Top tech stories of the day for Monday 16 December, 2013


Instapaper for iOS is free until December 19th – There’s no shortage of apps for saving articles to your phone for offline reading, but Instapaper is a favorite around these parts. It’s unfortunate that some iOS users have been depriving themselves of one of the platform’s greatest apps, but their inaction is paying off: Instapaper is free to download all week as part of Apple’s App of the Week promotion. In recent months, the team at Betaworks has pushed a major redesign, incorporated article sorting and filtering, and added video support — a big improvement that puts the original closer to par with its glossier competitors.

Instapaper for iOS is free until December 19th

 

Amazon puts Kindle Fire HDX on interest-free payment plan, starting at $57 – Short on cash? Amazon wants to sell you a Kindle Fire HDX anyway. As of today, you can pick up the shopping giant’s flagship slate on a quarterly payment plan. Naturally, the amount of each installment varies based on the size and configuration you choose; a 7-inch model with WiFi, 16GB of storage and Special Offers, for example, runs $57 per payment. A similarly equipped 8.9-inch model on the other hand, costs $95 every three months. If you’re worried about financing fees or interest, don’t sweat it – Bezos and pals aren’t charging either of them.

Amazon puts Kindle Fire HDX on interest-free payment plan, starting at $57

 

obama-forced-to-switch-seats2

It doesn’t matter who you are, when your wife says ‘switch seats’ you switch seats. Michelle Obama lays down the law – Our affection for Michelle Obama has always been high. It can’t be easy maintaining your sense of self when you’re known as the wife of arguably the most powerful leader in the world but Michelle has made the role her own. Putting politics aside (if you can) in our opinion Ms Obama has put her own stamp on the role of the first lady. She’s intelligent, speaks very well and has her own opinions.

Which is why this meme montage is so funny. We don’t know if this is what really happened but we love a meme where the photos and text match up this beautifully.

It doesn’t matter who you are, when your wife says ‘switch seats’ you switch seats. Michelle Obama lays down the law

 

Norway’s government says Bitcoin isn’t real money – Governments worldwide are trying to solidify their positions on Bitcoin. Chinese regulators banned financial institutions from using Bitcoin earlier this month, while in July, Thailand’s government declared the virtual currency’s use illegal due to a lack of applicable laws. Now Bitcoin has taken another hit to its legitimacy: Norway — Scandinavia’s richest nation — has said that the currency doesn’t qualify as real money.

Norway’s government says Bitcoin isn’t real money

 

BlackBerry set to lose two more executives as leadership cull continues – A source close to the beleaguered BlackBerry has told The Wall Street Journal that two senior staff members will soon be leaving the smartphone manufacturer. Chris Wormald, head of BlackBerry’s mergers and acquisitions, will reportedly be leaving by the end of December, while Rick Costanzo, executive vice president of global sales, will be out early next year.

The news comes less than a month after three other executives were ousted from the company. BlackBerry was on the verge of breaking up in October after a buyout was mooted. To save the ailing corporation, new CEO John Chen — appointed to the position after Thorsten Heins quit the company in November — has adopted aggressive reconstruction policies.

BlackBerry set to lose two more executives as leadership cull continues

 


‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’ will be a Netflix exclusive in Europe and Latin America – Despite its popularity and critical acclaim, Breaking Bad had difficulty finding a broadcaster that respected the show on the other side of the pond. For the final season, however, Netflix began releasing the episodes shortly after their US broadcast, and suddenly people began to take notice.

‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’ will be a Netflix exclusive in Europe and Latin America

 

Sony Alpha A7 and A7R review – Every once in a while, a product comes along that changes the dynamic of an entire industry. The iPhone did it in 2007, the Mustang did it in 1964, and Converse did it with the All Star sneaker way back in 1917. Now, Sony is poised to upend the camera industry with the new Alpha A7 and A7R mirrorless cameras.

 The A7s are the most advanced and expensive mirrorless cameras Sony has ever produced. They may look similar to the company’s line of NEX cameras, but the A7s have one significant difference: a *much* larger image sensor. Bigger sensors simply produce better pictures, and the full-frame sensor in the A7s is one of the biggest you can get in a consumer-level camera.

Sony Alpha A7 and A7R review

 

Amazing Batman graffiti discovered inside abandoned nursing school –  A Redditor exploring the streets of Ronse, Belgium stumbled across some spectacular art. Hidden inside an abandoned nursing school were walls full of Batman graffiti, featuring various incarnations of the Dark Knight alongside the Joker, Bane, and many others from the DC universe. The Redditor, sneakylawyer, says the school has been abandoned for about a decade — plenty of time for it to be reclaimed by an enterprising artist.

Amazing Batman graffiti discovered inside abandoned nursing school

 


Amazon shooting 2014 original series lineup in 4K – Set top boxes everywhere just cried out in agony. Amazon announced this morning that its full lineup of 2014 series will be shot in 4K. The retailer-turned-TV-studio likely considers the move a bit of future-proofing, given the limited options for actually watching such shows in their intended resolution. The list of 8.3 million pixel programs features five new pilots, including Chris Carter’s The After, Roman Coppola’s Mozart in the Jungle and Jill Soloway’s Transparent.

Amazon shooting 2014 original series lineup in 4K

 

The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control experiments – The Soviet Union’s arms race with the United States during the Cold War included an expensive effort to develop mind-control weapons, the Physics arXiv Blog reports. Drawing on a new paper published by researcher Serge Kernbach, the blog describes the USSR’s extensive efforts around what they called “psychotronics” — the equivalent of America’s own experiments with parapsychology. Among the results: the Soviets developed a device called a “cerpan” intended to generate and store high-frequency electromagnetic radiation produced by the human brain in hopes of influencing other objects.

The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control experiments

 

 

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Richardson

If you would like to discuss the top tech stories of the day feel free to hit me up via Twitter, Google+ or please leave a comment below.


Author: Andrew Richardson

Share This Post On