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Big Revolution - 'We call our house Alexa'

Welcome to Friday's Big Revolution. There's so much interesting news today that I even had to cut som
September 21 · Issue #208 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s Big Revolution. There’s so much interesting news today that I even had to cut some out.

Big things you need to know today
  • Uber is in early-stage talks to acquire European food-delivery unicorn Deliveroo, Bloomberg reports. Those in the UK will know what a big deal this would be – Deliveroo has a much more significant presence and mindshare than Uber Eats here. Deliveroo was valued at $2bn earlier this year.
  • Adobe has acquired marketing software firm Marketo for $4.75bnan epic deal that expands Adobe’s footprint in the enterprise marketing world.
  • The UK government wants to set up a regulator for the internet, BuzzFeed News reports. Given how all-consuming Brexit is, this might take a while to become a serious possibility.
  • Facebook is set to announce two video chat devices next week, Cheddar reports. Although it will compete with the Amazon Echo Show, the $300 and $400 ‘Portals’ will supposedly feature Alexa integration.
  • Instagram is developing a reshare button, according to The Verge. ‘Regramming’ (reposting other people’s photos with credit) has been done manually by users for years, but a dedicated button might change the feel of the service. If the feature does get rolled out, it may well be introduced for business accounts at first, which makes a lot of sense.
  • Spotify now lets some independent artists upload music directly to its platform. It’s the latest step in tentatively cutting labels out of its business. Unsigned artists currently have to upload music via one of a number of third-party services. The new option is being tested on an invite-only basis.
The big thought
Push to talk... to Alexa. Wondrwall tightly integrates Alexa into homes.
‘We call our house Alexa’
Aside from the cavalcade of Alexa devices Amazon announced yesterday, the bigger news was how clear it is now that the company wants everything to be an Alexa device.
The Alexa Connect Kit will let manufacturers easily add Alexa functionality to pretty much any new hardware. And while Alexa has been bundled with third-party devices for a while, this new tech will make it even easier.
It’s easy to imagine a future where you buy a home partly based on what smart assistant software it runs. A company called Wondrwall lets property developers tightly integrate Alexa into new homes. I can only imagine these homes being even 'smarter’ in future thanks to Connect Kit.
Alexa isn’t necessarily even the best smart assistant. It’s certainly very versatile and is available in more places than the competition, but Google Assistant 'knows’ more and is likely to be better integrated with your life routines and habits.
But Google Assistant is a long way from the burgeoning ubiquity of Alexa. Meanwhile, Siri and Cortana aren’t even off the starting blocks.
Google is currently betting on Assistant getting ever smarter, while Alexa prioritises being everywhere. The question is if we’re ready for a world where every device around us listens to us on behalf of a major American corporation at all times. From the kitchen to the car, that world is coming.
One big read
Using a Nexus One in 2018 gives 'obsolete' a whole new meaning Using a Nexus One in 2018 gives 'obsolete' a whole new meaning
What’s it like using an ancient smartphone in 2018? The fact you can use it at all is surprising, although the old version of Android it’s on must be a security nightmare – you wouldn’t catch me popping a SIM card in my Nexus One (which I still have at the back of a shelf somewhere).
One big tweet
Reporters invited to Amazon’s event in Seattle yesterday were sworn to secrecy that the event was even happening.
Will Oremus
"The embargo was embargoed"
I love tech journalism
2:20 PM - 20 Sep 2018
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow for a weekend edition. In the meantime, don’t forget:
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