Why tech is taking a hammering

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Apple, FaceBook, Google, Netflix.

Technology stocks have had a very bad week. For the FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) which have led the charge in growth over the past decade, it was grim. At their lowest point, all five were down more than 20 per cent from their peaks. This translates to hundreds of billions of dollars… Read more »

Losing bid for Amazon HQ2 was still a win for Toronto, advocates say

Posted by & filed under Amazon.

“This was a list of places Amazon really thinks they’re going to put something. We should compete to get whatever that is but, in reality, the key to our long-term success is to create the next Amazons in Toronto, not lure the current Amazon.” Source: Toronto Star Date: November 15th, 2018 Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/technology/2018/11/13/toronto-loses-bid-to-host-amazons-second-headquarters.html Discussion 1) “I’ve told (Toronto officials)… Read more »

Amazon HQ2 process highlights the company’s data obsession

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Ethical Issues.

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters was never just about finding a new home. Throughout the process, Amazon skillfully obtained data from 238 cities and metro areas in North America for free, including proprietary information about real estate sites under development, details about their talent pool, local labor cost and what incentives cities and states were willing… Read more »

Amazon can sell you stuff. But can it clean your house?

Posted by & filed under Amazon.

“They really didn’t listen to those of us who’ve been in the business for decades,” says Bobbie Moe. Customers would punch in their cleaning needs and the square footage of their house online, but the actual time and manpower required would vary wildly with the cleaning needs of the home.” Source: CNN Technology News Date: October 25th, 2018 Link… Read more »

How to make sure your Amazon Echo doesn’t send secret recordings

Posted by & filed under Amazon, App Economy.

It was Alexa’s equivalent of a pocket dial. A woman in Portland, Oregon, claimed her Amazon Echo smart-speaker secretly recorded a private conversation, then sent the audio file to an acquaintance. She told her story to a local news outlet and it spread, stoking fears about always listening devices invading privacy. Amazon confirmed the incident and claimed it was… Read more »

Civil Rights Group Criticizes Amazon Over Facial Recognition

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Civil Liberties.

Amazon.com Inc. drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday over a facial-recognition system offered to law-enforcement agencies that the advocacy group says can be used to violate civil rights. In marketing materials obtained by the group, Amazon Web Services said its Rekognition system uses artificial intelligence to quickly identify people in photos and videos,… Read more »

Inside the Alexa Prize

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality.

Amazon has challenged 15 teams of some of the world’s best computer science graduate students to build “a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics for 20 minutes.” If any team succeeds, its members will snare academic glory and the promise of brilliant future careers. (Consider that some of the… Read more »