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Amazon’s New Fire HD 10 Tablets are Faster, Sleeker, and Productivity-Focused

The Fire HD 10 Plus Productivity bundle.Amazon

Amazon’s next-generation Fire HD 10 and HD 10 Plus tablets are now available for pre-order, equipped with brighter screens and more RAM than their predecessors. And oddly enough, Amazon is offering the new tablets in “Productivity” bundles that include a Bluetooth keyboard and 12-month Microsoft 365 subscription.

The new Fire HD 10 is the largest tablet in Amazon’s lineup. It has thinner bezels than its predecessor, with a 10% brighter display and 3GB of RAM (one more gigabyte than the previous HD 10 tablet). The new Fire HD 10 also sports an unnamed 2.0 GHz Octa-Core processor, which should offer better performance than the Quad-Core processor found in the recently-released Fire HD 8.

Starting at $150, the new Fire HD 10 is a steal. But if you want a bit more horsepower, you can drop an extra $30 on the new Fire HD 10 Plus. Amazon says that the Fire HD 10 Plus has a premium soft-touch shell, plus Qi wireless charging support and 4GB of RAM for heavyweight apps and games. Like other Fire “Plus” tablets, the Fire HD 10 Plus automatically turns into an Echo Show smart display while wireless charging.

As tablets become a more popular option for remote work or education, marketing the affordable Fire HD 10 as a productivity device just makes sense. Both the Fire HD 10 and 10 Plus are available in “Productivity” bundles, which include a Bluetooth keyboard case and a 12-month Microsoft 365 Personal subscription. These bundles start at $270 (or $220 if you pre-order), but would cost at least $280 if you purchased everything separately.

Keep in mind that Amazon Fire tablets cannot run Google apps without sideloading, which may limit their usefulness as remote work tools. For over $200, a Chromebook might be a better investment, especially if you want a reasonably-sized screen.

The all-new Fire HD 10 and HD 10 Plus tablets are available for pre-order now in 32GB and 64GB storage configurations. Amazon’s Fire 10 “Productivity” bundles are also available with special pre-order discounts. Amazon says that pre-orders for the new tablets and ship May 26th.

All-new Fire HD 10 tablet, 10.1″, 1080p Full HD, 32 GB, Black

The Fire HD 10 tablet is better than ever with an Octa-Core 2.0 GHz processor, 3GB RAM, and a brighter display.

Introducing Fire HD 10 Plus tablet, 10.1″, 1080p Full HD, 32 GB, Slate

The all-new Fire HD 10 Plus costs just $30 more than the standard HD 10 tablet, but packs an extra gigabyte of RAM, a premium soft-touch finish, and wireless charging.

All-new Fire HD 10 tablet, 32 GB, Black + Bluetooth keyboard + 12-month Microsoft 365 Personal subscription (auto-renews)

The standard Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle includes Amazon’s newest tablet, a Bluetooth keyboard case, and a 12-month subscription for Microsoft’s 365 productivity suite.

Introducing Fire HD 10 Plus tablet, 32 GB, Slate + Bluetooth keyboard + 12-month Microsoft 365 Personal subscription (auto-renews), without ads

Why settle? Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Plus Productivity Bundle includes Amazon’s most powerful tablet, plus a Bluetooth keyboard and a 12-month Microsoft 365 subscription.

Source: Amazon

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Bezos says Amazon should “do a better job for our employees” after union vote

A man in a suit gestures during a presentation.

Enlarge (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used his final letter to Amazon shareholders to focus on employee well-being and the company’s significant carbon footprint.

Bezos’ new emphasis on employee well-being comes on the heels of a contentious unionization vote at one of its warehouses in Bessemer, Alabama. Though Amazon won, with 1,798 employees voting against unionizing out of 3,041 total ballots cast, participation was low, with just over half of eligible voters participating. Labor organizers have made it clear that even if unionization votes continue to go against them, they’ll keep pressuring Amazon through other means.

That strategy may be working. Bezos dedicates a significant portion of his letter to both the unionization vote and to employee well-being. Whereas Bezos wrote a single paragraph about a tuition reimbursement program three years ago, he wrote nearly 1,200 words about pay rates, employee satisfaction, and workplace safety this year.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Tim De Chant

Amazon defeats warehouse union push, RWDSU challenges results


Efforts to unionize Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse were defeated by a wide margin in the second day of vote counting. More than half of the 3,215 votes cast broke in in factor of the retailer. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which would have served as the workers’ union, had the vote passed, was quick to challenge the results.

RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement offered to TechCrunch,

Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees. We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote. Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union.

That’s why they required all their employees to attend lecture after lecture, filled with mistruths and lies, where workers had to listen to the company demand they oppose the union. That’s why they flooded the internet, the airwaves and social media with ads spreading misinformation. That’s why they brought in dozens of outsiders and union-busters to walk the floor of the warehouse. That’s why they bombarded people with signs throughout the facility and with text messages and calls at home. And that’s why they have been lying about union dues in a right to work state. Amazon’s conduct has been despicable.

