Tag Archive for: Amazon

Amazon is buying Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7 billion in cash

TL;DR: Amazon in a surprise announcement said it has agreed to acquire Roomba maker iRobot. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $1.7 billion, or $61 per share, and represents a 22 percent premium over iRobot’s closing price of $49.99 at the end of trading on Thursday.

The deal gives Amazon a stronger foothold in the field of robots. Last year, the e-commerce giant launched a consumer home robot named Astro designed to serve as a mobile security camera, an entertainment hub and a communications tool.

The Wi-Fi connected, Snapdragon-powered bot features stereo speakers, dual cameras, a 10-inch touchscreen and even a USB-C port. Astro can only be purchased by invite and will set you back $999.99 during the ongoing introductory period. After that, expect to pay $1,449.99 for an opportunity that not everyone believes is ready for mainstream audiences.

Amazon has also invested in other gadgets designed to make life easier such as the Ring doorbell and its array of Alexa-powered speakers. Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot, however, is substantially larger than Ring and represents one of the largest moves yet by newly minted CEO Andy Jassy, who replaced founder Jeff Bezos at the helm a little over a year ago.

In fact, the iRobot deal ranks as Amazon’s fourth largest to date behind Whole Foods, MGM and One Medical at $13.7 billion, $8.45 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively.

Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices, said they are excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.

iRobot was founded way back in 1990 by Colin Angle, Rodney Brooks and Helen Greiner, who previous worked in MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Its first robotic vacuum cleaners for consumers arrived in 2002, and the company went public in 2005. iRobot also has a line of mopping robots for hard-surface floors and has added multiple features to its vacuums including automatic dust bin emptying.

Per usual, the deal will be subject to customary closing conditions including shareholder and regulatory approval. iRobot’s Colin Angle will remain as CEO post-acquisition, we’re told.

Image credit: Kindel Media


Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook Enter the Scene

They are the companies whose names are part of the daily lives of consumers. 

It is almost impossible to escape them in many daily economic activities. 

They are in the top 10 of the most valuable companies in the world and are multinationals present in hundreds of countries around the world. Between the five tech giants, their worth is $7.6 trillion in market cap. Suffice to say that their weight in the economy is enormous. 

At a time when investors are wondering if the economy will experience a hard landing, in other words, will enter into recession in the coming months due to inflation at its highest level in 40 years and a policy of raising interest rates at the Federal Reserve, these companies can give the temperature of the economic machine.


Amazon plans more home robots despite early skepticism about Astro – GeekWire

Ken Washington, Amazon’s VP of consumer robotics, with the Amazon Astro home robot. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Amazon unveiled Astro, its first home robot, in September, after developing the rolling Alexa device in secret for several years. In an introductory video, the company anticipated the skepticism Astro would face.

“A robot?” a mom in the video asks. “What are we going to do with a robot?”

In this fictional world, of course, Astro wins people over with its ability to navigate autonomously through a house, serve as a mobile security and video conferencing hub, check the stove with its periscoping camera, help family members check in on older relatives, start a dance party, and deliver a drink to someone on the couch.

In the real world, however, Astro still has some convincing to do.

Astro “is a solution in search of a problem,” concluded CNET’s David Priest in his review. “It’s cool, undeniably, and I’m excited to see what home robots look like in the near future … But for now, Astro remains an interesting device with a lot of potential, but too little utility to really be worth that price tag.”

That price tag, for now, is $1,000, if you’re one of the limited number of customers whose request to purchase Astro is approved through Amazon’s Day One Editions preview program. Eventually, when Astro is more widely released to the general public, the price is expected to go up to $1,500.

Astro is 17-inches tall with a 10-inch display, a rear cargo hold and a periscoping camera.

It rolls around autonomously on two wheels. In essence, it’s a mobile Echo device, responding to questions in the voice of Alexa. Astro otherwise communicates through beeps and blips and a pair of expressive digital “eyes” in the form of simple animated emoticons on its screen.

Amazon acknowledges the skepticism about Astro but makes it clear that it’s not giving up so easily. The company is working on improvements based on initial feedback, and it describes Astro as the first in a line of home robots.

“This is the beginning of the journey for us,” said Ken Washington, Amazon’s vice president of consumer…


Former Amazon employee convicted of stealing data from more than 100M people – WPXI

Former Amazon employee convicted of stealing data from more than 100M people (NCD)

SEATTLE — A former Amazon Web Services engineer was found guilty Friday of stealing data from more than 100 million people when she hacked Capital One three years ago.

Paige Thompson, who worked for the software giant until 2016, was convicted Friday of seven federal crimes, including wire fraud, illegally accessing a protected computer and damaging a protected computer, CNBC reported.

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While the wire fraud conviction carries up to 20 years in prison, the two lessor charges are each punishable by as many as five years in prison.

According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s western district of Washington, the jury found Thompson not guilty of aggravated identity theft and access device fraud. The panel deliberated for 10 hours.

Prosecutors argued at trial that Thompson created a tool to search for misconfigured AWS accounts, allowing her to hack into accounts from more than 30 Amazon clients, including Capital One. In addition to mining the data she found in the compromised accounts, Thompson was also accused of using her access to some of the retail behemoth’s servers to mine cryptocurrency for her personal benefit, CNBC reported.

“She wanted data, she wanted money, and she wanted to brag,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman said of Thompson during his closing arguments, the network reported.

According to The Verge, Thompson’s breach, one of the largest on record, exposed the names, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses and phone numbers of more than 100 million U.S. and Canadian residents.

Capital One has since been fined $80 million in regulatory fines for allegedly failing to secure users’ data and settled with affected customers for $190 million, the technology news outlet reported.

“Far from being an ethical hacker trying to help companies with their computer security, (Thompson) exploited mistakes to steal valuable data and sought to enrich herself,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown stated in the news release confirming her conviction.

Thompson is slated to be sentenced Sept. 15.