Walgreens Boots Alliance, the pharmacy’s health and well-being enterprise, has teamed up with Microsoft on healthcare-related innovations, the companies have announced.The partnership will combine Walgreen’s locations, health services, and similar offerings with Microsoft’s tech ‘to advance and improve the future of health care.’ The business deal arrives as Amazon eyes its own big move into the healthcare industry.This is a major new partnership, one that aims to create ‘integrated digital-physical experiences,’ next-gen health networks, and care management solutions.The partnership will involve a multi-year R investment that seeks to lower the cost of healthcare while improving health outcomes and building new healthcare solutions.Talking about specifics, Microsoft said the two companies will set their focus on connecting Walgreens stores and health data systems with patients and customers via smartphones and other personal gadgets.This connectivity will provide individuals with healthcare-related services whenever they’re needed.
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Video streaming — and general technology — giant Amazon has announced a cool new update to its base-level Fire TV stick, which allows viewers to stream their favorite films and TV shows in 1080p, and retails for $40.Starting now, the base model Fire TV stick comes with the Alexa voice remote that the company released alongside the Fire TV Stick 4K, allowing buyers to search for their favorite content with their voice, rather than having to navigate menus by hand.The update also means that the Fire TV stick gets Bluetooth and multidirectional infrared support — as these are what powers the voice remote, and weren’t previously standard on the most basic Fire TV Stick.In addition, the updated Fire TV Stick comes with IMDb’s Freedive movie service pre-installed, which will allow viewers to immediately dig into a well of complimentary content.That said, we expect that nearly all buyers will be purchasing one because they already have a Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu subscription that they’d like to bring to their big screen.To go along with the new bundle, standalone Alexa voice remotes are also now getting a 50-percent price cut, down to $15 per unit from their original $30 per unit price point, making this a great time for those interested in adding voice search to their Fire TV interface.
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Amazon has updated its Fire TV Stick with the new Alexa Voice Remote previously launched alongside the Fire TV Stick 4K.Unlike the last version that was included with the entry-level Fire TV Stick, the new Alexa Voice Remote can be used to control the television, soundbars, and similar home entertainment devices via IR and Bluetooth support.The First TV Stick is an entry-level device that costs only $39.99, making it one of the cheapest Fire TV options.Though it’s cheaper than other products in the lineup, it also came with some sacrifices, including the relatively basic remote control.Unlike the one revealed in October with the Fire TV Stick 4K, the basic model can’t control a TV or AV hardware.The updated Fire TV Stick retains the same rectangular shape users are familiar with, providing access to the various apps and video platforms supported by Amazon’s devices.
Watch out Sonos: Polk says its Command Bar will be the first third-party sound bar to support Amazon's multi-room music (MRM) ecosystem.As far as we can tell at CNET, it's the first such non-Amazon device, period.Amazon announced at a press event in September 2018 that third-party speakers, such as Polk, would soon get MRM capability.A software update for the Command Bar, due on January 15th, will enable users to group their sound bar with Amazon's Echo speakers for music throughout the house.Amazon's Multi Room Music enables users to listen to content on one or more compatible speakers in a home at once --- a.k.a.You can say something like "Alexa, play System of a Down everywhere" and every compatible speaker on the system would play "Bounce," simultaneously.
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The Polk Command Bar turned heads last summer, squeezing Amazon's Alexa assistant into a soundbar that appeared to have an Echo Dot embedded inside it.Today it's getting even closer to the Amazon device family by introducing a new feature that's a first of its kind for soundbars.Polk has today announced that the Command Bar will be getting support for Amazon's multi-room music (MRM) ecosystem, allowing it to work alongside Echo speakers to bring synced audio right across a home where other MRM-enabled devices hang out.Being a third-party soundbar, it's the first of its kind to offer any such functionality.There's lots going on with the Polk Command Bar to make it worth considering over other, less intelligent soundbars.As well as full Alexa integration that lets you ask Alexa the answers to questions, control smart home units, set timers, play music and more, the Polk Command Bar also has a notch built in to house a Fire TV Stick, with a dedicated HDMI port allowing you to talk to Amazon's streaming dongle.
