Walking around in the rain under an umbrella may seem pretty romantic, but getting hit by a motor vehicle while placing your sport coat over a puddle for your lady isn't. How can you avoid such an unfortunate mishap? You can start with the Hi-Reflective Umbrella. In bright hours, it serves as a dark gray mild-mannered umbrella, but when darkness falls, you get what is essentially a blinding spotlight-esque circle that shouts out "Don't hit me!" to the motorists of the world.
Read More | Hi-Reflective Umbrella Product Page
Microsoft just revealed an interesting tidbit about its upcoming Xbox One console: it can support up to either controllers at once. The Xbox One controller has a 30-foot range, and the console can recognize up to eight players at a time. Of course, developers will need to code the functionality into their games for up to eight players, but hey--at least now we aren't relegated to the typical four-player games anymore with the new Xbox. Interestingly, today Sony confirmed that the Playstation 4 will support up to 4 controllers at once.
Google Android (and Chrome) head Sundar Pichai has announced the next version of Android: KitKat. Yep - Android 4.4 will be known as KitKat, a name Google got the rights to use in partnership with Nestle, and continues the tradition of Android versions being named after sweet confections. While Google had been using the name "Key Lime Pie" internally for Android 4.4, "very few people actually know the taste of key lime pie," according to Android director of partnerships John Lagerling. Not sure why that matters, but obviously KitKat is a bigger marketing play.
No new features of KitKat have been announced just yet, but at least we know the name, and have a new Android icon with integrated chocolatey KitKat goodness integrated in.
Google is currently running a promotion that lets buyers of specially-marked KitKat packs to have a chance to win a free Nexus 7 or some Google Play credit.
Read More | Google Android KitKat 4.4
Amazon has released an all-new Kindle Paperwhite today, bringing a few improvements and optimizations to the front-lit e-reader. For starters, it packs in a processor that is 25% faster than its predecessor, a display with higher contrast and better reflectivity (brighter whites and darker blacks,) smoother touch technology, and a battery that is rated to last for over 2 hours. Goodreads integration will also be coming to the new device, along with Kindle FreeTime for Paperwhite, bringing subscription books for the little ones. The new Kindle Paperwhite will go nicely with the new Amazon Kindle MatchBook service, and will start shipping on September 30th, and you can order it now for $119.
Read More | Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon has announced an awesome new program called Kindle MatchBook that it's set to launch in October, bringing free and cheap eBooks to buyers of paper books. Basically, if you purchase a paper book from Amazon, you can buy the digital Kindle version for $.99, $1.99, $2.99, or download it for free, depending on the book. Most interesting? It's completely retroactive, going all the way back to 1995 when Amazon launched. Any participating purchase you've ever made on Amazon is eligible, as long as it is a part of the MatchBook selection, which will launch at about 10,000 titles next month. Amazon says that there will be some big-name authors taking part:
Kindle MatchBook will launch with books from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, among others. In addition, Amazon Publishing will include all its titles in Kindle MatchBook.
Definitely a cool service, and one that makes Amazon an even more attractive purchasing destination when compared to Barnes & Noble and the Nook store, and Apple's iBookstore (which doesn't even sell paper books.)
Read More | Kindle MatchBook
As anticipated, Apple has sent out press invites to its next iPhone event, scheduled for September 10th. As Apple typically does, hints of what's to come are foreshadowed in the invite graphic. This time around, it appears that Apple is focusing on the multi-hued iPhone 5C, which we've seen will be available in multiple plastic colors as the entry-level iPhone option. We recently gave you a look at what you can expect both new iPhone models to look like. Of course, we'll have all the details for you live as it happens a week from today.
It's rumored that the iPhone 5S and 5C will go on sale on September 20th, ten days after Apple introduces them.
Earlier today 2K Sports released the new trailer for NBA 2K14, giving a look at a few of the 3,000 new animations, moves, and dribbling techniques you can expect from the game. LeBron James is the cover athlete for this year, and he also happens to be the soundtrack curator for the game as well. The trailer consists of Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC game footage (all of which will be released on October 1,) a disappointment to those who were hoping for a glimpse of Xbox One and Playstation 4 gameplay footage, but 2K Games says that's coming soon in a separate trailer. You can pre-order NBA 2K14 now, and be sure to check out the trailer after the jump.
Since no one is buying the Wii U, Nintendo is slashing the price of the Deluxe set as a form of damage control before the Xbox One and Playstation 4 launch in a couple of months. The $50 price drop brings the Wii U Deluxe set down to $299.99, making it $100 cheaper than the PS4 and $200 cheaper than the Xbox One. Of course, the problem with the Wii U is more than just the price--there aren't many fantastic games for the console, and third-party developer support has been abysmal. Until that changes, or until Nintendo finally releases some of their big AAA titles, Wii U is going to flounder in obscurity as an underpowered console with no good games to play.
With Apple expected to release the lower-cost iPhone 5C next month, Google has just cut the price of the Nexus 4, dropping it to $199 for the 8GB model without contract--that's $100 less than it cost just a day ago. If you prefer the 16GB version, you can get that one for $249. These prices are a steal for the Nexus 4, which is widely seen as the best current Android smartphone, even thought it lacks LTE. This is a much more inexpensive way to get the pure Google experience in a smartphone than it would be to buy the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4. The price cut is now live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States, and the UK.
Read More | Google Nexus 4
Nintendo is looking to go back to the well this holiday season with the introduction of the entry-level Nintendo 2DS handheld console. This is basically a Nintendo 3DS in a candybar form factor (no hinge so it doesn't close) that plays all 3DS games in 2D. At launch it will be available in red and blue hues, and is outfitted with the regular (not 2DS XL) sized dual screens, cameras, mono speaker, headphone port, and a 4 GB SD card. In other words, it's just like a Nintendo 3DS, except there is no 3D, and it doesn't close, and you get it all for $129 - $50 cheaper than the 3DS console. You'll be able to pick one up on October 12th.
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