QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I have mixed feelings about how fast things are changing as a result of technology. There’s no denying that through technology there are amazing things being created that help person with diseases or help people’s dreams come true. But there’s also this obsession. Social media is the most dangerous of them all.” ~ Amanda Crew
DOES YOUR HEAD TURN WHEN SOMEONE CALLS OUT ‘ALEXA’?
Well, it is not always funny to make a person turn their head when you are actually talking to a machine!
CAN IT BE REALLY ANNOYING?
Have you ever been victimized by name-calling bullies? If yes, then you can understand the pain of a person with the name Alexa. With Amazon’s digital assistant also with the same name, it definitely would be very irritating to be in the same room with it. Well, there are a lot of people who are having trouble with the name.
Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices can play music, set timers, tell you the weather when received a voice command and much more. It is very useful indeed! Amazon sold millions of devices equipped with Alexa last year and these smart speakers have definitely won millions of hearts. The smart speakers are dominating the market for now.
Everything is appealing when it comes to the digital assistant by Amazon but its name. No matter how much the popularity of Alexa has grown, who can be held accountable for the pain, it has caused for the real-life Alexa’s?
Every time, the owner gives a command to the digital assistant and if there is a real-life Alexa in the same room, it gets very awkward. Most of the times the person would wonder, “was that for me?”. Some of the people might also do it for mere fun. However, the fun part doesn’t stay for a long time, especially when you are at the receiving end.
WHAT DID REAL ALEXA’S FACE?
Some of the real-life Alexas shared their pain with various sources across the world. One of the Alexas is a PR professional who resides in London. When she got an Amazon Echo, she didn’t know that soon she will regret buying it.
She said, “My husband thought it was hilarious when he was given one for Xmas in 2016 and could say ‘Alexa, volume down’ or ‘Alexa, off’ and joke that he was actually talking to me, not the Amazon Alexa.” It could irritate a person to the core, isn’t it?
An Alexa Philbeck who is a Seattle-based bartender also shared her discomfort, “I work in the service industry, so my name is printed on receipts that people see all the time. I get comments constantly and people trying to make jokes or order me around. When you hear it so often, it’s hard to respond in a way that is actually nice.”
So, we can’t even begin to feel what these ladies felt, as you have to walk into someone’s shoes to actually know the pain. You can handle a joke once or twice but imagine, every time you walk up to a person, he makes fun of you, frustrating, right?
Amazon is definitely growing into a smart speaker market but it could be dissed as the name is causing distress for living & breathing people with the same name.
IS THERE A WORKAROUND?
Well, the users can change the wake word, the one which device responds to from “Alexa” to anything that they like. You can choose to call it “Computer”, “Amazon,” “Echo,” on the Amazon Alexa app. It could bring in some comfort for the people who are annoyed by the machine having the same name.
APPLE’S SHAZAM TAKEOVER WILL TRIP COMPETITION IN EUROPE
Apple acquisition of Shazam could bring on the competition in Europe.
WHAT IS THE MATTER?
Last year Apple announced about acquiring Shazam but didn’t disclose the amount on which the deal was sealed. However, according to sources, the deal is going to get closed at somewhere around $400 million.
The European Commission has published an analysis of Apple’s big acquisition as many of the countries requested the same. On the basis of the information provided, this deal could have a very bad effect on competition in the European Economic Area.
When Apple announced the deal, it seemed that Apple Music and Shazam would be a perfect fit with both their features combined. Apple quoted “We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”
However, it looks like now with the latest European Commission’s report, Apple has to ask them to approve the deal.
According to EU laws, the member states are allowed to submit a plea to the executive body to inspect an acquisition on the basis of not meeting the turnover thresholds set by the EU Merger Regulation provided it doesn’t have an EU dimension. In other words, the states can appeal to examine the merger that could affect trade within the EU Single Market and if that deal could have an adverse effect on the economy of the countries submitting the plea.
In Apple’s case, Austria, followed by Iceland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, and Sweden have filed the request for inspection.
WHAT DID COMMISSION SAY?
After researching and inspecting Commission stated, “On the basis of the elements submitted by Austria and the countries joining the referral request, and without prejudice to the outcome of its full investigation, the Commission considers that the transaction may have a significant adverse effect on competition in the European Economic Area. The Commission has also concluded that it is the best-placed authority to deal with the potential cross-border effects of the transaction.”
The Commission will now ask Apple to inform the transaction.