Tag Archives: amazon

Amazon Scout robots are on their way to deliver packages

Amazon Scout is a fully-electric robot that uses autonomous devices to safely deliver goods to the customers. 

After many hours of development in Seattle, Amazon has finally decided to let their robots to the tasks they were designed for. Initially, only 6 robots have been released now and all of them are in Washington state, Snohomish County. They will deliver packages Monday through Friday in daylight hours. While traveling through the County’s pavements, the robots can avoid human, pets or other objects on the way, but at the initial release which took place at Wednesday – Amazon said that the robots will be accompanied by an Amazon employee.

This is how the process is supposed to look like.

As you can see the robot is fairly big. My main concern is security. What could be stopping a potential robber from just straight up coming up and stealing the whole robot or when the lid opens taking out the package and running off. The idea is great, but somehow seems to have many holes that could be exploited. Those questions aren’t answered yet, but Amazon is looking at it pretty optimistically.

We are happy to welcome Amazon Scout to our growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers and look forward to taking the learnings from this first neighborhood so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries.

Looks like they are equipped with proper tools and a plan. It is very exciting to see new autonomous devices helping people like this robot or Amazon’s drones. Questions will arise:

Is it likely for robots like this to take jobs away from people, leading to more unemployment?

And when will the technology leave the US and make it to Poland?

 

source: https://blog.aboutamazon.com/transportation/meet-scout

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Facebook sells its users’ data!

The fact that web portals manage the data of their users without their awareness is known not from today, but the way in which Facebook does, it’s just beyond comprehension.

The New York Times is showing the truth.

In connection with recent reports from The New York Times, we read that Facebook sold access to various types of “sensitive data” about its users to such companies as: Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, Spotify. Netflix and Spotify had even access to private correspondence. In most cases, the data obtained by the companies were to help in the selection and positioning of advertisements for users of the said portals. It does not change the fact that through the sale of these data Facebook broke an agreement from 2011 with the American Federal Trade Commission, which clearly states that Facebook can share user data only if it is given accurate and explicit consent.

Companies answer the allegations!

All companies mentioned in the report of The New York Times issued a special statement. One of them is the statement of the Netflix press office regarding access to private correspondence of Facebook users. We read in it about:

“Over the years, we’ve tested various solutions to help Netflix understand the wider community, one of which was a feature introduced in 2014 that allowed site users to recommend their favourite series and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or a Netflix account. It has not been that popular as we assumed, which is why we decided to remove it in 2015. At no time did we have access to private messages of Facebook users, or we asked for the possibility of receiving them. “ – Netflix press office says.

The New York Times was really well prepared for this investigation.

It doesn’t change the fact, that The New York Times interviewed more than 60 people, including former employees of Facebook and its partners, former government officials and privacy advocates. Thanks to that we can be sure that Facebook did something illegal and now tries to bury the truth.

“The Times also reviewed more than 270 pages of Facebook’s internal documents and performed technical tests and analysis to monitor what information was being passed between Facebook and partner devices and websites.” – as The New York Times said.

What is my view about this situation?

In my opinion, companies that have access to sensitive data of their users should make every effort to ensure that this data does not leak. In this way, eg. Apple, which extremely highly appreciates the safety of data users of their products and whenever they commit some “mistakes at work”, they plead the guilty and try to repair the whole situation (eg. icloud leaks affair).

Facebook approaches similar situations in a different way, which tries to whitewash the truth and pass the buck on others. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a perfect example of frauds and deceptions, thanks to which we learned how Facebook can influence election results in one of the most powerful countries in the world, such as the USA is. That sort of stuff is not conducive to peace but exacerbates the conflict on the Facebook and Users relations.

Counter-argument to this whole situation is the fact that the majority of Facebook users do not care about privacy policy. They accept all consents without prior reading. They do not follow the basic security rules on the Internet. They share their private lives via Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc. For this reason, it can be assumed that such users agree to full surveillance, which is not said to be bad. If we have nothing to hide, why should we be disturbed by the fact that someone can earn from it. I believe that if there is already such a situation, it would be great if the company / person who earns money on their users, would inform them about everything and admit theirs guilt when they fails.

