Amazon in the News

JahaRa

Noble
Amazon wants to use radar to track your sleep

The online giant's next 'Echo' device will reportedly be capable of actively monitoring your sleeping habits.

Smart hub devices, which are often equipped with cameras and microphones, have long been the subject of privacy concerns and with good reason - not only are these devices watching and listening, but they are also recording footage and audio of what you are doing and storing it on remote servers.

For some, even an easily accessible mute button and the option to delete data from the server is not enough to justify having one of these devices around, yet it seems that companies like Google and Amazon are continuing to double down on the level of surveillance these devices are capable of by adding increasingly sensitive microphones and even entirely new types of sensor.

The latest addition is radar - something that has already made its way onto the latest Google Nest Hub smart display and now Amazon is looking for approval to add it to its next 'Echo' device as well.

The purpose of this functionality is to monitor the user's sleep patterns, however concerns have been raised over exactly what else a radar device in a person's home is capable of doing.

"The use of Radar Sensors in sleep tracking could improve awareness and management of sleep hygiene, which in turn could produce significant health benefits for many Americans," Amazon's FCC filing reads.

"Radar Sensors will allow consumers to recognize potential sleep issues."

It goes without saying, however, that a device in every room of your house equipped with microphones, cameras and radar has the potential to be incredibly intrusive.

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I think people would get better sleep if they left all the devices out of the bedroom and set up a faraday cage or some kind of emf blocking around the bed. Too many sleep deprived people walking around connected 24 hours a day, the zombie apocalypse and Amazon and Google are encouraging that. Sleep deprivation is still used for mind control and torture. You can see how effective it is by going to a doctor who just finished his residency, he or she will not hear a word you say, only key words that will trigger pulling out the prescription pad.
 

nivek

As Above So Below
Amazon now has 'keys' to thousands of apartment buildings in the U.S.

Amazon.com Inc. is on a mission to gain access to the front lobbies of apartment buildings across the U.S., and is trying to sell landlords on the idea of allowing the installation of a digital "key" allowing their package delivery drivers a way to enter.

The online retail and tech giant's aim is to provide secure and convenient building access for Amazon delivery drivers at apartment buildings and streamline the delivery process for building owners and managers, so their staff or residents don’t need to manually give access each time deliveries are made, a spokesperson told FOX Business.

The initiative, called Key for Business, entails Amazon delivery drivers requesting access to a participating building via an app, and the apartment building door or gate to a community is unlocked only after Amazon confirms the driver's ID, route, GPS location and time of request.

Some landlords who have the key system installed told the Associated Press that the system has reduced the constant buzzing from delivery folks and provides a more secure option than disclosing the building entry code to scores of delivery people. One even said he is so happy with the system he would have paid for Amazon to install it. Amazon would not give the exact number of buildings it has access to, but disclosed that the number is in the thousands
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(More on the link)

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Toroid

Founding Member
Amazon now has 'keys' to thousands of apartment buildings in the U.S.

Amazon.com Inc. is on a mission to gain access to the front lobbies of apartment buildings across the U.S., and is trying to sell landlords on the idea of allowing the installation of a digital "key" allowing their package delivery drivers a way to enter.

The online retail and tech giant's aim is to provide secure and convenient building access for Amazon delivery drivers at apartment buildings and streamline the delivery process for building owners and managers, so their staff or residents don’t need to manually give access each time deliveries are made, a spokesperson told FOX Business.

The initiative, called Key for Business, entails Amazon delivery drivers requesting access to a participating building via an app, and the apartment building door or gate to a community is unlocked only after Amazon confirms the driver's ID, route, GPS location and time of request.

Some landlords who have the key system installed told the Associated Press that the system has reduced the constant buzzing from delivery folks and provides a more secure option than disclosing the building entry code to scores of delivery people. One even said he is so happy with the system he would have paid for Amazon to install it. Amazon would not give the exact number of buildings it has access to, but disclosed that the number is in the thousands
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(More on the link)

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In the first post of this thread they wanted to deliver packages to the trunks of people's cars. That seemed to fizzle-out.
 

wwkirk

Celestial
Amazon now has 'keys' to thousands of apartment buildings in the U.S.

