Amazon

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  • Amazon expands its Techstars Alexa Accelerator to London, starts search for second cohort

     Amazon continues to tap into the developer community to expand the ubiquity of its Alexa voice-based assistant, and it’s taking the strategy international. Today the company opened applications for the Alexa Accelerator, the program for startups building solutions and services for voice-based assistants, which Amazon runs in conjunction with Techstars. Read More

  • Amazon’s Prime Rewards Visa cardholders now get 5% back at Whole Foods if they pay for Prime

     Amazon has already rolled out price cuts for Whole Foods shoppers as a result of its acquisition of the grocery chain. It has also rolled up its Treasure Truck deals service to Whole Foods locations, and began delivering Whole Foods groceries through Prime. Now, it’s offering Prime members 5 percent back at Whole Foods when they shop using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card, too. The… Read More

  • Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color goes on sale exclusively at Amazon

     The Essential Phone is currently in the midst of being rolled out in a range of new colors, including three that will be released excessively on Essential’s own website, with a staged release schedule that began Thursday. On Friday, however, Essential revealed a surprise fourth new color, “Halo Gray,” which will be exclusive to Amazon and which is now available to… Read More

  • Equity podcast: Uber’s losing billions, Amazon lays off hundreds and somehow Instacart gets more money

     Welcome to “Equity,” TechCrunch’s venture capital and tech business podcast. On this week, we were joined by Mike Ghaffary from Social Capital, who was the perfect guest because he used to run Eat24, when it was Yelp’s food delivery business. Food delivery is highly relevant to this week’s news. First up, we talked about Uber, which is losing lots of money in Asia… Read More

  • Amazon’s Alexa Skills Developer Console gets its biggest redesign since launch

     Amazon today is rolling out the biggest makeover for its Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console – the console where voice app developers create their skills – since its debut back in 2015. The new console has been redesigned with a focus on improving developer workflows, says Amazon. It now offers separate sections for “build,” “test,” “launch,”… Read More

  • Bulk retailer Sam’s Club adds free shipping in bid to compete with Amazon

     If you can’t beat ‘em, shift to a similar business model. In its struggles to adapt to a post-Amazon retail landscape, Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club is adopting an online membership model notably similar to Prime. The bulk retailer’s new Plus membership gives shoppers the ability to opt out of shipping costs by ponying up $100 a year — that’s a full dollar… Read More

  • Time Warner will be fine even if the AT&T acquisition doesn’t go through

     Time Warner will be fine even if the government blocks the bid from AT&T to buy the company. That’s the word from John Martin, the free-wheeling chief executive of Time Warner subsidiary Turner Inc., who was speaking at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach. Read More

  • Amazon greenlights the fifth season of Bosch

     Amazon Prime Video’s longest running hour-long original series is back for yet another season. The company has greenlit Season 5 of Bosch, the Emmy-nominated series based on Michael Connelly’s detective/crime fiction novels. Bosch follows LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch as he tries to solve the most elusive cases. The fifth season is based on the novel Angels… Read More

  • Amazon may be developing AI chips for Alexa

     The Information has a report this morning that Amazon is working on building AI chips for the Echo, which would allow Alexa to more quickly parse information and get those answers. Read More

  • Amazon is cutting hundreds of corporate jobs, according to a new report

     In a rare move for the online retail giant, Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate workers in its Seattle headquarters and elsewhere, according to a Seattle Times report. The corporate cuts come after an eight-year hiring spree, taking the company from 5,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in its Seattle headquarters and gobbling up several retail businesses throughout the country. Read More