Sources:

https://cnn.it/2LJ9ZYd
https://cnn.it/2EUlpGY

Photos:

https://bit.ly/2SuobXh
https://bit.ly/2EZFLiM
https://bit.ly/2CH3Zfx

author: Michał Żelazo

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Alexa, a witness of a murder?

Echo speaker

Since the release of Amazon Alexa in 2014 there have been many controversies regarding the amount of data that the speaker is collecting at all times. The way it works is that the Echo device is designed to detect “wake words” and only then start working. However, there were a lot of cases when Alexa actually recorded more than the user would expect. Echo can sometimes misinterpret the “wake words” or other commands and start listening and recording even when a user does not intend to record.

Court cases

Even though this is something that should not happen at all, the New Hampshire authorities investigating the murders of two women still want to check. A judge ruled that they can examine recordings from the Echo device because they believe that there might be evidence related to the crime. Investigators believe that Echo could have recorded the attack and the events that followed it.

Last year, when the similar case occurred in Arkansas, the suspect who owned the speaker agreed to release recording from the day of the suspected crime. In the end, a murder charge was dropped.

Is our privacy at stake?

Though these recordings might be beneficial in such cases, we have to think about the amount of information we are giving away to large corporations. Should we question our actual privacy, or should we believe that our recordings are in good, safe hands? Using Alexa you can do almost anything, from ordering food to your home address, to checking your bank account. While at a time it is very convenient, we need to keep in mind that such devices are always listening and gathering all kinds of personal data from the user.

It all comes to personal preferences and the ability to adapt to the actual changes. In the modern world the word “privacy” almost lost its meaning. Every device that you own collects information. About you, your data usage, your shopping preferences and so on. There is almost nothing you can do about it, since this is the life that we have now. This data can be used in many different ways, from personalized ads to such things like winning presidential campaigns. In most of the cases it won’t affect you that much, however, it is worth imagining what could be done with the information that is being collected about you. Who knows, maybe one day you say something that you would like to buy around Echo speaker and a couple of days you will see ads about this on Amazon.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-echo-judge-orders-company-produce-alexa-recordings-double-murder-case-2018-11-12/
  2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-alexa/oregon-family-finds-amazons-alexa-has-a-mind-of-her-own-idUSKCN1IQ05B
  3. https://www.bestvpn.com/privacy-news/is-alexa-listening-to-you/
  4. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/07/tech/amazon-echo-alexa-bentonville-arkansas-murder-case/index.html
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Now Amazon lets strangers inside your home

Have your ever thought, how convenient it might be to have your package delivered inside your house or apartment when you are not at home, or get your friends to access your place to feed your cat, when you forgot to give them a key? Well, Amazon had already been thinking about such opportunity for a while.

In fact, the world of IoT is not sleeping and is in the process of creation of new things to make your life easier. On October 25th, 2017, Amazon has launched a new service to comfort its customers at most – the Amazon Key to allow an in-home delivery.

The idea behind that is to allow the Amazon courier to deliver the packages, you have ordered, to your place and leave it behind your front door, even if you are out of your place. Amazon has gone much further than just the smart key, as it provides a whole kit of services, like cloud camera, smart lock and application. For now, the service is available only for Amazon Prime users and it costs around 250$.

So, how does it work?

You order from Amazon and on the day of delivery you are notified that your package is about to arrive. Then, it is just up to you to authorize a carrier to enter your house or not. And, if you’ve decided to let a stranger to come in, the smart lock will open the door. Though, to ensure full security of your belongings, you get the chance to watch the stranger-carrier through the camera installed in front of your door, which starts working when there is motion detected.

Besides, you are also able to allow your entrusted people to enter your place by the same way – authorizing them through the application.

Isn’t it great?! Isn’t it a good solution to manage your tasks at home, while being not at home?

