Amazon may have another smartphone in the works (update: no)

The executive didn’t know when the device would ship. Don’t get your hopes up for an imminent launch, then. You might not want to treat this as definitive proof that a new phone is coming, either. As powerful as Salke is, she’s an entertainment exec with little involvement in Amazon’s hardware strategy. We’ve asked Amazon if it can comment.

If there’s a handset on the way, it’s likely to reflect more than a few lessons learned in the past four years. The Fire Phone’s camera-based 3D effects and object detection amounted to little more than gimmicks, and its interface was focused more on selling Amazon products than helping users. Combine that with the high price, mediocre performance and one-carrier exclusivity and there was little reason to buy one unless you were a diehard Amazon fan. Hopefully, any new device would focus more on practical features and competitive hardware.

It’s not farfetched to envision Amazon getting back into [...]  read more

Branded Worlds: how technology recentralized entertainment

I love Hollywood box-office numbers because they provide a hard statistical view of cultural currents. Did you know, for instance, that there had never been a weekend when 8 of the top 10 movies in America were sequels — until this month? Or that, while almost 400 movies were released in the first half of 2018, nearly 40% of their total accumulated revenue came from just four releases, all of which were superhero sequels?

This is not what was supposed to happen. Ten years ago people thought that visual storytelling would be democratized; that new cameras, new editing suites, cheap streaming, and BitTorrent would combine to render high-cost obsolete-infrastructure Hollywood irrelevant. A worldwide cohort of genius independent filmmakers would use this new generation of accessible tools to slowly supplant Hollywood studios and producers as the drivers of visual and narrative culture.

Hoo boy, did that ever not happen. Instead we just added a few new gatekeepers to the entertainment oligarchy: [...]  read more

Roghi in California, Trump dichiara lo stato d'emergenza

Il presidente degli Stati Uniti, Donald Trump, ha dichiarato lo stato di emergenza in California, dopo il devastante incendio che sta mettendo a dura prova la parte settentrionale dello Stato su oltre 15 fronti di fuoco. Circa 500 edifici sono stati
by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #thisisnews

Walmart reportedly recruits ex-Epix CEO in bid to build video service

According to new reports, Walmart has enlisted the services of Mark Greenberg to help build a subscription video streaming service. Rumors have been floating around for some time now, that the retailer is looking to go head to head with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime video, and Greenberg — who left the role of CEO at Epix in September — is well-positioned to help.

The service would reportedly function apart from Vudu, the a la carte video service Walmart purchased in 2010, as a bid to bolster its smart TV offerings. According to Variety, the streaming service would be firmly targeted at what the retail giant views as its core demographic, with a low subscription price and content targeted directly at “Middle America.”

The company is said to be eying an $8 a month price point, which would put it $2 below Netflix’s standard subscription fee. Amazon Video is probably a more comparable competitor, given the size and breadth of both companies, but [...]  read more

Tesla’s latest zero-emissions ride is a $1,500 surfboard

Good news: you won’t have to wait until 2020 to try a new Tesla-branded ride. However, you may want to learn how to hang ten first. Tesla has quietly introduced a limited-run (just 200 units) surfboard that matches the company’s vehicle aesthetic to a tee, including its red-and-black coloring and hints of carbon fiber (in this case, to reinforce the deck). Naturally, it’ll fit inside the Model 3 and Tesla’s other existing cars. And this isn’t a casual effort — Tesla had the help of Lost Surfboards and professional board maker Matt Biolos, so this design should carve the waves quite nicely.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget

Milano, lavori stradali in ritardo o mai fatti e scarsa sicurezza: il Comune revoca l’appalto

Gravi ritardi nell’esecuzione dei lavori, interventi richiesti dal Comune mai realizzati o effettuati solo parzialmente, inadempienze sul fronte della sicurezza dei lavoratori, oltre che amministrative. E’ per questo che il Comune di Milano ha deciso di rescindere il contratto con un’azienda che, nel luglio 2017, si era aggiudicata uno dei lotti dell’appalto di manutenzione ordinaria delle strade cittadine per alcuni Municipi.”Quelli di manutenzione ordinaria delle strade – spiega l’assessore alla Mobilità, Marco Granelli, firmatario della delibera approvata in giunta per rescindere il contratto – sono appalti fondamentali per la città. Si tratta dei cosiddetti interventi “a chiamata” per riparare le buche, i cedimenti, i marciapiedi sconnessi. Opere che devono essere realizzate con puntualità e a regola d’arte”.

Granelli spiega che “l’appalto [...]  read more