Items tagged with Amazon

As consumers, the sheer number of different codecs available for a given media type can be downright frustrating. There's a reason a multitude of devices exist that help transcode streams to be playable on another device - there's been a lack of a standard, so we have no choice but to bend over backwards and jump through hurdles in order to make sure our media works on any device. This reality is also frustrating for companies - those that have to open their wallets for licensing. We're long overdue for a real standard, one that doesn't have licensing costs and one that most people can agree on.... Read more...
There's only one streaming video service in the world that offers the ability to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing, and that's Prime Video. Adding that function gives Amazon a leg up over the competition, including Netflix, which went on record saying it will "never" offer that kind of capability.Never say never, right? Netflix dismissed the notion of offline viewing before Amazon rolled out the function to Prime Members. By blazing a trail, it wouldn't be surprising to see other streaming services follow Amazon's lead. There are some obvious technical hurdles to overcome, but it's... Read more...
Remember when motherboards would only support CrossFire or SLI, but not both? It sucked for enthusiasts who didn't want to commit long-term to either camp, and there's a similar situation playing out in the fast growing wearables market. However, there's reason to believe that Google's Android Wear platform will soon support iPhone devices.If you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order the forthcoming Huawei Watch starting at $350 for a stainless steel version with a black suture leather strap. The Android Wear device sports a 1.4-inch full circle AMOLED display and scratch resistant sapphire glass,... Read more...
There’s no question that the Fire Phone has been a spectacular flop for online retail giant Amazon. While the company has found success with its Kindle e-Readers and Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon found that breaking into the cutthroat smartphone market takes more than a strong brand name and some decent hardware specs. When the Fire Phone launched last year, it cost $199 (32GB) with a new two-year contract from AT&T (the exclusive carrier for the Fire Phone; another big mistake). Pricing off-contract climbed to as much as $650 off-contract for the 64GB Fire Phone, which was a lot to ask in the... Read more...
Amazon is taking another stab at promoting apps on the Android platform with the launch of Underground. The Underground app gives Android users access to free games and apps, which is nothing new for those familiar with Amazon’s long-running “Free App of the Day” promotion. However, where Underground take a slightly different (and interesting) turn is that apps and games are labeled “Actually Free” by Amazon, meaning that not only are the apps free, but also the associated in-app purchases. So you’ll never have to worry about forking over additional money to get the most out of what previously... Read more...
Microsoft introduced its “fitness” Band late last year in an attempt to tap into the growing wearables market. Supplies were incredibly constrained at launch and it took Microsoft a few months to get production numbers up to a comfortable level. Once production was humming along, the discounts started piling on. Microsoft struck the first blow with a meager $20 discount of its own, while Target countered with a $50 discount, making for a pretty sweet 25 percent savings off the MSRP. In the month since Target temporarily slashed the price on the Band, things have been relatively quiet…. until now.... Read more...
Amazon's been working hard to improve Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that makes its Echo gadget more than just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Back in June, Amazon made available its Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it easy for developers to improve Alexa's skill set. Now Amazon is launching a Lighting API for Alexa with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform jumping on board. It takes just a few hours for developers who can code in Java or JavaScript to use the Lighting API to teach Alexa how to control their cloud-controlled devices, Amazon claims.... Read more...
Amazon is the latest major tech company to kick Adobe's Flash platform to the curb. Effective September 1, 2015, the world's most popular online retailer will no longer accept Flash-based advertisements on its main site or through it's third-party Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), the company announced this week. Interestingly, it's not Flash's history of security woes that prompted Amazon's decision. "This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages," Amazon... Read more...
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have gotten a whole lot more interesting in just the past week. Both streaming devices, which first and foremost are a showcase for Amazon’s Instant Video platform, are worthy competitors to the likes of the Roku 3, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. Speaking of that last competitor, an $8 app popped up in the Amazon Appstore that effectively turns both the Fire TV and Fire TV stick into a Chromecast device. Today, however, Amazon’s streaming devices are getting some assistance from a more “legitimate” source: HBO. The standalone HBO Now service, which last month... Read more...
There's a new app available in Amazon's Appstore for Android that will bring the Chromecast experience to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It's called YouMap Cast Receiver by VMLite Corporation, and it runs $7.99 -- a bit expensive for app, though a fair bit cheaper than a Chromecast dongle, which normally sells for $35 (you can often find it for a few bucks less). To be clear, YouMap Cast Receiver won't replicate the Chromecast experience in its entirety (more on that in a moment), though it will allow you to mirror your phone, tablet, or Chrome browser tab to your TV. It implements the same protocol... Read more...
In November, Amazon announced the latest addition to its hardware line-up, the Amazon Echo. The Echo smart speaker doubles as a digital assistant and home entertainment device. It’s an always-connected, always-available Siri or Cortana-like device designed for your home that can provide answers to common questions, play music, provide traffic updates, control your lights, read audiobooks, and much more. Because it’s tied to your Amazon account, the Echo can also be used to reorder products you’ve previously purchased from Amazon. Although the Echo was announced in November, it was available for... Read more...
Great news! Jezza, Hamster, and Captain Slow are returning to film a brand new automotive series, and as previously reported it will be an online-only affair. After months of speculation, Jeremey Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May didn’t actually land at Netflix, which was the runaway favorite and obvious shoe-in for a new series. Instead, the English trio was picked up by Amazon for an undisclosed sum. All that Amazon is saying about the Prime-exclusive deal is that, “We have made a significant investment.” At this time, the series is without a name, as “Top Gear” is owned by the BBC. However,... Read more...
Over the past twenty years Amazon has grown from a company selling books out of a garage to an online retailer that dabbles in everything from streaming video to Android-based tablets/phones to web services that have become a $6 billion business for the company. Amazon has also ventured out into grocery business in recent years with AmazonFresh, which delivers — you guessed it — fresh groceries in select, urban areas around the United States (same-day and next-day delivery services are offered via AmazonFresh). However, Amazon is embarking on a new endeavor that provides yet another delivery option... Read more...
Here's the deal folks, if you own a valid copy of Windows 7 with SP1 installed or Windows 8.1, you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge for the first year. You may have even registered for your upgrade via a taskbar icon. If not, go ahead and get in line -- Microsoft will begin doling out Windows 10 updates on July 29, which will roll out in waves.What if you don't own a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and plan on building a new system? Well, you'll have to pony up for Windows 10. If you're feeling anxious, you can place your pre-order right now at Amazon. The online seller is offering Windows... Read more...
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