Your phone can safely become a wallet

By: Lauren Schwahn

Smartphones have replaced lots of other accessories — cameras, flashlights, calculators. But many people are still reluctant to swap the wallets in their pockets for their digital counterparts.A key reason consumers are hesitant to use mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Android Pay, surveys say, is fear over security: High-profile retailer data breaches have made buyers wary... READ MORE

Are your appliances eavesdropping?

By: Bree Fowler and Mae Anderson

Alexa, are you spying on me?It’s a fair question in light of attempts by authorities investigating the slaying of an Arkansas man to obtain voice recordings collected by an Amazon Echo speaker and its Alexa digital assistant.Echo is a “smart speaker,” a nine-inch cylinder that connects to the voice-controlled  personal assistant service Alexa, which responds to the... READ MORE

Getting up to speed on tech

By: Carol Sorgen

Can’t get to your granddaughter’s ballet recital in person? Wonder what happened to your best friend from high school? Want to start your Christmas shopping?It’s all there waiting for you, thanks to the world of technology.“If you can think of it, it will be on your iPad,” said Cathy Milando, 77, a Perry Hall resident. Thanks to technology classes offered at... READ MORE

Voice-activated assistants do your bidding

By: Mae Anderson

Does your home really need a “smart speaker” that can answer questions, call you an Uber, turn off the lights, or play music when you ask? You may be about to find out.Two years ago, Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo, an unassuming, $180 cylinder that sits atop a kitchen counter or bookshelf, acting as a personal assistant that listens to you and does your bidding.Initially, the ... READ MORE

Get serious to protect against identity theft

By: Anya Kamenetz

Having someone else pretend to be you is now something that has probably happened to you or to someone you know. And it’s not as fun as it sounds.According to Bankrate, a financial website, 41 million U.S. adults have now had their identities stolen, and another 49 million know someone who has.Having your credit card used without your permission is the commonest, and in some ways the... READ MORE

Tech lets you play with your pet from afar

By: Terence Chea

Technology isn’t just for humans anymore. It’s also for their furry friends.In Silicon Valley and beyond, a growing number of startups are selling devices to keep pets safe, healthy, entertained and connected when their owners are away.“Pet tech” entrepreneurs and investors see a big opportunity as pet ownership grows and owners show a willingness to spend serious... READ MORE