Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost reunite for Super Bowl ad
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost once made comedy skits on “Saturday Night Live,” but now the married couple will reunite onscreen to dodge a mind-reading Alexa device in a new Super Bowl commercial. Johansson and Jost put their normal game-day routine at home into action with the help of the Amazon device — a virtual personal assistant that plays music, tells the weather, delivers news and sports. The commercial attempts to take a comical approach on the situation, which Jost believes every couple would “relate to on some level.”news.yahoo.com
Amazon Planning To Launch Alexa-Powered TV In October
The company has previously launched smart displays, smart speakers, and Fire TV sticks. Amazon also sells Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube, which you can hook up to your TV. The firm launched miniTv, a free, ad-supported video streaming service — within its shopping app in India. “With this launch, Amazon has two video entertainment offerings — miniTV and Prime Video. Prime Video requires a Prime subscription and offers a collection of award-winning Amazon Originals, latest movies and TV shows, in English and 9 Indian languages.”(With inputs from ANI)Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewarithewestsidegazette.com
Opposition grows to 4th cruise ship dock in Mexico's Cozumel
With tourism shattered by the pandemic, critics say yet another cruise ship dock is the last thing that Mexico’s Caribbean island of Cozumel needs. Cozumel already has three such docks, and before the pandemic it ranked as the world’s busiest port of call for cruise ships. Residents said Thursday that makes it all the more inexplicable that yet another dock is planned for an area of sea floor that is home to a coral reef restoration project.news.yahoo.com
How to get your Amazon Echo to talk less and to whisper
The Amazon Alexa voice assistant on your Amazon Echo can whisper. And you can also limit how much it says when you talk to it. I'm finding it useful at home with a baby in the house, when I don't need Alexa saying "OK" every time I turn off the lights, or when I need Alexa to be quieter when I'm asking about the weather at night. There are two modes you need to turn on: Brief Mode and Whisper Mode, and they're really easy to do.cnbc.com
Amazon Alexa records you every time you ask it something — here's how to delete those recordings
If you use Amazon Alexa a lot, it's worth knowing how to stop it from saving those recordings or using them for training. How to view your Amazon Alexa voice historyThere are several ways to view your Amazon Alexa voice history. How to delete your Amazon Alexa voice historyThe easiest way to delete everything at once is to simply say "Alexa, delete everything I've ever said." You can change that to "Alexa, delete what I just said" to delete the last question you asked, or "Alexa, delete everything I've said today" to remove everything you've said in a single day. How to make sure Amazon doesn't use your Alexa voice recordings for trainingcnbc.com
Indians Fell In Love With Amazon’s Alexa, Proposed 6,000 Times A Day In 2020
Indians said “I love you” to Amazon’s Alexa 19,000 times a day in 2020 and got an equal number of bedtime story requests. Indians even proposed Alexa 6,000 times a day. “Many customers found a companion in Alexa last year,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, told Zenger News. “When we first launched Alexa and Echo Smart speakers in India as invite-only in October 2017, voice-controlled smart speakers were a completely new category. “I have two young daughters aged five and nine, and they are hooked to Alexa,” Archana Mane, an entrepreneur and a homemaker from Mumbai, told Zenger News.thewestsidegazette.com
Super Bowl commercials: Winners and losers from the big game
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't the only winners of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, with a handful of advertisements scoring points in the annual brand showcase. Among the most effective commercials, according to Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management: Amazon's humorous Alexa ad and Chipotle's spot about environmentally friendly agriculture. The spot succeeded because it provided a clear, on-brand message, the Kellogg School said. But overall, this year's crop of ads wasn't particularly distinctive, relying on "safe ads with light humor," according to Kellogg School business professor Tim Calkins. Its rating system also gave high marks to Amazon's Alexa ad and M&M's spot featuring actor Dan Levy.cbsnews.com
Amazon Alexa can now tell you the nearest spot to get a Covid-19 test — here's how to use it
