Items tagged with AWS

While we may all know Amazon for fast, two-day shipping on millions of products, Prime Video, and a host of other offline and online services, police departments are looking to the tech giant for a different reason. According to emails that were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) via a freedom of information request, the company is selling its Rekognition software to police departments across the United States. The Rekognition artificial intelligence (AI) system is capable of scanning faces in real-time and matching them against a database. In the case of police departments, this tool is being used to match people that may walk within range of... Read more...
There is a brewing battle between companies that are vying for your dollars when it comes to making your home "smart". August is the latest company to strike a blow with the decision to give its Doorbell Cam and Doorbell Cam Pro users [limited] free cloud storage. August today announced the "Basic August Video Record" subscription, which gives Doorbell Cam users 24 hours of video recording storage for free. That footage can be viewed through the existing August smartphone app's activity feed. Now you won’t have to worry if you missed an alert sent to your smartphone if activity was detected (either through the motion sensors or when someone actually pressed the doorbell button). Instead,... Read more...
After being temporarily knocked offline last week due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage, Amazon is dealing with another Alexa incident. While losing access to Alexa Voice Services for a few hours is annoying, what is currently happening to Amazon Echo users (and other devices that take advantage of Alexa) was downright puzzling and to some people, a little freaky. Amazon Echo devices have reportedly been laughing for absolutely no particular reason at all, which as you can imagine is unsettling to unsuspecting ears. This isn't a fluke that was relegated to just one person. Multiple people have confirmed that their Echos have "gone rogue" with fits of laughter as if they somehow had their... Read more...
We sense a great disturbance in the [Alexa] force. Unfortunately for Amazon, Alexa voice services are down for a growing number of Echo users across the United States. Quite comically, Amazon's Super Bowl commercial revolved around the premise that Alexa had lost its voice, forcing stand-ins like Gordon Ramsey and Sir Anthony Hopkins to take over her duties. In this case, however, simply querying Alexa results in Echo devices displaying a red LED light ring, after which she responds, "Sorry, I'm have a little trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later." This was the response I heard when calling upon my own Echo Dot at 2:50pm EST. I had asked Alexa to answer a question for me... Read more...
Wyze Labs may not be a name that you may have heard of before, but you may begin hearing more about the company in the coming weeks and months. The company first burst onto the scene back in October when it launched the original $20 WyzeCam Wi-Fi security camera; and now it's back just a few months later with the WyzeCam v2. Wyze Labs is based in Seattle, Washington, and was started by three former Amazon employees. The company's WyzeCam v2 builds on the strengths of its predecessor, which include 1080p video live streaming, night vision and two-way audio support. However, the second-generation model adds a new CMOS sensor which helps improve both daytime and nighttime viewing, and AI-based Motion... 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 with the Greengrass Core. To help beginners get started with DeepLens, AWS has made available... Read more...
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has grown to be the leading player in on-demand cloud computing across the internet, and provides a sizable stream of revenue for the retail giant. AWS has a number of premier clients for its services including Google and even Comcast. However, AWS is furthering its reach into the lucrative government sector by expanding its GovCloud. The new AWS “Secret Region” will provide cloud services to U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA -- at the “secret” security classification level. For inquiring minds, that is a step below the "top secret" designation. According to Amazon, the Secret Region will also be available to non-Intelligence... Read more...
Sometimes it feels as though nothing is safe from the prying eyes (and digital crowbars) of dedicated hackers. Single sign-on provider OneLogin has found this out the hard way, as its systems were breached this week, potentially exposing customer data."We detected unauthorized access to OneLogin data in our US data region," OneLogin disclosed in a blog posting this week. "We have since blocked this unauthorized access, reported the matter to law enforcement, and are working with an independent security firm to determine how the unauthorized access happened and verify the extent of the impact of this incident."This initial notice was frustratingly lacking in detail, and customers were left to... Read more...
As part of its commitment to achieving 100 percent renewable energy usage for its global footprint, Amazon this week announced that it has partnered with Community Energy to build and operate an 80 megawatt solar farm in Accomack County, Virginia. They'll call it Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East and expect it to generate around 170,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar power each year beginning in October 2016. That's enough energy to power around 15,000 U.S. homes in a year. Amazon said it will be the largest solar farm in Virginia, but rather than use the energy it harnesses to power households, it will all go into the electrical grids that supply both current and future Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud... Read more...
EMC and VMware have pooled their resources to create Pivotal, a competitor to Amazon and its cloud services dominance, and according to the New York Times, Pivotal is now officially a company. Paul Maritz (pictured, inset), former CEO of VMware and a past executive at Microsoft will head the new company. Further details on senior leadership will emerge at Pivotal’s official launch on April 29th. Pivotal is taking on Amazon; if there was any doubt that Amazon needed a competition in the cloud services market, just note how much of the Internet disappears every time Amazon’s AWS experiences an outage. From Pivotal's teaser website The new company’s goals are summarized in a statement... Read more...
Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) is cloud storage at its most strighforward, offering a simple (hence the name) way for individuals and enterprises alike to stash files on Amazon’s massive data centers. Today, Amazon told customers in an email that prices are going down. “With this price change, all Amazon S3 standard storage customers will see a reduction in their storage costs,” said the Amazon S3 Team in the email. “For instance, if you store 50 TB of data on average, you’ll see a 12% reduction in costs. If you store 500 TB of data on average, you’ll see a 13.5% reduction in costs.” Although all regions--including multiple parts of the U.S.... Read more...
If you’re looking to cut your IT budget and simplify your operations, Amazon is as usual more than happy to oblige. The company announced the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Storage Gateway, a (beta) service that connects on-premises software applications to cloud storage. The service will also mirror your on-premises storage to Amazon’s EC2. AWS Storage Gateway features point-in-time snapshots of app data, disaster recovery, and access to EC2’s on-demand capabilities, as well. This video puts things in plain English (with drawings): A single AWS Storage Gateway supports up to a dozen volumes and a total of 12TB of storage, and users can opt to store data at several different georgraphic... Read more...
The AT&T - T-Mobile merger may be off the table, but T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom is walking away from the deal with a smile on its face. The communications giant released the details of what AT&T agreed to pay for the privilege of bidding on its business, and it's an impressive set of benefits. AT&T's $3B (approximately €2.29B) payment will reportedly be used to pay down DT's debts in other areas. What T-Mobile is getting is a large package of AWS spectrum in 128 market areas, including 12 of the top 20 ((Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle). As a result, DT's population coverage... Read more...
Spore is a critically-acclaimed game, but (at least by users) its DRM has been universally panned. Many of those who know anything about the SecuROM copy protection used in the game don't want it near their computers, unless they absolutely have to. And while Electronic Arts (EA) has "loosened things up" slightly, the DRM has spawned thousands of negative reviews at Amazon.com and protest creatures. And now, it has birthed a class action lawsuit (.PDF). The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 22nd by Melissa Thomas, represented by Alan Himmelfarb and Scott Kamber with KamberEdelson LLC. The lawsuit makes a number of statements, including: What purchasers are not told is that, included in the purchase,... Read more...
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