Unfortunately, according to Recode, only 5% of Americans and 4% of Prime Amazon users would definitely add this new tech to their homes, while 60% would not take this step.

But, why there is such a negative reaction to this new and so convenient tool? The answer is easy – security! There rises a tough question – do you trust people to enter your house, even if they are watched? The reason for such attitude is that the security is based only on one small camera that is supposed to record every motion that is going on inside your house.

Therefore, according to The Verge,  the cloud cam would be able to learn what are the normal in-house motions, like your dog, cat or your child and in future, it would easily distinguish some foreign to your house triggers in order to produce various alerts (the camera is also installed with microphone and speakers).

In result, it is up to you – to step on the side of safety or the side of convenience.

Though, there is always a question of security as we are entering a new way of living, by allowing technology to make a great change in the things that we are so used to. But, maybe, it is worth giving up some old norms, patterns and habits and open new doors to the other era.

 

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An Overview of the Ecommerce Market Globally

What could we expect until 2021

Our markets have been transformed digitally in every sense. Life has become much easier, compared to a decade back. People prefer to buy a product online as it helps them save their time, avoid traffic and your product is there at your doorstep. So this is a very serious market, and everyone, be it a Major company or a startup has the access to reach across their targets with ease. Its more of an equal opportunity that makes the digital world a step ahead compared to offline sales or marketing.

The eccomerce market is in a state of expansion and consolidation. There are even more consumers who are going digitally, which means worldwide retail ecommerce is sales are rising. This also means that the big fishes, that are Amazon and Alibaba are expanding their kingdom to smaller and secondary markets by buying local companies.

 

   It is said that the retail ecommerce markets are shooting up in 2017, rising by 23.2 %, i.e  $2.290 trillion. It is estimated that by the end of 2021,  equating to 16.1% of their total sales.

On a global level, Amazon and Alibaba are leading the market, around the world. Accoridng to Deloitte, report in January 2017, the sales for Amazon reached $79.27 billion, which is nearly triple of the second  largest digital retailer, China based JD.com ($ 26.99 billion). This ranking is followed by Apple on the third with $24.37 billion and Wallmart ($ 13.70 billion).

 

              

 

Alibaba is not featured on Deloitte’s list, likely because the data excludes consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales and sales from third-party sellers, both of which make up a large part of Alibaba’s business. When those are included, however, Alibaba is likely on par, if not ahead, of Amazon.

  • Retail ecommerce sales worldwide will increase at four times the rate of retail sales this year, jumping 23.2% to $2.290 trillion. Ecommerce sales growth will stay in the double digits throughout the forecast period.
  • China and the US will combine for $1.584 trillion in ecommerce sales this year, representing 69.1% of global ecommerce.
  • In 2017, mobile commerce will account for more than 70% of ecommerce sales in both China and India, and 59.0% in South Korea. In Germany, the UK and US, mcommerce will comprise at least one-third of total retail ecommerce sales.

   Our markets are growing at a high scale everyday, and in time, we realize that the development is so high that we can’t even imagine how better the digital market can come up with a better idea, that helps lead in the competition ladder. Our future is bright, its getting smarter and faster by day.

Sources:
https://www.emarketer.com/Report/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-eMarketers-Estimates-20162021/2002090
https://retail.emarketer.com/article/brief-overview-of-global-ecommerce-market/59690010ebd40005284d5cc5

 

 

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What makes Amazon greatest IT-company in the world? A guide to the company of the future

What makes Amazon great?  Why and how the company has become so big?
– Inspirational management? Well-knit team? Company culture? Or innovativeness? Or probably all together?

All those components have led to a unique synergy that drives the company ahead, and innovativeness is probably the main part of the progress.

Being proactive is ain’t easy. Thinking out of the box is a huge skill developed with years, and trained by the experiences. Managing the technology and the change in a fast-developing world is an art. Jeff Besos is an artist who  has implemented numerous successful innovations in the company. Here are the best of them, those who made Amazon one of the leading IT-companies in the world.

