Alexa Expands Multi-Room Playback to More Services

Last August, Amazon rolled out Multi-Room Playback to Alexa Devices. With Whole Home Streaming you can start playing music on one Alexa-powered device and sync the audio to all of your Alexa devices or only the devices you want. This allows you to have your music synchronized throughout your home as you walk from room to room, giving you an easy to set up wire free home intercom system. Now you can enjoy everything from your favorite book or talk show to your favorite music throughout your home synced together. In the past, before Multi-Room Playback on Alexa, you would Click Here to Read more

Exclusive: U.S. sanctions curb Microsoft sales to hundreds of Russian firms

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two of Microsoft’s official distributors in Russia have imposed restrictions on sales of Microsoft software to more than 200 Russian companies following new U.S. sanctions, according to notifications circulated by the distributors. While much of the focus around U.S. sanctions has been on ways they are being skirted, the moves by the Russian distributors show how tougher restrictions that came into force on Nov. 28 are starting to bite. The new measures cut the duration of loans that can be offered to Russian financial firms subject to sanctions to 14 days from 30 days and to 60 Click Here to Read more

Facebook to open digital training hubs in Europe

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook (FB.O) said on Monday it will open three new centers in Europe to train people in digital skills and committed to training one million people over the next two years, part of the social media giant’s drive to show its contribution to the bloc. The U.S. company – which has faced regulatory pressure in Europe over issues ranging from privacy to antitrust – said it would open three “community skills hubs” in Spain, Poland and Italy as well as investing 10 million euros ($12.2 million) in France through its artificial intelligence research facility. “People are worried Click Here to Read more

Amazon’s automated grocery store of the future opens Monday

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) will open its checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday after more than a year of testing, the company said, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail. The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous – customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file. For grocers, the store’s opening heralds another potential disruption at the hands of the world’s largest online Click Here to Read more

Tech Q&A: Eavesdropping Echo, flammable laptops, switching to Android and more

Illustration photo.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel) Want to know more about Amazon Echo, the HP laptop battery recall, ransomware, web printing and switching to Android? Then read this column. Eavesdropping Echo Q. I have an Amazon Echo. I am really concerned it is listening all the time. Does it have any privacy settings? A: The fact remains that Echo records all of your commands, and the microphone is always active because the device is always listening for a “wake phrase.” This may cause you a lot of anxiety, and I completely understand. It’s strange, knowing that a machine designed by the world’s Click Here to Read more

fuboTV Adds 14 More NBC & CBS Affiliates

Today the live TV streaming service fuboTV announced that they have added 14 new NBC and CBS affiliates across the United States. This brings the total number of local affiliates to 140 plus FOX network programming in 45 additional markets around the United States.  This comes a week after fuboTV added 29 CBS & NBC affiliates last week. Here are the affiliates they added: NBC KVOA – Tucson-Sierra Vista, AZ WGAL – Lancaster-Harrisburg-Lebanon-York, PA WHEC – Rochester, NY WPTV – West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL WPTZ – Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY WSLS – Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA WVTM – Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa, AL WXII – Winston Salem-Greensboro-High Click Here to Read more

FTC makes second request on Broadcom’s bid for Qualcomm

(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has made a second request for information on chipmaker Broadcom Ltd’s (AVGO.O) $103 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), Broadcom said in a statement on Friday, a move that could indicate heightened antitrust scrutiny. The FTC review is part of a process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act to scrutinize potentially anti-competitive mergers. The vast majority of deals reviewed by the FTC and the Department of Justice are allowed to proceed after the first preliminary review, according to the FTC’s website. However, if a second request is issued, companies must provide more information to Click Here to Read more

Cord Cutting This Week #11 – Free Streaming Locals, Amazon Price Hike, & More

This week we continue our weekly recap show called Cord Cutting This Week. Every week I pick out a handful of stories I think could have the most significant long-term impact on cord cutting and give you my personal opinion on them. The show is still in beta, as we test out how the show will look, the length of the show, what content we will cover, and more. So join us as I give you my opinions on cord cuttings biggest stories. We would love your feedback as we work hard to improve the show. (Side note: YouTube always pulls the Click Here to Read more

Amazon boosts monthly fee for Prime by $2, maintains yearly rate

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) raised the monthly fee for the U.S. version of its fast-shipping and video-streaming service Amazon Prime by $2 on Friday, making the case for subscribers to upgrade to an annual plan. It was the first increase of Prime fees in almost four years and comes at the end of another bullish year and holiday season for Amazon’s dominant online shopping platform. The move also follows a rise in fees by video streaming rival Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) in October. Amazon increased the fee for its monthly plan to $12.99 from $10.99, while maintaining the annual fee Click Here to Read more

Dish Officially Announces Legal Action against Two IPTV Services

A few weeks ago it was reported that Dish had filed two lawsuits targeting IPTV services. Yesterday, Dish formally announced the lawsuits and explained why they are taking these steps. The two IPTV services Dish targeted are Spider-TV and Tiger Star and, according to the complaint, Dish is suing them for broadcasting certain TV channels licensed exclusively to Dish. “We feel it is our responsibility to ensure the channels and shows we pay to carry exclusively are not pirated and sold illegally,” said Timothy Messner, executive vice president and general counsel at DISH in a statement on their site. “Despite our Click Here to Read more

SEC says bitcoin funds raise ‘investor protection issues’

(Reuters) – The U.S. securities regulator on Thursday raised alarm about the safety of bitcoin-themed investments, telling the fund industry they want answers to their concerns before endorsing more than a dozen proposed products based on cryptocurrencies. A top division chief at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailed the agency’s concerns about the wild-trading investment in a letter to two trade groups representing fund managers who unleashed a range of proposals for funds holding bitcoin or related assets. The SEC’s division of investment management demanded answers to at least 31 detailed questions about how mutual funds or exchange-traded funds Click Here to Read more

IBM returns to growth after six years, but dour forecast hits shares

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp’s (IBM.N) revenue rose for the first time in 23 quarters, beating analysts’ estimates, but the company warned that a higher tax rate this year would eat into its profit. IBM’s shares, which have rallied 10 percent so far this year on hopes of a strong turnaround in the company’s fortunes, fell more than 3 percent in extended trading on Thursday. The company forecast stable margins and revenue for 2018, buoyed by growth in its newer businesses such as cloud computing and security services. However, IBM forecast an operating profit of at least $13.80 per Click Here to Read more

IBM returns to growth, but shares drop after recent rally

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp’s (IBM.N) revenue rose for the first time in 23 quarters and beat analysts’ estimates as the company’s shift into its focus areas such as cloud computing and security services gains traction. IBM’s shares tumbled about 4 percent in extended trading on Thursday. In October, the company had flagged a possible return to growth and since then its stock has gained about 16 percent, including rallying about 10 percent since the start of 2018. “IBM hit their numbers, so I think the reason why shares are down is the shares have been up materially in Click Here to Read more

Disney & Twitch Team Up To Take on YouTube

You may know Twitch as the place to go and watch video games being played. Recently Twitch has expanded outside of video games into talk shows, vlogging, and more. Now they are teaming up with Disney Digital Network to help add support for pre-recorded videos on Twitch. Amazon the parent company behind Twitch has made it clear that they want to take on YouTube. Now it looks like they may be using Twitch to do just that. In the past, the only way to add video to Twitch was to record it live. Now with this deal with Disney Digital Click Here to Read more