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
Donald TrumpUS President Donald Trump’s Indonesian business partner has been questioned by police over alleged threats against a public prosecutor, officials said Friday.Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a media and property mogul who is building two Trump Organization hotel projects, was summoned as a suspect Friday after an investigation was issued against him in June, a police spokesman said.The 51-year-old business tycoon and politician is being named a suspect after police charged him with violating the electronic information and transaction law.”Today is actually the second time we have summoned Hary Tanoesoedibjo. We have summoned him before but at that time his lawyer said he couldn’t show up,” national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said.The billionaire was reported to police by an attorney named Yulianto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.Yulianto claimed Tanoesoedibyo had threatened him via text messages in January 2016.The attorney was handling a graft case which involved Mobile-8 Telecom, a telecommunication company owned by Tanoesoedibyo.Tanoesoedibyo’s lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, denied the messages were threats.”As humans we know what would be considered as threats and what not. What he said is something all politicians do,” Hutapea told AFP.Tanoesoedibyo’s company is in the process of building two luxury resorts in Indonesia which would be managed by Trump Hotels.The resorts are planned to be built on the popular tourist island of Bali and in Lido, West Java, just a couple of hours away from capital Jakarta. Construction on the hotels has not yet begun.Tanoesoedibyo attended the US president’s inauguration in January, and described Trump’s win as inspiring.Tanoesoedibyo is now banned from travelling abroad for the next six months, a spokesman of the immigration office told AFP, and if found guilty could be jailed for four years maximum.The billionaire ran in Indonesia’s 2014 election as candidate for vice president but failed to make it to the final round with his running mate.He later founded his own political party with many speculating he might run in the 2019 presidential election.
Rescue workers look for survivors after an explosion in Ningbo, China’s eastern Zhejiang province. Photo: AFPA major explosion hit China’s eastern port city of Ningbo on Sunday, sending dozens to hospitals, destroying vehicles, and triggering the collapse of nearby buildings, state media said, citing local authorities.The morning blast occured in a factory, according to the official Xinhua news agency, but state television said it took place at a demolition site.Television images showed cars twisted and mangled by the force of the explosion, a plume of grey smoke rising in the sky, and debris scattered for dozens of metres around the site of the incident.Footage showed rescuers wearing helmets carrying injured people away from the area, while others stood over a person lying on the ground.According to CCTV, eyewitnesses said there were “a large number of injured people” in the city, one of China’s largest ports, which sits just south of Shanghai.At least 30 people were taken to the local hospital and rescue efforts were continuing, the report said.The Communist Party’s People’s Daily said on Twitter that no one lived at site of the explosion but garbage collectors might have been working there.An enquiry has been launched to determine the cause of the explosion, the local police in Jiangbei district, where the blast happened, said on social media.Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often lax.In 2015, giant blasts killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of Tianjin, causing over $1 billion in damage and sparking widespread anger over a perceived lack of transparency by officials about the accident’s causes and environmental impact.A government inquiry into the Tianjin accident released in February 2016 recommended 123 people be punished.The official who was mayor at the time of the accident was sentenced to 12 years in prison for graft in September.Huang Xingguo, 62, had also headed the disaster response committee.