Posts tagged Prime

Google Glass Isn’t Ready For Prime Time, Says, Uh, Google

In case you were wondering if Google Glass is ready for prime time, here’s the final word on that, straight from the horse’s mouth: It’s not.

The Glass team took to Google Plus (where else?) to defend its smart facewear gadget against a whole host of accusations … er, “myths” … that have been circulating about the device. Nestled in among them was Myth 4, an item that speaks to its relative lack of polish and bugs. 

Myth 4—Glass is ready for prime time

Glass is a prototype, and our Explorers and the broader public are playing a critical role in how it’s developed. In the last 11 months, we’ve had nine software updates and three hardware updates based, in part, on feedback from people like you. Ultimately, we hope even more feedback gets baked into a polished consumer product ahead of being released. And, in the future, today’s prototype may look as funny to us as that mobile phone from the mid 80s.

The company’s position should come as no surprise. Google has always been clear that the current model of Glass is an early version—it even dubbed it Project Glass and made it only available as a developer release. The only thing missing was a neon sign slapped on it blinking “prototype!” 

But rounding up this laundry list of issues and adding point-by-point responses is an odd tack to take, especially from a big tech player with a penchant for unleashing beta products and services. It even posted an etiquette guide last month, in the hopes of minimizing any “glasshole” behavior of its users. All that suggests the company’s getting a little tired of the barbs pitched at its pet project. 

The litany of “myths” covers some common critiques, from Glass’ $1,500 priceyness and presumably well-heeled target audience to distraction and privacy. Especially privacy. Out of the 10 myths rebutted by Google, no fewer than five touch on privacy and surveillance concerns: 

Myth 2:  Glass is always on and recording everything

Myth 5: Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things)

Myth 7: Glass is the perfect surveillance device

Myth 9: Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE  

Myth 10: Glass marks the end of privacy

Hey, Google—defensive much?

The Google+ post likens Glass to smartphones, the reigning and ubiquitous mobile devices with integrated cameras. What it fails to address is that phones aren’t always poised and ready to shoot photos or video, or that someone holding their phone up in your general direction is usually a pretty good tip off he or she is about to immortalize your likeness. If someone is wearing Glass, it’s pointing wherever they’re looking—and the device still has no LED to alert others when it’s recording. (Its screen may light up, but that’s not remotely the same thing.) 

Here’s hoping the Glass crew can put as much effort into actually resolving these issues as it did defending itself against them.

Image by Flickr user tedeytan

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Amazon Jacks Up The Price Of Prime To $99

Amazon has increased the price of its Amazon Prime membership program today to from $79 to $99 annually. The raise of the price for Prime has been anticipated since Amazon’s last quarterly earnings call when CFO Tom Szkutak said that it was likely that the company would elevate the cost to consumers by $20 to $40.

Amazon Prime allows members free two-day shipping as well as access to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video television and movie streaming service as well as free access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Prime was introduced by Amazon in 2005 and had not seen a price increase since its inception in 2005. The price of Prime for students will remain at $49. Amazon Fresh, the company’s grocery delivery service, will remain $299.

The Prime price increase will go into effect for existing users on their renewal dates. If your Amazon Prime memberships has already been renewed in 2014, the price increase won’t go into effect until the renewal date in 2015.

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That Amazon Prime Price Hike Is Already Happening In Europe

Amazon is raising the price of Amazon Prime subscriptions in the U.K. and Germany by roughly 60% to 70% starting February 26, it announced Friday. The new fee coincides with Amazon’s decision to include streaming video in the deal for its European customers and may be a sign of things to come for U.S. users as well. Amazon said a few weeks ago that it may impose similar increases for domestic Prime users, who have access to free streaming since 2011



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Prime Talk: Prof. Seo Sang-heui on Bird Flu Outbreak – Arirang News

Prime Talk: Prof. Seo Sang-heui on Bird Flu Outbreak
Arirang News
For more on the the threat of avian influenza expanding across the country and ways to contain the potential damage from the virus, we are joined in the studio by Dr. Seo Sang-heui professor of Veterinary Medicine at Chungnam National University.

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That Amazon Prime Membership May Be Getting Pricier Soon

Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak revealed that the company may be hiking the price of its popular Amazon Prime service—possibly by as much as $20 to $40 beyond the current $79 annual fee. Szkutak spoke during Amazon’s fourth quarter 2013 earnings call today.

The reason is obvious. Shipping is expensive, and Amazon’s current system is groaning under the burden of all the free shipping Prime allows. Szkutak said that transportation costs are up, and so are Prime shipments. (He said that Prime units have grown to 19 million from 1 million.) 

Prime membership also includes access to Amazon’s free video-streaming service and the ability to “borrow” some Kindle e-books for no additional cost.

In the same announcement, Amazon’s financial results fell short of Wall Street expectations, despite revenue growth of 20 percent to $25.59 billion.

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