Amazon is aiming to unseat Roku as the most popular streamer, and by one count at least it has already succeeded.And now its cheapest, most popular Fire TV device is getting a major feature bump for 2019.The updated version of the $40 (£40) Amazon Fire TV Stick goes on sale today, and the main difference between it and the previous version is the addition of volume, mute and power buttons on the remote control -- the Sticks themselves are exactly the same.And if that TV-control remote seems familiar, that's because it debuted with the $50 (£50) Fire TV Stick 4K and was later added to the $120 Fire TV Cube.For the uninitiated, the Fire TV Stick is a little USB-size stick with an HDMI port that plugs into your TV and streams movies, TV shows and music from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Spotify and many, many other sources.I generally prefer Roku's streamers to Fire TV because of Roku's superior interface, but the aggressive prices and superior features of the new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K make them more appealing than ever.
Amazon is now including its upgraded Alexa voice remote with its entry-level $39.99 Fire TV Stick, replacing the old, basic remote that the company previously included.The Alexa voice remote for Fire TVs adds a bunch of new and useful features to the streaming device — specifically, the ability to directly control things like power, volume, and mute on your TV without having to fumble around for another remote, thanks to the inclusion of IR blasters.Amazon has already offered the upgraded remote bundled in with the $49.99 Fire TV Stick 4K and $119.99 Fire TV Cube, but it has charged an extra $29.99 for owners of the regular Fire TV stick to upgrade.Bundling the better remote in the box makes more sense, although it sadly won’t be too helpful for anyone who already owns a Fire TV Stick.
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An open-source hardware project promises to keep Amazon and Google’s smart assistants from listening in on your private conversations by constantly creating white noise, as first spotted by Fast Company.The gadget, called Alias, is an always-listening speaker, but it only connects to the internet during the initial setup process.That way, Alias stays “off the grid” while you’re using it, preventing your conversations from leaving the device, Bjørn Karmann, one of the developers, told The Verge.When the Alias hears its own wake word, it’ll stop broadcasting white noise and wake up Alexa or Google Assistant so you can use them as normal.Alias is designed to fit on top of an Amazon Echo or Google Home where it looks like a mass of melted candle wax.It’s composed of a 3D-printed top layer, a mic array, a Raspberry Pi, and two speakers.
Microsoft has signed a new seven-year deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance to supply cloud services to the retail pharmacy store chain.Walgreens, the second-biggest pharmacy store chain in the US, is planning to “migrate the majority” of its IT infrastructure over to Microsoft’s Azure service, and is promising “new transformational platforms in retail, pharmacy and business services” as a result of the deal.Microsoft will also roll out Microsoft 365, a combination of Windows 10 and Office, to Walgreen’s 380,000 employees and stores globally.Walgreens is the fourth major retailer to partner with Microsoft in recent months.Walmart, Kroger, and Gap have also partnered with Microsoft, in moves that are clearly designed to fight off competition from Amazon and others.Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, and is reportedly planning to open 3,000 Amazon Go stores across the US in a threat to traditional retailers.
As if we don't have enough streaming options already, US broadcaster NBC is looking to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon with its own service.The National Broadcasting Company owns a wide array of channels, including Syfy, CNBC, USA Network, and owns the rights to hugely successful shows such as Saturday Night Live, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place, starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell (pictured above).According to CNBC, the streaming service would reportedly be free to use for anyone with a "traditional pay-TV subscription" in the US.It would be ad-supported, with a paid option (without ads) for around $12 a month – though how it might affect licensing of NBC properties outside of the US is unclear.The service could launch at the start of 2020, and will reportedly feature news and sports coverage alongside NBC's TV and film content (NBC's parent company Comcast also owns Sky in the UK).NBC plans to "retain rights to certain titles" for the service, meaning we could even see NBC pull its properties from the likes of Netflix – as we're seeing with Disney-owned properties for the incoming Disney+ service.
