Now, hear Howard Stern on Sirius XM Radio via the Amazon Echo

Amazon is advertising on its Alexa site that Echo users can now get shock jock Howard Stern on Sirius XM Radio (account required). You have to enable the skill via the Amazon Alexa web site, enable the skill, and then link your Sirius XM account to it. The feature is available now.

Amazon to purchase Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

(FoxBusiness): E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) announced Friday it will snap up struggling grocery chain Whole Foods Market (WFM) for $42 per share in an all-cash deal valued about $13.7 billion including debt. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. Under the deal, Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under its independent brand and the company’s CEO and founder, John Mackey will remain in his position. Mackey said the partnership allows the Austin, Texas-based food Click Here to Read more

Amazon Exec: Alexa and Siri SHOULD be able to talk to each other

“Alexa and Siri, rival voice assistants on Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s iPhone, don’t directly communicate with one another. But the Amazon executive in charge of Alexa and the Amazon Echo said he’d welcome the idea,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today. “‘You should be able to tell ‘Alexa, ask Siri X,” said David Limp, senior vice president of devices at Amazon.” “‘If Apple or Google want to come calling, my phone number is out there, they can call… I don’t know if I can envision it but I hope that will happen on behalf of customers,’ Limp told a Click Here to Read more

How to Place a Call using the Amazon Echo

Over the past 2 weeks, Amazon has been busy updating its Amazon Echo product lineup to give it the ability for it to make (free) calls to anyone else around the world from an Android or iOS device. How?  Here is a step-by-step tutorial on what to do: Download the Alexa app for your smart phone for Android or iOS. Launch the app as you do with any other. Tap the Chat icon at the bottom. Tap the icon in the upper-right corner (that looks like the outline of a person).  This will show you a list of your contacts that Click Here to Read more

OPINION: Why cable cutting is NOT a good idea – just not yet

If you read 98% of the articles abut getting rid of cable and going all streaming to save money, they make it seem that it is the thing to do, and that cable systems should be worried about their business, or are even predicting their demise in a few years. Well, I don’t mean to be the caller of bad news, but don’t call your cable company just yet.  Here’s why: While it is true that cable companies are hiking their prices and are giving you less offerings, you’re still getting a deal with the number of channels and offerings Click Here to Read more

Alexa, Show me Mom

(AARP.com): Amazon is upgrading its popular Echo smart speaker, adding features — including a screen that supports video chats and video phone calls — that may make the digital personal assistant more attractive to older consumers and those who care for them. The newest iteration of Echo, called the Echo Show, sports a seven-inch screen that lets users make and receive Wi-Fi video calls with others who own the device or who have the Amazon Alexa app installed on their smartphone. There’s also a feature called drop-in, which allows preselected users to video in to another person’s device at any time. Click Here to Read more

Amazon adding “Push Notifications” to its Echo

(CNBC): Amazon announced on Tuesday that its Alexa smart digital assistant will soon be able to read out notifications from any device with Alexa installed, including the Echo. Alexa is the first to get this sort of functionality, and it’s one that Siri and Google Assistant still lack. Owners of the Amazon Echo will soon be able to walk in the front door and ask it to read out any notifications from various third parties, such as the latest headlines from The Washington Post or weather threats from AccuWeather. (Imagine if you could just place your iPhone or Android phone on Click Here to Read more

Amazon announces “Amazon Echo Show”

Early Tuesday, Amazon unveiled the newest addition to its Echo lineup – called the Amazon Echo Show. Priced at $229.99, the Echo Show brings you everything that the current Alexa has but has the ability to show you the results by using a built-in LCD screen. Not only that, a user can now make video calls, use normal Alexa commands, and more. According to the product page: “Voice responses from Alexa are now enhanced with visuals and optimized for visibility across the room. Call or message your family and friends that also have an Echo or the Alexa App, get Click Here to Read more