amazon

Mon
12
Nov
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Amazon Echo Features In Second Murder Case

A judge says Amazon must hand over recordings from an Echo smart speaker to assist with a stabbing case that left two women dead. It's the first time such a court order has been made without a defendant's permission. The New Hampshire case involved ... two women's bodies being discovered under a porch. A man who knew the boyfriend of one of the victims has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say there is probable cause that the device could contain potential evidence which could include "audio recordings of the attack and events that ... (view more)

Tue
23
Oct
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Many Amazon Reviews Could Be Bogus

A consumer group says Amazon sellers are bribing people to post bogus reviews on Amazon's websites. But it also suggests some reviewers may also be getting ripped off. The claims come from "Which?", a British organization similar to Consumer ... Reports. It tested five sellers who had posted in Facebook groups designed to recruit people to buy and review Amazon products. The groups involve sellers suggesting products which people can then buy and review, after which the seller will refund their purchase cost. Which? staff did so for five products and then posted what it called a fair ... (view more)

Thu
12
Apr
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Amazon Patent Eavesdrops, Targets User Ads

Amazon has patented a system for listening to devices in order to better target advertising to users. But it says it doesn't use the feature in its gadgets. The patent dates back to an initial application in 2011, but the most recent version was not ... approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office until last November and has only recently been made public. The basis of the patent is 'sniffer' technology, though that's used as an analogy to reflect the idea that the devices wouldn't permanently capture and store what people were saying. Instead they would use trigger words. Saying 'Like' Would ... (view more)

Thu
07
Dec
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YouTube Pulled From Amazon Gadgets

Users of some Amazon gadgets will have to look elsewhere for YouTube videos, after Google announced it will block the site from the devices. It's a tit-for-tat response to Amazon refusing to stock some Google hardware products. YouTube will be ... blocked from January 1st, 2018 on Amazon Fire TV devices, which include both table-top boxes and HDMI sticks. There's also an immediate block on YouTube on the Echo Show, which is a variant of the 'smart speaker' range that includes a screen. Google had already blocked YouTube on the Echo Show once but Amazon found a workaround. That workaround has now ... (view more)

Thu
06
Apr
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Amazon to Refund up to $70M for In-App Purchases

Amazon is to refund up to $70 million of in-app purchases made by children without their parents' permission. It follows a hearing where a court previously agreed that the way Amazon's purchasing system worked was inherently unfair. The case was ... brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) back in 2014 , and relates to so-called "freemium" apps on the Kindle Fire and some other Android devices. The word freemium is a portmanteau for "free" and "premium" and is often used to describe an app that would normally cost money, but instead includes ads or an ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
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Amazon's High-Tech, Cashier-less Grocery Store Delayed

Amazon's plans for convenience stores without checkouts or cashiers have taken a knock. Initial test show the system doesn't work properly if more than 20 or so customers use the store at once. The Amazon Go store works through a dedicated ... smartphone app and a technology similar to that used in hotel minibars. When a customer picks up an item from the shelf it will automatically be added to their virtual shopping cart (as well as their real one), though if they put it back on the shelf it will be removed. Instead of paying for the items at the check out, the customer simply walks out ... (view more)

Thu
29
Dec
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Amazon Gadget could be Murder Case Key

Amazon has refused to give police access to data from a home gadget that may have recorded audio relevant to a murder investigation. The company says its policy is to only provide customer information if and when it gets a valid court order. The ... request by Arkansas police is for information that may have been recorded by an Amazon Echo. That's a gadget that combines a wireless speaker with voice recognition and an Internet connection. It lets users give voice commands for actions such as selecting music to play, carrying out voice searches of the Internet and controlling smart devices ... (view more)

Thu
14
Jul
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Amazon to Make New Video Ads, Just for You

Amazon is testing video advertisements that are specifically created to meet the viewer's interests. They may prove effective, but will also raise privacy concerns. The ads will appear on non-Amazon website and, as often happens with third-party ... ads, will be based on what the system knows about the user. This often involves using cookie files stored on a user's computer to track the websites they visit and deduce their interests. Several companies already run video ads that are tailored to a user's interests, but this generally involves picking a subject and then selecting a pre- ... (view more)

Thu
14
Apr
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New Luxury Kindle Carries Price to Match

Amazon has released a luxury version of the Kindle e-Reader, with a price tag to match. It's drawn comparisons to Apple's high-priced iPads, despite being a single-purpose device. New Kindle editions over the past few years have mainly involved very ... small tweaks to an established design. The new Kindle Oasis has been redesigned to be easier to hold. The most notable difference is that the device is no longer a perfectly flat device. One side of it is the thinnest a Kindle has ever been, at barely an eighth of an inch. However, the other side has a tapered bump that takes it up to a ... (view more)

Wed
08
Jul
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Amazon Accused Of Misleading Search Results

Amazon will have to go to court to defend claims that the search tool on its site misleads customers about the products it stocks. Watchmaker Multi Time Machines (MTM) wants Amazon to make it clearer that it doesn't sell its watches. MTM specializes ... in selling expensive watches which are particularly sturdy and water resistant. They are designed to display the time in a way that's easy to read with very little light used; however, some models also have an option to switch on an extremely bright light. Although sold to the public, many of the watches are designed for and used by the ... (view more)

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