Amazon Fire phone flops, Apple Pay launches, Robot learns – World Tech Update

IDG News Service | Oct 23, 2014

Coming up on WTU this week Amazon's Fire phone contributes to $170 million write off, AT&T signs up half a million cars to its 4G network and a robot skips programming and starts to learn.

Amazon Fire phone flops, Apple Pay launches, Robot learns – World Tech Update
Coming up on WTU this week Amazon's Fire phone contributes to $170 million write off, AT&T signs up half a million cars to its 4G network and a robot skips programming and starts to learn.

Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update, I'm Nick Barber.

Amazon.com continued to increase its sales last quarter but losses also mounted. Amazon's overall sales were up 20 percent in the third quarter, but losses reached 437 million dollars. One culprit, the company's new Fire phone. It didn't sell as well as expected and contributed heavily to a 170 million dollar write off for the company. The phone is practically being given away in the US. AT&T customers can get a Fire phone for one dollar with a two year contract. It also comes bundled with a deeply discounted Amazon Fire HDX tablet for $50.

Apple pay went live earlier this week and our own Martyn Williams had a chance to check it out, let's take a look.
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More cars are getting connected with AT&T signing up half a million vehicles to its 4G network between July and September this year. The carrier began offering 4G service for GM vehicles in June, with pricing beginning at $5 per month for 200MB of data. For that, the carrier estimates users can stream about 6 and a half hours of music, 13 hours of web surfing or thousands of emails. Prices rise to $50 per month for up to 5GB and one-off daily data passes are also available.

Our colleagues at Greenbot got a chance to take a look at Sony's Xperia Z3v. Let's see what their thoughts are.
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Imagine a robot that doesn't need to be programmed, but can learn to do certain tasks. The iRover is a two wheeled 3D printed robot that runs BrainOS from San Diego based Brain Corporation. Inside the iRover is the bStem developer kit, a 3by3 inch printed circuit board with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4-Pro processor. The bStem includes an accelerometer, gyroscope and dual HD cameras. The bStem runs Ubuntu Linux and the company's BrainOS. In the first stage, when the robots ears are red, it's listening and learning from human input. In this example it's being driven around an obstacle course. After just a lap or two it's able to navigate the course almost on its own, which is signified by its green ears. The company said its focusing on consumer robotics and the development platform will be launched to a small group of partners this week. It will be available more widely before the end of the year, but pricing and an exact launch date weren't announced.

Well that's our show for this week, thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. To find out what's coming up on every week's show be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I'm Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and we hope to see you next week.

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Produced by
IDG News Service
Nick Barber
Melissa Aparicio

Reporting
IDG News Service
Nick Barber
Martyn Williams
Melissa Aparicio
Greenbot

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IDG News Service
TechHive
Greenbot

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