Amazon is reportedly working on a Tivo competitor

Bloomberg reports today that Amazon is reportedly working on a new device that’ll record live TV with the goal of letting users play content back on their phones later. The device, which is internally called “Frank,” would have physical storage and connect to Fire TV boxes. It’d rely on the same wireless technology that allows Amazon’s Echo speakers to pair with those boxes. Bloomberg’s source says the product isn’t official yet and might not roll out.

Additionally, the company reportedly plans to update its Fire TV stick with new software and is also exploring the possibility of expanding its Fire TV software and video content to outside TV makers, beyond its current manufacturing partners. This would be similar to Roku’s efforts that have its interface being used across TVs from multiple makers.

Overall, it sounds like Amazon is brainstorming ideas for how it can totally own the living room space and compete even more directly with Tivo and Roku. It’s also gunning for content makers, like Netflix and HBO, with exclusive shows and movies. All its devices point to wanting to create a full setup for users, from the TV itself, to the DVR, to the content.

This homemade literary quote clock is the best way to recycle an old Kindle

Recycling old gadgets is always a good thing, and hardware hacker Jaap Meijers may have come up with the best use for an old Kindle yet: converting it into a clock that (fittingly) tells the time through literary quotations, via Gizmodo. And better yet, unlike many of these types of projects, Meijers has posted full and clear directions for the process if you’d like to try to recreate your own.

The core of the hack is pretty simple; you’ll first need to jailbreak your Kindle, then run it on a custom software Meijers developed to display a different image each minute. The quotes themselves are crowdsourced from The Guardian, which asked its readers to compile the quotes a few years back. That said, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use Meijers’ script to create your own images with different quotes, or even an entirely different style of clock.


Photo: Jaap Meijers / Instructables

The whole project is a pretty clever idea. Since Amazon’s E Ink displays are designed to be low power and are great at showing static text at high resolutions, old Kindles are perfect for a clock that doesn’t need to update much. Meijers also has plenty of ideas he’s apparently working on for future updates, including a built-in light, better power management, and battery warnings.

But even as it is, it’s a neat way to breathe a second life into an old device. (I suppose you could just trade a Kindle in to Amazon toward buying a new one, but this is more creative.)