You can ask Alexa to find the nearest place to get a Covid-19 test. Amazon recently added a new feature to its Alexa voice assistant that lets you find the nearest place to get a Covid-19 test. Alexa will return a list of nearby places using data pulled from GISCorps and other sources, such as Yelp. If you tap a location, you'll see a phone number you can call to confirm that there are appointments available, if one is needed. If you're using an Echo that doesn't show each location, just say, "Alexa, call the first one" to call the recommended testing location.cnbc.com
A sexy Alexa, Dan Levy's M&M habit: Super Bowl ads to watch
It might not have seemed likely early in the pandemic, but the 55th Super Bowl Sunday is upon us yet again. Amazon shows off a sexy new body for its Alexa assistant, Dan Levy apologizes for eating M&M's and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade makes a downpour of lemons a metaphor for 2020's troubles. AdInspiration4 “ Join Us "In what is surely a first in Super Bowl history, an ad for Inspiration4, a SpaceX supported all-civilian space mission touts a chance for viewers to join the mission. Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” apologizes to the M&M anthropomorphic characters that are Super Bowl mainstays and says he promises not to “eat any more of their friends." And E-Trade, famous for the talking baby ads it ran in the Super Bowl from 2008 until they “retired" in 2014, is back in the big game with an undisclosed ad.
Now you can text Amazon Alexa from your iPhone to check the weather, buy stuff and more — here's how
You can now text with Alexa on your iPhone. Amazon recently began testing a new feature on the iPhone that lets you text Alexa instead of speaking to it. You can use it to ask questions, order products from Amazon, call people and more. It's useful if you're unable to speak or simply don't want to — like when you're in bed next to a sleeping partner but still want to use Alexa to look something up. But if you prefer Alexa, this is a new way of interacting with it.cnbc.com
Amazon's glasses that let you talk to Alexa launch for everyone next month
Amazon's glasses that let you talk to Alexa are now available for anyone to purchase. The new Echo Frames cost $249.99 and will ship Dec. 10. Echo Frames also come in three new colors: modern tortoise, horizon blue and classic black. While the Echo Frames are "graduating" to a full launch, Amazon said it's sunsetting another "Day 1 Edition" product, the Echo Loop ring. The Echo Loop, also launched last year, was a titanium ring that let users talk to Alexa.cnbc.com
People are complaining the Amazon Echo keeps asking them if they want to buy stuff — here's how to turn that off
David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com Inc., presents the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker during an unveiling event at the company's Spheres headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. In a thread on Reddit over the weekend, some Amazon Echo owners complained about unwanted commercial messages from Alexa. Sometimes, if you ask the Alexa the weather, for example, it might give you the weather and then ask if you want ideas for stuff to buy. When I tested it by asking Alexa the time, Alexa told me the time and then added : "By the way, I can help you celebrate birthdays. By selling at cost or below cost, Amazon brings you into its ecosystem of services and products, with the hope that you'll buy more through Amazon with that gadget.cnbc.com
Amazon partners with Lamborghini, Rivian to offer Alexa voice assistant in vehicles
Amazon is adding exotic Italian automaker Lamborghini and Michigan-based electric vehicle startup Rivian to its growing list of partners that will integrate its Alexa voice-enabled assistant into upcoming vehicles. Amazon on Monday said Lamborghini will include Alexa in its $200,000-plus Huracan Evo and Rivian will integrate Alexa into its first two all-electric vehicles, the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, beginning later this year. Rivian also will include Alexa in its previously-announced fleet of 100,000 all-electric Amazon delivery vans, which are expected to begin production in 2021. The new Alexa-enabled vehicles were announced in conjunction with the CES technology conference that's occurring this week in Las Vegas. The partnerships add to 10 previous tie-ups between automakers and Amazon to include Alexa's voice assistant technology in vehicles, according to the company.cnbc.com
A lot of people got an Amazon Echo or Fitbit for the holidays, based on App Store rankings
