Amazon's New Echo Will Snap Selfies and Dish Out Fashion Advice


Amazon wants Alexa to be your new go-to fashion guru: As The Cut reports, the e-commerce giant has introduced an upgraded version of the Amazon Echo speaker, called Echo Look, which can take videos and photos to help you pick out your clothes. (So you can officially say goodbye to the mirror selfie.)

Just like its predecessor, the Echo Look reads the news, provides the weather forecast, and plays music—but now, it also comes with LED lights and a voice-controlled camera. You can ask Alexa to snap or film full-length shots of your look, and upload them to a companion app. The app helps you keep track of your many outfits, and allows you to view an ensemble from all angles (no more wondering how your butt looks in those jeans).

Stumped on what to wear? A new feature called “Style Check” chooses between two looks, comparing two photos using a mix of machine-learning algorithms and opinions from “fashion specialists.” Taking current trends into account, Style Check judges which clothing items are the best fit, color, and style for you. Whether it does a good job (and what its determinations do for your self esteem) remains to be seen. It reportedly gets “smarter” the more people use it—but if you still want a third (or fourth) opinion, the app can also share your ensemble on social media so your friends can weigh in.

Echo Look costs $200, and is currently available on an invite-only basis. There’s no word yet on when it will be officially released to the general public—so for the time being, you’ll have to continue trusting your roommate, partner, or peers when they say you can totally rock that hat.

Watch how Echo Look works below:

[h/t The Cut]

Primary image courtesy of Amazon

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]