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Microsoft to Open NYC Flagship Store

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Microsoft cements its retail ambitions as it confirms plans for a Manhattan flagship store-- one at 677 Fifth Avenue, a glitzy shopping corridor just a few blocks south of the Apple's famous Manhattan Store.

Microsoft retail"As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience," the company tells the Wall Street Journal. "This is a goal we've had since day one-— we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it."

The location is a well known high-end retail destination, one commanding eye-watering rents averaging at around $2749 per square foot, according to the WSJ.


Parrot Follows Up on Zik Headphones

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Parrot updates the Zik wireless headphones and reveals the Zik 2.0, a collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck featuring improvements on both design and battery life fronts.

Zik 2The headphones connect to mobile devices and PCs via either Bluetooth 3.0 or NFC, and retain some features from the previous version-- namely noise canceling capability (which Parrot says is improved via multiple built-in microphones), touch-sensitive earcups for swipe-based music control and head detection to stop the music whenever the user removes the headphones.

Audio performance comes through a 40mm neodymium driver and a built-in DAC handling 24-bit-192kHz audio. As for the battery Parrot promises 6 hours of use in regular wireless mode and up to 18 hours in wired flight mode.


Reuters: Amazon Invests Further in Hardware

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According to Reuters Amazon plans to expand its Lab126 hardware division with a $55 million investment, as CEO Jeff Bezos is set to "double down" on the retailer's hardware ambitions with smart home devices.

AmazonSuch investment takes place despite investor criticism of spending on "highly experimental projects," Reuters continues.

The Lab126 division is the one behind the Amazon Kindle devices and the Fire smartphone. Apparently its workforce will be expanded to 3757 people by 2019, up from around 3000 in 2013.

Unnamed sources say the hardware division is testing a "simple wifi device" allowing users to order products the press of a button, as well as smart home equipment-- meaning it will take on Google (Nest) and Apple (HomeKit) in the war for the connected home of the future.


Power sharing Between Devices via Cable

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Power sharing cable Samsung announces a means for users to share power between devices-- the Power Sharing Cable, a cable allowing one to transfer power to any micro USB-compatible device from a number of Galaxy devices.

The Galaxy devices include the S 5 and Tab S, among others.


GoPro Hero Gets 4th Edition

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GoPro announces its next generation of action cameras-- the Hero4, reportedly the highest performance camera lineup from the company, with three options to suit all price points.

Gopro HeroThe flagship camera is the Hero4 Black. It promises twice the performances of the previous generation Black camera, being able to capture 4K viedo at 30fps, 2.7K video at 50fps and 1080p video at 120fps.

The 4K shooting mode also allows users to extract 8.3MP photos out of each frame. In still photography mode the camera shoots 12MP images at 30fps burst speeds.

GoPro also promises UI enhancements, as well as improvements on the wifi and Bluetooth front for better app performance and power management.


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