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AMAZON WEB SERVICES SETS UP PHILIPPINE OFFICE


MAY 16 -Amazon Web Services chief technology officer Dr. Werner Vogels delivers the keynote address at the AWS Summit.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the latest global tech firm to set up shop in the Philippines this year after social media giant Facebook, online grocer Happy Fresh, and cyber security firm CyberInt, among others. The move, announced at the latest AWS Summit held recently at the Makati Shangri-La hotel, is expected to further boost the uptake of enterprise cloud computing in the country. AWS executives, led by chief technology officer (CTO) Dr. Werner Vogels, expressed confidence in the country’s potential to adopt cloud applications, saying that the local office will provide technical support to its growing base of Philippine clients, which now include the country’s biggest firms such as Jollibee Foods Corp., Voyager Innovations, Seaoil, McDonald’s, Globe Telecom, and the International Rice Research Institute. It also counts among its clients successful local startups LifeTrack Medical Systems, mClinica, Pinoy Travel, Coins.ph, and Xurpass. The Philippine office, set up after Malaysia and Thailand, is the company’s 21st office in Asia-Pacific. Singapore will remain as the regional headquarters. While in the process of setting up shop here (the company is looking for a country manager, account managers, solutions architects and partner and alliance managers), Nick Walton, head of Asean, will manage the Philippine operations, according to AWS executives. READ MORE...

ALSO: Amazon.com, Inc.


Amazon.com, Inc. (/ˈæməzɒn/ or /ˈæməzən/), often referred to as simply Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, later diversifying to sell DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Amazon Kindle e-book readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV —and is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products like USB cables under its in-house brand AmazonBasics. Amazon has separate retail websites for United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India and Mexico. Amazon also offers international shipping to certain other countries for some of its products. In 2011, it professed an intention to launch its websites in Poland and Sweden. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart (a brick and mortar operation) as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. READ MORE...

ALSO: When one camera is not enough


MAY 16 -Smartphones with cameras or cameras with smartphones: Huawei Honor 6, Huawei Honor 8, Huawei P9, Lenovo Vibe and LG X Cam.
A new trend has started to re-appear among new smartphones in recent months. A number of mobile phone vendors are beginning to incorporate dual cameras into their handsets. It’s not really new since a few ones that were released a few years back had this feature but they were really intended for 3D imaging. Recent smartphones that carry two cameras offer a more specialized approach to mobile photography. We look at each one of them in this article and explain what their uses are for. Huawei made the Honor 6 Plus with two eight-megapixel cameras at the back in an attempt to create a super-image by combining the data collected by each sensor. This resulted in a brighter output and better image detail with the ability to refocus the image from f/0.95 for a nice soft bokeh right up to a crisp f/16 aperture. The front camera also sports another eight-megapixel sensor for a triple combo. Around the same time, LG also released the LG V10 with a dual front-facing camera. The two front-facing cameras in five megapixels each and a decent f/2.2 opening aim to deliver better selfie photos. One of the cameras has an 80-degree field of view for normal close-up shots while the other has a 120-dgeree field of view for wider shots or group selfies. Lenovo also made the Vibe S1 with two front-facing cameras to deliver better selfies shots with creative effects. The Vibe S1 has an eight-megapixel primary camera and another two-megapixel secondary shooter that works in tandem. The main camera has a BSI sensor for better low-light performance and the secondary camera helps to refocus the output to create a better bokeh effect. The second camera can also indentify photobombers and remove them from selfies easily. More photography tricks are made available from the camera app. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Amazon Web Services sets up Philippine office


Amazon Web Services chief technology officer Dr. Werner Vogels delivers the keynote address at the AWS Summit.

MANILA, MAY 23, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Eden Estopace May 16, 2016 - 12:00am -Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the latest global tech firm to set up shop in the Philippines this year after social media giant Facebook, online grocer Happy Fresh, and cyber security firm CyberInt, among others.

The move, announced at the latest AWS Summit held recently at the Makati Shangri-La hotel, is expected to further boost the uptake of enterprise cloud computing in the country.

AWS executives, led by chief technology officer (CTO) Dr. Werner Vogels, expressed confidence in the country’s potential to adopt cloud applications, saying that the local office will provide technical support to its growing base of Philippine clients, which now include the country’s biggest firms such as Jollibee Foods Corp., Voyager Innovations, Seaoil, McDonald’s, Globe Telecom, and the International Rice Research Institute.

It also counts among its clients successful local startups LifeTrack Medical Systems, mClinica, Pinoy Travel, Coins.ph, and Xurpass.

The Philippine office, set up after Malaysia and Thailand, is the company’s 21st office in Asia-Pacific. Singapore will remain as the regional headquarters.

While in the process of setting up shop here (the company is looking for a country manager, account managers, solutions architects and partner and alliance managers), Nick Walton, head of Asean, will manage the Philippine operations, according to AWS executives.

READ MORE...

“The business is growing so fast in this part of the world. The recent opening of our offices in Manila, in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur really show that the whole area is exploding. It’s a consequence of how fast we are growing in the region. We really want to make sure that customers have good customer support,” Dr. Vogels said.

