Amazon Fire TV provides a really great media consumption experience. And yet, I do not use it. Why? Well, I am a huge YouTube user -- both the regular video service, plus YouTube TV, and unfortunately, Google kept those services off of Amazon's TV hardware. In a bit of "tit for tat," Amazon kept its own Prime Video from Google's Android TV and Chromecast devices. Ultimately, this hostility hurt consumers, which is very unfortunate.
Today, Google and Amazon finally bury the hatchet. YouTube apps are coming to Fire TV, while Prime Video is coming to both Android TV and Chromecast. Even Google's YouTube Kids app will be coming to Amazon's hardware!
As companies store ever larger amounts of data, the current solutions and services available to handle it become more and more costly and difficult to manage.
To address these challenges, Boston-based CHAOSSEARCH is launching a new platform that delivers rapid search and analytics through a managed service, based on simple, elastic storage.
Amazon has announced its new entry-level Kindle, introducing a couple of changes. While the price remains below $100, there has been a $10 hike, taking the price up to $89.99.
This extra $10 buys you an e-reader with only one notable change -- a new adjustable front light to allow for reading in the dark.
Philips monitors often provide an excellent value -- great "bang for your buck," as they say. The company's displays typically provide superb visual quality, while also offering good features, and attractive designs.
Today, the company launches a trio new monitors as part of its "E9 series." All three displays are curved with slim bezels, which is great, but two of them (the 27-inch 278E9QJAB and the 32-inch 328E9QJAB) are only 1080p. That resolution is passable for a 22-inch or 24-inch monitor, for example, but 27-inch and higher? Not ideal. Look, for gaming or watching movies, 1080p might be OK with those screen sizes, but text may be too blurry for general computer use. Thankfully, the 32-inch 328E9FJAB offers a much better 2560 x 1440 resolution -- that is the model you want to focus on, y'all.
Plugable is a company that I respect very much. I have been buying its products for many years from Amazon. Historically, its offerings have been reliable, affordable, and extremely useful. Whether it be USB hubs, dongles, adapters, or docking stations, you can typically rely on receiving a quality product. I'm sure many computer nerds like myself have purchased a Plugable product at some point in their lifetime.
Today, Plugable announces a new product that falls outside its usual focus -- a gaming headset. Called "HS53 Performance Onyx Gaming Headset," the over-ear headset has a brushed aluminum frame and features a beautiful textured black design. Despite the use of memory foam for both the headband and sealed earcups, the company claims your ears and head should both remain cool -- not hot and sweaty.
Amazon Alexa and Roku. These are two things I greatly appreciate. Why? Well, they are fairly open and don't lock the user into any specific service. In other words, both Roku and Alexa support countless third-party services, making it easy for the owner to switch without compromise. Don't like Amazon Music? Change to Spotify. Not a fan of Sling TV? Go with YouTube TV. It's no surprise that both developers and consumers love Alexa and Roku.
Today, Roku and Alexa finally become friends. You see, Roku has released an official "skill" for Alexa, enabling the user to control the media box with their voice through Amazon's assistant. The skill is also compatible with Roku TV (televisions with the platform built in).
If you were among those who thought that Amazon Dash buttons -- little single-function, buttoned devices that enable you to order frequently bought items with a press -- were stupid, it seems that Amazon has come around to your way of thinking.
The company has decided -- sensibly, many would argue -- to discontinue the devices. While this means that you will no longer be able to buy Amazon Dash buttons, if you already have one or more of them, orders that are placed through them will still be honoured.
Once you sign up for Amazon Prime, it's hard to imagine how you ever lived without it. Well... that might be a slight exaggeration, but it's easy to fall in love with the service. Now Amazon is giving would-be subscribers another reason to sign up, and an added bonus for those who already have.
Amazon Day is a US-only service -- for now, at least -- that gives subscribers the option of consolidating all of their deliveries for the week on a day of their choice.
Security researchers from Dojo by Bullguard have discovered a vulnerability in Amazon's Ring doorbell that leaves it prone to man-in-the-middle attacks.
