If you want to give a holiday surprise to a technology geek in your life, consider giving a simple gift card. It may seem lazy or low-effort, but they will undoubtedly find use in it via stores like Newegg or Amazon. Just be careful with gift cards for specific music services (like iTunes) or gaming gift cards for platforms they don't play on (get a Playstation gift card if they use a PS4).
Fred isn't happy with Amazon because they listed his Amazon Echo for $24.99, keeping it just under the threshold for free shipping. Leo says that Amazon is losing money with free shipping. Likely, they are merely trying to recoup some of that. So you end up buying more to get that free shipping. It's a brain game.
When purchasing products from e-commerce sites such as Amazon, make sure you are buying the item directly from the manufacturer. E-Commerce sites that have 3rd party selling have had problems with counterfeit products being sold easily on their platforms. It's difficult for these sites to take down these counterfeit listings, so be sure to double-check from whom you're buying the item from.
Doctor Mom says that Amazon announced 25 new products this week, many of which will likely be vaporware. But there were some interesting new Echo products including Echo Studio, which is like a major home hub for your IoT devices. Leo says that Amazon's goal is to have an IoT device in every room and hallway. Leo also says that Amazon is updating the Eero Mesh routers as well.
Eugene wants to know if he could have an automatic reorder or his pet's medication on Amazon. Leo says that there is a feature called SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE, which will enable you to sign up for renewing things over and over. But it depends on the company that is offering the product. Those pet meds may or may not be available. But you can set it up and forget it, and get a 15% discount as a result. But it may not be since it's medication. There's also a version called RECURRING DELIVERY.
FedEx delivers for Walmart. Amazon delivers to UPS. Are major companies taking sides? Amazon says that customers don't really want choice because there are too many choices out there. So they offer "Amazon's choice" to make it easier for shoppers to buy what they want. The technique is called Dark Patterns and it causes changes in the algorithm. Once you order Amazon's choice, you start getting more results like that.
After Google was slapped with a $5 Billion fine from the EU, the US Department of Justice has said it will open an anti-trust investigation on Google. Meanwhile, the FTC may be signalling the same for Amazon. But Leo says that it could do more harm economically than good, and maybe the best thing would be to break up both companies into smaller concerns that can compete.
Richie would like to sort his wishlist on Amazon. How can he do that? Leo says that he can drag items into different wish lists, so he could create a new list and then drag like items into it.
Sam is going to be driving Audi's first electric vehicle this week. Sam is also looking at Amazon's secure delivery service, which is being tested. Through a special lock, Amazon delivery will be able to deliver your packages when no one is home, by placing the package in the garage or into a locked car. Amazon will send a signal, that can open the garage or car door, and then drop off the package, locking it automatically behind them. Leo says that the next thing will be drone delivery, where it'll just drop the package into your yard.
Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA.