Amazon has removed Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound from the basic ad-supported tier, and wants users to pay more if they want to continue enjoying these. News 

Amazon Prime is urging users to pay additional fees for improved streaming quality.

Streaming services, including Amazon Prime and Netflix, are constantly looking for ways to streamline their plans and maximize revenue for their user base. And now the latest move comes from Amazon. Now it’s been confirmed that Amazon has removed Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound from the ad-supported base tier, and wants users to pay more if they want those features along with an ad-free experience. The move comes after the video streaming giant began serving ads on its standard plan starting January 29, 2024, and now requires…

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Nvidia briefly surpassed Amazon.com Inc in market capitalization on Monday, as the euphoria around artificial intelligence catapulted the chipmaker to the fourth most valuable U.S. company. News 

AI Frenzy Boosts Nvidia’s Market Value Above Amazon

(Reuters) – Nvidia briefly overtook Amazon.com Inc in market capitalization on Monday as euphoria over artificial intelligence lifted the chipmaker to the fourth most valuable U.S. company. At a record high of $734.96, Nvidia’s market capitalization was $1.82 trillion, while retail giant Amazon.com is at $1.81 trillion and a few billion away from Google owner Alphabet’s $1.87 trillion, according to LSEG data. The last time Nvidia was more valuable than Amazon was in 2002, when they were worth less than $6 billion. After Amazon’s bigger-than-expected holiday quarter sales last month,…

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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos sold around 12 million shares of the online retail and cloud services firm for roughly $2 billion. News 

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Offloads Approximately $2 Billion Worth of His Shares

(Reuters) – Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos sold about 12 million shares of the online retailer and cloud services company for about $2 billion, the company said in a filing on Friday shortly after it laid out a plan to sell its shares over the next year. . According to the applications, the sale took place on Wednesday and Thursday. Last week, Amazon said Bezos would sell up to 50 million shares of the company. The sales plan made under certain conditions was approved on November 8, 2023, and it would…

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Amazon is also entering the world of AI and it wants to use the technology to improve the online shopping experience for consumers. AI 

Amazon Introduces AI to Assist in Choosing the Perfect Trekking Shoe or Phone

Shopping is the latest way artificial intelligence (AI) is ready to make its presence known, and Amazon is bringing the feature to its customers. In fact, you now have an AI chatbot called Rufus that can help shoppers choose a product that fits their needs and budget. Amazon claims that Rufus improves the shopping experience, and we’d expect nothing less from an AI chatbot that appears to have access to Amazon’s shopping content. Amazon has also trained an AI chatbot on its product catalog, customer reviews, and other information available…

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Another huge wave of job cuts in the tech industry. (AFP) News 

32,000 Jobs Cut as Snap, Okta, and Amazon Face Ongoing Tech Layoffs

In the beginning of 2024, the tech industry has experienced a new round of job reductions, going even deeper after significant layoffs in the previous year. According to Layoffs.fyi, a startup that monitors job cuts in the industry since the pandemic, approximately 32,000 tech employees have been laid off so far this year. Snap Inc. became the latest example, announcing on Monday that it would cut its workforce by about 10 percent, or about 540 workers. Earlier this month, software company Okta Inc. announced it was cutting 7 percent of…

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Rufus was launched on Thursday to “a small subset of customers” who use Amazon’s mobile app, (Amazon) AI 

Discover what Amazon’s new AI-powered shopping assistant Rufus can do, from answering questions to conducting comparisons

Amazon has announced the introduction of Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant, as part of its ongoing efforts to integrate AI technology into its range of products and services. This comes after reports emerged that the company was planning to enhance its voice assistant, Alexa, with personalized AI technology and introduce a new subscription model called Alexa Plus. What is Rufus? According to Bloomberg, Amazon is adding an AI shopping companion to its retail store to help shoppers compare and find answers to queries that are more complex than keyword searches.…

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Amazon and robot vacuum maker iRobot said Monday they would end their plans to merge in the face of opposition from EU antitrust regulators. News 

iRobot Acquisition by Amazon Cancelled Due to Regulatory Concerns

WASHINGTON: Amazon and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot on Monday said they are ending their merger plan amid opposition from EU competition authorities. iRobot announced a major restructuring plan to cut costs and said it would cut about 31 percent of its workforce, or 350 jobs. The company also said that founder Colin Angle has stepped down as CEO. Angle said that given the current challenges, he and the board “mutually decided that iRobot would be better served by a new leader with turnaround experience.” Amazon said its proposed $1.4…

