Chris has an Android phone and he gets a popup that says Amazon has stopped working. Leo says it's probably an Amazon app that is running in the background, and is crashing. Leo recommends deleting and reinstalling his Amazon apps.
According to Bloomberg, China added a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, to network motherboards that would allow China to Spy on corporations. The chip was discovered by Amazon Security, which notified federal authorities. The servers were created by Chinese company Elemental, and are on everything from network business servers to NAVY WARSHIPS. Investigators have discovered that the chips were installed by the PRC at the manufacturing plant. But here's the twist ... everyone is now denying it.
GJ wants to know how to record over the air signals. Rich says that Amazon now has the Fire TV Recast, which records over the air programs, and he can set it with the Amazon Echo. Then he can stream them to all of his devices via WiFi. But he would need an antenna.
Thursday, Amazon held a surprise Alexa event, announcing 14 new Alexa centered products, with nearly 75 new features. Rich doesn't think it's trivial that Amazon chose the day before the iPhone shipped to grab all the headlines. But Rich also thinks that companies want their customers to be exclusive, and you can end up becoming deeper into their ecosystem, making it harder to use other products outside of it.
Max wants to know if the Amazon Fire Stick is a good deal. Leo says he's not a fan because it's geared towards marketing Amazon Products. Same goes for Apple and its Apple TV. The Roku, on the other hand, has more channels and isn't trying to sell him anything. He prefers the Roku box over the stick.
Amazon's "Rekognition" face recognition software, which is being rented to police, has identified members of congress as felons. When the ACLU ran the software, designed to match people to a database of mugshots, it identified a total of 28 congressional members as felons. Amazon claims that the software was used incorrectly, and should have been set to a 99% confidence level instead of the 80% that was used.
Read more at arstechnica.com.
Pete has an Amazon Fire tablet and he wants to know how he can get Android apps from Google Play. Leo says that Amazon's fire tablets don't come with Google Play — he'll have to use Amazon's own app store. It's possible to install the Play Store on the Fire tablet, but he'll have to turn off "only download settings in the play store" or "don't allow apps from unknown sources" option. It's in "settings and security" in the carousel.
Art bought an Amazon Fire TV and wants to know if he can hardwire it for security. Leo says that a standard Fire TV is Wi-Fi only. The Fire TV Cube offers an adapter dongle for it. And if his Fire TV has an ethernet port, he can do it. But if it doesn't, then he can't.
If you're about to do some online shopping, there's a couple of sites that are good to check out first. These sites take the pain out of doing research for the best option and ensure that you're getting the best deal possible.
Lillian says that you can use your old Fire tablet as an Echo Show now thanks to a new Pogo dock by Amazon. Leo says it sounds like just a charging dock and with an software update, it would turn it into an Echo Show. But the dock doesn't have any speakers, and the screen isn't all that great. So it's an interesting device if you have a surplus Fire tablet lying around, and for $35 it's not too bad.