Microsoft Wants Cortana to Play Nicely With Amazon and Google

Microsoft Wants Cortana to Play Nicely With Amazon and Google

Microsoft Wants Cortana to Play Nicely With Amazon and Google Would it be better to make Cortana a skill on Amazon's Alexa, asks Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder

MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder

Jerod Harris/Getty Images When award-winning novelist MacKenzie Bezos and her husband Jeff Bezos, the chief executive and founder of Amazon, announced on Twitter Wednesday they were getting divorced, public discussion over the uncoupling quickly centered on the impact it might have on Jeff’s company, and on each sides’ net worth.

Jeff Bezos' Divorce Could Mean Big Changes for Amazon

Jeff Bezos' Divorce Could Mean Big Changes for Amazon

In today’s installment: Jeff Bezos' divorce will likely impact Amazon; the forthcoming Dune film is spicing up its cast; and Lady Gaga's streaming catalog is losing one of her most controversial hits.

Google's New Interpreter Mode Translates Your Conversation

Google's New Interpreter Mode Translates Your Conversation

A new feature in Google Assistant, called Interpreter Mode, turns the virtual assistant into a real-time language translator between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space.

Roku Channel Streams Shows to Your Phone, No Box Required

Roku Channel Streams Shows to Your Phone, No Box Required

And if you need any more indication that software will drive Roku’s future more than the hardware that powers it, look no further than the Roku Channel. Within a few weeks, the Roku Channel will not only host free, ad-supported content, but offer subscriptions to other streaming services as well.

5 Tips and Tricks for the Amazon Kids Tablet and Echo Dot

5 Tips and Tricks for the Amazon Kids Tablet and Echo Dot

Call Santa on the Echo Dot!I found that the Echo Dot for Kids was less useful than the Fire tablet for a closely supervised 3-year-old, but one of Amazon's latest features may make me reconsider.

The Terrible Joy of Yelling at Alexa

The Terrible Joy of Yelling at Alexa

The Terrible Joy of Yelling at Alexa Amazon; Casey Chin I love to scream at robots. Morril had a tendency to scream at Alexa whenever she got things wrong, like thinking he was in Calgary instead of Brooklyn when he asked the weather.

11 Fantastic Science Books to Binge Over the Holidays

11 Fantastic Science Books to Binge Over the Holidays

[ Amazon ] —Robbie Gonzales Knopf John Carreyrou, Bad Blood The astonishing thing about Elizabeth Holmes, the Stanford dropout who raised $1.4 billion to start the blood-testing company Theranos, was how badly the people in her orbit wanted to believe her story.

Why It's Hard to Escape Amazon's Long Reach

Why It's Hard to Escape Amazon's Long Reach

Two years later it bought independent audiobook producer, Brilliance Audio , and launched its own e-book publisher, Kindle Direct Publishing , concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle e-reader.

The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected

The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected

Goodnight Stories didn’t emerge spontaneously, though; they began to test it, six months before launching their now famed Kickstarter campaign, using the simplest of internet technologies: email.Crucial Tech for an Author: EmailIn 2014, The New York Times had 6.5 million subscribers to its email newsletters.

How Amazon Alexa Uses Machine Learning to Get Smarter

How Amazon Alexa Uses Machine Learning to Get Smarter

Alexa has gotten smarter, in ways so subtle you might not yet have even noticed.Machine HeadSo-called active learning, in which the system identifies areas in which it needs help from a human expert, has helped substantially cut down on Alexa’s error rates.Those may sound like small tweaks, but cumulatively they represent major progress toward a more conversational voice assistant, one that solves problems rather than introducing new frustrations.

Which Amazon Echo Should You Buy?

Which Amazon Echo Should You Buy?

If music and audio quality are your jam, the Sonos One is still the speaker to own, but the Echo Plus isn't bad, especially if you pair it with an Echo Sub ($130).It’s also the best version to buy if you own smart home devices, thanks to its Zigbee support.

