Yes, Amazon makes the successful Kindle Fire tablet computer. And yes, it's reportedly considering offering a smartphone.
But a streaming video set-top box? Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Amazon plans to dive into that hardware business, citing "three people familiar with the project who aren't authorized to discuss it." What's Amazon thinking?
It's a crowded market already. Companies such as Roku and Boxee already make set-top boxes that can stream video content to televisions. Consumers can stream video from gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. And they can catch streaming … Read more
April Fools' is a big day for conceptual technology products. Big tech companies get to let their hair down and come up with gadgets that would earn them ridicule and criticism if they were introduced on any day other than April 1.
We have some real doozies for 2013 when it comes to prank tech gear. ThinkGeek, as usual, has an entire lineup of weird and wonderful items. There's a Play-Doh 3D printer that forms figures out of the famous squishy clay-like material. If you enjoyed listening to Bane's garbled and growly speech during "The Dark Knight Rises," you'll want your very own pair of Bane Mask Walkie Talkies. Other fictional products from the geek retailer include an "Aliens" Chestburster-in-a-Can, a Creeper Body Pillow, and an Eye of Sauron desk lamp.… Read more
Congrats to John B. of Doral, Fla., for winning a bag of CNET swag in last week's giveaway. This week, we've got a little prize with big sound.
The Bem Wireless Boom Box measures about 12 inches by 9.5 inches by 5 inches and brings 2.1 stereo sound with you wherever you go. It connects to smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth devices, with up to 40 feet of working wireless range and about 10 hours of battery life per charge.
Now that spring is here and summer's on its way, this little audio accessory would … Read more
A hotel near Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., is now using some of the iPhone and iPad maker's home entertainment technology in its rooms.
Starwood Hotels' Aloft Hotel has put an Apple TV in all 123 of its rooms, the company said today.
Of note, the hotel is located on the same block as one of Apple's external campus buildings, and just two blocks from its headquarters on Infinite Loop.
"Guests can choose among thousands of movies and TV shows from iTunes, connect to Netflix for films, Hulu for television shows, MLB.com for sports, and … Read more
You can now preorder the first Steam Box, a PC-based gaming console built around Valve's digital game distribution platform. Prices start at $1,000, though there's a $100 discount if you order now.
Xi3 is a modular PC vendor that has received funding from Valve, and its Piston console is among a handful of such console-style PCs expected to arrive in 2013. The Piston console is slated to ship in the holiday season at the end of 2013, which also happens to be the estimated launch period for Sony's next-generation PlayStation 4. … Read more
Valve's highly anticipated Steam Box game console will be ready for testing in a few months time.
Speaking to the BBC in an interview published recently, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that the console should be ready for testing "in the next three to four months," adding that his company will pass out the device to customers to try out.
"There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to [deal with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it," Newell told BBC, adding that Valve still hasn't been able to finalize the device's controller design.… Read more
Want to hide a secret on your smartphone? Secret Box can help. It is a lockbox for certain files on your phone, but it doesn't work with some of your more-revealing information. It also doesn't do a very good job of hiding itself.
Unlike other private vault apps, Secret Box doesn't disguise itself as another app or hide from your menu. It appears out in the open for any prying eyes to see. Not only does it not hide itself, it won't hide contact data, call history, or other scandalous details, either. The only things it … Read more
Square today unveiled its "Business in a Box" package, a bundle including all the components needed for a small business to start taking payments on the company's Square Register platform.
With Square Register, almost any business can accept payments wirelessly from customers' mobile devices. The system lets businesses use an iPad instead of a cash register, and gives them an accompanying set of analytics tools, while customers download the app, sign up, register a credit card, and then pay automatically at any of the hundreds of thousands of merchants running Square Register.
The new bundle includes two … Read more