Two ex-Google employees want you to start talking on your phone again

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We’ve reached an odd point in the evolution of messaging. My wife and my aunt both have large Android phones, but can’t stand the virtual keyboards. They speak a message out loud which Google translates back into text. When I get these messages while I’m driving my car, I ask Siri to read me the text, and she gives it her best shot. We’ve gone through a completely unnecessary triple translation that wastes time and often garbles the meaning of the message.

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Seahorse Lets You Collaborate With Friends To Build Lasting Photo And Video Albums, Shared Privately

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10628379_695991583783673_8712969372170882692_n A new mobile application launching today called Seahorse lets you create collaborative photo and video albums with friends and family, as well as ways to filter your past photos by time, place, or those you were with. The app, a fairly robust alternative to your smartphone’s default photo gallery, lets anyone add photos or videos to a shared “scene,” as these… Read More

Obama names Google exec Megan Smith as new US chief technology officer

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Megan Smith, a Google vice president and champion of women in technology, has been named the new chief technology officer of the US. Smith is an MIT-educated engineer who worked most recently at Google X, the company’s lab for hyper-ambitious projects like the self-driving car and the future of robots. Before that, she led the business development team for nine years.

Alex Macgillivray, Twitter’s former top lawyer, has been named deputy CTO. It’s an interesting choice: at Twitter, Macgillivray set a tone for that company’s independence from the US government and resistance to law enforcement data requests.

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Amazon Games Studios Launches Its First Gaming App On iTunes

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A1gOfv1VWpL Amazon has just made another move that indicates the company is taking its expansion into mobile gaming more seriously than just a way to tout how it, too, has “exclusive” content to offer via the Amazon Fire TV. For the first time, Amazon has launched a mobile gaming app on Apple’s App Store. But before you get all worked up, we have to point out that the new app, Sev… Read More

Acer Chromebook 13 Review: A Battery That Almost Makes Up For Display Flaws

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chromebook-13 Acer has a new Chromebook that’s looking for the crown among affordable, minimal laptops – The Chromebook 13, which boasts a 13-inch display as per its name, albeit with unique high-definition display options that set it apart from some of the competition. With HD screens and battery life that ranges between 11.5 and 13 hours depending on which model you choose, Acer’s new… Read More

PayPal Expands Further Into Offline Retail And Mobile Payments With New PayPal Here SDK

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1_2100x1313_300_RGB PayPal this morning is rolling out a new product designed to help its business move further into offline retail. The company is launching the PayPal Here SDK (software development kit), which will help online merchants sell their products offline, while also allowing brick-and-mortar merchants a new entry point into the world of mobile commerce. PayPal Here, as you may recall, was introduced… Read More

Google Unveils The Cartographer, Its Indoor Mapping Backpack

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IMG_20140808_161934-MOTION If you have been following the development of Google Maps over the years, you are probably familiar with the Trekker, the backpack that includes a complete Street View camera setup for mapping anything from hikes into the Grand Canyon to walks through penguin colonies in Antarctica. Today, a new backpack is joining Google’s mapping tools: the Cartographer for indoor mapping. Read More

This is the LG G Watch R

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Work on the G Watch R, says LG, began more than two years ago. This fully circular smartwatch may be running Android Wear and competing against the likes of the Moto 360 and Asus ZenWatch, but LG argues that it’s the product of a long-term project rather than a kneejerk reaction. The 1.3-inch OLED screen on the G Watch is the first mass-produced round display of its kind, which is indeed the sort of innovation that takes years of planning to complete. LG has committed just as much time on the…

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How to 3D-print your own Daft Punk helmet

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Over a year ago, I linked out to a Wall Street Journal piece about people who built perfect replicas of the helmets worn by Daft Punk and sold them for thousands of dollars. I included a video called “How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months.” It was an awesome project that was way, way out of my league. But it turns out that with spray paint, LEDs, and a 3D printer, you can make a functional and surprisingly convincing version of one of the designs.

Adafruit has a step-by-step guide to making the helmet, which of course it also sells parts for, but the basic process is shown above: you download the design file, resize the helmet to fit your head, and print it out using tinted transparent plastic, a process that took Adafruit three…

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In A Business Platform Play, Square Adds Sales Tax Reporting Through TaxJar

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Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com Mobile payment company Square is today adding another integration that highlights its strategy to expand the kinds of services it offers to small businesses, in a bid to go beyond payments and position itself as a business platform. It will now let Square customers link up their accounts with TaxJar, which lets companies automatically count and report local and state sales taxes. While… Read More

Scarosso Aims To Be The Warby Parker Of Shoes With $11M From NEO, DN Capital

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Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 16.31.09 Warby Parker has made a name for itself, first in the US and now globally, as a purveyor of tailor-made glasses. Vertically integration – where a company both makes and sells something – has become a hot property and it’s supercharged by the efficiencies brought about via technology platforms. Now, Scarosso (based out of Berlin) which makes and sells handcrafted Italian… Read More

Web Data Platform Import.io Raises $3M Round From Jerry Yang, David Axmark

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img_9229 import.io, the web data platform which debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin last year, has raised a $3 million ‘Seed Plus’ financing round. Investors include the founders of Yahoo! and MySQL. The startup raised from MySQL Co-Founders David Axmark, as an Angel investor and Michael “Monty” Widenius, through his fund Open Ocean Capital. Yahoo! Co-Founder,… Read More

Acompli brings its Exchange-friendly email app to Android

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Acompli, a professional-grade email app that launched on iOS to some acclaim in April, arrives today on Android boasting new features for users of both platforms. The free app, which smartly integrates a calendar and file picker to help you power through your messages, is one of the best mobile email solutions for users of Microsoft Exchange. (It also works with Gmail, Apple iCloud, and Yahoo Mail, and its file picker integrates with Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive in addition to Google Drive.)

The app is also debuting its take on Google’s priority inbox today, with a new feature it calls focused inbox. Focused inbox takes a close look at who you most often and most recently have responded to in order to present you with a list of the…

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