Amazon is making a bid to enter living rooms with Amazon Fire TV, a streaming device that delivers online video, music and other content to televisions.
The company says the $99 device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming boxes such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast. But Amazon is coming late to the streaming device game, and it remains to be seen whether the company is offering enough new and better services to lure customers away from their current streaming methods.
Amazon created buzz about the device last week when it sent an invitation to the media hinting about an update to its video service. It debuted the box at Milk Studios in New York to about 200 media members, offering movie snacks including popcorn and Milk Duds.
The device, about the size of a CD case, runs Google’s Android operating system and offers Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video.
Survey: 191,000 jobs added in US in March
A private survey shows that U.S. companies increased hiring at a healthy pace last month, suggesting that the jobs market is recovering from a brutal winter.
Payroll processor ADP says private employers added 191,000 jobs in March. ADP also revised February’s job creation up to 153,000 from an originally reported 139,000.
The construction industry added 20,000 jobs in March, up from an average 16,000 the previous three months. Financial firms added 5,000 jobs, the most since November. Hiring was healthy across most industries and businesses of different sizes.
The numbers suggest that the government’s jobs report for March, to be released Friday, will show stronger hiring.
The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report.
IMF leader calls for bold recovery policies
The head of the International Monetary Fund warned Wednesday that leading nations need to embrace bold policy steps to accelerate a still-modest and fragile global economic recovery.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that as the world still struggles to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis, economies are under threat from tensions involving Ukraine and Russia and inaction in countries that should be driving growth.
Lagarde said the European Central Bank, for example, should consider lowering interest rates further and using unconventional policies to support growth and fight too-low inflation.
Her comments came in a speech previewing meetings of global finance officials in Washington. The 188-nation IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, will hold spring policy meetings next week.
Chrysler recalling 870,000 SUVs
Chrysler is recalling nearly 870,000 SUVs because corrosion may make the vehicles’ brakes harder to use. Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from the 2011 through 2014 model years are involved.
Chrysler says crimp joints in the brake boosters can corrode if they’re exposed to water. If the water freezes, the boosters won’t aid braking as they usually do.
Chrysler began investigating after some customers said their brakes felt too firm when pressed down. The company knows of one accident, but no injuries, that is due to the defect.