Amazon Came to the Bargaining Table—But Workers Want More

Amazon Came to the Bargaining Table—But Workers Want More

Unsatisfied with the pace of progress toward improving working conditions, the group rallied a few hundred people, including local teamster chapters, to the Shakopee facility parking lot Friday afternoon to demand that Amazon reduce productivity rates to safe levels, respect the cultural differences of Muslim East Africans, and invest in a community fund to aid in affordable housing for workers.At 4 pm, as the winter sun was setting on the Shakopee business park, about 30 workers walked out of the fulfillment center to the cheers of the crowd gathered on the edge of the property.

How to Save Money Just By Going Into Your Phone’s Settings

How to Save Money Just By Going Into Your Phone’s Settings

But Apple has also made it ridiculously difficult to find a list of apps you’re subscribed to if you’d like to unsubscribe.If you’ve decided that the coloring book app you subscribed to a while ago is no longer worth $5 per week or $10 per month, here’s what to do: Go into your iPhone’s settings and scroll down to iTunes & App Store.

Amazon’s Holiday Toy Catalog Is Advertising Parents Actually Want

Amazon’s Holiday Toy Catalog Is Advertising Parents Actually Want

And this time of year, when millions of Americans are going to buy toys, it’s easier for children to thumb through a physical catalog that feels like a big book of wonders than a notoriously hard-to-navigate website.Kids, especially, don’t have a great way to discover toys on the actual Amazon website.

This Wasn't Even Amazon's First Bear Repellent Accident

This Wasn't Even Amazon's First Bear Repellent Accident

A July report from The Guardian found that some Amazon workers have suffered injuries that left them unable to work, and in some cases, homeless.The Robbinsville facility where Wednesday’s bear repellent accident happened has drawn scrutiny for other workplace safety issues.

The Truth About Facebook's Fake Quest to Connect the World

The Truth About Facebook's Fake Quest to Connect the World

Facebook’s point is more direct: The business goals of Facebook are simply good for the world.“The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good,” Andrew Bosworth, an outspoken Facebook executive, explained in a 2016 memo circulated within the company that only leaked out this year.“That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified,” the memo continued.

Watch Live: NASA OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Asteroid Bennu

Watch Live: NASA OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Asteroid Bennu

Watch Live: NASA OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Asteroid BennuIf NASA is successful, Bennu will become the smallest object the agency has ever orbited.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterTwo years and two months after it launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA's $800-million mission to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter will reach a pivotal moment Monday, when the agency's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is slated to rendezvous with its scientific target: a dark, round, carbon-rich asteroid named Bennu.At fewer than 500 meters in diameter, Bennu is a small solar-system body with big scientific potential: Astronomers suspect the asteroid's rocky composition has remained more or less unchanged since it formed some 4.5 billion years ago.

Apple Music Lands on Amazon Echo, as Apple Branches Out

Apple Music Lands on Amazon Echo, as Apple Branches Out

In this case, that means making one of the most popular music platforms in the US available on the most popular voice-activated speaker.“They’ve had an on again off again tussle over things like whether Kindle readers can read Kindle books on the iPad, and then years later it was whether you could buy Apple TV devices on Amazon,” says James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research.

8 Best Smart Speakers (2018): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana

8 Best Smart Speakers (2018): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana

You can easily connect two other Sonos speakers for surround sound, or add a Sonos Sub to the mix to deepen those explosions.The Beam isn't the absolute best soundbar on the market, but it's good enough for most living rooms and its compact size makes it usable for many size TVs. If you own a Fire TV, the Beam can play movies and TV shows with voice requests, and will likely gain new abilities when Google Assistant is added.Buy the Beam for $399 from Amazon or Sonos(The Polk Command Bar ($250) is a workable, cheaper alternative)4.

Amazon Wants You to Code the AI Brain for This Little Car

Amazon Wants You to Code the AI Brain for This Little Car

Amazon Wants You to Code the AI Brain for This Little CarAmazon's Deep Racer radio-controlled car is designed to help coders get started with the AI technique that Google used to beat a champion at the board game Go.AWSTwo years ago, Alphabet researchers made computing history when their artificial intelligence software AlphaGo defeated a world champion at the complex board game Go. Amazon now hopes to democratize the AI technique behind that milestone—with a pint-size self-driving car.The 1/18th-scale vehicle is called DeepRacer, and it can be preordered for $249; it will later cost $399.

