Google’s trusted places just made my life so much easier

See the original posting on The Verge

I don’t make a habit of counting how many times I unlock my phone, but I’m willing to believe the stats that say the average user does it hundreds of times each day. That can be an unnecessary chore when using a device in a place safe from malfeasant interference, such as your home, which is why Google has now introduced the option to add trusted places to Android 5.0’s Smart Lock. As with the two existing options, trusted faces and trusted devices, the new location-based automatic unlocker bypasses the usual lock screen when it detects the proper circumstances. You can set multiple trusted locations and it works without adding any delays to accessing the phone.

The update to Smart Lock comes as part of the latest version of Google Play…

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Xiaomi And Shunwei Capital Make $300M Strategic Investment In iQiyi, One Of China’s Largest Online Video Platforms

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Xiaomi smart TV Xiaomi, which announced earlier this month that it plans to invest $1 billion in online video content, has been very busy spending that money. The hardware maker confirmed today that it and Shunwei Capital have together made a $300 million strategic investment in iQiyi, the video platform that is majority-owned by Baidu, China’s largest search company. Baidu also said that it had… Read More

hack.summit() On Pace To Be Largest Developer Conference Ever

See the original posting on DZone Python

I just wanted to let everyone know about this great virtual developer conferencing coming up called hack.summit(). Most of us in the tech community are used to attending a certain number of conferences a year—and certainly we can admit it’s not always easy to drop everyone we’re doing to jet to Silicon Valley. For one, the costs of attending the big conferences can be overwhelming, and your…

Uber denies that its employees can look at your rider history, except for ‘legitimate business purposes’

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It hasn’t been a great day for Uber’s PR team. Late last night, an Uber VP reportedly said that the company was considering spending $1 million to investigate journalists and dig up dirt on their personal lives, a comment that put CEO Travis Kalanick into damage control mode for most of the day. But a secondary controversy arose from this first PR mistake — Ellen Cushing, a journalist at San Francisco magazine said that Uber employees warned her that company executives were possibly looking at her rider logs to see which employees she was speaking to as part of her reporting for a story on Kalanick. While Cushing wasn’t able to verify that claim, she did say it felt likely to her based on the recently-revealed statements about…

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USA Freedom Act for NSA reform is voted down in the Senate

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The US Senate has just voted down the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 58-42, leaving it just two votes shy of the 60 it needed. The bill would have ended the controversial phone record metadata collection by the NSA, but the Senate was not in favor of rolling back any of the NSA’s broad surveillance powers.

While telephone companies would have still collected the data in question, the records would have stayed in the hands of the phone companies and a new type of court order would have been needed by the government to access these records. Additionally, companies would no longer have been required to hold onto their records longer than they ordinarily would have for normal business purposes.

However, new legislation around this program…

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Uber Says It Won’t Look At User Data Except For “Legitimate Business Purposes”

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NYC Uber While much of the fallout from BuzzFeed’s recent Uber expose has focused on vice president Emil Michael’s suggestion that the company could dig up dirt on critical journalists, the story included something that could be equally concerning — the fact that Uber’s New York City manager accessed the profile of a BuzzFeed reporter without their permission. On some level,… Read More

Smart Pipe Just Might Be The Best Waste-Based Startup Video Ever

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Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 8.26.08 PM Have you been concerned about your waste? Is it full of enough protein? Full of too much weird stuff like metal shavings or cat hair? Now there’s Smart Pipe. The system connects to your plumbing and allows you to sense all of the good stuff leaving your body. It socializes feces. The product seems to be ready to ship and is about to Disrupt! your waste stream. Amazing stuff from an… Read More

Yet Another Reminder To Mind Your Words

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mind-words1 “You can’t post that photo,” said the founder and CEO of a prominent, exited startup. He was talking to his PR agent in a W hotel suite in Times Square. I had just taken a selfie with the two of them, at the publicist’s request, and then excused myself to use the restroom.
“Seriously, you can’t post that,” said the CEO. “I look so gay in that… Read More

