Meet Astro

Amazon just unveiled it’s latest product, Astro! The household robot for home monitoring integrating Alexa.

Here are mentioned features:

  • Keep home closer – Meet Astro, the household robot for home monitoring, with Alexa.
  • Introducing Intelligent Motion – Amazon Astro uses advanced navigation technology to find its way around your home and go where you need it. When you’re not using Astro, it will hang out close by at the ready.
  • Stay connected from anywhere – Remotely send Astro to check on specific rooms, people, or things. Plus, get alerts if Astro detects an unrecognized person or certain sounds when you’re away.
  • Unlock even more peace of mind – Activate your 6-month free trial of Ring Protect Pro subscription and have Astro proactively patrol, investigate activity, save videos in Ring’s cloud storage for up to 60 days, and more.
  • Alexa Together subscription (coming soon) – Remotely care for aging loved ones, giving you peace of mind while helping them live independently. Set up reminders, manage shopping lists, receive activity alerts, and more.
  • Put Alexa in motion – Astro can follow you with entertainment or find you to deliver calls, messages, timers, alarms, or reminders.
  • Designed to protect your privacy – Turn off mics, cameras, and motion with one press of a button and use the Astro app to set out of bounds zones to let Astro know where it’s not allowed to go.
  • Customize with compatible products – Astro comes with a detachable cup holder and can carry other items (sold separately) like a Ziploc container, the OMRON blood pressure monitor, and a Furbo Dog Camera that tosses treats to your pet.

Amazon countersuits Parler

The attempted coup on the US Capitol on January 6th forced several tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to ban US President Donald Trump for its failure to comply with its policies inciting an insurrection, which caused deaths, damages, and theft. Parler, a “free speech” social media app used by pro-Trump members was also shut down filed a breach of contract against Amazon. On Tuesday January 12th however, Amazon submitted a new filing in Federal court in response to Parler’s claims (see snapshot of the case below)

This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens. There is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature. AWS notified Parler repeatedly that its content violated the parties’ agreement, requested removal, and reviewed Parler’s plan to address the problem, only to determine that Parler was both unwilling and unable to do so. AWS suspended Parler’s account as a last resort to prevent further access to such content, including plans for violence to disrupt the impending Presidential transition.

Despite Parler’s rhetoric, its lawsuit is no more than a meritless claim for breach of contract. But the facts are unequivocal: If there is any breach, it is Parler’s demonstrated failure and inability to identify and remove such content. AWS was well within its rights to suspend Parler immediately for those failures. Parler also cannot hold AWS liable in tort for enforcing the agreement’s express terms. And there is no antitrust claim where, as here, Parler cannot plausibly plead an agreement to cause it harm and the complained-of conduct is undeniably compatible with a legitimate purpose.

Compelling AWS to host content that plans, encourages, and incites violence would be unprecedented. Parler has no likelihood of prevailing on the merits, and the balance of equities and public interest strongly tip against an injunction. The motion for a temporary restraining order should be denied.

Read the full story from [gizmodo.com]

tech companies take a stand on #blacklivesmatter

We are certainly in dire times, but one good thing that came out of the recent protests over the death of George Floyd, is how technology and social media played its role to enforce awareness of police violence and the long-running systemic racism against black people in America.  This has also caught the eye of the world and lately, several tech companies showed where they stand.
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias.“ However, he also declined to take down President Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” message.
Jeff Bezos – “You’re the kind of customer I’m happy to lose” referring to a man who has hateful messages even using the n-word when Amazon last weekend showed “Black Lives Matter” banner on its site.  He further pledges $10M to organizations fighting systemic racism against black Americans.
Twitter, Reddit, Google, and Airbnb are among the other companies that have endorsed Black Lives Matter and committed to anti-racism (see more via axios.com)
Want to know more about how systemic racism works? See this video by act.tv

Getting Started with PhantomJS – A New Journey Begins! [Book Review]


Being in IT for almost two decades now I am perhaps lucky to have witnessed the growth of this industry.  More so, I am glad to see the “rebirth” of Java Scripting for front-end development in the recent years.  But ask any front-end developer and one thing they dreaded most was testing these web pages and Java Scripts.  PhantomJS – however is a game changer!
//Say Hello with PhantomJS 
console.log(‘Hello, world!’);
phantom.exit();
PhantomJS provides “headless” testing of web applications. Wait, what did I mean with headless? When you are typing a URL from the browser, it essentially creates a request and the response is reflected on the page.  PhantomJS actually does the same thing, EXCEPT we don’t need to wait for it to be rendered before our eyes! Probably this is how it got its name 🙂
PhantomJS also can dynamically capture/render pages as images, allow manipulation of page content/event,  gain access to network-level information, and ability to save important infos into files for later processing.
  
