Amazon

2nd-gen Amazon Dash Button bypasses Wi-fi

2nd-gen Amazon Dash Button bypasses Wi-fi

This week the folks at Amazon have had their second-generation Amazon Dash Button appear in the FCC. This device appears to be rolling with the same capabilities as its predecessor, able to connect to its web-based functions via 802.11 WiFi - but this time adds Bluetooth. What might a device like this need with Bluetooth? Why, to connect via your smartphone, of course. Or perhaps to go Echo on us all?

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Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

It's amazing how a company can spend a fortune on researching and developing a product, and eventually someone finds a way to make the same thing for far less. Amazon's Echo has been out for a while now, but it still costs $180 for you to get your hands on one. But what if I told you that you could make your own at home for just $60?

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Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

The integration between Amazon's Alexa voice control system and Nest's Thermostat has gone live, allowing owners of the Echo, Fire TV, or other devices to control their heating by spoken command. Announced earlier this month, the functionality has gone live in the Alexa companion app, allowing users to link the smart HVAC control to their Amazon account.

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Google is secretly working on an Amazon Echo competitor

Google is secretly working on an Amazon Echo competitor

Google is working on a device that will compete against Amazon Echo, according to a new report. This is the first instance of the project -- which is said to have secretly been underway for a while -- being mentioned publicly, and details are still scarce at this time. The device will function as a personal assistant similar to Echo, able to receive voice commands, and will do so with the full power of Google behind it.

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Amazon says it paid women 99.9% the same as men in 2015

Amazon says it paid women 99.9% the same as men in 2015

Amazon has given in to pressure and revealed the pay equality percentage among its workforce, saying that female workers make essentially the same amount as male workers in equivalent positions. Overall, last year saw women within the company making 99.9% of what men made. The company also tossed another percentage into the mix, saying minorities within the company made 100.1% of what white employees made.

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Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Big Ass Solutions’ Haiku Home ceiling fans will soon have voice control through Amazon Alexa, the company has announced. When the feature rolls around, users will be able to control their ceiling fans using voice commands, turning them on and off, adjusting their light intensity, and changing their speeds. The voice commands can be made using Amazon Tap, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.

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Amazon offers Comcast bundles, promises better customer service

Amazon offers Comcast bundles, promises better customer service

In the market for a Comcast subscription and thoroughly mired in Amazon’s marketplace? Amazon is now reselling a bunch of Comcast service bundles, including Internet and TV service, doing so through a quietly launched new ‘store’ called “Amazon Cable Store.” Only Comcast is being offered through it right now, and there are some exclusive offers provided, as well as the promise of it only taking "three steps" to get service. Best of all, Amazon aims to improve the customer service experience.

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Amazon Kindle critical update deadline is tomorrow

Amazon Kindle critical update deadline is tomorrow

If you have a Kindle and you haven't updated it recently, your time to procrastinate has just about reached its end. The deadline for a critical update that will ensure you can continue using your Kindle is tomorrow; fail to update in time, and your Kindle will suddenly become far less useful, forcing you to manually install the update to restore functionality.

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Update your old Amazon Kindle if you want to stay connected

Update your old Amazon Kindle if you want to stay connected

If you happen to be an owner of an "older" Amazon Kindle e-book reader, specifically one from 2012 or earlier, better heed this critical message from Amazon. Regardless of your actual use of the device, you will need update your Kindle to the latest software version by Tuesday, March 22, 2016. That is, if you ever want to be able to connect to the Internet again using the device. Considering most of the regular content you will read on the Kindle will most likely come from Amazon's store, that is pretty much a given.

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Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

This week the folks at Fitbit have joined forces with the folks at Amazon to bring Amazon Echo voice assistant compatibility to the wearable fitness universe. This setup includes the ability to ask Alexa what Fitbit is thinking. You can't talk directly to Fitbit - Fitbit doesn't even understand what you're saying. That's just silly. You talk to Alexa with your Amazon Echo and Alexa will know what to do. Alexa can speak Fitbit.

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Amazon thinks shopping by selfie is the password killer

Amazon thinks shopping by selfie is the password killer

Smile: you've just maxed out your credit card. Amazon is looking to patent shopping by selfie, replacing passwords with using the front-facing camera to do facial recognition before it'll ship your order. The patent application, currently being considered by the US Patent & Trademark Office, describes a new way of processing a checkout where, rather than entering your PIN or passcode, your device takes you through a game of Simon Says.

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Amazon has an open educational platform in the works

Amazon has an open educational platform in the works

Amazon has plans to launch a “free and unlimited” online learning materials portal for educators, though it is staying quiet about the details at this point. A new waiting list has cropped up on the company’s website offering a waiting list through which educators can sign up for more information (which hasn’t yet been released). If everything goes as expected, this platform will operate as some sort of open educational resources (OCR) destination.

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