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  1. Amazon launches mobile-only, more affordable Prime Video plan in India Image Credits: Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg / Getty Images Amazon is doubling down on one of the biggest strengths of Prime Video streaming service: Aggressive pricing. The e-commerce giant on Wednesday launched Prime Video Mobile Edition, an even more affordable tier of the on-demand video streaming service — now also bundling some mobile data. Prime Video Mobile Edition, for which Amazon has partnered with Indian telecom network Airtel, will feature 28-day mobile-only, sin
  2. Parler goes dark, sues Amazon to demand immediate reinstatement Bereft of other options, Parler is trying to petition the courts for resurrection. Enlarge Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica 637 with 230 posters participating In less than three days, social networking service Parler has gone from darling of the right wing to a has-been service that can no longer be accessed online. In response, the company is now suing its former Web host, Amazon, alleging the hosting giant intentionally colluded with rival social servi
  3. Amazon's Fitness Tracker Teaches You How to Be Nicer (Kinda) The Halo is one quirky wearable. But its biofeedback can help your relationships … up to a certain point. PHOTOGRAPH: AMAZON AMAZON’S NEW HEALTH tracker, the Halo, is a small, display-free device fitted into a fabric band that you wear on your wrist. Unlike many fitness trackers that simply count your steps, the Halo collects additional health data that is shockingly intimate. Most notably, the app analyzes pictures of you in your undies to measure your body fat percentage. Also, the Halo's micropho
  4. Amazon gets into the podcast business FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, people stand in the lobby for Amazon offices in New York. Amazon is jumping into the podcast-making business. The online shopping giant said it plans to buy Wondery, a 4-year-old producer of popular true crime podcasts such as “Dr. Death” and “Dirty John.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is jumping into the podcast business. The online shopping giant is buying Wondery, a 4-year-old producer of popular true crime podcasts such as “Dr. Death” and “Dirty J
  5. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference a few days ago to announce the results of an undercover operation stat started months ago. Detectives busted four sellers of 'pirate' Amazon Fire Sticks, including an 88-year-old suspect. According to the police, selling jailbroken devices is a crime. Online piracy is traditionally associated with a young and tech-savvy audience, but that image doesn’t always hold up. Piracy has reached the masses with the help of online streaming and easy-to-use devices. In fact, it’s now mainstream e
  6. Amazon’s answer to SpaceX Starlink delivers 400Mbps in prototype phase Amazon offers peek into development of antenna for Project Kuiper user terminal. Enlarge Amazon 96 with 62 posters participating Amazon's competitor to SpaceX Starlink is moving through the prototype-development phase, with the company announcing yesterday that it has "completed initial development on the antenna for our low-cost customer terminal." Amazon said its "Ka-band phased-array antenna is based on a new archite
  7. PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. tech giants Amazon and Apple have not signed up to a new French initiative to get global tech companies to publicly commit to principles including paying their fair share of taxes, government officials said on Monday. French President Emmanuel Macron has sought for the past three years to cajole tech giants into collaborating with governments on a series of global challenges such as fighting hate speech online, preserving privacy or contributing to state coffers. Amid a public outcry about technology groups’ good fortunes during the c
  8. Amazon Sidewalk is launching in the US as an opt-out feature that the company says will connect Echo and Ring doorbells to any nearby Alexa device, even those owned by your neighbors. Amazon says Sidewalk uses WiFi from neighbors to create "a shared network that helps devices work better," but some have raised privacy concerns. Amazon also apologized to Alexa owners outside the US, some of whom were notified of the US-only launch. Amazon customers are being automatically opted in to Sidewalk, a feature set to launch later this year that the company
  9. Several major US tech companies including Facebook, Namecheap and Cloudflare, have informed the US Trade Representative that they shouldn't be listed alongside known piracy sites in the upcoming notorious markets overview. The companies stress that they have policies in place to deal with copyright infringement, adding that the notorious markets process shouldn't be used for US companies. Every year, the US Trade Representative (USTR) issues an updated review of “Notorious Markets” that facilitate copyright infringement. This overview is put
  10. Global retailers should help collect, recycle and repair tech products, say MPs Global giants such as Amazon and Apple should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK, MPs say. An investigation by the environmental audit committee found the UK is lagging behind other countries and failing to create a circular economy in electronic waste. The UK creates the second highest levels of electronic waste in the world, after No
  11. (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s widely used cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was back up on Thursday following an outage that affected several users ranging from websites to software providers. “We have restored all traffic to Kinesis Data Streams via all endpoints and it is now operating normally,” the company said in a status update. Amazon Kinesis, a part of AWS’ cloud offerings, collects, processes and analyzes real-time data and offers insights. Video-streaming device maker Roku Inc, Adobe’s Spark platform, video-hosting website Flickr
  12. SEATTLE — Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama have filed a notice to hold a unionization vote, in what could be a major labor battle against a company that has long opposed the unionization of its workforce. Employees at a newly opened Amazon facility in Bessemer, Ala., notified the National Labor Relations Board that they want to hold an election to create a bargaining unit that would cover 1,500 full-time and part-time workers. The group seeks to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). While much of Amazon
  13. Amazon hopes to protect online streaming content with a newly awarded anti-piracy patent. The company has developed a technique where personally identifiable information can be dynamically added to streaming content, visibly or not. This is a relatively low-resource option to detect the source of pirated movies, TV-shows, and even live events. Amazon is not just the largest e-commerce retailer, the company also has a significant copyright portfolio. In recent years the company has increased its anti-piracy efforts, both individually and as a
