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Amazon plans bricks-and-mortar stores, Donald Trump is a Loser.com, Microsoft acquires SwiftKey, your Kindle is due a new update, and LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens gets an amazing trailer.
Amazon Is Opening Physical Bookstores
Amazon is planning to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores across the United States. So says Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of mall operator General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP), whose revelation during an earnings call was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In response to a question about mall traffic, Mathrani said, “You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400”. Both Amazon and GGP refused to comment on the story, and it remains unclear where Mathrani got the figure from.
However, Amazon opened a bricks-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle in November selling books and Kindles, so expanding to other areas would be a logical next step. It may seem an odd thing for an online retailer to want a physical presence in malls, but if these shops make money, add customers, and help build the brand, it’s a no-brainer for Amazon.
Donald Trump Is New Face of Loser.com
If you try to visit Loser.com right now, you’ll get redirected to Donald Trump’s Wikipedia page. Because Brian Connelly is a massive troll. Connelly owns the Loser.com domain, and, stuck for ideas on how to use it for anything worthy, he has taken to using it to call out the biggest losers in the world.
His latest victim is Donald Trump, who recently lost out to Ted Cruz in the first round of the Republican primaries. Connelly told The Next Web he did it because “we can’t have a xenophobe as President,” adding, “fear is just not a good platform to stand up on”. Connelly professes to support Bernie Sanders in this election.
Trump may be the latest victim of Connelly’s epic trolling, but many others have come before him. Losers he has called out in the past include Al Gore, Kanye West, Charlie Sheen, and even Reddit. Despite this fantastic record of calling out the not-so-great and not-so-good, Connelly keeps a low profile, and only has 164 followers on Twitter at the time of writing.
Microsoft Acquires SwiftKey Keyboard App
Microsoft has acquired keyboard app SwiftKey for an undisclosed sum of money. SwiftKey offers a predictive keyboard app currently installed on millions of smartphones around the world, and users will be (rightly) worried that Microsoft is planning to change things in some profound way. The most obvious being to make SwiftKey exclusive to its own devices.
However, SwiftKey is promising its apps will “continue to be available on Android and iOS, for free,” while stating they are as “committed as ever to improving them in new and innovative ways”. Unfortunately, that may only be the short-term plan, with Microsoft eventually rolling SwiftKey into its own products. So, maybe start looking for alternatives now rather than later.
Your Kindle Is Getting a Major Update
Amazon will be pushing out a new firmware update to its current lineup of Kindles. That’s the Kindle Paperwhite (2013 and 2015), the standard Kindle (2014), and the Kindle Voyage (2014). The update offers a mix of features designed to help users make better use of their devices, and for Amazon to sell more books.
The update includes a new personalized homepage helping you access your most recently read books, a section showing any titles on your Amazon wishlist, a scrolling list of book recommendations, easier access to common settings, and the ability to share snippets of books on Facebook or Twitter.
This is a free, over-the-air firmware update, so Kindle owners don’t need to do anything special to receive it. It should appear on your device by the end of February.
The Force Awakens Gets Own LEGO Game
And finally, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is getting its own video game. Even better, this one involves LEGO. The LEGO games franchise has already tackled Star Wars, along with The Avengers, Batman, The Hobbit, and more, but this game may blow those others out the water.
The trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is awesome, taking the original trailer for the movie and subverting it with some visual gags. The result is that I want this game, and I doubt I’m alone. Especially as it promises new elements tying the old films in with the new.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, and the Nintendo 3DS on June 28th.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What are your thoughts on Amazon opening bricks-and-mortar bookstores? Is the owner of the Loser.com domain the original troll? Are you sorry to see Microsoft acquiring SwiftKey? If you own a Kindle, how often do you use it? Will you be buying LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credits: Stephen Woods via Flickr