Items tagged with (NASDAQ:AMZN)

The first laptop PCs with integrated Amazon Alexa functionality were announced earlier this year, but Acer is claiming that it is the first manufacturer to actually ship devices to customers. The company announced today that Alexa is preinstalled on Spin 3 and Spin 5 convertibles that are shipping now. In addition to those aforementioned product lines, Acer says that its Aspire, Switch and Swift notebooks along with the Aspire all-in-one desktop will also have Alexa baked in over the coming weeks. Acer is leveraging Intel Smart Sound Technology, which includes an integrated... Read more...
Amazon has proven that shoppers are interested in signing up for Prime memberships that save them on shipping charges in a big way. So far, most benefits of Prime have been in the virtual world with shipping discounts and streaming video, but that has changed with new Whole Foods discounts for members. Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, has now debuted a loyalty program that offers Prime members special discounts in the store. The Prime discounts include 10% off sale items and weekly specials that rotate. An example of one of those weekly rotating specials recently was $10 off per pound of wild-caught... Read more...
For many people, digital assistants have become a party of daily life—you might have Siri set a reminder for an upcoming appointment on your iPhone, or tell Alexa to order more laundry detergent from Amazon. These AI (artificial intelligence) assistants are becoming more capable by the day as well. But can they be used for nefarious purposes? Perhaps so, and it could happen right under your nose—over the past couple of years, researchers have demonstrated that Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Assistant can each receive 'hidden' commands that are undetectable to the human ear.... Read more...
Do you sometimes feel like the world is starting to populate with a bunch of entitled brats? That's an unfair blanket outlook, though no doubt there are some rude children out there who will grow up to be rude adults. It ultimately falls on parents to teach their kids good behavior, and to supplement those efforts, Amazon is rolling out a "Magic Word" update its Echo Dot Kids Edition to encourage using the world "please." Amazon is addressing a concern by parents that digital assistants are essentially teaching kids rude or entitled behavior. Not on purpose, of course, but when you are able to... Read more...
If you have ever used the AI personal assistants baked into smartphones, you know they aren't always that helpful. Research firm Stone Temple has issued an update for 2018 on its Digital Personal Assistants accuracy study. The study tested 4,952 queries on five different devices including Alexa on Amazon Echo, Cortana on the Invoke speaker, Google Assistant on Google Home, Google Assistant on an Android smartphone, and Siri. The test structure asked the 4,952 questions to each personal assistant. In testing, the team recorded if the assistant answered verbally, if the answer was from... Read more...
If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, then we've got some bad news for you. Amazon is once again raising the price of its yearly Prime membership. Starting May 11th, a Prime membership will cost $119, which is $20 increase from the current $99. Renewals for existing customers will stick to the same $99 price through June 16th. After that date, you’re be paying the higher rate along with everyone else. The last time Amazon raised its yearly Prime subscription price was back in 2014 when it increased from the original price of $79 to $99. Shoppers complained vigorously at the price hike,... Read more...
It's been a while since AMD first launched its ground-breaking Ryzen Threadripper processor family, and they are still incredibly potent chips for enthusiasts that need an overabundance of cores. When the range-topping Ryzen Threadripper 1950X landed, it had an MSRP of $999. Over the past year, it has fallen to $879 and then to $799. Now, the processor is selling for the low, low price of $719 over at Amazon. To put that in perspective, the "lesser" Ryzen Threadripper 1920X debuted with an MSRP of $799. The same processor is currently selling for $668 on... Read more...
Amazon is launching colorful version of its Echo Dot called Echo Dot Kids Edition, and is also introducing a special version of its digital assistant that also has children in its sights. These new offerings combine to deliver the company's popular smart speaker experiences in a manner that is more appropriate for a younger audience, with curated content and of course built-in parental controls. Starting with the Echo Dot Kids Edition, the puck-shaped smart speaker appears to be the same as the regular version, except the version for children is offered in bright colors, including Blue, Green,... Read more...
The days are numbered for opportunistic thieves who swipe packages from people's doorsteps when they are away at work or otherwise not at home. In an expansion to its Amazon Key service, Amazon is now giving Prime members the option of having their items delivered to their car, so instead of leaving a box of goodies out in the open, the delivery person will instead shove it in the trunk of a compatible vehicle. Amazon is not charging anything extra for this service, it's yet another perk for Prime subscribers. There are caveats, however, one of which is that it's only available in 37 cities and... Read more...
It appears that Amazon is looking to take Alexa mobile. No, we're not talking about Alexa on your smartphone, but rather Alexa integrated into a robot that will be placed within your home. The robot is being developed under the codename "Vesta" and is being crafted by Amazon's Lab126 hardware research division. According to people familiar with Vesta, Amazon hopes to have prototypes placed with the homes of various employees by the end of 2018. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes a walk with a Boston Dynamics Spot robot So, what exactly can we expect from Vesta robots? Not many details have been unearthed... Read more...
Amazon has rolled out something cool for folks who have pondered creating their own Amazon Alexa Skills, but lacked the programming skills necessary to do it. Alexa Skill Blueprints are a new way for customers to create customized Alexa responses and personalized skills. Blueprints are simple to use templates that allow you to do things like build your own trivia game, personalized stories, instructions lists, and custom Alexa responses to questions. Amazon has launched its tool with over 20 blueprints, and it says that the selection will continue to grow. The blueprints allow users to create these... Read more...
Most of the massive companies in the tech and online worlds hold things like subscriber and member numbers very close to the vest. Amazon has always done this with numbers for its Prime service. This lack of hard detail directly from Amazon has meant that analysts in the past had to infer how many Prime members Amazon might have from surveys of customers. We no longer must infer anything, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos clearly stating in the annual shareholder letter Amazon sends out that the company has 100 million paid Prime members. A Prime membership costs $12.99 monthly or can be paid in a lump... Read more...
Best Buy and Amazon are fierce rivals in the electronics market, with the former having a big presence in the brick and mortar side of things, while the latter absolutely dominates the online sector. The two companies are now joining forces to sell new Fire TV Edition smart TVs in a rather interesting arrangement. The two companies inked a multi-year partnership that will see Best Buy as the exclusive retailer for Insignia- and Toshiba-branded Fire TV Edition smart TVs. These sets will be sold at both Best Buy's brick and mortar and online stores. In addition, the TVs will be sold via the Amazon... Read more...
One of the reasons the Essential Phone did not perform better in terms of sales is because it launched at $699, putting it in competition with premium handsets from established players. It was just too pricey, despite an overall decent collection of hardware and features. Now the price is a lot more enticing—Amazon is selling the handset for $399.99, making it a pretty good deal for what you get in return. This is an unlocked handset with a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge Quad HD display, powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip. Granted, the Snapdragon 845 has replaced the previously generation... Read more...
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