//This is how to load a page in PhantomJS:
var page = require(‘webpage’).create();
page.open(“http://www.amazon.com”, function (status) {
     if (status === “success”) {
         console.log(page.title);
     } else {
         console.log(“Page load failed.”);
     }
});

I find this book easy to read with only 121 pages, you can actually get done with it in one sitting (but would be good to do it in front of your laptop trying out the sample codes yourself).   However, it is advised you already have concrete knowledge of Java Scripts, HMTL, and CSS since the book heavily used later technologies such as DOM, JSON, and HTML5.
An improvement I guess would be since the goal of the book was to jumpstart IT practitioners into PhantomJS, it would have been better to have laid out the different syntaxes of PhantomJS itself.  In Chapter 2, I was surprised to see “===” as the conditional operator.  Having used to “==” in Java, I had to check this if it was a typo. 
//Example using HTTP POST operation
var page = require(‘webpage’).create(),
    data = ‘universe=expanding&answer=42’;

page.open(server, ‘post’, data, function (status) {
    if (status !== ‘success’) {
        console.log(‘Unable to post!’);
    } else {
        console.log(page.content);
    }
    phantom.exit();
});

The book has more to give than what I expected.  All throughout, the book used actual web pages (e.g. Pinterest, Instagram) as examples for us to run our tests, which challenges our creativity and encourages us to further try it out with other pages.  Aside from PhantomJS, I liked how in a subtle way, the author introduced other technologies such as Yahoo Local Search and Google Directions API (which made me realize how easy it was to use them!).  In the last chapter, the book introduced CasperJS – a spin-off extension and further simplified PhantomJS. I find this really exciting!
The book is concise and straightforward, I highly encourage everyone doing front-end development to read this and for Technical Architects to consider PhantomJS at production work.  

On a side note, I noticed that the author used his family member’s names all throughout the book, so I guess this was in some way a personal book.  Anyway, I am excited for PhantomJS and is looking forward to further playing with it!

You can purchase the book via http://www.packtpub.com/getting-started-with-phantomjs/book or through Amazon.

Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HD

Amazon, with the success of Kindle Fire last year became the 2nd most sought-after tablet in the US, is set to release a whole new (bigger) tablets to further gain share of the tablet bandwagon, meet Kindle Fire HD.


Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G priced @ $499 just might be the best tablet. its large-screen HD just matches Apple’s 3rd-gen iPad Retina display.  it has exclusive Dolby audio, dual stereo speakers, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE wireless and a $49.99 one-year 4G data package.  it also come in a Wi-Fi model only @ $299.  the 1st gen Kindle Fire is now upgraded into HD display as well price at $199.

Amazon also introduced the a more advaced e-readers, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite 3G.

“Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite are each in a class by themselves when it comes to hardware—there’s nothing better. But the real magic is that they are also a service. When combined with our enormous content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree these are the best tablets and e-readers anywhere, at any price.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder & CEO said.

Amazon Launches Latest Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G and Kindle Fire

are you a PINOY looking for cheaper tablets? wait and check out gizmodo’s live blog of the Amazon‘s release of its latest Kindles today here — http://live.gizmodo.com/amazon/

News Flash!!! 
Kindle Fire – $199, Kindle Touch 3G – $149, 
Kindle Touch – $99, and Kindle – $79 only!!!!




Kindle Fire, a dual-core, with 7in display, no cable sync required, 16 million-colored-screen, uses silk browser, and claims to be a super fast tablet – has also just been released as of this writing!


Big Sites Start Small

i started IT PINOY! around four months ago all for the purpose of sharing my passion in IT (and of course get a chance to earn some money as well). and for three months now i’ve seriously considered (and pushed back) buying my own domain.

thoughts like, what if work gets in the way and i couldn’t find time anymore to sustain this blog? it’s a shame to see lots of websites that hasn’t been updated – really! or what if this blogging thing didn’t click as i hoped it would be? what if i didn’t know what to write anymore????

reading rosshill’s blog made me rethink everything.. this is how amazon when they started!

they’ve surely gone a long way!!! quite inspiring, isn’t it?? hmmm let me see if i’ll gonna buy my own domain this week and make IT PINOY! a full-pledged IT PINOY playground?!!!