He added that he is confident about the abundance of local talent given that the educational system is competitive and the English language competence of the workforce is high. “We hope that engineers will choose to work for us,” he said. “There are great advantages to working for AWS, even from a more global perspective.”

AWS at 10 AWS’s entry in the Philippine market came on the heels of the release of Amazon’s first quarter earnings report, which shows that more than half ($604 million) of the tech firm’s operating income of $1.1 billion came from its cloud computing arm.

There have been projections that the company’s cloud service even has the potential to outstrip its retail business.

In a letter to shareholders dated April 5, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said AWS is on track to reaching $10 billion in annual sales this year.

“AWS is bigger than Amazon.com was at 10 years old, growing at a faster rate, and – most noteworthy in my view – the pace of innovation continues to accelerate. We announced 722 significant new features and services in 2015, a 40 percent increase over 2014,” he said in the letter.

Bezos waxed a little nostalgic in recalling that AWS started in the US just over 10 years ago as a simple storage service.

“Today, AWS offers more than 70 services for computing, storage, databases, analytics, mobile, Internet of Things, and enterprise applications,” he said. “We also offer 33 Availability Zones across 12 geographic regions worldwide, with another five regions and 11 Availability Zones in Canada, China, India, the US, and the UK to be available in the coming year,” he added.

Asked what would it take to sustain this momentum, Dr. Vogels said innovation is key. “We are really at the forefront of building new technology services,” he said. “I think we have a unique proposition that is really focused on how our customers want to use IT. And there’s still so much to be done.”

In Asia and other emerging markets, he said capital is still scarce and if businesses would want to purely innovate on their own, using their own servers, they need to make huge significant investments.

“There is no business today that starts off with buying hardware,” he stressed. “It puts pressure on us to provide security, very good reliability, and performance on networks that customers can scale in our platform.”

Enterprises, startups in the ‘cloud’ One of AWS’ biggest clients in the Philippines is Globe Telecom, which has 53 million mobile subscribers, four million broadband customers, and revenues of P114 billion ($2.4 billion) by the end of 2015.

Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom, said in a testimonial during the summit that the company’s achievements will never be achieved without innovation, supported by a cloud-first policy.

“We make it very difficult for people at Globe to buy servers because we wanted them to go cloud first,” he said. “To sustain our growth, we need to bring products and services to market very quickly. I think we have the largest footprint today for the Philippines for Amazon,” he said.

Globe has over 100 applications with 11,000+ instances running on AWS, has a total footprint of 800 Terabytes, and direct connection to the AWS Data Center in Singapore at 10 Gbps.

“Another benefit we have seen is that Amazon has made us realize the power of virtualization. It allows us to create applications very quickly and scale very quickly,” Cu added.

The country’s largest fastfood chain, Jollibee Foods Corp., has also been using AWS since 2008.

Robert San Juan, vice president for corporate information management at Jollibee Food Corp., said the AWS cloud is useful in running mission-critical applications, e-commerce, Intranet and POS data.

Future innovations include a mobile self-ordering system, mobile app rewards system, tablet ordering system, POS system, kitchen system, digital menu board, and mobile dashboards.

But it isn’t just the large enterprises that are benefiting from the cloud. Dr. Vogels said AWS actually has a program for startups called the AWS Activate, which is designed to provide startups with the resources needed to get started on cloud computing.

Startups receive guidance from AWS expertise as well as web-based training, self-paced labs, customer support, access to third-party solutions and AWS service credits.

One startup client is Manila-based Coins.ph, which provides mobile money transfer services using blockchain technology.

“We started two years ago with a very simple mission. We want to make sure everybody has direct access to financial services,” said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins.ph. “As a fast-moving startup, we chose AWS for the breadth of services and quick time to market. AWS enables a micro service architecture built on top of fault tolerant services.”

Hose claims that 2015 was a banner year for the company, having grown its customers from 300,000 to half a million, the scale made possible by the AWS Cloud.

“In Southeast Asia, we are seeing startups continue to build their businesses in the AWS cloud,” concluded Walton. “We will continue to expand in 2016 and 2017.”


WIKIPEDIA

Amazon.com, Inc.



Founded July 5, 1994; 21 years ago (as Cadabra)
Seattle, Washington, United States
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Jeff Bezos
Key people Jeff Bezos
(Chairman, President and CEO), Werner Vogels (CTO)
Industry Internet
Launched July 5, 1994

Amazon.com, Inc. (/ˈæməzɒn/ or /ˈæməzən/), often referred to as simply Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States.

Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, later diversifying to sell DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys and jewelry.

The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Amazon Kindle e-book readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV —and is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products like USB cables under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.

Amazon has separate retail websites for United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India and Mexico. Amazon also offers international shipping to certain other countries for some of its products.

In 2011, it professed an intention to launch its websites in Poland and Sweden.

In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart (a brick and mortar operation) as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization.

History


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Timeline of Amazon.com

The company was founded in 1994, spurred by what Bezos called his "regret minimization framework," which described his efforts to fend off any regrets for not participating sooner in the Internet business boom during that time.

