amazon
Amazon Allowed to Continue Putting Cat Food in Your Basket

One person complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about Amazon's Alexa recently, after an advert for the Echo Dot voice-activated speaker system apparently added some cat food to the owner's shopping basket. The owner cancelled the order so didn't actually receive any unsolicited cat food, but still. Read More >>

food
The Amazon Echo Can Now Enlist Gordon Ramsay to Insult Your Food

If you've ever looked at Gordon Ramsay's Twitter account, you'll see that people can't stop asking him to assess the quality of their cooking. Most of the time he doesn't have very nice things to say, which only seems to spur people on. It can be tricky getting him to comment on your cooking, but now you can use the Amazon Echo and Alexa to do it for you. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon’s Alexa Can Now Give You a Self-Esteem Boost on Command

Judging from all the emails I get, Amazon is quite good at updating its Alexa voice assistant and adding new features. Usually I don't pay much attention to them, unless I get a big long press release, but today the list of updates caught my attention. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Isn’t Fond of Filling Alexa Up With Ads

Adverts are everywhere, because its one of the only ways companies can actually make money from their products - be they apps, YouTube channels, news websites, Google, or whatever. There's one place ads haven't shown up, though, and that's Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant - and if a new report is anything to go by they're not likely to pop up anytime soon. Read More >>

amazon
White House Press Secretary Is Probably Making Up This Crap About Alexa Ordering a Batman Toy

On Sunday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used her official government Twitter account to complain that her two-year-old had allegedly ordered a $79.99 (£58) action figure by “yelling ‘Batman!’ over and over again at her Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo. Read More >>

amazon
The Echo Spot is Coming to the UK Next Week

Amazon's latest product in its Echo lineup will be coming to the UK on 24th January. The Echo Spot is a smaller device offering the same Alexa-driven technology and will retail at £120. Read More >>

technology
Pretty Soon a Smart Assistant Won’t Be a Choice

This winter I bought three Google Home Minis—two for me, and one for my lovely parents. Read More >>

wearables
CES 2018: The Vuzix Blade Is What Google Glass Always Wanted to Be

When Google Glass was announced back in 2013, it was easy to forgive one of the the first AR headsets for looking awkward and being hard to use. There’s no doubt Google’s first crack at making an optical head-mounted display was ahead of its time. Read More >>

garmin
CES 2018: Garmin’s Alexa-Powered Navigation Device Gains a Built-in Dash Cam It Should Have Had From the Start

I really liked Garmin’s bare-bones Speak navigation device when I tried it out a few months ago. Instead of a touchscreen, the $130 (~£110) device relies on voice commands, processed by Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, to get you where you want to go. A few months later, Garmin is already introducing a new version that adds a built-in dash cam for documenting accidents, but it’s a feature I wish the unit had had from day one. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon’s Next Big Thing Could be Serving You Ads on The go

Rumors Facebook is always secretly recording you have long refused to die, but it turns out Amazon may be the first tech giant to achieve the age-old dream of a total advertising Panopticon. Read More >>

predictions
Predictions for the Year 2018 From the 20th Century

It’s the year 2018. And while we have some very cool tech that we take for granted, we’re still waiting on quite a few things that we were promised. But what did the people of yesteryear imagine 2018 would be like? Read More >>

amazon
Alexa, Burn My House Down

If you thought Echos were only good for invading your privacy and enticing hackers, then boy do I have some news for you. Amazon just introduced a new addition to the Smart Home Skill API for Alexa: cooking. Your voice-controlled assistant could potentially be burning down your house in no time! Read More >>

microsoft
When Microsoft Shut Down Groove Music, Cortana Lost a Useful Feature

Despite its best efforts, Microsoft’s Groove Music service never really caught on. So back in October, Microsoft shut the service down and told its users to switch to Spotify. Unfortunately, that decision had some unintended consequences for Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, which relied on Groove Music’s library to help people identify songs. Read More >>

reviews
Amazon’s Echo Spot is a Good-as-Hell Alarm Clock

The smartphone made the standalone alarm clock worthless. Sure you probably know some alarm clock holdouts (a parent or grandmother perhaps), but you probably just use your phone, which is already resting on the nightstand and has a decent enough alarm. The $130 (£97) Amazon Echo Spot, a new, tiny, Alexa device with a camera, display, and shockingly powerful speaker, is so good that you won’t mind turning off the phone to let the Spot get to the business of waking you up every morning. Read More >>

technology
Samsung Smart Speaker, Huh? Let’s Talk

Yesterday, a report from Bloomberg came out saying that Samsung will launch a Bixby-powered smart speaker sometime in the first half of 2018. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since DJ Koh already told CNBC back in August that the company was indeed trying to put its digital assistant, which first debuted on the Galaxy S8, into a smart speaker. The timeline is pretty obvious too; I’m betting that Samsung will unveil the device at Mobile World Congress 2018 in late February before putting it on sale sometime in the spring or early summer. Read More >>