Dumb Smartphones

Amazon Fire Phone: The Solution to None of Your Problems

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.18.00 PM

At the Standard Hotel in New York City last night, AT&T held an event where a slew of reporters queued up for a momentary, tightly controlled preview of the Amazon Fire Phone. No videography was allowed, but it was enough time to see what sets the Fire Phone apart from the competition. The verdict is dim, even compared to something as dismal as a Windows Phone.

The front of the phone is surrounded by 3D cameras that track the motion of your face to see how your head orients to the phone. On a map of New York City, moving the gadget around in front of our eyes caused us to peek around the buildings. In order to see into the distance, we tilted the phone like we were searching for something hidden inside the edge of the screen, which was a little cool at first, but was more glitzy then convenient. Read More

Amaz(ing)on

Amazon to Launch Service Marketplace and Continue Attempt at Worldwide Dominiation

Does Prime apply to this guy? (Scgreengrab: YouTube).

If you haven’t heard, Amazon is adding a thing or five to continue expanding whilst capturing our hopeless devotion.

Two weeks after announcing the addition of 9,000 robots to their workforce, the company revealed their plan to open a marketplace for local services.

The new marketplace will enable consumers to use Amazon to find people who can help them with home repairs, haircuts, massages, babysitting and any other services, Reuters reported. Read More

the robots are coming

Amazon to Add 9,000 Robots to Workforce, Ending Great Robot Depression

Robots, robots everywhere (YouTube).

Were you hoping Amazon would go away so you could stop buying things you don’t need solely because they come in two days? Oh well.

Amazon is about to multiply their robot army times 10, CNN reported.

The online retailing giant announced plans to increase their robot workforce to 10,000 by the end of this year. Currently, Amazon employs 1,000 of the wondrous warehouse machines. Read More

Freshly Minted

Freshly Minted: For This Book Subscription Platform, The Publishing World Is Their Oyster

As reading habits shift over to digital, subscription models are poised to seize a huge portion of the ebook market. (via Getty)

Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.

This week’s deal: Oyster, the Netflix for books, signed a deal with Simon & Schuster that will give Oyster subscribers access to Simon & Schuster’s entire backlist.

Oyster, a service that charges $10 a month for all-you-can-read access to a library of half a million books, just added heavyweight Simon & Schuster to their list of publishers. That makes two of the Big Five companies that dominate the publishing game, and if Oyster can sign on the remaining three publishers, they could take their place among companies like Spotify and Netflix as one of the great subscription titans of the decade. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Tumblr’s Traffic Might Be Declining

eeeeeeesh (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Amazon is denying that it’s developing an “over-the-top” live streaming service for televisions. [The Verge]

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority approved a pilot program last night that requires companies operating employee shuttles (cough Google and Facebook) to obtain permits and pay fees. [Recode]

The Internet is about to have its “big bang.” On Feb. 4, thousands of domain names, like .pizza, will be on sale. [Quartz]

Don’t freak out Marissa with this news, but Tumblr’s traffic is reportedly declining. [Forbes]

Uncarrier T-Mobile is launching Mobile Money, a low-cost bank account for people who are uncomfortable with traditional banks. Interestingly, users can access more than 4,000 ATMs for free. [CNet]

Linkages

Booting Up: Netflix Has 77,000 Sub-Categories So Why Does It Always Suggest The Office?

Soon. (Photo: Netflix)

Uber is distancing itself from an accident in San Francisco that killed a six-year-old. The company says the car wasn’t providing an Uber service during the incident so they’re not at fault. [PandoDaily]

Amazon is slowly putting on its boxing gloves against Netflix. It quietly rolled out its first ad for Prime Instant online video. [Recode]

Netflix has 77,000 sub-categories even though you’re just going to watch 30 Rock again. [Atlantic]

Apparently PlayStation 4 owners watch three times as much porno compared to their Xbox One counterparts. [BuzzFeed FWD]

CES is going to be flooded with celebrities like, uh, Olivia Munn. [AdWeek]

Linkages

Booting Up: Not To Brag, But Amazon Had Its ‘Best Ever’ Holiday

The gang! (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Google is expected to announce a partnership with Audi next week. The two companies will develop an Android-based in-car entertainment and information systems. [WSJ]

Everybody is cautiously excited about Twitter’s stock. This is partly the reason why: “Twitter’s total market value is one-third that of Facebook, which has five times as many users and more than 10 times the revenue.” [New York Times]

People are really liking the Google Chromebook. It accounted for a fifth of commercial laptops sold in November. [AllThingsD]

Amazon announced that on Cyber Monday it sold more than 426 items per second — or 37 million items sold on that one day alone. [BGR]

Shorter: CEO of Large Company Has a Packed Schedule. [New York Post]