In 1994, Bezos left his employment as vice-president of D. E. Shaw & Co., a Wall Street firm, and moved to Seattle. He began to work on a business plan for what would eventually become Amazon.com.

Jeff Bezos incorporated the company as "Cadabra" on July 5, 1994.Bezos changed the name to Amazon a year later after a lawyer misheard its original name as "cadaver". The company went online as Amazon.com in 1995.

Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary, and settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different" just as he planned for his store to be; the Amazon river, he noted was by far the "biggest" river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest in the world.

Bezos placed a premium on his head start in building a brand, telling a reporter, "There's nothing about our model that can't be copied over time. But you know, McDonald's got copied. And it still built a huge, multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name. Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world."

Additionally, a name beginning with "A" was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was alphabetized.

Since June 19, 2000, Amazon's logotype has featured a curved arrow leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every product from A to Z, with the arrow shaped like a smile.

After reading a report about the future of the Internet that projected annual Web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books.

Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large world-wide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print.Amazon was originally founded in Bezos' garage in Bellevue, Washington.

The company began as an online bookstore, an idea spurred off with discussion with John Ingram of Ingram Book (now called Ingram Content Group), along with Keyur Patel who still holds a stake in Amazon.

Amazon was able to access books at wholesale from Ingram. In the first two months of business, Amazon sold to all 50 states and over 45 countries. Within two months, Amazon's sales were up to $20,000/week. While the largest brick and mortar bookstores and mail order catalogs might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could "carry" several times more, since it would have a practically unlimited virtual (not actual) warehouse: those of the actual product makers/suppliers.
Amazon was incorporated in 1994, in the state of Washington.

In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on Amazon.com: Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In October 1995, the company announced itself to the public.

In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at a price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).

Amazon's initial business plan was unusual; it did not expect to make a profit for four to five years. This "slow" growth caused stockholders to complain about the company not reaching profitability fast enough to justify investing in, or to even survive in the long-term.

When the dot-com bubble burst at the start of the 21st century, destroying many e-companies in the process, Amazon survived, and grew on past the bubble burst to become a huge player in online sales. It finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million (i.e., 1¢ per share), on revenues of more than $1 billion.

This profit margin, though extremely modest, proved to skeptics that Bezos' unconventional business model could succeed.

In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos the Person of the Year, recognizing the company's success in popularizing online shopping.

Barnes & Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon's claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" was false. Barnes and Noble asserted, "[It] isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker."

The suit was later settled out of court, and Amazon continued to make the same claim."

Walmart sued Amazon on October 16, 1998, alleging that Amazon had stolen Walmart's trade secrets by hiring former Walmart executives. Although this suit was also settled out of court, it caused Amazon to implement internal restrictions and the reassignment of the former Walmart executives.

Merchant partnerships

Until June 30, 2006, typing ToysRUs.com into a browser would bring up Amazon.com's "Toys & Games" tab; however, this relationship was terminated due to a lawsuit. Amazon also hosted and managed the website for Borders bookstores but this ceased in 2008.

From 2001 until August 2011, Amazon hosted the retail website for Target.

Amazon.com operates retail websites for Sears Canada, bebe Stores, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, and Lacoste. For a growing number of enterprise clients, currently including the UK merchants Marks & Spencer, Benefit Cosmetics' UK entity, edeals.com, and Mothercare, Amazon provides a unified multichannel platform where a customer can interact with the retail website, standalone in-store terminals, or phone-based customer service agents. Amazon Web Services also powers AOL's Shop@AOL.

On October 18, 2011, Amazon.com announced a partnership with DC Comics for the exclusive digital rights to many popular comics, including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Sandman, and Watchmen. The partnership has caused well-known bookstores like Barnes & Noble to remove these titles from their shelves.

In November 2013, Amazon.com announced a partnership with the United States Postal Service to begin delivering orders on Sundays. The service, included with Amazon’s standard shipping rates, initiated in metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and New York due to the high-volume and inability to deliver timely, with plans to expand into Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix by 2014.

Locations: Headquarters


Amazon.com's former headquarters in the Pacific Medical Center building in Beacon Hill, Seattle

Amazon's global headquarters are in 14 buildings in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, developed primarily by Vulcan, Inc. from 2008 onward.

The first 11 buildings were acquired from Vulcan in 2012 at a cost of $1.16 billion. The company was previously headquartered in rented space within the Pacific Medical Center, located in the city's Beacon Hill neighborhood, from 1998 to 2011.

Amazon is currently building a new three-tower complex in Seattle's Denny Triangle neighborhood to serve as its new headquarters. The plan, designed by NBBJ and named "Rufus 2.0" after a dog who was part of the company in its early days, was approved by the city of Seattle in 2012 and construction began the year after. The first of the towers, Amazon Tower I (nicknamed Doppler), opened on December 14, 2015.

The European headquarters are in Luxembourg's capital, Luxembourg City.

Software development centers

While much of Amazon's software development occurs in Seattle, the company employs software developers in centers across the globe. Some of these sites are run by an Amazon subsidiary called A2Z Development.

