Today in Tech News Digest, #AmazonCart shopping on Twitter, Lenovo Chromebooks, new DuckDuckGo, Apple EarPods hoax, Rakesh Agrawal tweets, Oculus Rift MMO, Amplitude remake, and Star Wars auditions.
#AmazonCart Lets You Shop On Twitter
Twitter may well be flatlining, but that isn’t stopping companies building new features designed with the social networking site in mind. Amazon is the latest company to do so, launching #AmazonCart (#AmazonBasket in the UK).
#AmazonCart is a simple idea that allows anyone who has linked their Amazon and Twitter accounts to shop via Twitter. You simply reply to any tweet containing a link to a product you’re interested in using ‘#AmazonCart‘, and it’s added to your shopping basket.
You don’t actually complete the transaction through Twitter, meaning you still have a chance to confirm or retract the purchase later when logged in on Amazon. #AmazonCart effectively makes Twitter a virtual window shopping experience. Which may be bad news for the most serious shopaholics out there.
Lenovo Unveils New Chromebooks
It boggles my mind that folks think people too comfortable to upgrade to Win7 or Vista will get a Chromebook. Get serious.
— Trav Pope (@travpope) April 29, 2014
Lenovo has unveiled two new Chromebooks, its first aimed at mainstream consumers. The n20 and n20p are identical apart from the touchscreen on the n20p rotating 300 degrees to make it more accessible for people who prefer tablets to laptops.
Both Lenovo Chromebooks feature 11.6-inch screens, Intel Celeron processors, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of SSD storage. The non-rotating n20 is due for release in July (priced at $279), while the n20p will arrive a month later in August (priced at $329).
Try Out The New DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo, a search engine offering a privacy-infused alternative to Google, is undergoing a major redesign. The new version will become the default over the next month, but users keen to experience new features including images, places, and auto-suggest can try the beta now at next.duckduckgo.com.
The Apple EarPods Were Just A Hoax
— Cult of Mac (@cultofmac) May 5, 2014
The Apple EarPods that were covered by the tech press and mainstream press alike turn out to have been nothing but a hoax. The rumor that Apple was working on headphones “with sensors in them, for heart rate & blood pressure” began with an anonymous post on Secret and spread like wildfire.
The person responsible for starting the rumor has come clean via Tumblr, apologizing for being “an accidental troll” and promising to “think twice from now on about what I say online.”
There remains a slight chance that this is an Apple employee covering their tracks, but there is no real evidence that anything like the Apple EarPods is in development. Which is unfortunate as it’s a cracking idea.
Rakesh Agrawal Is Tweeting Like Mad
Note to self: don’t test a new phone when sleep deprived after working your ass off for 20 hours a day while on vacation.
— Rakesh Agrawal (@rakeshlobster) May 3, 2014
Something rather strange is currently happening with Rakesh Agrawal on Twitter. The former PayPal exec began by insulting co-workers before expanding his hit list to include most of Silicon Valley. He’s now talking of building a new company that will “change the world,” while dropping hints at some bigger story being behind it all.
No one seems to know what is going on here, but PayPal President David Marcus has suggested, “if you’re a close friend of Rocky’s and you’re out there, I’d strongly suggest getting to him sooner rather than later, as his behavior is extremely worrisome.” Which is probably not a bad idea.
Oculus Eyes One-Billion Person MMO
“A million MMO players isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?” http://t.co/L7TcrSWPj3
— Nick Breckon (@nickbreckon) May 6, 2014
Oculus VR wants to build a truly epic MMO. This is according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who told attendees at TechCrunch Disrupt, “This is going to be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR.” Unfortunately, such an effort is “going to take a bigger network than exists in the world today,” which may explain why Oculus VR decided to sell out to Facebook. In addition to the filthy lucre, of course.
Harmonix Is Remaking Amplitude
Rock Band developer Harmonix wants to remake Amplitude, its own cult classic game from 2003. In order to bring this reboot to life on the next-gen consoles, the developer is seeking $775,000 via a Kickstarter campaign. Harmonix is also working on a musical first-person shooter called Chroma.
Star Wars Cantina Band Auditions
And finally, while Star Wars parodies don’t count as tech news, the geek is strong with this one. With production already underway on the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy, CollegeHumor set out to audition musicians to be in the iconic Cantina Band. And by musicians we mean proper musicians such as Ben Folds, Reggie Watts, and Weird Al Yankovic. Just watch it already.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Polycart via Flickr