30 Photos Post a comment Preview • A new Amazon Echo is here. Catch up on Alexa’s upgraded home 4:40 Smart Speakers & Displays See it News • Amazon Echo Dot deal: 3 for $70 Mentioned Above Amazon Echo (2017,Heather Gray Fabric) Amazon Echo CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 0 Review • Amazon’s new Echo improves upon the original, slashes the price Now playing: Watch this: New Amazon Echo Dot plays defense against Google How To • How to sell your old Amazon Echo 2018 was a good year for the Amazon Echo. Chris Monroe/CNET It seems like Alexa has had a busy 2018. On Wednesday, Amazon released some year-end stats about its Alexa smart assistant and Amazon Echo devices — and the numbers are pretty impressive.Amazon says that it sold tens of millions of Echo devices this year. While Amazon doesn’t give an exact sales number, it shows other ways in which Alexa is booming.According to Amazon, the number of people who use Alexa every day doubled in 2018. The number of people who own more than one Echo device has doubled too. The number of things Alexa can do for you has also skyrocketed — developers have made more than 70,000 skills for Alexa.Alexa is showing up in more places. There are now more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 4,500 different brands. Alexa learned several new languages this year, and has new native experiences in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.Another impressive statistic: Alexa told over 100 million jokes in 2018 alone.As more people buy Echo devices and more partners hop on board, the number of things you can do with Alexa grows. So that Echo smart speaker you bought years ago will continue to feel fresh. Share your voice Tags Echo Dot, Home Mini, and Simplisafe: The best smart home Christmas gifts for 2018 $99 Alexa Amazon
PM Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security.ReutersPrime Minister Narendra Modi will take his oath of office on Thursday along with his ministers, though he suffered a setback at the start of his second term when key aide and finance minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the next government.The swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of the colonial-era presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhawan will be attended by thousands of guests including Bollywood stars and leaders of neighbours including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.PM Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security, as tension with old rival Pakistan shot up over a deadly militant attack on security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.Pakistan was not invited to the inauguration.India is proud of all those brave men and women martyred in the line of duty, PM Modi said after visiting a war memorial near parliament on Thursday. Our government will leave no stone unturned to safeguard India’s unity and integrity. National security is our priority.Many ministers who are also senior members of the ruling alliance are expected to keep their place in the government. But changes in their departments are likely, especially after Arun Jaitley wrote to PM Modi on Wednesday asking to be kept out due to health reasons.Narendra Modi and the chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah, could also promote many fresh faces to reward good electoral performance, mainly in the east of the country where they have traditionally been weak.Amit Shah himself is tipped to take up a role in the government, though some political analysts say he could stay on as BJP president to steer the party towards a majority in the upper house of parliament after dominating the lower house.Nearly 8,000 people, including leaders of the decimated opposition bloc, are expected to attend the ceremony that will fete the incredible rise of 68-year-old Modi, the son of a tea seller.The BJP now controls 303 of the 545 seats in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for Modi to possibly attempt controversial land and labour reforms amid concerns that Asia’s third-largest economy is faltering.This week, two major industrial bodies called on the new government to urgently take steps to bolster the economy, which grew 6.6 per cent in the three months to December — the slowest pace in five quarters.PM Modi pushed through important reforms such as a unified goods and services tax and bankruptcy law in his first five years in power but faced flak for failing to create enough jobs for millions of people seeking employment, rising farm distress and lacklustre economic growth. India’s main opposition Congress party, meanwhile, is fighting to stay relevant after being overwhelmed in two straight general elections.Its president, Rahul Gandhi, has offered to resign and on Thursday, the party said it would not send its spokespeople on television debates for a month as it analyses its latest defeat.
Goa is the most popular choice for a monsoon getaway among Indian travellers, while they stick to Bali for an international short-haul trip, according to a survey.The survey, conducted by online accommodation booking website Hotels.com, analysed data on hotel searches made by users. The searches were conducted for stays during the period of June to September 2017, which became the foundation to develop the India ‘Monsoon Travel Hotlist’ for this year, read a statement. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe data reveals Goa to be the most popular destination this monsoon, with four of its towns – Candolim (which was the most popular), Calangute, Arpora and Baga making it to the top 10. The village of Arpora in Goa registered a massive 91 per cent increase in hotel searches in comparison to 2016. Mumbai found second spot in the list with 49 per cent increase in searches as compared to 2016. It was followed by Delhi at 50 per cent increase in searches. Other places mentioned in the list include Udaipur, Bengaluru and Jaipur. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveJessica Chuang, Hotels.com Director, Regional Marketing Greater China, South East Asia and India, said: “The 2017 Monsoon Travel Hotlist reveals significant insights about Indian travellers’ especially, their preference for quick, mini-vacations and a renewed interest in exploring their home country which is visible through the increased searches for domestic destinations in comparison to international ones.”The preference for quick getaways was also reflected in international destinations with most searched destinations for short-haul trips to Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Dubai catching the traveller’s fancy.