North America

USA:
Austin, Texas; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Herndon, Virginia; Irvine, California; Charleston, South Carolina; Cupertino, California; Orange County, California; San Francisco; San Luis Obispo, California; Seattle; New York and Tempe, Arizona

Canada: Vancouver, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario; and Mississauga, Ontario

Europe
Austria: Graz
Luxembourg: Luxembourg

Germany: Berlin and Dresden

Ireland: Dublin

Netherlands: The Hague

Poland: Gdańsk

Romania: Iași

UK: Slough (England), London (England), Cambridge (England), Dunfermline (Scotland) and Edinburgh (Scotland)
Asia

India: Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune

Israel: Tel Aviv

Japan: Meguro (Tokyo)

China: Beijing

Africa: South Africa: Cape Town

Customer service centers

United States: Kennewick, Washington; Huntington, West Virginia; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Winchester, Kentucky
India: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Gurgaon, Jaipur and Pune

South Africa: Cape Town

Philippines: Concentrix CyberWest, EGS Manila, Convergys Cebu, Convergys Bacolod, Convergys MDC100 Libis

China: Chengdu

Germany: Berlin, Regensburg

Ireland: Cork

Morocco: Derb Sultan

UK: Edinburgh, Scotland

Japan: Sapporo

Costa Rica: Heredia and San Jose

Uruguay: Montevideo

Italy: Cagliari

Jamaica: Kingston

Poland: Czestochowa

Fulfillment and warehousing

Fulfillment centers are located in the following cities, often near airports. These centers also provide warehousing and order-fulfillment for third-party sellers. Amazon Fulfillment centers can also provide warehousing and order-fulfillment for third-party sellers for an extra fee. Third-party sellers can use Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, to sell on other platforms as well, such as eBay or their own websites.

Warehouses are large and each has hundreds of employees. Employees are responsible for four basic tasks: unpacking and inspecting incoming goods; placing goods in storage and recording their location; picking goods from their computer recorded locations to make up an individual shipment; and shipping. A computer that records the location of goods and maps out routes for pickers plays a key role: employees carry hand-held computers which communicate with the central computer and monitor their rate of progress.

A picker may walk 10 or more miles a day. In the United Kingdom initial staffing was provided by Randstad Holding and other temporary employment agencies. Some workers are accepted as Amazon employees and granted pension and shares of stock; others are dismissed. "When we have permanent positions available, we look to the top performing temporary associates to fill them."

Development of a high level of automation is anticipated in the future following Amazon's 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems, a warehouse automation company.

Retail goods

Amazon product lines include several media (books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes, and software), apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial & scientific supplies, kitchen items, jewelry and watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys & games.

The company launched amazon.com Auctions, a web auctions service, in March 1999. However, it failed to chip away at the large market share of the industry pioneer, eBay. Later, the company launched a fixed-price marketplace business, zShops, in September 1999, and the now defunct partnership with Sotheby's, called Sothebys.amazon.com, in November.

Auctions and zShops evolved into Amazon Marketplace, a service launched in November 2000 that let customers sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and other products alongside new items. As of October 2014, Amazon Marketplace is the largest of its kind, followed by similar marketplaces from Sears, Rakuten and Newegg.


Third-generation Amazon Kindle

In August 2007, Amazon announced AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods.

Customers could have orders delivered to their homes at dawn or during a specified daytime window. Delivery was initially restricted to residents of Mercer Island, Washington, and was later expanded to several ZIP codes in Seattle proper.

AmazonFresh also operated pick-up locations in the suburbs of Bellevue and Kirkland from summer 2007 through early 2008.

In 2012, Amazon announced the launch of Vine.com for buying green products, including groceries, household items, and apparel. It is part of Quidsi, the company that Amazon bought in 2010 that also runs the sites Diapers.com (baby), Wag.com (pets), and YoYo.com (toys). Amazon also owns other e-commerce sites like Shopbop.com, Woot.com, and Zappos.com.

Amazon's Subscribe & Save program offers a discounted price on an item (usually sold in bulk), free shipping on every Subscribe & Save shipment, and automatic shipment of the item every one, two, three, or six months.

In 2013, Amazon launched its site in India, amazon.in. It started with electronic goods and planned to expand into fashion apparel, beauty, home essentials, and healthcare categories by the end of 2013.

In July 2014, Amazon said it would invest $2 billion (Rs 12,000 crore) in India to expand business, after its largest Indian rival Flipkart announced $1 billion in funding.

In 2014, Amazon sold 63% of all books bought online and 40% of all books sold overall.

Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light is a service introduced in 2015 that will[when?] provide fulfillment for small, light items from a center in Florence, Kentucky. The service will offer free standard shipping for small, light, low-value items offered on the site by third-party sellers.

In 2015, a study by Survata found that 44% of respondents searching for products went directly to Amazon.com.

Amazon Prime


Amazon Prime logo.jpg

In 2005, Amazon announced the creation of Amazon Prime, a membership offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all eligible purchases for a flat annual fee of $79 (equivalent to $96 in 2015), as well as discounted one-day shipping rates. Amazon launched the program in Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom in 2007; in France (as "Amazon Premium") in 2008, in Italy in 2011, and in Canada in 2013.

