A university is outfitting living spaces with thousands of Echo Dots

Soon, Saint Louis University students won’t be able to avoid Amazon’s near ubiquitous smart speakers. The university announced this week a plan to outfit living spaces with 2,300 Echo Dots. The devices are set to be deployed by the time classes start, later this month.

SLU is quick to note that it’s “the first college or university in the country to bring Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, managed by Alexa for Business, into every student residence hall room and student apartment on campus.” It’s certainly not the first to adopt Amazon’s smart speakers, but it’s among the largest scale for this sort of deployment.

While the product has become a mainstay in plenty of American homes, it does seem like an odd choice dorms and student campus. SLU has worked with Alexa for Business to create 100 custom questions, including, “What time does the library close tonight?” and “Where is the registrar’s office?” 

Then, of course, there are the privacy concerns of having little cloud connected recording devices populating the school’s living spaces. SLU is attempting to get out in front of that here. The company addressed those issues on a privacy page, writing,

Because of our use of the Amazon Alexa for Business (A4B) platform, your Echo Dot is managed by a central system dedicated to SLU. This system is not tied to individual accounts and does not maintain any personal information for any of our users, so all use currently is anonymous. Additionally, neither Alexa nor the Alexa for Business management system maintains recordings of any questions that are asked.

The school notes that students can also mute the microphone. Students can’t technically opt-out, but they can unplug the product and shove it in a drawer, turning it in at the end of the year. Just don’t use it as a hockey puck, because that’ll cost you.

Soon you’ll be able to watch high school football on Twitter

Just at the NFL is gearing up to kickoff its regular season, Adidas has announced that it will be partnering with Twitter to livestream high school football games on the platform. The “Friday Night Stripes” series (Get it? Get it?) will include eight games, featuring teams from California, Georgia, Florida, Nevada and Indiana.

The series starts September 7 (a day after the NFL season opener, incidentally), running throughout the standard high school football season, until November 9.

The deal joins a slew of existing streaming sports deals for the platform, including pro games from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, along with collegiate conferences, like Pac-12. NFL games, in particular, have been a big hit for the site. This will, however, mark the first time high school football games have been streaming on the platform.

ESPN play-by-play announcer Courtney Lyle will call the games, along with analysis from former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and sideline coverage by YouTube comedian Cameron “Scooter” Magruder. Twitter will also offer the standard sports timeline features to supplement the on-field action.

You can find the full schedule here.

HUD complaint accuses Facebook ads of violating Fair Housing Act

A new complaint filed Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accuses Facebook of helping landlords and home sellers violate the Fair Housing Act. According to the grievance filed by the department, Facebook’s ad settings let sellers disregard laws by targeting specific demographics.

HUD says that the ability to tailor Facebook advertisements to bar individuals of a certain race, religion, sex, national origin and various other categories is a clear violation of the rule, which was enacted as part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination including those who might limit or deny housing options with a click of a mouse,” Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Anna María Farías said in a statement issued by the department. “When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it’s the same as slamming the door in someone’s face.”

Facebook was quick to respond to the complaint. While it acknowledges that the technology leaves open the potential for misuse, it insists that it’s been working to undercut abuse.

“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies,” Facebook said in a statement offered to The Washington Post. “Over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse. We’re aware of the statement of interest filed and will respond in court; we’ll continue working directly with HUD to address their concerns.”

The complaint has been a long time coming, with the National Fair Housing Alliance and other housing groups having already taken Facebook to court over the issue earlier this year. 

Original Content podcast: ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is a charming high school romance

While Hollywood’s interest in romantic comedies seems to be fading, Netflix has been picking up some of the slack. Just a few months ago, it released the tremendously fun Set It Up. And now we’ve got To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a high school romance based on the young adult novel by Jenny Han.

To All The Boys tells the story of Lara Jean Covey (played by Lana Condor), a teenager who’s written love letters to all of her crushes, but never sent them — until the beginning of the movie, when they mysteriously end up in the hands of the titular boys.

Naturally, this leads to intense mortification and embarrassment, particularly when Lara Jean is so desperate to hide her feelings on her sister’s ex Josh (Israel Broussard) that she agrees to pretend to date her former (?) crush Peter (Noah Centineo).

On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by our colleague Taylor Nakagawa to review the film. Taylor wasn’t entirely won over — after all, you can probably guess most of what happens next based on the bare bones plot description above. But your regular hosts Anthony and Jordan enjoyed it anyway, particularly the movie’s tremendously charming leads.

