Items tagged with Amazon

Amazon surprised a lot of people when, seemingly out of the blue, it launched a smart speaker called Echo. It may have seemed like an oddball product at the time, but not anymore. Echo's built-in digital assistant, Alexa, dutifully executes an assortment of commands—she'll even order Domino's Pizza! Echo works with an assortment of third-party products and services, and now you can add the ecobee3 "smarter" Wi-Fi thermostat to the mix. "We’re excited to provide ecobee3 users with added functionality and convenience through Amazon Echo," said Stuart Lombard, president and CEO of ecobee. "Amazon... Read more...
The environment for budding game developers is getting friendly all the time with low-cost and no-cost access to capable game engines, some of which skim profits on the backside. Even Amazon is now getting in on the action with a 3D game engine of its own called Lumberyard, and there's one very big reason why developers should be interested—it's free. There are no upfront costs, no subscription fees, and no royalties to pay if you use Lumberyard to develop a commercial title. It's simply free, period. Lumberyard is also cross-platform and provides free access to its native C++ source code, the... Read more...
Amazon's Echo smart speaker and digital assistant keeps getting smarter and smarter it seems and it's beginning to pay dividends for the company. So much so that recent reports note that Amazon's Echo is the most popular Bluetooth speaker in the etail channel right now, besting strong competitors like Bose, Sonos and Logitech. We gave Amazon's smart, musical little princess high marks in our full review for both versatility and responsiveness, as well as its future growth potential. AMZN has been committed to enhancing the platform since day one and Alexa, Echo's oh-so helpful digital persona has... Read more...
Well here's an interesting development—Amazon today announced that its Echo smart speaker now supports streaming directly from Spotify. That means if you're a subscriber to Spotify's Premium tier, you can bark commands like "Alexa, play ZZ Top from Spotify" and in no time you'll be boogieing out to "Sharp Dressed Man." It's interesting because the added functionality comes less than a week after reports emerged that Amazon is working on a standalone streaming music service of its own, one that would topple Spotify and other players in the space. Maybe those plans are a long way off or perhaps this... Read more...
Have you ever tried to pitch the merits of an ebook reader to a book lover who wants nothing to do with digital print? To them, it's the dead tree model or bust, and for various reasons—it could be the feel of the book or the smell of the papers, or even just an aversion to electronic devices. Whatever the case might be, paper bound books are still popular among many folk, and Amazon may try to capitalize on the trend by opening up brick and mortar book stores. Nothing is carved in stone, but according to a person who's supposedly been briefed on the plans and spoke with The New York Times on the... Read more...
Several companies have tried to topple Spotify in the streaming music space, including bigwigs Microsoft (Groove, formerly Xbox Music) and Apple (Apple Music), yet it remains one of the most popular options out there. But lest Spotify rest on its laurels, there's another big name reportedly crashing the party—Amazon.Amazon already dabbles in streaming music, which it offers as a free perk to its Prime members. However, it's not an all-out streaming service and instead boasts a comparatively small library of 1 million songs. What Amazon has in store for the streaming music space is a standalone... Read more...
Investors weren't as pumped as Amazon about its fourth quarter performance in which the online commerce giant collected $35.7 billion. That's a healthy jump of 22 percent form the $29.3 billion it registered in the same quarter a year prior and, once all the bills were paid, it left Amazon with a record Q4 profit of $482 million, or $1.00 per diluted share, more than double the $214 million it logged a year prior. Ah, but investors are a prickly bunch, always ready to poke holes in financial reports and overreact to the slightest suggestion that something might be amiss. It happens quite frequently... Read more...
It’s hard to believe that an e-commerce company that was started over 20 years ago has yet to take part in Super Bowl festivities. But such its the case with Amazon, which has instead poured its money into building out its infrastructure, padding its vast streaming video library, and adding additional perks for its Prime subscribers. But now is the time it seems for Amazon to go after low-hanging fruit with its first Super Bowl commercial, which will air on February 7th when the Carolina Panthers go head-to-head with the Denver Broncos. Not one to go off half-cocked, Amazon has enlisted some two... Read more...
Wouldn't it be rad (yes, I said rad) if James Lipton was always on call to provide a dramatic reading of a novel? I'd also be delighted to sit back and listen to James Earl Jones narrate a grisly tale, or Morgan Freeman read just about anything, even a telephone book. Perhaps they'd be willing for the right amount of coin, but in lieu of what's probably not attainable, Alexa, the voice of Amazon's Echo speaker, will happily read from your collection of Kindle books. "With Kindle Books by Alexa, you can ask Alexa to read Kindle books in your library. Alexa reads books purchased from the Kindle Store,... Read more...
Remember when being a Prime member at Amazon simply meant free two-day shipping on qualified items? That perk in and of itself made the Prime membership worth it, but rather than stop there, Amazon has continually added more reasons to consider joining, the latest of which is a 20 percent discount on new games.This is a pretty big deal for gamers. Exclusive to Prime members, Amazon will shave 20 percent off new physical video game purchases during the pre-order phase and extending through two weeks after the title's release. Already have a game on pre-order? Fret not, Amazon's doing its Prime members... Read more...
For some, digital assistants are a part of everyday life. They're all around us. In mobile, they take the form of Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, depending on your platform of choice, and thanks to Amazon, similar functionality can be had at home without a phone through its Echo speaker. It's been a popular seller for Amazon, so it's no surprise that the company is working on a second version.Supposedly an announcement in imminent in the coming weeks. Early chatter suggests Amazon's second generation Echo speaker, code named Fox, will be smaller and portable. To put it in context, the current generation... Read more...
Periodically, Amazon updates and revamps its lineup of tablets with upgraded models and new names. While the company's tablets have kept the Fire branding over the years, the combination of letters and numbers that follow have changed. This year, for example, Amazon removed the HDX tag and now offers tablets with simply “Fire” or “Fire HD” branding. As its simpler name may suggest, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a more basic model that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the HD series, which is available in three sizes. Instead, the all-new 7-inch Fire tablet has an ultra-low $50 price... Read more...
Two-wheeled hoverboards have been making headlines this holiday shopping season, though not all the attention they're receiving has been positive. Instead, there have several reports of hoverboards overheating and catching fire, and it's because of those reports that Amazon has quietly decided to remove all traces of Swagway's models from its online store. According to Swagway, Amazon sent a notice to all hoverboard sellers to "provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL... Read more...
If you haven't yet upgraded from a mechanical hard drive to a solid state drive, take the plunge and thank us later. The difference in performance across the board is both dramatic and noticeable, and though SSDs are comparatively pricey, there are deals to be had. One of them is Samsung's 850 EVO 500GB SSD at Amazon.The online retailer is selling the 500GB model for $147.99 with free shipping for Prime members. That works out to less than 30 cents per gigabyte, and to sweeten the deal, Amazon will email a redemption code for Assassin's Creed Syndicate within 1-2 business days of making your purchase.It's... Read more...
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