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The Invoke Smart Speaker Brings Microsoft’s Cortana AI to Your Living Room


Cortana virtual assistant already integrates into Windows 10, works on iOS and Android, and will start showing up in cars soon, it’s ready for your home with Invoke. It's good for work, good for play, even has a cool name.

The new Invoke speaker, made by Harman Kardon, is more or less a direct copy of the Amazon Echo - a tall, cylindrical speaker with a blue light at the top that glows when the speaker is listening to you. It can control some of your smart-home devices, set reminders, name the members of One Direction (RIP), and many other things Echo can also do. So far, the Invoke appears to have exactly one unique feature: It can make and receive calls with Skype.

Hey Cortana, open Alexa: Microsoft and Amazon’s first-of-its-kind collaboration


I talk to Cortana every day — at home, work and on-the-go — to get information about my day, to set reminders so I don’t forget things, and to answer my questions. But I don’t just use one digital assistant. I also frequently talk to Alexa to listen to audio books or to add things to my shopping list. Because people use and interact with all kinds of products, we’re very excited to announce a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Amazon between Cortana and Alexa that will offer more choice, value and access to both intelligent personal assistants.

Available later this year, this collaboration will allow you to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. Conversely, you’ll be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show.

As our CEO, Satya Nadella, said in today’s Amazon press release, the collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon reflects our belief that when people and technology work together, everybody wins:

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us. Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

By bringing Cortana to Alexa and Alexa to Cortana, I’m excited that we’re adding more value and choice for consumers and developers alike. Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa, just as Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana.

Amazon just launched a cashier-free convenience store


Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards.

Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine.

AWS public cloud is twice as big as Microsoft, Google, IBM combined


Amazon Web Services is utterly dominating the competition, taking 45 percent of worldwide revenues for public cloud services, according to a new analysis.

Microsoft and Google might be increasing public cloud revenues faster than AWS, but they've also got a long way to go to come close to catching up, a new analysis from Synergy Research Group shows.

The combined revenues from Microsoft, Google, and IBM amount to less than 20 percent of worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS, revenues in Q3 2016, compared with AWS's 45 percent, the research firm reports.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 Gets 50 Percent More RAM At A 40 Percent Price; Takes On iPad Mini 4 Head On

Amazon just announced the 2.0 version of last year's Fire HD 8. They claim that the brand new Fire HD 8 tablet comes with improved features. The Kindle Fire HD 8 still looks the same as the one released last year, so what's really new with it?

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet Gets A New Assistant

NY Times reports, Amazon Echo's cloud-based intelligent digital personal assistant, Alexa, goes mobile as the newest update to come in the Kindle Fire HD 8 will include Alexa. With the Fire HD 8 being the first Amazon tablet to be integrated with Alexa, you can interact with your gadget and ask it to perform certain functions for you such as playing music, read audiobooks, search the web and a lot more.

Other Amazon Kindle Tablets don't have to worry because they are getting Alexa, too. The update will also come to the Amazon Fire, Fire HD 10, and the Fire HD 8 2015.

Bigger Memory And Faster Processor For The 2016 Kindle Fire HD 8

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet 2016 is equipped with a quad-core MediaTek processor that allows it to perform faster than it used to with the Kindle Fire HD 8 2015. According to CNET, the Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 supports microSD cards up to 200 GB, but also offers more RAM and internal storage of either 16 GB and 32 GB.

New Features For Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 2016

The Fire HD 8 2016 runs on Fire OS 5 and now has a front-facing camera plus a primary camera with 2 megapixels. Sources suggest that Amazon's latest tablet has an 8-inch display, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio and a 4,750 mAh battery that can last up to 12 hours.  The Fire HD 8 2016 will come in four colors: black, tangerine, blue and magenta.

Is Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 Tablet Better Than The iPad Mini 4?

There have been rumors that Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 is two times more durable than the iPad Mini 4 after enduring several tumble tests. It is a lot more affordable which ideal for practical reasons, but the Fire HD 8 is no match to Apple's iPad Mini 4 in terms of the device's premium build quality.

The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe

From Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author Joseph Sitglitz, author of Globalization and Its Discontents, this is the essential, must-read guide to the future of Europe.

Solidarity and prosperity fostered by economic integration: this principle has underpinned the European project from the start, and the establishment of a common currency was supposed to be its most audacious and tangible achievement. Since 2008, however, the European Union has ricocheted between stagnation and crisis. The inability of the eurozone to match the recovery in the USA and UK has exposed its governing structures, institutions and policies as dysfunctional and called into question the viability of a common currency shared by such different economies as Germany and Greece.

Designed to bring the European Union closer together, the euro has actually done the opposite: after nearly a decade without growth, unity has been replaced with dissent and enlargements with prospective exits. Joseph Stiglitz argues that Europe's stagnation and bleak outlook are a direct result of the fundamental flaws inherent in the euro project - economic integration outpacing political integration with a structure that promotes divergence rather than convergence. Money relentlessly leaves the weaker member states and goes to the strong, with debt accumulating in a few ill-favoured countries. The question then is: Can the euro be saved?