We also discuss Crazy Rich Asians, one of the rare Hollywood rom coms to make it onto the big screen, and how the filmmakers turned down an offer from Netflix. And we cover the week’s streaming news, including Netflix’s exclusive deal with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and the reports that Amazon is in talks to buy a theater chain.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

The tech angle in dogs, mac and cheese and working out

Welcome back to TechCrunch Mixtape, the podcast where Megan Rose Dickey and I, Henry Oliver Pickavet, talk about some of the stories of the week that we feel like talking about. This week it was dogs, working out and mac and cheese.

BarkBox creators Bark and Co. decided that Nashville, Tenn., needed a place for dogs to take their humans. Naturally they created a dog park that includes space for humans to convene and drink coffee with their friends and hop on the Wi-Fi while the dogs get down to doing dog things. There is a membership fee, of course.

Mac and cheese is the next thing we talked about because Y Combinator invested money in a restaurant called Mac’d. It’s not got much of a tech angle aside from making itself available for delivery-via-app in Portland. Niche. But there is nothing wrong with talking about mac and cheese, because come on.

And finally, Tonal this week came out with the first workout machine that I actually want in my studio apartment. (I will find room.) The system doesn’t use weights, but rather electromagnetism to simulate and control weight.

Next week, we have Sarah Cooper in the studio for a chat about her new book “How to Succeed Without Hurting Men’s Feelings,” and it’s great. You can pre-order it here. In the meantime, click play below to listen to this week’s episode. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Find us on Apple PodcastsStitcherOvercastCastBox or whatever other podcast platform you can find.

How to watch Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson: live stream the fight free from anywhere

Belfast’s Carl Frampton is on home turf to take on Australian Luke Jackson. Frampton isn’t just aiming to win this fight but to get the resulting glory of being the three-time world champion. And you can live stream the whole thing for free, by following this guide.

Assuming he secures victory tonight, Frampton could go on to fight IBF champion Warrington later in the year. Speaking about today’s opponent, Frampton said: “I have boxed at a very high level for a long time. This is the first time he has mixed it at a high level and he is not going to be able to cope, especially coming to Belfast.”

While Jackson is undefeated in his last 16 bouts, he’s not fought outside of Australia yet. As such the former WBA and IBF super-bantamweight and WBA featherweight champion, Frampton, is the favourite to beat Jackson.

If you wan to see the exciting fight live, you can do from anywhere in the world using the live stream guide right here. And thanks to Facebook, YouTube and a VPN, you can do so absolutely FREE!

Watch Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson with a FREE US stream

Get that free Frampton vs Jackson live stream from anywhere 

How to watch Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson fight in the UK

How to watch Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson: Australia stream

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any network has picked up the fight down under – strange, considering the local interest. So if you’re based in Australia and keen to catch the fight, your best bet will be using one of the VPN services above then connecting to US servers for access to Showtime Boxing on Facebook or YouTube.

Image courtesy of Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions

How to watch Tyson Fury vs Francesco Pianeta: live stream the big fight free from anywhere

Tyson Fury is back for his second fight since his comeback and now its former European heavyweight champion Francesco Pianeta that is in the sights of the Gypsy King. The best bit…you can live stream the Fury vs Pianeta fight for free from anywhere with this handy guide.

After seeing off Sefer Seferi at a canter in the fourth round of his last fight, Tyson Fury is on the rampage for another comeback victory. If he takes out Pianeta as expected, it should see him line him up for a fight against Deontay Wilder next.

Despite the last fight being Fury’s first since he beat Vladimir Klitschko in 2015 for the world heavyweight title, he appears to still have his form. Now the 33-year-old Pianeta, at a five-stone weight and four-inch height disadvantage, stands in the way of Fury’s ultimate end goal – a fight against Anthony Joshua.

Fury sounds confident saying: “I’m feeling healthy as a trout, fit as a flea. I’m very happy, everything is going smoothly, injury-free, training is going well. Just the same routine day in, day out for the last 10 weeks. I’ve had two or three days off since my last fight, I got straight back in the gym.”

To see if Fury can steamroller his way to victory you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to stream the Fury vs Pianeta fight live anywhere in the world – and absolutely FREE, thanks to Facebook, YouTube and a VPN.

Watch Tyson Fury vs Francesco Pianeta with a FREE US stream

Get that free Fury vs Pianeta live stream from anywhere 

How to watch Tyson Fury vs Francesco Pianeta fight in the UK

How to watch Tyson Fury vs Francesco Pianeta: Australia stream

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any network has picked up the fight down under. So if you’re based in Australia and keen to catch the fight, your best bet will be using one of the VPN services above then connecting to US servers for access to Showtime Boxing on Facebook or YouTube.

