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Amazon remembers it has a Fire TV, adds Alexa support

Amazon remembers it has a Fire TV, adds Alexa support

Do you remember that Amazon has its own Android Fire OS set-top box and even a Chromecast HDMI streaming stick? You might be forgiven a bit if you have forgotten, seeing as how the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have mostly taken a backseat compared to Amazon's latest darlings, the Echo and its cousins, as well as third party devices that integrate Alexa. Still, Amazon boasts that the Fire TV is the streaming media player in the US so, better late than never, it has finally introduced Alexa to its Fire TV.

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Amazon tipped to launch its own private-label food by early June

Amazon tipped to launch its own private-label food by early June

Amazon will soon be launching its own perishable foods and other products under its own private-label brands, according to sources, something we've heard talk of in the past. These private-label brands are said to include things like laundry detergent and diapers, as well as food items like baby food, spices, and coffee. We may be seeing some of these products become available by the beginning of June, the sources say, and they’ll include brands like Mama Bear and Happy Belly.

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Amazon now has a programmable Dash Button for the IoT

Amazon now has a programmable Dash Button for the IoT

Amazon has revealed a programmable Dash Button which can be assigned to any product or purpose, a customizable version of its one-touch reordering gadgets. The AWS IoT Button looks just like the existing Dash Buttons, which allow products from more than 100 brands to be ordered with a single tap - no web browser required - and delivered to a preset address, but is designed for developers and Internet of Things tinkerers to dig into.

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Amazon’s Alexa will now give you tracking details about Amazon orders

Amazon’s Alexa will now give you tracking details about Amazon orders

It's another week, and that means another update for the Amazon Echo connected speaker with support for a new feature. This time it's the ability for voice assistant Alexa to answer questions about the tracking details on an order from Amazon.com. It's one of those things that seems stupidly obvious once you hear it, and you wonder why this feature hasn't been added sooner.

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FBI: Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t, wiretapped an Amazon Echo

FBI: Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t, wiretapped an Amazon Echo

Take a count of how many microphones are around your right now -- your phone, of course, which is probably always listening, and your laptop most likely. Your TV? Perhaps, if it's new enough. Your wireless speaker probably has a microphone, too, for speakerphone functions. Your smartwatch might have a microphone. There are even smart refrigerators cropping up with integrated microphones (for voice commands, not spying), and, of course, dedicated personal assistants like Amazon Echo and Tap. How many of those microphones has the FBI tapped?

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Google to respond to Amazon Echo at last with codename “Chirp” device

Google to respond to Amazon Echo at last with codename “Chirp” device

Insider sources have let loose information about Google's next big hardware project and the center of their IoT smart home project Google On. This device, they say to ReCode, and will look similar to Google's On Hub - to absolutely no-one's surprise. Or at least no surprises are being had by those who assumed Google was doing this in the first place. Think about Google's work with Weave, their network of smart home electronics, their aim to take over the home with devices they've already released. A Google Echo device makes perfect sense.

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Alexa teams up with KAYAK to help plan your next vacation

Alexa teams up with KAYAK to help plan your next vacation

Amazon's Alexa service has slowly been getting more and more new features since its launch last year. It can now control your thermostat, your lighting, and even summon your Tesla for you. And now it will help you book your travel, thanks to KAYAK.

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Amazon’s Kindle Audio Adapter reads ebooks for the visually impaired

Amazon’s Kindle Audio Adapter reads ebooks for the visually impaired

Amazon has launched VoiceView for Kindle, a text-to-speech system that, with an adapter and headphones, allows visually impaired users to hear their ebooks. The new dongle will initially be available as part of a bundle with the Kindle Paperwhite, with a software update that not only allows the ebook to be read out, but the Kindle's interface to be navigated by audio prompts. too.

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Amazon takes on YouTube with Video Direct service

Amazon takes on YouTube with Video Direct service

If you're a video content creator, there is really only one place to go to distribute your work. While there are other services out there, YouTube is the biggest and best place to go to upload your content and get maximum visibility. Unfortunately, many content creators have experienced major issues with having their content flagged, which has resulted in lost revenue, and even having their channel taken down. Which is why Amazon's latest announcement might be a breath of fresh air.

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Amazon Prime Air secretly recruited an all-star computer vision team

Amazon Prime Air secretly recruited an all-star computer vision team

Amazon has quietly recruited a team of computer vision all-stars to work on giving its Prime Air delivery drones the skills to navigate the skies - and land - safely. The team, which includes former Microsoft engineers, is based in Graz, Austria, and will be responsible for ensuring that the retail behemoth's rapid delivery system doesn't crash and burn.

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Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

As we've seen recently, Amazon's digital assistant Alexa is becoming more and more useful with each additional connected service and app integration. The only real limitation is that you be close enough to one of Amazon's Echo smart speakers to give a verbal command. What if you could make use of Alexa from your phone in the same way as Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana? That exactly what the new iOS app Lexi does, allowing you to bypass the Echo altogether.

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Amazon deals with racial divide by promising to expand delivery zones

Amazon deals with racial divide by promising to expand delivery zones

Recently, a report surfaced that highlighted gaps in Amazon's same-day delivery regions, with predominantly-black neighborhoods, in some cases, being left out of the delivery zone while nearby and surrounding neighborhoods were supported. Speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus, Amazon has vowed to change this, saying it will expand its free same-day-delivery to all zip codes in the cities where it offers Prime Same Day.

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