Brian Heater

Brian Heater

Hardware Editor

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

The Latest from Brian Heater

Substack launches Defender, a program offering legal support to independent writers

In the worlds of journalism and publishing, it’s fairly common for the wealthy to attempt to shut down reporting with legal threats. For those publishing on large platforms with plenty of resources,

Sidekick embraces remote working with always-on teleconferencing hardware

Those forced to acclimate to remote work understand what a pain it can be. Sure, there are certainly benefits to not having to commute into work each day, but among other things, you lose a lot when y

Kobo introduces the lackluster Nia to replace its budget Aura e-reader

The e-reader category was exciting once — or at least as exciting as one could hope from such a space. It was a vibrant category, with plenty of key players, each looking to outdo one another. But a

CMU develops a method to improve robotic grasping of transparent objects

Picking up transparent objects is hard when you’re a robot. Many of the traditional cameras and sensors just can’t get a good enough view to tell the grasper where to go. The light from infrared c

Amazon is piloting worker healthcare clinics near its warehouses

Amazon this morning announced a partnership with Crossover Health to build worker healthcare facilities near its fulfillment centers. The plan is still in a pilot phase, as the e-commerce giant employ

Hand-crank a level of Super Mario Bros. on Lego’s new 2,646-piece NES kit

Feel that? That’s the unmistakable and overwhelming sensation of nostalgia for your misspent youth coursing through your blood, as the 35th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System is sneaki

Hello Robot emerges out of stealth to launch a mobile robotic gripping platform for the home

This is Stretch — or, more precisely, the Stretch Research Edition. The name certainly conveys the tall, skinny and minimalist design of the home helper robot. Stretch is different and somehow famil

Trump’s account is back on Twitch following ‘hateful conduct’ suspension

It’s been two weeks since Reddit and Twitch made key moves to ban political content over service violations. As Twitch noted at the time, its suspension of the official Trump account was just tempor

Superstrata opens pre-orders on a pair of 3D-printed bicycles

There’s one thing I can’t stop thinking about every time I look at the Superstrata: Just how quickly the thing would get stolen. That’s no knock against the bike itself — in fact, it’s proba

Google’s Fitbit deal could avoid EU antitrust probe by agreeing not to use health data for ads

Google announced its plans to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion back in November. As of this writing, the deal has yet to go through, courtesy of all the usual regulatory scrutiny that occurs any time o

Facebook code change caused outage for Spotify, Pinterest and Waze apps

If you’re an iPhone user, odds are fairly good you spent a frustrating portion of the morning attempting to reopen apps. I know my morning walk was dampened by the inability to fire up Spotify. Plen

New report outlines potential roadmap for Apple’s ARM-based MacBooks

When Ming-Chi Kuo offers up a new report, Apple followers listen. The latest offering from the analyst adds key detail to the potential roadmap for Apple’s recently announced push into its home-bake

PC shipments rebound slightly following COVID-19-fueled decline

PC shipments had a rough first quarter for all of the same reasons as everything that isn’t a Clorox wipe or N95 mask. People just weren’t ready to drop a ton of money on a new device. The impact

Amazon will pay $135,000 to settle alleged US sanction violations

In a statement issued this week, the U.S. Treasury Department notes that Amazon has agreed to pay $134,523 to settle potential liability over alleged sanctions violations. The charges specifically per

Amazon’s Alexa heads Toni Reid and Rohit Prasad are coming to Disrupt

It’s hard to believe that Alexa was only announced in November 2014. In fewer than six years, the smart assistant has gone from consumer electronics curiosity to a nearly ubiquitous tech phenomenon.

As pandemic drags on, interest in automation surges

Apple says it’s ‘committed’ to supporting Thunderbolt on new Macs after Intel details latest version

Earlier today, Intel offered some key insight into Thunderbolt 4, following an initial unveiling at CES back in January. The latest version of the connection standard isn’t actually faster than its

Asus and Lenovo among the first to launch Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus devices

Qualcomm just revealed initial details around the Snapdragon 865 Plus. Like the 855 Plus before it, the upcoming chip represents a mid-year performance boost to the company’s mobile flagship. Think

Samsung will reveal the next Galaxy Note on August 5

Samsung’s next big Unpacked event is scheduled for August 5. As is the trend these days, the unveiling will be online-only, following in the footsteps of big virtual events from the likes of Microso

Arm plans to spin off IoT businesses under SoftBank banner as it focuses on core chip design business

Arm today announced plans to spin off its two IoT businesses, a move that would effectively transfer the divisions under the broader umbrella of the SoftBank Group core, which purchased the chip desig
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