Amazon’s own AmazonBasics brand is putting out a new microwave that takes advantage of the new Alexa Connect Kit, which will also be made available to third-party device makers. The kit “includes a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE module that contains software — written and managed by Amazon — that automatically and securely connects to Amazon-managed cloud services.” There’s no actual microphone in here; the microwave connects to your Echo devices over Bluetooth.
On the surface, the move into the private label business (in which goods are sold under the retailer’s name rather than that of an outside vendor) appears to be a deft move by Amazon. Analysts predict that nearly half of all online shopping in the United States will be conducted on Amazon’s platform in the next couple of years. That creates a massive opportunity for Amazon to more than double revenue from its in-house brands to $25 billion in the next four years, according to analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. That’s the equivalent of all of Macy’s revenue last year.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.
In December 2016, the first Amazon Go store was opened to Amazon employees in Seattle. The 1,800 sq ft store uses a variety of sensors and automatically charges a shopper's Amazon account when they walk out of the store. It stocks ready-made meals and meal boxes; in addition to a full grocery store. The store was planned to open for the general public in early 2017 but it has not done so due to issues with the technology tracking over twenty people at one time. The store opened to the public on January 22, 2018.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that Amazon is using its own ‘Vine’ reviewer program to dramatically increase the number of product reviews for some private-label products. Bloomberg’s analysis found that the Amazon Basics motor oil product has almost as many product reviews three months after launch as a close competitor, a Valvoline motor oil product. Eighty percent of Amazon’s product reviews are from the “Vine Reviewer” program, an Amazon program where brands pay for selected users to review their products, compared with zero Vine reviews for the competing Valvoline product.
Some of the best parts of shopping on Amazon are the wide selections and low costs, but those things can also make it difficult to root out what's really worth spending your money on before you've stretched your checkbook too thin. It can also be hard to tell which affordable options are similar (or better) in performance to their higher-priced competitors to save you some money. The huge selection and low costs can be a great advantage if you have the inside scoop needed to navigate them confidently — if not, it can be a huge drain on time scrolling through reviews and trying to parse out who means what they're saying.
Carnival of Souls is a film in the vein of Night of the Hunter: artistically ambitious, from a first-time director, but largely overlooked in its initial release until its rediscovery years later. Granted, it’s not the masterpiece of Night of the Hunter, but it’s a chilling, effective, impressive tale of ghouls, guilt and restless spirits. The story follows a woman (Candace Hilligoss) on the run from her past who is haunted by visions of a pale-faced man, beautifully shot (and played) by director Herk Harvey. As she seemingly begins to fade in and out of existence, the nature of her reality itself is questioned. Carnival of Souls is vintage psychological horror on a miniscule budget, and has since been cited as an influence in the fever dream visions of directors such as David Lynch. To me, it’s always felt something like a movie-length episode of The Twilight Zone, and I mean that in the most complimentary way I can. Rod Serling would no doubt have been a fan. —Jim Vorel
Hulu: Req. registration from Sprint phone at hulu.com/sprint. Incl. access to one Hulu Limited Commercials plan per each eligible Sprint acct. (excl. other Hulu plans & add-ons) while eligible Sprint plan is active in good standing. Valid for new or returning Hulu subscribers or certain existing Limited Commercials subscribers. Select Hulu content streams in HD on supported devices subj. to connectivity. Tablets may stream Hulu content via incl. Sprint Hot Spot or may subscribe to separate unlimited data plan for tablets. Not redeemable or refundable for cash or gift subscriptions. Hulu may place acct. on inactivity hold based on Hulu usage. Cancel Hulu anytime. See full offer terms at sprint.com/hulu.
Activ. Fee: Up to $30/line. Reqs. credit approval and eBill. Included features/content may change or be discontinued at any time. AutoPay: $5/mo. discount may not reflect on 1st bill. Quality of Svc. (QoS): Customers who use more than 50GB of data during a billing cycle will be deprioritized during times & places where the Sprint network is constrained. See sprint.com/networkmanagement for details. Usage Limitations: To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network. Sprint may terminate svc. if off-network roaming usage in a mo. exceeds: (1) 800 min. or a majority of min.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB. Prohibited network use rules apply—see sprint.com/termsandconditions.
The feature could prove useful for when you don’t know the name of the product you’re looking at, as with shoes. That could turn visual search into a new form of word-of-mouth marketing where every time an owner shows off a product, they’re effectively erecting a billboard for it. Eventually, visual search could help users shop across language barriers.
This camera is designed for the more-than-casual shooter, but is also a great gift for amateur photographers looking to get to the next step. The analog dials offer more control over settings, so you don’t have to rely as much on auto features. With mirrorless technology, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 weighs much less than a standard DSLR, but has the same versatility. For a top-notch Olympus, you can’t beat the price.
