Nexus 5, BlackBerry Blitz, Steam Machine, Snowden Tweets [Tech News Digest]
A new column designed to deliver the latest technology news in bite-sized chunks.
In today’s Tech News Digest, we find out how good the new Nexus 5 really is, watch a new episode of the BlackBerry soap opera unfold, discover that Windows Phone isn’t dead after all, see the Steam Machine put through its paces, hear about Coursera’s real-world teaching plans, read about Edward Snowden’s tweets, and see why Amazon boss Jeff Bezos really loves his wife.
The Big Story Of The Day
The Verdict Is In On The Nexus 5
The New Nexus 5 from Google and LG has been reviewed by most of the big technology blogs by now, so we can officially declare that the verdict is in. Here are a selection of those reviews with choice quotes added so you know whether it’s worth clicking through and reading the whole thing…
The Verge declares that the “Nexus 5 is an excellent phone in many ways,” but unfortunately let down by its camera.
CNET suggests that while the Nexus 5 “isn’t perfect” it still “extends the allure of the Nexus brand to anyone simply looking for an excellent yet inexpensive handset.”
Gizmodo declares the Nexus 5 to be “one of the best phones you can buy, even if it doesn’t quite meet its inflated expectations.”
Forbes refuses to wax lyrical, instead merely stating that the Nexus 5 is “a solid phone at a good price,” and (elsewhere in the review) “a very nice phone at an excellent price.”
Pocket-Lint thinks the Nexus 5 is “arguably the best Android handset on the market – and we think it should should see Google making inroads into the high-end smartphone market, where it has traditionally struggled against Apple.”
News From Around The Web
All Change At BlackBerry
It’s fair to say that the last few years have been a tricky time for BlackBerry Ltd., previously known as Research in Motion. And there has now been another twist to the tale, with a planned buyout falling through and the investors instead pumping $1 billion of cash into the company. As part of the deal, CEO Thorsten Heins departs the company to be replaced by former Sybase CEO John Chen. The price of BlackBerry stock immediately plummeted, but the long-term result of this move could be positive. Possibly, but probably not.
Windows Phone Makes Gains In Europe
From one failing smartphone operating system to another, or perhaps not. Windows Phone, which has failed to draw much attention away from the iOS vs. Android battle raging in the U.S., is, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, making gains in Europe. Android is still on top everywhere, but in countries including Italy and France Windows Phone adoption is catching up with iOS. Microsoft beating Apple? Is it the 1990s all over again?
Steam Machine Put Through Its Paces
While many of us are excitedly waiting the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft, respectively, Valve is laying plans to disrupt the whole industry by launching Steam Machines. These are, as we have previously discussed , essentially PCs designed to stream games to the TV in your living room. This could be a game-changer, quite literally, and those lucky bods at The Verge were invited to take a look at the prototype hardware.
Coursera Launches Learning Hubs
Since late 2012 Coursera has been offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) to students, but the company has now unveiled plans to create learning hubs all around the world. This brings virtual teaching to physical locations, but a solid Internet connection is still essential.
Edward Snowden Tweets… Or Not
Notorious secret leaker Edward Snowden supposedly joined Twitter recently. It now seems clear that @OfficialSnowden actually is not the real Edward Snowden. Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first leaked the stories about the NSA (National Security Agency) spying on us all, has unequivocally stated that this isn’t the real Snowden, and Twitter hasn’t given the account its tick of approval. Whether the original tweets were from Snowden or not remains unclear, as they have been deleted and it looks as if the account has now been hijacked.
Jeff Bezos’ Wife Reviews Amazon Book… On Amazon
There’s a new book about Amazon available to buy on Amazon (and elsewhere). The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Bloomberg Businessweek writer Brad Stone, tells the story of how Amazon was founded and came to be the business behemoth it is today. Most reviewers have given the book a positive rating, but one review, by someone called MacKenzie Bezos, gave it one star out of five and criticised it rather heavily. MacKenzie is, as the surname may have revealed, the wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Biased? Never!
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