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Amazon

Amazon debuts a scale model autonomous car to teach developers machine learning

By | Amazon, AWS, AWS re:Invent 2018, deep learning, Education, Gadgets, machine learning, race car, TC

Amazon today announced AWS DeepRacer, a fully autonomous 1/18th-scale race car that aims to help developers learn machine learning. Priced at $399 but currently offered for $249, the race car lets developers get hands-on — literally — with a machine learning technique called reinforcement learning (RL). RL takes a different approach to training models than […]

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The Alexa-enabled Big Mouth Billy Bass and other twerking toys go on sale

By | Alexa, alexa gadgets, Amazon, echo, funny, Gadgets

In September, Amazon launched its Alexa Gadgets Toolkit into beta, allowing hardware makers to build accessories that pair with Amazon Echo over Bluetooth. Today, one of the most memorable (and quite ridiculous) examples of that technology is going live. Yes, I’m talking about the Alexa-enabled Big Mouth Billy Bass, of course. You know, the talking fish […]

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These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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Facebook Portal needs more. At least it just added YouTube

By | Amazon, Amazon Echo Show, Apps, Facebook, Facebook Portal, Gadgets, Google, Google Assistant, Google Home Hub, Hardware, Media, Social, TC, YouTube

To offset the creepiness of having Facebook’s camera and microphone in your house, its new Portal video chat gadget needs best-in-class software.  Its hardware is remarkably well done, plus Messenger and the photo frame feature work great. But its third-party app platform was pretty skimpy when the device launched this week. Facebook is increasingly relying […]

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Sonos delays Google Assistant integration until 2019, private beta to launch in 2018

By | Amazon, amazon alexa, Artificial Intelligence, computing, Gadgets, Google, smart speakers, software platform, Sonos, sonos one, Speaker, Technology

Sonos today announced that Google Assistant will not be available on its products until at least 2019. The service was supposed to launch in 2018 but the company said in a blog posting it needs a bit more time. Additional information about timing will be released in early 2019, Sonos says. Eager customers can sign […]

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Amazon Alexa goes AWOL for many users

By | Amazon, amazon alexa, Amazon Dot, Gadgets, outage, TC, voice assistant

Some Amazon Alexa users are currently having problems reaching the voice assistant. Instead of reacting to commands, Alexa simply says “sorry, something went wrong.” Amazon hasn’t commented publicly yet on the issue. Based on tweets and Down Detector, users began having trouble reaching Alexa around 7AM PST. While some had their connection issues resolved quickly, […]

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Smart home makers hoard your data, but won’t say if the police come for it

By | Amazon, Apple, computer security, Facebook, Gadgets, Google, Government, Hardware, Internet of Things, law enforcement, national security, privacy, Security, smart home devices, television, transparency report

A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These days, it’s near impossible to avoid a non-smart home gadget, and they’re vacuuming up a ton of new data that we’d never normally think about. Thermostats know the temperature of your house, and smart cameras […]

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A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg

By | Advertising Tech, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, Facebook, Gadgets, Hardware, machine learning, Mark Zuckerberg, Messenger, portal, privacy, Security, smart home, Social, TC, video calling

TechCrunch: Hey Portal, dial Mark Portal: Do you mean Mark Zuckerberg? TC: Yes Portal: Dialling Mark… TC: Hi Mark! Nice choice of grey t-shirt. MZ: Uh, new phone who dis? — oh, hi, er, TechCrunch… TC: Thanks for agreeing to this entirely fictional interview, Mark! MZ: Sure — anytime. But you don’t mind if I […]

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