This week, Amazon's flying in your home, Microsoft's expanding its catalog, and Spotify's adding video to its audio.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
It's that time of year where tech companies are making their announcements for the next generation of their products - just in time for holiday shopping. While these announcements may look different this year from past events thanks to the lockdown, most of the products are what we expect - incremental updates to existing prodicts. Amazon decided to take a different approach from the likes of Apple and announced some legitimately new prodicts, or big new features to existing lines.
One of the largest and best-known game studios, Bethesda, just became a part of the Xbox Game Studios after the purchase of parent company ZeniMax Media by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. This purchase brings some heavy hitter AAA franchises under the Microsoft umbrella, including Fallout, Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Quake, and Wolfenstein.
This week, pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S opened up, and things did not go well for the company. Similarly to the PlayStation 5 pre-orders, websites crashed as people tried to get their pre-orders in. A lot of traffic online, like with the PS5, came from a pre-order bot designed originally to snipe sneakers. This bot is the backbone of a subscription service that allows people, for a monthly fee, to snag pre-orders without being bound by unit count restrictions and other rules.
Apple revitalized the idea of app stores with the release of the iPhone, but Google revitalized the almost dead idea of browser extensions with Chrome. The company made the ability to add custom capabilities to the browser the next frontier in web technologies. Developers released features, both public and private, expanding upon the abilities of the browser. The most common extensions have been ad blockers, but the range is huge. You can get Amazon price comparisons, spelling corrections, and even content automation.
There's no denying that in the past few years, podcasts have grown in popularity. When we got started, there was a small number of shows and a small audience for them. But, today, everyone knows the word and the number of shows has grown to an unbelievable point. The lockdown has had an interesting effect on the market, with some listenership down and some significantly up.