Fully Charged: Smart bulbs, smart watches, and what happened to Twitter’s Fail Whale

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Bid adieu to the Twitter Fail Whale

Anyone who has used Twitter extensively will know that, on occasion, the service can become overloaded. When this happens, Twitter’s web client is replaced by the famous – or infamous – Fail Whale, a blissful-looking aquatic mammal being hoisted out of the sea by birds. But no more – the Fail Whale is dead.

Twitter’s senior vice president of engineering Christopher Fry told Wired that the fail whale has been retired because “it did represent a time when I don’t think we lived up to what the world needed Twitter to be”. The service, Fry contends, is far more reliable now, and thus the Fail Whale and its negative connotations are no longer suitable. The image you’ll see if the service does go over capacity? Robots. [Source: Wired]

Lumen smart bulb takes on Philips Hue

Philips Hue isn’t the only smart lightbulb on the block. The Lumen TL800 from Taba is just £40 apiece and fully controllable through an iOS device and Bluetooth (an Android app is on the way): using an iPhone or iPad, you can set the light to pretty much any colour imaginable, as well as access a number of special functions like a gradually-increasing wake-up light and a rapidly changing party mode.

The bulb lasts for ten years or 30,000 hours of use, and Taba says it’s as bright as a traditional 60W bulb. It’ll fit in a standard screw fit lamp. You can buy the Lumen TL800 here.

More after the break...

Spotify Connect now available on Android

Spotify Connect, the music streaming service’s take on Apple AirPlay, has finally landed on Android devices. The updated Spotify app allows anyone with a Premium account and set of Spotify Connect-compatible speakers to play music wirelessly from their smartphone or tablet. It uses your home’s Wi-Fi connection, which gives it a range advantage over Bluetooth streaming. [Source: Pocket-lint]

ZTE working on smartwatch that’ll only work with ZTE phones

Chinese telecoms giant ZTE is the latest company to hop aboard the smartwatch bandwagon, following the likes of Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm into the wonderful world of wrist-mounted devices that let you check your smartphone notifications.

A spokesman for the company told the Wall Street Journal that it is planning to launch a smartwatch offering similar functionality to the Samsung Galaxy Gear but at a lower price.

The watch will launch in China in the second quarter of 2014, but ZTE plans to bring it to Europe and the US later. One thing that could hinder its popularity outside of China is that the watch will be compatible only with ZTE smartphones, which are not particularly common in the West. [Source: WSJ]