Amazon Prime membership in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States also provides Amazon Video, the instant streaming of selected movies and TV shows at no additional cost. In November 2011, it was announced that Prime members have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows users to borrow certain popular Kindle e-books for free reading on Kindle hardware, up to one book a month, with no due date.

In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service whose members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists.

In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon cloud drive. In March 2015, Amazon was expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or “unlimited everything” – covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents – respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year. Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 U.S. metropolitan areas in May 2015.

In April 2015, Amazon started a trial partnership with Audi and DHL in order to get deliveries directly into the trunks of Audi cars. This project is only available on the Munich (Germany) area to some Audi connected car users.

On July 15, 2015, to commemorate its 20th birthday, Amazon celebrated "Amazon Prime Day", which Amazon announced would feature deals for prime members that rivaled those on Black Friday. Also that month Amazon Prime announced that it would be signing Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, formerly of BBC's Top Gear, to begin working on The Grand Tour, due to be released in 2016.

In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people are Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. It was also during December that Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, an over-the-top subscription service that enables Amazon Prime subscribers to add additional streaming video services to their accounts.

Among the programming providers involved in the program are Showtime, Starz (with additional content from sister network Encore), Lifetime Movie Club (containing recent original movie titles from Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network), Smithsonian Earth, and Qello Concerts.

In January 2016, Amazon Prime reached 54 million members according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

In April 2016, Amazon announced same-day delivery would be expanded to include the areas of Charlotte, Cincinnati, Fresno, Louisville, Milwaukee, Nashville, Central New Jersey, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Stockton, and Tucson, bringing total coverage to 27 metro areas.

Consumer electronics


Kindle Fire

In November 2007, Amazon launched Amazon Kindle, an e-book reader which downloads content over "Whispernet", via Sprint's EV-DO wireless network. The screen uses E Ink technology to reduce battery consumption and to provide a more legible display.

As of July 2014, there are over 2.7 million e-books available for purchase at the Kindle Store. Starting in 2012 Amazon began offering differing models within generations of its readers starting with the Paperwhite, then Voyage, and most recently Oasis announced in April 2016 for release later that month.

In September 2011, Amazon announced its entry into the tablet computer market by introducing the Kindle Fire, which runs a customized version of the operating system Android. The low pricing of Fire ($199 USD)was widely perceived as a strategy backed by Amazon's revenue from its content sales, to be stimulated by sales of the Fire.

In September 2012, Amazon unveiled the second generation tablet, called the Kindle Fire HD. On September 25, 2013, Amazon.com unveiled its third generation tablet, called the Kindle Fire HDX.

In April 2014, Amazon announced its Amazon Fire TV set-top box system, a device targeted to compete with such systems like Apple TV or Google's Chromecast device. The Amazon set-top box allows for streaming videos from sites like Amazon's own streaming service as well as others such as Netflix or Hulu. The device also supports voice search for movies, as well as gaming, which includes special versions of Minecraft, Asphalt 8, and The Walking Dead.

Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick in October 2014. The device replicates much of the functionality of the Fire TV.[194]
The company entered the smartphone market in July 2014 with the release of the Fire Phone. Amazon discontinued selling the phone in August 2015, and, as of September 2015, has not announced any newer model.

In 2014 Amazon introduced a new speech recognition system called Amazon Echo

Digital content

Amazon's Honor System was launched in 2001 to allow customers to make donations or buy digital content, with Amazon collecting a percentage of the payment plus a fee; however, the service was discontinued in 2008 and replaced by Amazon Payments.

Amazon Music, its own online music store, launched as Amazon MP3 in the US on September 25, 2007, selling downloads exclusively in MP3 format without digital rights management. (In addition to copyright law, Amazon's terms of use agreements restrict use of the MP3s, but Amazon does not use digital rights management (DRM) to enforce those terms.)

In addition to independent music labels, Amazon MP3 primarily sells music from the "Big 4" record labels: EMI, Universal, Warner Bros. Records, and Sony Music. Prior to the launch of this service, Amazon made an investment in Amie Street, a music store with a variable pricing model based on demand. Amazon MP3 was the first online offering of DRM-free music from all four major record companies.

In January 2008, Amazon began distributing its MP3 service to subsidiary websites worldwide and, in December 2008, Amazon MP3 was made available in the UK. At the launch of Amazon MP3 in the UK, over 3 million Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free songs were made available to consumers, with prices that started at 59p, compared to Apple's 79p starting price.

In July 2010, Amazon announced that e-book sales for its Kindle reader outnumbered sales of hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010. Amazon claims that, during that period, 143 e-books were sold for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no digital edition; and during late June and early July, sales rose to 180 digital books for every 100 hardcovers.

On March 22, 2011, Amazon launched the Amazon Appstore for Android devices and the service was made available in over 200 countries. Also in 2011, Amazon announced that it was releasing a Mac download store to offer dozens of games and hundreds of pieces of software for Apple computers.

In January 2013, Amazon launched AutoRip, a digital music service. The service allows customers to receive a free MP3 copy of select CDs purchased through Amazon. Amazon announced in September 2013 that it would launch Kindle MatchBook in October 2013, a similar service for books allowing customers who buy books from Amazon to acquire an e-book copy for free, or at a discounted price of US$3 or less. MatchBook was launched on the company's site on October 29, 2013.

