Happy Friday, everybody! Here are some tech stories we’re following on this first day of December(!).
Smart speakers, new features
The race to make smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home more useful continues as both Amazon and Google introduced some new features for their product lines. Google has added local home services to Home, which allow you to reach out to local plumbers and other service people in your own area. The services are said to be screened by Google and services such as HomeAdvisor. In addition, Google Home now allows you to string together two separate commands at one time, such as, “Play some music from SZA and turn up the volume to 75 percent.”
For its part, Amazon has expanded its voice-command empire to include Alexa for Business, which includes a whole separate set of skills and the ability for businesses to set up private skills for its employees.
Disney suing Redbox over discount codes
The Wall Street Journal reported late last night that Disney is suing DVD renter Redbox over the company’s practice of selling discounted digital movie codes, the ones that come packaged with the DVDs it buys. Redbox has been charging $8-$15 for these codes, which allow a customer to own a digital copy of a movie and keep it. Additional revenue stream or major legal no-no? We’ll find out as this suit progresses.
Blue April CEO restocked
In a sign that things are not going perfectly at the food-delivery service startup Blue Apron, the co-founder and CEO Matt Salzberg has been replaced by the company’s board. The new CEO is former Under Armour CFO and COO Brad Dickerson. Blue Apron went public in June, but its shared have floundered on the stock market amid warehouse problems, marketing cuts and layoffs, reports Recode.
Crying Nintendo kid still crying and it’s sweet
29 years ago, a little kid received a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas and cried his eyes out. Video footage of it was uploaded to YouTube this week and has generated more than 1.1 million views. You can see the video below as you choke back tears and view an update on the story from a childhood friend of the boy, who is still very emotional about Nintendo:
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