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Tech News Today for July 12, 2017

Tech News for Wednesday July 12, 2017

Amazon concluded its summer holiday, also known as Prime Day and the results will likely inspire Amazon to return with it for a fourth time next summer. Sales for Prime day were 60 percent higher than last years event, and were also more than Amazon’s own Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last year. Not only was it good for sales, it was good for netting new Prime members as Amazon brought in “record numbers” of new subs. The Echo Dot was the single most popular product sold during the sale, normally $49.99 but on sale for $34.99. Read more at cnbc.com.

This week at Microsoft's Inspire event in Washington DC, the company announced a new free iPhone app for people with visual impairments. It's called Seeing AI and its mission is to narrate the world around you, using artificial intelligence. People who are blind or have low vision can use the app to hear descriptions of nearby people, text, and objects. We first saw the prototype at Microsoft Build last year, but now you can download the real thing. The app will tell you the age and even the expression the person has. Get Seeing AI in the iOS App Store for free.

Windows Phone 8.1 was important for a number of reasons, but notably, it was the first update to introduce Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant technology. That was more than three years ago, and though millions of devices still run the OS, Microsoft has officially ended support for the update. In essence, this marks the end of the Windows Phone timeline. Microsoft is still supporting Windows 10 mobile, however, most recently with the roll out of the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update. Read more at theverge.com.

We've told you about Joshua Browder before. He's the young superhero who developed the robot lawyer that first started getting people out of paying parking tickets in 2015 and has since expanded his services to helping refugees. Browder, now only a junior at Stanford, has expanded his DoNotPay services to help in a thousand different legal areas ranging from an argument with your landlord to harassment in the workplace. The legal advice is free and instant. Browder says the machine is right about 55 percent of the time, which is pretty good for a free robot. Read more at mashable.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Eliot Harman from the EFF to talk about the Net Neutrality Day of Action happening today. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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