Laying bare the European Central Bank's misguided inflation-only mandate and explaining why austerity has condemned Europe to unending stagnation, Stiglitz outlines the fundamental reforms necessary to the structure of the eurozone and the policies imposed on the member countries suffering the most. But the same lack of sufficient political solidarity that led to the creation of a flawed euro twenty years ago suggests that these reforms are unlikely to be adopted. Hoping to avoid the huge costs associated with current policies, Stiglitz proposes two other alternatives: a well-managed end to the common currency; or a bold, new system dubbed 'the flexible euro.' This important book, by one of the world's leading economists, addresses the euro-crisis on a bigger intellectual scale than any predecessor.

Amazon regala Kindle e promuove la lettura nei Paesi in via di sviluppo

Amazon regala Kindle, gli e-reader più in voga tra coloro che amano leggere in digitale. Solo pochi giorni fa, il 24 agosto, la nota azienda statunitense ha annunciato il suo nuovissimo progetto chiamato Kindle Reading Fund. Nasce con lo scopo di promuovere la lettura e, contemporaneamente, rendere quella digitale più accessibile a livello mondiale. L’intenzione è quella di donare un gran numero di Kindle, tablet Fire e milioni di e-book ai paesi in via di sviluppo in collaborazione con varie organizzazioni, tra cui Worldwidereader, con la quale ha già collaborato in passato.

Recentemente, quest’ultima ha infatti lavorato con Amazon al progetto LEAP 2.0, grazie al quale ben 61 biblioteche del Kenya e circa 500.000 dei suoi abitanti hanno potuto beneficiare degli e-book. La Worldwidereader, inoltre, può vantare di aver fatto in modo che, negli scorsi 6 anni, una gran quantità di libri abbia raggiunto oltre 4 milioni di persone. Si tratta di numeri impressionanti, considerato che in alcuni paesi la cultura non viene purtroppo promossa e i giovani di oggi si interessano sempre meno alla lettura. Basti pensare alle decine di librerie che chiudono ogni anno.

Amazon promuove la lettura e, proprio come per la Worldwidereader, non è la prima volta e non sarà l’ultima. L’azienda ha infatti donato, e continua a donare, migliaia di e-book di ogni genere a studenti e insegnanti. In collaborazione con la National PTA, inoltre, sta lavorando ad un progetto che vede il coinvolgimento dei genitori in un programma di lettura chiamato Family Reading Experience. Il supporto della famiglia è molto importante nella formazione dei bambini, quindi la speranza è che anche quest’iniziativa riscuota un grande successo. I più piccoli sono il futuro e, fortunatamente, Amazon lo sa bene e porta un aiuto non indifferente.

Se ciò non fosse abbastanza, è sufficiente citare alcuni degli altri enti a cui Amazon regala i Kindle. Ci sono il Seattle Children’s Hospital, Mary’s Place, Rainier Scholars e tantissimi altri ospedali, case famiglia e associazioni no-profit. Amazon promuove la lettura e, secondo un suo portavoce, il sogno dell’azienda è fare in modo che i libri e i benefici che portano arrivino a più persone possibili, comprese quelle dei paesi in via di sviluppo. Per informazioni più dettagliate, si può consultare il sito ufficiale.

Amazon launches Kindle book reader worldwide


Book fanatics will soon be able to get their hands on Amazon's popular Kindle electronic book reader, after the company unveiled an international version of the gadget.

In an announcement today, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the Kindle will be available worldwide on October 19, selling through the company's American website and shipping to the UK for $279 (£175) - although import duties will push the price up to around £200.

Although customers will have to order from the United States for the time being, Bezos said in a note to British customers on that the gadget would eventually be sold through the company's British outlet.

"In the future, we plan to introduce a UK-centric Kindle experience, enabling you to purchase Kindle and Kindle books in sterling from our site," he said.

Amazon, Kindle e Liquavista: novità importanti, ma non per forza a colori

Amazon, Liquavista e un inedito ebook reader a colori, è una di quelle storie che di tanto in tanto vengono fuori in cerca di conferme. Sappiamo che Liquavista fa parte dell'azienda di Jeff Bezos dalla primavera 2013, da quando Samsung ne ha ceduto la proprietà dopo aver cercato di capire come sfruttare quella particolare tecnologia su tablet ed ebook reader. Da allora non è più successo nulla.

Ora Amazon pubblica il video "Meet the Liquavista Team" nel suo canale Youtube, e sostituisce il vecchio logo di con uno nuovo e moderno. E il tutto avviene a ridosso del periodo autunnale, del fine estate, storicamente il momento buono per la presentazione dei nuovi Kindle. Può essere un caso? Forse, ma tutta l'operazione ricorda le attività che si fanno per dare vita ad un marchio, per introdurlo e per crearci una storia. D'altro canto, perché Amazon avrebbe dovuto presentare ufficialmente l'acquisizione di Liquavista solo adesso, solo 2 anni dopo?

Liquavista non significa solo schermi a colori, ma anche pannelli in bianco e nero (sarebbe più corretto dire: scala di grigi) basati sulle stesse logiche di funzionamento ma con una riflettanza e un rapporto di contrasto davvero vicino alla carta stampata. Se un E-Ink Carta arriva al 44% di riflettanza e 15:1 di contrasto, un Liquavista fa 60% e 12:1. La carta stampata è su 70-80% e 12:1.



Planet Xamarin

Planet Xamarin


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