Now, a startup that has built a platform to enable last-mile logistics and other delivery features for these businesses has announced a round of funding to fuel its growth.Bringg, which works with the likes of Walmart and McDonalds, as well third-party delivery businesses like DoorDash, to optimise and manage logistics and other aspects of the delivery process, has raised $25 million to expand its business.A typical example of what Bringg provides to its retail customers is the Spark delivery operation that Walmart launched late last year: it gives the company the ability to optimize driver schedules, automatically dispatch orders, allow drivers to communicate their availability and in turn communicate to drivers by way of smart alerts to make sure deliveries are picked up, queued and delivered on time.Other services that Bringg can offer to customers include helping them run click-and-collect schemes, manage “crowdsourced” fleets, and returns.Amazon has set the bar high when it comes to setting customer expectations by providing a service that can deliver anything you want in a faster time than it would take for you to go out and buy it.A number of startups have emerged to help businesses that are not Amazon and Uber better compete against them and that proposition.
Delivery drones took another step closer to becoming a reality this week after the U.S. government unveiled a set of proposals that would allow the machines to fly over populated areas and also at night.Amazon and Google, among others, have for several years been investing much time and money in developing delivery drone systems, but strict safety-related flight limitations imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have prevented such services from launching.In a speech in Washington, D.C. on Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao outlined the proposed measures, which offer more possibilities to businesses looking to use the technology for commercial purposes, Reuters reported.Current rules prohibit drone flights over urban areas in case the flying machine malfunctions or hits an obstacle and falls from the sky, risking injury to people on the ground.But the FAA now suggests permitting pilots to operate small unmanned aircraft weighing up to 0.55 pounds (0.25 kg) over populated areas unrestricted.Larger machines, meanwhile, would require the manufacturer to show that if it collided with a person, “the resulting injury would be below a certain severity threshold.” The FAA suggests placing protective cages around the propellers for extra safety, though other innovations are encouraged, which could see drones equipped with features such as such as parachutes.
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like.Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.Prime Video Channels is an Amazon Prime member perk that lets members subscribe to more than 100 TV networks for a monthly fee.Amazon is currently offering a 40% discount on four Prime Video Channels: Showtime, PBS Masterpiece, Lifetime Movie Club, and Starz.New subscribers who sign up by January 17 will enjoy the discounted rate for three months.TV fans, take note: Amazon is currently offering a 40% discount on four Prime Video Channels— Showtime, PBS Masterpiece, Lifetime Movie Club, and Starz — to new subscribers who sign up by January 17.
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A robot vacuum is a great smart home device that helps keep your home tidy without the extra hassle of cleaning yourself.Popular robot vacuums such as Roomba can get pricey, with its latest model retails for over $1,000, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab a high quality robot vacuum for a fraction of the price.Amazon is discounting the Eufy Robovac 11S and Eufy Robovac 11+ for a limited time when you apple the Amazon coupon, which is available for all Prime members.We reviewed the Eufy Robovac 11S and recommend this great home device because it gets the job done without cleaning out your wallet.Eufy Robovacs are easy to use, with a push of a button it will do the job for you so you don’t have to spend extra time cleaning.It is the slimmest model so its design is built to fit in tight spaces.
When networks are marketing their new shows, they put a sneak peek of all or part of the first episode on YouTube and their own platforms.But as Fox debuts its new drama The Passage tonight, it chose an unusual location to feature its early look at series footage: Amazon.A widespread marketing campaign teases the show across Amazon properties today, including a sneak peak of the show’s first episode on Amazon’s homepage, which directs consumers to a custom Amazon landing page, full of information about The Passage and featuring a six-minute clip from the show.Fox’s Passage partnership includes several other Amazon brands like IMDb, Audible and Goodreads.“We wanted to partner with a platform that is prevalent in our viewers’ lives and has multiple touchpoints,” said Shannon Ryan, CMO of Fox Television Group.Ads for the show have also appeared in pre-roll spots in some theaters and across social media.
