BitTorrent Now Offers Streaming Media, Amazon Updates the Kindle… [Tech News Digest]
BitTorrent launches a new app for streaming media, Amazon updates its entry-level Kindle, Opera argues it has the Edge, the Steam Summer Sale has begun, and Pixels gets the Honest Trailers treatment.
BitTorrent Launches a Streaming App
— BitTorrent Inc. (@BitTorrent) June 23, 2016
Contrary to what a lot of people assume, BitTorrent is about more than just piracy . In fact, BitTorrent is a platform incentivizing content creators to share their work with others. BitTorrent Bundles was one element of this, but a new app called BitTorrent Now takes things to a whole new level.
BitTorrent Now is an intriguing app available on the web and Android right now, and coming to iOS and Apple TV soon. It’s essentially an app allowing users to consume content on offer from creators, whether it be in the form of video, audio, or whatever. Some is free, some requires an email address, and some requires cold, hard cash.
The key is that this content is all there with the express permission of the artist, with piracy not playing any part in the equation. Unfortunately, this means that the content on offer isn’t generally mainstream fare, with independent artists being the mainstay of BitTorrent Now. Still, if you’re sick of the mainstream offerings from the likes of Spotify and Netflix, BitTorrent Now could be just for you.
Amazon Updates Entry-Level Kindle
— Kindle (@AmazonKindle) June 23, 2016
Fresh from launching the Kindle Oasis (the premium $290 Kindle), Amazon has unveiled a new version of the entry-level Kindle. It still has the same old 6-inch screen, but it has been improved in a couple of other ways, and the price remains $80, which still constitutes a bargain.
The new Amazon Kindle boasts twice as much RAM as its predecessor (512MB rather than 256MB). It also features Bluetooth audio support aimed at blind readers, who can easily connect it up to wireless speakers and headphones. Otherwise, it’s more of the same, just with slightly rounder edges and a white option.
If you don’t already own a Kindle then this is a solid enough purchase. However, in our recent rundown of the various Kindles available to purchase in 2016 , we came out in favor of the Kindle Paperwhite, which hit the sweet spot between price and features. That is if you can’t afford the Kindle Oasis !
Opera Challenges Edge Claims
This test turned on an ad blocker, which is off by default. Not loading+rendering the same content in all browsers. https://t.co/fKTWxqkUuq
— Kyle Pflug (@kylealden) June 22, 2016
Earlier this week Microsoft came out fighting in defense of Edge, its Windows 10 web browser. The company claimed (and still claims) Edge is much friendlier on your battery than Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Google and Mozilla have stayed silent, but Opera hasn’t taken these claims lying down.
Instead, Opera has challenged Microsoft over this “huge PR effort,” claiming they “love it when someone picks a fight”. With Microsoft failing to disclose its own methodology, Opera conducted its own tests using its own methodology, which resulted in Opera lasting 22% longer than Edge and 35% longer than Chrome.
The problem, as identified by a Microsoft engineer in the tweet embedded above, is that Opera used its native ad-blocker and power saver to achieve that result. So, it’s not entirely fair. However, it has to be assumed most Opera users would enable both features, so the results probably do mirror real-world experiences.
The Steam Summer Sale Starts
It’s that time of year again, when a lot of people spend far too much money on video games they’ll never find the time to actually play. Yes, the Steam Summer Sale has kicked off, with huge discounts available on thousands of games between now and July 4.
In total there are 12,800 games on sale on Steam at the time of writing. Which is, well, rather ridiculous really. Steam has simplified things, with most deals lasting from now until the end of the sale, but some deals will refresh as the sale proceeds.
With so many games being discounted, there’s a definite need to sort the wheat from the chaff. The deals which immediately grabbed our attention include 40% off Doom, 50% off The Witcher 3, 40% off Grand Theft Auto V, and 35% off Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Honest Trailers Tackles Pixels
And finally, Screen Junkies, one of the most consistent YouTube channels around, has finally tackled Pixels. For the uninitiated, Pixels is an Adam Sandler film about aliens invading Earth using old video games as their combatants. I personally quite liked it, but I was clearly in the minority.
Honest Trailers does what it does best, skewering all of the worst parts of the film by giving the trailer a nice new voiceover. It works well too, turning an already entertaining trailer into an even more entertaining trailer. But I’d still recommend watching Pixels and making your own mind up.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be using BitTorrent Now? Are you in the market to buy a new Kindle? Which do you trust more out of Microsoft and Opera? How likely are you to buy a game from the Steam Summer Sale? What did you honestly think of Pixels?
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.
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