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Tag: Amazon (1-10 of 10)

Amazon to buy Twitch for nearly $1 billion

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What’s Twitch? It’s basically the online version of your friend inviting you over to her house and letting you watch her play videogames, except over the internet—and on Monday, Amazon announced on Monday that it will buy Twitch. According to The Information, Amazon will pay $970 million; the news comes months after Google was set to buy the company for over $1 billion but, according to The Wall Street Journal, talks cooled, and Yahoo! entered the bidding process at some point as well.

The platform also allows for interactive gaming on a mass scale. Subscribers can broadcast the games they play on the website, and 55 million visitors a month watch them.

Earlier this year, the website broke out with Twitch Plays Pokémon, a crowdsourced run through Pokémon Red. The user programmed the game so that viewers could give the player commands through the game’s chat room, and thousands of commands were parsed to determine the gaming character’s action. It took more than 16 continuous days of gameplay to finish, and nearly 1.2 million people participated.

Amazon has already pushed itself beyond its retail roots and has its sight set on being a major player in media as well. It already produces several shows, which stream on its site, and has games for its Fire TV top-box.

Amazon's new pilots: Which should you watch?

On Wednesday (Feb. 6), Amazon served up its second helping of pilots, including projects from X-Files creator Chris Carter and author Michael Connelly. Feedback from viewers will help decide which of the five get a series order (i.e. become the next Alpha House).

Wondering which are worth your time? Our critics weigh in: READ FULL STORY

Your Thanksgiving streaming guide: Picks for any holiday weekend situation

Sure, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday is that big, glorious meal — a sacred tradition that shouldn’t, nay, mustn’t be sullied by glowing rectangles bearing texts or emails or live television programming. But what about after the tryptophan sets in, leaving you and your family tired, sluggish, and yearning for entertainment — long before the Steelers/Ravens game begins at 8:30 p.m. ET? For that matter, which of the Internet’s zillions of entertainment options should you turn to throughout the rest of the weekend?

Well, that’s where your friends at EW come in. Whether you’ll be juggling restless kids, grumpy siblings, weird uncles, or frazzled parents — let alone some unholy combination of all four — give thanks to PopWatch: We’ve got you covered with 10 streaming suggestions, each tailored to a specific holiday situation. Such as…
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'Betas' react: Not all nerds are created equal

In case you hadn’t noticed, there are these things called apps that seem to be all the rage right now. And thanks to Amazon’s new original comedy series, Betas, you get to meet the young adults behind those fancy boxes on your smartphone … fictionally-speaking. Welcome to the techie headquarters!

Betas follows four friends as they navigate the digital world of San Francisco in hopes of getting an investor for their beta — fancy Silicon Valley talk for test site/app. For Trey, Nash, Hobbes, and Mitch, it’s all about getting their app off the ground, which is (ironically) designed to help users figure out what social activity they want to do and then find people they can do it with, a.k.a get off the phone and have some actual social interaction.
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'Alpha House' react: Four men and a Senate

As Gretchen Wieners would say, Washington, D.C., is so fetch right now. We’ve got Scandal‘s dramatic affair-filled take on the city, House of Cards‘ serious business (and affair-filled) approach, and Veep‘s comedic point of view on the happenings within the nation’s capital. So what story could possibly be left to tell about the inner-workings of the non-state? How about the one where four Republican senators live together in what appears to be a “grown-up frat house” of sorts?

Picture a college frat house (on Capitol Hill), and then swap the Natty Lights for whiskey, and the beer pong for … rifle practice? It happened, I swear.

That’s the basic premise of Alpha House, Amazon’s first original series. Written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau and inspired by a New York Times article, Alpha House tells the story of four grown senators picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Okay, so the taping thing doesn’t happen — it’s a fictional show — but you get the idea. The four senators easily break down into their designated roles: John Goodman is Gil John Biggs, the Republican rep from North Carolina who isn’t one for doing, well, actual work. Now, if you want him to sleep through a meeting or reuse his roomie’s speech on national television? Well, sure, of course he’ll do that.
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Miley Cyrus' VMA foam finger available for all your Halloween needs

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If you’re planning to dress up as Miley Cyrus for Halloween, well, first of all, congratulations on being one of the bravest people we’ve ever met. You do realize that you’re going to have to be half-naked (at least), right? Teddy bear backpacks won’t cut it anymore.