Amazon Go

In 2016 Amazon introduced the most advanced shop in the world. Smart shopping is real – no lines, no cash desks. The shop is supported by the application Amazon Go, which allows to do any transaction with the help of the smartphone, just scan the item and put it in the basket. Special technology, called Just Walk Out, automatically detects when the products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.
Currently it is often only for Amazon employees in a Beta program, yet in 2017 it will open to the public.

Prime Air
First Customer delivery

Amazon is not the first company to use drones as a delivery vehicle, but Amazon is the first to put it into their business strategy, not only  use it as a promotional tool. The very first parcel was delivered in December, 2016. Amazon will continue using drones in the area of Cambridge.

Airship warehouses

In 2014 Amazon has filed a patent for using airship warehouses that would work in tandem with drones to make a delivery. Amazon calls those air stations “Airborne fulfilment centres”(AFc), which are aimed to be used in the times of a high demand (e.g. Christmas holidays) to deliver goods to metropolitan areas using drones. They will be dispatched directly from the AFc, which will make the delivery faster than ever.

What else has Amazon planned for us in 2017? We’ll see. But we can be sure – it’s going to be astonishing.

 

 

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Live Stream on the Internet

twitchtv

 

Twitch interactive,   Media platform that allows users to make peer to peer streaming to others about gaming content related shows.

Twitch interactive was launched by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, who are also founded Justin.TV in 2007. The technological changes on the internet allowed people to use this peer to peer streaming 2007 thanks to Justin.TV.  At the beginning, the platform was used to stream illegal football games etc. As always. people used the new technology to their personal needs.

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Back in 2007, while twitter just launched. News media and TV channels did not really focus on the Internet media. Television was enough for them to reach the audience. Watching TV on the internet was not popular as well.  Justin.TV became a popular website with a great potential to grow more and more.  The most popular category of all entire platform was the Gaming category. That is why, Gaming category was separated from the platform and Justin.TV launched Twitch.TV in 2011.  Above 35 million Uniqe visitors were attracted after the launch.

Let’s stop a moment and start thinking about the Internet, what makes the internet attractive.  The answer is easily found in the question. Sources and Users…  Anyone can launch a platform, anyone can create “whatever they want to”.  That makes the internet attractive in my opinion.

That is why, Justin.TV and after Twitch.TV became attractive and popular for people.

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Back in 2011, there was none platform that focused on Gaming as a live streaming.  Only youtube had a lot of channels that were focused on Gaming Category. It is still remaining as one of the most popular category on Youtube in 2017. But Youtube used not to be a live platform. Only a platform that a person can upload a video and others can watch it later.  No interaction on live! Twitch.tv became so popular because visitors and viewers can interact with the streamer during watching the stream.

Jumping into year 2014 and talk about Amazon. This is the most interesting part of this blog viewers.  Why amazon was interested in such platform except it had 1.5 million streamer and 100 million unique visitors. There is another answer, on Amazon we are able to find almost anything that related with the technology (computer components, games etc.). Amazon wanted to gain the advantage of those 100 million people’s interest on the Internet. In august 2014, Twitch.TV was sold to Amazon for US$970 million. In 2016 3. quoter, Twitch.TV had 500 million unique visitors.

 

Amazon did not buy only a website that allows them to make advertise of their main website and products that they do sell. Amazon also bought a incredible stable technology that allowed amazon to create live movie watching platform in Amazon.

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Dear reader, think about a second and come with an idea such as Amazon or Twitch.TV…  The main point is Internet. Internet did create brilliant things that we did not think that there was a need for those platforms and websites.

