This Week In Tech & Telco: Microsoft Teams Up With Sony and WhatsApp Gets Hacked.
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Sony and Microsoft Partner Up
It is expected Sony will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to host its upcoming PlayStation streaming service.
Microsoft has been trialling a streaming offer of its own, under its Xbox brand.
The firms said they would also work together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence applications.
"For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas,” said Kenichio Yoshida, Sony’s chief executive.
“I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”
WhatsApp Got Hacked
WhatsApp's default end-to-end encryption is one of Facebook's biggest security assets – but even this doesn't help when the app itself is attacked. Mark Zuckerberg's company has found a sophisticated cyberattack has been used to exploit a weakness in the messaging app that's used by more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.
In early May security engineers at the company found a software flaw in the audio call function of WhatsApp. The issue meant that phone calls made to both Android and iPhone versions of WhatsApp could allow malicious software, which conducts surveillance on a user's behaviour, to be installed.
Bugs in the coding of software crop up all the time, but this is different. What makes this case particularly alarming is WhatsApp believes it is more than just some problematic language within its app. The security vulnerability appears to have been actively exploited and used as a method of surveillance.
Google Assistant comes to Sonos
After months of beta testing, Sonos has finally rolled out Google Assistant to its One and Beam smart speakers.
While both devices already work with Amazon’s Alexa for voice control, Sonos is the first company that found a way to bring multiple voice assistants to the same sound system and give owners a choice between the two. Marshall, for instance, has instead produced twin versions of the same speakers, one for each assistant.
How do you get Google Assistant on your Sonos?
Listeners won’t have to buy a special version of Sonos One or Beam just to run Google Assistant, but each speaker must be set to work with only one assistant at a time.
In practice this means you’ll still have to remember that your Sonos One in the kitchen only responds to “Hey Google” and that the Sonos Beam in your living room won’t react until you say “Alexa”, if that’s how they’re set up.
This is not a perfect solution as, ideally, the best user experience would be for you to be able to call upon either digital assistant on any compatible speaker, and the wake word itself would be the "switch" telling the unit whether to call upon Alexa or Google Assistant.
However, it is now possible to control the entire Sonos home setup using voice, regardless whether they’re Sonos speakers, Amazon Echos or Google Homes.