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Amazon Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home

Stand aside, Siri. Amazon's Echo smart speaker, with its Alexa voice assistant, has plenty to say. Also, Microsoft makes Office free to use on mobile, and most messaging apps score poorly on security.

Amazon has a new female computer voice assistant called Alexa. But she's not on a phone -- she's in a smart speaker called Amazon Echo .

The Echo may be the closest thing we'll have to a Star Trek computer at home. You can ask Alexa common questions, and she'll fetch facts from Wikipedia. You can ask her to play music or set a reminder. But instead of making you a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, she'll help you order tea on Amazon:

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Also in this tech-news roundup, learn about the new Microsoft Office mobile apps that don't require a subscription. You can now create and edit Office documents for free.

But there's bad news for messaging apps. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports most of today's popular chatting apps are not fully encrypted. Only six apps received a perfect security score: ChatSecure, CryptoCat, Signal/RedPhone, Silent Phone, Silent Text and TextSecure.

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Amazon Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home