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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. (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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. A spin-off from The Boys is already in development Part college show, part Hunger Games (Image credit: Amazon) Amazon is developing a spinoff from its superhero show, The Boys. According to THR the project "has been in the works for a while", but following the success of the second season of The Boys, which is currently broadcast weekly on Prime, it's thought production has been fast-tracked. The spinoff – which has been described as part college show, part Hunger Games – reportedly focuses on a college created for youn
  15. Amazon’s fall hardware event: the 13 biggest announcements We saw new Echo devices, Ring updates, and even Amazon’s cloud gaming service Amazon just wrapped up its fall hardware event, and it was packed with a number of big announcements. There were a number of new Echo devices, such as a spherical redesign of the tried-and-true Echo. Amazon also showed off improvements for Alexa, including new security features. We saw a bunch of new Ring devices — one of which was a drone that can autonomously fly around your home. And Amazon finally too
  16. The first trailer for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Amazon Original Series is here Truth Seekers launches in October (Image credit: Amazon) Amazon has released the first trailer for Truth Seekers, its upcoming comedy-horror series starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as part-time paranormal investigators. Launching on Amazon Prime Video on October 30 - just in time for Halloween viewing that’s a little more funny than frightening - the series follows Pegg and Frost’s characters, Gus and Dave, as they travel across the UK, f
  17. Amazon is set to launch new Echo and Alexa devices on September 24 "Alexa, set a reminder" (Image credit: Amazon) It's been a particularly busy September for tech launches, even without an iPhone 12, and there's plenty still to come: Amazon has revealed that it's holding a hardware launch event this coming Thursday, September 24. For now we won't know too much about what will be revealed, but the invite sent to the media mentions "Devices
  18. A browser plug-in that aims to deter eBay and Amazon customers from buying pirate IPTV packages was launched this week ahead of the new Premier League season. While the tool does detect most illicit offerings as advertised, it also manages to attach warnings to completely legal sales and in some instances may be anti-consumer. Online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon offer an impressive range of products but to the disappointment of various companies, some have the potential to infringe trademarks or copyrights. Rogue sales have tradition
  19. r.classen/Shutterstock I’ve had Alexa smart speakers for years. I bought them to make my smart home more convenient to use through voice controls. But now Alexa has me hopping mad. Why? She invaded my printer without asking my permission and started emailing me about ink. When does a voice assistant cross the line from convenience to nuisance? An (un)Welcome Email It all started with an innocuous email that I initially disregarded as some phishing attempt. “Thank you for connecting your HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 printer to Alexa. Alexa just made printing a wh
  20. Amazon introduces new Blink security cameras for indoors and outdoors Blink, one of the home security camera companies owned by Amazon (the e-commerce giant also owns Ring), today announced a pair of new cameras, the Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor. The security cameras feature a new, small square design and are capable of recording video in 1080p, and they also have IR night vision, motion detection, and two-way audio. Using the Blink Home Monitor app, users can view video feeds from their cameras, as well as talk to people at home through them.
  21. Incoming: Amazon Prime Air drones are one step closer to takeoff Fly, my pretties! Fly! (Image credit: Amazon) Just in time for Amazon Prime Day 2020 (whenever that is going to be), Amazon Prime Air won approval on Monday from the US Federal Aviation Administration to begin drone delivery operations, bringing the company one step closer to its goal of 30-minute drone deliveries to Amazon Prime members in the US. According to CNBC, the FAA's decision came after the company spent years testing and training its drones, whil
  22. In July, Amazon Publishing teamed up with Penguin Random House and authors including Lee Child and John Grisham to sue 'pirate' sites operating under the Kiss Library brand. A court has now handed down orders which, among other things, require a broad range of Internet and financial companies to hand over everything they know about the defendants. In July, Amazon Content Services, publisher Penguin Random House and several authors including John Grisham and Lee Child, targeted a range of eBook download sites operating under the ‘Kiss Library’ brand.
  23. How Four Brothers Allegedly Fleeced $19 Million From Amazon The scheme involved 7,000 $94 toothbrushes, according to law enforcement. Federal prosecutors say the defendants engaged in a scam called overshipping.Photograph: Glowimages/Getty Images Over the course of two years, four brothers in New York allegedly swindled Amazon out of at least $19 million using thousands of $94 toothbrushes and other expensive goods, according to a Department
  24. FCC approves Amazon’s internet-from-space Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites Though there are caveats to the approval An artistic rendering of a satellite in orbit Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The Federal Communications Commission has approved Amazon’s plans for its ambitious Kuiper constellation, which entails sending 3,236 satellites into orbit to beam internet coverage down to Earth. The decision is a crucial regulatory step that paves the way for Amazon to start launching the satellites when they’re re
  25. Amazon redesigns the Alexa app to highlight first-party features Amazon has launched a new design for the Alexa app, promising a more personalized user experience and giving first-party features a prominent place on the home screen. By doing so, some third-party skill suggestions have been put on the backburner. Before, the Alexa button used to sit at the bottom center of the home screen. The updated Alexa app now moves that dedicated button to the top of the screen where the date and weather updates were previously situated. The redesign makes it easier to s
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