Items tagged with Amazon

It looks as though Amazon was the first company to blink with regards to its ongoing feud with Google. Back in 2015, Amazon removed devices like the Chromecast and the Google Nexus Player from its massive online marketplace. Amazon’s reasoning at the time was that the devices, which lacked support for Amazon Video, could confuse customers and lead them to possibly return the devices after the couldn't access Amazon's streaming media services. "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said at the time. "It’s important that the streaming media... Read more...
Amazon seems to have struck gold with its Echo products, capitalizing on the trend towards digital assistants that became popular in smartphones. In similar fashion, smart speakers offer a level of intelligent convenience—just bark out a command and Alexa (if you're using an Echo speaker) will fetch weather information, look up facts on the web, and even order a pizza, among many, many other tricks. But this level of functionality requires that smart speakers constantly listen to their surroundings, leading some to wonder if consumers are giving up too much privacy. There is an article at... Read more...
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Whoever said it was full of you-know-what, as Apple just proved by adding support for Amazon Prime Video on its Apple TV streaming set-top box. At long last, Amazon Prime Video is available in the tvOS App Store, joining the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and many other apps. So, what took so freaking long to get to this point? Call it a case of clashing titans. While the Apple TV has long supported popular streaming services such as YouTube, HBO Go, and others, Amazon Prime Video was not invited to the party, even though Apple wanted to bring as many streaming... Read more...
Amazon and Google have an on again and off again relationship that all started with a spat over how YouTube was presented on the Amazon Show device. Google pulled YouTube from the Amazon Show because of issues with the layout of the video app that removed some of YouTube's normal capabilities. Only a few weeks ago, the YouTube app returned to the Amazon Show and everyone though that the feud was over. As it turns out, the war between the two companies is far form over. Google has now announced that it will be blocking YouTube from two Amazon devices. Google has also criticized Amazon for refusing... Read more...
Activision and Bungie have teamed up with Amazon to offer Destiny 2 players a new level of immersion, though not through virtual reality. Using a new Destiny 2 Ghost skill for Alexa, Amazon's AI-powered assistant, Destiny 2 gamers can bark out commands and verbally ask for tips from Ghost, the in-game AI companion. This new skill represents the first-ever Alexa voice integration in a live game experience. Using the new skill, players can say things like, "Alexa, ask Ghost to..." followed by a variety of questions and commands. Players can ask Ghost which friends are online, advice on what to do... Read more...
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been firing on all cylinders lately. Last week, the company announced a new Secret Region for U.S. intelligence agencies, and this week it has announced a new camera that will help businesses leverage the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). Meet AWS DeepLens, which is a deep learning camera that is capable of wireless running real-time computer vision models. At the heart of the DeepLens is an HD (1080p) video camera and an Intel Atom X5 processor that can process over 100 billion deep learning operations per second. The camera runs on Ubuntu 16.04 and is preloaded... Read more...
Amazon has announced a new service that is meant to enable developers to build VR, AR, and 3D applications for what it calls "popular hardware" platforms. The preview for the new service, called Amazon Sumerian, starts today. Sumerian allows developers to build realistic virtual environments and then populate them with 3D objects and animated characters. Amazon writes, "With Amazon Sumerian’s editor, developers can build realistic virtual environments, populate them with 3D objects and animated characters, and script how they interact with each other and the application’s users. VR... Read more...
It's not even Monday yet and Amazon is already cooking up some tasty deals on all sorts of tech gifts for the holiday season. Amazon's Cyber Monday specials are live right now and some of the biggest draws in this sale are Amazon's own very popular products. You can currently get an Echo Dot for $29.99, 40% of the normal price of $49.99 making this one of the best deals going. If you are in the market for something bigger than the Dot, the other Alexa-powered devices are on sale too. The second-gen Echo is available for $79.99; the normal list price is $99.99 making a 20% discount. The Amazon Tap... Read more...
Jeff Bezos has just joined a very exclusive club. The Amazon founder is the newest member of the $100 billion club after increasing his fortune by $2.4 billion to $100.3 billion. Shares of the world's largest online retailer jumped more than 2 percent on the expectation that Amazon will report a big uptick in Black Friday sales figures, compared to prior years. In doing so, Bezos' own net worth went up as well. Early indications point to optimism on the part of investors as being justified. According to data from Adobe Analytics, online purchases on Black Friday collectively jumped 18.4 percent... Read more...
We are almost to the end of yet another wonderfully innovative year in technology. The non-stop innovation of the tech sector has presented us with products and services that deliver more horsepower, lower power consumption, and smaller form factors that deliver more value and features. The tradition of Black Friday began with retail merchants feverishly working over the year to pull their bottom lines out of the "red", and utilizing the US Thanksgiving long holiday weekend to bolster sales and revenue back into the "black." For 65 years value-seeking consumers in the U.S. have been looking... Read more...
Owners of the Amazon Echo Show speaker might have been a bit miffed back in September when YouTube pulled access to its app from the device. Amazon said at the time that the reason it pulled the app from the Show was because it had violated Google's terms of service with its implementation of YouTube. Google said at the time, "Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience." The crux of the issue that forced the rift between Google and Amazon was a non-standard YouTube display. The first image below with the Tour de France... Read more...
The smart home speaker market is red hot, with Amazon and Google leading the way with their respective Echo and Google Home products. And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in view, there will be a lot more smart speakers find their way into homes this week, and through the holiday season. As with all Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it's important to keep security in mind, and Symantec has some tips on that very topic. "While they make life easier in some ways, could voice-activated smart speakers also be endangering people’s privacy and online security? The range of activities that can... Read more...
Amazon is giving online shoppers a sneak peek at its upcoming Black Friday deals, and not a moment too soon. How so? Like many retailers, Amazon is not waiting until what has traditionally been Black Friday—the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving Day—to mark down its products, and instead is kicking things off a full week in advance, starting this Friday, November 17. The world's largest online retailer will also extend its deal period through Cyber Monday and beyond, with an entire month of discounts. "Customers can expect to find incredible deals across a wide selection of top holiday products... Read more...
If you are an Amazon Prime member (which costs $99 per year), one of the perks of the service is unfettered access to Prime Video. Prime Video gives you commercial-free movies, TV shows, and Amazon original programming to keep your occupied for hours at a time when it comes to binge-watching your favorite shows. Now, however, it looks as though Amazon is looking for an even wider audience for its streaming video services according to AdAge. This new, free variant of its streaming service would be available for anyone in a supported region to access the content. However, the big "catch" is that... Read more...
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