Amazon Doorbell To Let Delivery People in Once; Amazon Prime ‘Really Valuable’ to Whole Foods Shoppers; Google Mini Bug Left Mics On; Movie Studios Band Together For Easier Film Downloads

The battle of grocery home delivery has heated up, with Amazon matching Walmart with in home, right to the fridge deliveries. Amazon, however, may have an ace up its sleeve…theverge.com says they are working on a smart doorbell device that could allow delivery drivers one-time access to enter a home and drop off a package or groceries to the fridge! Amazon has been talking to Phrame, which makes smart license plate frames that secure an emergency key.

If, like a lot of people, grocery shopping means running to the store, Amazon is also touting Prime membership further…according to geekwire.com, Amazon is promising to make Prime membership ‘really valuable’ to Whole Foods shoppers, essentially making Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods. Amazon says that so far, the merger is going well enough they are thinking about shutting down their own grocery services and doing everything through the Whole Foods subsidiary.

Google is working on a fix for the Google Home Mini. Some of the pre-production ones don’t wait for you to address them….they have been listening and recording every word. 9to5google.com says it’s because the devices think they are getting a touch to activate. They have put out a patch to make them respond only to the verbal ‘OK Google’ command, and are working on a fix for the hardware gesture.

In a move that’s amazing for Hollywood, Disney, Fox, Warner, & Universal may team up on downloadable movies. Engadget.com reports that they have signed up to make flicks available through Disney’s new film service. The studios hope people will just buy more movies directly through the service instead of going through iTunes, Amazon, etc. to get links to download. It isn’t known if the studios will continue to support Ultraviolet to provide cross platform links.

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Disney Launching Own Streaming Service; Google Pixel’s Cool Storage Feature; Super Cheap Chromebook

Netflix cut a deal with Disney back in 2012 to stream the Mouse’s library of movies and shows. According to theverge.com, it just kicked in last year, and now Disney is announcing they will end the deal in 2019 in favor of their own streaming service. Interestingly, Marvel and Star Wars aren’t mentioned in the new Disney streaming service. Apparently, they are kicking around freestanding streaming services for each. At any rate, by 2019, Disney’s amazing library of shows and movies, including their LucasFilm and Marvel material, will be available on stream from a new Disney streaming service.

If you don’t always buy the maxed out memory on your smartphone, you probably have hit the point where you’re deleting songs or pictures to keep from running out of storage. THEN, when you try to update the operating system, you don’t even have room to do that. Bgr.com reports that Google has solved that part of the problem with the new Pixel. Starting with Android 8.0, the phones have a dual partition system for faster streaming updates. Basically, you keep using the system on the phone while a second system updates in the background. After download and restart, the second one becomes the normal OS. With this partition, the phone only needs 100 KB of free space to update instead of a gig. Thanks, Google!

Acer has just bowed its updated Chromebook C771. 9to5google.com says there are two models, one with touch display and one without. The laptop has an 11.6 inch screen and features a spill resistant keyboard. The cheaper version is $279.99. If you don’t mind the chrome ‘all in cloud’ system, it’s practically a disposable laptop at this price.


New Galaxy ‘Bomb’ 7; Salesforce May Be Last Suitor Standing for Twitter; Stealth Job-Hunting Mode from LinkedIn

Samsung had a terrible turn of events when Galaxy Note 7’s began catching fire and exploding just days before the iPhone 7 rolled out. Having recalled and replaced all those phones…some 2 million… in record time, the Note 7 was again flying off the shelves…until now. Yesterday, one of the new ones with the supposedly ‘good’ battery exploded and caught fire on a Southwest flight getting ready to take off. Bgr.com, which had, among others, touted it as the best ever Android phone, is now saying don’t buy one under any circumstances…and the executive editor has one! Word to the wise…wait!

It’s far from a secret that Twitter has been trying to sell itself. Now, according to recode.net, Google, Apple, and Disney have all signaled that they won’t be making an offer on the social media platform. This leaves Salesforce as the last one standing that’s known to be interested. Let’s all hope that Salesforce or some unknown white knight rescues the popular but financially disappointing social media company.

If you are wanting or needing to look for a new gig, but…like pretty much everybody…don’t want the boss to know….LinkedIn has just made it a little easier. Engadget.com reports that the widely-used site has launched Open Candidates, to let job hunters let recruiters know on the down low that they’re looking. Click on the Jobs tab at the top, then preferences, and slide the big button that says ‘let recruiters know you’re open.’ Wait for inquiries to start rolling in. That’s all there is too it!


Disney Releases Kid-Focused Messaging App; Company Gets Pokemons (and players) Off Businesses Lawns

Disney has rolled out Disney Mix, a new messaging app for kids as young as 4. 9to5google.com says the tag line is ‘chat, share, play.’ The free app has stickers from virtually every Disney movie you can think of, custom cartoon avatars, built-in games, and safety features to keep it all family friendly. A whistle icon at the top of the app will cause an adult moderator to jump in in the event of bullying or the like. It’s available at the Google Play Store and on iOS, too.

We’ve all heard and read stories about people basically yelling at Pokemon Go players to ‘get off their lawn,’ but now a cybersecurity company is actually working to have the Pokemon removed from maps in certain places. Thenextweb.com reports that LookingGlass is working with at least 8 companies to get Niantic Labs to pull them out of certain areas to help players to avoid dangerous situations. Apparently, most of the locations were pulled from the game company’s earlier AR game Ingress, that they released in 2013. LookingGlass and others are also trying to get Niantic to build in a way to notify them to remove Pokemon from dangerous areas.


Hulu Working on $40 Skinny Bundle Cable Competitor; LG In-Screen Fingerprint Reader

Just as traditional cable companies are trying to win back cord cutters with so-called ‘skinny bundles’ that feature less content and a lower price, Hulu is building a cable-like TV package that will go for around $40 a month. According to businessinsider.com, it would give viewers live channels, and Hulu hopes to have it out first quarter of next year. So far, it would have Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN, Fox Broadcast, News, FX, and the Fox national and regional sports channels. Comcast hasn’t agreed to license NBCUniversal or it’s other channels so far, as they likely view the new Hulu service as a direct competitor.

A division of LG-LG Innotek, has revealed a fingerprint sensor module that lives under the glass cover or screen of your smart phone. 9to5google.com says this would allow for more waterproof models and a sleeker design….without the physical button below the screen. It reportedly has an accuracy of .002%! LG thinks they can have it out in a phone by next year.


ESPN Pulls Out of YouTube Due To YouTube Red Issues; World Series Updates on Facebook Messenger

On the heels of YouTube’s announcement of their ad-free subscription service called Red last week, ESPN has pulled all content from YouTube. The content is still available on ESPN’s own digital properties, according to 9to5google.com. The only reason given is ‘rights and legal issues.’ It appears that ESPN can’t sign on with YouTube Red due to deals it has with other distribution partners. Since ESPN is a Disney property, it’s a good bet that YouTube can get their content back by throwing money at them.

Meanwhile, if you’re where you can’t catch world series games on the tube or radio. Facebook has started letting some Messenger users subscribe to MLB World Series news, stories, and hi lights, embedded in a one on one chat. Thenextweb.com reports that it’s a slick way for Facebook to get into Twitter’s turf. So far, it seems to be just a test feature, but if you can’t catch the game, start a chat about it with a friend, and you may see the game updates invite from Facebook Messenger.