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Tech Week: Amazon Fire, The Mozilla Debate, Nest's Recall

NPR | April 5, 2014 8:28 a.m.

Contributed By:

Elise Hu

Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV.

Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV.

Getty Images, Andrew Burton

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to look back on the tech week that was. It wasn’t a slow week, so here we go:

ICYMI

The Mozilla Mess: If you’re interested in the way technology culture is influencing broader culture, the debate over how much it matters that the Mozilla CEO gave money to a campaign to ban gay marriage was particularly fascinating. OKCupid took a public stand against Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, calling for a boycott of the Firefox browser over Eich’s gay marriage position. Eich tried to distance his company stewardship from his 2008 donation but ultimately fell to pressure to resign. As we reported on All Things Considered Friday, it raises thorny questions about how much employees — and the public — ought to judge chief executives on their private political stances.

Smartphone Breaks: Our readers continue writing in with suggestions to be more mindful about smartphone time so your relationship with your device doesn’t happen at the expense of humans you’re with. We rounded up a few of your tips into three categories: easy, medium and hard.

The Big Conversation

Amazon’s Fire TV: Amazon joined Apple, Roku and Google in vying for a spot next to your TV with a $99 console that can deliver streaming video from the Internet. The Verge’s Dan Seifert reviewed it, saying, “While much of the media experience on the Fire TV is the same as I’ve seen before, the big differentiator is the fact that it can play games.”

Nest Stops Smoke Detector Sales: Your Nest smoke detector could have a dangerous glitch, so just months after Google purchased the smart home technology company, Nest is stopping sales of its gesture-controlled smoke alarm. Wired says this is a lesson for all of us — that as we move to more gesture- and voice-controlled devices, we’ll have to teach them when not to listen to us, too.

Curiosities

New York Times: Turkey Lifts Twitter Ban After Court Calls it Illegal

The Turkish government unblocked Twitter, but only after the country’s highest court told it to.

AP: U.S. secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest

The AP’s bombshell this week was learning the U.S. started a Cuban social network to undermine the Cuban government.

Wall Street Journal: Mike Judge, a Creator of HBO’s New ‘Silicon Valley,’ Discusses Nerds, Algorithms and Billionaires

As HBO’s Silicon Valley prepares to mock Silicon Valley, creator Mike Judge talked tech geeks and billionaires in a sit-down with the Journal.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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