Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

AllThingsD Week in Review: BlackBerry’s Future and Predictions for Tech in 2014

December 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen hasn’t said much since he took the reins of the once-great smartphone pioneer. But a recent C-suite shakeup and focus on emerging markets indicate that a new strategy is afoot . In a major talent grab, Facebook exec and Instagram advertising guru Emily White is leaving to become COO of Snapchat . While the Internet was abuzz when Jeff Bezos teased the idea of delivery by drone , the Amazon CEO also addressed something much more immediate in his “60 Minutes” interview last week: Small businesses that can’t compete . In its first two and a half weeks, Sony’s sold 2.1 million units of its new gaming console, the PlayStation 4. Microsoft, meanwhile, hasn’t disclosed a current sales number, but also reports record-breaking sales for its rival Xbox One, which has had one fewer week on store shelves

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Pinterest Loses Head of Engineering Jon Jenkins

December 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Jon Jenkins, the head of engineering Pinterest hired from Amazon a little over a year ago , has left the company, as TechCrunch noted based on a Quora explanation he posted . Jenkins said he wanted to do his own startup. Said Pinterest, “We’d like to thank JJ for his contribution to Pinterest and wish him all the best on his next project. We feel fortunate to have leaders within engineering who are ready to step up and run the organization while we recruit for a permanent head of engineering.”

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Google Acquired Seven Robotics Companies for Andy Rubin

December 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Google bought seven robotics companies in the past six months — Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics, Bot & Dolly, Autofuss and Holomni — for an effort to create manufacturing and logistics robots under former Android head Andy Rubin. The deals were reported in a New York Times article , and confirmed by the company. The Times says Rubin’s aims are not at creating robots for consumers, but rather competing with Amazon and its flying delivery drones . (Robots versus drones is the ultimate endgame, after all.)

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Amazon’s Futuristic Delivery Method? Prime Air — Kindles Delivered by Drone. (Video)

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Diapers and Kindles delivered to your doorstep not by truck, not by plane or train — but by drone? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says that this reality may be just four or five years away. In a pretty gentle interview with Charlie Rose on CBS’s “60 Minutes” — not a single question asked about Amazon warehouse strikes or reports of mentally debilitating working conditions — Bezos showed off Amazon-branded drones that he says can travel 10 miles and carry packages weighing up to five pounds to doorsteps in less than 30 minutes. “These are octocopters,” Bezos said in the interview. “These are effectively drones, but there’s no reason these can’t be used as delivery vehicles.” You won’t be seeing them anytime soon — the FAA has yet to release rules about how unmanned flying vehicles may be used — but Bezos said he thinks Amazon could start offering a “Prime Air” service, which the company is acknowledging with its own landing page , within four or five years. “It will work, and it will happen,” Bezos said. The truth is that the FAA will ultimately decide that. As for how Amazon will deal with the inevitable neighborhood game called “Steal/crush/shoot the drone,” maybe we can ask the @AmazonDrone Twitter account that just popped up.

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Amazon Uses ’60 Minutes’ To Unveil Automated Delivery Drones

December 2, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In the future, Amazon customers may no longer need to rely on the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx or UPS to deliver their packages to their doorsteps. In an eyebrow-raising maneuver that put the future on display while audiences were waiting for “The Amazing Race” and “The Good Wife,” the online-retailing giant seized the chance offered... Read more

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Bitcoin, Schmitcoin — Tech Stocks Also on a Frothy Run

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While the stock market was only open a half-day today, it was still a solid one for Internet stocks as the market enters its final month of 2013. Most showed gains yesterday, with Apple, Amazon and Twitter all up almost two percent. But that does not tell the story of how well shares of tech companies have been doing throughout the year — most are up significantly, seeing big jumps. For the year-to-date, most well-known issues are up, including: LinkedIn, up more that 95 percent; Facebook, up over 76.5 percent; Yahoo, up 83 percent; Amazon, up 57 percent; Google, up close to 50 percent; and even perpetually stagnant Microsoft, up close to 43 percent. Apple lagged, up only 4.5 percent, and Twitter remains below its November IPO price, down 7.4 percent. Even suffering Groupon and Zynga did well, up more than 86 percent and 84 percent respectively. The past three months have not been as strong, though, with Amazon leading the pack with a 38.6 percent rise. It was followed by Yahoo, up 35.3 percent; Google, up close to 34 percent; Facebook and Microsoft, up close to 14 percent; and Apple, up just over 13 percent. LinkedIn declined just over seven percent in the period, not a surprise, given its spectacular rise since it went public in mid-2011. What the rest of the year and 2014 will bring is anyone’s guess, of course, but there are expected to be a spate of IPOs in the first half of the new year, most notably China’s Alibaba Group, whose stellar performance should continue to boost Yahoo’s stock.

