Microsoft’s new live gaming channel Mixer takes aim at Twitch

Microsoft gets into the gaming Mix(er)

Gamers who love to burn away hours on live-streaming services like Twitch now have a new place to go: Mixer, Microsoft’s rebrand of Beam, the streaming service they acquired last year. One cool feature we already love: co-streaming. Mixer will let up to four players stream their action at once in a split-screen format, which looks like a great way to keep better tabs on where other players are in the game for both players and viewers.

There are also live moderated channels, tips and tricks shows, tournament coverage, and much more. There are also robust iOS and Android mobile apps on the way with some beta previews happening right now. Go here for more Mixer details and videos.

Fly to the hand

Drone maker DJI debuted their new Spark drone yesterday, and while the $500 super-portable flying machine is suitably impressive, we were really knocked out by one feature in particular: the ability to control the drone with hand gestures. The Spark has a sensor bar above the 2-axis gimbal holding the camera, and holding up your hand – palm out – allows pilots to control the drone in the area around them without using a remote or smartphone.

So if you’re counting, that’s three ways you can control the Spark drone, which includes a regular remote and numerous inventive flight modes. DT drone pilot extraordinaire Drew Prindle was on hand for the premiere, so hit this link for more details and videos about the innovative Spark, which should hit store shelves and online retailers in July.

Long ago in a theater far away…

It was 40 years ago today that Luke and Darth Vader came out to play – yes, Star Wars (the original one) arrived in theaters on May 25th, 1977, and we found the one adult person alive today that hasn’t seen any of the movies!

Fortunately, he works for Digital Trends, so we promptly warmed up the nearest 4K big screen, powered up the surround sound system, shut off the lights and forced him to binge-watch every single Star Wars movie ever made – except Episode One, because we’re not totally sadistic. And what viewing order did we use? The new “Machete” order, because, really, it makes the most sense.

So what did our Star Wars virgin think after 15 hours of total immersion in George Lucas’s space opera universe? Which movie did he like the most? And which was the worst? Read Keith Nelson Jr.’s hilarious write-up – which has a few surprises. Be sure to chime in with your comments.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.