Generative AI is more conversational and responsive than the software that powered early voice assistant software like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. But it’s also a lot more expensive to run, due to the amount of processing power required by the servers that make things tick.

Meanwhile Amazon, which was one of the companies that helped popularize those first-gen voice assistants, never really found a way to make any money from its Alexa voice service. So it’s not surprising to learn that the company is trying to build an AI-powered “Alexa Plus” service and that the plan is to charge users a subscription fee, which would solve both of those problems. The only catches? It doesn’t really work well enough to charge money for yet, and even if it did, it’s unclear if anyone would pay for it.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Amazon is working on a new ‘Remarkable Alexa’ but internal politics and technical issues plague the project [Business Insider]

Amazon reportedly wants to charge a subscription for an “Alexa Plus” service that’s more conversational and powerful thanks to generative AI (which costs more to run), but it doesn’t work well enough yet, and nobody knows if users are willing to pay.

Build Your Own Breadboard Phone! [Sparkfun Blog]

This DIY “Breadboard Phone” combines a Sparkfun LTE Stick ($150) with a microcontroller, antennas, audio hardware and a keypad to create something… unusual? Impractical? Still kind of cool?

Wine 9.0 Released, Adds Experimental Wayland Support and ARM64 Support [LinuxGamingCentral]

Wine 9.0 is now available, and the latest version of the open source Windows Compatibility layer for Mac and Linux adds support for running 32-bit apps on 64-bit chips, Windows apps on ARM64 chips, an experimental Wayland driver, and more.

Android 14 update rolling out to Galaxy Tab A7 Lite [SamMobile]

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a budget tablet first released in 2020, which is now being replaced by the A9. But Samsung is rolling out at least one last update: Android 14 is now available for the A7 Lite in South Korea. Amazon is currently selling a 3GB/32GB model for $99

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  1. I never wanted or used Alexa or any of the others. I keep them all disabled as much as possible. If they want it behind a pay wall, great.

  2. Please don’t link to sites with pay walls. Business Inside puts up a big dialog over the content that cannot be dismissed as far as I can tell.

      1. I think you missed the point: Don’t link to them at all. If the story is on a paywalled site…don’t run the story.

        1. I agree with your ethos in speaking out about a thing that you don’t like, but I don’t think that a (huge) website using a paywall is a moral compass to beat a news aggregation blog post on the head with, mate.

          Additionally, I’m not using an ad-blocker, but their paywall is ineffective against Firefox with noscript running as far as I can see.

      2. It’s really about the experience on your site, not theirs. The content that was linked seemed interesting, but resulted in a really bad experience. It felt like clickbait. That experience was initiated by Liliputing. I don’t use ad blockers; Liliputing and the sites you link deserve (and require) revenue. But once the experience is bad enough then I will move on. I trust you are sensitive to this and analytics will guide your decisions.

    1. I didn’t want to mention this earlier because there’s a lot of strong opinions about content blockers, but since this is starting to go back and forth I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that it is still an observable fact that I don’t see whatever you’re talking about with Ublock Origin and Umatrix.