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Remains of the Day: Amazon Wants to Judge Your Outfit

Amazon has a new tool in their mobile app that lets you get feedback from an actual stylist about your outfits. I suspect the stylist might be a robot, but you literally send them pictures of your outfit and then you get feedback in just a minute.

How to Add Search Keywords to Safari for Faster, More Specific Searches

Most people use one search engine—Google, DuckDuckGo, etc.—to find things online. But sometimes you want to quickly search Amazon, ask a question of Wolfram Alpha, or find a video on YouTube, all without the extra step of going to that site first.

If you’re using Chrome, you can set up search keywords to search specific sites from the address bar. There’s no way to do that by default in Safari, but a free Safari extension called Safari Keyword Search makes it easy to search a number of sites. So typing y kittens in the address bar searches YouTube for kittens or typing wa warp 9 asks Wolfram Alpha how fast Warp 9 is.

Here’s how to set up this power, and how to customize it.

Installing Safari Keyword Search

We’ll be using an open-source extension called Safari Keyword Search to make this happen. Head to the Safari Keyword Search homepage and download the extension. It comes in the form of a .safariextz file.

Open the file and Safari will ask if you want to install it.

Click “Trust,” assuming that you do trust the extension. The source code is on GitHub if you’re interested.

Running a Search Using the Default Keywords

The extension, by default, supports 12 keywords. Put a keyword at the front…

Skip the Amazon Echo: The Amazon Tap Is Cheaper and Better

The Amazon Tap is $50 cheaper than the full-size Echo, and thanks to a recent update, you can use it in hands-free mode just like its more expensive counterpart. It’s even portable, so you can take it with you. So at this point, there’s very little reason to buy the full-size Echo, when the Tap is cheaper and more useful.

Why the Amazon Tap Is Better Than the Echo

Currently, Amazon’s Echo lineup includes three products:

  • Amazon Echo ($180): This was the first Echo product that can hear voice commands from anywhere in the room. It also includes some great speakers for playing music or reading audiobooks, if you don’t already have your own sound system set up.
  • Amazon Tap ($130): This device is a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker that you can take with you. It has a round docking station you can set it on at home to charge. Until recently, you had to push a button to use Alexa voice commands, but Amazon pushed an update that enabled hands-free commands, just like the other two Echos.
  • Amazon Echo Dot ($50): The Dot offers the same voice-activated commands that the Echo has, but without the fancy built-in speakers. You can listen to music or audiobooks through the very basic speaker, but it won’t sound very good. The Dot is designed to be hooked up to a larger, separate sound system.

When it was first released, it was hard to see how the Tap was useful. It made a decent Bluetooth speaker, but the lack of hands-free commands meant it was much easier to just control it from your phone. Since there are other, cheaper Bluetooth speakers on the market, the…

How big is Amazon? [Infographic]

One of today’s largest and well-established tech giants, Amazon has been providing their customers quality service for years. From books, appliances, apparels, furniture, to the latest gadgets, we all run to Amazon to buy what we need. Seems like the tech titan has become part of life—it’s hard to shop without them.

With Amazon’s continuous growth, we can’t help but wonder how big their company is. How many employees have they? How do they…

20 Ways Amazon’s Alexa Can Make Your Life Easier

World, meet Amazon’s Alexa. Alexa is a personal assistant that comes with the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Tap, and Echo devices. It works similarly to Siri and can be the assistant you never knew you needed.

What Can Alexa Do?

The smart wireless speaker offers a number of valuable services through Alexa that can really make your life easier. By simplifying daily tasks with Alexa, you can get out the door faster and focus on more important things.

With more than 3,000 available skills, it can take some time to determine which skills are right for your needs. That’s why we’ve highlighted some of the best ways to use Alexa to streamline your life.

1. Check the Traffic and Weather

By being able to check the traffic and weather with ease, you can better prepare for the day ahead.

2. Manage Your Calendar

You can edit your calendar and get reminders of upcoming events with voice commands. You can also create tasks on your favorite to-do app.

3. Find Your Phone

If you’ve lost your phone, TrackR will help you find it. Simply instruct Alexa to find your phone or ring your phone so you can quickly determine its location.

4. Set a Timer or Alarm

Along with quickly checking the time, you can also set a timer or alarm on the device. You can also set your phone to ring anytime the alarm goes off.

5. Play Music

You can play a song through Alexa or connect to a paid music service like Spotify. You can even instruct it to play certain types of music (such as, “Alexa, play Christmas music”) to perfectly set the mood.

6. Get the News

Alexa can read the news or your favorite audiobook to you. She can also answer questions so you can always stay informed.

7. Find Local Hotspots

Alexa can help…

Funny Questions to Ask Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is an odd companion. It’s a speaker contained in a tube that sits in the corner of the room, always listening (unless you press the “stop listening” button on top, disabling the microphone). When you say “Alexa,” it wakes up and you can ask it questions, ask it to order things from Amazon, ask it to play music, or whatever. (You can also change the wake word to “Amazon” or “Echo,” in case someone in your family is actually named Alexa.) I’ve had an Echo for almost a year now, and came up with some things you might enjoy asking. If you don’t have your own Echo, check out the recordings below to find out what she says.

1. ALEXA, WHAT’S THE MASS OF THE SUN IN GRAMS?

Thanks to my friend Science Mike for this one. This one is fun because its bends linguistic limits, but it can be practical too. For instance, trying asking Alexa: “Alexa, what’s the mass of an Amazon Echo?” You’ll get a very precise answer.

2. ALEXA, WHAT ARE THE THREE LAWS OF ROBOTICS?

3. ALEXA, ARE YOU A ROBOT?

4. ALEXA, WHERE CAN I HIDE A BODY?

This was one of the classic early Siri questions.

5. ALEXA, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHIRT I’M WEARING?

6. ALEXA, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

7. ALEXA, WHAT IS MENTAL_FLOSS?

8. ALEXA, WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK DOES THE FOURTH OF JULY FALL ON?

10. ALEXA, DO YOU KNOW SIRI?

11. ALEXA, DO YOU KNOW CORTANA?

12. ALEXA, DO YOU KNOW GOOGLE NOW?

13. ALEXA, READ ME THE KINDLE BOOK JIM HENSON: THE BIOGRAPHY.

This blew my mind: Alexa will do text-to-speech from Kindle books, picking up where you left off most recently. While this is nowhere near as good as an actual audiobook (which she…