Inside Amazon - January 9th, 2017

Inside Amazon (Jan 10th, 2017)

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Productions from Amazon Studios were awarded two Golden Globes at Sunday's ceremony. Casey Affleck continued to build Oscar momentum as he took the Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture award for "Manchester By The Sea" (for which Amazon partnered with indie Roadside Attractions.) Affleck's win marks the company's first Golden Globe victory in a film category. Billy Bob Thornton was awarded Best Actor in a Television Drama TV Series for freshman Amazon Streaming series "Goliath." (Rival Netflix also won in two TV categories at last night's ceremony, but Amazon getting a film award sets a precedent.) – FORTUNE

A San Diego TV anchor's utterance of Alexa's wake words on a news broadcast caused several area devices to make unwanted orders. Wrapping a report on a recent incident where a 6-year-old girl was able to order a dollhouse via Alexa without her parents' permission, anchor Jim Patton said the words, "I love that little girl saying 'Alexa order me a dollhouse.'" The station reported a handful of calls from viewers saying their Alexa devices had been triggered by the anchor's words, but the actual number of complaints hasn't been reported. – VERGE

AmazonFresh will begin accepting food stamp orders in three states this summer. Amazon is one of seven grocers chosen by the US Department of Agriculture to participate in a two-year trial to test online payment using the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) system. The company will take food stamp orders in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. (AmazonFresh is only available to Prime members, which GeekWire points out may be "a pricey proposition for food stamp recipients.") – GEEKWIRE

Amazon Prime's 48.5% boost in membership numbers this holiday season was partly due to a surge in low-income households adopting the service. Experts say more access to Prime by the lower-income sector threatens continued gains in the area by big box discount stores like Wal-Mart. (The average yearly income of an Amazon Prime household in December 2015 was $69,000.) – INVESTOPEDIA

According to an anonymous tip, TechCrunch reports that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired San Diego based cyber-security startup harvest.ai. The security company, which boasts two former NSA employees among its founders, specializes in using AI to analyze user actions around a company's IP, in an effort to head off cyber-attacks before customer data is stolen. The story's source says the purchase price was $19 million. Neither company has so far responded to queries about an acquisition. – TC

After a triumphant holiday season, Amazon is now worth more than ten of the most well-known US brick-and-mortar retailers combined. CNN's list of ten stalwarts, including Macy's, Sears, Best Buy, and Target, are valued at only a collective $95 billion (and $40 billion of that is Target) compared to Amazon's staggering north-of-$370 billion value. – CNN

Ten years after it gained first notice, "Vintage milk" is still available on Amazon's marketplace, with "Used & New" gallons priced from $45 dollars. Amazon Seller Yog Sothoth offers his unrefrigerated product at $75 a gallon, which he describes as "aged." BoingBoing first reported on the ridiculous phenomenon ten years ago, and now there are thousands of comically ecstatic "buyer" reviews on the site. – BOINGBOING

Amazon recently gave away its millionth free banana. The company started what they called a "community banana stand" in the courtyard of one their Seattle buildings in December of 2015, then opened another in the area a short time later. Manned by "banistas," the stand gives out free bananas to all comers, whether they work for Amazon or not, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. – PATCH

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