Amazon Echo Buds get fitness tracking skills (and of course a Black Friday discount)

The truly wireless Amazon Echo Buds have just got some new fitness tracking skills, allowing them to monitor walks, runs and other fitness activities.



a close up of a mouse: Fitness tracking skills come to Amazon Echo Buds


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Fitness tracking skills come to Amazon Echo Buds

Once the firmware update, which is rolling out today, is installed, users can simply say “Alexa, start my run” to commence monitoring. And at any point, asking “Alexa, how far have I run?” provides an update on their distance so far.

The Alexa voice assistant can offer a full rundown on progress, including step count, average pace, overall time, and calories burned. To set it up, simply complete a Workout Profile in the Alexa app, where all the workout data is then stored.

According to Amazon, the update will reach all Echo Buds devices in the next few days. It will download automatically when the buds are in their charging case and connected to the internet.

We found the Echo Buds fairly disappointing when we tested them, mostly due to their sound quality paling in comparison to the rival Apple AirPods, Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 and Sony WH-1000XM4. Still, we praised their decent noise-cancellation, reasonable battery life and Alexa smarts. And this new fitness tracking update no doubt bolsters what is already a fairly impressive features list.

Their £20-off Black Friday discount helps their case too, but we’ve found plenty of better Black Friday headphone deals for anyone looking for new cans.

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Longer Armor training span showing gains in skills, lethality, fitness, of tank crews, cavalry scouts | Article

Fort Benning Public AffairsFORT BENNING, Ga. – When Soldiers just out of Armor training are sent to the Army's tank and scout forces, they'll arrive more fully trained, more lethal with their weapons, and more physically fit, officials in charge of their training say in a recent video.The gains in skill, lethality and fitness have come about because the Army lengthened Armor One-Station Unit Training, or Armor OSUT, to 22 weeks, say the officials, who are senior leaders in the 194th Armored Brigade, which produced the video. The longer training span began last fall.The brigade is part of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence here, and trains the Army's tank crew members, known by their Army job code of 19 Kilo, and cavalry scouts, coded 19 Delta.Armor OSUT for armor crewmen had been 15 weeks long. For cavalry scouts it had been 17 weeks."When we look at the different conditions, or I should say considerations, of lethality: mental, physical toughness, vehicle proficiency, and field craft and discipline, we've been able to increase not only the rigor but we've also been able to increase the proficiency, especially on vehicle platforms," Col. Dawson A. Plummer, the brigade's commander, says in the video.Among training gains that benefit Armor crewmen and cavalry scouts alike, according to the video, are:• Time to be trained and certified in the Army's Combat Lifesaver Course• Training and certification in basic hand-to-hand fighting skills known as Level 1 Combatives• Greater lethality through more extensive weapons training• Higher physical fitness levels through a greater number of fitness sessions using the Army's rigorous Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT.• More time for learning use of map and compass, known as land navigation• More field training that hones basic battlefield skillsIn addition, for Armor crewmen, the longer OSUT is affording more thorough training in:• Driving the M1 Abrams tank• Preventive maintenance of the tank• Tank gunneryFor cavalry scouts, the extended OSUT also allows for:• A chance to get familiar with all three of the combat vehicles they might eventually be assigned to work with: the eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and humvee• Basic preventive maintenance of combat vehicles• Use of radioFor Armor crewmen, the transition to a longer OSUT means Soldiers are trained beyond mere familiarity, to proficiency, Lt. Col. Nathaniel B. Davis, commander of the brigade's 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, says in the video."The intent behind the transition is to change from where we had been producing Armor crewmen who were familiar as drivers, loaders and gunners, to ones that are competent and proficient as drivers and loaders, familiar as gunners, and ready to contribute at their first unit of assignment," Davis says."As we made the transition from 15- to 22-week OSUT, we focused our efforts on a number of key areas: increasing maintenance tasks, increasing gunnery skills training and testing, increasing the amount and rigor of field training, and increasing the amount and rigor of driver training," Davis says.Driver training has increased "significantly," he says."This has

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