Razer never could be accused of thin branding. From pulsing RGB keyboards, laptops and mice to twinkling string lights. face masksthe playground equipment company has built its entire atmosphere around a sense of ostentatious luxury.
Enter the new Razer mouse, Viper Mini Signature Edition. By Razer standards, it’s actually somewhat subdued, with the kind of sleek aesthetic you’d see on an industrial metal album cover. The rear of the cursor conveyor is an open triangular and trapezoid shaped light magnesium alloy web. It currently comes in one color option – solid black.
This little gothic Thunderdome looks like it’s perfect for the tables of aspiring Bond villains and German kinetic sculptors everywhere, provided they’re willing to pay well for the privilege: the mouse costs $280.
While the Viper Mini has a bold look, it’s actually quite small. The magnesium body makes it lighter than any other Razer mouse. It reportedly weighs around 49 grams (1.7 ounces), which is certainly lighter than any of Razer’s other fairly powerful input devices. It connects to your PC via Bluetooth, and according to the company, the mouse can last about 60 hours on a single charge.
Razer will be accepting orders for the Viper Mini on February 11th and should ship shortly thereafter. But then again, that’s $280.
Here’s some other consumer technology news from this week.
Twitter is arm twisting
Twitter, as you may have noticed, is struggling to make money now that the whims of its fickle new overlord have turned off many of the site’s advertisers.
In an attempt to keep the lights onTwitter is looking to squeeze some money out of its increasingly destabilized platform by turning another one of its previously free features into a paid service. Twitter says basic access to its API will be for paid access February 9th. Short for Application Programming Interface, an API is a set of tools that software developers use to access platform data; this is necessary to create services on top of Twitter. This means that any third-party accounts or services that rely on the platform’s free server-side tools to automate publishing in their channels will either be forced to pay a monthly fee or opt out of the API and publish manually.
Twitter is currently offering developers free and paid tiers. The company has yet to reveal how much basic access to its API will cost once the free tiers are cancelled.
This may not seem like such a big deal to regular users, but for accounts that offer unofficial user services, it can be a huge headache. For example, Topic reader app uses the Twitter API to organize long threads into one readable post on demand. It responds in seconds to thousands of user requests per day. Doing something like this by manually publishing is almost impossible.
Twitter and Elon Musk himself justify the move, saying it will deter scammers from abusing the platform’s API. The thing is, scammers whose whole business is to swindle people out of their money will probably be happy to hand over a few of their stolen dollars for the privilege of staying around. Unfortunately, popular and mostly benevolent bot accounts like Thread Reader or the one that reminds you stop doom scrolling they are less likely to remain, and many have already indicated that they will be closed when the API restrictions go into effect.