Amazon Games

In October 2008, Amazon acquired game developer and distributor Reflexive Entertainment. This studio continued to develop games for PC, Mac and Kindle eReaders under the brands Reflexive and Amazon Digital Services. Notable titles include Every Word for Kindle Paperwhite and Airport Mania for Kindle Fire, Android, iOS Windows and Mac.

In August 2012, Amazon announced it would be adding a gaming department to its company titled Amazon Game Studios. Amazon stated that it would introduce "innovative, fun and well-crafted games" to consumers. According to the Amazon Game Studios website, the last game that was launched by the department was Amazon's first ever mobile game Air Patriots, released on November 1, 2012.

On February 6, 2014, Amazon confirmed the acquisition of the gaming company Double Helix Games without any indication of the financial terms. The 75 Double Helix employees were to become Amazon employees and their Orange County, California, headquarters was to remain their operating base. Amazon informed the TechCrunch media company that it "acquired Double Helix as part of our [Amazon's] ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers" and confirmed that Double Helix's current game roster and other future developments will receive support following the acquisition.

On August 25, 2014, Amazon announced its intent to acquire the video game streaming website Twitch for $970 million.

The acquisition of Twitch is expected to help Amazon drive Internet traffic and potentially boost its Prime membership program, and promote its video ad and Fire TV set top box business.

Amazon Art

In August 2013 Amazon launched Amazon Art as an online marketplace selling original and limited edition fine art from selected galleries. The initial 40000 items listed for sale included Norman Rockwell's painting Willie Gillis: Package from Home priced at $4.85 million, L'Enfant a la tasse by Claude Monet for $1.45 million and Andy Warhol's Sachiko for $45 000.

Amazon Video

Main articles: Amazon Video, Amazon Instant Video UK and Amazon Instant Video German Amazon Video is an Internet video on demand service by Amazon in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Austria and Germany. There are plans to offer the video streaming service in India sometime in 2015.

In 2015, the Prime Instant Video exclusive series Transparent earned two Golden Globe Awards, and Transparent is the first series from a streaming service to win a Golden Globe for best series.

Private labels and exclusive marketing arrangements

In August 2005, Amazon began selling products under its own private label, "Pinzon"; the trademark applications indicated that the label would be used for textiles, kitchen utensils, and other household goods. In March 2007, the company applied to expand the trademark to cover a more diverse list of goods and to register a new design consisting of the "word PINZON in stylized letters with a notched letter "O" which appears at the "one o'clock" position". Coverage by the trademark grew to include items such as paints, carpets, wallpaper, hair accessories, clothing, footwear, headgear, cleaning products, and jewelry. In September 2008, Amazon filed to have the name registered. USPTO has finished its review of the application, but Amazon has yet to receive an official registration for the name.

AmazonBasics branded USB cable


AmazonBasics branded USB cable

AmazonBasics is a private-label product line, mainly consisting of consumer electronics accessories, but also including home and office accessories.[227] The line was launched in 2009.

In 2014, Amazon launched Amazon Elements, a line of domestic products including baby wipes and (formerly) diapers.

An Amazon.com exclusive is a product, usually a DVD, that is available exclusively on Amazon.com. Some DVDs are produced by the owner of the film or product, while others are produced by Amazon.com itself. The DVDs produced by Amazon are made using its "CreateSpace" program, in which DVDs are created, upon ordering, using DVD-R technology. The DVDs are then shipped about two days later.

Some DVDs (such as the Jersey Shore Season 1 or The Unusuals Season 1) are released first as an Amazon.com exclusive for a limited time before being released elsewhere. On May 23, 2011, Amazon.com allowed customers to download Lady Gaga's Born This Way album for 99 cents, resulting in some downloads being delayed, due to an extremely high volume of downloads.

Amazon self publishing services through one of its companies, CreateSpace, a member of the Amazon group of companies.

Amazon Web Services


AWS Summit 2013 event in NYC.

Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2002, which provides programmatic access to latent features on its website.

In November 2005, Amazon began testing Amazon Mechanical Turk, an application programming interface (API) allowing programs to dispatch tasks to human processors.

In March 2006, Amazon launched an online storage service called Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An unlimited number of data objects, from 1 byte to 5 terabytes in size, can be stored in S3 and distributed via HTTP or BitTorrent. The service charges monthly fees for data stored and transferred.

In 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), a distributed queue messaging service, and product wikis (later folded into Amapedia) and discussion forums for certain products using guidelines that follow standard message board conventions.

Also in 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a virtual site farm,[232] allowing users to use the Amazon infrastructure to run applications ranging from running simulations to web hosting. In 2008, Amazon improved the service by adding Elastic Block Store (EBS), offering persistent storage for Amazon EC2 instances and Elastic IP addresses, and offering static IP addresses designed for dynamic cloud computing. Amazon introduced SimpleDB, a database system, allowing users of its other infrastructure to utilize a high-reliability, high-performance database system. In 2008, Amazon graduated EC2 from beta to "Generally Available" and added support for the Microsoft Windows platform.

