Alexa crashes at Christmas
A well-kept crash at Christmas, that happens in the best families. This year, it has also caught Amazon’s otherwise so busy and always eager to speak language assistant Alexa. Millions of new echo devices that were unpacked and activated worldwide seemed to be too much even for Amazon’s server park. According to the website Down Detector, Christmas breaks in Germany, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe led to longer downtime. Central message of the Amazon lady over a few hours: “I’m sorry, I just can not understand you.” Overwhelmed by thinking and acting Alexa users have complained then according to Guardian at Amazon that they can play no Christmas carols, turn on no lighting or recall cooking recipes. According to Amazon, the Echo Dot mini-loudspeaker was its best-selling product during the Christmas season. It is also fitting that Amazon’s Alexa app has risen to number one in the iOS charts this Christmas.
Snapchat: Come on the dog
After allowing Snapchat for a long time, the fact that users deface with canine, move now the four-legged friends themselves in the sights of the instant messaging app. Over Christmas, Snapchat has unlocked special lenses for dogs. On offer are, inter alia, dog glasses and dog food, which circles longingly over the head of the Fiffis, and shows what he is thinking. More “Dog Lenses” should follow soon. Cat Lenses Snapchat had already introduced in November.
The vacuum cleaner that can play Doom
The electrical appliance that Doom is NOT running on has yet to be invented. From the washing machine display to the smart watch – the not-so-resource-hungry shooting classic can be ported to virtually any hardware. Vacuum-cleaning robots have been missing for lack of display. But game developer Rich Whitehouse has now found a way to cleverly combine sucking and shooting. Doom is not running directly on his Roomba 980. But his software Doomba creates new Doom levels from the way the vacuum cleaner travels through the house. Slashing down tons of zombies on the way from the kitchen to the office – this is where Rich Whitehouse explains how it works.
iPhone XR attracts Android users
Just before Christmas, Apple has also brought its discount promotion for the iPhone models XR and XS to Germany. Who exchanges his old iPhone, gets the XR from 579 Euro (instead of 849 Euro), and the XS from 879 Euro (instead of 1.149 Euro). This could / should be another indication that the current iPhones are not selling as well as Apple hoped. But analyst Mike Levin of the market researchers CIRP has good news for Apple for a change. Accordingly, accounted for in November, 32 percent of iPhone sales in the US on the new “entry-level” iPhone XR – an even higher proportion than last year on the iPhone X. More important for Apple: The XR is as many Android users as in years no longer have moved to the iPhone. 16 percent of iPhone buyers in November were therefore from Android. Comparative value from end of 2017, according to Mashable: 11 to 12 percent.
Samsung removes the phone speaker
Headphone jack, home button and fingerprint sensor – all gone. The smartphone manufacturers specken their mobile phones more and more. Next is the phone speaker on the red list of endangered technology. Samsung Display will show the first mobile phone screen that can also play sounds at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas on January 8th. Piezoelectric vibrations are intended to transmit the sounds to the human ear. The mini speaker on the top of the device is thus unnecessary. The technology also allows 3D sound effects and makes it much easier to build waterproof smartphones. This novelty is apparently facing the big breakthrough. LG wants to show at the CES a 65-inch TV without speakers, where the sound is generated by vibrations of the screen. Also, several Chinese manufacturers apparently plan the use of speakerless speakers.
The end of the LEAD: The woman who wanted to fuel her Tesla
The funniest video we found over Christmas: A very blonde woman tries to fill up her Tesla. The couple behind it, who filmed the technologically revolutionary refueling of an electric car, has not recovered from his laugh flash to this day. We neither. 🤣🥳🚘
I AM DYING pic.twitter.com/JlHh4EONkG
– Caleb Hull (@ CalebJHull) December 24, 2018
By the way: TechDaily is also available as a newsletter and as a skill (“Alexa, open LEAD digital Tech”).