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Amazon facial recognition software raises privacy concerns with the ACLU

Amazon hasn’t exactly kept Rekognition under wraps. In late 2016, the software giant talked up its facial detection software in a relatively benign AWS post announcing that the tech was already being implemented by The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon for suspect identification. The ACLU of Northern California is shining more light on the tech this week, however, after ... Read More »

Amazon Music’s app adds hands-free listening, courtesy of Alexa

In September, Amazon announced it was adding support for Alexa voice control to its Amazon Music app for iOS and Android. However, it was implemented as a tap-to-talk function – something that didn’t quite mesh with the hands-free voice control experience Alexa is known for. Today, Amazon is addressing that problem by rolling out hands-free listening to the Amazon Music ... Read More »

Family claims their Echo sent a private conversation to a random contact

A Portland family tells KIRO news that their Echo recorded and then sent a private conversation to someone on its list of contacts without telling them. Amazon called it an “extremely rare occurrence.” Portlander Danielle said that she got a call from one of her husband’s employees one day telling her to “unplug your Alexa devices right now,” and suggesting ... Read More »

Alexa gets smarter about calendar appointments

As digital assistants improve, we’re learning new things to expect from them, but the tasks that a real-life assistant may have handled before can still be a bit of a challenge to home assistants. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is gaining functionality to help it get smarter about working with your calendar. The new abilities will let users move appointments around ... Read More »

AWS adds more EC2 instance types with local NVMe storage

AWS is adding a new kind of virtual machine to its growing list of EC2 options. These new machines feature local NVMe storage, which offers significantly faster throughput than standard SSDs. These new so-called C5d instances join the existing lineup of compute-optimized C5 instances the service already offered. AWS cites high-performance computing workloads, real-time analytics, multiplayer gaming and video encoding ... Read More »

Trump reportedly pushed USPS to double Amazon’s shipping rates

According to new reporting from The Washington Post, President trump personally pushed United States Postal Service head Megan Brennan to jack up shipping prices on Amazon and and other firms. The story comes from unnamed sources, who suggest that, thus far, the Postmaster General has held out against pressure from the President. If enacted, the new pricing structure would likely ... Read More »

Food delivery’s untapped opportunity

Investors may have already placed their orders in the consumer food delivery space, but there’s still a missing recipe for solving the over $250 billion business-to-business foodservice distribution problem that’s begging for venture firms to put more cooks in the kitchen.  Stock prices for Sysco and US Foods, the two largest food distributors, are up by over 20% since last summer when ... Read More »

AWS introduces 1-click Lambda functions app for IoT

When Amazon introduced AWS Lambda in 2015, the notion of serverless computing was relatively unknown. It enables developers to deliver software without having to manage a server to do it. Instead, Amazon manages it all and the underlying infrastructure only comes into play when an event triggers a requirement. Today, the company released an app in the iOS App Store ... Read More »

Ring’s doorbell cam allowed video access after its password was changed

This is likely to be a bit of a black eye from Amazon, as the company looks to bolster its presence in the home security space. The Information reports that, until earlier this year, a security loophole allowed users to continue to view a feed from Ring’s doorbell camera even after its password was changed. Ring, which was purchased by ... Read More »

AWS launches an undo feature for its Aurora database service

Aurora, AWS’s managed MySQL and PostgreSQL database service, is getting an undo feature. As the company announced today, the new Aurora Backtrack feature will allow developers to “turn back time.” For now, this only works for MySQL databases, though. Developers have to opt in to this feature and it only works for newly created database clusters or clusters that have ... Read More »

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