Amazon Key In-Car is a service allowing owners of vehicles with OnStar (that are 2015+ models) or Volvo on Call, to get packages delivered in their vehicle's trunk. The service is available in the same areas as Amazon Key's In-Home delivery, but requires no additional hardware. Customers are provided with a four-hour delivery window. During that time, their vehicle must be located in a publicly accessible area.
Watching Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques through the lens of the modern horror film, especially the slasher flick—replete with un-killable villain (check); ever-looming jump scares (check); and a “final girl” of sorts (check?)—one would not have to squint too hard to see a new genre coming into being. You could even make a case for Clouzot’s canonization in horror, but to take the film on only those terms would miss just how masterfully the iconic French director could wield tension. Nothing about Les Diaboliques dips into the scummy waters of cheap thrills: The tightly wound tale of two women, a fragile wife (Véra Clouzot) and severe mistress (Simone Signoret) to the same abusive man (Paul Meurisse), who conspire to kill him in order to both reel in the money rightfully owed the wife, and to rid the world of another asshole, Diaboliques may not end with a surprise outcome for those of us long inured to every modern thriller’s perfunctory twist, but it’s still a heart-squeezing two hours, a murder mystery executed flawlessly. That Clouzot preceded this film with The Wages of Fear and Le Corbeau seems as surprising as the film’s outcome: By the time he’d gotten to Les Diaboliques, the director’s grasp over pulpy crime stories and hard-nosed drama had become pretty much his brand. That the film ends with a warning to audiences to not give away the ending for others—perhaps Clouzot also helped invent the spoiler alert?—seems to make it clear that even the director knew he had something devilishly special on his hands. —Dom Sinacola
In a similar vein, Amazon recently started promoting its private-label brands on the pages of competing brands. The complaint some brands made here is that Amazon is getting that advertising space ‘for free.’ But ad space on a highly trafficked site like Amazon is never free. By allocating that space to promote one of its own products, Amazon is by default forfeiting ad dollars from advertisers. Given Amazon’s booming advertising business and how profitable this new division is, Amazon would not be giving up valuable ad space lightly.
Amazon’s expansion into apparel is one of the hottest topics in US retail—not least because many commentators link the ongoing woes of major department stores to shoppers shifting more of their apparel spending to Amazon Fashion. Yet hard data on Amazon’s share of the clothing and footwear markets is scarce, given the company’s limited disclosure on category sales.
Make sure there are enough funds in the account. Amazon tends to cancel orders until all funds can be paid out of your account. Contact Amazon for full details of what you can do to help them create the order, so you can get it to ship. Amazon doesn't take any money from you until the item ships. For those that are not "fulfillment by Amazon," you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes for the item to complete the transaction - These Marketplace sellers don't see any of your order until that window is clear.
Here, too, valuation is a concern. Any Amazon-proof stocks are going to be dearly valued. And for investors looking for value, LULU isn’t one of the best stocks to buy in retail. But a pullback has made valuation more palatable, and any concerns about the ‘athleisure’ trend fading appear assuaged. LULU is priced like a growth stock, but it very well may be poised to drive that kind of growth.
A.: Most gamers are already familiar with Twitch, the popular game-stream broadcast service, but may not know about Twitch Prime. Amazon Prime users also get access to Twitch Prime, which allows them to watch Twitch streams completely ad-free. However, Amazon recently announced that new members will not get ad-free viewing beginning September 14. Existing members, however, can continue to enjoy ad-free viewing up until their subscription renewal, at which point they too will lose the feature. Monthly in-game bonuses and "Free Games With Prime" — a selection of free titles for Prime members — will continue.
Lease (Sprint Flex): Mo. amount excl. tax. Terms for all other customers will vary including amount due at signing & taxes/fees. Req. qualifying device & svc. plan. No equipment security deposit req. Upon completion of 18-mo. term, customer can continue to pay mo. lease amount, purch. or return device. Customer is responsible for insurance & repairs. Early termination of lease/svc.: Remaining lease pymt. will be due immed. & req. device return or pymt. of purch. option device price in lease.
In April 2014, Amazon announced its Amazon Fire TV set-top box system, a device targeted to compete with such systems like Apple TV or Google's Chromecast device. The Amazon set-top box allows for streaming videos from sites like Amazon's own streaming service as well as others such as Netflix or Hulu. The device also supports voice search for movies, as well as gaming, which includes special versions of Minecraft, Asphalt 8, and The Walking Dead. Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick in October 2014. The device replicates much of the functionality of the Fire TV.