Chelsea vs Arsenal live stream: how to watch today’s Premier League football online

The second weekend of the new Premier League season brings together two heavyweights from the capital – both of them under new managers. It’s an intriguing face off, and we’re here to show you how you can live stream Chelsea vs Arsenal wherever you are in the world. 

Chelsea have begun the Maurizio Sarri era with a defeat in the Community Shield but an all-important win away at Huddersfield in the league. Good news for The Blues comes in the form of Eden Hazard’s returning fitness following his World Cup exploits, and the Belgian could well be the star of the show if he starts against Arsenal. 

Having been beaten comfortably by Man City on Sunday, the fixture list is not being kind to new Gunners boss Unai Emery. Dominating the possession will again be a tall order at Stamford Bridge, making the counter-attacking pace of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all the more vital if Arsenal are to hurt Sarri’s side. 

We’ve got your live stream options covered for the season in our Premier League watching guide, but for all the info specific to Chelsea vs Arsenal live streams, keep scrolling down. 

Use a VPN to watch Premier League football from anywhere

If you’re in a country that’s not showing a televised Premier League match, or if you’re not by a TV come kick-off time for the big games – don’t sweat. With numerous online channels and, crucially, the option of a VPN service, you can tune into this televised fixture no matter where you are in the world. And best of all, it’s really easy to do: 

How to stream Chelsea vs Arsenal live in the UK 

How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal: US live stream 

How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal: Canada live stream 

How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal: Australia live stream

How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal: New Zealand live stream 

How to live stream Chelsea vs Arsenal in India

Chievo vs Juventus live stream: how to watch Ronaldo’s debut in Serie A online for free

All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo this weekend as he makes his competitive debut for Juventus away at Chievo, and the great news is you can live stream the whole match for free on Facebook. Golazzo!

CR7 will be carrying the weighty expectations of Turin this season, as Juve seek to add a Champions League title to their domestic dominance and return to the very top table of world football. Ronaldo may now be 33 years old, but quite ridiculously, his Juventus medical revealed he has the physical capacity of a 20-year-old, so the Portuguese legend should still be at the peak of his considerable powers this season. 

Saturday’s opposition Chievo recorded a respectable 13th place finish last season and have experienced Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini in their ranks – capable of causing problems in attack alongside Mariusz Stepinski. However, the performance of their defensive players against Ronaldo, Dybala and co is likely to have a greater bearing on the outcome of Saturday’s contest. 

Can Juve and CR7 be kept at bay? Tune into a free live stream via one of the options below to find out how Juventus vs Chievo goes down.

Use a VPN to watch Italian Serie A football from anywhere

If you’re in a country that’s not showing the Chievo vs Juventus match on TV – don’t sweat. With Facebook showing the match live in the UK via Eleven Sports, you can live stream it there or, if you’re outside the UK, take advantage of a VPN service that will enable you to view the match on that page anyway.

Best of all, it’s really easy to do in just three easy steps:

How to stream Chievo vs Juventus live in the UK 

How to watch Chievo vs Juventus: US live stream 

How to watch Chievo vs Juventus: Canada live stream 

How to watch Chievo vs Juventus: Australia live stream

Main image courtesy of Juventus.com

Amazon could be working on a DVR box to record live TV

Amazon already makes several devices to plug into the back of your TV set, but there’s apparently another one on the way: a DVR device for recording live TV that will let you catch up on your favorite shows whenever you’ve got time.

Bloomberg reports that the device, codenamed Frank, will have local storage space as well as connecting to streaming players including the Amazon Fire TV. The same wireless tech that’s built into the Amazon Echo range of speakers will also be built into whatever Frank turns out to be, according to an inside source.

As well as recording shows and movies, the upcoming box will also be able to then send that content to smartphones and other devices, the report says – putting it in competition with the likes of Sling TV and TiVo.

Fire TV or not Fire TV?

In what is already a very crowded space, the Amazon Frank would be another box for getting content up on your big screen. Whether it would also have the same apps and capabilities as a Fire TV device remains to be seen.

With many apps and services now streaming content straight from the cloud, we’ll have to wait and see how much appetite there is for a new device that saves video to a disk instead. YouTube TV, for example, includes a DVR component for saving shows, but works entirely in the cloud with no extra hardware required.

The insider source also told Bloomberg that an update is on the way for the Fire TV Stick, though there aren’t any more details on that just yet. It sounds as though Amazon is far from finished when it comes to invading your living room.