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Facebook makes it easier to unfollowFacebook adds new controls to clean up your News Feed, and Amazon's Echo voice assistant answers to other names besides "Alexa."
It's time to clean up your Facebook News Feed. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNet update. [MUSIC] Facebook is making it easier for you to control what you see in your News Feed. Facebook updated the News Feed settings to show you which people, and groups. Are showing up in your feed the most in the past week, or unfollow someone you don't care about. It doesn't unfriend them, it just means you won't see them in your news feed. And if you're scrolling through your feed and you come across a post that you're not interested in, well there is an arrow on top you can tap to hide that post, and choose to see less from that person. Un-following someone isn't a new thing, rather this is just Facebook making things easier. We're learning more about Amazon's new smart speaker, the Echo. The Echo is not your typical Bluetooth speaker. It also has a voice assistant, just like Apple's Siri. To ask a question or give a command, you have to first say her name, Alexa. It was called Alexa in honor of the ancient library of Alexandria. But it also turns out, the Echo will answer to other names. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that it can also be activated by saying Amazon. More activation words will be added in the future. There are also some privacy concerns about the Echo. At the top of this nine-inch-tall cylinder are microphones that are always listening for you to say those magic activation words. But having internet connected microphones in your home listening to your conversations. Does seem a little creepy. Amazon says only connecting to the internet once it hears you call its name like Alexup. It then sends the audio clip of your command to the cloud but. That audio clip does include a few seconds of recording, from before you called it's name. To know when this is happening, you can set it to play a sound, when it's sending your audio to the cloud to be processed. If you rather not have it be always on, and ready for your requests. Well, you can turn the microphones off and just press the button on top to talk to it. Amazon will have a history of all your questions and audio clips, that you can review and delete. You can also help the system get smarter by proving feedback. In other gadget news, the Lumia smartphone is entering a new era on Tuesday. Microsoft is set to show off its first Microsoft Lumia phone, which will be the first Lumia phone since it was acquired from Nokia. Microsoft is sharing some photos of this orange colored Windows phone to tease it before the announcement on November 11th. That's your tech news update and there's always more at www.cnet.com or you can stay updated by following along on Twitter and subscribing to the podcast. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]