Tag Archives: Amazon

No Amazon drone flights for now

Last semester, I made a post about Amazon’s intention to start testing the use of drones for the purpose of making deliveries. That’s right, they wanted to have a drone, with your box attached to the bottom, fly to your house, land, drop off the box, then fly back to wherever it originated.

However, Amazon isn’t the only one interested in drones; they’re really popular. So popular, they have caused problems for commercial jets, landed on the White House lawn, and you can even take an aerial tour of various places in the world thanks to drones.

Drone that crashed on White House lawn

Drone that crashed on White House lawn

So popular have drones become that the FAA decided they had to develop some regulations regarding their commercial use, and it appears that because of this regulations Amazon’s dreams of drone delivery will be left out in the cold.

It’s Cyber Monday

This is a weird Black Friday/Cyber Monday year for me. Usually the big tech companies have rolled out one or two things that make me say “I have to have that.” Last year it was the Surface Pro 2, which also made me the first customer at Fashion Show’s Microsoft Store. This year, however, for the first time in I can’t remember how long, there just isn’t anything that moves me or make me say “One, please” (If anyone finds sticks of 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866Mhz dual-channel RAM on sale, let me know. That stuff never goes on sale. Get it together, Corsair! I need more RAM!).

There are smart watches and tablets and PCs and 4K UHD TVs and all sorts of fun things that will make your life better, easier, and make you a better person. 4K TVs, especially, are expected (by some) to be a big hit. They’re all great devices and I love to see the forward march of technology, but this year I’m happy with my status quo. Especially with the final nail in plasma’s coffin having been delivered earlier this year, I’ll hold on to my plasma ’til the end; you can pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

European Union wants to break up Google

Those of us who were around in the 90’s may remember when Microsoft became subjected to lawsuits by competitors and even governments because of what was perceived as their monopoly status, their aggressive tactics in maintaining that status, and their stranglehold on the PC market, which was an issue of their bundling of Internet Explorer with their OS, and their use of Media Player. Speaking of the European Union specifically, they have sued Microsoft again and again and again. Of course, Microsoft can give it as well as take it.

While I always understood the concerns and the actions taken, I always felt the relentless pursuit of Microsoft specifically was uneven in the tech industry, when other companies were dominant in other areas, such as AOL / Time Warner. It wasn’t as though people couldn’t download other browsers, and the concern about browsers is long over with all of the options available.


Amazon is hiring flight engineers for its drone service

Amazon has been interested in making deliveries by drone for quite some time, but there are many questions that have to be answered. When the p[lan was first announced earlier this year, there were very valid question brought up about what would happen if you weren’t home, how would the drone know exactly where to land, what if someone shot at the drone or tried to steal it?

We’re not talking about drones like the military uses, either, the drones Amazon plans to use are more in-line with what hobbyists have been using lately to document great views all over the world so the questions become more pertinent.

Now, there may be the beginnings of an answer. Amazon recently posted a job announcement for a Flight Operations Engineer for their Prime Air service. The role involves developing the test plans, flight paths, certifications, and test flights for an eventual rollout of a full-fledged drone-delivery service, and of course aviation experience is required.

Amazon makes their next move

As some of you may already know, Amazon has unveiled Kindle Unlimited, a service which, for $9.99 a month offers unlimited books and audiobooks, and you can have as many in your library at any given time as you can handle.

Not only that, you can apparently go from reading a book to having it read to you then back to reading it without ever losing your place. Dubbed Whispersync, it appears the ebook must have the Whispersync capability to begin with, or it can be added after the book is downloaded, but there already tens of thousands of books that have it.

You’d have to be a pretty voracious reader to get true value out of this service, but there are certainly people who fit that description. Would you use it? I’m genuinely interested what people think of this service and whether they think it has value.