Amazon continues to refine and add services to AWS, adding such services as Scalable DNS service (Amazon Route 53), payment handling, and AWS specific APIs for its Mechanical Turk service.

In August 2012, Amazon announced Amazon Glacier, a low-cost online file storage web service that provides reliable data archiving, storage, and backup.

In November 2012 at AWS' web developer conference in Las Vegas it announced it was targeting large companies as cloud storage clients. It will further cut its S3 prices to customers with long-term contracts in its "Redshift" storage service launching in 2013.

In March 2013 Amazon announced its Mobile Ads API for developers. The new Ads API can be used on apps distributed on any Android platform as long as the app is also available on Amazon’s Appstore.

As of December 2014, Amazon Web Services operated 1.4 Million servers across 11 regions and 28 availability zones.[236]
New book content production

Donations

Amazon also created "channels" to benefit certain causes. In 2004, Amazon allowed customers to donate $5 to $200 to the campaigns of 2004 US presidential hopefuls, providing links that raised $300,000 for the candidates. Amazon has periodically reactivated a Red Cross donation channel after crises such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. By January 2005, nearly 200,000 people had donated over $15.7 million in the US.

Amazon Smile, accessed by going to smile.amazon.com when normally shopping, allows Amazon to donate 0.5% of the sale price to a selected charity as its sponsor.

Amazon Local

Amazon Local is a daily deal service launched in June 2011 in Boise, Idaho. As of 2013, Amazon Local offers daily deals to over 100 regions in 36 U.S. states. Amazon Local also acts as a deal aggregator; some of the deals are actually offered through LivingSocial, a firm in which Amazon has heavily invested.

It was launched gradually in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2012, starting in London and expanding to more towns and cities.

On December 18, 2015, Amazon Local will stop selling daily deals however purchased deals will remain valid according to its terms.

AmazonWireless

In July 2009, Amazon.com launched an AmazonWireless website, which offers cellular devices and service plans for Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US.

AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Pantry

AmazonFresh is a home grocery delivery service first trialed in 2007, and later made available in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, California, San Diego, Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia, PA.

Amazon Prime Pantry is a similar service covering the 48 contiguous United States, allowing the order of up to 45 pounds of dry goods and non-perishable groceries for a flat delivery fee.

Amazon Dash

On March 31, 2015, Amazon.com announced that it was expanding Amazon Dash to include an Amazon Dash Button and a Dash Replenishment Service.

Amazon Prime Air

60 Minutes announced on December 1, 2013 that Amazon Prime Air was a possible future delivery service expected to be in development for several more years.

In concept, the process would use drones to deliver small packages (less than five pounds) within 30 minutes by flying short distances (10–20 km) from local Amazon Fulfillment Centers. In the U.S., the project will require the Federal Aviation Administration to approve commercial use of unmanned drones.

Such approval could be in place as early as 2015, and Amazon expects to be ready at that time.[251][252] In July 2014, it was revealed the company was developing its 8th and 9th drone prototypes, some that could fly 50 miles an hour and carry 5-pound packages, and had applied to the FAA to test them.

Prime Now

In December 2014, Amazon announced that as a benefit to Prime members, parts of Manhattan, in New York City, could get products delivered to them within one hour for a fee of $7.99, or within two hours for no additional fee. 25,000 daily essential products are available with this delivery service.

In February 2015, the service was extended to include all of Manhattan. It has since been expanded in the United States to include parts of Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville and San Antonio.

Outside of the U.S., it has expanded to London, Birmingham, UK., Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Milan and Tokyo.

Amazon Supply

Amazon Supply, launched in 2012, offers industrial and scientific components and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies.[67] Amazon Supply was developed based on experience operating Smallparts.com, acquired in 2005. (The Smallparts.com brand was discontinued with the launch of Amazon Supply.) While Amazon Supply uses the same order fulfillment and distribution system as Amazon.com, its online store provides services to customers in more than 220 countries.

Other services

An Amazon.com collection point at the White Rose Centre in Leeds, England.

In January 2007, Amazon launched Amapedia, a now-defunct wiki for user-generated content to replace ProductWiki, and the video on demand service Amazon Unbox.

Also in 2007, Amazon launched Amazon Vine, which allows reviewers free access to prerelease products from vendors in return for posting a review, as well as a payment service specifically targeted at developers, Amazon FPS.[citation needed]
IMDb and Amazon launched a website called SoundUnwound for browsing music metadata with wiki-like user contribution in September 2007; this data was also used for Amazon's Artist Pages. Soundunwound ceased existence on June 18, 2012, and the site redirected to Amazon.

Amazon Connect enables authors to post remarks on their book pages to customers.

Amazon Webstore allowed businesses to create custom e-commerce online stores using Amazon technology. Sellers selected the category for their business, and paid a commission of 1-2%, plus credit-card processing fees and fraud protection, and a subscription fee depending on the bundle option for an unlimited number of listings.

Amazon has chosen a limited number of companies to become an implementation solution provider for them. The Amazon Webstore is no longer available to new merchants.

In August 2014, Amazon launched a credit card reader. Merchants can use it to conduct payments through a smartphone or tablet.

