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Amazon.com, Inc.(NEW YORK) — Amazon’s Fire phone has ignited interest and imaginations since it was announced last month — and starting later this week, consumers will be able to get their hands on the 3-D devices.

The Fire phone is available to customers in the United States through AT&T and starts at around $200 with a contract.

Customers who purchase the phone can also take advantage of a limited time introductory offer, snagging them one free year of Prime, Amazon’s subscription service that gives members free two-day shipping on music, movies and TV shows, among other perks.


While the smartphone boasts plenty of features that make it stand out from products from Apple and Samsung, there’s nothing more telling about Amazon’s hopes for the phone than a button that CEO Jeff Bezos introduced as “Firefly.”

The new feature, which is similar to Google Glass, will allow users to identify almost any product — from a book to a game or a container of kosher salt. The Fire phone will then be able to direct users to Amazon to make purchases, making impulse buys even easier.

In a nutshell: Amazon has created a pocket shopping machine that happens to also operate as a phone.

Dynamic Perspective

The Fire phone is also different from its competitors because it offers “dynamic perspective,” a sensor system that recognizes where a user’s head is relative to the Fire phone. This allows the person using the phone to auto-scroll through a book or long webpage without ever having to touch the screen or to take on a character’s viewpoint in a game, creating what Amazon describes as an immersive experience.

Apps and Games

Developers have been creating apps and games at a frenetic pace for the phone since it was announced in June. Submissions have more than doubled since the Fire phone was unveiled, according to Amazon.

For the Fandango app, users can look up movie times, but can easily tilt their phones to scope out movie reviews.

Gamers may like the phone because they can also use their gestures to play. In Magmic’s Rubik’s Cube, players can tilt their device to rotate the Rubik’s Cube and use their head to peek at other sides of the cube.


Photography fanatics will also be interested in the Fire phone’s high-end camera specs, which include optical image stabilization and tiny motors that can adjust for natural hand tremors as a way to decrease the blurriness of photos.

The Fire phone also boasts front- and rear-facing cameras that can record 1080p high-definition videos.

The phone’s shutter also excels at low-light photography. When Bezos showed off the phone last month, he noted that the lens stays open four times longer to capture more light.

Bezos also described how the team at Amazon “obsessed over outdoor viewing” and created a device that can easily be read, even in bright outdoor light.


The Fire phone is built with Gorilla Glass 3, aluminum buttons and has a rubberized grip area to bolster its durability.

Previous Amazon device customers may recognize some of the other features it will come equipped with, such as a Mayday button for tech support, X-Ray, which allows users to get more from their media, and ASAP, which predicts what movies and television shows a person will want to watch before they even hit play.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A man was arrested Wednesday morning attempting to enter the Cannon House Office Building with a firearm, U.S. Capitol Police said.

“A firearm was recovered as a result of an administrative search at the rotunda door of the Cannon House Office Building,” police spokesman Shennell Antrobus confirmed, adding that the incident occurred at about 9:20 a.m.

Wednesday’s incident follows a similar one on Friday when a congressional staffer attempted to enter the same building and was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. Last week’s event occurred at the South East Door of the Cannon House Office Building at about the same time in the morning.

The defendant arrested Wednesday is not a congressional staffer and is being processing at Capitol Police headquarters, Antrobus said.

He was unable to say whether the officers involved in Wednesday’s arrest were the same ones who last week snagged a Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol and magazine from Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Heading to the office or heading back home after a long day at work aren’t the best conditions for socializing, particularly if you’re on the subway.

And while commuters are often wary about making any kind of eye contact with a stranger, Nicholas Epley, a professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, says it may be not be such a bad idea to open up a little bit, even if you think you might get ignored or even socked in the jaw.

Epley conducted a number of experiments on Chicago’s rail line in which participants at first believed that keeping to themselves would prove to make their commutes more enjoyable. They also expressed fear of speaking to someone, worried there’d be no reciprocation.

However, the dread they expressed appeared to melt away as the participants reported that socializing on the subway was easier than they had anticipated, saying that they liked initiating a conversation and being spoken to by a stranger.

For those still reluctant to make the leap, Epley suggests the more you socialize, the easier it will become.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Are you ready for Warren?

