World Tech Update: April 3, 2015

Network World | Apr 2, 2015

Microsoft goes after laptop diehards with the new Surface 3 tablet, Amazon wants you to restock household items with a push of its Dash Button and NASA's flying saucer lander takes a spin.

All of you laptop diehards- Microsoft wants you to give its Surface 3 tablet a chance.
Microsoft says the new tablet will have the same performance of a PC and you’ll get a free upgrade to Windows 10 later this year.

The Surface 3 tablet has a 10.8-inch screen with a 1920 by 1280-pixel resolution and can go into laptop mode with a detachable keyboard. Microsoft says the tablet has 10 hours of battery life when playing video.

Its price starts at 499 US dollars and is designed to be a nimbler, less expensive version of the Surface Pro 3 tablet, which is 300 dollars more.

But for that lower price and longer battery life, you’ll sacrifice performance. The Surface 3 runs on a low-power Intel Atom X7 chip called Cherry Trail.

The Surface 3 will ship in 26 countries starting in May.

Amazon is experimenting with placing small oval-shaped devices around your home all in the name of e-commerce. Now you’ll be able to restock toilet paper from the comfort and privacy of your home.

Amazon’s new Dash Buttons can be placed anywhere- your kitchen, bathroom wall, washing machine. Push the button and it will instantly order laundry detergent, paper towels or whatever you set it up to buy. It does this by syncing to the Amazon mobile app over your home Wi-Fi network.

The Dash Buttons are free and available to Prime members only.

This is Amazon’s new way to restock household items, which could help grow its Prime two-day shipping and give it valuable information about how people shop.

Amazon is also allowing makers of Internet-connected devices incorporate the technology into their products. So for example, Brita’s smart water pitcher will be able to order a new filter automatically.

And now it’s over to Nick in Boston who’s on space watch.

Thanks, Melissa. An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut have embarked on a year long stay in space. After a six hour journey from a launch pad in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz docked with the International Space Station. That's where Scott Kelly and Mik-i-el Corn-i-en-ko will spend the next year of their life so that NASA can study the long term effects of space. The studies will focus on seven areas of human research including behavioral studies that will monitor sleep patterns and exercise routines as well as visual impairment and metabolic investigations among others. Kelly's identical twin brother will participate in comparative genetic studies. All of this is in part to prepare to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

Staying with Mars news NASA conducted a test of its low-density supersonic decelerator. It's being spun to make sure it's properly balanced. It will travel to Hawaii in April and in June be flown to an altitude of 180,000 feet or 55 kilometers to be tested. It will eventually be employed to deliver large payloads safely to the surface of Mars.

We were at the New York International Auto Show this week where even car makers are getting into wearables. Hyndai announced that it's bringing remote start and other vehicle controlling capabilities to Android Wear devices. It said the technology will be available on the Apple Watch sometime after it launches. With similar options on its smartphone app, here the demo is with a Moto 360 smartwatch. You'll be able to lock and unlock your doors, start and stop the car, flash the lights and honk the horn. The commands aren't instantaneous though and can take up to 30 seconds in some cases to be delivered. The Blue Link smartwatch app works with first and next generation Blue Link equipped Hyundai models, including the Genesis, Sonata and Azera.

Back to you, Melissa.

Thanks Nick.
Jay-Z enlisted the help of some A-list musicians to announce the relaunch of Tidal, a streaming music service built around high-quality audio.

Madonna, Jack White and Alicia Keys were among artists who joined Jay Z on stage as co-owners of Tidal.
Featured videos from