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Microsoft is laying off 1,900 employees in its gaming division, representing an 8% reduction in its gaming workforce. (AP) News 

Tech and retail companies, including Microsoft and Amazon, have recently implemented layoffs

Workers across industries are facing uncertainty as a few companies have initiated job cuts in recent weeks, making 2024 a challenging year for layoffs. In retail and tech, some of these cuts come after a surge in hiring seen during the COVID-19 pandemic — when people spent more time and money online. Now, many companies are reducing their workforce to lower their costs and strengthen their bottom line. Here are some tech and retail companies that have laid off workers recently: layoffs REI is laying off 357 employees, mostly at…

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Amazon-owned Ring said it will stop allowing police departments to request doorbell camera footage from users, (AP) News 

Amazon’s Ring to discontinue police’s ability to request doorbell video from users.

Ring, the home doorbell unit of Amazon.com Inc., has announced that it will no longer allow police departments to request footage from users’ video doorbells and surveillance cameras. This decision comes after facing backlash from civil liberties groups and certain elected officials. Next week, the company will disable the Request For Assistance tool, a program that allows law enforcement to voluntarily request material from users, Eric Kuhn, who runs the Ring’s Neighbors app, said in a blog post Wednesday. Police and fire departments must seek permission to request footage from…

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Check some of the companies that have laid off employees (REUTERS) News 

Exploring major tech companies like Google, Riot Games, and eBay that have implemented layoffs

Several technology companies have recently started laying off employees after rapidly expanding their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, when online activities and spending surged. These companies are now implementing job cuts as a means to reduce expenses and strengthen their financial performance. Here are a few examples of companies that have recently downsized their workforce: Google Google announced that it is laying off hundreds of employees working in the hardware, voice assistance and design teams. The cuts are the result of promises by executives at Google and its parent company…

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Google and other tech giants have heavily relied on this AI firm to help them train their large language models AI 

Google terminates agreement with AI firm that provided services to Microsoft and Amazon as well

Google has terminated its contract with Australian data company Appen, which helped the tech giant train the large language model (LLM) AI tools used in Bard and search. Appen said in an Australian stock exchange filing that it had no prior knowledge of Google’s decision to terminate the contract. In 2023, Appen’s turnover from Google was 82.8 million dollars with a gross margin of 26 percent. “The news is unexpected and disappointing, especially given Appen’s turnaround and performance in November-December 2023,” the company said in its filing. A Google spokesperson…

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Alexa is maturing with advanced AI features this year but the company is now planning for a paid version that personalises its touch. News 

Amazon May Introduce a Paid Version of Alexa in the Market by Next Year

Amazon’s plan to charge for its AI chatbot could come to fruition as early as next year. The company has talked about the need to monetize Alexa, which requires large investments and hardware to build these systems to run and manage AI applications. The company is said to be planning to introduce a paid Alexa to consumers in June this year, but Amazon’s concerns have reportedly led to the release being pushed back to 2025. The company is expected to call it Alexa Plus, and it’s expected to work in…

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Discover Amazon Great Republic Day Sale and enjoy up to 75 percent off on laptops, smartwatches, headphones, and more. (Pexels) Gadgets 

Save up to 75% on laptops, smartwatches, headphones, and more during the Amazon Great Republic Day Sale.

Prepare for an incredible celebration this Republic Day as Amazon’s Great Republic Day Sale is here! Commencing on December 13th, this sale offers a diverse selection of discounts, exclusive deals, and enticing offers across multiple categories. Delve into remarkable savings with discounts of up to 75 percent on cutting-edge laptops, smartwatches, headphones, and much more. Additionally, SBI credit card holders can relish an additional 10 percent instant discount on EMI transactions. But the excitement doesn’t end there. If you are looking to upgrade any of your tech products, now is…

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The Amazon-BMW partnership involves the use of Alexa Custom Assistant technology (ACA). (Amazon) News 

Get all the details on Amazon’s collaboration with BMW to integrate Alexa voice assistant into cars at CES 2024

