YouTube brings in Homer Simpson (aka Mr. Plow) to sell ads

YouTube today has shared a new video on its YouTube For Business channel that highlights the advertising opportunities that exist on the platform. The video features the popular characters from the hit TV series The Simpsons and shows Lisa using YouTube advertising to help advertise Homer’s “Mr. Plow Snow Removal” business.

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Amazon to sell $50 6-inch Kindle Fire tablet for holidays, add 10-inch to roster

The WSJ is reporting that Amazon is going to strip down a 6-inch tablet and sell it for for the holidays. What’s amazing is that the theoretically color tablet was cheaper to make than even an ebook display version:

Mr. Bezos had set an internal goal of the price tag for versions of both the Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader, viewing the rock-bottom prices as a crucial lure for a more cost-conscious group of buyers, the people said. But the e-reader screen technology from its vendors ultimately proved too expensive to drop the retail price, the people said. Amazon’s cheapest Kindle sells for .

It is likely that the Tablet will be a pared down version of the already minimalist 6-inch Kindle which has gone on sale for as little at in recent months. The report cites a mono speaker as one of the cost cutting initiatives but the company will likely drop things like cameras, display quality and battery life.

What might be more interesting to me is that Amazon is said to have fired many from its FireOS group in the wake of the Fire Phone flop and subsequent 0M writedown… more…

Google wanted to sell AI-powered robotic arms, but they failed Larry Page’s ‘toothbrush test’

Google has been using AI and neural networks to help robotic arms to learn for quite some time now. Back in March the company published a report detailing how its software-enabled robotic arms were being taught to learn how to pick up objects by themselves, and the Mountain View company further detailed this research just last week in a blog post showing off a few more different approaches for general-purpose skill learning — like opening doors.

It’s impressive tech, but as with many of Google’s other impressive tech experiments, it seems like this one is never going to actually become a source of revenue for the company — at least not directly. The Google robotics group wanted to sell the arms to manufacturers, but that plan ultimately got turned down by Alphabet executives because they failed the “toothbrush test” (via Bloomberg)…

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US Mobile is partnering with distributors to sell Xiaomi and Meizu devices in the US

Update: Looks like US Mobile has pulled the phones from its online store already following Xiaomi’s statement that sales were unauthorized.

One of 2016’s major trends will be the entrance of large Chinese OEMs into the American phone market. Announced at CES, Huawei is entering with their Honor lines of phones and now more are joining in. While Honor is selling unlocked phones through numerous retailers, Xiaomi and Meizu devices are being sold by US Mobile.

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