  14. Amazon begins shifting Alexa’s cloud AI to its own silicon The amazon-designed Inferentia chips reduced cost and latency in text-to-speech. Amazon engineers discuss the migration of 80 percent of Alexa's workload to Inferentia ASICs in this three-minute clip. On Thursday, an Amazon AWS blogpost announced that the company has moved most of the cloud processing for its Alexa personal assistant off of Nvidia GPUs and onto its own Inferentia Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). Amazon dev Sebastien Stormacq describes the Inferentia's
  15. Amazon today announced a new Alexa feature for U.S.-based English-language users that enables devices powered by the assistant to infer latent goals, or goals implicit in requests but not directly expressed. For instance, if a user says “How long does it take to steep tea?,” Alexa might follow up with “Five minutes is a good place to start” and the question “Would you like me to set a timer for five minutes?” According to Amazon, dialog transitions like these require a number of AI algorithms under the hood. A machine learning-based trigger model decides whether to ant
  16. The retailer is accused of using third-party seller information to build its own products. The European Union is serving formal antitrust charges to Amazon, saying that the retailer has misused its position to compete against third-party businesses using its platform. Officials, led by competition chief Margrethe Vestager, believe there is enough evidence to charge the company for this misuse. This data, so the claim goes, was used by Amazon to build copycat products to undercut these independent businesses, especially in
  17. The perks include an easier way for contractors to claim shifts. Amazon has started a rewards program for Flex drivers. Depending on how much work they carry out for Amazon, they may be able to take advantage of a preferred scheduling feature. That could make it easier for them to get work and perhaps persuade them to spend more time working for Flex than other gig economy platforms such as Uber, Lyft or Instacart. Contractors who work for Flex make Amazon and Whole Foods deliveries with their own cars and cover the
  18. SEATTLE - Pandemic-fueled online shopping, coupled with the expected crush of holiday sales, has led Amazon to add 400,000 jobs this year, pushing its total employment over 1 million for the first time. Those new jobs - primarily in its warehouses and delivery operations - come as the company continues to deal with a crush of orders from shoppers reluctant to buy goods in stores over concerns about the novel coronavirus. Amazon added 250,000 jobs in the three months through the end of September alone, Amazon finance chief Brian Olsavsky said in a call with journalists aft
  19. (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's third-quarter revenue beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday and the e-commerce giant forecast holiday-quarter sales above expectations, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed more people to shop for groceries and other essential items on its online platform. Amazon’s cloud services also saw strong demand as companies switched to virtual offices to curb the spread of the pandemic. Revenue from Amazon Web Services (AWS) surged 29% to $11.60 billion. E-commerce firms and companies with strong online presence have seen business boom, as
  20. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. face German antitrust scrutiny over a policy that excludes independent sellers of brand products on the online market place. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, is probing both companies over a policy at Amazon called “brandgating,” the authority said in an emailed statement. The policy allows makers of branded products such as iPhones to have independent sellers removed from the platform as long as Amazon can sell the items, according to the statement. “Brandgating agreements can help to protec
  21. Amazon unveils its new electric delivery vans built by Rivian The delivery giant aims to have 10,000 vehicles on the road by 2022 Amazon unveiled its first all-electric delivery van on Thursday. The vehicle, built by EV startup Rivian, will come with state-of-the-art technology, like sensing equipment and an advanced driver-assist system. The e-commerce giant says it expects to have 10,000 vans on the road making deliveries “as early as 2022,” with a total fleet of 100,000 vehicles expected by 2030.
  22. Amazon’s Black Box Is Like a Lost Black Mirror Episode Blumhouse’s new sci-fi thriller is goofy, soapy fun. Black Box premieres today on Amazon Prime. Photograph: Alfonso Bresciani/Amazon Studios For its first hour, the new sci-fi horror flick Black Box appears to have collaged its story together using the plotlines of other, better films. A Black man is hypnotized and sucked into his own subconscious by an older lady, à la Get Out; when he
  23. Amazon’s Growing Ad Business Could Forever Change Tech Google has long been known to monitor basically everything you do, and use the data it gleans to target banner and search ads. Facebook integrates ads into users’ news feeds, Groups, and other parts of the platform, which recently landed the company in hot water for running ads next to hate speech. But there’s a relatively new, rapidly growing player in the online advertising world: Amazon. The company’s advertising revenue has grown from almost nothing a few years ago to over $10 billion in late 2020.
  24. There are better ways to spy on your family members As if late 2020 wasn’t exhausting enough, Amazon has announced the Ring Always Home Cam, a flying camera drone for your house. It is sublimely dumb, a supposedly innovative tool that is neither innovative nor useful. It is a home-security device that can easily be defeated by a cat. It may also be a not-very-sneaky way for Amazon to map out the interior of your house so they can gaze ever more deeply into your personal desires and insecurities. This chunky flying personal fan that goes BRRR contains
  25. Anyone can access portions of a web portal, used by law enforcement to request customer data from Amazon, even though the portal is supposed to require a verified email address and password. Amazon’s law enforcement request portal allows police and federal agents to submit formal requests for customer data along with a legal order, like a subpoena, a search warrant, or a court order. The portal is publicly accessible from the internet, but law enforcement must register an account with the site in order to allow Amazon to “authenticate” the requesting officer’s credentials before th
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