The year 2023 was dominated by the concept of artificial intelligence (AI), as major tech companies integrated this technology into their range of products. This resulted in the introduction of new AI tools like chatbots, and even traditional organizations like Adobe and Microsoft embraced AI. The impact of AI is not limited to the tech industry, as it is also making significant advancements in the automotive sector. At the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 in Las Vegas, Amazon and BMW have announced a collaboration that will bring AI into…

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The new Amazon video-streaming system — unveiled Tuesday at the CES 2024 conference in Las Vegas — will initially just send content from Amazon’s Prime Video app to Echo Show devices. (REUTERS) News 

Amazon Video-Streaming Makes Debut at CES 2024, Poses Competition to Apple AirPlay; Advantages for iPhone and Android Users

Amazon.com Inc. has unveiled a new feature called Matter Casting, which allows users to wirelessly stream video from their iPhone or Android devices to Amazon’s TV hardware. This move by Amazon aims to create interoperable services, providing an alternative to the proprietary technology used by Apple and Google. With Matter Casting, iOS and Android users will find it more convenient to send video to Amazon devices like Fire TV boxes, sticks, and the Echo Show 15 smart display. Apple’s AirPlay and Google Cast have offered this feature for years, allowing…

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Tech companies are going through major changes with their business and that has played a big part in the hiring slowdown. News 

Tech Giants Google, Meta, and Amazon Experience Decreased Tech Hiring in 2023

India’s recruitment situation takes a big hit when global companies want to slow down their operations. According to a recent ET report, hiring by tech companies in India was slower this year than in recent years, suggesting that the global scenario has directly affected them. In fact, the report mentions that compared to 2022, the number of active jobs had dropped by 90 percent in 2023, which is a huge difference and speaks to how tech companies approach their hiring. We’ve seen the likes of Google, Meta and even Amazon…

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Amazon Prime members have the option to pay for the Lite version in India that has some cutbacks on the benefits. News 

Here’s the Cost of Amazon Prime Lite in India: Reduced Prices for These Features

Amazon Prime Lite membership is a cheaper version of its original Prime plans with toned down features. Amazon already released a Lite version in June this year, allowing more people to use its services, even if some of them were not offered. With Prime Lite, they can enjoy two-day shipping on Amazon purchases at no additional cost. Amazon Prime Lite Price Calculated in India: What You Pay Now Amazon Prime Lite subscription in India is now available at Rs 799 compared to its original price of Rs 999 for a…

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Amazon is finally bringing ads to Prime Video starting January 29 for users in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada. Here's all you need to know about it. Gadgets 

Amazon to introduce payment option for ad-free streaming or watch ads

Following an announcement earlier this year, Amazon will reportedly begin accepting ads on its Prime Video streaming service across all of its movies and TV shows starting January 29, 2024. But to avoid them entirely, users can pay an extra $2.99, as first reported by The Verge. These ads will be “limited” in nature, and the company says its implementation will allow it to continue investing in creating quality content for its viewers. Initially, these ads would also end up on Amazon Prime Video customers in the US, UK, Germany…

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An Atlas 5 rocket with the Amazon's Project Kuiper Protoflight spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (AP) News 

Amazon’s Project Kuiper aims to rival Elon Musk’s starlink internet business

After Amazon.com Inc. successfully launched its initial satellites, there was a brief period of concern when it seemed that one of them may have been lost. The two prototypes were sent into orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 2:24 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 6. Initially, both satellites were in contact with an Amazon antenna located on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. However, during a handoff to another station, only one of the vehicles was able to establish communication. Amazon attempted to locate the second satellite by scanning the sky…

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The primary goal of the Amazon Q AI-powered assistant is to streamline tasks, accelerate decision-making, and facilitate problem-solving. (Amazon) AI 

10 things to be aware of regarding Amazon Q, the AI-powered assistant designed for businesses

Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled a new AI-powered assistant named Amazon Q at its re:Invent 2023 event. This tool, designed for both recreational and professional purposes, has the potential to assist users in their work by providing answers to queries using the company’s data. Here are ten key facts about Amazon Q. 10 things you need to know about Amazon Q 1. Amazon Q is a state-of-the-art generative AI-powered assistant designed specifically for work. It seamlessly integrates with your business and engages in conversations, problem solving, content creation and task…

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