Waitrose switches up a gear to launch two-hour grocery deliveries in London

Up market UK supermarket chain Waitrose will start trialing two-hour or same day delivery options in certain London postcodes from tomorrow. It’s partnering with CitySprint Group courier delivery spin-out On the Dot for the deliveries which will be made by electric and hydrogen vans and push bikes and cargo bikes (billed as a zero-emission fleet). The supermarket says the service is being launched in response to customer demand for more ‘little and often’ shopping trips rather than the traditional weekly haul. Waitrose has long had its own online supermarket, Ocado, but the new on-demand delivery option (which it’s calling Waitrose Rapid Delivery) looks intended to supplement that and fill in any competitive gaps opened up as a result of young shoppers not being so keen to commit to a big weekly shop — with the supermarket flagging “flexibility and convenience” as the drivers. It cites research it commissioned which found two-thirds of
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Committed to privacy, Snips founder wants to take on Alexa and Google, with blockchain

Earlier this year we saw the headlines of how the users of popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri and continue to face issues when their private data is compromised, or even sent to random people. In May it was reported that Amazon’s Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to a random contact. Amazon insists its Echo devices aren’t always recording, but it did confirm the audio was sent.

The story could be a harbinger of things to come when voice becomes more and more ubiquitous. After all, Amazon announced the launch of Alexa for Hospitality, its Alexa system for hotels, in June. News stories like this simply reinforce the idea that voice control is seeping into our daily lives. The French startup Snips thinks it might have an answer to the issue of security and data privacy. Its built its software to run 100% on-device, independently from
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Behold Ubisoft’s gloriously ridiculous Assassin’s Creed Amazon Echo

The Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Echo Plus is a limited edition, which will no doubt make fans want the thing that much more. It’s a standard Amazon device that Ubisoft dressed up in a Spartan helmet, to be given away in small quantities through the company’s site.

The ridiculous thing is the game maker’s way of promoting a new Alexa skill, designed to provide useful tips for the upcoming action role-playing title. The download will be available for all Echo devices (Greek battle helmet or no) starting October 2 — three days before Assassin’s Creed Odyssey officially hits consoles.

There are 1,500 responses available through the skill, which describe points of interest, offer up contextual information and just generally help you through the game. There also are some fittingly goofy ones designed to echo common Alexa questions like,

“What’s the temperature today?”

“It’s colder than the heart of Hades after

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Amazon’s ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ wins big at the Emmys

Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” dominated the comedy categories at tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards, winning for outstanding comedy series, supporting actress in a comedy series (Alex Borstein), lead actress in a comedy series (Rachel Brosnahan), writing in a drama series (Amy Sherman-Palladino) and directing in a comedy series (Amy Sherman-Palladino). It’s an impressive showing for a freshman show, but long overdue recognition for Sherman-Palladino — who somehow was never nominated for “Gilmore Girls.” As of tonight, she’s the first woman to win the combination of best comedy writing and directing. It’s also amusing to see Amazon do so well at the awards after CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly decreed that the streaming service shift its focus from critically acclaimed shows with a niche audience to big budget blockbusters like its “Lord of the Rings” prequel. (And yes, it’s embarrassing that I co-host a podcast that’s all about streaming shows and
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Apple’s iBooks revamp, Apple Books, is here

Apple’s new and improved iBooks app, now called Apple Books, has popped up on iPhones across the world today with the release of iOS 12, the software update available to download as of this morning. The new app has five tabs: Reading Now, Library, Book Store, Search and, for the first time, a dedicated Audiobooks tab. Apple first previewed it at WWDC in June. The company said its sleek new look was the “biggest books redesign ever.” Cleaner UI, coupled with larger images, gives the app a more modern feel and an overall better experience. More importantly, it sets up Apple to better compete with other audio/e-book apps, like the Amazon-owned Audible. < div class="mezzanine-player" style="position: relative; padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 100%; overflow: hidden;">
In the Book Store, users can explore recently released titles and best-selling books, as well as curated collections and special offers; it’s available in 51 countries and free books for download are available in 155 countries. Apple Books is also a lot smarter than its predecessor. As you download titles and engage with the app, the app will send you personalized recommendations based on your activity. Indeed, it was time for an update. Audiobooks are more popular today than when Apple first launched iBooks in 2010 and are very much deserving of their own tab. According to Pew Research Center, one in five Americans regularly listens to them — a 28 percent increase from 2016.