Samsung’s new mid-range Galaxy M series will be launching in India on January 28th, the company has announced on Amazon India, via India Today.The lineup is expected to consist of three phones in total (the M10, M20, and M30), all of them featuring Samsung’s new “Infinity-V” teardrop display.The announcement of the new India-focused phones comes as Samsung is under intense pressure from Chinese rivals in the country.According to data from Counterpoint, Xiaomi overtook Samsung’s Indian market share in Q4 2017, and held as much as a five point lead as of Q3 2018.While the exact specs of the phone are still under wraps, the Amazon listing shows that they will have dual rear cameras, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB-C, and a headphone jack.In an interview with Reuters, Samsung India’s Senior Vice President Asim Warsi, said that the phones would cost between 10,000 and 20,000 rupees ($140 to $280), and will have large batteries and quick charging.
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US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday night mocking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over his divorce, dubbing him Jeff "Bozo."In the tweet, Trump appeared to praise the National Enquirer, the gossip tabloid which published details of Bezos' relationship with former TV news anchor Lauren Sanchez.Trump berated the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos.The Post published a bombshell report last week about Trump's meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.US President Donald Trump has mocked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over his divorce in a tweet.In a flurry of posts on Sunday evening, Trump seemed to revel in Jeff Bezos' impending divorce from his wife MacKenzie.
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Samsung will launch its new lower-priced Galaxy M series in India before the smartphones roll out globally.Asim Warsi, senior vice president of Samsung India’s smartphone business, told Reuters that three devices will be available through its website and Amazon India at the end of January and are intended to help the company double online sales.Samsung is currently trying to recover its lead in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market behind China, after losing it to Xiaomi at the end of 2017, when Xiaomi’s sales in India overtook Samsung for the first time, according to data from both Canalys and Counterpoint.Xiaomi’s budget Redmi series gave it an advantage since Samsung had a dearth of competitors in the same price bracket, but analysts noted the Korean electronics giant maintains an edge in terms of R and supply chain expertise.Samsung leaned into those strengths last year, opening what it describes as the world’s largest mobile phone factory in Noida, just outside of New Delhi.Specs about the three Galaxy M smartphones emerged last month, with details appearing on platform benchmark Geekbench about devices called M10, M20 and M30, the latter of which may be powered by an Exynos 7885 chip with 4GB ram.
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IMDb, the information-rich film and TV website, launched a free, ad-supported, streaming video channel in the U.S. this week.IMDb Freedive offers a wide selection of popular television series and Hollywood feature films, all available without a paid subscription.News of a free streaming content service for Fire TV owners started circulating last August.At the Freedive launch, TV show choices included Fringe, Heroes, The Bachelor, and Without a Trace.Top row movies include hits Awakenings, Foxcatcher, Memento, Monster, Run Lola Run, The Illusionist, The Last Samurai, and True Romance.The IMDb Originals category includes celebrity interviews, documentaries, short series, trailers, news, and coverage of film festivals, award shows, and related events.
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The people who are selected reportedly get an NVIDIA Shield Android TV set-top box for the test, but The Verge says Verizon plans to eventually expand this streaming service to Android smartphones.The story also includes screenshots from the service, which has the rather unimaginative name: Verizon Gaming.The images show a list of impressive PC and console games, but the screenshots are most likely placeholders.Based on emails sent to testers, it sounds like Verizon is more concerned with basic game streaming performance at first with this test.The service is currently is using Wi-Fi, but it’s more than likely that Verizon will roll out this service on its wireless network when it gets its 5G hardware fully up and running.The Verge reports that this small test version with the Shield TV box will conclude by the end of January.
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