A Gift Guide For The Novice 3D Printer

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giftguide-splash-3d This is the year you and yours should take up 3D printing. Why? Because it’s cool, because 3D printing is the future, and machines have fallen in price and risen in quality. In short, 2015 will be the year of 3D printing. Here are some amazing printers to help you ring it in in style. Zortrax An inexpensive, European-made 3D printer? Yes, please. I reviewed this model this year and found… Read More

NSA Reform Dies In The Senate

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.35.32 PM Well shit. A vote to proceed with the USA FREEDOM Act failed in the Senate after it did not collect the 60 votes that it needed. It failed 58 to 42. Before the vote, I noticed a slight change in the tone of people that I had on the phone: There was optimism that it could make it. It didn’t. You can stick a fork in NSA reform for this year, and this Congress. And, as I’ve said… Read More

Motorola’s latest animated short ‘Duet’ aims to tug at the heartstrings

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Just over a year ago, Motorola gave Moto X owners a little surprise in the form of Windy Day, an animated story from the co-director of Pixar’s Ratatouille. It was a cute, slapstick tale that also took advantage of the phone’s hardware — users were able to move around and control the “camera” in the world of the cartoon, letting you look around as if you were in the world yourself. It was the first of Motorola’s so-called “Spotlight Stories” and was followed by Buggy Night a few months later.

Now, Google and Motorola have released the third in the series, Duet, a short that was animated and directed by Glen Keane, a longtime Disney animator who worked on films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Much like Windy Day, users can control…

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TC Cribs: Famo.us, The Startup Office That Feels Like Home (Because It Used To Be One)

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Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 1.31.53 PM In this episode of Cribs, we headed over to Famo.us, the startup that’s built a web platform for developers and designers. A lot of tech companies try to make their offices feel as homey as possible for the comfort of their employees, but Famo.us just might take the cake. That’s because Famo.us is actually headquartered in what used to be CEO Steve Newcomb’s actual home. A… Read More

Ad Optimization Startup Boost Media Raises $19M More

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BoostMedia Boost Media announced earlier today that it has raised $19 million in Series C funding.
The company allows advertisers to find the best version of their search ad — it tests variants created by a network of freelance copywriters and designers, identifies the versions with the most clicks or highest conversion rates, then promotes them in a broader campaign. Read More

As BranchOut Team Goes To Hearst, 1-Page Buys BranchOut’s Assets For $5.4 M In Cash And Shares

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Australia trees Another chapter closed in the life of BranchOut, the failed startup that attempted to create a “LinkedIn within Facebook” with tens of millions of dollars in venture backing. The company’s assets have been acquired by 1-Page, an HR software company based out of San Francisco but listed on the Australian stock exchange. Based on today’s stock price, 1-Page is paying… Read More

Here are all the ways to interact with the Apple Watch

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple released its WatchKit SDK today, giving us our first glimpse at how developers will build apps for its forthcoming smartwatch. If there’s one main takeaway, it’s that using the Apple Watch requires you to understand a huge library of new interactions. A (non-exhaustive!) list:

  1. Short Look
  2. Long Look
  3. Glances
  4. Notification actions
  5. Vertical swipes
  6. Horizontal swipes
  7. Edge swipes
  8. Taps
  9. “Taptic Engine” haptic feedback
  10. Siri
  11. Force Touch
  12. Digital Crown scrolling
  13. Digital Crown button
  14. Single-click the side button to open Friends app
  15. Double-click the side button to use Apple Pay by waving watch at NFC reader

One of the best things about the iPod when it first came out was explaining how it worked — it was so simple, and…

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Netflix Will Expand To Australia And New Zealand In March 2015

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Australia In its last quarterly earnings video streaming service Netflix teased that it would be soon launching in more countries and today comes confirmation of that: the company will be expanding Down Under, to Australia and New Zealand, in March 2015. “Internet-connected users in Australia and New Zealand will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular… Read More

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