users, the physical placement on the screen was also really important (just as it is for sighted users).

The Blind Shooting The Blind ∵ Stephen van Egmond’s weblog

If you make inaccessible iOS apps, you really only have yourself to blame.

There are also some handy tips here for getting to know VoiceOver.

The Pod F. Tompkast, episode 1 on Huffduffer

The Google voicemail transcript, which begins at 11 minutes in, cracked me up.

Tropo - Cloud API for Voice, SMS, and Instant Messaging Services

This could be an interesting tool for building a voice or SMS interface onto Huffduffer.

My First Week with the iPhoneBehind the Curtain | Behind the Curtain

An emotionally affecting endorsement of the accessibility features on the iPhone.

Audio Atrocities (TM)

"This site is intended to be a constantly growing and changing museum for the study and enjoyment of truly terrible video game voice acting in video games from the very first CD system, the Turbografx until the present day."

My first experience using an accessible touch screen device « Marco’s accessibility blog

A hands-on account of the new accessibility features in the iPhone. Sounds like a great experience.

QuirksBlog: VTM slides

Here are the slides from PPK's talk this morning at the Voices That Matter conference. It's all good JavaScript advice.

A List Apart: Articles: Reviving Anorexic Web Writing

I love this article by Amber Simmons. The truth shines through.

YouTube - Lord of the Rings - Voiceover

This isn't new but it really is laugh out loud funny.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Actor Baker becomes voice of text

Former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker is to be the voice of a talking text message service for three months.

Odeo: Create

You can now create podcasts on Odeo. This is going to be huge.