Amazon

Amazon gives smart bulb devs the keys to Alexa’s voice

Amazon gives smart bulb devs the keys to Alexa’s voice

Amazon is further opening up its Alexa voice-control system, the engine at the heart of the Echo speaker, to smart lighting companies. The Alexa Skills Kit was launched back in June, breaking the cloud-based digital assistant out of Echo and allowing it to be embedded in new devices and taught third-party skills. Now, with a new Alexa Lighting API, those skills are expanding to deal with more complex sets of wireless bulbs.

Continue Reading

“Alexa, turn on SmartThings integration” says Amazon

“Alexa, turn on SmartThings integration” says Amazon

Amazon's cylindrical Echo home assistant is gaining another automation ability, hooking up with Samsung-owned SmartThings for the speech-controlled smart home. While it's not the first such integration we've seen Echo add in the months since Amazon launched the chipper speaker, it could well be one of the most far-reaching, thanks to SmartThings' broad compatibility with a huge - and growing - number of third-party automation devices.

Continue Reading

Hack turns Amazon Dash Buttons into do anything switches

Hack turns Amazon Dash Buttons into do anything switches

As seen previously, Amazon's new Dash Buttons are physical equivalents of 1-click checkout options, allowing Amazon Prime members to order common household items with a single press of the WiFi-connected device. But one programmer has come with a fairly simple hack that turns the $5 buttons into something that can track just about any type of data point. In a detailed post on Medium, Edward Benson explains how he turned a Dash Button into a system that collects data on his baby.

Continue Reading

Jeff Bezos comes out swinging after Amazon slam

Jeff Bezos comes out swinging after Amazon slam

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has come out swinging against criticisms that the company is a harsh task-master, calling for whistleblowers to single out any signs of ill-treatment. The response comes after a New York Times article, published this weekend, in which numerous current and former Amazon employees described an environment loaded with back-stabbing, unduly long hours, and a work ethos that forces out all but the most dedicated - or those willing to drop just about everything to put the retailer first.

Continue Reading

Amazon’s custom Bookerly font hits more Kindle models

Amazon’s custom Bookerly font hits more Kindle models

Amazon has released a set of updates for its Kindle devices that adds the company's own font, "Bookerly," following its debut earlier this year on the latest Paperwhite model. The font is more spacious and has been designed specifically for reading on e-ink displays, and replaces the previously used font "Caecilia." Among the other Kindle models getting the font update include the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Touch, Kindle 7th gen, and older versions of the Paperwhite. The updates also add several other enhancements to improve readability.

Continue Reading

Amazon Dash is a waste: here’s a better option

Amazon Dash is a waste: here’s a better option

A childhood spent watching The Jetsons teased us with one tantalizing aspect of our potential future: a home filled with buttons that, when pressed, cause things to happen. Food to appear. A robot to appear. Whatever that non-labelled unassuming button was programmed for, push it and it’ll happen. If you were like most kids watching the show, you wanted that future. Really, really wanted it. When do you finally get that magical button? That future is now upon us thanks to Amazon, only it looks like an advertisement and it is far too little, too late.

Continue Reading

Amazon Echo heads to Staples as exclusive 3rd-party retailer

Amazon Echo heads to Staples as exclusive 3rd-party retailer

Amazon has officially begun moving units of their hands-free, voice-command home speaker solution "Amazon Echo" with a 3rd party retailer. Staples.com will be the one place online - other that Amazon - where potential users can purchase the device. Amazon Echo will not necessarily be available in Staples physical locations. So in essence, this is just for people who like to shop at Staples online and can't be bothered typing in the full Amazon url to move from one webpage to the other to purchase this very Amazon-centric device.

Continue Reading

Tactical Assault Commander 4 adds keyboard and mouse control for PS4 gaming

Tactical Assault Commander 4 adds keyboard and mouse control for PS4 gaming

Anyone who prefers the mouse and keyboard controls of a PC for some game types has found a game they like on a game console and wished it had mouse and keyboard controls. I always felt that way before Halo landed on the PC. If there are games on the PS4 that you think would be much better if you had a mouse and keyboard, Hori has the controller for you called the Tactical Assault Commander 4.

Continue Reading

Amazon Household puts limits on how you share Prime benefits

Amazon Household puts limits on how you share Prime benefits

You might not have know that you could share your Amazon Prime account benefits like the free shipping and streaming video with your friends, but you could. That allowed you to get together with other folks to share the cost of Prime and all reap the benefits for less out of pocket expense. Amazon has now made a move to limit how you can share your account benefits.

Continue Reading

Amazon Prime Music releases exclusive recordings as ‘Amazon Acoustics’

Amazon Prime Music releases exclusive recordings as ‘Amazon Acoustics’

The Video portion of Amazon's Prime service scored its own exclusive this week with the signing of the three ex-Top Gear hosts, but now it's Music's turn, as the company debuted an exclusive collection of acoustic recordings. The collection, simply titled Amazon Acoustics, features a wide range of big-name artists and indies, with 32 tracks of both original recordings and covers. While the tunes are exclusive to Amazon, they aren't just for Prime members, as regular customers can purchase them as well.

Continue Reading

Former Top Gear hosts sign with Amazon for new show

Former Top Gear hosts sign with Amazon for new show

For those who've been missing the beloved former hosts of the BBC's Top Gear, fear not, as Amazon has just announced its signed Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond for a new car show exclusive to the streaming video service of Amazon Prime. Once Clarkson was fired from Top Gear earlier this year and his two co-hosts quit in unison, it became apparent almost immediately that they were looking to take their act somewhere else.

Continue Reading

Amazon Dash buttons launch for all Prime members

Amazon Dash buttons launch for all Prime members

In case you thought those Amazon Dash buttons would turn out to be an elaborate joke, Amazon has made them officially official: any Prime subscriber can now buy them for $5, and once the button arrives they can then use it to spend more money on whatever the related product is. So, essentially, you’ll pay money for this so that you can more easily spend money later. Or something like that. The buttons are available for a variety of products: toilet paper, laundry detergent, macaronic and cheese. The important things in life.

Continue Reading