Amazon

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The University of Massachusetts Amherst is doubling down its effort to become a top-tier university for “Big Data” research. On Thursday, the flagship school in the commonwealth’s university system will announce the launch of a new center for data science. Over the next decade, the school plans to hire 40 new faculty positions and raise $100 million through industry investments to expand the school’s presence in the burgeoning field.More →

Amazon has started shipping — in small numbers — a tabletop device called Echo. If Apple’s Siri and Bose’s WaveRadio had a baby, it would be something like Echo. Once connected to your wireless network, the $199 device can stream music and news programming from services like iHeartRadio and Amazon Prime, and it can also answer spoken questions on subjects like the weather, or what year the War of 1812 ended. And it turns out that a team at Amazon’s Kendall Square research-and-development office has been developing the speech recognition capabilities for Echo.More →

Teikametrics is one of those behind-the-scenes players that may have been involved in some of your online gift-buying this month. The Boston-based startup offers analytic services to companies that sell goods on Amazon.com — including local firms like Newbury Comics and Aubuchon Hardware. Among the questions Teikametrics can answer: How much inventory should a seller stock at various Amazon fulfillment centers to ensure quick delivery, anywhere in the world.More →

Just in time for Cyber Monday, Amazon announced this morning that it is prepping for the holiday rush by recruiting over 80,000 part-time workers, a 14 percent spike over last year. But in addition to those human pickers, the online retailer is also employing a whole cadre of technological elves (i.e., robots) to ensure that your gifts arrive for the holidays just in time.More →