Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire Phone | Carney’s Final Briefing

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Amazon Launches Smartphone (GalleyCat)
Amazon has gotten into the smartphone business with the launch of the Fire, Amazon’s first smartphone. NYT Though the device is called the Fire phone, Amazon’s new gadget is less a phone than a pocketable cash register hooked directly into the retailer’s intelligent warehouses. And it’s not cheap. The Fire phone sells for $199 with a two-year AT&T contract. Although it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon’s Prime membership, the Fire phone is essentially the same price as high-end phones made by Apple and Samsung. For Amazon, a company whose previous devices have had innovative pricing plans that often involved selling devices at cost, the Fire phone’s uninspired price tag is a surprising disappointment. The Washington Post / The Switch The phone lets you scan products in stores, so that you can buy things directly from Amazon, using a new service called “Firefly.” Users can even use the phone to “listen” to songs or videos, and link users to places to buy them. It can also recognize art, and scan text such as phone numbers and then immediately place a call. The Verge There’s one big difference here: the Fire phone’s interface changes based on how you’re looking at it and how you orient the device. Amazon calls the feature “Dynamic Perspective,” which basically means that some apps on the phone will have a three-dimensional depth to them, and tilting the phone will let you peer around edges, just as you can with real objects. Mashable The history of 3D-type screens in mobile suggests consumers aren’t interested in the feature. The two most notable devices, the HTC Evo 3D and the LG Optimus 3D, both flopped. The only real 3D success in mobile so far has been the Nintendo 3DS, which is explicitly a game console.

Jay Carney Tells Reporters: ‘You’ll Be The Judge of My Success’ (TVNewser)
After three and a half years as White House press secretary, Jay Carney presided over his final press briefing Wednesday afternoon, calling his time in the role an “extraordinarily gratifying” experience. FishbowlDC “I have loved every minute of every day, even the many minutes of many days I spent in this room,” Carney said before concluding. “As I think most of you now understand and believe, it’s always a pleasure no matter how hard it can get in here, no matter how hot it can be and contentious it sometimes is.” Politico Carney is leaving the White House after nearly five and a half years in the administration. He first served as Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director before becoming press secretary in early 2011, after President Barack Obama’s longtime aide Robert Gibbs left the job. Time Carney’s deputy, Josh Earnest, will begin regular briefings from the podium Thursday. He will assume the post officially on Friday, when Carney will present him with the ceremonial flak jacket and the password to the @PressSec Twitter account. HuffPost / AP Unflappable and careful not to improvise, Carney presided over the daily hour-long press briefings, explaining and defending Obama policies and initiatives. Carney’s entry into the briefing room Wednesday was heralded by music from Guided by Voices, Carney’s favorite indie rock band.

U.S. Patent Office Kills Washington Football Team’s Trademark Status (PRNewser)
The unofficial “People vs. Daniel Snyder” case continued its devolution Wednesday with news that the U.S. Patent Office had withdrawn the registration belonging to They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The Washington Post / Post Politics “The writing is on the wall. It’s on the wall in giant, blinking neon lights,” Senate majority leader Harry M. Reid said on the Senate floor shortly after the decision was announced. Singling out the Redskins owner, Reid said “Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time before he’s forced to do the right thing and change the name.” ESPN Five Native Americans, representing four tribes, brought the case against the league in 2006. Although the Redskins name and past logos are involved in the decision, the trademarks that were canceled do not include the current Redskins logo. Politico The trademark attorney for the Redskins, Bob Raskopf, downplayed the ruling and vowed the team will win an ensuing appeal. “We’ve seen this story before. And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo,” he said in a statement, citing rulings in 1999 and 2003. “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal.” FishbowlDC The naming of the football team has been an ongoing debate in Washington and beyond. In May, 50 U.S. Senators signed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in support of a name change for D.C.’s NFL team, something Snyder says he will never do.