Items tagged with Amazon

If you already find yourself glued to Apple's Siri assistant, then you may be glad to learn that it's only going to become an even bigger part of your life going forward. That is, as long as assumptions are correct with regards to the latest shuffling around of executive responsibilities at Apple. Since 2012, Apple's Senior VP of software and services Eddy Cue has been overlooking Siri. Cue has a long history with Apple, and much success to gloat about. He's played an important role in securing streaming deals with content companies, and if that's not enough of a job in itself, he also oversees... 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...
In case you haven’t yet realized, Nintendo SNES Classic pre-orders are well under way. However, retailers have been opting for rather sneaky methods to trickle projected inventory into the hands of customers, instead of past (and well proven) methods. Take Walmart, for example. After throwing a wet blanket on eager retro gamers last month when it said that its SNES Classic pre-orders went live as a result of a website glitch, the company on Friday once again opened up sales to the public. However, Walmart decided to use a rather curious name for the product listing to confuse bots that would automatically... 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...
Ticketmaster is one of the premier vendor of tickets for concerts, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment. However, it might be getting some big time competition from the world's largest online retailer. There is chatter from multiple sources that Amazon is in talks with venue owners in the United States about partnering up to sell tickets through the etailers online store front.Amazon enjoys a massive customer base. The appeal for venue owners is having access to all those eyeballs that already shop on Amazon anyway. And for the online retailer, the motivation is obviously money, and... Read more...
You may know Anker for its line of mobile accessories that include car chargers, USB cables, portable batteries, Bluetooth speakers and dash cams. However, the company is increasingly getting into the consumer electronics space with its own brand of devices. The company sells robotic vacuums (similar in design to iRobot’s Roomba) via its Eufy (pronounced “You-Fee”) line, and now it is expanding with the arrival of the Eufy Genie smart speaker. Looking at the Genie, you can see that it clearly gets its inspiration from the Amazon Echo Dot. That is no mistake, as the Genie largely apes the functionality... Read more...
Blu has announced that its smartphones are back on Amazon after what it dubs a "false alarm" resulted in Amazon removing all Blu devices from its website. That removal was a big blow to Blu, which does much of it sales volume via Amazon. The phones were pulled from the Amazon website after word came to light that Blu was installing so-called spyware on its devices. Blu sales started back up on August 4th according to reports. The Blu drama started when a security firm called Kryptowire issued a report that said some Blu smartphones were collecting user data and sending that data to a servers in... Read more...
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines during this whole “AI smart speaker” revolution, then maybe now is the time to pull the trigger. Last month during its Prime Day sales extravaganza, Amazon was selling its original Echo for $89. Since that time, the price has skyrocketed back up to its original MSRP of $179.99. However, retailers like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, P.C. Richard & Son, and ABT are now matching the Prime Day price of $89.99. This sale price only lasts for today, so here’s your last chance to score an Echo at its all-time low price. If the standard Echo is a little... Read more...
A company called Blu Products is seeing red after Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, decided to halt sales of Blu brand smartphones over concerns that the company's handsets might contain spyware. Blu, which is based in Miami, denies that anything nefarious is going on and says that previous data collection capabilities through a third-party OTA application have been disabled. While Blu does not enjoy the same brand recognition as Samsung or Apple, it was able to carve out a following by selling lower cost Android devices. However, concerns over privacy started to mount after cybersecurity... Read more...
Amazon stock has been on a winning streak over the past month, and that upward momentum means that there is a shakeup afoot when it comes to the ranking of the world’s richest people. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has consistently been at the top (or near the top) of the list, thanks to his [still] heavy investment in the company’s stock, for the past three decades. However, Amazon’s stock performance — capped off by another surge this morning — means that CEO Jeff Bezos is now ranked as the world’s richest person. Amazon shares are up over 2 percent this morning (to $1,078 as of this writing),... Read more...
iRobot might not be a familiar name to you, but surely you have heard of the company’s Roomba robot vacuums (and the parodies that go along with it). The autonomous vacuum cleaners are capable of navigating rooms in your house, avoid obstacles and clean both hardwoods floors and carpet without you even lifting a finger. However, iRobot’s CEO Colin Angle raised some eyebrows earlier this week in an interview that he gave with Reuters. In effort to add a new revenue stream for the company, Angle talked about a way that mapping data that Roombas gather while cleaning your home could be beneficial... Read more...
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