Amazon pays $12 million for rights to ‘The Big Stick’ movie at Sundance Film Festival

Amazon has reportedly paid $12 million to acquire the US rights for The Big Stick at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film incited a bidding war between Amazon, Netflix, Fox Searchlight, and Sony Pictures after its premiere this past Friday. As far as I’m aware, this is the most Amazon has paid for a film, beating out last year’s $10 million purchase of Manchester By The Sea, which has since won a Golden Globe and grossed close to $40 million. Read more ›

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Amazon releases surprise and virtual Dash Buttons

According to Amazon, their Dash buttons have been a big hit with customers, so now the company is trying two new things with them. First, there is a new Surprise Sweets Dash button, that when pressed, will order you a box containing a “selection of multiple small-batch treats crafted by artisans from across the nation.” Each box costs $18 and there is no way to know what will arrive, hence the surprise, but Amazon has shown off several example boxes to get an idea of what may arrive. To get one of the new surprise buttons, you have to request an invitation.

The second new addition to Dash buttons is the release of virtual buttons on Amazon’s website and mobile app. The virtual Dash buttons, like their physical counterparts, can be configured to order a specific product when pressed. While they don’t add nearly as much convenience as the physical buttons, they may be worth setting up to save you a few clicks for products you order often.

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New Apps for the Week of January 15th thru the 21st

This week there were 19 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. BlastZone 2 Lite, which is a free version of BlastZone 2 has been released this week for you to try the game before commiting to buy the full version. It’s a side scrolling space ship shooter with numerous mission campaigns, game modes, ships, and weapons. The United States Marine Corps have released an official app with videos, photos, and a live stream of events. The YouMap Dial Receiver app has been re-released this week to act as a universal app to recieve DIAL video streams from phone and tablet apps. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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AFTVnewscast podcast canceled this week

Sorry to say, but I need to cancel this week’s AFTVnewscast podcast. I know this is very last minute, but something just came up. The main things that would have been covered this week were the new Shield TV, my Downloader app update, and the uneventful bug fix software update, so it’s not a big loss. If anyone really wants a separate video of me comparing the physical characteristics of the Fire TV and Shield TV, let me know in the comments and I can record a quick video next week if there’s enough demand. I’ll repurpose the same Q&A post next week so those questions aren’t lost.

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‘Sneaky Pete’ renewed for season 2 and other Amazon original content news

Here is a quick roundup of news revolving around Amazon original content. It was just announced yesterday that Sneaky Pete, Amazon’s newest original series that debuted a week ago, has been renewed for a second season. Amazon’s next new series debut will be Z: The Beginning of Everything, which debuts in a week on Jan, 27th, and the upcoming new series I Love Dick has received a premiere date of May 12th. Amazon has announced that they have greenlit Good Omens, a six-part hour-long comedy series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s novel about a battle to stop the apocalypse that will debut in 2018. Lastly, yesterday marked the start of the Sundance Film Festival, where Amazon went on a shopping spree last year and picked up numerous movies. They’re already off to a running start this year with the $6 million+ purchase of Long Strange Trip, a 4-hour documentary on The Grateful Dead by director Amir Bar-Lev and producer Martin Scorsese.

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How to watch live coverage of the US Presidential Inauguration for free on the Amazon Fire TV

Here are the best ways to watch today’s US Presidential Inauguration, live and for free, on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Read more ›

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Post your Questions & Topics for tomorrow’s AFTVnewscast 69

I’ll be live streaming this week’s episode of the AFTVnewscast tomorrow at 11am PT / 2pm ET. Post your questions or topics in the comments below for me to answer and discuss during the episode. Anything goes for questions, whether it’s about the Fire TV, AFTVnews, or tech in general. Let’s hear them! Even if you can’t watch live, ask your question now and catch the episode on YouTube later.

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Downloader app v1.1.0 update for Fire TV adds file manager, settings, and more

The first update to my Downloader app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has just gone live. To add features quicker than I can, I hired Johannes Bramauer (a.k.a. superkoal on XDA), who has created some interesting Fire TV apps and modules for the community in the past. He has done a great job adding my requested features to the app. While this update does include some highly requested features, like basic file management, it’s mostly laying down the framework for more advanced features I hope to have added in the near future.

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What do you want to see changed or added to the Amazon Fire TV?

I know for a fact that plenty of Amazon employees visit this site. Some of them have direct influence over the future of the Amazon Fire TV line of devices. Lets hear what you’d like to see changed or added to the Fire TV, in the comments below, incase the right people are reading. Things like HDR, 4K at 60 fps, Alexa in the UK, and Kodi in the appstore are obvious, but what else do you want changed?

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Software update begins rolling out to 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks

The 1st-generation Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are starting to receive a new software updated, carrying version number and build number 562254320. I’ve received the update and, unfortunately, this update does not bring the new user interface to 1st-gen devices. The new interface is still coming to older devices, but that will happen at a later unknown date. The update with the new interface will likely carry a version number of or greater. I’m told this update’s purpose is to patch various security vulnerabilities within Android. Assuming there aren’t any issues with the update, most devices should receive it by the end of the week. I haven’t noticed any new features or obvious changes with this new software version, but I’ll be doing my usual digging shortly.

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