If the last few years have all been about building compelling mobile-first or mobile-only experiences, the latest trend seems to be bringing those experiences back to the web. (Just look at Instagram!) Anyway, with that in mind, social TV startup Dijit became the latest to follow this lead, with the launch of NextGuide Web.
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Nokia took to its blog today to introduce Xpress Now, an enhanced version of its Xpress browser. Made for Asha devices, the web app delivers personalized content suggestions based both on your personal preferences and those of the browser’s “more than 80 million monthly users.” These new recommendations come courtesy of three separate browsers views: What’s Hot, You May Also like and Most Liked. The categories are largely self-explanatory, and we imagine suggested content will be more spot-on after the app has been around for a few months. For the time being, though, Nokia Xpress Now is in beta in India, and it should make its away to other countries later in 2013.
Source: Conversations by Nokia
It wouldn’t be Google I/O if the company didn’t talk about all the fun stuff that they’re doing for education. Luckily, they announced Google Play for Education, which is a new section in Google Play that includes apps and games that are meant specifically for the classroom in order to help students learn in a
TechCrunch favorite MC Frontalot and filmmaker Caly Monardo have created a video for “I’ll Form The Head,” a rap song about a Voltron-esque group of heroes fighting a worm monster in their rhino robotic vehicles. Each one wants to form the head, and they explain this in surprisingly eloquent terms.
Although there’s no dearth of rugged tablets, most are still built on the assumption that civilization is close at hand. Sqigle, however, suggests that its upcoming Earl tablet could work even if there’s no civilization left. The new, crowdfunded Android 4.1 slate centers on a light-up, 6-inch e-paper screen that both extends the battery life to 20 hours and makes the 5 hours of solar-powered recharging sound reasonable — theoretically, Earl never needs to see a wall outlet. It’s also built to do as much as possible without leaning on either WiFi or a PC. Along with both analog and digital radio, the design should incorporate ANT+ sensor support and preloaded topographical maps. The project isn’t ideally timed for outdoorsy types when it’s expected to reach backers in the late summer, but the $ 249 advance price is low enough that it might justify a camping trip in the fall.
Filed under: Tablets
Remember that break-apart DualShock 3 idea for motion control Sony had five years ago? A new company named Mad Genius Controllers has surfaced with a working prototype that shows such a contraption working in spades. The setup uses a splittable controller and a processing unit to enable seamless motion control and spacial tracking on any title and system. Because Mad Genius doesn’t use any accelerometers or cameras like the current consoles, its creator notes that accuracy of up to 1/100th of an inch is possible
In a video demo with an Xbox 360 version of Skyrim and a modified Xbox gamepad, certain gestures and movements even automate menu selections like a macro. One instance shows the controller being split and held like bow and arrow, highlighting that both sides are a tracked in relation to each other — not to mention that the in-game character’s weapon automatically changed without any menu-digging by the user. The current version is merely of a wired proof-of-concept, but Mad Genius plans to eventually make it wireless and hit Kickstarter for funding. In the meantime, you can build up anticipation for yourself by checking out the nearly 10-minute long video demo after the break.
Source: Mad Genius Controllers (YouTube)
Sure, Olympus’ PEN E-P5 brings the OM-D E-M5′s fast autofocusing to a smaller body, but it’s not really cheaper when both cameras cost $ 1,000 lens-free in the US. Thankfully, the PEN Lite E-PL6 is on the way to democratize the technology in earnest. The new Micro Four Thirds model shares the 16-megapixel sensor, TruePic VI engine and fast focusing of its cutting-edge cousins, but makes a few sacrifices to keep the cost in check. The E-P5′s built-in WiFi and five-axis stabilization are missing, and the camera otherwise behaves more like its E-PL5 ancestor: it shoots at a slower 8 frames per second with a lower-resolution 460,000-pixel, 3-inch swiveling touchscreen. Not that Americans comfortable with the E-PL6′s frugal features can pick one up, mind you. To date, Olympus has only committed to a Japanese launch in late June.
Gallery: Olympus E-PL6 press shots
Filed under: Cameras
Via: Geeky Gadgets
Foursquare’s been rather attentive to the other mobile plaforms this year, releasing updates for Android, BlackBerry and iOS in 2013. The time has finally come for Microsoft mobile users as well, as a fresh WP8-compatible version has just hit the Windows Phone app store. Version 3.0 lets users pin people and places to Start screens, provides lock screen notifications and lets folks check-in and share via NFC. Oh, and should you grow weary of using swipes and taps, the addition of speech controls allows you to search and check-in using only your voice. Should you be among the socially-inclined Microsofties, you know what to do.