As well as enabling a hacker to access audio and video feeds in a severe violation of both privacy and security, the vulnerability also means that an attacker could replace a feed with footage of their own. Revealing the security flaw at Mobile World Congress, Yossi Atias from Dojo, demonstrated how a feed could be hijacked and injected with counterfeit video.
Howard Stern is arguably the greatest broadcaster of all time -- his radio show is legendary for its innovation and laugh-out-loud comedy. For well over 30 years, Stern has been broadcasting in some form -- first terrestrial radio, but since 2006, he has been on satellite (what is now known as SiriusXM).
As great as listening to Howard is, his show can be very visual too -- it can be very rewarding to actually see what is happening in his radio studio. His E! television show is long gone, as is his "Howard TV" on demand service. Thankfully, the SiriusXM mobile app for Android and iOS now offers Howard Stern video content. Of course, wouldn't it be better to watch that content on your television rather than a small screen? Starting today you can, as the video content is now available on Amazon Fire TV. Previously, the only way to get the video onto your TV was using a Chromecast dongle.
Jeff Bezos may have his hands full with a pending divorce and alleged blackmail, but that is not going to slow Amazon down. Today, the popular retailer and Echo-maker announces a very intriguing acquisition. Surprisingly, Amazon will be buying eero for an undisclosed sum of money.
Not familiar with that company? That's not surprising. While eero is fairly popular with in-the-know consumers, it is not exactly a household name. Just know eero makes well-received mesh systems -- essentially a router and a series of access points that work together for superior coverage. But really, the company Amazon is acquiring isn't that important. The real story is that Amazon sees value in entering the home network business. Why is that so significant? Well, there are obvious privacy concerns -- will Amazon use these devices to track/log/monetize user traffic?
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos may be having a difficult time in his personal life right now, but professionally, the multi-billionaire is doing phenomenally. Amazon's stock is through the roof, and there seems to be no slowing down the online retailer. Long gone are the days when the company just sold books and other manufacturers’ products -- these days, Amazon offers its own hardware and services. Not only is its line of Echo speakers wildly profitable, but there is Kindle, Fire HD tablets, and Fire TV media devices too.
One of Amazon's greatest devices is the Fire TV Stick. This little HDMI dongle is insanely affordable at just under $40, while offering access to many popular streaming media services, like Netflix, Hulu, and its own Prime Video. Seriously, folks, even though this particular model doesn't offer 4K video playback, it is still a great value. Today, Amazon announces that the popular Fire TV Stick will soon come with the amazing Alexa Voice Remote. That must mean the company is raising the price, right? Actually...
As another year starts, I wanted to look back on my favorite products of the previous 12 months. I’m not talking just 2018 products here, as it has to be said, some things I use most aren’t that new.
In the past I’ve been called everything in the comments. My favorites have been a Microsoft fanboy and Microsoft hater. I haven’t figured out how I could be both. The reality of what I use may surprise the people who have said those things.
Shopping at physical retail stores is insufferable these days. Have you been to a Walmart lately? Not only is it a soul-crushing experience all year, but during the holidays in November and December, it becomes particularly hell-like. Kids running around screaming, people sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths, plus generally dirty and disorganized aisles and shelves. It's gross. It gets better at stores like Target and Kohl's, but still, being around fellow humans can be an exercise in frustration. Thank goodness for online shopping.
As is typical, many people around the world turned to the web to buy Christmas and Hanukkah gifts this year. No retailer is more used than Amazon in this regard -- the undisputed king of online shopping. Once again, the company proclaims (brags) it has broken records this year -- without sharing exact numbers, of course. Ultimately, we can be confident that, records aside, Amazon sold a ton of stuff.
If you want a custom PC, there's a lot of fun to be had building your own rig -- or even just upgrading your off-the-shelf PC. But while you can save money as you create your perfect computer, there is the headache of ensuring that all of the components you buy are compatible with your system.
While hardware compatibility is not quite the problem it was in years gone by, it can still be an issue. Help is at hand, however, albeit from an unlikely source. Amazon has launched a compatibility checking tool that will help you to buy the right components. It is an extension of its Part Finder tools which launched earlier in the year.