That’s the question supporters of Sen. Elizabeth Warren are asking with the recent formation of a Ready for Warren Super PAC, which is taking a page from Ready for Hillary in laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign should the Massachusetts Democrat decide to run in 2016.

Though many of her fans are cheering “Run, Liz, Run,” Warren is putting the brakes on such enthusiasm.

“I am not running,” Warren told ABC News when asked if she’s mulling the idea of a presidential bid. It’s the same answer she always gives — in the present tense. She doesn’t rule out whether she would ever run.

“I am focused on the 2014 elections,” she said. “We’ve got an election coming up … just a few months away — that’s what we need to work on.”

As for her admirers calling for her to get in the race, Warren is keeping her distance.

“I do not support this,” she said.

To make clear that her focus is on the 2014 midterm elections, Warren has been crisscrossing the nation in recent months, campaigning on behalf of Democratic candidates who wish to align themselves with her populist message calling for economic reforms on behalf of the middle class.

The Massachusetts Democrat has ventured into some deeply conservative states, including West Virginia and Kentucky. But Warren dismisses the suggestion that her message fires up only liberals.

“The kinds of economic issues that I’m talking about, it’s not Republican or Democrat,” she said. “People are getting hammered everywhere, and they care about these central ways that we can rebuild America’s middle class: equal pay for equal work, reduce the interest rate on student loans, raise the minimum wage. … And I love being in Kentucky to talk about this and to be in West Virginia, standing up with great candidates like Natalie Tennant and Alison Lundergan Grimes.“

Though Warren has been an outspoken critic of the way business is done in Washington — even ways that are critical of her own party — she denies that her tough talk is causing tensions within the Democratic Party.

“I’ll tell you where the tensions are, the tensions are with the Republicans,” Warren said. “We want working people to earn more, we want to reduce the interest rate on student loans, we want to stitch up the loop holes that let millionaires and billionaires pay at lower tax rates than their secretaries; that’s the stuff we’re working on, and Republicans have filibustered every single piece of it.”

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Courtesy Corwin Family(TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.) — Authorities are investigating the possibility that a missing California woman — the wife of a Marine — was having an affair with her married neighbor and was pregnant with his child, according to a search warrant.

Erin Corwin, 20, has not been seen since June 28, vanishing from the city of Twentynine Palms without a trace. Investigators say her husband, Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported her missing one day after she was last seen leaving for Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California.

Her Toyota Corolla was found not far from the military base where her husband is stationed.

Authorities say the circumstances surrounding Corwin’s disappearance are suspicious.

“At this point we’re trying to investigate each and every person who has been an acquaintance with Erin,” San Bernardino County Sheriff Randy Naquin said.

That includes Christopher Lee, a Marine rifleman who was recently honorably discharged. According to the search warrant, Lee initially denied knowing Corwin well, but investigators say Corwin’s friend told them she might have been pregnant with Lee’s child.

Additionally, Lee was worried that his wife would divorce him and keep him from his child with her if she found out about the affair and pregnancy, the friend said, according to the search warrant. It’s unclear who and what the warrant targets.

Lee, 24, says he went hunting in the national park the same day Corwin told her husband she was going there, according to the search warrant. But Lee has said he denied seeing her that day.

Investigators are searching the park for clues.

“We’re looking for a crime scene,” Naquin said. “We’re looking for something that is going to give us an indication that something has or has not happened to her.”

Lee has not been named a person of interest or suspect. ABC News has been unable to reach him.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that Corwin may be voluntarily missing, but, at this point, her whereabouts remain a mystery.

“It is highly likely that Erin could have been harmed by an unknown firearm,” police said in the search warrant.

Lee was arrested July 4 on an unrelated weapons charge for possessing a destructive device and is reportedly out on bail.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said authorities will continue to focus on Lee, but need to definitively prove that a crime occurred.

“In a situation like this, where a woman who disappeared was possibly having an affair, you look first at two people: the husband and the boyfriend,” Abrams said. “As of now, it doesn’t seem the authorities are considering the husband as a person of interest.”

“It’s clear they now suspect very strongly there was foul play. And as time passes, it will become clearer and clearer that a crime was committed,” he added.

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Elsa/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play by doctors and will be ready for training camp on Thursday, head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday.

“It’s a positive,” said veteran offensive lineman Logan Mankins, one of the Patriots’ captains. “We were all hoping Gronk would have a good recovery and so far he has. Anytime you can have Gronk on the field, it’s great.”