New at Amazon: Its Own Chips for Cloud Computing

New at Amazon: Its Own Chips for Cloud Computing

Amazon says it took on the tricky business of chip design to better integrate the software and hardware inside its giant datacenters, allowing it to offer new, cheaper services.That’s not possible with off-the-shelf chips from Intel or AMD, which are designed to satisfy many different customers, says Matt Garman, a vice president involved with Amazon’s project.

Security News This Week: Amazon Won't Say How Many Customer Emails It Exposed

Security News This Week: Amazon Won't Say How Many Customer Emails It Exposed

Yes, the Make-A-Wish site.Russia's elite hackers, meanwhile, have resurfaced, apparently with a new phishing trick in tow.

The WIRED Guide to Online Shopping (and Digital Retail, Too)

The WIRED Guide to Online Shopping (and Digital Retail, Too)

“Get Big Fast” gave way to “Minimum Viable Product.”The Latest Shopping TechStock BotsWalmart partnered with Bossa Nova Robotics to deploy inventory-tracking droids in 50 stores this year.Virtual ShowroomsHardware giant Lowe’s debuted its “Holoroom” last year, which guides headset-clad DIYers through home improvement projects in VR.Face TimeGourmet confectioner Lolli & Pops recently installed facial recognition cameras in stores to flag regulars and compile customized shopping recommendations.Mirror, MirrorFashion retailer Farfetch unveiled touchscreen mirrors and clothing racks that sense when an item is removed—then beam a virtual version to the shopper's smartphone.Cinderella ScannersNew Balance and Fleet Feet Sports recently introduced scanners by Volumental that generate a 3D virtual model of your feet in five seconds.

The Promise of (Practically) ‘Serverless Computing’

The Promise of (Practically) ‘Serverless Computing’

Ferguson, who spent decades as a software architect for companies including Dell and Microsoft and helped create IBM’s application server WebSphere, says this consumes more time than you might think. For the developer, the server is practically invisible.Ferguson says about 99 percent of Seeka TV's code runs on serverless platforms.

What Diane Greene's Departure Means for Google Cloud

What Diane Greene's Departure Means for Google Cloud

Snagging her was seen as a good sign for the company’s effort to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in the booming business of providing computing infrastructure for other sites and businesses.Greene’s announcement Friday morning that she will move on in January is being read as the latest evidence that the project hasn’t gone as well as planned.

Why Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters Backfired

Why Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters Backfired

But in at least one respect, Amazon’s Hunger Games-style civic competition backfired: It’s shined a spotlight on how Amazon and companies like it have benefitted enormously from taxpayer funds.Each year, local politicians spend up to an estimated $90 billion to lure corporations like Amazon to their states, which The Atlantic points out is “more than the federal government spends on housing, education, or infrastructure.” Most companies broker these deals in private.“Companies are already very good at negotiating incentives, often using offers from other cities to up their deals.

Amazon’s HQ2 Hunger Games Are Over, and Jeff Bezos Won

Amazon’s HQ2 Hunger Games Are Over, and Jeff Bezos Won

Amazon’s HQ2 Hunger Games Are Over, and Jeff Bezos WonMark Lennihan/APAfter a 14-month search, Amazon announced Tuesday that it will open a pair of regional offices in two major metropolitan areas where it already has a presence: the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, a borough of New York, and Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington DC.The decision comes after more than 230 cities submitted bids to be home of the Seattle-based company’s highly anticipated second headquarters, which originally promised to employ 50,000 white-collar workers.

15 of the Best Weekend Deals From Amazon, REI, and More

15 of the Best Weekend Deals From Amazon, REI, and More

A few other of our favorite retailers, like REI and Walmart, are beginning to post their holidays deals as well. With the included Echo Dot, it's also one of the easiest.WeMo Smart Plug Bundle for $44 (Was $75). This bundle includes the WeMo Mini and one Insight smart plug.

Warming oceans are changing the world's rainfall | John Abraham

Warming oceans are changing the world's rainfall | John Abraham

A new study finds that warming in the Atlantic Ocean is changing rain patterns in the Amazon Previous researchers who have looked at the Amazon and its changing precipitation have found that the southern part of the rainforest has experienced a long-term increase in rainfall.

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