Free Spotify Will Stream on Alexa Devices; Apple Austin Breaks Ground; Twitter List Reporting Function; Police Can Keep Ring Videos Forever

You have been able to get Spotify on an Amazon Echo for several years. Now, the free tier comes to Alexa devices, as well as Sonos and Bose smart speakers. Techcrunch.com reports that the Alexa support will be available in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Sonos and Bose users can pull in the free Spotify stream worldwide. This comes on the heels of Amazon announcing yesterday that its free (ad supported) music service is now available across devices, including Fire TV, iOS, and Android. It is also available on the web. The Amazon service ‘only’ has 2 million tracks. Spotify boasts a catalog of 50 million songs.

Apple has started construction of its Austin, TX campus. The campus will be considerably larger than the present Mac Pro facility there…the one Donald Trump is flying out to tour today. According to 9to5mac.com, the new facility will be 3 million square feet, and cost a billion dollars. It will house 5,000 employees, with room to grow to 15,000. The facility opens in 2022. The present Mac Pro plant is 244,000 square feet, and employs 500.

After 10 years, Twitter is adding a tool to its lists feature to combat people using the feature to harass others. Mashable.com says there will be a reporting feature specifically for lists. If you report a list, you will get a confirming email. List reporting is live right now on iOS, and will be soon on Android and the Web. Trolls who have used Lists to harass will go to Twitter jail until the list is removed. At least for now, there is no way to opt out of Lists completely, so people will have to be diligent in reporting the toxic ones.

A bombshell from Amazon as they acknowledge that their police agency partners can keep homeowners’ Ring doorbell videos forever, AND can share them with whomever they want. Engadget.com notes that the admission comes after a letter from Senator Ed Markey, asking for details about the footage and steps to protect civil liberties. In a chilling aside, Amazon did not rule out using facial recognition tech within the Ring system. Amazon claims that such a feature would only be released with ‘thoughtful design,’ which isn’t terribly reassuring.



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