Amazon.com Inc. is on a mission to gain access to the front lobbies of apartment buildings across the U.S., and is trying to sell landlords on the idea of allowing the installation of a digital "key" allowing their package delivery drivers a way to enter.

The online retail and tech giant's aim is to provide secure and convenient building access for Amazon delivery drivers at apartment buildings and streamline the delivery process for building owners and managers, so their staff or residents don’t need to manually give access each time deliveries are made, a spokesperson told FOX Business.

The initiative, called Key for Business, entails Amazon delivery drivers requesting access to a participating building via an app, and the apartment building door or gate to a community is unlocked only after Amazon confirms the driver's ID, route, GPS location and time of request.

Some landlords who have the key system installed told the Associated Press that the system has reduced the constant buzzing from delivery folks and provides a more secure option than disclosing the building entry code to scores of delivery people. One even said he is so happy with the system he would have paid for Amazon to install it. Amazon would not give the exact number of buildings it has access to, but disclosed that the number is in the thousands
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(More on the link)

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As an apartment dweller, I actually like this. In general, the benefit of the Postal Service has been that they are almost always able to get into the building, whereas it's hit or miss with other carriers.



But here's the dirty, little secret about some locked apartment buildings, such as the one I live in. Anyone showing up at the lobby door will automatically get admitted by anyone down there. I do that myself, and frankly, haven't the faintest idea of what most of the actual residents look like. - I have no doubt though, that in snootier places, in Manhattan for example, the situation is likely to be much different.
 

pigfarmer

tall, thin, irritable
Amazon now has 'keys' to thousands of apartment buildings in the U.S.

Amazon.com Inc. is on a mission to gain access to the front lobbies of apartment buildings across the U.S., and is trying to sell landlords on the idea of allowing the installation of a digital "key" allowing their package delivery drivers a way to enter.

The online retail and tech giant's aim is to provide secure and convenient building access for Amazon delivery drivers at apartment buildings and streamline the delivery process for building owners and managers, so their staff or residents don’t need to manually give access each time deliveries are made, a spokesperson told FOX Business.

The initiative, called Key for Business, entails Amazon delivery drivers requesting access to a participating building via an app, and the apartment building door or gate to a community is unlocked only after Amazon confirms the driver's ID, route, GPS location and time of request.

Some landlords who have the key system installed told the Associated Press that the system has reduced the constant buzzing from delivery folks and provides a more secure option than disclosing the building entry code to scores of delivery people. One even said he is so happy with the system he would have paid for Amazon to install it. Amazon would not give the exact number of buildings it has access to, but disclosed that the number is in the thousands
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(More on the link)

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I've done a few Amazon locker locations. Some are outside, some are in a building vestibule. Beyond the obvious big row of lockers it has a 3G modem. This makes perfect sense and I detect no Corporate Evil. This sounds like a logical next step for many locations that don't have doormen.

But if that fully identified Amazon driver who is tracked and timed and may be under video surveillance wanted to he or she or neither-of-the-above could wear a bucket over their head and provide zero credentials or proof of identity and go cast a vote.
 

nivek

As Above So Below
Well, there's many empty stores and malls because of businesses like Amazon...I guess they figured they killed the department store competition, now they can move in?...

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nivek

As Above So Below


Amazon to release an autonomous home robot

The online giant's new robot Astro will roam around your house equipped with cameras and microphones. Powered by Amazon's Alexa smart home technology, the pint-sized robot, which has been in development for years, will be one of the first true home robots to hit the market.

Equipped with wheels and an emotive "face" display screen, Astro can move autonomously around the home while avoiding obstacles and can even recognize specific individuals through facial recognition.

Offering the same suite of features as Amazon's existing Alexa devices, the robot can also be used for home security - patrolling your rooms with an extendible periscope camera when you are not at home and alerting you if any unknown individuals happen to stray within range.

