Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost reunite for Super Bowl ad
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost once made comedy skits on “Saturday Night Live,” but now the married couple will reunite onscreen to dodge a mind-reading Alexa device in a new Super Bowl commercial. Johansson and Jost put their normal game-day routine at home into action with the help of the Amazon device — a virtual personal assistant that plays music, tells the weather, delivers news and sports. The commercial attempts to take a comical approach on the situation, which Jost believes every couple would “relate to on some level.”news.yahoo.com
Opposition grows to 4th cruise ship dock in Mexico's Cozumel
With tourism shattered by the pandemic, critics say yet another cruise ship dock is the last thing that Mexico’s Caribbean island of Cozumel needs. Cozumel already has three such docks, and before the pandemic it ranked as the world’s busiest port of call for cruise ships. Residents said Thursday that makes it all the more inexplicable that yet another dock is planned for an area of sea floor that is home to a coral reef restoration project.news.yahoo.com
How to get your Amazon Echo to talk less and to whisper
The Amazon Alexa voice assistant on your Amazon Echo can whisper. And you can also limit how much it says when you talk to it. I'm finding it useful at home with a baby in the house, when I don't need Alexa saying "OK" every time I turn off the lights, or when I need Alexa to be quieter when I'm asking about the weather at night. There are two modes you need to turn on: Brief Mode and Whisper Mode, and they're really easy to do.cnbc.com
Amazon Alexa records you every time you ask it something — here's how to delete those recordings
If you use Amazon Alexa a lot, it's worth knowing how to stop it from saving those recordings or using them for training. How to view your Amazon Alexa voice historyThere are several ways to view your Amazon Alexa voice history. How to delete your Amazon Alexa voice historyThe easiest way to delete everything at once is to simply say "Alexa, delete everything I've ever said." You can change that to "Alexa, delete what I just said" to delete the last question you asked, or "Alexa, delete everything I've said today" to remove everything you've said in a single day. How to make sure Amazon doesn't use your Alexa voice recordings for trainingcnbc.com
Super Bowl commercials: Winners and losers from the big game
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't the only winners of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, with a handful of advertisements scoring points in the annual brand showcase. Among the most effective commercials, according to Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management: Amazon's humorous Alexa ad and Chipotle's spot about environmentally friendly agriculture. The spot succeeded because it provided a clear, on-brand message, the Kellogg School said. But overall, this year's crop of ads wasn't particularly distinctive, relying on "safe ads with light humor," according to Kellogg School business professor Tim Calkins. Its rating system also gave high marks to Amazon's Alexa ad and M&M's spot featuring actor Dan Levy.cbsnews.com
Amazon Alexa can now tell you the nearest spot to get a Covid-19 test — here's how to use it
You can ask Alexa to find the nearest place to get a Covid-19 test. Amazon recently added a new feature to its Alexa voice assistant that lets you find the nearest place to get a Covid-19 test. Alexa will return a list of nearby places using data pulled from GISCorps and other sources, such as Yelp. If you tap a location, you'll see a phone number you can call to confirm that there are appointments available, if one is needed. If you're using an Echo that doesn't show each location, just say, "Alexa, call the first one" to call the recommended testing location.cnbc.com
A sexy Alexa, Dan Levy's M&M habit: Super Bowl ads to watch
It might not have seemed likely early in the pandemic, but the 55th Super Bowl Sunday is upon us yet again. Amazon shows off a sexy new body for its Alexa assistant, Dan Levy apologizes for eating M&M's and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade makes a downpour of lemons a metaphor for 2020's troubles. AdInspiration4 “ Join Us "In what is surely a first in Super Bowl history, an ad for Inspiration4, a SpaceX supported all-civilian space mission touts a chance for viewers to join the mission. Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” apologizes to the M&M anthropomorphic characters that are Super Bowl mainstays and says he promises not to “eat any more of their friends." And E-Trade, famous for the talking baby ads it ran in the Super Bowl from 2008 until they “retired" in 2014, is back in the big game with an undisclosed ad.
