Moto X going modular? Teen discovers lost Mayan city, needs fedora and whip

Online retail behemoth Amazon.com is setting its sights on online video behemoth YouTube, which is owned by search behemoth Google, of course. Amazon has launched Amazon Video Direct, or “AVD,” which will let people post their own videos to Amazon – and get paid, if enough people watch them.

Bloomberg says AVD partners so far include Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films and… Pro Guitar Lessons? Sure, why not. Those content providers would join live videogameplay streaming behemoth Twitch, which Amazon bought in 2014 for a billion dollars.

Seeing how Amazon lets aspiring authors sell their stories online as ebooks sans most of the usual publishing… rigmarole, this new Amazon video channel would allow amateur filmmakers to get their movies in front of the public without having to navigate the usual Hollywood distribution channels. Along they way, they could even make a few bucks if they can generate an audience.

And who knows, the next Spielberg or Abrahms may be out there right now, 4K video phone in hand, making the next viral blockbuster for next to nothing at all.

___________

Speaking of 4K phones, it looks like Motorola is heading down the modular road with the Moto X. According to HelloMoto, the next X will feature these patches of contacts for attaching expansion modules to the phone.

Reportedly called “amps,” the first batch of “amp” modules will include things like stereo speakers, a battery pack, a tiny pico projector, and, of course, a higher-spec camera module with optical zoom, flash and a better grip. The modules will attach using those super-strong magnets, so there’s no need to open up the phone like LGs modular system. HM says the 5.5-inch AMOLED 2-gigahertz Snapdragon-powered phones will likely launch early next month.

___________

Think every cool place in the world has been discovered? Nope, not yet. Just ask the Canadian teenager who found a lost Mayan city in Mexico’s Yucatan jungle. So, did he hack through the veld like Indiana Jones, following an ancient map? Well, sort of. William Gadoury, 15, said he figured out that the Mayans built their cities based on star constellations, and some comparisons with star charts and Google Maps seemed to corroborate that theory.

But when he looked at one three-star map and only found two corresponding sites of ruins, he figured there had to be a third. And… he was right. Gadoury projected where the third city might be and, with a little help from a Canadian Space Agency satellite that took a closer look, they found an as-yet-undiscovered pyramid surrounded by smaller structures. Gadoury named the city K’aak Chi, and plans for an expedition are gathering steam.

Professionals who reviewed Gadoury’s 3-year research project called the teen’s effort and discovery “exceptional.” We heartily agree. Someone give that kid a fedora and whip!

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Don your pirate threads and hunt for treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge

The Fortnite week 3 challenges are now here for all players around the world. The challenges this week aren't too hard but the biggest one is the Fortnite magnifying glass challenge. We are going to show you where the magnifying glass sits…
Gaming

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games -- just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

On episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle examined the tech news of the day, including the 2019 Super Bowl commercials, Chip Yates' incredible electric plane, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook Messenger change, GoNation, and more

From new Facebook Messenger features to 5Ge coming to select smartphones, we discussed the latest in tech news on this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chaz Tanase of GoNation and Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones to the show.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar visual effects, digital distractions, and more

On episode 72 of Digital Trends Live, we discussed news including the discovery that Google's Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and welcomed author Brian Solis to the show to talk about his latest book.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: MWC 2019, ezCater, and an Apple streaming service

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we sat down with John Hall of Calendar.com and Briscoe Rodgers of EzCater. We were also joined by DT's Caleb Denison to discuss how Apple is looking to revolutionize TV streaming.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Twitter features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more

On episode 77 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen explored the biggest news stories from the world of tech, including the new Star Wars attraction, Twitter's experimental moderation tools, and more.