Category Archives: Amazon

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Is someone hijacking your Spotify? Here’s what I did when it happened to me.

For years, I’ve had a bit of a digital pen pal.

His name is Kevin. He loves music, “Coffee Table Jazz” in particular. He owns an Amazon Echo, through which he listens to his lovely, soothing John Coltrane trumpet croons. He doesn’t often listen during the day, but at night the tunes come alive — probably while he’s also hand rolling linguine next to a glass of a full-bodied cabernet. (Or at least, that’s what I imagined.)

SEE ALSO: Amazon may be building a new brain for Alexa

I know all of this because Kevin and and I have been linked at the hip (digitally) for years, all through a connected Spotify account. Every so often, while I’m listening to music on the app, it’ll stop abruptly and I’ll get a message that has become the bane of my existence: Now Playing on Kevin’s Echo. Read more…

More about Tech, Amazon, Spotify, Amazon Echo, and Tech

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The next generation of work perks ironically focus on work-life balance

While Amazon continues its search for the next North American city to host its second headquarters, the online shopping company is no doubt also looking at what to include in the future HQ2 building no matter where it is. Its workplace amenities will help recruit talent and keep them at the company. Just look at its Seattle campus with its giant, bio-dome spheres.

But putting in some bean bags and a foosball table won’t cut it anymore. Perks need to be built into the building, whether it’s a state-of-the-art gym, infrared spa, or forest sanctuary.

SEE ALSO: Sorry LA, here’s where experts think Amazon will put its second headquarters Read more…

More about Amazon, Careers, Work Life Balance, Hq2, and Work Perks

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Best smart home hubs: The differences between the Echo and other Amazon devices, Google Home, and Apple HomePod

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Smart homes are seriously taking over the world. Remember when Disney Channel’s Smart House premiered in 1999 and we all thought that having a smart home assistant that could talk seemed like the distant future?

Yeah, not so far-fetched anymore.

No, our smart home assistants don’t appear as holograms of 1950s moms (yet). Instead, they come in the form of compact devices and respond to names like Alexa, Google, and Siri — which, honestly, is a lot less creepy than the movie. Read more…

More about Apple, Amazon, Siri, Smart Home, and Amazon Echo

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The best smart speakers according to Amazon reviewers

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re searching for a new smart speaker, the market is flooded with options. Whether you’re looking to spend your time listening to music outside, or you’re in search for the perfect indoor music solution, or both, there are hundreds of smart speakers for you to choose from.

For something entry-level with enough sound to fill a small room, perhaps DOSS, an Amazon bestseller priced at $29, is a good choice. If you prefer something more high-end that fills your entire home with premium sound, consider the Multiroom Audio System bundle at $349. Read more…

More about Tech, Amazon, Sony, Bose, and Smart Speaker

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Here’s what we think about Apple’s HomePod

If you are an Apple fan and use Apple Music, you might love the HomePod. That’s if you’re fine with dropping $350 on a smart assistant speaker. You can easily pair your HomePod to your iPhone and use “Hey Siri” voice commands. However, you can’t ask HomePod to make calls, check your calendar, or search online. The music quality might make up for that. 

Read more here. Read more…

More about Music, Apple, Iphone, Home, and Amazon

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Amazon may be building a new brain for Alexa

Amazon wants to give Alexa a new brain.

The company is currently at work on a new processor for its Echo speakers that would make Alexa faster and smarter, according to a new report.

SEE ALSO: Amazon lays off hundreds, pointing to Jeff Bezos’ focus on Alexa

The move, reported by The Information, would be a significant shift for the company, which until now has relied on the cloud for much if its AI processing (also why Alexa panics when she loses her connection, announcing “I’m having trouble connecting to the internet”). Creating a dedicated AI chip would reduce Echo speakers’ reliance on the cloud and increase the speed with which they’re able to respond to requests and process data. Read more…

More about Tech, Gadgets, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, and Amazon Echo

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Amazon lays off hundreds, pointing to Jeff Bezos’ focus on Alexa

Amazon sells clothes and other fun products, but in 2018, the tech giant is doubling down on technology. 

The latest sign: Amazon plans to lay off hundreds of employees, primarily in the consumer retail side of the business, the Seattle Times reported Monday, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter. 

SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos is really, really happy with Alexa

Amazon confirmed the layoffs and noted that the company is focusing on certain areas of the business but is still growing in overall employee count. Amazon’s workforce is currently 566,000 people. Beyond roles in warehouses, it has 12,500 open jobs listed on Monday, the Seattle Times noted.  Read more…

More about Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Alexa, and Online Retail

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Amazon may soon launch a national delivery service

Amazon may soon enact its next plan to capture the retail sphere. 

The company is close to launching Shipping With Amazon, a full-scale national delivery service, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites anonymous sources. The service is poised to compete with with delivery service giants FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) as well as the United States Postal Service. 

The rollout won’t be immediate. It will first launch in L.A. following a trial that began over a year ago, the reports said, with an expansion to more cities later this year.

SEE ALSO: Amazon’s Prime Now can deliver groceries from Whole Foods Read more…

More about Amazon, Fedex, Ups, Amazon Delivery, and Tech

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Today’s best tech deals include Echo Shows, AncestryDNA kits, Dell laptops, and a portable jump starter

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Make your Monday mornings or beloved wine Wednesdays a little easier with an Amazon Echo Show or Amazon Echo Spot, because if hands free alcohol delivery, LED smart lights or smart TV control, and Uber requests aren’t the definition of treat yo self, then we don’t know what is.

SEE ALSO: Valentine’s Day gifts that prove being single is way better than being coupled

If you’re one of these people that already has all things smart tech, an AncestryDNA kit is ideal for anyone who loves data. You’ve probably seen the Ancestry.com commercials and always think of how cool seeing your family tree would be — so if you’re looking for a sign that you should finally just order a kit, this is your sign. Then, use your new Dell laptop or Google Pixel to message your new-found relatives. Read more…

More about Amazon, Samsung, Sony, Alexa, and Dell

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Guy who found two Amazon deliverymen wandering through his house: ‘It’s not just happening to me’

Most of the time, receiving a package from Amazon is exciting stuff. 

For Michael Lentini, his delivery last Saturday was a nightmare. According to his version of the story, an Amazon delivery man entered his house without permission — and wandered around the first floor before taking the elevator up to his bedroom. 

Lentini says he was in the master suite of his four-story home when the elevator unexpectedly opened. “I thought it was going to be somebody I knew, and then this stranger comes in,” Lentini told Mashable.

“My mind started thinking bad thoughts. What could happen? How do I protect myself? Where the hell is my gun?” Finally, Lentini yelled at the intruder: “Get the hell out of my house!”  Read more…

More about Amazon, Amazon Delivery, Amazon Delivery Services, Tech, and Sharing Economy

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