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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

Aukey introduces an extremely compact 100w charger

Let’s talk about chargers. They are, quite possibly, the least exciting thing about a computer. Don’t get me wrong. They’re necessary, obviously. But when was the last time you got really psyche

The Square Off robotic chess board gets a video calling component for remote games

The Square Off robotic chess board was already a great device for these times. The system makes it possible to play a solo game using 20 different degrees of difficulty or challenge someone remotely t

As Bandcamp waives fees again, labels donate their portion to justice programs

There’s a decent chance buying music is the furthest thing from your mind right now, and I can’t say I blame you. Here in the States, 108,000 people are dead due to COVID-19, and protests against

Budget devices are still the heart of Motorola’s portfolio

People were already buying fewer handsets well before COVID-19 came into our lives. Now that the pandemic has impacted most of the world, however, those figures have taken an even more sizable dip —

New York City’s Wi-Fi kiosks memorialize the dead, amid citywide protests

Since late-2015, LinkNYC kiosks have become a mainstay among New York’s sidewalks. A more modern replacement for decaying and disused public pay phones, the nine-foot-tall towers provide corners wit

Lego pauses marketing of police sets, amid protests

Earlier this week, Lego sent a letter to affiliates requesting a wide range of kits be removed from all sites and marketing. The list featured a number of different kits involving police minifigs (yes

Global smartphone shipments set to drop 12% in 2020

Another troubling report for the smartphone industry this week. This time the numbers come from IDC, which puts shipments at an 11.9% year-over-year decline for 2020. The number reflects a steep drop

CES set for an in-person event in 2021

CES 2020 barely made it in under the wire, before COVID-19 gripped the world. The following month, Barcelona’s MWC was ultimately shut down, as the pandemic began to move across Europe. That was the

NYC’s push for citywide contactless transit payment is delayed by COVID-19

Last May, New York City’s Metro Transit Authority opened the first contactless payment systems at select subway station turnstiles. The system-wide rollout was set to be completed at all subway stop

Wearable growth slowed — but not stopped — by pandemic

Growth in the wearable sector has taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to other hardware categories like smartphones and PCs, however, the space actually fared reasonably well. According

Global PC shipments set to drop 7% in 2020

New numbers from Canalys project a 7% drop in global PC sales, owing to financial strains. The category is one of countless impacted by the COVID-19-related shutdowns, but the group notes that the vir

Tech companies mark Blackout Tuesday

Over the weekend, music industry execs Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang called on fellow industry members to protest police violence against black people by pausing operations for the day. The pair

Locus Robotics raises another $40M as retailers increasingly look to automate

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound impact on robotics, as more companies look to automation as a way forward. While wide-scale automation had long seemed like an inevitability, the pandemic is

Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event, in order for ‘more important voices to be heard’

Sony’s planned June 4 PS5 event has been postponed indefinitely, as the U.S. grapples with widespread protests over the death of George Floyd. It’s understandably a difficult time to focus on vide

Android update delivers new ‘Bedtime’ features focused on improving sleep

At Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference, the company debuted a new suite of “digital well-being” aimed at helping Android users better manage their screen time. At its 2019 event,

Tech companies respond to George Floyd’s death, ensuing protests and systemic racism

On Sunday, a fourth night of protests erupted around the country, spurred on by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The movement is a response to wide-ranging and

Global smartphone sales plummeted 20% in Q1, thanks to COVID-19

More dismal numbers confirm what we already knew: Q1 2020 was real rough for an already struggling smartphone category. Gartner’s latest report puts the global market at a 20.2% slide versus the sam

Director Ani Acopian breaks down her drone-shot video, ’A World Artists Love’

“A drone is a camera,” Ani Acopian begins simply. “And it can fly. It’s basically a flying super-camera! I’d love to see more film and TV productions embrace the nimble and magical nature of

Echo Looks will cease functioning in July, as Amazon discontinues the camera

Introduced in mid-2017, the Look was one of the more obscure — and, honestly, kind of bizarre — entries in the Echo line. It was a small camera designed to take videos and selfies of its owner, us

Google’s latest experiment encourages social distancing through AR

Several months into this pandemic, you can no doubt already eyeball six feet/two meters with the best of them. But if you’re still having trouble — and happen to have an Android device handy — G
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