Amazon

Amazon Echo’s Alexa is now smarter thanks to IFTTT

Amazon Echo’s Alexa is now smarter thanks to IFTTT

Alexa might not yet be the household name that Siri already is, but it could very soon be. That is, if Amazon really starts pushing its Echo cloud-based home assistant. Alexa, the personification of that product, has just gotten a bit better but, quite ironically, not through Amazon's own heavy lifting. The smart assistant has been endowed with some new smarts thanks to the popular web mashup service IFTTT. Now you can let Alexa do much more than just controlling you music or your smart appliances. Now you can even let it publicize your todo list, if you so wish.

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FAA reconsidering line of sight requirements on drone regulations

FAA reconsidering line of sight requirements on drone regulations

Good news for companies hoping to move ahead with their vision of deliveries by drone! The FAA has acknowledged that changes need to be made to the "line of sight" requirements, or the rule that states commercial drones must stay with the field of view of the operator during flight. This comes from Jim Williams, head of the FAA's office that oversees drones flying in US airspace, who made the statement at the Drones, Data X conference on Friday.

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Amazon announces pilot program to test Tesla stackable battery units

Amazon announces pilot program to test Tesla stackable battery units

This week Tesla made a big announcement with a new Tesla Energy arm that aims to produce batteries that can be used in homes to store power. While that early announcement focused mainly on consumer applications, there are also some serious commercial applications for the battery tech Tesla Energy has. Amazon Web Services has announced that it has started a pilot of the new stackable battery units Tesla unveiled.

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Amazon Instant Video update adds cellular streaming for iOS

Amazon Instant Video update adds cellular streaming for iOS

If you use your Amazon Prime membership for more than just fast, free delivery, chances are you stream TV shows and movies via Amazon Instant Video. If you’re doing so via the iOS app, we’re willing to bet you’ve noticed shortcomings. Streaming was only available over WiFi (which defeats the purpose quite a bit), and you couldn’t cast your content to Apple TV. With an update to their Instant Video app, Amazon is fixing both of those issues, so you can watch over a cellular connection (even in HD) and redirect to Apple TV.

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Uber planning a same-day delivery service to rival Amazon Prime Now

Uber planning a same-day delivery service to rival Amazon Prime Now

Uber is rumored to be preparing for a new undertaking: Uber Merchant Delivery. The new service will provide same-day service by UberRush couriers and regular Uber drivers. The prototype service for faster, on-the-ground delivery is in the same vein as Amazon's accelerated delivery service, Amazon Prime Now, which uses bike messengers to deliver "essential" goods to your doorstep. Although Uber is just getting started in merchant delivery, Amazon is already expanding Prime Now from Manhattan to Miami and Baltimore.

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Amazon Apple Watch app 1-Click works, even accidentally

Amazon Apple Watch app 1-Click works, even accidentally

There's a saying that goes "be careful what you wish for", and it seems that the adage applies even more so to the Apple Watch. And quite literally too. To be fair, the Amazon app for the smartwatch is probably to blame. Or to be more precise, its sometimes handy "1-Click" to buy feature can actually become a nightmare for Apple Watch users, especially when the large orange Purchase button sits precariously on top of a very small "Add to wishlist" line in the smartwatch app.

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Amazon Apple Watch app puts shopping on your wrist

Amazon Apple Watch app puts shopping on your wrist

Amazon has updated its iPhone app to support Apple Watch, turning the new wearable into a mobile voice-controlled shopping accessory. The new version of the app, released just as the first Apple Watch orders are shipping out, not only works as a scratchpad for the Wish List, but entire purchases can be carried out directly from the wrist. It's one of around 3,000 Apple Watch apps already waiting for Apple's new toy in the App Store today.

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Amazon and Audi want to put junk directly into your trunk

Amazon and Audi want to put junk directly into your trunk

In our undying quest to connect all the things to all the other things, we’re bound to have some failures and missteps. We’re also bound to have those redeeming moments of glory where we’ve stumbled onto brilliance. I’m not sure where this concept ends up, but Amazon is trying to deliver your web purchases to your car. It’s as if Amazon is skipping the middle man (you) and putting your deliveries where they’ll end up anyway. Brilliant! Maybe. I’m not sure.

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Amazon ‘Destinations’ will take your hotel reservations

Amazon ‘Destinations’ will take your hotel reservations

Next time you want to plan a trip, or even a quick weekend getaway, you’ll probably find yourself on Expedia or hotels.com. If you need a few sundry items for the trip, you might find yourself on Amazon. Today, Amazon has quietly launched their hotel booking engine, which falls under their ‘Local’ tab. Currently, the feature is limited to the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and parts of the Northeast. If Amazon’s hotel booking engine sounds familiar, it’s likely because it was rumored to be coming way back in November of last year.

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Amazon ditches TestDrive, Developers everywhere shrug

Amazon ditches TestDrive, Developers everywhere shrug

Yesterday (April 16 — that’s an important footnote for all this), Amazon blogged on their Developer site to let everyone know TestDrive was being cancelled. Corey Badcock from Amazon wrote “since its launch in March 2011, over 16,000 apps have been launched on TestDrive, giving customers the experience of running the app and discovering new features before committing to purchase.” So why is Amazon ditching TestDrive? Freemium apps. Those free-to-use apps and games rendered TestDrive nearly useless, it seems.

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