Amazon introduces camera-enabled Echo Look

Amazon has announced a new member of the Alexa Echo family, this time a device with a camera. Called the Echo Look, the device is being touted as a “hands-free camera and style assistant”.

The device allows you to take sharable 360 degree photos and videos with just your voice.It features built in LED lighting a a depth-sensing camera that allows you to blur the a photo’s background.

The Echo Look’s integrated app has some interesting features: You can create a personal lookbook. It also incorporates a feature called Style Assistant, which allows you to get a second opinion on your outfit. Submit two photos and the Look will tell which looks best.

The Echo Look does all the other things the Echo is known for. It plays music, reads audiobooks, gives you the weather forecast and so on. You can also add third-party skills to the device.

The Echo Look will retail for $199.99. Like they did with the original Echo, Amazon is initially making the Echo Look available by invitation only. You can request an invitation here.

So what do you think? Do you think Alexa needs a camera?

Daily Links and Deals: Amazon’s next-gen Echo may be a giant speaker with a touchscreen

daily_links_1Daily Links for Tuesday, November 29,  2016:

Amazon’s next-gen Echo may be a giant speaker with a touchscreen (PC World) I could enjoy this. Then,  I wouldn’t have to stop the music and say, “Alexa, what song is this?”

$89 Linux laptop? Check out the new Pinebook from Raspberry Pi rival Pine (ZD Net) I’ve never used Linux, but I would give this a try when its available….

Playing with Fire: Hacking Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet (Lilputing) If you want to try hacking your tablet but are afraid of bricking it, you may want to start with the $50 version.

AT&T launches streaming TV service to compete with Vue, Sling (ComputerWorld) Another service aimed at cord-cutters. And, the pricing may not be as clear cut as it seems.

AT&T just declared war on an open internet (and us) (The Verge) Related to the piece above. This sounds like a net neutrality nightmare.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick. You can also find The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year by Jonathan Strahan for $1.99.

Today’s Deals include slippers, pajamas and Back to the Future movies. I am sensing a trend here….

 

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. The Romance Daily Find is A Virgin River Christmas (Virgin River Series #4) by Robyn Carr.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Furiously Happy A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. The Extra Daily Deal is The Tourist by Robert Dickinson.

You can buy 2, get 1 free and save on Fern Michaels’ holiday romance titles until November 30.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. Get free shipping through December 31, 2016 on devices. (The Aura One is still out of stock until early 2017.)

iTunes’ still has a collection of limited-time deals that includes A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Amazon’s Black Friday Device Deals have already started

bf_device-deals

If you have been waiting for a deal on a  Amazon device, the savings are already here. Amazon’s Black Friday Deals have already started! So far this morning, I have found the following:

All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($29.99) Amazon’s streaming stick with Alexa voice assistance built in. There are also deals on the Fire TV and bundles with an antenna or for gaming.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) ($39.99) Save $10 off the regular price. These can turn an existing stereo into a voice-activated system and are small enough to put almost anywhere. I even found a new case for the Dot that lets you customize the look!

Amazon Echo (139.99) – Save $40 off the original Alexa device. This powerful hands-free voice-activated speaker is meant to be used in one location, although there are bases available to make it portable.

Amazon Tap ($89.99) Save $40 on this Alexa enabled portable Bluetooth speaker. Unlike the Echo and the Dot, the Tap is not voice-activated, but uses a button to a trigger the Alexa voice system.

Fire Tablet ($33.33) Save $16.66 on Amazon’s lowest price tablet.from the Fire line. This 7″ device is also Alexa-enabled. You can also find various bundles at special prices, including the Fire Essentials bundle ($51.31) and the Fire Kids Edition ($74.99).

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet ($59.99) Save $30 on the 2nd generation of Amazon’s 8″ tablet. Alexa-enabled, comes in 16 and 35 GB configurations and 4 colors.

If you are looking for an e-reader deal, you can get a basic Kindle for $50 ($30 off), a Kindle Paperwhite for $100 ($20 off) and a Kindle Voyage.for $170 ($30 off).

Amazon also has a great selection of Certified Refurbished devices available. These come with a full one-year warranty. You can find deals on Paperwhites ($80), a Kindle Voyage ($120) and the Amazon Echo ($120) here.

Are any of these on your holiday wish list?

Daily Links and Deals: Libro.fm Audiobooks Now Available in 150 Indie Bookstores

daily_links_1Daily Links for Tuesday, October 25,  2016:

Celebrating 20 Years of the Internet Archive with an Open Library Feature Bonanza (Open Library) I can personally attest to the fact that using the Open Library was sometimes a challenging experience. This is welcome news.

Readers in 9 Countries Get Discounts on Arabic E-books for Emirates’ ‘Year of Reading’ (Oye! Times) This is only available in limited countries, but the discounts can be up to 90%.

Website Creating Company Faces Data Breach Affecting Over 40 Million Users (BloombergBNA) Weebly was attacked in February and over 43 million users’ info was exposed.

Logitech to release an Alexa skill for its Harmony Hub-based universal remote controls (Techhive) This is the capability that I have been waiting for!

