Friday tech news roundup for November 15

The PlayStation 4 is here
PS4It seemed like you couldn’t visit many news sites this week without hearing about the release of the new PS4. It hit shelves at midnight on Friday, November 15 (but I know one lucky guy who managed to score one at our local Target first thing this morning). The new $400 console is not backwards compatible (but from what I understand, the Xbox One won’t be either) but its got an AMD chip that makes it 9x faster than the PS3, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM (which is a lot), and what CNET calls a “near perfect” controller. Reviews are already popping up on the web—check out ones from Engadget and, CNET, and The Verge.

One card to rule them all
A new startup called Coin announced a product on Thursday for pre-orders and have already made their goal. What are they selling that’s struck such a cord? A programmable credit card that “remembers” the magnetic strips for every credit card and store card in your wallet. The Coin card has a teeny screen that will display each card name. Below the screen is a flat button so you can scroll through the names and choose the card you’d like to use. Since you program Coin with your smart phone, its “paired” with it so if you accidentally leave it behind at a store, you’ll get a notification before you’re too far away. If you lose your coin, it will become useless within a few minutes—how many hasn’t been finalized yet, but likely between one and ten minutes.

I’ve never done any sort of crowd funding, but this one I might just jump at. Its $50 now ($55 with shipping) and it’ll be $100 when they start shipping out next summer.

Check out 24 new renderings of Apple’s “spaceship” headquarters
You might have already heard about and possibly seen a few images from Apple’s Campus 2, but new photos appeared on Wired this week. The campus will sit on 176 acres in Cupertino, California with the centerpiece being, of course, the donut-shaped main building. The architects on the project claim it’s going to be one of the most “green” building projects in the world. In addition to the renewable energy features, Apple says the campus will take the current plot of land from 20 percent landscape to 80 percent (helped, no doubt, by the underground auditorium). Whether you like or dislike Apple, it will be an interesting project to watch take shape.

New Roomba 880 is suckier than ever
On Tuesday there were articles all over the interweb about the new Roomba vacuum (hats off to their PR department :-)). The new 880 model is said to pick up 50 percent more dust, dirt, and hair than previous Roombas and has a new brushless underside. By replacing brushes with “Extractors” the makers say that 880 should pick up more and not get tangled with hair. And, the new Roomba also features a 60 percent larger dust cup. I’ve always wanted a Roomba and this model looks great (based on this review and this one), but I can pay my kids to sweep or vacuum twice a week for a lot less than $700 :-).

Netflix unveils a unified TV interface
Netflix interfacePreviously, if you watched Netflix on a Roku, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3 you’d see something slightly different on your screen with each platform (The Verge called them “flavors,” which is pretty apt). This week Netflix did away with the different interfaces and created a single, unified experience (unless you’re using an Apple TV or Wii or WiiU, which didn’t get the new look). The grid is gone and replacing it is a big graphic header. Now there’s also a short description of each film or show as you scroll through, and Netflix says its better at making suggestions and recommendations. Have you tried the new interface? Let us know what you think of it in the comments—I’ve got Apple TV so I’m feeling left out.

An iPad with handles?
If you read <a=”http://gizmodo.com/the-inside-story-of-how-the-ipad-got-its-iconic-deisgn-1463463557″>this story about how the iPad got its iconic design, you’ll get a glimpse at many of the ideas—like handles—that were considered and rejected. The article isn’t super long, but it’s an interesting read if you like design-related stories.

About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.
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