Tech News

Amazon Fire Phone Reviews, Microsoft Focuses On Windows 9, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 23-07-2014

Also, a security vulnerability in Tor is kept secret, William Shatner boldly goes where no celebrity has gone before by reviewing Facebook Mentions, and Japan dreams of a 2020 Olympic Games for robots.


Amazon Fire Phone Reviews Roundup

Amazon unveiled its first ever smartphone Amazon Shops New 3D Fire Phone, Say Yo To The Dumbest App Ever, And More... [Tech News Digest] Twitter adds support for animated GIFs, a new glitch is found in Super Mario Bros. 30 years after release, HitchBOT prepares to travel across Canada, and a first-person cat simulator on Kickstarter. Read More , the Amazon Fire Phone, last month, and it has been available to pre-order in the U.S. ever since. Devices will start shipping this week, meaning the Internet is awash with reviews of the Amazon Fire Phone.

To save you the trouble of searching for Amazon Fire Phone reviews, here are a selection of the comments made in reviews by five of the biggest tech sites on the Web. We urge you to click through to read the full reviews before making a purchasing decision.

The Verge heralds the Amazon Fire Phone as “a complete rethinking of how we use our phones.” Unfortunately, “there’s a difference between good ideas about phones and good phones.” It concludes, “Amazon’s first smartphone is a series of interesting ideas in a package that is somehow much less than the sum of its parts.

CNET calls the Amazon Fire Phone “one of the most ambitious devices this industry has seen in a long time.” The caveat being, “you need to be a hardcore Amazonian to buy this phone.” It concludes, “Hopefully Amazon will work out all the kinks in time for the second generation.

Re/Code considers the Amazon Fire Phone to be “a competent device, with a vivid, crisp display, a very good camera, and dual speakers.” On the downside, this debut effort is “no more than an interesting first step.” It concludes, “to top Apple and Samsung, Amazon needs to do better.


Engadget suggests the Amazon Fire Phone “looks more like a prototype than a phone that’s supposed to compete.” It goes onto say, “Not only is the Fire lacking in useful new features, but its high price and exclusivity to AT&T guarantee its irrelevance.” Before concluding, “Amazon’s debut phone isn’t bad, per se, but there’s little incentive for anyone to switch carriers or platforms to buy it.

Gizmodo says of the Amazon Fire Phone, “it’s unique, it can be fun, it’s a pretty decent phone.” The praise continues with, “At its core, the Fire is a perfectly usable—if not fantastic—phone.” However, it concludes that, “None of the Fire Phone’s flaws are totally insufferable, but there’s just no reason to suffer them at all,” and so for now “you’re better off with just about anything else.

Microsoft Merging Windows Into One OS

Microsoft has officially confirmed it’s merging the various versions of Windows into one operating system. The announcement came during the quarterly conference call, with CEO Satya Nadella saying, “This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes. We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes.

This doesn’t mean there will just one flavor of Windows to choose from, but that Windows 9 will be one cohesive effort for all devices, whether desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Which is a sensible decision but one which will throw up its own complications. We’re sure Microsoft won’t screw this up Microsoft, You’re Embarrassing Yourself. Please Stop. [Opinion] Microsoft: we need to talk. Yes, it’s about those Scroogle ads. No, I don’t think they’re funny, and no: I don’t think Google is worried about them. Read More though. /sarcasm


Gaping Security Hole Found In Tor

A bug has been discovered in Tor Really Private Browsing: An Unofficial User’s Guide to Tor Tor provides truly anonymous and untraceable browsing and messaging, as well as access to the so called “Deep Web”. Tor can’t plausibly be broken by any organization on the planet. Read More that could, if utilized, unmask the identities of the hundreds of thousands of people using the network. Black hat hackers were due to reveal the method in a talk titled, ‘You don’t have to be the NSA to break Tor: de-anonymizing users on a budget,’ but lawyers stepped in to prevent the presentation going ahead.

The developers of Tor have promised to fix the vulnerability, with project leader Roger Dingledine stating, “Based on our current plans, we’ll be putting out a fix that relays can apply that should close the particular bug they found. The bug is a nice bug, but it isn’t the end of the world.

Shatner Reviews Facebook Mentions

Facebook recently released an app just for celebrities Nokia Drops Android Phones, Microsoft Cuts 18,000 Jobs, And More... [Tech News Digest] Bing joins Google in offering the "right to be forgotten," Facebook likes celebrities more than you, Edward Snowden hates Dropbox, sales of Xbox One double, and Amazon releases the first advert for Fire Phone. Read More . Called Mentions, it’s only available to people with verified Facebook accounts. But is it any good? William Shatner doesn’t think so, explaining why in a post on Tumblr. Yes, the former captain of the Starship Enterprise is posting on Tumblr The Unofficial, Beginner's Guide to Tumblr Tumblr's the number one social networking site for people under 25. Clearly it's important, but it's a bit mystifying. It's less a blog than it is an anti-blog. Read More about a Facebook app just for celebs. That’s too awesome for words.

Japan Planning 2020 Robot Olympics

And finally, Japan has always been the spiritual home of robots and robotics 6 Human Jobs That Computers Will Never Replace Read More , so it stands to reason the first robot Olympics would be held there. And such an event is a distinct possibility thanks to the desire of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


Japan is already holding the 2020 Summer Olympics for humans, but Abe wants a separate event for robots. He said, “In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skill.

I’ll be honest and admit I’d be more likely to tune into the robot Olympics than the human ones. Because athletics is dull. And, according to the video above, robots are already better at soccer football than U.S. President Barack Obama.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Can you see yourself buying an Amazon Fire Phone anytime soon? What do you think of Microsoft’s plans for Windows 9 as one operating system to rule them all? Would you tune into an Olympic Games for robots?

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.


Related topics: Facebook, Windows 9.

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  1. Tom W
    July 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Microsoft couldn't even get the balance right when they released three versions of Windows 8. It isn't possible for someone who needs a full desktop environment to get by using a tablet. I'm at a computer for 8-12 hours a day. I can't use a touchscreen for that long, I fully utilise many windows over two large monitors, and I like to have windows of all shapes and sizes to minimise the need to switch between them. Mobile-first design works for responsive websites, but it doesn't work at all for operating systems.

    The BBC already created a set of Robot Olympics, called Techno Games, and it was awesome.

  2. Try The New Babylon
    July 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    On a deeper level, I think the price is a reflection that Amazon realizes this phone isn’t for the masses, but only amazon’s “whale” customers. (The ones that buy an extraordinary amount of stuff from Amazon).

    Had they priced it lower, they would have received more interest, but it probably wouldn’t have been enough interest to justify being a loss-leader like the Kindle Fire is.