Via: The Verge
Spotify has recently acquired Tunigo, a music discovery app that creates themed playlists based on your mood. Spotify will transfer all of Tunigo’s 20+ employees to its offices in both Stockholm and New York, where they will be focusing their efforts on Spotify’s main service. Tunigo will still continue to run, however it’s still unknown
Lexie Kinder has a desk in her third grade classroom at Alice Drive Elementary School in Sumter, South Carolina. But you won’t find her there – you’ll find her at home at her desk. But you will find her robot there at school in her place.
With Over 15M Sites Built, Weebly Launches New Planner And Mobile Editor, Brings Website Creation Service To Android
In this day and age, if you own a small business, you need a web (and mobile) presence. It’s just the way it is. Some might opt just to go for a social media approach, a Twitter account and a Facebook page, but the likelihood is that you want something a little more flexible, high-quality and something that gives you more control over the user experience. More and more, people are turning to Wix and Weebly. The two big “W’s” in the website creator world. For those unfamiliar, Weebly is a service that lets you, your mom, grandmother, four-year-old cousin and anyone you know create a quality website for free. Launched out of Y Combinator in 2007, Weebly has had over 15 million sites created using its service to date, which collectively attract more than 100 million unique visitors each month. This week, Weebly has kicked its service up a notch with an all-new overhaul to its website builder — one that’s been a year in the making — and the launch of an interactive “Site Planner.” This new site planner is designed to help give people ideas and a little lightbulb-style inspiration that will help them walk through the creative process and vision for the site. Plus, Weebly now offers an HTML5 site creator that offers new themes and pre-fab building blocks to customize their new site, and, most importantly, a new mobile new editor that helps them optimize their site for mobile devices, along with a now-globally available Android app. In the lead-up to the big launch, co-founder David Rusenko tells us, Weebly surveyed several million consumers and found that about 56 percent of them, understandably, don’t trust a business that doesn’t have a website. And, yet, 58 percent of businesses don’t have a website. Pretty eye-opening in today’s world, when over a billion people are on Facebook and hundreds of millions have so much computing power in their pockets. Ask the Weebly founders who their core audience is and they’ll tell you, proudly, that it’s entrepreneurs — people who are trying to build their own small businesses, across every industry, not just techies. And, regardless of technical proficiency, the problem that most small business owners struggle with is how daunting it can be to face that blinking cursor, the blank page. It’s the same issue we scribblers deal with in cases of “writer’s block.” When building websites,
Since graduating from Y Combinator in 2012, Grouper has been on a mission to help busy, overworked young people get away from the glow of computer screens and out into the real world to meet new people. To do that, the startup sends its members on “Groupers,” which are essentially blind, group dates between two groups of friends, designed to take the awkwardness out of one-on-one dating.
iPlayer for Android update brings improved experience on Galaxy S III, Note 2 and Nexus 4, tablets to follow
Excuse us while we interrupt your episode of The Archers, but we thought users of BBC’s iPlayer might like to know about the latest Android app update. Amongst the usual bug fixes, the update promises to offer a “much improved” viewing experience on big hitting devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Note 2, plus the Nexus 4. The Beeb stopped short of spilling further details, but it does go on to confirm that it’ll continue to apply spit-and-polish to the playback experience for as much hardware as it can, without having to wait for app updates. We hope this doesn’t mean it’ll be treading on any toes, of course. Fans of slightly bigger screens (which is more of you, apparently) can expect some attention soon, with a hat tip about a tablet update coming in the next release.
