Described as a "tiny box you connect to your HDTV", Amazon's $99 Fire TV hits a crowded field, with Roku and Apple already offering nearly-identical products. The difference Amazon touts is more powerful hardware--a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM--and the claim that it has freed itself from the "closed ecosystems" that reduce the appeal of small set-top boxes to people already renting big ones from cable TV providers.
Amazon Instant Video is the deal, with apps for Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, MLB and the NBA also available at launch. There's a bunch of Amazon Cloud Drive stuff, too, allowing photo sharing and other stuff of scant living-room appeal.
Most interesting, though, is what else is enabled by the beefy specs that Amazon packed into the hipflask-size gadget: it's a game console, with the Amazon Fire Game Controller a $40 upgrade. Each comes with $10 of credit for games, with 100 or so titles available at launch, including Minecraft Pocket Edition and Monsters University.
Games will be cheap and cheerful, with an average price point under $2. This is no PS4, or even a WiiU: expect 20 million free-to-play titles by christmas.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]