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Amazon is the largest Internet company in the world. Originally started as an online book store, there is now almost nothing you can’t buy at amazon.com.

In addition to its ecommerce store, Amazon offers video streaming, music streaming, a publishing company and cloud services. It has also diversified into manufacturing its own branded consumer electronics products, ranging from Amazon Basics cables to Kindle ebook readers, Fire tablets and TV boxes and Echo speakers.

Amazon has its own intelligent assistant, Alexa. Created for its Echo range of smart speakers, Alexa is also supported by a wide range of third-party products, including speakers, TVs, printers, phones, laptops, cars and more. Over 100 million Alexa devices had been sold as of early 2019.

Parler app and website go offline; CEO blames Apple and Google for destroying the company

Parler app and website go offline

The Parler app is non-functional, and parler.com has gone offline, as Amazon Web Services discontinued service to the company. Both the website and the app relied on AWS for content distribution.

The social network was set up after Twitter started clamping down on disinformation and hate speech. However, both Apple and Google dropped the apps after it was revealed that Parler was used to help plan the attempted coup at the Capitol, and was being used to plan a second armed attack in DC ahead of the inauguration …

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Amazon Web Services now offers Mac instances based on Mac mini; M1 coming later

Amazon launches AWS Mac instances using Mac mini

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now offering Mac instances to developers who want to speed up building and testing of Mac, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS apps. The instances are based on physical Mac minis, and you get exclusive access to a machine while you are using it.

While relatively expensive compared to other Mac mini in the cloud services, AWS does offer a couple of significant benefits …

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Third antitrust investigation into Apple/Amazon deal which excluded independent resellers

Apple/Amazon deal

There was controversy back in 2018 when an Apple/Amazon deal was said to risk putting many independent resellers out of business. The deal led to antitrust investigations in the US and Italy, and a third one has now been opened in Germany.

The agreement was reached almost two years ago, providing an official Apple store on Amazon, and limiting sales of Apple products to authorized resellers …

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Amazon's AR app gets major update

Amazon’s AR app lets you fill your home with virtual furniture

Augmented Reality (AR) is a great way to see how furniture and other products will look in your home, and Amazon’s AR app capabilities previously let you do that with one item at a time. Amazon’s iOS app is now getting a big update that will allow you to virtually place dozens of products in up to 100 different configurations …

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Amazon Music podcasts on the way, with immediate controversy

Amazon Music podcasts on the way

Amazon Music podcasts are on the way, with the ecommerce giant also planning on making podcasts available on its audiobook service, Audible. This will almost certainly mean that podcasts are natively supported on Echo speakers, rather than requiring third-party skills.

Apple is still the best-known source of podcasts, but Spotify has offered podcasts for a few years now and has really upped its game in the past 18 months – including a controversial $100M exclusive. Other ways to listen to podcasts include TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and Radio.com.

Just like Spotify, Amazon is headed for controversy with its approach …

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Amazon debuts redesigned Alexa app for iPhone with focus on personalized home screen, more

Amazon has debuted an overhauled version of its Alexa mobile app for iPhone, bringing a new focus on personalization and native Amazon Alexa features. As reported by TechCrunch, the redesigned Alexa app removes the emphasis on third-party skills, instead focusing “on how consumers are actually using Alexa.”



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Amazon Music subscriber numbers revealed for first time: close to Apple Music

Amazon Music subscriber numbers revealed

Amazon Music subscriber numbers have been revealed for the first time. The company says that it has now hit 55 million subscribers, putting it close to the last-reported Apple Music subscriber count of 60 million.

Amazon Music kicks off 2020 by revealing the streaming service has reached more than 55 million customers globally, with subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited growing by more than 50% last year alone. This announcement comes after a year of incredible growth around the world: Amazon Music has grown nearly 50% year-over-year across the US, UK, Germany, and Japan and has more than doubled in our newer countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico …



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Amazon and Google smart speakers can eavesdrop and phish owners; HomePod safe

Some smart speakers can eavesdrop and phish

We’ve known since the spring of last year that Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers can eavesdrop on owners, and even phish them via voice. However, new research shows that new malicious apps with these capabilities continue to be approved by both companies.

The two vulnerabilities, demonstrated in videos below, occur because both companies make their speakers smarter by allowing third-party developers to create apps or “skills” for them. Apple’s HomePod is safe because the company doesn’t allow this type of third-party access…



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