In 2014, Amazon launched a feature called "make an offer" that allows customers to place a bid to 3rd party sellers, rather than buy outright. However, unlike eBay, the feature is not an auction but rather a one-to-one bid where the customer haggles privately with the seller.

In January 2015, Amazon announced its own email and scheduling service dubbed WorkMail developed by Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing unit of Amazon Inc. The Amazon email service is expected to bring in $10 billion extra revenue to the company.

In March 2015, Amazon launched a new on-demand service, Amazon Home Services for all sorts of housework.

In April 2015, Amazon rolled out a new travel site called Amazon Destinations, which focuses on helping customers find "getaway destinations" within driving distance of their homes. Currently Amazon Destinations features hotel selections in three U.S. metro areas: L.A., New York and Seattle.

In October 2015, Amazon announced a new handmade marketplace called Handmade By Amazon, already having 5,000 sellers from 60 countries and 80,000 items for sale. The platform is designed for artisans to sell their good directly to the public, similar to the platform Etsy.

On November 2, 2015, Amazon opened its first physical retail store, a bookstore in the University Village shopping center in Seattle. The store, known as Amazon Books, has prices matched to those found on the Amazon website and integrate online reviews into the store's shelves.

Amazon released branded semiconductors to home equipment designers who are working on Internet-of-Things devices, WiFi routers and other smart home appliances. The chips come from Annapurna Labs, which Amazon purchased in 2015 for a rumored $350 million. On January 7, 2016, the company announced that its Alpine chipset was available for a wide range of applications.

Website

The domain amazon.com attracted at least 615 million visitors annually by 2008. Amazon attracts over 130 million customers to its US website per month by the start of 2016.

The company has also invested heavily on a massive amount of server capacity for its website, especially to handle the excessive traffic during the December Christmas holiday season.

Results generated by Amazon's search engine are partly determined by promotional fees.

Amazon's localized storefronts, which differ in selection and prices, are differentiated by top-level domain and country code:


PHILSTAR

When one camera is not enough YOU GOT TECH By Abe Olandres (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 16, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Smartphones with cameras or cameras with smartphones: Huawei Honor 6, Huawei Honor 8, Huawei P9, Lenovo Vibe and LG X Cam.

A new trend has started to re-appear among new smartphones in recent months. A number of mobile phone vendors are beginning to incorporate dual cameras into their handsets. It’s not really new since a few ones that were released a few years back had this feature but they were really intended for 3D imaging.

Recent smartphones that carry two cameras offer a more specialized approach to mobile photography. We look at each one of them in this article and explain what their uses are for.

Huawei made the Honor 6 Plus with two eight-megapixel cameras at the back in an attempt to create a super-image by combining the data collected by each sensor. This resulted in a brighter output and better image detail with the ability to refocus the image from f/0.95 for a nice soft bokeh right up to a crisp f/16 aperture. The front camera also sports another eight-megapixel sensor for a triple combo.

Around the same time, LG also released the LG V10 with a dual front-facing camera. The two front-facing cameras in five megapixels each and a decent f/2.2 opening aim to deliver better selfie photos. One of the cameras has an 80-degree field of view for normal close-up shots while the other has a 120-dgeree field of view for wider shots or group selfies.

Lenovo also made the Vibe S1 with two front-facing cameras to deliver better selfies shots with creative effects. The Vibe S1 has an eight-megapixel primary camera and another two-megapixel secondary shooter that works in tandem. The main camera has a BSI sensor for better low-light performance and the secondary camera helps to refocus the output to create a better bokeh effect. The second camera can also indentify photobombers and remove them from selfies easily. More photography tricks are made available from the camera app.

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LG announced the LG X Cam back in February. The device has two rear cameras – one with a five-megapixel sensor and another with 13 megapixels. The bigger camera takes standard photos with the companion 5MP sensor has a wide-angle lens for a wider field of view.

Just recently, Huawei introduced the much-hyped Huawei P9 with Leica optics. As mentioned before in our previous article, the approach is quite unique. One is the typical RGB camera while the other is a monochrome camera. When taking shots, both cameras will capture the image and combine them. The RGB camera will take the color details and the monochrome camera takes in more light and details. The output image is a combination of the two, producing a really crisp and nice image.

The monochrome sensor takes up to 300 percent more light. Like the Honor 6 Plus, the two cameras help produce a really nice, deep bokeh, simulating the famed f/0.95 of the Noctilux.

Of the lot, the Huawei P9 has managed to attract a lot of interest because of the participation of Leica in engineering the optics.


Huawei Honor V8 teaser hints new smartphone may get the P9's awesome dual cams

Just last week, Huawei also announced another mid-range smartphone, the Honor V8. The device carries a dual 12-megapixel cameras that will mimic the features and effects of the Huawei P9 but this time without the Leica branding.

Emphasis on two cameras has become more and more pronounced in recent months. What’s more surprising is that the effort in putting two front-facing cameras for better selfies indicate that many people consider that the front shooters are equally important as the main camera.

As dual front cameras on smartphones become the standard, in time we will probably see models with dual rear cameras as well.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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