Amazon Alexa suffers Christmas outage in Europe

Engadget

It seems Amazon's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on Amazon Echos were both a blessing and a curse. The smart speakers were obviously a popular gift, so popular in fact that the surge in voice requests on Christmas Day overburdened Amazon's servers, causing Alexa to crash, reports The Guardian. Outage tracking website Down Detector noted spikes in the UK, Germany and other parts of Europe. It seems the issue has now been resolved and was limited to those regions with no problems being reported in the US, at least not yet. The blackout follows a widespread Alexa outage in Europe in September.


Echo Dot owner claims Amazon's Alexa assistant began SWEARING at him after he quit Prime

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An Echo Dot owner claims that Amazon's Alexa assistant has started calling him a's*******' whenever he asks the personal assistant to play him music. Micheal Slade, 29, was reportedly shocked when his Echo Dot speaker began to swear at him following his cancellation of his Amazon Prime subscription. The incident has reportedly left Amazon engineers puzzled -- with the tech firm offering Mr Slade gift cards and a year of free Prime membership in compensation. Software is available for the Echo Dot speaker that can make Alexa curse -- but it is unclear whether someone might have deliberately uploaded this to the device. An Echo Dot owner claims that Amazon's Alexa assistant has started calling him a's*******' whenever he asks the personal assistant to play him music Online business owner and Cwmbran, South Wales resident Michael Slade, 29, said that the trouble began the day after called Amazon to cancel his subscription to their Prime subscription service.


Amazon Customer Receives 1,700 Audio Files Of A Stranger Who Used Alexa

NPR Technology

When an Amazon customer in Germany contacted the company to review his archived data, he wasn't expecting to receive recordings of a stranger speaking in the privacy of a home. The man requested to review his data in August under a European Union data protection law, according to a German trade magazine called c't. Amazon sent him a download link to tracked searches on the website -- and 1,700 audio recordings by Alexa that were generated by another person. "I was very surprised about that because I don't use Amazon Alexa, let alone have an Alexa-enabled device," the customer, who was not named, told the magazine. "So I randomly listened to some of these audio files and could not recognize any of the voices."


Amazon's Alexa now accepts voice commands to buy stuff for you

Mashable

If there was any doubt that Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is a Trojan horse designed to get people to buy more things from Amazon, let those doubts be dispelled. The online retail giant announced on Friday that Alexa, which is supported by the Echo, Echo Dot, Tap and Fire TV, will now let you order "tens of millions" of Amazon Prime products, even if you've never ordered from Amazon before. To place an order, all you have to do is say "Alexa, order ____." Just say "Alexa, order AAA batteries" or "Alexa, order Old Spice deodorant." SEE ALSO: Amazon Echo, Dot & Tap: Which Alexa device is for you?


Amazon's Alexa wants to rule your world

#artificialintelligence

Upon visiting Berlin's IFA2107 -- Germany's answer to CES -- recently, there was one word I kept hearing: Alexa. In the consumer hardware space, it's a great time to be Amazon, if the sheer number of hardware companies jumping on the Alexa bandwagon are anything to go by. Only today it was revealed that Amazon is working on a pair of smart glasses integrating Alexa, intended to look similar to regular glasses with bone conduction technology to allow the user to engage with Alexa without having to wear headphones. Amazon is also working on an Echo connected camera system that cannot only keep a look out for intruders but also Amazon-delivered packages. During the IFA conference, a number of companies made their own Alexa announcements.