#238 Roblox Founder Worth $4.6 Billion

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#227 Recapping One More Thing By Apple

The Apple November event is a wrap, let’s see what they announced today! I hear new Mac computers and a pretty sweet new M1 processor…

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#116 Win $1000 Playing 50 Hours Of Fortnite?

That’s right, enter by May 31st and you could be lucky enough to win $1000 if you play 50 hours of Fortnite! We go over all the juicy details in this episode, so listen in if you want some of that green!

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Google Teams Up with Retail Giants on New Shopping Program

Google launches Shopping Actions in the US

Have you ever needed something, had no idea where to get it and went straight to Google to type “where do I buy xxx” or “xxx where to buy”?

Well, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world are doing this and the tech giant is banking on that to make even more profit.

They are now teaming up with big retailers such as Home Depot, Target, Costco, Ulta and Walmart under a new program that lists their products directly on Google Search, on the Google Express shopping service and of course, on Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

In exchange, the retailers will have to shell out a certain portion of each purchase to Google. However, this is not to be confused with Google ads which is an entirely different thing.

Daniel Alegre, Google’s president for retail and shopping, said in an exclusive interview with Reuters that over the last two years, the amount of people on Google asking where to buy products rose by 85%. Currently however, this searches most often result to Amazon purchases.

Under Google’s new Shopping Actions, retailers such as Walmart and Target can now compete with Amazon in influencing shopper’s purchasing decisions and help them get more purchases made from their mobile phones and smart home devices through voice searches.

But how does this work exactly?

A shopper can search for let’s say, some new curtains on her way home and adds it to her Google Express cart. When she gets home, she realises she also needs cereals so she searches for them using her Google Home and adds them to the cart and purchases all at once. Easy-peasy.

Currently, the new Shopping Actions is available to retailers in the United States. We’ll have to wait to see if they will also implement this worldwide.

Here Are 5 Things What Alexa-powered Smart Speaker Can Do

Tech-savvy users are now taking advantage of the yuletide holiday. If you are one of them, then you must be one of those who bought the famous Alexa-powered speaker device of Amazon. The company said in a statement that it sold 10 millions of Alexa-enabled devices this month.

Amazon sells Amazon Echo Dot or Echo Spot, and if you are one of the owners of the popular Echo smart speaker from Amazon, then you must know some basic information about Amazon’s smart speaker.

Below are 5 tasks that you must essentially learn on what you can do with the Alexa-enabled device.

Alexa essentials you should know

1. Know and learn the basics

For you to activate Alexa, you can activate her by saying, : Alexa, what can you do?.” By doing so, you will be able to know what are the capabilities of Amazon’s AI smart assistant. There are numerous tasks that Alexa performs such as creating reminders, create alarms, add events to the calendar, add items to your to-do list, get traffic information, and get the weather update, among others.

2. Play with Alexa’s skills

You can take advantage of Alexa’s skills if you want to be productive with your tasks. Amazon brags that Alexa has now more than 25, 000 voice apps featured in the Alexa Skills Store. The number of skills tripled now because of a year ago, Amazon’s AI assistant has only 5, 000 skills then. These skills include interacting with smart home devices, hear people sing or play jeopardy or even make payments online, among others.

3. Ask questions

Also, what makes Alexa more fun and engaging is that you can actually ask a question. You can let Alexa do some web searches and scan websites such as Wikipedia to answer specific questions with a wide range of topics such as popular people, current events, history, among others.

4. Get notifications

One of Alexa’s feature is its ability to deliver what Amazon calls a “proactive notifications.” Amazon claims that skills that are embedded with proactive notifications can trigger Alexa’s LED lights to ring to get the user’s attention. With proactive notifications, these notifications are visible lights glowing. In fact, the first skills with push notifications were Life360, AccuWeather, and Washington Post.

5. You can listen to music, news and audiobooks

With Alexa, you can play and listen to millions of songs featured in various music streaming services like IHeartMusic, Spotify, or Amazon Music. You can also ask Alexa to sort music by genres. Alexa can also play a certain type of music based on your activities-sleeping, cooking, working out or having a good night sleep.

Amazon Echo: Device, Music Streaming Service Expand to 28 Countries

American electric commerce Amazon today announced that its Amazon Echo device is coming to 28 more countries. The company’s music streaming service, the Amazon Music Unlimited is also part of the reported expansion.

In a press statement, Amazon’s Music Unlimited offers more than 40 million songs and a thousand of playlists and stations to its subscribers. The songs and playlists are hand-picked by the company’s expert for its millions listener worldwide.

“Music is such an incredible global connector, and with Amazon Music Unlimited we’ve been able to give listeners access to an extensive catalog with the added experience of using their own voice to hear music in so many ways with Alexa,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music in a statement.

“Today’s announcement signifies an important moment for Amazon Music Unlimited and our international customers as we continue to offer more music fans all over the world a completely new way to hear expertly-curated playlists and songs from their favorite artists,” he added.

With this, Amazon users in Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and Uruguay.

The Amazon’s music streaming service plays on using the Amazon Music app. Amazon users can download the app via Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Fire TV, citing a report from The Verge.

Also, Amazon users can select three options: an Individual plan, the Echo plan and the Family Plan as well. Under the Echo plan, you can only listen to music using a single device while the Individual plan allows you to add up to 10 devices.

And for the Family plan, you can actually add six people to stream music provided you, and the six people are in the same household.

Tech Feud: Google, Amazon Head For Consumers Lose?

The feud between Google and Amazon is now escalating. The two tech giants have decided to implement decisions that put consumers at the losing end.

For one, Google has announced that it will pull out its YouTube from Amazon devices. This means that users will not be able to access YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV. Not only that, Amazon Echo device users will not be able to access the Google’s online video portal because of the escalating feud.

Google is pulling YouTube from Amazon’s smart speaker and video streaming devices © Dreamstime

Furthermore, you might be wondering what pushed Google to do this unexpected move. The escalating feud has triggered Google to block access to YouTube. The reason, according to Google, Amazon has reportedly refused to sell Google Products.

These products include Google’s streaming device Chromecast which is the counterpart of Amazon’s Fire TV, Google’s Home which is an internet-connected speaker, a rival of Amazon’s Echo.

According to Google, the lack of reciprocity pushed the company to retaliate against Amazon, the biggest online retailer.

Lack of reciprocity

In a Techcrunch report, a Google spokesperson said that there were several attempts to reach the biggest online retail store to give consumers access to all their products and services.

“But Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest’s latest products,” the company’s spokesperson said.

“Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV,” Google said, adding that it is expecting to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, Google has still high hopes that it can actually pressure Amazon to sell several Google products. If no agreement will reach, Google’s YouTube will not be working on Amazon’s Fire TV effective January 1.

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