Following Christmas Day, Amazon's Alexa app sat atop the App Store's top free apps list, which is Apple's weekly roundup of the most popular apps. The Fitbit app managed to take seventh. The Fitbit app is used to track and monitor the wearer's health, including calories burned and heart rate. Those five apps managed to bump off three game apps, a tattoo drawing app and the Amazon mobile app this week. It is at least the second week in a row that the Facebook app has failed to appear in the top 10.cnbc.com
Alexa can now respond in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson here's how to set it up
You can now hear the voice of Samuel L. Jackson respond to some of your questions when you talk to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. It's a feature that was announced during Amazon's big hardware event back in September, but it just rolled out this week. It's pretty easy to set up, but you have to pay $1 to get started, and it doesn't completely replace Alexa's voice with Samuel L. Jackson's for everything. Instead, it just allows you to ask Alexa to "ask Sam Jackson" for something, like the weather, or to tell a joke. But Amazon often experiments with new ideas, then doubles down if they're successful, so celebrity voices could someday help Amazon make a few extra bucks from Alexa.cnbc.com
Amazon Alexa is about to get more emotional here's what it sounds like excited and disappointed
Amazon's Alexa voice assistant will soon speak more emotionally. The company announced new tools on Wednesday that will allow developers who build Alexa into skills to express excitement or disappointment with varying levels of intensity. The voice assistant will be able to respond with high, medium or low degrees of the two emotions. Amazon said it built the feature because "customer feedback indicates that overall satisfaction with the voice experience increased by 30% when Alexa responded by emotions." Here's what an excited Alexa with high intensity sounds like, for example:cnbc.com
Food Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day 2019
Give Miami Day is hosted by the Miami Foundation, which does not collect any fees and hosts the drive as part of its mission to promote philanthropy throughout greater Miami. Bridge to Hope offers wraparound support designed to bridge the gap to self-sufficiency for economically disadvantaged families and households in crisis. It equips under-resourced communities with information to make affordable, nutritious, and appealing food choices wherever they live, work, learn, and play. Its goal is to connect low-income families with healthy, free, local food by transforming vacant land into vegetable gardens and teaching wellness workshops. The Kendall nonprofit makes healthy, fresh local food accessible to all through a multifaceted approach that forges relationships to connect diverse issues and communities.miaminewtimes.com
Amazon testing workout tracking in Echo Buds earbuds, software reveals
Amazon announces new wireless earbuds, Echo Buds, at an event in Seattle on Sept. 25, 2019. CNBC | Todd HaseltonA hidden feature inside the Alexa software shows Amazon has at least considered enabling the Echo Buds earbuds to track workouts. This backs up CNBC's earlier reporting that Amazon was planning to add fitness tracking features to the Echo Buds as part of an update code-named "Puget." What we foundAmazon sent us a version of the Echo Buds to review a few weeks ago. You can't yet track workouts, but the feature is appearing in the Alexa app if you have Echo Buds.cnbc.com
Amazon's Echo Buds can do more than Apple's AirPods, but they have some major drawbacks
The new Echo Buds are Amazon's take on the wireless earbud category, and I've been testing them for the last week before they're released to everyone on Wednesday. The Echo Buds are also a good portal into Amazon's services, like Amazon Music and its Audible audiobooks. What's goodAmazon Echo Buds Todd Haselton | CNBCThe Echo Buds cost $129.99, undercutting the price of Apple's $159.99 AirPods by $30 while also including features the regular AirPods don't have, like sweat resistance and noise reduction. But I do like that the app makes it really easy to pair the Echo Buds. Finally, if you add on the wings that help keep the Echo Buds in your ears, they can sometimes prevent the Echo Buds case from closing completely until you either jam it closed or adjust the wing so that it's not blocking the case cover.cnbc.com
Amazon Alexa and Google Home's voice assistant were vulnerable to hackers
Amazon and Google told CNN Business the security issue has since been fixed. With the latest issue, SRLabs found hackers could have exploited the access Amazon and Google give third-party app developers to improve apps. In videos posted to YouTube, SRLabs showed how an app that works with Alexa or Google's voice assistant could be programmed by a hacker. The voice assistant was then silent. After a few minutes, the voice assistant said there was a company update and asked the user to say their password.
