Amazon, is an American international e-commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. The company has expanded to other countries including India. Amazon is also an electronics manufacturer. It makes the Kindle series of ebook readers, the Kindle Fire line of tablets, and it also made the Fire Phone. Amazon Web Service offers cloud computing services. It owns websites such as IMDb, Audible, Comixology, Goodreads, and more.
Xiaomi and its sub-brand Redmi have typically been known for their Android-based televisions and the PatchWall user interface that helps set the company's televisions apart from the competition. It's an approach that has worked well, and offers a bit of uniformity across the product range. Whether you're buying a top-end Xiaomi TV or an entry-level Redmi model, the software experience is largely the same. However, the company's recently launched Smart Fire TV 32 gives that rather reliable and familiar experience a surprising skip.
The Echo series of smart speakers from Amazon is arguably the best among the competition right now, and the varied sizes and prices also provide something for every budget. New Echo devices usually bring incremental changes over multiple generations, as is the case with the Echo smart speaker that I'm reviewing here. The Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) is the latest iteration of the company's compact and affordable smart speaker, meant for personal desktop or bed-side use.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — Amazon's millennia-prior prequel that draws from the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien's three-volume novel — was, in some ways, doomed from the very beginning. Years before cameras began rolling, it gained the notorious tag of being the world's most expensive TV series. Amazon had made a billion-dollar five-season commitment, forking over $250 million (about Rs. 2,057 crore) for the rights alone. By the time cameras were done rolling on The Rings of Power season 1, it had spent another $465 million (about Rs. 3,826 crore) on the “infrastructure that will sustain the whole series.” Its inexperienced creators, showrunners and head writers, J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, have mapped out all five seasons. They even know their final shot.
Modern Love Mumbai — the first Indian spin-off of rom-com anthology Modern Love, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video — opens with the same words as its American counterpart: “Inspired by personal essays from The New York Times column Modern Love. Certain elements have been fictionalised.” But curiously, unlike the original, Modern Love Mumbai doesn't reveal who wrote the columns the six episodes are inspired by. Why is it hiding the names of the authors? It begs the question: are these truly Mumbai stories submitted by Indian readers of NYT? Or — allow me my cynical ponderings — are these global stories transplanted to an Indian context? That occurred to me at times as I saw Modern Love Mumbai, more so because the episodes didn't pull me in.