It can also be used to carry small objects from one person to another within a household. As always, however, the elephant in the room with this device is privacy - there is no doubt a lot of people might not take too kindly to the idea of playing host to a mobile robot that can record video and audio of their home at all times of the day and night.

To combat these concerns, Amazon has made it clear that Astro can be restricted from entering certain areas and it is also possible to disable the cameras and microphones with a switch.

The price tag, too, is likely to be a concern - Astro is currently available only to select customers for $999.99 and once it hits retail it will sell for an even higher price tag of $1,449.99.

Whether it will ultimately catch on with consumers remains to be seen.

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nivek

As Above So Below
A mom told Jeff Bezos that Amazon was underpaying her $90 a month, sparking an internal probe that found the company was shortchanging some workers, a report says

An email sent to Jeff Bezos from an Amazon worker who was on leave triggered an internal investigation that exposed flaws with the company's payroll system, The New York Times reported.

Tara Jones, an Oklahoma Amazon warehouse worker, emailed Bezos in 2020 to tell him she was being underpaid $90 out of $540 she was supposed to get a month, The Times reported. She had a newborn baby at the time, The Times said. "I'm behind on bills, all because the pay team messed up," Jones wrote in her email. She added, "I'm crying as I write this email," the report said.

The Times interviewed Amazon staff and reviewed internal documents that showed that Amazon subsequently discovered it was shortchanging some employees who were on leave, including medical and disability leave. The problems spanned at least a year and a half, and it potentially affected as many as 179 warehouses.

An Amazon spokesperson told The Times that the company was still in the process of identifying workers it had underpaid. One of those people, a warehouse worker from Tennessee named James Watts, told The Times that his disability payments stopped for several months in the spring. Watts told The Times that his car was repossessed and that he and his wife sold their wedding rings.

Current and former HR employees also told The Times that workers facing medical problems were automatically fired by Amazon's attendance software after it mistook their leave for absence. Bethany Reyes, an Amazon HR employee who has recently been charged with fixing the company's leave system, told The Times that the company was trying to rebalance its mantra of "optimizing" for the customer.

"A lot of times, because we've optimized for the customer experience, we've been focused on that," Reyes said. She added that the company was working to address "pain points" and "pay issues." She also said the automatic firings were "the most dire issue that you could have."

Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on the report. In a letter to shareholders last year, Bezos boasted that the lowest-paid Amazon worker makes more than 40 million people in the US. Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon on July 5 and was replaced by Andy Jassy, a longtime executive. Bezos remains the chair of the company.

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nivek

As Above So Below
'Giving her prime delivery!' Amazon driver is fired after video shows woman in skimpy black dress emerging from the back of his parked delivery van

An Amazon driver in Tampa, Florida, was fired after a recent TikTok video showed him letting a woman in a black dress out of his van back in June. The company confirmed the man no longer delivers for them and that 'unauthorized passengers' are not allowed to 'enter delivery vehicles.' Social media users thoroughly enjoyed poking fun at Amazon's 'Prime' delivery and joked that her actual package will be coming in eight to nine months.

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Standingstones

Celestial
'Giving her prime delivery!' Amazon driver is fired after video shows woman in skimpy black dress emerging from the back of his parked delivery van

An Amazon driver in Tampa, Florida, was fired after a recent TikTok video showed him letting a woman in a black dress out of his van back in June. The company confirmed the man no longer delivers for them and that 'unauthorized passengers' are not allowed to 'enter delivery vehicles.' Social media users thoroughly enjoyed poking fun at Amazon's 'Prime' delivery and joked that her actual package will be coming in eight to nine months.

636x382_JPG-SINGLE_456597224766455985.jpg
Those Prime drivers aren’t making enough dough. What’s wrong with a few extra benefits?
 

nivek

As Above So Below
This is creepy...


Amazon Alexa will be able to mimic the voice of a dead relative

Would you want Alexa speaking in the voice of a deceased loved one?