This initial defeat represents a large setback in the biggest unionization push in Amazon’s 27 year history. What might have represented a sea change for both the retail giant and blue collar tech workers has, for now, been fairly soundly defeated.

Amazon has, of course, long insisted that it treats workers fairly, making such union efforts unnecessary. The company cites such standards as a $15 an hour minimum wage, a factor the company initial pushed back on, but ultimately instated after pressure from legislators.

It was a hard fought battle on both sides. A number of legislators threw their weight behind unionization efforts, in an unlikely alliance that ranged from Bernie Sanders to Marco Rubio. The conservative Florida Senator noted the company’s “uniquely malicious corporate behavior.” President Joe Biden also sided with the workers, calling himself, “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”

The company will no doubt tout the results as vindication. It noted in an early statement, “[O]ur employees are smart and know the truth—starting wages of $15 or more, health care from day one, and a safe and inclusive workplace. We encourage all of our employees to vote.” We’ve reached out to the company for a statement following this morning’s news.

Among the expected challenges from the union are lingering questions around ballot boxes reportedly installed by the company in violation of labor board terms.”[E]ven though the NLRB definitively denied Amazon’s request for a drop box on the warehouse property, Amazon felt it was above the law and worked with the postal service anyway to install one,” the RWDSU writes. “They did this because it provided a clear ability to intimidate workers.”

The Bessemer warehouse, which employees around 6,000 workers, was opened at the end of March 2020, as the company looked to expand the operation of its essential workers during the impending lock down. The conversation has surface variously long standing complaints around the company’s treatment of blue collar workers, including numerous reports that employees urinate in water bottles, in order to meet stringent performance standards.

The company initially denied these claims during a social media offensive, but later clarified its stance in an apology of sorts, appearing to shift the blame to wider industry problems. The company also ran anti-union ads on its subsidiary, Twitch, before the streaming platform pulled them, stating that they “should never have been allowed to run.”

All told, 3,215 were cast, representing more than half of the workers at the Alabama warehouse. In spite of Amazon winning more than half the votes, counting will continue. Challenges are likely to stretch on for weeks.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brian Heater

How to Use a Voice Assistant Without It “Always Listening”

Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are a convenient way to control smart home devices, set timers, hear the weather, and perform other common tasks. But, if you don’t like the “always listening” part, you can avoid it.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Hoffman

Amazon Fire TV’s Lineup Now Includes 200 Free Live Channels

A Fire TV playing 'Good Morning America.'Amazon

To bolster its free live TV catalog, Amazon is adding ad-supported Xumo, IMDb TV, and Amazon News channels to Fire TV. Amazon also plans to add Plex’s live TV service to Fire TV in the coming weeks.

You can find the four new live TV offerings in Fire TV’s “On Now” tab, or in the in the Universal Channel Guide on the Fire TV app. Xumo, IMDb TV, Amazon News, and Plex join 16 other live TV providers on the Fire TV platform, including Tubi, Pluto TV, Philo, YouTube TV, and Sling. The Fire TV platform also supports local news in some areas.

Amazon says that its live TV catalog now includes 400 channels, with 200 ad-supported, free channels. Of course, Amazon isn’t the only company to pack live channels into its streaming stick. Roku users have access to The Roku Channel, an app with over 100 channels and tons of free on-demand content.

Along with its expanded live TV offerings, Amazon is updating Alexa to support live TV voice commands. You can now ask Alexa to “play Good Morning America” or other live shows within the Fire TV service. The Fire TV interface also has a new “Peak” feature that, like the thumbnail previews on YouTube, show you what a live TV channel is playing when you hover over it.

Source: Amazon via Cord Cutters News

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Biden Warns Amazon to Stop Intimidating Warehouse Workers Ahead of Union Vote


Joe Biden has effectively endorsed ongoing unionization efforts at an Amazon facility in the state of Alabama and warned the e-commerce giant that its efforts to shut down the drive must involve “no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda.”

Read more…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Tom McKay

Amazon’s Free IMDb Streaming Service Arrives on Chromecast with Google TV

Amazon’s fledgling IMDb TV streaming service is now available on Chromecast with Google TV and other devices running the Android TV software. Like Crackle or The Roku Channel, IMDb TV is a free streaming service with hit shows and movies from Amazon Prime Video, Dreamworks, and even Disney.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

The Best Rental-Friendly Smart Home Products

Smart home products can range from super fun to incredibly useful. The problem is, a lot of them require drilling holes or wiring cables to work—probably not something you can do if you’re renting your current home. But no need to fear, as there are plenty of ways to make your home smarter that won’t tick off your landlord.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

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