Amazon

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Talk to the cylinder
What's Amazon been up to in Cambridge? Speech rec for Echo product, among others
Amazon's Echo device, priced at $199, can play music and answer questions. But it isn't yet widely available. (Photo courtesy Amazon.)
Amazon has started shipping — in small numbers — a tabletop device called Echo. If Apple's Siri and Bose's WaveRadio had a baby, it would be something like Echo. Once connected to your wireless network, the $199 device can stream music and news programming from services like iHeartRadio and Amazon Prime, and it can also answer spoken questions on subjects like the weather, or what year the War of 1812 ended. And it turns out that a team at Amazon's Kendall Square research-and-development office has been developing the speech recognition capabilities for Echo. Read More
Teikametrics helps Amazon.com merchants figure out what to stock — and how to price it
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Teikametrics is one of those behind-the-scenes players that may have been involved in some of your online gift-buying this month. The Boston-based startup offers analytic services to companies that sell goods on Amazon.com — including local firms like Newbury Comics and Aubuchon Hardware. Among the questions Teikametrics can answer: How much inventory should a seller stock at various Amazon fulfillment centers to ensure quick delivery, anywhere in the world. Read More
Amazon's Cyber Monday strategy? Robots. Lots of robots.
Amazon's Kiva System
Just in time for Cyber Monday, Amazon announced this morning that it is prepping for the holiday rush by recruiting over 80,000 part-time workers, a 14 percent spike over last year. But in addition to those human pickers, the online retailer is also employing a whole cadre of technological elves (i.e., robots) to ensure that your gifts arrive for the holidays just in time. Read More
The Man behind 'The Man'
You learn something new every day - The coaching advice Tom Brady always keeps handy
JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE
CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel is a true "Renaissance Man." First, he was an athlete, playing his high school ball at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, and later playing professionally in Israel. He then became an entrepreneur, starting CoachUp, which connects private coaches with athletes of all ages. Now, he is trying his hand at being an author, publishing "Reaching Another Level," a book about the merits of—you guessed it—private coaching. Read More
Up & Away
Amazon taps former MIT professor to helm Prime Air, its planned drone delivery program
Reuters
There's been a lot of debate about how serious Amazon is with its much touted (and very not-a-real-thing-currently) Prime Air drone-delivery program, considering the Federal Aviation Administration has specifically banned drones for commercial purposes. Add one on the serious side of the score card: the company has recruited former MIT professor Paul Viola to be its vice president of science for Prime Air. Read More
FIRE SALE
Amazon's new Fire Phone comes courtesy of secretive Lab126, with offices in Cambridge
amazon fire
Amazon's new Fire Phone isn't shy about capitalizing on what the company does best — cloud services, easy purchases, and a growing library of streaming movies, music, and books. It also capitalized on the company's secretive Cambridge brain trust at the company's Lab126, which also has offices in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Seattle. Read More
Google Boston Grows
On Friday, we told you that the news that Springpad was shutting down may have something to do with an acquihire move by Google. Sara Castellanos at the BBJ is reporting some key Springpad engineering team members will be joining Google's Cambridge operations. The five Springpad engineers (including co-founder and chief product officer Jeff Chow) who will be joining Google will work on the Google Play Newsstand project. I also heard that Springpad had been talking with both Amazon and Google about an acquisition in the lead up to the news that it was closing shop. Don't be shocked if some of Springpad's marketing and sales folks end up at Amazon's Boston office, which is said to be playing a key role in the development of the company's reported new smartphone.   Discuss
More startup support
New Fintech Sandbox program will supply fuel for financial startups
fintechsbx
A cadre of large financial services and technology firms have been working for more than a year on a new program called the Fintech Sandbox that aims to support early-stage financial services startups in Boston and elsewhere. Key players behind the program include Fidelity Investments, Thomson Reuters, Amazon.com, the venture capital firm .406 Ventures, and startup BuysideFX. Sandbox supervisor Rocky Weitz, formerly CEO and co-founder of the Boston startup CargoMetrics, says the plan is to have it up and running later this year. Read More