Libro.fm Audiobooks Now Available in 150 Indie Bookstores (Digital Book World) Now you can buy audiobooks from your favorite indie bookstore.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes

In Today’s DealsCorel WordPerfect Office X8 Home & Student.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is 50% off today on the first eight books in Sui Ishida’s fan-favorite Tokyo Ghoul series. The Romance Daily Find is Claimed: An Outlaws Novel by Elle Kennedy.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Sandstorm (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins. The Extra Daily Deal is The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel by Tea Obreht.

Also, a selection of titles called Romance On The Ice for $4.99 or Less until October Until October 31st.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until November 1, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty.

Google Books has a selection of Halloween Horror Sale with chills & thrills under $5.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Amazon Echo comes to UK and Germany

echoukAmazon has announced that the Alexa, the Echo and the All-new Echo Dot are coming to the UK and Germany. The devices will be available in both black and white in the UK on September 28, 2016. The Echo will cost £149.99 and is now available for pre-order on the website. If you are a member of Amazon Prime in the UK you can pre-order until 5:00 PM on September 16 at the special price of £99.99. The Echo Dot sells for £49.99. There is more information at http://www.amazon.co.uk/echo.

In Germany, the Echo will sell for €179,99 and will be released on October 26, 2016. The Echo Dot retails for €59,99. According to the Amazon press release (via Google Translate), Prime members in Germany can request a €50 discount until September 16, 2016. There is more information on the Echo at http://www.amazon.de/echo.

Up until now, Echos have only been sold in the United States and been tied to US Amazon.com accounts. There has been quite a bit of discussion in the past about when these would be available internationally. No one is sure yet exactly how this is going to work in terms of devices sharing accounts between different countries, but it seems like a lot of people are going to be very excited to find out!

Amazon.co.uk Press Release

Amazon.de Press Release

Daily Links and Deals: It’s official — ebooks really are books and Euro tax could plummet

daily_links_1Today, news that the EU has finally (and sensibly) ruled that ebooks are actually books, paving the way to lower VAT prices. Also, a look at how New York City’s public WiFi is serving the poor, a new way for YouTube creators to interact with their followers and how one library is making itself a public space attraction. In deals, savings on Fossil bags and watches and a Panasonic bread machine. Also, new choices for the Amazon Echo and a new generation of the Echo Dot.

Daily Links for day, September 14, 2016:

Is New York City’s Public Wi-Fi Actually Connecting the Poor? (Motherboard) Part of the mission of LinkNYC is to address the digital divide. How’s it actually doing?

YouTube launches ‘Community’ in beta w/ a new tab for posting text, images, GIFs, and more (9 to 5 Google) Now content creators can engage with their followers directly.

It’s official — ebooks really are books and Euro tax could plummet (Roger Packer) This opens the door to slash the very high EU VAT on ebooks. (This story was in the Financial Times yesterday, but I won’t link to paywalled content.)

Shhhh…ake it off at the library, the new happening place to be (KUOW) How libraries are re-imagining themselves as public spaces.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Good Earth (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 1) by Pearl S. Buck.

In Today’s Deals, get 50% off Fossil watches, bags and more. Also, there’s a Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser, White.

Echo news:  Amazon has now released the Echo a second color. You can pre-order now to get it in white. It will be available on September 28, 2016. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99.  Amazon is offering some interesting bundles, like the one pairing a Echo Dot with the Bose Soundlink Mini II. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

Alexa and the Echo and the Echo Dot are also coming to the UK and later, Germany. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/echo for details.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen. The Romance Daily Find is Imaginary Men by Anjali Banerjee.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Big Thaw by Donald Harstad. The Extra Daily Deal is Mad Tinker Chronicles Collection by J.S. Morin.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Echo rumors: A new Echo Dot and a British Alexa

dot_aThe rumors have been flying for a bit that Amazon intends to release an UK version of the Amazon Echo tomorrow, September 14th.

The rumors were fueled by the fact that if you asked an Amazon Echo “What’s happening September 14th?”, Alexa would answer some variation on, “I promised I wouldn’t tell, but maybe I should start packing in case I get an invitation. A visit to London has always been on my bucket list”

A press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2016 for the release of an unidentified device. Many believe that the topic will be the announcement of the UK version of an Echo device. To date, the Alexa-enabled devices have only been released in the United States.

More rumors flew yesterday when Amazon Twitter account tweeted “Introducing the all-new Echo Dot. Add Alexa to any room — now for just $49.99.” The tweet, which was immediately deleted, linked to the old Echo Dot page here. The original Echo Dot sold for $89.99. It could only be ordered through the Amazon Echo or the Fire TV and was constantly sold out. The item was apparently discontinued in at the end of July (there are conflicting stories about that: some customers were told it was discontinued; CNET and other customers were told it would be returning).

A lot of people were extremely upset at the unavailability of the Echo Dot. We use ours a lot and I personally would have bought another one if I could have gotten it before they stopped selling them. At $40 cheaper than the original, if the feature set remains the same or gets improved, this will be a big seller, especially if Amazon opens up the orders to all customers.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!