Build Gadgets, Games, and Smart Toys with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit – Now Available Everywhere
- Defined Interfaces: Build a companion device that responds to Alexa's native capabilities, such as setting timers, receiving notifications, playing music, and more.
- Here are a few resources to get started: Resource library Technical documentation Sample application that uses Custom Interfaces and step-by-step guides Start prototyping today and be first-to-market in fun and interactive categories that are not yet connected to Alexa.
- With the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit, you can build companion devices that either enhance Alexa’s capabilities, or create a new interactive experience between the product, Alexa, and the customer.
- The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit offers self-service APIs and interfaces that expose metadata of Alexa’s capabilities through compatible Echo devices.
Survivor: How We Made Eye of the Tiger
- Frankie got the ball rolling with the lyrics: “Back on the street, doing time, taking chances.” But we had to call Stallone and say: “You gotta send us the whole movie because we can’t get any further with the story.” Then we heard that phrase when Apollo says: “You had that eye of the tiger, man, the edge ….
- The money doesn’t suck, but the best royalty is that I’ll be in the supermarket and meet random people who tell me the song has affected their lives in a positive way.
- I know people that have been on the operating table and asked to have Eye of the Tiger playing.
- When we were writing Tiger, I was living with a friend, renting a room for $150 a month and he was waiving the rent half the time.
The best true wireless earbuds
- Bang & Olufsen, Cambridge Audio, and Sennheiser all have new wireless earbuds, so how do they compare with two established players — Apple's AirPods and Samsung's Galaxy Buds?
- I listened to both music and spoken word to test the audio performance, either from locally stored sources on a few different phones, or through streaming apps like Spotify or Google Podcasts.
- The 7-gram buds themselves are substantial and in keeping with the traditional true wireless look — a small lozenge-shape earpiece that, thanks to a special "wing" at the top, fits very securely inside your earlobe.
- The small plastic case is easily transported and won't break easily, while the Buds are very easy to wear for extended periods, plus once you're on the move, they have good sound and simple controls.
Neil Young says the MacBook Pro has ‘Fisher-Price’ audio quality
- Musician Neil Young and tech executive Phil Baker have been trying to push the tech industry to make it easier for consumers to listen to high-quality audio for almost a decade now.
- The duo’s hi-res music player Pono aimed to fix problems they said plagued MP3 players like the iPod and music software like iTunes — including compressed, lossy, and low-fidelity audio files that were not similar enough to their original recordings.
- Their new book, To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission To Save High-Quality Audio, details the hurdles they had to overcome to create the Pono as well as what the tech industry should do in order to get consumers to realize what they’re missing with streaming and “CD-quality” music.
- Is it even worth it to talk about the output format when it’s teenagers in bedrooms writing hits right now?
- He told me that exact thing: “We’re making products for consumers, not quality.” So they don’t want audio quality.
Why a handbag is so much more than a handbag
- The power of the purse is well known today but in fashion circles, a bag didn't always swing the same clout.
- Before "it bags" were a thing, handbags were things we carried other things in.
- Yes, there were established status symbols; the padded purse designed by Chanel herself, the Hermès Sac à dépêches which became the first celebrity handbag thanks to Grace Kelly.
- To research the story, I went to the Louis Vuitton handbag atelier (back then, bags for the brand were made in one small factory) where the foreman expressed amazement over being asked to cope with one new design a year, which might even become one new design a month!
- Despite having grown up in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain (and she used her handbag like a lethal weapon), I seem to have overlooked that aspect when I penned my Harper’s Bazaar article.
11 notable celebrities who skipped this year's Grammys, and why
- On Sunday, January 26, the 62nd Grammy Awards were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, to honor the best in music for 2019.
- It's unclear why the couple did not attend (perhaps because they were not slated to perform), but Jay-Z and Beyoncé weren't at last year's Grammys either.
- Although she was nominated for multiple awards for the "A Star is Born" album, Lady Gaga skipped the Grammys for the first time in five years.
- She is said to currently be working on a follow-up album but she wasn't nominated for any awards and wasn't booked to perform this year, so it makes sense that she would sit this one out.
- Two-time album of the year winner Adele hasn't released new music since "25," which absolutely killed it back at the 2017 Grammys.
- Lopez received no nominations at the 2020 Grammy Awards and was not slated to perform.
Taylor Swift Chickened Out of Sticking It to 'The Man' at the Grammys
- Taylor Swift's performance of "The Man" was obviously canceled by the Grammys over the Deborah Dugan scandal.
- Her fans were looking forward to Taylor Swift performing “The Man.” It would have been a righteous moment for women in the music industry.
- The Recording Academy Board of Trustees placed CEO Deborah Dugan on leave just days before the Grammys.
- The complaint that we filed today against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammys) highlights tactics reminiscent of those deployed by individuals defending Harvey Weinstein.
- Deborah Dugan was the first-ever female CEO of the Recording Academy that hosts the Grammy Awards.
- Fans and the media pointed out Taylor Swift’s scrapped performance of “The Man” would have been awkward.
- Obviously, the Academy wasn’t going to let Taylor Swift do that.
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TikTok inks a global licensing deal with music agency Merlin
- TikTok has faced copyright issues in the past, and signing deals with major labels will help it avoid additional regulatory and public relations scrutiny going forward.
- In the fallout, TikTok assured regulators that it planned to work with labels and other music owners going forward, but also reinforced that the app itself serves a useful purpose to musicians and labels with its wide-scale reach and ability to produce viral content.
- Deals with music labels like Merlin will also help benefit Resso, fueling TikTok's broader music streaming ambitions as a result.
- TikTok's base of over 1.5 billion global users, popularity among teens, and viral "challenges" — videos set to music that involve dances or other performances for other users to mimic — have allowed the app to make a serious impact on pop music over the last year.
THEN AND NOW: Here's what all your favorite '90s singers are doing today
- They released their most recent album in January 2019, "DNA." It hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first boy band to top the charts in three decades.
- After working in the music industry with various music groups and record labels, he released a solo album in 2015.
- The rapper's most recent album was released in 2011, "WTF — Wisdom, Tenacity & Focus." A biopic about him is in the works, starring Dave Franco.
- This Irish girl group became a big name in music with songs like "C'est La Vie" and "Rollercoaster." The women — Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, and Sinéad O'Carroll — toured with *NSYNC and Britney Spears before splitting in 2002 because O'Carroll left the group and Sony dropped them.
- He dropped over 10 albums throughout his music career, but these days he's better known as a spokesperson than a rapper MC.
Billy Porter sparkled in a shimmering jumpsuit with a motorized fringe hat that covered his face at the 2020 Grammys
- Porter arrived at the 2020 Grammys in a bedazzled, turquoise jumpsuit and a hat that covered his face with layers of crystal fringe.
- The hat that Porter wore was complete with a motorized curtain of crystals that allowed the fringe to move away from his face — a design that he and his stylist, Sam Ratelle, created with designer Scott Studenberg of fashion brand Baja East, and milliner Sarah Sokol, according to Vanity Fair.
- Ratelle told Vanity Fair reporter Kenzie Bryant that Porter's red-carpet look was inspired by Billie Eilish, who wore a custom-made, beekeeper-style bonnet with a net that covered her face at the American Music Awards in November 2019.
- Ratelle was quoted in the Vanity Fair article saying that Porter loved the idea of Eilish's hat, but that he wanted the ability to show his face — which is how the idea of the mechanical "curtain" on his Grammys red-carpet hat came to be.