Twitter-Giving Back Chron Timeline; 8 New Alexa Devices from Amazon; Galaxy Note 9 Blows Up; Mercedes Delivers e-Truck

Twitter is going to start testing a way to switch between what they think are the ‘best’ Tweets for you to pure chronological like they used to have. Engadget.com reports that the testing should start within the next few weeks. Eventually, they will have something similar to Facebook’s news feed switch between ‘Top Stories’ and ‘Most Recent.’ It can’t happen too soon!

Amazon will be dropping at least 8 new Alexa powered devices by the end of the year, according to CNBC. Look for a Microwave oven, an amplifier, a receiver, subwoofer, some sort of in-car gadget, and more. Alexa will be baked in to all. Expect Amazon to unveil at least some of the new gear at an event later this month.

Not a good sign for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9….a woman from New York says one ‘spontaneously combusted’ in her purse, echoing the old Galaxy Note 7. The story picked up by appleinsider.com came from the New York Post. Apparently, a Long Island real estate agent said her phone got ‘extremely hot’ and she dropped it into her bag. The bag smoked, caught fire, and burned up the stuff in her bag. This seems to be the only instance involving a Note 9 so far…stay tuned….

Mercedes has started delivery of the eActros electric trucks. Electrek.co says it ws to Hermes, Germany’s biggest logistics company. They are buying about 1500 all electric vans from Mercedes. The delivery vans have dual electric motors and two battery packs at 240 kWh. Even at that, it is only good for 125 miles of range with a full payload. The trucks can recharge in 3-11 hours depending on charge rate, which can run from as low as 20 kW up to 80 kW. Mercedes says Hermes is one of 20 ‘test customers’ as they work the kinks out of their all electric truck fleet.


Amazon Readies Huge Expansion of Prime Air; EU Announces Deal to End Wireless Roaming Charges

Amazon is getting set to drop about a billion and a half dollars beefing up its worldwide air cargo hub at the airport in Hebron, Kentucky, South of Cincinnati. According to cnet.com, it will create 2700 new full and part time jobs. This should send shockwaves through the shipping and fulfillment sector! Amazon already is flying 16 leased Prime Air planes, and will continue to add until their fleet numbers 40. The Hebron hub will load, unload, and sort packages, and has the potential to cut into UPS and FedEx. Right now, Amazon says it’s mainly interested in fulfilling its own shipping needs. The project will take 5-7 years to be up to full speed.

Venturebeat.com reports that the EU has made a deal that will end all roaming charges for consumers across the entire continent. The carriers objected strenuously to this plan when originally presented, but EU negotiators have worked out an agreement on sharing carrier costs and a gradual phase out of ALL caps on data usage. Now, if we could only get that in the US!


Amazon Angling to Take UPS & FedEx Business; Rumor- Apple May Jump Right to iPhone 8 Next Year; Blackberry-End of an Era

We reported earlier about how Amazon has been quietly building out its logistics network…leasing planes and a facility formerly used by DHL. Although Amazon publicly says it’s meant to complement existing delivery partners, like FedEx and UPS, the Wall St. Journal reports that Amazon has is looking to do much more. Eventually, Amazon plans to build a full-scale shipping and logistics network that will not only ship products ordered from Amazon, but will also ship products for other retailers and consumers. Businessinsder.com (which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has an interest in) says Amazon is looking to complete against FedEx and UPS. Internally, some Amazon execs call the plan “Consume the City.”

According to bgr.com, Apple may skip the 7S designation next year, and go right to 8 for what’s widely expected to be a radically redesigned iPhone handset. An Israeli Apple employee let the moniker slip in an interview with a reporter. He also said the 8 will have a better camera than the 7…no shock there…but also said cryptically that the phone will be ‘different.’

In what is unquestionably the end of an era, Blackberry will no longer make its own phones. Thenextweb.com says they will focus on software. Future ‘Crackberrys’ will be rebadged Android phones. On the plus side, by ditching the capital sucking hardware division, they can focus on software, where Blackberry more than doubled revenue last year. A moment of silence please ____________.


Amazon Gets Planes for Logistics; Ear Echoes for Bio-Identification

We have reported that Amazon was looking to go full tilt into logistics, cutting out UPS and FedEx to a great degree, and how they were working to acquire planes. Now, zdnet.com reports that they’ve inked a deal with Air Transport Services Group to lease 20 Boeing 767 freighters to expedite order deliveries for Amazon Fulfillment Services. ATSG will operate the planes, along with ABX Air and Air Transport International. It’s a 5 year deal, and Amazon has rights to acquire just under 20% of ATSG over that period.

Biometrics seem to be a pretty rock solid method of identifying a person…unless it’s a James Bond movie, no one is going to poach your eyeball for an iris scan in real life. Here’s one that goes even deeper…NEC has developed an earpiece with a tiny speaker and microphone that detects the unique echo in your earhole. Geek.com says the device looks and works like a regular earbud you listen to music through. When identification is needed, it sends a series of sounds, the mic detects them and they’re compared to an earlier recording. It takes less than a second. NEC expects to have the tech out commercially by 2018. In addition to transactions, it could even replace the venerable key card you use to get around in the building at work!


Amazon Rolling Own in Air Cargo; Messenger Fastest Growing App

AmazonAir

In a move that should strike terror in the hearts…or at least indigestion in the bellies…of competitors, Amazon is talking to Boeing about acquiring 20 767 freighter jets. Geekwire.com reports that as of last month, some unknown firm, now presumed to be Amazon, was flying 4 cargo flights a day out of Ohio’s Wilmington Air Park…which was a DHL facility until 2008. They were bound for Allentown, PA, Ontario CA, Tampa, and Oakland…all close to Amazon distribution centers. DHL previously had 7500 employees at the air park. Earlier this month, Amazon bought thousands of truck trailers. They are getting ready to disrupt shipping and logistics….look out FedEX, UPS, and Post Office.

A lot of people questioned Facebook calving off Messenger into a separate app, bout according to Nielsen research picked up by techcrunch.com, it was a brilliant move. Facebook remains the top app of 2015, but Messenger is now the fastest growing app installed on smartphones. It’s not up as much as last year, when Facebook split it off and growth was 242%, but still up 31% from 2014. Now, Facebook has broken off its private photo-sharing feature into the Moments app. The second fastest growing app was Apple Music, at 26% increase year over year.