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Connected sex toys recorded intimate sessions without consent

Days ago, a Redditor discovered that their Lovense remote control app was unknowingly recording audio of a six-minute intimate session between the user and their significant other. It happened while they used the app to control the Lovense vibrator it’s paired with, and it saved the recording to a local file buried in the phone’s media storage. Another commenter, claiming to be a Lovense representative, said these recordings are the result of a “minor software bug.”

According to the supposed representative, the bug only affects the Android version of the app (iOS users are unaffected), and the issue has been fixed in the latest version. The app requests access to a smartphone or tablet’s microphone and video, which are used to send messages in peer-to-peer chat — not to record sessions for later. The Redditor admitted to granting the app such access, but only came across the recording when combing media files. Subsequently, others in the thread found similar audio files (many labeled ‘tempSoundPlay.3gp’) on their devices.

This is obviously worrying, but it’s not the first time sex devices have run into trouble for quietly collecting user data. The makers of the We-Vibe connected vibrator paid out $3.75 million in a class-action lawsuit after its paired app recorded info about owners’ use habits. Lovense asserts on its site that no “sensitive data” passes through its servers, and that all info sent between users is encrypted. But given how fervent sex industries are to embrace teledildonics, perhaps users should be wary about how much of their sensitive data gets transferred — knowingly or otherwise — when using sensitive toys.

Via: The Verge

Source: Reddit

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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