Items tagged with (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon first introduced the Alexa-powered smart speaker back in late 2014, and it made a huge splash in the smart home market. Since that time, Amazon has introduced a steady stream of new Echo devices, but the original has remained largely the same (save for the white color option). That changes today, as Amazon has just announced a smaller, second generation Echo. The new Echo is roughly half the size of the original (at least with respect to height), but still larger than the diminutive Echo Dot. The new AI smart speaker gains a dedicated bass tweeter, and supports multi-room audio, allowing... Read more...
There has been a surprising amount of cooperation between some of technology's biggest players when it comes to supporting competing devices. For example, you can load an Android handset with Microsoft software, which is exactly what Bill Gates has done. You can also download Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, to your iPhone if you feel so inclined. But it is not all peaches and cream across the board. This is evident the moment you try to fire up YouTube on an Echo Show smart speaker. Apparently Google is blocking YouTube from working on Amazon's smart speaker. Should you try to bring up... Read more...
Amazon is giving its Fire HD 10 tablet a much-needed makeover, and is doing so with some attractive pricing that should help spark sales for the company. The first big update comes from the tablet's 10.1-inch display, which has been upgraded to support a resolution of 1920x1200 (224 ppi) – this is a healthy upgrade from the previous 1280x800 display in its predecessor. But Amazon didn't stop there, it doubled the amount of RAM included (now 2GB), while the new 1.8GHz quad-core processor boosts performance of the tablet by 30 percent. Base storage has been doubled from 16GB to 32GB, and a 64GB SKU... Read more...
There may be a new 4K Apple TV launching tomorrow, but a carefully-timed leak from Amazon is looking to steal the show today. We don't know if this was planned "corporate leak" from Amazon itself, but there are two new Fire TV products that will be arriving shortly from Amazon. The first model features a dongle-style form-factor, which houses some potent hardware (at least for a media streamer). Its design makes it more similar in concept to the Google Chromecast than the Fire TV Stick, which has been the entry point to Amazon's streaming TV offerings. This particular model, which goes by the codename... Read more...
Amazon has grown to big for its britches (or breeches, if you prefer that spelling). Having just recently spent $13.7 billion acquiring Whole Foods, the world's largest online retailer is now planning to open a second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, somewhere in North America, the company announced today. The endeavor comes with an expected investment of over $5 billion in order to construct and grow the new facility, which will create as many as 50,000 job openings. "We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions... Read more...
It turns out there is a very real downside to the many digital assistants that were designed to make our day-to-day lives easier. Researchers at Zhejiang University discovered it is possible to flex control over Siri, Alexa, and others using a technique called DolphinAttack. By translating voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are inaudible to the human ear, a hacker could instruct someone's smartphone or other device with a digital assistant to perform any number of tasks, such as visiting a malicious website. Apple and Amazon are the not the only companies affected by this. The vulnerability... Read more...
There are few (if any) franchises in movie history that have been around as long, or are as highly revered as the aura that surrounds James Bond; and apparently both Amazon and Apple won’t a piece of the Walther PPK action. Agent 007 first took the silver screen in 1962’s Dr. No and has returned every few years since, with the latest installment being 2015’s Spectre. Back in 2015, Sony’s agreement to distribute Bond films expired, and MGM has been on the lookout for a new partner. Sony has thrown its hat back in the ring for another go at distributing the films, while Universal and Fox have also... Read more...
As has been rumored for some time now, Motorola decided to bring the Moto X back, and in somewhat of a big way. The fourth generation Moto X, known officially as the Moto X4, wields dual cameras on its backside, which was also tipped in previous rumors. It has a premium design that at a glance could pass as a flagship phone, and support for Amazon's Alexa AI assistant. "Hands tied up? At your busiest moments, Moto x4 has your back. Experience Amazon Alexa integrated right into moto X4—without having to unlock it first. Now, the benefits of Alexa go with you, even when you leave home. So if you... Read more...
Amazon and Microsoft have decided to work together in the AI voice assistant arena rather than erect barriers between one another. In a move that will ultimately benefit customers, Alexa and Cortana will be able to communicate with Cortana and vice versa. What that means is customers with Echo devices can say, "Alexa, open Cortana," while owners of Windows 10 devices can say, "Cortana, open Alexa." You do not always see this kind of cross-platform cooperation between companies. Case in point, we reported last week that Microsoft has left the ball in Sony's court in terms of cross-platform play... Read more...
If you have multiple Amazon Echo speakers in your household, a new feature has been enabled which will allow you to spread your favorite tunes to every room. The feature is called Alexa Multi-Room Music, and as its name implies, allows you to synchronize music playback with two or more Echo devices. To get started, you will first need to fire up the Amazon Alexa app and create a group that contains two or more Echo devices. So, if you have an Echo in the kitchen and one in the den, you can create a group called “Downstairs”, for example. Afterwards, you can simply say “Alexa, play Dave Matthews... Read more...
Google is trying to form a super team in the online shopping space, one that could be considered the Golden State Warriors of e-commerce. In that regard, Google is teaming up with Walmart—the equivalent of adding Kevin Durant to an already stacked squad—to take on Amazon and its Prime shipping service, or LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, if we are to keep this analogy going. Beginning in September, customers will be able to place orders with Walmart via Google Express, Google's e-commerce platform. Buyers will have the option of placing orders through the Google Express mobile app, on... Read more...
Amazon is steadily whittling down the amount of time it takes to receive a purchased item after hitting the “Place your order” button. We used to be happy to receive an item in 3 to 5 days using Amazon’s free shipping service; then we got spoiled by “free” two-day service with an Amazon Prime subscription. More recently, Prime Now provides a two-hour delivery window for free to subscribers, or a one-hour window for an added fee. So, what’s better than one-hour delivery? How about two minutes? That’s exactly what you can expect with Amazon’s new Instant Pickup service, which will be rolling out... Read more...
Microsoft is already dealing with the fallout from Consumer Reports’ decision to pull its recommendation of Surface PCs due to reliability issues, and now a former executive is spilling the beans on turmoil within the company’s Cortana team. Qi Lu, a leading AI researcher, headed up Microsoft’s applications and services unit before abandoning ship earlier this year to work at Chinese tech powerhouse Baidu. In a recent interview, Lu explains that Microsoft at first didn’t really take Amazon seriously, contending that Alexa technology was far behind what Cortana was capable of achieving. “Google... Read more...
Amazon has begun issuing refunds to some customers who purchased solar glasses on the site that it suspects of being knockoffs. Due to the upcoming total solar eclipse, there has been a huge demand for solar glasses, which allows star gazers to look directly at the sun without harming their vision. However, a rash of fake glasses that have not been certified have found their way to the web. One of the things to look for when shopping for a pair of solar shades is an ISO stamp. Specifically, the glasses should be imprinted with ISO 12312-2 to indicate they pass muster with the necessary filters... Read more...
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