• USDA launches pilot program allowing SNAP recipients to shop for groceries online

    The USDA this morning announced the launch of a pilot program that will open up online grocery shopping to those on public assistance. During a two-year pilot program, those receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits — often referred to as “food stamps” — will be able to shop for groceries from online retailers, including […]

  • Google & Amazon reach an agreement to bring their streaming video apps to each others’ platforms

    Google and Amazon are burying the hatchet to better serve users of their respective streaming video platforms, the companies announced this morning. In the months ahead, the official YouTube app will come to Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs, while the Prime Video app will come to Chromecast and other devices […]

  • Amazon China to close local marketplace and place more focus on cross-border

    Amazon has finally given up the fight with Chinese online shopping giants to capture the domestic market. On Thursday, the Seattle-based e-commerce company announced it will shut down its marketplace on, which connects mainland Chinese buyers and sellers, while other units of its local venture will stay intact. “We are working closely with our […]

  • Amazon launches a certification program for Alexa skill developers

    Developers building voice-enabled applications for Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices will now have a new way to validate their abilities, with Amazon’s launch of a new AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification. This is the first time Amazon has offered a certification program for Alexa developers, the company says. Certification programs are […]

  • Logitech’s new remote ditches the touchscreen for Alexa

    Logitech has a long history of serving AV nerds with its advanced line of universal remotes. In an age of eight million set-top boxes, dongles and video-on-demand services, the Harmony line has done a good job streamlining users’ needs into a single device. As the name suggests, the Harmony Express isn’t designed for as serious […]

  • JD founder cautions logistics business must tighten belt

    Alibaba’s arch-foe has long prided itself on owning and controlling its logistics services: couriers are treated as in-house staff and paid a basic income. But that will end soon as costs keep piling up for the e-commerce giant. In an internal letter sent to the staff on Monday, JD founder and chief executive Richard […]

  • Smart speakers’ installed base to top 200 million by year end

    Smart speakers’ global installed base is on track to top 200 million by the end of this year, according to a report out today from analysts at Canalys. Specifically, the firm forecasts the installed base will grow by 82.4 percent, from 114 million units in 2018 to 207.9 million in 2019. The U.S. will continue to […]

  • Get ready for a new era of personalized entertainment

    New machine learning tech, user interfaces and automated content creation techniques are going to expand the personalization of storytelling.

  • Amazon teams with FIRST for robotics education grants

    Earlier this week, Amazon confirmed that it would be acquiring Canvas, a little known Colorado-based startup that creates autonomous driving systems for warehouse fulfillment. It’s the latest in a long line of moves that finds the company looking seriously at automation for the future of retail plans. Last year, the company announced the launch of […]

  • African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

    Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global […]