But regardless, there is one thing you are allowed to wear for your costume: a foam finger. More specifically, the red-nailed foam finger Miley Cyrus used to scar viewers at this years VMAs. Luckily for you, it’s now available for purchase at Amazon for $14.99.
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Jeff Bezos bought Washington Post by accident? Chinese media gags on American satire.

Satirist Andy Borowitz joked in a recent New Yorker column that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s recent purchase of the Washington Post was a “gigantic mix-up.” In his mock news story, Borowitz wrote, “Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement. … According to Mr. Bezos, ‘I keep telling them, I don’t know how it got in my cart. I don’t want it. It’s like they’re making it impossible to return it.’”

Get it? Because Bezos started Amazon? And online shopping can be frustrating sometimes? LOL. LMAO. He-he. READ FULL STORY

Amazon to launch fanfiction platform

Earning money off of fanfic — it’s not just for E L James anymore.

Amazon is readying the launch of a new publishing platform called Kindle Worlds where writers will be able to publish and earn royalties from their fanfiction. READ FULL STORY

Amazon's new pilot shows are up -- check them out for free and decide which will become series

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Netflix recently proved that is was more than just a place to binge on past seasons of Mad Men with its original series, House of Cards. The inside-the-beltway Kevin Spacey drama was a pricey bet on how we will watch TV in the future. And by all accounts that wager, plus its upcoming resurrection of Arrested Development, has paid off. Streaming TV is on its way to becoming a legitimate contender for America’s eyeballs right along with network TV and cable. At least, that’s what Amazon’s hoping.

This weekend, the online shopping mall is making its boldest gambit yet to get into the original programming game with free peeks at the 14 shows vying to become new “Amazon Original” internet series. There are some bold-faced names attached with these shows (more on that in a minute). But the biggest reason to head over to Amazon right now and check out these episodes is the chance for folks like you and me to vote on whether they will live on. In other words, we get to play the role of TV executive. How awesome is that? I mean, how many times have you sat through an episode of 1600 and thought, ‘I could program better stuff than this’? Well, now’s your chance to weigh in on what you think is the next 30 Rock and what’s the next Homeboys in Outer Space.

Six of the 14 Amazon pilots are for kids. And even though I wouldn’t say that any of them are going present a threat to Nickelodeon fare like Fish Hooks, they’re fine time-wasters as far as these things go. More interesting are the eight comedy pilots, which serve up some familiar franchises and a few familiar faces behind and in front of the camera. Here’s a rundown of the three most high-profile ones.  READ FULL STORY

Amazon takes on tablet market with new, bigger, brighter line of Kindles

While Microsoft and Google have spent considerable time and resources taking aim at Apple’s dominance in the growing field of tablet computing, all three companies should be keeping a keen eye out for Amazon. The new economy behemoth announced an ambitious line of Kindle devices Thursday — including the Kindle Fire HD, with both 7-inch and 8.9-inch screens — setting them at highly competitive, loss-lead prices just as its competitors plan major roll-outs for their tablet devices. “We want to make money when people use our devices,” said Amazon chief Jeff Bezos at the special presentation in a Santa Monica, Calif. airline hanger. “Not when they buy our devices.”

With the company’s goal of driving users to its online marketplace made crystal clear, Bezos also announced a suite of enhancements to its content experience, including expanding its book store to include serialized novels; integrating audiobooks into the print reading experience; and a “FreeTime” feature that allows parents to delineate exactly how long their kids can read a book, play a game, or watch a movie.

EW got some hands-on experience with several of the new Kindles — here are the highlights:  READ FULL STORY

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