This blog was written by Ali Murat AY

 

 

 

Sources

  1. (Twitch.Tv: Traffic Overview, 2016) – “Twitch.Tv: Traffic Overview, 2016” Similerweb, March , 2016. Accessed in May 2, 2016 – https://www.similarweb.com/website/twitch.tv
  2. BBC. (2011). How internet is changing the way we watch television. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology- 12141563. Last accessed 13/11/2013.
  3. (Josh Lipton, 2014) – Josh Lipton, “Google’s best and worst acquisitions.” CNBS Technology Correspondent, Aug 19, 2014. Accessed in May 06, 2016 – http://www.cnbc.com/2014/08/19/googles-best-and-worst-acquisitions.html
  4. (Petrus-lılian Fatu, 2014) – Petrus-Iulian “Devon” Fatu, “ Ubisoft Revealed its E3 game line-up.” Reviewstudio, published in Expo/Conferences news. May 26, 2014. Accessed in May 7, 2016. – http://www.reviewstudio.net/1832-ubisoft-revealed-its-e3-game-line- up
  5. (Alex Wilhelm, 2011) – Alex Wilhelm, 2011. “TwitchTV: Justin.Tv’s killer new esports project” The Next Web, accessed in May 7, 2016 – http://thenextweb.com/media/2011/06/06/twitchtv-justin-tvs-killer-new-esports- project
  6. (Twitch, 2013) “Twitch 2013 Retrospective”, Twitch Interactive, Inc. pp 24-27, 2013. Accessin in May 8, 2016 – https://www.twitch.tv/year/2013
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Welcome to Amazon go !

There we are, Amazon did it : the  e-marketplace has just opened its first supermarket in Seattle (United States). Called Amazon Go, the store has the particularity of not having check-out, all going through a mobile app associated with an Amazon account. Unfortunately,  this store is only in test for now and is just opened for Amazon’s employees. It should be open to the public at the beginning of the year. Moreover, if tests are successful, Amazon plans to open more than 2,000 grocery stores, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources.

To enjoy Amazon Go, people will need to install the application and scan the barcode displayed on the screen before entering. Afterwards, they could store their smartphone and they will only have to take the items that interest them. Once their shopping is over, they will simply have to go out of the shop, without having to open their bag. The exit of the user will be detected and, as the user passes through the exit, the user, without having to stop or otherwise be delayed, will be sent the invoice on smartphone, with an automatic payment in the wake.

Called “Just walk out technology”, Amazon remains rather vague about how the store will work. They’re explaining that they are using computer vision, deep learning algorithms, sensor fusion, technologies that can be found in self driven cars. More details will be given next years with the opening of their stores

 

 

 

Stay tuned !

 

References:

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/amazon-go-works-technology-behind-online-retailers-groundbreaking-new-grocery-store/

http://www.news18.com/news/tech/amazon-challenges-supermarkets-opens-line-free-grocery-store-1319789.html

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A farewell to the Middleman

The typical business model, supply chain used to be quite straight forward; There is a manufacturer that sources the materials and creates a product. A wholesaler would buy the product from the manufacturer and resell it for a small margin to the retailer, which the again sells the product to the end customer. On every step of the way, a little extra margin is added to the original price of the item so that everybody gets its share. The internet has changed that.

middlemanFrom TechCrunch, to New York Times or WSJ, everybody has proclaimed “The Death of The Middleman”. The internet has made it possible for manufacturers to reach customers directly via a website. Thus creating a better offer for both ends as the intermediary does not receive its share anymore. The supply chain is getting shorter, as manufacturers started to sell directly to costumer, at times even via their own mobile application, which even allows customers to personalize their purchased goods according to their needs.

The middleman is redefining itself and we see him again as concierge service and the like. Offering that extra service the modern customer of today is asking for. But how sustainable is that? In a highly technologized world, will it not be only a question of time until manufacturers than again are able to offer state of the art service by themselves via an App for example?

Amazon may be one of the most extreme examples. Not only does amazon.com offer the largest product range on the web for the end consumer, they increasingly start to offer own products. We see products like “amazon basics”, which are sold under the amazon brand and cover products all across the categories. Amazon knows its customers and it knows them well. How can any concierge service compete with amazon offering tailor made products?

Amazon does it, Netflix does it too. Increasingly becoming a competition to Hollywood, by offering their customers their own productions, often financed with gigantic budgets that make Hollywood productions seem small.

What’s the value of a middleman in modern eCommerce?

 

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