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Wal-Mart To Enter Voice-Shopping Market Via Google Platform (reuters.com) 33

Wal-Mart Stores is teaming up with Google to enter the nascent voice-shopping market, currently dominated by Amazon.com, adding another front to Wal-Mart's battle with the online megastore. From a report: Google, which makes the Android software used to run most of the world's smartphones, will offer hundreds of thousands of Walmart items on its voice-controlled Google Assistant platform from late September, Walmart's head of e-commerce, Marc Lore, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. Lore, who joined the world's largest retailer after it bought his e-commerce company Jet.com, said Wal-Mart would offer a wider selection than any retailer on the platform. Amazon, whose voice-controlled aide Alexa allows users to shop from the retailer, has the lion's share of the U.S. voice-controlled device industry, with its Echo devices accounting for 72.2 percent of the market in 2016, far ahead of the Google Home gadget's 22 percent, according to research firm eMarketer.
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Wal-Mart To Enter Voice-Shopping Market Via Google Platform

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  • I still haven't tied a credit card to any of my mobile phones or accounts (mainly because there hasn't been a mobile app released yet that's worth paying for), but I get that there's a market out there, especially among the less tech-savvy out there.

    But this class of gizmos really confuses me: which consumers are really tying their credit cards to a microphone that can start buying random items based on the words that fall out of people's mouths (or the TV/radio shows they listen to loudly)? And what con
    • >I still haven't tied a credit card to any of my mobile phones or accounts

      Until it's a LOT safer to do so, I never will. One wrong click and you've agreed to pay for something. But without a credit card on record, I can never ever make that mistake nor be subject to all sorts of potential risk from the vendor (or my phone or tablet) getting hacked.

      And that's without even considering how much easier it makes it for companies like Facebook and Google to collect data on you. Convenience in return for all

      • This sort of thing is where prepaid credit cards really shine. Use them, and only load them with the amount of money needed for the purchase. Worst case, your losses would be limited to just that amount.

        • Mod parent up. (You're right - prepaid cards are the only way I play with cryptocurrencies; like hell am I going to allow an "exchange" to have my real/personal bank account numbers.)
        • This sort of thing is where prepaid credit cards really shine. Use them, and only load them with the amount of money needed for the purchase. Worst case, your losses would be limited to just that amount.

          Bingo. That's what prepaid cards are for.

        • This sort of thing is where prepaid credit cards really shine. Use them, and only load them with the amount of money needed for the purchase. Worst case, your losses would be limited to just that amount.

          Even better, use a real credit card and your losses are limited to $0. Okay, technically, $50 is what the law says, but the credit card issuance industry is extremely competitive and I haven't heard of any issuer that holds their customers liable for the legally-allowed $50 in decades.

    • I still haven't tied a credit card to any of my mobile phones or accounts (mainly because there hasn't been a mobile app released yet that's worth paying for), but I get that there's a market out there, especially among the less tech-savvy out there. But this class of gizmos really confuses me: which consumers are really tying their credit cards to a microphone that can start buying random items based on the words that fall out of people's mouths (or the TV/radio shows they listen to loudly)? And what confuses me more is that they aren't free - people actually part with their money to buy them - why?

      You don't tie these devices to a credit card. You tie them to a service you already have a subscription for. So rather than going to a browser to play Rhapsody songs or order a frequent item off Amazon Prime (or say, buying diapers with Amazon Dash), or to order pizza off Dominoes as one would do it via Dominoe's web site) you simply tell it.

      There are obvious security issues to be concerned with, but there is nothing as flagrant as storing a credit card in the open. Besides, devices such as Alexa do a lo

  • That area in the brain where we have to plan ahead is going to shrivel away to nothing.
  • I feel dirty when I buy stuff from Amazon, but buying from Wal-Mart? Even I can't sink that low.

  • I need T.P. for my bunghole.
  • Oh, that is going to be "fun". Wal-Mart is one of the few "serious" businesses which sends me spam. Pure, unfalsified spam, not some newsletter they pretend you signed up for by not checking a box somewhere. At first I thought it must be someone doing it to sully their name, or maybe it redirected to a phishing site or something... nope. It's actually them.

    Never mind that I live in the wrong freaking hemisphere for Wal-Mart, they're SURE I would like some offers anyway!

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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