Source: Google Play
All good things come to an end, or so the saying goes. As is the nature of things, product design changes over time see new features added and some old ones eliminated or changed, often without too much hassle or outcry. Occasionally some features prove to have been so beloved by users that they’re brought
Pinterest Tweaks Its New Look, Improves Search And Brings Features Like Pinned From And Mentions Back
While Pinterest is still rolling out its brand new look to users, it decided to listen to some feedback along the way and make some tweaks. Since the site relies heavily, or completely, on its users pinning things to boards like crazy, some features that were dropped from the new design were re-added due to popular demand. One of the features that caused the community to clammer the most was “Pinned By,” which let people see who originally pinned an item. This was a way to discover new people to follow and Pinterest has brought it back: Additionally, the mentioning friends feature using an @ symbol has returned, yet another way to discover new people to follow. Notice a trend here? It seems like the new design was limiting users on how they could find new friends and boards to interact with. The company says that finding friends from Twitter and Facebook that are on Pinterest is back, too. Other than the features that were reintroduced, Pinterest has improved its search functionality by adding auto-suggest, something that helps people out when looking for things. This has been a popular feature on Google’s search product, making the experience way less aggravating than looking at an empty white box for minutes: Along with search, Pinterest has moved your recent activity notifications, including older ones, to the top right corner, another move that could increase engagement. Things that the company are thinking on and might roll out soon are rearranging pins and creating a board within a board. Let’s call that feature “Boardception.” Still, it’s clear that remaining true to the original experience tops all new bells and whistles. Other social sites like Twitter and Facebook tend to roll out features slowly, getting instant feedback from people along the way before things are released to the masses. By letting users opt-in to trying out the new look, Pinterest gets beta testers who are ready, willing and able to voice their complaints, since that’s what people end up voicing anyways. If you’re still rocking the old design on Pinterest, just click “Get it now” after you log in:
Twitter has updated its Mac app with several improvements that users can take advantage of now. The app has been updated to include support for Retina displays on the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros, and users will be greeted with improved photo sharing and uploading features, as well as support for 14 more languages. With
Twitter’s showing off an updated version of its Mac app today, featuring a number of key fixes, including improvements to photo sharing and a slew of new languages. On the image side of things, you can now share a photo by clicking on the camera icon in the tweet composing module, or just do it the old fashioned way by dragging pictures from your desktop. Also new in this version is support for Macs with retina displays and a total of 14 new languages, including Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Turkish. Interested parties can download the update via the source link below.
Via: Twitter Blog
It’s been more than two years since the Y Combinator-backed startup first launched. That seems like a long time for a music service to go without a mobile app.
Soluto Brings Web-Based PC Management To Small Business, Ranks The Best Windows Laptops For SMBs (It’s A Mac)
Over the last few years, Israeli IT startup Soluto has morphed from simply being PC software that helps users run diagnostics on their hard drives, to a web-based platform that aims to turn you into a one-person Help Desk. In other words, Soluto now allows anyone to offer remote tech support and run diagnostics, whether that be for your mom’s computer or dozens of customers.
We’re still waiting to see Cox’s next generation cable TV-to-mobile streaming app, but right now it’s released a version of its existing Cox TV Connect app for Android. Available on iPads since the end of 2011 and on iPhone / iPod touch since the end of last year, it’s finally made the trek to a “select” group of Android tablets, consisting of the Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy 2 / Galaxy Note slates. A support document also mentions Amazon’s Kindle Fire family, however the app isn’t in its store as of this posting. For those not familiar, it’s a free app for subscribers that lets them watch a selection of live TV channels while connected to their home wireless network, and view listings anywhere. We’ll be interested to see if the list of compatible (Android 4.0+) hardware grows quickly, or if users will need to wait for a port of the new app which adds personalization features tied into Cox’s Trio DVR platform.
Facebook has updated its iPhone and iPad applications to let people keep using its chat feature even when they are doing other things, such as reading friends’ updates.
CodeNow, a nonprofit program that teaches coding basics to high schoolers (with an emphasis on reaching girls, ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups), is in the middle of a significant expansion.
After launching in Washington, DC in 2011, the program has now launched in New York City and is currently holding training sessions with its first NYC group. In a few months, it’s going to select participants in its first fellowship program, which will take place over the summer. And later this year it plans to launch in San Francisco.
chamilto0516 writes “Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency. The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander [director of the NSA] said, ‘No…we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens,’ adding that the NSA staff ‘take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.’ But critics, including former NSA employees, say the data center is front and center in the debate over liberty, security and privacy.” According to University of Utah computing professor Matthew Might, one thing is clear about the Utah Data Center, it means good paying jobs. “The federal government is giving money to the U.’s programming department to develop jobs to fill the NSA building,” he says.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Twitter, in an effort to make its site more useful to an ever-increasing number of people, is rolling out its Trends topic discovery feature in 160 new locations.
