Amazon Alexa Echo Shopping Update

Alexa will now let you order over a million items from Amazon with your voice

Alexa will now let you order over a million items from Amazon with your voice

By about 9 hours ago.

Amazon kicked the home virtual assistant trend into overdrive a year ago when it launched the first Echo. Since then, Alexa—the voice service powering the device—has become increasingly intelligent as the company gives it new skills.

It’s latest skill is possibly its latest surprising, as Amazon has now given Alexa the ability to order over a million new products from Amazon, even if the customer has never ordered that product before.

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Spotify Vs Apple

Spotify is furious at Apple because it’s not a non-profit

Spotify is furious at Apple because it’s not a non-profit

By on June 30, 2016 at 2:54 PM.

There’s a big problem with building a business on the back of other companies’ businesses: You have to play by their rules.

There are countless examples of companies losing their cool when a free ride comes to an end. Twitter is an example that instantly comes to mind. Developers spent so long building apps and services utilizing free access to Twitter’s APIs and its users’ data. They made money — a whole lot of money — with these services and paid nothing to Twitter as they did. Then, when Twitter made some changes to its model that impacted many developers’ products, they flipped.

Fast forward to this week, when Spotify’s general counsel sent a letter to Apple’s lawyers, basically slamming the company for not giving Spotify a free ride while it pulls in millions in fees from iPhone and iPad users. More →

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Hit List

Walmart ShippingPass

Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor is here, and you can try it for free

By on June 29, 2016 at 8:00 PM.

Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor is here, and you can try it for free

Walmart has been trialing a rival service to the free shipping part of Amazon Prime for a while, but ShippingPass is finally ready for prime time.

The service costs $49 a year, in return for which you get unlimited free two-day shipping. It’s half the price of Amazon’s $99 a year Prime, but it also doesn’t come with all the bells, whistles, and free streaming services that Prime members get access to.

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Google Garage Workshop Tour

Inside ‘The Garage’, a collaborative workshop for every Google employee

By on June 28, 2016 at 6:30 PM.

Inside ‘The Garage’, a collaborative workshop for every Google employee

Working at Google might not be all fun and games, as several former employees explained in a Quora thread earlier this year, but there’s no question that the perks offered by the company are virtually unrivaled in the industry.

One of the coolest perks for creative Googlers who want to express themselves has to be The Garage — a collaborative workshop through which Business Insider was lucky enough to take a tour earlier this month.

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Game Changers

Evernote Free

Evernote just made its free option worthless

By on June 28, 2016 at 4:15 PM.

Evernote just made its free option worthless

Evernote used to be the best cheap, simple service for syncing notes and lists between multiple devices. Used to be, because starting today, the free version of Evernote only lets you sync notes between two devices.

Starting today, the free plan only allows you two sync between two devices. If you’re an existing power user with a long list of laptops and desktops, Evernote will give you “some time” to jump ship to OneNote.

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Featured
Steve Jobs Failures

A look at Steve Jobs’ biggest failures as Apple CEO

A look at Steve Jobs’ biggest failures as Apple CEO

By on June 28, 2016 at 12:07 PM.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2016 and the phrase This would have never happened if Steve was still alive is still being used. Most recently, Mashable referenced Apple’s overhaul of the Apple Watch UI as a solution to a problem that would have never have happened if Steve Jobs was still at the helm of Apple.

Is this true? Perhaps. Obviously there’s no way to know for sure, but the underlying and frustrating problem with the This would have never happened under Steve Jobs narrative is that it effectively presupposes that the Apple co-founder was a flawless visionary who never oversaw the release of shoddy software or underwhelming hardware.

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Apple Antitrust Investigation

SK antitrust regulator is investigating Apple and it won’t say why

By on June 28, 2016 at 7:45 AM.

SK antitrust regulator is investigating Apple and it won’t say why

A report on Tuesday morning reveals that South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating some of Apple’s business practices in the region. Rumors emerged as recently as last week suggesting that an investigation would soon be underway, and the FTC’s head confirmed as much during a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. For the time being, however, the FTC is not revealing exactly why Apple is being investigated. More →

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Spaces VR DreamWorks

Interview: Spaces is the most exciting VR startup you’ve never heard of

Interview: Spaces is the most exciting VR startup you’ve never heard of

By on June 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

Virtual reality startups like Spaces, a new Los Angeles-based VR shop, are in a race for eyeballs.

