Top tech stories of the day for Monday 2 December 2013

Delivery drones are coming: Jeff Bezos previews half-hour shipping from Amazon – Jeff Bezos is nothing if not a showman. Amazon’s CEO loves a good reveal, and took the opportunity afforded by a 60 Minutes segment to show off his company’s latest creation: drones that can deliver packages up to five pounds, to your house in less than half an hour. They’re technically octocopters, as part of a program called “Amazon Prime Air.” A drone sits at the end of a conveyer belt, waiting to pick up a package — Bezos says 86 percent of Amazon’s packages are under five pounds — and can carry them up to ten miles from the fulfillment center. As soon as Amazon can work out the regulations and figure out how to prevent your packages from being dropped on your head from above, Bezos promised, there will be a fleet of shipping drones taking the sky.

Delivery drones are coming: Jeff Bezos previews half-hour shipping from Amazon

 

Internet erupts in parody to Amazon’s proposed delivery drones – Depending on execution, parody can be one of the best or worst ways to get a message across. Today, we’ve seen examples of both lambasting Amazon Prime Air, the company’s new plan to use drones to deliver packages to your door. Twitter reacted with the usual mix of humor, disdain, and nitpicking, while one of Amazon’s regional rivals has created a parody video.

Waterstones is one of the UK’s largest booksellers, and has unsurprisingly been affected by Amazon’s international success. This morning the retailer posted a press release and video informing the world that owls would now be delivering its books thanks to “O.W.L.S.”, the “Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service.”
Internet erupts in parody to Amazon’s proposed delivery drones

 

The best of Cyber Monday

  • Barnes & Noble Nooks: The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight drops from about $70 to $49 today while B&N extends the $39 Nook Simple Touch price announced on Black Friday.

The best of Cyber Monday

 

 Next Windows release reportedly codenamed ‘Threshold,’ set to further unify Microsoft operating systems – Microsoft’s on the threshold of something big — something that’s likely to make its three major operating systems even more similar. Queen of Microsoft leaks Mary Jo Foley has caught word from some unnamed contacts that the next major update to the Windows family is codenamed ‘Threshold.’ That name comes from an internal email from EVP Terry Myerson.

The codename reportedly covers updates to Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox One operating system, bringing even more commonality to the three OSes. The Threshold is title more than just a big abstraction — it’s actually borrowed from the original Halo game, following the Cortana codename the company adopted for its forthcoming personal assistant offering.

Next Windows release reportedly codenamed ‘Threshold,’ set to further unify Microsoft operating systems

 

Dell’s UltraSharp 32 and new UltraSharp 24 4K monitors are available now, 28-inch model on the way – 4K is here to stay, what with a vast number of companies ramping up production on all types of different panels. Today, Dell is the latest one ready to join the frenzy in full force, announcing availability details for some new, super high-res monitors as part of its UltraSharp lineup. Naturally, the main feature here is the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution on them, although there are other highlights worth mentioning.

For its part, the newcomer UltraSharp 24 (you know, the one we caught earlier) has an IPS LED screen with Dell’s PremierColor tech, which translates to being able to support 99 percent of AdobeRGB colors, and offers access to HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and a 6-in-1 card reader. The UltraSharp 32, meanwhile, boasts the majority of the same specs as its smaller 24-inch sibling, save for the fact it’s sporting a 32-inch, IGZO LCD panel.

Dell’s UltraSharp 32 and new UltraSharp 24 4K monitors are available now, 28-inch model on the way

 

Build your own GameBoy with the DIY Gamer kit – You can play games on just about every device you own, but if you’re looking for something a little more low tech, there’s always the option to build your own machine. As the name implies, the DIY Gamer kit is a handheld game console that doesn’t come assembled — the fun comes not only from putting it together yourself, but also programming your own games. There are 40 different pieces to solder together and the device features an 8 x 8 LED matrix display, four buttons, and a buzzer so you can add some simple sounds to your projects.

Build your own GameBoy with the DIY Gamer kit

 

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Drones produce stunning footage of political protests in Bangkok (Video) – Forget Amazon Prime Air, the drone-based delivery system Jeff Bezos wants to introduce within five years, for a second… drones are already having an impact today.

Thailand’s capital city Bangkok is enduring political protests and, unlike previous disturbances in 2010, media are using drones to get unprecedented levels of information. Aside from keeping tabs on the action, drones help make estimates of crowd sizes more accurate and can produce stunning footage to boot.

Drones produce stunning footage of political protests in Bangkok (Video)

 

An app like Big Lens can provide impact by throwing things out of focus
A guide to street photography: Gavin Harrison’s smartphone art – Street photography is the purest, most spontaneous way to create art with a camera. No studios, no props, no poses; all you need is the right equipment and a street with people on it. In this original series for Engadget, we’ll follow three seasoned street fighters and try to glean some practical wisdom about what engages their eyes, brains and fingers in the moments before they shoot.

The third and final street photographer in this trilogy represents a very different (and non-deferential) way of doing things. As you’re about to see, Gavin Harrison doesn’t stick to traditional ideas of what a street shot should look like, or to what sort of camera should be used to capture it. In fact, he spends more time thinking about smartphone apps than about lenses or exposure settings, and there’s a lot he can teach us.

A guide to street photography: Gavin Harrison’s smartphone art

 

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Thanks for reading,

Tom Peters.



Author: Tom Peters

Journalist. Digital enthusiast. Asking questions about media business models and writing for DailyTechWhip.com

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