Yesterday I started seeing reports that the Amazon shopping app was rolling out an update introducing the Alexa service and allowing you to have similar functionality that you have with your Echo.
Today Amazon suffered a major failure on 1 of their online services. The S3 services in the US-East1 (North Virginia) became unresponsive. The outage lasted several hours and impacted some quite large names.
So why am I raising this here? The region impacted is in fact the region primarily used for hosting Alexa Skills (the only other option is Ireland) there is potential that some skills were affected by the issue. Up until recently the North Virginia location was the only possible data center set that an Alexa skill could be hosted however this has now expanded ito Ireland.
At the tail end of 2016 Amazon partnered with hackter.io to create a new Alexa API Mashup contest. The aim of the contest had clearly been to create an influx of newly created skills. Amazon has partnered with hackster.io a number of times prior and since this particular contest was created.
A noteworthy blog post has recently appeared on the official Amazon Alexa blog.
Amazon have partnered with Hackster.io to run a contest. If you are creating a skill that utilises a 3rd party public API this would be the perfect time to release that skill and enter the contest.
So What Are The Contest Details?
There are 2 categories for entering (you do not specify the category you are entering, this seems to be decided by the judges). The categories are Creative Skills and Useful Skills.