Gronkowski underwent surgery on his right ACL on Jan. 9 and has fully recovered.

Gronkowski said last week that he plans on playing in all 16 games this season. “I’m always antsy to get back on the field, no matter when it is. I just want to play football. I love playing the game,” he said then.

The Patriots open up against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 7.

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(PROVO, Utah) — As the late football coach Vince Lombardi often said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

Lombardi particularly hated to lose, but usually didn’t overreact following a defeat, figuring the formula that generally proved successful shouldn’t be tampered with.

However, some coaches and business executives often make hasty decisions when things don’t go their way, sometimes resulting in more setbacks.

A Brigham Young University study bears this out. Co-author Brennan Platt says that he looked at data from NBA coaching decisions over two decades to determine how personnel was changed following a narrow victory or narrow loss.

Typically, lineups were more often adjusted after defeats than triumphs and that changes that weren’t well-thought-out resulted in at least one more loss per season.

Platt says this kind of thinking has adverse effects in the business world as well, with bosses sometimes overanalyzing an employee’s performance when things didn’t go right. Much of the time, a supervisor doesn’t take into account situations out of someone’s control, which can occasionally be chalked up to just plain bad luck.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Does weather have anything to do with lower back pain? Some people will swear it does, often blaming temperature changes, rainstorms, humidity or barometric pressure for their discomfort. But as it happens, they’re wrong, according to researchers from the Sydney Medical School.

To prove their point, they studied the records of close to a thousand people who had gone to see their doctors for pain in the lower back that had developed within the past 24 hours. Each was asked where they lived and exactly at what time their backs began aching.

Then, without the knowledge of the patients or doctors, the researchers crossed-referenced that information with weather data from the days back pain was reported.

The results? There was no pattern to show that rain, humidity or sudden temperature changes affected the back. However, the Sydney researchers did discover something quirky: for whatever reason, there were slightly more reports of back pain whenever higher wind and wind gust speeds occurred.

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — The high holiday of geekdom is almost here — Comic-Con International: San Diego starts Thursday, though the festivities kick off with preview night on Wednesday.

Chris Hardwick is the founder of pop-culture outlet Nerdist, and his geek cred also boasts hosting @Midnight on Comedy Central, as well as AMC’s Talking Dead. Not surprisingly, he’s become the go-to guy to moderate the major Comic-Con celebrity Q&A panels, which break news on upcoming projects and for which diehards wait in line for hours to witness the bleeding edge of pop culture news. This year he’s the ringleader for panels from Marvel, Warner Bros., The Walking Dead, and more.

So what’s it like to be on stage in the fabled Hall H in front of 7,000 fans, giving them sneak peeks that often make them cry?

He tells ABC News Radio, “There’s nothing like the experience of being on stage in Hall H and they’re showing some footage that people have never seen before, and the stage is rattling, and everyone just loses their mind…[T]here’s no other energy like that that I can imagine anywhere else.”

Considering his pop-culture bona fides, however, Hardwick explains he’s not privy to many spoilers ahead of time. Marvel, for example, will have a huge presence at this year’s Comic-Con, though Hardwick says he doesn’t know who’s going to be on their panel or what will be revealed: “…[T]hose are all things I’ll find out like the night before,” he tells ABC News Radio. “You know, we’ll do sort of a walk-through of what the panel’s going to be. But I don’t know anything yet.”

The pop culture-infused, game-show formatted @Midnight airs on Comedy Central on weeknights at — when else? — midnight.

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iStock/Thinkstock(IRVINE, Calif.) — Remember the last time you had a bad night’s sleep? If you can’t, it’s possible that your interrupted sleep contributed to your forgetfulness.

Researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine conducted an experiment in which participants recalled details of a simulated burglary. Those deprived of sleep — from staying awake for 24 hours or even getting five or fewer hours of shut-eye — were much more likely to experience memory distortion.

While just an experiment, the MSU and UC-Irvine researchers say chronic sleep deprivation could have a dire effect on the criminal justice system, particularly when witnesses are asked to recall specific details about serious cases including murder investigations.

Besides memory distortions, health experts blame lack of sleep on a variety of other conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, not to mention causing vehicular accidents.

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