For some companies in the space, it’s about the wow factor of shiny hardware that gives users awe-inspiring VR experiences. For an enterprise like Spaces, which was launched by veterans of DreamWorks Animation with $3 million in funding, a key piece of the game plan is teaming up with bigger companies like media brands to get the startup’s VR content in front of as many people as possible.

That’s one reason, for example, Spaces secured a $30 million joint venture announced earlier this month between it and China-based Songcheng Performance Development Co. Ltd., one of the biggest theme park operators in the world. Spaces will be using tools and technology it’s developing specifically for theme parks to help bring VR and mixed reality into Songcheng’s properties, which drew almost 23 million people last year, according to Spaces.

Not bad for a company that’s only a few months old and was born out of its founders’ itch to capitalize on the exploding market for VR content and experiences. More →

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Windows 10 Upgrade: Lawsuit

Microsoft pays woman $10,000 for auto-upgrading her PC to Windows 10

By on June 27, 2016 at 12:35 PM.

Microsoft pays woman $10,000 for auto-upgrading her PC to Windows 10

Windows 10 auto-upgrades are like a sick, cruel joke being played on us by this point. Most stories that start with “my Windows 10 PC auto-upgraded” tend to end with “and then all my data was lost,” but this particular version has a happy ending, because it involves Microsoft paying out a lot of money.

A California woman has won $10,000 from Microsoft, after the tech giant gave up challenging a court case. Teri Goldstein alleges that after her computer was upgraded to Windows 10, it became slow and unreliable.

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Download Netflix Movies

A bug in Chrome makes pirating Netflix and Amazon movies easy

By on June 24, 2016 at 3:50 PM.

A bug in Chrome makes pirating Netflix and Amazon movies easy

Bad news for Google, good news for pirates: a pair of security researchers have found a flaw in the way the Chrome browser unpacks encrypted video. It’s all rather technical, but the upshot is that pirates have an easy way to save DRM-ed video streams to their desktop.

Wired first reported on the vulnerability, which was discovered by researchers David Livshits from the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University and Alexandra Mikityuk of Telekom Innovation Laboratories.

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iPhone 7 Rumors

Why the boring iPhone 7 is the smartest thing Apple has done in years

Why the boring iPhone 7 is the smartest thing Apple has done in years

By on June 22, 2016 at 10:38 AM.

Apple’s top brass have lost their minds. Tim Cook is running Apple into the ground. The iPhone 7 is going to be boring and awful, and kittens may die as a result.

The smoke has cleared and the dust has settled following a series of reports on Tuesday covering Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Pro, or whatever they end up being called. The reports, which were almost certainly planted by Apple’s PR team, made it clear that the new iPhones launching this year will not be major updates. Instead, they’ll be minor updates just as we’ve seen in leaks. It looks like the photo that seemingly gave us our first look at a real iPhone 7 was indeed likely genuine.

Apple shares dipped on the news before quickly recovering and then actually gaining, but the internet wasn’t quite as forgiving. In fact, bloggers where whinier than ever on Tuesday when covering this year’s upcoming iPhones. Should they be angry, or is all this complaining totally off base? More →

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Elon Musk Job Interview Questions

This is what it was like to have a job interview with Elon Musk

By on June 20, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

This is what it was like to have a job interview with Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the few people in the world with the vision and the resources to help shape our future. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. Musk’s Tesla business has already had a profound impact on the automobile industry, jump starting the electric car market and pushing the pace of electric car proliferation years ahead of where it would otherwise be. His company SpaceX now plays a huge role in space missions, and the Hyperloop rail system he dreamt up could end up changing the way we travel yet again.

Can you imagine what it might be like to interview with Musk? More →

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Netflix Price Increase

Netflix expected to make $500 million more per year after jacking up prices

By on June 20, 2016 at 5:35 PM.

Netflix expected to make $500 million more per year after jacking up prices

One or two extra dollars a month might not sound like much, but when you have nearly 100 million subscribers paying for your service, it adds up quickly.

Earlier this year, Netflix revealed that all of its standard subscribers would have their monthly fees raised to $9.99 to match that of new subscribers joining the service. The price hike began rolling out in May, will continue throughout the year, and is likely to make Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars.

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