As Amazon floods the market with Alexa devices, the business model is getting fresh scrutiny
Following the runaway success of the original Echo device, Amazon has launched a dizzying number of new Alexa-powered products to get its gadgets in more living rooms and kitchens. The company continued with that approach this week, announcing over a dozen new voice-controlled products, including wireless earbuds and smart glasses that can interact with Alexa. But some investors and analysts are starting to question the financial strategy behind Alexa and whether there's a profitable business model emerging for the devices and underlying technology. "Amazon has successfully shipped millions of devices to millions of customers but to what end?" said Andrew Murphy, managing partner at Loup Ventures, which invests in start-ups and publishes research on consumer technology.cnbc.com
Your Amazon Alexa can sound just like Samuel L. Jackson
(CNN) - Alexa is about to get real Samuel L. Jackson. Amazon will introduce Jackson as the first celebrity voice for its Alexa virtual assistant later this year, the company said Wednesday. Here are a few fun requests Amazon suggests you try after setting up Jackson's voice on your Echo:"Alexa, ask Samuel L. Jackson where he is from." "Alexa, ask Sam to wake me up at 7 a.m.""Alexa, ask Sam Jackson to sing happy birthday." They can just head over to the settings menu of the Alexa app to select between clean and explicit content.
Amazon unveils new Echo clock and Alexa privacy features
The company announced at its Seattle headquarters a series of new products coming to its lineup, including a new $59 Echo dock smart speaker with a built-in clock. As expected, Amazon unveiled its own high-end Echo speaker, called Echo Studio, to compete with some companies such as Sonos that already offer Alexa-compatible premium speakers. Over the past five years, the market for smart speakers that use virtual assistants has ballooned. According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies including Amazon, Google, and Baidu shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is sitting on top of this market: Canalys reports Amazon shipped a quarter of these speakers, or an estimated 6.6 million between April and June.
Amazon will show off new products Wednesday
Amazon wants to keep a commanding presence in the fast-growing virtual assistant space. According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies including Amazon, Google, and Baidu shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is sitting on top of this market: Canalys reports Amazon shipped a quarter these speakers, or an estimated 6.6 million between April and June. Amazon has been working to keep its momentum: Last September, Amazon introduced Alexa-controlled products ranging from the expected (more Echo smart speakers) to the surprising (a $60 AmazonBasics microwave that can warm food via voice commands such as, "Alexa, heat up one cup of coffee" when used with an Echo device). Amazon may also show off new ways to use the virtual assistant outside the home.
How to stop your Alexa voice recordings from being reviewed by a human
In the wake of the recent backlash, Amazon is changing its settings so people can opt out of having their voice recordings reviewed by humans. But now, by opting out, a user's voice recordings will no longer be included in programs that involve human review of Alexa requests, according to the spokesperson. For those looking to restrict access to their Alexa voice recordings, the process has several steps and the language can be a little tricky to parse. To delete any existing Alexa recordings, people can go to the Privacy screen and select "Review Voice History." There's also a feature that allows deletion by voice, which lets people delete recordings by saying "Alexa, delete what I just said" or "Alexa, delete everything I said today."
Alexa listens to users having sex, report says
A new report says Amazon employees listen to people having sex through users' Alexa devices. The Sun claims the sounds made during sex are among those that can trigger an Alexa to begin recording. According to the report, an English-speaking group of Amazon employees in Romania admit to listening to "thousands of Alexa recordings," including fights, private discussions and sex. Amazon told us every one we were listening to had consented so I never felt like I was spying." "We have strict technical and operational safeguards in place to protect customer privacy, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system."