Now you can text Amazon Alexa from your iPhone to check the weather, buy stuff and more — here's how
You can now text with Alexa on your iPhone. Amazon recently began testing a new feature on the iPhone that lets you text Alexa instead of speaking to it. You can use it to ask questions, order products from Amazon, call people and more. It's useful if you're unable to speak or simply don't want to — like when you're in bed next to a sleeping partner but still want to use Alexa to look something up. But if you prefer Alexa, this is a new way of interacting with it.cnbc.com
Amazon Alexa and Google Home's voice assistant were vulnerable to hackers
Amazon and Google told CNN Business the security issue has since been fixed. With the latest issue, SRLabs found hackers could have exploited the access Amazon and Google give third-party app developers to improve apps. In videos posted to YouTube, SRLabs showed how an app that works with Alexa or Google's voice assistant could be programmed by a hacker. The voice assistant was then silent. After a few minutes, the voice assistant said there was a company update and asked the user to say their password.
Amazon's Alexa officially bilingual
It's official, Alexa can now speak Spanish. Amazon says the virtual assistant's second language can now be accessed through its supported Echo and Alexa built-in-devices. There's a new Spanish voice for Alexa, along with local knowledge and hundreds of skills, according to the company. Amazon says customers can switch to "Espanol" mode via the Alexa app. The multilingual mode allows a user to get an answer in the same language as the question.
How to delete Alexa recordings
You can now request that recordings of your voice used by Amazon's Alexa be automatically deleted. Amazon says it saves Alexa commands to improve service, but the practice has raised concerns with privacy experts. Previously users had to go into Alexa's settings and delete recordings manually. Now, users can ask Amazon to delete recording after three months or 18 months automatically. Users can change this in their settings.
Your Amazon Alexa can sound just like Samuel L. Jackson
(CNN) - Alexa is about to get real Samuel L. Jackson. Amazon will introduce Jackson as the first celebrity voice for its Alexa virtual assistant later this year, the company said Wednesday. Here are a few fun requests Amazon suggests you try after setting up Jackson's voice on your Echo:"Alexa, ask Samuel L. Jackson where he is from." "Alexa, ask Sam to wake me up at 7 a.m.""Alexa, ask Sam Jackson to sing happy birthday." They can just head over to the settings menu of the Alexa app to select between clean and explicit content.
Amazon unveils new Echo clock and Alexa privacy features
The company announced at its Seattle headquarters a series of new products coming to its lineup, including a new $59 Echo dock smart speaker with a built-in clock. As expected, Amazon unveiled its own high-end Echo speaker, called Echo Studio, to compete with some companies such as Sonos that already offer Alexa-compatible premium speakers. Over the past five years, the market for smart speakers that use virtual assistants has ballooned. According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies including Amazon, Google, and Baidu shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is sitting on top of this market: Canalys reports Amazon shipped a quarter of these speakers, or an estimated 6.6 million between April and June.
McDonald's enlists Alexa and Google to help with its hiring
Starting Wednesday, McDonald's Corp. will let job seekers start an application by using voice commands with Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant. If users say, "Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald's," Alexa will ask which country they want to work in and play McDonald's catchy "I'm lovin' it" jingle. Alexa also shares some facts about working for the company, such as how it can lead to jobs in other fields. For McDonald's, voice-initiated hiring is a way to stand out in a tight job market. McDonald's is currently seeking 338 part-time crew workers in the New York area and 414 in Toronto, according to company hiring sites.
Amazon will show off new products Wednesday
Amazon wants to keep a commanding presence in the fast-growing virtual assistant space. According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies including Amazon, Google, and Baidu shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is sitting on top of this market: Canalys reports Amazon shipped a quarter these speakers, or an estimated 6.6 million between April and June. Amazon has been working to keep its momentum: Last September, Amazon introduced Alexa-controlled products ranging from the expected (more Echo smart speakers) to the surprising (a $60 AmazonBasics microwave that can warm food via voice commands such as, "Alexa, heat up one cup of coffee" when used with an Echo device). Amazon may also show off new ways to use the virtual assistant outside the home.
How to stop your Alexa voice recordings from being reviewed by a human
In the wake of the recent backlash, Amazon is changing its settings so people can opt out of having their voice recordings reviewed by humans. But now, by opting out, a user's voice recordings will no longer be included in programs that involve human review of Alexa requests, according to the spokesperson. For those looking to restrict access to their Alexa voice recordings, the process has several steps and the language can be a little tricky to parse. To delete any existing Alexa recordings, people can go to the Privacy screen and select "Review Voice History." There's also a feature that allows deletion by voice, which lets people delete recordings by saying "Alexa, delete what I just said" or "Alexa, delete everything I said today."