According to a report published by the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging last year, more than 130 million Americans are living without dental insurance. That means more Americans have smartphones than dental coverage. (And they say the UK has bad teeth!) Yes, while robotics takes quantum leaps, millions of Americans forgo dentist visits each day because they don’t have insurance, or they can’t afford care.
System administrators and IT security pros can take bit of a breather: Microsoft has issued a comparatively light set of patches for this edition of its monthly release of software vulnerability fixes.
Tumblr Overhauls Its Android App With Path-Like Interface, Brings “Take A Photo” Back To The Desktop
Today, Tumblr launched a brand new version of its app on Android, completely overhauled. Its interface is the design you’re seeing in many apps lately, mostly made popular by Path. Yes, Tumblr has gone Holo with its UI. That aside, the app feels way more responsive, letting you scroll through all of the cat photos and emo shots of your pals. Its pull-down-to-refresh even got a snazzier animation. The brief note from the Tumblr Staff blog came along with an animation of the new navigation…animations: Tumblr for Android just got a total facelift! We’ve completely redesigned the interface, added fancy post animations, made images pop, and a whole lot more. Download the update today. Tumblr has also made it so that photos pop out in your stream more, so as to kick up more interaction within the app. This is something that Facebook recently announced it’s doing with its own News Feed: It’s interesting that Tumblr attacked the Android app first, as its iOS version still has this boring old interface: Stay tuned for that iOS version, though, since its latest major overhaul was back in November. There’s only one problem with the new interface, though. You can’t post from any page you’re on. I’d like to see the animated “post” button follow me no matter where I am on the site. Right now, you have to go back to your stream to post something. Since it’s not all about mobile, for those who like to take “selfies,” (who doesn’t?) the company has brought back the “take a photo” functionality to the desktop site. If you just want to show all of your followers exactly how you feel right now, you can just shoot a shot and post it to your stream like this: Sadly, that feature only works on Chrome and the latest versions of Firefox. Sorry, Safari and IE users, no selfies for you. Happy Tumblr-ing. [Photo credit: Flickr]
Remember last month when Marvel introduced a new promotion where you could download 700 first-issue comic books for free? Well, it obviously didn’t turn out too well — Marvel’s servers were slammed from the overwhelming demand from comic book enthusiasts. However, the company brought the promotion back, and hopefully they came better prepared this time
Sure, Facebook had a weird ad with Blink-182 for the HTC Status, but its sneak peek at its newest TV spot for the First and Home is on another level. Posted today on its Facebook profile, the campy piece literally brings one traveler’s feed to life inside the cabin of his flight during boarding. We won’t spoil the goods for you, but it’s interesting to see Facebook’s first thrust at marketing this skin and smartphone combo out to the masses. Catch the full clip after the break.
Oracle has extended its data center fabric to its Sparc-based Unix platforms, promising to let enterprises tie more servers and applications into the high-speed infrastructure.
Daily commute got you down? You’ll soon be able to do it in a Porsche by the end of the year without burning a drop of gas, thanks to a new plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid model. The powertrain, which we saw earlier on a concept car, combines a V6 bi-turbo gas engine with a 95 horsepower electric model for 416 total system horsepower. Like recent offerings from Ford and others, the 2014 model adds a much larger 9.4 kWh battery to last year’s non-plug-in hybrid, letting you trundle on electrons alone at up to 80MPH for 20 miles or so with with nary a puff of CO2. All that eco-friendly driving will be undone when you decide to open ‘er up in combined gas / electric mode, however, as the zippy four-door will hit 0-60MPH in about 5.5 seconds with a decidedly un-green top speed of 165MPH. Still, the company says overall fuel consumption’s been reduced over the last model and you’ll get other niceties like Porsche’s Car Connect smartphone app to view and control different vehicle functions. While Prius drivers won’t be able to look down their noses at the model anymore, government incentives will make a much smaller dent in its estimated $ 99,000 price tag.
