MjZ Photography / Flickr CC

Recode reports today that Amazon is working on Alexa-powered devices that use the popular digital assistant to make phone calls and serve as an intercom system, citing people familiar with the company's plans.

Key context: As Recode points out, Amazon's Echo products have been among the most talked about consumer tech products in the past year, but neither Amazon nor rivals Apple or Google have cracked the code on how to make voice apps a daily habit. Making Alexa a better communicator could help Amazon be even more ingrained into consumers' everyday lives.

Why it matters: Amazon is on the quest to make Alexa and Echo the center of how consumers live, shop and work. The company has stiff competition from Google and Apple, who are also putting tremendous resources into owning the connected home via voice-activated digital assistants.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.