Hello, I’m your host Mariana, and welcome to the Top 10 Tech News of the Month. Hackers can speak to your smart device using lasers Researchers from the University of Michigan have found a potential new security issue with voice assistants such as Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri, and Google Home products. It has been discovered that you can issue commands with lasers instead of actual spoken words, leaving the technology vulnerable and open to hackers. Internet freedom declining around the world For the ninth year running, the level of Internet freedom has declined, with a report citing that increased online election interference and government surveillance is to blame. The report has also shown that the introduction of new technologies such as biometrics, artificial intelligence, and 5G networks may open up more possibilities of automated mass surveillance. U.S. army create military robots Software that allows robots to understand verbal instructions, carry out a task and report back has been developed in the US Army’s research lab. The robots have been likened to military dogs in terms of how they work with people, with similar abilities to take verbal instructions and interpret gestures. Plant-based meals to be produced by 3D printers It is expected that printed meals will be featured in European menus from as early as next year, with Spanish and Israeli firms planning on serving beef and chicken substitutes produced from plant protein. The printers will likely be available for home use within a few years. Upcoming general elections sparks online ad war In preparation for the General Election on 12th of December, political campaigners in the UK are relying heavily on data-driven targeted advertising. Users have access to how much each party is spending, and the messages that they are showing to targeted groups, in an attempt to make advertising on the platform more transparent. Has your iPhone been hacked? A new iOS app has been launched which promises to detect whether your iPhone has been secretly hacked. iVerify has been developed by a U.S. security firm in an attempt to curb hacks on Apple smartphones. It is one of the first apps of its kind, and aims to catch iPhone hacks in the making as well as providing training and awareness. UK gambling machines loaded with AI system Betting shops across the UK are installing software into every gambling machine to detect and deter problematic behaviour in players. The AI follows a player’s behaviour and looks for evidence of erratic play, or spending too long on the machine, with the system locking players out of the machine for a cooling-off period. Uber loses London license Transport for London has announced that they will not be renewing Uber’s license after more than 14,000 trips were found to be taken with drivers who had faked their identity in the app. Safety concerns were raised when a change to Uber’s systems allowed 43 unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other driver accounts. This resulted in thousands of fraudulent trips in London in the past year, where someone other than the booked driver picked up the passengers. Botnet caught using YouTube to mine cryto-currency Stantinko botnet, which is thought to have at least infected 500,000 devices around the world, now has crypto-mining in its arsenal. The botnet has been caught using YouTube to mine the privacy coin, Monero, using crypto-jacking methods. However, the botnet’s creator even removed functionalities from their malware to try and avoid detection. Black Friday products found to have the same or lower prices at other times of the year Consumers have been urged to do their research after an investigation carried out by a consumers rights group found that many items have the same or lower prices at other times of the year. They tracked the prices of 83 products that went on sale on Black Friday last year for six months before the sale day, and found that 79 out of the 83 products that they investigated were cheaper at other times of the year during a six-month period. Thank you for watching, and I will see you again for next year’s Top 10 Tech News.