Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally

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Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally A year after Amazon opened up in-skill purchasing to all Alexa developers in the U.S., the company is launching the service internationally. Initially, the capability will roll out to developers in the U.K., Germany and Japan, and then developers elsewhere in the world. With in-skill purchasing, developers … Read More

Interactive content is coming to Walmart’s Vudu & the BBC

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Interactive content is coming to Walmart’s Vudu & the BBC Netflix’s early experiments with interactive content may not have always hit the mark. Its flagship effort on this front, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, was a frustrating experiment — and now, the subject of a lawsuit. But the industry has woken up to the potential of personalized programming. Not only is Netflix … Read More

NYT’s ‘The Daily’ now reaches 2 million listeners per day

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NYT’s ‘The Daily’ now reaches 2 million listeners per day The New York Times’ popular podcast “The Daily” is continuing to grow. The news media organization this morning announced its show — which today is ranked No. 7 on Apple’s Top Charts for Podcasts — now reaches 2 million listeners per day, and has expanded to a staff of 17 … Read More

41% of voice assistant users have concerns about trust and privacy, report finds

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41% of voice assistant users have concerns about trust and privacy, report finds Forty-one percent of voice assistant users are concerned about trust, privacy and passive listening, according to a new report from Microsoft focused on consumer adoption of voice and digital assistants. And perhaps people should be concerned — all the major voice assistants, including those from Google, Amazon, … Read More

Audible now offers live customer service through Alexa devices

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Audible now offers live customer service through Alexa devices Alexa devices just got a new use case: live customer service help. This morning, Amazon’s e-book company Audible announced the first live customer service experience on Alexa devices, activated through voice commands. Instead of dialing a phone number or writing an email, Audible customers can ask Alexa to reach Audible on … Read More

Tumblr – finally – enables HTTPS for all accounts

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Tumblr – finally – enables HTTPS for all accounts Better late than never, Tumblr has rolled out HTTPS across its entire site. In a brief post on Tumblr’s engineering page, the company said all Tumblr sites will now have the web encryption setting enabled by default, though it admitted the move was “long-overdue.” Tumblr, which like TechCrunch is owned by … Read More

Amazon launches a certification program for Alexa skill developers

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Amazon launches a certification program for Alexa skill developers Developers building voice-enabled applications for Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices will now have a new way to validate their abilities, with Amazon’s launch of a new AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Speciality certification. This is the first time Amazon has offered a certification program for Alexa developers, the company … Read More

Logitech’s new remote ditches the touchscreen for Alexa

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Logitech’s new remote ditches the touchscreen for Alexa Logitech has a long history of serving AV nerds with its advanced line of universal remotes. In an age of eight million set top boxes, dongles and video on demand services, the Harmony line has done a good job streamlining users’ needs into a single device. As the name suggests, the Harmony … Read More

T-Mobile officially unveils its home TV service, TVision Home

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T-Mobile officially unveils its home TV service, TVision Home T-Mobile today officially unveiled its forthcoming home TV service, which will now be known as TVision Home. The service is the rebranding of Layer3 TV, a company T-Mobile acquired in 2017 to launch what it said would be a “disruptive new TV service” the following year. That launch, of course, had … Read More