An upcoming feature to Amazon's popular voice assistant is straight out of an episode of 'Black Mirror'. During Amazon's re:MARS conference recently, the online shopping giant announced that it was developing a feature that would enable its Alexa smart home assistant to speak using the voice of someone who has died.

Senior Vice President Rohit Prasad provided a demonstration of this technology by having Alexa read a bedtime story in the voice of a deceased grandmother.

Now if this all sounds a bit unsettling, then that's because it is - in fact a similar idea was used in the plot of an episode of Black Mirror, which should tell you just how weird this actually is.

According to Prasad, Alexa will be capable of learning to speak in someone's voice after listening to just one minute of recorded speech from that person.

This also suggests that the device could listen to someone's conversation and then learn how to mimic their voice, no doubt adding to the concerns many people have about having devices like this in their home. Whether this particular feature will make it into the actual product, however, remains to be seen.

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wwkirk

Celestial
This is creepy...


Amazon Alexa will be able to mimic the voice of a dead relative

Would you want Alexa speaking in the voice of a deceased loved one?

An upcoming feature to Amazon's popular voice assistant is straight out of an episode of 'Black Mirror'. During Amazon's re:MARS conference recently, the online shopping giant announced that it was developing a feature that would enable its Alexa smart home assistant to speak using the voice of someone who has died.

Senior Vice President Rohit Prasad provided a demonstration of this technology by having Alexa read a bedtime story in the voice of a deceased grandmother.

Now if this all sounds a bit unsettling, then that's because it is - in fact a similar idea was used in the plot of an episode of Black Mirror, which should tell you just how weird this actually is.

According to Prasad, Alexa will be capable of learning to speak in someone's voice after listening to just one minute of recorded speech from that person.

This also suggests that the device could listen to someone's conversation and then learn how to mimic their voice, no doubt adding to the concerns many people have about having devices like this in their home. Whether this particular feature will make it into the actual product, however, remains to be seen.

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I don't have the voice features activated on any of my devices.


...Or at least I don't think I do...:nerd:
 

pigfarmer

tall, thin, irritable
I don't like the idea of putting cameras and microphones in my house. Many, many of these things are being installed by homeowners and amateurs with little or no concept of security.
 

AlienView

Noble
I don't like the idea of putting cameras and microphones in my house. Many, many of these things are being installed by homeowners and amateurs with little or no concept of security.
Thing is, like it or not, you are always being monitored by any smart devices including your cell phone.

In some ways its like 'Big Brother is watching' like in Orwell's 1984 - There it was for control. Here its more about how to make more money off of you - Control you to spend more. Of course in Russia its probably about control only and in China its about both, keep you under control and get you to spend more.

But don't worry about it - Unless you live completely off the grid you are being monitored.
 

AlienView

Noble
This is creepy...


Amazon Alexa will be able to mimic the voice of a dead relative

Would you want Alexa speaking in the voice of a deceased loved one?

An upcoming feature to Amazon's popular voice assistant is straight out of an episode of 'Black Mirror'. During Amazon's re:MARS conference recently, the online shopping giant announced that it was developing a feature that would enable its Alexa smart home assistant to speak using the voice of someone who has died.

Senior Vice President Rohit Prasad provided a demonstration of this technology by having Alexa read a bedtime story in the voice of a deceased grandmother.

Now if this all sounds a bit unsettling, then that's because it is - in fact a similar idea was used in the plot of an episode of Black Mirror, which should tell you just how weird this actually is.

According to Prasad, Alexa will be capable of learning to speak in someone's voice after listening to just one minute of recorded speech from that person.

This also suggests that the device could listen to someone's conversation and then learn how to mimic their voice, no doubt adding to the concerns many people have about having devices like this in their home. Whether this particular feature will make it into the actual product, however, remains to be seen.

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That assumes you have a recorded message from that relative that the AI can synthesize.

I'd be curious of what would happen if you asked Alexa to speak like an alien not from this planet?
 
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