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.

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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.

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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!

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