Is HBO competing with itself when it comes to online streaming? Let me explain. HBO currently offers access to HBO original programming through Amazon. A deal they are considering ending when the contract expires in 2018. But does the contract even make sense with the HBO Now service? I guess it depends. Does HBO get more money through it’s licensing deal with Amazon, or through it’s HBO Now subscriptions?
HBO Now features original series from the last 30 years, and with Amazon offering some of the same content. What is interesting is that HBO was estimated to be getting $250-$300 million from Amazon in this deal. Which leads me to believe they think they could be making a whole lot more from their own subscriptions. But is that realistic? Would you pay to have a stand alone HBO Now subscription, in order to access HBO content?
Don’t get me wrong, the original programming from HBO is second to none. However, I wonder if HBO is being realistic with their long term plans to get more money out of subscribers. Let’s look at this critically. First of all, there is an over saturation in the market as far as TV options. Whether it’s traditional cable TV, or online streaming, there are many options to choose from. What makes HBO believe they can stand out among the crowd in this regard? Like I said, it’s not the programming itself, but can one survive on HBO alone?… Read the rest
You Can Now Find Alexa in Ecobee Thermostats and Light Switches
This is good news for Amazon. The company Ecobee is integrating Alexa into their thermostats and light switches. Which is also good news for consumers. Right? In theory, yes. It will give consumers the ability to have a smart home, that’s integrated with artificial intelligence. But is that always a good thing? On one hand, the idea of a smart home is great. Giving home owners the flexibility to make changes to their homes when they aren’t there. But this takes it one step farther by integrating the voice control piece from Alexa into the smart devices. The question I have is around privacy. Should we be concerned that Alexa is now integrated into our homes? Is she listening at all times?
There were some jokes being made around the question posed to Alexa, asking if the CIA was listening. Giving people the impression that someone was listening in to their conversations, and ultimately their lives. Whether or not you choose to believe that is up to you. I’m not going to get into that particular example, but it is an interesting theory. Like the good conspiracy theorist that I am, I could take this very far. But I won’t. I will suggest that there is the capability to hack into these devices and, in this case listen. But is that happening is not known at this point.
Another example, which is equally scary in my opinion, is around baby monitors. … Read the rest
These are the Best Tech April Fool’s Day Pranks this Year
I know there is no way you were able to get to all the April Fools pranks happening so we did you a favor. Here are the best tech ones in one spot. The T-Mobile one is my favorite. I mean I would actually order it on Amazon if it was real. The Google Ms. Pac-Man game was actually fun to play. This year more than others, April’s fool was a hit.
Google went all out this year. With a few great and a few not so great pranks from the different departments. From the Google Maps team, Ms. Pac Maps. It turns any map on iPhone and Android in a huge Pac-Maps game. It’s actually fun. There is the Bubble Wrap Keyboard, Google Gnome and Haptic Helpers.
Hulu: Hu Short Cuts
Hulu is cutting shows to just a few seconds.
Amazon Echo that can talk to animals.
Lyft: Power Glove
Raise your hand in the air and request a ride.
T-Mobile ONEsie full-body wearable that monitors everything for $40 is fake but I want it!
Lucid: The Haramed Mattress
I don’t know if I want to laugh or smh. I ended up doing both.
The online Apple store this week started selling Smart Rope. What makes this jump rope “smart” you ask? The jump rope counts the number of jumps you take. My first thought was whats the big deal. The Tangram Smart Rope shows the number of jumps right in front of user. So as you jump you will see your jumps “in the air” which is pretty cool. The Smart Rope has built-in LEDs. You can also display the number of calories you burn instead of jumps if you wish. The 23 LEDs embedded in the rope flash at thousands of times per minute, using persistence of vision. The LEDs are bright enough to be seen clearly even in bright room.
The Smart Rope relays your information to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You have to use an app called the Smart Gym. The app displays information on jumps, calories burned and total training time. You can also sync the app with Apple HealthKit to help provide an even more accurate picture of your overall well-being. The cost of Tangram Smart Rope Factory in the Apple Online store is $89.99 or you can get it at Amazon for the same price.
There is not much that Alexa can not do. The voice-activated Echo is Siri that works. Every week it gains new feature to make our lives easier. Well Amazon’s Alexa now can control Nest. Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa will be able to tell the smart thermostats how cold or hot you want your house. Rumor has it that Google is working on a competitor to the Echo but Amazon. However at this point Amazon has such a head start in the space it may be too late for others. When the Amazon Dot and Tap are launched later this year they will have the capability to control the Nest.
Amazon has been working with multiple companies to try to make Alexa the go to platform for your smart home. Nest for its part has also been doing what it can to get companies to work with it.
Today from 12:00 a.m., ET, through 11:59 p.m., PT, new members can join Amazon Prime for $67 for the first year
Should you be one of the few people who do not have Amazon Prime you can enjoy Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music and of course free 2 day shipping for just $67 today. Now that Amazon is starting to give Netflix a run for their money with their own Emmy Award-winning series its the perfect time to jump on board. Just a heads up the price in your cart will show $99 but a discount will be applied at checkout.
Keep in mind this offer is for new members. There is a way around this. All you have to do to upgrade your Amazon account and get the sale price is email yourself a gift subscription and apply the code once your current subscription ends.
The BBC might have had problem keeping a show with that kind of bad karma but over in the states that just another part reality TV show.
Great news car fans. New Top Gear Show is coming to Amazon! Sort of… Amazon announced that Jeremy “Momma Said Knock You Out” Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are teaming up again for a new car show. Amazon even managed get the show produced by Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman. The yet to be titled show is scheduled to come out in 2016. The car show will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime. Sorry BBC and Netflix. That said we are sure that Amazon head Jeff Bezos will license the show to local broadcasters in other countries around the world.
I'm very excited to announce that Hammond, May and I have signed a deal with .@AmazonVideo
The insanely popular BBC car show cashed into a wall of bad press after Jeremy Clarkson admitted to having punched a producer in the face. The BBC might have had problem keeping a show with that kind of bad karma but over in the states that just another part reality TV show. Amazon was not going to let Top Gear, the most watched factual program in the world slip through its fingers because of a little jab. From a business point who could blame them? Top Gear has a global audience of around 350 million people per year.… Read the rest