The fine folks behind the series CrapShots did this very funny short clip called The Shipping, on the inevitable outcome of the race for faster packing shipping speeds.
Everyone's favorite Internet monopoly Amazon looks like it's about to eat Blue Apron's lunch. Amazon just announced plans to boy high-end grocery chain Whole Foods last month in June, and has also recently filed for trademarks around prepped meal kit services-- that's Blue Apron's sole business.
Amazon Prime Day kicks off at the hour, heralding what its hype claims is a better set of deals than the traditional November stampedes. I eagerly hit the previews in expectation of interesting tech bargains and whatnot, but the only things I could find worth buying are are these enormous bagfuls of colorful candy cocks.
That said, I can hardly say I'm disappointed. Read the rest
It's the Day Against DRM, and EFF is celebrating by publishing the first public look at How Much Do Consumers Value Interoperability? Evidence from the Price of DVD Players, a scholarly economics paper that uses clever techniques to reveal some eye-popping number on the strangled market for DRM-free gadgets. Read the rest
The New York Times rounds up direct links to several services surveillance opt-out screens, including some I'd never thought to look for (Amazon), as well as instructions for installing tracking blockers and no-script extensions that will limit the data trail you exhaust behind yourself as you traverse the net. Read the rest
Amazon announced today it has agreed to buy the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.4 billion, as the internet retailer eyes a broader expansion of services.
The Echo Look is the next version of the Alexa appliance: it has an camera hooked up to a computer vision system, along with its always-on mic, and the first application for it is to watch you as you dress and give you fashion advice (that is, recommend clothes you can order from Amazon). Read the rest
(Tour organizer Feizar Nava) had invited the tourists at the lodge to participate in a Pachamama ceremony—a tradition involving coca leaves, candles, and cigarettes—to thank Pachamama, or Mother Earth, for giving them permission to enter the forest.
When Maykool was asked to join the ceremony alongside the group, he had refused, Feizar said. And when a guide had returned to his cabin to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. The amount of time that had passed between when Maykool was last seen and when someone went back for him was only five minutes.
Panicked, Feizar and his guides checked every inch of the lodge. Maykool wasn’t there. The group headed out into the rainforest with flashlights. They searched until five in the morning, to no avail. Maykool seemed to have completely vanished.
“It’s because he offended the Pachamama.” Feizar said. “He didn’t want to participate in the ceremony.”
On Monday, many websites, news services, publishing platforms, and other internet-connected things that use Amazons AWS platform went dark. The cause can finally be revealed.
Markets don't solve all our problems, but they sometimes produce remarkably efficient systems for producing and distributing goods, and the internet traded on that promise with marketplaces like Ebay (anyone can sell, anyone can buy); Google (anyone can publish, anyone can read), and Amazon (one marketplace where all goods are transparently priced and ranked). Read the rest
Technology companies including Amazon, Google and Microsoft donated considerable amounts of both cash and technical services for the ceremonies and events around the inauguration and swearing in of President Donald Trump, according to reports making the internet rounds on Tuesday night.
Television anchors on San Diego's CW6 were discussing how a young girl "accidentally" ordered a dollhouse and four pounds of cookies by talking to Amazon's Alexa when one of the anchors said "I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse." Oops. From CW6 San Diego:
As soon as (anchor Jim) Patton said that, viewers all over San Diego started complaining their echo devices had tried to order doll houses...
Amazon says shopping settings can be managed via its Alexa app, including turning off voice purchasing and creating a confirmation code before any order.
The company also says any “accidental” physical orders can be returned for free.
Shivan, a computer science student in Montreal, applied for a job at Amazon; the second round interview was conducted remotely by a proctor from an online service called Proctor U who insisted that Shivan install a remote-access trojan on his computer that let the proctor completely control his machine; then he was made to use the camera on his laptop to give the proctor a view of his room and all the things in it (with the proctor barking orders at him to shift his belonging around to give a better view. Read the rest
I didn't think an IoT voice assistant was for me, but at $50 I couldn't resist the Amazon Echo Dot. I'm finding Alexa to be handy for lots of little things.
Amazon's hockey puck like Echo Dot gives you all the utility of their personal assistant Alexa at pretty low price. I felt it wouldn't be too much of a disaster if the thing never got used. Thus far it is proving to be pretty handy.
Echo Dot pairs with bluetooth speakers pretty well, and I enjoy being able to voice control my radio. Switching between news, music and podcasts is easy. I've found that this alone makes Echo Dot useful to me. Being able to occasionally stop the sound and ask Alexa for time time, weather in San Francisco or other simple, frequent searches one may perform is strangely satisfying, and temporarily provides an 'I live in the future' feeling.
Next up will be syncing it with my Fitbit, tho I'm not sure what that is really going to do for me.
Vancouver-based engineer-turned-"entrepreneur" Valeriy Shershnyov published thousands of titles in the Kindle store, "books" of typo-riddled nonsense that he upranked with a system of bots that gamed Amazon's fraud-detection systems, allowing him to sell more than $3M worth of garbage to unsuspecting Amazon customers. Read the rest