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Amazon adds limited context functionality to Alexa, but it's still no match for Google

Amazon hopped on the voice assistant train a few years ago with the Echo, and has since added its Alexa platform to a myriad of products. While Alexa is great at things like controlling smart home devices, its ability to answer multiple queries is not so great. It appears to be getting better, though. Amazon has added some limited contextual awareness to Alexa.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon offers 99¢ movie rental promo code to match Google Play

Our cup of holiday discounts runneth over. Last week the Google Play Store offered movie rentals for just 99¢ with a promo code (among other discounts). As is its wont, Amazon has now matched that deal with a similar offer on its Amazon Video platform: enter the code "MOVIE99" at checkout and your rental will cost just under a buck. It's good for one (and only one) movie, but there's no reason you can't use both the Google and Amazon discounts for a $2 double feature.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies are up for the Sprint Galaxy S III, OnePlus X, Moto E (2014 and 15), Moto G4/G4 Plus, Kindle Fire HDX, Xiaomi Mi5, and more

CyanogenMod has seen better days as an organization, but the team behind the open-source Android custom ROM doesn't seem to be slowing down its prodigious output. In the last week new nightly builds have been added for no less than ten new phones and tablets, including notable models from Motorola, Samsung, OnePlus, and Amazon. All of them now have CM 14.1 (based on Android 7.1.1 AOSP code) builds available.

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Transparency app from Amazon shows the origin and ingredients of consumer goods

As the WalMart of the Internet age, Amazon has its fair share of detractors, and for some of the same reasons. With tens of thousands of vendors using Amazon as a storefront, to say nothing of millions of products the company sells directly, sometimes its wares can be a bit on the obscure side. A new system from the retailer is trying to offer a bit of transparency, showing consumers where the products they've ordered were made and packaged. The app is appropriately titled Transparency.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon offers a free $50 gift card with a one year Dropbox Pro subscription

Dropbox, being the de facto leader in paid cloud storage, rarely offers any discounts on its 1TB "Pro" service. But lately that seems to be changing, if only through Dropbox's retail partners: Dell offered a sizable discount on a year's subscription plus a gift card last month, and now Amazon is doing something similar. Head to this link and you can purchase a year of premium Dropbox service for $99, with a free $50 gift card for Amazon, effectively bringing down the price to just $49.

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Amazon Echo and Google Home hilariously converse in a theoretically infinite loop (video)

You've probably asked Google Now, Siri, or Cortana to tell you a joke or to direct you to a destination, but this video takes the idea of conferring with voice assistants to another level - not necessarily a higher level, mind you, but at the very least, a funnier one.

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Amazon is reportedly developing a premium Alexa speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen

Amazon first introduced its Alexa voice assistant alongside the Echo speaker around two years ago. Though the Echo line of products has proved to be exceedingly popular, the audio that even the flagship model produces still leaves something to be desired. If you like the idea of Alexa but have been holding off on buying an Echo because of the lackluster sound quality, Amazon has something in the works that may appeal to you - a touchscreen-equipped Alexa device with premium sound.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Fire tablets are as low as $33.33 ($16.66-$30 off)

Want a cheap tablet to keep around the house, let the kids play with, maybe browse some sites on, play a few non-resource intense games, and generally use sporadically for small tasks? Amazon's Fire tablet should definitely be on top of your list. It comes in a couple of variants: the Fire Tablet 7 is the cheapest with a 7" 1024x600 display and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with 8 or 16GB of storage, whereas the Fire HD 8 has an 8" 1280x800 display and keeps the same processor but ups the storage to 16 or 32GB. There's also a Kids Edition of the Fire Tablet 7 that comes with a kid-proof case to protect it from damage.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Echo only $139.99 (20% off), Echo Dot is $39.99 (20% off), and Amazon Tap is $89.99 (31% off)

Although the Google Home has recently been released, Amazon's Echo/Dot/Tap devices are still excellent. With far more abilities than Google Assistant has at the moment, Alexa is still the king (or queen?) assistant platform for controlling smart home devices and communicating with online services. Now you can grab Amazon's various Alexa-powered devices for lower prices.

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[Deal Alert] All Fire TV models are $10+ off on Amazon, Fire TV + Antenna Bundle $36 off

One of many notable sales this Black Friday is on Amazon's line of Fire TV devices. Although not compatible with Google services like YouTube or Google Play Movies, the devices themselves are still excellent for the most part.

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