Filed under: Transportation
The Ematic Genesis Prime is another budget Android tablet hoping to break into the market. It boasts an affordable price tag of only $ 79.99, while still offering you the joys of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, we all know that there has to be some dealbreaker when it comes to these “too good to be
With the release of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan GPU this year, we knew NVIDIA wasn’t going to pull any punches when it came to offering the highest-powered hardware to the public at any cost. Here with the reveal of the GeForce 700M family, the battle continues with notebook warriors galore. You’ll be seeing the
Just because you have a Raspberry Pi, and the know-how to change the world, doesn’t mean you want to do everything the hard way. So while you may have already applied the 12.1 update to XBMC running on your Raspberry Pi, if you’ve ben waiting for the Raspbmc team to do it for you, well, wait no more. Wondering how easy it is to upgrade? Just reboot your Pi and wait about 15 minutes. Seriously, that is all it is going to take to get all the fixes and enhancements in the latest version of XBMC as well as a number of specific fixes for Raspbmc. Specifically, there is a newer version of HDMI-CEC, improved support for internet streams and 3rd party modules, and finally, a few security fixes. Not running Raspbmc on your Pi yet, that’s easy too. Just plug in your SD card to a computer where then downloaded the installer, run it, and put the card back in your Pi and sit back and watch.
Pompeii is the little Roman town that became a byword for sudden, violent death — but a new exhibition at the British Museum wants it to be equally famous for raucous, exuberant life.
One of Capcom’s most iconic classics, Mega Man, is turning 25 years old this year come December. The Mega Man franchise has seen a huge amount of success, with over 40 game variations of the series being created, over 30 million copies of its games being sold, and with several TV shows being created/based off
SideCar is a service that arranges a carpool between two people in an easy-to-use app. The service has been available in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and Brooklyn, but has now just launched in Washington D.C. The app simultaneously gets more cars off of the road while also offering passengers easy,
It’s easy to snag a Miracast-capable device if you’re willing to shop for a brand new TV or a set-top box. but it’s much tougher if Miracast is the only thing you’re looking for. Minimalists will be happy, then, that Panasonic just released a dedicated adapter for the job. Plug the very utilitarian-looking brick into an HDMI jack and you can wirelessly stream HD-grade video from any supporting device on the same WiFi network; Panasonic would naturally prefer that it’s the company’s new Eluga X smartphone. The adapter is so far only available in Japan for an estimated and rather steep ¥8,980 ($ 95), although we’re hoping that it eventually crosses the Pacific at a price that befits the narrow focus.
Via: Akihabara News
Source: Panasonic (translated)
Living vicariously just got a bit more exciting. Google Maps had added some of the most famous (and highest) mountains in the world to Street View. The list includes Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus and Everest Base Camp — four members of the Seven Summits, letting you explore some of the of the highest points on Earth without the aide of a breathing apparatus. According to Google, the shots were captured with the help of a tripod and a fish-eye-sporting digital camera. All of the aforementioned mountains can be reached in the source link below — or with the assistance of a good support team.
Anyone who’s heavily invested in the Mac ecosystem knows Automator, a built-in tool that can string together multiple computing actions without having to know a lick of code. Some of us may want a little more power, or just a different variety of power — which is where the recently launched Alfred 2.0 comes in. Those who buy the £15 ($ 23) Powerpack can take advantage of Workflows, which relies on an Automator-like concept of linking simple actions to run complicated tasks. They can be more ornate than you’d expect, however: for a start, you can run multiple app-specific tasks in parallel, such as telling Chrome to search YouTube, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes the moment you type in a movie keyword. It’s equally possible to feed results back to Alfred, launch scripts and trigger notifications (whether Mountain Lion’s or Growl’s), among other feats. Should you demand control that sits just outside of Apple’s boundaries, Alfred is waiting at the source link; anyone who just wants its core launcher functionality can grab the app for free.
Via: The Verge
Yours truly has had some pretty positive experiences with Babbel’s existing product line, with the latest being a subscription-based alternative for iPad that makes it a lot more affordable to learn the basics of 11 different tongues. After launching last October on Windows 8, the outfit is showing Microsoft’s other major OS a bit of love today. Babbel is bringing its 11 language learning programs to Windows Phone 8, with the apps scheduled to hit the ‘Education’ segment of the Windows Phone Store any moment now. For those who’ve yet to give it a whirl, Babbel uses a mix of repetition, visual cues, spelling exercises and voice recognition, and it does a pretty stellar job of segmenting things into digestible lessons for those who only have five or ten minutes at a time to spare.
The apps themselves are free to download, with a company spokesperson explaining to us that the WP8 builds “are mainly vocabulary trainers with 3,000 words broken down into themed lessons.” Ideally, the phone apps would supplement a user’s learning on their main platform (iPad or desktop). So, at $ 0.00, your last remaining excuse to not understand what the locals are chatting about in Moorea has been obliterated. Vous êtes les bienvenus.