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Cards Against Humanity’s Black Friday "Sale": Everything Costs $5 More

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

With pre-”Black Friday” sales starting well in advance of Thanksgiving, and some carrying all the way through to the Monday after, online holiday sales are already a joke. But the makers of the popular card game Cards Against Humanity are really driving the point home today. “We’re participating in the tradition of ‘Black Friday,’ an American holiday celebrating a time when the Wampanoag tribe saved the settlers of Plymouth Colony with incredible deals,” the game’s website reads. Their “once-in-a-lifetime” Black Friday sale: Everything costs $5 more than normal . And talk about commitment to the joke: CAH’s listings on Amazon and Shopify (Canada) have actually had their prices hiked for the day. For the uninitiated: Cards Against Humanity is a party game played like Apples to Apples. Players take turns reading off fill-in-the-blank clues, and the other players compete to submit the best answer. However, almost every card is politically incorrect, disgusting or offensive. It’s a hoot. This isn’t the first time the CAH team has monkeyed with prices. After raising more than $15,000 on Kickstarter way, way back in 2011, the game was frequently sold out due to high demand. So its creators put it all up for free online under a Creative Commons license, along with instructions for printing out the free version at home. The effect of this, of course, was that more copies of the then-unknown game were out in the wild in “pirated” form, and trotting those copies out at parties increased demand even more. These days, the $25 $30 game and its four $10 $15 expansion packs are much more reliably in-stock online, but the main game is still available to download (the expansion packs are not).

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Either Ugly Sweaters Are Still In, or Amazon Is Very Late to the Party

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The author in his ugly sweater, circa 2009. The last time I went to a so-called “ugly sweater” holiday party, the year was 2009. And even then, the party theme already seemed old (though you couldn’t tell by the look on my face). But, alas, either ugly sweaters are making a comeback, or their (dare I call it) popularity never really faded at all. This year’s example: has created an Ugly Christmas Sweater page within its Clothing category, marking the first time the Seattle-based retailer has done so, according to spokesman Scott Stanzel. The e-commerce marketplace has also bought up a bunch of keyword ads on Google for terms such as “ugly sweaters,” “ugly Christmas sweaters” and “ugly holiday sweaters.” has also paid to have its own ugly sweaters show up in the paid-ad box on Google alongside Amazon — also a first, according to spokesman Eddie Baeb. Even British online retailer ASOS is trying to get in on the action, snagging some ads atop certain related search queries. It seems, then, that perhaps I’ve just gotten too old to appreciate a good fad, especially if you trust this comment from a retail analyst Reuters spoke to . “This is going to be a Christmas of ugly sweaters,” she told Reuters.

Read More Matches Amazon’s $35 Free Shipping Minimum for the Holidays

November 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Walmart said on Wednesday that it is lowering its free-shipping minimum at from $50 to $35 for the holiday season, effective on Thursday. The announcement comes a month after Amazon raised its own minimum for the first time in a decade, from $25 to the same $35 threshold.

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5 Digital Shows Created by Grown-Ups

November 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley has a lot of things going for it: advancing technology, an attractive environment for whiz kids, a (weak) stab at meritocracy among its residents, gobs and gobs of cash. But as anybody who's ever worked in the arts will tell you, money cannot buy taste. Frequently it buys whatever the opposite of taste is . Thus, the learning curve has been incredibly steep for video companies desperate to produce the elusive "premium content" that will command the kind of money that TV advertising moves every season, or, in the case of subscriber-only services, the kind of buzz that generates subscribers to pay-TV networks. At first, video services seemed to believe that "premium" meant "not cat videos," but after wave after wave of unbearable vanity projects

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